Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #676 Sedition! (Part 2): Target, America!

MP3: Side 1 | Side 2

For several years, For The Record has presented information about efforts to break up larger countries by empowering the independence/secessionist aspirations of various regional and ethnic groups within those states. Included in this analysis are the efforts on the part of various groups to secede from, and break up, the United States of America.

The bulk of the first side of the program consists of a stunning op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journalcalling for the breakup of the United States, seen as “economically beneficial” for those participating in the process! In consideration of the above-noted drive for secession from the United States,  the broadcast reiterates that a bankrupt United States could, following political catastrophe such as a terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction, disintegrate.

Of particular significance in this context are the movements of the Lakota, the Hawaiians, the League of the South and the Alaskan Independence Party–the first two championed by the Hapsburg-led UNPO and the latter two strongly connected to neo-fascist and white supremacist parties. (Sarah Palin’s political career appears to be a front for the Alaskan Independence Party.)

Also worth noting is the fact that former Reagan administration functionary Christina Luhn is a major proponent of the dissolution of the United States. As discussed is many programs, the Reagan administration was staffed by Helene Von Damm, protege of Otto von Bolschwing, one of Hitler’s top experts on “Jewish Matters” and a postwar employee of the CIA.

After reviewing Friedrich List’s economic blueprint for German world domination (formulated in the 19th century), the program reviews the Third Reich’s goals to realize List’s design, as well as the postwar Federal Republic’s realization of those goals.

The program concludes by comparing the reality of the dawning economic landscape and the “corporacracy” set forth in the “novel” Serpent’s Walk. Mr. Emory believes that, like The Turner Diaries (also published by National Vanguard Books), the book is actually a blueprint for what is going to take place. It is a novel about a Nazi takeover of the United States in the middle of the 21st century. The book describes the Third Reich going underground, buying into the American media, and taking over the country.

Of particular significance for our purposes here is the “corporacracy” that the SS envisions will enable them to control the world (in this “novel”). It is interesting to reflect on the potential breakup of the U.S. and other nations large enough to countermand the initiatives of trans-national corporations. Such resistance might be the only potential opposition to the “corporacracy” in a world of fragmented [formerly large] nation/states.

Program Highlights Include: Review of links between Holocaust Museum shooter James Van Brunn’s links to Reagan White House official Todd Blodgett; review of National Alliance associate Bob Whitaker’s role in vetting Reagan White House appointees; review of the continuity between SS business projections for postwar Germany and the role in the Federal Republic played by SS protege Ludwig Erhard, pictured at right.

1. The bulk of the first side of the program consists of a stunning op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for the breakup of the United States! There are a number of things to highlight in the article. For one thing, do not fail to note that the various secessionist movements are those that have linked to those movements championed by the UNPO including the Lakota, (whose territorial claims cover the Bakken formation, rich in petroleum strata) and the native Hawaiians. Note also that fascist-linked secessionist elements such as the neo-Confederate League of the South (whose flag is at right) and the Alaskan Independence Party, for which Sarah Palin runs interference.

Note also that the story highlights [briefly] potential breakup of China (in which both the Tibetans and the Uighurs are pushing for independence from the People’s Republic.)

Remember that classic Beatles riff of the 1960s: “You say you want a revolution?” Imagine this instead: a devolution. Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society.

There might be an austere Republic of New England, with a natural strength in higher education and technology; a Caribbean-flavored city-state Republic of Greater Miami, with an anchor in the Latin American economy; and maybe even a Republic of Las Vegas with unfettered license to pursue its ambitions as a global gambling, entertainment and conventioneer destination. California? America’s broke, ill-governed and way-too-big nation-like state might be saved, truly saved, not by an emergency federal bailout, but by a merciful carve-up into a trio of republics that would rely on their own ingenuity in making their connections to the wider world. And while we’re at it, let’s make this project bi-national-economic logic suggests a natural multilingual combination between Greater San Diego and Mexico’s Northern Baja, and, to the Pacific north, between Seattle and Vancouver in a megaregion already dubbed “Cascadia” by economic cartographers.

Devolved America is a vision faithful both to certain postindustrial realities as well as to the pluralistic heart of the American political tradition-a tradition that has been betrayed by the creeping centralization of power in Washington over the decades but may yet reassert itself as an animating spirit for the future. Consider this proposition: America of the 21st century, propelled by currents of modernity that tend to favor the little over the big, may trace a long circle back to the original small-government ideas of the American experiment. The present-day American Goliath may turn out to be a freak of a waning age of politics and economics as conducted on a super-sized scale-too large to make any rational sense in an emerging age of personal empowerment that harks back to the era of the yeoman farmer of America’s early days. The society may find blessed new life, as paradoxical as this may sound, in a return to a smaller form.

This perspective may seem especially fanciful at a time when the political tides all seem to be running in the opposite direction. In the midst of economic troubles, an aggrandizing Washington is gathering even more power in its hands. The Obama Administration, while considering replacing top executives at Citigroup, is newly appointing a “compensation czar” with powers to determine the retirement packages of executives at firms accepting federal financial bailout funds. President Obama has deemed it wise for the U.S. Treasury to take a majority ownership stake in General Motors in a last-ditch effort to revive this Industrial Age brontosaurus. Even the Supreme Court is getting in on the act: A ruling this past week awarded federal judges powers to set the standards by which judges for state courts may recuse themselves from cases.

All of this adds up to a federal power grab that might make even FDR’s New Dealers blush. But that’s just the point: Not surprisingly, a lot of folks in the land of Jefferson are taking a stand against an approach that stands to make an indebted citizenry yet more dependent on an already immense federal power. The backlash, already under way, is a prime stimulus for a neo-secessionist movement, the most extreme manifestation of a broader push for some form of devolution. In April, at an anti-tax “tea party” held in Austin, Governor Rick Perry of Texas had his speech interrupted by cries of “secede.” The Governor did not sound inclined to disagree. “Texas is a unique place,” he later told reporters attending the rally. “When we came into the Union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.”

Such sentiments resonate beyond the libertarian fringe. The Daily Kos, a liberal Web site, recently asked Perry’s fellow Texas Republicans, “Do you think Texas would be better off as an independent nation or as part of the United States of America? It was an even split: 48% for the U.S., 48% for a sovereign Texas, 4% not sure. Amongst all Texans, more than a third-35%-said an independent Texas would be better. The Texas Nationalist Movement claims that over 250,000 Texans have signed a form affirming the organization’s goal of a Texas nation.

Secessionist feelings also percolate in Alaska, where Todd Palin, husband of Governor Sarah Palin, was once a registered member of the Alaska Independence Party. But it is not as if the Right has a lock on this issue: Vermont, the seat of one of the most vibrant secessionist movements, is among the country’s most politically-liberal places. Vermonters are especially upset about imperial America’s foreign excursions in hazardous places like Iraq. The philosophical tie that binds these otherwise odd bedfellows is belief in the birthright of Americans to run their own affairs, free from centralized control. Their hallowed parchment is Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, on behalf of the original 13 British colonies, penned in 1776, 11 years before the framers of the Constitution gathered for their convention in Philadelphia. “The right of secession precedes the Constitution-the United States was born out of secession,” Daniel Miller, leader of the Texas Nationalist Movement, put it to me. Take that, King Obama.

Today’s devolutionists, of all stripes, can trace their pedigree to the “anti-federalists” who opposed the compact that came out of Philadelphia as a bad bargain that gave too much power to the center at the expense of the limbs. Some of America’s most vigorous and learned minds were in the anti-federalist camp; their ranks included Virginia’s Patrick Henry, of “give me liberty or give me death” renown. The sainted Jefferson, who was serving as a diplomat in Paris during the convention, is these days claimed by secessionists as a kindred anti-federal spirit, even if he did go on to serve two terms as president.

The anti-federalists lost their battle, but history, in certain respects, has redeemed their vision, for they anticipated how many Americans have come to feel about their nation’s seat of federal power. “This city, and the government of it, must indubitably take their tone from the character of the men, who from the nature of its situation and institution, must collect there,” the anti-federalist pamphleteer known only as the Federal Farmer wrote. “If we expect it will have any sincere attachments to simple and frugal republicanism, to that liberty and mild government, which is dear to the laborious part of a free people, we most assuredly deceive ourselves.”

In the mid-19th century, the anti-federalist impulse took a dark turn, attaching itself to the cause of the Confederacy, which was formed by the unilateral secession of 13 southern states over the bloody issue of slavery. Lincoln had no choice but to go to war to preserve the Union-and ever since, anti-federalism, in almost any guise, has had to defend itself from the charge of being anti-modern and indeed retrograde.

But nearly a century and a half has passed since Johnny Rebel whooped for the last time. Slavery is dead, and so too is the large-scale industrial economy that the Yankees embraced as their path to victory over the South and to global prosperity. The model lasted a long time, to be sure, surviving all the way through the New Deal and the first several decades of the post-World War II era, coming a cropper at the tail end of the 1960s, just as the economist John Kenneth Galbraith was holding out “The New Industrial State,” the master-planned economy, as a seemingly permanent condition of modern life.

Not quite. In a globalized economy transformed by technological innovations hatched by happily-unguided entrepreneurs, history seems to be driving one nail after another into the coffin of the big, which is why the Obama planners and their ilk, even if they now ride high, may be doomed to fail. No one anymore expects the best ideas to come from the biggest actors in the economy, so should anyone expect the best thinking to be done by the whales of the political world?

A notable prophet for a coming age of smallness was the diplomat and historian George Kennan, a steward of the American Century with an uncanny ability to see past the seemingly-frozen geopolitical arrangements of the day. Kennan always believed that Soviet power would “run its course,” as he predicted back in 1951, just as the Cold War was getting under way, and again shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed, he suggested that a similar fate might await the United States. America has become a “monster country,” afflicted by a swollen bureaucracy and “the hubris of inordinate size,” he wrote in his 1993 book, “Around the Cragged Hill: A Personal and Political Philosophy.” Things might work better, he suggested, if the nation was “decentralized into something like a dozen constituent republics, absorbing not only the powers of the existing states but a considerable part of those of the present federal establishment.”

Kennan’s genius was to foresee that matters might take on an organic, a bottom-up, life of their own, especially in a society as dynamic and as creative as America. His spirit, the spirit of an anti-federalist modernist, can be glimpsed in an intriguing “mega-region” initiative encompassing greater San Diego County, next-door Imperial County and, to the immediate south of the U.S. border, Northern Baja, Mexico. Elected officials representing all three participating areas recently unveiled “Cali Baja, a Bi-National Mega-Region,” as the “international marketing brand” for the project.

The idea is to create a global economic powerhouse by combining San Diego’s proven abilities in scientific research and development with Imperial County’s abundance of inexpensive land and availability of water rights and Northern Baja’s manufacturing base, low labor costs and ability to supply the San Diego area with electricity during peak-use terms. Bilingualism, too, is a key-with the aim for all children on both sides of the border to be fluent in both English and Spanish. The project director is Christina Luhn, a Kansas native, historian and former staffer on the National Security Council in Ronald Reagan’s White House in the mid-1980s. Contemporary America as a unit of governance may be too big, even the perpetually-troubled state of California may be too big, she told me, by way of saying that the political and economic future may belong to the megaregions of the planet. Her conviction is that large systems tend not to endure-“they break apart, there’s chaos, and at some point, new things form,” she said.

The notion that small is better and even inevitable no doubt has some flavor of romance-even amounting to a kind of modern secular faith, girded by a raft of multi-disciplinary literature that may or may not be relevant. Luhn takes her philosophical cue not only from Kennan but also from the science writer and physicist M. Mitchell Waldrop, author of “Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos.”

American secessionist groups today range from small startups with a few laptop computers to organized movements with meetings of delegates from several states.

The Middlebury Institute, a group that studies and supports the general cause of separatism and secessionism in the U.S., has held three Secession Congresses since its founding in 2004.

At the most recent gathering, held in New Hampshire last November, one discussion focused on creating a new federation potentially to be called “Novacadia,” consisting of present-day New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. An article highlighted on the group’s Web site describes Denmark as a role-model for the potential country. In the months following the convention, the idea “did not actually evolve into very much,” says Kirkpatrick Sale, the institute’s director.

Below the Mason-Dixon Line, groups like the League of the South and Southern National Congress hold meetings of delegates. They discuss secession as a way of accomplishing goals like protecting the right to bear arms and tighter immigration policies. The Texas Nationalist Movement claims that over 250,000 Texans have signed a form affirming the organization’s goal of a Texas nation.

A religious group, Christian Exodus, formed in 2003 with the purpose of transforming what is today South Carolina into a sovereign, Christian-run state. According to a statement on its Web site, the group still supports the idea, but has learned that “the chains of our slavery and dependence on Godless government have more of a hold on us than can be broken by simply moving to another state.”

On the West Coast, elected officials representing greater San Diego County, Imperial County and Northern Baja, Mexico, have proposed creating a “mega-region” of the three areas called “Cali Baja, a Bi-National Mega-Region.”

Hawaii is home to numerous groups that work toward the goal of sovereignty, including Nation of Hawaii. The group argues that native Hawaiians were colonized and forced into statehood against their will and without fair process, and therefore have the right to decide how to govern themselves today. In Alaska, the Alaska Independence Party advocates for the state’s independence.

There is also a Web site for a group called North Star Republic, with a mission to establish a socialist republic in what today is Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

A group of American Indians led by activist Russell Means is working to establish the Republic of Lakotah, which would cover parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska. In 2007, the Republic presented the U.S. State Department with a notice of withdrawal.

Even for the hard-edged secessionist crowd, with their rapt attentiveness to America’s roots, popular texts in the future-trend genre mingle in their minds with the yellowed scrolls of the anti-federalists. “The cornerstone of my thought,” Daniel Miller of the Texas Nationalist Movement told me, is John Naisbitt’s 1995 best seller, “Global Paradox,” which celebrates the entrepreneurial ethos in positing that “the bigger the world economy, the more powerful its smallest players.”

More convincingly, the proposition that small trumps big is passing tests in real-life political and economic laboratories. For example, the U.S. ranked eighth in a survey of global innovation leadership released in March by the Boston Consulting Group and the National Association of Manufacturers-with the top rankings dominated by small countries led by the city-state republic of Singapore. The Thunderbird School of Global Management, based in Arizona, has called Singapore “the most future-oriented country in the world.” Historians can point to the spectacularly inventive city-states of Renaissance Italy as an example of the small truly making the beautiful.

How, though, to get from big to small? Secessionists like Texas’ Miller pledge a commitment to peaceful methods. History suggests skepticism on this score: Even the American republic was born in a violent revolution. These days, the Russian professor Igor Panarin, a former KGB analyst, has snagged publicity with his dystopian prediction of civil strife in a dismembered America whose jagged parts fall prey to foreign powers including Canada, Mexico and, in the case of Alaska, Russia, naturally.

Still, the precedent for any breakup of today’s America is not necessarily the one set by the musket-bearing colonists’ demanded departure from the British crown in the late 18th century or by the crisis-ridden dissolution of the U.S.S.R. at the end of the 20th century. Every empire, every too-big thing, fragments or shrinks according to its own unique character and to the age of history to which it belongs.

The most hopeful prospect for the USA, should the decentralization impulse prove irresistible, is for Americans to draw on their natural inventiveness and democratic tradition by patenting a formula for getting the job done in a gradual and cooperative way. In so doing, geopolitical history, and perhaps even a path for others, might be made, for the problem of bigness vexes political leviathans everywhere. In India, with its 1.2 billion people, there is an active discussion of whether things might work better if the nation-state was chopped up into 10 or so large city-states with broad writs of autonomy from New Delhi. Devolution may likewise be the future for the European continent-think Catalonia-and for the British Isles. Scotland, a leading source of Enlightenment ideas for America’s founding fathers, now has its own flourishing independence movement. Even China, held together by an aging autocracy, may not be able to resist the drift towards the smaller.

So why not America as the global leader of a devolution? America’s return to its origins-to its type-could turn out to be an act of creative political destruction, with “we the people” the better for it.

“Divided We Stand” by Paul Starobin; The Wall Street Journal; 6/13/2009.

2. Cited as a positive influence in his advocacy of a “smaller” United States, George Kennan was in fact an an antediluvian reactionary.

“. . . A Washington Post obituary provided an insight into the mind of one of the foremost figures of post-World War II U.S. foreign policy and his antipathy for the modern world. ‘Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas reported in their book The Wise Men that he suggested in an unpublished work that women, blacks and immigrants be disenfranchised. He deplored the automobile, computers, commercialism, environmental degradation and other manifestations of modern life.’ . . .”

Afghanistan’s Untold Story by Paul Fitzgerald and Liz Gould; Copyright 2009 by Paul Fitzgerald and Liz Gould; City Lights Books (SC); ISBN 13: 978-0-87286-494-8; p. 270.

3. Noting that secession advocate Christina Luhn was a veteran of the Reagan administration, we review some of the Nazi character of that administration. Accused Holocaust Museum killer James Van Brunn was linked to former Reagan White House aide Todd Blodgett. In this context, it is important to recall that the Reagan administration personnel were selected by Otto von Bolschwing protege Helene Von Damm.

