Saturday, September 23, 2017

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World - A Review

Six Months That Changed the World

A review by John Keegan (

Four times in the modern age men have sat down to reorder the world--at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 after the Thirty Years War, at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, in Paris in 1919 after World War I and in San Francisco in 1945 after World War II.

The consequences of the settlement of 1648 persist, since it established the principle that states are sovereign. The settlement of 1815, which re-established the power of kings, did not last. The settlement of 1945 was undermined from the outset by Stalin's determination to sovietize all the territory the Red Army had liberated; it was only reversed by the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

The settlement of 1919, as Margaret MacMillan reminds us in her new book, Paris 1919, is with us yet. The borders it drew for the "successor" states of the German, Austrian, Russian and Ottoman empires remain, with trifling exceptions, and so does the principle of "self-determination" by which the statesmen worked.

So frequently do current events, particularly in the Balkans but also in the Middle East, take us back to the Paris Peace Conference that MacMillan's book often reads like a commentary on the daily newspaper. Does the newspaper reader wonder why Serbs and Croats are ready to fight over trivial slivers of territory, or why the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs of Iraq are happy not to be ruled by Baghdad, or why the Czechs and Slovaks, after living together in apparent amity for 80 years, have recently decided to go their separate ways? MacMillan, a professor of history at the University of Toronto, explains the reasons.

The differences among all those peoples go back beyond 1919. Sometimes they go back to the nomadic migrations of the Dark Ages. The statesmen of 1919 knew that. So does the author. Nevertheless, she is right to see the Paris Conference as an attempt at a new beginning, and she captures the spirit of the enterprise brilliantly, as well as charting the wrong turns taken and the geography of the conference's successes.

That the statesmen of 1919--Clemenceau of France, Lloyd George of Britain, Orlando of Italy--attempted a new beginning was the result of their being led by an American. The United States had, since its foundation, pursued a distinctive foreign policy, noted for its rejection of imperialism. In its president of the time, however, it had found a leader who elevated anti-imperialism to the level of doctrine.

Woodrow Wilson, a political scientist and former president of Princeton University, burned with the idealism of a free man committed to making all men free. He had taken his country into the Great War to oppose German tyranny, and his recipe for peace, when it came, was enshrined in his Fourteen Points, which he believed would make peace permanent. Three of his points had particular importance: the rights of small nations, which were to be created out of the old empires, where necessary, by self-determination; the rejection of secret diplomacy, which he believed had largely caused the war; and the establishment of a peace-keeping League of Nations by solemn covenant.

Wilson, who comes vividly to life under MacMillan's pen, dominated the conference. True, he was a head of state (sitting on a slightly higher chair to emphasize the point) while the others were not; but it was his personality and fervent convictions that gave him pre-eminence. In many ways, he was impossible--prissy, dogmatic, pedantic, unbearably self-righteous. He would listen to argument until he had made up his mind, then treat opposition as treasonable. He was "intolerant of differences and blind to the legitimate concerns of others," MacMillan writes. "Those who opposed him were not just wrong but wicked." Nevertheless, he was inarguably a great man. The Peace of Versailles was largely of his making, and the impress of his hand remains visible on the substance of world politics today, notably in the existence of the United Nations, his League reconstituted with some powers it was not given at Paris.

What did Paris do? Out of the wreck of the old European empires, largely the Austrian, it gave being to the independent states of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Out of the wreck of the Ottoman Empire, it created Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and sanctioned the creation of Palestine under British trusteeship, with allowance for a Jewish "national home." It also established trusteeships for the ex-German colonies of Africa and the Pacific.

Not all its creations lasted. The Czechs and Slovaks have, unnecessarily, separated. The Baltic states came, went and have come again. The African territories suffered civil war after European trusteeship lapsed. The Ottoman Empire's successor states are not models of democracy, Iraq least of all. The creation of Palestine has left the world with its most intractable problem. Nevertheless, given that something had to be done in 1919, the Paris peacemakers did as well as they could under the circumstances. "The peacemakers . . . had to deal with reality," MacMillan writes. "They grappled with huge and difficult questions. How can the irrational passions of nationalism or religion be contained before they do more damage? How can we outlaw war?"

Why they decided as they did MacMillan explains in the most arresting detail. Her book has already won many prizes, and it deserves them all.

