The last time one part of a state seceded from the rest, West Virginia separated from Virginia because it didn't want to fight the Civil War. Now the debate over the secession of Long Island from New York revolves around an equally monumental event: the payroll tax recently levied to bail out the MTA (with an exemption for school districts, at the insistence of two Long Island state senators). What, that's not good enough for you? Well, it's broader than that. Long Island pays more to the state than it gets back. Still not convinced? Then let Suffolk County legislator Dan Losquadro frame the issue:
"I truly believe that the actions that have been taken by those in Albany on the part of Long Islanders are tyrannical," he said in a statement. "I think we are at the point of revolt, we have gone past that ... Long Island needs to stand up and take whatever actions ... necessary to throw off those shackles of the tyrants up in New York State."
At least one other legislator quoted by Newsday worried that all this secession talk could make Long Island's politicians look like "whackos." But an admittedly unscientific poll accompanying the story shows readers are 69.4 percent in favor of secession, though that could be the result of Losquadro voting all day. More disappointingly, 88.4 percent would name the new state "Long Island." Boring. Let us know in the comments if you can think of something better.