1127: "Congress"

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Fire Brns
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:40 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:...Lincoln freed the slaves which is more a civil rights thing.


May I point out that the much-lauded Emancipation Proclamation only "freed" the slaves in Southern-held territory, where Lincoln's writ had no force, and left the Northern slaves and slaves in Union-held Southern territory still in bondage? The EP was a purely political move to keep England from entering the war on the South's side: by painting the war as being over slavery, which it hadn't up until then, Lincoln could pose as holding the moral high ground, even after invading a sovereign nation.

The rest of the slaves, including General Grant's slaves, had to wait until the 13th Amendment was ratified in order to be free.

I completely agree with you, I was just stating it in middle school textbook terms. The data points flowing through my mind was far more complex and I tend to censor myself so I can get my point across without sounding like the raving lunatic I am. The whole southern succession was a reaction to the Lincoln election even though Lincoln did not even say he was going to free the slaves at that point, he simply found it wrong. The war wasn't over slavery, it was about unification until Lincoln changed priorities for political and civilian morale purposes.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby speising » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:43 pm UTC

carlisimo wrote:Not to add religion into the mix, but… is anyone else having trouble viewing this on iOS?


You mean the large one? It seems that great safari browser can't cope with big png's
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6263 ... ads-safari

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JamesStreet » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:
JamesStreet wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:...Lincoln freed the slaves which is more a civil rights thing.


May I point out that the much-lauded Emancipation Proclamation only "freed" the slaves in Southern-held territory, where Lincoln's writ had no force, and left the Northern slaves and slaves in Union-held Southern territory still in bondage? The EP was a purely political move to keep England from entering the war on the South's side: by painting the war as being over slavery, which it hadn't up until then, Lincoln could pose as holding the moral high ground, even after invading a sovereign nation.

The rest of the slaves, including General Grant's slaves, had to wait until the 13th Amendment was ratified in order to be free.

I completely agree with you, I was just stating it in middle school textbook terms. The data points flowing through my mind was far more complex and I tend to censor myself so I can get my point across without sounding like the raving lunatic I am. The whole southern succession was a reaction to the Lincoln election even though Lincoln did not even say he was going to free the slaves at that point, he simply found it wrong. The war wasn't over slavery, it was about unification until Lincoln changed priorities for political and civilian morale purposes.


Agreed. I figured you knew that, but I thought to explain it a bit more clearly for those still suffering from public education disorder.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby thefifthsetpin » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

More Errata:
The kerning of "1`800" is twerking me out.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:13 pm UTC

Claiming the the American Civil War wasn't fundamentally about slavery is historical revisionism of the worst sort. Yes, it was about state's right. State's right to own slaves. (See, for example but not limited to, Mississippi's "A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.")

That said, the cited facts about the immediate effects of the Emmacipation Proclamation are true.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JamesStreet » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:Claiming the the American Civil War wasn't fundamentally about slavery is historical revisionism of the worst sort. Yes, it was about state's right. State's right to own slaves. (See, for example but not limited to, Mississippi's "A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.")


Secession was partly about slavery, yes.

The War of Northern Aggression was about the Constitution-destroying tyrant Abraham Lincoln forcing his collectivist vision on the Southern States via illegal force. The "Civil War," as it is popularly called, was a defensive war on the part of the Confederacy. It had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery: it was a war of defense of the homeland against the Union invaders.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Lynniam » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:35 pm UTC

Oh, hey, BYOA! (Bring Your Own Analysis)

The interesting info in this graph isn't so much who's left and who's right, but what happens to the centrists. Several people have observed the dramatic loss of centrists (polarization) in recent years; the next questions to ask are, has this happened before, and what happened then?

Right off the bat, the Federalists look pretty extreme. Their party soon dissolved and there was chaos in the political party system until balance was restored.

The next extremism we see is the Democrats. Results? The Civil War. Interestingly, that didn't really fix the problem. The Democrats are slowly recovering some centrists while the Republicans are slowly losing theirs when we hit the 1896 presidential election, described as probably the most heated in American history.

In the early 1900s the Republicans are mostly medium red with some far right dark red, right up until the Great Depression and the Democrats pull it together with the New Deal, a huge influx of centrists.

So the answer to what happens when a party goes out of whack seems to be party dissolution, civil war, or the party that can capture the center wins. If any, the trend is one of dramatic change.

It would be interesting to examine what factors go into increasing the centrist proportion. That might really provide some answers for the current state of affairs!

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:46 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:Claiming the the American Civil War wasn't fundamentally about slavery is historical revisionism of the worst sort. Yes, it was about state's right. State's right to own slaves. (See, for example but not limited to, Mississippi's "A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.")


Secession was partly about slavery, yes.

The War of Northern Aggression was about the Constitution-destroying tyrant Abraham Lincoln forcing his collectivist vision on the Southern States via illegal force. The "Civil War," as it is popularly called, was a defensive war on the part of the Confederacy. It had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery: it was a war of defense of the homeland against the Union invaders.

