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If at first you don't secede...
November 14, 2012 1:13 PM   Subscribe

The White House's petitions website has garnered over 100,000 signatures to "Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." Many signatures are from people not living in Texas.

Any petition receiving more than 25,000 signatures will receive an official response from the White House.

Now a new petition has appeared, and has already received over 16,000 signatures. "Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America."

In addition, there are now secession petitions for all 50 states, and a petition has arisen to allow Austin to secede from Texas in the advent of Texas's successful secession.
posted by sutt (279 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've said it before and I'll say it again, just sell the whole thing back to Mexico.
posted by saladin at 1:14 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


just sell the whole thing back to Mexico.

Leave the rice, beef, corn, dairy, and oil we've heavily invested in with us, though, please.
posted by Miko at 1:15 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I guess this is the Tea Party equivalent of threatening to move to Canada.
posted by mek at 1:16 PM on November 14, 2012 [18 favorites]


Any petition receiving more than 25,000 signatures will receive an official response from the White House

I hope the official response is one of those tumblr gold stars that says YOU TRIED.
posted by elizardbits at 1:17 PM on November 14, 2012 [61 favorites]


Just had to have CRAZY PERSON all-caps in there somewhere.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:17 PM on November 14, 2012


If Texas left it would tip the remaining red/blue balance strongly to the blue side. This would mean other red states would be strongly encouraged to leave with Texas, or remain isolated in a blue union.
posted by stbalbach at 1:17 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think that every state should vote to secede at the same time. Like, on a 3 count. Secession chicken.
posted by sutt at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2012 [17 favorites]


I think Texas is going to need a time machine too.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2012


It'd be awesome if all fifty states seceded, then they could start a new country which OH WAI-
posted by selfnoise at 1:19 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Aww, don't flip the chessboard, just change the rules bro
posted by lordaych at 1:19 PM on November 14, 2012


Couldn't we just cut federal funding to them as a "test?" See if they really like it; then renew funding when they come crying back, with some conditions.
posted by Max Power at 1:21 PM on November 14, 2012 [63 favorites]


It'd be awesome if all fifty states seceded, then they could start a new country which OH WAI-

Puerto Rico gains statehood

50 states secede

Puerto Rico: "Well, fuck."
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:22 PM on November 14, 2012 [90 favorites]


If Texas left it would tip the remaining red/blue balance strongly to the blue side. This would mean other red states would be strongly encouraged to leave with Texas, or remain isolated in a blue union.

Go on...I'll stop you when you say something I find objectionable.
posted by dry white toast at 1:22 PM on November 14, 2012 [40 favorites]


I'm looking forward to living in a 3rd order enclave or something. There'd better be easy to get visitor visas to the BBQ corridor though.
posted by kmz at 1:23 PM on November 14, 2012


There are 25,674,681 people in Texas, according to the 2011 estimate. You can probably find 50,000 who believe just about any old thing.
posted by BeeDo at 1:23 PM on November 14, 2012 [18 favorites]


First: Remove all federal property from Texas. This *most certainly* includes the plutonium pits in the PANTEX site.

Second: Let them secede, as long as they allow anyone who wishes to remain a US citizen to leave Texas with all of their assets. Once that's done...

Third: Close the border completely.

Fourth: Wait.

Four weeks later, when the economy of Texas has utterly collapsed, allow them to return, but split the state into three parts, except the part around Austin, and merge those parts with NM, OK and LA. The part around Austin becomes TX.

Fifth: Never have to deal with this nonsense again.
posted by eriko at 1:24 PM on November 14, 2012 [57 favorites]


You know how when you go to a kids' sporting event and there sometimes are these older people who should know better who yell and scream and cry over a bunch of dumb little kids playing and chasing a ball in a stupid game where the outcome doesn't really matter?

That's much my opinion of this whole thing.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:26 PM on November 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


But if Texas secedes, we'll have to start importing our nation's insanity instead of producing it domestically. Think of the transportation costs!
posted by wolfdreams01 at 1:28 PM on November 14, 2012 [15 favorites]


If they secede I'll be worried about Texas invading to claim land reaching to the maximum historic extent Texas ever covered.
posted by yohko at 1:28 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them

When I linked to this in the election thread it was deleted. I was contemplating petitioning the US government to make the mods apologize to me.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:28 PM on November 14, 2012 [15 favorites]


In his vault in a St. Louis cemetery, a dread thing of terrible resolution stirs. "With strange aeons, even death may die," mutters General Sherman as he wakes from his long slumber. Grimacing with a pain only the undead can know, he leaves his crypt and starts South, gaining strength with every touch of his feet upon the hallowed and indivisible soil of The Republic.

He knows what to do.
posted by atrazine at 1:29 PM on November 14, 2012 [32 favorites]


A petition to Have President Obama Do The Hokey Pokey has almost reached the 25,000 signature threshold.
posted by exogenous at 1:32 PM on November 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


My bad, I misread: the Hokey Pokey petition is nowhere near having enough signatures
posted by exogenous at 1:33 PM on November 14, 2012


It is illegal. See Texas v. White, 700 U.S. 17. (1869)
posted by Ironmouth at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Um, this has been popping up all over the net today, and I kinda want to comment on something I find rather "odd".
Hear me out, and someone please poke holes in this, because my understanding may be off, it's been a while since high school social studies and U.S. History. But anyway.

Isn't all land within the territories of the United States pretty much owned by the sovereignty of the Federal government? As in, each state, while semi-autonomous, is only granted said statehood due to being a member of the Federal union of states, i.e. the Federal Government of the United States? So, um, wouldn't they have to kind of pay a whole lot of money for all that land they want to take? And doesn't the Federal government have the right to, um, not sell it? So all those people would just have to pretty much up and, well, vacate. And those private land owners? Isn't the only reason they "own" anything because of the title granted to them by the state? And doesn't the state only have that authority to grant the title of ownership to the private individual because the federal government has allowed said state that authority in the constitution? So if a state wants to secede, pretty much they lose their authority to grant private land ownership, so every land owner in said state would lose the title to the land they are currently occupying, and thus, said lands would revert back to the ownership of the federal government. So, legally, there is no way for any state to secede without becoming landless squatters, because a state is basically just a fiction of collective citizens? I mean, land ownership in and of itself is a legal fiction to bind private individuals into legal constraints of enfranchisement (prior to all the amendments later added to give individuals the right to vote without being a land owner, since, you know, land is a finite resource and all that). So my rambling brain pretty much says "you can't secede without giving up all your property rights and becoming vagrant, stateless, illegal squatters on federal lands". And no, the federal government is not going to just up and give anyone those lands. They already own them in perpetuity anyway, unless they decide to sell them to another sovereign nation, which would require some kind of legal fiction and recognizable force besides the simple statement of non-U.S. citizenship. Or something. I think I've lost my train of thought.

Anyway, main point, can't secede, don't actually own the land, just granted title by the fed anyway. Am I wrong?
posted by daq at 1:35 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ain't nothin' stoppin'em from movin' on to somewhere else.

Since I'm sure they're aren't reliant on the federal government for anything and have ample savings to pick up and go.

I'll volunteer to help make bag lunches for the lot of them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:35 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


relevant
posted by elizardbits at 1:35 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


A petition to Have President Obama Do The Hokey Pokey has almost reached the 25,000 signature threshold.
posted by exogenous at 1:32 PM on November 14 [+] [!]


Only 24,327 more to go!
posted by no relation at 1:36 PM on November 14, 2012


Ain't nothin' stoppin'em from movin' on to somewhere else.

Nonsense. The candidate who supported self-deportation lost the election. Remember?
posted by The World Famous at 1:37 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some wit on Twitter remarked that "We the People" was becoming the reddit of .gov.

Anyway, I won't be surprised if "secession-ism" is to Obama's second term what birtherism was to his first.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:38 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


This makes more sense when you realize that most of the petitioners have the Dallas Cowboys in their Fantasy Football league.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:39 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


A lot of people talk about secession being illegal based on an 1800s court decision, but it's not like we don't find errors all the time in Supreme Court decisions and overturn them. Perhaps especially from the 1860s. You know, like most court cases involving a woman before a certain period. Or black people.
posted by corb at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want the White House's official response to just be a nice handwritten note from the President that says nothing but "Bless your heart."
posted by The World Famous at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2012 [86 favorites]


I'm trying to get my outrage up but to be honest, I got nothin'. Let them go and they can take all the old, angry racists with them.

It's a one-way trip, though. No coming back. Ever.
posted by tommasz at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2012


but split the state into three parts, except the part around Austin, and merge those parts with NM, OK and LA.

OK and LA are potentially even more butt-ass crazy than Texas, conservative-wise. If you made us part of, say, Colorado, the Legal Weed State, that might be ok.

(do you know how many Texans are planning Weed Vacations to CO since the election? Soooo many.)
posted by emjaybee at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


...Yeah, good luck with that, Texas.

If I actually thought this had a chance of succeeding, I'd make better jokes involving a door and an ass, but it doesn't.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, maybe Texas can turn into an insular area/territory and we can then turn Puerto Rico into a full state.

At least with this way, we don't have to change the flag.
posted by FJT at 1:41 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Any petition receiving more than 25,000 signatures will receive an official response from the White House.

"Absolutely not. Obviously."
posted by clockzero at 1:43 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


We should immediately exile anyone who signed a grammatically incorrect petition.
posted by elizardbits at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The EXTREMELY right-wing morning host on WRNO this morning (how right wing are they? They bill themselves as "Rush Radio") addressed this this morning, adding that Louisiana has now hit 25,000.

"And that means we're guaranteed a response!" he chortled. "And this is what it will sound like!" Cue hysterical laugh track.
posted by localroger at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I tend to think that Obama will get around to this right after he acts on all those legalize pot petitions. But in any event, feel free to tell people who support secession that civics isn't just a class for Democrats.
posted by klangklangston at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope the official response is one of those tumblr gold stars that says YOU TRIED.

if we elected an upper-middle-class hipster to the office of president i bet all this talk of secession and revolution during a recession/set of global crises would still be kind of frightening, but he'd handle it with goofy, twee nonchalance and irony which would really be a comfort to those who were still alive later on
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Isn't all land within the territories of the United States pretty much owned by the sovereignty of the Federal government?

No.
posted by General Tonic at 1:45 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


At least with this way, we don't have to change the flag.

I say we change it back to the circle of 13 stars and never worry about it again. Fifty stars is way too busy, anyway.
posted by spaltavian at 1:45 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


eagletear.gif
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:45 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Couldn't we just cut federal funding to them as a "test?" See if they really like it; then renew funding when they come crying back, with some conditions.

Well actually Texas is one of the states that pays more into the federal coffers than it receives from them. Everything else being equal they'd benefit financially from cutting the rest of us loose.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:46 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


and merge those parts with NM, OK and LA

NO PLEASE KTHX the last thing we need is more of those people.

*light bulb*

On the other hand, if Austin secedes from seceded Texas, New Orleans could secede from seceded Louisiana and we could probably form some kind of sister-city-state relationship.
posted by localroger at 1:46 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


it's not like we don't find errors all the time in Supreme Court decisions and overturn them.

