Tag: civil war

In the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Richard Epstein looks at the limits on government power to restrict inflammatory speech, considers Donald Trump’s rhetorical response to the protests, and weighs in on whether confederate monuments should start coming down.

A Confederacy of Dunces


I absolutely despise “alternative history” fiction. The distortion of real history is bad enough.

Enter David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and executives at HBO. Time-Warner’s pay channel has commissioned the creators of “Game of Thrones” to create “Confederate,” an alt-history series where the American Civil War ended in a stalemate and the Confederacy is now a 21st Century nation with institutionalized slavery. This is, as liberals would say, “problematic.”

The biggest hurdle the lead writers (the spousal African-American team of Malcolm and Nichelle Tramble Spellman) will have to overcome is the raison d’etre for slavery in the first place: large agricultural plantations needing vast numbers of cheap laborers to operate. At some point between 1865 and 2017 technology will overtake it. Will they suggest that slavery will be transferred out of the fields and into the factories? Will they be able to plausibly explain why white people will have no jobs in an industrialized South? And what about the rest of the world? Will there have been no world wars? No Great Depression? No Holocaust? Just 152 years of peaceful co-existence between the US and the Confederacy? No uprisings before 2017? It’s absurd.

Daniel Greenfield on Communism, America’s New Civil War, Democrats, Israel, and Iran


Daniel Greenfield, a frequent contributor to FrontPageMag.com and Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center runs the best-named blog on the internet: SultanKnish where his articles and investigative pieces have been cited by Rush Limbaugh, John Podhoretz, and Michelle Malkin, to name a few. In today’s Whiskey Politics Podcast we discuss the Left’s nostalgia for Communism, America’s new civil war, culture, education, the GOP budget, Democrats treatment of Israel, the Iran Deal, North Korea and much more.

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Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails was on sale for Kindle recently, and I’m sorry I didn’t announce it when it was $1.99. Although the writing is a bit repetitious (the author keeps spiraling back to ideas already stated), this is so far an engaging read with many satisfying “huh!” moments. They are savory enough that I re-read […]

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Ulysses S … Trump?


US-TrumpGeneral George McClellan was beloved by his troops. McClellan returned the affection, earning a reputation as a well organized and meticulous commander. Giving credit where due, McClellan turned the Army of the Potomac into a cohesive unit and kept it together, even in the face of defeat. He is also credited with fortifying Washington, DC and securing the Union frontier, all through his skills in logistics. But after some early victories, defeats became all too common. It is a common theme of biographies of McClellan that, when it came to actual battle, the general was overly cautious, unable (or unwilling) to gamble, and failed to take advantage of Confederate mistakes that might have turned stalemates into victories, or victories into routs. According to some, McClellan consistently overestimated his opponents’ strength and, thus, refused to advance or attack for fear of losing. Lincoln came to distrust the general and, when sufficiently frustrated with McClellan’s hesitations and caution, fired him.

The Army of the Potomac then went through a series of generals (Burnside, Meade, Hooker), all of whom were blamed for similar failures of leadership, chiefly the inability or unwillingness to advance against the Confederacy. Then came Ulysses Grant. In the western states, Grant had fought hard against the Confederacy. Unlike the other generals, he was willing to risk casualties to achieve strategic advantages and would try unproven tactics if he thought some advantage could be gained. With the full aid of superior Union industry and a far larger Union population — advantages his predecessors shared but failed to exploit — he was relentless in his advances, racking up casualty numbers that earned him criticism as a butcher of his own troops. But he won battles.

The years since 2008 have reminded me greatly of our Civil War. The Obama administration has effectively declared a cultural war on middle America through an expanded regulatory state, lawsuits in retribution of political appointments, collaboration with far-left activist groups, the stirring-up of racial animosities, attacks on religious institutions, the opening of borders, assaults on the Second Amendment and the attempts to gut the First Amendment, and scores of petty and vindictive skirmishes against small businesses, churches, and private citizens. Our president has pitted half of America against the rest, claiming — like some restless dictator — that his advances and occupations are really defensive in nature, while wielding powers no prior president would have dared try.

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A stock theme for Civil War stories involves lone inventors developing new and revolutionary weapons, only to have them rejected by a Union Army bureaucracy blind to it merits. The inventor then takes the weapon to Abraham Lincoln, who appreciates the genius of the weapon, forcing the Army to buy and deploy the weapon. Union […]

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The latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, Captain America: Civil War released this past weekend to critical acclaim and huge box office numbers. I saw the movie and loved it. It’s definitely worth seeing for the amazing action set pieces alone. I was surprised that I also found the film’s central disagreement (which […]

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I have been thinking on political violence today; this is the 155th anniversary of the Inaugural Address by which Lincoln tried to prevent the worst kind of political violence, civil war. I will say a few words on prudence in politics as I believe it needs to be learned again, as a concerned foreigner & […]

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“Hi, What Did You Do with the Confederacy?”


MercyStreetPosterwSawboneI live in Alexandria, VA, a close-in suburb of Washington. On a good day, I can be in DC in 10 minutes. On a great day, I wouldn’t be in DC (rimshot). I love it here, though. According to our local blog, Red Brick Town, “Alexandria, Virginia is the Most Liberal City in Virginia.” I live in a section of town called Del Ray, which is the tip of the liberal iceberg. I like to call it a hippie commune, with multiple yoga studios, holistic medicine practitioners, and coffee shops mere blocks from each other. One of the coffee shops has a Moms Demand gun control sign in their window. As a pretty hard right conservative, I don’t fit in at all, but, that is pretty much the story of my life.

