An Open Letter to Christians in America, by Hector Klumpp, of the Nihilist Lites of America
The allegations are true — Chow Non Phat, the author of this site, is indeed a Chinese spy.
But Chow is also my best friend.
And Chow himself is now a man without a country—unable to return to China because of publishing this web site, and on the run here in America because of his work for the Central Military Commission in China.
But who am I? Does the name Hector Klumpp ring a bell?
That’s right, I’m THAT guy— the former Commandante of the Border Patrol in the Department of the Public Square.
And if you want to know my story, click on this link:
And in that story you’ll learn that I was hired by Obama, at the very end of his second term. But…
I’m the Klumpp — who got dumped by Trump.
A few weeks after my Trump dump I was arrested.
And now I’m a resident of the Twin Peaks Supermax Prison, in the Lesser Minnesota Area.
As I am writing this, there is a guard just outside my prison cell. His name is Johnny Leeks, a friend of mine from long ago.
Here I am, in my 7 x 10 foot cell, sitting at my solitary table, my nose a few feet away from my toilet on one side, and Johnny on the other. And, while I’m the one in the cage, Johnny is pacing like he’s a confined tiger, waiting for me to finish writing, because he’s the official smuggler of this letter.
Johnny has waited a long time already. His fourteen hour shift is over soon. I’ve got to hurry.
But, I’m grateful he’s here, taking this risk for me.
And, I appreciate the extra security he is giving me, for while confined here in prison I have received many threats. When my fellow inmates see me, their already-hot blood boils. For the story goes that I am a traitor to America just because of my association with Chow Non Phat.
If you’ve heard of me and my arrest, you may think I deserve to be here in prison. But what if you don’t know the full story? What if I’m not the bad guy here?
As for the rest of you who’ve never heard of me,
I’ll shoot straight and tell you now:
I’m here in the slammer ‘cause I’m friends with Chow.
I know all this is coming at you fast,
So I’ll sum up the story of my past.
I was lost, ready to tap out of life. Until I met Chow. And I had no idea Chow was a spy. I know that’s hard to believe since he’s my closest friend in the world. But that’s the story.
Do I regret letting Chow become my closest friend?
He’s the whole reason I changed. The only reason I’m still alive.
You see, I met Chow while I was a Beefy Nihilist, on a quest for meaning and purpose in life.
A Nihilist? Meaning and purpose?
Here’s the history
To clear up the mystery–
I grew up in Nibbling, Minnesota as a Beefy Nihilist.
What in the world’s a Beefy Nihilist?
Should I hire you a psychiatrist?
No doctor needed. And you can keep your opioids to yourselves.
I faced those Beefy Nihilist days, as dark as night, without medication to numb our plight.
And, in case you’re wondering what’s the big deal, I’ll give you a glimpse of this world–and it’s real. So, forgive this lengthy quote, but I really want you to note…
Leaving nuanced definitions to the philosophers, I would define nihilism as a combination of three basic elements: a refusal to hope for anything except the ultimate vindication of hopelessness; a rejection of all values, especially values widely regarded as sacrosanct (equality, posterity, and legality); and a glorification of destruction, including self-destruction—or as Walter Benjamin put it, “self-alienation” so extreme that humanity “can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure.” Nihilism is less passive and more perverse than simple despair. “Nihilism is not only despair and negation,” according to Albert Camus, “but, above all, the desire to despair and to negate.”Nihilist Nation: The Empty Core of the Trump Mystique, By GARRET KEIZER, New Republic, October 25, 2018
A nihilist is someone who dedicates himself to not giving a shit, who thinks all meanings are shit, and who yearns with all his heart for the “aesthetic pleasure” of seeing the shit hit the fan. Arguing with a nihilist is like intimidating a suicide bomber: The usual threats and enticement have no effect. I suspect that is part of the appeal for both: the facile transcendence of placing oneself beyond all powers of persuasion. A nihilist is above you and your persnickety arguments in the same way that Trump fancies himself above the law.
And, for your entertainment, check out the advertisement
below from my beloved hometown of Nibbling, Minnesota…
Do you sense that you are not special?
That you are not a beautiful or unique snowflake?
That you are the same decaying organic
matter as everything else?
