Refighting the Civil War

Posted by DrZarkov99 3 months ago to Culture
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Pursuing political correctness and social program goals should not be the duty of the military, but this is what we face today. Declaring the Confederate flag a sign of "extremism" is greatly exaggerated overkill, and gives real extremism the opportunity to hide.
SOURCE URL: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/02/26/top-marine-orders-confederate-paraphernalia-be-removed-all-bases.html


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  • Posted by $ blarman 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    I think there is a lot that can be learned from history - if one is really interested in learning about the times and the culture of the times, the attitudes of the people, etc. Very few bother to do this, focusing only on history through the lens of the present. I've never lived in the South, but from my personal study of history, the symbol of the Confederacy meant several things at the time, among them States' rights, slavery, volunteerism, and patriotism: a mix of good and bad when viewed through the lens of today. It was a different world and our attempts to try to castigate individual figures from that era are bound to be flawed at best.

    As for me, I'm far more worried about the current culture war over socialism and elitism than I am re-litigating a 150-yr-old war. I hope if never becomes necessary for me to take up arms against my country or my countrymen in defense of my rights as happened then, but I also recognize that sometimes people are unwilling to let go of their prejudices to the point of trying to force them on others.
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    • Posted by $ Flootus5 2 months, 3 weeks ago
      Cudos on learning from history. One thing I like to do is acquire (if possible) old textbooks from the time and topic in history of interest. Not to ignore new research and insights, either.

      I found a fine example back in the 1990's during the height of the Sagebrush Rebellion. Recall the main argument was a State's Right's issue about ownership of the public lands within a State. The federal government owns territories. But when that territory becomes a State (under the Equal Footing Doctrine that all new States have the same rights as the original thirteen) - all lands exclusive of Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 (Enclave Clause), pass to the new State.

      The modern evolution of the topic is that the federal government owns these lands in perpetuity as they tried for the first time to proclaim in FLPMA in 1976. A bald faced land grab.

      Well, in an old book store, I found a High School Civics textbook from 1894 called "Our Government" written by a Constitutional scholar at Iowa College. In addressing the soon to happen creation of the State of Utah (1896), he said at that time the burden of the management of the public lands within Utah will pass to the new State and relieve the federal government of such burden.

      This is what was routinely being taught in High Schools of the day!
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      • Posted by ewv 2 months, 3 weeks ago
        Un-owned land in the territories were originally understood to be awaiting settlement to become privately owned, not a "states' rights" for perpetual state control instead of Federal. By the 1890s that outlook had already changed under the beginning of progressive statist ideas imported from Europe.

        The Sagebrush Rebellion, which peaked in the 1970s and early 80s, fell apart due to internal squabbling over state versus private ownership after the desired release from Federal control. The form it evolved into at the end of the 1980s, the Wise Use Movement, was a movement to protect private property and oppose preservationism on public lands against the viro activists' control within government agencies.

        That phase of the movement was in reaction to the viro-dominated land policies under Bush-1 when the viros were moving to re-establish their policies that Reagan had thwarted. They were trying to pick up where they left off under the horrible expansion and locking up of government land at the expense of private property owners and the natural resources industries under the Carter administration.
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        • Posted by $ Flootus5 2 months, 3 weeks ago
          Actually, the Sagebrush Rebellion has had a much longer history than just the 70's and 80's. I mentioned the 90's. The first ever Public Lands Convention in Denver in 1907 is an amazing read. The whole issue of the Sagebrush Rebellion is huge and complicated. And indeed also includes the mechanisms of intended privatization of lands or - of the split estate in lands. But at heart it is a matter of State's Rights as it regards unappropriated public lands within a State.

          But, the main point here was Blarman's point in learning from history. I added to that point by mentioning the reading of old textbooks from the time and in regards to that topic of interest. And not to disregard new research, data, and progress of understanding. All in context.

          Another good example I have right now is with reading Winston Churchill's History of WWII. That guy has come under so much criticism, at the time and in all the years since by left wing types, that it makes it imperative to read his words. However, it must be kept in mind as well, that at the time of writing and then publication of his 6 Volumes, the secrets of Ultra, Blechley, and Enigma were all still classified. You can see where he alludes to intelligence in passing, but cannot lay it all out there. With all that has been released and now written upon regarding British and American decoding of the enemy's communications, it is an equally huge part of the history.

          Blarman's point about the times and the culture of those times and learning about it from that perspective, not just some of the modern revisionism that can be rampant, is an excellent and important point.
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          • Posted by $ blarman 2 months, 3 weeks ago
            I read Churchill's history of WW II (all six books sit on my shelf atm) and agree it was excellent. It also exposed how much the world really depended on the British for the outcome of WW II far more than the US. I found it fascinating that the British actually sowed mines in the Rhine to try to prevent the Germans from using it for moving raw materials! I also found it fascinating that Churchill was trying to argue for establishing territorial boundaries for Eastern Europe several years before VE Day but Roosevelt balked.

            As for some good history books which cover attitudes and cultural context of the times, I've been enjoying Oxford's series on American History. I have read What Hath God Wrought and got Empire of Liberty and The Glorious Cause for Christmas. Overall I've found the series to go into far more depth about the cultures of the times because they focus on shorter chunks of time than your standard college or high school text. The level of documentation and sources is also impressive. I highly recommend them, though they are not short works.
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            • Posted by 2 months, 3 weeks ago
              Without the US as a supply bastion, both the Eastern and Western fronts would have been victories for Nazi Germany. Churchill was impatient to invade mainland Europe, as early as 1942, and he wanted hit at the "soft belly" of the Balkans. As undersupplied and ill prepared as the UK was at that time, and with the US just starting to engage in a two front war, the result would likely have been as disastrous as his Gallippoli invasion of WW I.

