Dissolving the Union

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Dissolving the Union

Postby davidm on October 28th, 2018, 3:00 pm 

I believe the U.S. is may be headed for a second Civil War, with the terroristic events of the past week — and indeed many events since 
Cheeto Benito was “elected” president — harbingers of what is to come. It may even be said that we are already in a low-boil Civil War. Under Benito, right-wing terrorism is likely to grow. Social media is already positively boiling with right-wing terrorists, unconstrained by Facebook, Twitter, et al.

As a longtime writer, editor and journalist, I love to read old newspapers. The Library of Congress has a bunch of digitized newspapers online, physical reproductions of the actual product in all their ink-on-paper glory, on which I can gorge. It is instructive to read the southern newspapers on the eve of the Civil War. They were the Fox News of that era, the propaganda ministry of the plantation aristocracy, inveighing against “free Negrodom,” and constantly assailing the “black Republicans” of the North, charging that all favored abolition, when in fact, almost none did, including Lincoln (though all of them should have). They tilled the soil to create, in the public mind of the south, the justification for Civil War. And the people reaped what the Fox News of that era sowed.

America has always been two nations uneasily stitched together. It was stitched together by compromise during the Revolution, against a common foe in Great Britain. It was stitched together by bayonets during the Civil War, at an almost unfathomable cost of blood and treasure.

Today it remains two nations, the blue and the red (the blue and the gray during the Civil War — you can easily tell which color the current red descends from).

I think it’s time for an amicable divorce. The blue states and the red states can simply separate. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits this — indeed, contra Lincoln, nothing in that document prohibits secession, at least not explicitly. Lincoln’s argument was that the Constitution implied a perpetuity of the Union, but this is a dubious conclusion to draw from the available evidence. In any event, Lincoln himself argued that the Union existed in the nature of a contract, and that contracts can be dissolved if both sides agree to do so. That is what I favor — that the blue and red states agree to dissolve the contract and go their separate ways.

As to secession specifically, it is commonly asserted that the Civil 
War decided against the legality of secession, but this is wrong. The war decided the issue de facto — by force of arms — and not de jure, as such matters are supposed to be decided in a constitutional republic.

If terms for dissolving the union cannot be agreed upon, I think the blue states should secede. California by itself, if it were independent, would have the seventh-largest world economy. California does not need red-state America — red-state America needs California, and other blue states. The red states are the main beneficiaries of federal taxes, and not the other way around, as the Fox Propaganda Ministry has conditioned red state residents to believe.

In the late 1850s, just as we do now, we had a vile, awful man as president, James Buchanan. He was a racist, an ignoramus, a Confederate sympathizer and he pushed for the Dred Scott decision, the single worst Supreme Court ruling ever made. That decision arguably more than anything else pushed the nation over the brink into war. What new Dred Scotts can we look forward to now, with two right-wing ideologues appointed to the Supreme Court by Cheeto Benito, our current Buchanan?

Note, too, that after Lincoln was assassinated, we got another vile ignoramus as president, Andrew Johnson, a southern Democrat who tried to sell the freed blacks down the river. He was ultimately balked by Thad Stevens and the so-called Radical Republicans, who impeached Johnson, but the dirty deed was later done by President Rutherford B. Hayes (know as “Rutherfraud” for the stolen presidential election of 1876) who ended Reconstruction in exchange for obtaining the presidency and thus cast the freed blacks to the tender mercies of Jim Crow. Such is the vileness of U.S. history.

In his first inaugural address, Lincoln said:

Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible …


Unfortunately, the rule of a minority is now where we seem to be. Twice in sixteen years, the ridiculous Electoral College installed as president a man rejected by the majority of voters. Gerrymandering, court-packing by right wingers and voter suppression could well make minority rule, at least at the federal level, permanent. As Lincoln noted, this must be wholly inadmissible.

Time to end this farce. Blue America, as an independent nation, can build a progressive future without being bogged down by the heirs of the plantation aristocracy and their brainwashed minions.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby Braininvat on October 28th, 2018, 4:25 pm 

Both the electoral college and the upper house of Congress give disproportionate power to lower population states. Though this had some laudable goals, such as keeping a few heavily populated states from exerting undue power over others, it does seem to be reaching a point where we now have federal policy driven by more rural voters in a nation that is now predominantly urban. Some political scientist (nag me if I don't find the link) pointed out that in a few years 30% of the population will have 70 Senators, and that 30% will be more rural than most of the country. This creates a gulf of understanding on many issues where an urban perspective is sorely needed, e. g. gun control. Someone who lives with the sheriff over 30 minutes away, and large wild animals spilling into subdivisions, may have difficulty understanding why urban populations don't have so much need for everyone to be armed. And urban areas are by nature more diverse and pluralistic, so urban people have a keener grasp on the negative effects of xenophobic attitudes and discriminatory practice. And the pragmatic value of tolerance in keeping civil peace.

