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You are here Editorials Alex Baer In Brain Function We Stand

In Brain Function We Stand

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A rectangle of nice, restful, healthy, vibrant green below and sky blue above, in the upper half -- just the thing to celebrate the vernal equinox.  Then, a set of finely thin-ribboned, parallel bars in pure white, sunshine yellow, and rich cream, arranged in the lazy X of a saltire, ranging from corner to corner, and intersecting in the center.  Then, on this center spot, a large apple-red sphere, not unlike an actual apple, silhouetted, and sporting wavering rays of varying lengths.

Finally, within the large center spot, the stark white of a rippling strait jacket, with the hard red of a slashing bar through it, from upper left to lower right -- the clear international symbol for NO.

And there you have it -- the start of a new nation, Terra Sanitas:  The Land of the Sane. Small details remain, of course, which include -- well, if you want to get picky about it -- everything else, except the flag part.

Of course, you have to be prepared for some blow-back, like people getting startled or spooked or stampeded that a nation has been named The Terror of Corn Tortilla Chips.  Right off the bat, you'll need press agents who really know their way around public perceptions, and the travel industry, getting the new country's buzz off on the best possible footing.

Not the right footing, though -- as a proud liberal state, only left turns will be permitted.  There'll be none of this getting things off on the right foot business.  Take a look around.  Look what's happened to America since it lurched and staggered and slid and skidded right into the dumper, dumpster, and the dumps since the 80s, all powered by GOP madness.

It's been one right wing nightmare after another.  The left wing was last seen in the '60s.  Even our most liberal, man-of-the-people president was a centrist who signed NAFTA and GATT.  The political landscape last saw proud liberal activity during Vietnam War protests and, before that, during the previous brush with Seismic Recessions and Skull-Cracking Depressions and Other Yawning Chasmic Maws, Craws, and Jaws of the type of unbridled, overheated, runaway activity that proponents enjoy calling casual capitalism.

Casual, that is, in the sense of an unhurried escape from a lion's dinnerplate.  Casual, in the way of describing one's sedate, leisurely voyage over the side of a hot air balloon, sans cumbersome parachute.  Casual, in the manner of strolling idly to the phone in order to place a lackadaisical, unhurried call regarding the landing of a UFO invasion fleet at the fairgrounds.

* * * * *

No, I have nothing against capitalism.  It's only the rabid, mouth-foaming, mad-dog, bite-at-will version of it that we now practice that's totally unsustainable in all aspects of, well, small things like resource consumption, environmental devastation, and its murderous effects on all life forms.  The current technology and art of practice is simply not up to the challenges posed by greed, amplified by the whimsy of pop culture, and divided by an obsession with the sort of Short Attention Span Theater we practice, here in Bright Sparkly Thing Land.

Many people will tell you, especially around tax time, that they hate gummint.  However, government, and its regulation -- as we're a nation of laws, not wild west shootouts, except in the NRA's damp-fisted dreams -- are the only things standing between your ability to sit down without severe wincing, Mister and Missus Consumer, and corporate desire to very roughly explore your lower GI tract with their peevish, feverish policies.

... especially as people continue to ignore their one true power for change:  The People's ability to bind themselves together and act as one, as an unstoppable force that cannot be denied.  And, as long as we can't be bothered to push for change, we automatically default to gummint and whatever regulations can be brought to bear.

Of course, the current Lobby-Go-Round and round-robin, mutual-backscratching-style of  lawmaking that goes on, doesn't exactly give one tons of pride or confidence that the People will be heard in the laws passed, but, that's the cold bargain that citizens' default hands us.

* * * * *

But these truths get us nowhere closer to establishing out new country.  I still think that a measure of reason can be achieved, even with right wing lunatics, and find us all a win-win situation that we can live with.