This is your life, and it’s ending
one minute at a time.
The Lesser Minnesota
Association of Fight Clubs
You might die at any moment.
Why not go out fighting?
I was a member of that fight club. That was my life. Well, for the first twenty-five years or so, anyway.
And it led me on a dark path to a place about five years ago when I was ready to kill myself because of my core belief that all of life was intrinsically meaningless.
And if you want to understand a bit more what I was like, read this…
But I changed.
Now, don’t get too excited. This is no Christian ‘testimony’. Because, I still believe that — I really do still believe my life is intrinsically meaningless.
I feel no drive to off myself anymore.
Chow opened my eyes to show me a door
Which escapes THAT life (with nothing to live for)
It’s all about Story
Story is the lens which altered my mind;
Then I became a Nihilist Lite kind.
What happened next? Love I did find
And it’s all because of Story
Now my ‘meaning and purpose’ cup overflows—Wow
And all this is thanks to my best friend, Chow.
Even though I’ve changed, there’s still plenty of Beefy Nihilists left in my hometown, and they still love this famous saying from our man Freddy…
Nihilism is…not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one shoulder to the plough; one destroys.Friedrich Nietzsche
I don’t love the plough anymore.
My thirst for violence drifted to a way distant shore,
‘Cause I turned and walked out of that Beefy ol’ door.
Story is about change;
and I changed.
A complete rearrange.
To help you understand how my internal furniture has rearranged, now that I’m a Nihilist Lite:
As modern men and women—to the degree that we are modern—we believe in nothing. This is not to say, I hasten to add, that we do not believe in anything; I mean, rather, that we hold an unshakable, if often unconscious, faith in the nothing, or in nothingness as such. It is this in which we place our trust, upon which we venture our souls, and onto which we project the values by which we measure the meaningfulness of our lives. Or, to phrase the matter more simply and starkly, our religion is one of very comfortable nihilism.CHRIST AND NOTHING, by David Bentley Hart, First Things, October 2003
And now I am involved with the many evolved, who are working together to create this ‘comfortable’ internal state.
We call ourselves to date:
The Nihilist Lites of America
Our Nihilist Lites of America (NLA) community has blossomed these last few years in this changing country of ours. We’ve gone viral, spreading like a virus. We are strong. Hundreds of thousands strong.
The ballooning of our NLA community is one of the ways our country has changed. America is going through enormous changes, changes our founders could never have imagined.
Chow’s discoveries are all about those changes. How did we get here? As a country, we’re as divided, as full of contempt for one another as any other period of our history, with the exception of right before the civil war.
And, you know that movie experience — with wide eyes riveted to the screen, you are glued to that movie seat, oblivious of the passing time, and wondering, what’s going to happen next? How will this all turn out?
Well, in the same way, you gotta wonder, what’s next in the story of America?
How is this all going to turn out?
Now, we may have our political differences. And you may be tempted to gaze across this political divide and shake an angry fist at people like me, believing that the troubles in our country are all our fault.
But, let down your guard for a moment and hear me. I am your fellow countryman and I’m as patriotic as the Greatest Generation.
I have been thinking about something which might just blow a sock off: I say we’re toast as a country. Do you see that, too?
It may be over.
Did you hear that?
Again, try on that hat:
The story of America may be coming to a close.
And if Chow’s speculations come to be, we really may be heading to the end of this great American experiment.
You may just keeping pushing that possibility away, but if you ever begin to see through the lens of story you might change…
Story gives you foresight to see the consequences of future events long before they happen. A leader prepares for change no matter how illogical its cause. In fact, sensitivity to irrational change is quintessentially rational … if you wish to lead.WHITE PAPER STORY-IN-BUSINESS: Why Story Works, Overcoming Negaphobia, and Authoring the Future, BY ROBERT MCKEE
So, we’d like to present to you…
If the drama here in America unfolds in such a way that it looks to you like we are heading for another violent civil war, please stand down and join us in proposing a peaceful breakup of the United States.
You don’t even want to think about it, right?
Well, for some time now my best friend Chow Non Phat and I have speculated about the horrifying direction things could take in America.
Partisan political division and the resulting incivility has reached a low in America, with 67% believing that the nation is nearing civil war, according to a new national survey.
