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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How will Obama respond to these secession petitions, Update

Obama is not stupid, he is very smart and  has a sharp analytic mind. You may not agree with what he says, but I think it would only be blind partisanship not to recognize that he is smart.

So it occurs to me what will Obama's response be to these secession petitions? I initially thought it would be some reply with legal reasoning that would not get much public interest. Or perhaps Obama might just publish the Gettysburg Address and say "ditto" in a humorous response.

However, I see that these secession petitions give Obama a political opportunity. An opportunity to get his opposition into conflict and trouble with themselves and discredit themselves with the general public.

When Obama first got elected he made a statement that the Republicans shouldn't let Rush Limbaugh be their leader. Obama wasn't being helpful to the Republicans. He wanted Rush Limbaugh to be the face of the Republican party and further show that the Republican party wouldn't reject Limbaugh further giving credibility that Limbaugh was representative of the Republican party. Limbaugh not caring for anyone or anything except himself leaped at the opportunity to promote himself surely knowing he was enabling Obama's strategy. Obama's gambit worked wonderfully helping him to win re-election.

Understanding what Obama did, and that he is a strategic thinker taking advantage of these types of opportunities I think might give us insight as to what he will do. The petitions did get a lot of attention and his response will get a lot of attention. In responding Obama has the opportunity to discredit his opponents or put them in a difficult position with their supporters.

Surely Obama has noticed the response of Rick Perry advocating staying in the Union, but not condemning the secessionists and expressing sympathy to them. Obama surely has concluded secession is a difficult issue for some Republicans.

So Obama in his response to these secession petitions has opportunities. Even though the public is laughing at them, it is the type of thing that entertains the public and there will be curiosity over exactly what Obama's response will be. If Obama does a legalistic response, there will be some commentary about it and the topic will fade out to oblivion. If Obama hands out the Gettysburg Address or some brief historical reference, it will get some response, and fade to oblivion. The conservative movement will further resist secession entering their mainstream but not criticizing Obama so they can avoid being identified with secession.

But Obama might respond in a way that will bait his opposition to respond. Since much of his opposition is  hysterical or at least very excitable or reactive without reflection this isn't so difficult.

I think Obama's response might have many patriotic references and use the "mystic chords of memory" and his defense of the Union will refer to the blessings of the American government from a Democratic party viewpoint. Maybe not in an obvious way. He might refer to the American historical narrative and reference the increasing egalitarian spirit of American life and how opportunity is made available to all. He could refer to the great national enterprises like NASA and the national parks and federal lands. The later might provoke the Sagebrush rebellion types. There might be a reference to immigration, the Statue of Liberty and how America is seen as a desirable place to immigrate to and how immigration is part of the national story.

The response can't be seen as baiting the opposition, so it has to be done just right to provoke, but not at an obvious level.

I think though Obama will simply choose to make his response a general patriotic defense of the nation. But still these petitions give Obama a possible opportunity to create all sorts of trouble for his opposition and surely he must be thinking of them.

I am very curious as to what Obama's response will be.

Update 11/27/12: I think Obama merely has to have the same response to the secession petitions as Lincoln did regarding secession. Obama has to reject secession on the same basis as it was rejected during the Civil War. Without mentioning Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis or the Confederacy it will be clear that Obama rejects the basic arguments of the Lost Cause mythology justifying secession and hence reject the Lost Cause mythology.

Without mentioning the Confederacy by name he can reject it, and given the current geographic location of the Republican party base, this might get a response of those defending the Confederacy. It would put the Republicans in a difficult position not wanting to be identified with the Confederacy, but not wanting to alienate and lose their base in the deep South.

Mainstreaming secession, not so much.

It isn't happening that much. National Review is ridiculing it.

But it seems it is getting a little traction. WND, has an article where one of there writers interviews Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. The link is here:

It could be argued that having WND pick up your cause doesn't represent mainstreaming very much, but rather your fringe status.

Town hall had another neo-Confederate, Bill Murchison, former writer for Southern Partisan, give his take on secession. You can read the article here:

There is this article at the Human Events web page which argues for a political program to avoid the threat of secession. The author isn't advocating secession but finds it a useful threat.

I am not seeing the radical right pick up much on secession so far. email me links if you know of sources I over looks.

I think at this point not much will happen until Obama responds.

Spain a "megastate"? The League of the South fantasies

In the following League of the South (LOS) blog post Spain is referenced as a "megastate."

In this blog about Catalan efforts at secession the LOS blog claims:

What's the bottom line of all these stories about secession? Simple: The 20th-century megastate is dead. Good riddance.

