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23 December 2007

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J.T. Davis

I think I am in the future province of the PNW, as I currently reside in Northern California. Some Californians, and even some Washingtonians and Oregonians might lean more to joining with Utah, Idahoans, Nevadans, Montanans and Wyomingites, but this is not the usual discussion among secessionist movements, forming more sensible and logical larger groupings with geographically and demographically like minded regions or provinces. At various times Californians have discussed secession from the union or even splitting the state into two or three smaller states. Giving free reign to the imagination I can see 4 to 8 separate cantons or provinces that make some sense from our current America. For a number of reasons, aside from the fact they are not part of any contiguous geographical region, I see Alaska and Hawaii wanting to remain "independent". Northeast and southeast are likely to want to go their own way. Pacific Northwest and Southwest plains states as well. Perhaps two more in the northern and southern interiors, the fly-over states. Most secessionist movements seem to want to balkanize or just get away in protest. They think on too small of a scale, often planning on having people move to a single state, like New Hampshire and start a new republic. This idea of provinces or cantons along the swiss model does appeal to me but I rarely hear people speak of it. There is another approach or line of attack which involves looking hard at the constitution itself, calling for a new constitutional convention. This type of national conversation would be a good way to open up a dialogue and expose these kinds of ideas to greater numbers of Americans. Professor Sanford Levinson was just on Bill Moyers' program last week (you can watch it online here) discussing his book:

Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It)

Quite a few folks saw the program and that sparked some interest and debate at their appropriately named law blog: Balkinization

Prof. Jack Balkin started the blog so it's just an odd coincidence.

I'm not entirely opposed to constitutional tinkering. I'm just unsure if this is the best time in our history to do it. Now I sound like a conservative.

Babak Makkinejad

JT Davis:

Do you know if the states of the United States retain the right to initiate the process of formation of the Continental Congress?

If they do, what is that process and the conditions under which they may do so?

In case that the Continental Congress is seated; what will be the status of the Constitution of the United States and the laws promulgated under that constitution?

Was that right given up when the United States Constitution became effective?

If that right still obtains, why did not the South go that way?

Cieran

Enobarbus37 wrote:

If Paul said that evolution is just a theory and that he doesn't accept it, then...well, he has opposed himself to science, pure and simple. Not good.

He claims that he's a limited-government strict-constitutionalist, too... but then he sponsors legislation that would define human life as beginning at conception, which further demonstrates that he hasn't a clue about how the physical world works, including the all-important birds-and-bees parts!

And while I can't seem to find much on the details of embryology and reproductive biology in the U.S. Constitution, Ron Paul apparently finds enough in that enlightened document to pander to the theocrats in his political base.

Like nearly all modern politicians, Ron Paul talks a lot better than he walks.

Arun

African Americans are not the only people in the world who have been subjected to inhuman treatment. As you buy your next flat-screen TV, consider what the life of the person in China who made it is like.

IMO, it shows an extreme non-comprehension of what slavery meant. In this example, the person in China is not removed from his place of living, his language or his culture.

Enobarbus37

Should the South have been allowed to secede?

All I can say is that, during the siege of Richmond, 50% of the African American population of Petersburg was free. That number was growing, not diminishing.

Yes, the life of the cotton plantations was an abomination: a peculiar mirror image of the imagined grandeur of the French Aristocracy by isolated farmers from Scotland.

But cotton would not be King forever. Just as oil will not be King forever, and the life of the Saudi dictators and amoral plutocrats will disappear too.

W. Patrick Lang

Arun

The African Americans of the Civil War era were as far removed from the homelands of their ancestors as any white Americans.

As for their languages, the ancestors had come from so many peoples that they had no language in common.

Their culture? If you have lived in the American South you should know that their cultures are as richly represented in the "blend" as anyone else's. pl

Arun

The African Americans of the Civil War era were as far removed from the homelands of their ancestors as any white Americans.

Again, I see only gross incomprehension here. Whatever the culture of white Americans was, it was made of their own choices. It was not ripped away from them. For the African Americans, one of the main pieces of knowledge about themselves is the knowledge of an absence.

Hitler killed a lot of Jews but could not eradicate their self-knowledge of their culture. But this happened in the case of the slaves.

I think colonized peoples where the colonial power attempted to rip away the native culture might have a somewhat better comprehension of this.