“. . . Todd Blodgett, a former White House aide to President Ronald Reagan who later became affiliated with extremist groups, said he spent a lot of time with Von Brunn in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Von Brunn is obsessed with Jewish people, Blodgett told the Post. He had equal contempt for both Jews and blacks, but if he had to pick one group to wipe out, he’d always say it would be Jews.

Von Brunn went so far as to say he fought on the wrong side of World War II, according to Blodgett.

You’d get the impression that he was intelligent and a bit off, said Blodgett, who worked as a paid FBI informant on white supremacist groups. . . .”

“Holocaust Museum Shooting Suspect Had Been Growing More Hateful and Desperate”; Fox News; 6/11/2009.

4. Again noting the legacy of the Helene Von Damm/Otto von Bolschwing axis within the GOP and the Reagan administrations, the program highlights the fact that American neo-Nazi Bob Whitaker held a sensitive position within the Reagan White House. Again, available evidence suggests very strongly that Von Damm served as a functionary of the Underground Reich. Notice the position of National Alliance associate Bob Whitaker within the Reagan administration: ” . . . Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in charge of security clearances, staffing, and that sort of thing. . . .”

It will be interesting to see if people infiltrated into government by the likes of Whitaker and Von Damm play a role in the breakup of the United States.

” . . . KAS: When we introduced you for the first time to our readers in National Vanguard, we gave a capsule biography of you as follows:

‘Mr. Whitaker was born and raised in South Carolina, and attended the University of South Carolina and the University of Virginia Graduate School. He has been a college professor, an international aviation negotiator, a Capitol Hill senior staffer, a Reagan Administration appointee, and a writer for the Voice of America.”

So you’re a Reagan administration appointee — what’s the story behind that?

BW: I was Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in charge of security clearances, staffing, and that sort of thing.

KAS: Why is someone with such excellent establishment credentials defending the White race, as you do in your work, without apology or regret? Isn’t that something that simply ‘isn’t done’ these days by anyone who wants to retain his position in private or public life?

BW: Well, I did it. And they cleared me at the highest possible levels, so if you do it right, you can do it. And I’m good at it. . . .”

“A White Future is Coming: an Interview with Bob Whitaker” by Kevin Alfred Strom; American Dissident Voices; 7/3/2004.

5. Next, the program reviews the Nazi plans for Europe after their victory. Writing in 1943, author Paul Winkler foresaw that the Prusso-Teutonics would realize their goals through the creation of a German-dominated central European economic union (bearing a striking resemblance to today’s European Monetary Union.) One of the principal influences on List’s thinking was the “continental” concept of Napoleon, who attempted to economically unite Europe under French influence.

The Listian formula for German world dominance should be viewed against the background of the materials set forth below concerning the successful realization of continuity from the Third Reich to the “new” Federal Republic of Germany.

How will this central European economic union interact with a dismembered United States?

“Charles Andler, a French author, summed up certain ideas of List in his work, The Origins of Pan-Germanism, (published in 1915.) ‘It is necessary to organize continental Europe against England. Napoleon I, a great strategist, also knew the methods of economic hegemony. His continental system, which met with opposition even from countries which might have profited from such an arrangement should be revived, but, this time, not as an instrument of Napoleonic domination. The idea of united Europe in a closed trade bloc is no longer shocking if Germany assumes domination over such a bloc—and not France. [Emphasis added.] Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, willingly or by force, will enter this ‘Customs Federation.’ Austria is assumed to be won over at the outset. Even France, if she gets rid of her notions of military conquest, will not be excluded. The first steps the Confederation would take to assure unity of thought and action would be to establish a joint representative body, as well as to organize a common fleet. But of course, both the headquarters of the Federation and its parliamentary seat would be in Germany. [Emphasis added.]”

(The Thousand-Year Conspiracy; by Paul Winkler; Charles Scribner’s Sons [HC]; 1943; pp. 15-16.)

6. A stunning measure of the success of the Underground Reich and German Ostpolitik can be obtained by reading Dorothy Thompson’s analysis of the Third Reich’s plans for world dominance by a centralized European economic union. (In this, we can again see the plans of pan-German theoretician Friedrich List, as realized by the European Monetary Union.) Ms. Thompson was writing in The New York Herald Tribune on May 31, 1940! Her comments are reproduced by Tetens on page 92.

“The Germans have a clear plan of what they intend to do in case of victory. I believe that I know the essential details of that plan. I have heard it from a sufficient number of important Germans to credit its authenticity . . . Germany’s plan is to make a customs union of Europe, with complete financial and economic control centered in Berlin. This will create at once the largest free trade area and the largest planned economy in the world. In Western Europe alone . . . there will be an economic unity of 400 million persons . . . To these will be added the resources of the British, French, Dutch and Belgian empires. These will be pooled in the name of Europa Germanica . . .”

“The Germans count upon political power following economic power, and not vice versa. Territorial changes do not concern them, because there will be no ‘France’ or ‘England,’ except as language groups. Little immediate concern is felt regarding political organizations . . . . No nation will have the control of its own financial or economic system or of its customs. The Nazification of all countries will be accomplished by economic pressure. In all countries, contacts have been established long ago with sympathetic businessmen and industrialists . . . . As far as the United States is concerned, the planners of the World Germanica laugh off the idea of any armed invasion. They say that it will be completely unnecessary to take military action against the United States to force it to play ball with this system. . . . Here, as in every other country, they have established relations with numerous industries and commercial organizations, to whom they will offer advantages in co-operation with Germany. . . .”

Germany Plots with the Kremlin by T. H. Tetens; Henry Schuman [HC]; p. 92.

7. Illustrating the realization of continuity between the Third Reich and the new German economic empire realized through the EU and the European Monetary Union, the show features a recent Daily Mail article that bears out much of the line of argument presented in For The Record.

Of particular significance for our purposes here is Joseph Goebbels prediction that ” . . . ‘In 50 years’ time nobody will think of nation states.’” Reflect on Goebbels’ statement against the background of a dismembered United States.

“The paper is aged and fragile, the typewritten letters slowly fading. But US Military Intelligence report EW-Pa 128 is as chilling now as the day it was written in November 1944.

The document, also known as the Red House Report, is a detailed account of a secret meeting at the Maison Rouge Hotel in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. There, Nazi officials ordered an elite group of German industrialists to plan for Germany’s post-war recovery, prepare for the Nazis’ return to power and work for a ’strong German empire’. In other words: the Fourth Reich.

The three-page, closely typed report, marked ‘Secret’, copied to British officials and sent by air pouch to Cordell Hull, the US Secretary of State, detailed how the industrialists were to work with the Nazi Party to rebuild Germany’s economy by sending money through Switzerland.

They would set up a network of secret front companies abroad. They would wait until conditions were right. And then they would take over Germany again.

The industrialists included representatives of Volkswagen, Krupp and Messerschmitt. Officials from the Navy and Ministry of Armaments were also at the meeting and, with incredible foresight, they decided together that the Fourth German Reich, unlike its predecessor, would be an economic rather than a military empire – but not just German.

The Red House Report, which was unearthed from US intelligence files, was the inspiration for my thriller The Budapest Protocol.

The book opens in 1944 as the Red Army advances on the besieged city, then jumps to the present day, during the election campaign for the first president of Europe. The European Union superstate is revealed as a front for a sinister conspiracy, one rooted in the last days of the Second World War.

But as I researched and wrote the novel, I realised that some of the Red House Report had become fact.

Nazi Germany did export massive amounts of capital through neutral countries. German businesses did set up a network of front companies abroad. The German economy did soon recover after 1945.

The Third Reich was defeated militarily, but powerful Nazi-era bankers, industrialists and civil servants, reborn as democrats, soon prospered in the new West Germany. There they worked for a new cause: European economic and political integration.

Is it possible that the Fourth Reich those Nazi industrialists foresaw has, in some part at least, come to pass?

The Red House Report was written by a French spy who was at the meeting in Strasbourg in 1944 – and it paints an extraordinary picture.

The industrialists gathered at the Maison Rouge Hotel waited expectantly as SS Obergruppenfuhrer Dr Scheid began the meeting. Scheid held one of the highest ranks in the SS, equivalent to Lieutenant General. He cut an imposing figure in his tailored grey-green uniform and high, peaked cap with silver braiding. Guards were posted outside and the room had been searched for microphones.

There was a sharp intake of breath as he began to speak. German industry must realise that the war cannot be won, he declared. ‘It must take steps in preparation for a post-war commercial campaign.’ Such defeatist talk was treasonous – enough to earn a visit to the Gestapo’s cellars, followed by a one-way trip to a concentration camp.

But Scheid had been given special licence to speak the truth – the future of the Reich was at stake. He ordered the industrialists to ‘make contacts and alliances with foreign firms, but this must be done individually and without attracting any suspicion’.

The industrialists were to borrow substantial sums from foreign countries after the war.

They were especially to exploit the finances of those German firms that had already been used as fronts for economic penetration abroad, said Scheid, citing the American partners of the steel giant Krupp as well as Zeiss, Leica and the Hamburg-America Line shipping company.

But as most of the industrialists left the meeting, a handful were beckoned into another smaller gathering, presided over by Dr Bosse of the Armaments Ministry. There were secrets to be shared with the elite of the elite.

Bosse explained how, even though the Nazi Party had informed the industrialists that the war was lost, resistance against the Allies would continue until a guarantee of German unity could be obtained. He then laid out the secret three-stage strategy for the Fourth Reich.

In stage one, the industrialists were to ‘prepare themselves to finance the Nazi Party, which would be forced to go underground as a Maquis’, using the term for the French resistance.

Stage two would see the government allocating large sums to German industrialists to establish a ’secure post-war foundation in foreign countries’, while ‘existing financial reserves must be placed at the disposal of the party so that a strong German empire can be created after the defeat’.

In stage three, German businesses would set up a ’sleeper’ network of agents abroad through front companies, which were to be covers for military research and intelligence, until the Nazis returned to power.

‘The existence of these is to be known only by very few people in each industry and by chiefs of the Nazi Party,’ Bosse announced.

‘Each office will have a liaison agent with the party. As soon as the party becomes strong enough to re-establish its control over Germany, the industrialists will be paid for their effort and co-operation by concessions and orders.’

The exported funds were to be channelled through two banks in Zurich, or via agencies in Switzerland which bought property in Switzerland for German concerns, for a five per cent commission.

The Nazis had been covertly sending funds through neutral countries for years.

Swiss banks, in particular the Swiss National Bank, accepted gold looted from the treasuries of Nazi-occupied countries. They accepted assets and property titles taken from Jewish businessmen in Germany and occupied countries, and supplied the foreign currency that the Nazis needed to buy vital war materials.

Swiss economic collaboration with the Nazis had been closely monitored by Allied intelligence.

The Red House Report’s author notes: ‘Previously, exports of capital by German industrialists to neutral countries had to be accomplished rather surreptitiously and by means of special influence.

‘Now the Nazi Party stands behind the industrialists and urges them to save themselves by getting funds outside Germany and at the same time advance the party’s plans for its post-war operations.’

The order to export foreign capital was technically illegal in Nazi Germany, but by the summer of 1944 the law did not matter.

More than two months after D-Day, the Nazis were being squeezed by the Allies from the west and the Soviets from the east. Hitler had been badly wounded in an assassination attempt. The Nazi leadership was nervous, fractious and quarrelling.

During the war years the SS had built up a gigantic economic empire, based on plunder and murder, and they planned to keep it.

A meeting such as that at the Maison Rouge would need the protection of the SS, according to Dr Adam Tooze of Cambridge University, author of Wages of Destruction: The Making And Breaking Of The Nazi Economy.

He says: ‘By 1944 any discussion of post-war planning was banned. It was extremely dangerous to do that in public. But the SS was thinking in the long-term. If you are trying to establish a workable coalition after the war, the only safe place to do it is under the auspices of the apparatus of terror.’

Shrewd SS leaders such as Otto Ohlendorf were already thinking ahead.

As commander of Einsatzgruppe D, which operated on the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1942, Ohlendorf was responsible for the murder of 90,000 men, women and children.

A highly educated, intelligent lawyer and economist, Ohlendorf showed great concern for the psychological welfare of his extermination squad’s gunmen: he ordered that several of them should fire simultaneously at their victims, so as to avoid any feelings of personal responsibility.

By the winter of 1943 he was transferred to the Ministry of Economics. Ohlendorf’s ostensible job was focusing on export trade, but his real priority was preserving the SS’s massive pan-European economic empire after Germany’s defeat.

Ohlendorf, who was later hanged at Nuremberg, took particular interest in the work of a German economist called Ludwig Erhard. Erhard had written a lengthy manuscript on the transition to a post-war economy after Germany’s defeat. This was dangerous, especially as his name had been mentioned in connection with resistance groups.

But Ohlendorf, who was also chief of the SD, the Nazi domestic security service, protected Erhard as he agreed with his views on stabilising the post-war German economy. Ohlendorf himself was protected by Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS.

Ohlendorf and Erhard feared a bout of hyper-inflation, such as the one that had destroyed the German economy in the Twenties. Such a catastrophe would render the SS’s economic empire almost worthless.

The two men agreed that the post-war priority was rapid monetary stabilisation through a stable currency unit, but they realised this would have to be enforced by a friendly occupying power, as no post-war German state would have enough legitimacy to introduce a currency that would have any value.

That unit would become the Deutschmark, which was introduced in 1948. It was an astonishing success and it kick-started the German economy. With a stable currency, Germany was once again an attractive trading partner.

The German industrial conglomerates could rapidly rebuild their economic empires across Europe.

War had been extraordinarily profitable for the German economy. By 1948 – despite six years of conflict, Allied bombing and post-war reparations payments – the capital stock of assets such as equipment and buildings was larger than in 1936, thanks mainly to the armaments boom.

Erhard pondered how German industry could expand its reach across the shattered European continent. The answer was through supranationalism – the voluntary surrender of national sovereignty to an international body.

Germany and France were the drivers behind the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the precursor to the European Union. The ECSC was the first supranational organisation, established in April 1951 by six European states. It created a common market for coal and steel which it regulated. This set a vital precedent for the steady erosion of national sovereignty, a process that continues today.

But before the common market could be set up, the Nazi industrialists had to be pardoned, and Nazi bankers and officials reintegrated. In 1957, John J. McCloy, the American High Commissioner for Germany, issued an amnesty for industrialists convicted of war crimes.

The two most powerful Nazi industrialists, Alfried Krupp of Krupp Industries and Friedrich Flick, whose Flick Group eventually owned a 40 per cent stake in Daimler-Benz, were released from prison after serving barely three years.

Krupp and Flick had been central figures in the Nazi economy. Their companies used slave labourers like cattle, to be worked to death.

The Krupp company soon became one of Europe’s leading industrial combines.

The Flick Group also quickly built up a new pan-European business empire. Friedrich Flick remained unrepentant about his wartime record and refused to pay a single Deutschmark in compensation until his death in July 1972 at the age of 90, when he left a fortune of more than $1billion, the equivalent of £400million at the time.

‘For many leading industrial figures close to the Nazi regime, Europe became a cover for pursuing German national interests after the defeat of Hitler,’ says historian Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, an adviser to Jewish former slave labourers.

‘The continuity of the economy of Germany and the economies of post-war Europe is striking. Some of the leading figures in the Nazi economy became leading builders of the European Union.’

Numerous household names had exploited slave and forced labourers including BMW, Siemens and Volkswagen, which produced munitions and the V1 rocket.

Slave labour was an integral part of the Nazi war machine. Many concentration camps were attached to dedicated factories where company officials worked hand-in-hand with the SS officers overseeing the camps.

Like Krupp and Flick, Hermann Abs, post-war Germany’s most powerful banker, had prospered in the Third Reich. Dapper, elegant and diplomatic, Abs joined the board of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank, in 1937. As the Nazi empire expanded, Deutsche Bank enthusiastically ‘Aryanised’ Austrian and Czechoslovak banks that were owned by Jews.

By 1942, Abs held 40 directorships, a quarter of which were in countries occupied by the Nazis. Many of these Aryanised companies used slave labour and by 1943 Deutsche Bank’s wealth had quadrupled.

Abs also sat on the supervisory board of I.G. Farben, as Deutsche Bank’s representative. I.G. Farben was one of Nazi Germany’s most powerful companies, formed out of a union of BASF, Bayer, Hoechst and subsidiaries in the Twenties.

It was so deeply entwined with the SS and the Nazis that it ran its own slave labour camp at Auschwitz, known as Auschwitz III, where tens of thousands of Jews and other prisoners died producing artificial rubber.

When they could work no longer, or were verbraucht (used up) in the Nazis’ chilling term, they were moved to Birkenau. There they were gassed using Zyklon B, the patent for which was owned by I.G. Farben.

But like all good businessmen, I.G. Farben’s bosses hedged their bets.

During the war the company had financed Ludwig Erhard’s research. After the war, 24 I.G. Farben executives were indicted for war crimes over Auschwitz III – but only twelve of the 24 were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms ranging from one-and-a-half to eight years. I.G. Farben got away with mass murder.