The problem with secession may be the "blue dots" that are appearing in many red states, often places where a more diverse urban population is developing. I'm in one of those blue dots myself, and want to be part of its maturation into a diverse and progressive community (we have one of the largest concentrations of Native American peoples in the nation, as well as many Latinos)...and have that process happen under the protection of the US Constitution. The nearby Lakota reservations are also blue dots, and might not fare well in a secession upheaval.

I would also add that the EPA and the Interior dept., though currently distressed and under constant assault, still wield considerable power in protecting many of our Western lands and unspoiled wild areas from exploitation. I would not wish to see the Black Hills turned over to uranium miners and softwood logging when the Red States of America decide that a favorable trade balance with BSA depends on more resource extraction.

There's also the problem of Mount Rushmore that arises when our carved granite presidents are former leaders of a foreign nation. :-)
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby Serpent on October 28th, 2018, 5:20 pm 

I don't see the disunited states as two nations; I see it as four to eight potential territories - whose boundaries won't necessarily conform to present state lines. Each new national entity would probably retain the basic attitude of their most dominant state. Trade, commerce and transport shouldn't pose much of a problem.

What will cause a problem is populations. Should a peaceful, negotiated dissolution come to pass, the signatories would have to allow free movement of people to areas more to their ideological bent. But there would be relatively little southward/midward movement; such is the economic disparity that the influx of people from backward areas to progressive ones could soon be insupportable. More, the political and religious views of those incomers might be discordant enough to start the same conflicts again.
In fact, I can imagine much of the southern region facing depopulation and depending on Mexican and Central American migrants for its work-force. This, in turn, would change the political atmosphere of those territories.

Still better than everybody shooting everybody...
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby davidm on October 29th, 2018, 11:11 am 

An article in the NY Times today reports that in a survey conducted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is to be released this week, 40 percent of the country believes the U.S. is headed to civil war. In the same article, a woman at a Trump rally blamed “globalists” for the country’s strife, saying, “They want to mold the country into one big melting pot. That’s not how we were designed.” She said this after the crowd had learned of the synagogue shooting. One can infer that this woman doesn’t believe Jews belong in America, and from that it’s a short step to the conclusion that the massacred Jews are responsible for their own massacre.

This is the poison that the turd in the White House has loosed upon the land. Of course the poison was always there, atavistic, but Trump gave it permission — encouraged it — to come out again.


BiV makes a good point about blue islands in red America in case of national divorce or secession. I’ll try to say something about that later.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby wolfhnd on October 29th, 2018, 8:38 pm 

You didn't build that seems like the appropriate place to start an analysis of the coming apart of modern society. There is a unmistakable lack of appreciation for the structures that make modern life possible. Urban centers are only possible because of efficient rural development. The life blood of any city is outside the city. Efficient food production, rural transportation systems, dams and other rural water distribution systems, rural energy production including fertilizer, raw materials from mining and forestry, make urban life possible. The mental gymnastics necessary to believe that the urban elite are not the primary beneficiaries of a system that they contribute the least to is frightening.

The primary beneficiaries of globalization has also been the coastal elites. Europe in particular while congratulating themselves on social progress has essentially exported their pollution and slave labor to China but that is also true in the U.S. What couldn't be exported is carried out by what is increasingly looking like a lower rung in a caste system. The unconscionable abandonment of the working class in favor of identity politics has been a major factor in the growing cultural divide.

The left has also strangely fallen in bed with some of the worst economic actors in the financial sector, another group that greatly befits from globalism by acting beyond the control or against the interests of national banks. The coastal areas have also massively benefited from the irrational over valuation of the tech industries who's profits come primarily from non essential services in the form of selling personal information, as seen in for example FaceBook selling user data to China, advertising, and personal communication that amounts to little more than entertainment. The over valuation is almost certainly unsustainable as new modes evolve in an industry without tangible assets. In this process of shifting economic practices the switch from capitalism to corporatism seems to have gone unnoticed by the media who itself is part of the corporatist system.