John Keegan is defense editor of London's Daily Telegraph and the author of numerous books on military history.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa - A Review

'King Leopold's Ghost': Genocide With Spin Control

A Review by Michiko Kakutani (

Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" is frequently read as an allegorical or Freudian parable, while its murderous hero, Kurtz -- the renegade white trader, who lives deep in the Congo jungle behind a fence adorned with shrunken heads -- is regarded as a Nietzschean madman or avatar of colonial ambition run dangerously amok.

As Adam Hochschild's disturbing new book on the Belgian Congo makes clear, however, Kurtz was based on several historical figures, and the horror Conrad described was all too real. In fact, Hochschild suggests, "Heart of Darkness" stands as a remarkably "precise and detailed" portrait of King Leopold's Congo in 1890, just as one of history's most heinous acts of mass killing was getting under way.

Under the reign of terror instituted by King Leopold II of Belgium (who ran the Congo Free State as his personal fief from 1885 to 1908), the population of the Congo was reduced by half -- as many as 8 million Africans (perhaps even 10 million, in Hochschild's opinion) lost their lives.

Some were beaten or whipped to death for failing to meet the rigid production quotas for ivory and rubber harvests, imposed by Leopold's agents. Some were worked to death, forced to labor in slavelike conditions as porters, rubber gatherers or miners for little or no pay.

Some died of the diseases introduced to (and spread throughout) the Congo by Europeans. And still others died from the increasingly frequent famines that swept the Congo basin as Leopold's army rampaged through the countryside, appropriating food and crops for its own use while destroying villages and fields.

Although much of the material in "King Leopold's Ghost" is secondhand -- the author has drawn heavily from Jules Marchal's scholarly four-volume history of turn-of-the-century Congo and from "The Scramble for Africa," Thomas Pakenham's wide-ranging 1991 study of the European conquest of the continent -- Hochschild has stitched it together into a vivid, novelistic narrative that makes the reader acutely aware of the magnitude of the horror perpetrated by King Leopold and his minions.

It is a book that situates Leopold's crimes in a wider context of European and African history while at the same time underscoring the peculiarly modern nature of his efforts to exert "spin control" over his actions.

As depicted by Hochschild, the people in "Ghost" emerge as larger-than-life figures, the sort of characters who might easily populate a Victorian melodrama were it not for the tragic and very real consequences of their actions.

Leopold himself comes across as a cartoon-strip megalomaniac -- a mad, greedy king obsessed since adolescence with the idea of running a colony of his own and intent throughout his career on covering his lust for money and real estate in honeyed talk of philanthropy and human rights.

As for Henry Morton Stanley, the world-famous explorer whom Leopold retained as his agent, he is depicted as a Dickensian bully and chronic liar who allowed his own monumental celebrity to be used by Leopold for the worst possible ends. He eventually persuaded hundreds of Congo basin chiefs to sign over their land and their rights to the king of the Belgians.

With the sheaf of treaties Stanley had acquired firmly in hand, King Leopold embarked on a worldwide lobbying campaign to win diplomatic recognition of his new colony.

He succeeded in winning this recognition, Hochschild argues, by playing one great European power against another and by portraying his control of the Congo as a kind of benevolent protectorship that would bring a civilizing influence to the continent while thwarting the malign designs of Arab slave-traders eager to exploit the same region.

In actuality, Leopold saw the Congo as his personal domain (his power as sovereign of the colony was not shared with the Belgian government) and as a rich source of rubber, ivory and other natural resources that could fatten his coffers at home.

Marchal, the Belgian scholar, estimates that Leopold drew some 220 million francs (or $1.1 billion in today's dollars) in profits from the Congo during his lifetime. Much of that money, Hochschild suggests, went to buying Leopold's teen-age mistress, a former call girl named Caroline, expensive dresses and villas, and building ever grander monuments, museums and triumphal arches in honor of the king.

Those profits came at the price of terrible suffering by the Congolese people. Not only was their land summarily annexed -- most of the chiefs who signed Stanley's "treaties" had no idea what they were signing -- but they were also coerced into the arduous job of gathering rubber for Leopold's men as well.

Those who refused or failed to meet their quotas were brutally whipped, tortured or shot, Hochschild reports; others saw their wives and children taken hostage by Leopold's soldiers.

According to Hochschild, hostage-taking and the grisly severing of hands (from corpses or from living human beings) were part of the government's deliberate policy -- a means of terrorizing others into submission.

