{california} cal exit

October 18, 2017

California is on its third ballot initiatives to secede from the United States of America.

  • 1st – Fizzled, when one of the petition drive’s leader decided to make Russia his home, rather than California. We are not making this up. This can only happen in CA, and you wonder why people don’t take this seriously.
  • 2nd – Governor to negotiate with federal government to give CA more autonomy – a “nation within a nation.”
  • 3rd – Constitutional Convention – to propose amendments to U.S. Constitution, including creating a way for state (particularly California) to secede.

Make no mistake, if the petition comes around to me, I will sign it. How many times do you get the opportunity to be involved in the birth of a new nation? This exercise would be a bit more intriguing, if the petition has any chance, greater than absolute zero, of succeeding.

U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states don’t have the right to secede. A state can only secede through revolution or if other states let it.

  • Revolution usually comes only through armed conflict. I would hope even those ardent secessionists don’t want that, and where would the California’s army come from? Try ask nicely?  A Texas petition did asked the Obama administration, after Obama’s re-election, to allow it to secede. To which, the Obama administration replied – Ha Ha, nice try, NO.
  • Other states allow it – chance = 0
    • 2/3 of the Senate and House of Representatives have to agree. Then,
    • 3/4 of the state legislatures, meaning 38 states, would have to agree to the secession.

Constitutional Convention could provide a way. 2/3 of the Senate and House, or 2/3 of the State Legislatures would have to propose one. However, Constitutional Convention is a pandora’s box. Once opened, you can change anything in the Consitution, including eliminating the Bill of Rights, if enough states agree. Probably, a box you would prefer not to ever open.

I really like reading autobiographies so when I came across Decision Points by George W. Bush, I decided to give it a whirl. I ended up really enjoying reading it because it was at up a bit differently than other presidential autobiographies. In his book, W doesn’t go through his entire life or even his entire presidency. In fact, he focuses on a number of important big issues/events/decisions he made leading up to and during his presidency. He focused on one big decision per chapter. Interestingly, my favorite chapter was the first one during which he talked about essentially going to being an alcoholic (though perhaps not completely addicted) to quitting completely. I never knew! And I had that type of “wow, I had no idea!” moments throughout the entire book. It made me realize how human presidents are.

Usually I try to post about books here, but it’s been a busy couple of weeks so I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t been reading that many books aside from the view that I’ve been sharing with my students in class.

There is an alternative news website that I’ve been trying to read regularly though and I thought I’d share that with you: The Intercept. The Intercept was founded generally to as a place for people to find more in-depth information since news organizations today seem to not only report just the top layer of deep stories, but also feed into the crazy. According to them, “The Intercept is dedicated to producing fearless, adversarial journalism. We believe journalism should bring transparency and accountability to powerful governmental and corporate institutions, and our journalists have the editorial freedom and legal support to pursue this mission.” It’s going back to the concept that journalists are supposed to be whistle-blowers to keep the government in check! And, of course, if you have heard of Glenn Greenwald, you’ll know that he’s quite the respected newsman and this is one of his projects.

What’s with Donald Trump’s long ties?

Some may call the long tie – quaint (OK, maybe just New Englanders). But, this one during the inauguration, seems to have jumped beyond even the quaint zone.

If you like your tie long, you would think a tie clip should help. But, no, Donald has a much more economical way – how about some scotch tape!




Apparently, Trump is continuing to use the scotch tape. Here (left below), he is walking with grandchildren across the White House lawn. And, no, he is not just limited to taping the tie down. How about taping them together.

If he can only issue and Executive Order banning windy days.

Interestingly, Trump did not always wear his tie long. As late as 2005, Trump is shown with tie at somewhat normal length.

Trump 1984                               2005 with Apprentice (4th season) winner Randal Pinkett