Will

1. the role of president james buchanan in setting off the civil war is crucial. he lobbied for the supreme court decision that overturned congressional compromises limiting slavery's expansion in the territories thus heating up the rhetoric & opening up wounds. yet, he had been quick to send troops to Utah against the Mormons. Reminds one of Dumbya, addressing the wrong problems & invading wrong countries.

As far as evolution, no doubt natural selection can work in a mechanical way & limited circumstances, but there are gaps. In general, i agree with Thales, credited to be the first scientist, that thought the gods may have created the world, they leave its everyday functioning to natural law which man can discover.

But there are huge gaps, and IMO there is more to this universe than a limited view. in fact it is an interfering multiverse and linear time is quite a "linear" concept.

Enobarbus37

IMO, it shows an extreme non-comprehension of what slavery meant. In this example, the person in China is not removed from his place of living, his language or his culture.

Look, let's get something straight. Slavery was genocide. It was as bad as any chapter in the history of mankind. Six million Jews died in the holocaust? It is relatively easy to calculate that ELEVEN million African Americans died as a direct, not indiret, result of slavery.

Let's get something else straight. I did not write the Constitution of the United States, which embraces slavery and gives disproportionate power to slave states...and gives disproportionate power to former slave states today.

The question is whether a war costing the lives of 600,000 young people and not in any way reducing the tsunami of racism in the United States was the only solution. I believe I am allowed to think there may have been alternatives.

In medicine there is an expression "res ipsa loquitur". I personally am not happy with the history of the United States since the Civil War. If the armed forces of the United States were segregated until the 50's, how does that represent progress?

And, because I happen to know many Chinese people, I will tell you that the average Chinese factory worker lives far, far from the land he grew up on, and is in most cases speaking a language he did not speak natively.

J.T. Davis

Babak,

I really don't know. I'll have to research that but my hunch is probably not. That is not to say there isn't a right of secession. As it turns out, I am just now watching Dr. Paul on MSNBC being dragged over the hot coals trying to defend his MTP Lincoln comments. He just brought up Di Lorenzo's book on Lincoln, The Real Lincoln, and Lysander Spooner. I'm refreshing my memory on Lysander Spooner, who Dr. Paul claims was an abolitionist who supported the south, not Lincoln. I am familiar with Di Lorenzo's thesis but haven't read the book. You can tell by looking at the reader reviews at Amazon that it is a contentious thesis: All 5 star or 1 star reviews. That's polarization.

Colonel,

One of the claims that folks like Walter E. Williams make (and possibly Di Lorenzo, but I can'r be sure) is that many black slaves fought willingly on the side of the south. Walter Williams has even put a number to it:

Mr. Smith calculates that between 60,000 and 93,000 blacks served the Confederacy in some capacity.

I don't have to tell you that this is a controversial claim. I

W. Patrick Lang

JT Davis

Williams is quoting Dr. Smith, an American University professor.(both men are black)Dr. smith has long maintained that African American Southerners served with (but not in until the end) the Confederate Army. I talked to Smith a lot when doing research for TBC. It is not really controversial any longer that a lot (how many I do not know) of Blacks (both free and slave)served in such capacities as: bandsmen, teamsters, cooks, officer's orderlies,pioneer troops in engineer labor units, etc.

There are several well documented accounts from the federal side of Union officers who were prisoners of war and observed Lee's army in the field. They report seeing several thousand blacks with the Army in the capacities I mentioned above. These blacks are reported as uniformed in the collection of odds and ends gnerally worn by the rebel infantry but interestingly without the metal buttons that bore unit or state insignia. They were also armed. (a common enough thing on Southern farms)

After Gettysburg, one striking event was the use of many of these men as guards for Northern PWs being marched south to Virginia. This created quite a reaction in a lot of Pennsylvania villages.

The status of these auxiliary "troops" was that of contract employees of the Confederate War Department. Records of these people exist in the US National Archives.

After the war the "restored" governments of the former Confederate states created pensions for their former soldiers. These black men were eligible for such pensions, albeit at a lower rate. This was most unjust.

There are any number of photographs of former black confederates attending "United Confederate Veteran" and "Association of the Army of Northern Virgina" conventions.

I have read a number of first person accounts in which it is mentioned that some light complexioned individuals with "home town" connections were simply allowed to enlist as white.

