A plan is circulating under the radar in the Utah State Senate to share the holiday honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., shot to death in 1968, with one of the country's most famous gun makers.
The plan is to rename the holiday, which falls on the third Monday of January, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr./John M. Browning Day, adding the gun manufacturer whose birthday also falls in January.
Is this going to be the start of a trend? Will the banks get a day off in October for Columbus/Remington Day? Will Presidents Day celebrate Washington and Lincoln and Smith and Wesson? Or do only black guys have to share their birthday commemorations with gun manufacturers?
That's it, Utah -- your statehood is officially downgraded to probationary status, with full statehood only being restored once this stupid-ass piece of legislation is voted down and consigned to the Smithsonian Institution's American Museum of Bad Idea History along with the Bay of Pigs invasion, New Coke, and the BCS on Fox. And if this thing does somehow get passed, you're being knocked back to a territory again. A territory! In case you haven't guessed, this week's +5 is Five U.S. States That Should Have Their Statehood Rescinded:
Seriously, I'm having trouble figuring out what purpose this state serves other than being a Mormon barrier of puritanical morality standing between us and Vegas. Rescind Utah's statehood, annex them into Nevada (which they kind of almost were to begin with), and we'll have that problem out of the way, plus we will have reduced the amount of whining about mid-major conferences not getting automatic bids to the BCS by about two-thirds. On that note, I had a dream last night that I was on the sidelines at a Utah football game, and I was yelling about the Utah players chop-blocking everybody, and their coach came all the way over to my side of the field to read me the riot act about it. Screw you, Utah, for invading my subconscious.
I can concede that the Lone Star State has its good points -- Austin, cheap airfares on Southwest Airlines, the cheerleading squads of its professional sports franchises -- but good lord, people, get over yourselves already. You fight one war of independence from Mexico, and all of a sudden you think you're hot shit, all "biggest state in the lower 48" and "you know, our constitution gives us the right to secede and form our own nation" and blah blah blah. Yeah, you think just because you managed to wriggle your way out of the crushing grip of a global superpower like Mexico, you're all ready to become an independent nation? Call me when you win the fight to secede from China or Pakistan or something. It's long past time we night to knock Texas down a peg or two by splitting it right down the middle and turning it into the third- and fourth-biggest states in the continental U.S. (Oh, and even now, Texas would be only the seventh-biggest province in Canada. I didn't want to have to whip that out, Texas, but you kind of drove me to do it.)
My favorite beach, Edisto Island, is located in South Carolina about halfway between Charleston and Hilton Head, so this smarts a bit. But jeez, South Carolina, y'all have really been bringing the crazy lately. You had the Confederate-Flag-flying-over-the-state-capitol controversy, the Miss Teen USA embarrassment, the governor telling everyone he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was really jetting down to Argentina to nail his mistress, and, of course, everything associated with Bob Jones University -- and now you've got a state legislator proposing to ban U.S. currency and only allow the use of silver and/or gold coins. Yup, when you walk into a bar to buy your little airplane bottles of liquor, you'll only be able to use doubloons or pieces of eight, evidently. I did leave my heart in Edisto, so I can't bear to kick y'all out of the United States completely, but you haven't in any way proven the maturity level necessary to be a separate Carolina, much less an independent, self-governing U.S. state. I think we need to put y'all in time-out by absorbing you back into North Carolina -- which, to be fair, is not exactly a bulwark of sanity itself -- until such time as you can prove you're sane enough to govern yourselves.
I remain highly skeptical that anyone actually lives in Delaware; really, it's just a big tax haven for the credit-card companies that somehow ended up with its own license plates. I think we've only been allowing them to live this charade because they were the first state to ratify the Constitution, but so what? Would you give unlimited, uncensored commenting abilities to the worthless, drooling jagbags who leave "FIRST!!!111!!11!!" comments on your blog? Yank statehood away from them, annex the state into Maryland where it belongs, and make MBNA pay its fair frickin' share already.
Yes, the 49th state has untold natural beauty and some of the largest oil and natural-gas reserves in the Western Hemisphere. It's also got fewer than 700,000 residents -- fewer than the number who live in the Birmingham metropolitan area, yet with a far greater proportion of them who are, quite frankly, completely insane -- knocking around in more than 1.7 million square kilometers of real estate. Just for comparison's sake, that makes it more sparsely populated than any independent nation on earth and all but two of its dependent territories; even the disputed territory of Western Sahara is several times more crowded than Alaska. Plus the state is one of the biggest leeches of tax revenue in the entire country, sucking up a buck eighty-four in federal spending for every dollar they contribute in taxes. (And these are the people who complain the loudest about how much money the government wastes.) I think we can exploit Alaska's wealth of natural resources just fine without granting them the full privileges of statehood. You got a problem with it, go bitch to your next-door neighbors in the Yukon.
By my count, this plan puts us at 47 states, so I say we go ahead and give statehood to D.C., Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, just so we don't have to change the flag. Problem solved. No, no, you don't have to thank me.
And now the Ten:
1. Röyksopp, "Tristesse Globale"
2. Dimitri from Paris, "Sacre Francais"
3. The Fugees, "The Score"
4. Orbital, "Halcyon + On + On" (live)
5. Eric B. and Rakim, "Casualties of War"
6. George Michael, "Waiting For That Day"
7. Air, "All I Need"
8. Perez Prado, "Mambo #8"
9. Happy Mondays, "The Boys Are Back in Town"
10. Yello, "Oh Yeah"
Your Random Tens and recommendations for states that need to have their statehood yanked, either temporarily or permanently, are welcome in the comments.