BIGOTS AGAINST LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS need your money! They are registered with the California Secretary of State as proponents of Proposition 8, but as of yet have received no funds!
Steve Young remains a class act, and his wife Barbara rocks! Prop 8 R.I.P.!
Don’t let the mob insert discrimination
into the California state constitution!
California is a republic! Not an anarchistic mobocracy!
Let’s defend our constitution!
I attended a No on Prop 8 “visibility” activity at San Jose’s Diridon Station this morning, and was very disappointed in the turnout: three people, including me, and I’m not even gay!
I am, however, a California patriot, and I’m afraid I’m about to see the constitution of my state stained by the graffiti of special interest groups.
In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.
It’s no secret that Mormons are a tremendous force behind funding for the Yes on 8 Campaign. According to Mormons for Proposition 8, 46% of contributions to the campaign (about $10 million) have come from Mormons. But there are other major players.
Of the ten principal contributors to the Prop 8 campaign, two are based in California. Clearly, this battle is not seen as mere California politics by many Americans. There are significant forces who are doing their best to push Prop 8 through, to see to it that government continues to evolve into a Church-of-State. Californians will have to overcome these powers of bigotry and big government to continue the progress of this land of liberty and equal opportunity; this state that has been said to be “America, only moreso.”
The principal (non-Mormon) contributors to the the Church-of-State Campaign:
- National Organization for Marriage, Princeton, NJ: $1441k
- Knights of Columbus, New Haven, CT: $1150k
- Fieldstead and Co., Irvine, CA: $1095k
- Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, Holland, MI: $650k
- Former state senator Robert Hurtt & Container Supply Co., Inc, Garden Grove, CA: $527k
- American Family Association, Inc., Tupelo, MS: $500k
- Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO: $467k
- John Templeton Foundation, Bryn Mawr, PA: $450k
- Concerned Women for America, Washington, DC: $409k
Some notes on these principal contributors:
The Knights of Columbus is “the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society.”
Fieldstead & Company of Irvine, CA has been called the “Paymaster to the political right” by the Orange County Register.
The Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation is funded with money from Prince Automotive. Edgar Prince co-founded the Family Research Council with neoconservative Gary Bauer. The current head of the foundation, Edgar and Elsa’s son Erik, is also the founder and owner of Blackwater USA.
Two separate contributors from reportedly from Garden Grove, CA, Robert Hurtt & Container Supply Co., Inc, appear to be one and the same: the former state senator from Garden Grove is a perennial contributor to conservative causes, and a big fan of James Dobson.
“The American Family Association exists to motivate and equip citizens to change the culture to reflect Biblical truth and traditional family values.”
The Templeton Foundation is noted for its Templeton Prize, which “honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” The founder, John Templeton, was interested in answers to questions such as “How large is God? How are finite beings related to the infinite? What was God’s purpose in creating the universe?” He was also interested in the question “what is the best way to live?” His answer appears to be that the best way to live is for government to dictate to citizens how they must live.
Concerned Women for America is dedicated to bringing “Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.”
The upcoming election will give Californians an opportunity to declare that we are dedicated to the core American principle of non-intervention of government in personal and spiritual affairs. My fellow Californians, let us not place spiritual vows in the domain of the state. This is not China or Soviet Russia. Strike down Proposition 8.
Bravo, California! This calls for a party. You can bet that I, my wife, and our kids will celebrate this one.
This moment gives comfort in the face of all the terrible news we’ve been buffeted with of late.
Though I don’t look to the state for moral guidance, I am relieved when the state withdraws its bumbling paws from the personal lives of citizens. For that reason, this is an unquestionable victory for humanity, which is always an uncommon event that we must strive to appreciate.
I’ve become so accustomed to feeling ashamed to be an American since 2003 that the taste of this news is made that much more sweet. It’s a great day to be a Californian.
Reactionaries will doubtless see this as “judicial activism”. I guess that makes it a fight between the judge and the mob. The mob may fight back, and the mob may win, but this is a great day nonetheless.
