|Commander K. on the trail|
Mount Obama (Boggy Peak), Antigua
What has roots as nobody sees,
Is taller than trees,
Up, up it goes,
And yet never grows?
Gollum's Riddle from The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein
|Sugar Mill, Jumby Island, Antigua|
Shortly after Nelson's decisive victory at Trafalgar in 1805, the Royal Navy had unquestioned dominance of the high seas -- Britain truly ruled the waves. In 1807 Britain abolished the slave trade and it was the power of the Royal Navy operating out of bases such as Antigua that was able to enforce this edict (see earlier posts, Horatio Nelson: Champion of Liberty 1/15/12, Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua 2/21/13).
|Vorn on the trail|
It is impossible to get lost on the track to the summit. There is a badly paved road that leads all the way to the summit of Boggy Peak. A four by four could make the trip quite easily.
Purists will be disappointed to learn that the summit is on private property owned by Cable and Wireless. You will find communication towers, seismic monitoring equipment and a chain link fence at the summit of Mount Obama....
|The top of Mount Obama|
|View from the Summit of Mount Obama|
|Local kid with lamb|
On the way up and down Mount Obama, dear reader, you may be astonished to know that I felt compelled to reflect on the more positive aspects of President Obama! Perhaps the easy ascent and tropical climate mellowed my curmudgeonly attitudes? I may have "conquered" Mount Obama, but perhaps the mountain affected me as well; mountains have a way of doing that.
Commander Kelly subscribes to the un-original notion that American Presidents have a dual job description, one Symbolic and the other Substantive. An American President must be a symbol of the nation's unity, celebrating our collective triumphs and mourning our losses. Our President also has a Substantive role as the leader of the Executive branch of government. This dual leadership role is explicitly clear in the UK where the Monarchy clearly handles the symbolism while the Prime Minister handles the substance of Executive decision-making.
Some US Presidents have been much better as symbolic leaders than substantive leaders and vice versa. President Nixon, for example was a disaster as a symbolic leader, though he had significant substantive achievements (opening China, ending the draft, clean air and water legislation, etc.). JFK, on the other hand, was a symbolic superstar, but had too little time to achieve much of substance during his tragically truncated term of office.
It must be conceded by even his harshest critics that President Obama has been a symbolically successful President for the United States. His election represented the closing of a long chapter of tortured race relations in North America. His elevation to the highest office represented a history-making development that inspired hope among millions throughout the world. A nation that was founded in large part by slave-owning plantation farmers from Virginia now has a black President.
|Girl with lamb|
Commander Kelly does not "hate" Obama by any means. I have great respect for him and even more for the office which he holds.
It is on mere issues of Substance that I sometimes disagree with our 44th President (lack of leadership on Syria, Sequestration debacle, Presidential kill list, drone foreign policy, gun control demagoguery, spiralling national debt, etc.). Commander Kelly must ask, "When the rhetoric of hope and change fade from the scene will Obama someday be re-named President Boggy Peak?"
After conquering Mount Obama, without use of oxygen, Commander Kelly naturally had to celebrate with a locally-made Antiguan product...Wadadli beer. "Ale to the chief!"
|Vorn on the Summit|
"Once you vote for Barack
You're Never Going Back"