Category Archives: Sovereignty and Secession

Enoch Powell on Devolution and Secession

In the following speech excerpts, Enoch Powell clearly states he favours secession if the inhabitants of a part of the UK wish to secede. And he favours devolution if it improves the “control and supervision and execution of administration”. However, Powell rejects a course towards the disunity of the United Kingdom, which he views as a single nationality: British. Powell fears devolution will bring the perception that Scotland and Wales are nations distinct from the English nation. This perception could lead 1. to a transformation of the UK from a unitary state into a federal state or 2. to the break-up of the UK. For if Scotland and Wales are distinct nations with some powers, it’s a small step to view them as rightly sovereign nations as opposed to subservient administrative units under the House of Commons and within a greater unified nation of Britain.

Not quoted here, though you can find it in the speech itself: Powell highlights a fear that under a federal “United States of Europe”, Scotland and Wales will perceive themselves as natural members of this new United States of Europe rather than as members of the UK.

Enoch Powell speaks:

If this were an exercise in administrative devolution, we should not be contemplating Assemblies for Wales and Scotland. No one looking for convenient units for devolved administration would hit upon the Principality of Wales and the former Kingdom of Scotland. All sorts of other combinations and regions might be discovered, but not those two.

We are talking about Assemblies for the Principality and for the former Kingdom of Scotland because these purport to be—are widely believed and claimed to be—nations, and because the proposition of Assemblies in which they would be represented by direct election is an acceptance of that claim, or at least corresponds in the minds of those who put it forward to some notion of a nationhood in Scotland and a nationhood in Wales.

Once we concede that point and say that it is right that Scotland should be represented by a directly elected Assembly, we can hardly say that that Assembly should not have legislative powers, or that it should only be able to administer, like a local authority, within exactly the same framework as the rest of the United Kingdom. The whole argument for establishing it is that it will be able to pursue different policies, implying different laws—and presumably also different taxation—from the rest of the realm.

This is a debate not about administrative devolution, but about the establishment of national, directly elected legislative bodies. Having contemplated that for nearly four days, this House has seen the implicit conflict and contradiction that lies in such a proposal within the unitary state of the United Kingdom, namely that it is not possible for the same electorate to be represented directly in two legislative Assemblies unless one of two things occurs: either the unitary State must become federal, with a pre-determined area within which the one set of elected representatives is sovereign and another area in which the representation of the whole realm is to be sovereign; or there must sooner or later as a consequence be separation and the recognition of separate sovereignties. It is not right that we should underestimate the difficulty, once we have conceded that Scotland as a nation should be represented by a directly elected representative Assembly, of setting any logical bounds to the area within which that Assembly should be conceded, under any constitution, the right to legislate.

We have to face the fact that the establishment of directly elected legislative Assemblies will confront us with the choice of separation, of conversion to a federal State with all its implications, or of an attempt to reverse the process and somehow subordinate the new Assemblies to the sovereignty of this House.

I do not believe that the loyalty of those many who over those 270 years, and particularly in this century, worked together and died together as part of the Union under the Crown, was to the Crown quite simply, even though they 1006 wore the Crown on their uniforms and many of them wore it on their hearts. They were not the mercenaries of a Habsburg empire bound together by personal union and dynastic marriages; they were not the servants of a Hohenzollern empire imposed by military force. It was the Crown of the United Kingdom in Parliament which was the centre of loyalty, as it is the essential unifying element of this realm, in the name of which and under the inspiration of which men and women these 270 years have worked and lived and died together.

For myself I cannot imagine how the history of the United Kingdom can be understood apart from this House and apart from its sovereignty. Nor do I see how it can have a future apart from this House and its sovereignty. So I say to devolution—if it means an improvement in the control and supervision and execution of administration, yes; if they can be improved, let us do it. To separation, I say—if it is the settled and determined and preponderant wish of the inhabitants in any part of the United Kingdom no longer to remain part of the United Kingdom, with regret, so be it. But that this House by its own actions, by its own self-deceptions, should set in train a course of constitutional action which must lead either to the conversion of this country into something totally different and unrecognisable or to the destruction of the unity of whatever this realm is to be, the unity brought to a focus in this House—I say “No” to that, whether that sovereignty be seen from inside or from outside.

