Home / Robert Farley / War Between the States!

War Between the States!


Who to cheer for in this one…

Georgia senators today passed a resolution calling for the correction of survey areas along the state’s northern border in a 48-2 vote, a news release states.

“The Tennessee Valley Authority has identified the Tennessee River as a likely source of water for North Georgia,” said Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, as he presented the resolution. “Yet the state of Tennessee has used mismarked boundary lines to block our access to this important waterway.”

Georgia House Resolution 4 proposes a settlement of the boundary dispute, based on almost 200-year-old survey errors, clarifying Georgia’s access to Tennessee River water. It directs the state’s attorney general to sue to gain control of the entire area south of the 35th parallel if no agreement is reached with Tennessee, the Georgia Senate Press Office release states.

House Resolution 4 now returns to the House for agreement on amendments made by the Senate.


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  • ajay

    Well, it’s about time. People have been predicting water wars for decades and still there haven’t been any.

  • Whiskey’s for drinkin’, water’s for fightin’ over.

  • c u n d gulag

    So, which ones will be the Hatfields, and which the McCoys?

    • Sure you don’t mean “Jukes” and “Kallikaks”? Three FiveTen generations of border disputes is enough!

    • More like Alien vs Predator

  • In Georgia this will henceforth be known as The War of Western Agression, in Tennessee the War of Eastern Agression.

    • Anonymous

      which is particularly appropriate, considering Tennessee is to the north and Georgia to the south.

      • Of course. It’s to differentiate the two still-active wars.

        When you’re fighting a two-front war and–with Georgia–they’re on the same front, shit gets confusing.

  • oldster

    This is exactly the sort of occasion that our Founding Fathers had in view when they wisely wrote into the Constitution an absolute right to keep and bear assault weapons with high-capacity magazines.

    I look forward to the well-regulated militias of Georgia and Tennessee settling this by an Appeal to Heaven.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      No, the TRUE GOP way to resolve this dispute is to prevent the EPA (or anyone else) from regulating pollutants going into the river.

      Soon after, the Free Market® will do its magic, and NEITHER state will want to take drinking water from the Tennessee River. Win-win!

      • Considering the recent history of the Tennessee River, one might suspect Georgia would be better off building desalination plants.

  • The surveyor missed by a mile. Literally. You’d think they’d just say “Oops,” and figure out a compromise, but nooooooooooooooooooooo!

  • Hogan

    Mister, we could use some men like Mason and Dixon again.

    • Nice straight line.

      • Scept fer when theys on huntin’ trips. Then anyone’s fahr game fer a l’il squeelin’.

    • Daryl or Merle Dixon?

  • DrDick

    Shades of the Red River War between Oklahoma and Texas!

  • cpinva

    this is what’s known as “southern time”, 200 years to get around to fixing a survey error.

  • Tehanu

    I have to vote for Tennessee in this one. We drove through it some years back and saw a billboard advertising a fireworks factory with the exhortation, “Don’t get ripped off elsewhere!” The obvious corollary … well, it really ought to be the state motto, especially when you consider who is a “professor” of “law” at the “university” there.

    • cpinva

      given the intellectual level of their state legislature, nothing in TN surprises me.


      • Anonymous

        To what religion do these people belong, that has no tradtion of footwashing?

        • rea

          c’est moi

        • cpinva

          certainly not one with an abrahamic tradition.

      • Shakezula

        Wow. These people really do check under their beds for commies Muslins.

        • somethingblue

          We keep those in the Lenin closet. Second shelf from the bottom.

          • Woodrowfan

            where else would you keep muslins but the Lenin closet?

          • Joey Maloney

            No you don’t. Tell the truth right now, and no Stalin.

            • Cody

              I’m definitely giving you low Marx for your awful pun.

              • We’re all entitled, Mao and again

              • Shakezula

                Don’t you dare Fidel with his Marx.

      • witless chum

        I saw that earlier today when I was visiting Pandagon. Republican politicians are obviously engaged in some kind of one upsmanship against the editors of The Onion.

    • John

      I’d think that Glenn Reynolds’s employment by the state of Tennessee would be a very good reason to support Georgia in its just campaign against Volunteer State treachery.

    • Mondfledermaus

      BS. Just because Tennesseans set up a fireworks shop on the side of the road doesn’t mean that it’s the border!

      *Note for the uninitiated. For a long time sale but not possession or use of fireworks was forbidden in Georgia. So in all highways out of GA the first thing you see once you cross the state line is a fireworks warehouse.

      • Cody

        It’s like this driving from Kentucky to Tennessee too… except I’m pretty sure you can buy fireworks in Kentucky?

        I just thought they had some kind of firework fetish down there.

        • cpinva

          I just thought they had some kind of firework fetish down there.

          that, and strip clubs. coming south into nashville, on I65, the first things you see are giant billboards, for fireworks stores, and strip clubs. this, in a city that prides itself for having the highest number of churches, per capita, of any other comparably sized city in the country. very strange place, TN.

