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The state of things in northern Michigan

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Ever hear of the state of Superior? How about the state of Ontonagon? Both are ideas which have been discussed from time to time as attempts by the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to split off from the rest of the state occasionally arise.

Nothing will come of it, of course, and it's almost certainly done at least partly in jest. But it is easy to sympathize with the Yoopers. They feel themselves too distant from Lansing, and also believe that rest of the state is simply using them for whatever nefarious reasons, up to and including taking away local property taxes on the mines up there. Seeing as they only make up 3% of Michigan's population, residents of the UP can certainly feel shunned by the rest of us.

In fact, many areas are more culturally part of Wisconsin than Michigan. In the western part of the UP in particular, they're in the central time zone, read the Milwaukee papers, and root for the Green Bay Packers (and seeing as the Lower Peninsula has the Lions, can you blame them?). Indeed, among the secession proposals have been ideas to incorporate part of northeastern Wisconsin and several northern Lower Peninsula counties into a new state. It is thought in some quarters that a larger land mass than merely the Upper Peninsula itself would be necessary for such a state to be economically viable.

It is interesting to note that almost every state in the Union has at one time or another addressed secession from the larger body. But as with any local changes, they have met with no serious attempts at breaking off from the mother state. Often they were simply protests against feeling ignored by the rest of the given area.

Still, the state of Ontonagon sounds better than the state of Superior, and especially Northern Michigan, as had been suggested too. But again, nothing will come of it.

Yet that won't stop our northern brethren from dreaming, even if it is only of the pipe variety.

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