Tuesday, June 15, 2021

A Thought on Traveling


Next week, I'm going to travel across a bunch of imaginary lines drawn on the ground by politicians. 

These lines are called "borders," and they separate areas known to most as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. There are also a bunch of other borders, too numerous to mention, separating places called "counties," "cities," etc.

At any place along my route where I happen to be on the ground, few would think to object if I decided to stop traveling, rent an apartment, hit the "help wanted" ads for a job, etc. If I did so in Lancaster, New Hampshire, I'd simply be assumed subject to the laws in New Hampshire rather than the laws in Gainesville, Florida. No biggie. Bazillions of people move back and forth across all those lines every day without incident. Nobody so much as says "boo" to them.

But if I want to travel less than 50 miles north from Burlington, Vermont to Saint-Armand, Quebec, or less than 60 miles north from Lancaster, New Hampshire to Dixville, Quebec, or either of those trips in reverse, a bunch of cultists on both sides of the imaginary lines separating those places (mostly, but not entirely, on the side I'm going to rather than the side I'm coming from) are possessed of a strange belief that my business is now their business. They fervently hold that those invisible lines imbue them with a  special magical right to require that I get their permission to move, to stop, to live, to work, etc.

Unfortunately, the members of that cult employ large numbers of thugs to enforce their superstitions at gunpoint.


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