Pete Seeger tribute concert

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Hitler may have married a Jew, DNA evidence shows – Jewish World NewsIsrael News – Haaretz Israeli News source

http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/1.583870

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Tweet by kpfallon on Twitter

.@SarahKSilverman and @rabbisusan at the #WITW2014 conference. Read story about them here: http://t.co/FSDc2tmReM http://t.co/EomjPjtUpf

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My Cuz the rapper–Julian “the Hooligan” Bonbrest


 

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Julian "the Hooligan" Blake Bonbrest

Julian “the Hooligan” Blake Bonbrest

Every generation or so in my family somebody comes out  eclectic, radical, creative and open minded.  My first cousin once removed, Julian Blake Bonbrest raps under the moniker “Julian the Hooligan” and I think he’s got a great career ahead of him:

“Let it go”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpcpfSxlus

“Black Cat”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7VQe4NnklE

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What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son – Atlantic Mobile


 

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This is an excellent article from a white New York attorney on the problem of walking while black…..

http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/04/what-i-learned-about-stop-and-frisk-from-watching-my-black-son/359962/?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email#disqus_thread

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Senators’ Suspension Justifies Taxpayer Ripoff

Senator Ron Calderon, D-30th District

Senator Ron Calderon, D-30th District


 

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Leland Yee

Senator Leland Yee, D-8th District

Senator Rod Wright, 35th District

Senator Rod Wright, 35th District

Three California Democratic Party State Senators, Ron Calderon, Rod Wright, and Leland Yee are either convicted or under felony indictment for crimes that are grounds under Article IV Section 5 of the California Constitution for expulsion from the legislature.  So why did the State Senate elect to “suspend” them from office–especially when there’s no such thing as “suspension” in the California Constitution?

Well, with this so-called “suspension” they will continue to draw their $95,291.00 a year salaries!!!!!!

Article IV, Section 5(a)  provides that:

Each house shall judge the qualifications and elections of its Members and, by rollcall vote entered in the journal, two thirds of the membership concurring, may expel a Member.

FBI raiding Ron Calderon's Senate office

FBI raiding Ron Calderon’s Senate office

There is no authority even mentioned, alluded to or anywhere else contemplated in the California Constitution for a so-called “suspension.”  They’re just making this up as they go to justify these guys continuing to draw their pay.  The Constitution is clear:  if the Senate wants to, it can expel members.  There’s no provision allowing them to suspend or otherwise discipline them (other than slapping them on the wrist with a censure).

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Thank you Obamacare


 

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ObamacareObamacare detractors KISS MY ASS. Just got my new Obamacare cards. SAME INSURANCE COMPANY, Platinum Plan, all existing doctors covered, a specialist I really needed to see is now covered who wasn’t before and I don’t need HMO approval to see specialists in-network.

Price: $700 LESS than what I was paying!

Thank you President Obama and the Democratic Party and BTW, I’m not a Democrat, I’m Peace & Freedom Party but credit where credit is due, even though I’d have preferred the Dellums National Health Service Act.

There is a little weirdness:  I now have breast reconstruction surgery covered (I’m a guy but it’s not as strange as when years ago I joined the Feminist Women’s Health Center and they sent me a vaginal speculum as a membership benefit).  I also now under California regulations have to buy a $5.00 a month plan for pediatric benefits even though I don’t have children, but it’s a fine thing to pay if it insures that all children will get dental care through spread of risk to society to pay for it; that I’m glad for.

So if you’re not covered, go to Covered California and get covered:

https://www.coveredca.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=COiQ7bK9tb0CFSho7AodABwAPg

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Rudy Acuna on CSUN Developments


 

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Chicana/o Studies, Faculty Governance, Academic Freedom

 

Why we struggle?

 

By

 

Rodolfo F. Acuña

 

 

 

In 1994 the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) issued a report “On the Relationship of Faculty Governance to Academic Freedom” that I doubt many professors have read.  It set out the fundamentals of governance and its relationship to academic freedom. The irony is that in less than 20 years these principles are in danger.