The existence of the Confederacy however was solely for the preservation of slavery. Look at the constitution of the Confederacy. I don't think anyone really thinks slavery wasn't a major part of it but How the North and South viewed it was in completely different worlds.

Also, as I am technically a southerner I'm obligated to say this: Nothin' civil 'bout that war.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Soteria » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:08 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
Soteria wrote:I thought his first post indicated that. Having spent 15 years living in the US (if you count childhood) and 9 years living overseas. I find any claim that "the American system is a complete failure" completely laughable and not worth responding to. After living in Africa and South America, I've found I have a different perspective on what bad government actually looks like.


I'm not sure what was disagreeable about my post; it's based on reality, in that spending goes up, more money is borrowed or printed, more wars get started, welfare spending goes up, and rhetoric flies constantly that almost never matches actual votes. There are anomalies, such as Congressman Justin Amash from Michigan, who is a *Ron *Paul Republican, or *Ron *Paul himself; or perhaps Clinton's fiscal sanity during his second term. Yet the reality is that government gets bigger, spends more, generally taxes more, and our rights and liberties are snatched one by one, with vast bipartisan majorities.

And you suggest that the tyrants in the US are better than tyrants in other countries. They may not steal as much here, or kill as many people as in other places, but does that mean that we should be grateful to our tyrants for being so much kinder than they could be?

Are we any more free because we get to choose our masters in a term of years?


I'm not "suggesting" our government works better than it does in many other nations. I'm stating that it is a fact. Tyranny? Give me a break. We have injustice and corruption and overreaching government in the US, it's true, but get some perspective. Your claims are an insult to the people who really have lived under tyrants.

You want ineffective government? My parents (who live in South America) were robbed and held at gunpoint for several hours in their own home. They called the police three times, and were told "we just can't find the house." Funny--taxis find it just fine. In America, that would be front-page news. Tell that story to someone who lives there and they'd tell you that it sounds about right.

Two years ago in Niger, a general led a successful coup to oust the government after it refused to abide by election results. I suspect that most people, if they ever heard that news, just shrugged it off as African politics.

In Venezuela, the police routinely set up random checkpoints to extort money. They look over your car, decide if they want something from you, and make up an offense. You give them enough money to buy a coffee or something and drive on.

Look, I could tell all kinds of stories or spout statistics if you'd prefer, but what it comes down to is you don't know what a tyranny is if you think American is one. Maybe you should look the word up; it means something.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby jpers36 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:In the US, that includes almost ALL politicians, whether they be Republicrats or Demicans. They all vote for more spending, more bailouts, more welfare, more warfare, and more government regulation, regardless of the campaign rhetoric. For instance, everyone is freaking out about Paul Ryan's pro-life rhetoric, but that's all it is: rhetoric. He has repeatedly voted for budgets and CRs that fund both Planned Parenthood and The Affordable Care Act, so the fearmongering is baseless. He's just another loudmouthed, big-spending neoconservative.


JamesStreet wrote:I'm not sure what was disagreeable about my post


Things in your post that indicated a lack of desire to dialogue:
-"Republicrats"
-"Demicans"
-"loudmouthed, big-spending neoconservative"
-"fearmongering"
-Painting every single politician with the same brush
-Loudly declaring a problem without providing a solution

Hey, I'm pretty pessimistic about the current state of American government, too, and for many of the same reasons. I'm also actually right on the same page with you regarding Jesus, creation, the millennial reign, and the Bible. But what you posted -- and what you continue to post -- is nothing more than a rant. Your energy is better spent either in dialogue, in rolling up your sleeves and effecting political change, or in putting politics out of your mind altogether.

PS: The Civil War was 150 years ago. Get over it.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby J Thomas » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:23 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:Claiming the the American Civil War wasn't fundamentally about slavery is historical revisionism of the worst sort.


Wars are usually about lots of things to lots of people. The more different causes happen to collide, the more likely the war. Wars often involve religious differences, nationalism, economic dominance, strategic sites that are desirable to gain or to hold, the belief that it will be a short war and easy to win, etc etc etc.

It wouldn't be completely wrong for an American to say that WWII was about Pearl Harbor. And yet it would be pretty much wrong....

The South was stuck with slavery. They couldn't send many of the blacks back to africa -- they didn't have the ships. It would be like marching all the chinese past a given point. If blacks were free they would be competition for poor whites, who could hardly get by competing against each other. Rich southerners tended to be cash-poor and would have trouble paying wages. They didn't have the factor system that yankee factories used to pay their wage-slaves.

Maybe if they had looked hard enough for an alternative they might have found one. But they thought they were stuck and they didn't mind that much, and they were ready to fight rather than just put up with their destruction.

Also I think we're a lot better off now without dueling. It may have tended to inhibit the free flow of political opinion back then.
Last edited by J Thomas on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Soteria » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:24 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:Claiming the the American Civil War wasn't fundamentally about slavery is historical revisionism of the worst sort. Yes, it was about state's right. State's right to own slaves. (See, for example but not limited to, Mississippi's "A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.")


