Texas Secession? The Woes of Texanistan.

Texas

So Brexit has all the Texit folks mumbling and groaning again. Sigh…

Okay secessionists. See, here’s the thing. Let’s pretend that you actually seceded from the UNITED States of America (you know, UNITED, as in a whole country, which means secession is the most un-American thing you can actually do). What would happen?

If Texas succeeded in seceding, it would collapse and become a third-world country within a year or two. A few years after failing Texans would be begging to become part of the UNITED States again.

Why would Texas fail?

1. EVERY single United States Armed Forces base in Texas would be shut down. Not only destroying local economies, but killing off hundreds of thousands of jobs associated with those economies (and civilians working on the bases). Say goodbye to Fort Hood, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Sheppard Air Force Base, NAS Corpus Christi, NAS Kingsville, Laughlin Air Force Base, Lackland Air Force Base, Martindale Army Air Field, Camp Bullis, US Marine Corps Reserve Centers, Recruiting centers for all armed forces, Brooks City Air Force Base, Dyess Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Camp Bowie, Camp Mabry, Camp Stanley, Camp Swift, Fort Bliss, Fort Sam Houston, Red River Army Depot, JRB Fort Worth, NS Ingleside. All those communities hit hard with vacated houses, massive loss of tax revenue, etc.

2. NASA would be gone. Say goodbye to the Johnson Space Center and all the businesses and jobs that support it. Say goodbye to all the engineers and scientists who will move to a new NASA location (either one already existing or a new one that will be built). Thousands of jobs gone, hundreds of homes vacated, significant loss of tax revenue.

3. The Coast Guard and all Homeland Security assets would be gone. Say goodbye to the Coast Guard in Corpus Christi, El Paso, Galveston, Houston, Port Arthur, and South Padre Island. If you need rescuing, hopefully the local county police have a boat or helicopter to come get you. Or maybe the UNITED States Coast Guard based in Louisiana will feel bad for you and come get you. Maybe. After all, they do rescue Cuban refugees. But you’d be deported back to Texas after processing.

4. The US Marshal Service, FBI, DEA, and other federal law enforcement agencies would leave Texas. No point in protecting a place that’s not in the UNITED States of America. Thousands of jobs gone. Maybe a lot of them will get lucky and moved to other states? But those that move no longer provide tax revenue to the newly named Texanistan.

5. All federal funding for education, roads, maintenance, disaster relief, etc would be gone. No more FEMA funds for San Marcos or Houston or Austin when they flood. No more federal disaster dollars after a hurricane, tornado, or seven-year drought. You think Texas roads are bad now? Wait until Texanistan has to foot 100% of the bill instead of 30-50% of it. And you think Texas school suck now? Man, wait until Texanistan celebrates the end of the Dept of Education by gutting science. I mean, who needs science since NASA no longer is in Texanistan?

6. A significant chunk of businesses would leave because they would need access to the American market – not just Texas. This would specifically affect any companies with a UNITED States government contract (mostly defense). All those companies would be forced to move outside of Texas in order to maintain their contracts with the federal government. And since there will be a massive brain drain once secession happens, a lot of tech companies will leave as well so that they can find educated employees.

7. Texanistan would no longer be privy or part to any of the treaties and agreements the United States has with bordering countries and countries around the world. That means every Texan would have to get a passport to travel to Oklahoma, Louisiana, etc. Texas would have to negotiate its own trade agreements, but until then it would be hit with every major pre-trade agreement tariff and tax. Have fun draining the coffer just to get Chinese goods in that are now suddenly two times more expensive because of extra tariffs.

8. Speaking of those borders, say goodbye to the US Border Patrol, you know those federal officers who “keep the Mexicans out?” Yeah, well, at least Texanistan has plenty of gun-toting “Minute men” (I’m pretty sure that’s a sexual reference) to take care of those ferners.

9. Say goodbye to all those customs agents at the border and shipyards as well.

10. Speaking of customs agents, what about all those shipyards that have federal contracts? I guess that work will go to Louisiana and Alabama (they could use the extra money). Maybe the cruise lines will still come in after Texanistan spends five years negotiating a new contract? After all, Texanistan would be a foreign country, so there are international laws they’d have to follow in negotiating a new porting contract with the Texanistan government.