          • Spirula

            fireworks stores, and strip clubs

            Porno for Pyros?

            • Shakezula

              We are not worthy.

          • Halloween Jack

            Memphis is also very much like this; religious types like to call it “the buckle of the Bible Belt” (the megachurch in the suburbs is sometimes referred to by locals as “Six Flags Over Jesus”), but there are an awful lot of strip clubs, some of are/were (I haven’t been there in a while) more-or-less openly running as whorehouses.

  • Andrew Burday

    I can’t provide details, but Georgia and Florida have had a long-simmering dispute about Georgia withholding too much water from the Apalachicola and other rivers that drain from Georgia through north Florida.

    A quick search shows Alabama is also involved. E.g. see here:


    But no boundary issues on this side of GA, I guess. It’s an interesting issue (access to water), occasional tactical silliness notwithstanding.

    • firefall

      obviously FLA and TN need to do a deal and combine against GA

    • chaed

      Basically, the oyster farmers in Apalachicola Bay are worried that if GA doesn’t release enough water it’ll screw with the salinity of the water and the oysters will all die.

      Georgia is worried because Atlanta is one of the more randomly placed cities in the country and doesn’t have a lot of water sources for the 7 million people that live there.

  • Shakezula

    I’m cheering for Serious Injuries.

  • EliHawk

    Of course, the entire story is yet another reminder that whenever the legislature’s in session, a great many upstanding Georgia villages find their idiot is missing.

    • firefall

      Somehow I really doubt there’s a shortage of them, even then.

    • Halloween Jack

      This is true of almost any state legislature, though; you could make a direct comparison with minor league baseball teams a la Bull Durham–a combination of people who are working their way up to the Big Game, aka Congress, and back-benchers who are one fresh-faced challenger away from losing their seat.

  • Lefty68

    This is almost certainly a negotiating ploy to try to induce Tennessee to support an interbasin transfer. Moving the state line would put a substantial chunk of Chattanooga and its suburbs as well as Copperhill and other populated areas in Georgia, and it would have implications for the Georgia-North Carolina border and probably the Tennessee-Alabama border. It’s not going to happen. The Georgia-Alabama-Florida water dispute is a decades-old clusterfuck, and I have absolutely no idea who to root for.

  • Linnaeus

    Georgia wants Big Government water. Who knew?

  • Georgia’s been trying, unsuccessfully, to redraw the borders so that they have some of the Tennessee for about 5 years now. They get shot down every time.

    • Also, the problem is that Atlanta is trying to get its water on the cheap, screwing over Alabama, Florida, and the rest of Georgia (to go along with Tennessee, if it has its way) in the process. Georgia keeps losing in court, against all three of the other states, because its behavior is blatantly stupid, and eventually Atlanta’s going to have to start forking out the money for water or it’s going to be sued into complete dryness.

      • chaed

        Well, people actually live in Atlanta…

        • spencer

          Plenty live in Florida too.

        • Halloween Jack

          Atlanta is growing because people move there, and people move there because it’s growing–a circular pattern that’s fueled by the basic assumption that it can continue indefinitely, which is now threatened by the lack of a basic utility that almost everyone in the U.S. takes for granted, despite multiple warnings about things like the depletion of the Oglalla aquifer. (See also: Phoenix.)

    • rea

      for about 5 220 years now

  • rea

    Well, (1) Georgia is right on the merits of this (meaning, the border really was marked wrong by survyors), and (2) Georgia was allowed to use the water until quite recently, when Tennessee started taking a hard line, (3) Georgia is willing to compromise–Tennessee can keep the people, as long as it shares the water, and (4) this is not some rightwingnut inititative in Georgia (Jason Carter for President!)

    • cpinva

      they might have been right, 200 years ago. however, surely the statute of limitations must have long since expired on this?

    • chaed

      Also, people actually live in Atlanta. There’s a decent population in Eastern Tennessee… but nowhere close to the giant sprawl that is Atlanta.

      Also, I agree about Jason Carter. He’s my state senator. It’d be nice to see him challenge for the Senate seat in 2014. If the GOP nominates some nutjob like Paul Broun, I think he’d have a shot.

      • spencer

        Perhaps, but just because Atlanta has been successful in building Sprawlburbia and attracting people to live in it doesn’t mean eastern Tennessee or anywhere else should have to subsidize them with cheap and easy access to water.

  • Timb

    But, remember, the drought in the Southeast of the last few years (broken last summer?) is NOT indicative of any change in climate. The fact that Georgia, Tennessee, etc finding themselves desiring cheap water is purely an coincidental

    • Shakezula

      Oh of course not. Nothing to worry about at all. And if things get really bad, we’ll just pray the drought away.

  • steverino

    I read an interesting history page on the northern border of Tennessee, which is supposed to be down the 36-30 parallel. Not only does it jump north and south, it visibly wavers at points (magnetic compasses and local variation, not to mention rattlesnakes, contributed to that). Check it out!

  • Halloween Jack

    If you haven’t read Cadillac Desert: read Cadillac Desert.

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