Really? Spain is a megastate? I could see perhaps a very large nation called a megastate, like the former Soviet Union or perhaps another large country like the United States or China and India. Of course what exactly is a megastate as opposed to a superstate as a opposed to a plain every day state I don't think is well defined. Perhaps "megastate" just sounds more impressive than saying "superstate" or "state."

Again what the LOS fails to perceive with these European efforts at secession is that Catalonia is planning, if it becomes a nation, to join the European Union. That is to join this supranational organization. The European Union has a common currency, national borders no longer count for much, and it is a common trade zone. The reason these European secession movements are possible is that the European Union is superseding the nation state and taking over its functions in many cases and eliminating national borders as boundaries.

The European Union makes the nation state less important. I haven't thought through much other modern trends such as transnational organizations, in particular regarding trade, the global integrated economy and how they might lessen the forces that drove the creation of the modern state of the 19th and 20th centuries. I suspect they make the nation state less needed as the world is integrated into larger structures than the nation state.

The trend has been the integration of European nations into the European Union and not secession. Sure the European Union has some problems, but they can print the Euro and I am sure they will work out something.  There may be some rough spots, but the historical forces of economics is what has driven this European integration from after World War II from the Benelux union to early pre-EU organizations for trade.

The League of the South does legitimately in discussion point out that secession isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, after all the Soviet Union broke up as well as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. However, they totally ignore the local and specific historical backgrounds of these break ups in interpreting these events as foreshadowing secession in the United States which is rather odd for an organization which rejects universal values. (Word search "universal" on the LOS blog.)

The large state provides tremendous opportunities in funding research, providing a large labor market with abundant opportunities, large scale industries with their opportunities, great national enterprises such as NASA, research institutes, high energy physics, and all sorts of scientific and technological endeavors, a huge pool of people with all sorts of possibilities for creative interactions.

Small states, when they aren't in a matrix of a larger supranational organization often have many challenges, lesser opportunities, and often depend on larger allies.

It is in the LOS's interests to tout secession as the coming thing to boost the morale of their supporters and gain new adherents. However, others need to critically review their claims to see that they are far less than they seem.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Secession petitions and Confederate symbols

One question that hasn't been discussed is how people might perceive Confederate symbols, statues, flags, etc. with these secession petitions.  Jon Stewart makes reference to them in his comical take on the secession petitions. One can't but notice that the petitions achieving 25,000 signatures and thus promised a reply are from former Confederate states. The following is  a link to Stewart's commentary.

The tolerance of glorifying the Confederacy has been based on the idea that the Confederacy and secession were safely dead. That was the basis of the politics overthrowing Reconstruction, Southern leaders constantly emphasizing that secession was not an option and how patriotic they were. This is the basis of their later politics, especially with the Spanish American war.

With the Confederacy safely dead, the Lost Cause is romantic to some as long as it stays "Lost." People watch Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in "Gone With the Wind."

If the Lost Cause isn't so lost, such as with 800,000 plus signatures on secession petitions at,  then it isn't so romantic. I can't help but think that a lot of people will look at the Confederacy, and its remembrances and symbols with some distaste. They will think secession is very unlikely, but they will not be comfortable with glorifying secession or remembering it. They know that the unlikely can unexpectedly, surprisingly become likely.

Enthusiasm for the Confederacy and secession will no longer be thought as an amusing eccentricity or fantasy, it will be at some level be seen with a little bit of apprehension. People continuing to indulge Lost Cause enthusiasts themselves will not be appreciated.

I plan to make reference to these petitions in our 2013 letter to Obama asking him not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate monument.

Further thoughts on the secession petitions

Saturday morning, Nov. 17, 2012,  I went to and printed out the list of petitions and totaled all the signatures for a state to secede. I got a little under 850,000 signatures. I doubt that this means there were 850,000 signers, probably some people signed more than one petition. Also it has been reported a large fraction of those signing some of the secession petitions were not from the state where a resident was petitioning to secede.

There have been numerous articles about these petitions, mostly in a humorous or mocking manner. The articles have become less and less frequent in the news. The next news cycle will be when the Obama administration responds. A great many people would oppose any position of Obama reflexively so there is likely to be some response to Obama's response. If Obama said the sky was blue it would get opposition in some quarters.

Interestingly enough the right media hasn't taken secession up much as an issue. I suppose there is one minor figure here or their that might have taken up secession as an issue, but the right wing media figures largely have not taken secession up. I think they realize that they can hardly portray themselves are more patriotic than thou and still be supporting secession. Also, the great majority of Americans love their country and are against secession. Conservatives know that if they pick up secession or if secession is identified with them the public would develop a real antipathy against conservatism.

So is this movement largely over for the present? I would say yes. There will be some articles when Obama responds, the right wing media will be glad to see the subject pass, and there will be only a residual of signers still interested in further pursing the topic.