Source: Speech in the House of Commons against devolution to Scotland and Wales. 19 January 1976.


Also see: The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana by Peter Hitchens (which I have not yet read).

Separately from Powell, I believe Hitchens wants a breakup, though on amicable terms.


Additionally: “Scotland Should Stay in the Union” by Jared Taylor. AmRen. September 16, 2014.

“Why I Support Scottish Independence” by Greg Johnson. Counter-Currents. September 17, 2014.

Why I Support Scottish Independence—ANY Devolution Better Than Globalist Status Quo by James Kirkpatrick. VDARE. September 17, 2014.


As for myself: I want all perspectives heard and for the British to then decide.
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Another reason for Scotland to secede

David Frum doesn’t want the Scots to govern themselves. You remember Frum, don’t you? He’s the whiny little Neocon who hates the South and once smeared conservatives who opposed the illegal and counter-productive invasion of Iraq as “unpatriotic.” (Because the definition of “conservatism” is blind obedience to the Commander in chief, you see.)

It’s no surprise this girly-man disapproves of Scottish independence. His rationale? It would harm “American interests” by diminishing Britain’s “contribution to global security.” London has long depended on Scottish pluck to fight its wars, and the Scots have had enough. The union of England and Scotland was the foundation of the British Empire. Well guess what, Frum? That empire is no more. Ceased to be. Changing circumstances require changing political arrangements, and Scottish independence recognizes that the imperial project is shattered and cannot be patched back together.

I hope Frum’s shrill, schoolmarmish sermon to vote “No” incites the thrawn Scots to do the opposite.

There’s a Law Against “Paramilitary Training?”

Apparently there is a law in Florida against “paramilitary training.” That’s absurd and just plain wrong. If this guy is guilty of conspiring to commit a crime, then charge him with that, but to make paramilitary training per se a crime is outrageous. In fact, since we unfortunately no longer have “well regulated” state militias as we should have, responsible upstanding citizens should be encouraged to paramilitary train. I thought Florida was better than this.

George Soros Fears Secession

Not only Scottish secession from the UK but UK secession from the EU: George Soros condemns both in the Financial Times.

Soros fears:

Resurgent nationalism and illiberal democracy are on the rise within Europe, at its borders and around the globe.

Oh my!

Soros continues:

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, military conflict has spread to Europe. Two radically different forms of government are competing for ascendancy. The EU stands for principles of liberal democracy, international governance and the rule of law. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin maintains the outward appearance of democracy by exploiting a narrative of ethnic and religious nationalism to generate popular support for his corrupt, authoritarian regime.

What this boils down to is: The financial pirate needs an open international system to maximise and retain his obscene profits. In his 2003 book, Soros writes repeatedly of his concerns with nativism. And Soros has long funded a more international society with his Faithful America, Open Society Institute, Center for American Progress, and similar organisations.

More recently, Soros-funded FEMEN mocked Dominique Vesser’s suicide.

It’s billionaire capitalists leading this wider charge for globalism.

Cameron to Scots: The bogeyman will get you if you secede!

Prime Minister David Cameron must REALLY be afraid the Scots will vote for self-determination. Not only is he resorting to scare tactics, but he’s spouting pure nonsense in a clumsy attempt to frighten Scots into rejecting self-rule:

David Cameron today warned that Scotland would be more at risk from terrorism if it votes for independence.

The Prime Minister said the United Kingdom had the best security and intelligence services in the world to keep people safe.

He said the safety of staying together in a ‘very dangerous and insecure world’ was one of the ‘strongest arguments’ against separation.

Boy, is Cameron desperate! Where was the “best security and intelligence services in the world” when Muslim terrorists bombed the London subway, killing 52 and wounding 700? And don’t forget – it was the British government that imported those murderers and then ignited their anger by invading Iraq.

And speaking of importing Muslim terrorists, let’s not overlook small-scale terror committed by Muslim immigrants, who not only recently beheaded an elderly lady, but managed to murder a British soldier in broad daylight. Anyone who doesn’t believe Muslim immigrants are a hostile and alien population should ask one of the 1,400 girls brutalized and exploited by Pakistani immigrants in Rotherham.

Scots should vote for independence just to separate themselves from lunatics like David Cameron.

