By Nathan Barton
As reported by the Washington Examiner, after elections in 2012 and 2017, the government (at least) of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has decided to get aggressive with Congress, and with the new year, has shown up in DC to demand admission to the Union.
There are 3.5 million residents (citizens) of Puerto Rico, who are also US Citizens just like residents of South Dakota or Wyoming. Taken from the Spanish Empire in the 1898 Spanish-American War, it became a self-governing Commonwealth, but has only a single non-voting Delegate to Congress (like any other territory or possession). Its residents do not pay Federal income tax, and it has no electoral votes (for President).
The Commonwealth government sent a “shadow delegation” of two ersatz senators (former governors) and five unofficial representatives (although I think it would actually only be eligible for four). They included a mix of GOP and Democrats: no Libertarians or Greens or Monarchists or admitted Socialists or Communists. They did this in imitation of Tennessee and six other states, after waiting (naively, in my opinion) for an “invitation” to be admitted to the Union.
(For whatever reason, none of the articles I have read actually used the proper term for becoming a state, or “admission.” Rather, they talk about Puerto Rico “demanding statehood” and Congress “granting” statehood. We forget our history so easily.)
This is something new. The longest period between new states being admitted to the Union was 47 years, 1912 to 1959. But it is now 59 years since Hawaii was admitted. Very few of us remember that.
Anyway, let us touch briefly on the merits (and downside) of admitting PR to the Union. (Or what we have let the Union deteriorate to.) Four or five votes in the House of Representatives is no small matter. Nor are two senators in 102. More say-so is “good” or so people claim. And since the Union is now considered “permanent” the people of Puerto Rico don’t have to worry about getting thrown out. Although PR is eligible for all the FedGov funding that any state (and local) government is, it will no doubt get more due to its votes in Congress – dealmaking and pork are always with us. Downside? Federal income taxes, mainly. If the draft is ever reinstated, PR men (and women) would be subject. (I don’t think that they are, now.) And (negative in some people’s eyes) the island becomes even more of a magnet for immigrants from the nearby islands and the mainland of Latin America.
But there are big downsides for everyone, in various ways. Here’s one.
How many hundreds of millions of fifty-star US flags are there? From little paper toothpick flags and 4×5 inch flags on little dowel sticks, clear up to the huge garrison flags on military bases and in front of Perkins Restaurants and above car dealerships. How many billions will it cost to replace all those? Chinese factories will be in overtime for years! As will US factories in the South, no doubt – many people and organizations demand “Made in the USA” flags.
And think about the environmental impacts of burning (with respect, of course) or burying all the old flags – certainly 98-99% of them (people and museums will save some).
But here is the real kicker. How do we get 51 stars on that flag?
The 48-star flag was easy: six rows of eight stars.
The 49-star flag wasn’t too bad: seven offset rows of seven.
The standard 50-star flag is what we are used to.
But 51 stars? Several choices.
Don’t you like the PacMan best?
It seems to be most symbolic of the FedGov and too many of the states. As well as being funny as all get-out. Of course, this next one is perhaps even more appropriate, given the constant warmongering the FedGov is involved in.
There IS an alternative. More and more Californians want to secede. Many want to (and do) secede from California. They do this by voting with their feet: leaving California for someplace – anyplace. (Mama Liberty was herself an early adapter!) But in California, many people (maybe even a majority, especially as more and more people flee the People’s Republic) want California to secede from the Union. And more power to them!
Of course, some of the saner parts of California are seeking secession from the pit of the state which the fruits and nuts can have.
New California would still, I fear, be far too much the Tranzi state, and definitely to the left of the other states. With Puerto Rico, that would result in 52 states.
Even if a lot of people have to flee? As if that isn’t happening now!
Would we not be better to just let California go away?
Mama’s Note: Personally, I’d love to see the end to all of these false flags, and the worship that goes along with them. This is the flag I fly proudly at my house.
It says “Don’t Tread On Me”