How to secede without really trying
The wonderful website We the People, which allows Americans from all walks of life and mental capacities to file petitions that may or may not receive an official presidential response, is back in the news.
Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions requesting that states be allowed to secede - or in some cases “succeed” - from the Union following President Obama’s win, thereby avoiding the coming fiery apocalypse they are waiting/secretly hoping for.
Petitions have been filed for all 50 states, though in Texas, some residents of Austin filed a counter petition asking the city be allowed to remain part of the U.S. should their state strike out on its own under the benevolent dictatorship of Gov. Rick Perry.
As of this writing, the Obama administration, taking the swift and decisive action it is known for, has ignored the petitions, even those with the 25,000 signatures needed to trigger a response, and focused instead on scheduling the president’s holiday pickup basketball games on that court near the fiscal cliff.
Last November, I penned a column (full disclosure: I did not use a pen), about the We the People petition site and the presidential response to a petition “formally acknowledging an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.”
In other words, the real scoop on UFOs and probings.
Alas, the response from the White House Office of Science and Technology was this: the government has no evidence of life outside our planet, be it friendly, candy-loving ETs or hostile, tentacle-laden probe monsters.
While secession petitions are filling up We the People quicker than a U.S. general can be debriefed, there are other issues the nearly 150 individual petitioners want the president to consider, including premium cigars, internet porn, offending prophets of major religions and the alleged poor treatment of radio sportscaster Scott “The Torg” Torgerson.
More than 33,000 people have signed a petition to “not allow the FDA to regulate premium cigars.”
The petition wants Obama to “stand up for small businesses that dot Main Street America & recognize that premium cigars are enjoyed by adults, are not addictive and therefore do not conform to the Congressional intent of the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act.”
What about enjoying a premium cigar while perusing some of the more risqué realms of the internet?
No, say the 3,919 people who signed the “regulate internet pornography” petition, which aims to make credit cards mandatory and advertising illegal for all those web sites no one will admit visiting.
“Regulating the distribution of internet pornography is crucial,” reads the petition.
How crucial? Almost as crucial as a ban on “offending prophets of major religions.”
More than 37,000 people want to “enact a law that prohibits any action or literature that offend prophets of major religions: Moses, Jesus, Mohammad.”
The petition does not suggest a punishment for such a crime, but stoning would most likely be near the top of the list.
And why should we give up one of our most cherished rights - free speech - something that so many have fought and died to preserve?
Because “acts like this contradict the essence of coexistence and peace among humans,” according to the petition.
As does, according to nearly 25,000 people, the firing of Scott “The Torg” Torgerson from 97.1 The Fan, ESPN’s Columbus affiliate, for “tweeting something about Desmond Howard, a former Michigan football player and current ESPN Game Day Analyst.”
Desmond Howard, by the way, is not on the list of major prophets.
The Torg “is a great radio sportscaster who speaks the truth,” the petition assures the president, while “Desmond Howard does stink up ESPN.”
The ball is in your court, Mr. President (they’re playing a 2-3 zone, so try to score in transition). America demands answers on secession, cigars, porn, dissing major prophets and The Torg.
The fiscal cliff can wait.
Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, NC and a humor columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.