03 April 2007

I thought we settled this a while back?

From the Washington Post, suspiciously dated 1st of April.

The winds of secession are blowing in the Green Mountain State.

Vermont was once an independent republic, and it can be one again. We think the time to make that happen is now. Over the past 50 years, the U.S. government has grown too big, too corrupt and too aggressive toward the world, toward its own citizens and toward local democratic institutions. It has abandoned the democratic vision of its founders and eroded Americans' fundamental freedoms.

That ship has sailed, like at Appomatox Courthouse.

Vermont did not join the Union to become part of an empire.
You are not in an empire. We are just about the definition of an anti-empire.

Some of us therefore seek permission to leave.

Individually, or as families or communal maple farms, you may all move to Canada, but you may not fracture this nation.

Today, however, Vermont no longer controls even its own National Guard, a domestic emergency force that is now employed in an imperial war 6,000 miles away. The 9/11 commission report says that "the American homeland is the planet." To defend this "homeland," the United States spends six times as much on its military as China, the next highest-spending nation, funding more than 730 military bases in more than 130 countries, abetted by more than 100 military space satellites and more than 100,000 seaborne battle-ready forces. This is the greatest military colossus ever forged.

It is very simplistic to think that after 9/11 we can turtle up and not be more involved in the world. I'm very proud to be serving in that greatest 'military colossus ever forged'. We only outspend China because they are wannabes and we are defacto guarantors of freedom for the world. They also happen to pay their recruits nearly nothing and don't pay the same wages as General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Boeing or Northrup Grumman. I imagine that many of the 730 military bases in all those countries are Marines guarding our embassies. But, do you need an embassy in a colony?

Vermont seceded from the British Empire in 1777 and stood free for 14 years, until 1791. Its constitution -- which preceded the U.S. Constitution by more than a decade -- was the first to prohibit slavery in the New World and to guarantee universal manhood suffrage. Vermont issued its own currency, ran its own postal service, developed its own foreign relations, grew its own food, made its own roads and paid for its own militia. No other state, not even Texas, governed itself more thoroughly or longer before giving up its nationhood and joining the Union.

Impressive, but largely irrelevant to the situation post 1865.

Nor did Vermont sign on when imperial Washington demanded that the state raise its drinking age from 18 to 21 in 1985. The federal government thereupon resorted to its favored tactic, blackmail. Raise your drinking age, said Ronald Reagan, or we'll take away the money you need to keep the interstates paved. Vermont took its case for state control to the Supreme Court -- and lost.

Hey, if you don't want the strings attached, don't take the money. Or get your Representatives Senators to oppose it in Congress.

It's quite simple. The United States has destroyed the 10th Amendment, which says that "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

I agree, the abuse of the 10th Amendment is one of the unspoken problems I have with our Republic. The Supreme Court has not ruled against enough Federal legislation on these grounds. We are not a democracy, although we have democratic priciples. The USA is a Federal Republic. I'm not even sure I agree with many states' (California) referendum processes. Another problem with the democratic tinkering with the constitution is the 17th Amendment.

The present movement for secession has been gathering steam for a decade and a half. In preparation for Vermont's bicentennial in 1991, public debates -- moderated by then-Lt. Gov. Howard Dean -- were held in seven towns before crowds that averaged 230 citizens. At the end of each, Dean asked all those in favor of Vermont's seceding from the Union to stand and be counted. In town after town, solid majorities stood. The final count: 999 (62 percent) for secession and 608 opposed.

When Howard Dean is leading your effort...

No comments: