Friday, January 28, 2011

Is There A Neo-Nazi Member of the Free Vermont Group?

A few years ago I discovered that anti-Semites and racists at Alex Linder's VNN (Vanguard News Network - No Jews, Just Right) forum were oohing and ahhing over the essays of Thomas Naylor, baas of the Second Vermont Republic. One post of Naylor's was re-posted at VNN with the new header, "Vermont Secession Movement Gets the Jews." It's still there, just go here and scroll down to the new header. It includes some of his usual confused crap, such as, Iran's "We don't have homosexuals in our country" Ahmadinejad's communications are like those of "a philosopher, a theologian, or a college professor."

A regular at the VNN forum, Donnachaidh, kept the knuckle draggers there abreast of Naylor's writings and the doings of SVR. Among thousands of other Donnachaidh post there are gems like Jews Despised By History's Best Men, Jews Start Wars That White Men Fight, Pamela Anderson Weds Kike In Las Vegas, Nigger Kultur, White Woman Discovers She Really Is A Nigger - you get the idea.

Donnachaidh is Gaelic for Duncan.

During my examination of campaign contributions for the utterly failed SVR token gubernatorial candidate, Dennis "Middle Finger Waving" Steele, I'd found that one of his largest out-of-state contributors was Long Islander, James Duncan of Melville, NY. This one contributor, someone who Naylor has called one of his "twenty Vermont Internet cowboys," led to my discovery of the Vermont seceshers Free Vermont listserv.

On the Free Vermont listserv James Duncan used the email address

While searching the VNN forums for more on possible SVR extremist connections or overlaps, I found not one but two occasions where the VNN forum member Donnachaidh had cut and paste for a post and where the email address of James Duncan,, appeared in the body, much as though he'd failed to edit it out as one would normally do. Or maybe Donnachaidh has access to James Duncan's Hotmail account. I couldn't find the two cut and pastes elsewhere on the net.

(You can see the original post of the screen cap above here)

(You can see the original post of the screen cap above here. At the original you can drag your cursor across the redacted email to see it at the lower left of your screen.)

Below, an archived version of the screen cap immediately above, shows an unredacted email address. Click on any of the three screen caps to embiggen.

!!! (If you've gone to any of the three VNN posts above or the other Donnachaidh links at the VNN forum above those screen caps, you might want to take a moment now to wash up - I'll wait for you.)

Good. You're back now.

Those of you who followed the election coverage here last year, as well as what was revealed here to be on the Free Vermont listserv, may recall that James Duncan expressed homophobic and racist views there - it seems that lesbians and race-mixing aren't his cup of tea. And you may also recall that candidate Steele chose to keep Duncan's contributions. Certainly, from time to time, Democrats, Republicans and Progressives receive contributions from outspoken racists, misogynists and homophobes and when the do find out about it, they return it or forward the tainted funds to non-profits. The difference here is that Steele knew all along about Duncan's hateful rants on the listserv and still took the money, not once but twice!

The name is not all that Donnachaidh and Duncan share in common. Neo-Nazi thugs use a variety of graphic and number symbols, and acronyms. Number symbols, like 88 have specific meanings - 88 meaning "HH" (H being the eighth letter of the alphabet), a shorthand for the Nazi greeting, "Heil Hitler." It's a symbol that often flies under the radar of the unsuspecting. And one must also look at the context wherein the symbols are found. To an anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic forum and its communicants, Duncan's email address (to those who knew his name) would translate as "JAMES DUNCAN: Heil Hitler To You" (jd882u); Donnachaidh's VNN forum avatar uses the neo-Nazi nickname for New York, "Mount Zion - Jew York Shitty" - Duncan lives a couple of miles from Queens, NY

Donnachaidh disappeared from the VNN forums sometime in the late summer of 2008.

