Thursday, January 31, 2008

Now we're seeing red!

Yesterday, Governor Ted Strickland announced that the State was expecting a budget shortfall of between $733 million and $1.9 billion for the fiscal biennium ending June 30, 2009. Since the Ohio Constitution (thankfully) forbids the State from ending a biennium with a deficit, State officials were left with a choice between cutting programs, cutting staff, and raising taxes.

Gov. Strickland wisely decided that Ohio would not get out of its recession if funding for his long-range economic initiatives were cut, and certainly not if taxes were to be increased; so he was left with selective cuts in program and staff in other areas. Today, he announced a staff reduction of between 1,500 and 3,700 State employees, to come from natural attrition, retirements (both voluntary and forced), and "several hundred" layoffs.

Most analysts would agree that there is currently very little waste in State government. This round of cuts will definitely take out muscle, and maybe even a few bones. Ohio is not alone in facing budget shortfalls, but ours may be one of the most severe.

Let me give you one of the reasons we (and other States) are in this fix: unfunded Federal mandates! The National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) estimates that in Federal fiscal years 2004-2007, unfunded mandates accounted for $100 billion in State expenditures. The NCSL list of Federal programs that impose unfunded mandates is 44 pages long. In my research, I was unable to come up with the dollar impact on Ohio; but if we consider that Ohio accounts for approximately 4% of the U.S. population, a biennial shortfall of $2 billion would not be unreasonably high -- and is more than chump change in a $52 billion budget.

In other words, the Congress is passing its deficits onto the States. The Federal funds we do receive, ($1.03 per dollar in taxes in 2005) are nothing more than the hard-earned dollars we sent in with our 1040s and corporate tax returns, returned to us after the puzzle palaces on the Potomac have taken theirs.

This overhead and the unfunded mandates will be eliminated once the Ohio Republic is established, and is one of the principal reasons that I favor our independence.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A warning from the past

Quote worth requoting, from Alexander Stephens, A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States (1868):

“The great final question now is, shall the federal government be arrested in its progress and be brought back to original principles, or shall it be permitted to go on in its present tendencies and rapid strides until it reaches complete Consolidation! There is no difference between consolidation and empire, no difference between centralism and imperialism, the consummation of either must necessarily end in the overthrow of liberty and the establishment of despotism. To speak of any rights as belonging to the states without the innate and unalienated sovereign right to maintain them is to deal in the shadow of language without the substance. The states hold nothing by grant or favor from the federal government -- on the contrary federal government itself possesses no right and is entrusted with no power except by delegation from the sovereignty of the several states. Sovereignty itself as we have seen is from its very nature indivisible! There never was a greater truth more pointedly uttered than that by Mr. Jefferson, ‘that the states of this union are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government [Kentucky Resolution, 1798].’”
(Vol. II, p. 668, emphasis added)

Historical note: Before Alexander Stephens became Vice President of the Confederacy, he argued in Georgia’s secession convention in favor of remaining in the Union. In the middle of that war, he abandoned his duties as Vice President in a dispute with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, whom he found to have become too federalist.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Now is a good time to buy Ohio!

Now that the national economy is catching a cold (never mind that we have had the flu for six years!), the Feds have decided to give us all a tax refund. Plunderbund has a good idea, let's spend it in Ohio!

Here's another good idea -- when you're looking at stocks to buy, consider an Ohio corporation when it fits your strategy. Here is a list of the Fortune 1000 companies in Ohio (2006), to which I have added the ticker symbol.

When the national crisis hits us over too much credit and a worthless dollar, we will all be better off if we rely on ourselves for the things we need. We need to grow our own economy -- no one else will care about us as much as ourselves.

With the Fortune 1000 list, I am beginning a documentation site that will add other longer pieces, and items from the blog that are of lasting interest. The link will be under the masthead at the top of this page.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Race and secessionism

This discussion opened a can (no, make that a barrel) of worms. My purpose in bringing it up was to see for myself just how racist the Confederates were. I will not issue a summary judgment here, but invite you to judge for yourself in the comments to my posts on Martin Luther King Day and the preceding Friday; and on the Martin Luther King Day thread in the League of the South's Rebellion.

