Burch: State of the Disunion

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

“If we can’t do better than getting a communist sitting in the White House, let’s secede,” says Ron Harwell, treasurer of the Roane County tea party. “Let’s get the hell out of Dodge. Let’s find out what other options this country has.”

More than 22,000 Tennesseans seem to agree with Harwell, as they have signed a petition asking the Obama administration to “peacefully grant” Tennessee the right to withdraw from the Union and form its own government.

Similar petitions from 39 other states have appeared on the White House website since President Obama recently won a second term. A Texas petition has already received more than 80,000 signatures.

Brandon Puttbrese, a spokesman for the Tennessee Democratic Party, called the talk about secession “radical nonsense” that is symptomatic of the tea party’s “extremism and intolerance.”

There was once a minor fracas called the Civil War over the question of secession, with more than a million casualties, after which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled definitively in 1869 that states cannot secede from the Union. But on the unlikely chance that the temper tantrums of the lunatic fringe will result in new acts of secession, I have created a David Letterman-style list of the Top 10 repercussions of Tennessee becoming an independent nation, with the “inerrant” and “infallible” Bible as the immutable law of the land.

(10) Everyone will be forced to worship Yahweh/Jehovah, per the First Commandment. As in the days of theocratic rule in Europe, “heretics” who deny orthodox beliefs about the Judeo-Christian God will be tortured, then burned at the stake.

(9) As under the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, images of Buddha and figures from other religions will be forbidden, per the Second Commandment.

(8) Using the name of God in vain will be a crime, per the Third Commandment. Exclamations of “Jumpin’ Jehovah” and “Jesus Christ!” will be punished by public floggings, as in Geneva under the autocratic rule of John Calvin.

(7) Work and play on Sunday will be illegal, per the Fourth Commandment. Church attendance will be compulsory, as when the Puritans ruled Massachusetts.

(6) Slavery will be reinstituted. As Jefferson Davis once pointed out to Congress before the southern states seceded the first time, the Bible sanctions slavery and mentions it throughout.

(5) It will be a crime to suggest that evolution has occurred, that global warming is real, or that the earth is not flat and the center of the universe.

(4) Assault weapons will be allowed in bars, parks, schools and daycare centers.

(3) All forms of abortion and contraception will be banned, since God alone has the right to decide when babies will be conceived. Of course no one will be allowed to question God’s will when babies die of natural causes.

(2) Women who have sex outside traditional marriage will be stoned to death, per the Commandments of Moses. (Men who commit adultery will not be charged, on the assumption that they were enticed by women.)

(1) Reading the handwriting on the wall, women will secede from Tennessee.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

133 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 3:05


You're a good writer. You should learn to be a good reader other than just editing yourself for print.

Being such a great admirer of Barry Soetoro aka Barack Obama, unless you're a fellow communist, you should read his autobiography. Or actually, maybe you shouldn't. It might tell you who, and what, he is.

An edit by an expert strongly suggested it was written for him by Bill Ayres (you know, a well known communist who as a neighbor of Barry's) because he had already gotten paid for it and hadn't even gotten started on it by the agreed time frame.

There is also other writings on Barry to teach you who, and what, he is. Try it, you might not like it.

By: BenDover on 11/16/12 at 4:55

A handful of people upset that Obama lied himself into another 4 years in the Whitehouse is all Burch needs to whip up another ridiculous straw man. If not for straw men and boogie men what would Mr. Burch have to rail about?

By: Captain Nemo on 11/16/12 at 5:11

Ben you are getting closer to being the fifth troll. lol

Now to the story. The petitions are a real sign of a terrorist moment in this country and needs to be dealt with. The E are not at the gates of Rome, they are in Rome.

By: Captain Nemo on 11/16/12 at 5:19

It there was an whole hearted moment for this treason there would be more names that signed. Instead we get sore losers whining.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 5:20

This is nothing more than a cry for help by the productive class.

They are too busy living a productive life to do any more than sign a petition.

There will be riots,insurrection and maybe and maybe not the breakup of the United States.

