October 23, 2011
Secession & Separation or When We Can't Stand Our Neighbors
I've traveled this country --- not as much as an independent long-haul trucker or a touring musician. But I've been to.....I believe it's 45 out of the lower 48 states plus Alaska. One of the things I've noticed in my travels is how many people in this country would just love to get rid of some other area of this country...........
In New York state, the people upstate make a clear distinction between themselves and New York City. They consider New York to be a black hole of crime and rudeness and wish it weren't in New York state. As far as they're concerned, New York City has a big enough population it can be a state on its own. And there are people in the rest of New Jersey who wish that the new state of NYC would take a section of New Jersey with it: the area known as the Jersey Shore.
Northern Californians want nothing to do with Southern Californians. Many of them want what they describe as a giant cereal bowl full of flakes and nuts to be a separate state. In the meantime, the Southern Californians seem to be oblivious to their unpopularity and think that everyone loves them.
While I'm on the topic on New York City and Southern California, I realize that some residents of New York City and Los Angeles disdainfully consider the rest of the United States of America to be nothing more than "flyover country." What they don't realize in their arrogance is that much of the rest of the United States of America would like to get rid of New York City and Los Angeles. The belief is that most of the "crazy shit" originates from those two spots. There are plenty of people who think the United States of America would be better off without those two cities.
Here in Florida there's a sharp distinction between Northern Florida, especially the Panhandle, and Southern Florida with the further south you go, the less Southern it becomes until you end up in a place populated by transplanted Yankees and Cubans who transformed Florida into a version of where they came from. The South Floridians think we in North Florida are a bunch of hicks and rednecks while we in North Florida want nothing to do with any place south of Orlando. (Though even Orlando is debatable. There are those who'd consider lopping off the entire Florida peninsula.) And I'm guilty of this North Florida - South Florida distinction. When I was traveling after the 2000 election and people would ask me where I was from, I almost hated to say, "Florida." Because what immediately came up was the election debacle, and I would always say, "I'm not from that part of Florida." If I were traveling today, I'd have to deny association with the Casey Anthony verdict. (If Casey Anthony had been tried here in north Florida's Escambia county, she'd have been convicted.)
The only time I've been to Illinois was a layover at a Chicago airport, but from what I've heard Illinois is made up of two parts: Illinois and Chicago. And I don't think Illinois is too thrilled with being associated with Chicago while Chicago likes to act like they are Illinois and the rest of it doesn't exist.
Then there are the states that want to get rid of the United States of America entirely. Surprisingly, two of the people who've given thought about no longer being a part of the U.S. both have/had ambitions to be in the White House.
The first state is Texas. Texas is still proud of the fact that it was an independent country and not a territory when it gave up its independence and joined the Union. I'm guessing even then there were a few Texans who thought that was a mistake. And nowadays there are Texans who still speak of Texas seceding. One of them is the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, who oddly enough is now running for president of the country he talked about leaving. Quoting Perry: "There's a lot of different scenarios. We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." You can argue about the definition of the "natural born citizen." But no one's going to argue that if Rick Perry is no longer a U.S. citizen that he can't be elected President of it. However, he could be President of Texas. I'm pretty sure the current Texas population would elect him to that should the state secede......a move supported by almost 1 in 5 Texans.1
Another state where people would like to get rid of the United States and secede is Alaska. Home of the former vice-Presidential candidate and who knows what she is now, Sarah Palin, whose husband, from 1995 to 2002, was a registered member of the Alaska Independence Party who, guess what? ------- favors independence for Alaska or, at the very least, it wants an official vote on the issue of secession. Alaska is a sharply different place from the "lower 48" which is how they refer to the rest of the United States. (I don't know if they even think about Hawaii.)
And, of course, if Alaska wants to secede, then is anyone surprised that there's a Hawaii secessionist movement.? Hell, I found where 13% of people in Vermont want to secede. I admit it would amuse me to see landlocked Vermont try to make it as its own country. Apparently secessionist movements have sprung up all over this country.2
Personally, I wouldn't mind Alaska or Hawaii seceding. Because, personally, it's not going to make a difference to me one way or the other. If Texas secedes I only hope it will have an open border or else land transportation across the southern U.S. just got a lot more difficult. I know that every time I drive from Florida to California I wish Texas weren't in the drive (because I-10 through Texas is 900 miles), but I didn't have in mind having to go north around the entire state, excuse me, I mean country of Texas ------ that wouldn't shorten my drive.
Traveling across the United States, I do see how much we have in common. And one of those elements we have in common is a desire to get rid of somebody else and no longer be associated with them.
1 In Texas, 31% Say State Has Right to Secede From U.S., But 75% Opt To Stay. (2009, April 17) Rasmussen Reports
2 Starobin, P. (2009, June 13) Divided We Stand. Wall Street Journal
For more about what separates us, read "Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner? The Socially Accepted Racism" or "Why "Birthers" Are Idiots," but not if you are a Birther. That piece is for non-Birthers only. Please take a moment to look around the Archive.
Pensacola Highlights --- Sunsets at Plaza de Luna
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Secondhand Soul closes out the final Sunsets at Plaza de Luna for the year.
Unmistakably a soul band. They did a good job on the cover songs like "Chain of Fools" and the ubiquitous "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay."
(If it's in their repertoire a band has to play "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" while here, just like bands play "Margaritaville" at the beach concerts.)
Toward the end of the evening, they played a few originals, "One More Glass of Wine" and "I'm Sure Feelin' Fine."
Belle at the fountain and the namesake statue of Plaza de Luna.
Great Blue Heron on the promenade
As I was walking to the section of the park where the concert was at, this heron was standing on the railing.
He (or she) actually let me get fairly close for the photographs.
As I mentioned in the original "Sunsets at Plaza de Luna" article, the park is very popular with Pensacola's avian residents.
This evening they were out in numbers.
Birds on the wing after being flushed by the kids.
The kids loved interacting with the birds.......
Some would feed them.
Some would herd and chase them.
But there were a couple of little girls that went around trying to kick the birds -- which is not acceptable behavior to me.
I noticed their parents didn't do a thing about it. I'll just bet if one of the birds had pecked the brat, then then the parents would have done something.
But not about their daughter's behavior. I was hoping a bird would peck, but they never even tried.
I figured the kids deserved to be pecked and maybe they would learn a lesson.
And maybe the parents would have too. But I doubt it.
This schizophrenic, little piece of shit would feed the birds to bring them in close and then start kicking them,
leading me to think that in ten years she's going to be making her boyfriends' lives sheer hell.
Belle of the birds
Secondhand Soul plays through the last sunset show at Plaza de Luna.
Their smooth sounds blended into the sunset.
The sun sets at Plaza de Luna.
The final Sunset at Plaza de Luna
To find out more about Sunsets at Plaza de Luna, read the original, "The Sounds of Pensacola: Sunsets at Plaza de Luna."