Saturday, December 17, 2011



From the Civil War to FDR, the GOP was the party for African-Americans. Today, less than 10% of African Americans consider themselves to be Republican. This documentary film explores the phenomenon of Black Republicans, their battles with Democrats and their own Party, their struggle for power and acceptance within the African-American community and how this affects Black America and Urban America.

Today, many Black Republicans keep their political views to themselves or within family circles. Some endure insults like “Traitor,” “Uncle Tom” or “Oreo Cookie.” Based on their political beliefs, some question whether one can really be Black and a Republican at the same time. What does this mean for the future of America’s Two-Party Political System and Urban America?

Beginning in his hometown of Trenton, NJ, independent filmmaker Kevin Williams takes a non-partisan journey over four years, two Presidential Elections and eleven states to find out if the Two-Party Political system in Urban America may be failing his city and the country. In taking a self-critical look at his own Republican Party, Williams focuses his camera on the GOP’s efforts in the African-American community and examines the history and lives of Black Republicans; the GOP’s campaign strategy in urban areas versus the suburbs; media perceptions of Black Republicans; Republican Party efforts to recruit African-Americans; Democratic Party efforts and success in retaining the African-American vote; what both parties are doing today and what it means to be a “Black Republican.”

After Williams’ mostly failed attempt to find Black Republicans at the 2005 Bush Inauguration, FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN follows the GOP’s efforts to improve their standing in the African American community around the country. To explore what Black Republican candidates go through, the film takes an inside look at the 2006 Republican Congressional Campaign of Catherine Davis for Democratic U. S. Representative Cynthia McKinney’s seat. The results are eye-opening and an example of what happens when a Black Republican runs for public office in a Black majority district. The sights, sounds and struggles of the campaign bring the audience to some real-life experiences that they will never forget. Heading into the 2008 Presidential Election, Williams attends the Conservative Political Action Conference to see where the Republican Party was headed and what the future may hold.

To complete his journey, Williams speaks with scholars such as Professor Cornel West and Professor Howard Taylor; political leaders like former Maryland Lieutenant Governor and now Republican Party Chairman, Michael Steele and previous RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman; Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Jim Gilmore and John McCain; Conservative thinkers such as Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist and Ann Coulter; and Political and Media Commentators Tavis Smiley and Michelle Malkin; amongst others. Also interviewed in the film is the first and last Black Republican Senator popularly elected since Reconstruction, former Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusets.

L-R: Jeff Metzner-D.P., Dr. Cornel West, Sam Wells-Gaffer, Jamaal Green-Camera

Shamrock/Stine Productions, LLC

The History of Economic Thought, Lecture 2: The Emergence of Communism

Uploaded by LibertyInOurTime

Murray N. Rothbard died before he could write the third volume of his famous History of Economic Thought which would cover the birth and development of the Austrian School, through the Keynesian Revolution and Chicago School. With this six-lecture course, however, the History of Economic Thought is complete. He discusses Menger and the birth of Austrian economics, Mises and his struggles, Hayek and his contemporaries, and the loss of direction to the Austrian school in the 1970s. Rothbard also talks about the rise of the Misesian branch in the 1980s and following.

Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) was America's greatest radical libertarian author -- writing authoritatively about ethics, philosophy, economics, American history, and the history of ideas. He presented the most fundamental challenge to the legitimacy of government, and he refined thinking about the self-ownership and non-coercion principles.

Biography of Murray N. Rothbard

Links to online books and essays by Murray Rothbard:

Economic Thought Before Adam Smith: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Volume I
Audio book version:

Classical Economics: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Volume II
Audio book version:

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
Audio book version:

The Ethics of Liberty
Audio book version:

Man, Economy, and State
Audio book version:

The Case Against the Fed
Audio book version:

What Has Government Done to Our Money?
Audio book version:

A History of Money and Banking in the United States
Audio book version:

Conceived in Liberty, Volume 1: A New Land, A New People
Audio book version:

Conceived in Liberty, Volume 2: The American Colonies in the First Half of the 18th Century
Audio book version:

Conceived in Liberty, Volume 3: Advance to Revolution, 1760-1775
Audio book version:

Conceived in Liberty, Volume 4: The Revolutionary War
Audio book version:

The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar

America's Great Depression

Making Economic Sense

Panic of 1819 Reactions and Policies

Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure

The Essential von Mises

Power and Market: Government and the Economy

Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy

The Mystery of Banking

Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard

Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature, & Other Essays

Rothbard vs. the Philosophers

Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty

The Betrayal of the American Right

World War I as Fulfillment: Power & the Intellectuals

Education: Free and Compulsory

Links to more online books and essays by Murray Rothbard:

DISCLAIMER: The Ludwig von Mises Institute has given permission under the Creative Commons license that this audio presentation can be publicly reposted as long as credit is given to the Mises Institute and other guidelines are followed. More info at:

This YouTube channel is in no way endorsed by or affiliated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, any of its lecturers or staff members.

The Myths and Realities of the American Cities and Suburbs

Uploaded by Pajamasmedia on Dec 13, 2011

Joel Kotkin of joins Glenn Reynolds to discuss the future of the American suburb. Kotkin thinks that the death of the suburb is greatly exaggerated, and asks why urban planners are so eager to throw people into dense living conditions. What do ideas of suburbs and urban living tell us about preconceptions of class? Find out.

Majority Say Obama Doesn't Deserve Re-Election

December 16, 2011

Majority Say Obama Doesn't Deserve Re-Election

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that for the first time, a majority of adults, 52%, think President Obama should be voted out of office while 43% said he deserves another term.

Obama's overall job approval also stands at a new low, with 44% approving and 54% disapproving. The president's standing among independents is worse: 38% approve while 59% disapprove.

Miami-Dade former union president arrested on grand theft charges

Posted on Thursday, 12.15.11

According to prosecutors, Robert Glover double-dipped by billing two union bank accounts for work trip reimbursements

The former president of one of Miami-Dade’s largest municipal employee union has been arrested on allegations he overbilled the organization’s bank accounts for work trips across Florida.

Robert George Glover, Jr., had been the president of the American Federal, State, County, Municipal Employees Local 199, as well as a member of an AFSCME state board.

Glover surrendered Wednesday and has since posted bail.

According to prosecutors and Miami-Dade police, Glover double dipped by obtaining reimbursements for expenses for six trips from banks accounts from both entities between March 2008 and December 2009. The money comes from union dues paid by members.

In one case, Glover submitted an expense report to the local 199 chapter for a union meeting in Orlando in March 2008. He was paid $405.82.

But Glover later sought, and was paid, $314.50 from the state board account for the same meeting, according to an arrest warrant.

In all, prosecutors say, Glover ripped off more than $2,000. The union conducted a review of his finances and booted him from the organization earlier this year, asking he make repayments.

Glover works for the county’s General Services Administration.

“Robert Glover is a hard-working union leader and county employee. Any errors made in his paperwork were unintentional and have been fully corrected,” said his defense attorney, Ben Kuehne. “He looks forward to continuing his long tenure with Miami-Dade County.”

The AFSCME represents more than a quarter of a million employees in Florida, and some 3,000 in Miami-Dade.

“The union has fully cooperated [with prosecutors] at every step of the way, and while it’s always a disappointment when this happens, ultimately we are prepared to move on and fight for the people we represent,” said AFSCME special counsel Alma Gonzalez.

Psst… SEC…The Last Two Chief of Staffs to the POTUS, Rahm Emanuel and Bill Daley, Were Freddie/Fannie Board Members

U.S. securities regulators sued six former executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Friday, including ex-CEOs of both mortgage finance companies, saying they misled investors over exposure to risky home loans.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued three former executives at Fannie Mae and three at Freddie Mac. The civil charges were brought in two separate lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The SEC accused former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd, former Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron and four other defendants of knowingly approving false statements to investors that drastically misrepresented the extent of the firms’ exposure to toxic mortgages.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune

FBI director approves new definition of rape

Definition dictates how police report crimes to federal government

By Steve Kilar and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

10:08 p.m. EST, December 15, 2011

The definition of rape that dictates how local police departments report crimes to federal record keepers is expected to change — for the first time in more than 80 years — in early 2012.

The final step of changing the Uniform Crime Report definition of rape was publicly acknowledged Wednesday, when FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he approved expanding a definition that critics say was too narrow.

"[I]t was in some ways unworkable, certainly not … fully applicable to the types of crime that it should cover," Mueller said in response to a question from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., about why it was important to update the rape definition. "I approved a change to that definition, and my expectation is it will go into effect some time this spring."

A call and an email to the FBI on Thursday night were not immediately returned.

"Revising the definition of rape would result in a higher and more accurate number of rapes that are reported nationwide each year," said Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

Women's advocates accelerated their push for an updated definition last year with a hearing on Capitol Hill, spurred in part by reporting by The Baltimore Sun showing how city police had misclassified rapes and sexual assaults for years. Critics say that the current definition is too narrow and leaves crimes uncounted in police statistics, resulting in fewer resources for victims and law enforcement.

"As we in Baltimore know all too well, the accurate and complete reporting of sexual assault is critically important in order to build victim confidence and trust, as well as to understand the nature of the problem nationwide," Guglielmi said.

