I Sometimes Dream…

 

We often hear the word “filibuster” in connection with legislative action, but the word also has other meanings. It started as a term for pirates. In the 1850’s it was additionally applied to military adventurers who were taking over small Central American countries, like William Walker. Now, Walker rather spoiled it for the rest of us citizens of the United States of America. Because of his actions, Congress and the President made it illegal for Americans to go about taking over small countries. Apparently, having one’s citizens do that sort of thing can interfere with foreign relations and commerce. Way to go, Walker. Way to go.

I do not do very well in temperature extremes. Many say that with hotter weather one can always take off more clothing. When one has a body like mine, that’s not a practical idea. This physique needs to be covered. The more, the better. During the summer, I wear a short sleeve shirt with my long pants. But that’s as far as I’m accommodating the heat for fear of scaring the horses or blinding passersby. If it’s above 80°F, I’m probably staying inside. In winter, I can always throw on more clothing. The problem is that I seem to have a few lung issues. If it gets below freezing, I have to ensure air is pre-warmed through a scarf or other device before I breathe it. That means that if it’s much below 40°F, I probably have to bundle up more than I’d prefer.

As many people do, I sometimes fantasize retiring to an island somewhere, a place that fits my requirements, not too hot, not too cold, but definitely chillier than a Michigan summer. A place like Hawai’i has some benefits. The temperatures are steady all year, moderated by the ocean around them, but they are about twenty degrees too warm for my taste. No, the perfect island for me is in the South Atlantic. Tristan da Cunha. The record high since they’ve been measuring is 76°F. The record low is about 40°F. The average high in their hot summer month, February, is about 70°F with the average high across the whole year at 63°F. The average low in the deep winter of August is 49°F with an average low across the year of 54°F. Now, it is a wet and humid place with about 250 days of rain per year. Percent of sunshine? 34% for the year with some months gloomier than others. Sure, that’s less than the 55% I get where I am now, but the temperature range here is -21°F to 105°F. We have daily lows that are hotter than Tristan da Cunha’s all-time high. I’ll suffer the clouds. With this weather, I’m usually inside anyway.

But I have not yet packed my bags for Tristan da Cunha. It has somewhere around 250 problems. The people. Now, I’m not the most sociable person, but I could probably put up with 250 people on an island that has an area of around 38 square miles. The problem is, to quote from Wikipedia:

The island has a unique social and economic structure in which all resident families farm and all land is communally owned. Outsiders are prohibited from buying land or settling on Tristan.

That’s right. The place with what I imagine is the best imaginable climate in the world is a “socialist paradise.” If one looks a bit further into the demographics, one realizes it is more of a family combine. Those 250 people are all descended from eight males and seven females who came to the island from outside. They only have nine surnames: Collins, Glass, Green, Hagan, Lavarello, Repetto, Rogers, Squibb and Swain. Well, what would one expect in an isolated community in the middle of the south Atlantic with the next closest human settlement being more than 1,300 miles away?

On the other hand, one need not have resources to become a fabulously wealthy island paradise. Places like Singapore and Hong Kong are not that much larger. Many Caribbean islands are banking centers. All that one needs is the right set of laws and attitudes towards freedom. Of course, a “No outsiders” policy and communal ownership does not seem to attract capital for development. The jobs they post for outsiders are few and far between, and I don’t really qualify for either of the current two.

And this is where we come back to the filibuster. About the only way I could settle down in Tristan da Cunha and help turn it into a capitalist Mecca would be to take over the island by force. How hard would it be? There are only 250 residents. I don’t know the average age, but they list ten kids born since 2013. The advertisement for an English teacher states they have twenty-eight children between three and sixteen. They also list at least one centenarian. They seem to have plenty of people in their seventies and eighties. They also do not seem to have a big militia tradition. Even if you wanted a one-to-one ratio of those taking over to the populace, you could train some bankers to handle guns and be ready for the important part that comes after the takeover.

Taking over would be easy. Probably even a small company of mercenaries could do the job. The problem is in keeping the islands. This is especially true since Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory. The British may not be what they once were, but surely they could quickly dispatch a company or even battalion of mercenaries. Thus, the trick becomes how to convince the British government that they really don’t want to dislodge the new owners. This is why a longer-term plan is needed.

It would be necessary to have a plan in place and in action already in London and St. Helena (where the governor for the overseas territory lives). One would need capitalization. One would need enough settlers to outvote the current population of the island. One would need a preliminary constitution to provide a new basis for law that would include a much more open policy towards free markets. One would probably need a few favorable MPs who were reasonably placed, preferably including the PM.

