Timothy Snyder

Secession lagniappe

From Office of Hawaiian Affairs Kamana’opono Crabbe’s remarks at a press conference on Monday:

A second reason for my questions to Secretary Kerry stems from our Hawaiian community. My staff and I have held some 30 community meetings in the past two months regarding our proposed process to rebuild our nation. In that same period we also held two governance summits with key community leaders. At these gatherings, and in other virtual contexts, we heard repeatedly concerns about engaging in a process of rebuilding a nation when-following the research of many legal, historical, and political experts-our nation continues to exist in the context of international law.

Such concerns have led our community to request more time in the nation rebuilding process to have questions– such as I raised with Secretary Kerry– fully explored and shared with our people so that they can make well-informed decisions throughout the process.

The Hawaiian community needed to know that I was inquiring about the very matters they sought to bring forward. And this is the reason I felt it was imperative not only that I ask the questions but that the community be aware of the inquiry.

However, recognizing the gravity of the questions posed, I met with Chair Machado before making the letter public. I explained that my questions were a matter of due diligence and risk management to avoid OHA missteps in its nation rebuilding facilitation. I believed I had her consent to proceed with sharing publicly my letter to Secretary Kerry. Unfortunately, it is now apparent that we walked away from that meeting with a misunderstanding and misinformation.

Despite disagreements that will need to be worked out between myself and OHA’s trustees, I am certain that the Board and I stand firmly together in our commitment to do all that we appropriately can to reestablish a Hawaiian nation. I look forward to engaging with the trustees in the ho’oponopono, which Chair Machado graciously suggested, so that we can work collectively to Ho’oulu Uihui Aloha, to Rebuild a Beloved Nation.

We must succeed in our efforts for the good of our lahui, our community, and our families for generations to come.

Chairwoman Machado disputes that he consulted with her before sending the letter. The OHA trustees had a very interesting meeting on Thursday, with a big crowd supporting Crabbe. Related: The militarized Pacific.

From one of the translated letters of Tibetan prisoner Goshul Lobsang, written in prison, September 2012. He died on March 19:

I have no regrets, although all of a sudden, I may be compelled to separate from the path of life that [I have been treading along] with my beloved mother, siblings, wife and children. I may have to depart with [feelings] of cold, heavy sadness, but I have no sense of guilt in my heart.
My clear conscience is my only asset in this world. I don’t possess anything other than this, and I don’t need anything other than this.
[But] my only regret that weighs heavily on my heart is the lack of profound sense of solidarity among our people, because of which we are unable to achieve a strong unified stand.


In the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday, a letter to the editor written by a Republican name-checks Lincoln and asks:

The right-wing fanatics who would have the federal government hand over all public lands in Utah, Nevada, etc., remind me of the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. When would they like to hold the referendum on secession from the United States?

Chris Roth says the Cliven Bundy standoff is the harbinger of a new “silly season.” State legislators from a number of states are getting involved, including Matt Shea:

Four more county committees forming for the Jefferson statehood effort, one is working with Tea Party Patriots.


Nationalia looks at Yorkshire autonomy, the Bavarian Party’s attempt to get a representative in the European Parliament, and the Occitan Nation Party’s pro-stateless peoples (and pro-EU) message.

Ukrainian oligarch says no to secession.

Timothy Snyder and Leon Wieseltier are in Kiev this weekend.

Scottish Tory MEP says in an address supporting a Spanish unionist MEP that Scottish independence “would trigger a wave of secessionist movements across the EU.”

Israel clears up a rumor that they were going to transfer sovereignty of the tomb of David and the Cenacle to the Vatican.


Adam Gurri, “The Morality of Futility“:

 Our moral sphere should not be stretched beyond the scale appropriate for an individual human life. That does not mean that we are indifferent to suffering outside that scale, nor that there’s something wrong with giving to charity or volunteering. Telescopic as an adjective is meant more pejoratively than categorically; to reject telescopic morality is not to say that our concern for far matters should be reduced to zero, just as rejecting gluttony does not mean that we should stop eating entirely.

Nevertheless, I am very pessimistic about our ability to have a non-negligible impact on large scale and distant matters.

First Things on Quebec:

While generations of Québécois had felt estranged from a spiritually apostate France after the 1789 Revolution, this antirevolutionary ethos vanished during the 1960s. The French Revolution had begun when Louis XVI had convoked the Estates General. Shortly thereafter, the Third Estate, consisting of commoners, rose up and abolished the first two estates, representing the clergy and nobility, declaring itself l’Assemblée nationale, that is, the National Assembly.

In 1968, in an eerie echo of the events of nearly two centuries earlier, Québec similarly abolished the upper chamber of its provincial legislature, le Conseil legislatif, while the lower chamber, l’Assemblée legislative, changed its name to – you guessed it – l’Assemblée nationale! The French Revolution had finally caught up with La Belle Province. That same year saw the formation of the Parti québécois, which sought a wholly French-speaking nation separate from Canada.

David Harvey is extremely skeptical of Thomas Piketty’s Capital.

Trotskyite blames Indian communist parties for Modi’s election.

D.G. Hart on Ulster Presbyterians and protestant radicalism:

Political philosophers and historians have given lots of attention to Calvinism as an engine of modern liberal (read constitutional) politics. Whether it’s resistance theory, the Dutch rebellion, or the so-called Presbyterian revolution of the British colonies in North America, students of Calvinism believe they have a firm read on Reformed Protestant politics as an inherently rebellious outlook, one that won’t let any human authority encroach on the Lordship of Christ. (Why we didn’t celebrate 1861 along with 1776, 1689, and 1567 prior to getting right with race is a bit of an inconsistency.)

That sounds good in theory, and it certainly turns out Calvinist (New, Neo, or Denominational) in large numbers for Fox News. But it doesn’t make sense of history where context matters.

Justin Raimondo on the NSA:

The NSA’s “new collection posture,” as shown in the NSA documents reproduced in Greenwald’s book, is: “Sniff it all, know it all, collect it all, process it all, exploit it all, partner it all.” In short, they aim to abolish the concept of privacy – and if they are now targeting political “radicalizers,” as one of their documents puts it – not Al Qaeda, but American political dissidents – then our old republic is no more. The Constitution means nothing: the Bill of Rights is abolished, and we are living under a de facto “democratic” dictatorship. …

As it stands … anyone in America who has ever expressed a “radical” idea is now a potential target.

Nothing short of a revolution is going to reverse this monstrous reality. Whether it comes in a peaceful form – perhaps some combination of electoral and legislative action – in which the warlords of Washington are thrown out on their ears, or some other way is not for me to say. No one can know the future. What I do know, however, is this: one way or another, the monster must be slain.

Mark Meckler on the John Doe raids in Wisconsin:

… a partisan prosecutor launched “secret John Doe” investigations to terrify the entire conservative community and to remove them from the political conversation. Even though these Wisconsinites have been charged with nothing, they’ve been subjected to pre-dawn raids, warrants, subpoenas, and other harassment.