An enumeration of the elements of California might proceed as follows:
- The San Andreas Fault
- The California Current
- The Sierra Nevada
- The Central Valley
- Redwood Forests
The San Andreas Fault
The Pacific and North American Plates, two of the world’s largest, collide from the Gulf of California to Shelter Cove, just south of Cape Mendocino, California. This collision, roughly delineated by the San Andreas Fault, is what put the place we call California on the map.
The California Current
California is probably best known for its climate, a phenomenon which owes no small sum to the fact that California is a collision between continental and oceanic plates, with two particular circumstances:
- The collision has a north-south orientation, with cool ocean currents flowing from the north.
- The collision occurs across a broad spectrum of tropical, subtropical, and temperate latitudes, from 23 to 40 degrees north.
All this adds up to a mild, sunny climate. Add to that an occasional quake to keep everybody on their toes, and you have the California of the Padres.
The Sierra Nevada
Another California was born in 1848, not of sunshine and mild weather, but of greed. That rebirth was initiated and sustained by four gifts of the Sierra Nevada:
- beauty and recreation
The massive Sierra Nevada traps large volumes of atmospheric moisture, leaving the lands to the east dry. It being a large mountain block, much of that moisture is stored as snow and ice, meaning that the moisture is released when it is needed most, during the warm, dry springs and summers. As that moisture is released, it carries with it the sediments that become the soils of the great Central Valley.
As lady luck would have it, a smattering of that sediment is gold. It was the glitter of gold in Sierra streams that set the tone for the future of California and America, just as that glitter brought the world to California before her greatest riches were discovered. Beyond the extravagance of gold and the practical benefit of water and soil, we must not forget the beauty and recreational value of Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, the High Sierra, and the Giant Sequoia (more on that to come).
The Central Valley
Without Sierra Nevada sediments, much of the Central Valley might be known today as the Central Sea, like the Sea of Cortes (the Gulf of California) to the south, but the Sierra Nevada does not entirely account for the Central land form of California, be it land or sea, and there are other mountains that feed the Central Valley. The Sacramento River is proof of that. The Sacramento River is fed by the southern end of the Cascade Range on east, and the Trinity Mountains and other ranges on the west.
“From the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me.” — Woodie Guthrie
Another natural resource that plays a central role in the California myth is the California redwood tree, which lives along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and the Pacific Coast, from Big Sur the far southern Oregon.
Where is California?
Having taken all these elements of California into account, a natural eastern boundary of California can be seen to proceed along the following features:
- The east coast of Baja California.
- The Colorado River.
- The crest of the Chocolate Mountains (just east of the San Andreas Fault).
- The crest of the Little San Bernardino Mountains.
- The crest of the San Bernardino Mountains.
- The crest of the San Gabriel Mountains.
- The crest of the Tehachapi Mountains.
- The eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada.
- The eastern edge of the Cascade Range. The boundary continues northward here to include the watershed of the Sacramento Valley.
- The crest of the Siskiyou Mountains.
- The northern boundary of the Smith River watershed. This is the approximate northern boundary of the region called “the Redwood Empire”.
This posting is a continuation of the Citadel of Glory discussion.
Having now read much of A. J. Carnoy’s Paradise of the East — Paradise of the West, which I received due to the graciousness of Dr. Josef Chytry at the University of California, I can now speak a little more confidently about Carnoy’s Kár-i-farn conjecture.
One interesting point that Carnoy makes is that the place name “Califerne” in the Song of Roland may have been a hybridization of the construct Kár-i-farn and the theocratic title Caliph. What Carnoy does not discuss is the possibility that the word Kár as spoken by an Arab may have sounded much like “Kál” to an early Frenchman, whose deep ‘r’ and ‘l’ sounds were perhaps quite unlike the sharp, shallow ‘r’ and ‘l’ of an Arab or a Persian. Carnoy’s Kár-i-farn could have very easily been modified by the French without any hybridization whatsoever.
Unfortunately, Carnoy does not appear to claim that he had ever read of the construct Kár-i-farn; rather, he appears to argue that the construct was probably used because it appears to be an obvious construction:
Il serait naturel que les légendes concernant les feux divins, les paradis sur les montagnes, les oiseaux merveilleux qui les gardaient ou les transportaient se soient localisées sur la montagne de Kár ou de Kár-í-farn (“Kár du farnah”) comme on a dû l’appeler.
