My pattern bias is hard at work again.
I was doing my Show Prep for Thursday and Friday, and I came across a post by a friend who wants to break up California because it is “too liberal” for his tastes. The problem is, of course, that solution will not result in one “Liberal California and one “Conservative” California, but in two Blue California’s. The dynamics should be apparent, but in case they are not, it a matter of relativity. What is “conservative” in the Central Valley of California is considered “liberal” in the heartland of Texas. Admitting a new State at this point in our political journey would become an exercise in balancing the power of two political forces which are more allied than divided and yet like to draw lines of distinction. Any new State that changes that balance is going to face a quick death in the operational details of Article IV.
We’ve been here before, as a Nation. In the mid-19th Century, things were a bit different, in that there were great swaths of land vying to become the next State. Unlike today where – for the most part – any new State would have to be carved out of an existing State – but the same concerns about balancing the political power existed then as now. Theoretically, the motivation behind it has changed. In the 1800’s everything was about slavery. The Slave States believed that if the Free states got too much of the power they would take actions to end Slavery. The Free States feared that the Slave States were trying to add ever more Slave States to perpetuate the peculiar institution of slavery.
So whenever a Slave State was about to be added, a Free State had to join as well. And when a Free State was proposed, a Slave State had to be proposed at the same time. It maintained the balance of power, but it had devastating effects on politics and the State of the Union. The same people who exhaustively explain to me that they would have solved it had they been there back in the day, have no idea how to solve it today. The more things change, the more they stay the same. An uneasy balance of power remains, with the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction hanging in the air. Each side pretends that it wants to destroy the other completely – and in a fantasy world they probably do – but they also understand that would end the detente. Conquest is easy, control is not. A complete win by one side or the other simply opens them up for a counter attack with similar scorched Earth destruction coming at themselves this time.
Where does that leave us?
First, the dividing lines are not as clear as they once were. In the 19th Century, you lived in a Slave State or a Free State. With few exceptions, your State determined your politics and moral positions.* The destruction of Federalism and the natural after-effects of the Civil War have created a more homogenous nation. No longer are there clear and absolute dividing lines. You can no longer cross from one State to another and find the entire state population disagreeing with you to the point where shooting at you is a reasonable solution.
There is no “peculiar institution” in today’s nation. Sure, there are sharp divides, but none that are undecided by law and legislation. You may not like something politically, but it’s highly unlikely that you are willing to shoot at your next door neighbor over it. And if you are, you’re not going to find much support for your actions, even among the like-minded. That said, we are starting to see a singular issue that is dividing States – abortion. While some states are passing laws to expand abortion protection, others are passing lass to restrict it out of legal existence. but how likely is it that the people of a given State are as clearly divided as the Legislatures?
For the first time in two decades I am watching from afar as California burns. This year has been particularly bad and it breaks my heart…
SEGMENT – FAKER NEWS
Last Sunday morning, a story was released by CBS Sports and quickly went viral which reported that Colin Kaepernick had decided that if he were to play in the NFL again, he would stand for the National Anthem. Reaction was about what you would have expected it to be, from outrage to sarcasm.
The problem is – as we learned a few hours later – the story was completely fake. Well… that’s a misnomer. It wasn’t completely fake. CSB Sports DID report the story. It was from a reputable reporting source and it had the logo and gravitas of CBS behind it. The problem was the reporter himself, simply made it up.
But…. why did the story get believed in the first place? Two reasons. First, confirmation biases were working on overdrive. This was what many people wanted to hear him say. Second, nobody was applying the Adams Rule…
Recently, two events made the news for all the wrong reasons. A gay Coffee Shoppe owner “threw out” some “Christians” and refused to provide them services. Then, Vice President Pence “walked out” of the Indianapolis Colts game. Now, one could, and Rush Limbaugh did, argue that turnabout is fair play. That doing this is just giving the left a dose of its own medicine. It might be and it might make us laugh and feel good. but does it actually demonstrate what we say we say we believe?
SEGMENT – THE STATE of JEFFERSON RECONSIDERED
I have said, and I will continue to say that under the current political climate, the State of Jefferson is a non-starter. It won’t happen; and those who continue to say that because it has happened in the past that this is a done deal are being intentionally misleading as well as Constitutionally illiterate.
Having said that (again), what if there was a way to make the State of Jefferson politically neutral? And might Hurricane Maria caused a scenario in which the State of Jefferson could be admitted as State?
SEGMENT – THE MAXIM OF UNDERSTANDING
We’ve seen various reactions to the attack in Las Vegas, many of which once again, blur the line of the 1st Amendment. At least two business owners have gotten into hot water over their comments about the dead, along with the CBS (wait a sec…) News Executive who used Twitter to destroy her career.
Odder still are the AHT’s making the rounds, which once again prove the Adams Rule is in effect, but also add the Maxim of Understanding. That is, Just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t make it impossible…
SEGMENT – BASEBALL HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME
Dave is enjoying the baseball playoffs and really, really hoping for a special World Series…
Yesterday as we wrapped up Thanksgiving weekend, I was channeling my Dad and doing the most My Dad thing I could think of, we bundled up two of the kids and we headed up to the mountains. Most of you know that I was raised in Colorado and Utah. While I am and will always be a sailor and have a love for the ocean that rivals that of any human relationship I have, there is something still special about the mountains in my heart.
Especially during the winter. I love the snow. The muted quiet and the cold. It brings back so many wonderful memories of times and places and people. And it makes new ones with my son and my wife and my new family.
California is such a beautiful State. I have travelled to forty-seven of the fifty, lacking only Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont (don’t worry, plans are under consideration). In no other State is there the beauty and diversity of activity that there is here. In just a couple of hours I can go from the top of the Sierra’s to the shores of the Pacific. In a few more I can go from the Redwoods to Malibu.
There is every sport imaginable, every leisure activity anyone could ever want.
And over the past few days, I have spoken with at least three different people who are leaving the State. Read the rest of this entry