Abs was one of the most important figures in Germany’s post-war reconstruction. It was largely thanks to him that, just as the Red House Report exhorted, a ’strong German empire’ was indeed rebuilt, one which formed the basis of today’s European Union.

Abs was put in charge of allocating Marshall Aid – reconstruction funds – to German industry. By 1948 he was effectively managing Germany’s economic recovery.

Crucially, Abs was also a member of the European League for Economic Co-operation, an elite intellectual pressure group set up in 1946. The league was dedicated to the establishment of a common market, the precursor of the European Union.

Its members included industrialists and financiers and it developed policies that are strikingly familiar today – on monetary integration and common transport, energy and welfare systems.

When Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of West Germany, took power in 1949, Abs was his most important financial adviser.

Behind the scenes Abs was working hard for Deutsche Bank to be allowed to reconstitute itself after decentralisation. In 1957 he succeeded and he returned to his former employer.

That same year the six members of the ECSC signed the Treaty of Rome, which set up the European Economic Community. The treaty further liberalised trade and established increasingly powerful supranational institutions including the European Parliament and European Commission.

Like Abs, Ludwig Erhard flourished in post-war Germany. Adenauer made Erhard Germany’s first post-war economics minister. In 1963 Erhard succeeded Adenauer as Chancellor for three years.

But the German economic miracle – so vital to the idea of a new Europe – was built on mass murder. The number of slave and forced labourers who died while employed by German companies in the Nazi era was 2,700,000.

Some sporadic compensation payments were made but German industry agreed a conclusive, global settlement only in 2000, with a £3billion compensation fund. There was no admission of legal liability and the individual compensation was paltry.

A slave labourer would receive 15,000 Deutschmarks (about £5,000), a forced labourer 5,000 (about £1,600). Any claimant accepting the deal had to undertake not to launch any further legal action.

To put this sum of money into perspective, in 2001 Volkswagen alone made profits of £1.8billion.

Next month, 27 European Union member states vote in the biggest transnational election in history. Europe now enjoys peace and stability. Germany is a democracy, once again home to a substantial Jewish community. The Holocaust is seared into national memory.

But the Red House Report is a bridge from a sunny present to a dark past. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief, once said: ‘In 50 years’ time nobody will think of nation states.’

For now, the nation state endures. But these three typewritten pages are a reminder that today’s drive towards a European federal state is inexorably tangled up with the plans of the SS and German industrialists for a Fourth Reich – an economic rather than military imperium.”

“Revealed:The Secret Report That Shows How the Nazis Planned a Fourth Reich . . . in the EU” by Adam Lebor; Mail Online; 5/9/2009.

8. The program compares the reality of the dawning economic landscape and the “corporacracy” set forth in the “novel” Serpent’s Walk. Mr. Emory believes that, like The Turner Diaries (also published by National Vanguard Books), the book is actually a blueprint for what is going to take place. It is a novel about a Nazi takeover of the United States in the middle of the 21st century. The book describes the Third Reich going underground, buying into the American media, and taking over the country.

Of particular significance for our purposes here is the “corporacracy” that the SS envisions will enable them to control the world (in this “novel”). It is interesting to reflect on the potential breakup of the U.S. and other nations large enough to countermand the initiatives of trans-national corporations. Such resistance might be the only potential opposition to the “corporacracy” in a world of fragmented [formerly large] nation/states.

As noted by Joseph Goebbels more than 50 years ago [and quoted in the Daily Mail article above], no one will be talking about nation states a half century after the Third Reich.

“It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite—the SS—didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’”

(From the back cover of Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X.)


29 comments for “FTR #676 Sedition! (Part 2): Target, America!”

  1. Awww…Wyoming won’t get an aircraft carrier after all:

    Wyoming Advances ‘Doomsday’ Bill Without ‘Aircraft Carrier’ Provision

    Jillian Rayfield February 28, 2012, 11:28 AM

    If the world ends, Wyoming’s got you covered.

    The Wyoming House of Representatives advanced a bill Monday that would create a task force to study “governmental continuity in case of a disruption in federal government operations,” or what the local press has nicknamed a “doomsday” bill.

    The task force would consider remedies in the event of national catastrophes, including disruptions in food or energy distribution, a constitutional crisis, or “a situation in which the federal government has no effective power or authority over the people of the United States.”

    It would also consider what to do in the event that the dollar rapidly declines, and whether Wyoming should establish an “alternative currency.”

    The bill would have also allowed the task force to consider whether the state should institute its own standing army and military draft, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier (in a landlocked state). But the House struck that part of the language from the bill on Monday. It will now move forward to a full House vote.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 28, 2012, 11:42 am
  2. etc., etc., …

    US should return stolen land to Indian tribes, says United Nations

    UN’s correspondent on indigenous peoples urges government to act to combat ‘racial discrimination’ felt by Native Americans

    A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination.

    James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.

    Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and “numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination”.

    “It’s a racial discrimination that they feel is both systemic and also specific instances of ongoing discrimination that is felt at the individual level,” he said.
    Anaya said racism extended from the broad relationship between federal or state governments and tribes down to local issues such as education.

    “For example, with the treatment of children in schools both by their peers and by teachers as well as the educational system itself; the way native Americans and indigenous peoples are reflected in the school curriculum and teaching,” he said.

    “And discrimination in the sense of the invisibility of Native Americans in the country overall that often is reflected in the popular media. The idea that is often projected through the mainstream media and among public figures that indigenous peoples are either gone or as a group are insignificant or that they’re out to get benefits in terms of handouts, or their communities and cultures are reduced to casinos, which are just flatly wrong.”

    Close to a million people live on the US’s 310 Native American reservations. Some tribes have done well from a boom in casinos on reservations but most have not.

    Anaya visited an Oglala Sioux reservation where the per capita income is around $7,000 a year, less than one-sixth of the national average, and life expectancy is about 50 years.

    The two Sioux reservations in South Dakota – Rosebud and Pine Ridge – have some of the country’s poorest living conditions, including mass unemployment and the highest suicide rate in the western hemisphere with an epidemic of teenagers killing themselves.

    “You can see they’re in a somewhat precarious situation in terms of their basic existence and the stability of their communities given that precarious land tenure situation. It’s not like they have large fisheries as a resource base to sustain them. In basic economic terms it’s a very difficult situation. You have upwards of 70% unemployment on the reservation and all kinds of social ills accompanying that. Very tough conditions,” he said.

    Anaya said Rosebud is an example where returning land taken by the US government could improve a tribe’s fortunes as well as contribute to a “process of reconciliation”.

    “At Rosebud, that’s a situation where indigenous people have seen over time encroachment on to their land and they’ve lost vast territories and there have been clear instances of broken treaty promises. It’s undisputed that the Black Hills was guaranteed them by treaty and that treaty was just outright violated by the United States in the 1900s. That has been recognised by the United States supreme court,” he said.

    Anaya said he would reserve detailed recommendations on a plan for land restoration until he presents his final report to the UN human rights council in September.

    “I’m talking about restoring to indigenous peoples what obviously they’re entitled to and they have a legitimate claim to in a way that is not devisive but restorative. That’s the idea behind reconciliation,” he said.

    But any such proposal is likely to meet stiff resistance in Congress similar to that which has previously greeted calls for the US government to pay reparations for slavery to African-American communities.

    Anaya said he had received “exemplary cooperation” from the Obama administration but he declined to speculate on why no members of Congress would meet him.

    “I typically meet with members of the national legislature on my country visits and I don’t know the reason,” he said.

    Last month, the US justice and interior departments announced a $1 billion settlement over nearly 56 million acres of Indian land held in trust by Washington but exploited by commercial interests for timber, farming, mining and other uses with little benefit to the tribes.

    The attorney general, Eric Holder, said the settlement “fairly and honourably resolves historical grievances over the accounting and management of tribal trust funds, trust lands and other non-monetary trust resources that, for far too long, have been a source of conflict between Indian tribes and the United States.”

    But Anaya said that was only a step in the right direction.

    “These are important steps but we’re talking about mismanagement by the government of assets that were left to indigenous peoples,” he said. “This money for the insults on top of the injury. It’s not money for the initial problem itself, which is the taking of vast territories. This is very important and I think the administration should be commended for moving forward to settle these claims but there are these deeper issues that need to be addressed.”

    Guardian UK

    Posted by participo | May 5, 2012, 7:11 am
  3. Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 12, 2013, 5:59 pm
  4. Rick Perry is about to teach Texas a valuable lesson in money-management: maintaining your state’s billion dollar gold hoard ain’t free:

    Washington Post
    Texas wants its gold back! Wait, what?

    Posted by Neil Irwin on March 26, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Texas has generally been at the front of the pack of a certain variety of uber-hawkish, vaguely paranoid monetary policy talk over the last few years. Recall it was the state’s governor, Rick Perry, who while running for president strongly suggested that Ben Bernanke would be committing treason should the Federal Reserve print any more money.

    But now some in the state, including Perry, are looking to put their money where their mouths are. Literally.

    Perry and some in the Texas legislature want to bring the roughly $1 billion worth gold held by the state university system’s investment fund onto Texas soil, rather than in its current resting pace in a vault in New York.

    “If we own it,” Perry said on Glenn Beck’s radio show last week, according to the Texas Tribune. “I will suggest to you that that’s not someone else’s determination whether we can take possession of it back or not.”

    Here’s the thing. Perry’s push to relocate the state’s gold to a newly created “Texas Bullion Depository,” in a strange way makes perfect sense. It lays bare the rationale for investing in the yellow metal to begin with, and is an excellent illustration of the strange role that gold plays in a modern economy and investors’ psyches.

    If Texas moves its gold back home, it will deal with this in a very real way: Whatever it costs to build, maintain, and guard a facility secure enough to stash $1 billion of gold in will essentially subtract from whatever investment return the holdings offer. (The lawmaker advocating the plan pointed out that only about 20 square feet of space would be needed for the gold as evidence that the cost shouldn’t be high, which kind of misses the point. It’s not the real estate cost that is expensive, it’s the technology and manpower needed to prevent the heist of the millennium).

    Texas media outlets have reported that the state’s gold is held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, though it appears the gold in question is actually at the vault of a private bank, HSBC, in New York (here is a 2011 article about the acquisition; an aide to Texas State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione confirmed that this is the gold in question). Despite what you may have seen in Die Hard 3, in which thieves ransack the New York Fed, the security around major vaults is extremely sophisticated. Texas is considering replicating those security costs and giving up the convenience of being able to sell gold easily at the world’s financial capital. But why?

    The most common reason to buy gold is as something of an insurance policy against some very bad events, like a bout of significant inflation. In the more plausible scenarios, like a return of 1970s-style period of 10 percent or so annual price increases, gold would indeed likely prove to be quite a good investment. But in that scenario, the state of Texas would have no problem getting access to its gold stored in New York. There would be no need to go to the trouble and expense of setting up a miniature Fort Knox in Austin.

    For it to make sense to go to all that hassle of storing your own gold, you have to be insuring against some much darker possibilities, like a collapse of the U.S. government and monetary system, and/or Texas making a (second) bid to secede from the United States.

    In some episode of hyperinflation and U.S. government collapse, as the nation falls into a Hobbesian state of nature, paper dollars will be no good, and gold would likely be the medium of exchange for buying food and guns and whatever else is needed for Texas to prosper amid the post-apocalyptic hellscape.

    Similarly, if Texas were to decide that enough was enough and it wished to no longer be part of these United States (a notion that Perry himself seemed to joke about in 2009, saying “When we came in the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.”), one could imagine the desirability of having its gold supply close to home. That would put New York banks, regulated by the U.S. government, in the position of having to determine whether the rebel republic of Texas was the rightful owner of the gold in its vault. In that scenario, it’s easy to imagine Texas would have a hard time getting ahold of its gold.

    In other words, if you think you need to hold gold as a hedge against a total collapse of the U.S. monetary and political system collapsing–not just as a hedge against higher-than-expected inflation–you had best store it close to home.

    Texas, it is worth noting, is not the only large, prosperous economy with a hard-money mentality to look to keep its gold close to home. Earlier this year, Germany’s central bank said it will relocate billions worth of gold from vaults beneath the New York Fed and French central bank, guarding them in Frankfurt rather than entrusting them to central banks elsewhere.

    So there you have it: Texas, the Germany of America.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 9, 2013, 12:10 pm
  5. Lone Star Secessionist-lit: Romance novels for those that just can’t stop pining for a civil war:

    May 12, 2013, 10:31 p.m. ET
    The Wall Street Journal
    The Yellow Prose of Texas? Secession Movement Blooms in Fiction
    Alternate-History Authors Explore Putting The ‘Lone’ Back in the Lone Star State


    In the real world, Texas remains very much a part of the United States.

    But in the world of fiction, several authors have released books in the past year depicting the Lone Star State as a breakaway republic rebelling against shenanigans in Washington.

    It’s the start of a literary subgenre: secessionist fantasy.

    “The Secession of Texas” by Darrell Maloney of San Antonio envisions an independent Texas with its own border patrol, guarding against people trying to sneak into the country illegally—from Oklahoma.

    “Lone Star Daybreak” by Erik L. Larson of Houston tells the story of recruits in the Texas Defense Force, a militia that protects the separatist state from Yankee armies. “Yellow Rose of Texas” by Dennis Snyder describes a U.S. saddled with $22 trillion in debt, a defanged military and a leftist president who promises to remove religion from public life, prompting an armed and economically vibrant Texas to declare that it has had enough.

    “It’s not a comedy by any means,” says Mr. Snyder, a pastor at a nondenominational church in Michigan who has never been to Texas. “The president basically says he is going to rewrite the Constitution when he takes office,” he says. “Texas realizes he is going to take us into bondage and rebels.”

    None of the authors say they actually support secession; they just think it makes for a provocative story line. Texas secession fiction falls into a long line of what-if books exploring alternate versions of history.

    Winston Churchill contributed to a 1931 collection of essays called “If It Had Happened Otherwise” with an entry envisioning how World War I might have been avoided—if the Confederacy had won the Civil War.

    Newt Gingrich added to the genre with a series of novels he co-wrote with William R. Forstchen, including “1945.” It sees the Nazis temporarily winning World War II in Europe, triggering a Cold War with the U.S., which had fought Japan.

    Some alternate-history novels have envisioned a separate Texas, notably 1990’s “The Difference Engine” by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, which explores what might have happened to the world had computers been perfected in Britain a century earlier. In the book, Texas and California morph into independent nations.

    But the suggestion that Texas might break away has only recently become a common plotline. Some authors say their interest was spurred by recent events, such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s remark in 2009 that “if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people you know, who knows what might come out of that” (Mr. Perry has repeatedly said he doesn’t favor secession).

    John Buescher, a researcher at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, has championed alternate histories as a way to teach real history.

    “For a history geek, there are certain moments when all sorts of things can happen and the world would be totally different,” Mr. Buescher says. Of the current Texas fancy, he adds, “Texas is feeling its oats economically these days, and there is a sense in the Zeitgeist that Texas would be pretty interesting if it really was its own nation.”

    Secession fiction isn’t burning up the best-seller lists. Mr. Snyder’s book, which came out in February, is produced by a small Christian imprint he owns called Concerning Life Publishing. Mr. Maloney published his novel himself in January. Mr. Larson’s book was released by an Oklahoma company called Tate Publishing & Enterprises last month. All are available on Amazon.com.

    “I’m not getting rich off of it, that’s for sure,” says Mr. Maloney, who is retired from the Air Force. He says he is working on a sequel.

    One book with a major publisher, St. Martin’s Press, is “Don’t Mess with Travis” by Bob Smiley, which envisions a Texas governor driven to secession after he discovers a federal plot to siphon off the state’s natural resources and ship them to California.

    “We wanted to show the absurdities on both sides of the aisle,” says Mr. Smiley, a television writer in Los Angeles and former researcher for the late William F. Buckley Jr. Of secession, he adds, “It obviously remains something people in Texas think could and maybe even should happen.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 14, 2013, 9:01 am
  6. Oh look, Rick Joyner – a leader in the Dominionist/“Latter Rain” movement and ‘historian’ of the David Bartonvariety – just called for a US military coup:

    Rick Joyner, Televangelist And Pastor, Wants A Military Takeover Of The U.S. Government

    The Huffington Post | By Hunter Stuart Posted: 10/02/2013 1:55 pm EDT

    No matter how bad things are in Washington, D.C., right now, most people would probably agree that a military takeover of the federal government wouldn’t improve the situation.

    But not televangelist Rick Joyner.

    While on the show “Prophetic Perspective on Current Events” on MorningStar TV on Monday, the notoriously conservative pastor implored God to save America from being wiped out by the nefarious “forces” that are “at work right now to undermine and destroy the republic.”

    “Raise up those who will save us,” Joyner said. “Because the system is so broken… I believe our only hope is military takeover. Martial law.”

    Joyner seems to genuinely believe the United States is on the brink of annihilation. Earlier in the segment, he warns that the country “may not last through [President Barack] Obama’s second term.”

