Saturday, September 16, 2017

Collins part 1 Joanne Pezzullo

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Collins Part I

Hezekiah and John Collins 

"In 1773 at the Treaty of Augusta (Augusta, GA), the Cherokees and Creeks ceded over 2 million acres of land in return for cancelling 40,000 Pounds indebtedness to the Indian Traders. The two murdered Cherokees were members of the surveying expedition led by Col. Edward Barnard to map the land cession. The surveyors and other members of the expedition included the naturalist William Bartram.

There were already hundreds of trespassers in the new land. They had migrated into the upcountry hills of the Carolinas before the Revolution and on into the backcountry of Georgia. And in general they viewed the Indians with hatred -- while at the same time desiring the land.

Two young Cherokees, who were with Barnard's boundary-marking expedition, called at Collins's cabin on the Broad River for some refreshment. They were not armed and were not looking for trouble. Collins' wife invited them in and gave them some milk and something to eat. When Collins returned to his cabin and found them there, he killed the first with his rifle and the second with an ax. John Collins, father of the murderer, arrived to drag the bodies to the river and sink them.

Later when the Cherokees were reported missing, Barnard's men searched the Broad River area. Under questioning Mrs. Collins related the sad story. Barnard's men found the bodies in the shallows of the river and returned them to their people.

John Collins, the father, was arrested for his part in the affair. Hezekiah fled to South Carolina where he was arrested, but then escaped. There is no record of him ever being brought to justice for his crime."

1752 Hezekiah was located on Cane Creek and the Haw River. 
6194 Zachariah Martin plat 27 May 1752, 573a Orange, on N side of Haw Rv on Cain Ck above the Piney Mountain. CB John Daniel, Hezekiah Collins; Richd Caswell Jr Survr 

Nathan Melton  Survey 25 October 1759
391 acres on north side Haw R.; Robert Patterson, John Collins*: CC (chain carrier)  Entered 4 November 1756

John West Born about 1707 (in Virginia?). In 1725 when John was 18, he married Mary Madden, in Granville District, Orange County, North Carolina--- John was appointed constable in Orange County, North Carolina, in March of 1753. Two daughters of John West married two Collins brothers.  Hezekiah Collins m. Mary West [born 1742] and bought land from his father in law in 1755 Orange County, NC. 

John and Hezekiah Collins remove to York County, SC?

State of South Carolina, York County, Deed Book F, No. 20, Page 26-27, March 14, 1791. This Indenture made the fourteenth day of March in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven Hundred and ninety one. Between Hezekiah Collins of the County of York & State of South Carolina planter of the one part and James Donally of the County and State aforesaid planter of the other part. Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of eight pounds Sterling to the said Hezekiah Collins in hand paid by the said James Donally at and before the ensealing & delivery of these presents the receipt and payment whereof is hereby Acknowledged hath granted Bargained sold aliened  conveyed and confirmed and by these presents doth grant Bargain Sell alien enfeoff convey & confirm unto the said James Donally his Heirs & assigns forever, a Certain piece Tract or piece of landContaining by computation one Hundred & fifty acres being a part of a Tract of Land granted to John Collins in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Sixty eight lying and being on the East side of Kings Creek. Beginning at a red oak Marked H. C upon the first Spring Branch below the mouth of the Gum Branch from thence down the said Spring Branch to a white oak Tree on the Branch of Kings Creek marked H.C. _ _ _ _ from thence up Kings Creek to the upper line of said Tract & from thence runs the Courses of said Tract of Land upon the east side of said Creek to the beginning. Black oak marked as aforesaid H.C. with the appurtenances situate lying and being as aforesaid with their and every of their rights members and appurtenances whatsoever and the reversion and reversions, Remainders & remainders of all and Singular the lands Tenements Hereditaments and premises is hereby Granted or intended to be granted and of every part and parcel thereof of all __ Services and profits to them or any of them or any part and parcel of them or any of them J____ belonging or appertaining. And __ all of every the Said Lands Tenements Hereditaments & Premises whatsoever hereby granted or mentioned to be granted or any of them or any part or parcel thereof. To have & to Hold the said Lands Tenements Hereditamnets & premises hereby granted with their appurtenances to the said James Donally his heirs and assigns to the only proper use behoof of the said James Donally his Heirs & assigns forever and the said Hezekiah Collins for himself his heirs Executors & Administrators doth hereby promise Covenant & agree that he the said Hezekiah Collins his Heirs Extr Adminisrs shall & will at all times Warrant forever defend the said premises to the said James Donally his heirs and assigns against all lawful claims or demands whatsoever whereof the above Mentioned premises might or maybe affected or encumbered contrary to the True Intent and meaning of these presents. In Witness whereof the said Hezekiah Collins hath hereunto set his Hand & seal the day & Year first above written. Hezekiah “his H mark” Collins (Seal) Mary “her __ mark” Collins.Signed Sealed & Delivered in presence of us John Hood, Massey (x) Sandlin.