Somehow, I don't think even Justice Thomas is going to find for a Constitutional right to secede from the Union.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:49 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I would have very very slightly more respect for them if they just called their petitions WAAAAH WE WANNA BE RACISTS.
posted by elizardbits at 1:51 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Texas is looking to be at least light blue within a decade or two. Let's keep them and continue to encourage more of them to vote for sanity.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:52 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


It is kind of fun to think of what the world would be like if a state (like, say, Texas) were allowed to secede. Move the Federal Border Enforcement to the northern boundaries of Texas. U.S. maintains all of their military bases there (just like Guantanomo). End to federal program money going to Texas. No Medicare, Social Security, Food Stamps. The U.S. Congress loses all the Texas congressional Representatives/Senators. All that coast line you've got on the Gulf... you know the one that gets hit on regular basis by hurricanes? You are on your own for disaster relief. Wonder how many non-landowners would even consider staying behind?
posted by spock at 1:54 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's fun to laugh at these nuts...but...damn...Is anyone else just a wee bit concerned at how openly delusional and paranoid so many of your fellow citizens seem to be? It's pretty damned disturbing even from a "fear for public safety" level.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:54 PM on November 14, 2012 [20 favorites]


Texas is one of the states that pays more into the federal coffers than it receives from them

I thought that too. But when I looked it up just now, it seems like Texas has moved into the "Taker" column. (I'm looking at the Wikipedia article on "Federal taxation and spending by state").

Although that graph is all kinds of different from what I thought. Most of the plains states are on the "Give" side, for example.
posted by BeeDo at 1:55 PM on November 14, 2012


I hope the official response is one of those tumblr gold stars that says YOU TRIED.

Other possibilities:

HEH... YOU GUYS.

MMM... NAH.

REMEMBER HOW THAT WORKED OUT THE LAST TIME?
posted by Egg Shen at 1:55 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Man Starts Petition for Alabama to Secede, AKA old man yells at imaginary Union.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:56 PM on November 14, 2012


Is anyone else just a wee bit concerned at how openly delusional and paranoid so many of your fellow citizens seem to be?

Yes, ever since January 1 2001.
posted by elizardbits at 1:56 PM on November 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


It's fun to laugh at these nuts...but...damn...Is anyone else just a wee bit concerned at how openly delusional and paranoid so many of your fellow citizens seem to be?

Yes. I would go so far as to say "extremely yes", even.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:57 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Puerto Rico gains statehood

Puerto Rico for Texas would be a fair trade. And we wouldn't need to buy brand-new, Chinese-made 51-star flags.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:58 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's fun to laugh at these nuts...but...damn...Is anyone else just a wee bit concerned at how openly delusional and paranoid so many of your fellow citizens seem to be? It's pretty damned disturbing even from a "fear for public safety" level.

the world ends at FDR Drive, afaik nyty mhio
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:01 PM on November 14, 2012


If you “deport” a citizen from his/her own country, isn’t that actually “exile?” Just askin’
posted by axoplasm at 2:02 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well actually Texas is one of the states that pays more into the federal coffers than it receives from them. Everything else being equal they'd benefit financially from cutting the rest of us loose.

Texas gets tons of money in federal aid for disaster relief, the most out of all the states.

See here.

posted by Max Power at 2:03 PM on November 14, 2012


Texas v. White hold that states do not have the ability to legally secede from the union unilaterally, sure, but I bet Congress can kick 'em out.
posted by kafziel at 2:04 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


They really need to raise the vote cap on these petitions, because sadly, there are wayyyyyy more than 25,000 crazy people of all slants and opinions in this country.
posted by SomaSoda at 2:06 PM on November 14, 2012


You've got to give credit to the creators of this petition. When your anti-federal government idea is too wacky for Rick Fucking Perry, you've really achieved something.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:06 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I was talking about this with a friend last night.

Do they realise that they're proposing going from the most powerful country in the world of 315 million to the 28 million backwater realm of "Nobodygivesashitaboutyoustan"?

The industries that would have to move from the state because of NOFORN and other xenophobic security restrictions would be a quarter of the state's economy just up and vanished.

This isn't "carve up the country we're done here". All of a sudden you have to protect yourself from Mexico while the multitude of three letter agencies all of a sudden consider you a foreigner. I think people from Texas would have their brains explode from all of a sudden being told "you're not a US citizen so would you kindly fuck off?" at the Arizona border.

Or were they just planning on seceding symbolically in an act of rebellion without actually doing any of the hard shit required in making a functional state?
posted by Talez at 2:07 PM on November 14, 2012 [22 favorites]




Bet the White House is thinking THIS IS WHY YOU CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS about that "your voice in our government" idea.

Or maybe it's like those feedback boxes in retail stores: They hire some guy at minimum wage, stick him in the basement, and make him read all the crazy comment cards, just so they can say someone actually did it.
posted by dave78981 at 2:14 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I know secession seems far-fetched and reactionary to most folks today, but if you don't live in Texas, what's your problem with any state that decided to become, and was accepted as, a member of the United States, later deciding that membership was no longer in its best interests?

If it's just about federal investments in Texas (a tax-donor state, as noted above, so all that federal money pouring into Texas is actually Texas money pouring back into Texas) or enclaves of federal property in Texas, that can be worked out financially or with land-trades with relative ease; a payment system can be worked out, etc.

Is the problem people have that others might determine for themselves that they no longer wish to be a part of where the American experiment appears to be heading? To put it another way, "[i]f America did not exist as a nation, would these 50 disparate states surrender their sovereignty and independence to enter such a union as the United States of 2012?" If any state's not getting what it bargained for, why would you begrudge its citizens the right to pay its way back out of the deal?

[edited a typo in para. 1]
posted by resurrexit at 2:14 PM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Most of Texas' agriculture is meat and grains. They won't last long on that diet.
posted by Peevish at 2:16 PM on November 14, 2012


Let them go

I'd like to continue living in both the United States and Texas, please.

Honestly this is some anti-America bullshit. It sounds to me like these people hate democracy.
posted by muddgirl at 2:16 PM on November 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


They really need to raise the vote cap on these petitions, because sadly, there are wayyyyyy more than 25,000 crazy people of all slants and opinions in this country.

Well, it's not like they committed themselves to any more than writing essentially a form letter.
posted by corb at 2:16 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


the hard shit required in making a functional state

Most states have near-parallel governing structures to those in the federal government; this is a relic of the way federalism used to work, prior to the expansion of the federal government in the last century. This is especially true of Texas, which used to be its own country. I would imagine it's even truer of the more recently-admitted states.

But you're right, it would require some serious political genius on the part of a seceding state's people to pull it off.
posted by resurrexit at 2:17 PM on November 14, 2012


If any state's not getting what it bargained for
How, exactly, isn't Texas getting what it bargained for?
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:18 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is the problem people have that others might determine for themselves that they no longer wish to be a part of where the American experiment appears to be heading?

Far be it from us to keep you. We are, however, hanging onto the land and resources.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:19 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, as long as a bunch of people from Tennessee don't have to go down there and get killed to save Texas from Mexico again, Texas can do whatever the hell it wants.

Now where did I put that Davy Crockett hat?
posted by epilnivek at 2:20 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Would America have to start importing steers and queers, like a country of goddamned savages?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:21 PM on November 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


If Texas left it would tip the remaining red/blue balance strongly to the blue side.

Not in the House of Representatives.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:22 PM on November 14, 2012


Honestly this is some anti-America bullshit.

In the pretty literal sense of the term, too! Any time I see a Confederate battle flag, that's pretty much the thought process that passes through my mind. There, right there, is a flag that symbolizes the bloodiest anti-American campaign in the nation's history. And here's this person, proudly displaying that flag, while probably considering themselves staunchly patriotic at the same time. It's psychotic.

Is the problem people have that others might determine for themselves that they no longer wish to be a part of where the American experiment appears to be heading?

I got no problem with it at all, so long as they give up everything the federal government provided them. That's only fair, right? It's not like you can move all the furniture and appliances out of your room-mate's apartment if you decide it's "not working out."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:22 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh, and if you decide to keep the land and for some reason we find it inexpedient to simply take from you, please keep in mind that we have experience funneling heavy arms to Mexican drug cartels.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:23 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't see this as being much more than the same kind of political theater as the Conch Republic, only with substantially less humor.

There's still a Civil Rights movement here in the South. If this had a snowball's chance in hell of passing, which it doesn't, it wouldn't be the Federal government shutting down the economy, it would be my neighbors who celebrate MLK and Emancipation Day.

And I don't live in Texas where non-hispanic whites are a minority.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:23 PM on November 14, 2012


I got no problem with it at all, so long as they give up everything the federal government provided them. That's only fair, right? It's not like you can move all the furniture and appliances out of your room-mate's apartment if you decide it's "not working out."

But your metaphor shows the flaw in understanding American federalism. The apartment was ours to begin with, Texas just decided to subject itself to the condo association. :) Now that it wants to leave, it's going to have to pay its exit fees.
posted by resurrexit at 2:25 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


If any state's not getting what it bargained for, why would you begrudge its citizens the right to pay its way back out of the deal?

Let's enter the bizarro world libertarian fantasy for a second here and say that Texas does secede. (side note- I think you should have to be able to spell the word secede for your vote to matter, but that's just me) There is no way that they wouldn't want to keep some of the military hardware that's on their land, including the nukes in the silos there.

Tell me, how peaceful do you think that process would be?
posted by dave78981 at 2:25 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


... but if you don't live in Texas, what's your problem with any state that decided to become, and was accepted as, a member of the United States might decide that membership was no longer in its best interests?

Have you actually seen any non-Texans having a problem with this? As far as I can tell, the overwhelming response has been "JUST GO ALREADY".
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:26 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


We are, however, hanging onto the land and resources.

Can anyone explain, preferably in a non-snarky way if possible, this view? Especially for places like Texas, that were their own independent country beforehand. They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?
posted by corb at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


But your metaphor shows the flaw in understanding American federalism. The apartment was ours to begin with, Texas just decided to subject itself to the condo association. :) Now that it wants to leave, it's going to have to pay its exit fees.

Ha, well, let's not argue my weak example. The main point is, if Texas wants "out", if the federal government decided to remove everything they've provided Texas - even if it came down to ripping out highways and whatnot - I think that would be more than fair.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2012


Right, that would be accomplished by some sort of exit fee in the form of a large, large re-payment of funds or some other obligation in kind, such as to provide certain resources, cooperate militarily, etc. Who knows.
posted by resurrexit at 2:30 PM on November 14, 2012


Let's enter the bizarro world libertarian fantasy for a second here

in what way does this have anything to do with "libertarianism"

also this whole deal is very frightening to me
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:31 PM on November 14, 2012


Just had to have CRAZY PERSON all-caps in there somewhere.

Let me add two more:
Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot (w/ video).

Florida Man Angry Over Election Results Writes ‘Fuck Obama’ on His Will Before Taking His Own Life.
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is no way that they wouldn't want to keep some of the military hardware that's on their land, including the nukes in the silos there.

Lots of military hardware in Texas, no doubt. But I'm pretty sure we don't have any missile silos - those are pretty much on northern bases.
posted by zoog at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2012


There is no way that they wouldn't want to keep some of the military hardware that's on their land, including the nukes in the silos there.

Tell me, how peaceful do you think that process would be?


Without the nuclear launch codes, they could probably make a few serviceable dirty bombs and, in the worst possible case, shit on someone else pretty hard before getting smacked down decisively for it. If they were crazy, that is.

AFAIK, there is no way to hotwire a nuclear warhead. The codes aren't a lock to be removed but actually decrypt information required to make the fundamentals work (like detonator timing deltas required to compensate for imperfections in the shape of the material and such). This is by design.
posted by acb at 2:36 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I say let 'em take the land, (cause, Texas) but withdraw 100% of all Federal assets. This means selling or rendering unusable every military base, decommissioning every missile silo, moving 100% of all military personnel and equipment (weapons, tanks, aircraft, ships, etc) out of there. Texas has the option to buy, at fair market value, or have destroyed all Federal infrastructure. Interstate highways, Federal buildings, Federally-funded power plants, dams, and so on. Once every last remnant of the Federal government has either been paid for or eliminated, then they're free to secede. Without a hint of military presence, air defense, or anything. Have fun, whackos.
posted by xedrik at 2:37 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Four weeks later, when the economy of Texas has utterly collapsed, allow them to return, but split the state into three parts, except the part around Austin, and merge those parts with NM, OK and LA. The part around Austin becomes TX.