We are seeing the reemergence of a slave system in which the urban elites, the most unproductive sector of society are the primary beneficiaries. I would be very careful about picking sides under these conditions. The first victim of war is truth.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby davidm on October 29th, 2018, 9:24 pm 

I never did go back to the thread in which you told a great big fat Trumpian whopper of a lie and claimed that unspecified “urban elites” (read: Hillary Clinton) regarded all working-class people as “deplorable.” (I wonder though, is Donald Trump, whom you no doubt support, an “urban elite”?)

Maybe I’ll respond to your latest nonsense posted here in the next few days, though probably indirectly, since I dislike talking to you.

Just to take one example, who do you think paid for all that rural development and infrastructure that makes everyone’s life possible?

Of course, it’s just like you to claim that questioning the broken values of people who voted for Trump is an attack on rural workers and the admirable jobs that they perform. You should sign up as a mouthpiece for the 2020 Trump campaign. The Big Lie is what you all specialize in.

Also, in case you didn’t know, the blue states have plenty of rural infrastructure and can get along just fine without the red states — better, in fact, since we won’t have to subsidize them anymore.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby wolfhnd on October 29th, 2018, 10:01 pm 

When you say pay you are making the common error of conflating money with wealth. I don't find these kind of simplistic views very convincing.

And no I don't enjoy these conversations but echo chambers are unhealthy and I'm trying to help you.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby zetreque on October 29th, 2018, 10:04 pm 

For the past two years I have been thinking if civil war happens it will happen if Trump wins a second term. The protests last election were the most massive this country has seen and I think it will only get worse if this insanity continues.

I think it's extremely messy and complicated though. I am seeing the strangest stuff. There are hardcore republicans who are self proclaimed environmentalists that are supporting the president. It's like they somehow don't understand energy policy or a million other policies. I am seeing extreme right and left that have conflicting belief systems to their associated party and just somehow don't see it. It might come to civil war just because no one is making sense anymore. There is a wave of mental illness and lack of trust sweeping the world. Lack of trust is leading to even more ignorance. In a way it's resembling the craziness of the Maya empire that's recorded in stone just before it collapsed.

I really don't understand what is going on in the world anymore. When you go looking around these social media platforms that the extremists are migrating to, it's pretty weird. It's as if people these days were given a wonderful education, then the hard drive of their mind had a magnet run over it. And that is the current human race.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby zetreque on October 29th, 2018, 10:22 pm 

wolfhnd » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:38 pm wrote:We are seeing the reemergence of a slave system in which the urban elites, the most unproductive sector of society are the primary beneficiaries. I would be very careful about picking sides under these conditions. The first victim of war is truth.


Yes, it's too complicated. For a real civil war to take place, the military would have to split somehow and I don't see how that would happen.

Splitting up is not the answer or likely in today's world. Economically it would throw the country into a 3rd world state (which it's already becoming with some respects and pockets). Environmentally it would also be devastating.

If this insanity continues, it might not be a civil war but it will certainly get more and more messy as people become less trusting and more hateful. I don't understand how anyone in their right mind can support a president or government that actively promotes division of humanity. Can no one see how there is absolutely no healthy future in that? And the same can be said for civil war. A civil war would require the so called left to be just as stupid in promoting division and hate. It's a dead end future.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby Serpent on October 29th, 2018, 11:25 pm 

wolfhnd -- We are seeing the reemergence of a slave system in which the urban elites, the most unproductive sector of society are the primary beneficiaries.

Indeed. In this brave new system, the slaves don't know they're wearing leg-irons. The beneficiaries are the very same people who reap the rewards of every Republican cut in business tax, workers' protection, voting in poor and coloured districts, environmental protection, health insurance, women's rights, union rights and social services. The very same people who bankroll Republican candidates. The very same people who invest heavily in and profit largely from private prisons and government arms and infrastructure contracts. The very same people who dispossessed much of the rural population and replaced family farms with "efficient food production" - i.e. (government subsidized) agribusiness. The very same people who own immense networks of propaganda and hate broadcasting. And the mortgages and the water and the land and the minerals and probably the air.
What keeps this circus of horrors afloat is not the disenfranchised and stupefied rural poor. It's the predators who feed on them. And those people have residences and office addresses in the coastal cities. Where they actually live is in whichever of their seventeen other residences around the globe happens to be most convenient at any given time. They and their assets can stay globalized, even after their monkey-on-a-stick cuts the whole country off from foreign trade.

zetreque -- There is a wave of mental illness and lack of trust sweeping the world. Lack of trust is leading to even more ignorance. In a way it's resembling the craziness of the Maya empire that's recorded in stone just before it collapsed.