Blacks were allowed to serve as seamen in the Confederate Navy throughout the war.(CSS Alabama, etc.) This was also true of the US Navy and had been a commonplace before the war in that service.

At the end of the war the Confederate Congress passed legislation allowing black enlistment. These troops were in training when the war ended. pl

Andy

Col. Lang,

It would seem clear to me that the freed slaves and European immigrants would provide that pool.

You're probably right to a certain extent. Be that as it may, I still maintain my position that it's very unlikely, at best, that the northern states would have funded such an enterprise. The incentives would have to be significant to induce the slave-holding states to voluntarily participate and it's not clear what benefit such outlays would provide the north (short of possibly avoiding war, of course, but few at the time understood the costs the civil war would bring).

Then there is are important details. Would the money be paid to the slave-holding states, slave -holders or the slaves themselves? If payments are not made directly to slaves, how does one ensure they are fairly compensated, if compensated at all? The bureaucracy required to implement such a large income redistribution plan would be, ISTM, quite significant and the opportunity for graft and corruption vast.

Is it possible that such a plan might have worked and avoided war? Yes, I think it's possible based on hindsight - not very practical, not very likely - but still possible. The question really is if contemporaries would see it that way, particularly with no idea of the civil war's cost and its reverberations that we still feel today. From my perspective, it's hard to see how those contemporaries would make that choice.

W. Patrick Lang

Andy

Your "confusion" over the idea of whom would be compensated is absurd. It leads me to think that you are merley a "provocateur."

As to your doubt as to whether or not the North would have been willing to pay for compensated emancipation I would point out to you that in the pre-war years the South would have been paying as well. With regard to the North, did they think slavery was a serious matter or not? you can't have it both ways.

You need either to do some more research and thinking on this or knock off the baloney. pl

T.S. Wittig

I am enjoying the debate on the civil war. Thank you everyone.

To me the appeal of Dr Paul is simply that he is engaging in the national discussions that we should be having but are not. In a better version of today, he would be campaigning to have "Live Free or Die" on more license plates rather than for president / national savior.

Forgive my treatise Col, but it is important to recognize that we are in a significant transitional era in our history, on par with the Founding and the Civil War/Railroad/National Expansion Era. Throw in the end of the Cold War, the shift from a manufacturing to a service economy, the rise of IT, globalization, the global erosion of the state, and whatever other pet issue in this perfect storm, and our country is, to use one of your favorite words Colonel, "changing," but in what direction is yet uncertain.

In this context it seems like we as a society and country should be talking about at least the following questions:
1. What is our place in the world?
2: What is the shape of our economy?
3. How centralized should the United States become?
4. Why are we so fat?

I think Dr Paul raises some interesting points about 1, 2, and 3.

For example, given our global position, do we really want an empire (tempting to some, but no), or do we want to shrink down to a self-sufficient regional power as Paul seems to argue (also tempting, but no), or do we update our post-WWII strategy to build and tweak the international system to both promote our ideals and our national interests? Most people seem to want the latter, but four thousand meet the presses later no viable options have been fielded.

Or, is a service oriented economy really sustainable? Can all of us really be consultants and contractors? Should we actively export our management and service expertise, and have Americans literally run the world that way? How best can we use all this great infrastructure to actually make things? In this vein, I thought his positions about an open immigration policy and unilaterally dropping tariffs to zero are interesting, although probably not tenable.

And, do not the internet and mass education mean we could allow citizens to increasingly "stand aloof" from the government rather than simply accepting that the creeping centralized national security state as either inevitable or necessary? Paul's libertarianism speaks to these questions, but again doesn't give very workable answers.

I could go on with more questions I have and I wish I hear debated. But, good for Ron Paul. He may be wrong on a lot of things, but at least is talking asking the right questions, and using his brain unlike intellectual fat a**es like Russert.

Happy Hogmanay!


Cieran

Colonel:

My thanks to you and your cohorts here for this fascinating discussion on the Civil War.

Last night, I found myself watching Martin Ritt's classic "The Molly Maguires", and I couldn't help but view this film almost entirely through the lens of your comments about Irish immigrants as industrial slaves. The film is set in 1876, but the story makes it clear that the de facto slavery of the Irish mineworkers had begun decades earlier.