I am wishing nothing sinister but no democracy in the history of mankind has survived when there have bee more have nots than haves. The United States has an additional problem other than finamcial disparity. The cultural differences among among its citizens will play a key role in bringing this mongrel nation to its knees.

I very seldom fly Southwest Airlines because they do have a first class section. When I do have to fly Southwest I am appalled at the seething morass of humanity that surrounds me.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 5:21

Do Not have first class.

By: Captain Nemo on 11/16/12 at 5:28

I would think that a man of Rasputin importance would have his own jet at his command. This tell us that he is not the class he wants us to think.


By: Captain Nemo on 11/16/12 at 5:29

Yes Raspy old boy we know you do not have class.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 5:31

Nemo, this term is "over your head" but it is not "cost effective"

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 6:18

This is nothing more than a cry for help by the productive class.

They are too busy living a productive life to do any more than sign a petition.

That makes no sense. this is a cry for help from the productive class but they are too busy to sign a petition...then it's not their cry for help, genius.

And, for the record, we have a name for people who would so easily break up our nation because they're a sore loser...traitor. If the government really had the time and inclination, I'd love to see every one of those who signed the petition tried for sedition.

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 6:20

s/h/b to do more than

It's early...more coffee.

By: govskeptic on 11/16/12 at 6:25

What a "Lot to do about nothing" should have been the title of this Friday
chit chat piece. The top ten list presented should and probably has been
submitted to the Letterman Show. It has a familiar ring to it that sounds
like something a group of Feminist would have put together over cocktails.

While facing a multitude of serious problems within this country, there are
those that have the time to think about such foolishness as "Secession",
but offer nothing toward solutions or reconciliations that needs to happen
and implemented right away. As stated by MF Global Chairman Corzine:
"I don't know what happened to that missing 1.6 Billion of Investors money".

By: Kosh III on 11/16/12 at 6:28

Let these cry-babies move to a single-party and/or theocracy: Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Vietnam.......

By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 7:00

Gdiafante.....Go in and ask the boss for a raise. You are too bright to be so angry about your lack of success. You can do it! Just change your attitude and quit being angry with the people who you think do not deserve their success.

Competition, Competition and Competition is what this world is about. I have seen your ability just change your attitude or your career path. Life can be good to you if you play by the rules that are before you. Trying to change the rules in another man's game never works.

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 7:17

Raspy, the way you transition the subject from your own faulty logic to some sort of perceived superiority is an artform. Much in the same way that Andres Serrano created his most famous piece of "art".

And, really, your diatribes regarding class warfare are quicky resembing animal cruelty. The horse is dead, let it rest in peace.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 7:26

Gdiafante....Obviously you are going to continue your personal war with yourself. I see so much potential that will never be rewarded because of your anger towards the establishment.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 7:31

Gdiafante.....Why do you think the crucifix in a bottle of piss became so famous?

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 7:34

Again, deflection. For someone (supposedly) so productive, you have a serious deficiency in personal responsibility. Most successful people are not in denial. Then again, your credibility has been in question for some time, so I'll attribute your current conduct to, and I believe this is the correct technical term, being full of sh!t.

Now, if we can overcome your cute diversion and get back to the subject at hand...

Ben isn't completely wrong, but this shouldn't be overlooked either. We all know there is discontent in the country, and that we're pretty much divided right down the middle. The problem I see is that if this gains momentum, it could be irrevocable at some point.

Remember, SC threatened secession during Jackson's time...it never really went away...the seed was sewn and it had a solid root system by the mid 1800's. We need to deal with this, and these people.

By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 7:44

Kosh III,

Unless we have someone in Congress who starts the program to bring Barry before them to identify himself, we are on the one party road right now. It's called communism. Barry Soetoro will become the USA's dictator.

And yes, I hope I'm wrong, but the incident in Benghazi was worse than the Watergate affair which persuaded Richard Nixon to retire. Under Barry, four people died and it means nothing to him. Too much was kept quite until after the votes were counted.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 7:45

Gdiafante......I can respect your potential. I cannot in good conscience respect your attitude.