Secession was partly about slavery, yes.

The War of Northern Aggression was about the Constitution-destroying tyrant Abraham Lincoln forcing his collectivist vision on the Southern States via illegal force. The "Civil War," as it is popularly called, was a defensive war on the part of the Confederacy. It had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery: it was a war of defense of the homeland against the Union invaders.


Ugh! Completely wrong. Let me put it like this: the secession of the South was a rejection of not only of Lincoln but of the authority of the election itself. They basically said "we'll only abide by the election if we like the results."

State's rights? Whatever. The right to own slaves, you mean. It's very difficult to see anything different if you look at the 50 years preceding the war, and how different states were admitted. Slavery was the core issue--new states were accepted into the union only if a compromise could be reached that kept the Senate balanced between slave and free states.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby jpers36 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:25 pm UTC

Waitaminute. Is this the Jim Street that worked a consulting gig for Office Depot in Del Ray Beach back in 2003? HA! I think we've had these discussions before, in person and in a less confrontational way. Small world.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby ijuin » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:38 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:The South was stuck with slavery. They couldn't send many of the blacks back to africa -- they didn't have the ships. It would be like marching all the chinese past a given point. If blacks were free they would be competition for poor whites, who could hardly get by competing against each other. Rich southerners tended to be cash-poor and would have trouble paying wages. They didn't have the factor system that yankee factories used to pay their wage-slaves.

Maybe if they had looked hard enough for an alternative they might have found one. But they thought they were stuck and they didn't mind that much, and they were ready to fight rather than just put up with their destruction.

Those were the economic reasons, sure, but there were emotional reasons as well that largely stemmed from being born and raised under such economic conditions--many slaveholders thought that it was the "rightful place" of slaves to be enslaved, and many poor non-slaveholding whites liked having somebody to look down upon to distract themselves from their own poverty. Pro-slavery whites weren't merely in favor of economic oppression of enslaved people--they also wanted to keep them subservient and many openly mocked the very concept of black people with high education, wealth, or power.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby J Thomas » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:39 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
FrobozzWizard wrote:
J Thomas wrote:Maybe most important, we have a new political ideology, libertarianism, that is unrelentingly hostile to the US government though its adherents enjoy their own interpretation of the Constitution.


That ideology isn't new: It goes back at least as far as the Whiskey Rebellion, where people "solved" the problem of an unwanted tax by attacking and driving out tax collectors until then-President George Washington showed up with several thousand militiamen to persuade them otherwise.


Proving how powerless the Constitution was to protect individual liberty.


?? The Constitution was supposed to protect people's right not to pay taxes?

Repeatedly, you say things that sound like you want there to not be any government at all. It isn't a government unless it makes people do things and prevents people from doing things and punishes people for doing things.

Without that it might as well be a church. "We're all good people here, so we're asking everybody to contribute what you want to so we can do good things with the money!"

Ijuin wrote:
The South was stuck with slavery. They couldn't send many of the blacks back to africa -- they didn't have the ships. It would be like marching all the chinese past a given point. If blacks were free they would be competition for poor whites, who could hardly get by competing against each other. Rich southerners tended to be cash-poor and would have trouble paying wages. They didn't have the factor system that yankee factories used to pay their wage-slaves.

Maybe if they had looked hard enough for an alternative they might have found one. But they thought they were stuck and they didn't mind that much, and they were ready to fight rather than just put up with their destruction.


Those were the economic reasons, sure, but there were emotional reasons as well that largely stemmed from being born and raised under such economic conditions--many slaveholders thought that it was the "rightful place" of slaves to be enslaved, and many poor non-slaveholding whites liked having somebody to look down upon to distract themselves from their own poverty. Pro-slavery whites weren't merely in favor of economic oppression of enslaved people--they also wanted to keep them subservient and many openly mocked the very concept of black people with high education, wealth, or power.


Well, sure. They were just as upset about giving up their culture as Americans would be if the UN told us we had to give up free-market capitalism and burning all the fossil fuels we want.

But that can't happen because we have an iron-clad veto on the UN. And what did the South work hardest to preserve in the years leading up to the war? Their Senate veto, of course.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby drazen » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:10 pm UTC

Like, say, bank bailouts? Or auto bailouts?


Depends on how you are looking at it. The bailouts of the big investment firms were a pretty right-wing action, in my opinion: a big wet kiss (transfer payments) to big business. The bailouts of the auto companies were more left-wing: the government stepping in to favor labor and certain suppliers (again, with what is effectively transfer payments), other over creditors/interests.

Both of those items, however, highlight the problem with what's commonly called "too big to fail:" private profits, public risk.

