Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The editorials focus on the problems arts organizations are having in securing funding. As a patron of the Columbus Symphony, which is currently on financial life support, I can certainly relate to their concerns. However, the editors apparently have forgotten that Departments of Culture tend to be used for more sinister purposes as agents of totalitarian régimes. Mr. Wilson recalls how the culture ministry was used for censorship by Adolf Hitler, and how the Communists directed their writers, composers, and artists to create bland and worthless works through their "unions". We have a National Endowment for the Arts that works reasonably well. There is no need -- and considerable danger -- to elevating it to a Cabinet department.
The problem with influential liberals is that they want the government to force us to pay for charities and arts that people should be voluntarily supporting out of their own pockets.
Culture is wonderful, but only if it is generated in a free society -- free, that is, from the government control that comes with taxpayer dollars.
Monday, December 29, 2008
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have" -- President Gerald Ford, address to Congress, August 12, 1974, often incorrectly attributed to Thomas Jefferson.
Virtual buckeye to amyers68 at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
That said, I do have to acknowledge the resistance that many people, including readers to this blog, have to the Christian faith. I submit that this is true in part because Christianity has done a poor job of communicating its purpose to a new generation.
The purpose of Christianity, or any other religion, is to address the human need to connect with the spiritual force of the universe, which we call God. Every major religion associates moral conduct with bringing us closer to God, but one can be atheist and moral, and one certainly can be religious and immoral. On the other hand, those who attempt to use religion as a device to control believers will fail to bring spiritual harmony either to themselves or to other believers. This is why Jesus argued with the Pharisees about such issues as the Sabbath being made for man, and not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).
One of the issues this blog regularly addresses is the effect that the American Empire has on its own people. Our imperialism is driven by the desire for more and more material things. This drive has alienated us from nature, and has resulted in a people who are materially rich, but spiritually starved. One of the reasons I favor secession is to reduce our society to a scale that ordinary people can understand, so we have the understanding to develop true community.
So, we Christians take December and cherish the traditions that have been handed down to us over a thousand years, to honor a Baby born in a stable a thousand years before that. For those who honor these traditions, it is a reminder of things that bring much more satisfaction than money and power. Peace on earth and goodwill toward men are elusive goals for nations, but are essential for each of us to cultivate in our hearts; for only in this way will we find peace with God and with ourselves.
Or as the late Wally Bronner, who lived Christmas every day at his CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan, put it: "Enjoy CHRISTmas. It's His day. Enjoy life. It's His way."
May the peace and joy of Christmas be with you and your family.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"'The use of these police state tactics on a peaceful family is simply unacceptable,' Buckeye Institute President David Hansen said. 'Officers rushed into the Stowers' home with guns drawn and held the family - including ten young children - captive for six hours. This outrageous case of bureaucratic overreach must be addressed.'
"The Buckeye Institute argues the right to buy food directly from local farmers; distribute locally-grown food to neighbors; and pool resources to purchase food in bulk are rights that do not require a license. In addition, the right of peaceful citizens to be free from paramilitary police raids, searches and seizures is guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 14, Article 1 of the Ohio Constitution."
Text of the complaint (.pdf file)
All posts on Manna Storehouse.
Virtual buckeye to JBZ at the Ohio Freedom Forum.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
December 16, 2008
Transcript of a phone conversation between Mark Sanford (roman) and President George Bush (italic):
“Good Morning, Mr. President. This is President Mark Sanford of the Independent Republic of South Carolina. I hope you’ve seen a copy of the diplomatic instruments we delivered last night to the State Department and—”
“Listen, Governor, this whole thing is an outrage! If you think—“
“I am a president, Mr. President, as you will see in those instruments. The people of South Carolina elected me to head the new constitution they approved when they voted so overwhelmingly for separation. Let us treat each other with the respect do to equal sovereigns.”
“Equal, what the hell do you mean equal?! You’re the tinpot head of an illegal and unconstitutional state, I’m the head of the mightiest army in the world, and you ought to be damn thankful that we haven’t bombed you to the Stone Age.”
“We are grateful for that, Mr. President, though of course you know that well over two-thirds of the military personnel in this state—including all of the 27,000 Reserves and National Guard, are supporters of secession, are happy citizens of the new South Carolina, and would not have been a part of any military operation you might have thought of launching. Besides, we have established a kind of camp for the soldiers who did not want to become citizens, and we will ship them wherever they want to go, at our expense, as soon as possible. They, and all other Federal personnel who chose not to take citizenship, are being treated very well and will soon be repatriated.
“And while we’re on that subject, Mr. President, I trust you have read in the documents where we have offered extremely handsome sums for the six Federal military bases. Similarly with Federal office buildings. The Interstate Highways, as you know, are state property, but if you want a return on your original investment in them, we can negotiate that. And as for the national park lands, in the interest of burying the hatchet we will not seek compensation for your seizure, use, and long tenure of them, and just call it even.”
"Listen, Sanford, all this is a load of cow-poo, as we say in Texas. You can’t secede from the United States. It’s illegal, and we proved that 150 years ago.”
”No, Mr. President, it’s not illegal, not even unconstitutional—go read the thing, it says nothing at all about secession—and all you proved back then is that a government that turns dictatorial can carry out the wishes of a rising corporate plutocracy at the cost of an incredible, and incredibly stupid, loss of lives. And you’re not going to do that again.”
“Yeah, why not?”