Ohio needs to secede, because independence will result in a more efficient, more accountable government. With some decentralization, it will also greatly enhance the personal freedom and quality of life for all of our people.

Martin Luther King, Jr., shared his dream. It is up to all of us to make it reality.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ending racism in America

“I Have a Dream” August 28, 1963

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Like many other whites, I was skeptical when this day was first declared to be a holiday, but now I am absolutely convinced that we need it. Some holidays are for fun and celebration, like Independence Day and Labor Day; but others, like Memorial Day and this one, are better suited to reflection.Forty-five years have passed since Dr. King shared his dream with the American people. The next year, the Civil Rights Act ended segregation; and in the following year, the Voting Rights Act enabled minorities to enjoy the full rights of citizenship. I was 14 years old when the Civil Rights Act was passed, and I recall thinking even then, that it would take 50 years for the African-American to fully achieve that dream. Looking back, I think that prediction will prove to be about right, but we still have a few problems to work out.

The institutional racism exemplified by the old Southern segregation is long gone, but subtle forms remain. Remnants of white supremacy movements remain. Our schools are resegregated, in part because housing discrimination, while illegal, continues to be subtly practiced. Blacks still have problems obtaining conventional credit, and frequently need knowledge of the banking system that most whites take for granted. In many industries, glass ceilings hold down Blacks from top management positions.

But white racism is not limited to the “Fergit, Hell!!!” crowd. White liberal Democrats are facing an exquisite crisis with Barack Obama’s candidacy for President. Their choice is this: They can reject their own rhetoric about racial equality by not supporting Sen. Obama; or they can nominate him for President, and prove that minorities no longer need protection from the Democratic Party.Then there is the “politically correct” guilt trip that some white liberal extremists try to force on the rest of the race, evidenced by the diversity program that was attempted last fall at the University of Delaware (and fortunately, scrapped).

Whites are not the only racists. Black racism occurs when people presume that all white males are privileged, and therefore deserve to be discriminated against. A particularly egregious example lies in the insistence that today’s whites apologize for slavery prior to 1865. I’m sorry, I see no reason to do this. No one who owned slaves is still living. It’s not my fault that it happened, and no one living who was American-born was ever a slave! Some proponents of this idea cite the apology made to the Nisei (Japanese-Americans) who were interned during World War II, or that proposed for the Native American. Those situations are different. The Nisei apology was made to people who experienced that injustice, and the horrible conditions on the reservations continue for the Native Americans (hence the Lakota declaration of independence).I suspect that one of the drivers of Black racism is the continuing existence of a civil rights movement that appears to have lost sight of Dr. King’s vision. The original civil rights movement unintentionally followed a model use by successful businesses, where the principals are referred to as Mr. Inside (the plant manager or bookkeeper) and Mr. Outside (the salesman). Both have the same goal, but work with different people. The civil rights movement’s Mr. Outside was Dr. King, who worked with white opinion leaders to secure the legislation needed to end segregation. Mr. Inside was Malcolm X, who stressed the need for Blacks to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and set up their own institutions, not depending on assistance from whites. They shared the same end and both were successful, even though (as far as I know) they never coordinated with each other.

Another example of Black racism is a belief that affirmative action should go on forever. I understand that it has been necessary to help level the playing field for equal opportunity in education and in the workplace, and that it may need to continue for several years to come. But its continuation forever will only serve to institutionalize discrimination against white males. It will lead to the kind of grievances that never end, like the Sunni vs. the Shiite, and the Albanian vs. the Serb. We need to come together to find the answer to a question similar to the one about troop withdrawal from Iraq: Not when, but under what conditions, can we say that enough equality has been achieved that students be admitted or people hired solely on personal merit. After all, that was Dr. King’s dream, that his grandchildren would be judged by the quality of their character, not the color of their skin.We also need to work together to find real solutions for the unconscionably high incarceration rate for Black males, and to ensure genuinely equal educational opportunity for inner-city (mostly Black) children. Educational opportunity for all children is the key to ending racism.

