Monday, December 10, 2007

Secession News

Item 1
Second Vermont Republic founder and its chief cook and bottle washer, Thomas Naylor, is miffed.   It seems someone gave a secession party and he wasn't invited.

Since ol'Tom has taken to deleting from his website some of his crazier material, here are both of his recent comments on the conference in their entirety:
The Empire Strikes Back in Charleston, S.C.

As a founder of the Second Vermont Republic, one of the most high profile secession movements in America, I am often asked, “Do you think Big Brother is watching you?” Until recently I have always answered, “I don’t know.” But that all changed two nights ago, when I received a late night phone call informing me of a forthcoming conference to be held in Charleston, S.C. on December 6-8 on “Secession As An International Phenomenon.”

According to the website ARENA, thirty scholars will explore the history and theory of separatism and secession around the world. The conference will be sponsored by the University of South Carolina, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and ARENA, the Association for Research on Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Americas.

Although I have been following the literature on secession for over fifteen years, only one of the thirty speakers is known to me.

Implicitly, the conference appears to divide secession movements into those that are good and those that are bad. Good secession movements take place in locations far away from the United States and Canada. The ultimate example of bad secession is the American Civil War. And to drive the point home, the conference concludes with a boat trip to Fort Sumter, the defining metaphor for the failure of secession in America.

No attention whatsoever will be devoted to any of the thirty or so secessionist movements in the United States or to the Parti Quebecois in Canada. No one from the League of the South, the Second Vermont Republic, the Alaskan Independence Party, the New Hampshire Free State Project, or the Puerto Rican Independence Movement was invited to participate. It’s almost as though the conference organizers believe that interest in secession died in the United States back in 1865, just as Abraham Lincoln would have wanted us to believe.

Ironically, there will be a session on “The Ethics of Secession,” even though the conference is funded by NEH, an agency of the United States government once chaired by Lynne Cheney. The U.S. government is unconditionally committed to the preservation of The American Empire at all cost. There is also a session on “Taiwan Secession.” One of the sponsors is the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. Very interesting!

And then there is ARENA, one of the conference sponsors. Where does ARENA get its funding?

To what extent will Big Brother use this academic conference to disseminate misinformation about secession so as to counteract the recent upsurge in interest in secession nationwide? Have the conference organizers allowed Big Brother to use them or are they using Big Brother to achieve their own personal goals? Or is it a little of both?

The conference is free and open to the public. We encourage secessionists in the Atlantic Coast states to attend and ask lots of good questions. This will provide the academic panelists with the opportunity to meet some real secessionists. And that might not be all bad.

Thomas H. Naylor
November 27, 2007
Some Questions About the Charleston Secession Conference

On December 6-8 there will be a conference in Charleston, S.C. entitled “Secession As An International Phenomenon.” The conference will be sponsored by the University of South Carolina, the National Endowment for the Humanities (a U.S. government agency), the Association for Research on Ethnicity & Nationalism in the Americas (ARENA), and others. A number of questions have arisen about this conference.

1. Why is an agency of the U.S. government, NEH, sponsoring a conference on secession?

2. Why were none of the 30 or so active state secession movements in the U.S. invited to participate in or co-sponsor this conference? This is particularly puzzling in light of the participation and sponsorship of the Taipei Economic and Cultural office.

3. Why was the Parti Quebecois in Canada not invited?

4. One of the conference sponsors is ARENA. What exactly is ARENA? Is it supported by the U.S. government?

5. Will the Dept. of Homeland Security be represented at the conference? What about the CIA or the National Security Agency?

6. What is the Institute for Southern Studies? By whom is it funded?

7. What about the Watson-Brown Foundation?

8. Why is so little attention devoted to the secession of the six Eastern European satellites of the U.S.S.R. from the Soviet Union in 1989? What about the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union itself? Wasn’t that a form of secession?

9. What exactly are the conference objectives? Where are they clearly spelled out?

10. How much money did the U.S. government contribute to the support of this conference?

11. Why is the conference being held in Charleston, S.C.?

12. Most academic conferences don’t include boat tours. Why does this one include a boat tour of Fort Sumter?

13. Few of the thirty scholars invited to this conference are actually closely identified with secession. Why is this the case?