You obviously know nothing of the Southwest... NM, OK, LA and COLO hate Texans with a passion. This would only enrage the SW even more....and I'm a New Mexican...living in Texas.
posted by Benway at 2:39 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Right, that would be accomplished by some sort of exit fee

Yeah, that seems pretty oversimplistic. But on the other hand my objection to secession would be more along the lines of my seeing Texas' poor paying dearly for this experiment, if it ever went forward. If all the federal social services for the poor, elderly and disabled were now shunted onto Texas to foot the bill for, not to mention with the removal of any other federal infrastructure (which would include disaster relief), I envision these less fortunate getting the short end of the stick. There'd likely be an exodus, especially come hurricane season. It seems like it would be incredibly damaging and possibly fatal to a great many of the state's less better-off, for the sake of this frankly delusional hearkening back to some glorious past.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:40 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Written in invisible ink in the petition:
Whereas: When the clock strikes midnight and the official secession takes place a vigilante group made up of cowboys, farmers, bikers and neo-conservatives will storm the walls of Austin seeking to fatally dispatch any liberal or hipster residents and will and leave inoperable any cultural facility (liquor purveyors exempt) within said city limits...

hmm could be an idea for a script...
posted by incandissonance at 2:40 PM on November 14, 2012


I can't believe I'm having to point this out, as anyone who knows anything about the population of Texas should be able to deduce for themselves.

This is a petition of around 100,000 signatures. As said above, a lot of them aren't even from Texas.

Texas has a population of just over 25.6 MILLION. Even if all 100,000 signatures were from Texas, that would be a drop in the bucket.

Why do a couple of crazies get to define and shape everyone's opinion of an entire state? Just sell it back to Mexico? REALLY?

I was born here and I've lived here almost all my life. Believe me, we don't have any more crazies than any other state. I'm just getting sick of people seeing the sensationalist news crap about people wanting to secede and thinking the whole damn state is that way.

You really want to get rid of Texas? The state that produces quite a bit of the food you eat (one of the handful of states that actually raises cows and sheep on open land rather than in tight spaces) and supplies natural gas to several other states, even almost to the Canadian border?

Get a grip, people.
posted by Malice at 2:40 PM on November 14, 2012 [30 favorites]


Can anyone explain, preferably in a non-snarky way if possible, this view? Especially for places like Texas, that were their own independent country beforehand. They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?

I can't explain it. To me it runs counter to the view that various states came together to form a union of federated states that would remain states, each retaining nearly all the rights of a sovereign, but not those enumerated in the Constitution that would be possessed by all the states jointly, i.e., by the United States. But I realize that view's not shared by everyone.
posted by resurrexit at 2:41 PM on November 14, 2012


Especially for places like Texas, that were their own independent country beforehand. They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?

Texas tried it once and it didn't work out so well. What on earth makes anyone think it would go better on a second try?
posted by ambrosia at 2:43 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is no way that they wouldn't want to keep some of the military hardware that's on their land, including the nukes in the silos there.

Tell me, how peaceful do you think that process would be?


Well, as noted above they don't have any missiles and if they did they wouldn't have launch codes, but they do have Pantex and some other nasty hardware on their land. I'd expect it to go, though, about as peacefully as the breakup of the Soviet Union, which did not leave any of its ex-member states (including those with silos on their land) nuclear powers.
posted by localroger at 2:43 PM on November 14, 2012


I do believe I can speak for Texas when I say the majority of Texans DO NOT want to secede from the U.S. There is no one picketing the streets. People are getting up, going to work, living life as usual after the election. Even the ones that had hardcore Romney boners.

I said it above but I really feel this needs to be said again: This is a tiny, tiny handful of angry, stupid people. They do not represent Texas, even if they claim to. The rest of us are just fine being part of the U.S. and realize how fucking stupid it would be to secede.
posted by Malice at 2:47 PM on November 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


I can't explain it.

As pointed out earlier, Texas V. White makes it illegal to secede, and it was also post-Civil War that the "indestructible Union" interpretation won out. Since the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution, they get final say in the matter.

But, the Supreme Court's opinion can be changed, so let's say it does.

If any state's not getting what it bargained for, why would you begrudge its citizens the right to pay its way back out of the deal?

The US Constitution and existing federal laws do not provide a process to exit the Union. For one to be drawn up, it would probably take an amendment or a Constitution Convention. And during the process you'd probably want a 3rd party like the UN to arbitrate.

And even then, Texas may not be a country unless it is recognized as an equal by foreign states, or else it will become an international pariah like North Korea, or at best an international inconvenience like Taiwan.
posted by FJT at 2:50 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


fatally dispatch any liberal or hipster

those don't imply each other

also lol at the people wondering why these crazies are so crazy and hostile and then suggesting tearing up their roads and busting their dams or cutting their power or whatever in response to their ludicrous daydream

it's really hard to not see a class element to this deal wherein relatively privileged people like talking about how white-trash and stupid Texas is, and then wonder where everyone thinks all the hostility comes from

really, though, to me the idea of a nation with the USA's landmass staying together is a staggering achievement
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:52 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can anyone explain, preferably in a non-snarky way if possible, this view? Especially for places like Texas, that were their own independent country beforehand. They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?

The land thing is silly. With regard to resources, I'd think that people aren't talking about natural resources, like water and minerals, but practical resources, like infrastructure. Nukes aside, according to Wikipedia, "The defense/military industry is the second largest sector of the Texas economy, trailing behind the petroleum and gas industry." As others have pointed out, there's no good reason that the US would want to keep a good chunk of its military assets stationed on on next-door foreign soil. Putting aside "ripping up the highways" or whatnot, since that's kind of silly, the removal of federal resources (from the relocation of military bases and other federal outposts, to ending Coast Guard oversight of drilling platforms, to ending disaster assistance, to ending NSF, NIH, and NASA funding) would pose a significant blow to Texas's economy.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:52 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Malice. I'm too tired to fight to loltexas battles any more, and I'm not about to defend Uncle Crazypants from Dimebox, either. All the states have their nut jobs, and we all know in advance that the answer is "No." what a waste of everyone's time & energy.

I think the Obama admin is going to have to re-think its petition thing as the petitioners will inevitably ramp up the crazy as word spreads that it exists.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:54 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, Hoosier. I voted against Romney, if that matters.

I think that ANY state that wants to leave the union should be able to do so, without incident.

The federal government has assumed way too much power, and this power has corrupted things almost beyond the point of any possible redemption. The Empire that we have built around the world is just one of the symptoms of this corruption. Our worthless Fiat currency that is supported by that Empire is the second.

The voluntary bonds between states that created this Nation were forged into chains by Lincoln. We are all now slaves to the Federal Government, which has been repeating the history of all empires, and we're now near the end game.

Voluntary Secession should be the right of any State. It's not a Liberal/Conservative issue.
posted by MikeWarot at 2:55 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


As others have pointed out, there's no good reason that the US would want to keep a good chunk of its military assets stationed on on next-door foreign soil.

Maybe we could offer to keep our military facilities in The People's Republic of Texas in exchange for the PRT paying us to protect them with our military. Occupy Texas! Literally!
posted by The World Famous at 3:01 PM on November 14, 2012


The voluntary bonds between states that created this Nation were forged into chains by Lincoln. We are all now slaves to the Federal Government,

Do you even hear yourself.

You are not a slave. You are free to leave. Using "slavery" as you have done may be a fine rhetorical or poetic flourish, but it's also offensive. And incorrect.
posted by rtha at 3:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [35 favorites]


Now I admit that I didn't study Texas state history in 4th grade (stupid California history! So worthless now!), but my understanding is that after Mexico won independence from Spain and centralized power in the federal government, Anglo-American settlers were very desirous of US statehood. We were an independent nation for a short time for political reasons (because America annexing a former part of Mexican territory so soon would be politically disastrous). Indeed, Texas first sought annexation in 1837, very shortly after winning independence.

This is a tiny, tiny handful of angry, stupid people. They do not represent Texas, even if they claim to.

Some of the signers don't even live in Texas.
posted by muddgirl at 3:02 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Voluntary Secession should be the right of any State. It's not a Liberal/Conservative issue.

You're joking, right? Secession is like, the ultimate "state's rights" platform.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:02 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Empire that we have built around the world is just one of the symptoms of this corruption.

i get it, if the other stuff you're saying is absurd and laughable then maybe this is too
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:03 PM on November 14, 2012


MikeWarot, I assure you that our fiat currency is not worthless. I just bought a delicious lunch with some of it just a few hours ago.

As to the rest of your comment, well, you're just convincing me more and more that Vonnegut was right about Hoosiers being a granfalloon. And I'm grateful for that. Sheesh.
posted by The World Famous at 3:03 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, if pot was legal, we could all just settle this by getting stoned, listening to Guns 'n Roses' "Civil War" on repeat, and hugging.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:04 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The voluntary bonds between states that created this Nation were forged into chains by Lincoln. We are all now slaves to the Federal Government, which has been repeating the history of all empires, and we're now near the end game.

You know there were literal chains that had to be broken, right? Pick some better imagery if you want to convince anyone.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:05 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Our worthless Fiat currency

If you happen to have any of that lying around and troubling you, I'll be happy to take it off your hands.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:07 PM on November 14, 2012 [24 favorites]


I think that ANY state that wants to leave the union should be able to do so, without incident.

Heh. President Paul and Vice President Beck are gonna have a hell of a time keeping the counties in line after their state secedes.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:09 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm glad that I don't live there anymore.
posted by CRESTA at 3:10 PM on November 14, 2012


BeeDo: "Although that graph is all kinds of different from what I thought. Most of the plains states are on the "Give" side, for example."

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU EAT IT?
posted by symbioid at 3:10 PM on November 14, 2012 [19 favorites]


The voluntary bonds between states that created this Nation were forged into chains by Lincoln...

Our worthless Fiat currency...

Voluntary Secession should be the right of any State. It's not a Liberal/Conservative issue.


Oh, Hoosier Libertarians. God luv 'em. Thanks for pulling those votes away from Mourdock, by the way!
posted by Thorzdad at 3:11 PM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think that ANY state that wants to leave the union should be able to do so, without incident.
Who's going to handle the expense and logistics involved, again?
posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:12 PM on November 14, 2012


The Empire that we have built around the world is just one of the symptoms of this corruption.

You know, it's not like the United States SUDDENLY became evil once it became an international player. Our history of continental expansion, which was assisted and coordinated (or miscoordinated depending on your view) with the help of the US Constitution. Things like the Louisiana Purchase, the process of statehood, the federal army used to fight the frontier was all used to kill a whole civilization of people.

So, really, instead of calling for secession, you should really call for complete dissolution.
posted by FJT at 3:12 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


MCMikeNamara: "You've got to give credit to the creators of this petition. When your anti-federal government idea is too wacky for Rick Fucking Perry, you've really achieved something."

Now - I ain't saying we should secede... (posted 571 days ago).
posted by symbioid at 3:15 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think what's really going on here is that Texas is looking at the United States government and thinking that it has basically turned into the Soviet Union, and then they're looking at oil-rich former Soviet republics and thinking those guys in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have it really good. Texans just want to have as good a life as those guys, ya know? Freedom! Texas looks forward to a day in the future when it can proudly stand with those great nations as one that found infinite prosperity in the shadow of a crumbling totalitarian communist nation. Is that so wrong?

And they'll probably want to change the name to Texistan, just as a show of solidarity.
posted by The World Famous at 3:18 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


dave78981: "There is no way that they wouldn't want to keep some of the military hardware that's on their land, including the nukes in the silos there.

Tell me, how peaceful do you think that process would be?
"

Solomon style - dismantle the military equipment, bust it all in 50ths, they get one 50th, the US gets 49/50ths.
posted by symbioid at 3:23 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?

