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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Texas takes two major steps toward seceding from the US

Maybe this time we should just let them go...
...And take South Carolina with them. 
By Will Collette

While we may think we live in our own little world here in Charlestown and Rhode Island, it's important to pay attention to what happens elsewhere. I am especially concerned with Texas because they seem to set the trends for what happens at the far-right end of the political spectrum. And lately, Texas has taken a couple of major leaps into the deep end.

I’m sure for many Texas politicians, this is just a media stunt, but to a growing number of Texans, it seems they’re OK with their government setting a course toward Texas breaking off from the rest of the United States. A new “Republic of Texas” as it was in the early 1800’s Alamo days. Maybe even a new Confederacy.

Two significant new laws were passed by the Texas legislature that could set up a major Constitutional crisis.

One is House Bill 483 that establishes a new Texas gold repository and the beginnings of a new Texas currency in direct violation of the US Constitution.

The second is an $800 million appropriation to expand an already existing Texas military. In addition to a Texas National Guard, there already exists a Texas State Guard. Click here to read the Associated Press story.



Most people never heard of the Texas State Guard until Texas Tea Party Governor Greg Abbott directed that state guard to keep a careful watch over US Special Forces troops that are conducting a large training exercise called “Jade Helm.”

Some of the crazier elements in Texas – which apparently includes their Governor – believe Jade Helm is an operation launched by President Obama, with the help of Wal-Mart, to use US special forces to take over Texas, seize all their guns and herd “patriots” into concentration camps that are to be located in recently closed Wal-Mart stores (“clean-up in Aisle 3”) that, according to the theory, are all linked by tunnels.

I am not making any of this crazy shit up.

The last time states seceded from the Union, it led to the Civil War that cost the lives of 620,000 people, around 2% of the total population of the country at the time. Our nation has never fully recovered from that war. This time, maybe it would be better for all to just let Texas go. I have a lot of family and friends there and like the state the way it used to be. But it’s just gotten too crazy.

I am reprinting two articles below on the two actions by Texas that take us closer to that decision point.

Endorsed by the 10th Amendment Center where state Rep. Blake
"Flip" Filippi served as a legal advisor.

Texas needs to re-read the US Constitution. In particular, this section, from Article I, Section 10:
No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
Note the key phrases, they shall not coin money, emit bills of credit, or make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts. Incidentally, the use of “Gold and Silver Coin” at the time of the US Constitution was understood as “Dollars,” a Spanish system of currency also known as a “Piece of 8.”

So, when Texas passed House Bill 483, to create a state-run precious metal depository for the backing of currency, it just violated the US Constitution. By signing a law which enables people to write checks, to debit off of, or otherwise draw currency off of these deposits without any tie to the federal government, the state of Texas just decided on taking the US Constitution, and pissing all over it.

But, to fund this plan, Texas clearly forgot this bit from Article I Section 9:
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.
To pay for it, Texas plans on taking gold out of the Federal Reserve of New York. The problem with this plan is, of course, that Texas has no gold on deposit in any reserve, nor in Fort Knox. There is also the awkward bit that Texas falls under the Federal Reserve of Dallas, not New York, so any such request must be filed with their local Reserve branch.

So, Governor Abbot has decided on withdrawing non-existent gold bars from the Treasury, in effect demanding the US Government give Texas money without any authorization from Congress. And to use these bars to then create a Texas-only currency backed by these phantom gold bars. In all, this is a clear violation of the US Constitution, and potentially a sign of senility on the part of Governor Abbot.

The origin of this idea is rooted in right-wing conspiracy theories, which attempt to create a fantasy that the US had a gold standard and everything was perfect under it. In reality, the US never had a true gold standard, and originally had used a currency designed around inflation to function, much as we do today.

Texas has effectively just declared itself independent of the US Constitution. So much for “Patriots” within the Lone Star State.

Author: Nathaniel Downes is the a native of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington developing the next-generation superpowered MMORPG, City of Titans. Feel free to follow Nathaniel Downes on Facebook or Google Plus. He has just released his first book, available in HardcoverPaperback, and Kindle.

Note how the Confederate flag is placed ABOVE the American flag
The jokes about Texas seceding from the country are becoming a bit too real. Now the state, already stockpiling its own gold reserves and terrifying its residents by entertaining the idea that President Obama is on the verge of invading, will spent close to a billion dollars building a sophisticated, well-armed border militia with hundreds of full-time soldiers meant to wage war with immigrants illegally crossing the border into the United States. What could go wrong?

There was a lot of unease when former Governor Rick Perry purchased six bona fide gunboats, complete with side-mounted machine guns, to patrol the Rio Grande looking for families who may be trying to sneak into Texas. Since then, more weapons and bigger fences have been added to Texas, but newly elected Governor Greg Abbott seems to want to make Perry’s term in office look downright peaceful.

Abbott approved a Republican measure that will spend $800 million turning Texas’ border with Mexico into an all-out war zone. Texas, a state with the ugly distinction of “most uninsured residents in the country,” justifies spending that staggering around of money on weapons and soldiers because Republican lawmakers claim the Mexican gangs are this close to taking their violence and crime into the United States.

According to Talking Points Memo:
On Texas’ shopping list is a second $7.5 million high-altitude plane to scan the border, a new border crime data center, a 5,000-acre training facility for border law-enforcement agencies and grants for year-round helicopter flights. The state also wants to hire two dozen Texas Rangers to investigate public corruption along the border and 250 new state troopers as a down payment on a permanent force along the border.
However, Texas is doing this at a time when immigration is down precipitously. It may not be talked about much on Fox News, but illegal immigration is down by a huge margin in recent years. Even after the surge in child refugees arrived at the border looking for safety last summer, the United States is currently sitting in an illegal immigration low point.
“As the Department of Homeland Security continues to pour money into border security, evidence is emerging that illegal immigration flows have fallen to their lowest level in at least two decades. The nation’s population of illegal immigrants, which more than tripled, to 12.2 million, between 1990 and 2007, has dropped by about 1 million, according to demographers at the Pew Research Center.”
So Texas is spending hundreds of millions and arming itself to the teeth at exactly the wrong time.
Of course, there may be other reasons Texas wants more military hardware and state troops – the paranoia and anti-federal government hostility that has, by all accounts, hit the conservative mainstream in Texas. 

Actor and famous Texan Chuck Norris infamously penned an article suggesting the idea that President Obama would invade Texas to confiscate the guns of patriots wasn’t hard to believe.

The Texas governor, who should know better, even reassured terrified Texans that he had ordered his state’s military to “monitor” the U.S. troops conducting military exercises in Texas just in case they try to secretly takeover Texas… a state they already technically control.

The lunacy has validated some deep-seated delusions that many in the fringe right-wing have. For some in Texas, it’s not whether or not Obama will invade Texas, it’s when. Abbott’s new personal army may be less about stopping illegal immigration – because it’s already stopped – and more about reassuring his craziest supporters that if push comes to shove, Texas could defend itself against the federal government.

So it is not Mexican drug gangs that should be afraid, it’s any American with enough common sense to see that one anti-government state stockpiling troops and weapons seems like a supremely bad idea.

Author Jameson Parker covers US politics, social justice issues, and other current events which aren't getting the attention they deserve. Feel free to follow or drop me a line on twitter.