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17 April 2010


RL Crabb

I never heard of Shasta before. Do they mean the State of Jefferson, which also included parts of Southern Oregon?

They left out The Republic of Rough and Ready also, but I guess seceding from the Union doesn't count.

John Costello

Rather than try to divide the country it might make more sense to become a federal republic here the differing states can experiment to their hearts's content. Oh, that's what we're supposed to be.


Who will subsidize the newly liberated Alaskans? The Teabag states, being welfare cases themselves, can't afford to...

Huge fan of these types of ideas. At very least to subvert the gross imbalance of power favoring rural America in the Senate, which allows them to vote themselves redistributed wealth from the cities...

George Rebane

John, I thought so too. But as you read from our friends on the left, the federal government has now pretty well eliminated states' rights. And prosperity lies just ahead as soon as we raise taxes some more while having the government take over more of the economy. Bit businesses will love it since they know they'll be ensconsed in a managed market with no competition. Think of Siemens and Krupp in the 1930s.

Wade - the Alaskans and farmers will then have to do without all the money that Obama voters have been sending them over the years. Tell them to go pound sand. Apropos your comment on 'We Remain Unstimulated' that welcomes the GD, what are the parameters of a broadly acceptable GD framework?


The parameters? I have a few ideas.

1) Let's recognize that many states are political fictions in the first place - squares on a map drawn at a time when political power was thought to derive from real estate rather than polity, a distinctly feudal, un-democratic notion with which we are still saddled today. There is no compelling reason that North and South Dakota should be separate political entities, much less wield almost 1/10th of the power vested in the Senate. Throw in Nebraska and Wyoming and you have massive over-representation for a population that is dwarfed by a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn. So collapse these.

2) City states. There is also no compelling reason for NYC to be shackled to Albany. Aptly described as "an island off the coast of America," NYC should be like Hong Kong used to be. Ditto for many other large, economically successful urban areas.

3) Virtual city states. Non-contiguous political entities. Either for purposes of political representation within an American federation or in the context of Great Divide separation. It's about people and economies, not acreage.

4) What would the complexion of our government look like if the West Coast had as many states as the East Coast? You wouldn't hear so much nonsense about "center-right country" that's for sure.

Steven Frisch

George, I love the illusions to Siemens and Krupp. I wonder how many of your readers understand that what you were really saying was that liberalism leads to genocide? That's a pretty nasty thing to say, and cloak in semantics, so you have plausible deniability as to its real meaning. This is a prime example of how you insinuate evil then deny saying it later.

You are the Orwellian.

Steve Enos

"farmers will then have to do without all the money that Obama voters have been sending them over the years"...?

Farmers don't get much money but corporate Ag sure has and does. So George, it's Obama voters that have given all the money to corporate Ag? You must be joking!

Dixon Cruickshank

The Conch Republic will rise again! Margaritas for everybody - with salt please

George Rebane

SteveF - no allusions or cloaking intended or achieved. I have a pretty sharp cadre of readers. But for the outliers, if any, I meant to say exactly that modern (not classical) liberalism will inevitably lead us down the collectivist path to a totalitarian government of the kind that has practiced the recorded historical democides.

SteveE - perhaps you have not followed this thread. A read of SteveF's and Wade's points makes it clear that it is they who maintain that Obama's voters have borne the burden of wealth transfer. And it is their concern as to how the conservatives would fare if such sustenance would be removed through, say, implementation of a Great Divide.

(I find the development of this line of argument delightful.)

Steve Enos

George, it was you that posted... "farmers will then have to do without all the money that Obama voters have been sending them over the years".

Thwn I post "Farmers don't get much money but corporate Ag sure has and does. So George, it's Obama voters that have given all the money to corporate Ag?"

That's what I posted and that's the question I asked you in response to what you stated... so is there a reply to what I asked?


Yes, we all understand the Siemens / Krupps stuff. Hitler = Pelosi. Canadian health care is genocide. Whatever. *Yawn* Beck/Goldberg/Malkin et al play around with this stuff - the dumbest / most disingenuous people involved in our modern political discourse. The Sharptons of the right. I mean honestly there's not much discussion to be had here. To wit:

"Chuck Schumer is Pol Pot! and Goebbels!"