Another way to look at it: government giving orders to the private sector (regulation, taxation, mandates) is left-wing, and the private sector giving orders (influence peddling, lobbying, regulatory capture, etc.) to government is right-wing. I oppose both, but find the former more insidious. To me, individuals who clamor for power and control are far more terrifying and loathsome than a bunch of jerks who want to line their pockets. I very strongly disagree with both of those camps, but megalomania and arrogance do far more damage than basic greed.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby bmonk » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:44 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:...Lincoln freed the slaves which is more a civil rights thing.


May I point out that the much-lauded Emancipation Proclamation only "freed" the slaves in Southern-held territory, where Lincoln's writ had no force, and left the Northern slaves and slaves in Union-held Southern territory still in bondage? The EP was a purely political move to keep England from entering the war on the South's side: by painting the war as being over slavery, which it hadn't up until then, Lincoln could pose as holding the moral high ground, even after invading a sovereign nation.

The rest of the slaves, including General Grant's slaves, had to wait until the 13th Amendment was ratified in order to be free.


Well, in a sense the war was over slavery from the beginning: the Southern states voted to secede from the union because they feared that Lincoln, having been elected by the abolitionist party, would end slavery. But after that, until the Emancipation Proclamation, that was the background reason, with the presenting reason being about the right for states to leave the union unilaterally.

Fire Brns wrote:Also, as I am technically a southerner I'm obligated to say this: Nothin' civil 'bout that war.

Civil wars are known for being particularly uncivil.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:48 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:Maybe if they had looked hard enough for an alternative they might have found one. But they thought they were stuck and they didn't mind that much, and they were ready to fight rather than just put up with their destruction.

It wasn't that they thought they were stuck, it's that they thought slavery was *awesome*. Go read their own words.

Jefferson Davis wrote:In the meantime, under the mild and genial climate of the Southern States and the increasing care and attention for the well-being and comfort of the laboring class, dictated alike by interest and humanity, the African slaves had augmented in number from about 600,000, at the date of the adoption of the constitutional compact, to upward of 4,000,000. In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with careful religious instruction. Under the supervision of a superior race their labor had been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South; the white population of the Southern slaveholding States had augmented form about 1,250,000 at the date of the adoption of the Constitution to more than 8,500,000 in 1860; and the productions of the South in cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable, had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourths of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to the wants of civilized man. With interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced.

They were ready to fight rather than put up with the destruction not of themselves, but of their way of life. Their way of life being based on owning human beings as property.

(And yes, if you read the rest of that letter, Davis pays lip service to states rights. But again, it boils down to "states rights about what". And like Mississippi's statement of succession "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world.", this is hardly unique.)

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JamesStreet » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:10 pm UTC

Soteria wrote:Look, I could tell all kinds of stories or spout statistics if you'd prefer, but what it comes down to is you don't know what a tyranny is if you think American is one. Maybe you should look the word up; it means something.


"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." ~Mark Twain

Read some stuff from Will Grigg at http://http://prolibertate.us/ and get back to me on that whole "tyranny" thing. Legislative theft, police brutality, corrupt courts; it doesn't take a military junta to be a tyranny.

bmonk wrote:Well, in a sense the war was over slavery from the beginning: the Southern states voted to secede from the union because they feared that Lincoln, having been elected by the abolitionist party, would end slavery. But after that, until the Emancipation Proclamation, that was the background reason, with the presenting reason being about the right for states to leave the union unilaterally.


Secession was partially about slavery. The War was a homeland defense of an invasion by Lincoln. Lincoln invaded, the South defended. There was nothing about slavery in that. In fact, desertion rates in BOTH armies skyrocketed after the Emancipation Proclamation, as neither Northern nor Southerner had any desire to fight over blacks. Trying to paint the War with the brush of slavery is based on misinformation. After all, the victors write the history books.

J Thomas wrote:?? The Constitution was supposed to protect people's right not to pay taxes?

Repeatedly, you say things that sound like you want there to not be any government at all.


Now you're getting it.

And the Constitution was designed to protect life, liberty, and property, which was being unjustly seized by the whiskey tax levied by the monarchist Alexander Hamilton. This nation got started through a tax revolt, if you'll remember; the frontier people didn't take kindly to their currency (whiskey) being singled out for a production tax.

jpers36 wrote:Waitaminute. Is this the Jim Street that worked a consulting gig for Office Depot in Del Ray Beach back in 2003? HA! I think we've had these discussions before, in person and in a less confrontational way. Small world.


Actually, no. In 2003, I was living in Missouri and Ohio, and I don't know where Del Ray Beach is (not without a Google search, anyway) and I've never worked for Office Depot. Plus, James is a pseudonym that I operate under online, so I'm definitely not the guy. ;)

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JamesStreet » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:13 pm UTC

Also, calling the conflict of 1861 "The Civil War" is a complete misnomer. A civil war takes place when two vying factions struggle for control over a government. What happened in the 1860s was a war of aggression on the part of the Union, and a war of defense on the part of the South. It was in no way a "civil war."

