Thursday, December 27, 2012 reports that Joe Arpaio has gotten an award from the Sons of Confederate Veterans UPDATES:

I contacted and sent them documentation about the Nov./Dec. 2012 Confederate Veterans article about the award as well as the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) support of white supremacist ideology.

The article has just been run and you can read it at:

I will be doing updates to track the interest in this revelation.


Huffington Post has picked up the story.

Phoenix New Times, the weekly alternative paper has picked up the story.

This means people in Phoenix are going to know about this.

It is making local Phoenix television.

Now Joe Arpaio is being subject to ridicule.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Joe Arpaio accepts Law and Order Award from the Sons of Confederate Veterans

Joe Arpaio accepts award from the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), a group which advances arguments for white supremacy.

Full bibliographic reference. "Confederate Veteran," Nov./Dec. 2012, Vol. 70 No. 6, page 36, left column of photos and captions, 2nd item down. It is in the "Army of Trans-Mississippi," section of the magazine. The caption reads as follows: "The Sons of Confederate Veterans awarded the Law and Order Award to Maricopa County, AZ, Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the 2011 National Reunion and Convention in Montgomery, AL. AZ Division Commander Richard Montgomery, left, and Division Adjutant Curt Tipton presented the award to Sheriff Arpaio at his office in Phoenix, AZ. The picture shows the two SCV officials to his left and right and Arpaio holding the award.

This should show that the SCV isn't just a historical society but a political organization.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The re-election of Obama isn't going to help the neo-Confederates

The neo-Confederate think that the re-election of Obama will result in conditions that will inflame the public and get people supporting their neo-Confederate agenda. Not likely.The following is a link to a proposal to re-elect Obama to bring down the system.

Here is a link from the League of the South discussing the above proposal.

So this is what will happen. Over the next four years even conservatives who are entirely informed by Fox News will realize that Obama is a centrist Democrat. By 2016 government employees won't be walking around in drab green outfits with caps with a red star. There will be some good things and some bad things and it will be much like other presidential terms. The economy will be doing better as it usually does after a downturn. There won't be an Marxist apocalypse. Some conservatives will get quite disappointed by 2015 when Obama doesn't do something extremely radical. Then in January 2017 Obama will be retired from the presidency. Some conservatives will realized they were all worked up over nothing. Yes there was somethings about the Obama administration they didn't like, but nothing like they were expecting.

Criticizing Obama doesn't mean a person is racist. However, there has been something shrill and hysterical about some of the criticism of Obama. The Birther nonsense is an example of how having an African American president engendered hysteria with some conservatives. After eight years of this type of hysteria the public will be fed up with it and conservative media will recognize that this type of shrill nonsense really is beginning to discredit them. After having an African American president with a name Barack Obama, the novelty of having an elected official who isn't white or doesn't have a surname of British origin will be gone.

By 2017 a great many people will realize they were foolish. People who signed secession petitions will be teased by relatives and or when a secession petition signer is discussed some will derisively tell others, "You known he signed a secession petition and bragged about it," confirming the person's crackpot status.

When the Southern Partisan magazine started in 1979 Reagan was soon to be elected and neo-Confederates had hopes of getting civil rights legislation overturned or rendered ineffective. The League of the South started in 1993 when the southern strategy of the Republican party was still being employed.

However in 2012 the Republican party is trying to drop the southern strategy, note South Carolina Gov. Haley's appointment of Tim Scott to be the U.S. Senator of South Carolina. Note all the talk in the Republican party about getting the Hispanic vote. Then there are the Indian Americans being elected governors in the South. Since about 2000 no Republican wants to appear in any neo-Confederate publication, unlike before when many did. More and more it is becoming less and less the Republican party of Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats.

The generation who grew up under segregation is passing away. Those that remain and still embrace neo-Confederate views are an aging remnant left behind by history. When they express their opinions younger relatives will roll their eyes.

As for the supposed tide of secession that will sweep the world. These secession movements have unique local origins. There isn't a secession movement based on universalist values anywhere. No one is saying, everything is fine, but we are just too big and we need to break up our nation. It is ironic that the neo-Confederates don't see this since they are always condemning universal principles as opposed to unique local values.

The secession movements are in places where there are real antagonisms or there has been prior national identities going back centuries or the nation itself is a patch up left behind by colonial powers or there has been mismanagement of the nation or a mistreatment of a region or combinations thereof. Even where they are, practical matters keep the nation together. Scotland finds that the national government subsidies it to something like a 100 billion British pounds annually. The European Union is saying oh no you are not going to be admitted if you secede.