As stated earlier, the island is about 38 square miles in area, and the 250 people are all in one small settlement. It would certainly be possible to start a new settlement for the invading forces and leave Edinburgh of the Seven Seas and its population to live pretty much as they have in the past. It’s just that there would be a new government and set of laws applying to the whole island while the old laws only applied in Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.

It could certainly be done. Of course, every time I start thinking about this and what it would take to organize a takeover of Tristan da Cunha, I think it would be far easier to just stay inside where the air conditioning and heat can keep me comfortable here in Michigan. Thinking about all the work does not cool me down.

How about you? Where is your dream location for keeping as cool or warm as you please?

There are 31 comments.

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  1. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    Filibuster — isn’t that similar to a nutcracker? Maybe I’m thinking filberts.

    • #1
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    We are well past mere California dreaming as we start to “Chill Out!” in July. Do click the link and sign up to share your own chill post.

    • #2
  3. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Ahahant, come on out to Oregon.  We have mild winters and cool summers.  And if you lived in Portland, you could stay exercised all the time. (I’m using the rare definition of “exercise” just for you, Arahant, just because I know you love words as much as I do.)

    Portland’s politics will keep your blood flowing, and at your advanced age, that’s a good thing. 

     

    • #3
  4. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    The Albatross Bar seems to have many reviews from people who have never been there.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    And if you lived in Portland…

    Record low -3? Record high 107? No thanks. That’s as bad or worse than here.

    • #5
  6. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Arahant: Thus, the trick becomes how to convince the British government that they really don’t want to dislodge the new owners.

    Easy, we tell ’em that all the mercs are muslims that identify as female and seized the land to have a quiet place to transition.

    They won’t lift a finger against them, then.

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Clavius (View Comment):

    The Albatross Bar seems to have many reviews from people who have never been there.

    Hmmm…

    I would like to visit this amazing place and meet its people once

    That’s not how reviews are supposed to work.

    Future review for when I do come to visit.. All the best.

    Yet, you’ve already given five stars?

    Yeah, I see what you mean, Clavius. I’m guessing a lot of folks want to get away from it all.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Easy, we tell ’em that all the mercs are muslims that identify as female and seized the land to have a quiet place to transition.

    They won’t lift a finger against them, then.

    I like the way you think. You in?

    • #8
  9. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Arahant (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    And if you lived in Portland…

    Record low -3? Record high 107? No thanks. That’s as bad or worse than here.

    Don’t confuse me with facts, Arahant. I say we have mild winters and cool summers, and that’s an end to that. 

    • #9
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Easy, we tell ’em that all the mercs are muslims that identify as female and seized the land to have a quiet place to transition.

    They won’t lift a finger against them, then.

    I like the way you think. You in?

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Yer gonna get yer butt shot off.

    • #11
  12. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Arahant: Even if you wanted a one-to-one ratio of those taking over to the populace, you could train some bankers to handle guns and be ready for the important part that comes after the takeover

    Train some bankers huh. 

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Easy, we tell ’em that all the mercs are muslims that identify as female and seized the land to have a quiet place to transition.

    They won’t lift a finger against them, then.

    I like the way you think. You in?

    Umm, I think that means we have the Air Defense Artillery.

    • #13
  14. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    San Diego has wonderful weather year-round. Unfortunately, it’s in the Soviet State of California and is approximately 30 miles from Tijauna.  But other than that……..

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    EB (View Comment):
    Unfortunately, it’s in the Soviet State of California and is approximately 30 miles from Tijauna.

    It’s always the people that are the problem. It’s easier to take on 250 people than 40 million.

    • #15
  16. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Easy, we tell ’em that all the mercs are muslims that identify as female and seized the land to have a quiet place to transition.

    They won’t lift a finger against them, then.

    I like the way you think. You in?

    Umm, I think that means we have the Air Defense Artillery.

    I only play if I get to be Marilyn. 

    • #16
  17. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    I only play if I get to be Marilyn. 

    You got it, Boss.

    • #17
  18. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    For me it’s not where but when. In my dreams, I go back to 1986 California. the Bay Area, but with more money than I had back then.

    • #18
  19. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Django (View Comment):

    For me it’s not where but when. In my dreams, I go back to 1986 California. the Bay Area, but with more money than I had back then.

    Back before it had gone over-the-edge crazy.

    • #19
  20. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    For me it’s not where but when. In my dreams, I go back to 1986 California. the Bay Area, but with more money than I had back then.

    Back before it had gone over-the-edge crazy.

    Back when California went red for Reagan. 

    • #20
  21. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    For me it’s not where but when. In my dreams, I go back to 1986 California. the Bay Area, but with more money than I had back then.