The Daily Beast Plays Thought Enforcer Regarding Nullification

Per Tom Woods:

The Daily Beast, like its neoconservative counterparts at the Free Beacon, is a thought-control site that aims to ferret out unapproved opinions. We are supposed to confine ourselves to the McCain/Obama box where the Daily Beast is comfortable. Anyone with opinions outside that box is by definition an “extremist,” and probably kind of crazy. Why else would someone hold an opinion that can’t be found anywhere in the whole three inches separating McCain from Obama?

So I actually laughed out loud when I read this classic thought-control headline: “Exclusive: GOP Senate Candidate Caught Saying States Can Nullify Laws.” (Thanks to Per Bylund for sending the link.)

So wait a minute! You mean someone asked a fundamental question? She must be destroyed, citizen!

Here is the comment I posted at the Daily Beast:

Ummm … the only problem with this article is that states CAN nullify laws. What the “mainstream” thought enforcers here need to ask is did the Framers intend nullification to be an option, and the bulk of the historical evidence suggest that they did. See Tom Woods’ book on the subject.

Raw Story Goes on PC Witch Hunt Against Michael Peroutka

For those who don’t know, Michael Peroutka won the Republican primary for a seat on the Anne Arundel County, Maryland City Counsel.

Now the PC Gestapo is up in arms. What amazes me about some of these stories is how out in the open they are. Anyone who is at all familiar with dissident right and third party politics should know very well where Michael Peroutka is coming from. Obviously these lefty PC thumb breakers don’t follow the other side except maybe what the SPLC says about them, so they act like they have stumbled upon some scandalous revelation. So Peroutka is a young earth creationist? Yeah. So Peroutka uses the Bible to evaluate laws. Yeah. So Peroutka was (is?) a board member of the League of the South and thinks secession is a legal and constitutional remedy. Yeah. The guy is not a phantom. He is a past Constitution Party nominee for President and his association with the League is well documented. Ever heard of the internet and YouTube Mr. Raw Story investigative reporter? Wow, you’ve really managed a scope here. I don’t follow all the ins and outs of far left politics in America, but if someone said lefty X once said nice things about Trotsky or Margaret Sanger or something, I wouldn’t be shocked. That’s what far lefties do. (As opposed to far rightists who scandalously say nice things about the Founders.)

Here is another breathless Raw Story article about Peroutka. This one is about a supposedly scandalous video of Peroutka addressing the League of the South, that was “uncovered” by a professor at Grove City College, a supposedly conservative Christian school. We have discussed this professor before. He seems to specialize in PC thought policing. If someone wants to write a real investigative report, maybe they can write one “exposing” Professor Throckmorton as the PC water carrier that he is despite teaching at a college known for it’s conservative and Christian beliefs, particularly its refusal, like Hillsdale College, to accept any federal funds. Does the Professor not realize that the PC forces he shills for hate all things Christian and conservative, and surely think Grove City is a bastion of racist, sexist, Christianist oppression?

Anyway, back to Peroutka. According to the second Raw Story article, it says Peroutka is a former board member of the League of the South. If this is true, it is news to me but I don’t necessarily doubt it. As for Peroutka saying he does not support Southern secession, this may be technically true, but I doubt it is the whole story. Unless Peroutka has had a complete change of heart, which I seriously doubt and would be very unfortunate if true, I know he believes in the right to secession and he believes Lincoln was wrong to invade the duly seceded South. What he may have said is that he doesn’t support Southern secession at this time and wants to give reforming the US a college try before resorting to it. This would be consistent with the belief of a lot of constitutionalists.

As for Perotka and race, the League has always been implicitly white as is conservatism in America as is constitutionalism as is the Tea Party, etc. but has recently become more explicitly white. That Peroutka specifically endorsed this new direction or was even aware of this change, I doubt. Peroutka has always used colorblind conservative language. In fact, I remember seeing a column he wrote fairly recently that used typical colorblind conservative language and thought to myself that there might be some League members who would object to the language. (With a lttle Google digging, here is a recent article he wrote dated July 15 that looks like an attempt to ward off his critics. It is essentially the same column as this one dated Jan 20 that I recalled. It seems to be inspired by the MLK holiday.)

