Perfectly on point for Wenatchee

Every state has a little Florida Man in it. In Wenatchee, Washington, Cameron Wilson was carrying a gun in his front pocket — we’re already in the territory of Bad Ideas — when it went off and sent a bullet ripping through his testicles.

Upon arriving at the hospital, a doctor was operating on the gunshot wound when a balloon of marijuana slipped out of Wilson’s anus, court records show, according to the report.

So he was smuggling marijuna in his rectum, in a state where marijuana is a legal drug. That’s just brilliant.

I grew up in the lush, cosmopolitan, progressive Western side of Washington, and it’s terrible to say, but Mr Wilson is representative of how we saw the Eastern half of the state, which was the domain of conservative ranchers, feral teenagers, and a thriving drug trade. And now, there’s a proposal to split Washington in two! It makes sense at a cultural level — East and West are very different places — but it makes no sense at all that Eastern Washington would want it. They’d lose all the economic benefits of sharing resources with the wealthy Puget Sound region, and they’d no longer be able to check the more progressive policies that come out of Seattle. They’d be a poor, arid, politically weak rump of a state.

Worse, the proposal is coming from Matt Shea, a Christian Identitarian who wants to wage Biblical war on sodomites, atheists, communists, and heretical Christians (“Biblical war” means, to him, killing any man who resists and taking their women and children as slaves), and who was divorced for spousal abuse, and who organized and led a hate group in Spokane. He’s completely wackaloony.

Shea claims his breakaway state of Liberty would rival Texas in prosperity. Except, or course, that Eastern Washington lacks oil or a seaport or much of anything in the way of industry or trade. They do have cows. And sagebrush. Pretty scenery. Rocks.

Oh, and real estate and a massive nuclear waste site.

And though Liberty would have far fewer people, it would gain national political clout and rival or surpass many other Western states in population and wealth. It would be larger than Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. It would continue to capture billions of federal dollars to clean up the Hanford nuclear site.

It’s also populated with people who shoot their balls off. The kind of people who would vote for Matt Shea.


  1. newenlightenment says

    “Cameron Wilson was carrying a gun in his front pocket — we’re already in the territory of Bad Ideas — when it went off and sent a bullet ripping through his testicles.”

    Said the seductive woman he’d just been talking to “well I guess that answers that question”

  2. says

    My Jewish friend in Richland might have to be relocated to make Liberty a properly Christian state. But they’ll probably have camps for that.

  3. robertrichter says

    This, like the Greater Cascadia project, will of course go nowhere at all. It’s not even the first time it’s been proposed.

    Like the idea of splitting up California to get its agrarian aristocracy free of their urban overlords, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover it was ultimately funded by the Kremlin.

  4. Mark Johnston says

    Yep, they’ve been trying to do this to California for years. It’s just a ploy to cut up a mostly Left state into Right and Left states.

  5. Sean Boyd says

    Sili @1 said exactly what I was going to say. That, and having a stranglehold on state government that would let them do truly awful things to their citizens.

  6. Aoife_b says

    Also fun to see that the proposed capitol isn’t Spokane, but Spokane Valley

  7. jrkrideau says

    Cameron Wilson, first place runner up for the 2019 Darwin Award. It was a good try.

  8. chris says

    “carrying a gun in his front pocket…”

    I saw a guy swagger by me near the library with a handgun thrust into the front of his belt. I had to turn away to snicker, because I call that the “traumatic castration” holster. David Neiwert had some snide remarks about a militia member posing proudly with a gun in the same fashion in his book And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border.

    By the way, you forgot about a very important demographic in eastern Washington: the Hispanic immigrants who provide most of the farm labor, some even now own the orchards. Also the Yakama and Colville nations might have something to say about those white guys creating a theocracy that would surround them.

  9. Sean Boyd says

    jrkrideau @8,

    Depending on how much damage he did to himself, he may have removed himself from the gene pool while staying alive. That should certainly merit a special achievement badge or something.

  10. archangelospumoni says

    Western Washington resident here.
    Nearly all of the pro-secession crackers on the East side forget budget realities. We subsidize nearly every county on their side and when you bring this up–SQUIRREL!!–what were you saying?