As far as secession, I do not give the subject any credibility at this time. Far,Far too soon for any serious discussion about this subject.

I am more interested in "personal responsibility" and being full of shit. Everybody is full of shit depending on the perspective of the person doing the introspection, In your case have chosen me to be full of shit and I have chosen to view you as unrealized potential.

By: Loner on 11/16/12 at 7:48

Good morning, Nashville.

Another fine missive from the pen of Nashville's own Mike Burch....well done, Mike.

The only major item missing from the list is a ban on homosexuality and the incarceration or stoning of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trannies.

The states who would secede from our union of states might want to make a military and economic alliance with the Jewish state in Palestine...that way they could still receive money from the US Treasury, without paying a dime into it....and still enjoy the protection of the US armed forces, without having to provide troops and support....and actually increase their clout in the US Congress, using Israel lobby bribes, instead of paying taxes, to secure near unanimous representation.

Since these secessionist Americans share so many core values with the apartheid state of Israel, it would be a marriage made in Hebrew Heaven.

Of course, the non-Jews in the states that secede, but join a confederation lead by Israel, will have to be ethnically cleansed...or rounded up and put into camps, Palestine style.

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 7:53

Now you're just starting to creep me out and, honestly, you're becoming a parrot. I don't need a pet bird, I have a puppy at home.

By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 7:53


You and your buddy posters are so quick to call someone who isn't one of your "buddies" a person of the negative side whom you don't even know. And to y'all, that's you sign of intelligence.

You don't even have a small amount of personal knowledge of a person but you feel you know them like a next door neighbor.

Grow up and wise up young man. Do you want your children to follow the path you're setting for them?

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 7:53


By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 7:58

LONER........This is an observation that should be sent over to Captain Nemo for a draft of a "Constituition:

Nothing wrong with a little cleansing or for that matter a nice gated community for the gays and the trannies as well as members of the Baptist Church.. This would be diversity at its highest order.

I would prefer a secessionist state that only requires one to be personally responsible for their own welfare. If unable to perform that function for any reason other than health and accident a little "soylent green" might be considered.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/16/12 at 8:01

Gdiafante....I have no desire to creep you out and will disconnect our discourse..

By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 8:05


You're just that, a loner in the fashion you're right to condemn Israel for your personal reasons, but I'm wrong to condemn a proven usurper in our Oval Office.

By: Loner on 11/16/12 at 8:31

No matter what the topic of the day may be, we can always count on Yogi working his "usurper" schtick into the discussion...and the Rasp always manages to schlepp his class envy schtick into the conversation....it's as predictable as the sunrise and sunset....it gives this posting community a sort of equilibrium....they are two datum points....a pair of constants.

I just had an inspirational thought. (cough...cough)

This posting community might be a good model for a regular cartoon feature....the panels would consist of a bunch of diverse folks at their respective keyboards..pounding out text.....all sorts of topical issues could be dealt with in a cartoon series like that....regular and guest characters could appear....hmmmm....the comic strip would need a catchy title.....maybe "OMG"....or "LMAO"...or "WTF".....or maybe just "Online".

Any feedback on the "inspiration"?

By: Loner on 11/16/12 at 8:35

Rasp, I read that Soylent Green is quite tasty, if one spreads a bit of Grey Poupon on the wafer....can you comment on that?

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 8:36

Once and for all...pay attention, troll...

The 14th Amendment defines citizenship this way: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." The Constitution provides the framework for the law, but it is the law that fills in the gaps.

Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in the gaps left by the Constitution. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:"

-Anyone born inside the United States *
-Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
-Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
-Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
-Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
-Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
-Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
-A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.

* There is an exception in the law — the person must be "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. This would exempt the child of a diplomat, for example, from this provision.

Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President.

Source: http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_citi.html

Now, I know where you're going...Minor v Happerset...but that was overuled by later decisions, more specifically, U.S. v Ark, 1898. The Congressional Research Service investigated and issued their report in 2011 which summarized:

The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.” Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.

This is supported by the USSC who refused to hear any case challenging Obama's legal status.


