Secession And The Gold Standard

September 30, 2009

by Russell Longcore

One of the first issues for a new nation, formed as the result of secession from the United States of America, will be monetary policy. There will be tremendous political pressure for the new lawmakers to establish a fractional banking system and a new national currency that is a mirror image of the US monetary system. And that one decision will be the determination if the new nation will…or deserves to continue.

If any American state secedes and establishes a currency that is not a gold standard, you can be certain that, like in the song…”meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” You’ve just traded one group of tyrants for a smaller group of tyrants.

No government in the history of mankind has devalued its money and survived.

Not One.

So, why does gold as money make sense?

First…gold IS money. Currencies of any type are paper representations of money. Tragically, most people think just the opposite. They view the paper slips in their wallets as money, and gold as a collectible trinket with value…little more than a Hummel figurine or a stamp collection.

Throughout history, all kinds of things have been used as money. Anything that can be used as a medium of exchange can be used for money. Sea shells, salt and even cattle have been used for money by civilizations. But problems arose with those types of exchange.

How do you give change for a cow?

So, gold has evolved into the best form of money on the planet, followed closely by silver. It is best because of the following characteristics:

1.Durability: You can’t use something that deteriorates, molds, rots or crumbles away. Gold does none of those.
2. Divisible: Money needs to be divisible without destroying the value of the item used as money. That’s why people don’t use diamonds. Dividing a diamond into smaller pieces could destroy or diminish its value.
3. Consistency: You can’t use things that are of different value, such as collectibles, artwork, real estate or autos. All of those things fluctuate in value and many of them depreciate over time.
4. Convenience: Pennies are copper, but copper is very heavy. You cannot carry a large sum of copper pennies without inconvenience. The same could be said for lead or steel or other minerals. Gold has a high value relative to its weight.
5. Base value: Gold has value in and of itself. It is not assigned a value by a government.

Over thousands of years of human commerce and trade, gold has proven to be the best form of money for the greatest numbers of people. And it has always been the worst enemy of governments that wish to grow unlawfully and use their citizens as sources of income.

Governments throughout the ages have found ways to devalue their money, and thereby keeping more and more for themselves. Governments are the only entities that can create inflation, and they do it by issuing more currency than they have money on deposit.

Just look at the American experience. In the early days of currency, banks issued paper notes with different denominations. Those “notes” were actually an IOU slip that promised the bearer that he could redeem the note at the bank. The note was not the money…the money was on deposit at the bank. The bank would then hand the bearer the amount of gold or silver equal to the denomination of the note. For example, if the note was a $50 note, the bank would receive the note from the bearer and in turn would hand the bearer a gold or silver coin with X number of grains of pure gold or silver.

But early in the 20th Century, the American Federal Government began disconnecting its currency from real money. The early Federal Reserve Silver Certificates clearly said: “This certifies that there is on deposit in the Treasury of the United States of America X dollars in silver payable to the bearer on demand.” The term “dollar” was the weight of silver, not a denomination.

By 1968, that wording had been omitted from any and all Federal Reserve notes. Now, the currency bills say “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” But they are only redeemable for more Federal Reserve notes. So, truly, they are only worth what another person will accept in exchange.

For example, you go to the grocer and pick up a loaf of bread. Last week you bought an identical loaf of bread for $1.00. But this week, the grocer will not accept $1.00. This week, he will only agree to exchange his loaf of bread for $1.25 in Federal Reserve currency. Nothing about the bread has changed. So, that is not a price increase, but is a dilution of your purchasing power.

In today’s America, we see the Federal Reserve printing trillions of dollars in paper money with absolutely no underlying value. Washington is flooding the world with our paper money. When the US military invaded Iraq, it carried PALLETS of $100 bills in the bellies of transport planes. Billions of dollars have simply vanished in Iraq with no trace of where they went.

Eventually, America will experience the same hyperinflation seen around the world in other collapsing nations. Americans lived it at the time of the Revolution of 1776. The term “not worth a Continental” was in response to the collapse of the paper money issued by the Continental Congress. Money issued by the Confederate States of America became worthless by a combination of issuing too much paper currency combined with the confiscation of the Confederacy’s gold bullion after the war. Germans lived it in the 20th Century. The nation of Zimbabwe is experiencing a complete collapse of their money right now.

And all of these examples were due in part or in whole to the government disconnecting the currency from the money supply.

In my opinion, the best solution for a new nation would be to allow every individual bank to issue bank notes based upon its deposits of gold and silver. Fractional reserve banking (legalized counterfeiting) should also be made illegal so that money cannot be created out of thin air. The nation should determine the number of grains of pure gold or silver that constitutes a “dollar,” and then allow the free market to find the equilibrium of value. The bank notes would instantly represent solid money, inflation would vanish, and capital would flow to the new nation in unending streams from around the world.

I recommend that those contemplating the formation of a national monetary policy and new currency spend time studying the works of Friederich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and economist Murray Rothbard.

You might start by reading “The Case For a 100% Gold-Backed Dollar”, found at:

Gold-Backed Dollar

Eventually, some other nation of the world, in a desperate attempt to save its own economy, will go back to the gold standard. It may occur in an Islamic country, since Sharia law and the Koran define money as a certain weight of either gold or silver. And, with Islamic fundamentalism on the rise, it makes sense that this event would be found within Islam.

In recent days, news stories coming out of China tell that the Chinese government is encouraging its own citizens to begin buying and owning gold. The Chinese government sits on the largest pile of American dollars on the planet and don’t want to get stuck with worthless script. Don’t be surprised if something good happens in China relating to gold and money.

However, I’m confident that it will happen somewhere soon. It just seems more likely to occur at the secession of an American state from the Union. When any state secedes, the first thing it will be forced to establish is a currency. What a perfect time to assert the most trusted and reliable form of currency the world has ever known…gold and silver.

Secession is the only hope for mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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The Constitution: The God That Failed (To Liberate Us From Big Government)

September 26, 2009

By William Buppert

“By rendering the labor of one, the property of the other, they cherish pride, luxury, and vanity on one side; on the other, vice and servility, or hatred and revolt.”