As the "rubber terror" spread through the Congolese rain forest, Hochschild adds, entire villages were wiped out: Hundreds of dead bodies were dumped in rivers and lakes, while baskets of severed hands were routinely presented to white officers as evidence of how many people had been killed.

Hochschild writes about these horrifying events with tightly controlled anger, and he brings equal passion to his account of the small band of protesters who orchestrated resistance to Leopold's rule.

Those protesters include Edmund Dene Morel, a British shipping-company employee, who brought the king's crimes to world attention; George Washington Williams, a black American journalist who chronicled the grisly conditions in the Congo in an open letter to King Leopold; and Roger Casement, an Irish member of the British consular service, who sent home a torrent of dispatches condemning specific atrocities and the entire way the colony was run.

The efforts of these men and others helped bring international pressure to bear on Leopold, and in 1908 he turned over the Congo -- in effect, sold it -- to the Belgian government.

Leopold, in the meantime, tried to ensure that his crimes would never make it into the history books. Shortly after the turnover of the colony, Hochschild writes, the furnaces near Leopold's palace burned for eight days, "turning most of the Congo state records to ash and smoke." "I will give them my Congo," the king is reported saying, "but they have no right to know what I did there."

With this book, Hochschild, like other historians before him, ensures that King Leopold has not gotten away with his efforts to erase the memory of his brutal acts.

Monday, September 18, 2017

ASUU Strike: No End In Sight (UPDATE) - On Site From Nigeria

ASUU Strike: Lecturers meet Nigerian govt delegation. ASUU Suspends strike, directs lecturers to resume Duty.

The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUU, has officially suspended its one month, six days strike.

ASUU said it was suspending the strike till the end of October for government to fulfill its pledges.

The union directed university lecturers to resume duty from tomorrow, Tuesday.

The suspension of the strike was announced on Monday evening after a meeting with the government delegation.

At the meeting, a memorandum of understanding was signed with the federal government delegation led by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige.

Mr. Ngige had earlier said both parties produced “collective agreement of action” after the meeting.

ASUU had embarked on an indefinite strike on August 13, following government’s failure to implement the agreement reached with the union in November 2016.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

ASUU Strike: No End In Sight - On Site From Nigeria

Hope that the strike action embarked upon by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is about to come to an end appears dashed as congresses of universities met across the country to deliberate on the recent agreements reached between the leadership of the union and the Federal Government.

Feelers from the congresses that have met indicate that the unions were not ready to call off the strike because the government is yet to show the necessary commitment to their plights.

For instance, in congresses held yesterday at the University of Ibadan, UI, and Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, EKSU, members of the union decided to continue with the strike action on the ground that the Federal Government’s offers are not acceptable to them.

According to reliable sources, the staff are not comfortable with the fact that only about one of the seven demands, which is the issue of staff schools of the universities was convincingly addressed by the government.

Governments only made promises as regards the other demands which do not show any difference from what was on ground before the strike.

As at the time of filing this report, UI was devoid of activities as all unions on campus both academic and non academic have embarked on indefinite strike.

A lecturer from EKSU said, “We have agreed that the strike must continue until the Federal Government is ready to grant our demands in practical ways not in promissory acts.”

In one of the interactions with the media after the last meeting the union had with the government, ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi said that he could not determine when the union would call off its strike adding that calling off the strike would be determined by the entire members of the union.

However, the effects of the strike has began to manifest as some students who have secured employments have decided to abandon their academic programs.

A Master’s Degree student of UI who did not want his name mentioned said, “I have been looking for a job for a while now. Because I don’t want to be sitting at home, I obtained a postgraduate form and I was admitted. We were about to start our exam when the strike action began. Now I have a job. I can’t trade the job with the Master’s program. If I decide to leave the job and go back to school when the strike action is over, what gives me the impression that I will get a job as soon as I am through with the Master’s program? I will do the Master’s program when it is more convenient.”

Another student said, “I am considering private university, maybe BABCOCK or Lead City University."

Government universities in Nigeria are becoming a problem and time wasters. Unfortunately, we don’t have a responsible government who will be ready to do what the unions are asking for.

First, people in government will chose to embezzle people’s money or mismanage it rather than using it for public good.

Since Nigeria has been in recession, have you heard political office holders reducing their salaries and allowances? Go to the National Assembly, and see the exotic cars they are buying. Their salaries are being paid in full, plus some.