Since the 1920s, rape has been defined as forcible penile penetration of a female. The definition does not include oral and anal penetration, penetration when a victim was unconscious or male victims.

The new definition includes "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

In Baltimore, reported rapes increased nearly 70 percent last year after police overhauled the way the department investigated sex crimes.

"Data drives resources, and the [Uniform Crime Report] data is used to allocate federal funds," said Carol Tracy, director of the Philadelphia-based Women's Law Project. "Now that we will have accurate data, we need resources appropriately allocated to fight this hideous crime."

Minority Contract Fraud

From ABC7Chicago:
Friday, December 16, 2011

h/t Steve Bartin

60 Minutes Broadcast Edits Out Laughable Obama Claim as 4th Best President

By P.J. Gladnick
December 16, 2011

George Washington was the father of our country.

Eh! No big deal. Barack Obama is least in his own mind. Such was the laughably absurd claim of President Obama on 60 Minutes last Sunday. What? You didn't see it? That was because 60 Minutes conveniently left it out of its broadcast. If you want to see Obama engage in this latest bit of over the top braggadocio you can only see it at the online 60 Minutes Overtime which has a video of the entire interview. You can catch Obama's excessive praise of himself at the tail end of the interview starting with Steve Kroft's question just before the 55 minute mark:

KROFT: Tell me, what do you consider your major accomplishments? If this is your last speech. What have you accomplished?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we're not done yet. I've got five more years of stuff to do. But not only saving this country from a great depression. Not only saving the auto industry. But putting in place a system in which we're gonna start lowering health care costs and you're never gonna go bankrupt because you get sick or somebody in your family gets sick. Making sure that we have reformed the financial system, so we never again have taxpayer-funded bailouts, and the system is more stable and secure. Making sure that we've got millions of kids out here who are able to go to college because we've expanded student loans and made college more affordable. Ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Decimating al Qaeda, including Bin Laden being taken off the field. Restoring America's respect around the world.

The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president -- with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln -- just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we've got a lot more work to do. And we're gonna keep on at it.

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your Obama. That's because in his not so humble opinion, he ranks even higher than John F. Kennedy. Don't feel so bad, President Kennedy. Obama also feels that his administration is better than that of Presidents Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan to name a few.

Hey, Woodrow Wilson! You failed to get the U.S. Senate to vote for a treaty to join the League of Nations. That's because you lacked the up close and personal political skills of our Obama who is renown for shmoozing politicians. The administration of Harry Truman brought about NATO and the Marshall Plan that saved Europe? Boring! Obama used his incredible diplomatic skills to bring the Olympics to Chicago. Okay, he came sort of close to doing it but, hey, he bagged a Nobel Peace Prize for basically existing. Beat that, Harry!

Oh. You say the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration gave us the Interstate Highway System? Big deal, Ike! Barack Obama could have Interstate Highwayed this country in his sleep.

So kneel, all you presidential peons, before the greatness that is Obama. His radiance shines so bright that it dazzled Steve Kroft to the extent that he didn't even bother to ask an obvious followup question.

One can only guess just how extensive the trademark Kroft look of bemused skepticism would have covered his face if, say, George W. Bush had made the same claim of presidential greatness. When Obama makes it, the laughable claim just gets edited out of the broadcast even though it was by far the highlight of the interview.


By: Aubrey Whelan | 12/16/11 11:16 AM

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., embarked on a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with four Occupy DC protesters who have gone without food since Dec. 8 to advocate for D.C. voting rights.

Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in the House, met with the hunger strikers Thursday and pledged to read their declaration – which calls for full voting rights for District residents as well as legislative and budget autonomy – on the floor of the House of Representatives to enter it into the congressional record.

The hunger strikers have been meeting with various lawmakers and their staffers on Capitol Hill this week. Success has been mixed. On Wednesday, strikers staged a sit-in outside House Speaker John Boehner's office for hours, but didn't get a meeting with the Ohio Republican.

Beijing orders bloggers to register real names

Dec 16 10:48 AM US/Eastern

Beijing city authorities on Friday issued new rules requiring microbloggers to register their real names before posting online, as the Chinese government tightens its grip on the Internet.

The city government now requires users of weibos -- the Chinese version of Twitter -- to give their real names to website administrators, its official news portal said.

The new rules will apply to weibo operators based in Beijing, which include Sina -- owner of China's most popular microblogging service which has more than 200 million users.

"Websites with weibo operations must establish and improve a system of content censorship," according to the new rules.

"It is the weibo users' legal duty to use their true ID information to register."

AFP calls to Sina, Netease and Sohu -- two other Beijing-based weibo operators -- went unanswered.

With more than half a billion Chinese now online, authorities in Beijing are concerned about the power of the Internet to influence public opinion in a country that maintains tight controls on its traditional media outlets.

Ordinary Chinese are increasingly using weibos to vent their anger and frustration over official corruption, scandals and disasters.

A weibo user is believed to have broken the news of a deadly high-speed rail crash in China in July that provoked widespread condemnation of the government -- much of it online.

This week, despite attempts to censor the web and a virtual blackout in China's state-run media, weibos have buzzed with news of a protest involving thousands of villagers in the southern province of Guangdong.

Residents in Wukan, which has been under police blockade, have posted information and photos online of their daily rallies to demand justice over land seizures and a local leader's death.

Leading Internet and technology firms have already been pressured to tighten their grip on the web as Chinese leaders try to keep a lid on social unrest in the lead up to a once-in-a-decade leadership transition that begins next year.

Last month the heads of 40 companies, including e-commerce giant Alibaba, search engine Baidu and Sina, vowed to stop the "spread of harmful information" on the web after attending a three-day government workshop.

The seminar was held after propaganda chief Li Changchun, fifth in the Communist Party hierarchy, met the heads of China's main search engine Baidu in September.

That same month, the head of Sina said the web giant had set up "rumour-curbing teams", apparently in response to government pressure.

The Internet has posed a huge challenge to government attempts to block content it deems politically sensitive through a censorship system known as the "Great Firewall".

The number of weibo users has more than trebled since the end of 2010, according to government data, and the speed with which they have taken off has made it impossible for censors to keep up.

Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium

Members of Congress barred from saying 'Merry Christmas' in mailings

by Mark Tapscott Editorial Page Editor
December 16, 2011 12:46pm

Looks like the PC police have threatened members of the House of Representatives against wishing constituents a "Merry Christmas," if they want to do so in a mailing paid for with tax dollars.

Members who submit official mailings for review by the congressional franking commission that reviews all congressional mail to determine if it can be "franked," or paid for with tax dollars, are being told that no holiday greetings, including "Merry Christmas," can be sent in official mail.

"I called the commission to ask for clarification and was told no 'Merry Christmas.' Also told cannot say 'Happy New Year' but can say 'have a happy new year' – referencing the time period of a new year, but not the holiday," said a Hill staffer who requested anonymity.

Another Hill staffer told The Washington Examiner that "we were given that advice after submitting" a draft mailing.

Members of Congress send millions of dollars worth of mail to constituents every year but there are official rules that govern what can and cannot be said in those mailings. Members are barred, for example, from saying anything that might be construed as advocating their re-election.

But saying "Merry Christmas" is also not permitted, according to a Dec. 12 memo from the "Franking Commission Staff" concerning "Holiday Messaging." The memo explains:

Members are unable at the current time to use official resources to record holiday greetings, post on social media/website, or send to constituents in franked mail or e-communications.

Member’s Congressional Handbook: GREETINGS-

Expenses related to the purchase or distribution of greetings, including holiday celebrations, condolences, and congratulations for personal distinctions (wedding anniversaries, birthdays, etc.), are not reimbursable.”

Franking Manual:

4(a). Example of Nonfrankable Items
-Birthday, anniversary, wedding, birth, retirement or condolence messages and holiday greetings are prohibited.”

You may make reference to the season as a whole using language along the lines of 'Have a safe and happy holiday season.' It may only be incidental to the piece rather than the primary purpose of the communication."

A franking commission spokesman confirmed to The Washington Examiner that Members of Congress indeed cannot wish constituents "Merry Christmas" in any official mailing.

"Currently, incidental use of the phrase Happy Holidays is permissible but Merry Christmas is not," said Salley Wood.

So it's true, the elected representatives of the nation that puts "In God We Trust" on its currency are not permitted to use the greeting that has likely been uttered by every living adult American at least once in their lifetimes.

Just another demonstration that political correctness and freedom of speech, faith and thought are utterly incompatible.

UPDATE: Senators can say 'Merry Christmas'

Just got a response from the Senate Ethics Committee, which handles franking issues for the upper chamber. Looks like senators can say things congressmen can't because the Senate franking regulation say this:

"Senators may not use the frank to mail holiday cards. However, Senators may use officially related funds to mail holiday cards to constituents. Holiday cards to friends should be sent with personal funds, not using Senate facilities.

"Senators also may NOT use the frank to ac- knowledge holiday greetings that were sent to them. Senators may express holiday greetings at the commencement or conclusion of otherwise frankable mail."

It's good to be a senator!

Cybersecurity bill would establish 'federal big brother'

By Gautham Nagesh - 12/16/11 11:31 AM ET

Members of the House Homeland Security Committee introduced a cybersecurity bill on Thursday that would establish a quasi-governmental entity to oversee information-sharing with the private sector.