“The majority of Americans believe that we are two-thirds of the way to being on the edge of civil war. That to me is a very pessimistic place,” said Mo Elleithee, the executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.
And worse, he said in announcing the results of the institute’s Battleground Poll, the political division is likely to make the upcoming 2020 presidential race the nastiest in modern history.Battleground: 7 in 10 say US ‘on the edge of civil war’, by Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, October 23, 2019
Get ready for what’s in store
America may be marching
into its second civil war.
Are we on the brink of impending war?
This thought is not “way out there” any more.
And now with impeachment coming to the fore
the idea itself is beginning to roar.
Even some of Trump’s most famous Christian supporters are issuing warnings …
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas and reliable Donald Trump toady, made a bit of news over the weekend when he predicted on Fox & Friends that the impeachment process could plunge the United States into civil war.
Responding to a question about evangelical Christians’ response to impeachment efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives, Jeffress said Democrats are only seeking to impeach Trump because he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“That’s the unpardonable sin for which the Democrats will never forgive him,” Jeffress said. “And I do want to make this prediction this morning: If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, I’m afraid it will cause a civil war-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal.”Robert Jeffress: Impeachment Could Plunge U.S. into Civil War, By SILAS ALLEN, Dallas Observer, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019
And here’s Franklin Graham recognizing the possibility…
This precipice is the failure of our democratic system. It is just a handful of people that are able to control the media and are able to dictate what comes across the media into a person’s home night after night, day after day. If the president was brought down for whatever reason, it could lead to a civil war. There are millions of people out there that voted for President Trump that are behind him that are angry and they are mad. We are just living a very dangerous territory and we need God’s help.Franklin Graham: Trump’s enemies will hurt America, could spark civil war if impeached, By Samuel Smith, Christian Post, MAY 31, 2019
I’ve been a resident here in the Twin Peaks Super Max prison, somewhere in the Lesser Minnesota area, since early 2017. That was before Chow made his best bad choice to publish all this material. When Chow took that “skin in the game” leap, I got to see it all before it went live.
And though I’m in prison, I have not been inactive. I am as passionately engaged as my wife Vivian and my whole Nihilist Lites of America (NLA) family.
And this letter is from us all.
Together we have a message of vital importance for Christians in America. Chow believes, and tells the story here on this site, that you Christians are the key, and the decision is yours.
Will you in that minimalist corner remain,
So the divide in our country is maintained?
Well, I am here to try and persuade you otherwise.
Here’s the bottom line: our county’s drama may unfold in a very disturbing way…
I’m worried about violent conflict between Democrats and Republicans at some point. I haven’t seen anything that’s stopping that outcome yet. As long as the current crop of voters is out there it seems like there’s just a lot of bad stuff brewing.Scholar Lilliana Mason: “I’m worried about violent conflict between Democrats and Republicans”, By CHAUNCEY DEVEGA, Salon, AUGUST 20, 2018
Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters say it’s likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years, with 11% who say it’s Very Likely.31% Think U.S. Civil War Likely Soon, Rasmussen Reports, June 27, 2018
While those numbers may seem small, before you dismiss them as insignificant, read this Armitrage guy …
Our own time demands an unblinking encounter with civil war. The three hundred years between 1648 and 1945 constituted an era of war between states; the last sixty years appear to be an age of war within states. Indeed, this is the most striking change in patterns of human conflict for centuries. According to one widely cited estimate, since 1945 there have been 259 conflicts around the world that have risen to the level of a war, and the vast majority of those were internal conflicts. Since 1989, barely 5 percent of the world’s wars have taken place between states.David Armitrage, Civil Wars
And this may help you do a little risk-assessment for this time in our fragile republic…
What has been reaffirmed throughout history is that memory of civil war is explosive in ways that memory of other kinds of warfare is not. Civil wars leave wounds that can’t be healed, divisions that seem to be closed but will open again. The Romans often used the metaphor of volcanos, which fall quiet and re-erupt. Contemporary political scientists have discovered that societies are most likely to have civil wars if they’ve had one before. The rawness of history and memory within communities and families means that it’s always easy to touch off high passions about old conflicts. Think, with regard to the United States, of the recent controversies about flying the Confederate flag. Those issues have deep charges within contemporary racial politics, but the very fact that they’re playing off divisions of 150 years ago, and that they map onto those political and ethnic divisions even today, shows that the wounds of the Civil War have not entirely closed.