 

 

 

Instead of focusing on these important rights faculty organizations are holding forums on “academic bullying” without thinking through the question. It took years to define racism and sexism.  But, finally, a consensus was reached that sexual harassment involved power relationships. It was sexual harassment when a faculty member, a supervisor or an employer harassed someone of lesser status – it was not usually the other way around.

 

 

 

If two full professors scream at each other, the question is who is bullying who? It would appear to me that it is much more grievous when an administrator censors a professor and limits his or her academic freedoms that if a professor criticizes an administrator.

 

 

 

In my lifetime I have witnessed the erosion of academic freedom and faculty governance. After World War II, McCarthyism imposed political tests on professors in an effort to root out the “subversive” bullies. Ellen W. Schrecker in her book No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities concludes that academe did not enjoy its finest hour in this era.

 

 

 

In very real terms the 1960s were a reaction to the 1950s.  The Civil Rights, Vietnam War Movements and the baby boomers spurred changes.

 

 

 

When I arrived at San Fernando Valley State College, there were small clusters of professors to whom faculty governance and academic freedom were important. Some of them had been refused tenure at major research institutions because of their political views. These dissidents thrived in the climate of activism at SFVSC that was forged between 1967 and 1969.

 

 

 

Inconceivable as it might seem, on March, 1969, the Los Angeles Times called SFVSC a “hotbed of radical youth.” That same month Life magazine ran a lengthy feature about Valley State, which it called “painfully familiar.”

 

 

 

The anti-war movement at Valley State had heightened in 1966 when students were arrested at antiwar protest at Van Nuys Air National Guard Base. By December, Los Angeles police were called to campus to disperse student protests.

 

 

 

In September 1967, the Faculty Senate urged the SFVSC administration to stop calling police during campus disputes and protests. At the time, there were 15,600 students, 23 were black and 11 Latino.  By December more than 500 antiwar and pro-war students clashed, yelling at each other for three-hours about the Vietnam War and Dow Chemical.   

 

 

 

The demonstration was led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) whose spokesman was Bob Shaw. The following academic year, the protest movement expanded with the entrance of a larger black student population and a small but an emerging Chicana/o student movement. This led to the November 4, 1968 African-American student takeover (Preview) of the administration building and the arrest and conviction of eight members of the Black Student Union who did hard time.

 

 

 

The example of the students forced many faculty members to follow their conscience. In relation to my volunteer work, I was a frequent visitor on campus, but some of the SDS students standout.  

 

 

 

Michael Klonsky started out San Fernando Valley State College where he joined the SDS. In 1968 he became its national chairman; he was involved in the Democratic National Convention rebellions. By the time I was involved on campus the SDS students I remember  were Cliff Freed, Mike Lee, and Marc Cooper who were part of  a larger and more diverse group. 

 

 

 

As today, the majority of the faculty was conservative, most just did not give a shit. However, there was a faction who believed in academic freedom and the importance of preserving faculty governance. They were not necessarily radical, but they knew the importance of free speech and defended that principle in the faculty senate.

 

 

 

The leader of the American Federation of Teachers was a man who I greatly respected – English professor John Stafford. More than once he defended my right to be a “bully” and fight for the interests of Chicana/o students. He along with the liberal faction he worked openly and behind the scenes to get minority student access and then fought for Pan African American and Chicano Studies.

 

 

 

Stafford was supported by Jerome Richfield and Vern Bullough who also became presidents of the faculty senate.  Morton Auerbach as chairman of the Committee on Faculty Information Concerning Minority Problems, during the tumultuous times after November 4, was a master negotiator. Along with Richard Abcarian and Larry Litwin, Mort kept the students and faculty on the same page. I have little doubt that without them it would have been a much rockier. They brought together the disparate liberal clusters spread out throughout the campus.

 

 

 

Under their leadership, the faculty senate was a place of debate, reason, and the defender of free speech and faculty governance. They were not afraid to take on the president, their supervisors or Chancellor Glenn S. Dumke.

