Monday, March 5, 2012

We moved!


It's sunrise at The Ohio Republic as we move to our new location at www.ohrepublic.com.

The remodeled blog will continue to contain my opinions and state news as before,  but will also tie in more closely to my book (future tense, books) and speaking engagements. It has a fresh look that is easy on the eyes.


I will keep this site up indefinitely as an archive of the 1,232 posts I have already written.

Thank you for the support you have given me in the last 4½ years. I hope you will continue to enjoy my blog at the new location.

Photo Copyright © 2000 Kevin B. Coleman • Intrepid Heritage Services . Used by permission.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lots of changes going on

It's almost hard to know where to start.

My book, Governing Ourselves is now available online from my publisher, BookLocker.com (preferred -- higher royalty ;) ). On the BookLocker site, you can download an 18-page preview of my book in its final state. My book also appears in Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com; and can be ordered from your favorite bookstore. Price is $14.95 for paperback, and $8.95 for eBook.

On Monday, The Ohio Republic will move to its new location: www.ohrepublic.com. I will  keep this site up indefinitely so links to old posts will still work, but new posts will originate there. Also on Monday will be my official opening for my author's Facebook page. If you prefer your information that way, I invite you to Like me there.

You can also reach me through Twitter (@HaroldDThomas) and LinkedIn.

Now, I've got a lot of work to do! See you Monday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PC hit squad attacks The Ohio Republic

I have been advised by an anti-secessionist blogger in Vermont that The Ohio Republic is a "neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, Paleoconservative, Racist, White Separatist, anti-Government Sovereignty Activist," or at least one of "Their Enablers and Supporters." For several years, The Ohio Republic was listed in his ordinary Links section, but the writer, a pseudonymous "Thomas Rowley," has decided that it deserves to be classified as shown above because
On a more personally disappointing note, I've moving the Ohio Republic blog to [this category], not so much because its author, Harold Thomas, espouses the sort of virulent hatred that oozes from sites like [two Vermont secessionist websites and Rebellion, originating from the League of the South], but because of the open support he offers Tuggle's vile LOS website.
I cheerfully plead guilty to Paleoconservative and maybe even Anti-Government Sovereignty Activist, which I suppose is what he would call anyone who stands up for the Constitutional rights of the states. Neo-Confederate? The term is highly controversial and as the politically neutral site WordIQ notes, is frequently used as a pejorative ad hominem attack. I am the direct descendant of a Confederate soldier, and therefore can easily relate to Southerners wishing to honor their ancestry. Beyond that, how the South wants to decide its future is none of my business.

The League of the South really is a controversial organization, and does include some avowed white supremacists among its leadership. However, the League does not openly espouse racism in its policy statements (unless "Anglo-Celtic culture," which it desires to promote, is a code phrase for racism). Rebellion is the blog of the League of the South. I sometimes comment there, but I also disagree with it on racial issues. However, the blog covers many other subjects; and overall is well written, well researched, and certainly not "vile."

My own views should be clear from reading the posts in the Racism label on this blog. I have criticized in this space Rebellion's propensity for trivializing the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and for supporting disruptions to celebration of Dr. King's birthday. In addition, I have repeatedly highlighted the work of African-Americans who are outspoken in defense of liberty, not just for some, but for all of us.

Mr. "Rowley" enthusiastically supports the Southern Poverty Law Center, itself a controversial organization, which last May libeled former Ohio resident Jason Rink by putting him on their "Hatewatch" list for working with the Tenth Amendment Center to organize the Nullify Now rallies.

In fairness, he has done his fellow Vermonters a service by exposing white supremacist attitudes and general buffoonery among members of that state's secessionist movement.

So, to summarize Mr. "Rowley's" position, I am a "neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, Paleoconservative, Racist, White Separatist, anti-Government Sovereignty Activist" or fellow-traveler because I sometimes comment in a blog sponsored by an organization that is not avowedly white supremacist, but includes a few white supremacists among its leadership; despite the fact that I have criticized that same organization when I disagreed with it, particularly on racial issues, have always shown minority individuals the same respect I would show for anyone of my own race, and have publicly encouraged those who support liberty.

It seems reasonable to conclude that Mr. "Rowley's" real agenda is to shut down opinions contrary to his own by fixing emotionally charged labels on his political opponents. Those who insist on "political correctness" want to shut down discussion that seeks the truth, rather than engage its participants in a mutually respectful exchange of views. As long as this cancer continues to affix itself upon the American body politic, we will be unable to hold the honest and frank discussions that we need to solve our political problems in a way that will promote liberty and justice for all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Liberty is not a "conservative" issue

Contrary to a popular belief, liberty is not a "conservative" issue. To be sure, conservative pundits like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin would like us to believe that it is, so liberty lovers will support their neocon Republican candidates like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum; but in truth, small-l libertarianism transcends the conservative-liberal spectrum. Examples of liberal libertarianism include anti-war issues, ending the drug war, and ending discrimination against homosexuals. And, evidently, many in the left are waking up to the fact that restrictions on our Constitutional rights will affect them, as well.

