Flotsam From Yosemite & New York

In New York Times, The Call of the Wild, Yosemite on March 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Hetch Hetchy valley before the flood, 1911

This blog is losing steam, but I will keep using it as a catch-all for clippings that ordinarily might be found wandering on scattered napkins in various back drawers of my desk–instead, clothes-pinning disparate comments in one place just so they are  “there,” (here?) in some humorously presumed immortal tunnel of cyberspace….

First, a comment by  “Citizen” RI, and my response:

From New York Times, “Women Figure Anew in Senate’s Latest Battle”

  • Citizen
  • RI
 Senator Feinstein: “This is part of a larger effort, candidly, to cut back on rights and services to women,” she said. “We’ve seen it go from discussions on Roe v. Wade, to partial birth abortion, to contraception, to preventive services for women. This seems to be one more thing.”
“Rights”? What “rights”?This is where the new “women’s movement” loses me. Sen. Feinstein is at least correct in that it is “one more thing.” The ever-expanding claim of “rights” is just a code-word for the entitlement attitude of many Americans. I’m sick and tired of every special interest group or section of our population that has an axe to grind demanding more “rights”, which *always* translate into the federal government (taxpayers) giving them more money and limiting the rights or liberties of others.

We have very few “rights” as human beings and Americans, but have an unlimited number of liberties. Stop confusing the two. The Republicans are right for opposing liberties being masqueraded as rights, regardless of the group responsible.

Dear Citizen,
I agree with you that we are arguing over a matter of degree–but here it seems your vision is that America has not “melted” into broad humanity and shared prosperity regardless of superficial characteristics of gender, race, religion, socio-economic status, and political party affiliation, which are all peripheral and shallow compared to humanity.
When you tap into the deeper roots of our shared connection, it is impossible to see splintered groups of special interests, all with their particular axes to grind, or, worse, as attempting to take more than their fair share of a limited pie.
It is unfortunate that you would needlessly quibble over amorphous distinctions between “liberty” and “rights” while losing the classic vision of liberty, rights, and freedom as being but reiterations of the concept that every person, without exception, has the opportunity to thrive, not arbitrarily curtailed by an overweening authority, either from an authoritarian government, or, in our case, from megalomaniacal corporations who presume to dictate to governments the terms of service by which they shall violate our privacy, pillage the earth, and extort our survival (healthcare) for whopping ransoms (insurance premiums).
Keep fighting the petty fights, and these larger forces will plunder these bickering markets gleefully… Where is liberty when the world is privately owned in holdings that dwarf all supposedly “sovereign” nations?


And, from Yosemite Nature Notes Blog….

So many millions of visitors to Yosemite a year, so many stories, do the visitors all go to Facebook or Twitter now instead of blogs?
We are coming to Yosemite partially because of the story of a family we met last year (2011) at Spring Break while camping in Cunningham Falls, MD, State Park–the Dad, a full year later, was still raving about the Yosemite trip, and still dreaming about quitting his job and becoming a Park Ranger.  They had 3 wonderful girls, under age 10, who all had loved it.  We were sitting around a campfire telling stories and  were no longer strangers, but,  in the moment, were the oldest of friends, in the way that nature negates time.

The world wide web, in order to be truly wide, and to attempt to include the whole world, diminishes when one interface designed by one or two companies becomes the predominant format of the majority of users, in the same way wild spaces are wasted when they are desecrated for the short-term want/needs of a time-limited group of people who ignore the awe that millions of future generations will experience if it is left pristine (as Yosemite is).

I would love to read the comments of other people who have long-time connections to  Yosemite, as well as of people like us, who have never been, and, because of the expense, view it as almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  We have not flown anywhere in 10 years, but this one time, will surely be worth it.  The flowers here in D.C. are reminders that soon we will see ones we’ve never seen before.  I bought a hand lens today.

And the eloquence of park ranger Shelton Johnson is surely that of Muir, tapping that subconscious connection that can be many words or no words, but still point to the same elements that all of creation knows on the cellular level–visceral connections that are difficult to put into words, but which we know intuitively when the “wild” is not so far outside from us but is recognized as simultaneous with us when we roam the earth–even roaming urban landscapes, but none so powerful as a relatively unblemished wilderness…

I enclose the link to Ranger Johnson’s latest very moving video because I think it would be wonderful if the NPS rangers blogged too.   An array of voices and observations of the changing nature of Yosemite would be delightful.


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