    Those familiar with Joyner, who is the executive director of MorningStar Ministries, may not be surprised by his remarks. The website for MorningStar Ministries is peppered with references to Armageddon, a topic Joyner frequently returns to in his sermons and during roundtable discussions.

    Note that, while it’s probably the case that Joyner was calling for a coup by the US army, he may have been referring to a different army. Don’t forget that Rick Joyner is also apparently an member of the Knights of Malta and was apparently a spiritual catalyst for fellow Knight Kurt Waldheim…it turns out being a Catholic isn’t a requirement for joining the order. So maybe Joyner’s coup call also included an unspoken reference to a different kind of military force?

    And then there’s his friends in Joel’s Army. Rick hangs out with a lot of scary folks spouting scary stuff so who knows what this was all about.

    In other news…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 2, 2013, 8:09 pm
  7. It worth noting that de facto secession might look a lot like sedition:

    TPM Cafe: Opinion
    Let’s Call The Shutdown What It Is: Secession By Another Means

    Bill Moyers – October 8, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    Republicans have now lost three successive elections to control the Senate, and they’ve lost the last two presidential elections. Nonetheless, they fought tooth and nail to kill President Obama’s health care initiative. They lost that fight, but with the corporate wing of Democrats, they managed to bend it toward private interests.

    So, we should be here on this: Obamacare, as it is known, is deeply flawed. Big subsidies to the health insurance industry, a bonanza for lobbyists, no public option and, as the New York Times reported this week, “Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law” — largely because states controlled by Republicans refused to expand Medicaid.


    Despite what they say, Obamacare is only one of their targets. Before they will allow the government to reopen, they demand employers be enabled to deny birth control coverage to female employees; they demand Obama cave on the Keystone pipeline; they demand the watchdogs over corporate pollution be muzzled and the big bad regulators of Wall Street sent home. Their ransom list goes on and on. The debt ceiling is next. They would have the government default on its obligations and responsibilities.

    When the president refused to buckle to this extortion, they threw their tantrum. Like the die-hards of the racist South a century and a half ago, who would destroy the union before giving up their slaves, so would these people burn down the place, sink the ship.


    At least, let’s name this for what it is: sabotage of the democratic process. Secession by another means.

    Well, the GOP maybe have devolved into a state of childlike terror over the prospect of a government program possibly working, but at least they’re still winners.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 8, 2013, 11:47 am
  8. @Pterrafractyl and Atlanta Bill–

    What we are looking at–under all the flowery ideologized rhetoric–is fascism and a fundamental rejection of not only democratic process, but of American nationhood itself.

    Obamacare was a bill that was passed by both houses of congress, signed by the President and upheld by the Supreme Court.

    The GOP is rejecting legislative democracy.

    The Ludwig von Mises Institute and “Paulistinian Libertarian Organization” rejct America, endorse the Confederacy, seek to have the South “re-cedede,” and favor SLAVERY.

    What I have been warning of for decades is now taking place before our eyes.



    Posted by Dave Emory | October 8, 2013, 7:28 pm
  9. @Dave: With the GOP now offering a six-week rise in the debt ceiling (and a six-week extension of the government shutdown), in exchange for the promise that the Democrats will sit down and negotiate a long-term entitlement “Grand Bargain”, the question gets raised of just what kind of pressure Wall Street is going to be applying to the different sides if the six-week deal is accepted. It’s widely assumed that Wall Street must be getting worried about damage the GOP is doing to the economy and the banksters are going to quietly urge the GOP to back away from their demands. And who knows, maybe there was some Wall Street involvement in this recent debt ceiling retreat. But if there’s one thing that could tempt Wall Street into courting an economic catastrophe it’s the possibility that the catastrophe will result in Wall Street getting their hands on all that social security money.

    Just imagine how much money will be made if one of the GOP’s long-standing entitlement privatization schemes are put into place.

    So the question of what type of pressure Wall Street is going to apply to the GOP going forward is partially a question of whether or not entitlement privatization is more, or less, likely when the government’s finances are seen as unstable. Sure, a damaged economy might make the populace a lot less inclined to throw their future financial safety-net into the giant stock market money-pit. But at the same time, part of the argument we hear in favor of privatizing social security is that there’s just no way the government will be able to afford to pay out entitlements decades from now so the youth should take private accounts to protect against that future government fiscal uncertainty. So is Wall Street likely to be all that concerned about the GOP terrorizing the markets and convincing the public that the government is on a doomed path of unavoidable insolvency? There’s a pretty massive payout for all those financial giants if the GOP succeeds and they’ve been pining for such a gift for quite some time.

    The next few weeks should teach us quite a bit about how interested the big banks and plutocrats are in just dropping the mask and aggressively subverting democracy. Fascist dystopias don’t build themselves, I suppose, so they have to make a move at some point. Now sure feels like one of those points.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 10, 2013, 12:02 pm
  10. @Dave: With another round of bizarre “negotiating” ending in failure and the dwindling prospects of the US business community reigning in the Tea Party kamikazi squads, it’s worth asking whether or not creating a hopeless situation that ends in mass disaster for the economy and the GOP is a perfectly acceptable and desirable result for the far-right oligarchs. As Krugman points out, while the GOP has long been a disaster for the broader US business community, the GOP’s policies have still been great for those at the very top. So while the business community’s proles might be freaking out about the economic damage, it’s possible the oligarchs really would love to see the kind of permanent damage done to the US economy that a default could bring about. Especially if the damage is permanent, at least for a few decades. Because few things could fuel the decades-long far-right drive to undo the New Deal and eliminate the notion of a public safety-net better than dethroning of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and sending the US economy into a deep, extended depression. So there’s obviously going to some serious eurozone-crisis envy at work in the minds of the US’s elite.

    But here’s the best part, from an oligarch perspective: The political repurcussions may not really matter. Sure, it’s entirely possible that the GOP could simply out-message the Democrats so maybe they’re still betting that Obama will get more of the blame in the event of a default. But there’s another possibility that involves winning by losing. The more damage the GOP does to itself, the better this could end up being for far-right movements that truly want to want to destabilize the US. Why? Because what could be more useful to the far-right than convincing one of the most heavily-armed and radicalized segments of the populace to potentially just give up on the democratic process. And what could convince that segment of the populace to give up on democracy better than an utter economic disaster that the rest of the country blames on the GOP? In other words, if the GOP screws up so badly that they do permanent damage to the economy and GOP itself, we’re going to be left with a deeply depressed economy and an utterly hopeless and dejected far-right community that sees no salvation in electoral politics. That’s the perfect scenario for secessionist movements and worse.

    And, of course, if Obama caves to their demands they can claim ultimate victory and rinse and repeat.

    So it’s potentially a “Heads I win, Tails You lose, unless I lose, in which case I lead an insurrectionist movement fueled by blind rage that destroys the country and Your children’s future and therefore I still win”-situation.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 12, 2013, 5:22 pm
  11. @Dave: Speaking of secession and sedition, check out today’s event at the WWII memorial. It’s apparently going to be a “game-changer”, according to the House GOPers, because of all the enthusiasm being whipped up to oppose the tyranny of closing war memorials during government shutdowns:

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Rage & Performance Art
    Josh Marshall – October 13, 2013, 6:04 PM EDT

    In case you missed the day’s events, while high level negotiations sputtered on, a Tea Party rally including Sen. Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin succeeded in capturing some of the essence of the political world the rejectionist rump of the GOP is now inhabiting in scenes reminiscent of 2009’s Summer of Teh Crazy.

    Spurred by outrage at the closure of federal war memorials they demanded be closed along with the rest of the federal government, the crowd symbolically ‘stormed’ two closed memorials and then headed to the White House where at least one Confederate Flag proudly flew and far-right gadfly Larry Klayman, who has of late been calling for an uprising to unseat the President (scheduled for Nov. 19th), told the crowd to “demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”

    Despite the fact that the number of participants seem to have numbered in the low hundreds, House conservatives reportedly see the event as a “game changer” which will turn the tide against the President next week and allow them to move on to victory.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 13, 2013, 4:49 pm
  12. The prominent placement of the Oath Keepers flag at Sunday’s “Million Vet March” at the WWII Memorial in DC might seem like potentially disturbing news when Larry Klayman is also speaking there. But keep in mind that this could be an exercise by the Oath Keepers’ “Civilization Preservation” units. Maybe they thought the war memorials needed preserving. And why not? Learning about the history of warfare – all the sacrifice and horrors involved and why we absolutely have to avoid warfare in the future if we’re to truly preserve civilization – is a pretty important component of “Civilization Preservation” so it’s hard to argue with organizations focused trying to preserve war memorials. Especially if the organization is also offering FEMA-like services in the event of disasters. That sounds quite helpful, actually. That may or may not be what the Oath Keepers have in mind for the future but it would be nice if it was.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 13, 2013, 11:16 pm
  13. It looks like we have a winner!

    TPM Livewire
    Mississippi Tea Party Senate Challenger Attended Neo-Confederate Gatherings
    Daniel Strauss – October 23, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

    Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), the recently announced primary challenger for Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss) Senate seat, spoke at a neo-Confederate conference in Laurel, Mississippi in August, according to Mother Jones.

    The conference was hosted by the Jones County Rosin Heels, a local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Invitations for the event described it as a “Southern Heritage Conference” intended for “politically incorrect folks.” Actually, Mother Jones also noted, that event was the second Jones County Rosin Heels event he recently attended. In June McDaniel was the keynote speaker at the Division Reunion in Jackson, also hosted by the Jones County Rosin Heels.

    The Jones County Heels have been pretty clear about its secessionist sentiments, Mother Jones further noted. The group’s newsletter said in September said that “we are living in the times that Jefferson Davis predicted would one day come” where the disagreements that resulted in the Civil War arose again.

    McDaniel is considered a top-tier challenger to Cochran. Almost immediately after he entered the race, he was endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund, The Madison Project and the Club for Growth.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 23, 2013, 7:07 pm
  14. The GOP’s civil war between the overtly crazy Tea Party wing and the not quite as overtly crazy establishment wing can manifest in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes, this conflict can take on historical resonance with the US civil war itself. For instance, in Mississippi, the GOP’s civil war is about whether or not the party should be seeking out the support of secessionist and segregationists. It’s a reminder that history can come alive in contemporary conflicts. Especially when you’re trying to repeat:

    TPM DC
    Tea Partiers Livid State GOP Wants Clarification On White Supremacy Affiliation

    Daniel Strauss – April 16, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT

    Mississippi Tea Partiers want the state’s Republican Party chairman to resign for calling on state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS) to clarify whether he planned to be the keynote speaker at a pro-Second Amendment event and tea party rally that featured a segregationist vendor.

    The call for state party chairman Joe Nosef (pictured) to resign comes in response to Nosef telling MSNBC that McDaniel needed to clarify whether he had planned to attend the event or not. Nosef, on the Paul Gallo Show, also suggested that McDaniel could cost Republicans a Senate seat. McDaniel is running to unseat Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).

    “It is inappropriate for Nosef to make such claims given his role as Chairman of the MS GOP. Accordingly, Joe Nosef should resign from his position as Chairman of the MS GOP effective immediately,” the Mississippi Tea Party said in a statement.

    As TPM previously reported, McDaniel had been slated to be the keynote speaker at a combined Firearm Freedom Day/ Tea Party Music Festival in Guntown, Mississippi. That event featured a vendor who sold Confederate memorabilia and founded the Council of White Patriot Voters and the Confederate Patriot Voters United, which the Southern Poverty Law Center listed as an active white nationalist group. Organizers said McDaniel had been the confirmed speaker since February.

    When TPM reached McDaniel campaign officials they denied that he was scheduled to speak and pushed the organizers to remove McDaniel’s name from posters advertising him as the keynote speaker.

    McDaniel’s association to neo-Confederates has been called into question before. Last year he attended at least one neo-Confederate event in Mississippi.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 16, 2014, 1:14 pm
  15. Back in February, the news about Mississippi’s Senate primary was looking like this:

    Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 09:21 AM CDT
    Tea Party Senate candidate Chris McDaniel retweets white supremacist
    The Mississippi state senator already has a history of associating with neo-Confederates
    Elias Isquith

    Chris McDaniel, a state senator from Mississippi and primary challenger of GOP Sen. Thad Cochran, has already gotten into some trouble for hanging out with neo-Confederates, but according to ea Partyer and former radio host’s campaign. Here’s a screen shot from TPM:, it would appear the blowback wasn’t sufficient to put McDaniel off the practice altogether.

    Per TPM’s report, McDaniel’s Twitter account (which is unverified but frequently tweets material suggesting it is being run by McDaniel or a member of his team) retweeted on Sunday a message from RRSmith #WR (@rrsray) urging others to support the Tea Partyer and former radio host’s campaign. Here’s a screen shot from TPM:

    The @rrsray Twitter bio describes the user as “Nationalist, staunch proponent of 2nd & 10th Amendment, GoldenDawn & Southern Nationalism.” (Golden Dawn is a greek neofascist party, recently embraced by many political white supremacists in the U.S.)

    A better sense of @rrsray’s political racism, however, can be found by perusing their tweets, which are frequently and unsubtly bigoted. @rrsray tends to retweet the most virulently racist material (which we’ll spare you) but their racism is nevertheless apparent:

    The most recent poll we could find of the race between Cochran and McDaniel shows the latter trailing by more than 20 points.

    Being down by 20 back point against the six term incumbent Senators isn’t an easy position for anyone, even if you’re the neo-Confederate candidate of choice. But times change:

    Mississippi Ugly

    Will a conservative blogger’s blunder bring down a Tea Party favorite and give Thad Cochran six more years in the Senate?
    By David Weigel
    May 29 2014 7:09 PM

    JACKSON, Mississippi—On the drive in, it’s easy to miss the trailer that Tara Kelly shares with her husband, Clayton. Two cars, one of them busted, are parked in a short driveway. A patio is happily cluttered with the toys and bikes of the couple’s autistic daughter. The only indication that a political activist lives here is a sign for Senate candidate Chris McDaniel, shoved mostly out of sight, under some stairs.

    “Yeah, we’re sort of trying to get that out of the way,” Tara Kelly says, referring to the campaign sign as she invites me to sit on the porch. She’s just returned from her regular 30-minute visit with Clayton, who’s in prison on a $200,000 bond. (He will only be freed on Thursday, after the bond is reduced.) Ten days earlier he was arrested for allegedly gaining access to the nursing home where Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife lies bedridden with dementia, and taking video of what he saw. The video briefly appeared on his YouTube account, Constitutional Clayton, before McDaniel’s campaign asked (via an email to other activists) that it be taken down.

    “I told him not to do it,” says Tara Kelly. “I wouldn’t want anyone taking a picture of me in a hospital! But he really wanted to get his name out there as a journalist. And he has gotten his name out there. Just not the way he expected. He thought he was getting the scoop.”

    Instead, Clayton Kelly made a decision that roiled the year’s tightest race between an incumbent Republican and an avatar of the Tea Party. McDaniel, a state senator and former talk show host, entered the race in October 2013, after the Club for Growth had already gone on the air trashing Cochran, and after he’d huddled with conservative PACs that wanted fresh Republican-In-Name-Only scalps. He outraised and outcampaigned a senator who’d won his first congressional campaign a few months after McDaniel was born. The first polling on the race gave Cochran a single-digit lead; the last poll, paid for by one of the many McDaniel-endorsing conservative groups, gives a slight edge to the challenger.

    That poll was taken after the Cochran campaign and media outlets from Mother Jones to the Wall Street Journal “vetted” McDaniel. The candidate had endured weeks of stories about his radio days, and Republican primary voters did not clutch their pearls and flee after they learned McDaniel had criticized rap culture.

    The only problem: The poll was also taken before the arrest of Constitutional Clayton. It was also taken before police charged three more activists, one of them the vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, Mark Mayfield.

    “He didn’t even know them when he was sitting in the same cell as them,” says Tara Kelly. “My personal opinion is they were just using him as the fall guy. He didn’t know them other than over Facebook.”

    The race will be decided, by people who don’t know any of these activists, don’t know or want to know what happened at the nursing home, and don’t know why the whole imbroglio began. Why was Cochran a target in the first place? On Tuesday, after talking to Kelly, I stop by the biweekly meeting of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, where there’ll be a lecture on Obamacare and a huddle about how to beat the senator.

    “One way to measure how successful we are is by securing votes for our candidate,” says Janis Lane, the president of the group. “Chris McDaniel is the man of the hour. He is chosen for a time such as this. He is our current-day Esther. He is what we need in Mississippi to make a change in the political process of this state.”

    What “process” is that? Lane explains, without getting into specifics, that an accused child molester is currently being held on a $50,000 bond. Twenty-odd activists murmur at that—they do not need to be told that several of their awkward political allies are being held for much more. Lane refers obliquely to McDaniel’s “willingness to put himself and his family in this situation,” and at how the Tea Party has had “some challenges thrown in our way, and some obstacles.”

