The Alamo Guard Returns

(Original Post at: https://texianpartisan.com/alamo-guard-returns/)

Last weekend marked the triumphant return of the Alamo Guard to the Alamo!

For regular readers of the Texian Partisan, you likely remember an article published last month on how a four-year tradition of honoring the Texas Republic’s fallen soldiers had been cut short, rather abruptly. However, do to your quick and determined efforts, the tradition of laying a wreath at the Alamo wall every second Saturday of the month has been restored.

“It really felt great to be back,” says Alamo Guard Captain Chris Jacka, whose company was in rare form on this momentous occasion, featuring a larger than normal showing of Guard members. “The Rangers were very gracious in welcoming us back, and wanted it made clear again that they stand with us 100%. They were glad we were able to continue our professional relationship.” Indeed. The Alamo Guard is very grateful to the Alamo Rangers for first making possible the Guard’s memorial on Alamo grounds. Additionally, the TNM is grateful that the management of the Alamo saw fit to reverse their original decision, and looking forward to greater spirit of cooperation in the future.

With the resolution of last month’s drama, it is good to know that Guard is back, doing their part to preserve our heritage as Texans, reminding us to recognize the dear price that was paid for our land. No doubt, the position of the Guard is now much stronger than it had been. Hopefully, this only beginning of good things to come for the Alamo Guard, the Texas Nationalist Movement, and Texas.

If you would like to see a list of upcoming Alamo Memorial Marches click here.

New Poll Suggests That the Dutch Favor Leaving the EU

Read the original posting here: https://texianpartisan.com/new-poll-suggests-dutch-favor-leaving-eu/

In the wake of Brexit and similar independence movements throughout Europe, a new survey suggests that “exit” fever has hit the Dutch!

According to a poll conducted by the Maurice de Hond group, 56 per cent of the Dutch (after excluding the undecided) would “vote to leave the EU compared to 44 per cent who would opt for remain.” This is true across age and Gender, varying only a little between groups.

Per an article that ran in the Express, the rise in popularity for a NEXIT in the Netherlands owes to the inclusion an option in that poll for political independence while maintaining some economic ties to Europe. For many, this was a more palatable choice, allowing some to give their support for independence whereas before they were unwilling to do so. These findings are significant and could have huge ramifications for the Dutch in their upcoming elections.

Reinvigorated nationalism seems to be a trend in the world, moving it away from the favoring of multi-nation governance. Even in Texas and other states, similar polls have found that a huge number of citizens believe that their states would be better off if separated from the government in Washington. A 2014 Reuters poll found that the percentages favoring independence were as great as 50% among the two biggest voting blocs (Republicans and Independents), and even 35% of Democrats think that Texas should be independent once more. Yet, somewhat counterintuitively, this kind of support is not often met with politicians trying to exploit it. Unlike countries like Britain, France, and the Netherlands, there are few candidates in Texas that will openly support independence. However, with numbers like these, the question remains, “How long can the government in Austin continue to snub this issue?” If these trends continue, the issue of independence will continue to grow until it’s impossible to ignore. The political establishment should take note; it could be that future Texas political candidates, perhaps even for governor, might run successfully on the cause of restoring Texas sovereignty while their generation goes down in failure, with the naive belief that the idea of Texit will just go away.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider and the Unbridled Federal Agency

(Photo: Gallifer Cave, Travis County, TX (c) 2011, Piers Hendrie)

Here’s another peice I wrote for Texian Partisan. Original post at: https://texianpartisan.com/itsy-bitsy-spider/

 

The biggest issue with the US Congress’ habit of delegating its law-making authority to the regulatory arm of the executive branch is that it often leads to ambiguous standards and low accountability for federal agents implementing policy. Meanwhile, the regular folks are left walking on eggshells, not knowing exactly what’s expected of them, but being very aware that they’re nonetheless at the mercy of a federal agency with little oversight, a big imagination for filling in the vagary of federal statutes, enormous law-enforcement authority, and literally the power to print money.