Like the other cybersecurity bills offered by the House GOP, the Promoting and Enhancing Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Effectiveness (PrECISE Act) encourages private firms to share information on cyber threats but stops short of mandating new security standards for sectors deemed critical to national security.

“The risk of cyberattack by enemies of the United States is real, is ongoing and is growing," said Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.). "The PrECISE Act, in line with the framework set forth by the Speaker’s Cybersecurity Task Force led by Rep. [Mac] Thornberry [R-Texas], protects our critical infrastructure without a heavy-handed and burdensome regulatory approach that could cost American jobs."

The bill would clearly delineate the cybersecurity functions of the Department of Homeland Security by requiring DHS to evaluate cybersecurity risks for critical infrastructure firms and determine the best way to mitigate them.

"Cybersecurity is truly a team sport, and this bill gives DHS needed authorities to play its part in the federal government’s cybersecurity mission and enables the private sector to play its part by giving them the information and access to technical support they need to protect critical infrastructure,” said House Cybersecurity subcomittee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.).

By authorizing DHS to oversee civilian cybersecurity, the legislation aligns with proposals from both the Senate and the White House, but it is unclear how much authority DHS would have to enforce its security standards. Democrats have argued DHS needs some enforcement authority to ensure firms beef up their network protections.

The other co-sponsors of the bill include Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) of the Homeland Security Committee, as well as Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.).

“Introduction of this legislation represents a solid and significant step forward in the effort to secure our nation’s cyber infrastructure. While I am not prepared to give my full support to the bill at this time, there’s a lot to like in this bill," said ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). "I am pleased that it gives DHS the authority and resources it needs to fulfill its cybersecurity mission instead of creating a whole new bureaucracy or complicated regulatory framework."

"I acknowledge that this is a good first step in addressing cybersecurity issues. While we continue to review this legislation, I look forward to working with my colleagues in a more collaborative way to strengthen this bill,” added Cybersecurity sub-panel ranking member Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).

GOP: Keystone oil will stay in tax bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – A dispute over a Canada to Texas oil pipeline threatened to complicate efforts in Congress to pass legislation that would avert a New Year's tax increase for millions of Americans and extend government benefits to the unemployed.

Separately, the House of Representatives, in a rare bipartisan vote, passed a $1 trillion spending bill on Friday, after an agreement was reached preventing a potential government shutdown. Senate paassage was expected Saturday.

But finding a compromise on extending payroll tax cuts could be more complicated. Republican leaders are insisting they will not support a tax cut extension unless it includes language on speeding work on the pipeline.
BLOG: Former top aide disputes Obama over oil pipeline
STORY: House passes $1T budget bill, avoids shutdown

Both the Republican leader in the House, Speaker John Boehner, and the Republican minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, made this point Friday.

Boehner said if the Senate sends the House the tax legislation without the pipeline provision, the House will put it back in.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said congressional bargainers were preparing a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and expiring jobless benefits as a fallback plan in case negotiations on a yearlong package do not succeed.

President Obama and many congressional Democrats are opposed to accelerating work on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would run 1,700 miles from western Canada. That conflict has been one of the major hurdles to a bipartisan compromise on the payroll tax package.

Obama has announced he will delay a decision on the pipeline until after next November's elections, citing a need to study the impact the pipeline would have on sensitive lands in the Midwest state of Nebraska. Obama has threatened to reject the payroll tax bill if it includes language on the pipeline.

The postponement would let Democrats avoid having to choose between two of the party's core constituencies: environmentalists who oppose the pipeline and some labor unions, who covet the jobs it would produce.

At issue are the extension of a reduced tax Americans automatically pay into the Social Security pension plan and extended federal government payments to the unemployed.

Obama and the Democrats had wanted to pay for a reduction in the so-called payroll tax by imposing a 1.9% surtax on incomes of the richest Americans, those taking home more than $1 million a year. They apparently have dropped that demand and will find the money to finance continued cuts through higher fees charged by the public-private organizations that guarantees home mortgages.

Congressional Republicans had steadfastly refused to accept any increase on taxes, a bedrock issue for the party.

A new poll shows Americans hold members of Congress from both parties in record low regard, but see Republicans as more to blame for the legislature's poor record of lawmaking this year.

That combined with a new Associated Press-GfK poll that shows Americans broadly in favor of an extension of the Social Security tax cut and a lengthened period of unemployment compensation payments may have helped engender the new mood for compromise.

A poll released Thursday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found public discontent with Congress at record levels, with two-thirds of those surveyed saying current members of Congress should be voted out of office next year. By a margin of nearly two-to-one (40% to 23%), more of those questioned by Pew blamed Republican leaders than Democratic leaders for Congress' "do-nothing" record.

The pre-Christmas wrangling caps a contentious year in a capital hindered by divided government, with Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate and Republicans run the House. Lawmakers have engaged in down-to-the-wire drama even when performing the most mundane acts of governing, such as keeping agencies functioning and extending federal borrowing authority, tasks that are only becoming more politically delicate as the calendar nears the 2012 election year.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Democrat senator was begging for Corzine cash

by David Freddoso Online Opinion Editor

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chaired the first Senate panel before which former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine testified this week. She had reasons to scold him -- he had just lost $1.2 billion in client funds. But he also hadn't paid the piper.

The New York Post reports that despite her "recent" and very persistent efforts to shake him down for contributions, Stabenow couldn't get Corzine to donate:

“She would literally call once every two or three weeks,” one Corzine intimate said of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (DMich.).

“She called all the time.”

Stabenow, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, had blasted the former senator and New Jersey governor Tuesday for his failure to explain what happened to $1.2 billion in missing customer money from his bankrupt firm, MF Global.

“This isn’t the Dark Ages,” she lectured. “MF Global didn’t keep their books with feather quills and dusty ledgers.”

No word on how "recent" it was, although one must imagine it was before this current mess. Corzine, who has contributed a modest sum to Stabenow (and a large sum to Democrats) over the years, is a former Democratic New Jersey Senator and governor. He once served as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

I expected Stabenow to be hard on Corzine, but his failure to pony up kind of adds some perspective to the exchange.

Affirmative action 'judge' released felon who killed cop

Cop-slay judge bails
MIA after Mike’s lashing

December 16, 2011

She’s a judge on the run.

The Brooklyn judge who unleashed a violent ex-con weeks before he allegedly killed a cop was a no-show at work yesterday — the day after Mayor Bloomberg ripped into her for a bail bungle.

Judge Evelyn Laporte was nowhere to be seen in Brooklyn Criminal Court as several City Council members denounced her ill-fated decision to spring Lamont Pride without bail after his arrest last month on drug charges.

There was a warrant for his arrest in North Carolina for an August shooting when he was busted on Nov.3 in New York for crack and pot possession — but Laporte ignored prosecutors’ pleas for $2,500 bail.

Pride, 27, is accused of gunning down Officer Peter Figoski during a Brooklyn home invasion on Monday.

Close to 100 of her cases — most of them brief hearings — were shifted to Judge Geraldine Pickett.

And sources said Laporte is expected to be absent again today.

“Judges are entitled to take a day off, just like you, just like me,” said David Bookstaver, spokesman for the Office of Court Administration.

Laporte’s disappearing act generated much gossip in the courthouse, where sources said she had been on the bench Wednesday when Bloomberg lambasted her.

Court officers whispered that she was off for “personal reasons.”

“She probably didn’t show up today because she was embarrassed by what the mayor said about her,” said a defense lawyer who regularly handles cases in her courtroom.

“I am not shocked that she didn’t come in today,” another defense lawyer added. “It must be really embarrassing for her.”

There was also no sign of the judge at her Brooklyn apartment.

“She has no business being in a Criminal Court,” Councilman Peter Vallone, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said of Laporte.

“She should not be reappointed, nor should she be elected,” the Queens Democrat seethed.

Vincent Ignizio (R-SI) said, “I think it’s disgusting that this thug was allowed to walk the streets given the warrants he has had and his past history of being a violent offender

“Sadly, this judge didn’t look at all the facts and really needs to be held accountable.”

But Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes refused to criticize Laporte, calling her a “very good judge” who had been “a good ADA” when she worked for him.

Bloomberg had lashed out at the judge on Wednesday, saying Pride would have been behind bars if Laporte had done her job properly.

“To suggest . . . that there is some complicity in the death of this heroic police officer, I think, is really over the top,” Hynes said.

Hynes also defended the “entirely appropriate” request for $2,500 bail by Assistant District Attorney Evan Decresce.

“The judge, exercising her discretion, decided there should be no bail,” Hynes said.

Bookstaver said the anger at Laporte and a second judge, Shari Michels — who put an arrest warrant for Pride on hold when he missed a court appearance days after his drug bust — was misplaced.

“They have taken a great deal of criticism, and it comes with the territory,” Bookstaver said. “Some of that criticism is misguided and based on rhetoric.”

And Hynes was apparently unaware that one of his prosecutors failed to even mention to Michels that Pride had an open warrant.

When asked about the gaffe, a clearly confused Hynes repeatedly — and incorrectly — said that case occurred in a Bronx courtroom.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual in Michels’ courtroom, where she presided over her daily calendar call of cases with a five-inch stack of papers on her bench.