  11. starskeptic says

    You’re at the laundromat, Bob’s World of Booze is right next door – the next thing you know, aliens who can’t be expected to know the local laws are using your body for their own purposes…

  12. gijoel says

    How much you want to bet that if that ever got this stupid idea off the ground they’ll be campaigning to split this new state again in ten years.

  13. psanity says

    I was reading about this yesterday, I think on BBC or Reuters, and the guy said “Liberty” would also include northern Idaho and Western Montana. Right.

  14. says

    “Liberty” would quickly become the new North Dakota. A land raped to death by corporate industry, and a people left to starve to death.

  15. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin points old these Liberty-state proponentsrebels are going about their plans all wrong. Instead of succeeding from the rest of Washington, they should launch themselves into orbit. Actually, given that part of the payload is Hanford, launching themselves into the Sun looks even more attractive. She speculates there would be considerable contributions to this cause, provided they could also get the majority-kooks in Utah to join them in proving Don Quixote was not ambitious enough.

  16. hemidactylus says

    Florida will NOT be upstaged:

    We put gators near sensitive anatomy.

    We are not as secessionist as this Washington state bunch but perhaps after a weekend bender we might assert the original vague Spanish claim to La Florida, so keep us away from our precious bath salts or Georgia falls first. Florida Man Eats Faces Off Stone Mountain Bas Relief

  17. blf says

    Shea claims his breakaway state of Liberty would rival Texas in prosperity.

    Wouldn’t the more evidenced prediction be that it would rival northern Idaho in prosperity? Idaho as a whole if it’s lucky?

    Why would that be “lucky” for Idaho?

    Actually… it could indeed be, as, if it were to happen, it might discourage starving & improvised Libertyians from further stressing the local Idaho (and nearby) care systems. Assuming, of course, the Liberty government allows people to emigrate its paradise.

    (The actual people would be leaving in droves as fast as they could, and should indeed be looked after by the more humane regions they enter.)

  18. Kagehi says

    Wow.. The right wing, theocracies idea of the perfect world keeps looking more and more like the vast sea of insane city states described in Snow Crash every day… lol

  19. Larry says

    Rivaling Texas for prosperity, eh?

    I suggest that they’d be rivaling Mississippi, more like.

  20. birgerjohansson says

    Kagehi @ 23: Another Snow Crash reader! :-)
    There is no rule that a state must be a physically connected whole, so the secession counties might become a part of Alabama, if they think it is a good idea. Throw in the regressive parts of Florida.

  21. birgerjohansson says

    A dangerous people behind the mountains….we have located the place mentioned in the quran where Gog and Magog live!

  22. laurian says

    Be very clear about this. These guys are not funny. These assholes are not High Prairie cranks who all look like Sam Elliot as they wax poetically about their love for the Land, No, they are low IQ racist thugs who want to kill just about everybody, white people included, because they feel insulted by some stupid shit.

  23. raven says

    No, they are low IQ racist thugs who want to kill just about everybody, white people included, because they feel insulted by some stupid shit.

    That is true but a limited view of Matt Shea, the subject of the OP.
    He is also an elected Representative in the state of Washington.
    Wikipedia: Shea was first elected to office in 2008.[6] He was re-elected in 2012,[7] in 2014,[8] and in 2016.[9]

    The voters in his district of Spokane Valley keep reelecting him despite his repeated calls to slaughter a good share of them.
    The right wingnuts keep talking about Muslim controlled No Go zones such as Dearborn, MI that don’t really exist.
    I would call the Spokane Valley a No Go zone for anyone but cis het, white male fundie xians.
    In Matt Shea’s xian Identity list of people to be killed, I fall into several of the categories.

    Matt Shea (politician) – Wikipedia
    Matthew Thomas Shea (born April 18, 1974) is an American politician. A Republican, he serves in the Washington House of Representatives, representing the …

  24. raven says

    From the wikipedia article mentioned above.
    Shea has a long history of calling for violence against non fundie xian groups.
    His ex wife also ended up taking out a restraining order against him.
    Doesn’t take much to be a hero to the fundie xians.