“Because, sir, you are discredited and disgraced, your Administration has no moral authority whatsoever after your illegal wars, your economic meltdown, your lies, and your shredding of the Constitution--and your military would not obey any orders from you after your thoroughly contemptible conduct as commander-in-chief. Besides, before we declared independence we made sure to get backing for our cause from the United Nations Human Rights Council and thirty-five nations which themselves were created by secession, including all of the former Soviet republics, all of the former Yugoslav states, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Panama, Taiwan, East Timor, Singapore, Portugal, and Ireland. It would be beyond even your crude unilateralism to go up against that much world opinion. Even if you could.”
“Listen, Sanford, we have no intention of letting you get away with this. If I can’t use military force, then we’ll try something else. How about a boycott—how’d you like that? A call to Bentonville, Arkansas, and there goes your Wal-Marts. Another to Minneapolis, and no more Targets. How you people going to like that, Mr. Secession?”
“Go ahead and try it, won’t worry us. Why shouldn’t Wal-mart want to keep on doing business here, in another foreign country, like they do around the world? No never-mind to them that we’re not part of the U.S. Except that they could figure that people would have a whole lot more disposable income if they weren’t sending off $23 million in taxes to Washington, DC every year. That might make them very eager to do more business with us.”
“You think I’m a Texas knuckle-knocker, boy? I know full well you get a lot more money from us up here than you pay in. You’re not getting that any more. You’ll be living in tin-roof shacks.”
“Well, that is one thing you’re right about, Mr. President. In fact we get about 25-35 cents back for every dollar we send you in taxes. But in the first place, we’re no longer a part of that failed economic system you people put together, and that odious trillion-dollar bigshot bailout, no longer liable for the immense debt you ran up, no longer going to even be using American currency, and we’re not going down your dollar-based rathole. Second, you forget that most of that money that comes from Washington goes straight to the military establishment here, doesn’t do much for the wider economy, and we won’t need to be supporting that military any more cause we have our own national guard, so we just don’t need the money. And to top it off, we now no longer have to pay all that money to follow all the rules and regulations you’ve put on agriculture, and businesses, and industry, and schooling, and everything else the Feds put their noses into, and we’ll have a whole lot of extra money."
“All in all, Mr. President, we figure we’re going to be a little Southern Switzerland, running our own economic affairs for our own benefit, free and transparent banking, small markets with a lot of self-sufficiency, proud and prosperous and, may I say, palmy.”
”You sunuvabitch, you won’t get away with this. We’ll—"
“Forgive me for interrupting, Mr. President, but it might be wise for you to take some time to reflect on what I’ve said. Perhaps get some of the wiser heads in that city together and let them tell you not just how legal and permissible is what we have achieved, but how right and just and proper, and how it may even point the way for other states to follow our lead and allow your rotten and incompetent Federal government to shrink to a reasonable size where democracy and accountability can be restored.
“In sum, Mr. President, we ask you to remember the flag that was created for the first American Navy at the beginning of the War of Secession in 1775 by an honored son and delegate of the South Carolina colony by the name of Colonel Christopher Gadsden, a copy of which was also given to the South Carolina legislature to fly at the capital. It showed a fierce eastern diamondback rattlesnake—an animal that did not exist in Britain—whose tongue was flickering and hissing, with the words beneath—and I would like to impress them on you, Mr. President—DON’T TREAD ON ME.
“Good morning, Mr. President.”
And that’s the end of the transcript.
Virtual buckeye to Kirkpatrick Sale at the Middlebury Institute.
"Reading the blogs as well as local press reports gives us differing accounts of the incident. I spoke with a co-op member and friend of the Stowers' who talked to them shortly after the incident. I was skeptical about the blog reports, so I asked about some of the details. She assured me that indeed there were large weapons that were drawn and aimed at the family, based on information given to her by family members she spoke with. She said, also, that the family seems to be well, and the children were about their normal activities."
As I wrote yesterday, the trial should be very interesting.
All posts on Manna Storehouse.
Monday, December 15, 2008
"Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Scott Serazin said 'any business that sells perishable foods must be licensed and follow regulations covering those who store and supply food. There is no exception in the law for a co-op,' Serazin said, and Manna cannot ask customers to waive safety regulations."
The Stower family has no comment, probably because a suit is being prepared, but even this account does not explain why a raid was necessary to enforce a law requiring a license to sell food, and one wonders, in the light of the Ohio Department of Agriculture's past record of using excessive force, whether the sheriff is telling the truth or covering up.
I suspect that a very interesting trial is in Lorain County's near future.
All posts on Manna Storehouse.
Virtual buckeye to Ed.
Friday, December 12, 2008
In hearings Wednesday, 10 people testified to the House committee, none of them in favor of the proposal. Their reasons mirrored those expressed in my post on Wednesday.
Interestingly, Frank at the Ohio Freedom Alliance forum has suggested adding a secession trigger to the Ohio Constitution, in the event the 34th State does call for the Con-Con and the end result is harmful to our freedoms. (I have commented on it, but it wasn't my idea -- honest!).
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The best economic stimulus, by the way, is the one Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) proposed to give us all a one-year holiday from the Federal income tax. But don't hold your breath -- you won't live long enough to see it.
History records that the original Constitutional Convention in 1787 was called by the Continental Congress for the express purpose of recommending amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which, according to the Articles, had to be approved by the Congress and ratified by all 13 States. However, when the convention convened, it found the Articles so flawed that they decided to create an entirely new form of government. Fortunately for us, the Constitution was a brilliant work designed to protect our freedoms in a structure that enabled free trade among the States and an effective foreign and defense policy for the nation. However, the truth remains that, according to the terms laid out by the Articles of Confederation, our Constitutional Convention was out of control.
Article V of the Constitution does not specify any procedure for electing or appointing the members of the Convention, nor does it provide any limits on the Convention's power, once convened. In other words, there is nothing to prevent a new Constitutional Convention from scrapping our existing Constitution and introducing something else, such as this horror, suggested in 1974.
