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.)


30 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 Bar­ton-vari­ety — 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 ®, 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
  30. It’s that time again. Time for the Texas GOP’s extrem­ism to make nation­al news. It’s the kind of the sto­ry that pops up with such fre­quen­cy that it’s almost not even news. And yet, while the Texas GOP may be as unhinged as ever, there’s no deny­ing that the rest of the GOP has got­ten even cra­zier in recent years. That’s the con­text that makes news of the Texas GOP’s endur­ing insan­i­ty actu­al news. While sto­ries of the Texas GOP’s extrem­ism were more of a local anom­aly in decades past, today it’s a har­bin­ger of what we should expect from the GOP nation­al­ly. In oth­er words, we may be hear­ing the same old calls for seces­sion for the Texas GOP, but those calls are hap­pen­ing in con­tem­po­rary con­text of 2022. The con­tem­po­rary con­text of an open­ly insur­rec­tion­ist Repub­li­can Par­ty. That’s what makes this sto­ry a har­bin­ger:

    Talk­ing Points Memo

    Texas GOP Approves Dec­la­ra­tion That Biden Didn’t Actu­al­ly Win, Part Of Extreme Plat­form

    By Matt Shuham
    June 20, 2022 12:46 p.m.

    The Texas Repub­li­can Par­ty now states as a mat­ter of par­ty plat­form that Joe Biden did not win the 2020 elec­tion, part of an extreme list of new plat­form items on which par­ty mem­bers vot­ed this week­end.


    A spokesper­son for the par­ty con­firmed that at least two planks in the new plat­form — false­ly refer­ring to Biden’s win as ille­git­i­mate, and rebuk­ing Sen. John Cornyn (R‑TX) for his role in bipar­ti­san gun reform talks — were approved by a voice vote of del­e­gates. “The Texas Repub­li­can Par­ty is rais­ing record funds for elec­tion integri­ty,” a state­ment on the party’s web­site bragged.

    The rest of the plat­form — which again, will like­ly be approved by con­ven­tion atten­dees once votes are tal­lied — includes a dec­la­ra­tion that homo­sex­u­al­i­ty is “an abnor­mal lifestyle choice” and the asser­tion that “denial of an immutable gen­der bina­ry” leads to “irre­versible phys­i­cal muti­la­tion.”

    It also calls for Texas schools to teach “about the human­i­ty of the pre­born child,” includ­ing the notion that life begins at fer­til­iza­tion, the Texas Tri­bune report­ed.

    That “edu­ca­tion” would include “use of fetal baby mod­els” and “wit­ness­ing of a live ultra­sound,” accord­ing to lan­guage shared by a Tri­bune reporter Sat­ur­day, when the vote took place.

    The pro­posed plat­form also calls for prayer to be returned to schools and gov­ern­ment build­ings, and for the repeal of the fed­er­al income tax and the Fed­er­al Reserve.

    Sev­er­al far-right plat­form planks were part of the the exist­ing 2020 plat­form, includ­ing calls for the repeal of the 1965 Vot­ing Rights Act, for strip­ping the state legislature’s pow­er to reg­u­late the “wear­ing of arms,” and for end­ing birthright cit­i­zen­ship. As in 2020, the 2022 plat­form states that “Texas retains the right to secede from the Unit­ed States.” And it asserts, again, that “We oppose all efforts to val­i­date trans­gen­der iden­ti­ty.”

    The party’s hys­te­ria over gay and trans­gen­der peo­ple went beyond the plat­form itself this year and into the con­duct of par­ty mem­bers: When one del­e­gate, David Geb­hart, object­ed to the plank about homo­sex­u­al­i­ty — “We are the Repub­li­can Par­ty of Texas, not the West­boro Bap­tist Church,” he report­ed­ly said — he was met with a mix of boo­ing and laugh­ter, the Tribune’s Sewell Chan report­ed.

    Sep­a­rate­ly, the par­ty pro­hib­it­ed the Log Cab­in Repub­li­cans of Fort Worth, a local branch of the gay con­ser­v­a­tive group, from set­ting up a booth at the con­ven­tion.


    “Texas GOP Approves Dec­la­ra­tion That Biden Didn’t Actu­al­ly Win, Part Of Extreme Plat­form” By Matt Shuham; Talk­ing Points Memo; 06/20/2022

    Sev­er­al far-right plat­form planks were part of the the exist­ing 2020 plat­form, includ­ing calls for the repeal of the 1965 Vot­ing Rights Act, for strip­ping the state legislature’s pow­er to reg­u­late the “wear­ing of arms,” and for end­ing birthright cit­i­zen­ship. As in 2020, the 2022 plat­form states that “Texas retains the right to secede from the Unit­ed States.” And it asserts, again, that “We oppose all efforts to val­i­date trans­gen­der iden­ti­ty.””

