Journalists don’t really know how to talk about secession:
For example, look at how The Root is describing the proposed incorporation of St. George in East Baton Rouge Parish:
The rich, white folk who live in Baton Rouge, La., want to secede and form their own town called St. George.
Or at least that’s how their critics are articulating the initiative, the BBC reports. The secession, of sorts, is being sold as a well-intentioned plan that will allow St. George’s hypothetical residents to gain more control over how their tax dollars are being spent to improve public education and other services. But because St. George’s racial makeup would be 70 percent white, skeptics are seeing the initiative as nothing more than a new-age attempt at white flight or a gerrymandering of sorts.
The problem is, St. George isn’t part of Baton Rouge city, it’s part of East Baton Rouge Parish, and they just want to form a new city within it.
Two treaties, between Hawaii and Spain, and Hawaii and Denmark, which Hawaiian independence advocates claim are still in force.
You know why I love Examiner.com? Because their “Honolulu Political Buzz Examiner” is Michael Salla, who also runs an institute on political relations with extra-terrestrials. Anyway, for what it’s worth he and others are claiming that the feds are going ahead with their plan to recognize the native ancestry roll as a federal tribe. Virtually no Hawaiian independence advocates support the effort.
La Raza helpfully letting people know where they can vote without an ID on Tuesday.
SOVEREIGN CIVIL SERVICE WATCH: This journal article by Michael J. Glennon called “National Security and Double Government” is a must-read (review). None of the elected branches of government are actually in charge. Jordan Michael Smith has an interview:
IDEAS: What evidence exists for saying America has a double government?
GLENNON:I was curious why a president such as Barack Obama would embrace the very same national security and counterterrorism policies that he campaigned eloquently against. Why would that president continue those same policies in case after case after case? I initially wrote it based on my own experience and personal knowledge and conversations with dozens of individuals in the military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies of our government, as well as, of course, officeholders on Capitol Hill and in the courts. And the documented evidence in the book is substantial—there are 800 footnotes in the book.
IDEAS: Why would policy makers hand over the national-security keys to unelected officials?
GLENNON: It hasn’t been a conscious decision….Members of Congress are generalists and need to defer to experts within the national security realm, as elsewhere. They are particularly concerned about being caught out on a limb having made a wrong judgment about national security and tend, therefore, to defer to experts, who tend to exaggerate threats. The courts similarly tend to defer to the expertise of the network that defines national security policy.
The presidency itself is not a top-down institution, as many people in the public believe, headed by a president who gives orders and causes the bureaucracy to click its heels and salute. National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy. Many of the more controversial policies, from the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors to the NSA surveillance program, originated within the bureaucracy. John Kerry was not exaggerating when he said that some of those programs are “on autopilot.”
IDEAS: Isn’t this just another way of saying that big bureaucracies are difficult to change?
GLENNON: It’s much more serious than that. These particular bureaucracies don’t set truck widths or determine railroad freight rates. They make nerve-center security decisions that in a democracy can be irreversible, that can close down the marketplace of ideas, and can result in some very dire consequences.
Oh, and look, the New York Times tells us “Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required”
This Jamie Kirchick story is hilarious. Apparently Randy Scheunemann and Richard Spencer ran into each other on a ski lift and got into an argument, then the former apparently thought he could pull rank — he’s a former McCain advisor and partner at Orion Strategies, which lobbies on behalf of foreign governments — issuing an ultimatum that he’d leave unless they kicked Spencer out. They didn’t, so hopefully that serves as some embarrassment to Scheunemann. In the war between neoconservative foreign agents and white nationalists, the best possible outcome is that they bleed each other white.
Neo-Nazis and the Klan plan competing rallies in East Texas
Doug MacKinnon, who wrote a book on secession, has been fired from the Tampa Tribune. At the same time, left-wingers in Florida are considering forming their own state of South Florida. Isn’t that interesting? Luke Brinker, who watched my section with the diligence of a Stasi informant when he was at Media Matters, has it up at Salon. Digby finds this all very confusing.
Catalonia cancelled its official referendum, now Madrid wants them to cancel their un-official one too.
Argentina has a “Secretary of State for Falklands Affairs”
China bans underage religion in Xinjiang
FPJ on death squads and COIN
NED to China: What meddling in Hong Kong?
International Olympic Committee recognizes Kosovo
The case for kicking Toronto out of Canada
The complexities of Nigerian secession
A great secessionist internet prank in Russia:
The name of the Lower Volga People’s Republic republic echoes those of the two Kremlin-backed rebel governments which unilaterally seceded from Ukraine earlier this year after the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea: the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic. …
Probably, the Lower Volga declaration evoked the Ukrainian rebel republics as a satirical observation of the fact that President Vladimir Putin advocates federalism and balkanization in Ukraine while tightening central control over regional governments at home in Russia. But Astrakhan Oblast sits in a region with a separatist past. Comprising the Volga River delta the oblast’s capital is Astrakhan, sometimes called the southernmost outpost of the Russian world. To its east is the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. (Kazakhs make up 16% of the oblast population, and Volga Tatars another 7%; nearly all the rest are ethnic Russians.) To its southwest is the Republic of Kalmykia, a member of the Russian Federation populated by Asiatic people following Tibetan Buddhism who after the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly seceded under the leadership of their charismatic president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a chess grandmaster and self-described U.F.O. contactee who boasted of psychic powers and chummed around with dictators like Moammar al-Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein.
One of those things that seems like a contradiction but totally isn’t:
The subcontinent has arrived very far from where liberal democracy was supposed to lead us. The rock-bottom of exhibitionist ultranationalist behaviour can actually be found in the most “democratic” of us all, i.e. India. For this, one has to merely follow the shouting heads on New Delhi’s news channels. Egged on by the anchors, the appalling bombast of the participants reaches peak decibel when the talk turns to the South Asian neighbours, Pakistan in particular.
Localism as a brake on nationalism