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:45 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:Also, calling the conflict of 1861 "The Civil War" is a complete misnomer. A civil war takes place when two vying factions struggle for control over a government. What happened in the 1860s was a war of aggression on the part of the Union, and a war of defense on the part of the South. It was in no way a "civil war."

Would you say the same of any war over secession? If British Columbia no longer wanted to be a part of Canada and declared their intent to ignore the decrees of the Canadian government and operate as an independent country, and the rest of Canada said no you don't just get to defy our laws, you are still a part of Canada and we will enforce our laws there and suppress any organized criminals (i.e. the secessionist government) who subvert them, with military action as necessary -- would that not be a Canadian civil war? Would BC have to try to supplant the Canadian parliament for it to be a civil war?

How about if it's only Vancouver, or how about one family with a farm on the coast, who decide to declare that they're their own country now?

(Note that I'm not necessarily making a reductio ad absurdum here, I'm just checking that you're really saying what I think you're saying: that an existing country using military action to keep a part of itself from seceding is not a civil war. Or is the US case special because of the federal nature of the union?).
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Soteria » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:06 am UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
Soteria wrote:Look, I could tell all kinds of stories or spout statistics if you'd prefer, but what it comes down to is you don't know what a tyranny is if you think American is one. Maybe you should look the word up; it means something.


"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." ~Mark Twain

Read some stuff from Will Grigg at http://http://prolibertate.us/ and get back to me on that whole "tyranny" thing. Legislative theft, police brutality, corrupt courts; it doesn't take a military junta to be a tyranny.


I still don't believe you know what the word means. You really need to do some research into the practices common in the rest of the world, today and in the past--and I don't mean from a single fringe source that misquotes news articles and fails to tell the entire story.

The link you posted? The guy is lying. He's counting on people not actually following the links to see his source. In one story, he told how police inserted an incendiary grenade into a little girls room--it was a flashbang. He claimed no apologies were offered, which is untrue and implies the incident was swept under the rug. In fact, the city initiated a claims process on behalf of the family and they are considering legal action.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." ~Mark Twain

What category does Will Grigg fall under?

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JamesStreet » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:48 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
JamesStreet wrote:Also, calling the conflict of 1861 "The Civil War" is a complete misnomer. A civil war takes place when two vying factions struggle for control over a government. What happened in the 1860s was a war of aggression on the part of the Union, and a war of defense on the part of the South. It was in no way a "civil war."

Would you say the same of any war over secession? If British Columbia no longer wanted to be a part of Canada and declared their intent to ignore the decrees of the Canadian government and operate as an independent country, and the rest of Canada said no you don't just get to defy our laws, you are still a part of Canada and we will enforce our laws there and suppress any organized criminals (i.e. the secessionist government) who subvert them, with military action as necessary -- would that not be a Canadian civil war? Would BC have to try to supplant the Canadian parliament for it to be a civil war?

How about if it's only Vancouver, or how about one family with a farm on the coast, who decide to declare that they're their own country now?

(Note that I'm not necessarily making a reductio ad absurdum here, I'm just checking that you're really saying what I think you're saying: that an existing country using military action to keep a part of itself from seceding is not a civil war. Or is the US case special because of the federal nature of the union?).


Voluntary association is a basic human right that derives from self-ownership. If I own myself, which I posit that I do, then I have the right to associate with whomever I choose, and disassociate with whomever, based on whatever criteria I so choose.

It then follows that individuals who form a group can make such a decision together, as well. Thus, secession is a human right, not just a political action.

And yes, I support the right of every individual to secede, voluntarily associate, or join whatever group or he or she so desires. Obviously societal issues may arise, such as a family deciding that they want to do their own thing, as nation-states today have ridiculous barriers to association, such as passports and borders. That family will not be recognized as their own nation, especially since governments reserve the ownership of land regardless of who owns it, and they wouldn't take kindly to someone refusing to pay property taxes on their land.

But yes, I support secession of every kind. And no, if it played out in the same way that the War of Secession did in the US, and the group seceding was attacked by the power seeking to retain them, then it would not be a civil war, but a defensive war of secession.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Quate » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:31 am UTC

Anyone noticed this yet?

Randall put "John A. Garfield" instead of "James A. Garfield" in his white dotted line, next to the paragraph about James Hinds being assassinated.

EDIT: Also, he put "saw an obsessive focus on the issue of bimetalism that it took me a while to understand." Grammatically weird.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Sprocket » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:38 am UTC

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Cruiser1 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:39 am UTC

Beltayn wrote:You will notice that this leaves no real home for Social Liberal/Fiscal Conservatives. These people are known as "Libertarians", and either vote for third-party candidates or decide whether Social or Fiscal issues are more important to them and vote for the corresponding major party.

Considering social policy as a separate political dimension from fiscal policy can be seen in the Nolan Chart, which was made fun of in XKCD #868. Simple ways to summarize the difference between Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians (at least from the "internet Libertarian" point of view :wink:):

Democrats want government to be your mommy: Wiping your nose for you and giving you goodies.
Republicans want government to be your daddy: Behave this way now, or else!
Libertarians want government to treat you as an adult.

