The blog site "Rest-of-Texas-sucks. Com," an Austin based site, sneeringly refers to the remainder of Texas outside Austin as "A land of big oil, big business, big cars, big men with big mouths, big guns, big bigoted morons, and big-haired women who love stupid men."
Perhaps that's an exaggeration but Texas is big in many areas: it is the #1 state in lots of ways: Texans have the lowest percent of their population (25 and older) with a high school diploma coming in at 50th in the nation. That's being #1 in the great big Lone Star state!
Texas leads America in the percentage of children who are uninsured (1st) which is in keeping with the percentage of the total population without basic healthcare insurance (also at the top of the nation's list). #1, again! Not to be forgotten is that Texas executes more people yearly than any other state,#1! Texas is #1 in another area: it leads the nation in carbon dioxide emissions, toxic chemicals released into the water, cancer-causing carcinogens released into the air, and hazardous waste production.
Arguably Texas is #1 in assaults on women's reproductive rights. Since July 2013, about half of the state's 42 abortion clinics have closed do to restrictive laws in a hugely populated state. No one knows how many back alley abortions the laws have caused.
The state is brimming with guns. People are allowed to carry concealed weapons into mental hospitals - that's what the concealed carry law permits. A concealed "campus carry" law means it is fine to bring a Glock into a public university's dorm room - but not a waffle-maker! For several years it's been permissible to open carry assault weapons into places like Starbucks. Too, a law has been passed recently allowing another open carry -- of alcohol at Texas gun shows!
Turning to Austin, symbolic of the city is its favorite bumper sticker, " "Keep Austin Weird." It really isn't the hippie haven, reefer smoking capitol of the world its critics claim, but it is quite different from the rest of the state. Its liberal politicians make even Portland Oregon seem conservative.
One lover of the city writes, "If you took the best qualities of Palo Alto and Berkeley and put them together you'd have Austin, business friendly, innovative, successful, but laid back and without the high prices of the bay area. It's a place where hippies and techies happily live and play side by side."
It is understandable why Austin has gathered signatures from over 70% of voters in a local referendum to ask city government to secede from Texas and join California, the most progressive state in the union.
At first blush, the idea to secede seems ridiculous. The U.S. Constitution, Art. IV, sec. 3 clearly forbids the creating a new state in the territory of an existing one without the latter's consent, and the consent of Congress. But the provision does not govern the transfer of territory from one state to another, which seems to be constitutional. Too, There is no requirement that states be continuous, as Michigan's northern peninsula demonstrates.
Governor Jerry Brown of California said he would put a proposition on the ballot to see if its citizens wanted to annex Austin to California. Brown favors such a move. At a press conference yesterday he pointed out that the economy of Austin has been rated #1 in economic growth in American cities that it has been called the "Capitol Of live Music," a sign that it is culturally advanced, and has one of the best universities in the U.S. "And Just last year, over 25,000 people moved to Austin, bringing its total population to just below a million. Austin would be a great addition to our state," said California's liberal Governor.
"If a million people in Austin want to dissociate themselves from the rest of Texas, which has the most disgusting collection of Neanderthals in America, they should be welcomed by Californians," said Jerry Brown.