Happy Dependence Day

It’s been a while since I’ve put out any musings on this blog. It’s just been difficult to pull myself away from the work I’ve been doing with the Texas Nationalist Movement and Texian Partisan, both as both editor and contributor.

Anyway, today is July 4th, and folks are out celebrating… something. They may be enjoying family & friends, experiencing the joys of the grill, or endulging their enthusiasm for explosives, but few (I’d wager) are really seriously contemplating independence and the hard fought Liberties of the 1776 vintage.

And why should they? We’ve come a long way since Valley Forge. Concerns of tyranny and concepts like the sovereignty of the individual have become passé. In fact, we’ve largely gotten used to the expansive idea of government, so much so that the idea of independence has lost much of its meaning today.

In all honesty, how many of us truly want to be independent? Do we vote that way, expecting the politicians we empower to reduce government for the preservation of Liberty and society, or do we just want ours? To many, in action if not in word, we really don’t want Washington out of our lives, do we?

Ultimately, we seem quite content to continue our infantalization. We want the government to, as Hillary Clinton put it, to “take care of [us],” despite pontification to the contrary. Given a chance, we wouldn’t part with a single federal regulation overseeing the condition of our hamster ball. We actively refuse to forgo the many ways D.C. subsidizes us; let the future generations figure out how to pay for it! Of course, you can just forget about a popular movement calling for government to scale back to constitutional proportions, being able to only do those things that only it should do, leaving us to be responsible for our own choices. I mean, who wants responsibility?

The destructive cost of all this government is another thing. Politicians of both sides know that we can’t afford continuing the kind of patronage (aka entitlements) that Washington tosses out like so much parade-route candy, robbing us of our autonomy and binding our future to its tender mercies. Both parties refuse to reform our spending beyond negligible cuts to future increases, nor will they pay back debt which is set to reach $30 trillion in less than 10 years. Spending continues to grow, and our debt has amassed to proportions beyond what hoped-for economic growth can remedy. Our debt has become like the ocean: so big you can ignore its unfathomable depths… until the storm comes, and it always does.

Does any intelligent person really think that nothing will happen if this continues, if we carry a national debt multiple times our GDP? Do any really think that American exceptionalism means that we are not bound by the same economic laws as all other countries in all of the history of the world? Of course, it would be nice, if such a thing weren’t just an incredibly stupid fantasy of a Union that has long since lost the political will to save itself! Heck, I’d settle for just me being able to run up my personal debt without any consequences! But in reality, both persons and nations must pay the piper.

Meanwhile, our fatuous politicians tell us cutting back wouldn’t be compassionate, and very few are willing to try even the most modest of reductions, afraid of being demonized. But who among them wonders how many people will they be able to bestow compassion upon when the economy collapses? And instead of facing this reality and acting accordingly, our ruling class engages in fantasy, remaining stupidly optimistic that our problems will either fix themselves, or (more likely) holding fast to the hope that they’ll be out of office, that it won’t be their problem when it all goes down.

From top to bottom, we are a nation of heroin junkies, with our proverbial smack being other people’s money. Our leaders crave the power gained from giving stolen gifts, and are unwilling to stop; and the voters cooperate, craving the gifts given, loyally voting for the politicians who deals them. We are content to let the politicians bribe us with our own money (or other people’s), with zero concern that government is on a destructive path, but rather focusing our energies to ensure that our side is the one distributing the goodies to the faithful. Rule of law, limited government, individual Liberty and responsibility are quickly forgotten in the face of partisan victory, assuming they were ever valued in the first place.

There are yet a few more years left in the Union, a little more road to kick that can down, a little more flat top before the cliff side opens up before our plummeting vehicle. Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying there’s hope, or that the Union will be saved. That’s not going to happen. We’re far too busy playing the power game, with one side celebrating that their boy made Captain of the sinking ship, and the other side plotting his removal. Yet, while the U.S. diligently tries to fix its hull-breach with a pick-axe, I and others will continue our steady work to man the lifeboat Texas, hoping that an independent Texas will pull back from the brink whereas the other 49 would not. But, for the time being, for what it’s worth, happy July fourth; happy dependence day. Enjoy it now, because it’s not likely to be here tomorrow.

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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.