Because we are a nation of laws, with the emphasis on nation, despite Republicans having seditious impulses just because a black guy got elected.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:27 PM on November 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Re-elected.
posted by Rash at 3:33 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I gotta say, as much as I love Austin, Massachusetts looks really fucking good to me after this election. There's a certain amount of amusement value in the "ha ha only serious" (at least in my mind) counter-secession petition, but the whole thing really does drive home that I could be living in a state that actually matched my political and philosophical sensibilities better on the state level. I'm not from here, I don't have deep family ties here, and while I'm far too lazy to uproot my social life without the promise of at very least regular nookie on the other end, I am increasingly aware that there are places to live that I wouldn't have to apologize for.

(But they're all so cold!)
posted by restless_nomad at 3:42 PM on November 14, 2012


What's cowboy for poutine?
posted by Bwithh at 3:45 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Correction, re-elected. Thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:45 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If NY and NJ seceded together we could form a totally awesome sovereign nation called New Jerk.
posted by elizardbits at 3:46 PM on November 14, 2012 [31 favorites]


If the population of an entire state wanted to leave the union, you bet they'd be able to work something out. The reality is that only a tiny tiny fraction of pissed off dumbasses are the ones signing these petitions. If they were reasonable, intelligent, unselfish people, they'd let everyone determine their own fate and just leave the fucking country already. But they're not so naturally their response is to take all their neighbors down with them.
posted by danny the boy at 3:46 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


What's cowboy for poutine?

In New Jerk they are called "disco fries".
posted by elizardbits at 3:46 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


If NY and NJ seceded together we could form a totally awesome sovereign nation called New Jerk.

Can the inscription on the great seal of the sovereign nation of New Jerk please say "Same As The Old Jerk?"
posted by The World Famous at 3:48 PM on November 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


And another thing, we would ALL be better off if the country was made up of people who actually wanted to be here.

Like if we traded all these secessionists for some Mexican immigrants I'm pretty sure we'd be a hell of a lot better off, culturally, economically, and probably every other way you could imagine.
posted by danny the boy at 3:52 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm on the fence.

On the "no" side we have Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Richard Linklater and Molly Ivins. On the "yes" side we have all my exes.
posted by R. Schlock at 3:56 PM on November 14, 2012 [18 favorites]


I feel like I can speak for Mass when I say, we'd gladly have you join us restless_nomad. While we may seem a little cold at first, once you get to know us you will probably find that as a collective consciousness we're far more in-this-together than we first appear. Part of that stand-offish-ness is us giving you the space to not have to deal with our abundant character flaws until you want to.

Also, while I can't promise regular nookie on arrival, there are an abundance of colleges which bring people of both sexes to Mass from all over the world (including Texas). Many of these students stick around after school, so there is routinely a churn of new people to date in the area. (If I recall correctly, there are 63 colleges within the 128 (95) loop.)

The down side is that it does get cold, but as part of the collective consciousness, we've decided to complain about it together, and it does bond us - even if in the short term one of our populace tries to drive 75mph through a blizzard and endanger your life.

Healthcare here rocks, not only is it a right, but we have some of the top performing hospitals in the world here.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:57 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


... but if you don't live in Texas, what's your problem with any state that decided to become, and was accepted as, a member of the United States might decide that membership was no longer in its best interests?

Well, I'll answer as a non-Texan who does have an problem with this. The relationship between federal government and the states was modified by the 14th Amendment. Legislatures do not have the power to supersede federal law in terms of citizenship, due process, or equal protection under the law.

This amendment was added to the constitution because, when we gave states the right to determine who is and is not a citizen, the result was millions of people were treated as property. That was followed by a century of "separate but equal" which turned out to be completely different legal standards for whites and blacks. So in '57 the federal government started to say, no, you can't deny OUR citizens the rights given by THEIR congress and THEIR supreme court in OUR jurisdiction. If you do so, we'll secure THEIR rights with federal troops. If you mobilize the National Guard to deny OUR citizens THEIR rights, we'll federalize them, bring them under command of the President, and order them to stand down.

This isn't an abstraction, this is living history for what I call the MLK South. And that side of the South is demographically larger, economically stronger, politically more powerful, and more culturally integrated than it was in Little Rock in '57.

And I think if you were to honestly put it to a vote that equal protection under the law and due process would be determined by the statehouse and state courts, the measure would go down in flames. Because while it's not angels farting rainbows, wanting to roll the civil rights clock back to the 1950s is a drunken dream of a handful of marginal cranks.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [30 favorites]


I am increasingly aware that there are places to live that I wouldn't have to apologize for.

(But they're all so cold!)


I used to live in MA and now I live in SF,CA. It's definitely warmer here than MA (mostly). Although wearing a hoodie in July might take some getting used to. I haven't worn shorts since I moved here; I had to go buy some specially for our recent vacation (and didn't wear them then, either).
posted by rtha at 4:03 PM on November 14, 2012


I don't think there's any need to apologize for living among crazy people. Nor do I think we should abandon sane people so that crazy people can set up a crazy country. And, of course, even 100,000 people is a drop in the bucket of the whole population of Texas - even if all those signatories were from Texas, which they're not.

If the crazy people want to live in their own made-up country, they need to do it the old fashioned way and find some unoccupied, unclaimed land and claim it. I understand wide swaths of Antarctica are available.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:08 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think they should all move in with Karl Rove.
posted by yoga at 4:08 PM on November 14, 2012


Indeed, perhaps they can claim Karl Rove is an unoccupied territory and build their new country on him.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:09 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well if they secede can they at least improve Dallas? Went there this fall and it was a pit.
posted by stormpooper at 4:10 PM on November 14, 2012


But if Texas secedes, we'll have to start importing our nation's insanity instead of producing it domestically.

Don't worry, there's still Arizona.
posted by scratch at 4:11 PM on November 14, 2012


Okay, the thought of President Cory Booker of New Jerk is now making me feel a little secessiony.
posted by elizardbits at 4:13 PM on November 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Or maybe it's like those feedback boxes in retail stores: They hire some guy at minimum wage, stick him in the basement, and make him read all the crazy comment cards, just so they can say someone actually did it.

Based on the job I had several years ago responding to mail for a congressman, this sounds about right.

Also...while checking out some of the other most popular petitions, I noticed that there are not one but two telling the U.S. to stop talking about WWII comfort women - both signed by more than 25,000 people (most of whom seem unlikely to be Japanese-American based on their name or location). I hope I'm not opening a ginormous can of worms here but how on earth is this a thing that Zachary B. in Daphne, AL and 64,000 other random people are in a tizzy about?
posted by naoko at 4:20 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Will any states that secede be assuming their share of the national debt when they go? Because that seems only fair.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:21 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think that ANY state that wants to leave the union should be able to do so, without incident.

Yeah, several states did just that. Didn't end well for them. I think they missed the word "united" in the phrase "United States of America".

But really, out of all the masturbatory political "topics", isn't state secession the biggest wankingly stupid time-waster of all? No state will secede voluntarily or otherwise. It's just not an option for a few hundred reasons. It's just a childish, Libertarian fantasy of Ultimate State's Rights: Hey, we're our own country. Move to New Hampshire, we'll turn it into our own country, guys! No one actually expects this to pass, it's just a showy way to display what omgmavericks! they are.
posted by zardoz at 4:25 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hope I'm not opening a ginormous can of worms here but how on earth is this a thing that Zachary B. in Daphne, AL and 64,000 other random people are in a tizzy about?

I assume random shit like that gets going from endlessly forwarded facebook posts? Honestly I'm legit surprised that 64k Americans even know what comfort women are, as on average we are shit at noticing other countries.

(altho i guess actual knowledge is not required for petition signing)
posted by elizardbits at 4:25 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we should pull a Robert Fulghum instead and carpet bomb Texas with crayolas. That would be fun.
posted by Renoroc at 4:26 PM on November 14, 2012


They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?

Because this isn't a game of Diplomacy. Texas has oil reserves and you might have noticed that the U.S. has an interest in those. As for it joining the Union voluntarily, it's not like Texas was ever going to last as an independent country. What are we up to now, six flags?

If you want to become an independent country I guess you could just declare yourself one. After the U.S.Army sweeps through and kills everything in their path we'll find some shitty piece of desert and reserve it for the survivors.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:27 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


These petitions are so dumb and inefficient. All you need is to have D.C. secede and the entire problem would be solved at once.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:30 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Official White House reaction.
posted by nzero at 4:30 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


If secession were to somehow magically shut up all the HAR HAR TEXAS IS A BUNCHA RACIST REDNECKS (EXCEPT FOR AUSTIN BECAUSE SXSW IS WHERE ALL MY FAVORITE BANDS ROCK OUT) THERE'S DEFINITELY NONE OF THOSE TYPES IN MY GLORIOUS STATE types, then secession wouldn't sound so bad. Unfortunately magic isn't real and even if it was people would find a new way to be bigoted buttmunches about a huge state that's undoubtedly more diverse than the place they call home.
posted by item at 4:33 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Other reactions by the same petitioners in their daily round:

AT A RESTAURANT: "You fed me and my entire family for $20.00! I'm NEVER EATING HERE AGAIN!"

AT A PTA MEETING: "You helped educate and socialize my child for less money than a corporate administrative assistant makes! THAT'S IT - MY KID'S STAYING HOME!"

ON ANY MAJOR HIGHWAY: "GODDAMNIT! These roads keep getting us where we want to go all the time! We should just use our own ditches and walk!"
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:56 PM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


I hope I'm not opening a ginormous can of worms here but how on earth is this a thing that Zachary B. in Daphne, AL and 64,000 other random people are in a tizzy about?

Liberal socialists hate comfort!
posted by Drinky Die at 5:03 PM on November 14, 2012


atrazine: "In his vault in a St. Louis cemetery, a dread thing of terrible resolution stirs. "With strange aeons, even death may die," mutters General Sherman as he wakes from his long slumber. Grimacing with a pain only the undead can know, he leaves his crypt and starts South, gaining strength with every touch of his feet upon the hallowed and indivisible soil of The Republic.

He knows what to do.
"

Left without comment.
posted by notsnot at 5:05 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we should pull a Robert Fulghum instead and carpet bomb Texas with crayolas.
Robert Fulghum aside, that would be a pretty okay Sony Bravia ad.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 5:05 PM on November 14, 2012


Or were they just planning on seceding symbolically in an act of rebellion without actually doing any of the hard shit required in making a functional state?

I'm pretty sure their resistance to "the hard shit required in making a functional state" is one of their primary motivations for seceding.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:09 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Remember that one time we totally fought a whole Civil War over this exact same issue?

That was fun.
posted by Sara C. at 5:15 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


These petitions are so dumb and inefficient. All you need is to have D.C. secede and the entire problem would be solved at once.

Right. Because the District of Columbia is totally the problem.
posted by The World Famous at 5:15 PM on November 14, 2012


Clearly, these petitions are just sour grapes attention-getting measures for people who wanted Romney to win. However, looking across the Atlantic right now, the Eurozone seems perpetually on the brink of imploding, actual Nazis are making inroads in Greece, and 1.5 million Calalonians rallied to secede from Spain. Four years into a global "recession" I don't see any reason the kind of economic mayhem that's been happening in Europe couldn't get underway here. Openly declaring intent to dismantle the political system is not a good idea.
posted by eurypteris at 5:34 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just need to point out that Texas, by population, is a nearly 50/50 state with a huge problem with voter turnout from the left and an even worse problem with gerrymandering. I was railing this whole election season down here that if everyone would vote, we'd be a Democratic state (and this will happen in a cycle or two regardless), making it impossible for a Republican as we now know them to win the presidency. then, if thing went well, Republicans would be roughly centrists, and Democrats would be actual leftists.

Anyway, my point is, we're really not a whole state of insane right-wing racists. Our districts are just drawn that way.
posted by cmoj at 5:39 PM on November 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Any petition receiving more than 25,000 signatures will receive an official response from the White House.