Records are confusing but the earliest records say John is the father and Hezekiah was the son who killed the Cherokees.

"There were many settlers who had lost loved ones to the Indians, and had a deep hatred for them. Not only were the Indians at fault, but the white people themselves committed many crimes against the Indians.

The first blow came at the end of June during the expedition to mark the boundary line in Georgia. A family named Collins had settled high up Broad River at the edge of the line. The survey party had camped across the river in site of the house. Two young Cherokee lads of eighteen and twenty years old, who were near relations of Eccuy the Good Warrior and Big Swanny, decided to go unarmed over to pay a visit, and ask for a drink of milk. At that time the owner John Collins, and his son Hezekia, were away. The two lads went to the house. Mrs. Collins gave them milk, and also a well portion of victuals for each. While they were in the yard sitting and eating, the son Hezekia returned. He leveled his rifle with the intent to kill both. He fired and killed one, and struck the other on the neck with the stock of the rifle, which shattered it to pieces. The Indian began thrashing about on the ground, and the wicked Hezekia finished him off with an Ax. About this time the father returned, and seeing what had happened, they threw the bodies into the river.

When the story went out of the possible murders, the white people began a search to find the bodies as proof. After nine days they were found. Knowing of the consequences, Hezekia left the country. John was arrested in South Carolina, but made an escape. A circular was distributed throughout the other colonies, with a large reward for the apprehension and arrest of Hezekia.

Watagua Records
Aug. 27, 1778
Benjamin Rodgers vs. Peter Ford.
Caveat returned by the Sheriff, settled and agreed. All fees paid. 
Val Sevier, Abraham Sevier, Julius Robinson, Zachriah White, Dempsey Ward, Andrew Thompson, Gideon Morris, Robert Sevier, Jermiah Duncan, came into court and took the oath of Allegiance.

Ordered that the sheriff make the sale of six head of Creatures taken by John Sevier from Joseph Box called the property of Zekiah Collins, wheel right, and make return of money arising from the sale thereof to the Treasurer.

Ord. that Pheba Collins have three creatures returned to her that was ord. by the court to be sold by the Sheriff, the creatures supposed to belong to Hezekiah Collins.

There are two sources that may indicate the John and Hezekiah descendants did end up in Hawkins County, Tennessee area;
I came upon some old notes I had taken from a film at a LDS library. It was
an interview in 1936 with a Berry Collins, a son of Griffin. He says that
these Collinses came from GA to TN & that Griffin was first in the line to
settle in the county-Grainger Co., TN. I know GA became a state in 1788 but
Griffin was b. 1773. GA was also Indian lands. [ Email to Brenda Dillon 2002] 

''Old Griffith Collins who died in Grainger county some forty years ago once approached 'Squire Gill' of Bean Station, who was an Englishman by birth, on this subject. 

"Squire Gill" he asked, "what is convicts?" I've often heard my grandfather say we's come down from convicts." [Varney]

Griffin Collins has a history of coming from Georgia.  Solomon Collins born in what was Johnston County, North Carolina at the time enlisted from Caswell County, North Carolina in 1778, formed the following year from Orange, removed to Georgia after the war.  He is found in same areas of Georgia as Seaborn Collins, a perfect DNA match to Vardy, David, and Amos, etc.


Cherokee Application - Deposition of Seaborn Hagan, son of Zilpha Collins and Coleston Hagan.

Seaborn's daughter, Zilpha Collins was married in Appling, Georgia to Coleston Hagan.  While Seaborn Hagan states in the application his father didn't have any Indian blood I believe he is represented in the Hagan DNA project in the Q - Native American group.  