Democrats want to steal your money and property.
Republicans want to shove their morals down your throat.
Libertarians do neither.

If you're not a liberal Democrat by the time you're 20, you have no heart.
If you're not a conservative Republican by the time you're 60, you have no brain.
If you're a Libertarian, you have both.

Democrats are socially liberal but fiscally authoritarian.
Republicans are socially authoritarian but fiscally liberal.
Libertarians are the best of both: Socially liberal and fiscally liberal.

Democrats love abortion and homosexuality, and think guns and SUV's should be illegal.
Republicans love guns and SUV's, and think abortion and homosexuality should be illegal.
Libertarians love all of the above, and think none of them should be illegal.

A Democrat is someone who's been arrested.
A Republican is someone who's been mugged.
A Libertarian is someone who's been through both experiences.

Democrats rage against the machine.
Republicans worship the machine.
Libertarians just want a more efficient machine.

Democrats are like the Scarecrow: Lacking a brain.
Republicans are like the Tin Man: Lacking a heart.
Libertarians are like the Cowardly Lion: Only lacking courage and numbers.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby phlip » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:03 am UTC

Cruiser1 wrote:Democrats want government to be your mommy: Wiping your nose for you and giving you goodies.
Republicans want government to be your daddy: Behave this way now, or else!
Libertarians want government to treat you as an adult.

I don't think that's particularly fair... a better way of categorising the role of government as seen by liberals/Democrats vs as seen by Libertarians is a sliding scale of where power is vested.

Libertarians think that giving too much control over our rights to the government will lead to oppression - they would rather have that in the control of other people.
Liberals think that giving too much control over our rights to other people (ie, your boss, the company you work for, other companies you do business with, etc) will also lead to oppression - they would rather the government step in and run protection ("wiping your nose for you" as you so elegantly put it).

Both sides are, of course, right... giving any one entity too much power is a bad idea, and the right idea is somewhere in between. The right idea is not to overcorrect, as the Tea Party and the Libertarians would recommend.

In the event of a rights conflict (eg my right to life vs your right to do terrible things to me), Liberals look to government to arbitrate and regulate the better option. In the event of the wrong rights being upheld (be it by malice, incompetence, or mere difference of opinion) this is viewed as a failure of the system, to be rectified by voting.
In the events of a rights conflict, Libertarians look to whoever has the most power (be it money, clout, etc), and declare them the winner. The winner then gets to do whatever they want, and the loser gets to take it, after all, it's their fault for not having as much money (get a job!). In the event of the wrong rights being upheld, this is viewed as the system working perfectly, to be rectified never. Unless the rights the powerful want to exert or the powerless are in threat of losing are one of a specific vaguely-defined arbitrary list of ideals (property rights, "positive" vs "negative" rights, etc), in which case... hooray government and police, all of a sudden.

I won't respond to the rest of your post, since they're all vague contentless soundbites with no more actual backing than just asserting "us good, them bad".

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby J Thomas » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:37 am UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
J Thomas wrote:?? The Constitution was supposed to protect people's right not to pay taxes?

Repeatedly, you say things that sound like you want there to not be any government at all.


Now you're getting it.

And the Constitution was designed to protect life, liberty, and property, which was being unjustly seized by the whiskey tax levied by the monarchist Alexander Hamilton. This nation got started through a tax revolt, if you'll remember; the frontier people didn't take kindly to their currency (whiskey) being singled out for a production tax.


The slogan we get taught was used, was "No taxation without representation". (Somehow "Don't tread on me" gets mentioned but is considered secondary.) The people in US states who revolted against taxes were represented when the taxes got voted in by Congress, right?

Anyway, more important, do you support the overthrow of the US government by force?
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby buddy431 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:52 am UTC

jay35 wrote:...What we have in the US is essentially a highly-restricted democracy (a republic in some fashion)....


This bugs me to no end. Anywhere else in the world but the United States, a republic is pretty much any nation that isn't a hereditary monarchy. Why do some Americans seem to take a "republic" to be some sort of indirect democracy, often with reverent, almost religious overtones?

The hyper-democratic Switzerland is a republic.
The United States, with it's federalist indirect democracy, is a republic.
Iran, with it's odd mix of unelected religious rulers as well as an elected president, is a republic
The PRC, with a communist government enshrined in the constitution, is a republic
The ROC, even when they under the strong thumb of Chiang Kai-shek, was and is a republic.
The United Kingdom, an indirect democracy, is not a republic. Why? Because they have a hereditary head of state.

Try talking about your mythical "republic" to a republican in the UK and see what their reaction is.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:12 am UTC

buddy431 wrote:
jay35 wrote:...What we have in the US is essentially a highly-restricted democracy (a republic in some fashion)....