Case in point: The Tenth Amendment Center issued a news release yesterday announcing a press briefing tomorrow in which speakers from both parties will be speaking out against the National Defense Authorization Act's detention provisions. Co-sponsored by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Tenth Amendment Center, and Demand Progress, the scheduled speakers are:
  • Naomi Wolf, author, journalist, former consultant to Vice President Al Gore
  • Bruce Fein, attorney and former Justice Department official under President Reagan
  • Missouri State Representative and former US Marine Paul Curtman (R)
  • North Carolina State Senator Ellie Kinnaird  (D)
  • Washington State Rep. Matt Shea (R)
  • Northampton, Mass. City Councilor  Bill Dwight (D)
  • El Paso, Colo. County Commissioner  Peggy Littleton  (R)
Americans are waking up to the dangers of the federal Leviathan, and are preparing to do what is necessary to either cut it down to size, or to break it up.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Secession should never be taken casually

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes."

However, the Ottawa Citizen reports that Canadian Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau (son of the late Prime Minister) apparently did not get the memo.

On Sunday, Trudeau, a Montreal MP, told his Radio-Canada host: 
I always say, if at a certain point, I believe that Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper — that we were going against abortion, and we were going against gay marriage, and we were going backwards in 10,000 different ways — maybe I would think about making Quebec a country.
Naturally, this caused quite a furor north of Lake Erie. Commentators began describing Mr. Trudeau as immature and "narcissistic." One professor even stated that if he did not know that Mr. Trudeau had uttered those words, he would have thought it "the work of an adolescent."

Robert Asselin, a professor at the University of Ottawa specializing in Canada-Qu├ębec affairs, aptly restated what Thomas Jefferson wrote when he said, "Secession is a very grave action and you don’t even suggest it (as a possibility) because you don’t share certain beliefs or values of the government of the moment."

My willingness to consider secession is not because I disagree with President Obama and this Congress, or even because I also disagreed with President George W. Bush and the Congress at that time. My willingness to consider secession is the result of twenty years of frustration at the direction the United States government has taken under administrations and Congresses led by both parties. The system is fundamentally broken, but the liberty movement is not strong enough to turn it around at the national level. Thus, it becomes desirable, even prudent, to consider how our freedom can be restored at the state level -- within the Union if possible, outside the Union if necessary.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What is America about?

After getting into two highly acrimonious debates with individuals who are more interested in promoting political correctness than to listen to reasoned dissent, I have to ask myself what Americans think their country is about. 

The political division that currently exists suggests that there are three possible answers. The liberal would argue for economic, or redistributive “justice,” the neo-conservative would argue for power, and the libertarian for individual freedom. 

I have come to realize that constitutional and libertarian arguments will only make sense to those who value personal freedom – and it appears that for many Americans, that value is expendable. Those who see America in terms of economic equality or military power will support the notion that Ron Paul is an old crank who is off the rocker they think he should be seated on.  

"From each according to his gullibility,
to each according to his greed!"
The economic redistributionist rejects free enterprise, because it entails risk. Risk is unacceptable to the poor because they cannot, of course, accept financial loss; and is unacceptable for the rich because it creates wealth that (in their view) is not earned. Without risk, there is no opportunity, but for them that is a small price to pay. The end game, though, is to replace an elite based on wealth with one based on political correctness. For them, the goal is not really justice -- it is power for those who toe the party line. Their means is to write more extensive and tighter regulations to discourage anyone from taking any initiative that has not been blessed by their government.  

For such people, the charge of racism is a handy way to bully those who disagree with them. If you want to replace the welfare state, you are a racist. If you want an educational system that teaches young people how to find the truth, you are a racist. If you believe in the Anglo-American heritage of rule by law and would insist on using the English language so that everyone can fully understand that heritage, you are a racist. 

Those who see America’s purpose as being a military power see personal freedom as expendable to protect our “national security.” They cannot be persuaded by reasonable arguments that trade, diplomacy, and taking the moral high road can be effective levers to promote our national interest. They think applying the Golden Rule to international relations is ridiculous and perhaps even dangerous, and then they wonder why the Iraqis and the Afghans are intent on getting us out of their countries – after all, we came on a mission to build free and fair societies – according to our customs and standards. Ask the neocons about how they would feel if, for example, the Chinese invaded this country on the same basis, and they will mutter something about “American exceptionalism.” 

To a reasonable person, “American exceptionalism” is nothing more than arrogance, pure and simple. 