As an Ohio secessionist, I would be deeply honored to have a Black sharing its leadership, especially if that person could see that independence will give us a fresh start -- a nation in which all of us, having been created equal, and being accepted as equal from the beginning of the Republic, can use that knowledge to empower ourselves and our communities to realize the dream that Dr. King shared with us so long ago.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

League of the South: Please learn to use p.r.!

I suppose the cartoon on the left pretty well captures the standard public image of the “secesh” in our part of the world. And it is one that the League of the South is apparently intent on perpetuating. Even if it defeats the cause. Bear with me for a few paragraphs, and I shall explain why this matters to us who are north of the Ohio River.

The League has a serious public relations problem – it is widely perceived as being racist – but as Fox News says, I’ll report, you judge. The immediate case in point has to do with the upcoming Martin Luther King Day observance at the State Capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, which will be attended by several of the Presidential candidates. The NAACP has planned a large rally to honor Dr. King and to press for the removal of what is popularly known as the Confederate Battle Flag from the war memorial on the Capitol grounds. The South Carolina chapter of the League has decided to launch a massive “flagging” – a counterdemonstration in which all of their supporters who can find a Confederate Battle Flag will display it prominently while the NAACP demonstration is taking place. Thus, the counterdemonstration simultaneously pours contempt on the work of Dr. King and uses its most abrasive symbol to do so.

Before I continue, a few disclaimers: First, what South Carolina decides to do with the flag is their internal matter, and is not the point of this discussion. Secondly, I sympathize with the League’s contention that they want to honor their ancestors. One of mine also fought for the Confederacy. Finally, we need to make a distinction between “political correctness” and public relations. “Political correctness” is the suppression of discussion because its content might offend someone. Public relations embraces the discussion, but in a way that seeks consensus.
The Confederate Battle Flag is a bold in-your-face design that is offensive to many people, not only because it is an historic symbol of the Southern nation; but in the years since the Civil War has become intimately associated with white supremacism, segregation, and rebellion. There are other Confederate flags (left) that can be used to honor the war dead. A p.r.-savvy League would call off the counterdemonstration and say something like “We have the right to honor our traditions, but we understand why people are offended by the Confederate Battle Flag. We therefore propose that one of the other flags be displayed at the war memorial.”

A few years ago, Georgia adopted a new state flag modeled on the Stars and Bars with relatively little objection from the Black community, and Confederate war memorials in several states display the 3rd national flag (lower right in the illustration above). If the NAACP insists on removing all Confederate symbolism from the war memorial, and the League insists that the only acceptable symbol is the Confederate Battle Flag, the debate will never end. The NAACP will continue to be aggravated and the League will continue to be branded with the word racist. It is therefore in the interest of both organizations to settle the issue.

The problem for us up North is that the perceived racism of the League of the South (and please note, I’m trying to be fair by calling it perceived) has ramifications up here. The most mature secessionist movement today is the one in Vermont. Begun in 1991 as an outgrowth of discussions during their Bicentennial, it has won support from 20% of the population, according to a University of Vermont poll last year. The best known organization, called the Second Vermont Republic,* was well on the way to advocating a resolution for secession from each of the some 200 town meetings to take place this March. However, one of the leading lights of that movement is Prof. Thomas H. Naylor, who moved to Vermont some 20 years ago from a teaching position at Duke University, in North Carolina. His close association with the Middlebury Institute (a secessionist think tank based in New York), and the latter’s defense of, and cosponsorship of a secessionist convention with the League of the South, has split, and apparently seriously damaged, the Vermont movement. While the criticisms of Prof. Naylor and his movement smack somewhat of guilt by association, neither the Second Vermont Republic nor the Middlebury Institute has answered the allegations, one of which is that the Institute is effectively acting as a front organization for the League of the South. (I personally doubt that this is true, but again, the allegations remain unanswered).

