Monday, May 31, 2010

A Warning From South Carolina To Europe

From Third Palmetto Republic:

A Warning from South Carolina to Europe

On May 21, 2010, In Secession, US Empire, By Tom.The following article is reprinted from with permission of the author, Ron Holland:

Beware an ‘American Style’ Federalized EU

A Warning From South Carolina To Europe:

Say No to EU Elite Plans for a Federalized Union

The state of South Carolina has been an independent republic and nation twice in history, first in March of 1776 and again in December of 1860. History here certainly shows how it is far easier to get into a political union than to get out again. In South Carolina, we have found that once in a voluntary union, the open door slams shut as political and monetary elites who benefit from this arrangement seldom give up their power to tax, inflate the currency, protect special interest monopoly rights and engage in mercantilism without fighting to retain their distant dictatorial controls.

The photos above aren’t of terror bombing of London, Berlin or Dresden but rather Columbia, SC on the left and Charleston on the right. There were no land battles fought in either city but rather Columbia was burned at the end of the war by union forces and the civilian areas of Charleston were targeted by a union naval bombardment which lasted longer than the World War Two German siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Russia.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

The corrupt, power-hungry EU elites like politicians here in America are always ready to use a crisis to advance their agenda of accumulating power, increasing taxes and controls over local governments and independent citizens. Contrary to their false promises that a political and monetary union would guarantee economic safety and monetary security, here in the US, the very opposite has been the case with our exploding national debt and long-term downtrend in the dollar.

The call for a political and monetary union in Europe to counter the sovereign debt crisis is the dominate elite theme of the week from Europe to the United States echoed hourly on cable channels and in editorial written comments. Just a few minutes ago, one of the beautiful woman de jure reporters on a financial channel, again repeated the message with something to the effect, “what Europe needs is what we have here in the United States, one fiscal system, one political system and one country.” Since Germany is the titular head of the EU, this subliminal message has a frightening historic ring to an earlier “One People, One Nation, One Leader” refrain repeated ad nauseam during another time in Germany.

“We can’t have a monetary union without some form of economic and – er – political union.” ~ EU president Herman van Rompuy

“It seems that the sovereign debt crisis could be acting as a catalyst for an ever closer union of European countries. The decisions taken this weekend first by European leaders and then by finance ministers mark a big leap towards a fiscal union in the euro area, we think.” ~ Elga Bartsch, European Chief Economist for Morgan Stanley

To Europe we say, don’t move from a failed monetary union to a failed political union to solve the problems created by your local and supra-national EU politicians. The world meltdown and now sovereign debt crisis was predominately caused by our Wall Street firms which offered your politicians sovereign debt scams guaranteed to fail. We have found giving politicians short-term debt financing to buy re-election is like giving unlimited heroine to a heroine addict as a solution to their addiction problem. This only works as long as the drugs are available. When the drug or credit ends, these power or drug addicts will do absolutely anything to maintain their addiction. Looking through the past false war propaganda, all too much of European and American history is made up of wars and economic dislocation created by politicians to advance their agenda and addiction to power and wealth.

Don’t make the mistake we made. A voluntary union or confederation of sovereign states approved by a vote of the state or nation’s citizens can have many advantages but when this becomes a forced union, you can be assured that one day in the future, military force will be used to keep you in line. Hasn’t Europe suffered enough already from wars caused by national politicians and economic and banking elites, why add another level of political scum to the volatile mixture.

“Powerful government tends to draw into it people with bloated egos, people who think they know more than everyone else and have little hesitance in coercing their fellow man. Or as Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek said, “in government, the scum rises to the top.” ~ Dr. Walter Williams

Here in South Carolina, when we look at the national debt, foreign empire wars without end and a two-party monopoly that works together to maintain the political and monetary elite controls over our currency and central bank, the national debts and liberties, we sometimes wish for a Third South Carolina Palmetto Republic. Do as we say and not as we did and you’ll have the best of alternatives in the future. Currency competition between nations and the euro, more local control over your politicians and economic interests. “American style” government was to be envied and copied when we were a confederation and voluntary decentralized republic but today our centralized system has failed and the fighting for survival in Washington and Wall Street is one reason for the problems you face, certainly not the solution.

If you want a government solution for individual nations and even the EU that protects liberties, then consider the most successful model in Europe: look at Switzerland and their limited decentralized confederation government. It is envied by investors and people who value freedom around the world but hated by socialists, empires and politicians everywhere. Trust me, I’m not just “Whistling Dixie”!

May 21, 2010

Ron Holland [send him mail] is a contributing editor to the Swiss Mountain Vision Newsletter and Swiss Confidential published by Appenzeller Business Press

Secession In Modern U.S. Discourse

From Third Palmetto Republic:

Stockholm Syndrome and Secession

On May 29, 2010, In Secession, By Tom.

One of the biggest obstacles in the advocacy of self-government and independence is the attitude that secession is illegal, that it is treason, that it is totally out of the question. Most people, it seems, respond to even the suggestion of secession with such knee jerk reactions as if they have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dog.

A lot of this sentiment, perhaps all of it, can be traced back to the War Between the States, also referred to as the Civil War.

The idea that the Civil War decided the issue of secession in these not so united States is either the best of all arguments in opposition to a State’s right to withdraw from the Union, or the most ridiculous. Discussions on secession related topics in the blogosphere frequently resort to arguments akin to, “The North won; get over it,” or the well-worn retort of, “How’d that work out for you the last time?” While these comments most likely come from those with little knowledge of our history, and in particular our founding documents, the frequency of their use begs the question if the argument—might makes right—has any merit or substance.

Did the Civil War decide the issue of secession? « Secession University

Unfortunately, these arguments also come from those people who supposedly are educated and supposedly have a thorough knowledge of history, as Miller goes on to explain:

If Scalia’s remarks teach us anything, it’s that even someone as respected as the most “conservative” jurist on the Court is still a part of the problem—a federal government that has far exceeded its delegated authority. The Judicial Branch, like the Legislative and Executive, is dedicated to an all-powerful federal government at the expense of the sovereign States and the liberty of their people.

Indeed, even the most powerful “conservative” in the land treats secession as an idea that has been disproven, despite the fact that imperial force cannot solve the merits of a principle. I have personally interacted with such people at the local level in Tea Party and 9/12 groups, and their reaction to the notion is quite stunning. These people will talk at great length about nullification and its merits, but absolutely shun the notion of secession as a great immoral act. They are totally oblivious, it seems, to the fact that secession is merely the enforcement mechanism of nullification.

The war between the states was a tragedy for all Americans of all races as it took a collection of voluntarily united sovereign states and turned them all into subjects of an all powerful and oppressive empire. North or South, East or West, it doesn’t matter. Every state and all of the people of all of the states lost the “civil war” because now we live under the thumb of the federal government.

The worst part of this tragedy is that we now are at a point where the subjects of the empire are inexplicably loyal to and in a state of adoration of their oppressors. “Conservatives” and “liberals,” Republicans and Democrats duke it out from day to day on the political scene without even realizing that they are simply manipulated dogs fighting over meaningless scraps who simply have no power to change their condition. This is what I refer to as Stockholm Syndrome. In fact:

In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims… The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28, 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. The term “Stockholm Syndrome” was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast.

In cases where Stockholm syndrome has occurred, the captive is in a situation where the captor has stripped nearly all forms of independence and gained control of the victim’s life, as well as basic needs for survival. Some experts say that the hostage regresses to, perhaps, a state of infancy; the captive must cry for food, remain silent, and exist in an extreme state of dependence. In contrast, the perpetrator serves as a ‘mother’ figure protecting the ‘child’ from a threatening outside world, including law enforcement’s deadly weapons. The victim then begins a struggle for survival, both relying on and identifying with the captor. Possibly, hostages’ motivation to live outweighs their impulse to hate the person who created their dilemma.

Stockholm syndrome – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The genius of the federal government, the U.S. Empire, is that they have used indirect and deceiving means for such oppression. They don’t come to your house and hold you at gunpoint to strip you of your independence or gain control of your life, because this would be too obvious, and people would resist it. Instead, they pass federal laws and mandates and regulations and taxes that are all meant to protect you from the threatening outside world, but serve to limit your freedom, steal your property, and control your actions. To add insult to injury, and to complete the circle of enslavement, they literally serve as a mother figure and control the education of your children and have done so for generations, each iteration creating more and more hostages. The same government that supposedly fought to end slavery has instead enslaved us all.