The best hope remains a reversion to a North-South split, back along Mason-Dixon lines, with only a few exceptions here and there, which can likely be settled with land trades, fair resource allocation, arm wrestling, Jeopardy matches, and so on.  We might as well go with those old borders, as they've certainly not been forgotten by those still nursing a grudge.  Heck, there's already a flag for the southern tier.  Goodness knows it's been flown and shook  and waved in everybody's faces since Zeus was a puppy.

Washington, D.C. can be a sort-of lethal, contaminated No-Man's-Land, just like it is today.

Of course, it will take a while to get everyone's home and business in a fair swap across borderlines, taking into account fair market values and so on.  After a while, we can all know where we're going, having set up and swapped our traded spaces.  Then, of course, there's the mass migration that'll take a little time, too.

But, that's OK -- it'll give us something to do besides watch bearded preppies act like country buffoons.  Instead, we should think of this as all of us, voting each other off the island, maybe, on the way to building a homeland reflecting our true values.  It'll be a relief, frankly -- and I'm sure you'll agree -- to be among our own, once all the dust settles.

Besides, all these accountants and bean counters of all flavors are going to need something to keep them busy, once the tiered-rate, flat-tax structure goes into effect -- the first time a fair taxation system will have gone into effect.  Just think of it:  Everyone with even a passing familiarity with electronic calculators -- a skill not unlike running a remote control for the teevee -- could calculate their taxes in less than 30 seconds.

This will pitch a lot of people out of work.  Instead of massaging, manipulating, and estimating Pile Sizes, and applying the manic, high-priestly arts of arcane tax laws and other economic voodoo, hoodoo, doo-doo, and how'd-ya-do, this ready-made army of people could help us coordinate the Big Move across borders, into our respective homelands.  I am certain they can be counted on to insure everyone is matched up just right, neither gaining nor losing more than a dollar-fourteen in the history-making land-house-business swap-a-thon.

* * * * *

It will be interesting to see how Republicans in the future, from the booming 'Bagger clans, to the all-but-extinct Eisenhower Conservatives, will be faring during periodic Health & Welfare checks insisted on -- and offered at no charge -- by the United Nations.  I challenge the Vegas bookmakers to lay board-clearing odds to happy-making scenarios.

* * * * *

While one group busies its schools with memorizing the Ten Commandments and the ongoing role of a deity in deciding all aspects of everyday life without help from humanity, another group can busy its people with noting 150 Excellent Things Liberals Have Already Done, and could do again, if they chose to do so, by using the scientific method, and intervening in everyday problems, working toward solutions.

One group can continue having Excellent Role Models who are -- and electing to office --racists and those certain people should never think for themselves, using what they themselves term God-given brains, or otherwise intervene to create solutions for humanity's problems.  Another group can continue to place those who consider evolutionary processes as ancestors on their science committees, and continue to make confident strides toward a better future without disease or drudgery or premature death. Or dingbats.

* * * * *

One flag can stream its motto, after a convention, huddle, and vote, choosing between In Brains We Trust, or We Like Thinking, or Science is OK With Us, and things like that.  You already know what the other flag has to say.

Now, then -- the final order of business:  To keep my home from being firebombed,  I hereby publicly declare my legal name change to Jonathan Swift, and also declare these farcical ideas a lark and a giggle worthy of Gulliver's travel agent.

Privately, of course, I will smile, and I will sigh, and I will idly tweak the design of a new flag -- simply an exercise in Photoshop, of course.

And in daydreaming.

And in an unvoiced longing that should not be lightly placed among mere words.


A Salute to the Equinox:

Unavoidable product placement, so as to help explain a reaching and lame jest:

Drawling the line:

A quick thumbnail:

No Man's Land:'s_land

150 Liberal Things those Horrid Liberals have done:


Sample:  Excellent Role Model #1 of a very large number:

Sample:  Excellent Role Model #2 of a very large number:


Today's Much-Needed, at-least-I-finished-that-crazy-article Bonus:

Pick a Flag:

Here's One:

Here's One:

Guide map for those camping along the borderlines:

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