    After the meeting ends, the activists hang back to explain. “About three weeks ago, we knew there’d be an ‘October surprise,’ ” says Don Hartness, a veteran who often stands at the side of a road in Jackson waving an American flag and raising money for the wounded. “We just didn’t know what it was going to be. Mark [Mayfield] is a personal friend, and this is just so out of character for him.”

    And the whole story has let Cochran slide. According to Tea Party activists, Cochran’s alleged conservatism is not backed up by his votes. Any Republican who voted to fund Obamacare in last year’s continuing resolution—which, in Washington, was seen as the inevitable outcome after a disastrous conservative feint—is suspect.

    “When I watch TV,” says businesswoman Kay Allen, who’s wearing only red, white, and blue, “whether it’s Fox or whoever I watch, I watch for which people are stepping out and putting bills on the floor and saying what they believe. People like Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Trey Gowdy.”

    This sort of easy openness has been McDaniel’s approach since he started running, and it never hurt—it made a nice contrast with Cochran, actually—until the videotaping story. He spent a week fielding leading questions about how he surely must know more than he was letting on. By the time I get to McDaniel, and ask whether the TV ads spotlighting the videotape will backfire, he has perfected a nonanswer answer.

    “Here’s the thing,” he says. “What matters in this race are the issues. Sen. Cochran has been avoiding the issues. There’s a reason he’s avoiding the issues.”

    What follows is a recitation of the campaign platform. The videotape story is a “distraction,” he says, and then says again. Campaign manager Melanie Sojourner, who called the Cochran campaign to denounce Clayton Kelly and was rewarded by having her voicemail leaked, stands nearby tapping on her phone. “The voters of Mississippi, they’re not going to let any distraction take away from the business at hand.”

    Less than two hours later, Mississippi Tea Party leaders assemble in Jackson to face the press and reiterate why they support McDaniel. They cannot officially coordinate with McDaniel, but they are speaking his language. Jenny Beth Martin, the president of Tea Party Patriots—its “Citizens Fund” is spending half a million dollars on McDaniel ads—refers cryptically to a “distraction” that should not affect the race. Leaders from Tupelo in the north to Biloxi on the Gulf Coast lay out just how untrustworthy Cochran is. Why, he even allowed the Senate’s immigration bill to proceed to a vote—what else can the Chamber of Commerce coax from him if he wins?

    The event is opened up for questions. None of the assembled press asks about immigration, the debt, or even the Tea Party’s ground game. The questions are all about the videotape.

    “I think I know just about every one of you in the press here,” says Roy Nicholson, who founded the Central Mississippi Tea Party. “I think I have met just about every one of you. I have to tell you, I’m very disappointed in you. You keep going after the sensational. Go after the facts that are critical of the lives of people!”

    More Tea Party leaders grab the microphone. “The press is supposed to be the Fourth Estate,” says Laura Van Overschelde. “It is your responsibility, it is your job, to report what is important to every Mississippian. Not some sensational story you might be interested in!”

    The press conference sputters to a close, as some activists decamp to a nearby Chick-fil-A and some stay to plead their case. They remind the press that this is a race about issues and the “scandal” albatross is draped around the wrong guy. Why did anyone even bother to snoop around Thad Cochran’s wife? Because she’s been there for more than a decade, and since then, as meticulously reported at Breitbart.com, Cochran has taken dozens of junkets with his executive assistant Kay Webber. One activist, who doesn’t necessarily want to get into it and lower the tone of this race any further, muses about how Webber has been pictured traveling on side-junkets, with the congressional wives.

    Had the race shaped up differently, the rumor mill might be churning about this. While the Tea Party is rallying in Jackson, Cochran is storming the state on his own campaign bus, stopping off in Hattiesburg. It’s there, according to two sources, that a group of suspicious-seeming young voters start asking Cochran about Webber. Cochran counters that the campaign recognizes these “voters” from their memberships on a pro-McDaniel Facebook page.

    Yes, times changed. Specifically, the race was almost tied going into yesterday’s primary, and was after an independent blogger and Chris McDaniel supporter, Clayton Kelly, decided to break into Thad Cochran’s home to videotape his bedridden wife suffering dementia. Why? In order to somehow suggest that Cochran has some sort of unseemly relationship with his campaign manager since he’s never seen on the campaign trail with his bedridden wife suffering dementia. And, unfortunately for McDaniel, he can’t easily distance himself from this scandal because one of the people that appears to have been pushing Kelly to do this was Mark Mayfield, then the head of the Mississippi Tea Party, and the Tea Party is the primary movement backing McDaniel. Uh oh. Fortunately for McDaniel, GOP primary voters don’t really seem to care:

    The New York Times
    Runoff Appears Certain for Six-Term Republican Senator
    Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel Tied in Primary


    WASHINGTON — The hard-fought Mississippi Republican Senate primary appears certain to go to a runoff in three weeks, with both the six-term incumbent, Senator Thad Cochran, and his Tea Party-backed challenger, State Senator Chris McDaniel, each garnering less than 50 percent of the vote in the achingly close first round of balloting Tuesday.

    With 99.5 percent of the vote counted on Wednesday morning, Mr. Cochran and Mr. McDaniel each had about 49 percent, with a third candidate pulling in less than 2 percent. Mr. McDaniel had a lead of just over 2,000 votes according to the tally compiled by The Associated Press. But Mr. Cochran’s campaign claimed overnight that remaining ballots from the Jackson area not yet included in that count had given their candidate a narrow advantage.

    Campaign officials said it might take until Thursday for final results, given the need to count absentee votes and sort through contested ballots.

    A runoff, scheduled for June 24, would present a serious challenge to Mr. Cochran. The senator’s backers have been deeply concerned about such an eventuality, fearing that Mr. McDaniel’s ardent Tea Party supporters would be more likely to show up at the polls a second time.

    In a statement issued early Wednesday morning the National Republican Senate Committee reiterated its support for Mr. Cochran, saying, “We look forward to him emerging victorious in the runoff.” But the big question that now hangs over the next three weeks will be just how much money the Committee is willing to put behind Mr. Cochran, and whether national Republicans and establishment-aligned groups go back on the air in Mississippi on Mr. Cochran’s behalf.

    Among Mr. McDaniel’s supporters, the best financed of the outside conservative groups, the Club for Growth, indicated Wednesday that they would continue to help the challenger in a runoff. Chris Chocola, the group’s president, pledged to vigorously pursue this race to its conclusion, and we will look forward to the election of Senator Chris McDaniel.”

    Conservative hard-liners were hoping that Mr. McDaniel would give them their first major victory over an establishment candidate this year. Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Pat Roberts of Kansas still face primary opponents, but the challengers in those states are underfunded and little-known. Tea Party-backed candidates have already lost in Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia.

    In Mississippi, though, Republican leaders expressed anxiety even before the polls closed about just how much money and effort Democrats may put behind their Senate candidate, former Representative Travis Childers, should Mr. McDaniel be the Republican nominee. And in Washington, top Republicans planning a runoff strategy will have to consider how aggressively they want to target Mr. McDaniel — a man who could be their standard-bearer in Mississippi in three weeks.

    Among all the Republican Senate races this year, Mr. Cochran, 76, was the most vulnerable old-guard Republican, and Tea Party groups spent more than $5.2 million against him, flooding the state with anti-Cochran advertisements.

    If Mr. Cochran was unable to adjust to the necessities of Republican politics in 2014, Mr. McDaniel seemed well-suited for the moment. He aligned himself with Tea Party-backed senators like Ted Cruz of Texas and seized on the contempt that conservative activists have for Mr. Obama by assuring them he would fight for them in Washington.

    The race was the most bitter primary face-off this year. In a bizarre turn that seemed like something out of a John Grisham or William Faulkner novel — if either of those Mississippians wrote such gothic political tales — a blogger who backed Mr. McDaniel was arrested and accused of sneaking into a Mississippi nursing home in April to take pictures of Mr. Cochran’s wife, Rose, who is bedridden and has dementia.

    The blogger posted video of Mrs. Cochran, but it was quickly taken down. Mr. Cochran’s campaign seized on the incident and broadcast a pair of commercials linking Mr. McDaniel to the episode. That Mr. McDaniel was still able run so strong in the face of such a story illustrated the intensity of his support and the favorable environment in which he was running.

    McDaniel was able to overcome a 20 point deficit AND a bizarre video-taping break in scandal and is now poised for a primary run off against a six-term incumbent senator. “That Mr. McDaniel was still able run so strong in the face of such a story illustrated the intensity of his support and the favorable environment in which he was running.” Yep!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 4, 2014, 10:54 am
  16. Ummmmm…there’s going to be an investigation, right?

    TPM DC
    Why Was Miss. Tea Partier In Locked Courthouse With Ballots On Election Night?

    Dylan Scott – June 4, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT

    A Mississippi tea party official with close ties to U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel apparently ended up inside a locked and empty county courthouse late Tuesday night after primary election results had come in.

    Hinds County Republican executive chairman Pete Perry told TPM that he received a phone call around 2:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday from Janis Lane, president of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, who said she was locked inside the Hinds County courthouse. That would be where the circuit clerk and election commission offices, and the primary election ballots, are located.

    The incident seemed to mystify Perry, a supporter of Sen. Thad Cochran, whom McDaniel is challenging for the GOP nomination. The ballots had been secured prior to the intrusion, according to local authorities.

    “I don’t know. I know I wouldn’t walk into a courthouse at 2 o’clock in the morning by myself or with somebody else and just walk around inside the building,” Perry said. “I’m not going to go into a public building just because somehow or another I happened to find a door that was unlocked.

    “Especially if it’s going down to where a bunch of election materials were and I’d been deeply involved in a campaign,” he added. “I am 64. I was involved in politics when I was real young, and I remember people breaking into a hotel in the middle of the night.”

    Connie Cochran, a sister-in law to Sen. Thad Cochran and one of the county’s election commissioners, told TPM that she left the courthouse at 11:30 p.m. CT, the last person to leave, more than two hours before Lane called Perry.

    Lane said that she and a friend had wanted to observe the election process, Perry told TPM. According to Perry, she told him that they had been walking outside of the courthouse and were directed by a police officer to an unlocked door. It’s unclear at what time they entered the courthouse or how much time they spent inside the empty building. Somehow, the door through which they entered got locked behind them, it appears.

    Connie Cochran told TPM that, to her knowledge, no materials had been disturbed or removed from the building. But Perry said that he was skeptical of Lane’s story.

    The Central Mississippi Tea Party endorsed McDaniel in his fight to unseat Cochran in the Republican primary, which is headed for a runoff on June 24 after Tuesday’s election. One of the group’s board members, attorney Mark Mayfield, was arrested in May in connection to the break-in by a McDaniel supporter, who allegedly took pictures of Cochran’s wife at the nursing home where she lives.

    Lane had called Perry earlier in the night, Perry said, asking about election results. He said she appeared to be at either a McDaniel campaign event or at its headquarters.

    Lane did not return TPM’s request for comment. A spokesman for the Hinds County sheriff’s office told the Clarion-Ledger that the office had taken a report on the issue, but no investigation was ongoing.

    Ok, no investigation. So who knows what was going on, but it’s worth pointing out that Hinds County didn’t exactly have an easy time voting back in 2011 either when the county’s voting machines encountered a number of “technical glitches”:

    Voting Machine Failures in Mississippi Primary
    DoJ deploying election monitors in 11 counties today…
    By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2011, 4:42pm PT

    It’s Primary Election Day in Mississippi and so, in a preview of next year’s nightmare to come, a quick look at the early reports of voting machine problems coming out of the Jackson metro-area as reported by the Clarion Ledger who, as is required by law for MSM reporting on such things, refers to the reported voting machine failures as little more than “technical glitches.” That, even in one case where 3 out of the 4 voting machines in use at a single precinct had failed. Good thing they had paper ballots on hand — and that this wasn’t a Presidential election!

    So here’s a quick roundup, from the Clarion-Ledger’s running blog earlier this morning, of some of the technical “glitches”, “hiccups”, “snags” and “snafus” reported before noon near Jackson where, unless they break down, fail, won’t start up, have the wrong names on the “ballots” or feature other problems that keep voters from being able to cast their vote on anything but a verifiable paper ballot, they use 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines.

    Oh, and the Dept. of Justice is deploying monitors to 11 counties in the state today for some reason…

    10 a.m.: Woes at Hinds precinct

    Ballot problems have forced voters at Wynndale Presbyterian Church on Terry Road to use paper ballots because some of the candidates were left off ballots.

    Governor and sheriff candidates were left off the Democratic ballots, and governor and lieutenant governor candidates were left off the Republican ballots.

    House District 73 Democratic candidate Gay Polk was upset after supporters informed her they were given the wrong ballot at the precinct.

    “…One of them was told maybe 50 people were given the wrong ballots.”

    “I probably shook those 50 people’s hands and told them their vote counted” while campaigning, “but it did not count,” Polk said.

    “We’re using modern technology and these things happen,” [Virginia Terry, Democratic manager at the precinct] said. “We’ve gone to paper ballots.”

    10:15 a.m.: Trouble in Madison County

    The encoders on the voting machines at Twin Lakes Baptist Church at Lake Cavalier in Madison County would only read Democratic ballots earlier today. Republican primary voters were forced to use paper ballots. Technicians were able to get the machines working around 10 a.m.

    “It slowed down people voting a little bit, but this is something you can’t foresee happening,” President of the Madison County Republican Party Mary McLaurin said.

    Yes, who could possibly have ever foreseen such a thing?

    Noon: Mishaps in Clinton

    Poll watchers and managers are all smiles at the Clinton YMCA precinct — despite the fact three of four Republican voting machines have broken down on them.

    “Even though we had three machines down and only had one machine, we never had a line of more than three people,” said David Harrington, Republican precinct manager.

    This year, a new state law requires that at least 75% of the available electronic voting machines be deployed during all elections, after reports in previous years of long lines in some areas, for some strange reason. “During the 2010 congressional elections, some counties put out fewer machines, and voters in several precincts encountered long lines,” AP reports. We wonder which precincts those were.

    100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines. Uh oh. But don’t worry. While Hinds county was the only county in the state using its particular brand of voting machine the county upgraded its machines last year to ES&S optical scanner voting machines last year. So if there was any meddling with the machines, the problem would be ES&S machines and at least there should be a paper trail. Which again raises the question: WTF was going on in that courthouse last night?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 4, 2014, 2:58 pm
  17. Too bad they didn’t know someone with experience breaking into and out of buildings. Oh well:

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Courthouse Story Getting Weirder
    Josh Marshall – June 5, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT

    Late this afternoon Dylan Scott reported on the quite odd story of how a close ally of Senate challenger Chris McDaniel had ended up locked in the Courthouse where ballots are stored at around 2 am the morning after primary night. Well, things seem to have gotten a good deal more interesting over the last six hours or so. Now it turns out that one of the two other people with Janis Lane, President of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, was none other than an actual campaign official with the McDaniel campaign. And there’s more.

    According to a late report from the Clarion Ledger, the campaign official is Scott Brewster, former state campaign coordinator for Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid in 2012 and now the McDaniel campaign’s coalition director.

    More notably, the Hinds County Sheriff’s office seems a good deal more suspicious than it did this afternoon. At the time, they had taken a report but that there was no investigation of the incident. They weren’t given clean bills of health but their statements and actions gave some credence to Lane’s claim that the whole thing was just an unfortunate misunderstanding.

    In the new Clarion Ledger story, however, the tune has changed markedly. Now there is an investigation and apparently conflicting stories from the three in question about just how they ended up in the courthouse. Othor Cain, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s department told the Clarion Ledger: “There are conflicting stories from the three of them, which began to raise the red flag, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of it. No official charges have been filed at this point, but we don’t know where the investigation will lead us.

    And it gets better: Brewster was actually the one on the one on the McDaniel campaign who seemed to know the most about the “Constitutional Clayton” nursing home break-in.

    I confess it’s difficult to know what’s going on here. It’s plenty suspicious for political fodder and an actual investigation definitely gives the story legs. But is it actually conceivable that they were trying to tamper with the ballots? It’s hard to imagine just what they would have been trying to accomplish or what they thought they were going to get away with. But again, these folks are out of the same milieu as the folks who thought the nursing home break-in was a hot idea. So there’s really no telling.

    Conflicting stories? Yeah, that might be a red flag. And then there’s the fact that the McDaniel campaign is acknowledging that the three were sent there on the campaign’s behalf:

    TPM Livewire
    McDaniel Campaign: Trio Locked In Courthouse Were Sent By Campaign

    Daniel Strauss – June 5, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT

    Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s campaign said in a statement that three people who found themselves locked in a Mississippi courthouse were sent there by the campaign to observe the tallying of ballots in the Republican primary of the Mississippi race for U.S. Senate.

    The campaign sent out the following statement to local after news broke that Central Mississippi Tea Party Party President Janis Lane as well as McDaniel coalitions director Scott Brewster and another man, Rob Chambers, ended up locked in the Hinds County Courthouse on election night, where the election commission offices and the circuit clerk are located. The primary election ballots were counted there as well.

