Back in November, just before the election, I wrote about who I was not going to vote for. With rare exception the Republicans got the knife as frequently as the Democrats. On my list of those not worthy of my consideration, I included one, Steve Daines, running for the lone Montana Congressional seat to replace Denny Rehberg (who I didn’t vote for in the Senate race even though I couldn’t stand his opponent). My reasoning was this: Continue reading
The Tenth Amendment Center has an Action Alert for the State of Montana. You can see that here. There is a bill that needs cosponsors by tomorrow at noon, so if you live in Montana and are interested contact your representative via the link provided. The bill is intended to nullify, in the State of Montana, the Indefinite Detention Provisions of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Nullification may seem silly and ineffective right now. But when your Congressmen and Senators can’t get the legislation right (preferably by not writing any new legislation, but yeah right) it is the next line of defense. Continue reading
Also syndicated here.
Patriotism to me can be a love for the place where one lives, which need not necessarily exhibit irrational feelings of superiority or inherent exceptionalism. It also can mean a love for the exceptionalism (which may be incidental or dependent on factors other than race and geography) of a culture, often within geographical confines. It can extend to a willingness to die to preserve the place or the ideas in question. Patriotism can manifest itself in both agreement and dissent.
Nationalism, on the other hand, is blind love for a specific geographical or racial entity for irrational reasons, such as perceived inherent superiority or traditional feuding. Most often it is manifested in a subtle form of groupthink, the consequences of not conforming to include: ostracism, ridicule, bigotry, prohibitions of expressions of culture or language, and even confiscation of property. In extreme forms, and much less subtle, overt violence and genocide. It is often mixed with or perhaps intentionally covered by higher ideals. Democracy. Social justice. Equality. Brotherhood. Humanity. Liberty. To this extent is has an appeal with both the base and the virtuous, and is thus pervasive and not even all those who hold some of the views (for very few hold all of them) realize where they originate, or what their intended purposes are in the form they are presented.
Both ideas rest on that of taste. One acknowledges it as a personal preference and in relations with others it either defends from attacks (ideally not overreacting) or promotes its underlying ideas through persuasion and not force, and the other (according to its own idealism, though not always according to the practice of its leaders) seeks to foist it equally upon all (assuming, of course, you are one of the ones it suffers to live), the consequences and human rights be damned.
According to these definitions, which are my own but not too far distant from how they are defined by others, individual persons and conventions of persons, experts in fields and students of ideas, nationalism is very much the more problematic of the two.
And if you break it down further this is true for two reasons. One is the way it treats outsiders (geographical foreigners, ethnic inferiors, and so on). The other is the way it treats its own. Eliminating nationalism and replacing it with a generic internationalism (some would call this world government) only eradicates the first problem in the best case scenario. A highly decentralized internationalism (some would call this globalization) would go a long way towards reducing, and in some cases eliminating, both problems.
Amongst those that agree that globalization (even those afraid to use the word for fear of being associated with, or who recognize that the word has been misused by; those who either openly embrace, or whose proposals and ideas in some way perpetuate; world government) is a good idea, there is some disagreement about the way to go about it. I won’t go into arguments for or against (uni/bi/multi)lateral/free/managed trade or international law as it pertains to evident violations of human rights or other controversial subjects with well meaning and intelligent individuals on either side of the argument. I would instead like to delineate between potent attempts at world government and relatively impotent (but still menacing in their own right) attempts.
In the first category (potent) I would put imperialism, where it should be obvious that internationalism is in fact just nationalism applied to the world stage. Attempts such as this never fully succeed (partly because they may not really be conscious of what they are doing, or if they are, may have different goals in mind than that of tyrannizing the globe) in subjugating the entire world, but are potent in the sense that they cause much suffering and disorder and do so under a gradually increasing authority (in terms of both power and geography).