The belief that there is any real driving force for secession in the South exists only in neo-Confederate imaginations. The old resentment of civil rights in the South is passing away and it was the only real driving force for the neo-Confederate movement.

Economy seems to be turning around, neo-Confederate hopes dashed.

With the economic crisis of 2008 neo-Confederates got very excited that there would be some upcoming breakdown of the economy or society that would allow the neo-Confederate view to get a hearing. I had blogged about it in 2008.

The League of the South has launched this website which has the heading "Get Us Off the U.S.S. Titanic." The idea that the United States is going to come to an end like the ship Titanic.

As has been observed in history during times of severe economic crisis fringe views do get a hearing because established views lose credibility when there is a failure to deliver a functioning economy. During an economic crisis there should be a critical review of how things should be run, but choosing a crazy alternative isn't an answer, and with the question before the public that an alternative might be needed some might choose the crazy alternative.

However, neither the Mayan or neo-Confederate apocalypse are going to happen.

For example there is this news item,

The housing market has turned around and housing prices are rising and buyers are starting to compete for homes. The number of foreclosed homes on the market is declining. Construction of houses is beginning again.

There are other trends which are beginning to drive the American economy in a positive direction.

One important force is the availability of cheap natural gas through new fracking technology. Natural gas has become very cheap and is about one-fourth the price of natural gas in East Asia. Factories are intensive energy users. Plastics are largely made from natural gas as are many chemical feed stocks. So the trend is to move manufacturing with plastics back to the U.S. However, even for goods that don't use much plastic, lower energy costs makes manufacturing cheaper and many other goods require lots of energy. Many goods require a fair amount of plastic.

The other thing which is helping the economy is the new trend to "onshoring" or "reshoring" as it being called. This is driven by several factors. One is that the economics of offshoring were found not to be as good as they seemed. There were hidden costs and other problems. Another driving factor is that wages in India and China are climbing quickly. In China it was reported that wages rose 18% last year. In India they have been climbing at a rate of 15% a year for some time. At 15% a year compounded that works out to doubling every five years. Now the conventional wisdom is that offshoring was over done and was a fad. There are multiple other factors which are supporting onshoring such as the elimination of shipping delays, the reduction of quality problems, and the fact that if you don't make it, you really lose the ability to design it. This article talks more about it.

I don't want to get into the business of predicting the future for anything including the economy. I tend to thing that the future is opaque. However, it seems that the economic apocalypse isn't going to be happening soon despite how much the readership enjoys imagining that it is imminent.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Secession creeping into respectability

The American Conservative, a far right publication of "paleoconservatives" and others who are also published in neo-Confederate publications has this article defending the legality of secession.

They aren't advocating secession, just defending its legality.

I am not claiming it is a trend, just noting that secession is hasn't quite died out in the conservative media.

I have mixed feelings on all this, it probably is evident from my postings. Looking at the secession petitions it is hard to take it seriously. Looking at it from the perspective of cultural geography theories of nationalism I can't quite dismiss it.

I don't think its potential viability is going be enabled much by Obama's rejection of secession though there will certainly be some people who will be reflexively against anything Obama says and for anything Obama is against.

I think a driving force might be that a lot of people at some level imagined America as a white nation and their patriotism was for that nation and not a multiracial democracy. However, I really don't know if there are enough of these people to enable in any significant way a secession movement.

There is a tendency to think history is on some track or trajectory that has inevitability driven by "historical forces" following an irresistible logic. I do think there are trends and forces driving history, but I also think that there is contingency also in history. There are preconditions that have a potentiality but it will take some chance events to develop these preconditions and result in history taking a particular  trajectory. So I think that secession is not going anywhere without an unforeseen development.

So I am just going to monitor developments.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When might the White House administration reply to the secession petitions?

So multiple secession petitions at have gotten 25,000 or more signatures in the allotted 30 days time limit. The question now is not only what the White House response will be, but when.

I think the response will be when there won't be many distractions from the White House response to the petitions. So after the Christmas season and New Years, and after the whole fiscal wrangling now preoccupying politics is when I think the response will be. I think the Obama administration will want to have the maximum exposure for their response to these deeply unpopular petitions. It affords an opportunity to praise America as a great nation. What politician would not want to do that? It also affords an opportunity to embarrass conservatives and cause friction with their base, another political opportunity.

Conservatives will be hoping I think to have the issue disappear as soon as possible. Even World Net Daily, which usually has open arms for any fringe issues, seems to have dropped secession, this last article was published on 12/2/2012.