Coleston and Zilpha Hagan were apparently in Jefferson Co., Tennessee by 1845 and in Grainger County by the 1850 census;

Birth Year: abt 1798 Birthplace:South Carolina Home in 1850:District 10, Grainger, Tennessee Family Number:1120Household Members:
Coleson Hagen52
Zilphia Hagen41
Selim Hagen20
Peter Hagen17
James Hagen15
Laurence Hagen13
Matilda Hagen11
Christley G. Hagen5
Mahala Hagen2


Solomon enlisted from Caswell County, North Carolina in 1778. The Caswell County tax list for 1777 shows Paul, Martin, Charles and Milleton Collins on lands in St. James District, they are most likely related these four Collins who later remove to Wythe/Giles Co., Virginia and also Hawkins/Hancock County, Tennessee.

From Carolina to Virginia to Tennessee

Paul Collins found in the 1777 tax in Caswell County was in Granville/Orange County, NC as early as 1751 with Thomas Collins. 
1752 Granville County, NC  Thomas Collins received a land grant on the Flatt River on Dials Creek. Witnesses: Paul Collins, George Gibson and Moses Riddle
1761  700 acres to Thomas Collins on Dials Creek of the Flatt River. Chainbearers: George Collins and Paul Collins (mulattoes)”
1782 Montgomery Co Va Tax list
tithes slaves horses cattle land
Ambrose Collins 1 0 1 1 Yes
Daniel Collins 1 0 4 9 Yes
David Collins 1 0 0 2 Yes
George Collins 1 0 0 4 Yes
John Collins 1 0 1 2 Yes
Lewis Collins 1 0 1 2 Yes
Martin Collins 1 0 1 0
Millinton Collins 1 0 1 0 

Millton Collins 1783 Montgomery Co Va

Millinton Collins 5-10-1783 80 acres Big Reed Island Pine & Snake Cr[in modern Carroll Co] & New River Grants 29-325
1789 NE Part of Wilkes Co. NC
Samuel Collins ( 0 poll means he was under 16 yrs)
Volentine Collins (1 poll)
Benjamin Collins (1 Poll....first appearance)
1793 Wythe Co, VA (formed 1793 from the lower western part of Montgomery  Co...1793] List for New River District
Lewis CollinsBenjamin CollinsAbsolem Collins
Joseph Collins
John Collins Sr
John Collins Jr
Mahlon Collins
Millitent CollinsDavid Collins
Jonathan Collins
1800 Grayson Co Va Tax List
George Collins 1 wm over 21
Paul Collins 1 wm over 21
Jacob Collins 1 wm over 21
Jonathan Collins 1 wm over 21, 1 horse
Malin Collins 2 wm over 21, 5 horses
John Collins 1 wm over 21, 2 horses
Milliner [Milliton] Collins 2 wm over 21, 1 horse
Benjamin Collins 2 wm over 21, 2 horses

Moses Collins 1 wm over 21
 1802 Montgomery Co Va
Millenton and Avy Collins of Grayson Co Va sold 80 acres on Big Reed Island to James Bobbit for 34 pds. DB 1-480 22 Feb 1802
 All of these families have ties from Granville/Orange/Caswell to Georgia, Wilkes Co., NC.  Grayson, Wythe, Montgomery Co., Va., and Newman's Ridge. 
The previous blog shows "Old Benjamin Collins with Milleton in Virginia to Tennessee.  Milleton had land on Big Reed Island and the newspaper clipping from 1876 shows that the "Young Benjamin Collins" came from Reed Island.

A race of people mostly by the name of Collins and Mullins live on the top, and along the spurs of Newmans Ridge, and some of them in a fertile valley called, "Blackwater," "history tells not of their origin," but as far as I can learn from the oldest ones among them, their ancestors came there from "Reed Island"about the beginning of the present century.  
 Herald and Tribune (Jonesborough, Tennessee)27 Jan 1876, Thu Page 2  HANCOCK COUNTY

The Collins of Newman's Ridge are not genetically related but it certainly appears they are at least 'tribally related'  -- 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The United States was attacked by a hostile foreign power