 

 

 

Today, the faculty senate is a social club that does not care why Chicana/o studies is fighting for academic freedom and its and their governance rights. Stafford and Auerbach understood the importance of faculty checking the administration’s arbitrary and clandestine actions.

 

 

 

The truth be told, the CSUN administration in bypassing the traditional consultation process hurt the rights of every department, and gave it the right to encroach on their areas of study. Because of this the administration is empowered to make its own rules.

 

 

 

Because CHS protested this violation, it has been labeled a bully. However, the reasonable person should ask, does it have the power to control the dialog or the outcome? Adding further insult, the administration chose to make a clandestine trip to Mexico City to sign an accord that the faculty did not approve. For Stafford and others this perfidy would have been a major threat to the liberal traditions of the academy. He remembered that McCarthyism thrived in the fifties because no one spoke out.

 

 

 

Being a reasonable person, ask why are CHS professors demanding respect?

 

 

 

Are they bullies because they demand an accounting of the impact of the UNAM accord on student fees? Who will pay for it?

 

 

 

Are they bullies because they demand faculty diversity data?

 

 

 

Are they bullies because they are asking why students are being overcharged for campus housing?  Like in flop houses students pay $800 a bed a month, double the rent of private apartment. The irony is students are slated to pay for new dorms that they cannot afford to live in.

 

 

 

What about the Tseng College?

 

 

 

I erroneously attributed this decline of faculty governance to Harry Hellenbrand. I stand corrected. It started in the 1990s under Provost Luanne Kennedy who classified her deans administrators directly answering to the provost. They were no longer part of the faculty body or responsible to its members.

 

 

 

In the historical context, the arbitrary actions of administration are eroding the protections of the minority. McCarthyism thrived because of the failure of professors to fight for their governance rights and academic freedoms. It was temporarily reversed by the John Staffords, but unfortunately this generation of scholars is not enjoying their finest hour and is being cowed by bullies.

**********

Reminder: Manuel Andrés López Obrador will be speaking at CSUN at 6 PM on March 28. You are invited. I apologize for editorial failures, I have been writing at a clip of 15 -20,000  words a week that is necessary when you are in chinga. My priority has always been the message and not the form. The editing will come with the book.–Rudy Acuna

**********

Jan B. Tucker, a few observations

Jan B. Tucker, Rudy Acuna, Estela Ayala

Jan B. Tucker, Rudy Acuna, Estela Ayala

Rudy Acuna was of course one of my most important professors, mentors and will always be my Tlamatini.  At my request he bestowed upon me the designation of “Tlamatini” with a wave of his hand.  He was puzzled as to why I wanted him to so designate me and as I explained to him, he was the only person I felt was qualified to judge whether I passed  muster for the title.

Morton Auerbach:  see the resemblance to Joe Stalin?

Morton Auerbach: see the resemblance to Joe Stalin?

Mort Auerbach and Larry Litwin were also my professors at CSUN.  Mort was a dead ringer for Joseph Stalin.  I once put up a 1944 edition Time Magazine behind him on above the chalk board while he was lecturing with Stalin on the front cover and within minutes the whole class was laughing hysterically.  When we pointed out the joke to Mort, he was flattered that he looked like “Uncle Joe.”  Mort was my Marxism professor and he was brilliant.  He also understood Maoism like the back of his hand:  after courageous World War II service in Burma with the Kachin Guerrillas as an OSS Officer, he was assigned as OSS liaison to Chou En-Lai.

Larry, along with Blase Bonpane (for whom I was grad assistant) gave me a firm understanding of Communitarianism.  If you don’t understand that philosophy and the movements that organize around it, it’s as impossible to understand the world as we know it anymore than if one had no knowledge of capitalism or Marxism.

Marc Cooper

Marc Cooper

Marc Cooper was thrown out of CSUN in 1971 on the orders of then-Governor Ronald Reagan.  He went down to Chile to assist the Allende government and came close to losing his life to the fascists who took over on September 11, 1973.  As Wikipedia explains:

From 1971 to 1973, Cooper served as the Spanish-English translator for Chilean Socialist president Salvador Allende. Following the military coup of 1973, he fled the country, fearing execution as a participant in the Allende government;[1] some of his American friends were executed by the military, including journalist Charles Horman. In 2002 he testified before a Chilean magistrate in the investigation of Horman’s death.

