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Tuesday, June 4, 2013





Tuesday,  59 degrees F, wind calm, sky a high overcast.  The barometer is up a bit at 30.17 in., and the humidity is 72%
   Sometimes, particularly in the spring, it is better not to mow the lawn, although I did mow our lawn for the second time yesterday.  The top photo was taken on the embankment fronting the stone retaining wall on Washington Ave. between Broad and Third Streets.  It is a colorful hodgepodge of naturalized tulips, daffodils, dandilions, forget-me-nots,  and in another week or so lupines and daylilies.
   The common lilacs, Syringa vugaris, just started to bloom on the south side of the house.  The lilac was introduced to Europe from regions of Turkey during the Seventeenth Century, and soon found favor in gardens. The Persian lilac, S. persica, was introduced somewhat later, and many hybrids of the two were made in the Nineteenth Century and after.  The common lilac has many hybrids, most of which, like the species, are highly fragrant,  and a lilac bush by the kitchen door was a small luxury not to be denied even the lowliest American pioneer family.
   I am a great fan of the "foreverer" postal stamp, which never loses its value to send a letter at the price at which it was purchased.  One stamp, however, simply labeled "Equality," sends the wrong message along with every letter it delivers.
   Our flag and our constitution do not guarantee or even promise "equality," but rather "equality under the law,"that is, equality of opportunity.  Only fools envision equality among human beings, and any person honest with himself or herself realizes their own limitations as well as their talents and therefore accepts or even expects inequality of outcome in competition with others. We all, everyone of us, win some and lose some.
   What we justly claim as our right as Americans is our opportunity to use the resources God and nature have given us to compete fairly with our fellow citizens.  We are endowed with inalienable rights, not equal outcomes, and the society which promises the later leads its members on a futile trip toward a sorry destination.  Humans are not endowed with equal ability, or even with equal luck.  We all have the right to purchase a lottery ticket, but only the lucky few will win.
   The French Revolution  promised "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."  Under that stirring motto the Revolution delivered first chaos, then the Terror,  and finally Napoleon.  And so it has been with every utopian experiment with "equality" before or since, from Plato to Marx.

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