Michels, a 46-year-old former Manhattan prosecutor, handled Pride’s scheduled Nov. 15 court appearance, when he never showed. His North Carolina arrest warrant went unmentioned in court that day, and weeks later, he allegedly shot Figoski.

“Hindsight is always 20/20,” Bookstaver said. “The public should really focus its anger on the alleged suspect, Lamont Pride.”

Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) said judges “should not be above public reprimand.”

“What good is it to have the best cops and the best prosecutors when you simply let convicted criminals go free without bail?” he said.

Additional reporting by Sally Goldenberg

Diplomat in Miami linked to Iran-Venezuela cyber-terror plot

Islamic, socialist regimes allegedly colluded to infiltrate White House, FBI, Pentagon, nuke sites

Posted: December 16, 2011
1:00 am Eastern
By Art Moore © 2011 WND

Venezuela's top diplomat in Miami has been linked to an alleged cyber-terrorism plot against the U.S. in collusion with Iran and Cuba that already has prompted alarmed members of Congress to schedule hearings.

Livia Antonieta Acosta Noguera – the current Venezuelan consul in Miami – was the second secretary at the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico in 2006 when a leftist professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico allegedly began to recruit student hackers to build a cyber-weapon to attack the White House, the FBI, the Pentagon and U.S. nuclear sites.

The plot, initiated by the Cuban embassy, eventually drew in diplomats from Iran's radical Islamic regime and Venezuela's revolutionary socialist government led by Hugo Chavez, according to a documentary broadcast by the U.S.-based Spanish-language television channel Univision.

The documentary featured secret audio and video recordings by an instructor, Juan Carlos Munoz Ledo, and students who infiltrated the hackers and captured meetings between the computer engineering students and faculty, and Iranian and Venezuelan ambassadors in Mexico.

The Venezuelan diplomat Acosta was taped asking for information about the planned attacks that she could give to Chavez through his head of security, Gen. Alexis Lopez.

In response to the report, a hearing has been scheduled by the Western Hemisphere subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., to investigate the "threat to the United States posed by Iran's diplomatic and espionage activities in Latin America."

In the House, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has pledged to hold hearings.

In addition, Ros-Lehtinen has sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking for an investigation into Acosta and for the diplomat's dismissal from the U.S. if the allegations are verified.

"If true, these actions demonstrate [Acosta's] willingness to undermine U.S. interests and the potential threat to our national security posed by [her] activities," the letter said.

State Department spokesman William Ostick said U.S. officials can't corroborate the report yet, but he called it "disturbing."

Chavez, who openly has developed close ties with Iran's mullah-led regime, dismissed the report as "lies."

The plot allegedly began in 2006, the year Tehran awarded Chavez the High Medal of the Islamic Republic of Iran during a state visit.

Iran's ambassador to Mexico at the time, Mohammed Hassan Ghadiri, acknowledged he was approached by the Mexican group, but he claimed in an interview in the Univision documentary that he turned down the offer because he thought the Mexicans were CIA agents.

A Univision translation of a secret recording, however, shows him telling the Mexican students he was interested in the plot because it was "very important to know about what [the United States has] in mind, [whether it will] attack Iran or not."

Ghadiri acknowledged to Univision that he consulted with Tehran about whether the Iranian government should support the attacks.

"They proposed this, and we told them that this is not our job. We rejected it," he said. "We don't have any interest in doing those types of things."

The Univision documentary's director, Gerardo Reyes, countered Ghadiri, arguing a "good ambassador with good intentions would have thrown [the hackers] out and contacted the Mexican authorities."

"Instead, he listened to them, he asked questions, he made suggestions," said Reyes.

The recordings show Acosta wanted to deliver to Chavez the access codes to computer systems of nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons arsenals.

Among the facilities to which the group sought access were the Turkey Point, Fla., Nuclear Generating Station and Arkansas Nuclear One, a two-unit plant in Russellville, Ark.

Acosta is heard in a meeting expressing approval when Munoz Ledo tells her he has found the computer passwords to "every nuclear plant in the USA."

Acosta says, according to a Univision translation, "Oh, look, that's good!" and speaks of giving the information to Chavez.

The Univision documentary said the recordings hint at Acosta's close relationship with the Iranian Embassy in Mexico and its ambassador, Ghadiri, "an ambitious diplomat who moved across Mexico to expand the influence of Islam."

Iran recruiting cyber-warriors

The alleged plot mirrors a general movement by Tehran to recruit jihadists and train them as cyber-warriors.

As Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin reported today, jihadists calling themselves "Cyber-Hezbollah" organized a conference in September in Tehran called "Clicks of Resistance" on the occasion of the Holy Defense Week, which marks the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980.

Gholam-Reza Jalali, the head of Iran's Passive Resistance Organization, announced the establishment of the "Cyber War Headquarters of the Islamic Republic" to act against Tehran's perceived threats.

Jalali has said that the Stuxnet computer worm, which attacked Iran's nuclear development program last year, brought an awareness of the effectiveness of cyber warfare.

The Stuxnet incident prompted increased coordination and cooperation in cyber warfare between Iran's various security and intelligence apparatuses, including the Passive Resistance Organization and the Ministry of Intelligence. Agencies related to internal security and the judiciary also have taken part in cyber warfare training.

Meanwhile, WND reported in February that Chavez imprisoned a former presidential opponent, Alejandro Pena-Esclusa, who has warned of efforts by the socialist regime to work with Iran to arm Venezuela with strategic weapons that threaten not only Latin America but the U.S.

Pena-Esclusa was jailed on charges of terrorism after Chavez' political police, the SEBIN, or National Bolivarian Intelligence Service, burst into his family home in July 2010 and arrested him for possession of explosives. Pena-Esclusa's wife claims the agents planted the explosives in their daughter's desk drawer. Amid pressure in Venezuela and internationally, Pena-Esclusa was released from prison July 20 but remains under house arrest as he awaits trial.

John Haskins, a senior fellow for the public understanding of law, propaganda and cultural revolution at the Inter-American Institute, which is pressing U.S. officials to demand Pena-Esclusa's release, called him "among the most effective and respected anti-Marxist, anti-terrorist leaders in the Western Hemisphere."

Haskins has warned that Chavez is using his vast petroleum reserves to finance the purchase of arms beyond what Venezuela needs for legitimate national defense and is acting as a base for countries such as Iran to potentially stage missiles aimed at the U.S.

Chavez also has offered Russia bases for its strategic bombers, submarines and warships.

"If this madness is not soon stopped," Pena-Esclusa wrote in 2009, "there will be another missile crisis, but this time involving the whole hemisphere."

U.S. security experts have confirmed that Tehran plans to base in Venezuela long-range Shahab-3 missiles capable of reaching the U.S. that can carry conventional, biological and chemical warheads.

Chavez also is known for his close collusion with the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, a Marxist narco-guerrilla drug network pushing drugs into the U.S. FARC also is working closely with al-Qaida and other terrorist groups to peddle massive amounts of drugs into Africa to raise funds for their terrorist activities.

'To undermine American society'

A group of Venezuelan organizations in the U.S. has issued a statement urging U.S. officials to "take seriously the risk posed by" Acosta and Venezuela's consular staff "to the security of the United States."

The statement said there apparently "is sufficient evidence showing the links of the Consul Acosta with Iran to undermine American society."

"This is not due to chance but a conceived strategic plan to carry out intelligence operations and facilitate the conditions for terrorist acts within the United States," said the statement signed by Jose Antonio Colina, president of Veppex; Patricia Andrade, director of human rights for the Venezuela Awareness Foundation; Luis Rafael Monch, director of UnoAmerica-USA and Elio Aponte, president of Orvex.

The statement said it "is alarming that to achieve its objectives, [Acosta] entered the U.S. with diplomatic immunity to act with impunity from U.S. soil to ensure that attacks on the United States were effective."

The Venezuelan leaders in the U.S. said they have evidence that Acosta is an active official of Venezuela's intelligence service, the SEBIN, and is suspected of performing espionage against Venezuelans in Miami.

Colina also has sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton on behalf of his group, Veppex, the Organization of Venezuelans in Exile Political Persecuted.

"Their real mission on U.S. soil is espionage and continued persecution of Venezuelan nationals who come to the United States seeking protection," the letter says.

One psycho-lib judge stops death penalty in California! Voters be damned

Judge tosses Calif lethal injection procedure

By PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press
Friday, December 16, 2011

(12-16) 17:08 PST San Francisco, CA (AP) --

A judge tossed out California's newly adopted lethal injection procedure on Friday, throwing the state's already stalled capital punishment system into further doubt.

Marin County Superior Court Judge Faye D'Opal, finalizing a tentative ruling she issued a day earlier, said prison officials failed to properly explain why they rejected a one-drug process using only a barbiturate when one of their experts recommended it as being superior to the three-drug mixture that was adopted to execute inmates.

The judge wrote that critics of the three-drug lethal injection submitted comments to the department saying one of those three drugs — pancuronium bromide — "is unnecessary, dangerous, and creates a risk of excruciating pain."

"Today the court struck down California's three-drug lethal injection protocol because it was enacted in violation of California law," said Sara Eisenberg, an attorney for Mitchell Sims, the condemned inmate who filed the lawsuit challenging the new, three-drug procedure.