Is Donnachaidh, James Duncan? Based on what's known, that's not a
point of view one should summarily dismiss. Perhaps Naylor, "Vermont Commons" publisher Rob Williams or even Duncan himself would like to offer their comments here - moderated Comments are now open but given the looniness that usually comes in from the foaming-at-the-mouth secesher crowd, that's not likely to continue for long. Or maybe the Vermont seceshers will want to talk this over at another of their always poorly attended events (here) scheduled for this weekend (and as noted in the Seven Days events calendar). I'll bet that Donnachaidh will be delighted to hear that he'll be the talk of the party and could have an opportunity to make his pitch for an all white, Jew-free, Aryan Vermont. Here's something for Williams' Phineas Gage Band to cover for the "Party":

Or maybe, Rob, you might want to consider yourself and Duncan as having just been Reich-rolled.

As Donnachaidh once said at the VNN forum, "I said it before and I'll say it again, we need to show them how to secede." Siegety Heil, baby!

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For the archive of the Free Vermont Framework listserv, click here.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The "Magnolia" Vermonter, Thomas Naylor, Has Got To Be...

... as General Tommy Franks once so famously said about another "great," government thinker, Douglas Feith, "the dumbest fucking guy on the planet." Or maybe it's just that he thinks that the rest of us the world are so stupid and in awe of his intellectual prowess that we'll eat any highbrow shit sandwich that he hands out.

He's written yet another of his tedious essays, although toned down a bit for the greater web world but not by much. You can find it here at CounterPunch, the web refuge for "radical" poseurs.

Naylor, baas of Second Vermont Republic, makes, among other absurd statements, this gem:
"In over two hundred years, the North American continent has never been attacked – nor even seriously threatened with invasion by Japan, Germany, the Soviet Union, or anyone else."
Please, someone interrupt the salon in the Naylor drawing room and
remind those big thinkers about the War of 1812. These clowns have mentioned the War of 1812 as the predicate for the Hartford Convention countless times as a part of their argument of the rightness of secession as the solution for all that ails, so it isn't likely that Naylor just forgot it.

You also might have thought that Naylor would have had the intellectual honesty, while mentioning Andrew Jackson, to have acknowledged that first failed experiment in decentralization and defiance of Federal authority that was the compromise engineered by Jackson called the Indian Removal Act, said by some to be the nation's first civil war. Honesty just isn't the small Vermont secesher community's forte. Besides, since it's Naylor's intent to lay every Native American's death at the doorstep of the "Empire," 4,000 dead American Indians is an inconvenient truth about the even larger impending death toll to come in what was to be a continuing experimentation in secesher thinking that led to the greater second Civil War of the 1860s.

No doubt "Vermont Commons" publisher and Naylor lackey Rob Williams will be eating his baas' new piece of intellectual shit garbage up.

Photo Credit: Southern Poverty Law Center (l-r, Thomas Naylor, Ian Baldwin & Kirkpatrick Sale)

Update January 28, 2011 6:30 PM: VTCommons notes my post here. As usual, intellectual dishonesty prevents Rob Williams from accurately reflecting what I said or what he knows. Rob's never one to let a good chance to pass for a meme to stand in for the truth. There's of course no link for one of his dullards to accidently click on. Way to continue being an asshole, Rob.

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For the archive of the Free Vermont Framework listserv, click here.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Vermont Secession Leader Calls Civil Rights "Irrevelant"

As Martin Luther King Day approached I wondered how to address a
recent statement regarding civil rights by a former Second Vermont Republic candidate for the office of Vermont Lt. Governor and "Vermont Commons" blogger, Peter Garritano. He calls them "irrelevant." Perhaps it's best to let him speak for himself:
"The ruling elite divide us by highlighting irrelevant issues and stoking the media. Don’t ask don’t tell, illegal immigrants,... gay marriage,..."
As those who follow this blog and have also looked at the seceshers posts on their own listserv (link below) know, the secesher crowd and their leaders completely absented themselves from the primary civil rights issue in Vermont for this century thus far - marriage equality. SVR founder and baas, Thomas Naylor, even has gone so far as to suggest that this is an issue that is yet to be settled by Vermonters under his proposed brave new republic.

Last year we learned that Naylor's other anointed executive candidate, middle finger waving gubernatorial candidate Dennis Steele, accepted and kept a donation from an out-of-state supporter of the Vermont seceshers who doesn't care much for lesbians or race mixing. Steele even argued that keeping the donation from a racist homophobe was a good thing, although most would agree that a candidate should return the befouled money or neutralize the contribution's intent by forwarding it to an appropriate civil rights group. Steele just pocketed it without once denouncing the donor, a fellow Free Vermont listserv member of Steele's. Naylor has even gone so far as to paint his motley collection of supporters as somehow being victims when they are fairly criticized by Vermonters for their bigoted ties and positions.