 

In a recent story from FoxNews, one Texas land-owner finds himself the latest target of the regulatory state. Rancher John Yearwood of Georgetown, Texas had the misfortune of an endangered species of spider being discovered on his property. Known as the Bone Cave Harvestman or Texella reyesi (an admittedly cool name!), the blind cave dwelling spider is preventing Mr. Yearwood from using his land. No, it’s not that the spider is so dangerous that John needs to steer clear of it, rather it’s the EPA that’s the danger.

 

Enforcing the Endangered Species act, the Environmental Protection Agency is defending our eight-legged friend with the power of levying fines and incarceration if Mr. Yearwood does anything that might disturb the little arachnid. From all appearances, John wants to stay on the right side of the law and comply with whatever is required of him, but that’s the problem: the EPA won’t specify what he can or can’t do on his own property. At this point, any activity on his land could conceivably get him into trouble with DC, so for now, the only way he’ll know that he’s done something wrong is when they come to arrest him. Until the federal bureaucracy is reigned in, Mr. Yearwood is left with little safe recourse but to leave his property unused while petitioning to get old Texella off the endangered species list. Until either of these things happens, he might as well own land on the moon; it’ll be as much use to him.

 

As a person formerly connected to the National Park Service, I am not unsympathetic to the cause of preserving endangered flora and fauna. Certainly, most Texans would likely want to preserve our native species for future generations to enjoy, if for no other reason. However, the Washington solution seems to follow a typical pattern of ham-fisted implementation and apathy to common courtesy and respect for the rights of land-owners. The EPA could work with local authorities and ranchers like Mr. Yearwood to find a compromise that is satisfactory to all concerned, perhaps providing generous compensation if nothing can be worked out, or at the very least providing specific guidance to those trying to get along under such unfortunate circumstances. Instead, the federal government does what it likes, indifferent to how many criminals they make out of the otherwise law-abiding. “We’re from Washington! Stinks to be You!” should be the EPA’s motto.

North Carolina May be Taking a Step Towards Independence

Photo attribution: By User:Zscout370 – File:Flag of North Carolina.svg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8385017

Here’s my latest article published in the Texian Partisan!

https://texianpartisan.com/north-carolina-may-taking-step-towards-independence/

 

North Carolina has a history of chaffing under its federal yoke. Those of us in Texas definitely know what they’re concerned with, such as the disrespect Washington shows for our democratic/republican process; the way it inserts itself into our lives, even in the most mundane areas; and the way it tries to shape our values against our will. Well, NC might be making a move to solve their problems with the federal bureaucracy, and permanently. North Carolina is considering re-legalizing secession in their state.

 

Many are under the impression that Lincoln winning the Civil War, a conflict that NC found itself on the losing side, ended any question of secession. However, this is not any more accurate than it is in a hypothetical case of a local sheriff appropriating someone’s house under false pretenses. His residing there owes more to his title and the gun on his hip than to any legal or moral authority that he may have.

 

The supreme law of US is the Constitution, and it assigns only limited authority to the federal government, outlining certain enumerated powers that are its alone. To punctuate this limitation we have the tenth amendment, which states that the “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Just in case there are any politicians reading this, I will simplify it. If the Constitution doesn’t explicitly give the federal government a power over the states, it doesn’t have it. Also, if the Constitution doesn’t explicitly forbid the states a power, then the states or the individual citizenry retain that power; this would include the power to leave the Union. Seems simple, right? Well it is, the logically/legally tortured Supreme Court decision, Texas v. White, notwithstanding. And even though politicians and judges have built careers on implementing or mitigating unconstitutional DC actions, that only means the law is being ignored, not that their actions are justified.

 

There is only one way for secession to be legally eliminated as an option for the people of any state, and that’s if they themselves give it up. This could come in a form of a ratified COTUS amendment or, as North Carolina has done, in a state constitutional restriction of that power. However, there seems to be enough discontent with the overreach of the federal government that the state is possibly rethinking the wisdom of such a decision.

 

According to an article from The News & Observer, Republicans (George Cleveland, Larry Pittman, and Michael Speciale) in NC’s House of Representatives proposed a bill to create a 2018 referendum that, if passed, would remove Article I sec. 4 of their state Constitution that says, “This State shall ever remain a member of the American Union; the people thereof are part of the American nation; there is no right on the part of this State to secede; and all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve this Union or to sever this Nation, shall be resisted with the whole power of the State.” This, combined with a few other planned tweaks to the CONC, would clear the only obstacle to NC leaving the Union and reclaiming her own independence.