So, we have a domino effect. If the League of the South cannot apply p.r. to address the charges of racism, they will never sell secession to a majority of Southerners. As a result, the League may cause Vermont’s movement to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory, and it will greatly increase the financial and psychological startup costs for movements elsewhere, including Ohio.

All because they will not challenge the notion that a secessionist is a cartoon figure in a gray uniform that shouts “Fergit, hell!!!”

(I will give my own views on racism on Monday).

* The First Vermont Republic existed as an independent nation from 1776 until its admission to the Union in 1791.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Economic storm clouds brewing

Harold Meyerson, a columnist for the Washington Post, observes that the coming recession (notice how certain everyone is that there is going to be one?) will be different from the ones in the recent past. In the recent past, a few technical adjustments by the Federal Government and the Federal Reserve were good enough, because the economy was fundamentally sound.

Not this time. Mr. Meyerson cites the following reasons for our economic weakness:

- American incomes have remained stagnant since the 1970’s. We made up for it by having both spouses work, and by drawing on rising home values. Now home values are dropping and “there are no more spouses to send into the workplace.” And wages are still flat.

- The financial sector mirrors that of 1929: it is deregulated, as the banks have become the victim of their own complex and “deliberately opaque” financial products.

In his article, Mr. Meyerson proposes several remedies, but I’m not holding my breath. The Republicans want to cut corporate taxes, the Democrats are talking about FDR-style programs to build green industries, strengthening the ability of service-sector employees to unionize, and re-regulating financial institutions.

At the same time, Erik Eckholm of the New York Times reports that here in Ohio, where recession has become a way of life, workers in the southeastern counties find jobs so scarce that men in their 40s are forced to move in with their parents, because even with two jobs, they are making half of what they had before. In these counties, 32% live below the poverty level (about $20,000 for a family of four), and 56% live with incomes less than twice that. Meanwhile, our factories are in Mexico and China, and our mom and pops have been swallowed up by Wal-Mart. On the same day, the Columbus Dispatch reports that Nationwide Insurance will cut 200 jobs now, and later cut or shuffle up to 1,000 jobs; and Chillicothe will be closing a paper factory, losing 160 jobs. And last year’s inflation rate was the highest since 1990, while workers’ average weekly earnings dropped another 0.9%.

Our economy, as well as our society, is spinning out of control. Tip O’Neill, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1970s, used to say that “all politics is local.” Well, here’s a news flash: all economics is local! If the economy does not help those who are willing and able to work to put rooves over their heads, food on their tables, and warm clothing and heating in the winter, it is not working.

Six years as a pocket of continuous recession should satisfy anyone that the Feds don’t care about us. We need a government that responds to our needs and will act in our interest! We need a Republic of our own!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Benjamin Franklin and liberty

Today is Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, and two quotations of his seem especially appropriate today:

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

-- Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

According to the notes of James McHenry, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, “a lady asked Dr. Franklin, ‘Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?’ ‘A republic,’ replied the Doctor, ‘if you can keep it.’”

While we’re at it, let me add this one from Theodore Roosevelt:

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

-- Article for the Kansas City Star, May 7, 1918

Joining Ohio’s political blogging community

Sometimes we can learn from our good experiences. In the last few weeks, I have been getting in touch with Ohio’s political blogging community. I now understand just how little I know about our State’s politics, even though I live in Columbus and am a faithful reader of the Dispatch.

Too many secessionists seem to be living in a philosophical ivory tower. The truth is, the State politics we have now will become the national politics under the Republic. More immediately, we need to understand the environment in which we are operating.

The quickest and simplest way to do this is to read the weekly Carnival of Ohio Politics, which I am adding to our Links list. It is a handy digest highlighting the contents of Ohio’s political blogs. Up to three selections are made by the bloggers themselves; and they are, of course, linked. This week, The Ohio Republic, a first-timer, had the honor of taking the lead entry in their special 100th edition.