I hadn't seen this film in years, and had forgotten the strong performances of Sean Connery and Richard Harris as two hard-luck Irish immigrants with very different strategies for rising out of indentured servitude towards a realization of the American dream. And it's full of interesting questions about the history of U.S. domestic terrorism.

So thanks to you and your community of scholars for informing my movie-watching. There's nothing I like better than learning new ideas in my old age.

Andy

Col, Lang,

I don't see why you would think me a provocateur, particularly in this discussion which, to me anyway, is comparable to any number of "what if" alternative history scenarios - intellectually interesting but not much else. What purpose could I possibly serve by stirring up trouble here? Is there any basis beyond disagreement and my ignorance of pre-civil war America that would indicate ulterior motives on my part?

As to the question of who gets paid, my larger point in bringing that up is that details matter in such endeavors. It's one thing to suggest that a particular course of action is possible or even desirable in concept but implementation is another matter entirely - particularly on an issue as divisive and immense in scope as slavery.

I have said the concept might be possible - I just can't envision how it could be successfully implemented. I fully admit the cause may be my own lack of vision, ignorance on the history, some other bias or all of the above. Perhaps someone with more expertise on the subject could fill in some of the details and educate me and others on how it might be implemented?

Andy

T.S. Wittig,

Some very good questions that I think really get to the heart of the matter. My view is that the US currently lacks direction and a strategic vision for the 21st century. Both Clinton and Bush have taken us toward a unilaterally interventionist America - something that hasn't worked out to well for us (to say the least). Americans are bitterly divided over what role our nation should play and how we should play it.

Cold War Zoomie

I've been noodling through this Civil War issue for a few days. Of course, arguing over "could have beens" is really only for entertainment. Regardless, here are my thoughts as a southerner.

The South is much more complex than the rest of the country is able to understand. If you grew up in the South, you understand it. If not, good luck at trying to figure it out. The Southern culture was, up until the last 40-50 years in my opinion, the most mature and well-defined culture in this country. Although I'm sure small sections of New England gave it a run for its money. But I've never lived in New England.

First thing to remember is that the Civil War still means something to a lot of Southerners. Not as much as the years pass. But moreso than the rest of the country. Whenever someone says "America has never lost a war on its own soil" they are wrong. Southerners have. We lost. It doesn't bother a lot of us that we did. For others, it means something. They feel at war today with the rest of the country. They've felt like their culture has been under attack ever since these folks showed up after the Civil War:

Carpetbaggers

There are lot of proud people down there. They are proud of their traditions and ancestry. I'm proud of mine. My family fought in the Revolution, the War of 1812, and in the Civil War. Some were slaveholders. Most were not. Although my GGGrandfather fought for NC in the Civil War, his son helped build the Republican Party at the turn of the century in his county and was very well respected by the African-American community. His son, my grandfather, on the other hand was a staunch Democrat and was as racist as they come. Interestingly, he took after his mother who's ancestors were slaveholders rather than his father who's family never owned slaves (as far as we know). Imagine a husband who was tolerant and a wife who was a racist trying to live together today.

Fact is, though, many of us Southerners are proud of our heritage and culture while rejecting racism and its slavery past.

So, here's my take on Ron Paul's 1-2 minute discussion about the Civil War. First off, I've never heard this argument before. It's not like we sat around talking Civil War history every night on the veranda while sipping our mint julips and using y'all in the singular (don't get me started on that!) when I was growing up. I found his argument off the wall. Maybe "buying" the slaves and freeing them would have worked like Ron Paul said it did for the British Empire. From my miniscule research though, it looks like lots of planters suffered from that plan. So I'm not so sure the Southerners would have accepted it. That's all a moot point anyway. We all know the reality.

Personally, I think he is talking directly to his southern constituency. That doesn't automatically mean he is trying to garner racist votes. I don't know what's in his heart, and he could very well be a racist. Who knows? But just because he's talking to the only folks in this country who lost a war on our own soil doesn't mean he's a racist. Southerners are no different from other folks - we don't like outsiders coming in and telling us how to live. Ron Paul is talking to us. Apart from African-Americans and a smattering of "lefties," I cannot think of anyone else in the country who really cares about his views on the Civil War. Hell, most Americans can't even tell you what century it was fought in, much less what started it and how it influenced politics for 100 years.