Dan Rather
25 June 2017
The United States was attacked. It was attacked by a hostile foreign power who wished to harm our democracy. It was a sneak attack and its damage we are only starting to understand.
What Russia did in the 2016 elections should have every patriotic American angry and determined to rally to the defense of the nation. The Russian attack is back to being the talk of Washington thanks to a blockbuster report in the Washington Post which laid bare the response of the Obama Administration. The facts detailed in that important piece of journalism have raised a series of recriminations among the political chattering class over whether President Obama acted forcefully enough. That is an important debate, and one that will likely be pored over by historians in the future.
But while we shouldn't shy away from that discussion, we should also recognize that the threat posed by Russia has not dissipated. If anything it has only increased as Vladimir Putin has seen the success of his efforts to create political chaos in the United States.
President Trump has to this point shown no interest in taking this threat seriously. If anything, he hasn't demonstrated that he even understands the nature of the threat. He famously has been flippant about whether he even believed Russia was involved - that was until he could tweet out attacks on Obama's handling of the attack yesterday. How convenient. But that doesn't excuse him, our current Commander and Chief, of his responsibility to protect our Republic.
What hasn't gotten enough attention in the Post report, in my opinion, is how the Republicans in Congress reacted back in 2016.
(From the Washington Post article)
"the (Obama) White House turned to Congress for help, hoping that a bipartisan appeal to states would be more effective...(but) the meeting devolved into a partisan squabble. 'The Dems were, ‘Hey, we have to tell the public,’ recalled one participant. But Republicans resisted, arguing that to warn the public that the election was under attack would further Russia’s aim of sapping confidence in the system. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went further, officials said, voicing skepticism that the underlying intelligence truly supported the White House’s claims. Through a spokeswoman, McConnell declined to comment, citing the secrecy of that meeting."
In 1947, Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg famously said, "we must stop partisan politics at the water's edge.” And by this he meant in foreign policy and issues of national security. Well in a digital world, there is no water's edge. But there certainly is politics. Criticize the response of the Obama Administration all you want. But we cannot let political point scoring distract us from the current threat to national security.
The safety and security of this nation is now in the hands of President Trump and his allies in Congress. Will they take this Russia threat seriously? Or will they continue to play politics?
"When it comes to keeping America safe and strong, when it comes to keeping America free, there should be no Republicans or Democrats, only patriotic Americans working together." That was President Ronald Reagan at the height of the Cold War. What would he say about the game the GOP is playing today?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lewis Powell: Assault On The American Fabric Started With Him

This may sound like a hyper-partisan article. It is not. It is based on actions by Republicans of all stripes that are verifiable and quantifiable. All Americans are being played irrespective of party affiliation. Republican leadership and political sidekicks are the masters of the game, the citizenry the pawns.

Republicans have never been known as a party fighting for the poor or the middle class. They have never been known as a party that believed in a social safety net. The problem for Republicans is that 90+% of Americans fall into that category.
The level of intolerance by the GOP is incomprehensible until the strategy is understood. It is easy to dismiss comments by a few. However, when it becomes a chorus line that is perfectly synchronized, it becomes a strategy.
Republicans balk when one speaks about the Republican war on women, war on the poor, war on the environment, war on gays, war on minorities, and many other select micro wars. They don’t want these wars called out. And the reality is these should not be called wars at all. It is much too simplistic.
It is a war on democracy. How do you win a war on democracy when there are many more subjects than you? You fight many battles. So the battle against the poor, the battle against women, the battle against gays, the battle against minorities, the battle against education, and any other micro battle to keep the subjects occupied is the modus operandi. It does not matter if in the process a few of the battles are lost. After all, their eyes are on the ball, the destruction of a functional democracy.

It was all in the Powell Memo

This week I interviewed Jeff Clements, co-founder of Free Speech for People, and author of Corporations Are Not People about corporate personhood and the Citizens United ruling. In that interview, he brought up the Powell Memo. Read the memo in its entirety. It gives the necessary perspective.
The Powell Memo illustrates the fear that Lewis Powell, a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of varies corporations had for the masses. Powell was subsequently confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.
Powell lays out the game plan. The Powell Memo is a plan that was forward looking. It is a plan that so far has been well implemented. How did they do it?

The success of the Powell Memo is in the ubiquity of its implementation.

