Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Two tiers of citizenship.

A citizen of another country who wishes to become a citizen of the United States has to, among other things, take this oath.
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
Essentially, the Oath says that the new citizen be exclusively faithful to the United States and actively support the United States when required to do so.  People who are citizens of the United States by virtue of their birth do not have to take this oath.  In fact, they do not have to take any oath at all. 

I guess since they have not promised to not be traitors, we should not be surprised when nearly 100,000 people sign a petition stating they do not want to be faithful to the United States and requesting that Texas be allowed to secede from the Union.  In what I am sure is not a coincidence, this petition was created three days after President Obama was re-elected.   

What are the reasons that Texas should secede?  According to the petition, it is that the US "continues to suffer from economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending."  I am not sure that serious economists agree that government spending is what caused our current financial difficulties.

Secondly, the petition tells us that the "citizens of the US suffer from abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc."  I believe that the NDAA is the National Defense Authorization Act. According to Business Insider, the problem with the NDAA allows for indefinite detentions of individuals associated with al-Qaeda, or engaged in hostilities against the United States.  Although a section of the Act says that this does not apply to citizens of the United States, others claim that it does.  Ironically, if Texas does secede, it is undisputed that the NDAA could be used to detain citizens of the nation of Texas that engage in terrorist acts against the United States.  I assume the mention of the TSA  refers to use of scanners and pat downs by the Transportation Security Administration.  The ACLU also does not like the TSA using those procedures.  Although I do not believe that the ACLU has advocated for secession because of the TSA.  I have no idea what would be included in the "etc."  Probably Obamacare.

The petition goes on to point out that Texas maintains a balanced budget.  This would be impressive were it not for the fact that every state in the country has to balance its budget.  Also, as this report notes, Texas balanced its most recent budget through the use of several accounting tricks. 

Despite the reasons given for secession, it is not entirely clear how many of the 100,000 signers want to secede with Texas and how many just think the country would be better off without Texas.

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