Here’s my rough translation:
It would be natural that the legends concerning divine fires, the paradises on the mountains, and the marvellous birds which kept them or transported them were located on the mountain of Kár or Kár-i-farn (”Kár of the farnah”) as one had to call it.
Carnoy does not appear to provide any evidence that anyone ever actually used the construct, so we must continue to wait for it to appear. Let’s not hold our breath.
That said, I happen to believe that the construct Kár-i-farn is even more likely than Carnoy contends. In my town, there is something called a fire temple. To be precise, it is called a “Dar-e-Mehr” (or Dar-i-Mihr), from the Farsi for “House of Fire” or “House of Light” (I say “Farsi” rather than “Persian” because the term has obvious Arabic influence). I find it quite noteworthy that Dar-i-Mihr can easily be translated to Kár-i-farn. Mihr and farn(ah), do, after all, carry quite compatible meanings. The actual fire in the district of Kár was even called Farnbag, roughly meaning “Light of God”. As for Dar and Kár, the former is an Arabic word for “house”, and the latter appears to be a Persian root that derives from the Sumerian word for “fort”, and appears to have evolved into a more general meaning akin to “edifice”.
Carnoy appears to think that the construct Kár-i-farn would derive from the name of the district Kár, but it seems to me that the inverse would be more likely: could Kár-i-farn have once been used as a term for “fire temple”?
… And regardless of etymology, wouldn’t Karefarnah be an appropriate name for the Golden State? “Land of Sun Worshippers?” “Temple of Fire”?
The name “California” appears to go back far beyond Montalvo’s Las Sergas de Esplandian. This should not surprise us, for Montalvo’s novel implied that the name was well-known when it was published ca. 1510. The word apparently occurred in the 11th Century epic poem the Song of Roland, at a point in the poem where a Christian army had just been defeated by a Muslim army. In the poem, California was spelled “Califerne”, but that spelling may reflect poetic license, as it occurs at the end of a rhyming stanza. The following citation is provided to illustrate the rhyme:
- Morz est mis nies, ki tant me fist cunquere
- Encuntre mei revelerunt li Seisne,
- E Hungre e Bugre e tante gent averse,
- Romain, Puillain et tuit icil de Palerne
- E cil d’Affrike e cil de Califerne.
Lynn Townsend White Jr., a California historian, made the following observation about the legendary country of Califerne:
To them [the Spanish conquistadores] California was a land of Orient with fantastic attributes which have been somewhat clarified by a learned authority on Iranian mythology, A. J. Carnoy. Califerne, he asserts, is the Persian Kar-i-farn, “Mountain of Paradise.” On this mountain dwelt enormous birds, half eagle and half lion, in the West generally called griffins.
I have not read Carnoy, nor have I ever heard of Kar-i-farn in any other connection, so I must remain skeptical, but I can put its constituent words together. For me, Kar-i-farn does not translate to “mountain of paradise,” but rather something like “citadel of glory”. Perhaps that’s close enough.
To be more specific …
The word “kar” means something akin to “edifice” in Persian. The same word in Sumerian and Assyrian meant “fortification” or perhaps “citadel”. One may wonder how “kar” could morph to “kal”, and one would be justified, but consider that the Arabic word for fortress or citadel is “qal`ah”.
The word “farn” or “farnah” is an old form of the Persian word “farr” or “farrah”, which means “glory”, as in the glory of God, or the divine splendor of the sun.
It is no surprise to hear griffins spoken of in connection with ancient Persia. The guardians of the Persian Empire were great statues of griffins called “Homa”, sometimes referred to as the “Guardians of the Light”. It would make sense for these “Guardians of Light” to inhabit a “Citadel of Glory”, but I have not yet been able to corroborate Carnoy’s account.
Was California named after a heavenly paradise out of an ancient Persian myth? Is the California condor thus related to the Homa of ancient Persia through legend and myth? The jury is still out, and may remain out for some time.