Given the accelerating trend of centralization of government, it seems likely that a new Constitutional Convention would be very likely to scrap our existing document in favor of one that enhances the power either of the Federal Government, or of international organizations.
We cannot afford to take that risk.
Please contact your State legislators and urge them to vote against this resolution and its companion Senate resolution SJR 9. The Ohio Freedom Alliance has suggested some links for additional information.
Unfortunately, the following story refers to an act of arrogance by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. I have been slow to report it, in the hope that it would be more extensively reported in the mainstream media; however, I believe there is enough truth in it to report here, and further delay in reporting it will only serve to erode our rights further.
As reported by the Lorain Morning Journal December 3:
PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP — An Ohio Department of Agriculture agent seized food, electronic devices and documents from a Pittsfield Township organic and natural food cooperative believed to be unlicensed, according to a search warrant filed yesterday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court.Jacqueline and John Stowers, owners of the Manna Storehouse, 43565 SR 303, were inspected in November 2007 by the Lorain County General Health District, according to court records.
On Monday, ODA enforcement agent William Lesho confiscated hundreds of pounds of processed beef and large amounts of lamb, turkey and other perishable products in addition to office files, a computer, two cell phones and other electronic devices, according to the search warrant inventory. The items were taken to establish the Stowers' ownership in any property, records of hidden wealth or illegal income and anything that would establish illegal activity, according to the search warrant affidavit.
However, this is not the whole story. A thoroughly-investigated piece in a Christian blog adds the following details:
(The source linked above also contains some interesting and very scary quotations suggesting that this kind of activity is likely only to increase in the months ahead).
On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to 8 PM. The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were quite traumatized. At some point, the “bad cop” SWAT team was relieved by another team, a “good cop” team that tried to befriend the family. The Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food cooperative called Manna Storehouse on the western side of the greater Cleveland area for many years.
There were agents from the Department of Agriculture present, one of them identified as Bill Lesho. The search warrant is reportedly supicious-looking. Agents began rifling through all of the family’s possessions, a task that lasted hours and resulted in a complete upheaval of every private area in the home. Many items were taken that were not listed on the search warrant. The family was not permitted a phone call, and they were not told what crime they were being charged with. They were not read their rights. Over ten thousand dollars worth of food was taken, including the family’s personal stock of food for the coming year. All of their computers, and all of their cell phones were taken, as well as phone and contact records. The food cooperative was virtually shut down.
There was no rational explanation, nor justification, for this extreme violation of Constitutional rights.
Presumably Manna Storehouse might eventually be charged with running a retail establishment without a license. Why then the Gestapo-type interrogation for a 3rd degree misdemeanor charge? This incident has raised the ominous specter of a restrictive new era in State regulation and enforcement over the nation’s private food supply.
* The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) agents did not state what allegedly illegal activity was being investigated.
* The Stowers contacted the ODA requesting information on how to comply with the law. Their request was never answered.
* This is not the first time the ODA has been chastised by the courts for its flagrant disregard of Constitutional rights.
There is an irony to this story as well. Mr. Stowers was not home when the raid took place because he was serving in Iraq.
I cannot put a secessionist spin on this article, except to suggest that the ODA is being encouraged by Federal use of police-state tactics and Federal contempt for the rights of the people.
The time may soon come when we will have to openly protest against "repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny," if there is to be any hope that absolute tyranny can be averted.
This story has several updates, which may be found in the category Manna Storehouse.
Virtual buckeye to PeaceChicken.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Now, try to persuade me that the global economy is all it's cracked up to be!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
"He discriminated against certain groups and believed they should be deported. He favored a strong controlling central government. He jailed newspaper editors and judges and had his military commanders close down those newspapers whose editorials disagreed with his policies. He had one legislator* removed from office and banished from the country. He confiscated private property and firearms. Can you guess the name of this tyrant?
"Was it Saddam Hussein or North Korea's Kim Jong Il? Was it Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse Tung or Josef Stalin? No, he was one of America's most lionized presidents, Abraham Lincoln.
"Shocked? You should be, especially in view of a number of those in the media who, before he is sworn in as our next president, are comparing Obama to Abraham Lincoln."
Monday, December 1, 2008
Mr. Timpone rather liked that idea, and pursued it with some questions which almost sounded as though he were prodding Rep. Paul to consider secession more seriously. A few days later, Yahoo Answers posted a question as to whether Texas could make it as an independent nation. The answers from Texas were enthusiastic for secession, and quite convinced that it could be done. The movement gained legs on the Ron Paul forums as well, with one writer noting that Larry Kilgore had garnered some 27% of the vote in the Republican primary for U.S. Senator (225,783 votes) on an explicitly secessionist platform!
Then on November 25, the discussion went national on the Glenn Beck program. Unfortunately, Mr. Beck decided to have more fun with it than anything else. His division of the U.S. into six nations was funny, but totally out of touch with North American geography and existing secessionist movements (Mr. Beck and his map are at left).
The most important development was the buzz in the blogosphere, where both supporters and opponents of the idea began to take it seriously. Don't take my word for it, just Google "texas secession" to get an idea of what I mean. This is a major step forward for North American secessionism.
This is not to say that most Americans are ready to have secession on their radar screen; only that the idea is less laughable than it was even three months ago.
However, despite the groundswell of Republican support for Mr. Kilgore, Texas secessionism has some serious problems. First, except for Mr. Kilgore's campaign (he is now running for Governor in 2010), there is no really organized movement for Texas secession. A number of organizations have been created since the mid 1990s, but tended to get caught up in the so-called "patriot" movement aligned with the militias that became well known at that time. Those organizations splintered into several small, competing groups. Today, Texas secessionism remains badly fragmented.