"Pff."



That being said: ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease...
posted by Aversion Therapy at 5:43 PM on November 14, 2012


In case we get lucky and Texas goes, do the Indian Reservations stay?
posted by francesca too at 5:48 PM on November 14, 2012


notsnot: While I am a huge fan of Mr Kreider's work, in this case I believe he is over-simplifying things. My favorite relevant quote from Mr. W.T. Sherman, from his famous letter to the city council of Atlanta, Sept, 1864: "...you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war."

Strong words, but, he continues: "...my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any thing. Then I will share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.

Now you must go, and take with you the old and feeble, feed and nurse them, and build for them, in more quiet places, proper habitations to shield them against the weather until the mad passions of men cool down, and allow the Union and peace once more to settle over your old homes at Atlanta."

He may have had his orders and his goals, but he was well aware that the inhumanity of war does end, and that at that moment, our enemies are again our countrymen, and their fates and our are again intertwined. A sentiment many on both sides would do well to remember after this long, factious, and miserable election season.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:11 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


In the words of people chanting at the 2008 Republican National Convention, "BUILD! THE! FENCE! BUILD! THE! FENCE!"

In the words of the signs that they were holding up out of order, "FENCE! THE! BUILD! FENCE! THE! BUILD!"
posted by Flunkie at 6:12 PM on November 14, 2012


Dear Texans, a few things to consider before you decide to secede from the United States…
Since 2003, Texas has routinely received more in Federal funds than it has paid in Federal taxes by an annual estimate of around $60 billion. The state is projected to spend about $80 billion over the next two years in General Revenue funds. These are separate figures, but think of it this way: Texans are profiting $60 billion in Federal funds, next year. That’s about 75% of the state’s budget. Who is going to pay the tab for the shortfall? Texans will actually have *higher* taxes if they secede.

- Do you like your Border Patrol keeping all those pesky, hard-working Mexicans out? Yeah, that’s a Federal agency. Goodbye, border protection.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:13 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


If any state's not getting what it bargained for
How, exactly, isn't Texas getting what it bargained for?
For one thing, slavery's illegal.
posted by Flunkie at 6:18 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If NY and NJ seceded together we could form a totally awesome sovereign nation called New Jerk.
Can the inscription on the great seal of the sovereign nation of New Jerk please say "Same As The Old Jerk?"
What's Latin for "Whatta you lookin' at?"
posted by Flunkie at 6:28 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's not much of a "United" States these days.

One of the problems with the US (and Canada) is a lack of national vision. No great goals, no unifying objectives upon which to build a better society. Just endless bickering pulling us in different, destructive directions.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:44 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can anyone explain, preferably in a non-snarky way if possible, this view? Especially for places like Texas, that were their own independent country beforehand. They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?

They should first have to pay back any unpaid federal assistance since Texas became a state. This would include the $60B a year currently, but should include any other oil/pipeline and other federal subsidies not included in this number, assistance and protection they received from the US during the Mexican-American wars, etc. The citizens would have to follow the usual IRS rules for renouncing US citizenship. This would end up in the trillions of dollars I would think. If there are U.S. citizens in the Texas that do not wish to secede, the Libertarian State of Texas should be required to pay their full relocation expenses, including unemployment insurance. There are certain US centric industries, telecommunications, in Texas that may not wish to secede, so LST should pay for their relocation as well. Maybe Secession wouldn't be such a bad deal for the U.S., if Texas truly is a financial weight on the country. A Texas/NM border might be easier to deal with for one thing. With global warming, I wonder if land in Texas will become less and less useful. I would think the U.S. would require them to sign a treaty/military alliance/free trade agreement of some sort that would prevent them from making military alliances or with U.S. enemies, or owning nuclear weapons, etc. Though, I'm sure there may be strategic reasons why the U.S. would not be willing to part with certain parts of Texas, like along the gulf perhaps. Maybe it would make more sense for just a small section of Texas to secede.
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:45 PM on November 14, 2012


when we gave states the right to determine who is and is not a citizen, the result was millions of people were treated as property.
And if we hadn't the result would have been that millions of people were treated as property. We know what federal laws in the mid-1800s looked like when they were allowed to override state laws: the Fugitive Slave Act.

Now, it's hard to begrudge the abolitionists for wanting to dump states' rights as soon as they had a national majority. As you said: millions of people were treated as property. But don't imagine that a centralist system from the start would have done better. Centralized United States government control in 1800 wouldn't have been forcing emancipation in Georgia, it would have been forbidding emancipation in New York.
posted by roystgnr at 6:48 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did you know Vermont secessionists exist? I just heard of this from the same blogger who wrote the really enjoyable Letter to a future Republican strategist regarding white people.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:48 PM on November 14, 2012


Right. Because the District of Columbia is totally the problem.

Those clowns in Congress did it again. What a bunch of clowns.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:49 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


About the dipshits who trot out the "Well, Texas used to be a republic" thing, read your history. From the very beginning, Stephen Austin's land grab & the whole insane Texas Revolution & our VERY brief stint as a nation were undergone as a ploy for statehood. It was always the objective - they had to carve it off of Mexico first, so that they could apply for statehood, and it took a while.

Texas' run at nationhood - for a little more than nine whole years - was pretty much a disaster. Our president was commonly in a drunken stupor, there was no one to collect taxes hardly when they could agree to levy them, public services like roads and such were nearly nonexistent, and the military, other than a very lucky win at San Jacinto, was an exercise in capitulation, suicide and utter buffoonery. Statehood saved Texas from collapse.

I love me some Texas history, but our stretch as a republic in no way qualifies us for any consideration for same, some 160-odd years later.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:49 PM on November 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


Well actually Texas is one of the states that pays more into the federal coffers than it receives from them. Everything else being equal they'd benefit financially from cutting the rest of us loose.

Nope, source is here. In 2005, $146,932 million paid in federal taxes, $148,683 million received by Texas from the government. New Jersey makes out the worst as far as tax paid / dollars received, while New Mexico makes out the best (almost 2:1 received to paid).
posted by sophist at 6:50 PM on November 14, 2012


It's not much of a "United" States these days

???

As far as I know marriage, drugs and abortion are the only major issues where the states are acting in opposition to the federal government and vice-versa. The dissolution of the union seems a ways off...
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:51 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


With Vermont, it's not so much secessionism as it is the rightful reestablishment of the sovereign Vermont Republic.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:51 PM on November 14, 2012


Can anyone explain, preferably in a non-snarky way if possible, this view?

In 1861, after Lincoln was elected, South Carolina and several other states chose to secede from the Union. This had never been done before, and at first nobody really knew what to do about the secession and subsequent creation of the Confederate States of America.

Then the Battle of Fort Sumter happened (sparked by the very same question that immediately arose in this thread -- what happens to federal property, especially military resources, after a secession?). A civil war followed which lasted until 1865. The Union won said war.

Now we know for 100% suresies that states can't secede, and if they do, it's a treasonous act which will inevitably result in war.

This has been settled so thoroughly that anybody who took fifth grade social studies should be aware of it. It's not really a question, at all.
posted by Sara C. at 6:54 PM on November 14, 2012 [18 favorites]


I sometimes wonder how things would have turned out if the Confederacy had split from the Union. It seems like there has always been a severe ideological split between North and South. In Jared Diamond's book Collapse he talks about the heavy influence of geographic location on culture and society, perhaps splitting things along a latitude boundary makes some sense.
posted by sophist at 7:04 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoops, I made a mistake up there.

South Carolina seceded in late December 1860, not in 1861 as I thought.

I sometimes wonder how things would have turned out if the Confederacy had split from the Union.

You mean, if the Union had let them go? Or if they'd won the war? Right? Because the Confederacy did split from the Union. It just lasted a mere four years.

If you're curious about what ifs about the Confederacy winning the war, you might enjoy a mockumentary called CSA. It's sort of an alternate history through the lens of a Ken Burns esque documentary supposedly made for the BBC. It can be a bit hard to watch (it really doesn't pull any punches), but it's really interesting.
posted by Sara C. at 7:08 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think any state should be able to secede from the country.
I think any county should be able to secede from the state.
I think any city should be able to secede from the county.
I think any person should be able to secede from the city.
And if I line myself right on this table saw I am about to secede from myself.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:08 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


no one ever really explained to me what "libertarianism" had to do with any of this

also maybe people wouldn't hate us civilized persons if we weren't so smug
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:17 PM on November 14, 2012


It's easy to associate libertarianism with this, because the ultimate expression of knee-jerk libertarianism is "Well, I didn't need your government anyhow! I'm gonna set up my OWN government, and it's not gonna do nothin'!"

Which is kind of how this comes off, since it's not something being put out there for serious by a large-scale state government effort.
posted by Archelaus at 7:23 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can anyone explain, preferably in a non-snarky way if possible, this view? Especially for places like Texas, that were their own independent country beforehand. They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?

By your rational, in order for Texas to proceed with secession, they can only leave with exactly what they brought into the Union.

Which isn't possible, because when Texas was annexed, it contained parts of what is currently Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico, so no, it can't that land with it.

There's the small matter of the $10 million dollars that the US governmnent paid to get rid of The Republic of Texas' national debt. If the Republic would care to pay that back, in 2013 dollars, maybe we could talk.

But the reality is that that ain't going to happen. The Federal government has spent money on various infrastructure in every state of the US. No one can seriously pretend that they can just walk away at this point, free and clear. No matter how great or good an individual state is in 2012, none of them did that all by themselves and it's folly to think so.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:27 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Instead of secessionism, maybe we can just give the ol' Articles of Confederation another go.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:34 PM on November 14, 2012


none of them did that all by themselves and it's folly to think so.

"Nope, we built that." - Texans.
posted by alex_skazat at 7:39 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would probably help push patent decisions to sensible courts.
posted by juiceCake at 7:41 PM on November 14, 2012


The Federal government has spent money on various infrastructure in every state of the US. No one can seriously pretend that they can just walk away at this point, free and clear.

Well, but we've also spent money on various infrastructure in other countries that we conquered or quartered troops in. When we left, we gave it back to them - or are in the process of doing so. Somehow, people never get all hot and bothered about leaving Iraq or South Korea the infrastructure we built there. Why is it different when it's one of the States? Certainly pull all federal equipment out, but the nonmobile stuff, it would actually cost more to pull up than to leave.
posted by corb at 7:50 PM on November 14, 2012


Wait, wait, guys, c'mon. This looks ridiculous.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 7:57 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Corb, again, the Civil War happened. Aside from slavery, the central issue was exactly what we're discussing here. The war itself literally started in a squabble over who owned federal infrastructure in states that had seceded.

If this happened again, there would be war. And it would be a lot faster, more virulent, and decisive than the first time, because we wouldn't have months of indecisive waffling about what to do. It would simply be gitmo immediately for anyone who dared try to secede.
posted by Sara C. at 8:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Certainly pull all federal equipment out, but the nonmobile stuff, it would actually cost more to pull up than to leave.

Texas can keep all the muskets and Bowie knives it started out with. The rest goes back to the American taxpayers who footed the bill. Deal?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:06 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


But if Texas secedes, we'll have to start importing our nation's insanity instead of producing it domestically.

How do we start these things, again?
posted by Artw at 8:21 PM on November 14, 2012


Somehow, people never get all hot and bothered about leaving Iraq or South Korea the infrastructure we built there. Why is it different when it's one of the States?

So not only does Texas want to secede, but they want hand-outs?
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:35 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


One way around the whole legal theory problems behind secession would be a Constitutional Convention. It's right there in the Constitution, if 2/3 of all the state legislatures agree to call one, it gets called, and then everything is on the table with a 3/4 state agreement. Here's a serial novelization of the leadup to such an event: 1 2 3 4 5

WARNING: CONTAINS ARCHDRUIDRY
posted by eurypteris at 8:56 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Except, again, the right of states to secede from the Union is pretty much the one issue that would never result in a constitutional convention. Because it's one of maybe three issues we've fought a war over (the other two being slavery and maybe the overall sovereignty of the US vs. being a British colony).