"Hahahaha... oh, wait. You're serious. Uh, no. He isn't."

"Kucinich murdered a BILLION PEOPLE!!!"

"You're off by a billion."

"Well, he's going to in the future because he thinks the top marginal tax rate should be somewhat higher!!!"

"Wha? OK, bye-bye."

Anyhoo, I too find this Great Divide stuff delightful as well. The example closest to home is the bitter hue and cry among hardcore conservatives out in ranch country over the fairly new urban train. These people actually think they are funding urban transit with their tax dollars when the net flow is clearly into the rural counties rather than out of them. No amount of figures or actual data will convince them. It's hilarious and also kind of sad. They love to point out that the train isn't *profitable*. Like the rural road and highway system is presumably...

Can someone point out anything in the country that is more pure socialism than blood-red Alaska's collective ownership of oil and related wealth redistribution through government?

Bring on the Divide.

George Rebane

SteveE - I attempted to summarize the wealth transfer arguments of SteveF and Wade. Do I believe that Obama's voters are the major contributors of the wealth that gets transfered to farmers of all sizes? No.

Mikey McD

I agree with Wade, "Bring on the Divide."

George, have any of the progressives on your blog every denied the FACT that the progressives of the past murdered hundreds of millions of their own people for the collective good?

Steven Frisch

You are hallucinating dude. Hitler, Stalin. Mao and Lenin were not "progressives", and for you to use that descriptor to demean the efforts of others is propaganda in the vein of the Joseph Goebbels school of propaganda. You are so clearly the fascists here it is disgusting.

Account Deleted

Steven - How can a person champion individual liberties as found in the Bill of Rights and want a govt run as the Constitution demands and at the same time, be a fascist? Mikey is not demeaning modern, well meaning progressives, he is showing what happens to that type of governance. Any time you start working towards the "collective good" you have gone off a cliff that has only one ending. Mao and Stalin and Hitler did not start out to kill anyone. Lots of well meaning Americans, who were proud to call themselves progressives, backed Mao, Stalin and even Hitler well past the time it was obvious it had all gone bad. You can only "help" people through forced wealth transfer for so long and then you have run out of wealth to transfer and created a huge class of helpless, restive citizens. It always happens, always will. The govt. has then painted itself into a corner and the only way out becomes some kind of ugliness. No one is saying that Obama wants to kill anyone, but his policies, if followed will lead to rioting and violence at some point, if not worse. I know many find him to be very intelligent, but the more I hear him and see his actions, I think he is only very clever, but too much an egotist and certainly no student of history.

George Rebane

Mikey - the anti-capitalist ideas of Marx and Engels gave rise to the formation of political groups that united themselves under the banner of progressivism. It was a new way to organize society which attracted people from both the Repubs and Dems. The root of Bolshevism, Nazism, and progressivism was the same. The Nazis had to differentiate themselves from the communists because of the German fetish with national socialism and the inclusion of many Jews in the Soviet leadership. Goebbels diaries record how this conundrum was finally solved. In the US and western Europe, the progressives were blatantly pro-communist and pro-USSR through the 20s and 30s. The progressives were also isolationists and allied with the America First people during the first two years of WW2. It was in June 1941 when Hitler launched Barbarossa against Stalin that the American progressives became rabid promoters of America's entry into the war. They didn't have long to wait until Pearl Harbor sealed America's commitment.

Bottom line - progressivism is a renamed form of Marxism that has always flown in as close a formation to socialism/communism as the American political winds would allow. Now they are blowing hard toward the Left, and the progressives would very much like to forget/rewrite last century's history to recast it as a pure 'born in the USA' political movement.


I think what we're getting at here is Civil War dead? I mean, the Russians, Chinese, Rwandans, Serbs, Cambodians, Iraqis, blah blah blah are progressives? Hahaha, please. Or are we upset about the "progressive" North killing a bunch of hillbilly racist slavery apologist traitor secessionists a couple of centuries ago? Other than that we don't have any examples of American progressives killing lots of people except for foreign Nazis, Fascists, and Communists.