    As in 2020, the Texas GOP has a plat­form assert­ing its right to secede. Keep in mind that Don­ald Trump was pres­i­dent in 2020, so the Texas GOP was­n’t just reac­tionar­i­ly respond­ing to a Demo­c­rat in the White House. And as the fol­low­ing arti­cle notes, the plat­form does­n’t just include a recog­ni­tion (which legal experts dis­pute) that Texas retains a right to secede. The plat­form actu­al­ly calls for seces­sion to be put on the bal­lot as a gen­er­al ref­er­ence in the 2023 state gen­er­al elec­tions:

    San Anto­nio Express-News

    GOP wants Tex­ans to vote on seces­sion from U.S. — plus 6 oth­er take­aways from the par­ty’s con­ven­tion

    Ran­di Steven­son,
    June 20, 2022
    Updat­ed: June 20, 2022 9:11 a.m.

    Thou­sands of Repub­li­cans gath­ered in Hous­ton last week for the 2022 Texas State Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion.


    There are more than 270 mea­sures on the doc­u­ment. Read them all here.

    On Texas seced­ing from the U.S.: “We urge the Texas Leg­is­la­ture to pass bill in its next ses­sion requir­ing a ref­er­en­dum in the 2023 gen­er­al elec­tion for the peo­ple of Texas to deter­mine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its sta­tus as an inde­pen­dent nation.”

    On the 2020 elec­tion: “We reject the cer­ti­fied results of the 2020 Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, and we hold that act­ing Pres­i­dent Joseph Robi­nette Biden Jr. was not legit­i­mate­ly elect­ed by the peo­ple of the Unit­ed States.”

    On gen­der iden­ti­ty: “The offi­cial posi­tion of the Texas schools shall be that there are only two gen­ders: bio­log­i­cal male and bio­log­i­cal female. We oppose trans­gen­der nor­mal­iz­ing cur­ricu­lum and pro­noun use.”

    On vot­ing rights: “We urge that the Vot­ing Rights Act of 1965, cod­i­fied and updat­ed in 1973, be repealed and not reau­tho­rized.”

    On abor­tion: “We urge law­mak­ers to enact leg­is­la­tion to abol­ish abor­tion by imme­di­ate­ly secur­ing the right to life and equal pro­tec­tion of the laws to all pre­born chil­dren from the moment of fer­til­iza­tion.”

    On the Unit­ed Nations: “The Unit­ed Nations is a detri­ment to the sov­er­eign­ty of the Unit­ed States and oth­er coun­tries; because of this we sup­port ... Our with­draw­al from the cur­rent Unit­ed Nations.”

    On the new bipar­ti­san gun pro­pos­al: “We reject the so called ‘bipar­ti­san gun agree­ment.’ ” (U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is a chief nego­tia­tor for the gun pack­age, which emerged just weeks after a gun­man killed 19 chil­dren and two teach­ers at a Uvalde ele­men­tary school.)


    “GOP wants Tex­ans to vote on seces­sion from U.S. — plus 6 oth­er take­aways from the par­ty’s con­ven­tion” by Ran­di Steven­son; San Anto­nio Express-News; 06/20/2022

    “On Texas seced­ing from the U.S.: “We urge the Texas Leg­is­la­ture to pass bill in its next ses­sion requir­ing a ref­er­en­dum in the 2023 gen­er­al elec­tion for the peo­ple of Texas to deter­mine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its sta­tus as an inde­pen­dent nation.”

    Are we going to see open seces­sion votes next year? That’s appar­ent­ly the plan. Does seces­sion have shot of win­ning? Well, that pre­sum­ably depends in part on whether or not the GOP wins back con­trol of the House as is wide­ly expect­ed in the 2022 mid-terms. With the GOP back in con­trol of at least one cham­ber of con­gress it’s easy to imag­ine the seces­sion calls rapid­ly dis­si­pat­ing. But what if the GOP’s gross extrem­ism man­ages to turn off enough vot­ers for the Democ­rats to retain con­trol of Con­gress? How tempt­ing might seces­sion be for the Texas elec­torate at that point?