The situation is not as bleak as it may sound though, events are taking place that are bringing people back to the ideas of self government and liberty:

A stark example of this is unfolding before our eyes in Arizona, where Governor Jan Brewer is honoring her constituents’ wish to stem the invasion from Mexico. For a long time the federal government has compelled Arizona and other states not only to tolerate this invasion, but to subsidize it, a sickening policy that Arizonans overwhelmingly want to abolish. If the federal government steps in and quashes the people’s will on an issue of this emotional magnitude, it will have gone a long way toward losing the people’s respect and obedience.

The same calculus applies to gun rights in Montana and the drug war in California, both instances where the state government has chosen to pursue a course that deviates from unpopular federal policy. At a critical point, the state may gather enough spine to “interpose” its judgment and formally refuse to observe a federal law. Another term for this is “nullification,” which is a smaller version of secession (i.e., the refusal to observe all federal authority).

If a state indeed nullifies an unpopular federal law, it will have crossed the Rubicon and dared the federal government to enforce its will against that of the people. If the federal government does so, it will lose legitimacy and alienate the people even further; if it does not, it will lose face and encourage people to seek even more of the self-governance being denied them.

Making Secession Happen
Liberty Defense League

This is the nature of the intellectual battle we must wage. Our philosophical enemies who believe in imperialism and government control are strong and their government is growing faster than ever, and our freedom loving allies are weak and have been conditioned into loyalty to their masters. As inspiring as the Tea Party movement has been, uniting people of all political backgrounds against big government, no amount of rallies or demonstrations will improve the lives of Americans so long as we continue to worship the red, white, and blue. We must encourage the nullification efforts being discussed today and we must advocate for the ultimate nullification: secession. The soft tyranny of the United States government has created a country of “free” hostages but we can and will restore liberty if we can somehow break the Stockholm Syndrome of our countrymen.

The Palmetto: South Carolina's Liberty Tree

From The Palmetto Republic:

The Palmetto – South Carolina’s Liberty Tree

On May 29, 2010, In SC, Secession, By Palmetto Patriot.South Carolina’s beautiful State tree and most famous symbol is the Palmetto tree, of course. Most South Carolinian school children could probably tell any new-comer or visitor of how the Colonial patriots in the Palmetto tree fort on Sullivan’s Island defeated the British imperial navy during the Revolutionary War.

In Charleston, John Rutledge, a member of the Continental Congress, arrived in Charleston with information of a British move into South Carolina. Named as the newly appointed president of the General Assembly that remained as the backbone of South Carolina’s revolutionary government, Rutledge organized a defense force under the command of 46-year-old Colonel William Moultrie, a former militiman and Indian fighter. Moultrie saw Sullivan’s Island, at the mouth of the entrance to Charleston Harbor as a good place suited to build a fort to protect the entrance from intruding enemy warships…. Moultrie and his 2nd South Carolina Regiment arrived on the island in March, 1776 and began construction of a fortress to defend the island and channel to Charleston Harbor…. The square-shaped Fort Sullivan made up of only the completed seaward wall, with walls made from Palmetto logs 16 feed wide and filled with sand, which rose 10 feed above the wooden platforms for the artillery.

The original blue SC flag with the white crescent was amended nearly a century after the Revolutionary War when our State seceded from the United States. “The palmetto tree was added in 1861 to honor Moultrie’s heroic defense of the palmetto log fort on Sullivan’s Island against the attack of the British fleet on June 28, 1776.” The Great Seal of South Carolina also bears the Palmetto tree.

Our famous Palmetto tree is paralleled in some ways by the Liberty Tree tradition that arose during the struggle against the British in the 1770’s. And just as our own symbol eventually found its way on the State banner, so too was the Liberty Tree commonly found upon flags from the Revolutionary War period in support of American independence.

“[The Liberty Tree] was a famous elm tree that stood in Boston, near Boston Common, in the days before the American Revolution. The tree was a rallying point for the growing resistance to the rule of Britain over the American colonies. In the years that followed, almost every American town had its own Liberty Tree—a living symbol of popular support for individual liberty and resistance to tyranny….”

The revolutionary group the Sons of Liberty, who were barred from public assembly, would meet informally under the famed elm tree in South Boston. To protest the much-maligned Stamp Act of 1765, members of the group hung effigies of British tax collectors off the branches of that elm.

The Palmetto flag is one of the best known and most loved symbols in all of North America. It can be found on license plates, belt buckles, t-shirts, blankets, flip-flops, hats and anything else you can imagine. Perhaps excluding Texas, we have the most recognisable and beloved symbol of any State – a symbol which unites South Carolinians. And just as the Palmetto was the primary symbol for pro-liberty resistance in two revolutions against centralised, outside rule, so shall it be again in our effort for a free Third Palmetto Republic.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

30 May in History

70 A.D.--Roman Legions under Titus breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem and the defenders retreat behind the First Wall.

1416--The Council of Constance.  Called by Emperor Sigismund IV, a supporter of anti-Pope Joh XXIII, burns Jerome of Prague at the stake for heresy.

1431--Hundred Years War.  Joan of Arc is burned at the stake at Rouen, France, after being convicted of heresy by the English.

1536--King Henry VIII Tudor marries Jane Seymour.

1539--Hernando De Soto, lands at Tampa, Florida with 600 men in search of gold.

1574--Henry III becomes King of France.

1814--Napoleonic Wars.  France's borders are returned to their 1793 limits per the Treaty of Paris.

1854--The Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed, organizing the two new territories.

1859--Big Ben, in the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster in London is rung for the first time.

1868--Decoration Day, which will be re-named Memorial Day is observed per the orders of General Logan, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.

1922--The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

1942--1000 British bombers conduct a night bombing raid of Cologne, Germany.

1958--The remains of two unknown soldiers from World War II and the Korean War are laid to rest at the Romb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery.

1971--Mariner 9, on a mission which will map 70% of the surface of Mars, is launched.

29 May in History

363 A.D.--The Roman Emperor, Julian, defeats the Sassanid Persians at the Battle of Ctesiphon.

1660--Charles II Stewart is crowned King of England and of the Scots, resoring the monarchy after the Protectorate.

1727--Peter II Romanov is crowned Czar of Russia.

1780--American Revolution.  After the Battle of Waxhaws, Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton massacres 113 continentals who had surrendered.

1790--Rhode Island becomes the 13th State to ratify the Constitution, and the 13th state to be admitted to the Union.

1848--Wisconsin becomes the 30th State to be admitted to the Union.

1867--The Austro-Hungarian Empire is formed, and Franz Josef is crowned as Emperor, and King of Hungary.

1919--Einstien's Theory of Relativity is tested (and later proved) by Eddington's observation of a total solar eclipse in Principe, and by Crommelin in Sobral, Ceara, Brazil.

1940--The first flight of the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair is completed.

1945--The first combat flight of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator is completed.

1999--The Space Shuttle Discovery docks for the first time at the International Space Station.

2004--The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

28 May in History

585 B.C.--A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Thales, a Greek philosopher and scientist.  It occurs during a battle between Cyaxares and Alyattes, leading to a truce.  This date is one of the cardianl dates from which events in ancient times can be calculated.

1503 A.D.--James IV Stewart, King of Scots, and Margaret Tudor are married per the Papal Bull of Alexander VI.  A Treaty of Everlasting Peace is signed between England and Scotland.  The peace lasts ten years.

1533--Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declares the marriage between King Henry VIII Tudor and Anne Boleyn to be valid.

1588--The Spanish Armada, consisting of a force of 130 ships and 30000 men, leaves port from Lisbon, Portugal enroute to England.

1754--The French and Indian War.  In the first engagement of the war, the Virginia militia, under Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeat a French scouting party at the Battle of Jumonville Glen, in what is now Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

1830--President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, paving the way for the Trail of Tears and a genocide of Native Americans.  Native Americans to this day often do not use twenty dollar bills due to his likeness on it.