I can see calling a constitutional convention over almost any other issue besides this one. It's just not going to happen. We went down this road before, it ended in four years of bloodshed and decades of social upheaval. The issue is settled.
posted by Sara C. at 9:00 PM on November 14, 2012


I don't see why it couldn't happen. Just not for another 50-100 yrs at least.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:04 PM on November 14, 2012


500, maybe, if over the next few centuries we had an ongoing problem with states trying to secede, the government could no longer just brand the seceders traitors and/or terrorists and throw them in dungeons like gitmo, and there was some kind of constitutional crisis over it that threatened the very being of the country.

But there are issues that are more divisive and less set in stone than this one. I can see the electoral college method of electing presidents imploding easier than I could see the secession issue being that big of a thing in my own lifetime. Just because, well, we already did that one. It's pretty much the one question that is 100% decided, for America.

Keep in mind we haven't even had a constitutional amendment in almost half a century.
posted by Sara C. at 9:17 PM on November 14, 2012


1. We are all slaves.... we might think we're not... but any one of us can be targeted for death by the committee the President holds on Tuesdays (If I recall correctly). We have to pay income taxes if we do leave the country... assuming our application for a passport to leave is accepted.

Once you do leave, good luck getting work papers in your perspective home country.

Countries are just people farms, and we think we're free because we get to switch farms.


2. Real money is backed by, and redeemable on demand, in precious metals. The nice thing about real money is that it survives and holds its value over time, the decades between youth and retirement, for example.

Money that loses more than half its value in a decade isn't very useful when you want to eventually retire, is it?
posted by MikeWarot at 9:22 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mr. Warot: How many current nations actually back their money with real precious metals, as you suggest?

I assure you that the number is a -lot- smaller than you imagine. Fiat money is the -standard- now.

Frankly, your commentary comes off as more than a bit paranoiac. Care to start linking to some sources for your allegations?
posted by Archelaus at 9:29 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is it different when it's one of the States?

Because it's one the States. Foreign countries were never part of the USA.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:36 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


We are all slaves.... we might think we're not... but any one of us can be targeted for death by the committee the President holds on Tuesdays (If I recall correctly). We have to pay income taxes if we do leave the country... assuming our application for a passport to leave is accepted.

Please stop with these comparisons. I agree with you on some issues (drone assassination and imperial foreign policy = bad) but you are not making a good case when you make off base comparisons to slavery when we are discussing a topic that involves real slavery as a necessary part of the discussion.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:45 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Money that loses more than half its value in a decade isn't very useful when you want to eventually retire, is it?

No one is stopping anybody from putting their savings into precious metals.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:51 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a socially liberal, fiscally conservative young and hopelessly naive, Hoosier.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:56 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]




Signed, but they seem to remove all the fun ones.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:09 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


2. Real money is backed by, and redeemable on demand, in precious metals. The nice thing about real money is that it survives and holds its value over time, the decades between youth and retirement, for example.

Money that loses more than half its value in a decade isn't very useful when you want to eventually retire, is it?


The value of gold is no more or less fiat than the value of paper.
posted by kafziel at 10:13 PM on November 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Money that loses more than half its value in a decade isn't very useful when you want to eventually retire, is it?

It is if you have well-diversified investments and you're hoping that your debt is worth a lot less in 30 years than it is today.

We are all slaves.... we might think we're not... but any one of us can be targeted for death by the committee the President holds on Tuesdays (If I recall correctly).

You need to check the definition of "slave." A slave is someone who cannot get out of his recording contract so he has to change his name to a symbol, not someone who can only be assassinated on Tuesdays. Look it up.

We have to pay income taxes if we do leave the country... assuming our application for a passport to leave is accepted.

Not necessarily. Just make sure you earn either less than $80k a year or so much more than that that you can structure your income such that your taxable income will be effectively zero. Mitt Romney does it. So can you!

Once you do leave, good luck getting work papers in your perspective home country.
The word is "prospective." Perspective is what you seem to be lacking.

Countries are just people farms, and we think we're free because we get to switch farms.

For a Hoosier, your grasp of what, exactly, a farm is for seems a bit wanting. Countries are people ranches, not farms.

2. Real money is backed by, and redeemable on demand, in precious metals.

That's great. If you happen to have some of that sort of money, you're welcome to have it exchanged into United States legal tender if you like.

The nice thing about real money is that it survives and holds its value over time, the decades between youth and retirement, for example.

Interestingly enough, the price of precious metals is not static. And how would you know for sure that your "real money" is actually backed by actual precious metals? Are you going to go to Fort Knox and personally count all the gold, and then somehow verify exactly how many dollars exist in the global market? You're going to have to take the government's word for it either way. So really, it doesn't matter.
posted by The World Famous at 10:54 PM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


MikeWarot writes "We have to pay income taxes if we do leave the country... assuming our application for a passport to leave is accepted."

There are several thousand miles of coast land (plus several thousand miles of mostly patrolled land border with Canada) in the US. Anyone who wants out hasn't got to rely on the government giving them a passport. They can hop in a boat and start paddling (or buy a new pair of shoes and start walking).
posted by Mitheral at 11:02 PM on November 14, 2012


I guess I don't understand why one would care that they have to pay income taxes, given that the fiat currency in which they are required to pay it is worthless.
posted by Flunkie at 11:10 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


It takes a truly fucked-up worldview to see Abraham Lincoln (or Barack Obama) as a bigger tyrant than the people who literally fought, killed, and died for the right to own other human beings as property.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:54 PM on November 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


Funny how the calls for secession seem to coming loudest from those who, months before, were quickest to inform us that theirs is the Party of Lincoln.

If Alabama secedes I'm plucking a page from our playbook written during the Unholy War of Northern Aggression and re-forming the Free State of Winston. It'll be cool. We'll have blackjack. And hookers.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:04 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everybody talks about Texas as if it's all red, except for Austin, but take a look at the election votes by county. Sure, Austin is undeniably far more liberal than the rest of the state, but even then, Obama won in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and El Paso. Odds are, if you've ever met a Texan, you've met someone from a Blue city.

Talez: "I think people from Texas would have their brains explode from all of a sudden being told "you're not a US citizen so would you kindly fuck off?" at the Arizona border."

I'm missing something - are you saying the New Mexicans would just let us pass, or that most Texans go to Arizona via Mexico?

MikeWarot: "We are all slaves.... we might think we're not"

Man, if this is slavery, I gotta say the history books got it all wrong. They all said slavery was really bad, but if this is slavery, it seems to be actually pretty nice.
posted by Bugbread at 2:07 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Texas, the Quebec of the USA
posted by datter at 3:14 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Money that loses more than half its value in a decade isn't very useful when you want to eventually retire, is it?

Good thing that never happens with metals.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:02 AM on November 15, 2012


Can anyone explain, preferably in a non-snarky way if possible, this view?

At time T there exist resources that are definitively part of the US economy; at time T+1 all of those resources are in the hands of a foreign power. A unilateral secession is in material terms equivalent to foreign conquest.

In terms of realpolitik, this is something the U.S., such as it is now, would not allow to happen. The US is touchy about defending its economic interests. (← Understatement of the century contest entry.) Laws are mere niceties. I'm not saying there'd be an invasion, but I think Texas might discover it's not a lot of fun to deal with the pointy end of US foreign policy for a change. Texas might not end up all that free, and who knows, maybe less free than it is now.

It's probably not in Texas's best interest to secede in the best of cases, but if there were any doubt of that, it would be easy for the rest of the US to set its policy to make it abundantly clear.

They brought the land and resources to the union they were joining - why wouldn't they be free to take them on their way out?

The Texas of the past (and romantic notions thereof) is not important. The Texas of now is what matters, and it is heavily integrated into the United States.

Maybe a poor, isolated state would have a better case for secession, but their status on joining ~160 years ago wouldn't matter. (But still ... they probably couldn't secede, because it would set a bad precedent that would harm the union in ways beyond the immediate economic/cultural impact. That is, Texas is so important that no one else can secede either.)

Or maybe it could happen if annexation were recent. For example, Puerto Rico could join the union soonish, change its mind in a few years, and expect to have things go back to the way they were before. Texas and the US as a whole are way past that point, though.

In other words, the states of the union are NOT like a bunch of college roommates, living together awhile, sharing only a few things while still ultimately keeping track of what belongs to whom for when they split. They are in a stronger union now; they are fucking married to each other. There's still much that's yours or mine in a soft way, but ultimately it is all "ours" in a sense that has real meaning in divorce court.

So, my take on that view is that the US has a legitimate claim on Texas's resources, and, beyond that, would pursue that claim very aggressively even if it didn't.
posted by fleacircus at 4:03 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Except, again, the right of states to secede from the Union is pretty much the one issue that would never result in a constitutional convention. Because it's one of maybe three issues we've fought a war over (the other two being slavery and maybe the overall sovereignty of the US vs. being a British colony).

Maybe I'm naive enough to think that we are better than that, these days. We've stopped doing a lot of things that we used to do. The people are sick of war, and they're sick even of foreign war, the thing that doesn't harm their own land or homes one bit. I think you would actually not find that much support anywhere for a war over things - a war that could actually touch their own homes. There might be a lot more support for peaceable resolution than might be thought.

check the definition of "slave."

I think a lot of the problem here is that "slave" is one of those words that has become, for some, so emotionally laden that it is forever associated with a particular type of servitude - chattel slavery of African Americans prior to 1865.

But there are actually a lot of different definitions and even types of slavery. Oxford has, in addition to the definition many are more familiar with, "a person who works very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation" and "a person who is excessively dependent upon or controlled by something." By both definitions, it can certainly be argued that there are citizens in America today who are slaves to a variety of interests and the government itself. Someone who must work over 100 days out of the year for the profit of another would certainly seem to match that definition. Someone who is excessively controlled, spied on, and liable to be on a secret kill list, would also seem to match it.
posted by corb at 4:56 AM on November 15, 2012


Be sure to touch on the drones whenever possible. That's the point of the wedge.
posted by fleacircus at 5:22 AM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


corb: "I think a lot of the problem here is that "slave" is one of those words that has become, for some, so emotionally laden that it is forever associated with a particular type of servitude - chattel slavery of African Americans prior to 1865.

But there are actually a lot of different definitions and even types of slavery. Oxford has, in addition to the definition many are more familiar with,
..."

Ah, the dictionary appeal. I'm sorry, but if the words he's using are too fraught (and, indeed- he was using "slave" specifically for its emotional impact), then he needs to use other words. The "appeal to dictionary" to find other meanings of a word is one of the classic conservative canards. Too bad it's a fallacy.
posted by notsnot at 5:24 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


2. Real money is backed by, and redeemable on demand, in precious metals. The nice thing about real money is that it survives and holds its value over time, the decades between youth and retirement, for example.

Money that loses more than half its value in a decade isn't very useful when you want to eventually retire, is it?


The value of gold is no more or less fiat than the value of paper.
There is a difference. Fiat money is money whose value is at the discretion of the government. They either explicitly declare that it is worth something else ("The new Euro is worth one USD, and other currencies will be exchanged for it on that basis."). That is a fiat. Or, like most currencies on the planet, the fiat can be in the form of governmental influence in the value. The government either prints more, or destroys more. That's another kind of fiat.

But gold is not a fiat currency. Its value floats in relation to the other currencies. Nobody can declare that gold is worth less than it used to be, or conjure up more gold to deflate its value. Its value depends on the supply and demand for it. That's the problem with it. As the population and global economy increases, there is less and less of it to go around. That's why gold bugs love it, because it increases in value.