11. Radar coverage and flood warnings and tornado warnings? You need those? Yeah, too bad. The NATIONAL Weather Service just left as well. Maybe Bobby Joe with his rain gauge on his mud truck can take care of the weather forecasting for you. Then everyone can “Heehaw” as the tornado siren.

12. Say goodbye to Social Security checks when you retire. Say goodbye to Medicaid/Medicare as well. Say goodbye to every federal benefit you were looking forward to. Federal scholarships, federal flood insurance (there is no private flood insurance, BTW, so good luck with all that Texas flooding).

I could go on and on, but I think you get the gist. Now I’m sure there’s a lot of secessionists reading this list and yelling “Hell yeah!” for every departure I’ve mentioned. That’s all fine and dandy until they no longer get their Social Security, Medicaid, or food stamps or disaster relief.

Be careful what you wish for. You just may regret it.

Stupid Hurts 001

Alabama Vaping: Proposed $.25/ml Tax is Outrageous Taxation!

10173779_10202740608250117_8073589848151138563_nThe Alabama Legislation has a special session scheduled to fix the state’s budget (the one that the Alabama Legislation screwed up in the first place). So what is their solution? Well, looking at the proposals for the special session, it seems clear that regular hardworking taxpayers are going to get stuck with the burden of getting extra money into the state to fix the problems. And yet not a single proposal mentions large corporations here in Alabama.

I have a vested interested in this proposal as a vaper who has been cigarette free for over three  years now, and as an administrator of the North Alabama Vapers.

Here are two missives I sent to the people who supposedly represent me in Alabama government:

To Rep. Laura Hall (District 19):

Rep. Hall,

I encourage you vote down the proposed tax increase on e-cigarettes. The proposed $.25/ml tax will increase the price of an average bottle size of juice (30ml) by $7.50 in the state of Alabama: making e-cigarettes more expensive than cigarettes, thus potentially driving those of us who have successfully quit smoking back to smoking. E-cigarettes are not a tobacco product any more than eggplants are (yes, eggplants contain nicotine).

The purpose of the tax is to increase tax revenue to the state, but it will have the opposite effect.

1. The tax will drive Alabama vapers to purchase juice from outside the state, thus eliminating tax revenue. Let’s be honest, people do not claim their $1,000 TV they bought on Amazon on their Alabama Tax Return, so they’re definitely not going to claim $50 in juice.

2. The lack of juice sales at local stores will begin shutting those stores down, thus eliminating the sales tax currently being generated in those stores.

3. Once stores begin closing down, employees will lose their jobs, thus eliminating state income tax for those employees and putting them in the position to be paid unemployment, food stamps, etc, which will increase the burden on Alabama’s budget instead of help reduce it.

4. Once people start smoking again, the health benefits they have reaped will reverse, which will ultimately be felt with Medicaid and Medicare dollars.

A general tax is one thing ($.25/bottle perhaps), but the outrageous tax being proposed will shut down the industry in Alabama and have the complete opposite effect.

Instead of punishing the taxpayers, where is the proposed legislation to remove tax breaks for large corporations in Alabama? Where is the legislation to remove tax loopholes being taken advantage of by million dollar corporations right here in Alabama?

Please make sure that Alabama doesn’t punish the wrong people with a burdensome taxation.

Thank you for your consideration!

Respectfully,
RBS

To Senator Paul Stanford (This started as a pro forma from CASAA, but I modified it and personalized it:

Dear Senator Sanford,

I am writing as a voter and taxpaying constituent urging you to oppose any new tax on e-cigarettes and vapor products. E-cigarettes are an incredibly low-risk alternative to smoking, and subjecting this potentially life-saving technology to any extra tax would work against the interests of public health. Moreover, this proposal could also lead to the loss of hundreds of jobs here in Alabama.

Vapor products are already subject to a general sales tax. Subjecting smoke-free vapor products to extra sin taxes and other punitive regulations that are designed to discourage smoking is grossly inappropriate. Changing the law to tax low-risk vapor products in a manner similar to traditional cigarettes will actually create barriers for adults to quit smoking, something that is indefensible from a public health standpoint. Increasing their purchase price will only serve to encourage Alabama s one million plus adult smokers to continue smoking instead of making the switch to products that are estimated to be 99% less hazardous than cigarettes.