In addition to the Texas groups, the League of the South has a Texas chapter, whose goals appear to be closely aligned with that of the general organization.
Texas is a big state, with a distinct culture and a past history as an independent nation (1836-1845). It is obviously viable as an independent nation. The challenge for Texas secessionism is to root out the crackpots and to get everyone else on the same page. Ron Paul might have the political acumen and credibility to pull it off as Governor, and perhaps Larry Kilgore could, too. One thing is sure, it will take very strong, determined leadership to build a movement that will generate any hope of success.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
"Bailout programs also include a Federal Reserve plan to buy as much as $2.4 trillion in short-term notes called commercial paper that began Oct. 27, and an FDIC plan to spend $1.4 trillion to guarantee bank-to-bank loans that commenced Oct. 14, according to Bloomberg News, which first compiled the total cost of the bailout.
"'No one really knows if any of this is going to work," said Barry Ritholtz, CEO of Fusion IQ, an online quantitative research firm and author of Bailout Nation. '"
In addition, the Feds are putting in $600 billion to purchase Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt, and $800 billion to shore up consumer credit.
How will we pay for it? Print more money. You know what happens when we print more money? Ask the folks in Zimbabwe.
Virtual buckeye to Rob Williams at Vermont Commons.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
On a more serious note: if you have enough clothes and are connected to utilities to stay warm, have a roof over your head, and enough food to eat, you are better off than 25% of the American population was during the Great Depression. Be thankful for what you do have, and generous to those who don't have it.
___The date itself marked the ninety-fifth anniversary of the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which subverted the constitutional ban on issuance of paper money and allowed a private banking enterprise to exercise the singular privilege of printing money for the Federal Government. Originally redeemable in specie (silver) currency, the fraud inherent in such an arrangement became quite apparent in 1929. After the disappearance of large sums of fractional reserve money, frightened depositors descended upon member banks to find that their hard-earned silver had been given to someone else.
___Rather than forcing the banking system to honor their contractual obligations on penalty of imprisonment (a punishment ordinary mortals like you and I would face), the politicians in Washington DC instead devised a convoluted “Rube Goldberg machine” of monetized debt securities in an effort to make the entire scam seem perfectly reasonable and even enlightened. Since then, Federal Reserve Notes have been made “legal tender”, which all U.S. citizens are forced to accept under penalty of law, no longer redeemable in “lawful money”.
___The deception continues to this day, as generation after generation of schoolchildren grow up believing that economics is a such a boring and difficult concept to understand that it is better just to leave the monetary policy of our nation to “experts” who care about such things. That this attitude is a fatal mistake is now becoming clear as the banking system racks up record profits while the losses are once again foisted upon the gullible American taxpayers. Simultaneously, the stolen purchasing power is used by the Federal government to finance their Imperial wars of global conquest and pseudo-legal domestic “surveillance” operations while the schools and bridges in our States crumble to dust.
___But on November 22nd, brave patriots from across the continent assembled in front of all Federal Reserve regional banks and made their voices heard. “No more bailouts! End the Fed!”, we shouted. “Inflation is theft! End the Fed!” With signs and voices raised in protest, we marched through the centers of our great cities, demanding an end to the central banking scheme once and for all.
___The alternative to continued servitude under the political and monetary dictatorship of the American Empire? Restoration of national sovereignty to the Republic of Ohio and prompt implementation of circulating currency physically consisting of silver (or other precious metals). In my opinion, any efforts to reform the system and bring it under control while still allowing the bankers to create fiat money out of nothing are doomed to fail. And since the Federal government in Washington has proved themselves to be unredeemably corrupt by perpetuating this unjust and unconstitutional system, the time has come to wrest out State sovereignty back from the Federals who have abused the privilege.
___More information about the “End The Fed” movement can be found at: http://www.endthefed.us/. Thanks to the Campaign for Liberty, the Ohio Freedom Alliance, Peace Chicken, and everyone else who helped to organize this glorious event.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The Drudge Report cites Professor Igor Panarin of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an interview with Izvestia. When asked when the U.S. economy would collapse, Panarin said: "It is already collapsing. Due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street have already ceased to exist, and two are barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator."
Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles." He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions."
The other is economist Dmitry Orlov, cited in the Campaign for Liberty blog, who identifies five stages of collapse: financial, commercial, political, social, and cultural. In the financial collapse phase, credit dries up, savings are wiped out, and frantic efforts to save solvency with liquidity cause hyperinflation. He takes for granted, reasonably enough, that the United States is well into this first stage already. In the next two stages, which Mr. Orlov asserts are totally unavoidable, supplies dry up (from lack of money, comes lack of products) and political corruption runs more rampant than ever. Both stages driven by financial collapse, he says, they will overlap, and it isn't clear which will begin sooner. "With the disappearance of the free and open market, even the items that still are available for sale come to be offered in a way that is neither free nor open, but only at certain times and to certain people. Whatever wealth still exists is hidden, because flaunting it or exposing it just increases the security risk, and the amount of effort required to guard it."
Mr. Orlov says that political collapse is hard to spot because "the worse things get, the more noise the politicians emit. The substance to noise ratio in political discourse is pretty low even in good times, making it hard to spot the transition when it actually drops to zero." The variable that's easier to monitor is the level of political embarrassment. He cites the example of Mr. Nazdratenko, the governor of the far-east Russian region of Primorye, who stole large amounts of coal, made strides in the direction of establishing an independent foreign policy toward China, and yet Moscow could do nothing to rein him in, you could be sure that Russia's political system was pretty much defunct."
