Pennsylvanians…The Case For Secession

by Joseph P. Schiaffino

(Editor’s Note: How the mighty have fallen! Pennsylvania, the womb of secession, now cozies up to the DC criminals wantonly.

The author makes some great points, and is at least thinking thoughts of true liberty. Some of his solutions for secession need a tune-up but one must start where one finds one’s self. Good work, Joseph.)

A majority of We the People appear to have finally reached the limits of our tolerance of the arrogance emanating from Washington and its elected servants of the People. Perpetual war, profligate spending, bailouts for irresponsible banks and Wall Street fat cats, the takeover of significant parts of our economy such as the auto and banking industries to name but two, and now the near certainty of a federal takeover of our health care system have pushed many of the People to the edge. How can the People fight back and reclaim their government? Let’s list possible options and then assess the prospects for success of each. We can replace all elected officials, we can proclaim all unconstitutional statutes and mandates null and void in our particular state, we can amend the federal constitution, or we can secede from the union of united States and reclaim our sovereignty as an independent republic.

The first and theoretically easiest solution is to throw the bums out and replace them with new people who will then obey the constraints of the Constitution. The problem is that under our current electoral system which gives artificial entities that do not have the right to vote, like corporations, unlimited power to supply money to both major political parties; those entities exert inordinate power to influence elections. Those same political parties then lavish their money on candidates who will support the agenda of those corporate donors so as to guarantee the continued flow of money to the two major political parties. We the People are decidedly not a part of the equation under the present system. Campaign finance reform will never go anywhere when the People must depend on the same elected officials who enjoy the benefits of incumbency and corporate money to change the system against their personal interests. That is like expecting pigs to fly. Until all corporate money is banned from elections and political parties, the People cannot rely on throwing the bums out as a viable solution to their dilemma.

A second solution would be to have the state legislature declare any offending federal statutes and/or mandates unconstitutional and refuse to enforce them. This has actually occurred where a number of states have refused to enforce the federal Real ID Act, to the point that the feds have basically given up on it at this point in time. However, as long as some kind of financial connection remains between the federal government and the states, the feds will always have the ability to play the money card and deny states their portion of federal revenues until the particular state complies with the federal wishes. That is called the crime of extortion. For example, the feds threatened to withhold federal highway tax monies from any state that refused to adopt the federal legal limit of .08 percent for blood alcohol levels. Eventually every state complied. This solution wholly depends on how strongly the feds want to push a particular proposal. In the case of Real ID, not very much, but in the case of blood alcohol limits, very much; thus, this solution also leaves something to be desired.

A third option would be for the states to propose a constitutional amendment or several amendments to address the usurpation of state powers by the federal government. There are several grave risks which make this solution radioactive to the rights of the People. Article V of the federal Constitution provides for only two ways to amend the Constitution, 1) whenever two-thirds of the House shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to the Constitution, or 2) on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments. All twenty seven amendments to the constitution have been proposed by the first method, the second has NEVER been attempted, although there was a strong movement for a constitutional convention by several states starting in the 1970’s. Currently, they are one or two states shy of approval for a convention proposal. The history of our first and only constitutional convention presents a bold warning to the People of the dangers of calling for a constitutional convention. Like the first one, any subsequent convention will likely deteriorate into a coup-de-tat, scrapping the old constitution entirely and starting from scratch on a new one that the People will have no control over. That is too great a risk to take.

That leaves us our fourth and final option, secession. That word strikes strong emotions in many Americans, and is considered taboo by many, if not impossible. However, it is an easily verifiable fact that the thirteen original countries, yes countries, that ratified the original Constitution for the United States of America retained the right to reassume the limited powers they ceded to the federal government should that government pervert those powers. New York, Virginia, and Rhode Island explicitly stated so in their ratification documents. First note that the Declaration of Independence referred to the colonies as “free and independent states” and that the Constitution contains no prohibition against secession, then consider that numerous times before 1860, states threatened secession from the union. For example, the Virginia and North Carolina legislatures discussed secession as early as the mid-1790s, in response to the undeclared war with France; substantial majorities in the New England states were strongly opposed to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, to the trade embargo of 1807-1809, and to the War of 1812 (from 1812 to 1815), so much so that Massachusetts and Connecticut took steps to begin the secession process by calling a Convention at Hartford in 1814. Also, in 1844 the Massachusetts legislature threatened to secede if Texas was admitted to the Union.