1859--After being cast, Big Ben is carted to Palace of Westminster from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

1892--In San Francisco, California, John Muir organizes the Sierra Club.

1905--Russo-Japanese War.  The Battle of Tsushima Straits concludes with the destruction of the Russian naval forces by the Imperial Japanese Navy under the command of Admiral Togo Heihachiro.

1936--Alan Turing submits On Computable Numbers for publication.

1940--Belgium surrenders to Germany.

1964--The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed.

1982--Falklands War.  The British defeat Argentinian forces at the Battle of Goose Green.

1998--Pakistan responds to Indian nuclear testing by five tests of its own.

1999--In Milan, Italy, Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper is returned to public exhibition after 22 years of restoration work.

2002--The Mars Odyssey finds large deposits of ice on the planet Mars.

Civil Rights and Total War

From Rebellion:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

'Civil Rights' and Total War

"Civil Rights" is a holy word in the theology of secular America. But as we have long argued, it's really code for a messianic, all-powerful central government -- in other words, an empire. Here's a powerful confirmation of that argument by William Grigg:

"I was satisfied, and have been all the time, that the problem of war consists in the awful fact that the present class of men who rule the South must be killed outright rather than in the conquest of territory...." ~ William T. Sherman ... to General Philip Sheridan, as quoted in The Soul of Battle by Victor Davis Hanson

William Sherman's march to the sea, writes Victor Davis Hanson approvingly, was a war of "terror" intended to destroy an aristocratic Southern culture he hated because of its impudence in resisting the central government's authority.

Although rarely acknowledged as such, Sherman could be considered America's first "civil rights" crusader. This isn't an endorsement of Sherman; it's an indictment of contemporary "civil rights" ideology

It gets better. Sherman's crimes, followed by the illegal plunder of Reconstruction, set the stage for future conflict between white Southerners and the newly-freed slaves:

The occupied South was where Washington field-tested methods later used to "liberate" and "pacify" the Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries through mass slaughter and military dictatorship.

By January 1877, embattled southerners had managed to gain sufficient political traction to extract an end to the military occupation as the price of supporting a compromise awarding Rutherford B. Hayes the electoral votes he needed to prevail over Samuel Tilden (whose popular vote tally exceeded that of Hayes by roughly 164,000 votes).

Two months after Hayes was inaugurated, federal troops were withdrawn, and the Reconstruction plunderbund dissolved. A little more than a year later, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act forbidding the use of the Army as a domestic law enforcement body.

Jim Crow could be considered – at least to some extent – another example of "blowback" from Reconstruction, which did much more to exacerbate than alleviate racial hostilities in the South.

More than a century later, DC continues to see itself as a noble liberator, when in fact its heavy-handed interventions at home and abroad aggravate existing tensions. Clearly incapable of learning from its mistakes, DC will stop interfering in other people's affairs only when its suicidal policies inevitably cripple it.

posted by Old Rebel @ Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Confederate Pledge of Allegiance

Confederate Pledge of Allegiance

“I am a Loyal Confederate Southern in the service of the just and honorable cause of the South, in behalf of the Citizens of the Confederate States of America.

It is my purpose and mission to reclaim the honor of our forefathers who fought, suffered, bled and died in agony in our nation’s defense.

Unfurl and raise our Confederate States National Flag to it’s rightful place and glory.

Duty, responsibility and my own personal honor require of me to do whatever is lawful, peaceful and honorable, in order to restore the Confederate States Constitution to power, reseat the Confederate State Government, and reinstate the Confederate States of America to it’s rightful independence.

With these words I swear my pledge of loyalty forever!”

Deo Vindice!

The Yellow Rose of Texas

There’s a yellow rose in Texas, That I am going to see,

Nobody else could miss her, Not half as much as me.

She cried so when I left her It like to broke my heart,

And if I ever find her, We nevermore will part.

She’s the sweetest little rosebud That Texas ever knew,

Her eyes are bright as diamonds, They sparkle like the dew;

You may talk about your Clementine, And sing of Rosalee,

But the YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS Is the only girl for me.

When the Rio Grande is flowing, The starry skies are bright,

She walks along the river In the quiet summer night:

I know that she remembers, When we parted long ago,

I promise to return again, And not to leave her so.

She’s the sweetest little rosebud That Texas ever knew,

Her eyes are bright as diamonds, They sparkle like the dew;

You may talk about your Clementine, And sing of Rosalee,

But the YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS Is the only girl for me.

Oh now I’m going to find her, For my heart is full of woe,

And we’ll sing the songs together, That we sung so long ago

We’ll play the banjo gaily, And we’ll sing the songs of yore,

And the Yellow Rose of Texas Shall be mine forevermore.

She’s the sweetest little rosebud That Texas ever knew,

Her eyes are bright as diamonds, They sparkle like the dew;

You may talk about your Clementine, And sing of Rosalee,

But the YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS Is the only girl for me.

Oh now I’m headed southward, For my heart is full of woe.

I’m going back to Georgia, To find my Uncle Joe.

You may talk about your Beauregard, And sing of Bobby Lee,

But the gallant Hood of Texas, He raised HELL in Tennessee!

She’s the sweetest little rosebud That Texas ever knew,

Her eyes are bright as diamonds, They sparkle like the dew;

You may talk about your Clementine, And sing of Rosalee,

But the YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS Is the only girl for me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

25 May in History

1085--King Alfonso VI of Castile captures Toledo from the Moors.

1521--The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V Hapsbourg, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, which declares Martin Luther an outlaw.

1787--The Constitutional Convention convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with George Washington presiding.

1940--The Battle of Dunkirk begins.

1953--In Nevada, the United states conducts its only nuclear artillery test.

1961--President Kennedy, in an address to a special joint session of Congress, outlines the nation's goal to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

1982--The HMS Coventry is sunk in the Falklands by Argentinian aircraft with Exocet missiles.

2009--North Korea conducts its second probable nuclear test.

24 May in History

1218--The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt.

1689--The English Parliament passes the Acts of Toleration, which protects Protestants, but excludes Roman Catholics.

1738--Aldersgate Day--John Wesley is converted, and the Methodism movement begins.

1832--The Kingdom of greece is proclaimed in the London Conference.

1844--Samuel Morse sends the first telegraph message.

1846--In the Mexican-American War, General Zachary Taylor captures Monterrey.

1856--John Brown and his men murder five slavery proponents in Pottawattomy Creek, Kansas.

1883--The Brooklyn Bridge is opened to trakkic after being 14 years under construction.

1941--The HMS Hood is sunk by the KMS Bismarck.

1962--Astronaut Scott Carpenter, in the Project Mercury capsule Aurora 7, orbits the Earth three times.

1967--Egypt blockades Israel's Red Sea coast.

1976--Trans-Atlantic flights by the Concorde begin.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Has The "Lost Cause" Lost?

From Civil War Memory:

Has the “Lost Cause” Lost?

May 23, 2010

in Civil War Culture, Civil War Historians, Lost Cause, Memory

Last month I was honored to be asked by an editor at the Wilson Quarterly to respond to an essay by Christopher Clausen. I was given roughly a 300-400 word limit, which didn’t give me room to go into much detail so I decided to offer a few words about one particular passage that I thought was worth a response. Regular readers of this blog probably will not see much of anything that is new in terms of my own thinking about this subject. You can now read Clausen’s essay on the WQ website. Here is my response, which will appear in the next issue:

Christopher Clausen’s article [America’s Changeable Civil War,” Spring 2010] offers a helpful overview of the influence that the Lost Cause and the broader trend of national reunion exercised on the nation’s collective memory through the Civil Rights Movement. Few will deny that the tendency to ignore the role of slavery and emancipation as crucial aspects of Civil War history and public remembrance were exposed as Americans were confronted with images of bus boycotts, “Freedom Rides,” and marches. While the nation confronted its “most ignominious legacy” through legislation it did not significantly alter the nation’s Civil War memory. However, much has changed over the past forty years, which may give us pause in accepting Clausen’s assumption that “what was actually won and lost [in the Civil War] is less settled than you might expect after 150 years.”