So, as V.I. Lenin famously asked, "What is to be done?" Mr. Orlov argues elsewhere that Russians, who housed three generations accustomed to hardship under one roof, were actually better prepared for collapse than Americans, who live alone or in nuclear families, spread out geographically. Where the Russian attitude was "life goes ever on," we will find ourselves stranded among strangers. To prevent this social collapse, "[the] only reasonable approach, it seems to me, is to form communities that are strong and cohesive enough to provide for the well-being of all of their members, that are large enough to be resourceful, yet small enough so that people can relate to each other directly, and to take direct responsibility for each other's well-being. Do you think your web-based communities will ever be able to perform these functions? Please, stop dreaming. "
And what of the political collapse? Orlov says that this is when local politics will matter the most. The federal government will be deaf as ever to the public outcry, but municipalities will feel the distress as roads, sewer mains, and the like can no longer be maintained.
In other words, the only government that will matter will be that which is closest to us, which is the essence of decentralism.
Virtual buckeyes to Mike Tuggle at Rebellion and Path I've Made at Ohio Freedom Alliance.
Suits me just fine. He can probably destroy the party as efficiently as anyone.
Monday, November 24, 2008
With this in mind, I am repeating my disclaimer that The Ohio Republic is a blog, not a movement. While I strongly favor the creation of a movement in Ohio, it will come only when enough people are frustrated enough with the existing system to hear the call to action which The Ohio Republic provides. In the meantime, I am prepared to remain the voice in the wilderness for as long as it takes.
Back to the Convention. As with the previous conventions, held in 2006 in Burlington, VT, and in 2007 in Chattanooga, TN, this convention issued a Manchester Declaration, which is reproduced below. (The text of all three declarations may be accessed from the Middlebury Institute's home page).
The Manchester Declaration
Adopted at the Third North American Secessionist Convention, '
November 15, 2008, Manchester, New Hampshire
We, the delegates to the Third North American Secessionist Convention, meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, do declare the following:
· The recent election in the United States, far from signaling a change in the imperial system or a restructuring of the essential political order, unfortunately perpetuates the two-party system and its old familiar politicians that for decades have promoted the interests of the corporate/financial elite whose willing servants they remain.
· The recent financial flailing and machinations in the U.S., including the trillion-dollar bailout of the institutions that created the economic meltdown in the first place, provide ample and blatant evidence of Wall Street’s control over U.S. politics in the interest of trying to see that the rich get richer and the rest get nowhere.
· Together these two processes, along with a long string of abuses and usurpations over the past decades, unmistakably indicate that the U.S. is bankrupt in every way—financially, economically, politically, socially, academically, militarily, spiritually, and morally.
· This fact should demonstrate to the North American public, and the world, that it is the very scale and complexity of the various interlocking political and economic systems that is the fundamental cause of their failure—as well as the reason that no one on the scene has any idea whatsoever of how to fix it.
· That being the case, it is necessary, for the restoration of democracy—not to mention sanity, prosperity, sustainability, governance, and peace—that the imperial system be dismantled, and various states, regions, and elements of North America exert their right to secede into independent regimes laying their foundations on such principles and organizing their powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. It is to this end that the secessionist movement will dedicate its energy, time, talents, moneys, and sacred honor, and we invite, indeed implore, the participation of our fellow citizens.
Passed this day, the fifteenth of November, 2008.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
He begins with an expanded story of the media circus around Sarah & Todd Palin's involvement, then goes into just why secessionism is the only way we can recover the ideals that made America great. He is a plain spoken man, but his speech is both hilarious and eloquent. Viewing it will be 15 minutes well spent.
Virtual buckeye to Biker Bill at Adventures in the Free State (New Hampshire).
In the last century, the national Republican Party has suffered from bipolar disorder, where the poles may neatly be described as paleoconservative and neoconservative. The paleoconservatives, of which I consider myself one, have consistently advocated limited government, particularly at the Federal level, balanced budgets, a strong national defense but avoidance of foreign wars; and social and economic freedom. Examples of paleoconservative Presidents are Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower (with the qualification that President Eisenhower was unable to balance his budgets – partly due to World War II debt and partly due to a Democratic Congress through most of his administration).
Neoconservatives have consistently advocated the use of the military to expand American interests throughout the world, economic freedom, and a more proactive approach to the regulation of business. Since 1980, neoconservatives have advanced a social agenda reflected in the preferences of the Religious Right, They have been outspoken for Second Amendment rights, and have tended to expand Federal powers affecting secrecy and individual rights. Early examples of neoconservatives (before the term came into use) are Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. More recent examples of neoconservative Presidents are Ronald Reagan, and our current incumbent.
The bipolar shifts have confused Republicans to the point where many wonder whether the Party has a philosophy at all; and it has alienated the general public to the extent that a recovery in four years may not even be possible.
Therefore, I would like to offer a not-so-modest proposal. For now, America would be best served by a vibrant three-party system.
The Democrats would remain as is, less a few conservatives who would be more attracted to one of the other parties, since neither now would be called “Republican”. The Democrats would continue to represent the liberal tradition of governmental activism both at home and abroad.
A Populist Party would represent the paleoconservative tradition, best represented today by Ron Paul. It would seek a return to Constitutional limitations on Federal power, would emphasize both social and economic freedom, and support a strong national defense – but for defense only.
The neoconservative home might be called the “Christian Conservative” Party, because it would represent the desires of the Religious Right regarding homosexuality and abortion, favor military interventions abroad, and be less committed to decentralism than the Populists. Sarah Palin might be a good example of a Christian Conservative.
This partisan alignment would lead to shifting coalitions based on issues. For example, the Christian Conservatives might ally with the Populists on economic issues, but with Democrats on foreign policy. The Populists and Democrats might see eye to eye on social policies, while the Christian Conservatives and the Democrats might ally on economic stimulus issues.