The petitions themselves only got traction since they could be posted at the White House website and further if over 25,000 they were promised a reply. If the petitions had been on a website without any guarantee of a White House response they wouldn't have gotten as many signatures and certainly not any media attention.

I suspect that many of those who signed did so only as a way of expressing rejection of Obama without really wanting to secede. Also, they could do it without making public their full names.

However, the longer term impact may be more important. A great many right wing individuals signed their first secession petition for whatever reason. Having signed one secession petition, there isn't a barrier to signing a second one or give secession a consideration. Additionally though a great majority or nearly most of the signers might give it little further consideration, there will be some signers which will develop an interest in the topic and the small movement of secessionists will find a large influx of new supporters relative to their current numbers. Also, the issue of secession is now being discussed. What might seem initially seem wild or crazy becomes familiar and less shocking with ongoing discussion. Secession is becoming normalized.

The signers that didn't have serious consideration of seceding will find themselves open to thinking about it from time to time. They did sign the petition for secession for whatever the reason, and they are now signers of a secession petition for whatever reason. It can't but help affect their identity and their view of secession in subtle ways. We define ourselves individually and as groups symbolically and they have taken a symbolic action which will define themselves. In the future course of events, they will be more open to support secession again and potentially become seriously interested.

For purposes of argument I am going to assume that of the petition signers there was at least 500,000 different signers. I am just making a wild guestimate. I know there must be duplicate signers, how many it is anyone's guess.

In a nation of 300 million, 500,000 is a very small percentage, but a small fraction of those signers would be enough to sustain a small movement interested in secession. A fraction of 5% of 500,000 signers would be 25,000 which would be a very big expansion of the current movement, and many times larger than the Abbeville Institute.

Nations often have ups and downs and stresses and strains. A movement like this can be like a small fracture in a wind shield, which, with the right stressful conditions, the crack can end up propagating the entire length of glass. The future is full of unexpected events. Though seemingly laughable now, this movement could potentially in the future be a cause for concern.

How big was the initial group of people who thought the Soviet Union should be broken up? The secessionist Scottish National Party used to poll single digits in elections in Scotland, now they dominate the Scottish parliament and secession of Scotland is a real possibility. Every new idea starts with a minority of precisely one as Thomas Carlyle said.

However, I don't want to be advocating that we should be alarmed either. It could be that in 20 or 30 years this whole secession petition effort will be seen as a footnote in history, an odd ball curiosity for amusement in a nation continuing to progress. But it could be the seed, the small fracture that grows, in a nation facing an unexpected stresses. The future is opaque.

I think one key thing to observe is whether a right wing media figure turns to embrace secession to promote his own ratings. He probably won't really support secession, but will advocate it to boost ratings and make him stand out in a crowded and very competitive field of right wing broadcast professional commentators. A field where one gets ahead by being more outrageous than the others.

If he or she succeeds then imitators will follow. So far though even WND isn't that sympathetic to secesssion. You are really out there on the fringe when thinks that you are out there. These are the people who embraced Birtherism.

I think also this movement will be aided or retarded by how the future is perceived. Right now many see the Democrats as having locked up the future. There is a lot to be said for this. The economy is terrible and Obama has managed to be re-elected despite this. One can only imagine how the Democrats will do in 2016 if the economy has a turn around. However, these projections of long term dominance of one party or another often prove wrong. After the defeat of Goldwater in 1964, there was a fear there wasn't going to be a real two party system anymore.

But if it does appear that there is no future for a certain politics where some people are privileged over others there will be, I think, some support for secession. Some will imagine that they could have their privileged position in some enclave or state. These perceptions would support a politics of states rights for a sort of internal secession or a politics of outright secession.

So at this point, I conclude the door has been open to the topic of secession in national politics. This is a critical and important step in the development of an ongoing political discourse about secession. However, whether it leads anywhere is very much open to question, I think at this point it isn't, unless there are unforeseen developments.

It should not be a cause for alarm but it should be cause for thoughtful concern.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Loads of Laughs: Secession petitions at

Go to Google News and do a search with key words "secede" or "secession" and you will find articles about the secession petitions at It is all over mainstream media. According to reports if you get 25,000 signatures in 30 days the Obama administration promises to make an official reply, with some various caveats. So far a petition asking for Texas to be allowed to secede has gotten 70,000 signatures and other petitions are gaining signatures quickly.

It gives a whole new meaning to the slogan, "America: Love it or Leave It."

This has gotten neo-Confederates excited. For an example go to this link. They think their time has come. It hasn't.

The impact of these petitions will be as follows;

1. It will provide an opportunity for humor. Check this posting.

If you don't think this example is funny remember I said "opportunity" for humor.