~ James Madison

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

~ Lysander Spooner

Today, 17 September 2009, is Constitution Day. There will be paeans, abundant commentary and church-like observances of the glories of this document in making us the most blessed nation on planet earth.

This essay suggests a contrarian thesis. The Constitution is an enabling document for big government. Much like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is a fraud. In this case, for all the sanctimonious hand-wringing and the obsequious idolatry of the parchment, it sealed the fate of our liberties and freedoms and has operated for more than 200 years as a cover for massive expansion of the tools and infrastructure of statist expansion and oppression. Among the many intellectual travels I have undertaken, this is one of the most heart-breaking I have ventured on. I want to acknowledge the compass-bearers who sent me on this journey: Kenneth W. Royce (aka Boston T. Party) and his seminal book, The Hologram Of Liberty and Kevin Gutzman’s Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. For most of the political spectrum in America, the document represents their interpretation of how to make this mortal coil paradise. Even in libertarian circles, it is taken as an article of faith the Constitution is a brilliant mechanism to enlarge liberty and keep government at bay. That is a lie.

The document was drafted in the summer of 1787 behind closed doors in tremendous secrecy because if word leaked out of the actual contents and intent, the revolution that had just concluded would have been set ablaze again. They were in a race against time and did everything in their power to ensure that the adoption took place as quickly as possible to avoid reflection and contemplation in the public square that would kill the proposal once the consequences of its agenda became apparent. They were insisting that the states ratify first and then propose amendments later. It was a political coup d’état. It was nothing less than an oligarchical coup to ensure that the moneyed interests, banksters and aristocrats could cement their positions and mimic the United Kingdom from which they had been recently divorced.

The original charter of the drafters was to pen improvements to the existing Articles OF Confederation. Instead, they chose to hijack the process and create a document which enslaved the nation. Federalist in the old parlance meant states rights and subsidiarity but the three authors of the fabled Federalist Papers supported everything but that. Their intent and commitment was to create a National government with the ability to make war on its constituent parts if these states failed to submit themselves to the central government.

As Austrian economists have discovered, bigger is not necessarily better. The brilliant and oft-dismissed Articles of Confederation (AoC) and Perpetual Union are a testament to voluntarism and cooperation through persuasion that the Constitution disposed of with its adoption. Penned in 1776 and ratified in 1781, the spirit and context of the Articles live on in the Swiss canton system and are everywhere evident in the marketplace where confederationist sentiments are practiced daily. The confederation’s design divines its mechanism from what an unfettered market does every day: voluntary cooperation, spontaneous information signals and the parts always being smarter than the sum. A “confederation” according to the Webster’s 1828 dictionary is:

1. The act of confederating; a league; a compact for mutual support; alliance; particularly of princes, nations or states.

I would advise the readership to use the 1828 Webster’s dictionary to accompany any primary source research you may undertake to understand American (& British) letters in the eighteenth century. It is the source for the contemporary lexicon. It is even available online now.

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Articles of Confederation

Constitution

Levying
taxes

Congress
could request states to pay taxes

Congress
has right to levy taxes on individuals

Federal
courts

No system
of federal courts

Court
system created to deal with issues between citizens, states

Regulation
of trade

No provision
to regulate interstate trade

Congress
has right to regulate trade between states

Executive

No executive
with power. President of U.S. merely presided over Congress

Executive
branch headed by President who chooses Cabinet and has checks
on power of judiciary and legislature

Amending
document

13/13
needed to amend Articles

2/3 of
both houses of Congress plus 3/4 of state legislatures or
national convention

Representation
of states

Each state
received 1 vote regardless of size

Upper
house (Senate) with 2 votes; lower house (House of Representatives)
based on population

Raising
an army

Congress
could not draft troops, dependent on states to contribute
forces

Congress
can raise an army to deal with military situations

Interstate
commerce

No control
of trade between states

Interstate
commerce controlled by Congress

Disputes
between states

Complicated
system of arbitration

Federal
court system to handle disputes

Sovereignty

Sovereignty
resides in states

Constitution
the supreme law of the land

Passing
laws

9/13 needed
to approve legislation

50%+1
of both houses plus signature of President

Note that the precept of individual taxation was an end-run against state sovereignty from the very beginning. If the Congress does not wish to violate state sovereignty, then they will simply prey on the individuals in the states. It should be obvious that the A of C was not a recipe for government employees from top to bottom to use the office to enrich themselves so a scheme was afoot to precipitate and manufacture dissent over the present configuration of the central government apparatus which for all intents and purposes barely existed. The A of C was intolerable to a narrow panoply of interests and the Federalist Papers appeared between October 1787 and August 1788 to plead the case for a newer form of “Republic” authored by three individuals: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. The British had sued for peace in 1783 and the A of C were still in effect until 1790. Time was ticking to erect the new government apparatus that would strengthen the central government to eventually mimic the very tyranny which caused British North America to put the English Crown in the hazard. The Anti-Federalists rose up in response and provided what I consider one of the most splendid and eloquent defenses of small government penned in our history.

When the Constitutional Convention convened on 1787, 55 delegates came but 14 later quit as the Convention eventually abused its mandate and scrapped the “A of C” instead of revising it. The notes and proceedings of the cloistered meeting were to be secret as long as 53 years later when Madison’s edited notes were published in 1840.
The Anti-Federalist Brutus avers in Essay I in October 1787:

“But what is meant is, that the legislature of the United States are vested with the great and uncontroulable powers, of laying and collecting taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; of regulating trade, raising and supporting armies, organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, instituting courts, and other general powers. And are by this clause invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual states, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter therefore will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over every thing that stands in their way.”

The conflict was brewing between the Jeffersonians among the individualists and the Hamiltonian collectivists. The rhetorical lines were drawn and the fate of the nation eventually slid into the camp of the Nationalists.