Also there is mercantilism. This often goes hand in hand with imperialism. Sometimes they have the same origin. Other times they just “benefit” from each other. And still there may be some combination thereof. In a sense, aspects of it have been practiced by every “traditional” empire going back to the Sumerians, but not until the rise of the modern, benevolent, humanitarian nations did it come into its own. France, Britain, the United States. And though not “true” mercantlism in the sense of application to one nation, several aspects of it have been incorporated into the cooperative efforts of the civilized nations (treaties and alliances; NATO being a prime example, the IMF another).
I wouldn’t even rule transnational corporations (in some instances being creations of, though not always faithful servants to, the state) and Non-Government Organizations out of having at least a small part in this category (potent attempts at world government), but at the present I would like to refrain from theorizing about possible conspiracies.
In the second category (impotent) I would put such things as failed attempts at international cooperation. Take the League of Nations or the United Nations. I do not deny that they were/are to be feared. But the reason has more to do with the stupidity and inefficiency of bureaucracy than it does the greed or violence of imperialism. But more than that it is not so much the bodies themselves that should be of concern, but rather the ways they may be used by the member nations in their imperialistic and mercantilistic endeavors.
Things such as the World Trade Organization I would have a hard time categorizing. Besides, as I said, I do not wish to formulate arguments on the issue of trade nor delve into conspiracy theories.
New Discovery: Jacques Delacroix (I had not read his piece in its entirety until moments ago, so I hope no one thinks I wrote this as some sort of response to it) goes into all of this as well (I had no idea until, for the purpose of seeing what others had to say on the subject I did a search for “WTO” on my friend Brandon Christensen’s blog), but is far less charitable to these types than I am (I think mirroring his overall more establishmentarian variant of libertarianism).
Anyways, at this stage I am not a flag burner. But neither am I a flag worshipper. At the present, this one will do:
The project raised $7,492 on Wednesday, moving our average amount needed per day till the end of the project from about $2,500 to about $1,500. We are confident we can raise the $13,599 needed to reach our goal in the next week. If you are reading this on Thanksgiving, and/or plan on shopping till you drop on Black Friday, please save this link to the project somewhere you will see it over the weekend and donate $1, $5, $100, or whatever you can afford. This is an independent, grassroots effort and I can attest to the abilities of all of the individuals involved.
If you have a problem with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, malaria in Africa, bed bugs in major cities, US dependence on foreign oil, United Nations treaties and initiatives, takings of private property, restrictions on your ranching/agricultural and hunting rights, your tax dollars going to waste on the pet projects of special interest groups with an often anti-industrial, anti-economic, anti-autonomy, anti-liberty, and/or anti-human bent, then get involved; this film will not disappoint.
FREE GIVEAWAY PROMOTIONAL, PHASE SIX
Anyone who reblogs this (or related posts) on any blog platform will receive a free copy of the finished product when it arrives (slated for Earth Day 2013). Those using a platform other than WordPress will need to contact me and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have 20 DVDs to give away and 2 of them have already been claimed. Those that pledge have the chance at additional rewards.
If you don’t like rude, disrespectful comments, refrain from reading this. I tell you it was warranted. If belligerent pride is what it takes to expose slander, hypocrisy, and ignorance, I am so sorry.
Would you agree with me that part of the problem with this country, specifically in Congress, is that people do not uphold their oaths? Well here’s a comment from that political outcast article you linked to:
“Take responsibility for your own screw ups. SOME of us have taken an oath to the Constitution, not the president. Romney stated up front that he would violate the Constitution. I’m not violating my oath to vote for some sleezebag that won’t even attempt to follow the Constitution. At least in four years YOUR party can try again. Maybe YOU can get it right the next time.”
The GOP was born in tyranny (I can safely say from a conservative perspective, devoid of all considerations of race, that Abraham Lincoln was this country’s absolute worst president. Obama is a playful piker by comparison. A common fallacy for the people living in each era is to think that theirs is the one that will either be the worst or the greatest, or both. Pure delusion!) and it will be that way until the day it implodes under its own weight. It is immoral, corrupt, and bloodthirsty.