Somebody please explain how slightly higher marginal tax rates, legal abortion, and public infrastructure investment equals genocide? Anybody? Glenn Beck says it's because some "progressives" once believed in eugenics. That + a Metrocard will get you a ride on the subway. Anybody got anything real?

Scott - Really? American "progressives" backed Hitler? Franco maybe too? Hirohito? Got a link? American progressives have always killed fascists. American conservatives have supported them. This modern Republican conflation of fascism with leftist politics is part of the NO DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT IS LEGITIMATE movement or "The Teabaggers."

Which policies will "lead to rioting?" Increasing the troop levels in Afghanistan? Lowering taxes on the middle class? Making fun of Sarah Palin?

Here is the history of forced wealth transfer in the US from 81-05:


Mikey McD

Steven, folks name call when they are defeated = "You are so clearly the fascists here it is disgusting."

By definition my pro-liberty ideology makes me the the exact opposite of fascist. However, history supports the FACT that progressivism often (always?) leads to totalitarian governments (slavery, death, evil).

Scott and George are right on!

In addition to the lack of liberty we already have... the new healthcare bill will be the foundation for the government to control what we eat, how we eat, where we eat, what procedures will be 'covered', what age is considered 'ripe', etc. Hilter and his ilk did not go zero-to-evil in 1 day...it's progressive- ha!

Mikey McD

Steven, listen to yourself... calling the man promoting liberty a fascist... Am I forcing freedom on people at gunpoint? How can one be promoting individualism/personal liberty and an authoritarian nationalist at the same time?

I just want to be left alone. I just want to live free (from slavery). I don't want to tell you what to do or how to live. I don't want to work for government half the year for policies and wars I don't agree with.

RL Crabb

Did the progressives kill all the Indians too?

George Rebane

Nah Bob, killing Indians was probably the last truly bipartisan policy and joint project, and to think that it all happened before the progressives got themselves organized in the late 1800s. But betcha dollars to donuts that the great super-progressive George Bernard Shaw would have extended those pogroms into the 20th century.

Steven Frisch

The answer to Scott and Mikey is really quite clear. It is this simple: No man is an island. We do not live in a "state of nature".

We are members of a society, governed by laws and a constitution, and processes designed to accommodate multiple points of view. The constitution, and its interpretation, is not owned by any one individual, political philosophy or point of view. It is owned by all of us.

I want to leave you alone. I want you to be free. I don't want to tell you what to do. I don't want you to have to pay taxes.

But we live in a society, where we live together, and we are dependent upon each other for our freedoms, for our livelihoods, for our security. We are joined by a common cultural and historical legacy. We share a common interest in stable peaceful governance.

When your interpretation of the constitution infringes upon my hard fought liberties, liberties that have been developed over hundreds of years of common experience, I will fight to defend those liberties, just like you will. That is why we have had a system in place for more than 220 years to cool those passions through a legislative branch, judicial branch and executive branch. We agree as part of the social contract to act together to maintain social order.

Many of the polices and ideas that you are so adamant about repealing or rolling back were created through entirely legal and constitutional means over the last 220 years, and are established in our laws. I depend upon many of those ideas and laws for my security, livelihood and freedom. I am not willing to give them up.

There are a number of laws, polices and practices that I strongly disagree with.

We are the same.

The language, actions and ideas that the Tea Party movement, their adoption of the language of violence and revolution, their message of resistance and repeal of hard fought civil and social liberties, threatens my security, and threatens the rights of my family, friends and neighbors.

I will not stand back and allow that to happen unchallenged.

I must note than no one in the previous threads rebutted the direct language in both the constitution and legal precedent that I quoted to supported those liberties, and the policies that implement them.

I ask you, how do you expect to overturn 220 years of interpretation of the constitution, including the hare brained idea of succeeding from the union, a policy that has been deemed unconstitutional, without fomenting revolution?

I am on record here. You want to change the constitution, do it through legal means. We can meet in the legislature, in the courts, in the polling booth. You want to complain after you loose the battle at the ballot box, in the courts and in the legislature go ahead and protest. But you are governed by the law just like anyone else and start talking about going to extra legal means and I am not going to support that. I will fight it and support my security.

You see my friend on this you are the radical and I am the conservative.

