Well, the "We the People" petition site is getting even sillier, although I know that seems hard to believe. As I reported yesterday, a petition asking that Texas be allowed to secede was the first of many state-secession petitions to reach 25,000 signatures, thus entitling the signatories to have their opinions formally ignored by the White House. The same people or affiliated people now have petitions going for what looks like most of the 50 states (I didn't count), and of course there are now at least two counter-petitions asking for the secession petitioners to be deported.
Democracy is great despite the fact, or maybe because of the fact, that it's so completely ridiculous.
"Deport Everyone [Who] Signed a Petition to Withdraw Their State from the United States of America," reads this petition, which has no text other than the title but I think still gets its message across. A little nastier is "Strip the Citizenship from Everyone Who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them," although its single sentence asking the president to do this by executive order is itself fairly polite. (Would doing this by executive order be legal? Of course not, but neither is dropping bombs on citizens or locking them up indefinitely without a trial, even if a Nobel Peace Prize winner is doing it.)
I think a better response, because it's funnier and less vindictive, is this one: In response to Texas's petition to secede from the United States and become its own country, the city of Austin is asking to secede from Texas and become its own state. "It is entirely feasible for Austin to operate as its own state, within the United States, in the event that Texas is successful in [its] current bid to secede," the petition says. It also asks to annex certain other presumably like-minded cities in Texas. The map is going to start getting pretty complicated if this catches on.
Like I said, the silliness does appear to be escalating, which is maybe unsurprising given all the calls for secession. Somebody wants Chief Illiniwek back as the mascot for the University of Illinois, and as important as that may be, do we really want the federal government intervening to resolve mascot disputes? Somebody at Texas A&M has a Heisman candidate they want the president to endorse. (Question: if Texas secedes, are Texans still eligible for the Heisman? Should College Station secede from Texas?) Somebody else is a big fan of thorium and wants the government to stop destroying it. "outlaw offending prophets of major religions," writes someone who (like most of these people, sadly) is in serious need of capitalization training and also needs to express himself more clearly. Do you want to outlaw prophets who offend you or to outlaw giving offense to the prophets? Actually, never mind—those are both unconstitutional.
Then there's "The U.S. Government Must Redress Wrongs Against the Chagossians," and at first I thought that had to do with Star Trek but it turns out to be a legitimate call to help the people who got evicted so we could build a military base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. So I shouldn't joke about that. But I still think the Star Trek joke is decent.
If the thorium lobby will also support the Chagossians, I would agree to take up both those causes.