Time to Split

     A house divided against itself cannot stand.
     It’s time for a divorce.
     When people can’t get along, when they fight almost every day, when their differences make it impossible for anything to be accomplished, should they stay together?
     Of course not.
     Oh sure, there were vows when you started out. You may have thought you had a perfect union. But if it’s not working, if you can barely stand the sight and sound of each other, it’s in everyone’s interest to part ways.
     It’s pretty obvious that it’s time for the United States to divorce itself.
     Think about it.
     The country has been almost evenly divided – right versus left, Tea Party versus Occupy, Fox versus MSNBC – for a very long time. Very little gets done because there’s opposition to everything.
     Now imagine a different scenario. Think what a Congress filled with nothing but Republicans or nothing but Democrats might do.
     That Congress might not do the right thing, but it would do something.
     All we need to do is split the States (no longer United) into two countries – one for the left and one for the right. And maybe an island somewhere for Ron Paul.
     One country has universal health care and environmental standards. And the other country doesn’t tax the rich.
     Or something like that.
     The point is that no one could obstruct progress (whatever you think progress might be) because no one would want to.
     I’m not suggesting drawing a line down the middle of the country and making people move to the side they like. That would be ridiculous.
     I am suggesting that we all wear T-shirts with either a large L or a large R on them to signify our citizenship.
     Some of you may be thinking that most of the businesses would join the R side.
     Perhaps. But if they want to sell their products to L customers, they’re going to have to pay import taxes.
     And if the R side pollutes the L side’s environment, the Ls can declare it an act of aggression and send troops …
     No, that doesn’t sound good.
     Maybe we should get marital counseling.
     Lawsuit of the Week: No contest, really, for Lawsuit of the Week. The obvious choice is the complaint filed in Los Angeles against a cemetery.
     Here’s the key allegation:
     “Plaintiff’s mother had been previously inurned in a niche adjacent to that of the famous comedian and film and television star, Julius Henry ‘Groucho’ Marx. Plaintiffs believe and allege herein that defendants moved plaintiffs’ mother’s remains improperly and without permission so they could re-sell, at a significant premium, the niche containing plaintiffs’ mother’s ashes.”
     This brings to mind so many questions.
     The first is: What kind of premium can you get for the chance to have your ashes sit next to Groucho’s?
     Who would pay that and why?
     It boils down to spirituality and metaphysics. If you believe that once you’re reduced to ashes, you’re nothing but ashes, then urn placement probably isn’t a major concern.
     But if you believe in an afterlife in which your consciousness has dinner parties and hangs out with the spirits from neighboring urns, then proper placement makes sense.
     Imagine an eternity with Groucho.
     Now try to guess whether they’re doing this as a favor to Mom or a way to get her away from the family in the afterlife.
     Next question (for Marx Brothers fans): Is the woman in the neighboring urn fairly stout and somewhat pretentious?
     Final question: Is the value of grave proximity an asset of the late celebrity’s estate? (Marilyn Monroe’s executors – see Milton H. Greene Archives, Inc. v. Marilyn Monroe LLC – are going to want to know.)
     I can’t wait for the litigation.

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