– David ArmitrageAre We on the Verge of Another Civil War?, By Richard Kreitner, The Nation, FEBRUARY 8, 2017
The wounds have not closed. And our beloved country may become like the Walking Dead…
The dead hand of the last civil war grabs us from the grave.
It is eerie how today’s angst pulls us back to the 1860s—and shows us what is likely to happen in our third civil war. If the poisonous hatreds of the 1860s again inform our civil anger today—i.e. battles between the alt-right and antifa—then this should tell us that we are literally on the cusp of another time of rage, where the continuity of strife is stronger than any hopes for reconciliation.Were Americans Made for Civil War? by Michael Vlahos, The Imaginative Conservative, November 9, 2018
Vlahos’ words are sobering… are we on the cusp of another time of rage?
Our heads are in the sand. What if we don’t take them out and look squarely at our situation?
Disbelieving war makes it inevitable
People will always disbelieve that we could come to blows, until we do. Delegates at the “Democracy” party convention in Charleston, in the summer of 1860, were still in denial of the coming fury. No one dares imagine another civil war playing out like the last, when two grimly determined American armies fought each other to the death in bloody pitched battles.Were Americans Made for Civil War? by Michael Vlahos, The Imaginative Conservative, November 9, 2018
I know you’re frustrated. But in your anger there’s something else which is hard to admit…
A fact you Christians need to face:
When it come to the story war, you’ve lost the race.
And, from where I sit in the Twin Peaks Maximum Security Prison somewhere in the Lesser Minnesota Area, it doesn’t look to me like you Christians are going to change and try and reopen the conversation in America.
But, I’m sure many of you Christians believe that the threat of it coming to blows is low. You believe there must be some simple solutions. And you are trying to save our country, trying to rally your troops.
But, what if none of them work?
I don’t really believe that any of the solutions that I told you about are going to happen. It’s very hard. The last chapter of my book is called “Can we fix it?” and I almost titled it “Seven unlikely scenarios.” I am worried that this process is not going to stop anytime soon, and that the worse it gets, the more divided we get, the less we can compromise, the more we actually undermine democracy. It could be extremely damaging to the country.Scholar Lilliana Mason: “I’m worried about violent conflict between Democrats and Republicans”, By CHAUNCEY DEVEGA, Salon, AUGUST 20, 2018
So, it’s time to consider the value of thinking ahead to how the story might unfold.
After all, your Scriptures give a warning..
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
Chow has shown me so much material. And we’ve had many late night conversations about these things. And he has convinced me…Evil times do come — suddenly. And nations do rise and fall.
I’ve tapped Chow for a few choice quotes…
WHEN A POLITICAL SYSTEM persists for decades or centuries, it is easy for those who have never known anything else to assume that it is immutable. History, it seems to them, has finally come to a halt. Stability will reign forevermore.Yascha Mounk, The People VS. Democracy
But while the chronicles of humanity contain plenty of regimes that enjoyed remarkable longevity, all of them have one thing in common: eventually, they failed. Athenian democracy lasted for about two centuries. Romans ruled themselves for nearly live hundred years. The Republic of Venice remained serene for over a millennium. Anybody who predicted the demise of these polities in their later years could easily have been mocked. Why, they might have been asked by their contemporaries, should a system that has survived for hundreds of years collapse in the next fifty? And yet, there did come a moment in which Athenian democracy, self-government in Rome, and even the Republic of Venice left the stage of history.
We would do well to take this lesson to heart.
Still not convinced this applies to us? Here’s something more to chew on…
Of course, human nature dictates that everyone is lulled into thinking that disasters only happen to others. Imperial nations, and ex-imperial nations, are particularly reluctant to recognize how quickly reality moves on. …. Thomas Gray had the measure of our essential vanity:
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Sooner or later the final blow always falls. …. But anyone imagining that the law of transience does not apply to them is living in Nephelokokkygia (a work coined by Aristophanes to make his audience stop and think).
The theme of mankind’s hubris, of course, is not new. It is older than the Greeks who invented the word, and who, in the period of their greatness, discovered the statues of the Egyptian pharaohs already half-buried in the desert sands.
‘My name is Ozymandia, king of kings:Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Pretty depressing, huh? Well, maybe not so much for you, since your scriptures encourage you to desire a better country, like all your “faith” hall of famers.
Uhhh, you are desiring a better country, aren’t you? Sometimes I wonder, the way you’re hanging onto this one…
But, I know this Chesterton guy did.
[W]e shall not discourage the thought of possible ruin; we shall rather encourage it. …. [I]f we particularly want to make them go right, we must insist that they may go wrong.G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
It’s right to be afraid of something truly dangerous, and for many people, the future is very dangerous indeed.Greg Koukl, The Story of Reality
Here’s the story of reality for you…
One may take comfort in the fact that comparatively speaking, the U.S. has been remarkably stable over the past 230 years, and has navigated many economic and political shocks, and even a Civil War. On the other hand, no system of government has lasted forever, and there are powerful undercurrents in America that in the past have been associated with revolutions.Will the American political system long endure if victors can’t get much done?, by Philip Klein, Washington Examiner, May 16, 2019
Permanence is an illusion — and you would be surprised at how fast mighty nations can be entirely transformed.Tattered Liberty, by Mark Steyn, National Review, January 25, 2010
In a more dangerous world, American decline will be steeper, faster, and more devastating than Britain’s — and something far closer to Rome’s.
Permanence is an illusion, he says. That seems to fit with the Christian story. But are you in tune with the speed at which our country may decline that Steyn warns of?
So, let me introduce an idea that lots of your fellow Americans are thinking about. And it’s really got me to thinking too…
Look, we had a good run.
Well, maybe “good” isn’t quite the right word … but certainly it’s been interesting. These United States were a grand experiment. But the experiment has gotten out of hand. It’s time to peacefully dissolve the union.
We should chop America up into 7 different countries. Seriously. By Bonnie Kristian, The Week, November 8, 2018
I know, I know. This is not what good Americans are supposed to suggest. “Four score and seven years ago” and all that. But to borrow a lesser-known phrase from that brief address, it seems to me we have tested whether this nation “can long endure,” and increasingly it is clear it cannot. It’s just not working. Do you really disagree? Do you like the way things are?
Separation Would Be Preferable to the Current Hostilities
One solution proffered from time to time is a peaceful separation. Observers on the Right and the Left have suggested that the rift is simply too deep and serious to be resolved, and that the mutual interest of everyone concerned would benefit by a divorce, whether deemed secession or an invigoration of local autonomy or something else.
I am sympathetic to this solution. While the justice of the Southern secession movement was always marred by its inextricable intertwining with the institution of slavery, in general, secession is an expression of freedom and, more specifically, the right of a people to self-rule and self-determination. There is much to be decided by government that is not necessarily amenable to technocratic solutions, but rather connects (or offends) on an emotional level, such as which languages will be official, whose heroes will be honored, and whose pieties observed. A self-governing nation-state must first be a nation; multiple, competing visions of who is in that nation, what defines it, and who are its friends and enemies, make the forced collection of different nations within a single polity both intolerable and unstable.The Left Won’t Allow a Peaceful Separation, By Christopher Roach, American Greatness, January 21st, 2019
I know you probably won’t take me seriously. After all, we’re those enemies of yours, on the other side of the great divide. But, you respect Jesus and his insights, right?
Consider what Chow showed me, for instance, what he said about a king assessing his situation and asking “for terms of peace”:
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
Even Donald Trump tweeted this:
@realDonaldTrump: “Nothing would be easier politically than to refuse to meet, to refuse to engage, but that would not accomplish anything… I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”
Look. It’s easy to idealize the civil war. But, since we are not all that far removed from when we last took up arms against each other, wouldn’t we do well not to romanticize the civil war? Wouldn’t we do well to keep the putrid taste of war in our mouths as we try to work out our differences? Check out what our famous General Sherman wrote…
I confess without shame that I am tired & sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. Even success, the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies […] It is only those who have not heard a shot, nor heard the shrills & groans of the wounded & lacerated (friend or foe) that cry aloud for more blood & more vengeance, more desolation & so help me God as a man & soldier I will not strike a foe who stands unarmed & submissive before me but will say ‘Go sin no more.’Letter to James E. Yeatman of St. Louis, Vice-President of the Western Sanitary Commission (21 May 1865)
Can you open your ears to Ulysses?
Though I have been trained as a soldier, and participated in many battles, there never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.
So, maybe it’s time we consider a novel idea. Should we consider a divorce of our United States? Should we consider becoming the Untied States? Would you consider an American “Velvet Divorce”?
If the liberal consensus was correct about nationalism, world order, and Europe, Czechs and Slovaks would today be preparing for war. Instead, they are — quite literally — celebrating the 25th anniversary of their “Velvet Divorce,” which created two new nations among two peoples who did not get along for decades. More than just another example of empirical evidence running counter to conventional wisdom, this circumstance illuminates a much larger misunderstanding of human history, one that explains why the European Union will not survive.
A Good Divorce Can Beat a Bad Marriage, By KEVIN J. MCNAMARA, The American Spectator, October 18, 2018
Should we follow the beautiful, peaceful example of the Czechs and Slovaks? Or how about Kosovo’s separation from Serbia?
There is ample precedent for successful separations. The Soviet Union broke up in 1991, and while there were some conflicts on the margins—some of which remain unresolved—it certainly went better than the meltdown of Yugoslavia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia split peacefully and voluntarily in 1993. America supported Kosovo’s separation from Serbia in 1999, in spite of the fact that the ethnically Albanian Kosovars had a perfectly acceptable Albanian nation called Albania right next door.The Left Won’t Allow a Peaceful Separation, By Christopher Roach, American Greatness, January 21st, 2019
Many Americans are beginning to give it some thought…
When our political leaders tell us the Constitution is illegitimate, that we’re a hair’s breath from fascism, that’s how a civil war begins. Is it impossible to imagine? When polled, 31 percent of likely voters think that there will be a second Civil War within the next five years. That’s made secession look attractive, and nearly two-fifths of Americans tell pollsters they want to secede.
We’ve not seen anything like this since the 1850s. As for what happens next, who knows?Can our modern ‘house divided’ remain one nation? By Frank Buckley, New York Post, October 12, 2018
Having, say, seven nations of America wouldn’t make us any less American in any way that really matters.
What it would do is make truly representative and responsible government significantly more possible. It would cut down on political anger and argument, allowing us to work within a smaller range of regional perspectives. We could find nuance in fresh solutions that our hateful red vs. blue fights cannot permit. We could preserve the good things about the United States while losing the bitter and unwieldy national politics which almost none of us can meaningfully influence.
Ironically, chopping up the United States could make us more united.We should chop America up into 7 different countries. Seriously. By Bonnie Kristian, The Week, November 8, 2018
But we can’t do a peaceful divorce without cooperation…
Even with widespread fatalism about the American project, there is not an obvious way to dissolve our union. Rewriting the Constitution’s balance of power would require levels of political coordination that seem far beyond the country’s existing leadership. Chances of a civil war are remote, and it is hard to visualize a series of events that could prompt a peaceable dissolution of the union. After the Civil War, the Supreme Court ruled that states have no right to unilaterally secede.Divided We Stand, By Sasha Issenberg, New York Magazine, November 14, 2018
Of course, that way of seeing the secession issue may not end up being set in stone, because of the story of America itself…
One wonders if everyone has forgotten that our country itself began on the principle of secession. While the Declaration of Independence expresses the basic Lockean concept of government, it also defends the equality not of individual men, but of peoples. It begins, “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Whether in these more recent cases or our own country’s founding, political differences can become so pronounced that living under the same regime, where one’s rights and power are controlled by another group seen as alien and threatening, is intolerable to both sides. Elections become high stakes, imposing alternating tyrannies or liberations in the eyes of a divided people, and justifying extralegal mechanisms to prevent such risks.
A peaceful national separation is probably a good idea.The Left Won’t Allow a Peaceful Separation, By Christopher Roach, American Greatness, January 21st, 2019
While you Christians backing Trump in this climate of charged tribalism has muddied the waters, there is still a choice to be made. The pressing question is: what will we choose? War or peace?