Jill Miller-Zelman of Writes Like She Talks, is an experienced observer of Ohio politics and editor of the week. Her take on The Ohio Republic: “I can say with complete honesty, I've never heard that seriously argued before, and blogs are the perfect place to start such discussions.” I completely agree, and look forward to us learning from each other in the weeks ahead.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The sanity of Ohio independence

Last month, I acknowledged to my father, who does not have Internet access, that I am a secessionist. His immediate reaction was that I was out of my mind. I suspect that Anonymous had the same idea in their reaction to my January 2 post giving the case for Ohio independence:

“However hard I find it to believe you're actually saying all these things, it's never going to happen. Ever. Ever. Not in 100 years. It didn't work last time.”

My comment in reply is part of the link above; but here, I suggest that, far from being insanity, my support for Ohio independence is in fact the sanest thing I can do, especially if you define insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” *

I believe as much as anyone in working within the system – when it’s not broken. In the past thirty years, the American people have disengaged themselves from politics -- just look at statistics of voter registration relative to the voting-age population, and at the percentage of registered voters who actually vote in any given election. As I argued January 2, we are not a democracy. The United States Government is a kleptocracy. I am convinced that the Federal Government has been corrupted beyond repair, and that the only way to restore accountability is to reduce the size of the nation to a more human scale.

It isn’t as though we haven’t tried to reform it. Think of the “major” third-party candidates that have run in the last forty years: John Anderson, George Wallace, Ross Perot. The most successful of them was Ross Perot. While he did receive 20% of the popular vote, he did not get even one electoral vote! This is less a defect of the Electoral College than it is a nationwide defect in the electoral system, that rigs it in favor of two large political parties whose ideas are becoming less distinct all the time. This year, we hear that Ron Paul and possibly Michael Bloomberg will be seeking the Presidency on third-party tickets. And, even if Rep. Paul or Mayor Bloomberg were to be elected, they would still have to cope with a two-party Congress that will be hostile to their leadership. We have tried the third-party and the independent Presidential candidate routes – several times – and the last time it did work was in 1860.

What else can we do? Form a lobby? Would the mainstream media even give such a lobby the time of day? How would it be financed without corrupting its principles?

Start a revolution? Thomas Jefferson thought we should have a revolution every twenty years, but to revolt against the U.S. military sounds rather suicidal to me.

So what is left? A determination by the people to pursue, nonviolently and within the rule of law, the right to peaceably leave the Union, one that was recognized by the Federal Government itself at the beginning of the Civil War (in the failure of Congress to outlaw secession outright). To say the Union is indivisible is to suggest that a State’s voluntary act to enter the Union is like an individual’s decision to join the Mafia – you can never leave it alive. It also suggests that maintaining the Union is more important than preserving the freedoms that gave it meaning.

We cannot possibly raise enough money to buy back the government, nor enough force to overcome the police and the military. Our only option is to build such a strong moral position that our opposition will collapse of its own weight, just as the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia did in 1991. Look realistically at where our economy is headed, and the idea that it could (and should) happen here will not seem so far-fetched.

Here's another post that demonstrates the sanity of independence. (Michael Rozeff in

* Attributed to Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fascism in 10 easy steps

Things like this do not reduce my enthusiasm for Ohio independence:

The Guardian, a British newspaper, published a well-documented article listing ten steps that carry a democratic regime into totalitarianism. It appears that we are rather far along...

