During the days I was reading this book I ate comparatively little. It quelled the appetite. Starvation on such a scale makes one feel almost guilty for having enough and to spare.
The German siege of Leningrad lasted 900 days from September, 1941 to January, 1944. During that time 800,000 people, nearly a third of the population at the siege’s beginning, starved to death. Roughly one in three. Many of them in the streets.
Twenty years later I visited Leningrad. They took me to see the front line - a canyon gashed out of the landscape lined with shattered ruins of houses - as if a giant excavator had taken a mouthful of the city. Because we were still in the city, that was the shock. The Germans got that close.
The Leningraders still bore the signs. Here were so many old and shrivelled faces. Often you saw the flash of steel teeth. Dentists’ amalgam had run out early. The city’s stunning architecture (after all, it was, and now again is, St Petersburg) looked sadly worn except for certain restored cathedrals and palaces.
Few people outside realised what the siege was like. For years afterwards Stalin kept it dark. Deaths were underestimated. Its party leaders were purged. There were to be no other heroes of the war besides himself.
After the Khrushchev thaw, a new legend was propagated of a Leningrad whose heroic citizens unflinchingly disregarded the bombs and shells and starved quietly as willing sacrifices to defend the cradle of the Revolution.
Then, with the collapse of communism, archives began to open with their police records and siege diaries. This book seeks to tell objectively what really happened. It is a stark shocking tale. Two arresting quotations will give you an idea:
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John Kelly: Emotional White House Press Briefing
Saturday, November 5, 2011
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1629: The First Proprietor. All you ever wanted to know about Sir Robert Heath and his very funny hat.1660: Happy Birthday North Carolina! My own vaguely controversial stab at identifying Tar Heel's birth.1663: John Locke (no, not from Lost!), Lord Cooper and the Carolina Constitutions.1672: George Fox visits North Carolina. It was the Quakers, and not the Anglicans, who first brought the Word of God to what would become the Old North State.Our Founding: Observations on the founding of New Bern.1709: The Curious story of New Bern's founding citizens—the Palatines.1714: The Battle of Fort Neohoroka: a look at the climactic battle of the Tuscarora War.1729: The birth of North Carolina's best-known colonial governor.1752: Counterfeiters: Counterfeiting was a serious crime in Colonial days, causing serious harm and resulting in serious consequences for those who were caught trying it.1763: Founding Teacher: Thomas Tomlinson had his work cut out for him at the New Bern Academy.1764: William Tryon's Atlantic Crossing: Our greatest colonial governor had a little adventure on the way.1765: The Death of Arthur Dobbs: A brief look at the final years of this interesting colonial governor.1767: Great Wolf: Governor Tryon sets the Cherokee boundary in western North Carolina.1770: Colonial medicine: Our forefathers had to grin and survive and bear it.1772: The Christmas Church: The founding of Centenary United Methodist Church.1780: When the Neuse River froze over ferryman Mr. Williams celebrated with a ball.1789: North Carolina Signs the Bill of Rights: When it comes to important things, North Carolina takes its time.1790: A Day at the Races: New Bern's colonial race track.1791: The Tragic Death of Miss Margaret Tryon. As a little girl at Tryon Palace, this colonial governor's daughter had no inkling of the creepy fate in store for her.1792: The USRC Diligence, forefather of the modern Coast Guard cutter, is stationed in New Bern.Antebellum: A look at African American slave holders.1809: The Drowning of Amos Madden. Following clues from a tombstone to discover a curious event.1813: The Henry-Stanly duel. Thomas Stanly follows in his brother's footsteps... and loses.1825: Charlie Roach. The black sheep of New Bern.1829: The Invention of the revolving-chamber gun: Was it really Samuel Colt's or a New Bern man's?1830: Dog laws: And you think today's leash laws are tough?1836: Athens of North Carolina. New Bern has always been known for its theater performances.1854: Captain Robert's Spider Lilies.1855: The Gaston House: New Bern's finest hotel opens its doors.1861: Phrenology: The quack science was alive and well in antebellum New Bern.1861: Fort Sumter's collapse wasn't exactly scorn
ed in New Bern.1861: North Carolina reacts to Lincoln's call for troops.1861: A Confederate Yankee in Christ Church's Court.1862: The foibles of Confederate Colonel (and minister) James Sinclair in the Battle of New Bern.1862: Gabriel Rains invention, the land mine, claims its first victim.1863: Wilkie James and the 54th Massachusetts: New Bern's tie-in to the author Henry James and to the famous 54th Massachusetts Colored Regiment.1864: The Confederates gain a victory in New Bern with the sinking of the Union gunboat Underwriter.