2. It will make the opponents of Obama seem silly or crazy.

3. It will result in making some elected Republicans in the South look questionable. For example Rick Perry's response to the Texas secession petition: Rick Perry's comments in "USA Today."  Where Rick Perry states:

"Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it," Frazier's statement says. "But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas."

Perry wants to oppose secession with out alienating these secession petitioners which it seems he sees as part of his voter base. Perry doesn't want to criticize these petitioners, but sympathize with them.

4. It makes the opponents of Obama seem unpatriotic. After all advocating secession from America is a fairly forthright rejection of America.

5. Runs the risk of further identifying conservatism with the Confederacy. More than a few have observed the electoral map of states for Romney looked like a Confederacy. Now there are secession petitions.

I think it also poses a risk for the conservative media in this country. The temptation is to be the most outrageous voice in the conservative media to boost ratings, but giving into this movement risks running conservatism as a viable movement in this country off a cliff.  Though WND is headlining this secession movement.

I think in about a month this will be mostly over. The Obama administration will point out that states can't secede and additionally there would least have to be some vote on it by the citizens of a state to see if even a bare majority wanted to secede, and you would think for a serious change like this it would have to be 2/3'rds or a higher fraction of the voters wanting this type of change.

Of course if Obama says he is against something, some people will reflexively be for it.

I do think though that this effort is perhaps a manifestation of a larger phenomenon. I think a lot of people that were opposed to Obama thought that in four years he would be defeated at the polls and he would be gone. Indeed they thought it right up to the end, despite polls showing otherwise. Some of the opposition was hysterical in nature such as the birther movement.  Additionally it seems that with this election that the likely direction of the United States will be towards a different America than what the anti-Obama movement wants.

I think this is a reality that some anti-Obama opponents can't accept. I think the secession petitions are just blowing off steam and few are serious about them, but I do think that the more hysterical opponents of Obama will look for some serious method of opposing the post-election future and that these methods might be cause for concern.

Also, if you do sign an official secession petition, even if your full name isn't given, and you do it as a joke, you still have done it, and psychologically this action changes to some degree your self-identification. It is a symbolic gesture, and we often create our identity with symbols. You will now be a person who did sign a secession petition.

I think the future bears watching.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Secession" in the European Union

There has been a fair amount of excitement amongst neo-Confederates recently about proposed secessions from states that are members of the European Union. This is an example from the League of the South blog, "Rebellion."

The fact is that many of these "secession" movements, such as Scotland, propose that their newly independent nations will become members of the European Union. It would be really secession if Scotland proposed to be a separate nation outside of the European Union. With a European Union providing a free trade zone and a common currency it may be that the nation state is being obsoleted by a larger state, the European Union, and in which case secession from the superseded nation state is possible.

Also, whether there is really a secession movement going needs to be questioned. In some cases there really is a sizable movement, but in other cases it is just a few people living Ruritanian fantasies. For example in Vermont the secession movement is just a few cranks that have no real following.

Also, it isn't considered by Vermont secessionists that Vermont has it fairly good in the U.S.A. As a small state with a very small population Vermont gets two U.S. Senators with its 600,000 some inhabitants. Given that the average state has 6.4 million people (320 million divided by 50) this is significant over representation in both the U.S. Senate and the Electoral College for the election of the president by a factor of 10. This has some very real benefits.

This is one:

As an independent nation Vermont wouldn't have two U.S. Senators pushing for higher milk prices for the rest of the nation.  In fact they would have a lot of milk and no price supports. I am sure there are probably other instances where Vermont finds it very advantageous to have this 10X over representation.

In fact, Vermont should be careful not to discuss secession too much. Has anyone looked at the Constitution in regards to state being expelled? What if the American consumers realized that milk would be cheaper if Vermont was an independent nation?

For those enamoured of having their very own small toy nation, I suggest they look at the fate of the peoples in the Unted States of Central America who opted for being independent nations of Central America. Like many small states they ended up as victims of more powerful forces, in this case companies raising bananas, acquiring the nickname banana republics as term of contempt.

Some small nations do get along reasonably well. They have special circumstances remote like Iceland or they are in mountaineous regions like Switzerland and do not present great prizes for conquest or otherwise interest powerful nations. However, a great many other small nations find themselves dealing with adverse circumstances. They are dependent on more powerful states for support or find themselves dominated in various ways by more powerful neighbors when they are not actually invaded.

Is there really secession movement to form a new small nation state that wouldn't be a part of a larger state or framework of states in the Western world? No.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Mildred Rutherford

I have added more Mildred Rutherford speeches at Her racism and historial reasoning are just delusional. The neo-Confederates don't think so and republish her works as being instructive, but then again the delusional would find reasonable the delusional.

Just use the search function for Mildred or Rutherford and they will all show up.