    In October 2018 Shea acknowledged that he had distributed a four page manifesto linked to the Christian Identity movement, which called for the killing of non-Christian males if they do not follow fundamentalist biblical law.[1][2] Shea was referred to the FBI for investigation as a result.[3] In April of 2019 Shea was removed as State House Republican Caucus Chair for advocating violence against religious minorities and offering state surveillance of political enemies to members of hate groups. [4]


    His first wife Lisa was granted a protective order by a court after filing court documents complaining that Matt treated her “as a possession,” and was physically and emotionally abusive.

  25. redwood says

    A friend that I often converse with about the US situation says the only way is to divide the country into two parts–blue America and red Amerikkka. Make the coasts blue, along with some northern midwestern states and the rest red. Let the red areas outlaw abortion and whatever they want to do and let the blue areas keep the money they’ve been subsidizing the red areas with. Wouldn’t be long until the red areas were plotting how to take over the blue areas.

  26. microraptor says

    Southern Oregon has similar cranks. Last week at my crossfit class, the trainer and one of the other guys there were talking about how they’d like to build a wall around the Willamette Valley. I said “why, so we can keep all the money out?”

    There is a definite delusion that if we can fission off the liberal, prosperous part of the state somehow the poorest counties in Oregon will get a major economic boost as we go back to 1950s level industrial logging. And pot growing, despite the fact that Oregon already produces about seven times more pot than is actually consumed.

  27. wajim says

    Hey, I live in Clarkston, WA. Many of the “Trump, Guns, and Gadsden Flags” stereotypes about this place seem accurate to me. and yet there is a thriving liberal arts college here (Lewis-Clark State) and the U of Idaho and WSU just up the hill ’bout 30 miles, so not all of us are complete hicks, rubes and prepares (though I have seen some “Q” shirts and plenty of bumper stickers complaining about “Hitlery” and/or “Remember Benghazi!”). It’s also home to a large medical/retirement industry, with a thriving professional class. Hell, we even gave our Jesus-addled Congress critter, Cathy McMorris-Rogers a bit of a scare this past midterm. But, yeah. Matt Shea. Understand less than 200 theo-fascist reactionaries turned out for their succession funding bake sale. They got nothin, and are going nowhere.

  28. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I bet this will get as far as the state of Franklin, east of the Miss. back in the olde times.
    Look how far CA has gotten into splitting up into 5, as a way to get 10 Senate seats to tip the Electoral College even further in their favor. They may have abandoned this as more States are casting their Electoral votes to follow the national popular vote, and see the EC is fading away.
    of course there’s Texas who regularly calls for reestablishment as independent nation, which only slightly tangential to this discussion.
    I see NY is calling to separate Upstate (north of the Greater NYC area), from Downstate NY (NYC and LI)
    gosh, I only wanted a single example, and they keep popping up.
    Slithey Tove, stop, now. or. else,

  29. tucker1970 says

    What do you think will happen with the cheap food and power that Eastern Washington provides if this happens? Just curious. BTW there are a lot of brilliant minds that reside here in “The Sticks” I’d be careful about the stereotype that you’re presenting here.

  30. raven says

    BTW there are a lot of brilliant minds that reside here in “The Sticks” I’d be careful about the stereotype that you’re presenting here.

    You clearly aren’t one of those “brilliant minds” that might reside out in the sticks.
    FWIW, don’t carry your loaded pistol in your front pocket like your other “brilliant mind” from Wenatchee did.
    Don’t carry it with a bullet in the chamber either.
    And oh yeah, find out what the safety is and use it.

    What do you think will happen with the cheap food and power that Eastern Washington provides if this happens? Just curious.

    Eastern Washington can’t use all that cheap power and food that they produce.
    They have to sell it to someone for money or it just goes to waste.
    Notice what happened to the soybean farmers when China stopped buying soybeans?
    They stored them because they couldn’t sell them and a lot of it spoiled over the winter due to major flooding.

    BTW, that cheap power isn’t Eastern Washington’s to sell or not.
    It’s Federal, from the Bonneville Power administration.
    Good luck trying to overthrow the Federal government.
    The last time you clowns tried that, it failed big time in 1865.