Under the nose of President Muhammadu Buhari, those in the executive are also stealing. How many thieves will Buhari catch? Except the system is working, nothing good can come from Nigeria.

To some female students, the strike action is a blessing to them as some pregnant female students delivered babies.

One of them said, “I thank God because I don’t know how I would have coped. I gave birth within two weeks the strike action commenced. That means that I would have given birth to my child while my first semester examination is on-going. This also means that I might have not been able to write all my papers. So, you can see now that it is a blessing for me. If the strike action is called off now, at least I can sit for my exam and graduate when my mates are graduating.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

From One Faith to Another: Religion is a Tool - Have Faith in People

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought." - Siddhartha Guatma 

"When you've done the technical part, you're then into the joy, the zen, into being. Technology no longer exists for you. You're then into the mystery of the thing, you're doing." - William Shatner

"When you no longer need guidance to react to the movements during a meditation, you are in a zen moment. You are moving in perfect fluidity with nature. You are achieving a spiritual high." - Kent Allen Halliburton

Just recently, I got into what can only be called a heated debate with some evangelical Christians. They are both neighborly friends, but they still thought it necessary to tell me that my understanding of faith was wrong, and that I was going to go to hell if I did not make a complete change in my way of living, my way of thinking, and my understanding of the faith. When they were saying this to me, my mind drifted to Dante's Inferno, a part of his Divide Comedies, which I have read. Here is a colorized picture from the text. Eventually, I drifted back to your soul must be washed by the blood of the lamb and the like, and so I prepared myself for the mesh and chain mail assault to come.

I then responded, from which of the forty or more translations of the holy texts did they get this idea? They could not answer me except to say that that did not matter. All that mattered was that I needed to accept Jesus into my heart and then get baptized; the same line most Christians give when they cannot think of anything else to say. Had they dropped a scripture and verse and a particular translation of the bible, I might have been stumped for a few a moments......but only for a few.

Hmm, I said, where is Jesus, then? They said he is in Heaven. Hmm, where is Heaven, then? Is it above us? Is it all around us? They said Heaven is above us, and Hell is below us. Okay, which translation of the holy texts did you get this from? From the bible? Which one? The bible, again? A little irritated, I responded, which one?!?! No answer..... Again, I would have been floored if they had actually come up with something good. Having studied from over half of them myself, it was my hope that they would have tried to respect my efforts, at the least; but alas, they did not.

I hope that people will not take me to be a complete jerk on this topic, though I am sure many will. I am just hard on these people for one real simple reason. This is so because faith is so much deeper than just the obvious trust in the divine nature of god. True faith does not just show itself in how well you can recite words from a book, nor does it just show itself in how well you perform ceremonies, or in how hard you can pray; but rather it shows itself in how well you treat others. Faith also has a great deal to do with how you trust people. You have to be willing to be let down. You have to be willing to endure pain delivered to you by those whom you are supposed to love and trust.

Faith is not just a divine calling. Faith is also a terrestrial calling that humans must develop with each other in order to function normally in society. Without it, we die. When old bonds of faith are broken we build new ones, when old bonds of faith remain intact, time only makes them stronger. When your god is talking to you about building and spreading the faith, this what he means, true human connections that create a peaceful world for everyone to live in. This pollution that has been created that either you believe things our way or you are going to hell; it just is not supposed to work like that. This is why everything is breaking down. You have created a system that is severing all of the ancient faith networks that humans have been building throughout history.

So, in comes religion to mess up the whole game. Further, I said imagine, if you will, that religion is a tool that the rich have used for all of human history to control the poor. They take the faith built by the people and build a religion around it, and this helps them to keep the poor deluded into believing that their dilapidated condition is part of the natural order of things and that they should accept it and be happy. Further, I repeated them that the bible that they so fervently quote from is one of at least forty plus translations that have come out since the collapse of the Catholic Churches' control over Europe during the Middle Ages, and that that translation was built on even older texts that came before it.

I then went into a deeper rant. Further, you should count yourself lucky that you can even read your holy texts now. It is an abnormality in human custom for the general population of an empire to be able to read the holy texts of its religion. That is usually the job that is kept solely for the priestly caste of that society. So, if you want to get technical, you are the ones that are wrong here. After saying this, I thought to myself, they probably haven't even read it anyways, so they are pretty much in the same position. This thought, true though it may be, made me feel horrible.

