Friday, April 9, 2010

A revue of  Arlow Dewclaw's new book, published by Sheepshed Press...

   The first step in organizing a central government for your new state should proceed as all governments do, along  special-interest group lines. Your new state will hold two main special-interest groups, one known as the "Haves" and the other known as the "Have Nots." They will, of course, be unable to reconcile their differences and will split into two opposing camps. After much debate at the local tavern, it will be decided that the state legislature should be split into two Houses, one for each party to originate laws, collect taxes (The tavern tab will mount fast) and to provide for the health and general welfare of the wealthy, landed gentry. It will also be decided that a state judiciary branch will be needed in case they want to sue an increasingly demanding tavern owner. Now, step two, as you might have guessed, you will need a chief executive, or governor, to enforce the laws, and take the heat generated by the new taxes imposed upon the "Have Nots." Here, a lightweight with charisma will usually suffice. He or she should be a man or woman of the people, able to consort with and reassure the "Haves" that their interests are his interests, and be able to flirt with and attract industry from some other loser's state. Step Three. Appoint a state prosecutor from among the more intellectually-gifted and have him sue the tavern keeper for running an unlicensed business, watering drinks, and operating a brothel. This will result in a settlement wiping out the tab.
   Now a little advice on choosing a capitol for your new state. Ideally, there should be no resorts, spas, or beaches nearby so the legislators can devote a larger part of their time to the affair of the state. It should be located as close to the geographic center of the sate as possible to avoid regional, factional differences and economic bias. Having a good part of the capitol surrounding the capitol city composed of swamp land should allow economic development to be slow enough to be manageable.
   Having done all of this it's time to set up a Chamber of Commerce and use shameless promotion to promote whatever attractions your fledgling state can muster. If none are more interesting than some old battlefields and early McDonalds, promote your proximity to other state's attractions. You will also need a History and Heritage state brochure with lots of photoshopped pictures. Be extremely creative and obscure here, because you will be scrutinized by older states, jealous of anyone who has the temerity to want to become a state. Good luck and be a statesman!

My dear Edmund,
Edmund, you little wharf rat,
You have endeared yourself to my heart
You have stomped my heart into the ground with your despicable behavior
on many, many occassions.
when you weren't with one of your many, many mistresses!
Your wit and charm have made you
You are a total idiot and pompous fool
and myself very happy and content.
and myself a bigger fool for believing you.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
If I ever see your miserable wharf rat face again, it will be too soon.
Your dear slave and love,
Your implacable enemy for life,
...that if I lose my train of thought, I can go back to the station and catch the next one.
... that organ grinders always check their monkey's pockets at the end of the day.
...I have learned that opportunity knocks softly, but carries a big stick.

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