How Many Electoral Votes Have You Earned Travelling?

While I was in Fort Wayne, my friend Biz suggested that I calculate the states I had visited. He says that a state only counts as visited if one had mingled among the local people by buying some thing, and that airports did not count. I thus looked online for a clickable states visited map, and I was unimpressed with what was available. So I used a clickable electoral college map similar to the one I used for my analysis of the West Wing election

tdaxp has been in 279 electoral votes worth of states (plus one district!)

While I have an absolute electoral votes without them, I have included Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia as “undecided.” Like every other American I have spent time in Atlanta’s airport, I drove through Tennessee on my recent interesting adventure, and was previously in a bus in Mississippi.

Downtown Shreveport, Louisiana

Welcome to Shreveport, Louisiana, a city where a sign like this is necessary:

If indeed random strangers calling the fire department because of a piercing bell is a backup system, good. However, if the alarms of passers-bye is the primary method for informing the fire department of a disaster in Louisiana, then… no wonder.

(The rest of this post is harsher than I intended. I assume I am still recovering my wits from the bus ride from hell).

Shreveport (or, in fairness, that part of Shreveport within walking distance of the Greyhound Bus Terminal) reminded me of a city that reminded me of other cities. Sites from all over where there, from the construction cranes (if on a clear-sky day)

and the odd show-off church

of Beijing. Shreveport is also a town where the Union is Second to None

except right across the street, of course, where a violent revolution aimed at abolishing the Constitution in wished to make the Union so

Take another look at the previous two flags, and their context. The one celebrating The United States, Liberty, and the lives such an achievement took is on private land. The one dedicated to those who created the deadliest war in American history — those who distracted America from her responsibility to her hemisphere, and allowed France to invade North America — is government land. Banks, too, flew Old Glory

The last three pictures in this post are short on meaning, but long on pretty. Two are shots with window reflections, which I came to appreciate after Arbitrary-Day-in-July Fireworks. The last is of a highways sign which, frankly, is neat.

AfroIslamic Gap v. New Core, Reloaded

Earlier, after terrorists exported trouble from Pakistan to India, I urged readers to view the event through PNM Theory and particularly the PNM/tdaxp synthesis that sees the world divided into several zones

1. The Old Core (North America, Western Europe, Japan)
2. The New Core (Brazil, India, China, etc)
3. The Seam (Cuba, South Africa, Philippines, etc.)
4. The Non-Integrating Gap (Congo, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, etc)

The higher your country up in this list, the nicer your citizens’ lives are, the less likely they are to die of starvation, the less likely your women are likely to be raped as a tool of warfare, the less likely your child will die of starvation. All in all, it’s fantastic to be born in the Old Core, pretty good to be born in the New Core, somewhat acceptable to be born in the Seam, and a Hobbesian nightmare in the Gap.

A State in the Hobbesian Gap

Part of the Terror of the Gap is that it exports terrorism, death, and disease from the Gap to the Seam and the Core. Lebanon’s Civil War’s envelopment of Israel is yet another example of this example. We are not seeing in Lebanon “collective punishment” or a “lethal care wreck.” We are seeing something that has always existed in the world: the attempted destruction of the good by the bad. Lebanon’s export of violence and death to Israel is analogous to Afghanistan’s export of violence and death to America, or any of the other recent acts of terrorism against civilized countries.

Fortunately, the success of global capitalism teaches us how this will end: the spread of the Core to the four corners of the world, and the eradication of war as we know it. Between now and that end of history good decisions can be made, and the nature of that final peace can be tweaked this way and that. Much work is to be done, and billions of lives hang in the balance.

Yet when we see specific cases like the current Lebanon-Israel conflict, we know what’s going on: the Gap is exporting violence to the Core. If you want a true end to this mess, don’t worry about shuttle diplomacy and magic bullets. Instead: Shrink the Gap, primarily through structural economic and security connectivity.