This will tell you what Confederate "heritage" is all about.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

"War Between the States" expression used in "Scientific American"

I was reading a Special Issue  of Scientific American with the theme "Beyond the Limits of Science" which is really about going beyond the limits of current science. It is the Sept. 2012 Vol. 307 No. 3 issue.

I was reading an article, "Mind in Motion," (pages 58-63)  by Miguel A. L. Ncolelis, which is about the developments in Prosthetics and a goal of ultimately being able to create prosthetics such that the paralyzed could run or do other things just by thinking it. This by the way is not far fetched. The one thing that has amazed me about science is how it is speeding up faster and faster over the decades.

On page 61 there is a side bar for the article about the history of prosthetics, such as the first historical record of an artificial limb, other items such as the invention of gun powder which resulted in a greatly increased need for prosthetics. Under the title Civil War the entry states with the following sentence:

"The War Between the States resulted in many amputations."

Increasing the representation of under represented minorities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) progressions is a major effort by all the professional societies and we have a leading science publication publish something like this. The term Civil War is the generally accepted term by history professionals and all those who aren't neo-Confederate cranks.

Did Nicolelis think that there was some neo-Confederate readership he had to placate by making sure he used both terms. He is a professor at Duke University, and maybe there in North Carolina that type of pandering might be necessary, but certainly not for the global educated audience of Scientific American.

I am going to write the editors.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The meaning of "Neo" in words.

The Neo-Confederates are currently complaining (whining) about the term Neo-Confederate. This is an ongoing complaint with the Neo-Confederates. A typical example of what passes for reasoned commentary is at this blog.

The claim that the term "Neo-Confederate" is an accusation.  "Neo" merely means new. The term was first used in Southern Partisan magazine by its editor Richard Quinn. (Vol. 8 No. 1 Spring 1988).

There are terms such as neo-classical and neo-baroque for either architects or musical composers working in the style of the Classical and Baroque eras. Politically there are neo-liberals and neo-conservatives and they are simply terms. Calling something neo-Baroque isn't derogatory.

The use of "neo" would be to differentiate a new group separate or distinct from the prior group from which the new group is derived or revived.

You know with the adjective neo-classical that the building or piece of music isn't from the classical period, but is a later building or piece of music done in a style or form derived from the classical period in some later period distinct and separate from the original period. When a period is long but continuous we might say early, middle or late to further differentiate the period.

The Confederacy ceased to exist some time ago. The new movement for secession of course intently studies the Confederacy and interprets its meaning and asserts an ideological belief that they hold to be derived from the Confederacy, but they are not of the period of the Confederacy. They are a later revival. They are neo-Confederate.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Michael Hill, president of the League of the South explicit racism

When I first started tracking the League of the South there were people who really didn't want to acknowledge that they were racists and came up with all sorts of rationalizations to deny it. I think however, this essay by Michael Hill will settle this question once and for all:

Hill's essay both makes it clear and explains at length his racist ideas. He believes that the races, as popularly thought of, come from the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japeth, from his interpretation of the bible. White people are held to be the sons of Japeth. Hill believes that God favors white people.

After his biblical arguments for racial separation he has a fairly elaborate exposition of his racist views. The following is a sample quote:

"Our white European-American ancestors had no trouble enunciating the obvious truth that Western Christian civilization was superior to all others. Moreover, they had no hesitation about defending it, as their God-given patrimony, against those who would denigrate or destroy it. Just a century ago, our civilization was still distinguished by a robustness and self-confidence born out of a realization of the natural superiority of the West and its ways. None but the most crack-brained utopians believed in social, political, economic, and cultural equality, nor did they believe in the equality of the races in intellect and accomplishment. Unfortunately, the present century has witnessed the old order turned upon its head."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Advertising the article exposing the Museum of the Confederacy at Black Commenator on the History News Network

I placed a small ad on the History News Network,, to let people know about the expose' of the Museum of the Confederacy at For those interested in the article the free links to all four installments are at:

The ad is up, they are adding the link from the ad to the web page this evening.

I am been very busy, but I thought it was time to let a wider audience know about this article.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Anderson Independent Mail" runs major article on Ron Wilson, former Commander-in-Chief of the SCV

The Anderson Independent Mail has published a major article on Ron Wilson, former Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) about his past history. For those who haven't seen my earlier post on this topic, Ron Wilson has been charged with running a Ponzi scheme which has cost unwary investors tens of millions of dollars.

The major article is online at:

There is additionally another short article about his writing in the Citizen Informer, the official publication of the Council of Conservative Citizens (

I am mentioned in both articles and helped supply a lot of documentation for the articles.