Having finally gotten off on my rant, I walked off for a little while. After I cooled down, I came back and asked them for a simple favor. I said, I know you don't believe me, and that is okay, but you need to understand something about me. I am not the kind of person that is going to just come to you, unprovoked, and say that what you believe about your religion is wrong. What you believe is your business. So long as it is done peacefully and dose not harm anyone, have at it. We will only begin to have problems if your belief system requires that you spread your faith through hatred and violence. If you cross those lines, you can expect to see my angry face, accompanied with a strong fight.

All I ask in return is that you give me the same respect. I am not interested in your Great Commission. You can pray for me all you like; in fact, I welcome it. However, I am still perfectly happy with who I am. I have spent my entire life on my own spiritual journey to get to where I am, and I am proud to say that I am a Zen Buddhist that also prays to his ancestors. I also do believe in God, just not in the same way you do. The Earth is my Mother. She gives me life, and she can take it away. I am one with her flesh, and my flesh shall return to her when I die. This gives me comfort. Further, God is Universal, and my spirit is one with the Universe. Just imagine how vast that must be. God is all around us. God is everything. God is within us. So, my spirit will eventually achieve immortality. How conceited must I be to attempt to restrain such a consciences to a single name or a single set of holy texts?

The confrontation ended mildly enough. So I ended with; so, if you could, you be you, I will be me, and we will be friends. How about it? At that point, they looked at me as if I just blown their minds, but at least, they each shook my hand and the deal was made. We shall see how it goes.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reformism: The Affordable Care Act of 2010

"Healthcare is not a privilege. It's a right. It's a right as fundamental as civil rights. It's a right as fundamental as giving every child a chance to get a public education."
- Rod Blagojevich

"You can't stand for full human equality in all hings and then say that health insurance is not a birth right. Frankly, the thought of health insurance is actually an insult. It is medical care under all and any circumstances that should be guaranteed from birth." - Kent Allen Halliburton 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often shortened to the Affordable Care Act, or nicknamed Obamacare, is a United States federal statute enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The term "Obamacare" was first used by opponents, then reappropriated by supporters, and eventually used by President Obama himself. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act amendment, it represents the U.S. healthcare system's most significant regulatory overhaul and expansion of coverage since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

The ACA's major provisions came into force in 2014. By 2016, the uninsured share of the population had roughly halved, with estimates ranging from 20–24 million additional people covered during 2016. The increased coverage was due, roughly equally, to an expansion of Medicaid eligibility and to major changes to individual insurance markets. Both involved new spending, funded through a combination of new taxes and cuts to Medicare provider rates and Medicare Advantage. Several Congressional Budget Office reports said that overall these provisions reduced the budget deficit, and that repealing the ACA would increase the deficit. The law also enacted a host of delivery system reforms intended to constrain healthcare costs and improve quality. After the law went into effect, increases in overall healthcare spending slowed, including premiums for employer-based insurance plans.

The act largely retains the existing structure of Medicare, Medicaid, and the employer market, but individual markets were radically overhauled around a three-legged scheme. Insurers in these markets are made to accept all applicants and charge the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex. To combat resultant adverse selection, the act mandates that individuals buy insurance and insurers cover a list of "essential health benefits." To help households between 100–400 percent of the Federal Poverty Line afford these compulsory policies, the law provides insurance premium subsidies. Other individual market changes include health marketplaces and risk adjustment programs.

The act has also faced challenges and opposition. In 2009, Senator Ted Kennedy died, and the resultant special election cost the Democrats their 60 seat filibuster-proof Senate majority before the ACA had been fully passed by Congress. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in 2012 that states could choose not to participate in the ACA's Medicaid expansion, although it upheld the law as a whole. The federal health exchange,, initially faced major technical problems during its rollout in 2013. In 2017, a unified Republican government tried to pass several different partial repeals of the ACA. The law spent several years opposed by a slim plurality of Americans polled, although its provisions were more popular than the law as a whole, and the law gained plurality support by 2017.

How Does this Relate to Reformism?

This is actually kind of brief. First, it gives corporations in certain areas of the nation the ability, based on adverse market conditions, to withdraw from the market. So, basically, Smalltown, USA is screwed in the local market. Second, as is known, this law can penalize the people for not having insurance, but what many do not know, is that the law does provide for an option where they can enter their income in and if they make below a certain amount for the region, their fee will get waived. So, for once second, reformism works for the common man. Finally, unfortunately, there are still some states refusing to fully participate in the program, at least not completely. On a final note, at least, and luckily, the bill has, thus far, withstood the test of time.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Date With the Pavement

Irony: People Waving Confederate Flags

Telling Others: "You Lost. Get Over it."