This was a "gotch-ya" by Russert. A Yankee, I might add. So for Ron Paul's constituency, he was doing nothing more than telling that Yankee whatfor!

(BTW - Russert isn't a Damn Yankee, just a Yankee. A Yankee is someone passing through on their way to Florida. A Damn Yankee stops and decides to live here!)

J.T. Davis

Colonel,

I knew Walter Williams was black, didn't know about Smith. I don't find this hard to believe at all, free blacks, or even black slaves serving in the CSA in some capacity. It makes perfect sense that some might choose to do so. In a way it makes FDR look bad for interning the Japanese during WWII but I can also recognize the danger some may have faced at the hands of white Americans, so I don't scoff at all claims that it may have done for their protection, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team not withstanding. As I said, I haven't read DiLorenzo's book but I came across this review by a fellow at the Claremont Institute, It's brutal.

I'm no economist but I have read a good deal here and there that is unflattering, to say the least, about the Austrian School economists, and that is pretty much who we are talking about here, be it DiLorenzo, Williams or Dr. Paul. I also take the Austrian's historical analysis with a grain of salt because they still sing the praises of Harry Elmer Barnes over at Lew Rockwell and often promote other revisionist histories and historians, some bordering on conspiracism, such as Stinnett's "Day of Deceit". He claims FDR had foreknowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor and allowed it to happen. I always try to err on the side of the structural and institutional analysis rather than the temptation towards conspiracism. We have too much of that today, But I would be curious to hear your historical analysis of the political and economic causes of the civil war.

W. Patrick Lang

JTD

Thanks for asking.

As David H. has said. it is my view that CWZ is correct and that the South is a much more complex place than Northern folk generally are willing to admit or know. The images of the South in most American films, etc. are cartoonish and trivial. It is usually only when the South is protrayed by a foreign director or author that a complex picture of good and bad emerges. I guess I qualify as a "foreign writer," since I was not raised in the South. I think of films like "Driving Miss Daisy," and "Doc Hollywood" in saying that. In general, the North has declined to accept the idea that the South is a separate cultural area. This was visible as far back as the early 19th century. I would direct you to "Albion's Seed" or Grady McWhiney's "Cracker Culture" for demonstrations of both the separateness and the long maintained attitude in the North that a "New South" is aborning. That opinion was strongly argued as far back as the 1830s. The Northern attitude usually is that Southerners are merely backward, ignorant, inbred, etc.

In fact, the patterns of settlement and the origins of the colonists seem to have foreordained the emergence of two regions with markedly different cultures which, probably inevitable were going to be rivals and somewhat hostile to each other.

This drama was played out in 19th century American history through a long struggle over power in the federal government and increasingly in the US Senate.

I think it took real skill to prevent the break up of the union created in the US Constitution, skill that we ran out of in the 1850s.

I agree with whomever said it in a comment that Lincoln went to war to save the Union. Where the commenter and I probably differ is that I feel sure that Lincoln favored a "union" in which the power of the states was much reduced. The South believed that in 1860, and that is why they "went out." They did it because they believed that in Lincoln's version of the Union, in the context of ever growing Northern industrial and demographic power, the South would become a dominated cultural region held in contempt by the "others."

If you listen to the TV newsy rubbish, you will hear people say that Huckabee (not my choice for president)seems an intelligent man underneath the Southernness and backwoods humor. Were the Southerners of 1860 incorrect in their belief in where they would end if things went on as the trend indicated?

Once again, the race thing in the South is and was a lot more complicated than the South haters want to believe. I wonder how many people who will read this will know that there a lot of free black people in the South before 1860 and that quite a few of them owned slaves. My novel is to some extent concerned with this complexity although I hope it does not descend into didacticism.

I think that the continuing importance of the Civil war lies in the crisis that erupted then over the nature of the American state and the limits of power in that state and its different parts.

That struggle is still very much with us. pl

Andy

Col. Lang,

Agree very much with this:

I think that the continuing importance of the Civil war lies in the crisis that erupted then over the nature of the American state and the limits of power in that state and its different parts.

That struggle is still very much with us.

I find much to agree with in the rest of your comment as well.

Additionally, CWZ provided some great commentary on Southern culture.