I, and everyone else, considers this issue closed, once and for all.


By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 9:02

And you seem to always find it necessary to condemn Israel, Loner. Does the title of your condemnation make it more special? Are you all that different in your particular condemnation?

To throw a little argument of mine: Did you hear "Barack Obama" in an interview on 11/21/07 when he said, "The day I'm inaugurated the Muslin world will look at America differently"?

What do you think he meant by that comment?

By: Mike Burch on 11/16/12 at 9:02


By your own definition, you and most Republicans are the PROBLEM, because you don't produce enough to have the time to do other things. Mitt Romney can afford car elevators and legions of servants and helpers, which gives him the time to run for president. So he is productive, even if most of what he "produces" is stolen from other people, however "legally." But most Republicans are just inefficient worker bees and drones, because they are barely getting by.

When they can no loner work, in a nation without safety nets, they will have to go to the glue factory, as will their loved ones.

A better alternative is to change the system to be more equitable, which is what the Democrats are trying to do.

By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 9:06

Another little point, Loner. You made a facetious comment about me "changing the subject". I have seen many "subjects" without one comment about the subject NCP "threw on the table". I've also seem many subject with very few comments that wound up with pages of remarks... about another topic.

But I guess that's different, huh?

By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 9:08

Well, Loner, I believe you could be the lead comic on that board. You're making comical comments all the time.

By: bfra on 11/16/12 at 9:11

Raspy & yogi could spend their time better trying to figue out what happened to their brains!

By: Loner on 11/16/12 at 9:22

I can envision a Union of Judeo-Christian Republics...the UJCR....lead by the Chosen People in the Jewish state, of course.....but bankrolled by the citizens of the Christian states that seceded from the Former United States of America...the FUSA..

The Union of Judeo-Christian Republics would be the perfect union for waging the Great Theocratic Wars of the 21st Century.

Fantasy? Perhaps. But all it would take is for one nuke detonating in the nation's capital to send Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and a bunch of other states running for the exits.

Yeah, there are lots of nukes out there and lots of folks, here and abroad, who would like to see the union of American states dissolved...it's just a matter of time....I hope & pray that I am wrong .

By: BenDover on 11/16/12 at 9:23

Should this guy be hanged for sedition as well?


By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 9:29

No, gdiafante, this subject hasn't ended. I don't believe your definition of 'natural born citizen' is correct.

From your definition, a female illegal alien can come to the USA, have a baby, illegally live here with [him] until he reaches the age of 14, take him back to her home nation where he lives for 25 years until be becomes 35 years old, and he's then eligible to become president of the USA..., even though he can't speak English.

Is that what our founders meant when they put that "natural born citizen" requirement into our Constitution? Sorry, I don't believe they were that ignorant to give us the Constitution they gave us.

There can only be one breed of citizens to reach that 'natural born citizen' status; both parents must be citizens of the nation they are born in. Not a child born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father. And surely one born to a teenage mother in Kenya with a British subject father because in 1961 she could not pass her American citizenship down to him. He could only be born as a British subject.

Could that be the reason he refuses to identify himself after advertising for 16 years he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii until he was "born" in Hawaii in 2007 when he "entered the race"?

By: yogiman on 11/16/12 at 9:34


If you can "take" money from someone legally, how can it be criminally? If so, why hasn't he ever been prosecuted?

By: Mike Burch on 11/16/12 at 9:36

Yogi might be the world's greatest comedian ... if only he had more than one joke.

Raspy is funny too, as Mitt and Anne Romney would look down their snooty noses at him, for not being able to afford car elevators and Olympic dressage horses.

By: Moonglow1 on 11/16/12 at 9:36

Moonglow1: Bottom line-the lunatic fringe do not want a black man in the White House. But I say, let the idiot states secede. These southern states suck up more federal funds since the blue states do. Of course I would move immediately however I doubt we could sell our homes.