This bugs me to no end. Anywhere else in the world but the United States, a republic is pretty much any nation that isn't a hereditary monarchy. Why do some Americans seem to take a "republic" to be some sort of indirect democracy, often with reverent, almost religious overtones?

This. I get so tired of the "the US is not a democracy, it's a republic" rhetoric that seems to come mostly from Republicans who seem to think that the mainstream party names are somehow meaningful (that Democrats want a democracy and Republicans want a republic). The US is a democratic republic. A republic is any state in which sovereignty rests with the people, where governments act in the name of "the people" rather than "the crown" or some such. Who governs is a separate question from that; if the people vote on legislation, it's a direct democracy, and if they vote on other people who vote on legislation, it's an indirect or representative democracy, and if nobody gets to vote on anything, it's not a democracy. You can have a democracy which is not a republic, like the UK's democratic monarchy (the state officially belongs to the monarch and actions are carried out in the name of the crown, but laws are made by an elected parliament's vote); a republic which is not a democracy, like any dictatorship enacted in the name and for the benefit of the people but without their input on either laws or who makes them; a state which is neither a republic nor a democracy, like all the old feudal monarchies where the royalty simply decreed the laws of their lands; or a democratic republic, like the US or France or plenty of others.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JamesStreet » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:32 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:
JamesStreet wrote:
J Thomas wrote:?? The Constitution was supposed to protect people's right not to pay taxes?

Repeatedly, you say things that sound like you want there to not be any government at all.


Now you're getting it.

And the Constitution was designed to protect life, liberty, and property, which was being unjustly seized by the whiskey tax levied by the monarchist Alexander Hamilton. This nation got started through a tax revolt, if you'll remember; the frontier people didn't take kindly to their currency (whiskey) being singled out for a production tax.


The slogan we get taught was used, was "No taxation without representation". (Somehow "Don't tread on me" gets mentioned but is considered secondary.) The people in US states who revolted against taxes were represented when the taxes got voted in by Congress, right?

Anyway, more important, do you support the overthrow of the US government by force?


The Whiskey Tax was pushed through Congress by the monarchist Alexander Hamilton, so perhaps they had representation, but again you have the problem of a majority forcing their will on the minority, which is unjust and reprehensible. No person should be expected to obey a law enacted specifically against him by a mob, even if it was "democratic" in its passing.

And no, I'm an agorist. I support the gradual abolition of central government through non-participation and counter-economic activities. I oppose all initiation of violence as immoral.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby ijuin » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:46 am UTC

JamesStreet wrote:Also, calling the conflict of 1861 "The Civil War" is a complete misnomer. A civil war takes place when two vying factions struggle for control over a government. What happened in the 1860s was a war of aggression on the part of the Union, and a war of defense on the part of the South. It was in no way a "civil war."


The "War Between the States" was a failed war for Independence. Had the Confederates won, history would have called it "The War For Southern Independence" or something similar. The South made a bid for independence, and the North refused to recognize them as independent, which led to rising hostilities and soon to open combat.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby jay35 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:06 am UTC

JamesStreet wrote:
Soteria wrote:Look, I could tell all kinds of stories or spout statistics if you'd prefer, but what it comes down to is you don't know what a tyranny is if you think American is one. Maybe you should look the word up; it means something.


"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." ~Mark Twain

Read some stuff from Will Grigg at http://http://prolibertate.us/ and get back to me on that whole "tyranny" thing. Legislative theft, police brutality, corrupt courts; it doesn't take a military junta to be a tyranny.

It's also a matter of relativism and what one is accustomed to, a la the frog slowly brought to a boil vs the one that can sense the heat/danger and jump out of the pot. You might argue that public education does a good job of setting people up for a slow boil.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby jay35 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:11 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
buddy431 wrote:
jay35 wrote:...What we have in the US is essentially a highly-restricted democracy (a republic in some fashion)....


This bugs me to no end. Anywhere else in the world but the United States, a republic is pretty much any nation that isn't a hereditary monarchy. Why do some Americans seem to take a "republic" to be some sort of indirect democracy, often with reverent, almost religious overtones?

This. I get so tired of the "the US is not a democracy, it's a republic" rhetoric that seems to come mostly from Republicans who seem to think that the mainstream party names are somehow meaningful (that Democrats want a democracy and Republicans want a republic). The US is a democratic republic.

Actually, you're both agreeing with me. I think perhaps you mistook what I wrote as something else. I was merely acknowledging the "republic" caveat so as to avoid the typical WE'RE NOT A DEMOCRACY, WE'RE A REPUBLIC responses. =)

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby jay35 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:13 am UTC

Cruiser1 wrote:Democrats love abortion and homosexuality, and think guns and SUV's should be illegal.
Republicans love guns and SUV's, and think abortion and homosexuality should be illegal.
Libertarians love all of the above, and think none of them should be illegal.