Bill Hand's New Bern
We INTENDED welfare to be hand up and temporary. We allowed it to be a hand out and permanent.
We Intended College Grants to be a hand up for those who showed promise and couldn’t afford the next step. We allowed them to be RACE/Gender based hand outs that only increase the amount of idiocy that we see in OWS.
We intended for unemployment to be a hand up to help bridge the gap between jobs. We allowed it to be 2 years of income without working. We allowed it to be a bridge until a JOB YOU LIKE comes along.
We intended to give minorities a hand up with the affirmative action program. We allowed it to lower the bar so there is no incentive to be the best if you are a so-called “minority”
We intended to give a hand up to the millions of illegal immigrants in this nation back in the 80′s and gave them amnesty. We allowed the illegal immigration flood to continue to degrade our nation and now they have become a voting block for the Democrats.
We intended to give the gun grabbers a little slack by agreeing to some of the most ignorant gun laws ever imposed on people, because we didn’t know if we were right. NOW WE KNOW and it’s a very tough fight to get back those rights back.
We intended to help the homeless and inner cities with money so they could educate themselves and compete in the nation. We allowed that money to flow into the abyss with NOTHING to show for it but more democrat voters because THEY keep filling the trough.
We intended to give teachers a say in how they teach students. We allowed them to become professors of liberal philosophy/marxism/communism and rewrite history if it doesn’t follow their warped beliefs.
Has Segregation come to Occupy Wall Street? Yes… sleeping segregation.
The latest changes happening in Zuccotti Park may be a “canary indicator” – an early warning sign of what the people behind this movement would like to happen to America and the world.
Those who claim to represent “the 99%“ and are waging class warfare against the ”1%” they mock for living in gated communities, appear to be creating their own “gated” community… as in segregated.
Reports out of lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park say that plans are in the works for many individual tents to be removed and for the installation of “group housing” with restrictions on who can sleep in these tents.
It started on Friday. The OWS version of “eminent domain” was on display as single tents occupied by lone protesters were taken down and a large, group tent, designated for women only, was raised. At least one resident was not pleased about being evicted without notice.
The governing council of OWS apparently decided that the recent spate of reported rapes, sexual assaults and fighting in Occupy Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park warranted prompt action. And so, individual tents were moved and the giant tent (seen below) will be a “safe house” where female protesters can sleep was erected.
“Well Mrs. Foxen, when I read the proposal that Isabella had wanted to celebrate Reagan’s birthday … I have to tell you that there are still some people who believe that communism is a great thing.”
MORELa Reina High School, an all-girls Catholic educational facility located in Thousand Oaks, California, has endured some heat after refusing to allow a student to launch a conservative club on campus.
In a story that has gone widely unreported, a battle has been brewing between the school’s administrators and Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), an arm of Young Americans Foundation, a prominent organization that helps spread conservative ideals.
The drama commenced at the end of the last school year when Isabelle Foxen, who is now a junior at La Reina, decided that she wanted to launch a YAF chapter at the school. In an exclusive interview with the Blaze, Isabella’s mother, Cristine Foxen, explained that there was already a political interest group on the school’s campus, but she described it as a “very one-sided“ and ”liberal” group.
“So my daughter didn’t like that.” Cristine explained. “When she heard about YAF, she went to a conference and she came back energized and wanted to start this [club].” But the process was much more complicated than Cristine and Isabella would have ever imagined.
After obtaining the information needed to have a chapter installed on her campus, Isabella submitted her application. She was asked to collect 35 student names before her club would be considered — a feat that proved extremely easy for the politically-interested young woman. In the end, she exceeded this requirement, inevitably finding 86 students so sign her petition.
But after all of this work, La Reina administrators ended up denying her petition. Why, you ask? Employees at YAF — and Isabella’s family — believe that a bias against conservative values was driving the school’s refusal to allow the YAF chapter on campus.
