Thursday, June 05, 2008

Vermont Separatists in Alliance with White Supremacists

Last year, I wrote a post titled Vermont Liberation Front! It described a movement which hopes to have Vermont secede from the USA. I outlined my objections to this based on my understanding of history, law, and reality.

However, now I have a new objection. The primary group calling for the secession of Vermont is the Second Vermont Republic. A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center has proven that the Vermont separatists are in an alliance with southern white supremacists who believe the former Confederacy is under illegal occupation by the American government. The report is titled North Meets South: Vermont Secessionists Meet with Racist League of the South and was written by Heidi Beirich.

The article noted:

In November 2006, SVR and the Middlebury Institute co-hosted the First North American Separatist Convention in the Montpelier State House (which, ironically, is graced by a large statue of Lincoln). The secessionists-only conference brought together several groups, including the Free Hawaii movement and members of the Alaskan Independence Party. But the bulk of the crowd even then was made up of Southern groups including the racist League of the South; Christian Exodus, a theocracy-minded outfit headed by a former league leader from Texas; and the Abbeville Institute, which was established by Donald Livingston in 2003 after he finally left the League of the South due to its "political baggage." Livingston's institute is devoted to the "Southern tradition," including what it describes as the ignored "achievements of white people in the South."

I have issues with secession. I believe the American people as a whole (as well as the people of the area choosing separation) have to consent to the end of the American Union. The USA will not last forever. For example, will there be a USA four thousand years from now? If there is, will it be the same as it is today? Probably not. As such, secession is not in itself a bad thing.

However, why do separatists groups always tend to have an element of racism? Why not let everyone have a say in the matter and not fall back on tired arguments of "illegal occupation" and only allowing certain people from certain groups based on DNA descent to have the franchise? Separatists of all sorts from the South, to Hawaii, to Vermont keep making this fundamental mistake.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Battles and Routes of Alexander the Great

OK, I have to admit it. Google Earth is really cool. Not only can you use it to see who may have been parking in front of the homes of people you know, you can make some interesting history tools. Battles and Routes of Alexander the Great is a real nice example. It follows Alexander's route, presents maps of cities and shows the sites of battles. There is additional content added from Wikipedia and National Geographic.

I spent a good half hour playing with this. Tons of fun if you like ancient history. Another neat use of Google Earth is Secret Images of Google Earth. The creepy music goes along nice with the revealed images.

Monday, June 02, 2008

History Carnival LXV

History Carnival LXV is up at Progressive Historians. The set up this time is an imagined and improbable American presidential debate featuring Obama, McCain, and Nader. It is very entertaining with lots of links to good history blog posts.

The next History Carnival will be at the same blog by the same author. Recommendations can be sent via e-mail or using the nomination form.