It reminded me of a conversation I had many years ago while visiting the Shiloh battlefield. I was walking back to the parking lot and began talking to a young mother and her daughter. After a bit, she asked if I was a northerner or a southerner to which I replied "neither" since I was raised in the west (and not California, which is kind of like the West's version of Florida - a regional anomaly). I explained to her that I considered myself a westerner and did not have a dog in the North vs South fight.

It was only recently that I learned through my brother's genealogical research that my family actually has deep southern roots - the mountain west portion of our history began in the early 1990's. Before that it was Texas after the Civil War, Mississippi before and during the war and North Carolina in the late 1700's which is the further my brother has been able to trace so far. My direct paternal ancestor was part of the 17th Mississippi and survived the war.

Such knowledge certainly has given me a new appreciation for the South and the history of the Civil War.

Andy

In my last comment "1990's" should be "1900's." Apologies for the typo.

J.T. Davis

CWZ,

Some of us Yankees can even manage to go duck hunting without killing the dog or shooting ourselves in the foot. And Cheney's from Wyoming so we don't consider him as real Yankee.

If you listen to the TV newsy rubbish, you will hear people say that Huckabee (not my choice for president)seems an intelligent man underneath the Southernness and backwoods humor.

This is true about the way The DC Villagers treated Carter, and even Clinton to a some extent.

David Broder is said to have made this comment about Clinton to Sally Quinn (she's a southern gal): "He came in here and he trashed the place and it wasn't his place."

This attitude is starting to anger people from many regions of the country.

I've never been south of the northern part of Virginia but I do read and can't imagine any intelligent person could read the great writers and playwrights from the south and come away poorer and thinking the southern mind or culture is in any way backward or ignorant or inferior to the north's. I've been to some parts of New Jersey where it's not too difficult to find backward and ignorant. Culture? Forget about it. The southern culture is distinctly different and different cultures should be perserved if at all possible. Once they are gone, they are gone for good. As far as movies go, I thought Ang Lee's "Ride With the Devil" was a damn good film about the Kansas-Missouri border wars. According to Wiki it failed at the Box Office because of the positive portrayal of a black man who rode with Quantrill:

The film was intended to be a summer blockbuster, costing over US$35 million to produce (a large sum for most Westerns). However, despite majority positive reviews by film critics it received negative press after screenings because of the portrayal of a Black Confederate guerrilla by Jeffrey Wright in a role based on Free Black John Noland who rode with Confederate raider Quantrill. It was released on around 140 screens in the U.K. for a limited run and made barely over £100,000. It was then released without any promotion on 8 U.S. screens for a limited run of only three days (January 20-22, 2000) fetching only $64,000. The scheduled home video release of the movie was delayed four months so the distributor could alter the cover art and remove Jeffrey Wright's image from the front video and DVD and as of 2003 had yet to turn a profit.

It is based on the novel Woe to Live On, by Daniel Woodrell and the screenplay was written by James Schamus.

Cieran

CWZ:

As a damned yankee myself (i.e., someone from the north who moved south and then had the temerity to marry one of the flowers of southern womanhood), I have found the appreciation of southern culture to be fundamentally important in understanding how this great nation works.

I recently read Jim Webb's "Born Fighting", and would include that amazing book in my short list of must-reads on American culture. Webb's recollection of Scots-Irish culture and its history in America reads like a good novel while it uncovers various threads of Americana from circa 1700 AD to the present. That man is a true American treasure.

Senator Webb's book is a great way to learn how to respect those important parts of America that the corporate pundits denigrate (or ignore altogether).

Grimgrin

I just think that America would not exist today if it hadn't had it's civil war when it did. A generation or so earlier and the North would not have had the strength to win. A generation or so later and the Maxim gun and barbed wire would have been in common use, and the war would likely have been an even bloodier stalemate.

As for the issue of slavery, it reminds me of how after the invasion of Iraq the Bush administration started talking up "democracy and freedom" when the war had been sold as dealing with WMD's and Al Quaeda connections. The Civil War was about whether the ultimate authority in the United States of America was with the States or with the Federal government. Slavery was the moral purpose that got attached to the war post facto. It's also an efficient way of delegitimizing the cause that confederate soldiers fought for, and states rights in general.

On thr original topic I agree with the assessment of Dr. Ron Paul as identifying the problems but coming up with bad solutions. Though I have to say that w.r.t. the mainstream media this (admittedly Canadian) west coast liberal hates those assholes as much as anyone else here.

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