Maintaining and indexing archives of neo-Confederate materials takes a lot of time, but it is all worthwhile when I can help out reporters and others and get the information to those who need it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sons of Confederate Veteans promotes Anglo-Saxon superiority over European white immigrants, Asian Americans and African Americans

I came across a pamphlet published by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 1914. It was first a speech at the Convention of the United Confederate Veterans and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, then they asked for it to be published in a national publication and it was, and then they had it printed up as a pamphlet for distribution. I managed to acquire one of them.

It is revealing in that they don't consider some European immigrants white enough, and they seek alliances with those who have antipathy to Asian immigrants in the West, and of course there is that old standby in Confederate heritage, white supremacy over African Americans.

To show what Confederate heritage is really about I have put the entire text online at my web site and you can read it at this link.

When the book "Politics and the History Curriculum: The Struggle over Standards in Texas and the Nation," comes out there will in my biographical note will be a reference to and thousands of students and educators will have access to this website and the resources in it and including the above referenced document.

Additionally there is the website which is also referenced in the biographical note. I am going to have reference it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012 loaded with primary documents

After a long time, I have finally gotten around to working on my website I want to have it done by the time the book on the Texas teaching standards comes out and have it serve as a reference source for teachers in Texas and elsewhere. I have added about 150 documents to it. They go from 1783 to the 1950s.

My biographical note in the book both mentions my other books, and the websites and So I needed to make sure that the website was done before the book came out.

I have a tremendous amount of documents to put on the website I have only done the initial set.

The original manuscript for the book was nearly 900 pages of single spaced type. Jim Loewen pointed out that would be a reference book that would sit on the shelf, and so we cut the manuscript down to a book that could be used in the class. The understanding was that the material not used would go on a website.

As time has gone on since then I have run across a lot of material which should go on the website. Such as a pamphlet published by the Sons of Confederate Veterans seeking to deny African Americans' civil rights and interesting enough seeing allies in those on the West Coast of the United States who would deny civil rights to Asian Americans.

Did you know that counties in Georgia and Virginia passed resolutions for secession and the causes given were to preserve slavery? I am going to put them online.

I have a ten volume set of books of the speeches and writings of Jefferson Davis. There are many documents which show Davis's broad racism and pro-slavery ideology and in particular his attitudes towards Latin Americans.

I have accumulated a great deal of material over the years and I want to share it as a primary document resource for students, teachers, and others.

Once I get done with this, I am going back to finishing up a couple books which are nearly finished.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Cinco de Mayo and the Civil War in the news, Update More articles

The press is reporting on the Civil War origins of the holiday Cinco de Mayo and its anti-Confederate origins. The following are some links which I will add to.

The coverage of Dr. Hayes-Bautista's new book has been tremendous.

Associated Press

Washington Post

This is from the LA Weekly:

This is from CNN

This is from UPI

From Tuscon

From the New York Times, Hayes-Bautista is mentioned as a source for this article.

From the Wall Street Journal,

It was on numerous other media and their have been bloggers commenting on it. 

It is making the Spanish language press also.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Civil War Monitor" reviews favorably "Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader."

The glowingly positive review is online at this link:

To quote from the review:

"For those of us that study and teach issues of Civil War memory, one of our great frustrations has been the lack of easily attainable primary source material to thoroughly discredit and dismantle the mythological claims of Confederate and neo-Confederate revisionists. Loewen and Sebesta’s exceptional new text The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader is the first collection of primary sources focused exclusively on such documents, as the authors note, that have somehow remained hidden “in plain sight” since the end of the Civil War. The book provides teachers and researchers alike with an invaluable archive of speeches, images, political papers, and memoirs that graphically reveal what the Confederacy and its post-war nostalgists actually believed about slavery, secession, race relations, and the whitewashing of the southern past."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Finished Reading Dr. Hayes-Bautista's "Cinco de Mayo"

I just finished reading "El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition," by Dr. Hayes-Bautista of UCLA. It is a good read. It provides some background of the history of Latinos in California as context for the development of Cinco de Mayo as a holiday in California.

Cinco de Mayo was developed in California, though over time it has been picked up by other regions.

Its origins come from the Civil War where Latinos saw fighting the Confederacy and the French invaders of Mexico as part of one common struggle for democracy and against slavery, for the republican form of government and against aristocracy and oligarchy and racism.

In the original Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the 19th century pictures of Lincoln and Juarez were carried in processions. The American flag and Mexican flag were always paraded together as symbolic of the struggle for freedom in both countries.

Hayes-Bautista also explains how the meaning of Cinco de Mayo was lost as subsequent immigrant groups adopted it as a popular holiday but weren't connected to its past tradition in the past when there wasn't a developed body of Latino intellectuals as today.