J.B. Stoner; that was the message of his speech on November 22, 1987 at the Glendale Holiday Inn, i.e., God sent AIDS to kill Gays, Blacks, and Jews

J.B. Stoner; that was the message of his speech on November 22, 1987 at the Glendale Holiday Inn, i.e., God sent AIDS to kill Gays, Blacks, and Jews

Mike Lee went on to a tremendous career as a crusading Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles County.  During the “Battle of Glendale” (I was there) on November 22, 1987 when anti-racist demonstrators were confronting neo-Nazi/KKK leader Jesse “J.B.” Stoner of the “National States Rights Party” (who once ran for congress on a platform of making Judaism a legal offense punishable by death), Mike confronted this prick of a Senior Deputy District Attorney, John C. Spence III who advised notoriously racist Glendale Police Sergeant Randy Tampa to read the “riot act” (resulting in the Glendale Fire Department bringing in water cannons and back up riot police) to disperse our peaceful picket line.  Mike, as an attorney questioned their right to read the riot act and in essence, trample all over our First Amendment rights….and was arrested on the spot by Randy Tampa.  Thankfully he was acquitted.

Cliff Fried went on to become a long time and critical leader of the union movement at UCLA.  Last I knew he was a key leader for the UPTE-CWA local there.

 

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Constitutional History of Secession of the former USSR


 

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Before anything else read my two prior blogs (especially if you don’t have at least a B.A. in Political Science and even then, if you didn’t have a specialization in international relations):

 

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/03/16/to-ukraine-sevastopol-is-fort-sumter/

 

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/11/16/mythology-of-secession/

Now that you’ve boned up on some of the elements of international relations, foreign policy and constitutional history, think about the effect of the constitutional history of the former Soviet Union and how it affects the perceptions of common people, politicians, and academicians in the former Soviet states as they now all squabble over the Crimea, parts of Ukraine, Trans Dneister, and other areas that have majority populations of Russian language speakers.  Pay special attention to my explanation of “Romantic Nationalism” in my blog on the “Mythology of Secession” and how that is playing out in the present day.

Rus'Kaya Pravda

Rus’Kaya Pravda

Russian and later Soviet constitutional history dates back at least to the Rus’Kaya Pravda of Kiev of 1280, the Pskov Judicial Charter adopted in 1397, and the Novgorod Judicial Charter of 1440 all of which led to Ivan III (“Ivan the Great” as opposed to Ivan IV, i.e. “Ivan the Terrible”) promulgating the Sudebnik of 1497.  This in turn was revised by Ivan IV’s Sudebnik of 1550, followed by the 1649 Sobornoye Ulozheniye of Czar Alexy Mikhailovich.  These documents were brought up to date in the 1833 promulgation of “The Code of Laws of the Russian Empire” by Czar Nicholai I.

Russian 1906 constitutionFollowing the unsuccessful 1905 Russian Revolution, Czar Nicholai II was forced to cede some power to the legislative Duma with the “Russian Fundamental Laws of 1906,” seen as the beginning of modern constitutionalism in Russia.  The 1906 document is very clear about the inseparable and autocratic nature of the Russian nation-state:

1. The Russian State is one and indivisible.

2. The Grand Duchy of Finland, while comprising as inseparable part of the Russian State, is governed in its internal affairs by special decrees based on special legislation.

3. The Russian language is the common language of the state, and its use is compulsory in the army, in the navy and in all state and public institutions. The use of local (regional) languages and dialects in state and public institutions are determined by special legislation.