While smoking is widely known to pose significant and potentially devastating health risks, each year only approximately 3% of smokers will successfully quit. Innovative products that further the public health goal of reducing smoking should be promoted. There is overwhelming evidence, ranging from systematic studies to thousands of detailed testimonials, showing that e-cigarettes help many smokers quit or reduce their smoking habit, even after they have unsuccessfully tried every other method.

I am also concerned that enactment of this tax would shut down numerous Alabama businesses. Over 2,000 people are estimated to be employed in the vaping industry in Alabama at the current time, and the taxes contained in this bill are so enormous that it is unlikely that more than a handful of stores would survive. While this measure is designed to bring in revenue to the State of Alabama, the end result will likely be less jobs, less tax revenue, and less access to low-risk vapor products, all of which will result in more smokers deciding not to quit.

Moreover, I am concerned that my access to vapor products will be dramatically reduced. Not only will many independent vapor retailers close their doors, but those remaining will be severely limited in the range of products they will be able to offer for sale since they will have to deal with Alabama-permitted wholesalers who do not (and likely will not) handle the full range of products that I am accustomed to purchasing from my local brick and mortar vapor shop.

If the goal of this measure is to increase tax revenue by hurting tax-payers, it will only have one effect: hurting taxpayers. It will have the opposite effect on tax revenue. Vapers will order online and will not claim the purchase on their Alabama tax return (let’s be honest, they’re not claiming that $1,000 tv they bought on Amazon, so they’re definitely not going to claim $100 in juice from an online store). Vapers will travel to southern Tennessee, western Georgia, eastern Mississippi, and the Florida panhandle to purchase juice, thus increasing the sales tax revenue of surrounding states. Vapers will purchase DIY products online and make their own juice. Stores will close, eliminating the sales tax those stores will generate. Employees will be let go, thus eliminating state income taxes those employees would have been paying on their payroll checks.

Vaping is not smoking. Electronic vapers are not cigarettes. They are not a tobacco product. They contain nicotine, just like Nicorette, which is not regulated as a tobacco product. Nicotine is contained in potatoes, zucchini, and many other products we consume daily, including chocolate. Vaping appears to be more successful than any other cessation program because it addresses the psychological addition (oral fixation, filling the lungs, etc) and it does so without harmful chemicals, toxins, or carcinogens like cigarettes do. It does so with water vapor, that has been shown in multiple studies to have zero toxins: including “second-hand” vapor.

I urge you to not punish tax payers with an outrageous taxation on the vaping community. I can tell you that my physician is astounded at my general health improvement over the last three years since I quit smoking and started vaping. Already x-rays are showing clearer lungs and my bloodwork is coming back normal for the first time in over fifteen years. Now multiply my story times tens of thousands or more and think of the money saved on healthcare, medicaid, medicare, etc.

Increasing the cost of my juice with an outrageous taxation will make cigarettes cheaper. Do you really want to put people back on cigarettes?

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
RBS

Sen. Sanford actually responded to me the same day:

I adamantly oppose the tax but I believe my cohorts in Montgomery will pass a 25cent tax on cigarettes & cape product. I suggest you contact every member of the Madison a county Delegation and voice your concern.

Sent from my iPhone please excuse any typos

Paul

One Harvest: An Underutilized Food Source

As a broke person, groceries are the biggest hurdle and they cost so damn much. We found a program recently that gives you a lot of food for a very low price.

Today we went and picked up the food box and we were the only ones who ordered! We could not believe that we were the only ones who had ordered! This is a great program that you should be taking advantage of!

Below is a picture of all the food we got for $46. They have different packages to choose from each month and you can buy as many boxes/packages as you want. There are no requirements or checks performed on anyone using the program.

One Harvest is a ministry-based program, so put aside any religious differences you have. They don’t preach and don’t say a damn thing to you. Take advantage of this program! The amount of food we got will last us a month and all we have to buy are some side items.