(Or at least is has the illusion of increasing in value, caused in part by people hoarding it. Which makes it a bad currency. An economy doesn't want a currency that grows in value by people NOT spending it.)
posted by gjc at 5:25 AM on November 15, 2012


A lot of people talk about secession being illegal based on an 1800s court decision, but it's not like we don't find errors all the time in Supreme Court decisions and overturn them. Perhaps especially from the 1860s. You know, like most court cases involving a woman before a certain period. Or black people.

Please explain the legal error you see in the decision. Because I don't see one at all.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:28 AM on November 15, 2012


There might be a lot more support for peaceable resolution than might be thought.


America fought a war over secession. The Supreme Court ruled it was illegal. Secession, despite the recent ability to push a few computers on a website form, is not a popular act.

So it's odd that you think there might be a peace resolution.

I think a lot of the problem here is that "slave" is one of those words that has become, for some, so emotionally laden that it is forever associated with a particular type of servitude - chattel slavery of African Americans prior to 1865.

It is not unreasonable for Americans to view slavery through its own history with that particular institution.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Using "slave" as an emotional appeal to describe what he sees as our collective relationship to any government, in a discussion about secession and the Civil War, is disingenuous at best.
posted by rtha at 5:48 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


The apartment was ours to begin with, Texas just decided to subject itself to the condo association. :)

Man, I love the thought experiment of this petition, because it forces me to figure out what I think America is and why it matters. If I was teaching civics I'd be all over this.

So we're born into this world where our conduct is bound by rules strangers wrote down hundreds of years ago and hundreds of miles away. Whoa! And then we're actually bound by two sets of rules -- the ones in our state, which has all the powers not explicitly denied to it, and then the ones in our country, which has only enumerated powers but trumps the state power for anything it enumerates.

To start with, we seem to have decided it's fair to bind people to laws agreed to before they were born. It's too damn inefficient -- and unfair -- to give each new baby only the rights and obligations they can win by hard bargaining. So we're bound by duties we didn't agree to, and in exchange we're granted universal rights we didn't win. Neat!

And then it seems like each of our states decided at some point in the past to buy into the rights and obligations of the USA. What did state governments give up? They gave up the right to decide who can enter the state, who has to exit, and who has to be treated as a citizen. The right to regulate imports and exports or businesses in the stream of interstate commerce. The right to coin money or run a central bank, post office or patent system. The right to declare war, seize land, or conscript an army. The right to reject the laws and judicial proceedings of other states, or to abandon a democratic-republic state government. The right to withdraw from the Union other than by amendment, or to reject a properly-adopted amendment that changes the terms of the deal. And after the 14th Amendment, the right to deny equal protect, due process, free speech, free religion, protection from search and seizure, protection from cruel and unusual punishment, etc., to their citizens.

Some condo association!

What did we get in exchange? What rights were we born into?

We won two levels of protection for civil rights -- we receive the best of the protections provided by the state or federal constitutions. We won the right that, no matter where you are born in America, you will be born into a democracy as an equal participant. We won the right to pursue work anywhere in the United States, to set up a business anywhere, to sell our goods anywhere. We won the right to move anywhere from Texas to Alaska to Florida to California and be welcomed as citizens. We won, each of us, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon and the Rockies and all 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail and what's left of the Florida mangroves. We won a common government and a common culture of Americans -- people who show up when a disaster hits, from hurricanes in Mississippi or Long Island to tornadoes in Oklahoma to earthquakes in California. We won the right to bicker after an election, knowing that if another hurricane hit democratic New Orleans tomorrow, Texas would step up again to handle the crisis, and if a disaster hit Texas y'all would be just as welcome in Massachusetts.

If the deal really did stop working -- if a large majority of Texans or Mainers or Hawaiians decided that they really would be better off as an independent nation -- then I'd support whatever lawful process was available to let them follow that path. But the idea that, today, any of us would be better off by giving up on the American experiment? And especially that this somehow became the case in 2012, or 1932, or 1868, or whenever Big Government Stole Our Freedom? I can't see it for a moment.

Not to be triumphalist -- I'm setting aside indigenous people and foreign nations and how well we could be doing for a moment, and just talking about what kind of bargain Americans get by submitting to the rights and obligations of citizens.
posted by jhc at 6:05 AM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Good thing that never happens with metals.

Wow, silver went from $48 to $4.80 over thirty months. I never knew that.

I can't wait to pull that out just to hear someone say "Duh! That's why it's a *gold* standard!"
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:28 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Funny how the calls for secession seem to coming loudest from those who, months before, were quickest to inform us that theirs is the Party of Lincoln.

"How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes?" -- Samuel Johnson, 1775
posted by kirkaracha at 6:52 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a bit of a suspicion that many Libertarians who use "slavery" as a catch all description of anything they don't like would have no problem with the reintroduction of a actual honest-to-goodness slavery if it was described in sufficiently randian terms.
posted by Artw at 6:55 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


[Folks, don't do the Humpty Dumpty "A word means just what I say it means" thing here and respect that language is culturally determined and try to have conversation with the people in this thread. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:08 AM on November 15, 2012


there are actually a lot of different definitions and even types of slavery. Oxford has, in addition to the definition many are more familiar with, "a person who works very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation"

Hm. I wasn't aware that Mitt Romney's 47% were actually slaves. Or, wait, maybe it's Mitt Romney's 53% that are the slaves because we know how hard they work and they keep telling us how they aren't being properly remunerated or appreciated. That must be it, the 53% ARE SLAVES and the 47% are OL' MASSA.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:11 AM on November 15, 2012


If they secede, I'm gonna have to go with them. I'm half Texan, and I remember the Alamo.
posted by zscore at 7:18 AM on November 15, 2012


jhc: We won the right that, no matter where you are born in America, you will be born into a democracy as an equal participant.

This is central to my objection to secessionism both from a right-wing perspective and the liberal "just go already" perspective. The Texas government doesn't have the authority to say that Jane Martinez who was born in Chicago and now lives in a suburb of San Antonio no longer has the rights, obligations, and privileges of U.S. citizenship. The Texas government doesn't have the authority to say that about her children.

In other words, the rights, obligations, and privileges of citizenship are not vested in state representative governments, they're vested in people who were born in U.S. jurisdiction or naturalized through the immigration process. While Joe Teabagger can burn his passport and social security card in protest and try to move himself off the grid to minimize his contact with the federal government, he can't impose that decision on his neighbor, Jane.

That's just the theoretical objection that secession would be a violation of the 14th Amendment. The political objection is that teabaggers want rights and liberties on terms that are most favorable to them. Even if we agreed that taxes and health care are reasonable areas of disagreement, there are other ideas on the agenda that I think are beyond the pale for a multi-ethnic and multicultural South. (The idea that the First Amendment applies primarily to Christianity comes to mind.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:30 AM on November 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


Maybe I'm naive enough to think that we are better than that, these days. We've stopped doing a lot of things that we used to do. The people are sick of war, and they're sick even of foreign war, the thing that doesn't harm their own land or homes one bit. I think you would actually not find that much support anywhere for a war over things

My point isn't that states can't secede because if they did, there would be war, and war is bad.

My point is that we already fought a war over this, and it was settled, and now the answer is no, states can't secede. It's an act of war, and an act of treason on the part of people who conspire to carry out a secession. It's not just a matter of a court decision, or even the constitution. It's something that's already been tried, failed, and decided upon.
posted by Sara C. at 8:09 AM on November 15, 2012


Here in Texas I know some wacko lefty libertarians who are excited about this idea. I know some wacko conservative libertarians into this idea.

Man won't they be surprised when they actual discuss each others actual visions with each other! The drug using abortion having libertarian small business owners aligned with the interests of big business and the religious right to create--- the seventh layer of hell!

Just get me the fuck out of here and they can knock themselves out.
posted by xarnop at 8:14 AM on November 15, 2012


Also, I find it hilarious that someone who wants to be heavily armed "just in case", also thinks that a state could secede from the Union without violence. Honey, you think violence might break out at any moment in your nice secure suburb full of upper middle class white people.
posted by Sara C. at 8:19 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


If NYC is a suburb, I want to see what your definition of a major city is.
posted by corb at 8:50 AM on November 15, 2012


Major cities can have suburbs in them. I live in the suburbs of a major city. Inside the city limits, even. And yet it's a suburb.

As someone who lives in Texas and Loves America, I'm having a hard time imagining a situation where I DON'T fight for my right to remain a US citizen against the will of some state government stupid enough to try to secede. Why on earth would I peacefully let myself be ripped from either my home or my nationality? Isn't this exactly what the Second Amendment was written to prevent?
posted by muddgirl at 8:58 AM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, no, not really, but the second amendment is an anachronism as much as the third is, and its original intent has been fairly ignored by the ironically described textualists of the SCOTUS.
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


(And I like guns.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 AM on November 15, 2012


(I was being a sarcastic, klang, but I take your point. I think my underlying objection to the idea that all Texans would peaceably agree to either secession or self-deportation still stands).
posted by muddgirl at 9:28 AM on November 15, 2012


Totes. I doubt secession would get even a quarter of the vote if it came up as a referendum.
posted by klangklangston at 9:49 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, I wanted my state to secede when George Bush got reelected. Having an ignorant redneck monkey running the affairs of our nation definitely didn't seem in Massachusetts's best interests, and I'm sure that many would agree with me. However, part of living in a Republic means that when you lose the election, you have to deal with things you don't like, so I shut my mouth and put up with 8 years of bad policies from this piece of Texas trash. (No offense to Texans in general - I know that you can be very lovely people, and George Bush is not representative of Texas as a whole.) But after we put up with 8 years of Bush, there's no way in hell that Texas gets to walk away from 8 years of Obama. No way in hell. They had fun being on top, now they have to deal with what it's like to be on the receiving end.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 9:51 AM on November 15, 2012


The thing is, I wanted my state to secede when George Bush got reelected.

OK, but did you actually want your state to actually secede, for realsies, along with all the foreseeable consequences of secession, including fighting a war for it, having all U.S. military operations and contractors pulled out of the state, being rightfully treated as an enemy of the United States on par with Iran, Syria, or North Korea, along with all attendant international economic and other sanctions, etc? Of course you didn't.

You didn't actually want to secede for reasises. You just wanted to not have the Bush administration be in charge of the United States. I mean come on. "We want to secede" is, for all but a tiny group of genuine bona fide idiot psychopaths, just a hyperbolic way of saying "I don't like the current President."
posted by The World Famous at 9:58 AM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Note that a majority of Texans oppose secession. But it does get people riled up and outta the house, so I guess talk of does some good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:59 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Unilateral secession is obviously not going to work. The Civil War and ensuing cases in law made that pretty clear.

For a peaceful secession to work, the first step would have to be a constitutional amendment to even allow a state to secede and this amendment would almost certainly have to spell out some kind of process. That process would probably require a referendum both within the state that wanted to leave and in the rest of the US. If the refrendums should successfully lead to the state legally seceding, some processes would have to be put in place to deal with the transition/removal of US assets, deal with issues of citizenship, put in place appropriate treaties ahead of time, and deal with th establishment and transition of governance. Probably something modeled on the Velvet Divorce.

So you're looking at a very complicated and lengthy process that would require a lot of determination on both sides for a long period of time. The barriers are (rightfully) extremely high, and the outcome extremely unlikely to result in any state leaving.

So all this talk about secession just seems like the stupidest kind of grandstanding.
posted by delicious-luncheon at 10:03 AM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I went to a talk on locally-made sake last night and the brewer, who was hilarious, built his entire powerpoint around secession jokes. So, you know, at least we'll still have booze.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2012


I'm half Texan, and I remember the Alamo.

Specifically, I remember Alamo Rent A Car outside of San Antonio International. I had flown in from Houston (well, really, Humble) on business, and it being that I'm a bit older, and still not quite trusting of any GPS, I asked the woman behind the counter, Jane Martinez, for directions. It turned out that she had just moved to the area from Chicago, and we got to talking about how she felt about the state. She said she wasn't sold on the urban sprawl, or the cookie-cutter suburban development in which she was living, so I tried to explain to her that the heart and soul of Texas lies in its wide-open spaces, the desert plains that extend from horizon to horizon, where you cannot hear the buzz of an electric line, or any other anthropocentric sound. She looked at the keys to a Jeep Liberty that she had just handed me, and asked me to take her there.

And that's the story of how I met your mother, and why we raised you in the Marfa Prada. Goodnight.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:48 AM on November 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


All of those assumptions are completely irrelevant to the argument that Texas and the US governments could somehow decide to separate peacefully, or that they could do so without facing strenuous opposition from residents of Texas. It doesn't matter how "sick of war" I am - telling me that I either have to move away from my home or give up my citizenship is a provocation to action.
posted by muddgirl at 11:35 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Packing a gun in a city is dumb. Major cities are right to make it difficult to get guns. Anyone who thinks otherwise has probably never had a shooting go down on their block wherein innocent bystanders were killed.

Derail over.

More to the point, Civil War happened, no state is going to be seceding anytime soon, and US citizens are not going to arise en masse and call for a constitutional convention to completely rewrite the whole government in order to make secession possible.

No politician who likes having a job (even if it's just a membership to their state bar association) will ever put their money where their mouth is regarding secession.

If for some reason some private citizens got it into their heads that they needed to force the issue, they would be rounded up as either terrorists or traitors, depending on exactly how they planned to force said issue, and inevitably spend the rest of their lives in a federal prison. And not the nice kind with Bernie Madoff and his ilk.
posted by Sara C. at 11:51 AM on November 15, 2012


[ gun derail deleted, please try and stick to the subject of the thread, not each other and not wild tangents ]
posted by mathowie at 11:57 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Four weeks later, when the economy of Texas has utterly collapsed, allow them to return, but split the state into three parts, except the part around Austin, and merge those parts with NM, OK and LA. The part around Austin becomes TX.

This is theoretically possible, because Texas is secretly Voltron.
posted by zarq at 12:49 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's somehow fitting that #1 is moderating this thread. The green shall not secede from the blue.
posted by ersatz at 12:58 PM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Holy crap they already have made and distributed bumper stickers in South Carolina. That's some impressive groundwork there.
posted by This Guy at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


telling me that I either have to move away from my home or give up my citizenship is a provocation to action.

None of our libertarians have mentioned it, but the only truly libertarian way to, at least, try to secede, would be to offer to buy said state from both the feds and the state's citizenry opposed to secession. To try to buy out the state's contract, so to speak. Of course, in practice, that's unlikely to work, either, because, in fact, secession just ain't gonna happen. But I note that that avenue of exit has not even been raised yet by the "peaceable secessionists."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:53 PM on November 15, 2012


If they secede, I'm gonna have to go with them. I'm half Texan, and I remember the Alamo.

I'm not sure I follow the logic there. "Hey! Remember that time my ancestors both predictably and futilely got their asses handed to them? I want me some of that!"

Some cultural touchstones elude me. The Texans have The Alamo, the Jews have Masada, the Scots have 600-1707 AD inclusive.... I dunno. My distant ancestors also got their asses handed to them on occasion; It's not something we really dwell on.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:00 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


telling me that I either have to move away from my home or give up my citizenship is a provocation to action.

I suppose it is possible that unionists could be allowed dual citizenship or some sort of permanent visa and Texas green card.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:38 PM on November 15, 2012


I suppose it is possible that unionists could be allowed dual citizenship or some sort of permanent visa and Texas green card.

Right, because the Republic of Texastan is totally going to hand out green cards to Union sympathizers.

But let's keep humoring these self-proclaimed secessionists and pretending that their "threat" is even a tiny bit sincere. If we push them far enough, I bet we can get them to burn American flags in the streets of Dallas and then we can point out that they're the same jackasses who wanted to have a flag-burning amendment.
posted by The World Famous at 3:00 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap they already have made and distributed bumper stickers in South Carolina.

"South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum." -- James Petigru
posted by kirkaracha at 3:16 PM on November 15, 2012


'Remember the Alamo' is the battle cry for the Battle of San Jacinto where Texans won and the result of that was the formation of the Republic of Texas and after that we became the 28th state of these United States. That's why it's a cultural touchstone.

Most Texans do not support this. We recognize it is the language of a small wackadoo group who are on the internet with a bunch of wackos in YOUR states. They're the ones that signed this stupid petition. I saw a list of states that filed a similar petition including NY, California, Colorado, FL, NH, Oregon, RI VA and Wisconsin among them. So bless all y'all's hearts. We don't have the mandate on post election nutters. They just unfortunately wish they were here.
posted by dog food sugar at 3:16 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just silently making the list of folks letting their secede flag fly. When, if past performance is any indication of future results, they regain their love of country and trot out the "love it or leave it" argument when I make arguments for substantive change, I'll be racking up the burns at a prodigious rate.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:20 PM on November 15, 2012


I'm just going to leave this here.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:28 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Come on people, just 3,411 signatures needed to get the White House to discuss deportation — booting the yahoos out of the country, just like they want!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:31 PM on November 15, 2012


If you'd like to have something to worry about, consider a situation where two competing sides both claim to be the legitimate United States of America. Compare Rome versus Avignon during the Middle Ages: "I'm the real pope!" "No, I'm the real pope!"

A constitutional crisis, a disputed election, some trumped-up scandal in the executive branch could trigger it. Neither side would claim to be seceding, both sides would claim to be legitimate. For appearances sake, they might even compete for meeting spaces in Washington DC, since the optics of leaving the seat of government might make it seem like their side would be leaving the Union. There might even be competing border state governments sending separate delegations to opposing Congresses.

If the election last week had been closer in Ohio, there's a plausible alternate history that would have this series of events starting to happen right now.
posted by gimonca at 3:44 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum

Best dozen words ever written about South Carolina. If I'm ever Governor I'm ditching Dum spiro spero and making it the state motto stat.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:19 PM on November 15, 2012


The World Famous: "If we push them far enough, I bet we can get them to burn American flags in the streets of Dallas and then we can point out that they're the same jackasses who wanted to have a flag-burning amendment."

Kinda unlikely. Dallas is a blue city, with more votes for Obama than Romney. Maybe Lubbock or Amarillo?

dog food sugar: "'Remember the Alamo' is the battle cry for the Battle of San Jacinto where Texans won and the result of that was the formation of the Republic of Texas and after that we became the 28th state of these United States. That's why it's a cultural touchstone."

That whole "Remember the Alamo" thing is kinda confusing. At the time, it was used to mean "remember our ignominious defeat, and use your anger to spur us to victory this time". Now, it's used to mean "Remember 'Remember the Alamo'", or, in other words, "Remember the time we emerged victorious by remembering the time we were defeated".
posted by Bugbread at 4:57 PM on November 15, 2012


'Remember the Alamo' is the battle cry for the Battle of San Jacinto where Texans

Huh, I never knew that. One of life's minor mysteries explained.

Now, it's used to mean "Remember 'Remember the Alamo'", or, in other words, "Remember the time we emerged victorious by remembering the time we were defeated".

It is definitely very meta.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:04 PM on November 15, 2012




Tell Me No Lies writes "Wow, silver went from $48 to $4.80 over thirty months. I never knew that.

I can't wait to pull that out just to hear someone say "Duh! That's why it's a *gold* standard!"
"

Gold took a similar cliff dive in 1980. In inflation adjusted numbers it went from from ~2400 down to ~600 in two years. It's one of the things that contributed to the decline of the Apartheid government in South Africa as their economy benefited greatly from the run up in gold price and was hurt bad when the price collapsed. Interestingly it is also starting to approach it's historical high in inflation adjusted numbers. I'd love to see a big ol' retraction just to shut the gold standard guys up.
posted by Mitheral at 7:39 PM on November 15, 2012




Part of the thing with "Remember the Alamo" is that while Texas most definitely lost, they didn't exactly "get their asses handed to them". I don't recall the exact numbers, but the Mexicans lost more soldiers by an overwhelming margin (like two or three times what Texas did). Also, I believe that the battle eventually allowed Texas to emerge victorious either because of the number of men the Mexicans lost or because of how their forces were positioned after the battle or something like that, though I could be wrong.
posted by bookman117 at 5:59 PM on November 16, 2012


Secession, Imaginary And Real
The petitions have no legal force and are semi-anonymous. Nevertheless, Erick Erickson of RedState thought it worth the effort to read them out of the conservative movement. Texas governor Rick Perry apparently concurs.

These developments are little more than linkbait for liberal bloggers. No state is going to secede. And I doubt that many of the petitioners are serious about wanting to do so.

In Spain, by contrast, a real debate about secession is now in progress. An informative post by Joshua Tucker on The Monkey Cage observes that public opinion in Catalonia has grown increasingly favorable to secession in recent years, culminating in a pro-secession demonstration by over 1.5 million people this past September 11 (Catalonia’s national holiday). It’s not clear that all the participants really want to secede: many may favor a deal that would afford Catalonia more political and economic sovereignty. But the failure of negotiations for a so-called “fiscal pact” has encouraged nationalist sentiments.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:36 AM on November 17, 2012




While satire is still possible, I've started a new petition:

Peacefully grant the State of Canada to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:31 AM on November 18, 2012




Alaska. Howland Reed and the Crannogmen of Canada will bleed the invaders dry before they even reach the Eastern border. If any of them do make it past The Neck, well, Winter Is Coming.
posted by ersatz at 4:23 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


With Stickers, a Petition and Even a Middle Name, Secession Fever Hits Texas

Can't wait for these Texan yahoos to be thrown in prison for sedition. Solitary confinement would be about right, so that they can "secede" from the prison population.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:32 AM on November 24, 2012


God damn it. There is no serious movement to secede. This is the website of the thing most resembling a secessionist frontrunner.

The secession "movement" is the same group of "the south will rise again" fucks that have always existed plus a bunch of "Texas should get out" trolls signing internet petitions. Not to mention major news outlets treating this as legitimate news, fueling the single-match fire and feeding off of what inter-state contempt already exists.

You wanna see an actual secession movement? Keep spreading the shit of an extreme minority of morons. This is how the Tea Party got legs.
posted by cmoj at 9:21 AM on November 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I beg to differ. The only reason the Tea Party got legs was the active support of Fox News.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:07 AM on November 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


OK I'll give you that, but coverage is coverage even if no outlets (at this point that I'm aware of) actively support secession.
posted by cmoj at 11:03 AM on November 24, 2012


10 Steps to a Breakaway State: A Secessionist’s Guide

1. Make the Economic Argument
2. Sell reasonably-priced copies of your new flag
3. Don't rattle sabers.
4. Focus on thigns outside politics, like sports.
5. Don't petition
6. Don't vote
7. Get the world behind you
8. Be prepared to get a new job
9.Avoid violence
10. Stay with the group
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:50 AM on December 1, 2012


I just want to point out (with reference to Metalk) that White Power group Stormfront (who I may or may not be able to link to, but you are probably better off avoiding) are completely behind this push in every state.

I will copy from one forum:
Count as of 21:40 EST 12-12-12
Michigan 9,077
Michigan #2 44
Pennsylvania 129
Pennsylvania #2 125
Pennsylvania #3 3,852
Ohio 149
Ohio #2 42
Oklahoma 145
Oklahoma #2 46
Oklahoma #3 6,366
Minnesota 98

They even admit there are duplicates. That's a groundswell right there.
posted by Mezentian at 4:06 AM on December 5, 2012


CGP Gray explains.
posted by royalsong at 1:58 PM on December 5, 2012


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