Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where to start the discussion....a little Q&A

Where would you start a serious discussion about secession?

Gosh, what's a serious discussion these days? I don't suppose you'd use a blog. That’s slightly above an MTV talk show format, and way below an article in The Economist.  The blog doesn't seem like a serious forum. There are serious discussions all the time. At this point, the most serious of them should occur while consuming alcohol and tobacco. But all the folks I would like to have this conversation, a beer, and a cigar with are busy with their families right now, so the blog will have to do.

Where should the pressure for secession start?

Well, I suppose it should start with guys like me who are both fed up with the way things are, and have the courage to take little steps, at least, to get them changed. Notice I said little steps. Little guys like me aren't going to accomplish anything remarkable by starting an armed insurrection. In fact, little guys like me probably couldn’t even start an armed insurrection if they tried.  They could only create an "incident" that the feds could use to justify further depredations.

Remember the days around Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing? I was in grad school and was studying the rhetoric of the militia movement back then, so I know a little about it. Success in the secession movement is unlikely in any case, but failure is certain if we go the route of a self-proclaimed rebellion without the support of state and local government.  A dude, or even a bunch of dudes in camouflage shorts who play with cheap copies of an AR (or even the expensive real thing) on the weekend or who build fertilizer bombs are only going to make things worse, not better.  Just ask Guy Fawkes, or Timothy McVeigh.

Where should the concrete steps towards secession take place?

In Topeka, at the Statehouse. Remember, little guys can only make things worse on their own. Unless there's a huge catastrophe that turns our world into Mad Max's, we're going to have to work through channels. The state has plenary power. We're going to secede from the United States, not start a revolution like a bunch of Marxists/Maoists. We have to start by winning control in Topeka.

What's the first step in Topeka?

It's simple: the legislature needs to to set up a "Sovereignty Commission" to study the options. The Commission will develop and recommend the economic and political steps that need to be taken to protect the citizens of Kansas from federal depredations.  Secession need not be a foregone conclusion when the Commission is set up (we’ll look at “nullification” separately), but certainly, the Commission's considerations must include withdrawal from the union on terms that (for the Kansans' part) would allow us to live peaceably alongside those states that choose to remain in the union. The Commission will encourage and coordinate with similar commissions in other states. The Commission will also plan on how to defend the state if it is subject to foreign aggression following secession (e.g., the possibility of establishing an official state militia on the Swiss model).

There's no room in the Kansas budget for a new Commission, is there?

It would be cheap to fund such a Commission, at least in its early stages. All the legislature needs to start with are two paid employees, the seven or eight volunteer Commission members, and some money to award grants to economists and the like for the real work of drafting the report. It would probably mean a state expenditure of less than $1 million. I'll bet we spend less on this important project than on Sam Brownback's jet fuel. If we're really worried about where the money will come from, then pay for the Commission by discontinuing state printing of the hard-copy official court reporters. They're expensive, nobody uses them for legal research anymore, and they're not handsomely bound, so they don't even work as decorations on a bookshelf.

Does the Curmudgeon want to be on the Commission?

Nope. I'm not looking for a job as the executive director, or even a nonpaid appointment to the Commission. I value my privacy and my family’s private life, and I would accept no part in public life, given disclosure requirements as they are today.

Well, then, couldn’t the Koch brothers fund it?

Of course not. They're NeoCons. They are too heavily invested in the way things are to be interested in any real and meaningful change.

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