George Rebane

No one here has asked to do anything un- or extra-constitutional.

Steve Frisch

No? Succession is un constitutional.

Mikey McD

Steven, I don't accept any of your accusations. It is odd to me that you could rationalize opposing a liberty movement by saying that it threatens your liberty... I must assume that your 'rights' are not 'rights' in my world.

"The language, actions and ideas that the Tea Party movement, their adoption of the language of violence and revolution, their message of resistance and repeal of hard fought civil and social liberties, threatens my security, and threatens the rights of my family, friends and neighbors."

Could you take each point and elaborate?

Never in American history has a more peaceful, civil and respectful protesting body existed (fears of violence perpetuated by MSM have NEVER materialized, accusations of racial slurs never occurred, etc). Never before have tens of millions of passionate Americans come together with no violence whatsoever... there is more violence at a Raider football game.

George Rebane

SteveF - single state secession has been ruled unconstitutional. For multiple states, the Supremes have stated that "consent of the states" would lead to a situation where secession would succeed. But all this is now academic. The national dialogue preceeding GD would come up with a solution or not. A possible solution that all would agree to would involve amending the Constitution so as to permit what was agreed. All would proceed along the permissions now contained in the Constitution.

The only thing unconstitutional would be the arbitrary inhibition of launching the public dialogue to explore the means and methods of implementing a Great Divide.

Steve, if we can get beyond your notion that I and the national commentators I cite are fomenting violent revolution, then we could start a very productive GD dialogue. I would even welcome a byline opening piece from you as to why you consider the GD to be inimical along any dimension(s) you care to include.

Cubby Hemp

Succession is unconstitutional so that's a wet dream. However, I know many times I've heard the expression, 'America - love it or leave it'. Perhaps if Tea Baggers don't like what's going on, they could move somewhere that shares their radical, supernatural beliefs. Like Iran.

Steven Frisch

It sis this simple, you have a narrow 18th century mind set about the constitution in a 21st century world. Eventually the two will conflict, and modernity will win.

The similarity between American constitutionalists clinging to faux, historically inaccurate 18th century ideals and islamic reactionaries clinging to a 16th century interpretation of the Koran is striking.

George Rebane

SteveF - I join literally millions of Americans who have the same mindset that you ascribe to me. I understand you to say that the educated liberal considers any dialogue on the subject of GD to be an unproductive undertaking, and therefore will not participate in it. Although I disagree with your conclusion, I fully respect your right to state and live by it.

We probably could have arrived at this terminus by a shorter path. I apologize if it was my being dense that prolonged the trek. FYI, I will continue posting ideas, both liberal (e.g. those of Wade and his mindset) and conservative, on the merits and methods of achieving GD. Your critique of them all will continue to be most welcome.

Steven Frisch

Mikey, I have been elaborating on those points for weeks here. It really is no use with you. I just implore fellow readers to not let you guys get away with lying and spinning this bull**&^ every day.

We just need to stand up to you guys for the interim. The tide of history is against you. You will almost all go away once you have jobs again.


Mikey McD

Steven, you are a very rude, unhappy and miserable man who's goal appears to be to make others feel the same. We push for liberty and freedom and for some reason your government dependent soul hates us for it.

I called you out on your accusations regarding the Tea Party movement and all you do is issue personal attacks. The Patriots are peaceful (so far) tax paying American's that believe in freedom- I am sorry that you desire otherwise for yourself and my children.

I had wished (like George and the others) to explore the GD with far left folks for many reasons... I guess that may not be possible. Maybe there is too great a divide already?

RL Crabb

That's right, Mikey. Like I said a few weeks ago, arguing with you guys is impossible, and your counterparts on the left aren't any better. Too bad. It's a great country, but for how much longer?

Steven Frisch

I fail to see how imploring people to stand up to your spin is rude. Sorry, the rude factor is out in force on your side when you tell people to shove a gavel up their p**p chute. Do I see you correcting Dixon on that? Or Russ calling people idiots, or George saying people are crazy? No. Because you hold your compatriots to one standard and your opponents to another. I am actually quite a happy guy.

If you live in a glass house, which you guys do, you should not throw stones.