    Below is the statement from the campaign late on Wednesday, via the Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi:

    Last night with an extremely close election and Hinds being one of the last counties to report, our campaign sent people to the Hinds courthouse to obtain the outstanding numbers and observe the count.

    In doing so, they entered the courthouse through an open door after being directed by uniformed personnel. They were then locked inside the building. At this point they sat down and called the county Republican chairman, a close Cochran ally, to help them get out. Eventually a Sheriff’s officer showed up and opened the door to let them out.

    Keep in mind that the phone call was at 2 am and the last election officials had left at 11:30 PM.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 5, 2014, 8:34 am
  18. Well that settles that, in a most unsettling manner:

    Courthouse lock-in case closed without arrests
    Therese Apel and Jimmie E. Gates, The Clarion-Ledger 10:29 p.m. CDT June 5, 2014

    The Hinds County Sheriff’s Department has concluded no criminal activity took place when three people, including a staffer for state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s U.S. Senate campaign, ended up locked inside the county courthouse hours after everyone had left following the counting of votes from Tuesday’s primaries.

    Scott Brewster, Janis Lane and Rob Chambers were found locked inside the courthouse early Wednesday. They allegedly entered sometime shortly after 2 a.m. and, after realizing they were locked in, called for help.

    Note that one of the three, Scott Brewster, tweeted at 11:16PM that he was “Going to come down to Hinds county”, so based on this timeline, the three look over two and a half hours to meet up and enter the courthouse. Perhaps they entered earlier?


    A member of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors is questioning the three being alone in the building.

    “There is not a circumstance where any individual that doesn’t work for the county should be in a county building not accompanied by a county employee after hours,” said District 1 Supervisor Robert Graham. “Specifically, not accompanied by an election commissioner on election night. If you’re in the building and you have to do with elections, you should be with a commissioner.”

    The situation took on added significance because of the hotly contested U.S. Senate Republican primary pitting McDaniel against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. McDaniel led Cochran statewide by a slim margin, but in Hinds County, Cochran held a 2-1 margin over McDaniel. The two will face off in a June 24 runoff.

    Brewster is McDaniel’s campaign coalition coordinator. Lane is president of the board of the Central Mississippi Tea Party. And Chambers is a consultant with the Mississippi Baptist Christian Action Commission.

    “Our investigation revealed that the three individuals were able to enter the courthouse through a side door marked for employees only,” Sheriff’s Department spokesman Othor Cain said Thursday afternoon in a statement. “This door was either propped open or was malfunctioning at the time of entry.”

    Cain said the three had access only to the common areas of the courthouse, including the hallways and restrooms.

    “Based on our findings, the door in question closed behind them upon entry and they proceeded to look for individuals that were counting ballots in an effort to assist. After not finding anyone in the building it is then they called for assistance to get out,” the statement said.

    Ballot counting had ended for the night, and everyone left the courthouse approximately three hours before the trio was locked in.

    The Sheriff’s Department refuted earlier statements by the McDaniel camp that “uniformed personnel” let the three into the building.

    Brewster, Lane and Chambers didn’t respond to requests for comment by The Clarion-Ledger.

    “The McDaniel campaign, they seem to always be on the wrong side of a door,” said former Gov. Haley Barbour. “Have you ever heard of a group of people who were in places they weren’t supposed to be more often?”

    Barbour referred to the recent controversy in which conservative blogger Clayton Kelly allegedly went uninvited into a nursing home in Madison and took photos of Cochran’s bedridden wife, Rose.

    Kelly and three others have been charged in that case.

    McDaniel said his campaign had no role in taking photos of Cochran’s wife. There are no allegations that McDaniel’s campaign had prior knowledge of plans for the photo to be taken.

    In the courthouse incident, Cain had said inconsistencies in statements given by Lane, Chambers and Brewster led to the opening of the investigation late Wednesday.

    The Sheriff’s Department works security for the courthouse, but only during business hours, Cain said. During an election, the election commission hires off-duty deputies to work security, but at the time Lane, Brewster and Chambers allegedly entered the courthouse, all security staff would have been gone.

    On Thursday, Hinds County Board of Supervisors President Darrel McQuirter sent a letter to Sheriff Tyrone Lewis thanking him for the quick action in launching an investigation. McQuirter asked the Sheriff’s Department to provide the board with updates and a final report on the findings of the investigation.

    “Without the benefits of all the facts, we consider the events that have reportedly transpired in this past election process to be a potential breech in protocol,” McQuirter said. “This is a great concern for the board. Incidents such as these could compromise the integrity and validity of the Hinds County election process tremendously.”

    Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn says it would be virtually impossible to tamper with ballots after they make it to her office.

    All ballots, including absentee ballots, were placed in a vault in her office, which was locked when everyone left between 11 and 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dunn said.

    “It would be very hard for anyone to get into my vault,” Dunn said. “And I have an alarm system that is turned on that would make a loud sound if anyone opens the vault.”

    Precinct boxes containing pencils and pens, but no ballots, would have been the only things left unsecured in the hallways of the courthouse, Dunn said.

    Cain said there are attorneys and courthouse employees with access to the courthouse but they are not “uniformed personnel.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 6, 2014, 12:29 pm
  19. Here’s a new fun twist in the ongoing speculation about the nature of the GOP’s new plan to defeat Obama with frivolous lawsuits over ‘executive overreach’: When GOP representative Bob Goodlatte was asked if the lawsuit would just be a waste of time because it would get dragged out past the end of Obama’s term, Goodlatte replied that the legal process could be sped up and should only take a few months. So once John Boehner finally figures out what the lawsuit will be all about, it should just be a few months before freedom is free again and power has been rebalanced:

    TPM Livewire
    GOP Rep. Insists Lawsuit Against Obama Not Political

    Caitlin MacNeal – June 29, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), on Sunday defended the GOP’s plan to sue President Obama over his use of executive actions.

    “It’s not about our wanting to stop him from doing his job. It’s our wanting to do the job the constitution prescribes,” Goodlatte said about the effort on “Fox News Sunday.”

    “It’s very important,” Goodlatte continued. “And this should be bipartisan — people standing up to protect the balance of power.”

    Host Chris Wallace then questioned how Republicans could justify a lawsuit when there are other remedies that could be used to curb the president’s power.

    Goodlatte again insisted that Congress had the authority to sue Obama.

    “We also have the power to bring causes of action when we believe that the President of the United States is exceeding his authority,” he said.

    And when Wallace asked Goodlatte if the lawsuit would be pointless since it would probably be dragged out past the end of Obama’s second term, Goodlatte said that the legal process could be sped up and should only take a few months.

    Part of what makes the language being used by the GOP so interesting is that it’s highly reminiscent of the strategy put forth by GOP dirty trickster Floyd Brown in 2010. According to Brown – who brought us the infamous Willie Horton ad and Citizens United – the growing impeachment talk of 2010 was perfectly legitimate even though there were no actually grounds for doing so being discussed (beyond the Birther stuff) because, “Our Founding Fathers fully intended to allow for the removal of the president for actions which include: gross incompetence, negligence and distasteful behavior…For those who mistakenly hold the illusion that impeaching Barack Hussein Obama would be a simple matter of ‘playing politics,’ the founders fully intended that the impeachment of a sitting president be a political act.”

    And when you listen to John Boehner, the closest thing to a rational that he gives is that “The Constitution makes it clear that a president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws. In my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws,” and also that Obama has asserted “king-like authority.” Now, Boehner’s clearly trying to make this more of a ‘constitution crises’ stunt than Brown was advocating back in 2010 by talking about executive overreach and “faithfully executing” laws, but he’s still only barely trying to make that case. It’s half-assed even by the GOP’s standards. So is Boehner really even trying to come across as serious or is this intended to seem like trolling? Don’t forget that trolling the president (and the country, really) is pretty much the GOP’s primary campaign tactic these days. That’s the ‘red meat’ the base craves: trolling the president as an expression of some sort of political primal scream. Irrational movements require primal screams for maintaining moral so irrational primal screams via trolling does make sense in a twisted way. Could that be what Boehner has in mind? Rallying the GOP going into the elections with one more primal scream as a moral booster? It might be needed right about now.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 29, 2014, 7:27 pm
  20. Uh oh. It’s looking the GOP is having difficulties just saying no to its most treasured vice:

    Top House Republican Won’t Rule Out Obama Impeachment (VIDEO)

    By Caitlin MacNeal
    July 27, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Sunday did not rule out impeaching President Obama after he was asked three times by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

    When first asked whether he would consider impeaching Obama, Scalise dove into a response pinning impeachment talk on the White House.

    “This might be the first White House in history that’s trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president. Ultimately, what we want to do is see the President follow his own laws,” Scalise said. “The Supreme Court unanimously said 12 times the President overreached and did things he doesn’t have the authority to do.”

    Scalise gave a similar response the second time Wallace asked if impeachment was on the table.

    “Well, the White House wants to talk about impeachment and they’re trying to fundraise off that, too,” he said.

    “I’m asking you, sir,” Wallace quickly responded.

    Scalise dodge the question for a third time.

    “The White House will do anything they can to change the topic away from the President’s failed agenda,” he said. “The president isn’t solving the problems. We’re going to try to solve problems for everyday people. I would like to see the President engaged in that, too, that’s his job, but he wants to change the topic, talk about things like this.”

    Ideally, society could create an Ayahuasca-like exemption for the GOP: Since the party’s religion mandates the imbibing of ‘impeachment’, the party will be allowed to use its drug of choice for religious ceremonies for the true believers. But that would only work if their religious ceremonies weren’t going to heavily impact the rest of society. If only that was an option…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 27, 2014, 7:29 pm
  21. Oh geeze: First, we have Alex Jones and far right immigration activist William Gheen are claiming that Obama is giving Obamaphones to all the central american child refugees in order to lure them hear to create a child army. That’s not good. And congressman Louie Gohmert is claiming that the children aren’t really facing threats of violence and abuse back home and are just lying in order to get into the country (Obamaphones are extremely tempting after all). So that’s a rather chilling portrayal of the child refugee crisis at on the Texas border.

    Even more alarming is the suggestion by Michelle Bachmann that Obama is planning using these kids for medical experimentation.

    Connecting all these dots, we can only come to one conclusion: Obama is creating a private army of cybernetically enhanced super soldiers! Super soldiers capable of traveling vast distances at incredible speeds while still recieving a clear phone signal.

    A far right fantasy you say? Well, many would have said the idea of the GOP suing Obama in an election year over executive orders when he’s issued the fewest in over a century was a complete fantasy when Michelle Bachmann was floating the idea back in January, but they aren’t saying that any more:

    Suing Obama: GOP-Led House Gives the Go-Ahead
    WASHINGTON — Jul 31, 2014, 10:14 AM ET
    By ALAN FRAM Associated Press

    A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters.

    Just a day before lawmakers were to begin a five-week summer recess, debate over the proposed lawsuit underscored the harshly partisan tone that has dominated the current Congress almost from its start in January 2013.

    The vote to sue Obama was 225 to 201. Five conservative Republicans voted with Democrats in opposing the lawsuit. No Democrats voted for it.

    Republicans said the legal action, focusing on Obama’s implementation of his prized health care overhaul, was designed to prevent a further presidential power grab and his deciding unilaterally how to enforce laws.

    Some prominent conservatives including former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin have called for Obama’s impeachment, and some House GOP lawmakers have not ruled it out. Boehner has said he has no such plans and has called Democratic impeachment talk a “scam” to raise money.

    So are we going to see another far right dream come true now that the GOP has exposed the secret cyborg child army plans? Maybe, but if not, there are plenty of other far right dreams.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 31, 2014, 11:50 am
  22. Someone might need to check in on the University of Texas researchers that are working on an Ebola vaccine to make sure that nothing has escaped the lab. There’s a nasty fever sweeping Texas and it looks incredibly painful:

    Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 06:30 AM CST
    Texas GOP’s platform is an Ayn Randian fever dream
    Corporal punishment? You bet. Guns? Yes, please, more! Compassionate conservatism looks *progressive* by comparison
    Michael Winship, BillMoyers.com

    Imagine the official presentation of a worldview concocted by conspiracy theorists and an assortment of cranks and grumpy people. Conjure a document written by scribes possessed of poison pens soaked in the inkpots of Ayn Rand and the Brothers Grimm, caught in the grip of a dark dystopian fantasy of dragons and specters, in which everyone’s wrong but thee and me and we’re not sure of thee.
    In the spirit of the Alamo, this is a work straight out of the 19th century with no option for surrender.

    No, this is not some “Game of Thrones” spinoff. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the official 2014 platform of the Republican Party of Texas, 40 pages of unrestrained, right-wing bluster against you name it — women, minorities, immigrants, Muslims, gays, Obamacare, the Internal Revenue Service, red light cameras, the EPA, the World Bank, vaccinations — well, you get the picture. In the spirit of the Alamo, this is a work straight out of the 19th century with no option for surrender.

    Pick a page, any page, and you’ll find yourself pitched through the rabbit hole into an alternate reality. Homosexuality? “… Chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible… Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples.”

    As for public schools, who needs them? “Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.” And Social Security – let ‘em eat pork rinds: “We support an immediate and orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax.”

    All of this is disturbing enough, but what may be the most troubling are the platform planks urging the elimination of virtually any federal authority, the repeal of certain parts of the Constitution or insisting on archaic interpretations that most of us thought were put to bed more than a century ago. Executive decisions by any agency would have to be approved by Congress and as for all “unelected bureaucrats” – you mean civil servants, too? – “…we urge Congress to use their constitutional authority to defund and abolish these positions and return authority to duly elected officials.” Further, the FBI, DEA, ATF, immigration officers – ANY federal enforcement activities within Texas “must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county.”

    The Texas GOP supports repealing the 17th Amendment, which in 1913 established the direct election of US senators by the voters, taking that power away from state legislatures, which famously could be bought for pretzels and cheese. In the Gilded Age, in part because of the ease of wholesale bribery at the state level, corporations like Standard Oil and Union Pacific had the US Senate in their pocket (not that it’s much better these days).

    In their frenzied dreamland, what’s left of the Voting Rights Act would be repealed and more stringent restrictions on who’s allowed to vote would be put in place, further disenfranchising minorities. What’s more, Congress is to “withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom and the Bill of Rights” (!) and the Texas state legislature is to “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify any federal mandated legislation which infringes upon the states’ 10th Amendment Right.” State nullification of federal law has been consistently forbidden by the Supreme Court since 1809 and, with slavery, was at the core of the losing Confederate cause 150 years ago. Then it was again used unsuccessfully by those opposed to the civil rights movement of the sixties. Still, it refuses to go away, like an antibiotic-resistant strain of strep.

    No wonder the current slogan of Texas’ official tourism campaign is, “It’s like a whole other country.” They ain’t just whistling “Dixie.”

    But for all the platform’s Texas-style bravado, there is no mention of Governor Rick Perry’s much touted “Texas miracle,” his and other state Republicans’ boast that since 2009, “about 48 percent of all the jobs created in America were in Texas” due to low taxes and little regulation. There is in the document a general opposition to taxes, a call for the elimination of the minimum wage and this: “We believe that a favorable business climate and strong economy emerges when government is limited by low taxation, sensible regulation, and tort reform. The American private sector powers our economy and is the true creator of jobs.”

    Maybe the bragging was backburnered because, as Phillip Longman points out in Washington Monthly magazine, the state may have no income tax, “But Texas has sales and property taxes that make its overall burden of taxation on low-wage families much heavier than the national average, while the state also taxes the middle class at rates as high or higher than in California…

    And unlike in California, middle-class families in Texas don’t get the advantage of having rich people share equally in the cost of providing government services. The top 1 percent in Texas have an effective tax rate of just 3.2 percent. That’s roughly two-fifths the rate that’s borne by the middle class, and just a quarter the rate paid by all those low-wage ‘takers’ at the bottom 20 percent of the family income distribution. This Robin-Hood-in-reverse system gives Texas the fifth-most-regressive tax structure in the nation.

    Middle- and lower-income Texans in effect make up for the taxes the rich don’t pay in Texas by making do with fewer government services, such as by accepting a K-12 public school system that ranks behind forty-one other states, including Alabama, in spending per student.

    In the words of “Texas on the Brink,” the annual report written by the progressive Legislative Study Group, a research caucus in the Texas House, “In Texas today, the American dream is distant. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured adults in the nation. Texas is dead last in percentage of high school graduates. Our state generates more hazardous waste and carbon dioxide emissions than any other state in our nation. If we do not change course, for the first time in our history, the Texas generation of tomorrow will be less prosperous than the generation of today.”