I personally voted for every Republican at the county level (the ones I can trust, but also the ones, in theory, who I can keep in check, and not just with my vote; the government must fear it’s people, when it doesn’t, there is the start of tyranny; this applies equally to both parties; Obama or Romney do not have real cause to fear any constituent, let alone a bunch of hayseeds from Montana; they would gladly use any excuse, any pretense of fear, to do away with more of our rights, however), as well as for Tim Fox (a man who has done something to earn my vote) every one else on the GOP ticket got a big fat middle finger.
And if you think that makes me a traitor of some sort you have lost sight of all perspective. It is the local level that IS important, and it is the local level that SHOULD BE important. Any consideration beyond that is where the true vanity lies, that this country can be changed for the better (it can always get worse, that is the second law of thermodynamics, metaphorically) by one man at the top who has next to no accountability and all the motivation in the world to maintain the status quo regardless of what his principles may have at one time been. There may be some men with enough integrity to resign or take a bullet in the head before going down that road (those are the only three options so far as I can tell), but Romney is not one of them.
Denny Rehberg is a coward and an enabler and if he is never heard from again it is a far better thing than an oath breaker such as he deserves.
If four more years of Obama and six of Tester is what it takes to snap you and your fellow short sighted, long winded old geezers (Yes sir, you got us into this mess, so get off your goddamn pedestal) out of this game you have been playing for more than a century now, then so be it. Personally, I have serious doubts that it will.
And even were you able to accept this save for one thing: your worries that other, more moderate Montana and nationwide Republicans will just keep doing the same thing as well and never snap out of it, your fight IS and SHOULD BE with them. The only fight men with weak spines can win is against men with absolutely no backbone. I can feel mine right now, it is flexible, but it is strong. So I will continue to allow people I did not vote for and do not like to win, because, yes, I am standing on principle. You will never convince enough people with this stubborn outlook to change it. Which is why you should focus your attention on the idiots that keep nominating people we will not, and told you even before you nominated them that we would not, vote for. Face it, we have you over a barrel. You don’t like it, but all you do is whine about something you can not change.
“If you can’t beat them, join them” are not words to live by. But that is exactly what any one who compromised on Romney did. That is why I have more respect for the people that actually liked Romney and voted for him than the ones who harped on him for two years leading up to his nomination and then suddenly jumped on his bandwagon. It is revolting and it needs to be called out.
I am not normally one to abuse my host, but you really were asking for it.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
Well, that’s not entirely true. But if they pull it off, they’ll be my ex-countrymen. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just mean that I will still be stuck here in the good ole US of A. But then, I always considered each state to be its own country, albeit a member state of a treaty known as the United States Constitution.
Unfortunately, I just don’t think that (secession) is going to happen. Just a feeling. I just don’t think that anybody in the upper levels of Texas government, not even the rash worded Rick Perry (Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme and Ben Bernanke is a Traitor, neither of which I disagree with), will let it go through. They have a lot of leverage, but I still doubt they will want to alienate the White House, their non-seceding neighbors, “patriotic” Americans, or “their” own citizens. 90,000 signatures is not a majority of Texans. There are probably just as many, and they aren’t all Democrats, that don’t want to secede, as there are that do. Maybe even more.
This petition will be addressed, as per the fact that it has near four times as many signatures as required by law (25,000). And it will probably be laughed off. By everyone but the signers themselves. I’m not mocking them. I’m just saying that its going to take a lot more than Obama’s re-election before secession is really viable. Remember, the South seceded when Lincoln won with less than 40% of the vote. Obama at least has the advantage of winning with more than 50% (it was, in fact, the perfect example of the 51% rule, which I abhor).
For the time being, my money is on nullification. Odds are if your state is scared to do even this, no amount of petitioning will get them to go one step further and actually renounce membership in the Union. So far, my home state, Montana, is sort of on the right track, though it will be saddled with a sleazy Democratic Governor for the next four to eight years. And he just so happens to be one of the twenty-two State Attorney Generals who refused to fight ObamaCare. Good thing the people of Montana were crazy enough to circumvent him and good thing the only non-county/district level Republican I voted for will be there to take Bullock’s old job and enforce the will of the people of Montana (because 65% is better than 51%).
And that’s why I hang my hat in Tennessee! (Well, not really.)