Succeed, Don’t Secede


A lot of people were bringing up, over the few weeks following the 2012 US Presidential Election, that “multiple states” have petitioned to secede from the US.

This is not actually true. People in a couple dozen states have started petitions at Whitehouse.gov to allow their states to secede from the United States. And by “people,” I mean a few thousand in any given state. In some cases, as many as twenty-thousand. So, as many people as could be found in a mid-sized or large university. The states themselves are not asking to secede. The vast majority of the populations of each state are at least reasonably sane and, therefore, do not want to secede.

You can start any kind of petition that you like on Whitehouse.gov. I can petition the US government to start funding a program to genetically engineer real Pokemon. They won’t do it, no matter how many signatures I gather (pretty sure that I can get more than twenty-thousand, by the way). How many petitions to end mountaintop-removal or to encourage the US government to terrify Uganda into not being evil have I signed? The US sure did not intervene in Sudan, and we have yet to crush Syrian President Assad and his government beneath our heel. If petitions were some sort of magical formula, a lot of good things and a lot of horribly stupid things would happen. They do not actually mean anything—petitions are a vehicle to show that a number of people stand behind a certain idea. On occasion, they are just a vehicle that people use to whine.

Honestly, I had to endure eight years of the Bush Administration. I know what it is like to, as I assume that most of those who have signed these petitions, absolutely despise your President. George W. Bush has been so far and will hopefully always be the worst US President in my lifetime. But no matter what I may think of Bush or what anyone else may think of Obama, neither of them are the worst President in US history. That honor belongs to Andrew Jackson, and we all know it. Andrew Jackson makes Sarah Palin seem like an intellectual, Ron Paul seem like a proponent of Big Government, Hernán Cortés seem like a friend to the pre-European inhabitants of the Americas, and Yosemite Sam seem like a responsible gun-owner.

Worst. President. Ever.

So when I say that I would not actually want for my state (which, ugh, is one of those in which some residents signed one of those stupid petitions for secession), or for any other, to secede. Not even if the nightmarish future depicted in one episode of Supernatural came true and President Sarah Palin became a reality (that’s a horrible future in which the Christian devil, Lucifer, has years to roam free and devastate the planet, by the way). We’re stronger together. I hope that Puerto Rico, where support is growing to become our fifty-first state, becomes fully integrated in the United States. Honestly, I would love for us to absorb Canada and, a decade or so after the War On Drugs and this senseless prohibition ends, absorb Mexico (where the cartels will lose much of their strength since the War On Drugs will have stopped feeding them). I look forward to when the entire planet—when the entire human species—is one nation.

Ideally, one that I rule. But I will accept a less perfect version, so long as we are all united and justice prevails.

Secession is a coward’s answer to a political disagreement. If you think that something is wrong, fix it. Don’t leave.



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Female Cyclists Expose Idiots Online – And The Results Are Hilarious

Cycling, here in the UK, can be a bit of a contentious issue. Whilst more and more of us are being encouraged to walk or cycle to work, those who refuse to ditch the car for a ‘greener’ way of traveling seem to have a bit of a problem with those on two wheels.

The problem is seemingly at its greatest in London, where traffic flow is massive and congestion is a recurrent problem. Those in a car, finding themselves stuck behind a cyclist and unable to overtake can often get, well, a little angry. Though our politicians are often seen out on their bikes, trying to set a good example (Boris, anyone?), it would seem the cyclist is a bit of a target for pedestrians and motorists alike.

Dawn Foster, a UK blogger and female cyclist has had, it would seem, her fair share of aggressive behavior from other road users whilst she’s been out on her bike. In a recent article in the UK’s Guardian, Dawn revealed that she’s had her top pulled down when stopped at traffic lights and, when struggling up a hill, been asked if she puts in as much effort in the bedroom. Hideous behavior from the perpetrators, but Dawn has found a great way of dealing with this type of conduct – naming and shaming the culprits on her blog, 101 Wankers.

Dawn describes the blog as ‘a catalogue of the insults and comments I get shouted at me whilst riding my bike, placed on a map to create a London Wankermap.’ I love this so much – succinct, precise – and funny.

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