The deadline for the next order is 6/10. You can pick the location nearest you. If you’re on EBT, you can still use the program, but you’ll have to order in person at designated locations (using the location finder with your zip code, EBT approved sites will say such).

http://www.oneharvest.com

20150516b

BWAHAHA 2/7 – 2/13

BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 2/7 – 2/13: What a fun week for Alabama! A federal judge made it clear that Alabama’s law preventing gay marriages was unconstitutional. Our idiotic Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore (or as I call him, Roy Mooreon) was like, “No fuck that bitch, only I know how to actually interpret the Constitution and those feds have no say over how we fuck people over in our state.” Because 14th Amendment be damned, we’re going to discriminate as long as we can in this state! You better send federal troops in to force us to let black kids into our schools, I mean let women vote, I mean not allow kids to work in factories, I mean let gays marry! The worst part is that Moore sent a letter to every single probate judge in Alabama telling them they didn’t have to follow federal orders and most of those judges actually listened to him. I’m sure they thought they could get away with it by saying that their “Chief Justice” told them. But see, here’s the rub… you motherfuckers aren’t dumb. You may be politically retarded, but you’re not fucking stupid. You know the law. You knew damn well that YOU could be held accountable for not issuing licenses, especially after the federal judge clarified her position. And so you got sued and you lost. Now most counties are issuing licenses. A few counties shut down their licensing departments completely and refused to issue licenses to gay or straight couples. I was okay with that strategy, because it fucked over everyone and not just same-sex couples. Alabama will go along kicking and screaming, just like it did when they were forced to let black kids into their schools and colleges and just like they did when they had to let women vote or get rid of their slaves. Alabama has and always will be on the wrong side of history and will have to be forced to move along every single time. Maybe this time Roy Mooreon won’t just get impeached, but will actually get disbarred, preventing him from ever holding a judicial office in this state again.

Thanks to the TuneIn App on the PS3, I found KROQ and KROQ2. This was the radio station from my teens in SoCal. I was so excited and was dancing around the house singing and telling Suzie about the “good old days.” I’m pretty sure she thought I was insane and called the local mental institute. KROQ was a huge influence on my life as a teenager. That station and the amazing DJs (like Richard Blade and Poorman) were the soundtrack to my life and introduced me to a world I had never known while living in Nebraska. California had a massive effect on my life, my attitude, my tastes, my personality, and who I am to this day. So to find the radio station of my teens was a profound moment for me. Suzie may never understand that, but that’s okay, because I’m still listening to KROQ (today’s alternative) and KROQ2 (80’s alternative).

OTHER STUFF:

  • Finally watched Big Hero 6. It was really good. You’re not supposed to cry when a robot dies!!!!!!!
  • SafeLite Tech is replacing my windshield while it’s 35 deg. with snow flurries (in Alabama). Get that man some hot cocoa! ‪#‎SafeLiteAdvantage‬
  • I always love to see these in my Facebook notifications...

    I always love to see these in my Facebook notifications…

  • Just got a notification of a 4.8 in San Francisco and was like, “Uh-oh,” then saw it’s San Fran, Panama on Isla de Coiba. #FuckThemTheyreNotUSA
  • It’s 24 degrees outside… I think I’m going to crawl into bed and snuggle with the woman hogging the electric blanket.
  • I don't deny I have a problem, therefore, I don't have a problem. ‪#‎VapeLife‬

    I don’t deny I have a problem, therefore, I don’t have a problem. ‪#‎VapeLife‬

  • Yeah, but what’s their stance on Vaping?
  • #TheWalkingDead #Skyrim #Mashup AMC Talking Dead

    #TheWalkingDead #Skyrim #Mashup AMC Talking Dead

  • The combination of payday, Valentine’s Day, and the coming Snowpocalypse made the stores a madhouse today. I’ll go grocery shopping later.
  • Valentine's dinner. Brontosaurus steak for me and crab legs for her. #AntiValentinesDay

    Valentine’s dinner. Brontosaurus steak for me and crab legs for her. #AntiValentinesDay

  • Penis insurance?

    Penis insurance?