It's safe to say that with each new outrageous secesher revelation it is they who make themselves "irrelevant" to Vermonters.

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For the archive of the Free Vermont Framework listserv, click here.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Today In Vermont History - January 15, 1777

Today being the day that those who would eventually come to call themselves Vermonters declared themselves to be an "independent state," I thought these two brief essays might be in order.

You see, there never really was a First Vermont Republic.

The claim that Vermont operated as a republic is at best flimsy and questionable. Every step taken by those early Vermonters was to the end of membership in the United States. They faced initial obstacles to Vermont's eventual statehood arising from conflicting claims by two adjacent states.

During the Revolutionary War the Vermont militia, known as the Green Mountain Boys, was paid by the Continental Congress via the State of New York.

Many of the settlers, like Thomas Rowley, had come to Vermont from Connecticut and as a symbolic representation of that origin and their independence from both New Hampshire and New York, they first chose the name New Connecticut. The first essay below covers those early days, while the second covers the myths that Thomas Naylor's Second Vermont Republic and Rob Williams' "Vermont Commons" have sought to turn into truths.
American Revolution
Jan 15, 1777:
Vermont New Connecticut Declares Independence

Having recognized the need for their territory to assert its independence from both Britain and New York and remove themselves from the war they were waging against each other, a convention of future Vermonters assembles in Westminster and declares independence from the crown of Great Britain and the colony of New York on this day in 1777. The convention's delegates included Vermont's future governor, Thomas Chittenden, and Ira Allen, who would become known as the "father" of the University of Vermont.

Delegates first named the independent state New Connecticut and, in June 1777, finally settled on the name Vermont, an imperfect translation of the French for green mountain. One month later, on July 2, 1777, a convention of 72 delegates met in Windsor, Vermont, to adopt the state's new—and revolutionary—constitution; it was formally adopted on July 8, 1777. Vermont's constitution was not only the first written national constitution drafted in North America, but also the first to prohibit slavery and to give all adult males, not just property owners, the right to vote. Thomas Chittenden became Vermont's first governor in 1778.

Throughout the 1780s, Congress refused to acknowledge that Vermont was a separate state independent of New York. In response, frustrated Vermonters went so far as to inquire if the British would readmit their territory to the empire as part of Canada. Vermont remained an independent nation even two years after George Washington became president of the United States of America under the new U.S. Constitution. However, as the politics of slavery threatened to divide the U.S., Vermont was finally admitted as the new nation's 14th state in 1791, serving as a free counterbalance to slaveholding Kentucky, which joined the Union in 1792.
And from Vermont's longtime state archivist:
Voice from the Vault
By Gregory Sanford, State Archivist
Myths and Documents.

One of the enduring lines from George Orwell's 1984 is: "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future." I often think of this line when I encounter folks attempting to achieve a future outcome by manipulating Vermont’s past. When done often enough we come to accept such manipulations as historic realities and incorporate them into our own rhetoric.

At the Archives, for example, we regularly receive requests for copies of the "escape clause" in the Vermont Constitution. This purported clause allows Vermont to withdraw from the United States. A variation, which we call the Brigadoon theory, is that this escape clause opens up every hundred years, presumably starting in 1791. After all, would Vermonters, after 14 years of independence (1777-1791), simply embrace statehood without leaving a way out? The requests come from across the political spectrum: those who do not like a national administration; oppose national foreign or economic policies; loath the federal income tax; or fear gun control or other potential restraints on individual freedom.

The truth, drawn from documents, is less satisfying; there is no, nor has there ever been, such an escape clause.

These thoughts emerged while reading news stories on current efforts to withdraw Vermont from the union. I have before me a news release by two Vermont supporters of secession. Part of their argument is based on historical facts of dubious reputation. Let me illustrate by juxtaposing italicized quotes from the press release with quotes from historical documents.