The 10 steps are:
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy (terrorists?)
2. Create a gulag (Guantánamo?)
3. Develop a thug caste (like the security guys in Iraq?)
4. Set up an internal surveillance system (to read e-mail from
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law

It reminds me of a poem by the German activist Rev. Martin Niemöller describing the Nazis:

First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Thanks to the Taxman blog, written by a CPA in Cincinnati, for bringing it to my attention -- even if he doesn't take it seriously.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Juggling tricks and banking dreams

What do we mean when we speak of “independence” and “freedom”? Do we seek merely to replace the Stars and Stripes with a flag of our own device? Do we dream of wresting for ourselves the power of a nation-state, for no reason other than the feeling of potency that such power brings? Shall we fight for liberty in name only, content to leave the corruption and hypocrisy of this culture untouched? Or, do we long for the opportunity to establish for ourselves and our posterity a just State which will be operated on the principles of impartiality and compassion, and which will reflect our own ideals of justice and morality?

It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth cannot be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society—the farmers, mechanics, and laborers—who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favor alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles. – Andrew Jackson [1]

Most readers of this blog are already quite familiar with the arrogant usurpation of power by the American Empire, and their plans to subdue all of human kind in their infamous quest to establish a global “New World Order”, which will relegate the concept of “constitutional rights” to the history books. However, not everyone truly understands exactly how this is to be accomplished. Guns and bombs and nuclear weapons? Well, sure, but when is the last time we saw a squad of enforcers hanging out on the street corner just waiting for someone to exercise their Freedom of Speech so they can blow them away?
Not recently – because it isn’t necessary. The real instrument of our oppression is silent, ubiquitous, and much more insidious, because no one seems to understand how it works. Governeur Morris, the former delegate from New York who had helped to draft the Constitution, stated:

The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did. They always will.... They will have the same effect here as elsewhere, if we do not, by such a government, keep them within their proper spheres. We should remember that the people never act from reason alone. The rich will take advantage of their passions, and make these the instruments for oppressing them. The result of the contest will be a violent aristocracy, or a more violent despotism.[2]

Many texts by professional economists seem to have been written in an intentionally overcomplicated fashion in an attempt to obfuscate what would otherwise be rather blatant fraud. It is the Federal Reserve System, through its criminal central banking practices and the issuance of paper notes of credit, which supports and augments the plutocracy which even now seeks to make servants of us and victims of those that live on other continents. It is the mechanism of fiat currency that allows the government to create an environment in which those who are lucky enough to have jobs at all (on their terms) are kept locked in a cycle of perpetual work and living paycheck-to-paycheck. And, it is also the Federal Reserve System that allows the government to immediately finance any sort of project they want – from ridiculous pork-barrel “earmarks”, to the unconstitutional, unpopular, and very deadly wars in the Middle East. The cost of these activities is said to be “borrowed” but is, in fact, paid immediately by everyone whose paychecks are denominated in US dollars. Thomas Jefferson, a lifelong champion of “sound money”, wrote:

Although all the nations of Europe have tried and trodden every path of force and folly in a fruitless quest of the same object, yet we still expect to find in juggling tricks and banking dreams, that money can be made out of nothing, and in sufficient quantity to meet the expense of heavy war. ...[3]
The toleration of banks of paper discount costs the United States one-half of their war taxes; or, in other words, doubles the expenses of every war. ...[4]
The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating.[5]

The learned individuals who fought in the First American Revolution and helped to draft the Constitution of the United States of America well understood the danger posed by “rag money” and took great pains to word that document in such a way as to preclude (or so they thought) the possibility of ever again falling for the central banking scam. Oliver Ellsworth from Connecticut, who later was to become our third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, said:

This is a favorable moment to shut and bar the door against paper money. The mischief of the various experiments which have been made are now fresh in the public mind and have excited the disgust of all the respectable parts of America.[6]

It was federal debt that allowed the political and monetary scientists to violate the intent of the founding fathers, and it was this same federal debt that prompted Jefferson to exclaim:

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the general principle of the Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government their power of borrowing.[7]
We shall consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves.[8]…The earth belongs to the living, not the dead.... We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right to ... bind themselves, but not the succeeding generation. ...[9]

