Archive for July 31st, 2004

The sack of New Rome

Jul 31, 2004 in Current Events

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’s fitting that after more than a year’s effort, the tiny Ohio village of New Rome is finally being dissolved.

For those of you who missed New Rome’s national notoriety last year, this tiny municipality of 60 residents that spans 1000 feet along US Route 40 has become one of America’s most notorious speed traps. A full-time police force collected over 90 percent of the town’s revenue through traffic stops, often for minor infractions such as a cracked windshield or a busted taillight. Numerous village officials have been convicted over the years for theft, and the town itself has been run by a small cabal of council members led by the Chapman family.

I have been in New Rome exactly once, when I dated a girl who lived on the other side of town. We had pizza in a small New Rome pizza shop, and watched as several town cops had a field day pulling over drivers on a Friday night.

Secret History (Conspiracies and Coups Galore!)

Jul 31, 2004 in Linkage

An interesting post from MeFi: The linked articles detail the secret history of an planned coup d’etat by wealthy American industrialists against President Roosevelt, in an attempt to restore the recently abandoned gold standard. The man they approached for carrying out their plans was US Marine Major General Smedley Butler, who turned them in to Congress as soon as he realized the full details of their plot.

Butler was a highly decorated, well-regarded and very outspoken man. An apparent bundle of contradictions, Butler spoke at pro-Communist gatherings, but opposed fascism long before it was trendy to do so. Butler wrote a short book in 1935 called War is a Racket, in which he argues that war is often an imperialist enterprise designed to make a few people very wealthy.

Also linked to is part of a comprehensive and frequently digressive anti-war essay called “This War is About So Much More.” The material here would seem very left-wing-conspiracy-theorish if not for the fact that the author backs up at least some of his assertions with legitimate media and news reports and declassified government documents.