Prison officials will now either have to appeal or again revise their lethal injection procedures and submit them to public comment, a process that took more than a year last time.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said state lawyers would review the ruling before deciding what to do next.

D'Opal's ruling is the second court decision barring executions in California. A federal judge imposed a de facto moratorium on executions in 2006 after finding the lethal injection process was flawed in the state.

One of the state's responses to that finding was to adopt the new execution procedure, which D'Opal's ruling struck down.

In her decision, D'Opal also said the Corrections Department failed to disclose the costs of executions, all of which are conducted at San Quentin Prison in Marin County.

The judge noted that former San Quentin Prison Warden Jeanne Woodford said each execution costs the state between $70,000 and $200,000 in overtime for staff, crowd control, training, security and other expenses associated with carrying out lethal injections.

The judge, additionally, said prison officials failed to properly notify the 720 inmates on California's death row of the new procedures.

Sims filed the lawsuit challenging the new regulation last year. He was convicted of killing a 21-year-old pizza deliveryman in 1985 and had killed two other Domino's Pizza employees four days earlier in South Carolina. He's also was sentenced to die in that state.

Sims filed his lawsuit on behalf of other death row inmates like him who had exhausted all their appeals and were at the head of the execution line. At least 12 inmates are in similar situations.

Sims said the new regulations were improperly drafted and violated a California law requiring detailed explanations and public comments on the changes.

Prison officials drafted those new regulations in response to a federal lawsuit filed by condemned inmate Michael Morales, who alleged that California's lethal injection process amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. A federal judge in 2006 ordered the Corrections Department to revamp California's entire execution process.

Besides the new regulations, the department also constructed a new death chamber designed specifically for lethal injections. Prison officials previously were using the old gas chamber at San Quentin for lethal injections, which the federal judge found to be too cramped, dark and antiquated.

The judge banned executions until there is a resolution in Morales' lawsuit, which is pending in San Jose. A hearing in that case was postponed until late next year while lawyers gather evidence.


Associated Press writer Sudhin Thanawala contributed to this story.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Proposal to divide America into two Countries


An expanded proposal to divide America into two countries

This past April 7, sixteen days after the passage of Obamacare, and largely in response to that event, VFR posted Jeffersonian's proposal to divide America into two countries. It was entitled, "The Reds and the Blues: Time for a Divorce?" The article triggered a great deal of discussion at VFR, and aroused much interest in the right-wing blogosphere generally. I don't recall any article at this site being linked by other blogs as much as this one. Jeffersonian has now written a greatly expanded version of the piece in which he fleshes out his proposal and addresses in detail the many problems and questions raised by it.

To my mind, there are still grave problems with Jeffersonian's scenario. For example, it is really conceivable that the seceding new country and the rump United States would, as he predicts, peacefully divide up the U.S. armed forces, including nuclear weapons? However, as I said about the earlier version of the article, the possibility that secession may become necessary can no longer be dismissed, and the discussion has to start somewhere.


By "Jeffersonian"

1) The problem facing us

In the aftermath of the presidential election of 2000, a map of the United States was published in which the counties that had voted for Bush were colored red and the counties that had voted for Gore were colored blue. The result was striking: the "Blue counties" made up only a small fraction of the area of the United States, but they included roughly half of the total population. Outside of the Northeast, the map consisted mostly of a large expanse of red, interrupted by geographically small—but densely populated—urban areas. Note that although the original map showed the United States divided into red and blue counties, it has given rise to the terms "Red states" and "Blue states."

In what follows, I shall often refer to the Bush voters or sympathizers as Reds (although you may prefer to think of them as Republicans or conservatives) and to the Gore voters or sympathizers as Blues (although you may prefer to think of them as Democrats or liberals). Note that the word "Red" in this context has no implication of communist sympathies.

In recent weeks there has been a furor over the health care bill that was pushed through by the Obama administration. This is partly because its opponents feel it is an extremely bad bill: one which will not improve their health care, but instead will add enormously to the public debt. Even more disturbing than the contents of the bill, however, is the fact that it was passed despite the clear opposition of the American people. Every national poll for months had shown that the public did not like the bill; and in the weeks preceding the vote Congress had been besieged by letters, emails, faxes, and telephone calls from constituents, with the great majority opposing the bill.

Those who urged congressmen to vote for the bill did not pretend that the majority of the public was on their side; rather, they urged congressmen to be "courageous" and ignore public opinion. They claimed (correctly) that for Congress to blatantly ignore public opinion did not violate the Constitution. However, it did violate our traditions on the relation of the government to the governed. This is the first time in American history that a major bill has been forced through over the clear opposition of the public. Even if the law itself is beneficial, the manner of its passage was semi-tyrannical, and as a result the social fabric has been badly torn.

Many people believe that the passage of the health care bill will result in the Democrats losing seats in the Congressional elections this fall. That may happen; but even if opponents of the bill gain a clear majority in the House of Representatives, they will still not be able to repeal the bill. To do that would require large gains in the Senate (both this year and in 2012) as well as a GOP victory in the 2012 presidential election.

However, even if repeal occurs, it will not be enough. Repeal of the health care bill is highly desirable, but it will not avert the deeper dangers facing us. The "Blues" will continue their attempts to force their leftist programs on us; and, given the demographic factors (immigration and natural growth), they will eventually succeed and transform the country totally. The ideological gulf between the Blues and the Reds is simply too great, and the Blues are too intolerant and unwilling to compromise, for the type of society we desire to survive.

What sort of society are the Blues aiming for? Obviously, they do not all hold identical political views. By and large, however, most of them want the United States to become more like the "socialist" countries of Western Europe such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Holland.

Most Blues strongly favor significant redistribution of wealth, partly by a steeply progressive income tax, and partly by other means.

Most of them are internationalists and multiculturalists.

Most of them are opposed to deporting (or removing by attrition) the millions of illegal immigrants now in the United States, and indeed wish to continue large-scale immigration of non-Europeans into the United States.

Despite paying lip-service to the idea of constitutional government, the Blues never let the Constitution get in the way of policies they favor, but instead constantly interpret it to mean whatever they wish. Of numerous possible examples, here are four:

(a) Most of them strongly approve of the decision by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, a decision that overturned all existing state laws on abortion. (While one might believe that such laws were ill-advised, there is certainly nothing in the Constitution that prohibits them.)

(b) Perhaps even more extreme was the decision in Wickard v. Filburn (1942). Filburn was a farmer who had been fined by the government for planting too much grain on his land, thereby violating a federal law which had been passed under the auspices of the interstate commerce clause. Filburn pointed out that he had not sold the grain, but rather had used it himself, and that therefore his activity was not "interstate commerce." The court ruled against him, on the grounds that his non-commercial use of his own grain on his own farm "affected" interstate commerce, and therefore came under Congress' power to regular interstate commerce! By so greatly expanding the reach of the interstate commerce clause, the decision almost eliminated the restrictions placed on the powers of the federal government by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

(c) Most Blues seemed quite ready to push Obama's health care bill through by a vote "deeming" the Senate bill had passed without the House of Representatives ever taking a direct vote on the bill. (Faced with public outrage, the House leaders eventually backed down on this procedure, but not because they had any constitutional scruples concerning it.)

(d) The majority of Blues approve of the federal and state governments mandating racial quotas and preferences, even though such laws clearly violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

Despite their claims of being opposed to racism (often expressed very sanctimoniously), the majority of Blues are, by our standards, blatant racists. That is, they strongly favor laws and policies—such as racial preferences and quotas—that deprive some persons of jobs, promotions, college admissions, and scholarships just because of their race. These preferences and quotas were first instituted in the mid-1960s and have gradually become more and more pervasive.

Despite paying lip service to the notion of freedom of speech, in practice many of the Blues often favor censorship laws of various sorts, such as laws banning "hate speech," and repressive "speech codes" on college campuses. These speech codes—usually adopted by a vote of the faculty (typically a very "liberal" group)—provide a clear indication of the way most Blues view the right of free speech and what is in store for us if they triumph.

We don't want to live in a country dominated by such people, and we don't want to bequeath such a government to our children. For that matter, the Blues don't much like us either. Many of them consider us to be racists, religious fanatics, stupid, heartless, and corrupt. It is therefore time for a divorce. Just as a husband and wife with irreconcilable differences are often better off divorcing, so the Reds and the Blues would be far better off if we split into two separate countries.

2) The solution: partition the United States into two countries

If the United States were to be divided into two independent countries—one consisting of the counties that voted for Bush in 2000 and the other consisting of the counties that voted for Gore—then most of the Bush voters would wind up in the "Red country" and most of the Gore voters will wind up in the "Blue country."

One might question whether such a radical procedure is necessary. Could we not achieve our goals merely by convincing more people of the virtues of our policies and then winning some elections? No, such a plan might sound good in theory, but it is bound to fail in the long run because of demographic factors.

The central problem is that the ranks of the Blues are constantly being augmented by the mass immigration of non-Europeans. California and Illinois used to be swing states; but, as a result of immigration, Illinois is now a Blue state and California is a Democratic stronghold. Florida and Texas will follow within thirty years unless the flood of immigrants is halted. Even if immigration is halted, an amnesty for the illegal immigrants already here (a law strongly supported by the Democratic Party, and by many Republican leaders as well) will create an electorate in which the Republicans have little chance of winning. Even without amnesty, the children of today's illegal aliens will become voting citizens within fifteen or twenty years, with almost the same effect.