  31. rabbitbrush says

    Raven @36 – Actually that really cheap power is not from the BPA but from the locally-owned (but yes, Federally-licensed) PUD (public utility district) dams on the Columbia River. Three PUDs that own and operate six dams have the cheapest power in the country: Grant, Douglas, and Chelan counties.

  32. raven says

    Wikipedia BPA

    BPA now markets the electricity from thirty-one federal hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries, as well as from the Columbia Generating Station, a nuclear plant located on the Hanford Site in eastern Washington. BPA has more than 15,000 miles (24,000 km) of electrical lines and 300 substations in the Pacific Northwest and controls approximately 75 percent of the high-voltage (230 kV and higher) transmission capacity in the region.[1] BPA also maintains connection lines with other power grids, the California high-voltage transmission system by Path 66, which consists of the two 500 kV AC lines of the Pacific AC Intertie, plus a third 500 kV AC line of the California-Oregon Transmission Project (COTP) (managed by the Balancing Authority of Northern California).

    Six dams isn’t a lot compared to Bonneville.
    They’ve got 31 dams, the Hanford nuclear reactor, and 75% of the high voltage distribution system in the region.

  33. thirdmill says

    This is not about whether or not a State of Liberty would be economically viable. Anyone who has spent more than about sixty seconds actually thinking it through realizes it would not be. No, this is about adding two more Republicans to the US Senate and five more Republican votes to the electoral college..

    Republicans don’t care if their policies produce horrific results for people. If they did, they’d change their policies. No, all they care about is maintaining political power and making sure the rich aren’t taxed. This is just one more means to that end.

  34. hemidactylus says

    @18 Crip Dyke

    If the difference is amount of chewed granite Florida Man is up to the task. I’m really trying to find a positive counter-confederate spin here in terms of a Free State of Jones flakka crazed zombie army armed with concealed crotch gators overrunning the rest of the South. The key would be getting Matt McConaughey on board but he’s to busy selling Lincolns.

  35. rrutis1 says

    Slithey Tove at #34, about every 10 years or so some group or other here in NY starts squawking about separating upstate NY from downstate. A bunch of people who live upstate (and really should know better) think that tax money from upstate goes to NYC. When I ask them how much money is in the local school budget and how much the local share is they rarely know. And when I show them they go into full denial mode and say maybe the school is subsidized but what about XXX.

  36. says

    To the one poor schmuck who tried to defend E. WA:

    Dude, no, just give it up. I have family on that side of the state. Unfortunately, as much as I wish it were otherwise, the stereotypes are true.

    Oh, you’ll find outliers here and there, individually and sometimes in concentration, but eastern Washington is ass-backwards and regressive.

  37. Knabb says

    Redwood at #30 – I can’t help but notice that not only does this plan throw out numerous blue cities (the political divide has always been more pronounced when looking at rural vs. urban than coastal vs. inland) it throws out Colorado and New Mexico, both of which are a very blue purple and only getting more democratic. That’s without getting into the humanitarian matter of what you’re consigning all the people in those red states to. Even if you don’t care about the fate of your political enemies there’s large blocks of democrats in most of these states (even Wyoming and Utah have a few), starting with the vast majority of the racial minority groups that disproportionately live in some of them.

  38. Pierce R. Butler says

    psanity @ # 14: … the guy said “Liberty” would also include northern Idaho and Western Montana.

    Raw Story quoting local paper Spokesman-Review:

    Supporters of the new Christian conservative state – which would span parts of Washington and Oregon as well as Idaho, Montana and Wyoming – raised money by auctioning pies and other desserts.

    At least the state-history classes ought to start out with commemorative pastries.

    Shea’s legislative assistant, Rene’ Holaday, warned of violence if people did not go along with the idea to state the new state.

    “It’s either going to be bloodshed or Liberty State,” Holaday said ominously.

    So when they meet somebody from, say, western Wyoming who wants to stay part of western Wyoming, they’ll go all AR-15 on their butts? ‘Twill all be the libtards’ fault, somehow…

    (I did a quick check on the spelling of Holaday’s first name: yep, an apostrophe instead of an accent – at least if this is the same Rene’ Holaday who wrote The Perils of Sustainable Development [Holaday Press, 2012].)