"Vermont did not join the Union to become part of an empire."
At the January 1791 convention on whether Vermont should ratify the U.S. Constitution and join the union Nathaniel Chipman argued, "But received into the bosom of the union, we at once become brethren and fellow-citizens with more than three millions of people; instead of being confined to the narrow limits of Vermont, we become members of an extensive empire…" Chipman goes on to enumerate the advantages of joining this empire, the United States. His arguments carried the day and the convention voted for ratification 105 to 4.

"Vermont more or less sat out the War of 1812, and its governor ordered troops fighting the British to come home."
Yes, Governor Martin Chittenden did order Vermont troops home from Plattsburgh, but they refused to return, explaining "that when we are ordered into the service of the United States, it becomes our duty, when required, to march to the defence of any section of the Union. We are not of that class who believe that our duties as citizens or soldiers are circumscribed within the narrow limits of the Town or State in which we reside, but that we are under a paramount obligation to our common country, to the great confederation of States."

"Vermont fought the Civil War primarily to end slavery."
And yet in 1861 when Governor Erastus Fairbanks convened the special war session of the Vermont legislature he warned not about slavery but that, "The Federal capital is menaced by an imposing and well armed military force, and the Government itself, and the national archives, are in imminent peril." Jeffrey Marshall, the head of Special Collections at UVM, has read thousands of Civil War letters from hundreds of Vermonters. He reports that only a "handful" of the Vermont soldiers cited slavery as the reason they were fighting; they instead directed their ire at the secessionists, who they characterized as treasonous.

"After the Great Flood of 1927, the worst natural disaster in the state’s history, President Calvin Coolidge (a Vermonter) offered help. Vermont’s governor replied, ‘Vermont will take care of its own’."
Whatever Governor Weeks might have actually said, the reality is that Vermont’s congressional delegation successfully lobbied for $2.6 million in federal flood relief. In addition Governor Weeks accepted a check for $600,000 from the Red Cross to help with flood recovery.

And so on. My point is neither to argue with our current secessionists nor denigrate the beliefs of the authors of the press release. Heck, most of us have, at one time or other, probably cited some of the historical "facts" the authors used. I am simply arguing the importance of having accessible public records to evaluate the rhetoric of public figures.

Locating, understanding and interpreting public records will never be as much fun as mouthing our cherished myths. Public records are, however, evidence of the actions we actually took as a State. They too can be pulled out of context or selectively (mis)used to prove a belief. And yet, I would argue, the stories they hold are as dramatic, and instructive, as those found in Vermont mythology.

That is why I think it so important that we pay more attention to teaching Vermont history and civics in our schools. It is why using Vermont’s historical records is so important to learning to become engaged citizens. To learn how to identify and interpret those records creates an intellectual skill that is essential to navigating through our "information age." If we do not learn how to effectively evaluate information in all its myriad forms we will never be able to perform our responsibilities as citizens. To paraphrase Mr. Orwell, "Whoever understands the past, understands the present; whoever understands the present can plan for the future."

Gregory Sanford, Vermont State Archivist for the Office of the Vermont Secretary of State
The disingenuous opinion piece that Sanford so eloquently refuted was authored by former SVR board member, Frank Bryan and SVR dead-ender, Ian Baldwin.

You can see the text of Vermont's first constitution here at the Secretary of State's website. (Spoiler Alert: The word "republic" appears nowhere in it.)

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today In Vermont History

None of the eight Second Vermont Republic secesher candidates in the 2010 election were sworn into any office in the state of Vermont today.

Perhaps as a last puerile, frivolous act of contempt for the present
State of Vermont, secesher gubernatorial candidate, Dennis Steele, has filed a late final campaign finance report with the Vermont Secretary of State's Elections Division (to his first late filing), unlike as required by state statute (17 V.S.A. §2811(a)).

All in all, a pretty lame bunch.

2:15 PM: A real Vermont governor, Peter Shumlin, was sworn in.

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Watching the Not Dennis Steele Gubernatorial Inaugural

Will post shortly. Live coverage streaming at the Burlington Free Press.