The concluding paragraph of the book is very interesting as Hayes-Bautista speculates what a future Cinco de Mayo might be like. I quote as follows:

"It is interesting to speculate about what form future celebrations of the holiday might take, should its true origins and heritage become better understood. Naturally, the blatantly commercial aspects will not disappear; by now, virtually no American holiday has escaped some degree of commercialization. But future celebrations might also include California mission-era songs, dances, and costumes; uniformed Civil War reenactments featuring the Native California Cavalry and the unofficial Latino militias; images of Abraham Lincoln, Benito Juarez, and Ignacio Zaragoza; and of course liberal displays of American and Mexican flags side by side. Likewise, there might be uniformed reenactors of the French Intervention, including the Californios and Latino immigrants who traveled to fight for freedom and democracy in Mexico. In addition to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," one might hear Mexican soldiers' songs of the 1860s, such as "Adios, Mama Carlota" or "Batalla del Cinco de Mayo.' It might be fitting as well to remember the Latinos who, in the same spirit, fought for the United States in the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and subsequent conflicts. As in the nineteenth century, there might be speeches and pageants recalling these historical events, reminding listeners of the motivating values they share, showing the continuing relevance of those events to modern-day issues."

Such a Cinco de Mayo would have revolutionary impact in Texas. Also, would the Jefferson Davis highway be able to persist in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas with such a historical consciousness amongst the Latinos in those states?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Article about Otto Scott titled "Fool as Biographer"

A blog about John Brown has published an essay about Otto Scott titled, "Fool as Biographer," referring to Otto Scott. It is online at:

I supplied them with the Otto Scott neo-Confederate articles.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Politics and the History Curriculum" is now available for advance sales

The Palgrave Macmilian website has this listing which isn't very informative:

Amazon has this listing which tells a little bit more:

And this is the link at Barnes & Nobles:

However, Keith Erekson's page is the most informative I have found so far:

There is also this flyer for the book which describes the contents.

You will notice in the flyer that yours truly is the author of the chapter on the teaching of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

The following are the book blurbs by distinguished scholars:

"What's the matter with Texas? Outsiders too often dismiss it as an overgrown and ignorant child, shrouded in right-wing politics and fundamentalist religion. But that view is itself a gross caricature, as this close study of history and myth-making in Texas demonstrates. Rooting their story firmly in the social and political history of the Lone Star State, Keith A. Erekson and his colleagues bust a few big myths themselves. Read this book if you want to understand why Texans continue to contest their shared past, and why the rest of us should stop condescending to them." --Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of Education and History, New York University

"In these behind-the-scene essays, history educators and all citizens interested in history education will find chilling accounts of how the conservative Christian right played power politics to ensure that young Texans learn a largely white-washed U.S. history while remaining uneducated about world history. The essays in this important book give voice to teachers and history professors who were steamrollered by the Texas Board of Education."--Gary Nash, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, UCLA; Director, National Center for History in the Schools

"Politics and the History Curriculum offers the most comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely examination yet of the ongoing controversy over history standards in Texas and across the nation. As an historian and textbook author, I especially appreciate the range and analytical quality of the essays collected here. This book is a must-read for any teacher, administrator, or citizen engaged with these issues." --Daniel Czitrom, co-author, Out of Many: A History of the American People

The book is to be released June 2012.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Former Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander-in-Chief accused of defrauding investors, Updated

Ron Wilson, one time columnist for the Council of Conservative Citizens and former Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is accused of defrauding investors according to two news articles at the Independent Mail of Anderson, SC in an article titled, "Attorney general: Ron Wilson defrauded silver customers."

The articles are online at:

And another is online at:

Quoting from the first article:

Former Anderson County Council member Ron Wilson told securities investigators he had at least $16.9 million of his customers’ silver in a Delaware depository, according to a complaint from the state attorney general.

But the complaint says the depository had no records of Wilson, his company or the silver.

The complaint says that Wilson and his company, Atlantic Bullion & Coin, collected millions of dollars from customers who thought they were buying silver but when customers wanted to cash out there was no silver in their accounts or the accounts had been altered.

A Complaint has been filed by the Attorney General's office. According to the article:

Five violations of the state’s security laws are alleged in the complaint, including making false claims under oath and the fraudulent sale of securities.


State Senior Assistant Attorney General Tracy Meyers requested Monday that prosecutors or a state grand jury take up a case against Wilson, according to a criminal referral request provided by the state attorney general’s office.

Evidently this isn't a new problem with Ron Wilson, the article reports:

Wilson kept selling the investments in South Carolina, and 24 other states, after agreeing in writing in 1996 to stop selling securities or similar investments because he was not a licensed broker or agent, according to state documents he signed.

The 1996 consent order signed by Wilson says he and any successors or representatives “are prohibited from making or causing to be made to any person or entity in South Carolina any offers or sales of securities by means of any false or fraudulent sales practices.”