Recently, I started taking water aerobics at the local YMCA. As a 44-year old man, I am 1) the youngest in the class and 2) the only guy. Not a problem as everyone is kind and welcoming, probably because I haven’t told any of them I work for NRA News. The only time I felt awkward was yesterday, when I couldn’t contribute to the classwide discussion of hot flashes. I just stared at the wall and prayed that it would end.

The water aerobics ladies also discussed “Downton Abbey,” another topic I have no clue about, but at least it’s not cringe-inducing. One of them mentioned PBS was coming out with a new series that took place here in Alexandria, called “Mercy Street.” I found that to be an interesting tidbit, then went back to trying not to drown as we did our underwater karate kicks.

Book Review: Our Man in Charleston


Our Man in CharlestonThe Confederacy was almost certainly doomed, even had it won the Civil War. Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey, explains why.

The book tells of Robert Bunch, Great Britain’s consul in Charleston, SC between 1853 and 1863. It shows Bunch to be the man most responsible for Britain’s refusal to recognize the Confederacy.

Bunch was sent to Charleston seeking the repeal or modification of South Carolina’s 1822 Negro Seaman Act, making it a crime for free black sailors to set foot in South Carolina. Any who did were arrested and fined. Unpaid fines led to imprisoned sailors being sold as slaves to pay the fine. This included black citizens of Great Britain, even if shipwreck victims.

The Urge to Purge


HoopSkirtAs I’ve said before, the primitive desire to purge our society of anything that makes us feel bad, particularly things that relate to history (no matter how far removed we are from the events in question) will continue, unabated, until people stand up and say “enough.”

Consider this opinion piece in the Washington Post, headlined “Remove the Southern belle from her inglorious perch.” The author, Elizabeth Boyd, makes the case for banning the hoop skirt. Yes, you read that correctly: The hoop skirt must be banned. But that’s not all.

Boyd, a “research associate in American Studies at the University of Maryland,” predictably trots out Dylan Roof’s murderous rampage as the rhetorical foot-in-the-door before urging the elimination of not only the Confederate flag, but a whole laundry list of cultural artifacts she connects to evil.

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I have noticed that the 4th has come & gone without precious rhetoric & pretentious promises that so much is to be gained from going back to the past. Maybe the past is unknown–maybe it is too well-known–but there is not a lot of it present. Here I see an opportunity to pester you with […]

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Take a Deep Breath About Confederate Nostalgia


shutterstock_149387531In the Washington Post, James L. Loewen makes an interesting point about Civil War monuments:

Take Kentucky, where the legislature voted not to secede. Early in the war, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston ventured through the western part of the state and found “no enthusiasm, as we imagined and hoped, but hostility.” Eventually, 90,000 Kentuckians would fight for the United States, while 35,000 fought for the Confederate States. Nevertheless, according to historian Thomas Clark, the state now has 72 Confederate monuments and only two Union ones…

Neo-Confederates also won parts of Maryland. In 1913, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) put a soldier on a pedestal at the Rockville courthouse. Maryland, which did not secede, sent 24,000 men to the Confederate armed forces, but it also sent 63,000 to the U.S. Army and Navy. Still, the UDC’s monument tells visitors to take the other side: “To our heroes of Montgomery Co. Maryland: That we through life may not forget to love the thin gray line.”

Something Comes Back Up the Memory Hole


shutterstock_191505491During a week of depressing news, undoubtedly the most absurd was the decision by Apple, Amazon, and other online retailers to pull games and merchandise that feature the Confederate Battle Flag. If ever there was a moment that appeared to herald the ascendency of the Social Justice Warriors, that appeared to be it.

As it so happens, the fait was not quite accompli. As Reason reports, many of the games and apps are back — unblemished — likely due to outrage from fans and the sheer madness of the decision.

As of this writing, however, Amazon isn’t selling — or allowing the resale of — actual Confederate Battle flags, though you can find other flags that incorporate the design. There are plenty of books available that feature the flag on their covers, for what (very little) that’s worth. And yes, you still have your choice of Che Guevara flags.

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For this week’s installment of the pink police state blues, you can read Mr. James Poulos himself, the first & possibly last poet of the pink police state. He’s saying, we’re ruthless–we sometimes care more about abstract ideas than the people in front of us. I’m writing because I’ve been talking to an American friend […]

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Are We Rethinking Our Civil War Reconciliation?


RTX1HF3B-1024x734My family was in Iowa at the outbreak of the Civil War and I have one ancestor that fought for the Union. I grew up in the South but I was always grateful that the North won the Civil War. Slavery was noxious and a great evil in the American experiment. We could have had a peaceful resolution to slavery but the South broke the rules of the game and as they started to lose politically they tried their very, very best to destroy the United States. It was a very good thing that the Confederacy lost the Civil War — and in the long term — it was very good for all the states in the Confederacy that they lost the Civil War.

Having said that, I have always thought that America’s reconciliation after the Civil War is an under-appreciated miracle. The speed at which the country could unite against a common foe during the Spanish-American War — when many Civil War veterans were still alive — is remarkable. Not only that, but the career of Varina Howell Davis is equally amazing, going from being the First Lady of the Confederacy to becoming a celebrated writer in New York City.

Many have talked about the courage of Lee in making sure the Confederate Army did not break up and start guerrilla war against the Union, and rightly so. But equally important was the fact the the South could have just sat out of the American life as well. That would have been disastrous.