Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July Four

My neighbor (we've never met) didn't want to rent me his van as it's already advertised for sale in the paper and a 4-day excursion, even if fully compensated, would take it out of circulation, deny access to the look and see crowd, after just announcing availability (kinda silly).

That made plenty of sense. Best wishes to the nice man on selling that thing (an '84 Falcon, minus working A/C except when plugged into AC).

I'd rent one commercially except Portland is apparently not an attractive market for camper van rental companies, which seem to be few and far between (renting a big honkin' RV is easy, but that's not what I'm wanting to drive -- too confining, as to where it might go).

So we'll probably just take Razz on the next outing, as time is short to try scaring up another rental opportunity. And of course in the long run, I'm just hoping my school will let me book time through a dispatcher, as one of several certified to operate the fleet's motorvehicles.

Other neighbors are having a block party, meaning they got enough signatures from affected households (including ours) to operate the city's "access denial" powers, vis-a-vis cars, of specific blocks, as when a party is happening, as is happening today, this being the Fourth of July and all, when we celebrate our independence to stage such mundane and pedestrian events, a form of independence we really shouldn't just take for granted.

Some future distopia might forbid ever closing back streets to cars, because cars are just too important (or by extension, the people in them). These kinds of class distinctions are insidious, and once they work their way onto the law books, they rarely come off individually.

By one definition, a conservative is someone who hates to delete laws, even ugly ones. These folks are often just cowed by seeing a law in writing, and can't bear to think of themselves as powerful enough to stand up to such things (there's a long history of bowing down to various writings).

Another kind of conservative counts every law as a strike against freedom, and aims to keep their number as low as possible, even while keeping social nets workable -- which is more my kind of conservative.

If the rules are simple and easy, then everyone has a better shot at understanding them, which is more democratic. Once the rules become riddled with exceptions and deceptions, then you're implying a secretive elite pulling the strings -- a form of decay from a healthier and more democratic state.


We watched the fireworks from the deck of Wave Dancer, anchored in the Columbia off Hayden Island. Portland Spirit passed us in the night. The rockets shot out from a barge parked over by the I-5 bridge, some miles west on the Vancouver side.

North Korea, piggy-backing on all this symbolism, signaled its own independence by firing off some dispensable old rockets (including a multi-stager).