Romney and the nut balls just do not believe the public did not vote against their interests this time. They cannot believe the tons of PAC money had no effect on the election outcome. The "job creators" or more accurately "the buffoons" invested poorly and got a zero percent return of their "investment. " With CEOs like that at the helm it is no wonder the USA cannot compete in the global economy. We have idiots at the helm. Labor needs to kick these high priced overpaid cretin CEOs out and run companies themselves. Put a union boss in charge.

If states cannot secede, the cretins are trying as a back up tactic to impeach our President.

Hypocrites, cretins, idiots!!

By: Mike Burch on 11/16/12 at 9:40

Half the houses in the South will probably go under anyway ... due to global warming and floods. In the new US, houses at higher elevations in Northern states will go up in value ... houses at lower elevations in Southern states will lose most or all of their value. One more epic flood in Nashville will change property values radically.

For this, we can thank all those Republicans who believe the Bible and thus don't believe in evolution, global warming (since God causes floods, not nature), contraception, a woman's right to choose, etc.

Ironically, the Bible will be the death of many believers. The rest of us need to think about moving to higher, safer ground. My house is on a hill, but half my neighbors were underwater during the Great Nashville Flood. I hate to think of their houses being worthless, but the GOP is trying to make that happen with its obstructionism.

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 9:40

Yogi, your reading comprehension skills are absolutely non-existent. That's not my definition, that's the legal definition. Can't you read?

By: Loner on 11/16/12 at 9:41

No USA = no federal government on the backs of small business, the engine that drives the economy, right? But that's just the beginning of the savings.

No USA = no US national debt

No USA = no federal regulations

No USA = no federal taxes

No USA = No Social Security safety net

No USA = no Medicare, no Medicaid

No USA = no federal paychecks or pension checks

No USA = no US armed forces

No USA = no NASA

No USA = no US Postal Service

No USA = no FEMA

No USA = no US Weather Service

No USA = no US Public Health Service

No USA = no FBI, no CIA no Homeland Security


No USA = worthless US currency

and most importantly, no USA = no NFL, no MBA, no NBA, no NHL

I'm sure that my list is far from complete.....those folks who sign the secession petition ought to be careful of what they wish for....they just might get it.

By: Moonglow1 on 11/16/12 at 9:42

Moonglow1: The mantra from the Tea is Benghazi Benghazi-impeach is the goal. Instead of jobs, these teas are more concerned with succession and impeachment. These pluotcrats just will not fade away. We need to remove their Cayman tax breaks and put em in jail for tax evasion. When you consider Romney, one can make a case that he is an enemy of the USA (outsource jobs to China, shield money in the Caymans, tax evasion, contempt for the US population).

By: gdiafante on 11/16/12 at 9:46

Again, I cited the Constitution, U.S. Code, case law and the findings of the Congressional Research Service.

If you have any legitimate evidence (the sources I cite discuss your past arguments, specifically the Minor case and deem it without merit due to case law precedent set after Minor, so that road is closed), present it or shut up.

And yes, that's the end of the subject.

By: Moonglow1 on 11/16/12 at 9:47

Moonglow1: Mike so true! Ah yes, climate change (blasphemy). NYC, tornado's, etc-not happening. Pray hard. That is the answer. These teas live in a virtual world.

By: dargent7 on 11/16/12 at 9:48

Notice all these states who want to succeed are in the South.
Remember the "100 year flood" two years ago?
Tennesseans had their hands out wanting FEMA aid.
Bank failures? The FDIC insured people's money.
Medicare/Medicaid...Social Security...
Anything to get rid of the likes of Rick Perry and Halley Barbour.
Go ahead a**holes, who needs 'ya?

By: Loner on 11/16/12 at 9:48

You tried, Gd....but it's hopeless...ergo the troll dropping avoidance mechanisms, the (click), the (flush) etc. Or one can use the new Silent Sentry that automatically screens out the troll droppings without the parentheticals.

By: Moonglow1 on 11/16/12 at 9:51

Moonglow1: Note to Romney

I am tired of my tax dollars being used for corporate welfare. Too many giveaways - stuff for the billionaires.

Romney needs to move to Mexico where his polygamous family lives.