Thomas H. Naylor
November 29, 2007
Naylor's thought and musings on the conference notwithstanding, here's what I was able to learn about the conference in Charleston, SC that was hosted by the University of South Carolina's Association for Research on Ethnicity & Nationalism in the Americas (ARENA) entitled "Secession As An International Phenomenon".   You can view the participant list here.   The abstract of papers from the conference participants may be found here.   Apparently the only participant known to Naylor is David Armitage.

Naylor is so outraged by the slight of his non-inclusion in what was to be an academic conference and not the usual partisan dog and pony show he's accustomed to being a part of that he's begun yet another of his smear jobs by suggesting with absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the conference is nothing more than a "vintage U.S. government misinformation campaign."   He made that paranoid statement in another appearance of his on the racist radio program, The Political Cesspool, hosted by David Duke acolyte, James Edwards.   He continues to push the canard that his Chattanooga "conference" was a red state/blue state meeting of the minds.   Nothing could be further from the truth.   Fact of the matter is that "blue state" organizations that went to his conference last year in Burlington didn't bother to show up this time.   Seems they've gotten their fill of being used for window dressing by Naylor and his friends like the racists and neo-Confederates at Hill's LoS and James Edwards' Political Cesspool.   You can hear the whole sorry thing here but you'll need to wade through nearly 40 minutes of Edwards' not-ready-for-prime-time radio "chat" about the brilliance of Pat Buchanan, his comments about the greatness of European ethnicity over all others in America, "towelheads" and some other junk.   I guess this is another "media appearance" that Naylor won't be crowing about as he usually does on his websites.

Also not invited to participate in the conference (according to Naylor) was UNC's own Clyde N. Wilson.   For those of you who may not know him, Wilson is another of Naylor's League of the South buddies.   Naylor wonders to Edwards why Wilson wasn't "consulted, invited to, or even told about" the conference being hosted by the very department at UNC that Wilson teaches in.   The answer to that is obvious.   Racist ideologues like Wilson are an embarrassment to institutions of learning, just as their allies here in Vermont like Naylor are to average, decent Vermonters. [1] [2]

And to underscore the close ties that exist between SVR and the League of the South, here's the Youtube posting by the LoS of the Naylor and Hill joint appearance on the notorious Glenn Beck Show.
Update: 12/11
One reader who took the time to listen to the stream of the 12/6 Political Cesspool appearance by Naylor points out Naylor mentioned that an LoS group in Charleston intended to make an appearance at the conference.   While I could find no confirmation of this neo-Confederate rabble crashing the party, I did find this chatter in the Charleston area about Naylor which then led me to this about one of Naylor's homophobic allies, Corey Burnell of the even wackier Christian Exodus, working himself up into a self-righteous lather over a supposedly gay SC senator.   Also turns out that Burnell is backing a former member of the White Citizens Council (that now calls itself the Council of Conservative Citizens) for Lindsey Graham's Senate seat.   Remember, these are the same people that Naylor cooes about having been with at his Chattanooga conference during his Cesspool interview by the racist James Edwards.   Nice!

Item 2
There's a new blog regarding Vermont secession called The Vermont Secessionist that's been started by Marc Awodey.   Marc calls for new leadership for the Vermont secession movement.   Hope that doesn't earn him a Naylor smear.

Good luck Marc!

Item 3
Finally, as most of you may know, this blog began as my own personal exploration of secession and what it might mean for me and my fellow Vermonters.   In the process I discovered what turned out to be a crass, exploitive, dishonest campaign by a relocated Southerner who now calls Vermont home, to advance his racist, neo-Confederate views and those of his friends.

Despite all the spin churned out by Thomas Naylor, Kirkpatrick Sale and Rob Williams, it's become clear to all that SVR is a spent force.   The only one who doesn't seem to get that is Naylor.   He has no political base, no matter how many essays he spews out or phony polls he fabricates.   He hasn't received press coverage here for more than six months (and, no Tom, puff pieces by inexperienced, newcomers like the VT AP bureau chief don't count for anything, no matter how much you tout them).

This blog will remain as a resource and record for anyone who may be looking at Vermont secession and it proponents.   I'll post again should something noteworthy occur but for now I think Thomas Naylor has done so much damage to a secession movement here in Vermont that there may be nothing more to report in the future of any note than SVR's death rattle.


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