The election of Barack Obama has opened up numerous opportunities to discuss the history and legacy of slavery and race and our understanding of the Civil War specifically. In 2009 the president was petitioned to discontinue sending a wreath to the Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery – a monument that glorifies the Lost Cause with images of “loyal slaves” and an emphasis on states rights. Rather than incite further controversy, President Obama chose to send an additional wreath to the African American Soldier’s Memorial, which celebrates the history of United States Colored Troops. Those states that have organized Civil War Sesquicentennial commissions are choosing to emphasize the “Emancipationist Legacy” of the Civil War, including Virginia, which will hold a day-long symposium in September 2010 on slavery and emancipation.

Finally, the recent controversy surrounding Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s Confederate History Month proclamation (sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans) is arguably the clearest indication that we may be witnessing a shift in our collective memory of the war and its legacy. The debate, which ensued and his eventual revision, suggests that a commemoration of Confederate history without any mention of slavery is now seen by a growing number of Americans as a gross distortion of the past. While it is too early to tell, the interpretation of the war that takes hold publicly by 2015 may be unrecognizable to Edward A. Pollard and other Confederate apologists.

Like I said it isn’t much of a response. I’m just pleased to have been asked to contribute. Hopefully, it will bring in some new readers and possibly an opportunity to write a more substantial essay in the future.

America's Changeable Civil War

From The Wilson Quarterly:

Spring 2010

Email to friendPrintPDFAmerica’s Changeable Civil War

by Christopher Clausen

A century and a half after the first state seceded from the Union, a lively debate over what caused the Civil War continues.

Read a blog post from Christopher Clausen on the controversy surrounding Virginia's Confederate History Month.

As the Civil War Sesquicentennial approaches cruising speed, North and South look a great deal more alike than they did on the eve of the war’s last great anniversary just 50 years ago. That much-heralded celebration coincided with the rise of the civil rights movement with a precision that was almost too good to be true. A century after Gettysburg, President John F. Kennedy had just proposed the bill that would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When the centennial of Appomattox rolled around, Congress was about to pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and few people were paying much attention to ceremonies on old battlefields.

The fact that the White House is now occupied by a man born during the Civil War Centennial to a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya represents a historical development hardly imaginable at the time, yet all but the most regressive now accept it as perfectly natural. The major civil rights laws of the 1960s are so well established that whatever disagreements may arise in their application, few Americans understand—or can even imagine—what life was like without them. Sometimes progress takes the form of historical amnesia.

Yet the question of what the Civil War was about, and therefore what was actually won and lost, is less settled than you might expect after 150 years. Both sides fought with determination, but their motives were shifting and sometimes ambiguous. To add to the confusion, as soon as conflict ended, the losing party readjusted its position sufficiently to win back in peacetime not only a more positive historical reputation, but some very tangible benefits.

When Jefferson Davis of Mississippi resigned from the U.S. Senate after his state left the Union—the second to do so, after South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860—he made a much-praised speech explaining his reasons. The essence of it was simple: “We but tread in the paths of our fathers when we proclaim our independence . . . not in hostility to others, not to injure any section of the country, not even for our own pecuniary benefit, but from the high and solemn motive of defending and protecting the rights we inherited, and which it is our duty to transmit unshorn to our children.” Defenders of the South since the war have taken much the same position. The 11 states that briefly constituted the Confederacy left the Union, they have said, for much the same reason the original 13 colonies left the British Empire. They fought to protect what they considered inalienable rights.

Not only did most secessionists believe in the constitutionality of their actions, the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian James M. McPherson has argued; they did indeed represent “traditional rights and views” about the relationship between the states and central government, views about which the North had largely changed its mind since the adoption of the Constitution. That is not to say that slavery was not the fundamental issue, in McPherson’s view; it was indeed slavery, he asserts, that made the North-South division deep and irreconcilable. The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, along with a Republican Congress hostile to the interests of the South, led those who favored secession—an overwhelming majority of white Southerners, McPherson concludes—to feel that the North had violated the compact embodied by the Union. Secession amounted to a preemptive counterrevolution against the Republicans’ revolution.

Whether or not they owned slaves, Southerners almost universally professed the doctrine known then and now as states’ rights, grounded in the federal system as originally understood, at least by the followers of Thomas Jefferson. When the South lost, states’ rights lost with it, and the unquestionable supremacy of the central government has been with us ever since. That abstract phrase “states’ rights” as used before the Civil War immediately prompts the question, states’ rights to what? “The right to own slaves,” McPherson explains, “the right to take this property into the territories; freedom from the coercive powers of a centralized government.”

There is, of course, no logical connection between local autonomy and racial oppression. Insofar as they coincided in this instance, it was an accident of history, as some perceptive contemporaries recognized. Bound up with the defense of an odious institution to which the South had committed itself in word and deed were some positive values—the federal system, limited government, the defense of one’s homeland against long odds—that many Americans in both the North and the South would continue to profess. Lord Acton, the English apostle of liberty, strongly supported the Confederacy while loathing slavery. “History,” he explained, “does not work with bottled essences, but with active combinations.” Acton defended his position by arguing that a federal structure like the American one, whose balance of central and local powers he felt the North was destroying, would be the best means for a future united Europe to avoid the dangers of nationalism. He was a man in some ways clearly ahead of his time.

For the seven states that seceded first, however, distinguishing between slavery and states’ rights was a waste of breath. These were the Cotton States, and four of them—South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas—issued mini-declarations of independence explaining what possessed them to end a union that had begun in revolution 85 years earlier. Fortunately for the Confederacy, whose success depended in large part on achieving recognition and assistance from antislavery Europe, these declarations, with their tedious legalisms and tendentious histories of the slavery controversy in American politics, went largely unread. South Carolina complained that Northerners had systematically shirked their constitutional obligation to return escaped slaves and were now inciting “servile insurrection.” Texas made similar claims in pseudo-Jeffersonian language, adding for good measure that the federal government had failed to protect white Texans from raids by hostile Indians and Mexican “banditti.” In a rare lapidary sentence, Jefferson Davis’s Mississippi candidly proclaimed: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world.”

Because slavery is one feature of the American past that long ago lost all its defenders, explaining the war solely in these terms almost requires portraying it as a conflict of good against evil. Many academic historians who fervently support diplomatic compromise and peace processes in today’s world largely endorse the Lincoln administration’s refusal of those means in the 1860s and its determination to prevail unconditionally, no matter what the scale of death and devastation. This shift in the interpretations of historians became dominant after the civil rights movement and can be seen even in the titles of major works, as the Mississippi novelist Shelby Foote’s evenhanded The Civil War: A Narrative (1958–1974) was soon challenged by McPherson’s more militant Battle Cry of Freedom (1988). The Lincoln administration’s gradual transition from reluctant prosecutor of a war undertaken merely to save the Union to the Emancipation Proclamation and, by 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment, is one of the familiar legends of American history.

Less familiar is the postbellum change of emphasis by Southern writers in their depiction of the motives behind the Confederate cause, from the defense of slavery to the more abstract and sympathetic protection of limited government, states’ rights, and the freedom of a local majority to decide its own political destiny. Identifying their new nation inextricably with slavery made foreign support more difficult to attract, especially once the North decided it was explicitly fighting for emancipation. By the same token, once defeat came, Southerners who wished to save something from the ruins needed to redefine their reasons for resisting so valiantly. This necessity applied not only to the historical record, but also to their immediate political needs in grappling with Reconstruction.

Edward A. Pollard, a Richmond newspaper editor, began writing a history of the war almost as soon as it began and published several installments while it was still going on. In explaining secession to Southern readers in 1862, he recounted at length the controversy over slavery from its beginnings through the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise of 1850, and Bleeding Kansas down to what he saw as the North’s treachery in embracing Hinton Rowan Helper’s antislavery tract The Impending Crisis of the South (1857) and John Brown’s effort to start a slave rebellion with his raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859. Treachery was, Pollard maintained, the basis of nearly all Northern politics, and was demonstrated even by those Northerners who seemed to share Southern convictions about the scope of federal power: “While acting with the South on empty or accidental issues,” he complained, “the ‘State Rights’ men of the North were, for all practical purposes, the faithful allies of the open and avowed consolidationists on the question that most seriously divided the country—that of negro slavery.” Sneering at the successive compromises that had averted war for so long, Pollard praised the militancy of South Carolina and ended his account of the war’s background with a portentous description of the state of affairs on the day of Lincoln’s inauguration: “Abolitionism and Fanaticism had not yet lapped blood. But reflecting men saw that the peace was deceitful and temporizing; that the temper of the North was impatient and dark; and that, if all history was not a lie, the first incident of bloodshed would be the prelude to a war of monstrous proportions.”