    Wait, so Congress is to “withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom and the Bill of Rights”?! OK, someone get the patient in a bathtub and grab the ice.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 31, 2014, 2:31 pm
  23. Reason # whatever for why we can’t have nice things:

    Talk to Action
    A Talk to Action Anthology on Neo-Confederacy, Nullification and Secession (Updated)
    Frederick Clarkson

    Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 10:54:44 PM EST

    A number of posts over the past year have addressed the growing Neo-Confederate movement, the advocacy of nullification of federal laws, and even the secession of states from the union. Below is an anthology of about 30 posts — a list that we will continue to update from time-to-time. — FC

    Ron Paul Curriculum Launched by Reconstructionist Gary North and Neo-Confederate Thomas Woods
    by Rachel Tabachnick April 9, 2013

    Thomas E. Woods, Jr. and the Neo-Confederate Catholic Right
    by Frank Cocozzelli May 1, 2013

    Why Nullification Matters
    by Frank Cocozzelli May 12, 2013

    Refuting Nullification, Part One
    by Frank Cocozzelli May 19, 2013

    Refuting Nullification, Part Two
    by Frank Cocozzelli June 1, 2013

    Thomas E. Woods, Jr. And the Right to Oppress
    by Frank Cocozzelli June 17, 2013

    Thomas E. Woods, Jr.’s Long and Winding "Yawn"
    by Frank Cocozzelli July 8, 2013

    The Methods in the Mendacity of Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
    by Frank Cocozzelli August 2, 2013

    A Point About The Paul Temptation
    by Frederick Clarkson August 24, 2013

    Yes, Mr. Woods, You Advocate the Right to Oppress
    by Frank Cocozzelli September 12, 2013

    Shining a Light on the Right in the States
    by Frederick Clarkson January 17, 2014

    Mudsill By Any Other Name
    by Frank Cocozzelli February 21, 2014

    Two Neo-Confederate Leaders Join Republican & Democratic Parties to Run For Office

    by Frederick Clarkson March 2, 2014

    A Theocrat in Democrat’s Clothing
    by Frederick Clarkson March 05, 2014

    Neo-Confederate Tweets ‘Kill the Jews’ After Exposure of League of the South Political Candidate
    by Rachel Tabachnick March 06, 2014

    Neo-Confederate Democrats: Oxymorons?
    by jhutson March 19, 2014

    Don’t Be April Fooled by Far-Right Activists Dressed Up as Democratic Candidates
    by jhutson March 31, 2014

    Candidates Expose Theocratic Agenda of Their Neo-Confederate Opponent
    by jhutson April 22, 2014

    Meet the New White Nationalist ‘David Duke’ GOP Candidate
    by jhutson July 9, 2014

    The Creeping Risk of Theocratic Violence
    by Frederick Clarkson July 3, 2014

    GOP Leader Questions Candidate About Hate Group That Advocates Death Squads – Updated
    by jhutson July 25, 2014

    Not Just Whistling ‘Dixie’: Peroutka Stands Up for Southern Secession – UPDATED x2!
    by jhutson July 30, 2014

    White Hot Controversy for a White Nationalist GOP Candidate
    by Frederick Clarkson July 31, 2014

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 5, 2014, 8:03 am
  24. Given the inevitable growth in foreign financing of US elections now that we’re living in the Citizens United/McCutcheon era of unlimited secret political spending, you have to wonder how much analogous far right international financing is taking place in the US at this point since there’s really no reason to believe that the kind of foreign financing of far right agendas described below is limited to France:

    TPM Livewire
    Kremlin-Backed Bank Is Loaning Money To France’s Far-Right Party
    By Dylan Scott Published November 28, 2014, 12:50 PM EST

    A Moscow-backed bank has provided a multi-million-euro loan to the far-right French political party, Time reported this week, which is leading some to wonder if Russian president Vladimir Putin is trying to interfere with Western Europe’s domestic affairs.

    Marine Le Pen, who runs the National Front party in France, announced that she had received a loan of 9 million euros ($11.1 million) from the First Czech Russian Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin, according to Time.

    “At this stage, Russia is trying to influence French domestic policy,” Jean-Yves Camus, a political researcher at France’s Institute of International and Strategic Relations, told the magazine. “In this respect Putin is pretty much in line with the former USSR. It is the same policy all over again.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 28, 2014, 2:18 pm
  25. Police in Ferguson threatened a group of Oath Keepers with arrest on Saturday after “more than five, less than 500” volunteers showed up to protect local businesses with armed street patrols and and riflemen on rooftops:

    The New York Times
    On Rooftops of Ferguson, Volunteers Patrol, With Guns

    NOV. 29, 2014

    FERGUSON, Mo. — When Sam Andrews awoke on Tuesday morning, he found his wife watching a television interview with a woman whose bakery had been vandalized during the violent unrest here on Monday.

    “She said, ‘You’ve got to go help her,’ ” Mr. Andrews said in an interview on Saturday morning.

    And so Mr. Andrews, a former Defense Department contractor who is now a weapons engineer in the St. Louis area, set to work. Under the auspices of a national group called the Oath Keepers, Mr. Andrews accelerated plans to recruit and organize private security details for businesses in Ferguson, which are receiving the services for free. The volunteers, who are sometimes described as a citizen militia — but do not call themselves that — have taken up armed positions on rooftops here on recent nights.

    “It’s really a broad group of citizens, and I’m sure their motivations are all different,” said Mr. Andrews, who is in his 50s. “In many of them, there’s probably a sense of patriotism. But I think in most of them, there’s probably something that they probably don’t even recognize: that we have a moral obligation to protect the weakest among us. When we see these violent people, these arsonists and anarchists, attacking, it just pokes at you in a deep place.”

    Mr. Andrews declined to say how many people were assisting in the effort, saying only that the number was “more than five, less than 500.” He estimated that men make up about 80 percent of the volunteers. About 80 percent are white, and 10 percent are black.

    But on Saturday, with the county police said to be threatening the Oath Keepers with arrest, the volunteers decided to abandon their posts and instead protest against the authorities. During the evening, Mr. Andrews and some of his colleagues appeared on South Florissant Road, conducting a protest of their own. They ate pizza and stood beneath a handmade sign critical of Chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County police.

    Their presence is a symbol of the continuing criticism of Gov. Jay Nixon’s handling of security before and after the grand jury’s decision became public. In the days before the announcement, Mr. Nixon declared a state of emergency and sent the Guard to Ferguson. Yet, in the initial hours following word of the grand jury’s decision, the Guard played only a limited role. Troops protected a police command post and other facilities, but they were not posted along the main commercial corridors where property destruction was rampant.

    After the destruction that night, Mr. Nixon ordered hundreds more soldiers to Ferguson, saying, “We must do better, and we will.”

    But for people like Mr. Andrews, the governor’s vow was of little solace. So while the New Chinese Gourmet restaurant at the end of a block of South Florissant Road appears to have little in the way of defense beyond the painted wooden boards that cover its windows, armed men and women on recent nights have roamed the rooftop it shares with a dental practice and a law office.

    “When they’re here, there’s definitely a weight lifted off of our shoulders,” said Davis Vo, whose family owns New Chinese Gourmet. “I’d be lying if I said otherwise.”

    On its website, Oath Keepers released a recruiting message to “all skilled veterans and patriots” and asked them to “grab your gear and start rolling toward Ferguson.” The post listed nine types of people the group was seeking, including paramedics, police officers, “private drone operators” and videographers who could “film any encounters with looters.”

    Mr. Andrews said he researched the qualifications of each volunteer, as well as whether any might have racially based motivations to participate.

    “I don’t want any racists in my group,” he said. “I don’t want any people who want to visit violence on any group. I only want professionals with real credentials that can be verified and have experience in dealing with violence.”

    But the St. Louis County police, Mr. Andrews said, and other law enforcement officials have expressed misgivings.

    “When we hear information that someone, or a group, is providing security without a license, our department has to investigate the issue,” a police spokesman, Shawn McGuire, said in an email on Saturday.

    Mr. Andrews said that the warning on Friday was tantamount to a temporary shutdown order, and he said he did not expect his volunteers to defy it.

    I don’t want any racists in my group…I don’t want any people who want to visit violence on any group. I only want professionals with real credentials that can be verified and have experience in dealing with violence.LOL. Well, at least if any racists do get kicked out of the militia patrols they probably won’t have to go far to find a new home.

    So, in the last year or so alone, we’ve found the Oath Keepers at the WWII Memorial with Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Larry “put the Koran down, get of your knees and come out with your hands up!” Klayman. And then there was all their fun and games at the Bundy Ranch. And don’t forget the fun and games at the US-Mexican border. And now they’ve brought that same Oath Keeper flair to Ferguson.

    So what’s next for the Oath Keeper’s brand of reactionary “Fight the Power (of specifically the federal government, unless it involves the military)!” vigilante activism? That next step is very unclear largely because that next step is likely to be as reactionary as the all previous steps. That said, the final destination of the Oath Keepers and their fellow Koch-fueled travelers shouldn’t really be in doubt.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 30, 2014, 6:45 pm
  26. It looks like Daniel Miller and his Texas Nationalist Movement, which was one of the secessionist movements featured in that 2009 WSJ piece on the break up of the US, continue to refuse to secede from their vision of the Lone Star state going solo

    The Texas Tribune

    Texas Nationalist Movement group wants secession on GOP primary ballot

    By Luqman Adeniyi, The Texas Tribune
    15 Sep 2015 at 09:09 ET

    Texas already seceded once — in 1861, by popular vote in a statewide election.

    But the Texas Nationalist Movement wants a repeat a century and a half later, and thinks the March GOP primary is the place to start.

    The Nederland-based Texas independence group is circulating a petition aimed at getting a non-binding vote onto the GOP primary ballot over whether “the state of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”

    Their goal? 75,000 signatures from registered voters by Dec. 1 — more than the 66,894 the Texas Secretary of State’s office says the group needs to get the language on the ballot.

    Even if the Texas Nationalist Movement gets enough signatures, such a vote would be little more than symbolic. Academics agree that Texas cannot secede from the United States, and point to a post-Civil War Supreme Court ruling, Texas v. White, as evidence.

    But that hasn’t stopped the Republican Party of Texas from rolling its eyes at the secessionists. Texas GOP communications director Aaron Whitehead said the Republican party certainly doesn’t welcome outside groups trying to doctor the party ballot.

    “Historically the executive committee of the Republican Party has chosen what goes on this,” Whitehead said, “and it’s party preference that it stays that way.”

    The Texas Nationalist Movement, which hasn’t yet verified how many signatures it has, doesn’t buy the argument that the state can’t secede. Daniel Miller, the group’s president, points to the state Constitution, and in particular, the provision that gives Texans the right to “alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.”

    Miller said the group is going around the state party because past interactions with the GOP weren’t fruitful.

    “We have had our hand slapped,” Miller said. “We have been rebuffed, and not just us as an organization, but essentially anyone in any position inside the party that has advocated for this position has been rebuffed.”

    Whitehead said there is zero relationship between the GOP and the secessionists, and added that his response to such a ballot proposal would be the same if it were “a resolution giving everybody a unicorn or a resolution for secession.”

    If the Texas Nationalist Movement does get the signatures it needs, the Secretary of State’s office says it will be the first time a referendum from a citizen group is put on the Republicans’ statewide primary ballot. Miller acknowledges a majority vote for the referendum wouldn’t be binding, but hopes it would be enough evidence of support to get state leaders to take the issue seriously long-term.

    “The end game for us is to have a binding referendum on Texas independence, much like the people of Scotland had in November of last year,” Miller said.

    The 2014 vote over Scottish independence from the United Kingdom failed.

    Volunteers from the Texas Nationalist Movement are at work across the state, scurrying to get signatures. Miller is optimistic; he says the organization itself has over 200,000 members.

    So we’ll see how many signature the Texas Nationalist Movement actually gets, but if they do reach their 75,000 goal it wouldn’t be all that shocking given that ~25% of Americans seem to be interested in secession in general. Fortunately it sounds like this particular secessionist group is dedicated to non-violent means, so if they don’t end up modifying the Texas GOP plank we presumably won’t have to worry about the Texas Nationalist Insurgency. Although it’s worth pointing out that the propensity for non-violence is probably going to be heavily dependent on whether or not enough Texas Nationalist Movement are perceiving that the US has adopted a ‘Gestapo Government’, because as one member put it back in 2013, “We’re liable to fight the Alamo all over again…We’re not interested in legislation; we’re interested in bullets, body-bags and bayonets. If the ‘Gestapo Government’ starts trying to take away our guns, we’re going to have another revolution.”:

    The Independent
    We want to be alone: The Texas Nationalist Movement wants America’s second largest state to leave the Union

    Tim Walker Author Biography

    Tuesday 12 February 2013

    At noon on 8 January, the first day of the 2013 legislative session, around 200 Texans stood stubbornly in the rain on the north steps of the capitol building in Austin. Some carried state flags, others placards bearing messages such as “I want off the sinking ship”. To cries of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Liberty or Death!”, Daniel Miller, the leader of the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM), stepped forward to speak.

    The 39-year-old in the suit and cowboy boots has been the leader of the TNM, which organised the rally, since 2001. His recent book, Line in the Sand, is the movement’s core text. Miller turned and pointed to the figure of Lady Liberty at the summit of the capitol’s domed roof. “You’ll notice,” he joked, “that Liberty has her back turned to the North.”

    There has been enthusiasm for the notion of independence at the far fringes of Texan politics for decades, but the re-election of Barack Obama has significantly broadened the TNM’s base. The organisation claims more than a quarter of a million members, and has registered more than three million hits on its website since November. It even formed its own Political Action Committee, or PAC, to back candidates that share its goals.

    As the President prepared to deliver the State of the Union address, he will have been aware that some in its second-largest state would rather leave the Union altogether. Last month, the Obama administration rejected a petition calling for the state’s secession from the US. Posted on the White House website in November by a student from Arlington, the petition drew 125,746 signatures in just eight weeks. Similar appeals emerged from all 50 states, but the Texan’s was by far the most-signed. In his response, the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Jon Carson, claimed the US Constitution, “enshrined… the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot – a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it.”

    The petition was rejected, but this week Texas got its first taste of international diplomacy – and its first ally – in the shape of the former Soviet state of Belarus, ruled by brutal dictator Alexander Lukashenko. Apparently fed up with constantly being criticised for abusing human rights, the Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs levelled the same accusation at Washington for rejecting Texas’s call. Whether Minsk’s intervention will help the secessionist cause is open to debate.

    Texas was briefly a nation, between securing independence from Mexico in 1836 and annexation by the United States in 1845, during which time it had embassies in London and Paris. Alone, the state would boast the world’s 15th-largest economy. At a Tea Party rally in 2009, Governor Rick Perry gave hope to secessionists by suggesting, “When we came into the nation in 1845… we were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave any time we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.” (Last year, Perry’s office informed the Dallas Morning News that the Governor, “believes in the greatness of our Union”.)

    One person who could reasonably expect support from the TNM PAC is Larry Kilgore, a 48-year-old telecommunications consultant, who changed his middle name to “SECEDE” in December. Kilgore received 250,000 votes when he contested the Republican Senate primary in 2008, and has announced his intention to run for Perry’s job in 2014. His aim, he told The Independent, is to become Governor and then immediately hold a referendum on independence, before stepping down. “I don’t want people to think I’m just interested in power,” he explained. Kilgore’s reasons for advocating secession are partly economic. He resents paying social security and federal income tax. Also, “We’re not even allowed to execute people who molest children,” he said. “We don’t want the US coming in and saying, ‘You can’t perform this judicial punishment.’”

    Soon after the presidential election, Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County Republican party, wrote in his regular Tea Party newsletter in favour of the state’s “amicable divorce” from the US and from the “maggots” who’d voted for Obama. “When citizens of Czechoslovakia decided to peacefully separate into the Czech Republic and Slovakia,” he explained in an email, “it was not a case of a sore loser, but rather two free groups deciding they wanted to govern themselves independently.”

    Morrison believes there is a “serious possibility” of Texas gaining independence in similar fashion during his lifetime. Daniel Miller grew up in White Oak, a town of around 6,000 in northeast Texas. His father was a unionised ironworker, his mother a secretary. When he graduated from high school in 1991, he immediately ran for mayor. He lost, and resolved to give up politics. But three years later, he recalled, an acquaintance, “handed me a copy of the US Constitution and a copy of the Communist manifesto. They said, ‘Read both of them and tell us what you feel like you’re living in right now.’ I saw a lot more of Marx in society than the Constitution. That flipped a switch for me.”

    The TNM leadership’s post-secession aims sound reasonable – small government; low taxes; a balanced budget – and their chosen means are peaceful. “Our members must be committed to the peaceful, non-violent approach,” said Miller. “Like the SNP in Scotland, or Gandhi in India. We look at the SNP as a model for modern-day independence.”

    But not all their members agree. Alan Daves, 70, an insurance and real estate broker who calls himself “The Texas Mob-Father”, wore a military-style poncho to the rally, to protect himself from the drizzle. “We’re liable to fight the Alamo all over again,” he said. “We’re not interested in legislation; we’re interested in bullets, body-bags and bayonets. If the ‘Gestapo Government’ starts trying to take away our guns, we’re going to have another revolution.”

    The TNM also has ideological differences with the other leading independence group: the Republic of Texas, which won’t discuss secession, on the basis that Texas was never “ceded” to the US in the first place. Bob Wilson, 76, is one of eight senators in the Republic’s shadow legislature. Unlike the TNM, he’s unwilling to negotiate with the US or Texan governments. “There’s nothing to negotiate. We’re right; they’re wrong… The Texan state is just a subsidiary of US Incorporated.” Miller, Wilson claimed, “is a profiteer who won’t change a thing.”