 

A growing amount of states and citizens are now seriously considering full or partial independence measures. With such a trend, you’d think that the US government would be more motivated to make substantial reforms of federal power, but this is not the case. In fact, it is not altogether certain that such necessary changes to preserve freedom and avert the Union’s demise through fiscal mismanagement are even possible in its current sorry state. Even top-down invasive measures like Obamacare, far from being repealed already as was thought likely, the conversation has turned to how much of this unconstitutional law will the new Republican government retain.

 

As the US government seems locked-in to an authoritarian track, more and more states are realizing that their best option for preserving their freedom and economic solvency is independence. If North Carolina moves ahead with reviving the option of secession, for lack of true reform in DC, I guarantee that it won’t be the last.

The New Battle for the Alamo

Here’s my next article for the Texian Partisan!

https://texianpartisan.com/the-new-battle-for-the-alamo/

Beginning last Saturday, the Alamo once again became a battleground when members of the TNM Alamo Guard were prevented by the Alamo Complex Management from conducting their monthly memorial for the martyrs of the Texas Revolution.

For nearly four years, the Texas Nationalist Movement had been publicly remembering the Alamo in the form of a non-political and silent march to the Alamo door to lay a wreath of yellow roses. Besides being a tribute to the fallen heroes of Texas, the event was meant to spark cultural awareness in fellow Texans. However, on February 11, the TNM Alamo Guard was halted in the commencement of their monthly ritual by the Alamo Rangers, officials charged with the protection of the Alamo. Reluctantly and regrettably, they informed the Guard that they would no longer be allowed to continue this tradition.

“It felt like I’d been punched in the stomach,” said Chris Jacka, US Army veteran and Captain of the Alamo Guard. “It was so unexpected. I never thought that anything like that would ever happen, that it would be shut down in such a way.” Indeed, this action was quite a shock. Until that moment, the event had become a welcome fixture at the Alamo. Originally, the wreath was placed on public property in the plaza, however, it was the Alamo Rangers themselves that saw the benefit of such a ceremony and obtained special permission for the wreath to be placed instead at the chapel door.  And until last Saturday, there it remained. However, in changing this, there was no attempt to inform TNM beforehand, and this reversal seemed a baffling surprise for Texans who thought their service was wanted.

The reasons for this action have not yet been formally stated. However, the Chief Operating Officer, Ian Oldaker, a newly hired official and New York native, seems to have been the one issuing the order. The Texian Partisan has tried reaching out to Mr. Oldaker for comment, but he has not yet returned our contact.

According to sources, management had been doing away with many uses of the Alamo, such as weddings and personal affairs, with aims at the preservation of the historical site. Additionally, they’ve been rejecting its use in political demonstrations, including the request of an unnamed pro-Trump organization that wanted to have a rally at the Alamo. Unhappy that their request had been rejected, the pro-Trump org complained that their refusal was unfair due to the on-going allowance of the Alamo Guard’s memorial. As stated before, the AG’s observance was not political, rather cultural. In fact, when interviewed, Chris Jacka pointed out that in the interest clarifying that they had no political message, as well as wanting to foster good relations with Alamo management, the group acquiesced to the Alamo Ranger’s request last month that they not carry their TNM flag while performing their ceremony. Unfortunately, this was not enough. And contrary to the reported wishes of the Alamo Rangers and following the complaints of the fore-mentioned political group, the following month, Mr. Oldaker went ahead with shutting down the observance.

Since that Saturday, there have been many developments. The Texas Nationalist Movement released a statement and call-to-action concerning the event on their website. Afterwards, the story began circulating in social media. The word was getting out. Ultimately, few days later, TNM President Daniel Miller received a phone call from the Alamo COO. Apparently, management had been inundated by a great number of calls from Texans, including some Texas lawmakers, who all expressed their disapproval with dis-inviting the Alamo Guard. In short, Alamo management informed Mr. Miller that they were reversing their decision in forbidding the monthly memorial service. However, the exact details of this arrangement have yet to be worked out as of writing this.