    Back before it had gone over-the-edge crazy.

    Yes. You could see the seeds even then, but it was still a beautiful place. I hate what has been done to my adopted state. 

    • #21
  22. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I was born in Miami.  Moved to Washington DC at age 10 and many, many years later I still find cold and snow unnatural and vaguely evil and I am still surprised and disappointed that summer weather is not always accompanied by low humidity and gentle Atlantic breezes.

    I greatly enjoyed the formulaic almost silly British TV series Murder In Paradise set on a fictitious British island colony in the Caribbean.  Vaguely racist, the show features a quirky white detective cop hero (three different actors have held the lead role) who amazes his non-white assistants with his brilliant deductive powers at the end of each episode.  The natives all seem quite content with the political order and modest living standards compared to rich white residents and tourists.  All that aside, the lead actor has an idyllic shack on the beach, is often in the company of good-looking women and gets to appear clever when it counts in a place where the weather is always perfect and everything is near the beach.

    I picture myself there and then I realize how hard it would be for my kids and grandkids to visit and the fact that my girlfriend-for-life and I would need SPF 10,000 to survive there and how much I hate mosquitoes and unreliable WiFi and .. then I again feek good at being a desk in a non-exotic place posting on Ricochet…

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    All that aside, the lead actor has an idyllic shack on the beach, is often in the company of good-looking women and gets to appear clever when it counts in a place where the weather is always perfect and everything is near the beach.

    Sounds like a British Magnum PI.

    • #23
  24. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    All that aside, the lead actor has an idyllic shack on the beach, is often in the company of good-looking women and gets to appear clever when it counts in a place where the weather is always perfect and everything is near the beach.

    Sounds like a British Magnum PI.

    The lead character in each iteration is way less cool than Magnum.  I have a pretty good imagination but even my imagination is in awe of Tom Selleck and does not dare to cast me in such roles.  The role of a nerdy Brit detective inspector in an island colony is way less of a stretch than Magnum (or Quigley). 

    I once enjoyed imagining myself as the tai pan in one of James Clavell’s Novels about Dirk Scruan and his descendants.  A friend who grew up in Baltimore not far from the McCormick warehouse once put together a Chinese-American consortium with which he planned to execute a lifelong dream to challenge McCormick for spice dominance.  He offered me a job (just before the enterprise collapsed) and for a few blissful days I saw myself in a white suit on my veranda overlooking some idyllic Pacific island harbor, waiting for one of my ships to return laden with exoctic spices ready for packaging…. I wound up in law school instead which is a really effective cure for idyllic and happy thoughts.

    • #24
  25. Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu Member
    Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu
    @YehoshuaBenEliyahu

    Arahant: How about you? Where is your dream location for keeping as cool or warm as you please?

    Ashkelon, on the southern coast of Israel, has a wonderful climate.  You do occasionally have to dodge missiles lobbed up from Gaza, but that helps you stay in shape and, as has been said, there is nothing more exhilirating than to live on the edge of an active volcano.  Average temperature in January (coldest month) is 57 F; average temperature in August (hottest month) is 82 F.

    • #25
  26. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu (View Comment):
    as has been said, there is nothing more exhilirating than to live on the edge of an active volcano.

    Tristan da Cunha really has an active volcano. Last eruption was 10 October 1961, and the whole island was evacuated for two years.

    • #26
  27. The Great Adventure! Member
    The Great Adventure!
    @TheGreatAdventure

    It’s much easier to think of places I would NEVER want to live…

    • #27
  28. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    It’s much easier to think of places I would NEVER want to live…

    I have many on my list.

    • #28
  29. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu (View Comment):
    as has been said, there is nothing more exhilirating than to live on the edge of an active volcano.

    Tristan da Cunha really has an active volcano. Last eruption was 10 October 1961, and the whole island was evacuated for two years.

    That’s a long time to be gone. I hope everybody remembered to turn their water heaters down to “vacation.”

    • #29
  30. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

     

    This is a response to Arahant, who impugned Portland weather by unfairly using the record high and record low to refute my contention that Portland has mild winters and summers

    Here are more useful temperatures stats: 

    Average high temperature in August:  80 degrees (104 in Scottsdale, AZ)

    Average low temperature in August: 58 degrees (81 in Scottsdale)

    Average high temperature in January:  47 degrees (23 in Minneapolis)

    Average low temperature in January: 37 degrees (7.5 in Minneapolis)

    Average amount of rain per year: 43 inches (in NYC it’s 45 inches)

    Average amount of snow per year:  3 inches

     Mr. Arahant, to make up for inflicting silly left wing politicians upon us, God has blessed us with mild temperatures.  

     

    • #30

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