Politics and Culture in the Comic Zone

Daniel Rigney

Daniel Rigney
New Texas, USA
August 01
free-range writer
In this writing workshop and citizen's blog I'm exploring various short forms, often from a satiric angle. My interests include politics, culture and the human comedy; old and new media; social theory and urban life; the commercialization, corporatization and tabloidization of everything; sustainability; Unitarianism (UU); coffee; and writing (sorry, I mean providing content). Turtle stamp is from Tandy Leather. Interested in republishing a piece? Contact drigney3@gmail.com.


Daniel Rigney's Links

NOVEMBER 15, 2012 11:12PM

How To Petition Against Secession

Rate: 3 Flag

By Daniel Rigney

You’ve probably heard about the “We the People” White House website (https://petitions.whitehouse.gov) to which secessionists from Texas and elsewhere have been going to register their objection to being citizens of the United States. 

I’ll wager that some of these same petitioners also fly American flags in their front yards, and don't see the irony.

The Texas secessionist petition reads as follows:

Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.

The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.

Created: Nov 09, 2012

Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Economy, Government Reform

Learn about Petition Thresholds

Signatures needed by December 09, 2012 to reach goal of 25,000


Total signatures on this petition


This is only the best-known of the secession petitions. What you may not know is that there are hundreds of other petitions on the same White House website. Many are state-by-state petitions similar to the Texas model above. Most, however, deal with issues unrelated to secession, such as the legalization of marijuana or (no kidding) the right of military service members to place their hands in their pockets.

You may also be unaware that you can visit “We the People” and sign counter-petitions in opposition to the secessionist ones. Some of these alternative petitions are worded cleverly to undercut and undermine the latter. Think of them as a kind of political Aikido. And think about signing one or more of them yourself.

In the past day I've e-signed a “We the People” petition that reads:

Peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state of Texas & remain part of the United States.

7,325  Signatures

The idea is that if Texas secedes from the Union, Austin will secede from Texas. Get it?

Another states:

Disregard attempts to withdraw the state of Texas from the union. United we stand, divided we fall.

801  Signatures


A rich assortment of progressive citizens’ initiatives await your signatures, including:

Peacefully grant the City of Atlanta leave to withdraw from the State of Georgia and remain part of the United States.

1,217  Signatures

(Note: Similar petitions are cropping up in other cities, such as El Paso, as urban responses to the delusional fantasy of secession. Apparently you don’t have to be located in a state or city to sign a petition on its behalf. I signed the Atlanta proposition from Houston.)

Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.

40,387  Signatures

Reform our Electoral College.

12,124  Signatures

Federally legalize gay marriage.

4,131  Signatures

Force all states to pay their portion of the national debt before they can secede from the union

5,625  Signatures

You may also wish to consider:

Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.

9,728 Signatures


Have the President attend a Fark.com party. If scheduling does not permit, at least have a beer with Drew Curtis.

974  Signatures

I have no idea who Drew Curtis is, though I did discover, through this free advertisement, that Fark is a site that features amusing news stories.


If you don’t like the petition options currently available at “We the People,” you have the option to create your own. Be a creative citizen! It's what the founders would have wanted.

To sign a citizen’s petition (or several), or to run a new one up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes, go now to https://petitions.whitehouse.gov, create an account (a task I found a little confusing initially), and  return to the website’s frontpage to search for petitions you’d like to support.

I don’t see any mention of restrictions on how many of these we’re allowed to John Hancock. I’ve signed about ten already, and I’m just getting warmed up. My goal is to sign my favorite hundred by Christmas.

I did not sign a humorous petition circulating a few days ago urging President Obama to “do the hokey pokey,” an apparent arrow of wit aimed at secessionist efforts to dominate the petitioning website.

Alas, the hokey petition has been taken down. It seems there’s no place for lightness on an official website.

What is this? Russia?  











Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Sucession...from OS? Oh, Texas! I'll be following it & just so you know; I've got an extra Room here just in case you need it! ha ha R
Texas intakes more federal dollars, when contracts are added in, than any other state in the union. If there is a United State, and all other states have seceded, it will be Texas.

Vermont is actually the state which is farthest along in the secession process (all states have a prescribed process for this in their state constitutions, and I'll have to check but I don't think any of them involve a meaningless petition on the interwebz.)

I like some of the other ones, though. I don't know what good they'll do (I got on the "please don't include me in your kill list" one, but something tells me that if a sniper wants my ass, that signature ain't gonna matter much.)

peace out.
Thanks for the offer, Marilyn, but I think we're going to ride this one out for now. Craziness rises and falls down here like the floodwaters after a hurricane (in this instance, the reelection storm). You should be safe there in Blue Pacifica.

Malcolm, thanks and all points well taken. I have no illusion that the online petitions are anything more than symbolic politics, but as a culture watcher I find them intriguing as "trending topics" in our political culture. They may tell us something about ourselves as a nation -- and not necessarily good things. I do think, though, that the humorous responses on the White House website are a good sign of national sanity.
Oh this was a funny post. Are we going to see you over on Our Salon?
Thanks, Zanelle! Haven't decided yet about OurS. I do notice,though, that it runs a lot faster than OS, when OS runs at all.