When Pollard published a complete version of his history for a national audience in 1866 under the title The Lost Cause, his account of the war’s background underwent considerable alteration. Although “a political North and a political South” were already recognized when the Constitution was adopted, slavery was not really the issue. “The slavery question is not to be taken as an independent controversy in American politics. It was not a moral dispute. It was the mere incident of a sectional animosity”—that is, a pretext for the North’s jealousy of the South’s greater power in the early Republic.

While protesting that Southern slavery “was really the mildest in the world,” Pollard declared tactfully that “we shall not enter upon the discussion of the moral question of slavery.” As an institution, it was gone forever; defending it now would simply prejudice Northern readers further against the South. Instead, he repeated, “the slavery question was not a moral one in the North, unless, perhaps, with a few thousand persons of disordered conscience. It was significant only of a contest for political power, and afforded nothing more than a convenient ground of dispute between two parties, who represented not two moral theories, but hostile sections and opposite civilizations.” Needless to say, Southern civilization in Pollard’s eyes was more elevated and honorable than that of the “coarse and materialistic” North.

Pollard’s immensely popular book quickly became the standard Southern history of the war, a status it retained for decades in part because it made slavery a side issue in a war that was really fought by the South for states’ legitimate rights and by the North for sheer power. This position, still popular among Southern commemorative organizations and Confederate reenactors, made possible the abiding romantic image of the Lost Cause. It was not made up entirely out of whole cloth. As a Virginian, Pollard had pointed out even in 1862 that the states of the upper South (Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee) chose not to secede over Lincoln’s election and left the Union only when the North began a war of coercion against their departed sisters. Since Virginia was the most important Southern state, site of more battles than any other, and home of the preeminent Confederate hero, Robert E. Lee (a man who had reluctantly followed his reluctant state out of the Union), its motives and sufferings were crucial to rehabilitating the failed Confederacy itself.

Another newspaper editor, Henry Grady of Atlanta, proved even more successful at restoring the South’s honor by retouching the historical record. “The New South,” a much-reprinted 1886 speech Grady delivered to an audience of New Englanders, stands as a completed monument to a civilization that had fought gallantly for eminently moral reasons, lost through no fault of its own, and was now starting anew better than ever—a region of honorable gentlemen and pure ladies whom any nation would be proud to embrace as fellow citizens. After paying graphic tribute to the poor “hero in gray with a heart of gold” returning from Appomattox to a devastated homeland, he turned to the demise of slavery: “The South found her jewel in the toad’s head of defeat. The shackles that had held her in narrow limitations fell forever when the shackles of the Negro slave were broken. Under the old regime, the Negroes were slaves to the South, the South was a slave to the system.” Without slavery, the South was far better off than it had been before the war. “The New South,” Grady announced, “presents a perfect democracy,” in which former masters and former slaves alike would experience “the light of a grander day.” It was an age of florid oratory.

When he spoke of the war itself, Grady, whose father had died for the Confederacy, was less conciliatory. “The South has nothing for which to apologize. She believes that the late struggle between the States was war and not rebellion, revolution and not conspiracy, and that her convictions were as honest as yours. I should be unjust to the dauntless spirit of the South and to my own convictions if I did not make this plain in this presence. The South has nothing to take back.” For Grady and his enthusiastic audiences, the outcome of the war spoke for itself, and his assurance that the New South fully accepted reunion and emancipation left no fundamental issues unresolved. As Shelby Foote described the beginnings of postwar harmony, “the victors acknowledged that the Confederates had fought bravely for a cause they believed was just and the losers agreed it was probably best for all concerned that the Union had been preserved.”

After 1865, then, Southern apologists hardly ever claimed that the country or the region would have been better off had slavery survived. States’ rights, of course, was another matter. A decade before Grady put the final rhetorical seal on it, the subtle alteration in the Southern position had encouraged Northerners to revert to what might be called “default federalism,” a more traditional understanding of the constitutional system modified only by the conclusion that slavery and secession had been settled for all time. Fifteen years after Fort Sumter, ordinary citizens in the North and their political leaders were looking for an exit strategy from a devastated, occupied, but still defiant South in the throes of the bitterly hated Reconstruction. The outcome of the 1876 presidential election was disputed amid massive fraud, and a commission ultimately had to settle it. The eventual result was a bargain that historians today, following C. Vann Woodward’s classic Reunion and Reaction (1951), uniformly denounce as the shameful beginning of an era of segregation and white supremacy that lasted until the middle of the 20th century.

The South agreed, in effect, to allow the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, to take office. The new president and congressional leadership agreed in turn to withdraw the last occupation troops from the South and let the vanquished run their ruined states according to their own prejudices. Broadly speaking, state governments were free to pass any laws that did not overtly challenge the authority of the federal government or outrage the elastic conscience of a national majority. So long as they made no attempt to secede or reinstitute slavery, white Southerners were free to build monuments to the Confederate soldier in every county seat, romanticize the Lost Cause to their hearts’ content, and deny the rights of citizenship to anyone with a visible fraction of African DNA.

This agreement, sometimes referred to as the Compromise of 1877, finally ended the Civil War, though at a heavy cost. That it sold out the recently freed slaves is beyond question. So, unfortunately, is the fact that a deal of this sort was unavoidable. If you force the inhabitants of 11 states to remain part of your country after defeating them in a conflict that took 600,000 lives, but shrink from ruling them indefinitely by martial law, you have to compromise sooner or later in ways that may distress future generations. As Woodward expressed it in a 1958 speech at Gettysburg College, the North had fought the war and imposed Reconstruction for three reasons: to save the Union, to abolish slavery, and, more equivocally, to bring about racial equality. The first two aims were achieved and soon accepted, however grudgingly, by the South. The third, seemingly assured by constitutional amendments and supporting legislation, was bargained away for most of another century.

“It would be an ironic, not to say tragic, coincidence,” Woodward wrote on the eve of the Centennial, “if the celebration of the anniversary took place in the midst of a crisis reminiscent of the one celebrated.” Now that that second crisis too is a matter of history, its timing a hundred years after secession seems nearly inevitable. By that time Southerners and Northerners had fought on the same side in two world wars, and the solidity of the Union was beyond question. The rusty, clanking apparatus of institutionalized inequality had finally become such a widely recognized contradiction to official American values, highlighted both by our Cold War adversary’s propaganda and our own television news broadcasts, that the days of the post–Civil War compromise were clearly numbered. Without ever fully agreeing on the rights and wrongs of the war itself, the nation at last attended to its most ignominious legacy—the hard bargain through which reunification had been accomplished.

Two Inspiring Sights

From Southern Heritage & Liberty Articles:


By Bob Hurst

There was once a time in America when all across the Southland the melodious and uplifting strains of "Dixie" were heard during athletic contests, parades and many other social gatherings and occasions.

There was a time when Southern schools taught of the nobility and character of Robert E. Lee, the military genius and absolute goodness of Stonewall Jackson, the boldness and flair of Jeb Stuart, the audacity and brilliance of Nathan Bedford Forrest and the courage and honor of Jefferson Davis.

There was a time when monuments and statues were regularly raised on courthouse lawns to honor the deeds, the devotion and the spirit of our Confederate ancestors and heroes plus celebrations were held at these iconic sites to remember the heroism of the remarkable Confederates who had fought so hard for the independence of the Southland.

But times change.

About five decades ago this country went through a paradigm shift and began a transformation to a place many of us were, and still are, uncomfortable with. The putrid wind of political correctness began blowing its foul fragrance across this land with especially severe impact on our beloved South. It became verboten to play or sing the wonderful "Dixie" at any of those venues where it had been so common before. Why, the student senate of my undergraduate alma mater, one of the most conservative universities in the country, even voted to have the school band stop playing that wondrous melody at home football games. I never imagined that even a handful of students at Auburn would have voted that way much less the entire student senate.