George Washington wrote to John Jay on 1 August 1786:
“Many are of opinion that Congress have too frequently made use of the suppliant humble tone of requisition, in applications to the States, when they had a right to assume their imperial dignity and command obedience. Be that as it may, requisitions are a perfect nihility, where thirteen sovereign, independent, disunited States are in the habit of discussing & refusing compliance with them at their option. Requisitions are actually little better than a jest and a bye word through out the Land. If you tell the Legislatures they have violated the treaty of peace and invaded the prerogatives of the confederacy they will laugh in your face. What then is to be done? Things cannot go on in the same train forever. It is much to be feared, as you observe, that the better kind of people being disgusted with the circumstances will have their minds prepared for any revolution whatever. We are apt to run from one extreme into another. To anticipate & prevent disasterous contingencies would be the part of wisdom & patriotism.”

It appears even the much admired Washington was having none of the talk of independence and wanted a firm hand on the yoke of the states to make them obey their masters on high. Washington’s behavior in the Whiskey Rebellion cast away any doubts of the imperious behavior of the central government a mere four year after the adoption of the Constitution.

Patrick Henry gave the firmest defense of the skeptical posture when he questioned the precarious position the Constitution put to the state’s sovereignty on 5 June 1788 at the Virginia Ratifying Convention the savvy Founding Lawyers ensured that the process of ratification was sped along by bypassing the bicameral house requirements and simply asking the states to conduct ratifying conventions):

“How were the Congressional rights defined when the people of America united by a confederacy to defend their liberties and rights against the tyrannical attempts of Great-Britain? The States were not then contented with implied reservation. No, Mr. Chairman. It was expressly declared in our Confederation that every right was retained by the States respectively, which was not given up to the Government of the United States. But there is no such thing here. You therefore by a natural and unavoidable implication, give up your rights to the General Government. Your own example furnishes an argument against it. If you give up these powers, without a Bill of Rights, you will exhibit the most absurd thing to mankind that ever the world saw – A Government that has abandoned all its powers – The powers of direct taxation, the sword, and the purse. You have disposed of them to Congress, without a Bill of Rights – without check, limitation, or controul. And still you have checks and guards – still you keep barriers – pointed where? Pointed against your weakened, prostrated, enervated State Government! You have a Bill of Rights to defend you against the State Government, which is bereaved of all power; and yet you have none against Congress, though in full and exclusive possession of all power! You arm yourselves against the weak and defenceless, and expose yourselves naked to the armed and powerful. Is not this a conduct of unexampled absurdity? What barriers have you to oppose to this most strong energetic Government? To that Government you have nothing to oppose. All your defence is given up. This is a real actual defect. . . ”

The Bill of Rights as we know them today were first introduced by James Madison in 1789 in response to the fears the emerging Constitution caused among the free men in these united States. They eventually came into effect on December 15, 1791. The Federalists were desperately opposed to the adoption of the Bill of Rights being insisted upon by Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and other skeptics of central governance. As Brutus again so cleverly pointed out in the Anti-Federalist papers #84:

” This will appear the more necessary, when it is considered, that not only the Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof, but all treaties made, under the authority of the United States, are the supreme law of the land, and supersede the Constitutions of all the States. The power to make treaties, is vested in the president, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the senate. I do not find any limitation or restriction to the exercise of this power. The most important article in any Constitution may therefore be repealed, even without a legislative act. Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought.

So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are wilfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage.”

The Bill of Rights nominations from the respective sovereign states originally numbered near 200 and the Founding Lawyers saw fit to include twelve (The two concerning apportionment and Congressional pay failed to pass) after much bickering especially by the most monstrous worthy of the time, Alexander Hamilton. A brilliant mind coupled with all the political knife-fighting skills needed to dominate the proceedings, Hamilton made sure that the tools of oppression and a financial yoke would be decorating our necks in perpetuity. Small solace can be taken in the aftermath of the duel between Hamilton and Burr on 11 July 1804 in that it took him close to a day to die.
Alexander Hamilton tipped his intellectual hand in a speech to the Constitutional Convention concerning the United States Senate, 06/18/1787 (quoted in the notes of Judge Yates):

“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and the well-born; the other the mass of the people … turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the Government … Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.”

I am no fan of democracy as I see it as nothing more than a transformational accommodation to tyranny over time but one can infer from this quote that Hamilton fancied a class of people more equal than others who would have a disproportionate access to the levers of power over the great unwashed. Again, I am suggesting that the Constitution was a document designed from the beginning as a means to rob constituent and subsidiary parts of sovereignty and subject these subordinate elements to a national framework which made their position subservient to the Federal government. The desire of the Federalists was to install a national framework and cement the structure through the machinations of national banking, franking of a currency and debt creation. Keep in mind that all of the nattering on about the Federal Reserve today is a complaint against a Constitutional Frankenstein monster in its fourth iteration since the other attempts at national banks failed. You can guess who picked up the tab.

The Bill of Rights was finally passed on 15 December 1791 but it was much diluted and purposefully weaker and more ambiguous about the central government’s implied and explicit powers.

The Constitution took effect on 4 March 1789 with 11 states under it and two states not submitting ratification. North Carolina did ratify it when a promise of a future Bill of Rights was assured. Rhode Island refused and was the only state to put the Constitution to a popular vote where it failed on 24 March 1788 by an 11–1 margin. They eventually ratified it.

Hamilton now had the ways and means to make real his storied dream: “A national debt if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.” The moneyed interests saw the advantage of monetizing the debt. By assuming the state’s debts at the national government level, a means of controlling commerce and taxation became an implied task of the central government. This may have been the first incident of the debtors from the Revolutionary War convincing their Hamiltonian allies that if they had the national government bear the debt and relieve them of responsibility, this could be used as the means to establish the coveted national bank to start the issuance of government currency not to mention the driver for increased taxation.

All the puzzle pieces had finally locked into place. Royce eloquently explains what has transpired in Hologram of Liberty: “To put a ‘gun’ in the hands of the new national government was the primary object, the great sine qua non, of the Constitution. A comprehensive de jure authority of Congress backed with de facto guns.” The Confederation is defeated and the long train of usurpation, centralization and tyranny leaves the station for what has become American history.

