Monday, September 30, 2013

Coming apart

Secession is once again in the air, just in time for the government shutdown. As governance on the national level becomes ever more dysfunctional, parasitic and ineffective, I suspect these movements will continue to gain in popularity. The fact that the Colorado one was encouraged by a natural disaster is interesting for a couple of reasons - one, because these kinds of disasters will surely become more common and pronounced in the future due to a changing climate, and two, a changing climate has been associated with the fall of empires and breakup of countries for thousands of years.

Are we finally looking at the beginning breakup of the United States and the transition to medieval America?
Colorado’s worst flooding in half a century killed eight people, destroyed thousands of homes and wiped out hundreds of miles of roads, yet it hasn’t damped enthusiasm in 11 counties to secede from the state.

Three counties with measures on the Nov. 5 ballot, asking voters if they favor forming a 51st state, sustained millions of dollars in flood damage. Secession leaders say they’re quickly rebuilding roads so farmers can get their crops to market and repairing water and sewer systems, without outside help.

“Our local officials have seen very little, if any, direct state or federal aid,” said Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway. “We’ve assisted more than 800 families and 2,500 people. Of the 140 roads closed, we’re down to 27. If anything, this disaster has shown we have the ability to be our own state.”

Anger in rural parts of Colorado, Maryland and California over gun control, tax proposals, renewable energy mandates and other issues have residents pushing ballot measures and petition drives to secede. While unlikely to gain the required approval of state legislatures, the movements illustrate how people in some remote areas are reacting against legislative agendas advanced by urban lawmakers.

They also reflect redistricting efforts that followed a shift in population over the past four decades from small towns to metropolitan centers. Secessionists say city dwellers enjoy greater representation in state legislatures than farmers and miners in less populated areas. They emphasize that their movement is nonpartisan.
Colorado Secessionists Push for Independence After Flood (Bloomberg)
Along Interstate 5 near Yreka, a Northern California town of about 8,000 people, the roof of an old hay barn informs drivers in bold, black letters they have entered the "State of Jefferson."

For over 70 years, a group of citizens in Northern California and Southern Oregon have pushed to unite their rural counties and secede from their respective states, creating a new state following the small-government ideals allegedly professed by Thomas Jefferson.

On Tuesday, a second California county joined the growing movement. Modoc County supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of secession, following in the footsteps of neighboring Siskiyou County that made a similar decision earlier this month.

Modoc County Board Chairwoman Geri Byrne told Al Jazeera that public sentiment was strongly in favor of passing the resolution. In a packed public meeting of about 40 people, Byrne said only two people spoke against secession.

Her constituents, Byrne said, are "frustrated," because rural counties have "no voice in the state of California."

Supporters of secession say that urban California holds sway in the halls of Sacramento, where both legislative houses are elected proportionally. Since California's 33 rural counties make up only 9 percent of the total population, rural residents simply are not represented, Byrne said.

"People in LA have no clue what we face," Byrne said. "We don't tell people in Los Angeles how to manage crime, so why should they tell us how to farm potatoes?"
Second county votes to secede from California (Al Jazeera America). I for one, am hoping for a free and independent Republic of Fredonia. I just like the name. Read about more efforts on Wikipedia. Via that site: White House receives secession pleas from all 50 states (Los Angeles Times)

2 comments:

  1. I'm for a breakup. We are too big, too diverse. We already have the concept of states, which is divisive, so why not let them go? Aside from the toll in human suffering and death, the general anarchy as everything shakes out and all that, it might not be a bad idea. Of course, i'd want to get out of the South before it happened.

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  2. Modoc County or M.O.D.O.C. (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Complaining) County?

    Sorry, I just can't resist sometimes when I see the opportunity for a pun like that.

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