Another great Southern university, Ole Miss, was every Southerner's "other" favorite school because they were the "Rebels" and their fans waved the Confederate Battle Flag at athletic events. That, too, changed a few years back when a liberal administration banned the waving of the CBF in the stands at athletic contests. They even changed the school mascot from a well-recognized Southern gentleman figure to something absolutely indescribable.

Many other things of this nature have happened throughout our Southland as political correctness has come to dominate so many aspects of our lives and one of the primary targets for extinction by the PC crowd has been anything having to do with the Confederacy. That is why I found two recent events here in our hard-to-recognize-as-still-Southern state of Florida to be so gratifying and inspiring.

The first occurred on April 24 in Trenton, the county seat of Gilchrist County. On that date a brand new monument was dedicated to the Confederate soldiers who hailed from that part of the state. The key point about the dedication of this monument is that the memorial is located on the grounds of the county courthouse - a public place.

Now, there was a time when it was not unusual at all for Southern groups, primarily the United Daughters of the Confederacy, to have Confederate monuments erected on public property with the full cooperation of elected officials. This, sadly, has become a thing of the past. Too many city, county and state officials are now so afraid that someone might claim to be "offended" by any display of pride in the Confederacy that they meekly give in to the complaints of the Always Complaining People.

This is why it was so inspiring to me to watch two members of John Hance O'Steen Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans remove the covering from the monument and reveal to the large crowd in attendance the most recent memorial to our ancestors. I could also detect the pride felt by Camp Commander Clement Lindsey and camp member John Aulick, Jr. as they did the honors.

I know from previous conversations with Commander Lindsey that this was a project several years in the making and I can only say," Job well done, gentlemen, you did us all proud." Kudos to everyone involved in this remarkable project.

By the way, making this accomplishment even more gratifying is the fact that just a couple of years ago the officials in a nearby county had had a Confederate monument moved from the spot at the courthouse in that county where it had sat for decades.

Also remarkable was the good (and fair) coverage that the event received in the very liberal Gainesville SUN newspaper. The article even contained a picture and was located on the front page of the "Local and State" section. Good job, SUN!

Only two days later (April 26) and not far from Trenton, another wonderful event took place. In Cross City, the county seat of Dixie County, a Confederate Memorial Day celebration hosted by Dixie Defenders Camp,SCV, was held on the steps of the courthouse in that fine town. Not only was there a good-sized crowd in attendance but both the city commission and the county commission presented proclamations to the camp declaring that day as Confederate Memorial Day in the city and county. Among those in attendance in front of the courthouse were many people who worked inside the building and a number of elected officials.

As nice as all this was, the most electrifying moment of the day came when (by permission of the county manager and county commission) the Third National Flag of the Confederacy (the current governmental flag of the Confederacy) was run up the sole flagpole at the courthouse and remained there throughout the ceremony. The Third National did not fly alone, however, as just beneath it was hoisted a new Confederate POW flag that was designed by a member of the Dixie Defenders Camp.

I know how hard Camp Commander Joe Sparacino has worked over the past several years to develop a good rapport with the government officials in the city and county. It all paid off with this wonderful and inspiring event which I understand Commander Sparacino hopes to make an annual affair.

I had the privilege of being one of the two speakers for the event (Tampa radio personality Al McCray was the other) and I can say, without reservation, that I will always be proud of my participation in this great occasion and will always look back upon it with fondness.

Since I'm writing about fine events, let me conclude with a heads-up for everyone in this area about an upcoming event that you should fine interesting.

My very first CONFEDERATE JOURNAL article for this magazine, written almost five years ago, was about the terrible damage done by Hurricane Katrina to magnificent Beauvoir, the retirement home in Biloxi of President Jefferson Davis. The huge wave surge and winds did extensive damage to the house itself but simply destroyed the other structures on the property including the museum/library.

The Mississippi Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, owns and operates Beauvoir and has overseen the complete restoration of the wonderful old house which has been re-opened to the public. Now it is time to rebuild the museum/library and this, of course, will require financial support.

On June 19, 2010, Col. David Lang Camp, SCV, in Tallahassee will host a Jefferson Davis Banquet to help raise money for this rebuilding program. While the Mississippi Division holds title to the presidential shrine, this wonderful place is the responsibility of all true Southerners and especially those in the SCV, OCR, UDC, CoC and other Southern heritage organizations. I invite those of you living in this area to contact me about tickets to the banquet and if anyone reading this article would like to contribute to this worthwhile cause (any donation is appreciated) then please feel free to contact me about this. My contact information is at the end of this article.

Richard Flowers, the curator at Beauvoir, will be the keynote speaker for the evening and will also bring many items from the Beauvoir store (books, collectibles, etc.) which will be available for purchase by those in attendance at the banquet.

I plan for our camp to continue hosting this banquet annually at least until such time as the library/museum is completely rebuilt and again open to the public. I encourage you to help us make this first event a real success.

For the Cause.


Bob Hurst is a Southern Patriot who belongs to a number of heritage, historical and ideological organizations. He has a special interest in Confederate history and the antebellum architecture of the Old South. He is Commander of Col. David Lang Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, in Tallahassee and is 2nd Lt. Commander of the Florida Division, SCV.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

23 May in History

1430--Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians in the Siege of Compiegne.

1533--The marriage of King Henry VIII Tudor and Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.

1788--South Carolina becomes the 8th State to ratify the Constitution.

1813--Simon Bolivar begins the invasion of Venezuela and is declared El Libertador.

1846--Mexico declares war on the United States.

1863--The first African-American to win the Medal of Honor, William Harvey Carney, is awarded for his heroism in the Assault on Battery Wagner.

1939--The USS Squalus sinks off the coast of New Hampshire with the loss of 26 crew, but the remaining 33 crew are rescued the next day.

1949--The Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is founded with the adoption of The Basic Law.

22 May in History

334 B.C.--The Macedonian army, under the command of Alexander the Great, defeats the Persians, under Darius III, in the Battle of Granicus.

1176--The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to assassinate Saladin near Aleppo.

1455--In the English War of The Roses, at the First Battle of St. Albans, Richard, Duke of York, captures and defeats King Henry VI Lancaster.

1819--The S.S. Savannah leaves port of Savannah, Georgia and begins the first successful steamship crossing of the Atlantic.

1826--Charles Darwin, aboard the HMS Beagle leaves on its first journey to the Galapagos Islands.

1843--Thousands of settlers depart Independence, Missouri for the Oregon Territory and blaze what would become the Oregon Trail.

1856--Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beats, on the floor of the Senate, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, after a speech in which Sumner attacked Southerners who support slavery and the violence of the pro-slavery guerillas in "Bleeding Kansas".

1872--President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act of 1872, which gives amnesty and civil rights to all but 500 Confederate sympathizers.

1906--The Wright Brothers are granted a patent for their "flying machine".

1939--Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel Treaty.

1947--Truman signs into law a bill giving aid to Greece and Turkey in fighting Communism, initiating the Truman Doctrine.

1964--President Lyndon B. Johnson gives his Great Society speech, outlining numerous social reforms.

1968--The U.S.S. Scorpion with all of the crew lost.

1969--Apollo 10's lunar module flies over the moon's surface.

21 May in History

878 A.D.--Syracuse, Italy is capture by the Muslim Sultan of Sicily

996--16 year-old Otto III is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

1856--Lawrence, Kansas is burned by pro-slavery guerillas.

1863--Union forces lay siege to Port Hudson, Louisiana.

1881--The American Red Cross is founded by Clara Barton.

1927--Charles Lindburgh, in the Spirit of St. Louis, touches down on LeBourget Field, Paris, completing the first non-stop Trans-Atlantic flight.

1932--Amelia Earhart touches down in Derry, Northern Ireland in the first Trans-Atlantic crossing by a female pilot.

Monday, May 17, 2010

18 May in History

1152--Henry II Plantagenet, King of England, marries Eleanor of Aquitane.

1268--The Principality of Antioch, a Crusader state, falls to the forces of Mamluk Sultan Baibars.

1498--Vasco de Gama reaches calcutta, India.