Hamilton’s machinations and influence probably single-handedly turned the product of this secret confab into one of the most successful instruments of political oppression before even the creation of the USSR. What makes it even more sublime as a tool of big government is the sophisticated propaganda and hagiographic enterprise which has both spontaneously and through careful planning suborned the public’s skepticism of the nature of the machine erected to control their behavior, which has resulted in an almost religious observance of all things Constitutional. Carefully cultivated over two hundred years, this religious idolatry had certainly fogged the thinking of this writer for most of his adult life. This sleeper has awakened.

Ask yourself this question: have the robed government employees who read the Constitutional tea leaves for the most part defended individual liberty or have they rubber-stamped the exponential growth of power and control of the colossus that sits astride the Potomac?

“Our constitutions purport to be established by ‘the people,’ and, in theory, ‘all the people’ consent to such government as the constitutions authorize. But this consent of ‘the people’ exists only in theory. It has no existence in fact. Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.”

~ Lysander Spooner

William Buppert and his homeschooled family live in the high desert in the American Southwest. His blog is at http://www.hezekiahwyman.com

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com.


The Texas Declaration of Independence

September 25, 2009

by Russell Longcore

I posted a revised Declaration of Independence back in May 2009. Today I have revised it yet again to serve as the Declaration of Independence for the new Republic of Texas.

I hope it provokes thought and discussion…and eventually action.

I recently began contemplating the imminent collapse of the US Federal Government. In light of the insane, unconstitutional spending of the Congress and Presidents (Bush and Obama will spend the same ways), the recession/depression that the nation is presently experiencing, and the simultaneous devaluation and inflation of the nation’s currency, collapse is the only consequence that makes sense.

Ask the Soviet Union. Oh…excuse me…they’re gone! The USSR collapsed from identical causes in 1991, and the Soviet states once again became sovereign nations.

So, what will individuals and states do? Will they preemptively forsake the Union, or wait to react once the Federal Government collapses? Common sense should dictate the serious debate of secession prior to collapse. However, I do remember that the legislatures of the States are filled with politicians. Reaction seems more likely than forward planning, especially from those who have long suckled at the Federal teat.

I took the original Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, and added wording to customize it for the present day. Please read it carefully and contemplate its meaning and its ramifications. My new version still needs more work, but it is a place to start.

**********************

The Republic of Texas Declaration of Independence
By Thomas Jefferson, revised by Russell D. Longcore

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve the political and governmental institutions under which they have governed themselves, and institute new government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the institution of the new form of government.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their liberty, safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these free citizens and sovereign states; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present United States Federal Government is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these free citizens and sovereign states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

In 1861, the United States declared war upon the Confederate States of America, a confederation of sovereign states that lawfully seceded from the Union and formed a government to provide new guards for their future security. The CSA was defeated in that war by the armies of the United States and the Union was unlawfully maintained:

The US Federal Government has enacted unconstitutional laws and authorized unconstitutional spending and the creation and funding of unconstitutional Federal agencies. It has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. It has imposed taxes on us without our consent:

The US Federal Government has borrowed so many trillions of dollars that the amount can never be repaid:

The US Federal Government created the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Homeland Security Administration, which are unconstitutional usurpations of the powers of the people and the states guaranteed in the 10th Amendment:

The US Federal Government created the Transportation Security Administration, which is a clear violation of the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. The actions of the TSA violate the 4th Amendment, which protects citizens from illegal search and seizure without warrant based upon probable cause:

The US Federal Government created the Internal Revenue Service to enforce the gigantic Federal Income Tax Code, violating Article I of the Constitution:

The US Federal Government has violated Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution in which Congress may raise and support an army, but no appropriation to that use shall be more than two years. The US Federal Government has established hundreds of military bases on American soil, quartering large bodies of armed troops among us, violating the 3rd Amendment. Additionally, it has established over one hundred military bases in other sovereign nations around the world:

The US Federal Government is at this time retaining large armies of domestic and foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the lawful government of a civilized nation:

The US Federal Government has deprived certain individuals of the benefits of trial by jury by transporting certain individuals beyond seas to be jailed and tortured for pretended offenses, violating the principle of Habeas Corpus and the 5th Amendment of the Constitution:

The US Federal Government has enacted laws infringing upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms, an overt violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution:

The US Federal Government, through enacting the Patriot Act of 2001, has violated the 4th Amendment’s strictures on privacy and protection against illegal search and seizure. It has violated the 5th Amendment guarantees that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law:

The US Federal Government, through enacting the Patriot Act of 2001, has violated the 6th Amendment guarantees that in criminal prosecutions, the accused shall the right to a speedy and public trial, be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, and be confronted by the witnesses against him:

The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, signed on May 9, 2007, places all governmental power in the hands of the President and effectively abolishes the checks and balances in the US Constitution:

The US Federal Government established the Federal Reserve, a consortium of private banks, to manage and manipulate the currency of the United States. This violates Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution which provides Congress authority to coin money and regulate its value. The Federal Reserve is unconstitutional:

The Federal Reserve has created massive inflation since its inception in 1913 by issuing paper money that has no underlying value in gold and silver. Because of the attempts of the Federal Reserve to manipulate the American economy, it created an abnormal cycle of boom and recession:

In 2008, the US Federal Government approved trillion-dollar financial bailouts to financial institutions and private companies, a clear violation of Article I, Section 8 and the 10th Amendment of the Constitution:

The US Federal Government has prosecuted unlawful and unconstitutional wars, including wars in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, violating Article I, Section 8, which grants the power to declare war only to Congress:

The US Federal Government created the Social Security Administration in 1935, a clear violation of the Article I, Section 8, and the 10th Amendment:

The US Federal Government, though its Judicial Branch, has altered legislation and created law, in violation of Article III of the Constitution:
The US Federal Government has obligated the United States to membership in the United Nations, and combined with other nations to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and superior by treaty to our laws; giving its assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

The US Federal Government has usurped the powers reserved to the States in the 10th Amendment as it relates to immigration and naturalization. It has obstructed the laws for naturalization of foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and altered the conditions of lawful immigration of foreign persons:

The US Federal Government has altered fundamentally the forms of our government guaranteed to the free citizens and states by the Constitution of the united States of America.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. An institution of government, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define tyranny, is unfit to be the designated and chosen government of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches of the United States Federal Government. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their actions to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common citizenship to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt the quiet enjoyment of our citizenship and liberty. They have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the free citizens of the sovereign Republic of Texas, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do solemnly publish and declare, that the Republic of Texas is, and of right ought to be a free and independent State; that it is absolved from all allegiance to the presently established United States Federal Government, and that all political connection between the Republic of Texas and the United States Federal Government, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that this free and independent State has full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. The free citizens of the sovereign Republic of Texas reject and absolve themselves from any and all bonds between themselves and any other sovereign state under the Constitution of the United States. Those free citizens and their representatives in the sovereign Republic of Texas do now and should immediately cease collecting and forwarding all United States Federal taxes, tariffs or fees of any and every kind to the United States Federal Government in any form whatsoever.