So if the Raw Story PC storm trooper is really shocked that a former Constitution Party Presidential nominee and well known sympathizer of the League of the South has beliefs that are outside those of the tame “mainstream right,” then perhaps he needs to familiarize himself with the outside the mainstream right before he writes about it. Again, I’m not tuned into all the inner workings of the far left, but I would expect people of that persuasion to have beliefs and associations that are outside the mainstream left, so if I wrote an article about one of them I wouldn’t pretend to be shocked by such revelations or act as if such revelations only need to be trotted out in order to discredit someone. But of course, I’m intellectually honest, unlike PC hacks writing click bait hatchet jobs for liberal websites and PC peddling professors who “uncover” things in plain sight.

Georgia SCV Approves Aggressive Heritage Measures

Below is a Georgia SCV press release:

(Atlanta – June 30, 2014) This month the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans held their 117th Annual Reunion in Columbus and approved the most aggressive heritage platform since the Georgia flag fight more than a decade ago. Coming off several months of increases in membership and finances following the announcement of the Division’s new specialty license plate in Georgia which was featured on every major news outlet in the nation in February, the Sons had the largest attendance in recent history at this year’s reunion. With a membership in Georgia of more than 3,000 men, the Georgia Division is the largest state organisation in the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the oldest national heritage organisation in America.

One of the measures adopted at this year’s annual meeting was a new slate of monuments to be erected across the state during the final year of the Sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, of the War. For the last several years, the Sons of Confederate Veterans have been actively restoring the original monuments erected in memory of the Confederate soldier around the turn of the twentieth century from one end of the state to another. Now, as restoration of those original monuments continues, new monument projects have been planned as well. Newly elected Georgia Division Commander, Ray McBerry, said, “The new monuments are intended as a reminder to the world that the Southern people have still not forgotten their heroes who withstood a formidable invader even though 150 years have passed and as a promise that they will still be remembered by our people after another 150 years have passed.”

The officers, both elected and appointed, to serve on the Division’s Executive Council met briefly following the Reunion to outline plans to actively engage both supporters and opponents of Southern heritage in Georgia. Topping the list was a plan to bring the idea of a youth summer camp to Georgia, citing the success of the national camp hosted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in one or more states each year. The new proposal will create an annual Southern heritage youth camp to be permanently hosted by the Georgia Division in addition to those hosted by the national headquarters. Other projects that are sure to be popular among Southern heritage enthusiasts include a continuation of the “Flags Across Georgia” project which has produced a number of large Confederate flags along some of Georgia’s most traveled highways and an online grave registry which will catalogue the grave of every Confederate veteran no matter where they are buried.

Finally, the boldest decision announced by the Executive Council is the decision to change the name and scope of the Heritage Defense Committee to the Heritage Action Committee. Bolstered by victories in the last twelve months against both individuals and corporations who have attempted to remove Confederate flags or desecrate graves and monuments, the Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans are now publicly announcing their intention to take the heritage fight to schools, corporations, and government officials which discriminate against Georgians for their display or celebration of Southern heritage, citing both freedom of speech and state and federal laws which not only protect Confederate monuments but also require that the flags and memorials to Confederate soldiers be afforded the same protection under the law as those to any other American veterans.

For more information about the Sons of Confederate Veterans, please call 404.271.8473 or email via the Contact page at

The Kurds are all right

The crisis in Iraq has dealt a major blow to consolidated government. The Kurds are now on board to partition Iraq:

The collapse of the Iraqi army in Mosul and the spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to cities seems to have strengthened the positions of those demanding independent Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish regions. The Kurds, who support this division, declared yesterday [June 17] they don’t intend to withdraw from Kirkuk and “the disputed areas.” The Kurds emphasized they will avoid a confrontation with ISIS “except for self-defense.”

Telegraph columnist Daniel Hannan wonders how much better it would have been if the Western powers had allowed the Middle East to self-organize naturally:

How much disorder, horror, fear and mutiny might have been avoided had Iraq been divided along ethnographic lines in 2003 – or, better yet, in 1920. (If you don’t like the word “ethnographic”, substitute “democratic”: it amounts to the same thing.)

Re-read that last sentence. It will be the guiding principle of politics for the 21st century.

Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood


One thing’s for certain: The sea-to-shining-sea unity of pre-1965 America is gone, thanks to floodtide immigration, and it ain’t coming back. Numbers don’t lie.

So the question is, What do we do about it? It’s time for a massive political reorganization. There are two models we can use to guide us. One is a decentralized model with well-defined boundaries separating distinct groups, allowing autonomy within each unit; the other is the model of a powerful central government that must impose order on a mixed population. These two models are exemplified by the experience of Switzerland and Yugoslavia. Their histories are examined in this Public Library of Science paper. Here’s part of the Reader’s Digest version summarizing the Swiss model:

Switzerland is recognized as a country of peace, stability and prosperity. This is surprising because of its linguistic and religious diversity that in other parts of the world lead to conflict and violence. Here we analyze how peaceful stability is maintained. Our analysis shows that peace does not depend on integrated coexistence, but rather on well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups, allowing for partial autonomy within a single country.

And then there’s Yugoslavia:

Our analysis supports the hypothesis that violence between groups can be inhibited by physical and political boundaries. A similar analysis of the area of the former Yugoslavia shows that during widespread ethnic violence existing political boundaries did not coincide with the boundaries of distinct groups, but peace prevailed in specific areas where they did coincide. The success of peace in Switzerland may serve as a model to resolve conflict in other ethnically diverse countries and regions of the world.

Which should we choose? Well, I’m not one to try to sway opinions (what? me?) but let’s keep this in mind: Switzerland today is peaceful and prosperous, while Yugoslavia self-destructed in 1990.

Which shall it be? Which shall it be?

UPDATE:: This story from the Washington Times suggests which way DC plans to go: Memo outlines Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens

Mexico’s Regulators

After a brief exchange on Kiefer, Doc Skurlock and the story of Bill Bonney, news that Mexico is deputizing Regulators to confront the cartels (i.e. the provincial government) should be one happy reminder that the key part of the story stays the same in that part of the planet.  The farmer, the rancher, and the outcasts that make up his firm going ‘legit’ and readying for whatever comes next (if not quite delivering warrants for arrest–Dick Brewer then Bonney’s gang will always have that one on them all.)

May they get the pardons, when that day of peace comes, if it comes, they will so rightfully deserve.

Perhaps, Bonney made it down to Old Mexico after all, at least, a few of the Regulators…like Dave Rudabaugh?

Walk Back Down…

The Bureau of Land Management has walked backed their escalation of the standoff in Nevada, siting safety of their employees.

To finish the theater, “libertarians” in Congress must be activated to introduce a bill to do away with the BLM, and I recommend as part of the bill, cutting pensions in half (I am a centrist, after all) on the spot for all employees of this entity.

I’ll leave it to the militia sorts who did the street theater in full regalia to crowd source for names and addresses of the employees who used tasers, rustled cattle or held a sniper rifle.

A Microstate Can Survive

It was asked: Would a microstate require nukes to be sovereign?

Probably not. Here’s why:

A microstate would aim to fill itself with highly skilled, productive workers who would provide useful services within the international economy. Other segments of the international economy would not want to be severed from a useful partner.

If economic integration isn’t enough, pay tribute. The hard working segment within the American empire today is already paying tribute. The US redistributes money heavily. Part of the appeal of a microstate is the opportunity to separate from those who refuse to work.

If direct tribute to the aggressive polity fails, then bribing leaders within the aggressive polity might succeed.

Up to this point, it has been assumed the microstate is wealthy. An option however is for a microstate to be strong but poor, an attempt at a 21st century Sparta. (Unlike Athens, Sparta guarded against greed within the polity.) Such a neo-Sparta could defend itself, as Switzerland can today; but it would lack the desirable assets that entice aggressive polities into attacking. The cost of attacking neo-Sparta, even if it lacks MAD, should outweigh the gain.

If all else fails, surrender and rejoin the empire, Live to fight another day. It might be possible for a small group to survive, and even to thrive, for a long period within an empire.

The right-wing blogosphere is full of conspiracy theories of rich bankers, the mass media, and international businessmen. If these are some of the great powers of our time, why can’t we strive to use such financial power ourselves? Or if wealth only invites robbery, then spurn the wealth; embrace Spartan virtues!

