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Perhaps Failed, Certainly Blessed

January 30, 2010

Spinnakers, traveling downwind.

The rain has passed, finally, so I followed Van Ness Avenue down to the water, where it narrows and glides over the bay as a pier. Fishermen cast lines and nets over the gaurdwall and Alcatraz loomed large and heavy. The air around the Golden Gate Bridge was tinged, well, golden, and the Financial District’s pyramids rose between the Coit Tower and Russian Hill.

Northern San Francisco.

This week’s Newsweek features a debate among journalists and politicians discussing whether California is a failed state. Of course, the excitement of the debate derives from the disingenuous usage of the term ‘failed state.’ The question implies that California belongs in a class with Afghanistan and Somalia. That, as I’m sure most realize, is far from the case. On the other hand, we’re obviously facing a host of problems that are as difficult as our state is large. We’re about as failed as an American state could be.

The bridge between Fort Mason trees.

That said though, days like today show why California is so often linked to dreams. As a recent NY Times article put it, even if the state’s failing, it’s still sunny in January. Whatever the condition of our government or economy, California will have its beauty, and  Californians are blessed to be surrounded by it.

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