Therefore, I earnestly urge the reader of this blog to undertake the task of educating themselves on the evils of central banking and the inherently dishonest nature of paper money. For additional insight into this topic, written in a style that everyday people will find both fascinating and easily comprehensible, I recommend The Creature From Jeckyll Island by G. Edward Griffin (published by American Media). [Note: The Creature From Jeckyll Island is my direct source for the quotations used in this essay.] Those with greater than average literary interest might find The Writings of Thomas Jefferson to be even more illuminating. An essential knowledge of these types of fiduciary illusions is critical to any fledgling republic or mounting revolution. Without this understanding, any such movement that shows even the potential to succeed will be quickly co-opted by the elite financial ruling-class and in the end will become just as corrupt and despotic as the one it replaced. The Americans are held captive, not by guns and tanks, but by the paper chains of their own willful ignorance. Free yourself.

[1] Andrew Jackson, speaking to Congress in 1832 to explain his veto of the renewal of the charter of the Second Bank of the United States. Quoted by Kroos, Herman E., in Documentary History of Banking and Currency in the United States Vol. III, pp. 36-37. New York, Chelsea House, 1983.
[2] Governeur Morris, written on July 2, 1787, in a letter to James Madison. Quoted in "Prosperity Economics," by W. Cleon Skousen, Freeman Digest, February, 1985, p. 9.
[3] The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition, Vol. XIV, p. 227. Washington: Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903.
[4] The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition, Vol. XIII, p. 364. Washington: Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903.
[5]The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition, Vol. XIII, p. 272. Washington: Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903.
[6] For the context of this and the following statements expressing a similar sentiment, see Bancroft, George, A Plea for the Constitution, pp. 30, 43-44, 82, New York: Harpers, 1886; also Paul, Ron and Lehrman, Lewis, The Case for Gold, , p. 168, Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 1982.
[7] Letter to John Taylor, November 26, 1789. Quoted by Martin A. Larson, The Continuing Tax Rebellion (Old Greenwich, Connecticut: Devin-Adair, 1979), p. xii.
[8]The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition, Vol. XIII, p. 358. Washington: Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903.
[9]The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition, Vol. XIII, p. 270. Washington: Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Why secessionists want out

I am not a great Ron Paul for President fan, because I am not confident that he can be elected; or if elected, that he would be able to govern. However, in this 2003 speech, quoted in Vermont Commons, Rep. Paul does express the sense of most secessionists that the Federal Government is corrupted beyond all repair, and that the only way to fix the problem is to reduce our governments and societies to a more human scale.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Lakota Update

I heard back in December that there was some division in the Lakota nation between Russell Means and his followers, and the tribal elders; but did not give it much thought at the time. It turns out that the "Republic of Lakotah" is a splinter group -- the mainstream Lakota, including the tribal elders, constitute the Lakota Oyate.

News prior to today was a bit confusing for most of us, as I demonstrated last Friday. I stand by the comments I made then (but respecting the Lakota Oyate, not the "Republic of Lakotah"), but wish the journalists would clarify what is going on (while understanding perfectly well why they ignore the whole movement).

Friday, January 4, 2008

Does a falling tree make a sound if no one is around to listen?

Does the formation of the Republic of Lakotah* have significance if virtually all of the North American (and apparently, Caribbean) media ignore it? (My post on Lakota independence)

The Lakota are serious, and have obviously given this considerable thought. Their republic is not a micronation -- it occupies territory and is capable of enforcing its own laws (though their police and military are undoubtedly spread a bit thin at the moment).

The deafening silence reflects more on the mainstream media than on the Lakota. Journalism used to be about reporting the facts, not propagandizing for corporate interests.

Ignore it at your peril -- the first domino may have just fallen!

* But see my 1/6/08 post for an update.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Where's the outrage?

A fellow Ohioan who writes the Nookular Option blog asks one of those nasty little thought-provoking questions: Why do those of us who advocate states’ rights for social issues lack the same energy for states’ rights on an important environmental issue? He linked to an article in the Los Angeles Times citing a Federal court opinion affirming the Feds' denial of California’s waiver application for emission controls more stringent than the Federal standards.

