Secessionist Growing Pains

Yesterday I received a forwarded email from Harold Thomas of The Ohio Republic. The subject matter was an email that he received from Kirkpatrick Sale of The Middlebury Institute. In the email, Mr. Sale seems to wax eloquently about the good work being done by The Tenth Amendment Center on his, i.e. the NAmerican secessionist movement, behalf:

“STATE SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT UPDATE

“The following article from the Christian Science Monitor gives an update on the state sovereignty movement of the last few months. (I have also attached it.) A good website, Tenthamendmentcenter.com, has agreed to monitor the movement’s progress. (emphasis mine)

“It’s not secession, of course, but it has the seeds of that.  Worth following.

“Kirkpatrick Sale, Director, Middlebury Institute, MiddleburyInstitute.org”

It is quite conceivable that less incendiary fabrications have warranted a shot across the bow via a letter on lawyer’s letterhead demanding two things: to cease and desist, and to offer a public retraction and apology.

Mr. Sale’s statement would seem to infer three crucial things: 1./ that there is a direct relationship between The Middlebury Institute, a representative body of the NAmerican secessionist movement, and The Tenth Amendment Center; 2./ that The Tenth Amendment Center is working to his guidance, and; 3./ that the inferred relationship has The Tenth Amendment Center occupying the junior position.

That such a seemingly brazen misrepresentation should come from someone who fancies himself “The Leader” of a one-man think tank is neither here nor there. What is of political and diplomatic importance is that Mr. Sale’s statement denigrates the work of someone like Harold Thomas who, for the last three months has been walking a fine line between his own secessionist sentiments and working diligently, while keeping the two issues separate, on behalf of the Ohio States’ Rights movement.

As has already been pointed out by Harold on his blog is that Mr. Sale is just a tad Johnny-Come-Lately. The same out-of-sync grasp of events was witnessed in an email I received from Mr. Sale last week.

In the email Mr. Sale raises concerns about the efforts underway to launch The North American Secessionist Congress (NASC) this coming October in Columbus, OH. As his concerns reflect on the NAmerican secessionist movement in whole, the movement deserves the courtesy to know what those concerns are. Mr. Sale’s email is as follows:

“I don’t have any clear idea of what you are planning for October, or why, and you might have consuloted (sic) me before embarking on this, but I would ask you to consider changing the name of the meeting, for it will clearly not be a Congress, as were my three events, as that means official delegates from independent organizations (as the members of the Philadelphia Congresses in 1770s).  ‘Convention’ would fit your bill.

“BTW, there was never any congress slated for Texas.  It was a possible site if I determined there was enough secessionist action going on to merit another gathering of delegates; I haven’t so far.”

Mr. Sale’s feigning of ignorance as to what is being planned for October is a bit of a stretch. Prior to last November’s Third North American Secessionist Convention, I had hoped to place a motion on the agenda for the creation of the NASC. To this end, again prior to the Convention and as a first-time Convention delegate, I asked Mr. Sale if he would broker an introduction to a seconder for the motion. He declined. Furthermore, I asked him if he would consider allowing his name to stand as the NASC inaugural Chair, should the motion make it to the floor and pass. There was no response to this question, ergo a negative. As the motion was built into a PowerPoint presentation and, as the A/V equipment that was promised me was not delivered and, as the meeting was not conducted conducive to presenting a motion (Mr. Sale held the “Chair”), the motion was not presented. Not only did Mr. Sale show indifference to the idea of an NASC, but via his conduct he was actually hostile towards it. Since that time, Mr. Sale fails to understand (or purports to not understand) the several posts on my blogs beginning with NAmerican Secessionist Movement Asleep-At-The-Wheel dated January 9, 2009. (Email records for all of the above available on request.)

Whom I choose to approach and work with is my prerogative. I was not aware that it was necessary to pander to Mr. Sale’s approval and endorsement as to what I choose to “embark” on. I have asked for support within the secessionist community towards the building of the NASC and slowly that support has and is materializing. Trust is not a freebie; it must be earned. A Steering Committee is in place. I work with whom I share a certain degree of synergy, political affiliation and common vision. This is not exactly rocket science.

By claiming that “his” three events constituted a Congress, Mr. Sale would seem to be treating the truth somewhat cavalierly. As a matter of fact, The Middlebury Institute has gone out of its way to bill its events as conventions. What else, pray tell, could they be? There is no executive, no officers, no due parliamentary process as per Roberts’ Rules, a unilateral rubber-stamping of the “declarations” without full delegate input, etc. In short, a legal, incorporated entity that represents the North American secessionist movement does not exist. However, there is a one-man think tank with a mandate of “the study of separatism, secession, and self-determination” that purports to do all of the above. To now claim that The Middlebury Institute has the rights to the notion of a secessionist Congress, after having out rightly rejected that very notion at the Third North American Secessionist Convention, could seemingly be seen to border on political panic and intellectual theft.

Ditto above re Mr. Sale’s claim that the proposed inaugural meeting of the NASC would fit the bill of “convention.” It would seem that he is now desperately clutching at straws. We get to make our own beds, and then we get to sleep in them.

Lastly, for any delegate at the Third North American Secessionist Convention who had the ears with which to hear, it was firmly decided that the Fourth Convention (since cancelled by Mr. Sale) would be held in Texas. It was not a “possible site” and certainly was it not a possible site dependent on Mr. Sale’s “determination.” Or maybe it was. Who can actually determine these things within an organizational vacuum wherein accountability constitutes a nebulous after-thought?

The overabundant use of first-person directives by Mr. Sale merely highlights the obvious: there is no Congress, there is no organization, there is no coordination, there is no plan, there is no executive, there is no democratic process, there is no reaching out to the public, there is no accountability, and there is no responsibility. The efforts being made by the NASC Steering Committee towards the launch of the NASC are efforts to fill this dangerous and self-defeating void. Mr. Sale may find it difficult to believe, but this effort is for the eventual benefit of not only him, but for the benefit of all secessionists, myself included, who are currently floundering around in a sea of directionless futility, yet are convinced that NAmerican secession will be the political wave of the future within several short years. These are crucial times that warrant crucial decisions and responsibilities. That the consequences of the latter for the NAmerican secessionist movement will likewise be crucial should be self-evident. It is beyond any one individual.

(NASC Steering Committee Update: The Committee currently sits at three members. Several invitations-to-sit have been refused. Invitations pending are to representatives of Texas, the West Coast and Quebec. We hope to top off the Committee at five members.)

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1 Comment

  1. […] doubt if the term “Secession Congresses” dropped into Mr. Starobin’s mind out of the blue. It has already been pointed out that the Middlebury Institute went out of its way to bill its events as “conventions.” Now that […]


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