I do not expect such a system to be permanent – American history teaches that sooner or later the parties will again become only two – but while it lasts, it would give the American people an opportunity to see issues more clearly and to decide for themselves just what this nation is about.
Monday, November 17, 2008
His argument is that the convergence of the vanishing supply of oil, global militarism, financial and economic decline, and the push for a "North American Union" will lead to the collapse of the American and Canadian empires. Particularly interesting is his observation that world population depends upon the energy supply. For example, in 1940, the world was producing approximately 6 million barrels per day, and the population was just over 2 billion. Today, production is approximately 82 billion barrels per day, supporting a population of 7 billion. However, when the peak passes (probably between now and 2015), production will decline rapidly. By 2060, oil production will reduce to the level of 1940, and along with it, the world population.
Such a dire outcome can be mitigated by seeking alternative energy sources; but even more importantly, by greatly reducing energy consumption and relying on local resources to produce fewer goods of more permanent value. In other words, the elimination of industrial civilization as we currently know it.
"It is not necessary for N[orth] American secessionists to advocate a blind and groundless act of secession based on questionable and quite possible reactionary and redundant motivators... What is of greater tactical importance is to acknowledge the historical conditions for secession as they exist in the present, conditions which were not caused by secessionists and which quickly approach a crisis and, as such, call to be acted upon [emphasis added]. To undo the institutional construct of the large industrial nation state ... is no small task. Fortunately, secessionists need not overly concern themselves with having to "do" such a task. It is the historical condition with corresponding opportunities and synergies that will unravel the artificial identity of large-scale nationalism. Secessionists need merely to perceive such and adapt accordingly."
The work of the secessionist will be to agitate and to educate, Mr. Ronin writes, because our revolution will be one of thought and of perception.
The challenge will be to again envision our personal worlds on a human scale, and not the gargantuan scale of the last 200 years.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Mr. Gearino quotes James Rubenstein, a geography professor at Miami University and "an expert on the Ohio auto industry": "The severity is such that the nation as a whole needs to face up to a regional issue." According to Prof. Rubenstein, the bailout should be thought of as disaster relief for the Great Lakes states, "just like the country banded together to help the Gulf Coast after natural disasters" [Mr. Gearino's words].
The rest of the nation does not give a rat's patoot about the Great Lakes States. I know this is not the way to gain popularity in this State, but the Big Three should be allowed to collapse. Yes, I know it will be extremely painful; and at least 40,000 more workers will be out of a job -- but to send taxpayer money to the automakers, even as a loan, will only prolong the agony. Yes, I know that the American public thinks that American automakers make poorer quality cars than they really do -- my wife and I each have a Ford Focus, both over four years old, and we are completely satisfied with them.
The problem is not all the United Auto Workers, and it is not all corporate arrogance in Detroit. The problem is, that the Big Three are structurally incapable of responding quickly to innovation. Instead of bailing out the behemoths, we need to incubate new, smaller automakers that will develop electric and hybrid cars; and invent new forms of transportation that remove our dependence on Oil. We need free enterprise, not government-subsidized enterprise -- that can compete and innovate. This is the playing field on which Ohio is strongest, and the one on which Ohio will win, given the opportunity.
Again, I know I am suggesting an extremely painful transition, but sometimes you have to perform an amputation to save the patient's life. This is one of those times.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
- To the McCain/Palin supporters: What does "Country First" mean? Are you blindly upholding a flag, or the principles that made it great?
- To the Obama/Biden supporters: What kind of change do we really need? To just say you are anti-Bush or want a fairer distribution of wealth still leaves open a whole host of undesirable options.
Here are some more questions:
1. Which candidate will best protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?
2. Which candidate will best promote economic opportunity for all Americans?
3. Which candidate will best protect our Constitutional rights, especially those of free speech and press, and of protection from unreasonable searches and seizures?
4. Which candidate will be most likely to reduce the Federal deficit?
5. Which candidate is more likely to let you make your own decisions in life, and allow you to spend your own money as you see fit?
6. Which candidate best understands that real security lies in national defense, and not interventions in foreign countries?
7. Which candidate will best protect the Consitution and sovereignty of the United States from the "North American Union" and from delegating powers to international organizations?
If you were tempted to answer "none of the above" to four or more of the preceding questions; or if your answers were split 4-3; please consider Ohio independence as a viable solution to the broken system of government we now face.
The next President will be neither Messiah nor Antichrist. He will be a man, subject to the temptations of great power, and therefore tempted to abuse it to achieve his ends more efficiently. Think carefully, dear voter. What should those ends be, and what are you willing to do when he tries to abuse that power?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
"It is essential to note that an electoral mandate does not give a president of a democratic state a blank check to do whatever he and his party desire but merely authorizes them to implement their campaign commitments within the bounds of the government's powers in the Constitution and its explicit and implicit principles."
Unfortunately, that quotation did not come from an American newspaper. It came from the Taiwan Times*, which then quotes their Constitution as holding that "the sovereignty of the ROC [Republic of China, formal name for Taiwan] shall reside in the whole body of citizens."
When we put too much hope or trust in a Presidential candidate, we risk giving up part of the sovereignty that rests in America, as in Taiwan, with the States and with the people.
* This is in the context of allegations that the president is attempting to negotiate away Taiwan's sovereignty in secret negotiations with the People's Republic of China -- something we will probably need to think about in the context of the "North American Union".
Thursday, October 23, 2008
"I've lived through some turbulent years of American history, but I have never seen our country more polarized, more divided, more ripe for – dare I say it? – breakup, dissolution, a secessionist movement.
