Sunday, December 11, 2016


Storm Consequence

Yesterday was post snow storm, meaning frosty winds had turned the flurries to ice, over-burdening trees, many of which dropped their branches, to the street, to the ground.

Given I had no fixed plans for Saturday, and have a long-standing interest, through AFSC etc., in how Washington (District of Columbia) imposes European-style colonial powers in the territories, I wandered by public transit to the church, ate a bagel, took some pictures, apologized to Pedro on the way out for causing a stir.

One of the agreements was no photography, but I came late and no sign was posted so blithely broke the rule. Someone had the presence to interrupt proceedings and call me out on it, and I acknowledged up front I'd come late and was clueless.

Anyway, I put the camera away and made my exit, using the same bus ticket.

Indigenous migration flows of humans, somewhat mediated by weather patterns, have mixed with the waves of immigration to create a migrant farm worker ecology, with many social ills, hardly a utopia.  Now a stronger sense of nationalism is encouraging all nations to wall themselves off.

Some professors of nationalism may think going to wall systems is a return to normalcy, but they're thinking more of castle ramparts, Hadrian's wall at the most.  We've never really tried fences.  Human migration patterns have always been at odds with political storytellers, or at least often have been.

The commitment to wallify becomes a new test of humanity's patience for this latest invention of some 200 nation-states, many more if we count the virtual and not-UN recognized.  The nation-state memeplex has been swept up by marketing, creating Rogue Nation this (beer brand) and Cyber Nation that (Cyberia).

Twilight zone states, such as Palestine, Tibet, Kurdistan and maybe Cascadia, all cast long shadows in the quantum foam.

Anyway, that Louisiana Purchase was really a good deal.  President Jefferson was conflicted in how he might make the nation grow like magic, on paper.  Where does the rubber meet the road?  Creating more of the USA territory was akin to creating a national bank:  smoke and mirrors.

In this case, a war in Europe led to bookkeepers sliding Louisiana Territories from Spain to France, and France being really hard up for cash, given Napoleonic Wars (right?).  Selling spoils of war with Spain to immediate cash advantage, in a war against the rest of Western Europe (including Russia), seemed a shrewd move at the time.

Why not sell all that land to the Americans?  France would still get a piece of the action in New World business (as would Spain).

Humans had learned to think globally and were divvying it mentally into what was theirs and their king's, with not much long term agreement, lots of bookkeeping, narrative accounts.  The time zones had not been figured out yet, nor the grid of airports with three-letter codes.  Latitude-longitude was getting a stronger grip, with the hexa-pentagon tilings of today (in computer games mostly) still esoteric.

Speaking of narrative accounts, I'm looking forward to a lecture on Homer Davenport, an influential political cartoonist of his day, and horse raiser.  His imported Arabians somehow account for Mr. Ed on television.  Maybe I'll get that story straight this time.

How happy are humans about wallification and fencification?  Travel and migration has always been about more than tourism.  Getting away from weapons testers is another strong motivation.  Drug wars crash lives.  Slavers seem to capitalize on owning you in exchange for getting you through some gate.

The USA is caught in the middle of this questioning as West Region especially has been known for its wilderness and wildness.  Walling in the nations will feel more like one global government than ever, but then where will all the rebels go?

Dictates of biology beget rebels, dissidents, divergents, geniuses and so on.  The nations, with the cushion of virtual nations, need to not be too brittle, which sometimes happens when the logic gets overly calcified (as in skeletal).  Credibility is strained.  Look what happened to the Soviet Union.