Indeed, even in the best-case scenario, in which we obtain a moratorium on immigration, and in addition manage to deport the majority of the illegal immigrants, differential birth rates will still be fatal to us within a few decades. The "Anglo" population (the majority of which are Reds) is not having enough children to reproduce itself, whereas the Hispanic population (most of whom are Blues) has a much higher birthrate and its numbers are increasing rapidly.

Actually, the best-case scenario seems improbable. It is unlikely that we will soon adopt a moratorium on immigration. Nor does it seem likely that most of the illegal immigrants here today will be deported: the chances are that most of them will eventually be amnestied. In the course of the next few decades, the political position of the Reds will become hopeless. If we wish our descendants to live in a free country we must secede before that occurs.

3) Will they let us secede?

At this point, even before presenting the details of the secession plan, it may be best to reply to the most common objection to it which, roughly stated, is: "The whole idea is hopelessly impracticable because the United States government will never permit us to leave. Liberals are far too fanatic, far too authoritarian, and far too convinced that their policies are the only just policies to ever let us secede and implement our "unjust" policies in a separate country."

Well, some of their spokesmen certainly sound that way; but in truth most of the individuals who vote Democratic are neither totalitarian nor fanatic. People like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed, and Keith Olbermann are not typical of the Democratic voters. Many of the people who voted for Obama sincerely believed that he represented racial reconciliation and just wanted to show that they were not racists. Many who supported Obama's health reform bill did not do so because they are hard-line leftists, but simply because they are soft-hearted and like the idea of everyone receiving low-cost health insurance. Others support Roe v. Wade not because they like the idea of an intrusive federal government, but merely because they feel that the opponents of abortion are trying to force their way on everyone. Others who voted Democratic were responding to a feeling that Republican leaders have been corrupt and incompetent. For the most part, Democratic voters are not would-be Lenins or Stalins, but are honorable, peace-loving people who are in general willing to live and let live.

Furthermore, most Democratic voters have a pacifistic outlook and are generally unwilling to fight long, bloody wars. (Most liberal Democrats opposed the Vietnam War, and most of them opposed both of the wars in Iraq as well.) When conflicts arise, their instinctive reaction is to try to negotiate a peaceful compromise. Typical slogans are: "There never was a good war or a bad peace," "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war," "Arms are for hugging," and "Give peace a chance."

It is claimed that the crushing of the South's attempt to secede in the 1860s proves that such attempts must be futile. But the Southern secession would probably have been successful, had it not been opposed by as resolute and talented a leader as Abraham Lincoln. Furthermore, even though most Northerners wished to preserve the Union, Lincoln had a hard time sustaining public support for the war. Such support was strengthened in many minds (though weakened in others) by the prospect of ending slavery, a war aim which came to the fore with the Emancipation Proclamation, almost half way through the war. (And note that even Lincoln—as resolute an advocate of preserving the Union at all costs as any we are likely to face—delayed using force until the South made the foolish mistake of firing on Fort Sumter.)

Finally, if despite our attempts to avoid war it does come to actual fighting, the Blue country will be weaker and unlikely to prevail. Consider the advantages that the Red country would have:

Its territory is far larger.

It contains most of the mineral resources of the combined countries.

It generates most of the electric power.

It is self-sufficient in food, whereas the Blue country (and particularly the large metropolitan areas that contain a large part of its population) is not self-sufficient in food.

More of our citizens are armed.

The Red forces will have much higher morale, because they will be fighting to defend their liberties and their independence, whereas the liberty and independence of the Blues are not threatened by simply letting the Red regions leave in peace.

Although the armed forces of the Blue country may be larger as first, they will constantly be plagued with defections, since most members of the armed forces are conservatives, and likely to sympathize with the Reds.

While in principle the Blue armies might invade the Red country, such a campaign will face serious problems in practice. Many of their soldiers will be reluctant to kill people who look like themselves and who mean them no harm. Do you think a general in the Blue army will order a unit to start shelling or bombing a city in the Red territory? And if he does so, will the unit commanders follow his orders, and will the troops under them obey?

A bit of recent history might be instructive. In December, 1989 there were large demonstrations in Timisoara against the Communist leader of Romania, Nicolae Ceaucescu, and he tried to suppress the uprising by force. For the most part, however, the Romanian soldiers refused to fire on the unarmed demonstrators, and the rebellion succeeded. The total loss of life was probably less than 1,000.

It has been asserted that the leaders of the Blue country will feel that they have to control the Red country for economic reasons, namely that the Red country contains the food and mineral resources that the Blue country needs. However, it will be obvious that they can obtain those goods by peaceful trade, as they do right now.

Finally, it is sometimes claimed that the American government will feel that it cannot permit any Red state or county to secede, since if a single such secession might result in the entire country falling apart. Again, an example from recent history might be instructive.

Lithuania had been an independent country between the two world wars, but it was swallowed up by the USSR in the early 1940s and organized as the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, in effect making it a province in the Soviet empire. In the late 1980s, a movement to regain national independence gained strength. Elections were held in early 1990, and in March 1990 the Lithuanian legislature took the bold step of voting to secede from the Soviet Union. Political analysts in the West unanimously predicted that the Soviet government would never permit Lithuania to secede. "The Soviet government is a dictatorship," they said, "and is unpopular in many parts of the Soviet Union. The rulers know that if they permit Lithuania to secede, then other provinces will be emboldened, and the Soviet empire might fall apart. Since the communist regime in control of the USSR has always been willing to act brutally to suppress any threat to its rule, there is no possibility that it will permit Lithuania to secede."

The reasoning seemed impeccable, but that was not the way things actually worked out. The USSR first tried an economic blockade of Lithuania. That did not bring Lithuania to heel. So in January 1991 they tried a military crackdown. That resulted in 14 Lithuanians being killed and about 700 injured; however, the Lithuanians still refused to back down. Perhaps fearful of world opinion, the Soviet government abandoned their attempt to crush the rebellion by force, and in August 1991 it recognized Lithuanian independence. It is worth remarking that Russia had 40 times the population of Lithuania, and even larger advantages in territory, troops, and military equipment, and that Russia had not suffered any military casualties in the fighting.

Does this prove that the secession of the Red states and counties is bound to secede, and that there will be almost no casualties? No, certainly not. All it shows is that we cannot dismiss the possibility of secession as an impractical idea that is sure to fail.

4) How will partition work: some details of the proposal

Since the two countries will be independent nations, each will have its own constitution. As the Blue country will simply be a continuation of the present United States of America with a reduced territory, it need not do anything in order to retain its present constitution.

The Red country, however, being a new country, will have to adopt a constitution. Therefore, it will need to hold a constitutional convention at an early stage. I would expect that the constitution that will be adopted will strongly resemble the present constitution of the United States of America, and will provide for:

A federal republic, with powers divided between the central government and the states;

A division of powers among the legislature, the executive, and the courts.

A "Bill of rights" to protect the civil liberties of individuals.

A procedure for amending the constitution.

Since the Red and Blue countries will be independent nations, each will have its own president, its own legislature, its own court system, and its own set of laws. (Provisionally, of course, the laws of the United States of America at the time of separation will remain in force in the Red country until superseded by laws duly passed by the new government of that country.) The Red country will arrange for its own flag, its own uniforms, its own diplomats, and its own currency.

In general, each person will be a citizen of the country in which he resides. However, provisions must be made for ideological Reds living in the Blue country at the time of the split. Three options will be available for each such person:

He can simply stay where he is and remain a citizen of the United States of America. No positive action will be required from him. The only "loss" that such a person has suffered is that it has become less likely that the federal government will adopt policies or programs that person favors.

The person can, during the period preceding the break-up, move to a location within the Red country and thereby automatically become a citizen of the Red country at the time of the split.

The Red country can also agree that any person who chooses to move to the Red country within a specified period after the split (perhaps one year) can become a citizen of the Red country merely by filing a sworn statement that he wishes to do so and is renouncing his citizenship in the Blue country.

If the person wishes to become a citizen of the Red country, but does not wish to move there, he would have to make a formal request to the government of the Red country, stating that he is prepared formally to renounce his citizenship in the Blue country if his request is granted. In such cases, the Blue country would consider him a resident alien, while the Red country would consider him a citizen residing abroad.

The same set of options would be available, of course, to ideological Blues who are living in states or counties that become part of the Red country. Note that no individual will be forced to move, or to sacrifice his property. Each individual will have voting rights in the country of which he is a citizen, but not in the other.

It is our strong desire, of course, that the two countries will live in peace with each other. We have NO desire to injure the Blue country. Quite the reverse: Even aside from general humanitarian concerns, it is greatly to our advantage that the Blue country—which will be our closest and most important neighbor—enjoys peace and prosperity. We hope and expect that within a few years of the break-up the two countries will be trading extensively with each other. They will export various manufactured goods to us, and provide us with various services; our exports to them will include food, minerals resources, electric power, and various industrial products. Most of this would be simply a continuation of the trade between the two regions that already exists.