1:50 PM: Former govs and other dignitaries being escorted by Vermont National Guard members, including the Adjutant General; each of the VNG escorts are being named and individually honored for for their service in Iraq. Nice touch.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *For the archive of the Free Vermont Framework listserv, click here.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Thomas Naylor: shut up. Shut Up. SHUT UP!!"

Despite the use of phony polling to suggest growing support for secession and the Second Vermont Republic (see polling section in the right column), Vermont seceshers have been seeking to extricate themselves from their "image" problem so as to improve from their abysmally poor performance in the 2010 election, wherein the head of their ticket, Dennis Steele, garnered less than 1% of the vote.

For more than a year and a half, various endeavours have been formulated to reset and refocus their effort to what some of them feel are more achievable goals, mostly with half-assed results.

Perhaps more importantly, disagreement with Thomas Naylor's leadership has been increasingly voiced by supporters. On October 2, 2010, secession supporter Paul Parsons wrote:
Just as any people who love their country should be able to differentiate between the nation and its leaders when the latter prove to be detrimental to the former (ie. supporting the U.S. vs. supporting Bush), anyone who truly desires Vermont independence should not be afraid to recognize when their leaders (even if they are the founders) are sabotaging the cause.

I began following Thomas Naylor's written thoughts on the website for the Second Vermont Republic, because he was saying so many intelligent things that I could agree with. Now I only keep up to date with what he is going to say next because of how crazy he sounds. I do not doubt his convictions, and I don't think he means to hurt the movement, but I believe he is doing so none the less.

Mr. Naylor is showing some signs of being obsessive. He brings up the Israeli lobby in almost every single one of his essays. No matter what the subject of the essay, he brings up the Israeli lobby.

I know that it is obvious that the U.S. is far from being impartial in the Middle East crisis, and has not done nearly enough about the suffering of the Palestinian people. There is however a world of difference between that, and believing, as Naylor has stated over and over again, that the Israeli lobby is in direct control of the United States government. He has even gone so far as to say that we are directly controlled from Tel-Aviv. This is not far from the language of extreme right-wing groups that talk about the ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government). This will not help the SVR distance itself from claims of being associated with neo-Confederates.

Thomas Naylor has gone beyond this however. He has gone so far as to speak admirably of Iran's president. He might not be on the U.S. payroll like Noriega was, but make no mistake, Ahmadinejad is a tyrant and a mad man of the worst sort.

Most recently, Naylor has even suggested that the U.S. was lying about who was actually behind the 9/11 attacks.Perhaps some of you believe that there was a 9/11 coverup, or at least that the government has sought to take advantage of this tragedy the same way they would if it was an inside job. Be aware however that it is a very taboo subject.

For any movement to succeed, it must have enough popular support, which requires a diverse coalition that is united by one or two specific causes. It is hard enough to get people to share your views on one issue, let alone several. That is why it is important to stay focused, and not make any demands that people share all of the same views as you concerning erroneous issues like Israel and Iran.

If I was a conspiracy theorist (I'm not), I would think that Thomas Naylor was working for the FBI, like one of their COINTELPRO plants that they used in the 60s against groups like the Black Panthers. Most of what he says can only alienate support, and hurt the cause of Vermont Independence.

Let me just say that I am not a resident of Vermont. I love Vermont as a neighbor from a fellow New England state, and wish them nothing but the best, but know that I should have no vote in determining their future. Those votes should be limited (solely) to the people of Vermont, and the only people in Washington D.C. with a say should be those who were sent their by Vermonters as their elected representatives. Regardless of what path the people of Vermont (take), I think it is important for them to have all options open to them.

Even if the(y) don't secede, sovereignty movements can still be a positive force. The Parti Quebecois has helped get recognation of Quebec's nationhood, and achieved a good deal of autonomy, despite having so far failing to win independence. Any union that is preserved should be a fair and just union, and one way to do that is to remember that a union is supposed to be a partnership of choice, with the benefit of all. Having stated that I think the Second Vermont Republic can be a positive force, I have just one more thing that I would like to say to its founder, Thomas Naylor: shut up. Shut Up.

Update 1.5.11, 12:00 PM: Welcome, to all the new CNN online readers/viewers!

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sham Wow Guy 's Least Likely to Secede $19.95 Deal