And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

End.

© Copyright 2009, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


How I Got My Moniker and Why States’ Rights and Secession Still Makes Sense

September 25, 2009

by Jack Hunter

I’m often asked where I got the name “Southern Avenger.” For starters, it was a rip-off of a popular ’90s conservative talk radio host named Ken Hamblin, who called himself the “Black Avenger.” In a Jim Beam-induced haze, a friend convinced me it was catchy, and it just sort of stuck. But that’s only half the story.

In my early 20s, I was a full-blown, right-wing radical. As a member of the Southern secessionist group the League of the South, I argued seriously for the states of the old Confederacy to break away from the rest of the Union. I differed little in temperament from most left-wing college radicals, but instead of wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, I would sport Southern revolutionaries like Thomas Jefferson.

After I left college (dropped out, actually), I began working in radio and writing on a weekly basis. By the time I graduated from rock radio to talk radio and began writing for the Charleston City Paper, I thought it might be better to tone down the radicalism and at least try to appear more respectable. But when I came across an old column of mine last week, I realized that I never really changed. I’m still just as radical or crazy, depending on your perspective. In fact, I might be getting worse.

Almost a decade before I became a regular columnist here, my first contribution to the City Paper was in 1999 as a spokesman for the League of the South. In a cover story entitled “Heritage or Hate?” I defended the Confederate flag as a symbol of states’ rights:

“What is significant about the Confederacy is not the racial attitudes it shared with the rest of the Western world, but its resistance to the centralization of power…What does this symbol of a bygone era mean for us today? The last I checked, the government is bigger than ever and shows no signs of reduction.

The only difference between the Republicans and Democrats is in what way they are going to use the most powerful government in the history of the world for their own political and economic gain.”

Though my personal feelings on what the Confederate flag stands for have not changed, as I’ve become older I do realize that the South’s most famous symbol has different meanings to different people – and not all of them positive. I also realize that the political point I was trying to make in 1999 is even more true today – that the Republican Party of George W. Bush and the Democratic Party of Barack Obama both represent the massive expansion of centralized power at the expense of constitutional government and individual freedom.

Bush oversaw drastic deficits, dramatically increased our domestic and foreign policy budgets, and damaged constitutional liberties with the Patriot Act and other police state measures. Obama has kept virtually all of Bush’s outrageously expensive and heavy-handed policies intact and is now intent on laying down an even heavier bureaucratic hand. The angry reaction by significant segments of the American people to Obama’s statist agenda has become so widespread, that something as innocent as the president giving a Nancy Reagan-style speech to kids about staying in school and away from drugs is a cause for controversy.

But what does this say about the very concept of an “American people?” Is there still a national identity that truly binds us despite our many deep and glaring differences? Much of the current, bitter political divide is just partisan politics, but there is also principle at stake. There exist many, perhaps even a majority of Americans, who simply do not share the Obama administration’s national vision.

There is not merely a difference of opinion, but a stark, night-and-day clash.

We’re used to old disagreements over issues like abortion, gay marriage, and religion in the public square, but that long-standing social divide has now broadened thanks to a debate over the very role of the state, as evidenced by the intense discussion about national healthcare.

In 1999, I already thought Americans were too different: “America is becoming more diverse and multicultural which means the multiplicity of ideas and values will increase. Only states’ rights, the heart of the Confederate cause, can meet this challenge.”

If divorce is considered preferable to a marriage that can’t be fixed, might not divorce also be preferable to a political union that has failed as well? The Jeffersonian, decentralist philosophy and all-American radicalism I embraced fully in my youth makes even more sense today than in 1999. Whether revisiting states’ rights or going the route of full-blown secession, it would be far more logical to allow the many, very different parts of this country to pursue their own visions than to keep pretending we are all looking through the same lens. And looking back on my own past, I am reminded that any future South worth avenging would do well to revisit its own radical heritage — so that the principles of limited government might rise again.

© Copyright 2009, Charleston City Paper


Recruiting: Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing

September 23, 2009

by Russell D. Longcore, Editor of DumpDC

Members of any state’s secessionist movement are the vanguard of political thought in today’s world. We are advocating and promoting liberty, not enslavement to a far-off rogue government that has ceased to obey the law.

Curiously enough, the concepts of liberty are foreign to most Americans. Thanks to public education over the last 50 or so years, most Americans know little of the US Constitution and how American government should operate. Rather, they are willing to have Washington dictate nearly every aspect of life…and death.

So, spreading the message of freedom, liberty and the establishment of a new Republic…a new independent nation in the family of world nations…can be a daunting task. We must help Americans UN-LEARN old propaganda and learn the truth.

Simple, right?

No…anything but simple. Winning the hearts and minds of Americans will require patience and kindness and laser-like focus.

We must understand what the main thing is so we can keep the main thing the main thing.

What is the Main Thing?

The Main Thing is telling the story of why state secession is good for each individual.

Face it! People’s attitudes are turned inward. They want to know, “What’s in it for me?” We all feel that way most of the time. You would seldom buy anything if you didn’t believe that the purchase was in your best interests.

So, develop a simple explanation of your state’s Secessionist Movement and then tell everyone with whom you come in contact.

In sales, it is widely understood that it takes seven “impressions” or messages before a prospect is likely to buy. It is not reasonable for us to think that our product…Liberty and statehood…will be any different. So never forget that people are going to have to get used to this very radical idea.