They created think tanks responsible for dispersing misleading information with a false cloak of authenticity. The Heritage Foundation is a classic example of this. They took control of the airwaves to disperse misleading information (e.g., talk radio, Fox News, CNBC, etc.). A relenting Chamber of Commerce uses corporate monies to bully policy and politicians that squeeze the masses (e.g., support for free trade agreements, outsourcing etc.).
They infiltrated college campuses with directed research for planned outcomes. They infiltrated the elementary and secondary schools’ textbook evaluation process to attempt Right Wing indoctrination. They used graduate business schools to indoctrinate students on an irresponsible form of capitalism. They flooded the country with books and paid advertising promoting their message. They continue to destroy unions.
The implementation has been successful thus far. The problem is that in Powell’s days there was no Internet. There was no way to form disjointed communities in mass that could rise up when knowledge was not controlled in a top-down manner. A new tactic had to be added. This new tactic is not new. It is the war to divide and conquer.

The current strategy is simply a modification of the Powell Memo to achieve the same result.

If one keeps a community, a city, a country in a constant state of disarray or chaos, it is easy for the subjects to take their eyes off real problems. That is the same tactics used in countries where a functioning Plutocracy reigns like Panama and many ‘third world’ countries around the world. Underlying human behavior is the same throughout the world. The world then becomes the testing ground for successful suppressive tactics. The successful ones are effectively being used against Americans now.
All the little battles described above occurring at the same time are nothing more than death by a thousand cuts. Americans are so busy trying to survive, fighting these culture battles and sub-class battles that they are unable to fight what really ails. What ails is the Plutocracy Powell’s memo aimed to preserve. The Republican assault on the fabric of America is but that implementation.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

On Not Living in the End Times How best to avoid the apocalypse

"What the Volcker shock entailed in policy terms, as he later admitted, was not “very fancy or very precise.” It ostensibly involved a change in procedure from announcing a target interest rate (and then selling or buying the quantities of Treasury bills through its “open market operations” to reach it) to targeting the money supply (and then forcing banks to bid against each other for the funds they needed to maintain their reserves with the Fed). The Fed’s embrace of restrictive monetary targets may have been, as Krippner puts it, a “political cover” to avoid direct responsibility for the resulting high interest rates, but the impact on the economy was clear enough: what was really significant about the conduct of monetary policy under Volcker “was not the money targeting but the austerity.” A new and increasingly invariant ethos for monetary policy, designed above all to “break inflationary expectations,” was in its formative stages during this period: “the change in objective was much more important and more durable than the change in procedures.” Volcker himself made it perfectly clear that he was prepared to embrace austerity—“and stick to it,” as he told the American Bankers Association three days after he announced the new policy in early October 1979. 

And stick to it he did, sustained by the public show of unanimous support he secured from the Fed’s governors and Open Market Committee, as the federal funds rate reached previously unheard-of levels. Carter’s presidency ended with the federal funds rate at 19.1 percent; and with the interest rate still at this level six months into the Reagan presidency, the US was plunged into the deepest economic downturn since the 1930s. US inflation, aggravated by the sharp rise in oil prices at the time, had stood at over 12 percent at the end of 1979, and was still almost 10 percent at the end of 1981. The back of inflation was finally broken when unemployment (which initially rose only slowly from its 1979 level of 6 percent) reached double digits in the fall of 1982. It was at this point, exactly three years after it had been launched, that Volcker let it be understood that the “shock” was finally over: the Fed’s “policy objective” had at last changed to monetary “easing.” Even when growth finally resumed in 1983, inflation came down to just over 3 percent and more or less remained there for the rest of the century. 

But the ability to stick to a policy of state-induced austerity for as long as three years was based on much more than Volcker’s personal determination. As we saw in the last chapter, previous attempts by the Fed to raise interest rates dramatically had run up against what McChesney Martin had once called the “ghost of overkill.” This was usually understood as meaning that the Fed drew back from raising rates too high to accommodate the democratic opposition to high unemployment. In fact, when the Fed drew back it was because it was itself caught up in financial capital’s own contradictory relationship to monetary discipline. Despite financial capitalists being the most vocal constituency for monetary restraint, they recoiled in horror at the instability that the imposition of high interest rates actually caused in financial markets. In 1969–70, as we have seen, once the financial system proved unable to accommodate the high-interest-rate policy that produced the commercial paper crisis and the collapse of Penn Central, the Fed had quickly pumped liquidity back into the system. US policymakers were subsequently haunted by the fear that this would happen again. Shortly before becoming head of the Council of Economic Advisors under Ford in 1974, Alan Greenspan warned in a private memo to the Treasury’s Bill Simon that a tight monetary policy would have particularly dire effects, especially since the size and range of the US mortgage market meant that the nature of “our peculiarly American thrift institutions places the crisis threshold far lower than any country in the world.” He notably added that that “the Federal Reserve’s response would be immediate and massive support for the thrift institutions”—which could, of course, only negate the initial monetary restraint.