A couple weeks after the White House response I think the whole carnival will wrap up. Perhaps some ultra right state representative, elected without too much scrutiny by his or her constituents will introduce a secession measure to their legislature. A congressional Republican party convention in Minnesota in 2010 did pass a resolution that a state had a right to secede.  Perhaps some conservative meeting will issue a resolution. There will be a couple residual events, then it will linger on as a humorous footnote in politics.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Secession going nowhere, British Broadcasting Corp. article

The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) has an article online why the secession petitions are going no where.

I don't see conservative media figures here in the U.S. taking up secession so far even in their competition to say the most outrageous attention getting thing in competition for audience in the right wing media.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Tagging Republicans as secessionists, PPP and the Georgia Poll

This article has come out in the media here and there including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, you can read it at this link:

The response to one of the PPP poll questions had the result that 42% of Georgian Republicans would support secession and 42% are opposed and that leaves 16% undecided.

The League of the South is all excited about this additional poll, they think it is the 2nd coming of the Confederacy, that their time has come. Check their blog on this.

However, the PPP pollster has this to say:
Finally we asked Georgians if they want to secede from the country because of Barack Obama's reelection and Republicans are evenly divided on the matter- 42% say they would like to secede and 42% are opposed to the concept. I doubt that many Republicans would really secede if they had the choice- not that many people are signing the secession petitions- but their willingness to say they would is a measure of how unhappy they are over the President's reelection.
The secessionist's millennium probably hasn't come. People are just venting.

I did some research on the Internet and reputable new sources identify PPP as a Democratic group. I see this polling as a possible effort to tag Republicans as having many secessionists among their members and hence not very patriotic.

So it appears that the Democrats might be consciously working to get Republicans identified with secession.

As I pointed out the Republican party's stock in trade from the 60s at least, if not since after World War II, has been to portray themselves as more patriotic than the Democrats. If the Republicans can be identified with secession then this tactic of the Republicans is eliminated. Instead their could be a reversal and the Democrats portray themselves as more patriotic.

I think perhaps some Democrats have figured this out. It will be interesting to see what other polling is done and by whom on the topic of secession. I wonder if Obama's response to these petitions will be calculated to get the Republicans identified with secession.

No one is taking this poll result too seriously including PPP seeing it as merely Republicans venting. However, this again diminishes reluctance to merely say you think secession is a good idea. A person now realizes that there are as many willing to say they are for it as against it, so they don't feel isolated expressing the same opinion, they feel a strength in numbers even if their intention is only to vent frustration.

This change in perspective won't only apply to Georgia, Republicans elsewhere might imagine there are at least substantial fractions of fellow Republicans where they live who share their sentiment to declare for secession as a means to vent.

This will make secession proposals less fringe and more mainstream. There is a point where people will not feel somewhat silly thinking about it, but transition to thinking it is impractical or not feasible, but not in itself silly to imagine.

In cultural geography nations are imagined. We don't know everyone who makes up our nation, we imagine that we all have an over arching commonality of being the same nationals. Once people no longer imagine themselves as members of a nation, the nation may persist for a while but it won't last. The Soviet Union evaporated, Czechoslovakia split, because they didn't imagine themselves as being all members of one nation. They imagined themselves as members of other nations. In an opposite example, people imagine an Israel and even though it hadn't existed as any type of polity for over 2,000 years, it comes into being, because first it was imagined.

Secession hasn't entered the mainstream of politics, even within the Republican party, but it has begun entering the imagination, and that is where nations are created and destroyed.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Dixie State College in Utah removes Confederate statue.

Dixie State College in Utah has removed a Confederate statue from their campus.

There are a couple articles online about it:

It is interesting to note the college administration's justification. Quoting from the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper article, 12/6/2012:

As a staging area for recent anti-racism rallies, it has become vulnerable, and putting it in storage is the best way to protect it for now, according to Dixie State President Stephen Nadauld. 
"The statue has become a lighting rod. We feel bad about that," Nadauld said. "It’s a beautiful piece of art. We are nervous something might happen to the statue. It might be vandalized."

Actually the reason for the statues removal is that the college is slated to become a university and many are concerned about what the image of the university will be. The concern isn't just the statue, but also the term "Dixie" in the colleges name. From the Tribune article:

A growing chorus — which includes student body president Brody Mikesell, a senior from Henefer, and former trustee chairman Shan Gubler — is lobbying to drop or downplay the Dixie name, arguing that its associations with the Confederacy will alienate the larger audience the college aspires to reach as a university.
The university president isn't willing to say the Confederacy was wrong. Nor it seems that Mikesell or Gubler are willing to say the Confederacy is wrong. The reason given is that it will alienate others who for some reason not given don't like the Confederacy.