Consequently, “Main Thing” recruiting encompasses the old Bible principal of sowing and reaping. The whole world is based on sowing and reaping. And when you sow seeds, you expect a harvest. The harvest you expect is a multiple of the single seed you planted.

When Jesus was training his disciples to recruit, he told them the story found in Mark Chapter 4. Read it.

He likens the hearts of men to different kinds of soil. Some soil was stony, some fallow, some rich. But the sower just kept on sowing the seed. Some seeds laid dormant, some sprouted and then withered, and some exploded into bounty.

Recruiters must keep in mind that their Number One job…The MAIN THING… is to spread the word…the seed. You can’t know the condition of the soil in a man or woman’s heart. But you can plant seeds and trust God for the increase.

That is where the patience and kindness enter the picture. Liberty in our lifetimes may be crystal clear to you. But it likely wasn’t always your position. So keep in mind that hammering another person with your message will likely only alienate them and make it double tough for the next secessionist advocate to speak with that person.

Some listeners will develop iron will and true belief. Others will jump on board, but exit as soon as some friend makes fun of them. Some will leave if and when persecution arises for the Cause.

Old Texas Coach Darrell Royal said: “Dance with the one who brung you.” The original thirteen states of the united States of America were sovereign nations held together by a Constitution. “State sovereignty” is what “brung us to this dance.”

So let’s be true to our states, our history and to each other…and keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.

© Copyright 2009, Russell D. Longcore. All rights reserved.

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.


THE TEXAS NATIONALIST MOVEMENT CHALLENGE: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF RECRUITING

September 23, 2009

by Cary L. Wise

As a new member I stated, and dedicated myself, to do all I could for the movement to obtain Independence for the new Republic of Texas. After reading the challenge issued by the President to recruit new members, I also knew that recruiting new members one on one, is most likely the hardest thing any person will experience. I have spent 28 years recruiting companies and individuals into not only my business, but into spending hundreds of thousands of dollars with my company.

It may seem because of our passion that joining the TNM would just be a complete no-brainer. My friends, and fellow compatriots, IT IS NOT! Recruiting anyone to a cause, especially outside the accepted main stream thought process, may be the most difficult thing you will ever try. A no-brainer decision to you may be an earth-shattering decision for others.

I am going to share some thoughts on recruiting new TNM members. Without that effort and success, we cannot achieve the goals which we believe in, and which are surely, the route to our future. The future of our families, our success, our freedom, and even the leadership of the free world, might indeed hinge upon our ability to convince and bring people into our movement. Yes, it’s that serious! Take from this article what works for you and use it. Recruiting is the LIFE BLOOD of the Texas Nationalist Movement. Without it, we die, and you live under whatever D.C gives you. I hope to help all of you with my experience, but also hope to have all understand, that it is the individual, sharing his or her passion, that will ultimately make the difference!

At the end of this article I will give you an outline that hopefully will be helpful to you in the recruiting process. Carry it with you and use it. Insert what you want and disregard what does not work for you. However, the first thing to remember in recruiting, is that it ultimately, is about YOU ! YOU are the ambassador for TNM! YOU are TNM. Folks you are talking to don’t know anyone in the organization. They don’t know the formats. They don’t know the officers. They don’t know NOTHIN’! They know YOU!

If you are going to recruit someone to really think about leaving the U.S….about starting a new Republic…about changing a way of political thinking that has been in existence for 230-plus years, understand that you will rock their world! This is something they may never have heard of, or much less thought about! BE GENTLE! Also if you are going to recruit someone into a new nation, LOOK THE PART! If people are going to take you seriously, be serious about who you are! Dress the part, and act the part, of a real ambassador of a potentially new Republic.

I know we all meet friends in bars and at home, but serious recruiting is a full time job, wherever you may go! In recruiting, there is the 3 foot rule. If they are with in 3 feet of you, listen, hear what they are talking about, and begin the recruiting process when the opening arrives. To do that you must always be in the TNM AMBASSADOR MODE! If you hear people complaining about the government, that’s your opening to start a recruiting conversation. I do believe that there is plenty of that going on nowadays. Dress it up, get into the ambassador mode, and be ready wherever, and when ever, the opportunity arises!

The second rule of recruiting is to become a fantastic listener! All of us members are very passionate about our future, and the future of a Republic of Texas. Non-members are NOT THERE YET ! Our enthusiasm and passion has us ready to skewer the US and promote the new Republic in the first 2 minutes of conversation. My friends, EVERYONE OF US HAS A STORY! Let them tell theirs first! Leading questions like, “ Well, what do you think of the current economic situation” “What do you think of the bail outs”, “ What do you think of Obama”, Well what are your thoughts on how to fix things”? You see my friends, everyone will be willing to tell you exactly what their ‘HOT BUTTONS” are. They will eventually tell you exactly what you need to concentrate on to begin to recruit them!

Once you have found and discussed their hot button, and cannot answer the question you ask, which is, “So what is your solution, and what have you done about it”? You can then say, “Well I have a solution, and here is what I am doing”! Now it’s time to introduce the TNM. Folks, when it’s your turn, after careful listening, the TNM is about freedom, and liberty, and rule by the people, for the people, with equality for all. It’s OK to talk of Texas history and patriotism, but in the context of those values being the values that are right, and good, and sound. People are afraid of change, much less radical change to their thinking. Don’t scare people off up front! Once they have had an opportunity to research, study, examine, meet members, and attend a meeting, then they will become as passionate as we are. Passion breeds passion! Education and examination breeds—NEW MEMBERS!

The third rule of recruiting is be knowledgeable! If you are going to talk about the Texas and US Constitutions, KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT! Nothing will trip up a recruiting effort like wrong information! Know the organization. Know the law. Know the Movement’s goals. When you don’t know, and there are many things that we don’t know yet about what and how the new Republic would look, say you don’t know! That’s what we are about! We are the founding fathers and mothers of a new Republic. Our job is to structure and form this new entity. That’s a good thing, and the potential new recruit needs to be a PART OF THAT! You can always guarantee one thing…it won’t include, or be any worse than what the new potential recruits “ HOT BUTTON” issue was.