Isabella’s parents, finding themselves at a loss as to why the club was rejected, decided to meet with school officials to discuss the matter. So, Cristine and her husband sat down with the principal, Dr. Shannon Gomez, and two of the school’s vice-principals.
*Kevin Levin recently dismissed a poster on his blog who suggested there were "sides" in the varying views on the Confederate Battle Flag. You gotta be kidding me. Kevin even referred to "the losing side" in the post that preceded the comments and acknowledged there are "pro-flag forces". Where I'm from, we'd call that a contradiction. Perhaps Kevin just misspoke. But with academic historians constantly on the lookout for the neo-Confederate boogie man waving a Confederate flag, how can they deny the very divisiveness they've been instrumental in creating and fomenting? Virginia Senator James Webb alluded to this agenda-serving divisiveness in his excellent book on the history of the Scots-Irish in America, Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America:. . . dishonest or misinformed advocates among political interest groups and in academia attempt to twist yesterday's America into a fantasy that might better serve the political issues of today. The greatest disservice on this count has been the attempt by these revisionist politicians and academics to defame the entire Confederate Army in a move that can only be termed the Nazification of the Confederacy. Often cloaked in the argument over the public display of the Confederate battle flag, the syllogism goes something like this: Slavery was evil. The soldiers of the Confederacy fought for a system that wished to preserve it. Therefore they were evil as well, and any attempt to honor their service is a veiled effort to glorify the cause of slavery. (Pages 207-208.)Webb continues:This blatant use of the "race card" in order to inflame their political and academic constituencies is a tired, seemingly endless game that is itself perhaps the greatest legacy of the Civil War's aftermath. But in this case it dishonors hundreds of thousands of men who can defend themselves only through the voices of the descendants. (Page 208.)I am one of those voices.And, in light of all this, consider this observation I recently came across at the History News Network:Historians, like everyone else, have their own political views. But these used to be kept separate from the scholarly role, which was to interpret and explain the past . . . With each passing year, the American historians have become more and more marginalized, and more irrelevant to anyone seeking insight about our nation's past. A few decades ago, the left wing was a small group, welcomed to participate by the mainstream historians in the profession, but unable to impose their will on a majority of sane historians. Today, they control the profession, and their two major associations have become almost indistinguishable from the organizations of the far Left.Many academic historians in the blogosphere have gone to great lengths to poo-poo any notion that such bias and agenda-driven and/or politically motivated historical interpretation exists to any serious extent in the academy, i.e.: "They're aren't really sides in historical interpretation, just objective observation." Right. Just how naive do they really think informed readers are? Yet some academic historians will, on occasion, confirm the existance of this politically driven bias, though not necessarily on purpose. Noted Civil War historian David Blight did that very thing (in my opinion) in a 2010 essay about Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's Confederate History Month proclamation. I posted some thoughts on that whole episode before. You can read them here. While I'm not going to belabor my criticisms of Blight's piece, one comment of his stands out:Why doesn't the Confederacy just fade away? Is it because we are irresistibly fascinated by catastrophic loss? Or is it something else? Is it because the Confederacy is to this day the greatest conservative resistance to federal authority in American history?Blight, who "as a historian" publicly endorsed Barack Obama for President, appears to be unable to hide what is really bugging him about "the Confederacy" - its conservatism. Blight continues this pattern of using Civil War history to rant against conservatism in another recent essay which you can read here. One can see, in both of Blight's articles, textbook examples of what Webb refers to in the excerpts quoted above. Webb's critique and summation is quite accurate, is it not?
Back to Kevin's post. Kevin also dismisses another poster as having no credibility for noting that Marxist influence is rampant in academia and that this influences historical perspective - despite the fact this is a widely acknowledged fact by those who aren't a.) afraid to speak out, b.) complicit.Noted Southern historian, Eugene D. Genovese points out both the existance of "sides" in historical interpretation as well as the influence of leftist ideology in his book, The Southern Front: History and Politics in the Cultural War:. . . American history has largely become a plaything for canting ideologues . . . Our times call for a correct ideological line, which at its increasingly popular extreme regards the Old South as a rehearsal for Nazi Germany and calls for eradication of all traces of the conservative voices that have loomed so large in Southern history. And in our leading professional associations and their journals and in the classrooms of our most prestigious colleges and universities the correct line prevails. (Page 25.)I rest my case, though I doubt I changed anyone's mind - at least anyone willing to admit it.*This post is not meant to single out Kevin Levin. His recent post simply presented an opportunity for me to express some thoughts that have been on my mind lately. Kevin is a rather easy target due to the simple fact that he's quite prolific in blogging. When you write a lot, as Kevin does, you obviously expose yourself to an increased amount of scrutiny and criticism. I read Kevin's blog frequently and have learned from it, though I rarely agree with his perspective.
The House immigration subcommittee issued a subpoena Friday demanding Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano turn over records showing which illegal immigrants her department has declined to pursue deportation cases against.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, set a Nov. 10 deadline for turning over the information, which includes the identities of any foreigners who have been arrested and referred to Homeland Security, but whom the government either didn’t take custody or didn’t put into removal proceedings.
A spokesman for Ms. Napolitano said they were working to turn over the information even without the subpoena.
Mr. Smith first requested the on Aug. 22, and personally gave an Oct. 31 deadline to Ms. Napolitano last week. But the administration missed that target. Members of the committee said the department told them some of the information requested belongs to the FBI, which doesn’t want to release it.
“Are administration officials afraid that the information will show that illegal immigrants intentionally released by ICE have committed crimes that could have been prevented?” Mr. Smith said. “Why else would they hide the information?”
Remember when Sarah Palin was accused of promoting “Tea Party violence” because she used an ad graphic depicting crosshairs on a map of the United States? On Wednesday, the Occupy Wall Street movement declared a general strike in Oakland, Calif. According to the Occupy Oakland website, the goal of their “anti-capitalist march” was to “shut down Oakland” and “blockade everything.” This was no drawing - the violence was real.
Chanting hippies shut down commerce at the Port of Oakland, apparently unaware that this vital link to the outside world is what delivers the coffee beans for their Starbucks lattes and brings in the trendy iPhones they use to coordinate their activities. Riot police were dispatched to deal with those among “the 99 percent” who expressed themselves by smashing some windows, lighting fires, setting off explosives, spraying graffiti, assaulting police, throwing rocks and looting stores. Local developer Phil Tagami was forced to brandish a shotgun to dissuade occupiers from “reclaiming” his capitalist property, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
There are plenty of Republican congressmen and senators who believe that associate justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the upcoming Supreme Court case involving the constitutionality of Obamacare because of her service as Solicitor General.
Emails released last summer clearly showed that Kagan's interest in Obamacare exceeded the threshold by which judges should voluntarily recuse themselves:
The wrestling match over whether Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from any Supreme Court cases challenging ObamaCare continues. Since a series of emails between then-Solicitor General Kagan and her principal deputy, Neal Katyal, were made public this summer, questions have continued to percolate over whether Ms. Kagan's involvement in the case as an Obama administration official was substantive enough to warrant her recusal.
Back in July, some 49 members of Congress signed a letter asking DOJ to produce certain documents on then-Solicitor General Kagan's involvement with the ObamaCare case. Four months later the Justice Department wrote back declining to produce the documents. In that letter, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich explained that the department has "grave concerns about the prospect of a congressional investigation into the pre-confirmation activities of a sitting Supreme Court Justice." Justice Kagan, he added, had addressed the issue of her ObamaCare involvement during her confirmation hearings.
