Publisher’s Note: Yesterday, 24 August was both my birthday and fortuitously, the day the British burned down the White House and other government edifices through the DC swamp area in 1814. The siege or burning of Washington was an attack during the war of 1812 by British forces and those of the United States of America. The American troops had been defeated by at the Battle of Bladensburg by troops led by Major General Robert Ross. His forces later went on to occupy then Washington City and destroy a number of buildings, including the White House.
To quote the Architect of the Capitol (yes, you or your unborn children pay for that, too) recently:
“The British focused their destructive work on the principal rooms, foregoing the lobbies, halls and staircases, thus securing their escape route. In the south wing, soldiers ignited a giant bonfire of furniture slathered with gunpowder paste in the Hall of the House of Representatives. The heat from the fire grew so intense that it melted the glass skylights and destroyed much of the carved stone in the room, including Guiseppe Franzoni’s life-size marble statue of Liberty seated on a pedestal, located above the Speaker’s rostrum. Downstairs, the Clerk’s office was transformed into an inferno of burning documents and furniture; this fire produced a heat so great it forced the British to retreat from the south wing, leaving half of the rooms on the first floor unscathed.
In the Supreme Court Chamber, on the first floor of the north wing, troops piled furniture from nearby rooms to create another great bonfire, severely damaging the Doric stone columns. Upstairs, a large room that then housed the Library of Congress’ collection of over 3,000 books served as a ready stockpile of fuel. The space burned so fiercely that it endangered a portion of the exterior stonewall. From the library, winds spread the flames to the Senate Chamber, where the damage to the art and architecture was also severe. Upon seeing the flames of the Capitol from his temporary residence at the Octagon House, French minister Louis Sérurier remarked, “I have never beheld a spectacle more terrible and at the same time more magnificent.”
In the spirit of both celebration and reflection on what could have been, I offer you one of my flights of fantasy where I speculated on what Idaho’s secession from the Federal leviathan may look like.
Notes in the Margin: I have done a number of new podcasts and interviews that can be found at the Media and Interviews tab on the blog. Shane at Static Media Hub has opened a sub forum at my forum, which can be found here. Still slogging through my writing for my novel. Truth be told, fiction is far more laborious to me than non-fiction.
Kenneth Royce’s book, Modules for Manhood is now available on Kindle. -BB
Good Morning, Mr. President by Bill Buppert
“Good Morning, Governor, how might we…”
“Mr. President, I realize you are a busy man so let’s get down to brass tacks…we are calling the ball and withdrawing our support of your Administration and the Federal government in DC. Effective immediately, we have coordinated to place all outgoing receipts to the IRS in a caged account here in Boise…”
“Governor, you can’t do that…”
“Please don’t interrupt while I am speaking as we are from this point onward peers in the family of nations. I hope you have reviewed the diplomatic instruments we sent by courier last night to Department of State which delineates the terms of our divorce.”
“I did receive those and you have no earthly idea the can of whoop-…”
“Please, sir, maintain the decorum of these proceedings so we can move forward to an amicable separation. I give you my personal assurance on the safety and well-being of all Federal personnel we have detained for immediate repatriation to the remainder of these United States. Any non-law enforcement Federal personnel who wish to remain behind will be permitted to do so.”
“I hope you have thought through the consequences of what you are embarking on.”
“Mr. President, we have had over two hundred years to give the rulers on the Potomac a chance but that time has expired. Effective immediately, all so-called Federal lands now belong to the nation of Idaho and we will dispose of these lands at our leisure. In the interest of burying the hatchet, we will not seek compensation for the seizure, abuse and tenure of Federal practices on the aforementioned land and call the balance even.”
“Those are my lands, Governor…”
“In actuality, they belong to neither of us, sir. On to other business, I have alerted my National Guard forces to establish checkpoints at all the main arterials in and out of Idaho. All National Guard forces deployed overseas will return home in the next 48 hours. I would also caution you on the use of military force to convince Idaho and its citizens to forcibly return to the yoke of the Union. Idaho has a well-deserved reputation as a rather well-equipped state in firearms possession and use. As Yamamoto said, you may find a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
“Are you threatening the president of the United States?”
“No, sir, I am simply making an observation about the hazards of one country invading another.”
“You are land-locked, Governor and wholly dependent on federal subsidy for a great deal of employment and infrastructure in Idaho.”
“No longer, the tremendous tax burden across the spectrum formally imposed in our nation as a subject State in your country is now effectively terminated and we are going to unleash the free market to address all of our former shortcomings as a result of the overarching government supremacism practiced here before. In telephone conversations with my neighboring governors, we are on the verge of Confederation negotiations that will pave the way for Idaho embassies in British Columbia, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. We do intend on opening a consular office in DC as soon as we can ensure the diplomatic baggage containing sufficient weapons assures our safety in the greater DC metropolitan area for our diplomatic personnel.”
“Governor, what Constitutional right do you have to secede from the US?”
“Mr. President, the behavior you have exhibited toward the Constitution has been at best characterized by active neglect and abhorrence for the restraint on governance in the Bill of Rights. I am rather surprised you would resort to assuming the document in any way has weight in Washington, DC. I would suggest my rights extend as far as our ability to throw off what has become a government of occupation instead of cooperation. We resign, sir and wish to go in peace.”
“I will use every measure in my arsenal to force you back into the fold.”
“Mr. President, thank you for the heads-up but we have taken certain precautions to ensure that any rash measures on your part have a disproportionate impact in the DC/Virginia corridor. Please don’t press us on the issue. I would like to offer one more rather moderate important proposal to our future business. These United States as administered by DC are now essentially bankrupt. War on the world, out of control spending and borrowing, debt and deficit, non-funded future liabilities in the tens of trillions and a banking infrastructure rotten at every level has pushed the US to an economic abyss from which it cannot shrink. We will provide you a demonstration project of tiny government, free banking and a formerly enslaved citizenry unleashed to realize their potential with no government interference. We simply wish to go our own way untethered from the Remora Nation DC came to symbolize.”
“Governor, this conversation is over.”
“Good day, Mr. President.”
More companion essays followed:
Part II: http://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert12.html
Secession Discussion: http://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert13.html
Secession in ID, One Year Later: http://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert20.html
Secession in ID, Five Years Later: http://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert28.1.html
Secessionist Bookshelf: http://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert21.html
Suggestions on How We Get There: http://lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert23.html
My archives at zerogov.com contain a variety of treatments on secession in addition to those mentioned above. Enjoy.