    And as the fol­low­ing arti­cle from 2016 reminds us, there’s no rea­son to assume the peo­ple who vote for seces­sion nec­es­sar­i­ly want to actu­al­ly secede. They might instead be con­vinced that the threat of seces­sion is their best polit­i­cal move for get­ting their way. At least that was the ‘wis­dom’ con­veyed the reporter of the fol­low­ing piece who was cov­er­ing the nar­row defeat of a sim­i­lar seces­sion res­o­lu­tion by Tex­as­’s GOP that year. The idea was that threat­en­ing seces­sion is the best way to get Wash­ing­ton DC to take the state’s con­cerns seri­ous­ly. Might we see seces­sion get adopt­ed as a pop­u­lar new form of right-wing trolling?

    Also note how the 2016 defeat­ed res­o­lu­tion includ­ed a call for a statewide ref­er­en­dum to vote on seces­sion. So the res­o­lu­tion that was nar­row­ly defeat­ed in 2016 just passed.

    And there’s anoth­er inter­est­ing obser­va­tion tucked away in this report that could have a fas­ci­nat­ing impact on how the dynam­ics of seces­sion pol­i­tics plays out in the cur­rent envi­ron­ment with a far right Supreme Court major­i­ty locked in place for decades to come: the pro-seces­sion crowd kept bring­ing up its oppo­si­tion to abor­tion and trans-rights. So with Roe v Wade poised to be over­turned and anti-trans move­ments now dom­i­nat­ing the GOP, what will the pro-seces­sion groups latch onto as the new need for seces­sion? We’ll pre­sum­ably find out dur­ing the planned 2023 seces­sion ref­er­en­dum:

    The Texas Observ­er

    Texas GOP Flirts With Seces­sion

    by David R. Brock­man

    May 14, 2016, 11:23 AM, CDT

    Hav­ing lived here in the Lone Star state all my life, I’m used to hear­ing my fel­low Tex­ans grum­ble about Wash­ing­ton. Hang out at any cof­fee shop or bar in my home­town of Fort Worth, and you’re like­ly to hear G‑ddamn fed­er­al gub’mint! fol­lowed by com­plaints about tax­es, spend­ing, reg­u­la­tions, school prayer, and out­siders tryin’ to run our lives. I don’t share these views, but I’ve learned to accept the grip­ing as just part of the Texas wall­pa­per.

    But that didn’t pre­pare me for the full-throat­ed, red-faced vit­ri­ol at last night’s debate over seces­sion at the Texas GOP Con­ven­tion. Dur­ing an hour-long fight in the mid­dle of the Fri­day plat­form vote, seces­sion advo­cates tried to force back into the plat­form lan­guage that par­ty lead­ers had dropped the pre­vi­ous night. “The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has impaired our right of local self-gov­ern­ment,” the pro­pos­al claimed, set­ting up the poten­tial for a statewide vote so that Texas could reassert its right to return to its orig­i­nal sta­tus as an inde­pen­dent nation.

    What ensued was an unruly bat­tle of words — punc­tu­at­ed by boos, cheers, and applause — between seces­sion advo­cates and oppo­nents, while mild-man­nered state GOP chair Tom Mech­ler strug­gled to keep order.

    Abor­tion came up repeat­ed­ly on the pro-seces­sion side. One speak­er claimed that the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has buried “states’ rights at the bot­tom of a land­fill” under “the bod­ies of mur­dered babies,” to vig­or­ous applause. Anoth­er pro­po­nent cit­ed the cur­rent anti-trans­gen­der bath­room bat­tle: Wash­ing­ton, she said, will “allow per­vert men into women’s bath­rooms.”

    She went on, to wild applause: “Who bet­ter to rep­re­sent the will of Texas than Texas? I say secede now.”

    But for all the seces­sion advo­cates, there were just as many oppo­nents. One speak­er cit­ed his years of mil­i­tary ser­vice and said he didn’t want to see the coun­try he was proud to defend be bro­ken up. Anoth­er asked the audi­ence if they’d for­got­ten that just a lit­tle ear­li­er they’d recit­ed the U.S. Pledge of Alle­giance. Anoth­er speak­er gave more prac­ti­cal argu­ments: If Texas Repub­li­cans say the state should secede, “it makes a joke of our prin­ci­ples,” he said. “Our goal is to restore the coun­try,” he went on. “I’m an Amer­i­can first” — here he was inter­rupt­ed by loud boos, so he shout­ed loud­er — “and I want to restore those [con­ser­v­a­tive] prin­ci­ples to the coun­try.”