With that said, here are the 26 reports I was able to track in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Thursday and Friday, November 3-4, 2011:
- Santa Ana CA off-duty cop fatally shot unarmed man after mistaking him for car burglar when the man was was actually paid to help someone change a tire on the van the officer thought he was stealing. The story gets weirder after with the officer claiming he got in his personal car and chased him down when he ran and then, after catching him, shot the guy when he allegedly got behind the wheel of the officer’s car somehow.  http://lat.ms/tcZoYF
- Elizabeth NJ police lose suit for $1.5mil to man claiming cops fractured his skull by pistol-whipping him and then covered it up  http://bit.ly/uBDcII
- Evergreen AL cop fired on allegations he tasered a councilman’s sister while she was restrained in chair at station  http://bit.ly/tiUugL
- Los Vegas NV police & Clark Co NV sued by man attacked & arrested by cop for videotaping police from his own yard  http://bit.ly/s2sANE
- Atlanta GA cop sentenced to 20yrs for molestation & sexual battery of a 12yr-old disabled girl he met as school cop  http://bit.ly/rxOz0m
- King Co WA deputy w/history of 26 findings of misconduct in 2yrs under investigation for sexual comments to teen  http://bit.ly/rJs9Pp
- Frankfort NY cop indicted on forgery & official misconduct charges for trying to illegally obtain phone records  http://bit.ly/u37QU5
- Roseville CA cop subject of fed investigation into alleged illegal gun sales, several other warrants issued in case  http://bit.ly/uT15ch
- Sacramento CA cop & several other area officers subject of fed investigation into alleged illegal weapons sales  http://bit.ly/rJo5G3
- US Dept of Defense police officer in Washington state was convicted of 1st & 2nd deg assault for throwing his girlfriend out of a 2nd floor window and injuring her.  http://bit.ly/tEE87n
- St Albans WV police chief suspended while investigated for sexual harassment, had disciplinary history elsewhere  http://bit.ly/sxvI9K
- 2 Fort Lauderdale FL cops in “Raiders” unit arrested for allegedly stealing cash & drugs from pain clinic patients  http://bit.ly/unuF0i
- Milwaukee WI police explanation of reporter’s arrest at #OccupyMilwaukee questioned after video contradicts the police version of events.  http://bit.ly/uGbHFj
- Clermont FL cop fired after probe into allegations he falsely arrested teen on drug charges & lied on report  http://sunsent.nl/rr4orx
- Weare NH police told people have right to record police by judge dismissing case against man for doing just that  http://bit.ly/vNB3uj
- San Francisco CA cop accused of falsely arresting store owner on video for what cop claimed was “fighting stance”  http://bit.ly/s3TO4b
- North Cornwall PA cop charged for allegedly harassing store employee into dropping charges against family member  http://bit.ly/rP2rjt
- Pender County NC sheriff’s capt found guilty of soliciting crimes against nature, acquitted on prostitution charges  http://bit.ly/uFqPyP
- Chatam-Kent ON cop charged w/criminal harassment & threatening in unspecified incident, officials won’t release name  http://bit.ly/tDjANY
- Houston TX cop gets deferred adjudication in deal for stealing from police union, dad was sentenced in Sept for same http://bit.ly/vN9p04
- Boynton Beach FL cop rehired after fired for brutality is fired again in other case, charged for 3rd incident w/cop  http://bit.ly/s5vy9K
- Milwaukee WI cop accused of negligence by open carry group for unholstered gun in waistband when it discharged in mall http://bit.ly/uuUdWO
- Vermont state trooper gets $500 fine after pleading guilty to DUI charge, resigned after arrest  http://bfpne.ws/uPXQOD
- Wells MN cop suspended 2 weeks & must attend alcohol treatment over unspecified “conduct unbecoming” allegations  http://bit.ly/vz5Kr4
- Austin TX cop suspended 10 days for letting drunk woman drive away, she later crashed in police parking garage  http://bit.ly/szC6Mb
- Halton ON cop cited for careless driving after crasing into 2 other cars while transporting suspect  http://bit.ly/uU35CC
MoreWe’ve seen social revolution before, but this is the first time a sitting president, his advisers, union supporters, and a supporting media have endorsed it with such vigor. Rudy Giuliani said it best: Obama owns Occupy Wall Street.” Here are his extended remarks:
“This is a very dangerous movement, and it’s ironic it’s happening under a president who promised to unify us. Barack Obama owns the Occupy Wall Street movement, it would not have happened but for his class warfare. . . . Barack Obama praised it, sympathizes with it. As it gets worse and worse, I believe this will be the millstone around Barack Obama’s neck that will take his presidency down.”
Irony has nothing to do with it. Obama’s goal has always been social disruption, class warfare, and institutionalized envy. The late 1960s and the early 1970s protestors hoped to bring down the government of the United States using the War in Vietnam as a catalyst. Obama and his supporters are using social and economic discontent to do the same thing.
Let’s think outside the box for a bit. America was once the great melting pot, where immigrants were assimilated so thoroughly, that their second generations grew up as simply Americans, without need of hyphens to describe their nationality. The Progressives have deliberately extinguished the melting pot in favor of a salad bowl. Now they extoll diversity to Balkanize America, intentionally destroying our native culture, and the natives are getting restless over their remarkable successes. It is only a matter of time before an inevitable civil war, between the traditionalists in the countryside, and the Progressives in the cities.