While many applaud that the situation seems to be reaching a satisfactory resolution, it really is a shame that it happened in the first place. It could have been easily avoided had management taken the initiative to reach out to TNM before last Saturday. However, not all blame rests with the Mr. Oldaker. The incident with the Alamo Guard is only the latest issue involving the custodianship of the Alamo, and its roots go back a few years.

Originally, the responsibility of caring for the Alamo belonged to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. However, after accusations of mismanagement, the state of Texas wrested control of the Alamo from the DRT, the group without which the Alamo would have long ago been reduced to rubble. Though the DRT fought the action, ultimately the Alamo was put under the stewardship of the General Land Office and its commissioner, George P. Bush, who would also come to serve as the chair for the Alamo Endowment.

The Texas GLO take-over of the historic site, which addressed arguably legitimate concerns, was unfortunately not the end of this story. Next came the application and subsequent July 2015 approval of UNESCO “world heritage site” status for the Alamo. The move was supported by prominent politicians, like Bush, but opposed by other GOP Texans who, according to a report in the Guardian, were concerned with possible ramifications associated with “granting jurisdiction and sovereignty over Texas’ cultural sites to any international body”. Rightly so, because with accepting the cooperation of the United Nations comes the strings of the UN. Additionally, the law, as written, leaves the door open to taking what amounts to holy ground for Texans and putting it under the control of the federal government, a legal entity that has shown increasingly that is at best indifferent to the concerns of Texans, and at worst at odds with them.

Inherent in the dangers of outside control of the Alamo is the risk that the presentation of the Alamo’s story could be perverted. There have been rumors of political interests trying to seize control of the Alamo narrative to reflect a more politically-correct view. Instead of the story of Texian revolutionaries resisting the tyranny of a Mexican dictator and his suspension of the rights of all Mexican citizens living in Texas, it could easily become the sympathetic story of General Antonio López de Santa Anna, tragically failing in defending his country from usurpers and interlopers. In fact, it may go as far as to depict the Texas Revolution as racial war between Anglos and Latinos. Such revisions of history are not unheard of, despite such a premise ignoring the thousands of Tejanos who fought for Texas independence against Mexico, men like the revolutionary hero Juan Seguin or the Texian founding father José Antonio Navarro. Without pro-Texas management, the cradle of Texas independence could become just another prop for racial/political agitation.

For those that think such a thing could never happen, it is important to note that this sort of naked racial politics has already occurred with the UN. Recently, UNESCO was involved in another controversy, this time regarding holy sites in Israel. According to a report from FoxNews, UNESCO was criticized by the Israeli government for crafting a document that “denies Judaism’s deep ties to” the temple mount, while affirming Islamic ties. To have that same sort of political framing to the story of the Alamo would be divisive for Texans, grossly misleading, and distracting from the important lessons that the Alamo represents: selfless service and defiance of governmental tyranny.

For now, the key consideration of the Alamo Guard being allowed to render honors to Travis, Bowie, Crockett, and the other noble Texian forebears may be addressed, but the problem of this most sacred of Texas sites losing its control to foreign powers, whether Washington or the UN, that struggle is just beginning. Hopefully what began with the Alamo Guard, enough concerned Texans speaking out and getting the powers-that-be to back down from their ill-conceived decisions, perhaps that can continue, rousing law makers in Austin to recognize the dangers of yielding Texan shrines to outside authorities. Then, maybe the legislature will abandon similar future plans for Texas historical sites and take action against existing myopic laws, safeguarding the sacred heritage of Texas for future generations.

President Fail: Bidding Good Riddance to Barack Obama.

The twentieth of January is upon us, the end of a four-year cycle. This means that later today, the USA will have a new chief executive. Many people are looking forward to the forth-coming installation, either with gladness or grief, but for me the day holds one flicker of eager anticipation: the end of the reign of President Barack Obama. As he leaves office, there are so many retrospectives already written that go into the details of his eight years, both critical and in praise of; I won’t do that here. What I will do is openly reflect on what the Obama’s Presidency has meant to me, as well as give what few general highlights important enough to mention from his misbegotten management.