    Dur­ing all this, a man sit­ting near­by — tall, clean-cut, dressed in a brown suit and cow­boy boots — turned to me, grinned, and shook his head, as if to say, “What a mess.” I smiled and nod­ded. But then he leaned in and con­fid­ed to me that the only solu­tion to the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is for Texas to threat­en to secede. Then, he said, glanc­ing at my media badge, maybe Wash­ing­ton will take us seri­ous­ly and start clean­ing up its act. I just smiled and lis­tened.


    Final­ly, just a half-hour before the ses­sion was sched­uled to end, the hall was closed for the vote, and the par­lia­men­tar­i­an announced that no one was to enter or exit. The room qui­et­ed down as del­e­gates began col­or­ing in the bub­bles on Scant­ron-style grad­ing sheets.

    And then it hit me: Good God, I’m trapped in a room, sur­round­ed by folks who just seri­ous­ly con­sid­ered the idea of seces­sion. I made it out in one piece, and the state GOP plat­form sur­vived a hos­tile takeover, but it was a pret­ty close call.


    “Texas GOP Flirts With Seces­sion” by David R. Brock­man; The Texas Observ­er; 05/14/2016

    “But that didn’t pre­pare me for the full-throat­ed, red-faced vit­ri­ol at last night’s debate over seces­sion at the Texas GOP Con­ven­tion. Dur­ing an hour-long fight in the mid­dle of the Fri­day plat­form vote, seces­sion advo­cates tried to force back into the plat­form lan­guage that par­ty lead­ers had dropped the pre­vi­ous night. “The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has impaired our right of local self-gov­ern­ment,” the pro­pos­al claimed, set­ting up the poten­tial for a statewide vote so that Texas could reassert its right to return to its orig­i­nal sta­tus as an inde­pen­dent nation.

    The Texas GOP almost vot­ed in 2016 to set up a state-wide ref­er­en­dum in 2017 to vote on seces­sion. Almost, but it was nar­row­ly defeat­ed. But it was­n’t defeat­ed this year, so it sounds like a 2023 seces­sion vote is quite pos­si­bly going to hap­pen. What kinds of argu­ments should we expect from the pro-seces­sion crowd? In 2016, it abor­tion and trans rights that appeared to be key ani­mat­ing fac­tors. With Roe slat­ed to be over­turned any day now, that’s going to take at least some of the steam from such appeals. Will anti-trans feroc­i­ty be enough to moti­vate Tex­ans to secede?

    Abor­tion came up repeat­ed­ly on the pro-seces­sion side. One speak­er claimed that the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has buried “states’ rights at the bot­tom of a land­fill” under “the bod­ies of mur­dered babies,” to vig­or­ous applause. Anoth­er pro­po­nent cit­ed the cur­rent anti-trans­gen­der bath­room bat­tle: Wash­ing­ton, she said, will “allow per­vert men into women’s bath­rooms.”

    She went on, to wild applause: “Who bet­ter to rep­re­sent the will of Texas than Texas? I say secede now.”


    Dur­ing all this, a man sit­ting near­by — tall, clean-cut, dressed in a brown suit and cow­boy boots — turned to me, grinned, and shook his head, as if to say, “What a mess.” I smiled and nod­ded. But then he leaned in and con­fid­ed to me that the only solu­tion to the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is for Texas to threat­en to secede. Then, he said, glanc­ing at my media badge, maybe Wash­ing­ton will take us seri­ous­ly and start clean­ing up its act. I just smiled and lis­tened.

    Also keep in mind that, should the GOP nom­i­nee in 2024 again lose and claim the elec­tion was stolen, the num­ber of GOP-dom­i­nat­ed states that start seri­ous­ly look­ing at seces­sion is going to explode. Espe­cial­ly if that 2024 nom­i­nee is Don­ald Trump. Which rais­es anoth­er ques­tion fac­ing any seces­sion moves, by Texas or any oth­er states in the near future: So are they going to just appoint Don­ald Trump as the leader of the new­ly cre­at­ed nation or will there be elec­tions first? What if two sep­a­rate states secede at the same time into two sep­a­rate new nations. Can Trump be the leader of both of those nations simul­ta­ne­ous­ly? Will one get Don Jr as like a stand in instead? We’ll see in 2023. Or maybe 2024. Or 2025. If trends con­tin­ue it’s real­ly just a mat­ter of time.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 21, 2022, 3:28 pm

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