A negative of nukes is the same as their positive: fear. No one fears Vermont secessionists, because no one, including themselves, believes they’d aspire to obtain, or to even keep preexisting, nukes.

Secession should have a better chance of success if it’s built upon an ideology of disarmament. I use the word “ideology”, because like all ideologies global disarmament is absurd (MAD is part of what prevents war between Russia and the US right now). But a secessionist shouldn’t want nukes for his own polity, and the best justification for such a rejection is an ideology of global disarmament. The weak shouldn’t seek such power, and in a tech race to preserve a MAD balance of power, a small polity will likely lose anyway. So MAD might only be temporary.

It might be said that the wise reject WMD, even when strong enough to pursue them, preferring to instead bend at the whim of each latest temporary superpower as each rises and self-destructs. The microstate bows; but it also survives, outlives the leviathans.

The Week in Street Theater

Nevada rancher, Clive Bundy, 67 years old/14 children, is the last rancher in his county. He’s had an on-going feud with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management over grazing rights that recently led to his cattle being called trespassers and commenced a round-up.  (Atrocity stories quickly followed.)

“What’s happened the last two weeks, the United States government, the bureaus are getting this army together and they’re going to get their job done and they’re going to prove two things. They’re going to prove they can do it, and they’re gonna prove that they have unlimited power, and that they control the policing power over this public land. That’s what they’re trying to prove.”Clive Bundy

Federal agents (snipers included) have cut off roads to the ranch.

Facebook postings from the rancher and his family show a call for help to local law enforcement (useless), “militias,” and Oath Keepers amongst other such groupings—and they have arrived.

With Environmentalists supporting the government’s efforts to protect a desert turtle, a new propaganda front was provided—the Fed is protecting fracking rights—sure enough, to monkey wrench “Leftwing” reflex.

Ed Abbey approves.

Just takes one Lon Horiuchi or one Andre Strassmeir to turn the events ugly.  Stay tuned…

Russia Today Heralds Microstates as “More Nimble”

From RT:

In the old days everybody wanted an empire. Nowadays, nations leading in best practice are tiny: Estonia, Iceland or Dubai for instance.

The digital age favors nimble nation states, generating growth through bottom up entrepreneurial endeavors, as opposed to old discredited nation states bestowing support inefficiently while promoting that old big state oxymoron: centralized innovation. While multinationals (corporate and political alike) seek to control the future, citizens are increasingly ignoring the memo.

Digital states are best when small and nimble: the world’s wealthiest nations are increasingly at the smaller end of the scale. Singapore transformed from predominantly swampland to a dazzling technopolis in a generation thanks to enabling upward mobility, enshrining property rights, access to education and work while rewarding entrepreneurship. Monaco melds strong welfare with zero income tax.

Ultimately, the supranational ethos of ‘big’ whether government or corporate, is undermined by the power of the smaller state to exploit the ability to be digital, flexible and prosperous. That is good for citizens and great for empowering both individuals and the community to shape their prosperous destiny.

And yes, this sounds a little hypocritical coming from the Russian Federation, but who cares?! Great stuff.

Students for Liberty vs. Ron Paul on Crimea

In case you haven’t been following this, there has been a bit of a dust up in non-interventionist circles. Students for Liberty President Alexander McCobin publically criticized Ron Paul over his statements on the Crimean situatuion. Since then, it has been time, as they say, to “get the popcorn.” I’m working on a longer response to this. As you probably guess, I side with Ron Paul. But I figured I need to cover this situation so here is a list of links.

Here is the original McCorbin post that got it all started.

Here is the original, as far as I can tell, reaction from BuzzFeed.

The (anti-Paul) Washington Free Beacon quickly picked up the story.

Reason chimes in.

Ron Paul’s Institute responds. (Perhaps too harshly?)

McCorbin replies.

Dave Weigel of Slate opines. (Weigel is interesting in cases like these. Weigel currently has anti-paleo biases, but because he once traveled in our circles before going a different dirrection, he gets the subtext better than most.)

Justin Raimondo is his typical firey self at

John Glaser says not so fast.

Raimondo steps on the gas.

Anthont Gregory calls for a truce.

Robert Wenzel sides with Ron Paul at

Whew! See what I mean about getting the popcorn?