"If you cannot convince a Fascist, acquaint his head with the pavement." - Leon Trotsky

".....setting Trotsky aside for a moment.....American Fascists have proven most recently that they are fully prepared to do just the same to us. Well screw all that mess, I am not going to let them get away with it." - Kent Allen Halliburton

As the Founder of Refuse to Cooperate, I usually do my absolute very best to keep my composure when I share in this group or publish posts to this blog, no matter how controversial the post is. I say this because I have not spent twelve years in education to obtain four college degrees only to sink to a mental level that is far below that which I have become accustomed to. I have spent time establishing a particular reputation, that of a well educated but humble academic, and I would like to maintain this presentation because I believe that it is the most accurate representation of my persona. Forgive me if this sounds conceited.

Having said this, allow me to begin. This crap is one of the purest insults to my intelligence that these ignorant stink-baits could possibly make. One of two things is happening in this image here. Either they are really and truly this stupid, or they are assuming that I am this stupid. Both make being an American look bad to a world that already has too many reasons to hate this country, and both really irk my girken. This is the Twenty-First Century. Do I really have to sit back and admit that I live in a county that is this far gone? This makes makes me ill. It makes me want to vomit up every civics course that I have ever taken like I ate bad Kung Pao Chicken. It is embarrassing, and it is a stain on my conscience. Face palm.....

Listen up, Brad and Becky, from wherever you are from in the South, rich, middle class, or, poor, you lost first! Your ancestors who lived in and died for the Confederacy fought to uphold the institution of slavery, and failed miserably. Then, after Reconstruction, the period in which the Union Army kept your kind in line in the South, was put to an end by the birth of the KKK, Jim Crow was born. Well, guess what, Jim Crow died too. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it took its dying breadth as first the Supreme Court, then then the Congress, and then Social Justice Organizations like the Black Panther Party for Self Defense put it to rest. You just can't seem get your get your gear together.

As of late, it would not seem possible, but you can also toss in World War II in with this ordeal, as Neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right have begun to rise in the United States. Are you seriously bloody kidding me? Do you really want me to blow a fricking gasket? An entire world was at war from 1939 to 1945 in the fight against Adolf Hitler and his Fascist Alliance. There were registered Communists in the United States who were granted pardons for their participation in actions against the US government in exchange for their enlistment in the US military, and how did that affair turn out? That's right! The Fascists just somehow could not find a way to pull out the W. Rather, what actually happened is that they got their rear ends handed to them in a beautifully stitched basket with a nice red bow placed on it for decoration.

So, here is it how goes. If you are a Neo-Confederate that has somehow found your way into this group, LEAVE! If you are a Neo-Nazi, who mistakenly squirmed your way into this group, YOU ARE NOT WELCOME! These are the obvious ones, the ones that can be seen clearly. Let's look more deeply, however. If you are someone that pushes the Free Speech Argument, saying that maybe they would not be violent if their voices were heard, THEN YOU TOO CAN LEAVE! They made Free Speech irrelevant the moment they used hate and violence to push their message.

Here is the hardest edge that you will walk in this group from this day moving forward. The Alt-Right, and all of its Constituent Parts, has shown to what extent it is willing take the fight to make sure that its own cause is forwarded. They, even now, have people preparing to fight it out in the streets against against whoever wants to bring it. From this day forward, it will be the open and clear policy that Refuse to Cooperate is in full support of any an all groups that are willing to hit the streets and knock heads with the Alt-Right. IF YOU, OR A GROUP YOU ARE A PART OF, DISAGREE WITH THIS POLICY, YOU TOO CAN LEAVE! PUSH THE BOUNDARIES, AND YOU WILL BE BLOCKED!!!!!

Refuse to Cooperate will not be party, in any way whatsoever, to a Fascist, Alt-Right, Neo-Nazi, Neo-Confederate, or any such triumph of any kind. This includes so called "Liberals" who are afraid to pick up a stick and fight back. If we are going to make any difference in this world, we have to be willing to take a goal line stance against evil when and where it rears its ugly face and then smash it into oblivion.