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Coming sometime in the next decade..

AMeRICAN balkans: How the United States Has Fractured and How You Can Still Live the Life You Want Regardless of Your Politics 
by Drew Nederpelt
Preface by Colonel Robert E. Hamilton [Ret.], Ph.D., Associate Professor of Eurasian Studies, Department of National Security and Strategy, U.S. Army War College

CHAPTERS
DEFINITIONS AND PROTOCOL FOR RESEARCH

INTRODUCTION

PREFACE- Colonel Robert E. Hamilton

What is balkanization? (And how does it affect the U.S. in this way)

HOW WE GOT HERE

  • The increasing power of the State—Reaction to an out of touch Fed, or already moving that way?

  • Changes in the Federal/State relationship

PROGNOSIS FOR THE FUTURE:

Human rights, Women's rights (ERA Ratification), Civil Rights, Climate action, Gun control reform, Healthcare reform, Reproductive rights, Religious equality, Education, State/Local law enforcement

RED FLAG LAWS

DRUG LAWS

VOTING RIGHTS

VOTING INTEGRITY

HEALTHCARE

            Medicaid Expansion

            Same sex provisions

INFRASTRUCTURE

GUNS

QUALITY OF LIFE

            Environment

            End of Life

            LGBTQ

            Alcohol

            Drugs

EDUCATION

ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS

EQUALITY/CIVIL RIGHTS

PUBLIC SPACES

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

FINANCIAL

            Taxes

                        Personal

                        Business

            Regulations

                        Business

STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT vs FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

BREAKDOWN BY STATE

AUTHOR’S NOTE ABOUT THE METHODOLOGY OF BIPARTISANSHIP IN THE BOOK

 

When this  book was started we went through great pains to check our partisanship at the door. After all, the guide part of this book can and should be used by the left and the right alike to find what they have in mind, to borrow a tagline from a technology company I started in 1999.

However, in the course of writing the exposé of how our country is being torn apart, and what that means for, well, stuff and people, there had to be judgment calls included. For instance, is cleaner air better than dirtier air? Is contaminated water better than cleaner water? Is children being shot in school a fair compromise for, well, whatever people say to keep from doing anything about it?

Well, the answers to those questions are not as cut and dried as you might believe. There is a chart on which the expense/effort (Burden) and the results (Benefit) intersect, and that’s what we call compromise. And this Compromise Point (CP) can change depending on public opinion. One hundred years ago New York City was a sewer. No one, least of all the government, wanted to spend the money to ameliorate it. That changed over time and the CP moved dramatically. So there is a point on the grid where unclean water or air becomes too much of a burden that the populace believes something must be done. And that’s where our air and water quality standards lie in each State today. So one State’s clean water is another State’s dirty water.

 

But that still left us judging. So we decided that we would only analyze things that the American fathers deemed to include in the one legitimate rules for all things America—the Constitution. By using the Constitution we can see, or in some cases deduce with logic (yes, we will use fact-based logic, so if that’s not your thing, you may as well put this book down or return it for a full refund), what the Founders intended. So we don’t need to hem and haw over whether men and women should be treated equally, it says it right in the Constitution. So those on the left don’t have to worry that we are going to prioritize gun ownership over the safety of kids in schools—we will use the Constitution and common sense to guide us in that regard to determine what the Founders felt about gun ownership, and then we will use that deduction to inform whether a State is providing an atmosphere that either lives up to the Founders’ intentions, or not, and to what degree in all cases. Constitutional absolutists, Twitter pundits, and ideologues of all stripes will no doubt have issues with everything, like they always do when someone interprets the Constitution in a manner that isn’t in strict keeping with their reading, but then again, they can write their own book.

 

Additionally, since we are a de facto jury of sorts we are going to try to keep everything in perspective, literally. We do not want to dictate that clean water means no particles above 3 parts per million, so where we can we will simply rank the 50 states and Puerto Rico from 1-51. After all, you’re trying to determine if where you live is giving you the best life (Benefit) you can expect, at a reasonable Burden. If you wanted the cleanest air possible you would move to Antarctica or Norway or somewhere unindustrialized. That’s not this book. We have to work with the States America gives us.

 

Speaking of States (and for this book we will lump DC and Puerto Rico into that term) this book talks about the fracturing of America in State-specific terms. Now, you can imagine that within every single State there are neighborhoods and even entire counties that break with the statistics of the State. Where it is statistically significant or narratively appropriate we will endeavor to make note of dramatic differences within a State. For instance, the entire State of Colorado has on the books a law that requires law enforcement to respond to a judge’s Extreme Risk Protection Order to confiscate weapons of those suspected of posing harm to themselves or others, for 7 days, until a legal hearing can be had. That might excite those who desire heightened gun control initiatives, but almost half of the counties in the State of Colorado have declared themselves, “2nd Amendment Sanctuaries*.” And so in half the counties of Colorado you have renegade Sheriffs who have decided unilaterally to ignore the laws of the State. That is not only a significant number (44%), but also appropriate in the context of a book that is trying to show you, in the most accurate picture possible, where you might want to live based upon things that are important to you. In this same way, where the Constitution does not clearly govern issues, we will use our best judgment based on the intent of the Founders gleaned through the Constitution, in conjunction with the principle of love (treat everyone equally), life (is precious and should be supported) and longevity (we must reduce or eliminate that which seeks to end our lives prematurely), to borrow another tagline from a business I started in 2010. Of course, all of these are again based on the construct of the Benefit vs. Burden graph.

Furthermore, while we’re still talking about juries, we are going to use the instructions given to juries the country over, that instructs them to use their common sense. “You do not need to suspend common sense when coming to your decisions,” judges advise daily in courtrooms across the land. The example of snow on the ground in the morning is often used when instructing juries. If you wake and you find snow on the ground, but didn’t see the snow fall, and someone asks if it snowed last night, you can look outside and see the snow on the ground and fairly assume it snowed last night. You do not need to see it snow to make that determination with almost certain accuracy. Those who find issues with this book will no doubt spring on the accuracy of common sense (especially in our part about the 2nd Amendment) but again, they can write their own chapter or book if they don’t like this one, or again, return the book for a full refund.

There will be some subjects that will not have a party-line bent, like drug laws. Marijuana is legal in red states and blue states. Marijuana users are left, right and center. This type of information will not need to be sifted through a prism, we have facts that inform whether where you want to live supports your feelings on medical or recreational drugs. Lucky us.

 

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*When asked what a "2nd Ammendment Sanctuary" is, Colorado Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, who was involved in the Matthew Riehl case, said, "Absolutely nothing at all."