"I admit I'm unafraid of radical ideas – if those radical ideas are just, righteous, moral and godly. I believe it's time for radical ideas – just as it was time in 1776.
"Frankly, I don't see a way to unite a people as divided as Americans are today. We are trying to pretend we're one nation when we are really two [or more]. ...
"It's not a Republican vs. Democrat split – as the current election illustrates. I know many Republicans would find themselves more comfortable in the country of no standards. I also suspect many Democrats would actually find themselves more at home in the nation of the Bible, Declaration and Constitution. Isn't it time for separation? Is the breakup of the union really such a difficult thing to consider? When there are no new lands to discover, what choice do we have? ...
"America was founded as a sovereign, independent nation. The vandals want to yield sovereignty to global authorities and make America interdependent. America was founded with a federal government that was to be constitutionally limited in scope. The vandals have already succeeded in obliterating the enumerated powers.
"America was founded as a nation of self-governing free people and sovereign states with significant authority reserved to them. The vandals have placed America under the shackles of a central government to which the states and people are subordinate.
"America was founded as a nation of people 'endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' ...
"We already are two peoples [the "red states" and the "blue states" with irreconcilable differences sharing one nation. It's time for an amicable divorce – with each people free to pursue their own way. I don't know how to make this happen. But I think it's time to start talking about it – start working toward it. I don't want to live under the consequences of the actions of the vandals. I don't want my children to do that.
"There ought to be a choice. Maybe we can live side by side in peace as two nations, but we can't live freely as one people any longer.
"The moral justification for secession was found in our Declaration of Independence. It says governments are created to protect our unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It also says, 'Whenever a government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.' ...
"What choice do we have but to break the bands that tie us together? Actually, to be honest, those bands have already been broken – by those who have, over time, grabbed control of our lives in a thousand insidious ways over the last 200-plus years. It's time to move this debate forward – front and center. It's time to begin asking the real questions. It's time to restore liberty to America.
"There's only one way to recapture the greatness of America. That is to start over – with only those willing to play by the rules. Let those who don't believe in rules have their own country to destroy. "
By the way, that word "indivisible" sticks in my craw, which is why I said I do not recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Virtual buckeye to Mike Tuggle.
"The U.S. economy's eight-year roller-coaster run of decline, recovery then more decline has left Ohio with the second-worst record of job loss in the nation, a private economist says.
"Of the 50 states, only Michigan, with its 'unprecedented, Depression-level' loss of 496,900 jobs since 2000, or 10.5 percent of its work force, exceeded Ohio's decline of 213,300 jobs. The Ohio total accounted for a 3.8 percent drop in employment between September 2000 and September 2008, according to Charles McMillion, president and chief economist of MBG Information Services in Washington, D.C. ...
"'I've analyzed jobs data closely in Ohio and Michigan. These two states, especially, have just had eight awful years,' he said in a phone interview. 'Even before the current downturn, a lot of people, including me, had become terrified about what's happening there, where you depend economically so much on manufacturing jobs.'
"His tally revealed that the nation added 5 million jobs over the eight years he studied, a 3.8 percent increase in overall employment. That might not seem too dreadful.
"To put that figure into perspective, though, McMillion came to a startling finding
in his national jobs analysis: 'This 3.8 percent gain is by far the weakest eight-year gain in jobs on record back to 1939.'
"'That was the year, in the latter period of the nation's Great Depression, when the government began tabulating jobs data in the manner it still uses. That makes the data comparable.'
"McMillion said the previous worst eight-year job market was from 1953 to 1961, when job creation grew 8.3 percent -- more than twice the recent rate. In order for unemployment to remain flat, the country must generate an increasing number of new jobs each year. That's because the population grows two ways: Births outnumber deaths, and immigration accounts for a considerable number of new residents who often become job seekers. Important to Ohio and other states in the Great Lakes industrial region, the U.S. manufacturing sector has lost 22.2 percent of its jobs since 2000. McMillion's analysis shows that the decline was 2.5 times the percentage loss for any eight-year period since monthly data began flowing 69 years ago.
"The latest report shows how each of six job sectors fared in Ohio. Over the eight years, construction and manufacturing took the biggest dives. Construction shed 10.6 percent of workers, while manufacturing lost a whopping 25.4 percent, or 257,600 jobs.
"Meanwhile, private education and health services grew to become the biggest sector, with 804,300 employees, up 17.3 percent since 2000. Government remained second, growing 10.2 percent to 787,600 jobs in Ohio. McMillion said much of that has been in public schools, colleges and universities. Over these eight years, the country spent $5 trillion more on imports than it made from exports. ..."
Virtual buckeye to De Magno Opere.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It is a horrible idea. We need more decentralization, not consolidation. It will export all of our goofiness to Canada, and repeal the US Constitution.
Virtual buckeye to Sebastian Ronin of the Novacadia Alliance.
* If you click on the link, make sure to read the comments!
Here is my comment to "Open Thread: Why Vote for Your Candidate?" in Have Coffee Will Write: on the Presidential election (revised to reflect the decision made):
The decision on whether to vote for a Presidential candidate has been a dilemma for me. On the one hand, it feels wrong to leave the spot blank — if you don’t vote for a particular office, you lose your right to complain about the person who gets elected. On the other hand, I am a secessionist, and it makes little sense to vote for the one office that is dedicated to holding together the Union.
The secessionist got the upper hand.
I would point out that Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain have voted the same way on 25 major issues, and on another list of 31 issues, voted the same way 44% of the time; which suggests that George Wallace was right when he said “there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference” between the two major parties. Some people would consider my choice to be a wasted vote — but we won’t have better choices until we have the courage to vote for them, and voting for the “lesser of two evils” is still voting for an evil (at least in one’s own mind).