What, then, allowed Volcker to go beyond what he himself called the earlier “hesitations and false starts”? Crucial to the change was the broadening and deepening of financial markets through the 1970s. This reflected the enormous growth in international finance that followed the removal of US exchange controls in 1974, which was further spurred by the British and Japanese liberalizations in the midst of the Volcker shock. But it also reflected the development of new derivatives markets that allowed for the spreading and hedging of risk, a more extensive commercial paper market, and the development of new securitized instruments including money-market mutual funds. The latter provided an escape hatch from the New Deal “Regulation Q” controls on how much interest banks and thrifts could pay on deposits, and so reduced the sensitivity of housing finance to high interest rates—although this meant that the Fed needed to push interest rates higher still to secure austerity. These changes would not have been enough to prevent the kind of scenario that Greenspan had feared back in 1974, if the Volcker shock had not been quickly followed by the passage of the Depositary Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA) in early 1980; this Act finally accomplished what Nixon had proposed in 1973: the phasing out of “Regulation Q” ceilings. It also removed state usury laws that limited the interest banks could charge on loans, and gave more flexibility to thrifts by broadening their ability to engage in consumer and commercial lending.
Although the previous deregulation in airlines, trucking, and railways appeared to suggest that “banking’s time had arrived,” the Depositary Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act revealed by its very title the futility of seeing things in terms of a dichotomy between regulation and deregulation. Besides mandating greater regulatory cooperation between the Federal Reserve, the Treasury’s Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Act—“the most massive change in banking laws since the Depression”—widened the state’s regulatory remit over the whole banking system. All deposit institutions were now required to hold reserves with the Fed, and new rules were established for more uniform reporting to regulators, and for extended federal deposit insurance coverage. And it was this joint supervisory capacity that allowed the Fed, working more and more closely with the OCC and the FDIC, to sustain the Volcker shock by undertaking selective bailouts of those banks that were deemed “too big to fail.” This included the largest bailout in US history to that point, that of First Philadelphia Bank (whose roots went back two centuries to the first private bank in the US). The regulators feared that if the bank “collapsed slowly, in the manner of Franklin National [in 1973–74], it might provoke a crisis of confidence in the banking system.”

The Fed’s autonomy with respect to the financial system, and the detailed information it had about its precise workings that was unavailable to anyone else, was decisive in terms of the flexibility and persistence it needed to act. As Chris Rude has put it: “Contrary to the beliefs of certain populists, therefore, the Fed did not act in the interests of the banking system when it imposed austerity under Volcker because it was held captive by its member banks. The Fed was able to use austerity to promote the general interests of the larger US financial institutions because they were subject to its supervisory and regulative authority.” Yet the Fed’s autonomy could not have been sustained without support from the White House and leading members of Congress—not to mention the Treasury, which Volcker all along saw as the real “center of gravity.”

Underlying this was a broad class alignment between finance and industry. This encompassed not only Wall Street but also small savers, since high inflation had eroded support for the old New Deal ceilings on the interest paid for bank deposits, as could be seen in the American Association of Retired Persons and “Gray Panthers” lobbies, which called for the phasing-out of the “Regulation Q” ceilings. And the new class alignment also encompassed not only most industrialists, who were by now more than ready to endorse the bankers’ traditional hostility to Keynesianism, but even the AFL-CIO leadership who, as Volcker pointedly noted at the time, had in September 1979 reached a “National Accord” with the Carter administration that went so far as to give “top priority” to the “war on inflation.” All this allowed the Fed to claim in its 1979 Report that no internal opposition existed within the US to its “new approach to central banking.”