As I was recently reminded, those who see America in terms of power cannot understand any argument that undermines their almost religious belief that Abraham Lincoln was the greatest (or maybe second greatest) of Presidents. Yes, he preserved the Union, but was it really worth the cost: 660,000 battlefield casualties, the mass murder of Georgia’s civilians during Sherman’s March to the Sea, his blatant hypocrisy on slavery? The surrender at Appomattox began a process of consolidation into an all-powerful federal government that continues to this day. We had a Constitution to protect our rights. Why did he find it necessary to destroy it in order to save the Union? If the issue was slavery, he could have followed the lead of Britain and France (which Brazil later followed) and simply bought out the slaveowners, which would have been cheaper than going to war. If he valued freedom, he could have shown good faith to the Southerners who were willing to negotiate a settlement to prevent their secession.

When looking at mysteries of this kind, some wise people have said, “Follow the money.” Prior to the Civil War, wealth was fairly evenly spread across the land – North and South. Lincoln was backed heavily by New York bankers, who greatly benefitted from his rule. In the 1870s, wealth heavily concentrated in New York City, while the South was reduced to abject poverty, and would remain so for nearly a century.

Fergit, hell!
The evidence for each of my statements is easy enough to find in any standard history of the Civil War or Reconstruction; but of course, my bringing it up is “revisionist.” And, of course, the neocons join the liberals in promoting the notion that any white male whose family has resided in the South more than a generation or two is the absolute scum of the earth. That notion is completely contrary to reason if you believe that people are individuals who deserve to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin or the accent of their voice; but Lord, don’t let Martin Luther King, Jr.’s beliefs stand in the way of those who loudly sing his praises! And Christians should keep their religion to themselves if they aren’t willing to idolize the state, support foreign wars, and promote social conservatism!

Just before I wrote this, I asked myself how anyone could believe in personal freedom and not let those who feel they have been wronged to form their own nation; especially when they respected law enough to follow due process as it was understood prior to 1865.

I thought I didn’t get it. Unfortunately, I do now. The way the Republican Presidential primary is shaping up, it is becoming clear that America is not about personal freedom. If President Obama is defeated in November, we will establish that America probably is not about redistribution of wealth, at least not the way the Democratic and Socialist idealists look at it. So I guess it's about power. We will continue to be ruled by those who have the most to gain from holding power.
It’s enough to make a grown man cry.

I’m finished ranting now. Please return to your regularly-scheduled programming.


Quotation of the day

The most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit to it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.
 — J.R.R. Tolkien

Particularly fitting for Mordor-on-the-Potomac (as talk show host Mike Church refers to Washington).

Virtual buckeye to Gabe McGranahan.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Tiberi Tragedy

Bill Yarbrough
Bill Yarbrough is a nice guy. If you met him in person, you would think he was too nice a guy to run for public office. But he has a problem. People hate Congress but adore their Congressman. Bill is running against incumbent Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-Westerville). How to run a hard-hitting campaign while sticking to the issues? Bill answers that question brilliantly, even with a touch of humor, in The Tiberi Tragedy.

After you look at it, you will see that Congressman Tiberi is barely Republican (a certain large African beast with a single horn in front comes to mind), no conservative, and certainly no libertarian.

Bill certainly is a libertarian Republican. I know him personally. He has the right values and will know how to replace the Tiberi Tragedy with a strong and consistent defense of freedom in Congress.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why the military likes Ron Paul

Ron Paul is anti-war because he knows what war is like:


    Santorum           Obama                      Paul                Romney        Gingrich


Virtual buckeye to Aaron Alghawi via Blue Republican.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Can Americans be locked up on mere suspicion?

Yes! writes Constitutional expert Rob Natelson, author of The Original Constitution, writing for the blog at the Tenth Amendment Center. Commenting on the National Defense Appropriations Act, he carefully spells out what is appropriate to military law, and what the Framers intended when writing the provision for habeas corpus in the United States Constitution. He concludes that the much-discussed Sections 1021 and 1022 would indeed permit American citizens to be held on mere suspicion of terrorism.
To a section that the spin doctors are trying to persuade us was written to protect ordinary Americans, Mr. Natelson writes:
(e) . . . Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.Comment: This provision is sometimes touted as protecting citizens because it preserves existing Supreme Court decisions. The problem is that, as yet, there are no Supreme Court decisions that squarely provide the full measure of habeas corpus protection to citizens or legal aliens accused within our borders. This is true because neither the Bush nor the Obama administration has had the audacity to round up U.S. citizens without our borders and hold them indefinitely without trial.
He then goes on to cite four Supreme Court decisions, and explains why none of them get to the heart of the matter. Then there is this, also ballyhooed as protection for the rights of Americans:

§ 1022: (b) (1) . . . The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
(2) . . . The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
Comment: This section says that the administration is not REQUIRED to keep a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien in indefinite mCilitary custody. But it does not prevent the administration from doing so.

As we warned Nov. 29 and Dec. 16, vigorous application of this act against Americans will turn skeptics into secessionists. But you don't have to take my word for it. Rob Natelson said it and backed it up.