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Our solution: Use the military for national defense only and let the rest of the world sort itself out. If we can use diplomacy to help others solve their problems, fine; but our "big stick" will soon be whittled down to a pencil.
Oh, and by the way, if we adopt a defensive posture for our military, we might be amazed at how much we can cut back on the Homeland Security budget -- that is, if Homeland Security were really intended to protect us from external threats (rather than internal dissidents like myself).
Virtual buckeye to Mike Tuggle.
Then we have this: “Well, I tell you what, it helps in Ohio that we’ve got Democrats in charge of the machines.”- Barack Obama (Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 4).
I hope Bob Fitrakis* is taking notes.
* Outspoken critic of the 2004 general election in Ohio.
Friday, October 17, 2008
CREDIT OF STATE; THE STATE SHALL NOT BECOME JOINT OWNER OR STOCKHOLDER.
§4 The credit of the state shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual association or corporation whatever; nor shall the state ever hereafter become a joint owner, or stockholder, in any company or association in this state, or elsewhere, formed for any purpose whatever. (1851)
Clarification: A commenter to this post noted that the Ohio Department of Development does issues loans to small businesses, in apparent violation of this section. Further research has shown that §§13-15 of Article VIII* specify that §4 is to be ignored in carrying out the purposes of those sections. Those sections authorize the State to issue bonds for the purposes of economic development, housing, and coal technology; and were adopted by the people between 1974 and 1985. Loans to small businesses would appear to comply with §13, but I may not be construing the section correctly.
My point about the bailout remains valid to the extent that the bonds authorized by §§13-15 of Article VIII can only be used for capital improvements; whereas the Wall St. bailout is intended to support the regular operations of the firms being assisted.
* See pp. 52-53 of the Ohio Constitution.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
This is the State flag of Ohio, adopted in 1902.
It is not an "Obama flag". We are proud of our State flag, and it is quite neutral politically. Please advise your favorite out-of-state pundits of same.
Virtual buckeye to Mike Tuggle.
A few days ago, I also linked Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller, which provides a humorous analogy to explain the effect of the Fed and this bailout on our monetary system. More has been added to the story -- here are the links: 1, 2, 3, 4 .
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Capitol Hill Blue uses the Alaska example to thoroughly demolish the arguments against secession. (However, I also agree with the cautionary note of one commenter that an independent Alaska would create a temptation for Vladimir Putin).
Amos Wright at Examiner.com in Cleveland uses the Todd Palin story to look at what he thinks the Alaska Independence Party really means, then explains why secession is not always wrong. In addition to backing up Capitol Hill Blue (above), he cites excellent examples of why secession was a good thing in some other parts of the world.
Joel Henderson at Civil War Talk makes an excellent point about State sovereignty:
“It seems that without this sovereign power of a state to enforce the Constitution against the others, it would be utterly meaningless, except as a list of mere SUGGESTIONS and un-enforcable promises for voters and their chosen officials to consider or ignore as they pleased.”
The New Conservative has an interesting take on State sovereignty in the wake of the Oklahoma resolution:
“And we have the right to take powers from the federal government, granting them to the states in special elections and state constitutional changes - challenging the federal government on their authority over state's sovereignty.”
Finally, we have Michael LeMieux in Restore the Republic acknowledging the real root of the bailout: the addition of the 16th (income tax) and 17th (direct election of Senators) Amendments to the Constitution, and the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank. While I have a reservations about the “patriot” movement, I will count anyone as a friend who wishes to restore Constitutional government. One of the problems we do have is that the movement for freedom in America is highly fragmented – we have “patriots”, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, two political parties (Libertarian and Constitution), groups like the Ohio Freedom Alliance, secessionists, and many others trying to pursue the same object.
The right of secession is a necessary control on the growth of Federal power. I advocate exercising that right, because I am not confident that the entire nation can reverse its course at this point; but I am willing to be proven wrong. I am working along both tracks because above all, I want all of our people to be free and to regain the opportunity to live up to their potential.
One of the reasons I promote secession is that there really is no hope that the American people can take back their government. The kleptocracy has controlling interest in both parties, and will ensure that only candidates acceptable to it are nominated or elected.
If you don't want to go along with them, then either leave the President slot blank (which is the only view a secessionist can justify), or vote for the third-party candidate that most closely matches your views.
* See my comment on the Ohio Freedom Alliance.
The Ohio Freedom Alliance is a separate organization, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds in support of political projects to strengthen the role of the US Constitution in modern politics. It was inspired by Ron Paul's movement, with which I mostly agree.
I find that I am somewhat less libertarian than the OFA, being perhaps more suspicious of human nature when left completely unregulated by government.
Update May 18, 2009: I have also found that the John Birch Society's reporting of facts is usually correct.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Virtual buckeye to Ed.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
My question is, if Sarah Palin is a secessionist, why is she running for Vice-President?
Virtual buckeye to Rebellion.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Goldman Sachs $739,521
Citigroup Inc $492,548
Google Inc $487,355
JPMorgan Chase & Co $475,112
UBS AG $419,550
Lehman Brothers $391,774
Sidley Austin LLP $370,916
Skadden, Arps et al $360,409
Morgan Stanley $341,380
Latham & Watkins $328,879
Merrill Lynch $349,170
Citigroup Inc $287,801
Morgan Stanley $249,377
Goldman Sachs $220,045
JPMorgan Chase & Co $206,392
Credit Suisse Group $175,503
Wachovia Corp $147,456
Bank of America $133,975
Lehman Brothers $115,707
Bear Stearns $108,000
Virtual buckeye to The Virginian Rebel.