 

 

BolshevikFollowing the success of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution and Civil War, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed by Treaty in 1922 followed by a formal “Constitution” in 1924, that established a system which was a voluntary union amongst theoretically equal nation-states, i.e., Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Trans-Caucusus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia).  This constitutional arrangement was on paper at least, akin to the “Articles of Confederation” which governed the United States of America prior to adoption of the U.S. Constitution.  As Wikipedia explains [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Creation_of_the_USSR]:

Finally the declaration then specifies that the resultant Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is one that is created on free will of the peoples, that its purpose follows the ideals of the October Revolution, that each and every socialist republic has the right to join and leave the Union at its own will, and hinting at the Soviet foreign policy of socialist irredentism (see World Revolution), finishes stating that the treaty …will serve a decisive step on the path of unification of all workers into a “World Socialist Soviet Republic”.

Following the declaration, is the treaty itself consisting of a preface and 26 articles.

In the preface it is fixed that the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic, the Byelorussian Socialist Soviet Republic and the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic(containing Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia) acting in free will, agree to form a single Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, that is governed on articles listed in the treaty.

Note importantly:  it was clear on paper that the participating Republics had the right of secession.  In essence, to join or pull out of the USSR the individual sovereign polity (be sure to look up the terms “sovereign” and “polity” if you’re not familiar with those terms as used by political scientists) was ratifying or abrogating its responsibilities under this treaty.  It is important from that standpoint to understand the timeline that Wikipedia puts together for the history of this treaty:

  • December 21, 1922 – Treaty signed.
  • December 30, 1922 – Treaty ratified.
  • October 27, 1924 – Uzbek and Turkmen populated regions of the Turkestan ASSR (previously of RSFSR) elevated into union republics.
  • October 16, 1929 – Tajik SSR created from the Tajik ASSR (previously part of the RSFSR).
  • December 5, 1936 – Simultaneous split of the Transcaucasian SFSR into Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani SSRs. Simultaneous breakup of the RSFSR-administered Turkestan (then consisting of Kazakh and Kirgiz ASSRs) into Kazakh and Kirgiz SSRs.
  • March 31, 1940 – RSFSR-administered Karelian ASSR raised into the Karelo-Finnish SSR.
  • August 3, 1940 – Lithuanian SSR joins USSR.
  • August 5, 1940 – Latvian SSR joins USSR.
  • August 6, 1940 – Estonian SSR joins USSR.
  • August 24, 1940 – Moldavian SSR created from the Ukrainian administered Moldavian ASSR and annexed Romanian territory of Bessarabia.
  • July 16, 1956 – Karelo-Finnish SSR downgraded into an autonomous republic and re-annexed by RSFSR.
  • December 8, 1991 – Treaty termination agreed by three of the four founding republics.
  • December 25, 1991 – Treaty terminated.

 

Crimea was originally, within the context of the USSR, a part of the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) until the regime of Ukrainian Nikita Krushchev at which time, as pointed out in my last blog on this subject, it was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954.

 

The principles of the treaty were incorporated into Chapter II of the Soviet Constitution of 1924 and pay close attention to these provisions:

 

CHAPTER II Sovereign Rights of the Member Republics

ARTICLE 3.

The sovereignty of the member Republics is limited only in the matters indicated in the present Constitution, as coming within the competence of the Union. Outside of those limits, each member Republic exerts its public powers independently; the USSR protects the rights of the member Republics.

ARTICLE 4.

Each one of the member Republics retains the right to freely withdraw from the Union.

ARTICLE 5.

The member Republics will make changes in their Constitutions to conform with the present Constitution.

ARTICLE 6.

The territory of the member Republics cannot be modified without their consent; also, any limitation or modification or suppression of Article 4 must have the approval of all the member Republics of the Union.

ARTICLE 7.

Just one federal nationality is established for the citizens of the member Republics
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/1924-constitution-of-the-ussr#ixzz2wSjb3EVp

In 1936 under the rule of Joseph Stalin (my genetic cousin who was Y Chromosome Haplogroup G, subclade G2a, while I’m G2b), a new constitution was adopted with the following relevant Articles:

ARTICLE 13. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a federal state, formed on the basis of the voluntary association of Soviet Socialist Republics having equal rights, namely:

The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Azerbaidjan Soviet Socialist Republic
The Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
The Tadjik Soviet Socialist Republic
The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
The Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic
The Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic
The Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.

