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Second Edition
February 28,  2010
These are the times that try men's souls. Thomas Paine

The argument for liberty is not an argument against organization, which is one of the most powerful tools human reason can employ, but an argument against all exclusive, privileged, monopolistic organization, against the use of coercion to prevent others from doing better. Friedrich Hayak

America's Lasting Dishonor

As early as the 17th Century Renaissance it was resolved by many European nations that the use of torture is inhumane, immoral and largely useless for purposes of proving the actual truth of events.  Over centuries medieval nations developed practices of war that avoided attacks on non-combatants.

After World War I, under the Third Geneva Convention, modern nations banned the use of torture under international law, including false drowning and many other torture methods used over the millennium.  After Germany and Japan were defeated in WWII, it was further resolved by the Fourth Geneva Convention that the indiscriminate killing of civilians even in the direct course of war is a serious crime.  Full Story

Russia Made Huge Mistake in Selling Alaska

Russia and the United States signed a treaty selling Alaska to the U.S. for $7.2 million on March 30, 1867. The deal was considered a great achievement of diplomacy at the time.

The Russians began exploring the northwestern coast of North America in the first half of the 17th century. By and large, Russia discovered the

region, and thus owned it for the next 126 years.

Private property

Saying that the Russian Empire actually owned Alaska would be a sort of exaggeration. In actuality, Alaska Territory was owned by a transnational corporation called “Russian-American Company.” Founded by Siberian merchants in 1799, the corporation had a monopoly on all trade, business, and natural resources in Russian America i.e. Alaska and California, the Island of Sakhalin and Kurile Islands. The reason why the company held sway over the vast areas was clear and simple: the Russian-American Company operated under auspices of the tsarist family.

On the one hand, the Russian-American Company took full advantage of the situation. For instance, the Russian managers cut a fictitious title transfer deal with their U.S. partners in the midst of the Crimean War. The agreement was designed to keep Russian assets from being seized by Russia’s enemies e.g. Britain. On the other hand, the company’s close relationship with the Russian elite eventually backfired. A threat began to loom on the horizon.    Full Story


….Passing Events and People ….

Alaska's Courts
Pass on Secession from the Union

t is a maxim in the law that courts are ill-suited to decide politically-charged cases.  But sometimes they must.
The Alaska courts were faced in consecutive lawsuits with the question of whether it would be lawful for a citizens' vote to mandate independence as a Nation for Alaska.  The Alaska Constitution is silent on the question of secession from the United States, just as the US Constitution is.  The eleven Southern states that seceded in 1861 were forcibly returned to the Union years later under military occupation.  In 1865 the US Supreme Court unsurprisingly held that secession somehow was unconstitutional.  If the Dred Scott decision helped launch the Civil War, the secession case had no effect at all on the war.  The matter of secession has not been addressed in substance again by the federal courts.  One would expect this question would have instead been resolved through a constitutional amendment as the abolition of slavery and civil equality for all citizens were enacted in the wake of the Civil War. 
Full Story


A Socialist Indictment:

America, the Land of Inequality

13 February 2010

Reprinted from the World Socialist Web Site,

New studies reveal that the social divide between rich and poor in the US has grown much starker in the current economic crisis, and that even before it hit the country was the most unequal of the advanced economies, with great wealth and extreme poverty having become virtually hereditary conditions.

President Barack Obama has done nothing to reverse decades of wage stagnation, mounting poverty, and attacks on the social welfare system. On the contrary, following George W. Bush, he has seized on the crisis to redistribute wealth to a tiny financial elite through the ongoing bailout of the finance industry.

This demonstrates a fundamental political reality: no reform that benefits the broad masses can come from a government and two-party system so openly in the clutches of Wall Street. The financial aristocracy’s grip over all the levers of state power must be broken by the working

class, independently mobilized behind a socialist program.  The impoverishment of the working masses amidst the current economic crisis is documented by a recent report from Northeastern University analyzing unemployment in 2009, based on income data for the previous year.

Unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2009 for those in the bottom 10 percent of household earnings was at the Depression level of 31 percent. A broader measure of unemployment, the labor market underutilization rate—which combines unemployment, underemployment, and those who have fallen out of the workforce because they have ceased actively searching for work—was over 50 percent among the bottom decile of earners, for the second decile, 37.6 percent, and for the third and fourth lowest income deciles, 17.1 percent and 15 percent, respectively. For the top 10 percent of earners, the underutilization rate was 6.1 percent.  Full Story


Restoring the Constitution

More and more, people are in favor or returning to the historic meaning of the United States Constitution, a small federal government limited in its powers to those directly granted by the words of the Constitution.

Having gone so far away from this model of government, such a return seems an impossible dream.  So, how could the United States restore its Constitution in the wake of the present economic meltdown?

It will be unfortunately a jarring process for many Americans given the hole the Republicrats have dug, but far less painful than a  further descent into fascism will be.  Economic pain for a period of time is the price to be paid for not correcting our course back to liberty long before this disaster took hold.

All the impossible government promises will have to be forgotten.   The end of the welfare/warfare state will dislocate millions of workers as people leave unproductive lines of work created by the 70-year Washington, D.C. expansion bubble.  A return to free people and free markets could be derailed by opponents anywhere along the way, and then sent into reverse again. 

Therefore, once a majority in Congress in 2012 or 2016 is ready to make the leap back            Full Story

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