A look at the map of the Red and Blue counties shows that many of the large metropolitan areas, although part of the Blue country, will be completely surrounded by Red territory. In all such cases, the Red country should permit freight between any two parts of the Blue country (for example, a train carrying goods from St. Louis to Chicago) to transit Red territory without any tariffs being levied. The same rule, of course, would apply to trucks, or to freight transported by air.

In return, freight originating in the Red country could pass through ports located in the Blue country without being subject to any Blue country taxes. Such shipments would be subject to the ordinary port fees that shipments of American goods had to pay, but no higher. The same would be true for shipments from other countries to the Red country: They could pass through ports in the Blue country without paying import taxes, although they would still have to pay the same port fees that goods being shipped to or from the Blue country incurred.

Each country will, of course, make its own rules on immigration and citizenship. It is to be anticipated that the Red country will severely limit, or prohibit altogether, immigration from Third-World countries such as Mexico. If such immigration really is beneficial, those benefits will therefore accrue solely to the Blue country.

We can also anticipate that the Red country will probably decide to deport, or persuade to leave by means of law enforcement, all or most illegal immigrants residing in its territory, and to end the automatic granting of citizenship to children born to illegal aliens. (Such persons will not be stateless: they will automatically be citizens of their parents' country.)

A related question involves persons already living who were born in the United States, but whose parents were illegal immigrants. In my opinion, such persons were never entitled to American citizenship, and therefore should not be granted citizenship in the Red country even if they happen to reside there now. No great hardship is involved, since such persons are already citizens of their parents' country, and in addition the Blues consider them citizens of the United States as well. In any event, most such persons reside in the Blue country.

Each country will automatically acquire public lands and structures in its own territory, but military hardware will be divided between the two countries.

5) Replies to some common objections

Obviously, there is no room in an article of this length to reply to every objection that might be made to a partition of the United States into two sovereign nations. However, I shall attempt to supply answers to the most common objections. It should be remembered that this would hardly be the first time in history that a sovereign nation was partitioned, and, except where relations between the two countries were markedly hostile, the practical problems involved always got worked out pretty easily.

One possible objection is that neither country will be self-sufficient economically. However, most countries are not self-sufficient. Certainly the United States of America is not: we currently import large amounts of petroleum in order to fuel out cars and trucks. The Red and Blue countries will handle this problem the way most nations do—by peaceful trade with countries that have the things we need.

Another objection is that the Red and Blue countries, if separated, would be much weaker militarily than the United States of America is now. I dare say they would be, but each of them would still be much stronger than any other country in the world, or any plausible combination of foreign states.

The United States Air Force is much, much stronger than that of any other nation, and any reasonable division of it will leave the Red and Blue countries with the two strongest air forces in the world. Likewise, our current navy is enormously more powerful than that of any other nation. Our army might find it difficult to "build democracy" in other nations. However, when it comes to the classic tasks of an army—killing people and breaking things—our capability is unmatched. Furthermore, none of the nations bordering us has strong armed forces. All this is without even taking into consideration our enormous arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Another problem concerns those persons who live in the Red country but work in the Blue country, and vice versa. How will they be treated? Can they retain their jobs? To whom will they pay their taxes?

To begin with, we should remember that this problem only affects a smallish minority of workers. At present, the large majority of Americans either live and work in the same county, or live in one county and work in another county of the same "color." The most common exceptions involve people who live in a big (Blue) city and work in a nearby (Red) suburb. However, this occurs less frequently than you might suspect, since many of the "bedroom suburbs" surrounding big cities vote Blue. For example, all five suburban counties adjacent to Washington, DC voted for Obama by large margins, and he carried all the suburban counties surrounding New York City.

In those cases where an individual lives in the Red country and works in the Blue country he would have to obtain a work permit from the government of the Blue country and to carry adequate identification. In such cases, if the usual rule were followed, he would pay income taxes to the Blue country on the money he earns there.

But could not the two governments cause him trouble if they wanted to? Yes, they could, but they usually don't. Of course, the individual could avoid such problems by changing either his residence or his job; but that would usually not be necessary.

Another objection concerns the question of border crossings. Would visas be necessary? Wouldn't guarding the borders between the two countries be cumbersome and expensive? Well, are visas necessary today to travel between the United States and Canada? One would certainly have to carry adequate ID, but—as long as relations between the two countries are friendly—that would probably be all that would be required.

What would "adequate ID" consist of? The simplest solution would probably be for both countries to issue identity cards to each of its citizens. The notion that this is a "fascist" practice is ridiculous. Most democratic counties—including Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland—have been doing this for a long time. Nor is it a major nuisance: most of us already carry identification with us such as driver's licenses or credit cards. Identity cards will have the added advantage of making election fraud more difficult.

What about visas? These would normally be unnecessary, except possibly at border crossings close to high crime areas, and maybe not even there. Even at such places, it might be sufficient to merely check a person's ID card.

But wouldn't this leave the door open to illegal immigration? Well, I expect that the Blue country will be swamped by illegal immigration, since liberals show no taste for the measures that are needed to prevent it. But the Red country (which we can tentatively refer to as the "American Federal Republic," or AFR) can prevent it, and I expect that they will:

Merely checking people's identity cards will prevent would-be illegal aliens from just walking or driving across the border at regular crossing points.

Would-be illegal aliens can be deterred from sneaking across the border at other points by enforcing significant criminal penalties against persons who do so (in addition to, not instead of deportation).

Depriving illegal aliens of all government benefits, such as the right to collect social security, will be another deterrent to their entering. So will a rigid policy of denying them driver's licenses, or any other licenses or permits.

Enforcing significant penalties against employers who hire illegal immigrants will dry up the supply of jobs which lures them here and will encourage those already here to leave voluntarily.

Finally, most would-be illegal immigrants, seeing how much easier and safer it is to try to enter the Blue country, will avoid the more dangerous action of attempting to sneak into the Red country.

It has been suggested that, since the ideas and programs of the American Federal Republic (the Red country) are so different than those of most other nations, other countries will intervene to destroy it by economic warfare such as boycotts, embargoes, or blacklisting. This seems fanciful to me: If decades of such economic warfare by the Arab states failed to destroy tiny little Israel, how could such activities seriously threaten the American Federal Republic, which will be a large, rich country with abundant natural resources? Nor does it seem likely that many individual countries would be willing to make serious economic sacrifices in a (probably futile) attempt to damage us. Various other countries need our mineral resources and our agricultural products, and virtually all of them are constantly trying to increase their exports, so as to be able to pay for the imports they need.

Finally, it has been suggested that a separation from the Blue states, even if achieved, will only provide a temporary solution to the problems threatening the Red states and counties: In the long run we will still be swamped by immigration, we will be unable to balance our budget, or even to avert fiscal catastrophe, and we will lose our will.

That could, of course, occur (and is likely to happen to the Blue country). I suspect, though, that as the citizens of the American Federal Republic see what is happening to the Blue country, their resolve to defend their borders and control immigration will increase, rather than decrease. The Blues might tax and spend so recklessly that they destroy their economy: the Reds are less likely to do so. I also think that a people with the gumption to secede—and with a pride in its own heritage and accomplishments—is not so likely to lose its will to survive.

6) Why not divide up the present United States by permitting only entire states to secede?

Several people have suggested that since counties have never been sovereign bodies, it would be more reasonable to permit only entire states to secede from the United States of America. Although at first sight that may seem reasonable, on more careful consideration it appears that such a substitute plan would have grave disadvantages.

Perhaps the greatest of these is that in many of the seceding states the Blues would comprise a substantial minority of the population. For example, in the election of 2000 (the source of the original Red-Blue map), Bush received only about 53 percent of the vote in Louisiana, 56 percent in North Carolina, and about 59.5 percent in Texas (a state which he carried by more than 1,300,000 votes). His percentages in several of the other states he carried—such as Missouri, Ohio, and Florida—were much lower still.

Consequently, most of the states in the American Federal Republic would include a large number of people who had been included in that country against their will, and would therefore be disgruntled. Even if they chose to become loyal citizens of the new republic, they would continue to vote against the reforms that conservatives feel are desirable. (In like fashion, many states that remained in the Blue country would include a large number of disgruntled citizens who would continue to oppose and obstruct the policies that the liberals wanted.)

On the other hand, if dissident counties were allowed to secede, then the number of such unwilling citizens of the Red country would be greatly reduced. Most of the Red counties have very large conservative majorities, thus enabling us to make the reforms that are needed, and also giving us the advantage of a relatively homogenous and unified population. The forcible inclusion of large numbers of disgruntled liberals in our new country would give us a larger population; but far from making us stronger, would make us weaker.

Another disadvantage of permitting only entire states to secede is that the Red country would thereby lose a significant fraction of its population, as well as about half of its territory.

7) How do we get from here to there?

Consider how our founding fathers proceeded in the 1770s. After several years in which grievances against the current government (the British crown) were discussed, followed by the Boston Tea Party and the subsequent crackdown on Massachusetts by the British government, they proceeded to call a Continental Congress, with delegates from most of the states present. The first Continental Congress assembled in 1774, but met for only a few weeks. The second Continental Congress assembled the following year, and it was that body that, a year later, adopted the Declaration of Independence.

In similar fashion, after preparing the way with various discussions, articles, and conferences, we might assemble a new "Continental Congress," with delegates from all states in which there is substantial interest in leaving the union. After due discussion, this Continental Congress will draft and approve a new "Declaration of Independence."

