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The Secession Chronicles

First it was the Upstate Republicans making their noises. Now the grunts are being heard from Long Island, as you might expect. There are three New Yorks, after all. (Or perhaps 19 million New Yorks…?) The MTA bailout has proven to be gasoline on this flickering little flame.

Article IV of the Constitution requires any state separation to be approved by the state’s legislature and Congress. [Daniel Losquadro (R-Shoreham)] said the matter is serious enough to attempt to bypass Albany lawmakers. “By its definition, an act of secession is a revolt and it doesn’t necessary adhere to all the laws,” he said.

Yes, I always wonder at people who say “But that’s not legal!” Of course it’s not legal, but laws are only as good as they are efficiently enforced. The breakup of the Soviet Union wasn’t legal either!

(For those keeping score, here’s the previously posted item about a proposed referendum on Upstate-Downstate separation.)

{ 7 } Comments

  1. robinia | May 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Got the right book on this right here on my shelf: The Six Nations of NY. Quotes Sadakanahtie, 1694: “We assure you we will never separate from you, we still have one Head, one Blood, one Soul and one Heart with you.” He then explains the weak link, a rope of bark fibers, built only on a trade alliance…. an iron chain symbolizing a mutually interdependent trade, also an image of linked arms… the pine tree of peace that is symbolic of the legal order…. and wampum, used to convey the seriousness of the business at hand and/or to commemorate a solemn pledge.

    Nobody I know of has gotten it so right ever since.

  2. Ellen | May 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Just curious… is that the book about the 1892 census (of the same title)? I have that book.

    It seems so simple to at least rhetorically unite everyone in the state, but why won’t anyone do it?

  3. Josh S | May 13, 2009 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I’d be interested in where to find a copy of that book!

    And I’d be happy to see three true New York’s.

  4. robinia | May 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Yup– it is the 1892 United States Extra Census Bulletin– that’s the subtitle, and that part I quoted is in the introduction, which was written by Robert W. Venables. Part of a series: Documents in American Social History, edited by one of our local luminaries down here, Nick Salvatore, and published by Cornell University Press, 1995. Gots lots o’ really cool pictures and maps, and, of course, stats and demographics.

  5. Ellen | May 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    The 1892 book is the one where the U.S. Census report author concludes that the Six Nations might just have a legal claim to their homelands. Just what you might expect a minutiae-minded researcher to blurt out, heedless of the implications.

    Josh, I noticed that there is a used copy of this book at Amazon for $2.99:

    http://www.amazon.com/Six-Nations-New-York-Documents/dp/0801483174/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242249805&sr=8-4

    (surprised it was also published in paperback)

  6. robinia | May 13, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Yup– mine’s a paperback copy, but the photo of gilded-age Haudenosaunee notables in full Victorian dress, around an ornate Victorian table piled with wampum belts symbolizing the seriousness of the business at hand is just as moving as I imagine it is in hard copy.

    We have so much to learn from these peoples, who, IMHO, formed “a more perfect union” than any other democratic experiment has yet to achieve.

  7. Josh S | May 14, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Awesome, thanks Ellen. I will definitely take a look. I definitely would love to see that photo.