Yes. It's the same brain-eating virus we've been carrying since chimpanzeehood, that lies dormant for short periods between outbreaks of full-blown epidemic.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby Braininvat on October 30th, 2018, 9:54 am 

So cheered up. Then I see this ---

https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/10/30/politi ... index.html

Basically, 45 saying he can repeal the 14th amendment (the citizenship clause) by means of executive order.

And he says he ran it by his counsel. Uh-huh. Understanding better why McGahn quit.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby wolfhnd on October 30th, 2018, 12:10 pm 

If natural born citizen is derived from natural born subject then it must be considered in relationship to English common law. Unfortunately the language of the art of law from that time does not offer a clear interpretation. Argument over the exact meaning was used to declare John McCain ineligible for the presidency illustrating how contentious the topic has been. It's probably something the Supreme Court needs to address.

I'm generally opposed to the courts making law by not referring to the art of law at the time the constitution was written. Although the legislative branch is prohibited from unilaterally interpreting the constitution in cases such as this congress should enact clarifying legislation that can be reviewed by the court. Unfortunately all presidents when faced with congresses that are deadlocked or otherwise incapable of acting have legislated by presidential order. This is especially true beginning with the Teddy Roosevelt progressive era. In the case of crisis it may be necessary if undesirable. Defining what is a crisis is of course dangerously subjective.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby Braininvat on October 30th, 2018, 1:08 pm 

You can't reverse a Constitutional amendment by EO. Pretty much any legal scholar will tell you that. There's no ambiguity in the citizenship clause. "All persons" is pretty straightforward, which is why the SCOTUS has never heard a case on the matter since its ruling in US v Wong Kim Ark, in 1898. A conservative court could reject the jus soli interpretation for undocumented aliens, but again, that's for SCOTUS and/or Congress to deal with. The EO would not be the proper legal vehicle for that. FWIW, I thought Clinton and Obama also somewhat abused the device of Executive Order, taking it way beyond its original intent.

In case anyone needs the clause....

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.


30 other nations have the same jus soli interpretation of similar constitutional provisions. This is why Canada recognizes "border babies" (worth looking up, if you're curious) - if your American mom living on the border of, say, North Dakota, was rushed to a Canadian hospital, then your baby will have dual citizenship if he/she decides to assert it. He/she will be recognized as having Canadian citizenship.

Trying to steer this back to the OP topic: I could certainly envision an especially egregious EO leading to a secession movement from some states.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby zetreque on October 30th, 2018, 1:22 pm 

Braininvat » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:08 am wrote:You can't reverse a Constitutional amendment by EO.


That's why they want to get these piece of shit biased judges in there. On the ballot in my state this year there is an extremely conservative judge running for the state supreme court who has no problem basically blasting that he is a republican across his website proudly proclaiming things like he is an NRA member and complaining about his opponent with meaningless arguments. The extremists and polarity are taking over the courts instead of just wisdom common sense.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby zetreque on October 30th, 2018, 1:34 pm 

wolfhnd » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:10 am wrote: Unfortunately the language of the art of law from that time does not offer a clear interpretation.


It has been my understanding the past couple years that the right conservative camp is pressing for more specifics in the law and justice system. This might seem like a good idea but it's not. It's used as a tactic for short-term thinkers to get away primarily with environmental pollution and loopholes for profit. and flip flop to their benefit.

Some sarcastic examples that are nearly reality:
"Oh, you didn't say specifically that carbon monoxide (or insert common sense pollutant) was poisonous in the law regarding air emissions even though it's common sense, so we are throwing the case out ."
"You didn't say that a flood was defined as 12 feet 4 inches in the contract. The tsunami was only 12 feet 3 inches so your insurance claims are void." "btw, tsunami and flood are two different things and the contract calls only for flood"


Meanwhile, the same people calling for more specifics in the law are not giving adequate time to consult the extremely long documents before making rulings, votes, decisions.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby wolfhnd on October 30th, 2018, 3:00 pm 

A good case can be made that the code of federal regulations is burdensome in arcane details. Extending that argument to the constitution is more difficult. That said I do not suffer under the delusion that supreme court rulings are not to some degree arbitrary being tied to the existing culture. Considering that reality some mechanism to prevent the anarchy of differing opinions is necessary.
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Re: Dissolving the Union

Postby Serpent on October 30th, 2018, 3:04 pm 

Braininvat -- I could certainly envision an especially egregious EO leading to a secession movement from some states.


So, will California go alone? Where does Oregon stand? I understand it's progressive, but is that the general attitude or some 'urban elite'?
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