Mikey McD

RL Crabb, my sincere apologies. I am not interested in "arguing" I just want a civil debate. I am extremely interested in this subject (GD). What I have gathered from this thread so far:
1.) there is a big enough difference (backed by passion) in ideology to support a great divide movement between collectivists and libertarians.
2.) Each side (collectivists and libertarians) believe that their ideology could thrive independent of the other.

This thread has not been unproductive.

RL Crabb

To what end, Mikey? A hypothetical daydream that has as much chance of happenning as me starting a unicorn ranch. Of course both of you think your model is sustainable and better than the other. Big surprise.

Mikey McD

Crabb- On the contrary I think this thread shows ("Of course both of you think your model is sustainable and better than the other") that such a divide would be welcomed by many among us and therefore is plausible on some level. This divide could happen without pigs flying, hell freezing over or you starting a unicorn ranch. I have had several fellow Americans from all over the USA bring the subject of the GD into discussions.

Makes one wonder what our world would look like if the southern states succeeded in their wars of independence years ago?

Steven Frisch

Its a unicorn ranch. A pipe dream. A confederacy of dunces.


Frisch takes the low road (again).

Steven Frisch

Of course the sentence "a confederacy of dunces" was an reference to the great novel by John Kennedy Toole.
The title refers to a quote by Jonathan Swift, which states that you can identify genius by the dunces who confederate against them. In my arcane literary reference I was both pointing out the folly of our own belief in the supremacy of our ideas, and smoking out the Sara's of the world, who blindly join in the that confederacy.

Is that low enough for you?

By the way are you the host of the web site that opens when one clicks on the active link on your name above? The one titled "obama lies" and spells Obama's name with a hammer and sickle? And you are lecturing me on the low road?

Account Deleted

Steven, could you please elaborate on what liberties I would take away from you? Taxes, for example. No one here thinks we don't have to pay taxes. You just made that up. If I want to be protected from paying ever-increasing taxes, how does that take away from your right to pay all the taxes you'd like to? Also - "When your interpretation of the constitution infringes upon my hard fought liberties". Hard fought? Sounds a bit violent - anyway, I'd love to know what I've advocated that would threaten you, or your rights?

RL Crabb

This is a test. Having trouble posting.

RL Crabb

When I was a teenager, I read a novel called "What if the South had won the Civil War?" In it, the South wins, continuing slavery until the end of the 19th century when mechanization eliminates the need for slave labor. Before that, Texas secedes and becomes an independent nation. At the onset of WWII, the states realize they must reunite to save the world from facism. Everything turns out great.

In the real world, things never go the way we think they will. I can just see us trying to do a forced relocation program like India/Pakistan. Mikey, are you willing to pull up stakes and move to Idaho?

There was another fanciful novel called "Ecotopia" where Northern California, Oregon and Washington split from the U.S. Another water pipe dream.

Diversity has always been our strength. It keeps us on our toes and forces us to pay attention to what our government is doing for and to us. These monolithic models sound good in theory, but I don't think I want to live in either of them.

Steven Frisch

Of course that does not take in to account that millions of people would be held in an abysmal state of servitude, violence, and pain for another 2 generations.

I agree with RL Crabb here: you never know what will happen.

Account Deleted

Steven - Please see my post above. I would really be interested in what I have advocated that would threaten your security and liberties. And as far as some kind of physical divide to solve the issue of differing world views, I think that the original concept of the "united" states was that very thing. No one one would be forced to go anywhere. You would opt to go where you felt most comfortable if you didn't like the state you were in. Each state would be a laboratory that would show how different ideas of governance work out. California seems to be doing a good job of showing how not to do it.

RL Crabb

Isn't that how it works now, Scott? I'm sure we both know many people who have left California for greener pastures, and not just Republicans.

Michael Anderson


George Rebane

Thanks for that last URL MichaelA. One does not have to agree with all the points of view that the author documents for the adherents of GD to realize that the entire notion of GD is now a growing nationwide debate. I continue to be amazed by a the number of our local readers who still think that GD is simply an ill-conceived idea that is promoted by a few misguided Nevada County residents. A wider reading horizon would serve.

ps. I'm back from the unconnected world.

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