    If anything, the Republic of Texas is less radical than it used to be: its former leader was involved in a week-long armed stand-off with Texas Rangers in 1997, which left one of its members dead, and a number of others in jail. The group now has its own currency, minted in Dallas, which it claims is accepted by more than 20,000 merchants. Wilson, a mechanical engineer by trade, says he’s designing a seat of government in Waco. “It has become abundantly clear that we’ll be receiving foreign dignitaries,” he said. What Wilson and the TNM share is a conviction that independence is coming, and sooner than anyone else expects.

    “The likely scenario is that Obama’s government will collapse sometime in 2013 or 2014,” Wilson claimed. “Then people will look to who’s best equipped to take over.”

    “The likely scenario is that Obama’s government will collapse sometime in 2013 or 2014…Then people will look to who’s best equipped to take over.”

    In other news…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 15, 2015, 3:06 pm
  27. The Texas Nationalist Movement’s quest to get its pro-secession initiative on the GOP 2016 primary ballots in March got a big boost on Friday when the ballot initiative, pushed by Texas GOP executive committee member Tanya Robertson, passed the Texas GOP’s Resolutions Committee:

    The Houston Chronicle
    Texas secession resolution passes GOP committee, headed for Party vote Saturday

    By Dylan Baddour Updated 4:43 pm, Friday, December 4, 2015

    A proposal to put Texas secession to a non-binding vote in March passed a state GOP committee vote in Austin on Friday afternoon, clearing the way for a vote Saturday by the Party’s full executive assembly, party officials reported.

    Party leadership has said the independence item won’t likely be approved in a full-body vote. An informal poll of executive committee members conducted by the Chronicle showed the assembly was split on the issue.

    The resolution would put a breakup with Uncle Sam to a non-binding vote, which would essentially serve as an opinion poll and wouldn’t legally compel Texas to secede.

    It was introduced by State Republican Executive Committee member Tanya Robertson, who represents parts of Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties. In November, she told the Chronicle that many of her constituents had voiced support for a reborn Republic of Texas, the short-lived nation of the mid-1800s.

    The resolution reads, “If the federal government continues to disregard the constitution and the sovereignty of the State of Texas, the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”

    The SREC is the governing body of the Republican Party of Texas, and it decides what will appear on the March 1 Republican primary ballot. The Party is currently assembled in Austin to author the ballot. On Friday, the independence resolution passed the Resolutions Committee, which selects items to go before the full 40-member assembly on Saturday. Of 12 resolutions presented at the committee Friday, five were approved, including independence, members said.

    Of the 40 SREC members polled by the Chronicle this week, 13 responded. Six said they would support a vote on independence, six said they would not and one declined to comment.

    Supporters of the resolution argued that the Party should not prohibit the citizens from voicing their opinion, while opponents argued that secession was unpatriotic and unconstitutional.

    Several polls have explored secession before. A 2009 Rasmussen survey found 18 percent of Texas would opt to secede, while seven percent were undecided.

    In September 2014, Reuters reported “1 in 4 Americans are open to secession,” with the highest support for secession—34 percent–in the three-state Southwest region that includes Texas.

    Wow, so the Texas GOP’s executive committee’s 12-person resolution committe approved taking the pro-secession measure to the 60-member assembly vote (not 40, that’s an error) which takes place today. And based on an informal poll by the Chronicle of 40 of those 60 members, 13 responded and support is split:

    The SREC is the governing body of the Republican Party of Texas, and it decides what will appear on the March 1 Republican primary ballot. The Party is currently assembled in Austin to author the ballot. On Friday, the independence resolution passed the Resolutions Committee, which selects items to go before the full 40-member assembly on Saturday. Of 12 resolutions presented at the committee Friday, five were approved, including independence, members said.

    Of the 40 SREC members polled by the Chronicle this week, 13 responded. Six said they would support a vote on independence, six said they would not and one declined to comment.

    And note that the executive committee member that put forth this measure, Tanya Robertson, represents areas like Galveston. That’s also one of the areas once represented by Ron Paul, who asserted that “we should be like 1900” when there was no FEMA (a statement he made hours before hurricane Irene made landfall on the East Coast). Aside from the fact that federal disaster assistance was commonplace before the creation of FEMA, also note that Texas receives more federal disaster aid than any other state. It’s a reflection of the mentality at work in the Texas GOP’s leadership these days (although given polls that show 53 percent of Tea Party members nationality would support secession, it’s not a mentality limited to the leadership).

    So did the secession measure pass the 60-member vote and make it onto the GOP’s primary ballot in March? No, it didn’t pass, although we can’t actually be sure it wouldn’t have passed if left up to a recorded vote since they used a voice vote instead:

    The Texas Tribune
    Texas GOP Votes Down Secession Proposal

    by Patrick Svitek
    Dec. 5, 2015

    State GOP leaders, in a predictable but closely watched vote, have defeated a proposal to ask Texas voters whether they favor secession.

    In a voice vote Saturday afternoon, the State Republican Executive Committee rejected a measure that would have put the issue on the March 1 primary ballot. The ballot language would have been non-binding, amounting to a formal survey of voters on whether they would like to see Texas declare its independence from the United States.

    While the proposal’s defeat was expected, the measure had sparked some heated debate on the 60-member executive committee, the governing body of the Republican Party of Texas. Seeking to avoid a protracted fight, the executive committee voted earlier Saturday afternoon to cap discussion of the issue at 30 minutes then put it to an up-or-down vote.

    Tanya Robertson, the SREC member who introduced the proposal, argued at the executive committee meeting in Austin that the measure would have been “harmless,” allowing voters to register an “opinion only.” She also suggested the ballot language would have helped “get out the vote” among some Texas Republicans who have been sitting out recent elections.

    “The goal of these is to take a thermometer of how Texans feels about an issue, and what better issue for Texans to do that with?” she asked.

    Oh well, better luck next time! And hopefully they’ll actually record the votes next time so we get to know just how many Texas GOP executive committee members want to start dismantling the US. It would be interesting to hear an audio recording of the voice vote too. It would also interesting to hear what Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is now in second place nationally in the GOP presidential primary, thinks about such a proposal. Probably scary and disturbing too, but also interesting.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 5, 2015, 4:24 pm
  28. The Texas Nationalist Movement, the ‘usual suspect’ in calling for for Texas to secede, is getting quite a bit of help from the ‘usual suspect’ for dysfunctional politics in general, the GOP. So everything is as it should be, at least in the sense that things aren’t as they should be but the groups we should expect to be making things not as they should be are doing what they should be doing to fulfill their role as the groups that do that which shouldn’t be done. In other words, it’s just a normal year for the Texas GOP in that things are all f*#@ed up, although this year it might be a little more normal than normal:

    The Houson Chronicle

    In Texas, some local GOPs call for statewide vote on secession

    By Dylan Baddour Updated 7:32 pm, Friday, April 15, 2016

    A handful of Texas Republican district or county conventions in March passed resolutions calling for a vote on secession, paving the way for a potentially awkward debate at the state GOP conference in May.

    A Nederland-based pro-independence activist group, the Texas Nationalist Movement, said at least 22 of the hundreds of conventions passed secession items. Texas GOP chairman Tom Mechler said he “would be very surprised” if that many had indeed passed the conventions.

    The Houston Chronicle reached out to GOP officials in the counties listed by the Nationalist Movement. Ten responded and all confirmed passage of the resolutions. An official count should be available from the Republican Party of Texas in early May.

    A party committee will consider the resolutions for debate on the floor of the state GOP convention in Dallas May 12-14. The volume of independence resolutions — from which party leaders are quick to distance themselves — increases the possibility they could be approved for discussion, though the notion of secession would certainly be shot down swiftly on the convention floor.

    Still, the resolutions represent a significant milestone in the growth of a fringe movement in the Texas GOP, which drew attention last year when members of the party’s State Republican Executive Committee pushed for a vote at a December meeting.

    “I hadn’t really heard of this in any organized way until this past year,” said Paul Simpson, chairman of the Republican Party of Harris County. “It’s cropped up in a major way just in this last year.”

    The Nationalist Movement recently has led the push for a conversation on independence, and SREC officials cited it as inspiration when they introduced a resolution for a vote in December. That resolution was voted down overwhelmingly.

    Mechler said the Nationalist Movement was not a Republican group, and was using the state party apparatus to push its cause.

    “Republican is not even in their name,” Mechler said.

    Last year, the Nationalist Movement made headlines for a statewide tour of speaking events, aimed at garnering enough signatures to get secession on the GOP primary ballot. They came up short, but the group’s president, Daniel Miller, said he recruited and “trained” volunteers from Amarillo to San Antonio to Beaumont.

    “There’s no coincidence that a lot of people who attended those trainings were some of the very minds responsible for championing these resolutions in district and county conventions,” Miller said.

    The cause also has a few sympathizers in the Republican ranks. Tanya Robertson, SREC member of Senate District 11 in the Greater Houston area has led the drive for an independence vote within the party, with help from a handful of allies including Bonnie Lugo of SD 13 in Harris and Fort Bend Counties.

    Even Houston’s Jared Woodfill, a tea party activist running to unseat Mechler as state party chairman, has been an ally.

    “I absolutely think the people should have an opportunity to vote on this issue,” he said.

    The number of secession resolutions this year contrasts with 2012, when Nationalist Movement activists fanned out at county GOP conventions but were only able to pass their item in one, Miller said.

    Last month in SD 11, a resolution passed urging a statewide vote on “whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”

    A similar resolution passed in Harris County SD 6, said State Republican Executive Committee member Glenda Bowles. Officials confirmed resolutions also passed in Jefferson, Tarrant, Webb, Lee, DeWitt and Guadalupe counties.

    “The resolution in questions appears to have originated from the Texas Nationalist Movement,” said Guadalupe County GOP chair Karen Hale.

    Lubbock County GOP chair Carl Tepper said two secession items passed his county convention: one calling for an independence vote, and the other calling for secession in case the constitutional convention suggested by Gov. Greg Abbott fails to right the ways of the federal government.

    The county conventions are “kind of a place for people to vent,” he said.

    Supporters of and independent Texas allege overreach, corruption and excessive spending by the federal government, and argue that Texas is large and prosperous enough to get by on its own.

    Talk of Texas secession has long simmered in Lone Star discourse, flaring up periodically. It has raised tempers in political settings before. At the December SREC meeting, opponents of the notion hotly said it shouldn’t even be discussed, and one official scoffed at the notion of sending Texans to fight the U.S. military.

    Miller said that in Jefferson County, where he spoke at a Republican convention, another attendee angrily accused him of “sedition” for advocating secession.

    For the record, the Supreme Court ruled ruled in 1869 that states do not have a right to secede. Secessionists contend that the nation’s laws are irrelevant once a state declares independence. However, they would compel the federal government to use force against any Texas rebellion, evoking recollections of the state’s last disastrous attempt to secede.

    “Supporters of and independent Texas allege overreach, corruption and excessive spending by the federal government, and argue that Texas is large and prosperous enough to get by on its own.”
    This might be a good time to remind the secessionists that Texas is actually a net recipient of federal dollars. If it’s not a good time for that reminder, just wait. It’ll get better.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 18, 2016, 2:39 pm
  29. When Donald Trump was asked back in June whether or not he thought Texas might attempt to secede from the United States, Trump had a typically Trumpian (i.e. disturbing and ominous) response: “Texas will never do that because Texas loves me…Texas would never do that if I’m president.” And it’s probably true that if Trump became president the Texas secessionist movement would probably put itself on hold until the next Democratic president (this is assuming there’s a next President following the Trump Presidency)

    But how about if Hillary Clinton wins? Well, with the Trump campaign appearing to be planning on a ‘Plan B’ strategy of making preparations to win the 2016 race by first losing and the vote and then challenging the validity of entire electoral system, as the article below sadly reminds us it’s worth keeping in mind that one of the other ‘Plan Bs’ out there for the Trump campaign involves running for President of a different nation: The United States of Trump. Sure, that nation doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean Trump can’t start recruiting now. Who knows which states might be interested:

    The Atlantic

    Will Texas Stick Around for a Hillary Clinton Presidency?

    Three out of five Trump voters in the Lone Star State would back secession if the Democrat wins, a new poll finds.

    Russell Berman
    Aug 16, 2016

    When politicians accuse their opponents of trying to divide the country, they usually don’t mean it literally. But in Texas, Donald Trump supporters dread a Hillary Clinton presidency so much that three out of five of them would rather the state secede than live through it.

    In conducting a rare general-election poll of the Lone Star State, the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling asked voters a (mostly) hypothetical question: Would you support or oppose Texas seceding from the United States?

    Fortunately for Unionists, a clear majority of 59 percent of Texans said they’d rather stick with the Stars and Stripes, while just 26 percent said they wouldn’t. But that number dropped when the pollsters followed up by asking whether voters would support secession if Clinton won the election. Forty percent said they would, including 61 percent of Trump supporters. (While PPP is run by Democrats, it has a solid grade in FiveThirtyEight’s pollster accuracy ratings.)

    PPP is known for its zany survey questions. It has begun including Harambe—the gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after he grabbed and dragged a young boy into his enclosure—in occasional presidential ballot questions, by way of testing just how much some voters loathe their choice of candidates this year. It also asks questions that reveal just how uninformed some people are about the news. The firm asked Texans, for example, whether they believe ACORN would “steal” the election for Clinton, even though the community-organizing group shut down in 2010.

    Yet there is an actual small-but-vocal movement in favor of secession in Texas. Supporters nearly succeeded earlier this year in getting the state Republican Party to endorse a referendum on the question modeled on the Scottish independence vote that occurred in the U.K. two years ago. GOP delegates prevented a resolution backing a statewide vote from being added to the party platform in May. Former Governor (and presidential hopeful) Rick Perry infamously suggested at a Tea Party rally in 2009 that Texas could leave the Union if it wanted to. (Actually seceding might be messy, as it was in the 19th century: The White House told petitioners in 2013 that according to an 1869 Supreme Court decision, Texas did not have a right to leave the U.S.)

    Democrats have been predicting that Texas would turn their way for years, arguing that the rising Hispanic population there would make the state competitive in presidential races after decades of voting reliably for Republicans. That shift has yet to occur. The GOP margin actually grew between 2008 and 2012, and recent statewide races for senator and governor haven’t been close, either. Could Trump accelerate Texas’s leftward move? It’s certainly possible. While the state might not be winnable for Clinton in 2016, Democrats will take solace in the finding that younger voters and Hispanics—by a 68-27 percent margin—are moving their way. The future viability they’ve long envisioned in the Lone Star State might finally be drawing closer—if only Texas doesn’t flee the U.S. before it arrives.

    “Fortunately for Unionists, a clear majority of 59 percent of Texans said they’d rather stick with the Stars and Stripes, while just 26 percent said they wouldn’t. But that number dropped when the pollsters followed up by asking whether voters would support secession if Clinton won the election. Forty percent said they would, including 61 percent of Trump supporters. (While PPP is run by Democrats, it has a solid grade in FiveThirtyEight’s pollster accuracy ratings.)”

    Ok, so if Donald Trump loses and then declares the entire US government rigged and the election was illegitimate, the winner is illegitimate, there’s a constitutional crisis and the need for widespread civil disobedience because the government is no longer the government, (in other words, what Roger Stone is threatening to do if Trump loses), what’s that going to do to all the secession movements? Won’t they kick into overdrive?

    And if Trump just straight up called for states to rebel and declare him the president (which is not too far removed from the kinds of scenarios the Trump campaign is flirting with), would Texas attempt to be the first member of the United States of Trump? It’s kind of funny to imagine Texas secessionist getting behind a New York billionaire, but with 60 percent of Texas’s Trump supporters apparently open to secession if Hillary wins and Trump already solidifying his status as the voice of the far-right, it’s hard to entirely rule the possibility out. Trump really could end up being the Texas secessionists’ best shot of winning the public support they need if his cult of personality lingers on after the election and maintains its status as a cesspool of all things far-right. Plus, being the first state in the USofT(rump) would presumably have its advantages. The new capital would basically have to be in Texas. And there would probably be a really, really, big tower/palace built there. That could be kind of neat. The shade should be nice.

    So that’s one more Trumpian disaster scenario to watch out for. It’s not a new disaster scenario since the Texas GOP has been flirting with this idea for a long time but with Trump in the mix it’s hard to say it isn’t now a more likely scenario. It’s a reminder that the slew of Trumpian disaster scenarios facing the nation are basically the same GOP disaster scenarios that have been looming over the nation for years. It’s just that now all those GOP disaster scenarios have an avatar. A big orange avatar of GOP disaster scenarios who won the GOP’s nomination for president. He’s an usually metaphorical avatar. And a highly topical avatar too, which is one reason why we shouldn’t be shocked if the next phase of the Texas secession movement end up with a Trumpian twist.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 17, 2016, 3:00 pm

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