A great deal of effort lately has gone into successfully awakening millions of American Patriots, to the fact that our Constitutional Republic is no longer functioning anything like the way our Founders designed it. While the breathtaking pace with which Obama and his Marxist cohorts are dismantling our once great nation is stunning, the process of subverting our Constitution has been steadily progressing for well over 100 years. The vast majority of Americans still believe the Progressive lie that we live in a democracy, and this ignorance cannot be reversed by the simple expedient of electing a new batch of politicians, much less any hope of returning to the originally intended Republic of our Founders.
It is far too late for that. Now that the tax spenders outnumber the taxpayers, and they have been thoroughly brainwashed to feel entitled to their share of the plunder, any attempt to seriously slash the size and scope of the out-of-control Federal government, would spark another civil war for sure – witness Wisconsin. It may have already begun with the followup ‘Occupy’ movement. While I have no doubt that the well-armed Patriots in the Heartland would ultimately win such a contest, with the helpless pampered Progressives crowed together in their big city ghettos and college towns, what would we have won that is worth the effort and grief? We would just inherit the unsustainable debt, obligations, and whining sheeple; and the vanquished Progressives would just be plotting new ways to subvert our culture, to regain control in the future.
The truth is that there is no compromise possible between Liberty and Tyranny. We have irreconcilable differences with the Progressives, and every attempt to compromise with them, always results in an incremental loss of our Liberty, not to mention our income. Perhaps it is time for a divorce. I am quite prepared to give up considering these anti-American fools to be my fellow countrymen, and the foul rabbit warrens of the big cities they inhabit, as part of my country. City folk dismiss us as unsophisticated rubes in red Flyover Country; why not just dismiss them as supercilious jerks in blue Fly-into Country? What exactly would we lose, if places like NYC, Chicago, SF, Oakland, et al, were no longer within our country?
My generation was taught that America was an exceptional country, because it was more of an idea than a place, where government was of, by, and for the people, not a privileged ruling class. Our forefathers were rugged individualists, who had fled the tyranny of the intertwined ruling elites of Europe, the propertied aristocrats and the established church of state. These hearty pioneers were more than willing to carve a new beginning out of a rugged frontier, for the opportunity to live free of these oppressive rulers, and worship their God in their own way, subservient to no one.
Initially, this arrangement was most agreeable to the European monarchs and nobles. They simultaneously rid themselves of the malcontent riffraff in their midst, and induced them to exploit the resources and develop the New World, where they had recently planted their flag claiming dominion. The church was just happy to be shed of the more troublesome Protestants, who were challenging their monopoly over the collection plate and access to their God. After the Pilgrims first landed at Plymouth Rock, things went reasonably smoothly for a half dozen generations.
By then, there were 13 thriving, largely self-governing, colonies along the Eastern seaboard of North America, with proper cities and industrious citizens, and new pioneers pushing steadily westward. A lot of money was being made in the commerce between Europe and America; but apparently not enough for the Europeans, who tried governing their colonies with a heaver hand than the Colonists had grown accustomed to, and taxing them more than they were willing to pay. The end result was our Revolutionary war, and the birth of 13 new, free, and independent sovereign nations.
They quickly joined a mutual defense and free trade pact with the Articles of Confederation, which they replaced within a decade with the Constitution of the United States of America. Still, it is important to realize that our Founders didn’t create The US out of whole cloth; they merely loosely joined together self-governing political entities, which had already existed for generations. Each had their own laws governing behavior of their citizens, and the Federal government was not given the power to interfere in such matters. Now that there are 50 of them, they still have their own constitutions, laws, and fully functioning governments; and if the USA were to be dissolved tomorrow, they would continue to exist as sovereign nations in their own right, just as England, France, and Germany would not cease to exist if the EU collapses.
Thus the suggestion that the collapse of the Federal government would necessarily result in anarchy across America, is wishful thinking by the Saul Alinsky / Cloward-Piven influenced radicals behind the ‘Occupy’ movement. As usual, their pointless Marxist inspired riots are befouling their own Progressive neighborhoods, and having almost no effect on the lives of those productive citizens they detest, who are just getting on with their lives in the Heartland. Were it not for the rapt attention of the media to their antics, most of us wouldn’t even know about the mindless fools, and their ludicrous urban camping adventure.