The volatile tribalism now so ingrained in American life will eventually right itself, says Robb Willer, a sociology professor at Stanford University, but not until the public decides it’s had enough and stops rewarding politicians who use incendiary language and demonize the other side. It’s impossible to guess, he notes, how much damage will be done in the meantime.
“That is the question of our time: Are we going to choose to continue the war, or are we going to choose peace? And we don’t know yet what the answer to that will be, because while a majority of Americans are fed up with the extremity of our political divisions, it does feel like we’re stuck here,” Willer says. “It will get worse before it gets better.”Americans crave unity amid violence, anger, By CLAIRE GALOFARO and MARGERY A. BECK, Associated Press, October 28, 2018
…Or will you hang onto hope for a lasting victory?
As a New Leftist in 1968, I did not worry that Americans were fighting one another on the streets of Chicago and around the nation. I only wanted to figure out how my side could come out on top. Now, as a professor, I teach the virtues of empathizing with one’s adversaries, of understanding why those with whom you vehemently disagree think what they think and do what they do. But as a historian, I also know that civil wars, even cultural ones, seldom end with settlements that please both sides. Until the left or the right wins a lasting victory, America will remain a society rent in two.America’s Never-Ending Culture War, By Michael Kazin, New York Times, August 24, 2018
Okay. This choice is essential. And it got me to thinking (I’ve had lots of time to think here in my cell). Is there some way to prepare for peace?
Chow and I have talked at length about one idea—could we make use of Article V of the United States Constitution, through another attempt at a convention called for by the states?…
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Article 5, U.S. Constitution
And look at this…
Under article V, if two-thirds of state legislatures so choose, they can force congress to convene such a meeting. On the agenda for Convention of States: an amendment to require a balanced budget, term limits for congress, repealing the federal income tax and giving states the power to veto any federal law, supreme court decision or executive order with a three-fifths vote from the states.
“The only chance we have to restore this country, that is peaceful, is this convention,” said Jim Moyer, a Convention of States supporter and attendee at the Alec annual meeting.Conservatives call for constitutional intervention last seen 230 years ago, By Jamiles Lartey, The Guardian, August 11, 2018
So, if we could restore it peacefully through that means, why couldn’t we also end it peacefully using Article V?
The last time states tried to secede from the US in 1861, the American Civil War was the result. Most experts believe the chances of California being granted independence are slim to infinitesimal.
Ultimately, the US Supreme Court would rule on the constitutionality of secession. Evans cited Texas vs White, an 1869 Supreme Court decision, as the only true precedent, and pointed out that while it stated that the Union was “indissoluble”, it added a caveat: “except through… consent of the states”.Inspired by Scotland, Catalonia and especially Brexit, some in California want to go it alone, By Nicky Woolf, New Statesman America, November 7, 2018
Here’s a liberating idea–maybe we don’t need to worry about anyone doing secession, secession that led to all that bloodshed surrounding the 1860’s. It looks like America’s Founders created a way we can peacefully do this together.
Still, I’ve got sobering news—Chow is not optimistic that you’ll listen to me. And maybe he’s right, as long as you Christians in these United States continue to occupy that minimalist corner.
But, I wanted to try to persuade you, and I’m grateful Chow gave me this chance to write this open letter to you.
Will you at least consider a proposal?
So, hear me and I’ll blow your socks off: I say we break up before we head into another civil war. I say, before millions of Americans take up arms, let’s anticipate the possibility that the unfolding of events could turn violent.
I’ll plead with you all from my humble cell in this maximum security prison—
Please, let’s choose peace.
So, I’ve made it official. I, Hector Klumpp, am on a new quest. And I’m devoting myself to it with all my heart.
Before you blow me off and retreat back into defending your side of the great divide, will you take this moment and try to see our situation here in America through the lens of story?
Please, will you take to heart the following powerful words by Robert McKee?
