On a windy afternoon a few days ago I went to a depressed section of North Memphis to visit an old clapboard house that was once owned by a German immigrant named Jacob Burkle. Oral history—and oral history is all anyone has in this case since no written documents survive—holds that Burkle used his house as a stop on the underground railroad for escaped slaves in the decade before the Civil War. The house is now a small museum called Slave Haven. It has artifacts such as leg irons, iron collars and broadsheets advertising the sale of men, women and children. In the gray floor of the porch there is a trapdoor that leads to a long crawl space and a jagged hole in a brick cellar wall where fugitives could have pushed themselves down into the basement. Continue reading
Note: The Preface and Chapters One through Eighteen can be found here: The 15% Solution
This is the twentieth installment of the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022. Herein you will find Chapter 19. This chapter describes what was essentially the Second Civil War in the United States. Helped massively by an international intervention in support of the Movement for the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy, the Movement was eventually victorious. Under the pseudonym Jonathan Westminster, the book is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Re-United States. It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press.
The Great Debate on the Left about whether to support Barack Obama for re-election had been building already, even before the debt limit debacle. And now it is on in full force and will be with us right up until Election Day, 2012. You can tell from the title of this commentary which side I am on. Except for the election of 1980, when I supported and actually did some work for John Anderson (until for reasons to this day entirely unknown to me he finked out right after Labor Day), I have been a “lesser of the evils” guy. But not this time around.
Note: The Preface and Chapters One through Seventeen can be found here: The 15% Solution
This is the nineteenth installment of the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022. Continue reading
History never repeats itself exactly. But it makes some pretty decent copies. As I write this on March 29, 2011, we are winding down to the end of the so-called “debt-limit crisis,” or the possible end, or the continuation of it, or what have you. Of course what is going on is not really about the debt-limit. It is about the future of the federal government in the United States and its appropriate role. As I wrote in my BuzzFlash@Truthout Commentary on Grover Norquist’s wet dream his 25-year campaign is focused only at the secondary level on taxation. It is primarily about his stated goal of “shrinking the federal government to the size of a bathtub and then drowning it in the bathtub,” or as he used to more simply state it: “starve the beast.”
Following the initial Federal Period and then until less than ten years before the first Civil War there were two major political parties in the United States: the Democratic Party and the Whig Party. While it was a national party, the base of the Democratic Party lay in the slave states of the South and its policies generally reflected the interests of the Slave Power. As the matter of the further expansion of slavery into the Western Territories became more acute, a major split began to develop in the opposition party, the Whigs. Northern Whigs were generally opposed, not to slavery so much but to its further Westward expansion while Southern Whigs tended to favor, or at least tolerate, both the institution and its expansion. Continue reading
[tweetmeme source= “DandelionSalads” only_single=false]
I am on the train to NYC and the wireless connection seems to come and go on this “Downeaster”.
I got an email this morning from a Tea Party list that somehow got my name. One line in particular that stands out is “Arizona is being targeted by millions of illegal aliens for race riots!”
A virtual call to arms is now being sounded by some Tea Party organizers. One of them says:
“How many more Citizens must die before Washington realizes America is under a full scale attack? TeaParty.org will NOT negotiate our values. We will NOT stand down and we will NOT go silently into the night. ”
Stephen Eichler J.D. Executive Director – TeaParty.org
Acts of rebellion which promote moral and political change must be nonviolent. And one of the most potent nonviolent alternatives in the country, which defies the corporate state and calls for an end to imperial wars, is the secessionist movement bubbling up in some two dozen states including Vermont, Texas, Alaska and Hawaii.
These movements do not always embrace liberal values. Most of the groups in the South champion a “neo-Confederacy” and are often exclusively male and white. Secessionists, who call for statewide referendums to secede, do not advocate the use of force. It is unclear, however, if some will turn to force if the federal structure ever denies them independence.
In his BuzzFlash Editor’s Blog of August 15, our Editor/Publisher Mark Karlin had this to say about the Civil War:
“[I]t may have been won by the North, but in truth the South never emotionally conceded. The Town Hall mobs, the birthers, the teabaggers, are all part of that long line of ‘coded’ agitators for the notions of white entitlement and ‘conservative values.’ Of course, this conservative viewpoint values cheap labor and unabated use of natural resources over technological and economic innovation. It also – and this is its hot molten core – fundamentally believes that white people are born with a divine advantage over people of other skin colors, and are chosen by God to lead the heathen hordes. . . Of course, when you start stirring the pot of race — in order to preserve the status quo of entrenched power and wealth – you emerge with a stew of hate boiling over and ready to explode into full-fledged violence. . . The America that Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh so nostalgically yearn for is a bait and switch: what they want is the ‘old-fashioned’ white entitlement values of the Confederacy and the short-lived Constitution of the Confederate states.”
Fear resides in all living creatures. It’s what keeps us alive down at the watering hole or out on the street.
The fear of crime strikes all who live with its dread, as well as those who are personally victimized. Fear keeps us from doing what we want to do; it causes us to distrust friends and to view strangers with prejudice; and it can trick us into trading freedom for a false sense of security.
Many of us have grown up with an expectation that we have the right to a comfortable existence and that with education and hard work we can achieve a better than average life. Such naiveté has been mostly dispelled. Familiar patterns have been disrupted-perhaps forever.
Billions are owed on student loans by graduates who can’t find a job. Millions of hard-working people are suddenly out of work and unable to sustain their dreams. They are saddled with massive credit card debts and unpayable mortgages, and they find little relief in new bankruptcy laws that deny them the chance to obtain a fresh start.