In the second article one of the United Daughters of the Confederacy officer quips, "There is no silver lining in this." I always love a good humorist. Good for her.

Wilson used to run full page ads for his firm "Atlantic Bullion and Coin" in neo-Confederate publications.

It will be interesting what Wilson will say to his defrauded customers. Will he claim that an evil cabal of DC empire builders stole it, or it was a frame up by Obama and his minions?

The interesting thing about people in these right wing organizations is that they seem to be the targets of people selling investments. When they aren't being sold something as an investment to evade the New World Order or some imagined nemesis, they are being sold various quack health remedies. Some conspiracy is suppressing some health remedy and the persons advocating the conspiracy advocate some thing or food that you can purchase to cure what ails you. (Update: One website I am monitoring is selling a machine which generates electricity without inputs, essentially a perpetual motion machine, and also offering to sell gold wholesale.)

One thing that has to be asked is why it took 16 years for the South Carolina Attorney General's office to realize that Ron Wilson was violated an agreement to desist from selling securities. Lots of people suffering heavy losses.


I will update this as information becomes available.

More on this scandal:

Secret Service hauling off boxes of records.

Another article on the scamming.

Legislature decides to close barn door after horses have left department.

Class-action suit: Lawyer conned by Wilson thinking of class action suit.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

4th and Final Installment on the article on the Museum of (for) the Confederacy published on Black Commentator

The 4th and final installment of of a series of articles on the Museum of(for) the Confederacy (MOC) is now online at:

This article revisits critically the exhibit Before Freedom Came and the book associated with it. It recounts a visit by a distinguished person with museum expertise to the MOC. It examines how trivia and artifacts are used to obscure the story of the Confederacy. It examines how the MOC has co-opted the history profession.

This last installment also asks that the history profession in the future not accept awards from the MOC and those who have received repudiate them. Whether many or even a few historians in the future repudiate or refuse an award from the MOC isn't so important as the fact from now on when a historian accepts or retains an award from the MOC this historian is taking a stand and revealing their identity.

All the previous installments can be seen at:

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Museum of the Confederacy as a shrine and creator of Confederate identity

The third installment of my 4-part article on the Museum of the Confederacy has been published.

The URL for the guest copy which is free is:

The 1st installment covered the take over of the MOC by pro-Confederates and how the MOC works with neo-Confederate organizations. The 2nd installment covers how the MOC glorifies Confederate leaders. The 3rd installment covers how the MOC creates Confederate identification amongst its supporters, visitors, and others by being a shrine and reliquary.

The links to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd installments are in this blog posting:

In the above blog posting I will have links to all four installments after they all come out. I expect the 4th installment to be published fairly soon. The installment is with the publisher.

The 4th installment discusses the exhibit and book "Before Freedom Came" and shows how the book and show is deeply flawed and how it avoids connecting slavery to the Confederacy. It shows how the MOC represents itself differently to different audiences acting professional before professional audiences and being neo-Confederate acting towards other audiences.

It discusses how the MOC tries to co-opt the history profession and is rather successful in doing so, and ends with a call for previous winners of the MOC awards to repudiate them and for historians in the future to reject them.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Frum Forum understands what neo-Confederacy is all about.

Very interesting article at:

More and more people are beginning to grasp what a neo-Confederate historical consciousness is about. The following is from the article:

Now we have fielded a Republican Congress which is determined to burn down the Hamiltonian Republic that has emerged since the war and return to a “simpler” time. Along the way they would damage (or even destroy) the benefits we’ve gained from our reluctant capitalism. If you want to know what a Neo-Confederate political model looks like in a modern country, try to find a good public school for your kids in Mexico.

We may not think that’s what we voted for. No one can say out loud that they are fighting for the Confederate way of life, and some who embrace it may not even recognize it. You can get some hints at what’s going on if you probe Ron Paul’s fans for their thoughts on Lincoln. The weird AM radio and Tea Party rhetoric of fighting “socialism” sounds absurd, but only if you take it literally. We want to relive a fleeting moment of Jeffersonian simplicity.

The rebellion against the Neo-Confederate Revolution must start inside the Republican Party. If we fail to manage the complexity of our age, there are horrors that await. Jefferson’s world is gone, but we can still have a banana republic if we so insist.

Related post.

A Mexican Immigrant's Badge of Honor

Great story at the New York Times at this link.

It is about a Mexican immigrant to the then Arizona territory who was a successful business person and was loyal to the United States of America even though the Confederate sympathizers confiscated all his property when he refused to pledge loyalty to the Confederacy.

I think it will be a great story for Cinco de Mayo.

See my earlier blog on Cinco de Mayo here:
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