Note: Don’t ever forget the hot button issue! So my friends, study, research, read, and arm yourselves to be true ambassadors for the future. It’s worth the effort.

To finish my friends, let me share three things. First is that if we are to be successful, everyone must recruit new members. It must be done now, and it must be done fast! We do not have a lot of time. With the federal government going the way it is, the financial collapse could come at any time. We must get ready now!! Recruit now, recruit everyday, and don’t stop until we are a Republic!

Secondly, we all have jobs, families, time requirements, etc. If you are truly serious about Texas Independence, FIND THE TIME TO RECRUIT EVERY DAY! No excuses! IT’S THAT IMPORTANT!

And third, understand human nature and recruiting. You will NOT recruit everyone you speak to. You will be rejected. You will in some cases be abused verbally. You will get depressed over rejection. You will get tired. You will want to quit.

Remember at all times, that 50% of the population reserves the right to remain ignorant, and there is nothing you can do about it! Also remember that “ Some will, Some won’t, So what! Then some “won’ts” and the uninformed will follow as they have always done.

RECRUITING GUIDELINES

1. Dress and conduct yourself as an ambassador for the TNM (Take this as serious as it really is)
2. Ask questions that let them tell their story
3. Listen.
4. Find their “ hot button” and focus on that
5. Be knowledgeable
6. Recruit everyday, and don’t let people get you down.

WE ARE RIGHT, AND ARE WORKING TO PROTECT PEOPLE WHO DON’T EVEN CARE YET! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR EFFORTS

To All, good recruiting, keep the faith and the passion, and

God Bless Texas!

Cary Wise


Secession movement spreads well beyond Texas

September 21, 2009

By DAVE MONTGOMERY dmontgomery@star-telegram.com

AUSTIN — As head of the Texas Nationalist Movement, Daniel Miller of Nederland believes it’s time for the Lone Star State to sever its bond with the United States and return to the days when Texas was an independent republic.

“Independence. In our lifetime,” Miller’s organization proclaims on its Web site.

When Gov. Rick Perry suggested that some Texans might want to secede from the Union because they are fed up with the federal government, the remarks drew nationwide news coverage and became fodder for late-night comedians.

But to Texas separatists like Miller and Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Kilgore of Mansfield, secession is no laughing matter. Nor is it exclusive to the nation’s second-largest state.

Fanned by angry contempt for Washington, secession movements have sprouted up in perhaps more than a dozen states in recent years. In Vermont, retired economics professor Thomas Naylor leads the Second Vermont Republic, a self-styled citizens network dedicated to extracting the sparsely populated New England state from “the American Empire.”

And on the other side of the continent, Northwestern separatists envision a “Republic of Cascadia” carved out of Oregon, Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

While most Americans dismiss the breakaway sentiments, sociologists and political experts say they are part of a larger anti-Washington wave that is rapidly spreading across the country.

Challenging Washington

More commonplace are states’ rights movements to directly challenge federal laws, a citizen revolt that one scholar says is unparalleled in modern times. Among the actions in which states are thumbing their nose at Washington:

■ Montana and Tennessee have enacted legislation declaring that firearms made and kept within those states are beyond the authority of the federal government. Similar versions of the law, known as the Firearms Freedom Act, have been introduced in at least four other states.

■ Arizona lawmakers will let voters decide a proposed state constitutional amendment that would opt the state out of federal healthcare mandates under consideration in Congress. The amendment will be placed on the November 2010 ballot. State Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, said five other states considered similar versions of the amendment this year and at least nine others are expected to do so next year.

■ Nearly two dozen states have approved resolutions refusing to participate in the Real ID Act of 2005, which requires that driver’s licenses and state ID cards conform to federal standards. A similar resolution was introduced in the 2009 Texas Legislature but died in committee.

■ A campaign called “Bring the Guard Home” is pushing legislation in 23 states that would empower governors to recall state National Guard units from Iraq on the premise that the federal law authorizing such deployments has expired. “It’s gaining momentum, to say the least,” said Jim Draeger, program manager for Peace Action Wisconsin. He said the initiative has a respectable chance of passing the Legislature in his state.

Rising public anger over the way Washington does business has produced a growing outcry for state sovereignty and strict adherence to the 10th Amendment, which says powers not specifically delegated to the federal government by the Constitution belong to the states.

Texas was an epicenter for this year’s “tea party” protests, in which thousands of Americans displayed their contempt for rising taxes and federal intrusion.

‘Unprecedented’ defiance

Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center in Los Angeles, a think tank that monitors states’ rights activity, said defiance of federal policy is “unprecedented” and cuts across the philosophical spectrum, ranging from staunch conservatives to anti-war activists to civil libertarians. Legislatures in 37 states, he said, have introduced state sovereignty resolutions and at least seven have passed.

Perry, who faces a hard-fought Republican primary challenge from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, has made state sovereignty one of his signature themes. During the 2009 Legislature, he endorsed an unsuccessful resolution supporting the 10th Amendment, asserting that “our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state.”

After a tea party rally in April, Perry told reporters that secession might be on the minds of some Texans disgusted with the federal government. He later stressed that he wasn’t advocating secession, telling the Star-Telegram, “America is a great country, and Texas wants to stay in that union and help our way out of” the nation’s economic downturn.

But others are advocating secession.

In a poll of 1,209 respondents conducted by Zogby International last year, 22 percent said they believed that “any state or region” has the right to secede and become an independent republic, and 18 percent said they would support a secessionist movement in their state. Conversely, more than 70 percent expressed opposition to secession.

Kirk Sale of Mount Pleasant, S.C., formed the Middlebury Institute in 2004 for the study of “separatism, secession and self-determination.” The institute conducted the Third North American Secessionist Convention in New Hampshire in 2008, drawing delegates from about two dozen secessionist organizations in the United States and Canada.

Secessionist organizations are operating at various levels of activity in Texas, Vermont, New Hampshire, Alaska and Hawaii. Breakaway sentiments and anger at Washington also run high within the Southern National Congress, a 14-state organization to “express Southern grievances and promote Southern interests.”

