Hi, this is lj and I've been quite intrigued by Michael Cain's comments about the possible partition of the US and asked him to write a guest post. Any blame for the layout lies with me and my tenuous knowledge of CSS. Enjoy!
by Michael Cain
I was invited to write something for the front page about my view that the American West could become different enough from the rest of the country that an eventual partition is possible. Some preliminaries:
Yes, I know that it sounds like a lunatic fringe thing. You don't need to harp on that.
When I talk about the West, I mean the 11 contiguous states from the Rockies to the Pacific. Alaska and Hawaii really are special cases.
I'm taking a long(ish) view: it could become a subject not treated as completely crazy in 20 years, and could happen in 30-45. If you are mapping to the Civil War, think 1830 not 1860.
With tongue only partially in cheek, it's my retirement hobby. It's at least a book-sized project. This is a really incomplete, condensed version of the arguments.
There are maps, lots of maps. All of them make a division between east and west that correspond roughly to the Great Plains
we focus too much on the antics of donald trump, we are told. we should talk about something else. we are told.
fine with me. delendo donald j trump. here's something else.
the senior senator from my state, Elizabeth Warren, has proposed legislation that would fundamentally change the relationship of corporations to the society in which they operate. the bill - the Accountable Capitalism Act- requires the following:
Corporations with more than $1bn in revenue must have a federal charter - corps are currently chartered at the state level
40% of corporate boards must be elected by employees
three-quarters of the corp's board and shareholders must vote to approve corporate money to be used for political purposes
To my eye, this legislation restores the relationship of corporations to the society in which they exist back to what it was, historically, before the abusive interpretations of the 14th A in the 19th C and the frankly anti-social 'theory of the corporation' that emerged in the later 20th. It gives the people - we, the people - who are affected by corporation actions a greater voice in, and lever over, actions and decisions taken in the name of, and on behalf of, the corp.
All of which is why I, personally, consider myself more conservative in the literal sense than any conservative I can think of. But, I digress.
Curious to see where the ObWi discussion goes.
Props to Professor Senator Warren for going to the heart of the matter, rather than screwing around on the fringes. We don't need deck chairs re-arranged. The ship is sinking.
Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing business, is its fastest-growing and most profitable division, but it comes with a lot of upfront infrastructure costs and ongoing expenses, the biggest of which is electricity. Over the past two years, Amazon has almost doubled the size of its physical footprint worldwide, to 254 million square feet, including dozens of new data centers with vast fields of servers running 24/7. In at least two states, it’s also negotiated with utilities and politicians to stick other people with the bills, piling untold millions of dollars on top of the estimated $1.2 billion in state and municipal tax incentives the company has received over the past decade.
Today in the dentist's waiting room I was reading the preface to GBS's The Apple Cart, from 1930, and came across this:
...the conflict is not really between royalty and democracy. It is between both and plutocracy, which, having destroyed the royal power by frank force under democratic pretexts, has bought and swallowed democracy. Money talks: money prints: money broadcasts: money reigns; and kings and labor leaders alike have to register its decrees, and even, by a staggering paradox, to finance its enterprises and guarantee its profits.
I hope the cure isn't as drastic this time as it was last time.
My first front-page post here at ObWi was about cemeteries. In it I mentioned my dilemma: do I want to be buried? (If so, how and where?) Cremated? I wasn’t sure then and I’m not sure now, but I will soon have an option that wasn’t available in February of 2017.
Today was the annual meeting and picnic of the land trust I belong to, at which it was formally announced that we’re planning to buy a piece of land to turn into a conservation burial ground. One of my friends and I are already looking ahead to the trouble we’re going to cause once we take up residence there, whether along the lines of Spoon River Anthology or Lincoln in the Bardo we’re not yet sure.
To quote from the brochure:
As defined by the Green Burial Council, conservation burial takes place in a natural, conserved area of ten acres or more and uses only natural, biodegradable burial materials. Green burial also uses only natural materials, but is not defined as taking place in a broader conservation area. In contrast, most modern burial methods use deforested landscapes, toxic embalming fluids, cement vaults, and treated non-native wood, all of which are detrimental to the local environment, water quality, and worker health.
The burial ground the land trust is planning will be, like our other properties, open to the public for hiking, bird-watching, and generally enjoying the outdoors. It will also be the first of our conserved lands to have ADA-accessible trails.
At the moment I don’t have any thoughts, profound or otherwise, to add to my last post on the subject, but here are a couple of relevant book recommendations:
Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. Gawande, for those who may not have run across him, is a Boston surgeon who also writes books and New Yorker articles. He’s the son of surgeons – who were also immigrants, those pesky people who will insist on coming to this country and not sponging off the rest of us.
Being Mortal combines family stories with information about the intersection of end-of-life issues with the practice of modern medicine and with end-of-life care generally in the U.S. It’s wonderfully written and very thought-provoking.
A little worried that Typepad is going to get cranky with all the comments in the Epitome thread, so picking it up and maybe trying to do a restart、taking Janie's question and asking one of my own. A list of my people and my nations...
-Right handed, so much so that I've broken every finger on left hand playing sports.
-wannabe musician, there's something there, but it's either not in the right place or didn't come at the right time
-cisgender, though baffled as to how much of this is me fitting in with society or my own free will
-Japanese-American, though living away from population centers of Japanese Americans makes that a bit iffy
-British-American, which sounds pretty stupid, but my mom emigrated from England when she was 14 so that was another ingredient in the stew of my socialization
-technophile, though that is getting challenged
-martial artist, which sounds bizarre, but if it's called martial arts, you should have martial artists