ARTICLE 15. The sovereignty of the Union Republics is limited only within the provisions set forth in Article 14 of the Constitution of the U.S.S.R. Outside of these provisions, each Union Republic exercises state authority independently. The U.S.S.R. protects the sovereign rights of the Union Republics.

ARTICLE 16. Each Union Republic has its own Constitution, which takes account of the specific features of the Republic and is drawn up in full conformity with the Constitution of the U.S.S.R.

ARTICLE 17. To every Union Republic is reserved the right freely to secede from the U.S.S.R.

ARTICLE 18. The territory of a Union Republic may not be altered without its consent.

ARTICLE 19. The laws of the U.S.S.R. have the same force within the territory of every Union Republic.

ARTICLE 20. In the event of a discrepancy between a law of a Union Republic  and an all-Union law, the all-Union law prevails.

ARTICLE 21. A single Union citizenship is established for all citizens of the U.S.S.R.

Every citizen of a Union Republic is a citizen of the U.S.S.R.

 

ARTICLE 22. The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic consists of the Altai, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Ordjonikidze, Maritime and Khabarovsk Territories; the Archangel, Vologda, Voronezh, Gorky, Ivanovo, Irkutsk, Kalinin, Kirov, Kuibyshev, Kursk, Leningrad, Molotov, Moscow, Murmansk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orel, Penza, Rostov, Ryazan, Saratov, Sverdlovsk, Smolensk, Stalingrad, Tambov, Tula, Chelyabinsk, Chita, Chkalov and Yaroslavl Regions; The Tatar, Bashkir, Daghestan, Buryat-Mongolian, Kabardino-Balkarian, Kalmyk, Komi, Crimean, Mari, Mordovian, Volga German, North Ossetian, Udmurt, Checheno-Ingush, Chuvash and Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics; and the Adygei, Jewish, Karachai, Oirot, Khakass and Cherkess Autonomous Regions.

ARTICLE 23. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic consists of the Vinnitsa, Volynsk, Voroshilovgrad, Dnepropetrovsk, Drogobych, Zhitomir, Zaporozhe, Izmail, Kamenets-Podolsk, Kiev, Kirovograd, Lvov, Nikolaev, Odessa, Poltava, Rovno, Stalino, Stanislav, Sumy, Tarnopol, Kharkov, Chemigov and Chernovitsy Regions.

ARTICLE 24. The Azerbaidian Soviet Socialist Republic includes the, Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region.

ARTICLE 25. The Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic includes the Abkhazian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, the Adjar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and the South Ossetian Autonomous Region.

ARTICLE 26. The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic consists of the Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Ferghana, and Khorezm Regions, and the Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

ARTICLE 27. The Tadjik Soviet Socialist Republic consists of the Garm, Kuliab, Leninabad and Stalinabad Regions, and the Gomo-Badakhshan Autonomous Region.

ARTICLE 28. The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic consists of the Akmolinsk, Aktyubinsk, Alma-Ata, East Kazakhstan, Guryev, Djambul, West Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Kzyl-Orda, Kustanai, Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan. Semipalatinsk, and South Kazakhstan Regions.

ARTICLE 29. The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic consists of the Baranovichi, Byelostok, Brest, Vileika, Vitebsk, Gomel, Minsk, Moghilev, Pinsk and Polessye Regions.

ARTICLE 29a. The Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic consists of the Ashkhabad, Krasnovodsk, Mari, Tashauz and Chardzhou Regions.

ARTICLE 29b. The Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic consists of the Dzhalal-Abad, Issyk-Kul, Osh, Tian-Shan and Frunze Regions.