Quoting from the USA Today article:
The discussion to remove the statue began once administrators became aware of the "people with issues with it being on our campus," Johnson said.
What issues might those be? The articles leave it as a mystery. It is something to do with feelings, reducing it to an emotional issue and not a critical or rational assessment of the Confederacy. From the USA Today article.
"I think it's a big day in Dixie's history. It's a positive sign that we're moving forward," mass communications student Ryan Mayfield said. "I think if we're going to be a university we need to cater to everyone's feelings, not just the community."
So the statue is going down, but it seems from the article, no one in the administration or those leading the effort are willing to criticize the Confederacy though they obviously don't want to be associated with the Confederacy. So there are all these reasons to remove the statue, to protect the statue, the feelings of others. Though whose feelings they are concerned about isn't mentioned, I think it is obviously they are concerned about minority members, and this argument reduces minorities' opposition to the Confederacy from a rational opposition to "feelings."

It seems that people more and more realize that the Confederacy was a bad thing and don't want to be associated with it, but they also don't want to get neo-Confederates riled up and those who buy into the Lost Cause mythology of history riled up. So everyone working to remove it, is giving other reasons, so they can minimize being a target of Lost Cause anger. The president removes the statue to protect it, which shows a president that gives in to intimidation when protecting free speech. His reason is really quite reprehensible if people thought about it. However, he can't say the Confederacy was a bad thing and their is no way we want to celebrate it without bring down the wrath of Lost Cause supporters everywhere.

However, in the end, the statue is packed away and not on public land where it valorized the Confederacy. Dixie State College will likely lose the word "Dixie" and Confederate memorialization will be further contained in the former slave states.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

"National Review" trying to keep conservative movement from being associated with secession

I think one of the key themes of the conservative movement going back into the 1950s is that the Democrats were some how soft on communism or not as patriotic as the conservatives or infiltrated with un-American elements etc. etc.

Being an advocate of secession isn't just being insufficiently patriotic or being lax about national defense it is by definition anti-American and threatening to the nation. If the conservative movement is identified with secession, it loses a big cudgel it has used to swing at the Democrats for decades, generations, and which I suppose the Democrats will pick up to swing at the conservatives.

The conservative magazine National Review realizes this and there has been posted a blog entry at their website, the theme of which is, that some Democrats have mentioned secession or going to Canada in the past. I suppose some Democrats have. I don't think though it has been more than a couple percent of Democrats, not 25% for Republicans as mentioned in a recent poll, or nearly a million signers for petitions to secede.

This is the link to the blog entry at National Review's website.

Human Rights Campaign alerts public to League of the South speaker at Maryland Marriage Alliance

The story is here at Towleroad.

This will let a whole new group of people know about the pernicious neo-Confederate movement and that it is actively hostile to them.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

25% of Republicans say their state should secede from the Union according to PPP Poll

According to PPP conduct poll 25% of Republicans say their state should secede form the Union, 19% aren't sure, and just 56% say they want to stay in the Union.

The announcement of the poll results are here:

The PPP explains one factor contributing to the 25% figure of pro-secessionists among Republicans:

"One reason that such a high percentage of Republicans are holding what could be seen as extreme views is that their numbers are declining. Our final poll before the election, which hit the final outcome almost on the head, found 39% of voters identifying themselves as Democrats and 37% as Republicans. Since the election we've seen a 5 point increase in Democratic identification to 44%, and a 5 point decrease in Republican identification to 32%."

How ironic the party of Lincoln only has 56% of its members opposed to secession. Of course this is one poll. Also, it might be that a lot of people who got these automatic phone calls had a sense of humor.

Reminds me of this T-shirt sold by Southern Partisan.

Front side


All kidding aside, this is not a good development. It may be joking, but it is normalizing secession.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Secession doesn't seem to be catching on.

So far there has been one article by Pat Buchanan which you can read at Human Events at this link  He isn't endorsing directly secession or the secession petitions, but instead arguing that it is already happening essentially by other means. I think that is the closest he feels he can get to the issue.

Otherwise media coverage has died down except for a trickle of articles making fun of the petitions. It will be interesting to see Obama's response, but I think it will be all over and largely forgotten by Christmas.

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