Many/most Libertarians certainly do not "love" those things, but more appropriately understand personal freedoms/preferences than the other two parties, and do not busy themselves with restricting such things at a personal level.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Derek » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:16 am UTC

buddy431 wrote:This bugs me to no end. Anywhere else in the world but the United States, a republic is pretty much any nation that isn't a hereditary monarchy. Why do some Americans seem to take a "republic" to be some sort of indirect democracy, often with reverent, almost religious overtones?

I can't tell you the reason why, but the way it's taught in American schools (or at least, in my school) is that the US a Republic (or Democratic Republic) is a type of Democracy in which people elect representatives. I'm fully aware that this is significantly different from the international use of the word, but as I said I don't know why.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:22 am UTC

Derek wrote:
buddy431 wrote:This bugs me to no end. Anywhere else in the world but the United States, a republic is pretty much any nation that isn't a hereditary monarchy. Why do some Americans seem to take a "republic" to be some sort of indirect democracy, often with reverent, almost religious overtones?

I can't tell you the reason why, but the way it's taught in American schools (or at least, in my school) is that the US a Republic (or Democratic Republic) is a type of Democracy in which people elect representatives. I'm fully aware that this is significantly different from the international use of the word, but as I said I don't know why.

Where did you go to school? And what level of school are we talking about? I can see that misconception getting repeated in primary and secondary schools in the more conservative areas (god knows plenty of other mistaken "facts" do), but I don't recall encountering it in my public schooling in coastal California (a liberal area for those following along abroad), and learned the "international use of the word" as you call it at both the two-year and four-year college level.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby J Thomas » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:02 pm UTC

buddy431 wrote:
jay35 wrote:...What we have in the US is essentially a highly-restricted democracy (a republic in some fashion)....


This bugs me to no end. Anywhere else in the world but the United States, a republic is pretty much any nation that isn't a hereditary monarchy. Why do some Americans seem to take a "republic" to be some sort of indirect democracy, often with reverent, almost religious overtones?


It's something that gets taught in some US school districts. Schoolchildren hear it and repeat it. They've been doing it for at least 50 years.

Here's an example, you can find hundreds of others with a quick Google search.
http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/Ameri ... emrep.html

The claim is that to be a democracy, the government must allow a majority to do anything it wants to minorities. No safeguards of any kind.

But a republic instead has a Constitution that limits what majorities can do to minorities or individuals. Those limitations keep it from being an evil democracy and allow it to be a good republic.

A republic protects property rights. It keeps majorities from taking the property away from people who own things and giving them to the majority. A republic respects property rights. A democracy doesn't respect anything.

That's the story they tell. They don't like democracy, and they don't want it.
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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby JamesStreet » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:04 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
buddy431 wrote:This bugs me to no end. Anywhere else in the world but the United States, a republic is pretty much any nation that isn't a hereditary monarchy. Why do some Americans seem to take a "republic" to be some sort of indirect democracy, often with reverent, almost religious overtones?

I can't tell you the reason why, but the way it's taught in American schools (or at least, in my school) is that the US a Republic (or Democratic Republic) is a type of Democracy in which people elect representatives. I'm fully aware that this is significantly different from the international use of the word, but as I said I don't know why.


The basic difference between a Republic and a Democracy is that a Republic is based on the Rule of Law, or a basic set of unchanging truths that govern every level of one's society. In a Democracy, everything is subject to the will of the majority, better called "mob rule." Democracy is a lynch mob about to string up a horse thief; a Republic is the sheriff requiring a fair jury trial for the accused.

Yes, America has become a Democracy, where the will of the majority overrides everything. However, she was founded as a Republic, and originally observed the structures of British Common Law as the basis for legal disputes and criminal prosecution. Now, we have, as a former NSA analyst said, a "turnkey totalitarian state," where those in power stay there by catering to a majority of the people, instead of adhering to the rule of law.

And don't think that I'm trying to make Democrats look bad and Republicans look good: I hate both parties pretty much equally.

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Re: 1127: "Congress"

Postby J Thomas » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:20 pm UTC

JamesStreet wrote:The Whiskey Tax was pushed through Congress by the monarchist Alexander Hamilton, so perhaps they had representation, but again you have the problem of a majority forcing their will on the minority, which is unjust and reprehensible. No person should be expected to obey a law enacted specifically against him by a mob, even if it was "democratic" in its passing.


Once again, you argue that all laws are wrong. If it isn't the majority forcing their will on a minority, how else do we get a law? A minority forcing their will on another minority?

And no, I'm an agorist. I support the gradual abolition of central government through non-participation and counter-economic activities. I oppose all initiation of violence as immoral.


OK! So if you are willing to follow your philosophy to its conclusion I have no problem with it. If you see me forcing my will on somebody and you consistently refrain from doing anything about it because it would be immoral for you to force your will on me, then we're square. You get to follow your ways and be moral, and I get to run a government. You get to be moral in a world where a lot of bad things happen, and you get to persuade other people to live moral lives like you do, and maybe someday we'll all be moral. Hurray!
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