Chairman Tom Moore, who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, says the group is “not explicitly a secessionist organization” although “most of our people probably do favor that option.”

For many, the mention of secession brings to mind the most turbulent years in American history, when 13 Southern states broke away from the Union in 1860 and ’61, plunging the country into a Civil War that claimed at least 618,000 lives but put an end to slavery. In contrast, modern-day secessionists stress that they advocate a peaceful departure and emphatically dismiss criticism that their organizations embrace racism and white supremacy.

“We maintain an open-door policy,” said Miller, who began forming the Texas Nationalist Movement early in the decade from the remnants of an earlier Texas independence movement. “If you’re about freedom — individual freedom — and liberty and Texas independence, we call you brother or sister.”

‘Predates Obama’

Miller says the group includes Hispanics, African-Americans, women, lifelong Democrats and union members. “We don’t argue race; we don’t argue Democrat or Republican,” he said. The movement also “predates Obama,” he said, pointing out that his organization started well before the president took office in January.

Miller, 35, said his involvement comes from a deep-rooted civic responsibility that began when he would accompany his father, a union ironworker, on the picket line. When Miller was 18, he made an unsuccessful run for mayor of White Oak, a small community outside Longview in East Texas. His call for Texas independence, he said, stems from a belief that Washington’s failures are dragging down the Lone Star State. Texas, which outpaces most other states in mineral wealth, agriculture, technology and other sectors, would be far better off as a separate country, he said.

“We currently have one of the strongest economies in the world,” said Miller, a Web-based radio entrepreneur who lives in deep Southeast Texas. “We’ve got everything we need to be, not just a viable nation, but a thriving, prosperous nation, except for one thing — independence from the United States.”

Kilgore, a telecommunications consultant in Mansfield, has made secession a high-profile theme of his Republican campaign for governor. Though overshadowed by the two dominant Republicans in the race — Perry and Hutchison — Kilgore believes his candidacy is stoking interest in secession, and vice versa. He said he gets at least a half-dozen calls and 15 e-mails each day on the issue, in addition to “all kinds of Facebook hits.”

Giving up on feds

“A lot of people have given up on the federal government,” Kilgore said. If he becomes governor, he said, he would call a constitutional convention to create a nation of Texas, with voters asked to approve a constitutional amendment to cement the process. Texas emissaries would negotiate with Washington for separation, he said, predicting that the United States and Texas could “still be friends after we split.”

From his home in Charlotte, Vt., Naylor said he also believes that his small New England state would fare much better outside what he derisively calls the “empire.”

Vermont, which, like Texas, was a republic before achieving statehood, has a population of 625,000, is the nation’s leading supplier of maple syrup and has a vibrant tourism industry. “We would not only survive,” he said, “we would thrive.”

Naylor, who describes himself as “a professional troublemaker,” grew up in Mississippi and taught economics at Duke University in North Carolina for 30 years.

During his years in the South, he said, he was “pretty much a vehement anti-secessionist” and refused to stand whenever Dixie was played. But, after moving to Vermont, he said, he began to rally against the “tyranny” of corporate America and the federal government, although he acknowledges the perceived “absurdity” of tiny Vermont rising up against the most powerful nation in the world.

“The empire has lost its moral authority. It’s unsustainable, ungovernable and unfixable,” he said. “We want out.”

Texas as a nation

After declaring independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, Texas was an independent republic for nearly a decade before being annexed into the United States in 1845. Now some Texas secessionists believe it’s time for the state to once again become its own country. Here’s a sampling of how a modern-day Republic of Texas would compare with the rest of the world.

Population

With 24.3 million residents, Texas would be the 47th-most-populous nation, between Saudi Arabia (25.7 million) and North Korea (24 million). It would be more populous than Greece, Belgium, Portugal and Israel.

Size

With 261,914 square miles, it would be the 40th-largest country, behind Zambia in East Africa (290,585) and ahead of Myanmar (261,228). It would be larger than Afghanistan, France, Iraq, Germany and Vietnam.

Economy

With a gross state product of $1.24 trillion, it would rank 11th or 12th, depending on the survey, behind Canada ($1.56 trillion) and slightly ahead of India ($1.23 trillion). Its economy would be larger than that of Australia, the Netherlands, South Korea, Turkey and Poland. But it would be vastly overshadowed by its huge neighbor, the United States, which has the largest economy in the world, $14.3 trillion.

Environment

Environmental groups say Texas’ record of spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere makes it one of the world biggest polluters. Texas leads the nation with 10 percent of the total U.S. emissions and would rank seventh in the world if it were its own country, the Environmental Defense Fund said in a 2008 report.

Executions

Texas, which leads the nation in executions, would likely rank among the top 10 countries in carrying out capital punishment, joining a list that includes Iran and North Korea. The United States is also on the list, primarily because of executions in Texas. In 2008, Texas carried out 18 of the nation’s 37 executions. According to Amnesty International, the United States ranked fourth in worldwide executions in 2008 but was nowhere close to the top three: China (1,718), Iran (346) and Saudi Arabia (102). North Korea’s Stalinist regime carried out at least 15 known executions, but researchers say the number could be far greater.

How it would fare on its own

Texas, now considered one of the most prosperous states in the country, has a broad-based economy that could make it largely self-sufficient, secession advocates say. Its major products include energy, agriculture, high-tech manufacturing and tourism. Assuming friendly relations, the United States presumably would look to Texas for much of its energy needs, since the Lone Star State leads the nation in production of crude oil, natural gas and wind energy. As part of the Union, it has been the top-exporting state and would continue to ship out chemicals, computers, electronics, machinery, petroleum, coal and transportation equipment. At least one big industry — defense — could suffer if the Pentagon adhered to a rigid “buy American” policy and shunned Texas-made defense products.

Newsroom researcher Cathy Belcher contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Texas Almanac, U.S. census, Amnesty International, United Nations

DAVE MONTGOMERY REPORTS FOR THE STAR-TELEGRAM FROM AUSTIN. 512-476-4294