I would like to suggest that we grant them what they are asking for, and perhaps even join them in their endeavor to collapse the Federal government. There has been much talk in segments of the Patriot community, regarding the notion of some red States seceding from the overbearing Union once again, in order to re-institute proper Constitutional government. Wouldn’t it be much easier to simply dissolve the Union entirely, and allow everyone start over? The ‘idea’ of America is still there to be had, for all that aspire to return to the halcyon days of our nation’s youth, before the Progressives screwed it up.
Free of the oppressive mandates, regulations, court rulings, debt, and taxes of the erstwhile Federal government, each State would be able to offer capitalists the world over, an environment conducive to moving their production facilities there, to create a thriving economy again. Local natural resources could be easily exploited again, absent absurd EPA regulations, and unemployment would virtually be nil in any State that truly wished it to be so. The truth is, that a breakup of the Federal government would be a godsend to most red States.
Once free of the tyranny of DC, the States would be able to form new federations, perhaps several of them on a regional basis. Red capitalist States could base theirs largely on natural law and the original Constitution, with only the original 10 Amendments. Blue socialist States could base theirs on their Marxist notion of social justice, and draft a new constitution, which enshrines their complacent vision of a nanny-state, comprised of unarmed compliant sheeple. How they fund it is their problem. With Galt’s Gulch just over the border, how they manage to keep enough productive taxpaying citizens from emigrating to a red State, would be a serious issue, which would be amusing to observe play out; but again that is their problem. Eventually some may get a clue and try capitalism, like the Chinese have done.
One of the greatest benefits of a new beginning, would be to once again remove social issues from national politics. The entire library of case law and SCOTUS rulings would go on the ash heap of history. Each State can enact their own laws regarding abortion, marriage, and public schooling for instance. Then, since they are no longer fellow countrymen, the folks of blue States could stop concerning themselves with what goes on in the public square and institutions of red States, and the folks of red States could stop concerning themselves with what goes on behind closed doors and in hospitals in blue States. Since there is absolutely nothing we could do about it, how many of us know or truly care, whether abortion or gay marriage is legal in Mexico or Honduras or Zimbabwe?
Each State would have their own immigration laws and requirements for citizenship. Since the wiser red States will have abandoned all forms of social safety nets, returning charity to the churches and private benevolent societies, any immigrant looking for work is likely to be an asset rather than a drain on a vibrant economy, if they are willing to learn to speak the official language and assimilate into the local culture. Those unwilling to play by the local rules, can be bussed to the border of a blue State, which is still actively promoting diversity and offering social benefits for immigrants.
I suspect most immigrants to red States would be from blue States, willing to abandon security for the animating contest of a productive life well lived, in a land of Liberty and unlimited opportunity. Conversely, the less industrious bleeding hearts caught in a red State, will naturally wish to emigrate to a blue State, where they will feel more at home with like-minded folks. While the former might be problematical for the tax base of the blue States, both would be win-wins for the red States.
Interestingly, since it is a private bank completely outside its control, the Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) would survive a breakup of the Federal government. Since it is currently the reserve currency for the world, and freely used in commerce everywhere, there is nothing stopping its continued use among the 50 States, other than prudence. Any serious red State should immediately begin coining real gold and silver money, and perhaps charter State banks to deal in metal backed currency of the State; but as long as the world kept dealing in FRNs, an equitable exchange rate for local currency could be established and changed as frequently as necessary to keep up with the value the world places on FRNs in trade.
As long as State citizens are not forced to accept FRNs as legal tender, there should be no problem. The wise citizen would borrow and loan in solid metal backed local currency; but could deal in short term commerce in FRNs, if convenient and agreeable to both buyer and seller. In any case, the initial breakup need not be a financial crisis to those with bank accounts and assets denominated in FRNs, with the caveat that it is unknown what the outside world would choose to do with their hordes of them during the initial confusion. If they panicked and started dumping them, they could become pretty worthless fairly quickly, and the price of gold and silver could skyrocket when denominated in FRNs.
