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.

Advertisements

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