140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:

  • No one in a third world country asks, “Am I morally okay with killing this chicken for food?” ‪#‎FirstWorldProblems‬
  • Saw a list saying “Breaking Dawn – Part 1” is a better than original sequel. That’s like saying shit with glitter is better than shit. #GlitterBomb
  • Nooooooooooooooooooo! He wasn’t wearing a red shirt! ‪#‎TWD‬ ‪#‎TheWalkingDead‬ #RIPTyrese
  • That episode was really artsy fartsy. Let’s go back to normal episodes. ‪#‎TheWalkingDead‬
  • Alabama Counties not issuing gay marriage licenses are like, “No, the black kids can’t come to our white schools.” ‪#‎WrongSideOfHistoryAgain‬
  • I love you the same today as I did yesterday, but apparently I’m supposed to love you more for 24 hours because today everyone has VD. #AntiValentinesDay

@MIDNIGHT #HASHTAGWARS:

  • A Night of the Living Dead Like This (by The Cure) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Christmas Dead Island (by Depeche Mode) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • My Sister Rose From the Dead (by 10,000 Maniacs) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Crypt-Tonight (by 3 Doors Down) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Dude Looks Like A Deady (by Aerosmith) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Brains In The Summertime (by The Alarm) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Dead Island Girl (by Elton John) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • November Brains (by Guns N’ Roses) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • A.D.I.D.A.Z. (by Korn) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Always Something There to Remind Me of the Zombiepocalypse (by Naked Eyes) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • She Ate Me (by Puddle of Mudd) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight

CAPTION CENTRAL:

  • Just 20 minutes earlier they were ranting and raving about how gay marriage would destroy the sanctity of marriage.

    Just 20 minutes earlier they were ranting and raving about how gay marriage would destroy the sanctity of marriage.

  • This is either an "Oh Shit!" moment or a "Damn, that's awesome!" moment.

    This is either an “Oh Shit!” moment or a “Damn, that’s awesome!” moment.

BWAHAHA 12/6 – 12/12:

BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 12/6 – 12/12: I’m a couple of weeks behind and playing catch-up today.

I spent the second part of my week dealing with a conservative radio talk show host who didn’t like a satire piece I wrote for the Rocket Wrangler about his racist activities (link below). I mean, I already suspected he was a douchebag for his “one man protest” of “Police Lives Matter” and his ignorance of what exactly white privilege is and how it’s NOT an insult. But then he finds out that I’m on the dais for an upcoming comedy charity event and threatens to not support the show or advertise for it unless I’m removed. Now, I no longer suspected he was a douchebag, but knew he was a douchebag. You can also imagine how disappointed I was that the charity event chose to not stand up to his bullying. Here is a man who talks shit about people every single day on his show, but let one satire piece call him out, and suddenly he’s a whiny beotch (and a hypocritical asshole). Of course he’ll never understand the irony of an anti-big government conservative out there protesting in favor of the police. His brain’s too small to process that kind of thinking. The best part about all of this is that he wanted me to come on his show and debate him. Really? You didn’t want me on the charity event but you want me on your show? Two words: fuck you. Why on earth would I come on your show? You’re clearly an ignorant racist conservative asshole who puts yourself above others (you know, demanding your way because your little feelings were hurt when someone decided to make fun of your asinine stunt) and demanding to get your way or you’re taking your ball and going home. You’re a childish asshole and there’s no way I would ever come on your show. I’ve been on Hannity a few times, Megan Kelly (I even made her throw a temper tantrum on live TV), and many others. But you? Nope. Fuck your show.

OTHER STUFF:

I do believe this app is confused.

I do believe this app is confused.

  • Grammar Nazis Are Annoying
  • Because sometimes the best thing to do with stupid, is laugh at it: Radio Deejay Has One-Man Protest
  • 'Murica! Fuck Yeah! Peace on Earth! And support the wars overseas! #IronicChristmasTree

    ‘Murica! Fuck Yeah! Peace on Earth! And support the wars overseas! #IronicChristmasTree

  • Thanks to the Punk Goes Pop series, Suzie and I finally have music we can listen to together.

CAPTION CENTRAL:

  • The Grand Jury decided not to indict the officer involved.

    The Grand Jury decided not to indict the officer involved.

  • This is why cars should not be using ladders. Safety first!

    This is why cars should not be using ladders. Safety first!

  • Merry Dickmas!

    Merry Dickmas!