A well handled secession can lead to improved outcomes and manageable costs for both the seceding state and the remaining country, while a poorly handled secession can be highly costly for both. There are obviously costs and benefits to secession for Pennsylvania, but I propose the numerous benefits will far outweigh the few costs. First and foremost, secession will provide an instant pay raise for all Pennsylvanians who previously paid federal income taxes. Most if not all federal excise taxes can be eliminated or reduced, with any revenues staying in Pennsylvania’s treasury. Social security and Medicaid/medicare present a potential sticking point in that they could be used to extort Pennsylvania, but it should be noted that social security benefits are paid out to citizens living overseas, and to other qualified applicants. This can be an easily resolved sticking point in a well handled secession. The one unquantifiable is Pennsylvania’s share of the national debt, which would have to be settled somehow. All offensive federal statutes and mandates, such as the proposed takeover of the health care system go away. No more intrusive and costly federal dictates in education, the economy, or the environment (i.e. Kyoto Treaty) will burden Pennsylvanians.

If Pennsylvania were an independent country, its diverse economy would rank as the 18th largest in the world. Lake Erie and the Delaware River give Pennsylvania access to navigable waters. Pennsylvania has the infrastructure to support its economy, although it is in need of upgrading.

For self-defense purposes, Pennsylvania can enter into a possible alliance with the United States or even Canada. There is no need to join the United Nations, which has historically worked against American interests and has a long record of corruption. There would be no entangling alliances or costly commitments to far flung places, saving Pennsylvanians’ lives and money.

While this article is not an exhaustive examination of the costs and benefits of secession, Pennsylvanians would be wise to consider the viability of this option and act accordingly. Time is a-wastin’.


12 Responses to Pennsylvanians…The Case For Secession

  1. If Pennsylvania became an independent republic, she would be free to implement financial reform everywhere, becoming the NUMERO UNO place to come and do business. Free Vermont wants Free Pennsylvania as a friendly competitor and trading partner.

    There are two cores of these reforms currently in Pennsylvania: Harrisburg & Pittsburg shifted taxes off of earned income and onto the unimproved value of land. Pittsburgh renewed its urban core without subsidy; housing costs and crime rate were far below the US average; won ‘Most Livable City’. Harrisburg, the state capital, went from the second most distressed city to an ‘All-American City’. Aggregate property value rose from $212 million to over $880 million.

  2. Roger A. Huddleston says:

    Don’t forget the precious metals currency. Trying to “reform” fiat money is harder than herding cats. At least cats are honest. Also, NEVER join in a military alliance with another country. To do so is to surrender some portion of the People’s sovereignity to foreign governments, and invariably leads to bigger, not fewer, wars. We must destroy central banking and fiat currency.

  3. Bill Walker says:

    The author’s solution of secession glosses over history. Ask yourself this if you live in PA. Are you willing to die for this? Those in 1860 were and it cost 600,000 lives. In today’s figures that would be 60 million dead based on the same proportion of population. Are you willing to become one of those dead?

    If not, then turn to his third point–an Article V Convention. The author is incorrect in his statements. The states have, in fact, applied in sufficient number to cause a convention call. Congress simply refuses to obey the Constitution and call it. There are laws and court rulings in effect that describe how it will be run. You can learn the real facts at Take time to learn about a peaceful, constitutional method to solve our problems. Amendments work; secession does not.

    Let’s give all our peaceful, constitutional alternatives a try, that is, actually hold a convention before listening to the radical and fatal thinking of this author. Unless, of course, you’re in a hurry to die.

    • dumpdc says:

      Seceding is not usually a bloodless act. Most recently the states of the USSR seceded with very little bloodshed, but that is the exception to the rule. Secession before economic collapse won’t happen in ANY state…period. Any state that tries secession without a well-regulated militia will get shit hammered by the US government. Finally, are you truly worthy and deserving of liberty if you’re not willing to die for it?

    • Last week one of our Vermont Guard was killed…. in Afghanistan. Forced to participate in the killing of Afghanis, FOR WHAT ??? The man’s name was Ryan Grady. He lived in West Burke, Vermont, and leaves behind a wife and small child. People are dying every day, for the overstretched US Empire.