It is probably best if the new Declaration follow the format of the one adopted in 1776. Indeed, as much as possible, it might be wise to copy the wording of the original Declaration, with its ringing phrases familiar to Americans today. Even so, we should not expect more than a few states to sign the declaration.

The provisional government of the new republic should promptly invite other states to join it. In addition, the American Federal Republic should make it plain that if any county in one of the seceding states wishes to remain part of the United States of America we will not stand in its way. Correspondingly, if a county in a state that has declined to join the AFR wishes to secede from that state (and from the USA) and link up with the AFR they will be welcomed.

Since it is important that the American Federal Republic function as a constitutional republic, one of the first things the AFR should do is to hold a constitutional convention. We anticipate that the resulting document will be similar to the present American constitution, but not identical.

Now it is easy for any individual to make up a list of changes that he or she thinks would improve the present constitution, but far harder for a group of us to agree on the specific changes. Since an attempt to make many changes in the present constitution will cause a long convention, and we need a functioning constitution quickly, it would be advisable for the constitutional convention to make only a few essential changes but to add a section providing that another constitutional convention to be held within five years. Among the important changes that might be made at the first convention are:

Adding a provision stating that the new constitution should always be interpreted in accordance with the meaning that it had at the time it was adopted — thereby preventing it from being distorted by future court decisions, as has happened to the American constitution.

Adding a clause to Article I, Section 8 of the constitution, specifically authorizing Congress to maintain a system of regular payments to senior citizens — in other words, Social Security. (Without such a clause, opponents will claim that we are trying to surreptitiously make Social Security unconstitutional.)

In like fashion we should add a clause to Article I, Section 8, specifically authorizing Congress to maintain a medical insurance program for senior citizens (in other words, Medicare, or something like it).

We should also add a provision specifically stating that abortion is a matter for the individual states to deal with, and that the federal government has no authority to forbid, mandate, or regulate abortion.

Once a constitution has been adopted, the new republic should proceed to elect a Congress and a president, and at that point judges and cabinet officers can be selected. Only then will the new republic be ready to pass new legislation, including important laws regarding immigration and citizenship.

At every stage of this process we should avoid resorting to violence. It might be that at some point we are attacked and have no choice but to defend ourselves, but under no circumstances should we initiate military action. Even if we are attacked, we should delay striking back, but should instead try to negotiate a peaceful compromise.

It will be important, of course, for the American Federal Republic to have a treaty with the United States of America. Since it is of great importance that the two countries be on friendly terms, in negotiating that treaty, we should bend over backward to be fair to the other side.

At this point, a sympathetic reader might reasonably say, "This proposal sounds good, but what can I do now to help it come true?" Well, you can:

Help build up support for the program by discussing it with your family, friends, or other associates.

Organize or join an organization that is working to further our goals.

Contribute money to such an organization.

Organize or attend conferences to discuss possible problems and tentative solutions, and also to improve our plans.

Do NOT engage in any violence.

As we do this, leaders will emerge and we will gradually discover how to proceed next.

8) The aftermath of separation: Will we prosper?

This is really two questions: Will the new American Federal Republic (the Red country) prosper? And will the remaining portion of the United States of America (the Blue country) prosper? Let us consider the latter question first.

We certainly hope that the Blue country will prosper. The American Federal Republic will be much better off if its principal neighbor—the United States—is economically prosperous. Fortunately, the remaining portion of the United States will have all the material assets that help to produce a prosperous country.

As the majority of the industrial output of the USA today is located in the Blue counties, after the split-up the remaining part of the USA will have a substantially larger industrial output than the new American Federal Republic. Furthermore, since the United States currently has far more than twice the GDP (Gross Dometic Product) of any other country, after the split-up it will still have a higher GDP than any foreign country, even such industrial powerhouses as Germany, Japan, or China. It will also have military forces far stronger than any plausible (or even implausible) combination of enemies.

The territory of the USA will of course be less than it is now; but with more than 600,000 square miles it will still be one of the larger countries on Earth. Furthermore, the value of that territory is greatly enhanced by the fact that it is crisscrossed by a network of railroads and superhighways, and the fortunate circumstance that virtually all of it lies in temperate climates. In addition, it will include an unmatched set of great natural harbors (such as those of New York and San Francisco) and port facilities.

The Blue country (the remaining part of the USA after the departure of the Red counties) will probably start with a population of somewhere between 150 million and 200 million. Furthermore, most of those people are literate, and a large number have very valuable job skills. In addition, the Blue country will enjoy all of the supposed advantages of diversity.

Since most of the most prestigious universities in the United States — indeed, in the world—are located in the Blue country (schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Caltech), the stripped-down USA will still contain the most remarkable group of scientists and scholars in the world.

The Blue country will also wind up with the majority of the leading cultural centers (such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York), as well as a majority of the leading hospitals, and almost all of the great museums.

In addition, it will include Wall Street—which, despite some recent reverses, is still the world's leading financial center—as well as the aircraft and motion picture industries (which provide a sizable portion of our overseas earnings).

Last, but certainly not least, it will include a working constitution, and a complete set of government institutions (including the federal courts, the various federal agencies, and a group of experienced personnel to run them) that have been built up under that constitutional framework.

Therefore, the Blue country certainly could prosper; however, it is not certain that it will. History shows that a country can have all the obvious material requirements for success, and yet still do poorly. Intangible factors such as ideology, partisanship, and leadership sometimes prove more important than territory, climate, natural resources, factories, or education. The Blue country will have, in exaggerated form, all of the political problems that plague the United States today:

A large number of citizens who favor leftist economic policies

Large numbers of welfare recipients

Large numbers of criminals

Ethnic groups that mistrust each other

A superabundance of diversity in language, race, and religion.

I therefore suspect that within a few decades the Blue country will fail badly. I may be wrong, of course, and certainly hope that I am. However, even if my prediction is correct, the Blue country will still be in control of its destiny, and therefore able, at least in principle, to modify or reverse ill-advised policies and again become prosperous.

At first sight, it might appear that the Red country—the new American Federal Republic—will face greater difficulties than Blue country. It will have far less industry, almost no ports, and will lack the great universities (with their assembled scientific talent) that the Blue country has. Furthermore, it will lack the "diversity" that most Blues believe is necessary for success in the modern world. A more careful analysis, however, suggests that the American Federal Republic is likely to prosper:

With an area of perhaps 2,500,000 square miles, it will be one of the largest countries on Earth, with the additional advantage that most of it will enjoy a temperate climate. As its territory includes most of the food-producing parts of the present USA, it will be self-sufficient in food and will probably have a large surplus for export. It will also include the lion's share of America's mineral resources, enabling it to meet most of its own needs and also to gain foreign exchange to pay for needed imports.

Even more important will be its human resources: about 150 million persons, mostly literate, hard-working, and with useful job skills. Furthermore, since most of the high crime areas in the USA today are in the big cities, the Red country will have a markedly lower crime rate than America does today. For the same reason, it will also start with a smaller fraction of its citizens on welfare.

Another feature that will help the American Federal Republic to prosper is that the great majority of its population is devoted to the idea of living in a constitutional republic and that they favor a constitution that protects vital civil liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press. (None of the countries in Europe has as profound a devotion to those rights as we do.) Furthermore, our population is experienced in the actual practice of democratic government, rather than just liking the general idea.

Still another advantage that the American Federal Republic will start with is that most of its citizens are proud of our heritage. (In contrast, many of the Blues are ashamed of their heritage, and keep apologizing for their past.) Furthermore, most of the citizens of the AFR strongly favor free enterprise and will resist any conversion to a socialist state.

In addition, the AFR will have the inestimable advantage of starting out with a relatively homogeneous population. As Publius wrote in 1787 in the Federalist Papers (see paragraph 5 of paper number 2, probably composed by John Jay):

Providence has been pleased to give this ... country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs ...

Actually, Jay was overstating his case somewhat. There were actually three quite different groups living within our borders at the time. Only by ignoring both the black slaves and the Indian tribes could he call us "one united people." The white Europeans that Jay was referring to comprised less than 80 percent of the total population at the time.

Today, fortunately, we have eliminated the blight of slavery. And while non-Hispanic whites are only about 70 percent of the population of the present United States, they will constitute about 85 percent of the starting population of the American Federal Republic (because the large majority of American blacks and Hispanics live in the Blue country), giving the AFR more homogeneity than the United States had when the American constitution was drafted. Actually, the situation is even better than those figures imply. Virtually none of the American Indians or black slaves had been assimilated when Jay wrote, whereas many of the Blacks and Hispanics living in the Red counties today have been assimilated.

The American Federal Republic will therefore, in its most important attributes be similar to what the United States of America was in the late eighteenth century. It may start out with fewer factories than the Blue country has, and have far fewer museums and libraries, and less prestigious universities (just as the early United States had fewer factories than England, fewer museums and libraries, and no universities that could rival Oxford and Cambridge). But factories can be built, and museums and libraries can be founded, and our colleges and universities, unhampered by quotas and preferences, will acquire better students and better faculties than the established universities in the Blue country. Just as the United States flourished after gaining its independence, and built a "shining city on a hill," so—with courage and determination—can we.

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