1631--In Dorchester, Massachusetts, John Winthrop becomes the first governor of Massachusetts.

1756--The Seven Years War begins between England and France.

1803--The Treaty of Amiens is revoked by the British, and the Napoleonic Wars resume.

1804--Napoleon I Bonaparte is declared Emperor of the French by the Senate.

1843--The Free Church of Scotland separates from the Church of Scotland.

1860--Abraham Lincoln wins the Republican Party nomination for President.

1863--The Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi begins.

1896--The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy vs. Ferguson that the concept of "separate but equal" is Constitutional.

1910--The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley.

1917--The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed by the United States Congress.

1933--The Tennessee Valley Authority is created.

1944--The Battle of Monte Cassino ends as German forces withdraw.

1958--A Lockheed F-104 Starfighter sets a speed record of 1404.19 MPH.

1969--NASA launches Apollo 10.

1974--In Operation Smiling Buddha, India successfully tests a nuclear weapon.

1980--Mount St. Helens, in Oregon, erupts.

1992--The Archivist of the United States Archives officially announces the 27th Amendment of the United States Constitution is in effect.

Presidential History Quiz

from Confederate Digest and Lew

Monday, May 17, 2010

History Quiz: American Presidents

By Dr. Clyde Wilson

Distinguished Professor of History (ret.)

University of South Carolina,

•What American President launched a massive invasion of another country that posed no threat, and without a declaration of war?

• What President raised a huge army at his own will without the approval of Congress?

•What President started a war of choice in violation of every principle of Christian just war teaching?

•What President said that he had to violate the Constitution in order to save it?

•What President declared the elected legislatures of thirteen States to be "combinations" of criminals that he had to suppress?

• What President said he was indifferent to slavery but would use any force necessary to collect taxes?

•What President sent combat troops from the battlefield to bombard and occupy New York City?

•What President sent the Army to arrest in the middle of the night thousands of private citizens for expressing their opinions? And held them incommunicado in military prisons with total denial of due process of law? And had his soldiers destroy newspaper plants?

•What President was the first ruler in the civilized world to make medicine a contraband of war?

•What President signed for his cronies special licenses to purchase valuable cotton from an enemy country even though he had forbidden such trade and punished other people for the same practice?

•What President refused medical care and food to his own soldiers held by the enemy country?

•What President presided over the bombardment and house-by-house destruction of cities and towns that were undefended and not military targets?

•What President’s forces deliberately targeted women and children and destroyed their housing, food supply, and private belongings?

•What President’s occupying forces engaged in imprisonment, torture, and execution of civilians and seizing them as hostages?

•Under what President did the Army have the largest number of criminals, mercenaries, and foreigners?

•Who was the first American President to plot the assassination of an opposing head of state?

•Who had the least affiliation with Christianity of any American President and blamed God for starting the war over which he presided?

•What President voted for and praised a law which forbade black people from settling in his State?

•What President said that all black people should be expelled from the United States because they could never be full-fledged citizens?

•What President was the first to force citizens to accept as legal money pieces of paper unbacked by gold or silver?

•Who was the first President to institute an income tax?

•Who was the first President to pile up a national debt too vast to be paid off in a generation?

•Who is considered almost universally as the greatest American President, indeed as the greatest American of all times and as a world hero of democracy?

•What predecessor is President Obama most often compared to?

Hint: The answer to every question above is the same. His photo is below:

"Johnny Reb"

This clip was passed on to me by one of the best friends I've ever had.  Thanks, Terry.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Tale of Two Nations

This article is from the League of the South:

A Tale of Two Americas

Renowned Professor Clyde Wilson of South Carolina describes American sectionalism in the following words:

"Throughout most of American history region has been a better predictor of political position than party. That aspect of our reality has been neglected and suppressed in recent times as the rest of the country has conspired or acquiesced in transforming the South into a replica of Ohio.

Yet the notorious squeak vote on the ObamaCare bill shows that the old reality still exists and that the South is still the core and mainstay of any viable American conservatism. My friend Bill Cawthon has run down the statistics on the House of Representatives vote. Of the four census regions, the South was the only one to vote against the federal takeover of medicine. The South (the Confederacy plus Kentucky and Oklahoma) voted 71 per cent against the bill; the Northeast 75 per cent in favour; the West 61 per cent aye; and the Midwest divided evenly.

Every Southern State voted a majority negative. The no vote included 19 Democrats from the South. If you remove the four sparsely populated Plains States of the western Midwest, the Midwest total moves to a majority in favour of ObamaCare, even allowing for the no-vote of the Southern border State Missouri.

This pattern has held on every major piece of legislation since 1965, even allowing that Southern Congressional districts are designed by federal lawyers and judges to maximise the minority vote. Immigration, balanced budget, public prayer, women in combat—the South has provided the brake on the leftist agenda of federal grasp. Of the 212 nay votes on ObamaCare nearly half (100) came from the South.

A century and a half ago, John C. Calhoun, one of the most prescient observers of the American regime, remarked that the South was the balance wheel of the Union, which prevented the whole from flying apart under the stress of the manias that regularly seized hold of the mainstream. It looks as though that is still true, though our ability to control the machine grows weaker year by year."

This state-by-state map of the health care voting results further illustrates this divide. Numbers represent each state's electoral vote total.

States in white voted a tie.

In a short but fascinating interview recently hosted by Bill O'Reilly on the Fox News O'Rielly Factor, guest Dick Morris stated that the purpose of this new Health Care law is to require the South to adopt the North's standards but it does not provide the money to the South to do so. After the first year the South must pay for it all.

Dick Morris quotes Alabama Governor, Bob Riley who said that Obama is trying to equalize the North and the South so the South will no longer have a competitive advantage.

Card Check will make the South unionized

The Medicare Bill will make the South's taxes higher and

Cap and Trade will toughen the environmental standards in the South.

All of these combined will make it unattractive for businesses to continue to move to the South.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yet More Obama Posters

11 May in History

330 A.D.--The city of Byzantium is renamed Nova Roma, but it is commonly called Constantinople.

1310--In France, 54 Knights Templar are burned at the stake as heretics.

1858--Minnesota is admitted to the Union as the 32nd State.

1862--The C.S.S. Virginia is scuttled on the James River.

1943--American troops invade the island of Attu to remove the Japanese.

1945--The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Bunker Hill, is hit by two kamikaze planes, but survives the attack.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lincoln The War Criminal

This article is from Lew

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

One hundred thirty-six years after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Americans are still fascinated with the War for Southern Independence. The larger bookstores devote an inordinate amount of shelf space to books about the events and personalities of the war; Ken Burns's "Civil War" television series and the movie "Gettysburg" were blockbuster hits; dozens of new books on the war are still published every year; and a monthly newspaper, Civil War News, lists literally hundreds of seminars, conferences, reenactments, and memorial events related to the war in all 50 states and the District of Columbia all year long. Indeed, many Northerners are "still fighting the war" in that they organize a political mob whenever anyone attempts to display a Confederate heritage symbol in any public place.

Americans are still fascinated by the war because many of us recognize it as the defining event in American history. Lincoln's war established myriad precedents that have shaped the course of American government and society ever since: the centralization of governmental power, central banking, income taxation, protectionism, military conscription, the suspension of constitutional liberties, the "rewriting" of the Constitution by federal judges, "total war," the quest for a worldwide empire, and the notion that government is one big "problem solver."

Perhaps the most hideous precedent established by Lincoln's war, however, was the intentional targeting of defenseless civilians. Human beings did not always engage in such barbaric acts as we have all watched in horror in recent days. Targeting civilians has been a common practice ever since World War II, but its roots lie in Lincoln's war.

In 1863 there was an international convention in Geneva, Switzerland, that sought to codify international law with regard to the conduct of war. What the convention sought to do was to take the principles of "civilized" warfare that had evolved over the previous century, and declare them to be a part of international law that should be obeyed by all civilized societies. Essentially, the convention concluded that it should be considered to be a war crime, punishable by imprisonment or death, for armies to attack defenseless citizens and towns; plunder civilian property; or take from the civilian population more than what was necessary to feed and sustain an occupying army.