To be consistent in states’ rights, we should be opposing Federal activity in every area not specifically stated in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

Unfortunately, environmentalism is not a hot-button issue in Ohio, and Ohio is not one of the 15 states that joined in California’s lawsuit against the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. The reason probably has to do with Ohio’s “practical” nature and our nostalgia for smokestack industries. As we have shown in earlier posts, Ohio has a wonderful opportunity for growth if we embrace environmentalism and use our inventiveness to develop technologies that will let us have economic growth and clean air too.

As one who has advocated both for states’ rights and environmentalism, I am outraged. You should be too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The case for Ohio independence – the short course

Let me start the new year by clearly stating the reasons I am pressing for Ohio’s independence from the United States. This is only a high-level overview, but this entire blog is its commentary:

1. We are experiencing potentially severe environmental changes affecting our weather, our wildlife, and the quality of our air and water. Far from preparing us to deal with these issues, the position of the Federal Government has been to ignore them entirely.

2. The U.S. economy is dependent on foreign oil. Oil is now past peak production and in the hands of increasingly unstable régimes. The Federal Government has chosen not to take any constructive action, either to stabilize the price of oil, or to significantly reduce even long-term consumption. This poses a serious economic and national security risk.

3. The Federal Government is sacrificing the lives of Americans in a war that cannot be justified on the basis of national security.

4. As the mortgage crisis has shown, personal debt has reached intolerable levels; aggravated by continuing Federal budget deficits. The deficits are being financed by a collapsing Social Security system and by foreign investors. This dependence upon foreign investors poses serious economic and national security risks.

5. Federal tax, energy, and environmental policy has favored global corporations at the expense of small business and the people. Indeed, we can argue that the Federal Government is not a democracy, but a kleptocracy that no longer governs by consent of the governed.

6. The Federal Government, since at least 1913, has exhibited a steady pattern of curtailing the rights and freedoms of individuals. I am planning a series to show just how the Constitution has been slowly eradicated by Federal legislation and bureaucratic activity.

7. States’ rights, once a vital check on the expanding power of the Federal Government, have been nearly abolished altogether. The problem is that “one size fits all” solutions really do not fit anyone very well. One result is that the Federal bureaucracy now impose mandates that have to be funded from State resources.

8. For all of the hoopla surrounding Ohio’s role in electing the President in 2000 and 2004, there is no evidence that Ohio has experienced any political benefit whatsoever; except perhaps that Ohio is breaking even between Federal tax collections and Federal disbursements. When we consider the costs of maintaining the administration in Washington, Ohio still is not getting fair value per dollar sent.

I maintain that Ohio’s taxpayers will better served by a Republic of their own, even after taking into consideration the costs of a national defense, diplomatic service, and some regulatory tasks. It will be 26 times more responsive to the will of our people, eliminate layers of bureaucracy required to interpret and enforce Federal rules, and will limit its military activity to true defense.

Leftovers from 2007

Previous posts have included a few promises not yet kept and some items requiring followup:

  • In my Welcome post (Sept. 12, 2007), I promised to explain how the Federal Government oppresses minorities. I shall publish a post on this subject on or near Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 21).
  • In “Your vote may be a public record” (Oct. 23), I related how, by following a paper trail that was public record, one’s vote could be matched with one’s name. Soon thereafter, Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, announced a simple procedural change that removed that link. The “Authority to Vote” number will no longer be recorded next to the voter’s name in the poll book.
  • Sen. Voinovich has not yet answered my request for his position to HR 1955 (Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, “An appeal to Ohio’s Senators against HR 1955”, Dec. 4).
  • My invitations to participate in this blog and to help begin a movement for Ohio secession remain open (“Two invitations to my fellow Ohioans”, Dec. 6).

I thank my readers for their thoughtful comments. With only one exception that was obviously spam, all comments submitted have been published. Your comments are always welcome.