      So whatever you think the Civil War solved, these are different times. Vermont finances the Empire’s wars to the tune of $1.5 BILLION per year. We need to bring that money back into Vermont, where corrupt legislators who are controlled by the Democrat Party are shutting down basic services. The Empire’s military overstretch, the Empire’s squandering of natural resources such as oil and fresh water in its quest for infinite economic growth, is causing an economic collapse. How many people need to die for the out-dated dreams of Empire?

  4. OldDog says:

    Russ, we both know the answer to your question is NO, he is not willing to suffer anything for freedom, let alone his life. He would probably deny the last convention was corrupt, or what happened there is not possible to repeat.
    If the spirit of freedom is missing in a mans heart, he has nothing but fear to guide him. Poor Man!

  5. carroll price says:

    Every State that is now proposing secession, yet provided troops and resources to prevent the secession of the Confederate States of America in 1860, should offer an apology for their actions at that time.

    • Can you enlarge on this, Carroll?

      So far no state, per se, has proposed secession. Many groups in these states have… whilst the legislatures remained loyal to the Empire.

      So how should this be a part of the political platforms for Free Vermont etc. ? Or is this something that we should do after we regain our freedom?

      • carroll price says:

        Mr. Wagner,
        Thanks for your questions. I guess my biggest complaint and frustrations centers around the fact that almost every writer today who writes in favor of secession, seem to believe that secession is a brand new idea. They all appear to studiously avoid mentioning the subject that for four long years, the Southern people waged a bloody and destructive war of self defense in an attempt to accomplish the very things they are in favor of. It’s almost as if, in their minds, that crucial part of American history never happened. They do not seem to understand that when the South went down in defeat, so did the concept of States Rights and self government. They seem to draw no parallels or make any connections to the military defeat of the South and the centralized control over our lives and fortunes today.
        H.L. Mencken stated it best when he said “The people of the North and South entered the war as sovereign citizens of their respective States, but they left the war as subjects of a central government; and what they lost, they have never got back”.

      • dumpdc says:

        Mr. Price-

        You will find no history revisionism or history amnesia at this website. But one defeat in the 1860s does not mean the subject is forever closed. The people in the states of the USSR have history books, too, and are likely familiar with the story of the American Civil War. But that did not stop them from seceding from the USSR in 1990. I strongly disagree with you that the Southern defeat also meant the end of state’s rights and self government. In a practical sense it did, since the states stopped managing Washington and allowed Washington to manage them. But the concept is still alive and well, and the desire for liberty still beats in the hearts of people worldwide.

      • Hello Mr. Price,

        Thanks for writing back… and point taken. Many are shy of the ‘S’ word, as it has a lot of symbolism attached to it. What I can tell you is that secession is nothing new to Vermont. We proposed and debated secession from the fledgling US Empire even before the War Between the States, at least twice. Once was in response to Washington’s notorious Fugitive Slave act. Another was when the States were forced to participate in the 1812 war… truly a world war for the time, and one in which the individual theatres have only been studied in isolation. The textbooks show (as textbooks do so well) a unanimous compliance, a heady march of Vermonters eager to be cannonfodder. Much like today, as Vermonters march off to Afghanistan and Iraq and experience the HIGHEST fatality rate of any other state.

        So I’ll try to be strict with definition of terms. Vermont wants something called ‘Independence’. One way Vermont will get ‘Independence’ is de facto, as the Empire breaks down. Waiting passively for something called ‘Independence’, without building something new, is suicide. Therefore, there is a political instrument called ‘Secession’. To get free and build something new, before we have nothing to eat.

        Speaking of eating, the US Empire has a real neat food ‘system’ in which there’s no local
        storage; everything depends on the trucks rolling every day. For the individual family trying to make it in Vermont or Pennsylvania, secession is not just a matter of some abstract concept of ‘liberty’. Today we have no liberty to build localised food systems! Same with energy, just about every issue. The sustainability folks mean well, but without Independence, it’s just window dressing for the tourists and ups the value of Vermont real estate for politically correct buyers.

        Secession is the needed instrument.

        Best Regards,

  6. Many, including Ayn Rand and Tom Baugh, are correct in observing and promoting Individual Secession.

    Who will the looters loot when looters are all that are left to loot?

    Starving The Monkeys and Ending The Looterfest,
    John and Dagny Galt
    Atlas Shrugged, Owners Manual For The Universe!(tm)


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