The Swiss jurist Emmerich de Vattel (1714-67, author of The Law of Nations, was the world's expert on the proper conduct of war at the time. "The people, the peasants, the citizens, take no part in it, and generally have nothing to fear from the sword of the enemy," Vattel wrote. As long as they refrain from hostilities themselves they "live in as perfect safety as if they were friends." Occupying soldiers who would destroy private property should be regard as "savage barbarians."

In 1861 the leading American expert in international law as it relates to the proper conduct of war was the San Francisco attorney Henry Halleck, a former army officer and West Point instructor whom Abraham Lincoln appointed General-in-Chief of the federal armies in July of 1862. Halleck was the author of the book, International Law, which was used as a text at West Point and essentially echoed Vattel's writing.

On April 24, 1863, the Lincoln administration seemed to adopt the precepts of international law as expressed by the Geneva Convention, Vattel, and Halleck, when it issued General Order No. 100, known as the "Lieber Code." The Code's author was the German legal scholar Francis Leiber, an advisor to Otto von Bismarck and a staunch advocate of centralized governmental power. In his writings Lieber denounced the federal system of government created by the American founding fathers as having created "confederacies of petty sovereigns" and dismissed the Jeffersonian philosophy of government as a collection of "obsolete ideas." In Germany he was arrested several times for subversive activities. He was a perfect ideological fit with Lincoln's own political philosophy and was just the man Lincoln wanted to outline the rules of war for his administration.

The Lieber Code paid lip service to the notion that civilians should not be targeted in war, but it contained a giant loophole: Federal commanders were permitted to completely ignore the Code if, "in their discretion," the events of the war would warrant that they do so. In other words, the Lieber Code was purely propaganda.

The fact is, the Lincoln government intentionally targeted civilians from the very beginning of the war. The administration's battle plan was known as the "Anaconda Plan" because it sought to blockade all Southern ports and inland waterways and starving the Southern civilian economy. Even drugs and medicines were on the government's list of items that were to be kept out of the hands of Southerners, as far as possible.

As early as the first major battle of the war, the Battle of First Manassas in July of 1861, federal soldiers were plundering and burning private homes in the Northern Virginia countryside. Such behavior quickly became so pervasive that on June 20, 1862 - one year into the war - General George McClellan, the commanding general of the Army of the Potomac, wrote Lincoln a letter imploring him to see to it that the war was conducted according to "the highest principles known to Christian civilization" and to avoid targeting the civilian population to the extent that that was possible. Lincoln replaced McClellan a few months later and ignored his letter.

Most Americans are familiar with General William Tecumseh Sherman's "march to the sea" in which his army pillaged, plundered, raped, and murdered civilians as it marched through Georgia in the face of scant military opposition. But such atrocities had been occurring for the duration of the war; Sherman's March was nothing new.

In 1862 Sherman was having difficulty subduing Confederate sharpshooters who were harassing federal gunboats on the Mississippi River near Memphis. He then adopted the theory of "collective responsibility" to "justify" attacking innocent civilians in retaliation for such attacks. He burned the entire town of Randolph, Tennessee, to the ground. He also began taking civilian hostages and either trading them for federal prisoners of war or executing them.

Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi, were also burned to the ground by Sherman's troops even though there was no Confederate army there to oppose them. After the burnings his soldiers sacked the town, stealing anything of value and destroying the rest. As Sherman biographer John Marzalek writes, his soldiers "entered residences, appropriating whatever appeared to be of value . . . those articles which they could not carry they broke."

After the destruction of Meridian Sherman boasted that "for five days, ten thousand of our men worked hard and with a will, in that work of destruction, with axes, sledges, crowbars, clawbars, and with fire.... Meridian no longer exists."

In The Hard Hand of War historian Mark Grimsley argues that Sherman has been unfairly criticized as the "father" of waging war on civilians because he "pursued a policy quite in keeping with that of other Union commanders from Missouri to Virginia." Fair enough. Why blame just Sherman when such practices were an essential part of Lincoln's entire war plan and were routinely practiced by all federal commanders? Sherman was just the most zealous of all federal commanders in targeting Southern civilians, which is apparently why he became one of Lincoln's favorite generals.

In his First Inaugural Address Jefferson said that any secessionists should be allowed to "stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." But by 1864 Sherman would announce that "to the petulant and persistent secessionists, why, death is mercy." In 1862 Sherman wrote his wife that his purpose in the war would be "extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least of the trouble, but the people" of the South. His loving and gentle wife wrote back that her wish was for "a war of extermination and that all [Southerners] would be driven like swine into the sea. May we carry fire and sword into their states till not one habitation is left standing."

The Geneva Convention of 1863 condemned the bombardment of cities occupied by civilians, but Lincoln ignored all such restrictions on his behavior. The bombardment of Atlanta destroyed 90 percent of the city, after which the remaining civilian residents were forced to depopulate the city just as winter was approaching and the Georgia countryside had been stripped of food by the federal army. In his memoirs Sherman boasted that his army destroyed more than $100 million in private property and carried home $20 million more during his "march to the sea."

Sherman was not above randomly executing innocent civilians as part of his (and Lincoln's) terror campaign. In October of 1864 he ordered a subordinate, General Louis Watkins, to go to Fairmount, Georgia, "burn ten or twelve houses" and "kill a few at random," and "let them know that it will be repeated every time a train is fired upon."

Another Sherman biographer, Lee Kennett, found that in Sherman's army "the New York regiments were . . . filled with big city criminals and foreigners fresh from the jails of the Old World." Although it is rarely mentioned by "mainstream" historians, many acts of rape were committed by these federal soldiers. The University of South Carolina's library contains a large collection of thousands diaries and letters of Southern women that mention these unspeakable atrocities.

Shermans' band of criminal looters (known as "bummers") sacked the slave cabins as well as the plantation houses. As Grimsley describes it, "With the utter disregard for blacks that was the norm among Union troops, the soldiers ransacked the slave cabins, taking whatever they liked." A routine procedure would be to hang a slave by his neck until he told federal soldiers where the plantation owners' valuables were hidden.

General Philip Sheridan is another celebrated "war hero" who followed in Sherman's footsteps in attacking defenseless civilians. After the Confederate army had finally evacuated the Shenandoah Valley in the autumn of 1864 Sheridan's 35,000 infantry troops essentially burned the entire valley to the ground. As Sheridan described it in a letter to General Grant, in the first few days he "destroyed over 2200 barns . . . over 70 mills . . . have driven in front of the army over 4000 head of stock, and have killed . . . not less than 3000 sheep. . . . Tomorrow I will continue the destruction."

In letters home Sheridan's troops described themselves as "barn burners" and "destroyers of homes." One soldier wrote home that he had personally set 60 private homes on fire and opined that "it was a hard looking sight to see the women and children turned out of doors at this season of the year." A Sergeant William T. Patterson wrote that "the whole country around is wrapped in flames, the heavens are aglow with the light thereof . . . such mourning, such lamentations, such crying and pleading for mercy [by defenseless women]... I never saw or want to see again."

As horrific as the burning of the Shenandoah Valley was, Grimsley concluded that it was actually "one of the more controlled acts of destruction during the war's final year." After it was all over Lincoln personally conveyed to Sheridan "the thanks of the Nation."

Sherman biographer Lee Kennett is among the historians who bend over backwards to downplay the horrors of how Lincoln waged war on civilians. Just recently, he published an article in the Atlanta Constitution arguing that Sherman wasn't such a bad guy after all and should not be reviled by Georgians as much as he is. But even Kennett admitted in his biography of Sherman that:

Had the Confederates somehow won, had their victory put them in position to bring their chief opponents before some sort of tribunal, they would have found themselves stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command for violations of the laws of war, specifically for waging war against noncombatants.

Sherman himself admitted after the war that he was taught at West Point that he could be hanged for the things he did. But in war the victors always write the history and are never punished for war crimes, no matter how heinous. Only the defeated suffer that fate. That is why very few Americans are aware of the fact that the unspeakable atrocities of war committed against civilians, from the firebombing of Dresden, the rape of Nanking, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the World Trade Center bombings, had their origins in Lincoln's war. This is yet another reason why Americans will continue their fascination with the War for Southern Independence.

Copyright 2001

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland. His book, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War