Fundamentally, the Volcker shock was not so much about finding the right monetary policy as shifting the balance of class forces in American society. Inflationary “expectations” (the economists’ buzz word at the time) could not be broken without shattering aspirations of the working class and its collective capacity to fulfill them. The defeat of the working-class militancy of the previous decade had culminated politically in the failed attempt to secure the state’s commitment to full employment in the Humphrey-Hawkins Act. A bone that labor was thrown when the Act was passed in 1978 required the chair of the Fed to make annual reports to Congress on its objectives for the year ahead. Nothing symbolized labor’s defeat more vividly in the following years than Volcker using his “Humphrey-Hawkins testimony” to make the monetarist case that low inflation was the Fed’s overriding target, even at the expense of unemployment, and that this was the principal means of ultimately reaching high employment.
But it was a Democratic Congress’s imposition on labor of what was effectively a “structural adjustment program”—in the conditions attached to the loan guarantees Congress gave Chrysler in 1979 to prevent its bankruptcy—that signaled the most important factor in sustaining the Volcker shock. Whereas there had been an explosion of labor militancy in the strike wave that erupted in the wake of the Fed’s 1969–70 “policy of extreme restraint,” a decade later the acquiescence of the UAW in the “reopening” of its collective agreement, to make wage concessions and allow for the outsourcing of production to non-union plants, now became the template for the spread of similar concessions throughout US industry. The union strategy that had informed collective bargaining in the auto industry had always been based on extending unionization in the sector, and removing wages from competition through “pattern bargaining” (in other words, negotiating agreements covering all the major firms). Against the backdrop of heightened competition from Japan (aggravated by high interest rates as well as the increases in oil prices) and the political defeat of the Democrats’ full-employment policy response to the recession of 1973–75, the threatened bankruptcy of Chrysler exposed, as Kim Moody has noted, the lack of any union plan for “dealing with large-scale business failure.” But if pattern bargaining in the auto industry was ended with Chrysler, it was soon perversely restored as similar concessions were granted to GM and Ford—and rank-and-file resistance was broken as unemployment reached 24 percent in that industry in the early 1980s. 

The appeal of Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts to the Democrats’ working-class constituency, followed by the explicit class war from above undertaken by his administration after the 1980 election (through cutbacks to welfare, food stamps, Medicare, public pensions, and unemployment insurance), was a major factor in turning this initial defeat of labor in the iconic auto sector into an historic shift in the broader balance of class forces. With workers desperate to hold on to their jobs, by the end of 1982 “major concessions had been negotiated in airlines, meatpacking, agricultural implements, trucking, grocery, rubber, among smaller steel firms, and in public employment.” Anti-union appointments to the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board had immediate effects in checking union organizing drives and sustaining employers’ bad-faith bargaining tactics. 

But, as Alan Greenspan subsequently reflected, in discussing Reagan’s legacy, “perhaps the most important, and then highly controversial, domestic initiative was the firing of the air traffic controllers in August 1981… his action gave weight to the legal right of private employers, previously not fully exercised, to use their own discretion to both hire and discharge workers.” The strike by PATCO (the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization), which had actually endorsed Reagan in the 1980 election campaign) was broken not only by the permanent dismissal of 12,000 controllers, but by military personnel being brought in to run the airports, while many of the strike leaders were arrested and led away in chains. Notably, Volcker himself thought that the breaking of PATCO did “even more to break the morale of labor” than had the earlier “breaking of the pattern of wage push in the auto industry.”"
Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, The Making of Global Capitalism
Democrats say the financial crisis was caused by the deregulation of the last 40 years. Libertarians say it was caused by the regulation of the last 40 years. Both are right. The Schmittian sovereign is one that can guarantee continuity during a crisis by suspending the Liberal system in order to restore it. The government eats up power, but only uses it during emergencies, otherwise leaving it alone. In this way, not only there is even more freedom for Capitalists in regular times, but regulation actually broadens the scope and power of the market, allowing banks to do “financial innovation” with derivatives that puts the whole system at risk. The state becomes both strong and weak, allowing a bigger government and a freer market to flourish simultaneously.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A plea to impeach President Trump: By Jane Collins / For the Transcript