Story gives you foresight to see the consequences of future events long before they happen. A leader prepares for change no matter how illogical its cause. In fact, sensitivity to irrational change is quintessentially rational … if you wish to lead.WHITE PAPER STORY-IN-BUSINESS: Why Story Works, Overcoming Negaphobia, and Authoring the Future, BY ROBERT MCKEE
Because they sure seem to connect with what Abraham Lincoln said…
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention.
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.
We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.
Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.
In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.
I am calling on all my friends in the NLA for this new quest– to bring peace to America. I know my brothers and sister of the NLA, and I know they’ll embrace this with all their hearts.
They are with me.
And together we say:
Since we in the NLA no longer want to destroy.
Let’s make a turn to the opposite direction.
Let’s build something beautiful…
Don’t scoff. I know it’s a peachy outlook.
But, if things turn toward violent conflict, this will become America’s new national anthem…
Here’s what we propose: let’s negotiate a potential path for peace before the story war turns into another violent civil war.
So, if our unfolding drama in America does move towards a horror film – if that’s how the story unfolds – then please join us in calling for a peaceful breakup. If we all join hands on this, maybe no blood will be spilt.
Let’s do peace this time, instead of war.
So, here’s the scoop—
What if both sides of the great American divide
began to look through the lens of story?
And what if it turns out that without any doubt
there’s a real threat to our battered Old Glory?
So, before we go off the rail
In America’s unfolding tale
Let’s hope both the blue and the red
step back and ask truly, when everything’s said…
What do I really want now?
Seriously. Should we stay together? Or should we ‘go’ apart, dividing into many nations?
And while you ponder the answer, listen to this song:
In the meantime, though, as our unfolding drama intensifies, maybe this song might help you…
So, don’t blink.
And, don’t balk
Well, that’s my pitch.
But, before I hand this back over to Chow, I’ll ask again:
Let’s not give in to hate.
So, I’ll lay at your feet like Gideon’s fleece,
Would you, should you, won’t you please choose peace?
Hector and Vivian Klumpp
Together in the Heart of the NLA
So, I’ll fold this up now, and hand it to my antsy smuggler,
one Johnny Leeks, the guard outside my cell. To help you understand how Johnny
Leeks does his smuggling, and as a shout out to Johnny, here are two photos
from his childhood…
(Nibbling, Minnesota) Little Johnny Leeks comes forward to accept his prize as the 100th youngster in the Lesser Minnesota area to wear a pair of our new environmentally friendly diapers. Leeks, who is studying dance with the Marshall Artz Academy of Attack Dance, is also a member of the Nibbling Actor’s Guild and a rising star with the Lesser Minnesota Modeling Agency. He also has high hopes to one day become manager of Nibbling Cat Rental, following in the fancy footsteps of his idol, Hector Klumpp.
Nibbling Diaper Rental
Bringing Real Changes to the
Lesser Minnesota Area, 24/7!
322 S. Main, in Nibbling
(Nibbling, Minnesota) Little Johnny Leeks, a student at Marshall Artz Academy of Attack Dance, performs an interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Fighting Swans before an appreciative crowd at the Annual Nibbling Spring Grenade Festival.
Marshall Artz Academy
of Attack Dance
Interpretive Dance With a
Distinctly Aggressive Flair!
Those pictures were taken long ago, before he started his own branch of Nibbling Diaper Rental right here at the prison. You can make good money here, he tells me, if you can work the 14-hour shift special. And working that long is possible thanks to Nibbling Diaper Rental.
Johnny Leeks will soon slip this final draft of this Open Letter into his diaper for his secret smuggling, and he’ll be pissed if he is made to wait any longer. So, I’ll wrap this up before Johnny “leaks”, waiting for me to finish.
And please join me in thanking Johnny for finding room in his diaper on this extended shift to make sure this letter got to Chow. If you’re reading it, you know he succeeded!
Enjoy popping around this site. It’s full of mystery and surprise, turns and twists, growling grey rhinos and shocking black swans.
But, most important of all—
If this would circulate widely, and be taken seriously, by both Americans and Chinese—
Millions of lives could be saved!
I mean this literally. Read Chow’s research and you’ll see—
We could avoid civil war here in America, which would save myriad lives here at home as well as around the globe!
Read it, please, it’s not a bore.
And what if it keeps us from a second Civil War?
Founder, The Nihilist Lites of America