Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
"They are merely conventional signs!"
--Lewis Carroll (Hunting of the Snark)
And indeed, as our modern Bellman -- Vladimir Putin -- would declare:
What's the good of national boundaries? It's just a line on a map. The Crimea used to be Russian. Lots of ethnic Russians live in the Crimea. They have been "oppressed," forced to speak the barbaric Ukrainian language. Russia is powerful; Ukraine is weak. We want the Crimea. I want the Crimea. Ergo, the Crimea is now part of Russia.
I fully understand. And President Putin's reasoning seems fully applicable to a matter long dear to my heart, and closer at hand. I refer, of course, to the oppressive rule of the Canadian government over our neighbors, cousins, families and close friends in "British" Columbia.
"British" Columbia was rightfully claimed by the United States, as part of our Oregon Territory. "Fifty-four forty or Fight!" was our vow, demanding full American sovereignty up to the southern boundary of what was then Russian America. Because of American dithering over a simultaneous war with Mexico, our weakling, Gorbachev-esque President Polk and his effete secretary of state, James Buchanan, sold out American sovereignty. They signed the treasonous "Oregon Treaty," bisecting the Oregon country at the present-day Forty-ninth Parallel.
Many Americans live in British Columbia. Vast numbers of Americans streamed north during the Vietnam years, claiming certain temporary advantages under Canadian rule. Our citizens subsidize by their presence ski resorts at Whistler, hotels in Vancouver, and faux-British tea service in Victoria. But although these American expats, and their children, may love the scenery and ambience of "B."C., they detest the oppression of Canadian rule.
They are forced to live under a Socialistic Regime that imposes "free" medical care on them, for which they pay onerous taxes. Their schools force them to learn a foreign and distasteful French language, a language that daily assaults their eyes on federal highway signs. Their province is ruled under an incomprehensible "parliamentary" system, designed to confuse and disenfranchise them. They must bow down, kneel, and pay homage as subjects to a Foreign Potentate, a "Queen" who lacks even the willingness to live in the realm over which she rules.
So who are the true people of "British" Columbia? They are Americans, that's who! They live in a land that's historically part of America! They are daily oppressed by rulers speaking an arcane form of French that even a Parisian finds uncouth! They live subject to the whims of a Sovereign whose family we long ago declared to have imposed on freedom loving Americans "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object [which] evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism."
America is more powerful than Canada! And, just as Vladimir, Czar of all the Russias, feels about the Crimea -- we also feel about our long-lost lands to the North. We want British Columbia back! We can take British Columbia back!
We shall have her back!
To hell with the Artificial 49th Parallel of Latitude! As the Bellman (and Putin) would cry (and we would reply), "It's merely a conventional sign."