Saturday, September 19, 2009

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

My third-corner trip to San Diego started today. I wish I could describe all the exciting things we saw along the way, but let's face it: the drive across West Texas on the Interstate is neither exciting nor novel.

This is the worst thing about travelling out West: the places of stunning beauty, and there are many of them, are separated from each other by interminable stretches of boring, flat, straight roads, and wandering around out here at 40 mph on back roads -- what few there are -- makes for unbelievably long trips. Not that I don't still do it, but at least I don't mind so much having to make this trip in the sedan (since I'll need room for four while in California).

(I'll probably feel differently on the return trip, when I'm wandering around alone in Southern Utah.)

Meanwhile, this morning while I was waiting to leave, I was reading a recent history of the Mexican-American War, and was struck by the comparisons between President Polk and President George W. Bush. Both got us into morally ambiguous wars (I'm trying to be charitable here) through a combination of lies and ignorance, then mismanaged it by preferring partisan political considerations over practical military considerations. I can only hope that someday, W's maladministration will be as relevant to history as Polk's seems today.