Selective historical airbrushing

The City of New Orleans is busy purging itself of Confederate statues, since these offend the tender sensibilities of today’s historically illiterate crybullies.  But if they’re determined to remove all vestiges of monuments to people who ever held racist sentiments, there’s work waiting for them in Washington, D.C.:

Lincoln white copy

It’s true Lincoln desired the limitation and eventual extinction of slavery, but it was not for this reason he went to war on his fellow Americans in 1861.  He made this very clear:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.   – Letter to Horace Greeley, 1862

Yes, that previously voluntary Union that was becoming compulsory with no escape during Lincoln’s reign.  “Reign” is too exaggerated, you say?  Look closely again at the monument built to his memory.  Look at the front of the armrests.  They very closely resemble this, the Roman fasces — a symbol of authority in ancient Rome later adopted by Benito Mussolini and his flock of blackshirts… known as the fascists.  All they lack is the axe, but that does not diminish in any way the power unleashed by Lincoln in his War Against the States.  (It’s worth noting the Speaker of the House is flanked by the same imagery — with the axes as well.)  Certainly, today’s America more closely resembles the Imperial Rome of Caligula than the Republic that was swallowed up by Julius Caesar.

So if we’re going to demolish any memory of white supremacy or unConstitutional exercises of power, the Lincoln memorial has to go as well.

Of course, I know better than to hold my breath, waiting for consistency from these little minds that have nothing better to do than tilt at Confederate windmills.

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Selective outrage

In the wake of one deranged individual’s shooting of nine people in Charleston, the media has once again whipped up a frenzy about race relations in America.  As a result, Walmart, Amazon, Ebay and other retailers have pledged to no longer sell any merchandise containing the Confederate flag.

The announcements contain all the usual indictments about the flag’s association with slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK.

So my questions are:  why is it still OK for Amazon and others to sell this?  Or this?   Or this?   Or this?   After all, Lenin, Stalin, Guevara, Mao and their fellow travelers enslaved, abused and murdered several orders of magnitude more people than Dixie ever did.

The difference?  To the self-proclaimed elites of our nation, Confederate symbolism is gauche and the very idea of States’ Rights (even without slavery involved) anathema to their globalist megastate aspirations, while Communism is chic fashion.

Make of that what you will.

Some of the victims killed at the Toul Sleng prison, unearthed from mass graves at Choeung Ek village, 15 kilometers outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia  May 13, 1983. A number of pits surround the site – authorities said they discovered 129, each containing about 100 corpses. (AP Photo/John Laird)

The anti-Lincoln

This short post from the Rebellion blog is worth quoting in its entirety:

Former Czech president Havel died “peacefully in his sleep” at the age of 75. He will long be remembered for his role in overthrowing the communist regime in his native country, and for continuing his anti-communist activism all over the world until the very end.

But there’s a special place in the hearts of self-determination activists for Vaclav Havel. Faced with a secessionist movement by the eastern half of Czechoslovakia, he was the anti-Lincoln, and respected the Slovaks’ right to govern themselves. The two nations continue to live in peace.

Now that’s a legacy to be proud of.

Getting the last laugh?

Lincoln fought for four years against the right of secession.

So it pegs the irony meter that a Republican representative in Illinois, fed up with “Crook County” (Chicago), is calling for a statewide vote whether to split the county off into its own new State.  Guess folks in the hinterland of the Land of Lincoln are getting fed up with all the elected officials supported by zombie voters in the Windy City.

Love. It.

 “The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.”   ― Jefferson Davis

(HT: Rebellion blog)

Little-discussed history

150 years ago today, during the War of Northern Aggression, a little incident happened that, despite all efforts, doesn’t fit today’s narrow narrative of a noble, selfless Northern crusade to end slavery:

On this day in 1861, controversial Union General John C. Fremont is relieved of command in the Western Department and replaced by David Hunter.

When the Civil War started in 1861, Fremont became a major general in command of the Western Department based in St. Louis. In August 1861, the Union suffered a stunning defeat when an army under General Nathaniel Lyon was routed at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in southwestern Missouri. Many criticized Fremont for failing to provide proper support for Lyon, who was killed in the battle. In response, Fremont took action to demonstrate his control over the region. He declared martial law and proclaimed freedom for all slaves in Missouri. In doing so, he placed President Abraham Lincoln’s administration in a difficult position. Lincoln was trying to keep the border states (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri) from seceding from the Union. With the exception of Delaware, these states contained substantial numbers of slaveholders, and opinion over the issue of slavery was evenly divided. Fremont’s freeing of slaves threatened to destroy the balance and send these states into the hands of the Confederacy. Of particular concern was Kentucky, Lincoln’s native state. It was of vital strategic importance and the movement for secession there was strong. Fremont’s actions in Missouri fueled secessionist spirit and alienated many Northerners who were unwilling to wage a war to end slavery.

Lincoln requested privately that Fremont rescind the order, but he refused. The president had no choice but to negate the order of emancipation and remove Fremont from command in the West.

And thus do we see the true priority of war aims for the Lincoln administration… which anyone who actually pays attention to history should already know

Brief book review

In addition to the book I’m currently working through (slowly, to better absorb), I had a chance encounter with this book on a sale rack.  A book about the ‘Late Unpleasantness’ for less than $5?  I’m there!

The narrative storytelling of this brief-but-effective book was so well done, it read like a thriller novel (except for the very appropriate bibliography at the end!).  I tore through it in short order, unable to quit reading it as time permitted.  As a student of the mid-19th century U.S., I was familiar with the broad outline of the subject (Confederate efforts to counter the Union blockade).  This work really brought out the cast of characters–their strengths and weaknesses, and the highs and lows of watching the fortunes of the North and South trace opposite arcs.  Particularly interesting was the last chapter, which dealt with the postwar diplomatic dance between the victorious Union and the United Kingdom as they sought settlement of the issue of aiding the Confederacy.

If you have any interest in this time period, keep a sharp eye out for this book on the sale racks in stores near you.  There were a handful of copies where I found mine; I suspect other stores will also have it.  Well worth the time and money invested!

A taxing anniversary

One hundred fifty years ago today, the United States imposed its first-ever personal income tax.  The nation had gotten along just fine for “four score and five years” (i.e. 85) without one.  So what changed?

The South, from which the Federal government derived much of its revenue via hated tariffs on agricultural exports (mainly cotton), had chosen to go their own way.  In order to raise a “Grand Army of the Republic” to subdue those States, Lincoln needed money… lots of it.

On this day in 1861, Lincoln imposes the first federal income tax by signing the Revenue Act. Strapped for cash with which to pursue the Civil War, Lincoln and Congress agreed to impose a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800.  … According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the comparable minimum taxable income in 2003, after adjustments for inflation, would have been approximately $16,000.

Never mind that the Constitution expressly forbade such a direct tax (referred to as “capitation”) — part of the designed protection against the tendency to centralize power.  This was merely one more impediment for the Great Emancipator to overlook as he suspended habeus corpus and generally did whatever was expedient to force back into the Union a population that no longer provided their consent to be governed.

Remember each year when you file your taxes, you can thank ‘Honest’ Abe for paving the way.  And if the draft is ever reactivated, you can thank Lincoln’s War for that little precedent as well…

I’ll say it again: the Civil War may have resulted in freeing the slaves of that time, but only by placing us ALL in bondage to Uncle Sam.