There are other considerations of the breakup that are not so easily addressed. Among them is how to divvy up the mobile military assets of the Federal government. Obviously, ownership of the military bases at home, would devolve to the States that contain them; but the naval ships, aircraft, nuclear arsenal, etc. would be a serious question. Another would be all the people currently receiving their entire incomes from SSI, military retirement, etc. directly from the Federal government. Perhaps these two issues could be conflated by having the States and/or new federations purchase the military assets, and place their proceeds in a (real) trust fund to continue these payments for those who earned them.
There will be hundreds more such issues that I have yet to think of; but on the whole this idea strikes me as very reasonable and doable. It would certainly be a better alternative to another civil war, and I think it has merit for serious discussion. The demise of our country is coming sooner or later, and probably sooner, with the coming financial collapse that is now unavoidable. We can do it amicably as adults, with some fore-planning to make it as painless as possible, or we can just hasten the collapse and let the chips fall where they may. I would love to entertain some serious discussion on the merits of this proposal. ◄Dave►
a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.
The United States would be "satisfied" should free elections in Egypt produce a victory for the Muslim Brotherhood, AFP reported Friday according to the US's special coordinator for transitions in the Middle East, William Taylor.
Taylor said the US would judge elected parties in the Middle East based "on what they do, and not what they're called," AFP quoted him as saying. He added that he did not meet with Brotherhood officials in his latest visit to Cairo, but would have had he been given the chance.
Occupy D.C. Protesters Block Streets Outside Convention Center Hosting Conservative Dinner, Fights Break Out…
Violence follows the Occupiers around like it’s their shadow.
(WaPo) — Hundreds of Occupy D.C. protesters blocked streets Friday night around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center where a conservative group was holding a dinner.
It appeared from preliminary accounts that two people, possibly protesters, were struck by cars near the center.
About 500 protesters stood in the streets at half a dozen intersections around the building, preventing cars from coming or going.
Several said that their aim was to prevent those inside from leaving.
In addition, it appeared that small fights were breaking between protesters and other people, possibly neighborhood residents.
Signature strikes target groups of men believed to be militants associated with terrorist groups, but whose identities aren't always known. The bulk of CIA's drone strikes are signature strikes. Wall Street Journal.
Drones are changing the dynamics of warfare in very scary ways. They make oppression much easier (and cost-effective).
To recap: Drones are extremely cost effective vs. ground/air assets (particularly in that with drones, operators aren't put at risk). They also enable extremely centralized command and control (as in: operations can be micro-manged in Washington, down to the decision to kill). In sum, a small number of people in Washington DC can control/operate a vast 24x7 killing field for very few $$.
Here's how they are changing warfare:
- An Assassination List. Drones, in combination with other forms of electronic surveillance, make it easy to rapidly find and kill people (even in non-permissive areas). As a result, assassination of threats has become the easy solution to many problems. It has become so popular that the process has become bureaucratized and automated through the development of an assassination list. The US President has one, and he can put US citizens on it via a simple, non-judicial, bureaucratic process.
- Signature Strikes.
Way back in 1968, after the riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, Mayor Daley declared that his forces were there to “preserve disorder.” I believe that was one of Hizzoner’s famous malapropisms. Forty-three years later Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland, and the Oakland city council have made “preserving disorder” the official municipal policy. On Wednesday, the “Occupy Oakland” occupiers rampaged through the city, shutting down the nation’s fifth-busiest port, forcing stores to close, terrorizing those residents foolish enough to commit the reactionary crime of “shopping,” destroying ATMs, spraying the Christ the Light Cathedral with the insightful observation “F**k,” etc. And how did the Oakland city council react? The following day they considered a resolution to express their support for “Occupy Oakland” and to call on the city administration to “collaborate with protesters.”
That’s “collaborate” in the Nazi-occupied-France sense: The city’s feckless political class are collaborating with anarchists against the taxpayers who maintain them in their sinecures. They’re not the only ones. When the rumor spread that the Whole Foods store, of all unlikely corporate villains, had threatened to fire employees who participated in the protest, the regional president, David Lannon, took to Facebook: “We totally support our Team Members participating in the General Strike today — rumors are false!” But, despite his “total support,” they trashed his store anyway, breaking windows and spraypainting walls. As the Oakland Tribune reported:
A man who witnessed the Whole Foods attack, but asked not to be identified, said he was in the store buying an organic orange when the crowd arrived.
There’s an epitaph for the republic if ever I heard one.