When Barack Obama was inaugurated, I didn’t feel grief-stricken nor celebratory. Though I wasn’t a supporter, I did have an appreciation for the historicity of the first non-white President taking office. I think many were, at least in some small way, desirous of this, even if (like myself) one didn’t think race added much to one’s inherent qualifications. For the most part, it was a bit like routing for an underdog football team, and for no other reason than that a win for them would mean more than for a perennial victor. Still, beyond this was the whispered promise that his election and leadership might deliver something towards making race in the U.S. more insignificant. This was tantalizing, to have a national catharsis of racial grievance, allowing the American people to move past the pain of the past and start viewing each other as individuals rather than groups. I don’t know exactly how much hope I held for this, but I was open to its possibility. Undoubtedly, believing such an idea was encouraged in the Obama camp. However, I certainly didn’t predict Obama being the active participant in furthering racial polarization that he turned out to be. Call it naivety, but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

In addition to Obama’s failure on being (as Colin Powell put it) a “transformative figure” for the country, the achievements of the Obama administration are abhorrent. Because he was too weak a President to work within the existing legal structures, and since his lack of humility precluded his working with the loyal opposition to hammer out any real compromises, most of his legacy was written on an etch-a-sketch rather than chiseled in stone. That which will survive Obama’s Presidency is the damage he’s caused. He matched the worst recession since the 1920’s with the worst recovery since the same, and this while he held all the cards of government. He played fast a loose with the law, illicitly rewriting passed legislation and ruling through executive fiat. He politicized departments of the executive, such as the Justice Department and the IRS, becoming the reality of what was feared under Nixon. He illegally expanded the powers of the Presidency, setting precedent that he now passes to incoming President Trump and any successors. With his party, he greatly increased the authority of the federal government over the ordinary citizen, taking decision-power out of their hands in unprecedented ways. He doubled the national debt, enlarging it to such an extent that it now exceeds our own GDP. He engineered the US’s decline in the world, emboldening our enemies while discouraging our allies. He squandered our military victories abroad, birthing new threats, leaving a world on fire for his lack of steadfast leadership. He crusaded against nuns and people of conscience while praising and coddling murderous dictators. His administration was fraught with incompetence and scandal. He leaves behind a government more corrupt, life more difficult and expensive, and the citizenry less free. And in a seeming farewell rebuke, he is pardoning and commuting the sentences of as many rapists, terrorists, traitors, and murderers as he thinks prudent, unleashing them upon us and the world. One would almost think that this was his way of rewarding a country for failing to grasp his dubious splendor.

The reason for the almost complete fiasco of Obama is a doctrinal one. If a computer has faulty programming, it can only produce error. Obama’s blind faith to progressive philosophy, beliefs that proceed from false premises and lack of understanding, guaranteed that he would repeatedly miss the mark. However, like a bad factory machine left unrestrained to churn out monstrosity, he continued as planned, sure that the results he wanted would come despite failure being his constant companion. For as weak as Obama was, his political adversaries were still weaker and could not, or would not, stop him. In Obama we have a superlative example of the terrible nexus of confidence and incompetence demonstrated in the way that only power can tell.

I don’t know how the eye of history will judge the Obama administration. Who can know what historians will dispassionately record when distanced from a contemporary media and academia that are determined to make the first black US President a resounding success, even if they must change the English language to do so? Nevertheless, this is my epitaph for the Presidency of Barack Obama: few US Presidents (perhaps none) were swept into power with higher approval, well-wishing, and (dare I say) hope; and no other President failed as badly to justify his people’s faith in him as did he. Obama leaves the USA and the world worse off for his inept stewardship than when he came in, by every estimation that matters. I can’t say that I’m glad to see him go; glad’s not the right word. I mourn the fact that he ever was President. His absence is welcome, but can never truly compensate for all the mischief he’s made in this country. The Trump Presidency’s history has yet to be written, but Barack Hussein Obama is leaving the bar for an American President so very low that it will be a challenge for Trump to fall beneath it. Time will tell if Trump meets that challenge or not.

 

– Ryan Thorson