A  president can be impeached only for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” However, Bill Clinton was impeached for the lowest of low crimes: cheating on his wife. Donald Trump is cheating on America.
The impeachment process was designed to protect this country from corruption at the highest level. The “high crimes” referred to in the Constitution must be related to the president’s official duties and present a danger to the nation. The phrase has been interpreted to include treason, abuse of authority, intimidation, misuse of assets, dereliction of duty, and conduct unbecoming to the office.
When the House Committee asked President Clinton whether he had sex with his intern, if he had just responded that it was none of the Committee’s business, the impeachment process might have ended there. Instead, he lied to the Committee under oath, thus committing the real crime of perjury. What got him in trouble in the first place, though, was still ordinary monkey business that did no harm to the American people.
On the other hand, there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence that Trump and his campaign team colluded with agents of the Russian government in order to gain him the presidency. It remains to be seen whether Putin’s involvement in the election was motivated solely by his hatred of Hillary Clinton, or whether Trump promised some quid pro quo like lifting sanctions against Russia.
So Trump might well have committed treason. He has certainly undermined many of the institutions on which democracy depends, like the Judiciary, as when he called the person who put a temporary stay on his Muslim travel ban a “so-called judge.” Calling the free press “the enemy of the American people” should be enough reason to impeach him, all by itself.
Anybody who has read a random sampling of his tweets knows that he frequently abuses his authority by threatening or attempting to intimidate anyone who criticizes him. As for “conduct unbecoming,” whole books could be written on the subject. For example, we all know how he once completed the phrase, “grab them by the ...”
“Dereliction of duty” might include Trump making his completely unqualified real-estate-developer son-in-law, Jared Kushner, his primary broker for peace in the Middle East, relations with China, the border wall with Mexico, the reform not only of the criminal justice system but the whole federal government, and more. Dereliction might also describe appointing a person who denies the reality of climate change to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a person who knows and cares nothing about public schools to head the Department of Education, and a white supremacist as his Attorney General.
Then there is his war-mongering. Trump claims to have bombed the Syrian airbase to stop Assad from using poison gas on his own people. But this is the same president who won’t allow Syrians trying to escape from Assad into our country as refugees. This is also the same guy who wants to make deep cuts in programs to feed the hungry, take health care away from 24 million people, and get rid of environmental regulations that keep our air and water clean and safe. The compassion excuse just doesn’t hold up.

Evidence continues to mount of Trump’s incompetence; dishonesty; use of the presidency to enrich himself and his family; support for tyranny and contempt for democracy; and nepotism. Perhaps worst of all is his eagerness to move the country’s assets from keeping our people healthy, adequately nourished, well-educated, and gainfully employed to expanding a military budget that is already bigger than the next seven largest militaries combined.

The danger Trump poses to the American people, and all people, grows every day. Maybe he is ramping up the war machine in hopes of reviving his plummeting popularity. People tend to support the president in wartime, at least at first. But it is unlikely that Trump actually understands anything about the Middle East or American complicity in the horrible wars in that area.

Trump lacks any knowledge of history or personal sense of humility that might make him reasonably cautious. Instead, with a blithe disregard for the possible consequences, he is playing chicken with another unstable nuclear-armed narcissist, Kim Jong Un of North Korea. He encourages our enemies by creating chaos at home, and alienates our allies with his rudeness, ignorance, and arrogance. He would rather get his news from Fox & Friends than from intelligence briefings.
There are more than enough grounds for impeachment hearings. But the impeachment process starts with allegations voted by a majority in the House. Unless House Republicans begin to fear that they will go down with the ship in the 2018 elections, they are not likely to begin impeachment proceedings. Even if they did, the Republican majority in the Senate would have to find the President guilty of the charges in order to get him out of office.
Getting rid of this disastrous president will be a long slog. We should begin to call for impeachment now. It might take a couple of years, and we’d still have to deal with Pence unless the Russiagate scandal pulls him down too; but the more we demand it, the more likely it is to happen.
We have to insist that our representatives pursue this option. We have to keep emailing and calling them. We can get to know their aides well enough to have conversations, and convince them we’re serious about this. We can go to their district meetings, get involved in party politics to bring pressure from that direction, even run for office on an impeachment platform. There are lots of useful suggestions at and elsewhere. And let’s remember to take care of ourselves so we don’t burn out.
Meanwhile, many states are criminalizing protest. All it would take is a few provocateurs paid to throw a few rocks, and we could start seeing mass arrests and the increased use of force against demonstrators. We must not be deterred.
We need to hit the streets so often, and in such numbers, that we make it absolutely clear to Trump, his cabal, and politicians of all stripes, that we believe Trump’s administration poses unacceptable dangers to the American people, and he has to go. Let’s make democracy work for us while we still can.