The question arises with all this of whether society ever actually “consented” to any of these constitutional arrangements that were imposed over Czarist and later Soviet society.  Note for example that Nagorno Karabakh was granted to Azerbaijan, in spite of 90% of its inhabitants being Armenians and despite the fact that the Soviet Union’s commission on nationalities itself had decided to put Nagorno Karabakh in Armenia–until it was overruled by Stalin when he was Commissioner of Nationalities.  Note also that areas like North Ossetia (now part of the disputes with the Republic of Georgia) and the Crimea were expressly then parts of Russia; Abkhazia and South Ossetia were expressly part of Georgia.

As with the 1922 Treaty and the 1924 Constitution, the right of secession of Republics was preserved as was the provision of Article 18 that “The territory of a Union Republic may not be altered without its consent.”  From the Russian perspective, the 1954 transfer of Crimea with its majority of Russian speakers to Ukraine by Ukrainian Soviet Premier and Communist Party Chief Nikita Krushchev was not really with Russian consent and was frankly shoved down Russia’s throat.

Chapter 8 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution which superseded Stalin’s 1936 Constitution is likewise relevant to this discussion:

Article 70. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is an integral, federal, multinational state formed on the principle of socialist federalism as a result of the free self-determination of nations and the voluntary association of equal Soviet Socialist Republics.

The USSR embodies the state unity of the Soviet people and draws all its nations and nationalities together for the purpose of jointly building communism.

Article 71. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics unites:

the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republicthe Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic,the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic,the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic,the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic,the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic,the Azerbeijan Soviet Socialist Republic,the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic,the Moldovian Soviet Socialist Republic,the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic,the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic,the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic,the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic,the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic,the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.

 

Article 72. Each Union Republic shall retain the right freely to secede from the USSR.

Article 73. The jurisdiction of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as represented by its highest bodies of state authority and administration, shall cover:

  1. the admission of new republics to the USSR; endorsement of the formation of new autonomous republics and autonomous regions within Union Republics;
  2. determination of the state boundaries of the USSR and approval of changes in the boundaries between Union Republics;
  3. establishment of the general principles for the organisation and functioning of republican and local bodies of state authority and administration;
  4. the ensurance of uniformity of legislative norms throughout the USSR and establishment of the fundamentals of the legislation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Union Republics;
  5. pursuance of a uniform social and economic policy; direction of the country’s economy; determination of the main lines of scientific and technological progress and the general measures for rational exploitation and conservation of natural resources; the drafting and approval of state plans for the economic and social development of the USSR, and endorsement of reports on their fulfilment;
  6. the drafting and approval of the consolidated Budget of the USSR, and endorsement of the report on its execution; management of a single monetary and credit system; determination of the taxes and revenues forming the Budget of the USSR; and the formulation of prices and wages policy;
  7. direction of the sectors of the economy, and of enterprises and amalgamations under Union jurisdiction, and general direction of industries under Union-Republican jurisdiction;
  8. issues of war and peace, defence of the sovereignty of the USSR and safeguarding of its frontiers and territory, and organisation of defence; direction of the Armed Forces of the USSR;
  9. state security;
  10. representation of the USSR in international relations; the USSR’s relations with other states and with international organisations; establishment of the general procedure for, and co-ordination of, the relations of Union Republics with other states and with international organisations; foreign trade and other forms of external economic activity on the basis of state monopoly;
  11. control over observance of the Constitution of the USSR, and ensurance of conformity of the Constitutions of Union Republics to the Constitution of the USSR;
  12. and settlement of other matters of All-Union importance.

Article 74. The laws of the USSR shall have the same force in all Union Republics. In the event of a discrepancy between a Union Republic law and an All-Union law, the law of the USSR shall prevail.

Article 75. The territory of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a single entity and comprises the territories of the Union Republics.

The sovereignty of the USSR extends throughout its territory.

With all that constitutional water under the bridge it’s not shocking that Russians, Ukrainians, and all sorts of other players see things differently than each other and from the United States and other nations throughout the world.  How many people in the United States government, whether the executive branch or the legislative branch, do you think actually understands this history?  If they don’t, do you trust them to make decisions about United States Foreign Policy in connection with these disputes?

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Letter to Kamala Harris on Andy Lopez


 

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