              Three great strokes by British forces: winning the Battle of Britain (aided by Hitler overriding Goering's mission to destroy the RAF and diverting the bomber force to use as a terror weapon against British cities); destruction of the Italian fleet (aided by a too cautious Italian admiral, who balked at Mussolini's order to leave Taranto harbor and engage the enemy); Montgomery's campaign against Rommel, which kept the oil fields out of Nazi hands (Churchill raged at Monty for waiting so long, but if he hadn't built up overwhelming force, Rommel would likely have defeated the British in North Africa). The UK did the one thing that kept Europe from remaining in Nazi hands: survive. If the UK had fallen, an American invasion would have been impossible, and Hitler could have sent enough reinforcements to keep USSR forces East of the Urals.
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              • Posted by $ blarman 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                All true. Churchill wanted to invade Southern France and Roosevelt instead chose Italy. Both had severe drawbacks but with the US supplying the majority of the landing craft either way (and not enough to try both missions) Churchill had to defer. Other supply and command problems pushed off the Normandy invasion until 1944.

                Italy was perhaps the most mind-boggling nation in WW II (besides the French). Italy had a surface fleet equal in firepower to the British and could have totally controlled the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to the Suez, cutting off British resupply to its forces in Africa and guaranteeing an Axis victory there. Instead, they sat in their harbors, refusing to come out and face the British even when they had clear numbers and guns. (Rommel would also note that despite Mussolini's claims about Algeria being rightly a part of Italy, the Italians in general were rather second-class soldiers, lacking morale.) This greatly frustrated Hitler as he was depending on Italy to provide re-supply for Rommel's Afrika Corps so Germany could concentrate on England and Russia. This would also have pushed India - a critical British re-supply point for its efforts in Burma as well as a secondary (southern) supply line for Russia. Instead, most of Italy's surface fleet was claimed by the Russians - which Roosevelt backed to the dismay of Churchill.
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                • Posted by 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                  I used to play some serious war games with miniatures, and pulled off an Italian escape from Taranto by sending torpedo boats and frigates West as a diversion, and sailing the big warships between the toe of mainland Italy and Sicily. I had sent submarines to the mouth of the Suez canal, where we torpedoed the HMS King George V, blocking the canal. The fleet successfully resupplied Rommel in that scenario, so it would seem it would have been possible for that to happen. The one uncertainty was the Vichy French fleet, part of which was stationed in Lebanon's harbors, with British cruisers prowling offshore to keep it out of the game. In the scenario I played, that was critical, leaving the British fleet without enough firepower to stand up to the Italian battleships and heavy cruisers. As you might guess, I love alternate history stories.
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                  • Posted by $ blarman 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Sounds like an awesome game. If I may ask, which one?

                    Yep, the Vichy fleet was a huge risk to the British. Though Churchill disliked De Gaulle personally, it was largely because of De Gaulle's popularity with the French Military that the French navy was scuttled rather than turned over to the Germans. Hitler was salivating at the possibility of getting those ships to directly challenge the British Navy long enough for him to finish a few more of the big battleships (Tirpitz, etc.) and go after the allied shipping which was keeping Britain - and Russia - in the war.

                    Like you, I enjoy the alternate history scenarios. They do expose just how close the world came to being ruled by dictators - and just how poorly dictators actually rule! ;)
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                    • Posted by 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                      I honestly don't remember the name of the game, but it was pretty sophisticated. the game master had the scenario set up in his basement, complete with movable screens so we couldn't see the other players' miniatures fleet until they were in radar or visible range, and the damage calculator reminded me of a rotating Pickett slide rule.

                      I played the Stalingrad board game many times, and as the German army I could never defeat the Soviets. The closest I came was when I had captured Stalingrad and Moscow, and had Leningrad (now St Petersburg) surrounded. Unfortunately, at that point we had an early thaw, and I lost thirty divisions of panzers, sunk in Lake Ladoga.

                      I've never played any war games about the civil war, but I've studied Gettysburg a lot. The key to the Confederate loss was a flaw in the Confederate artillery fuses. They burned slower than expected, and instead of decimating the Union lines before Picket made his famous charge, they flew beyond the front lines and destroyed the Union baggage trains. That left the short range artillery and riflemen intact to annihilate Pickett's force. The flaw had been discovered, but by the time the message went from Richmond, Virginia to Gettysburg, it was too late. So much of history falls on circumstance and the unexpected.
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                        Artillery was "Stonewall" Jackson's specialty as an instructor as West Point. His loss was a keen blow to the fortunes of the South. One wonders what would have happened in several key battles had he lived. The North - on the other hand - was plagued with ineffective leadership until Grant. General after General commanding Union forces were political appointments rather than military ones and it showed in such battles as Fredericksburg and Shiloh. Gettysburg could have been the same but for a holding action on the part of a union Cavalry unit which held the heights until they could be reinforced by infantry.

                        I wish they'd do more old movies like "Gods and Generals" to highlight each one of the battles of the Civil War and tell those stories. I liked "Glory" as well (Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick) but I really appreciated the accuracy of "Gods and Generals."
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                        • Posted by 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                          Lots of potentially riveting stories of not so well known civil war engagements. Oklahoma was the site of the only big battle with Native Americans fighting on both sides, and the New Mexico combat prevented Texas Confederates linking with Western sympathizers.

                          Two of my ancestors were Confederate artillerists, with both taken prisoner, and one dying in Union prison camp. My other ancestor rode with J.E.B. Stuart. Their home was the Kelly cabin, now reconstructed on the Appomattox surrender grounds. The family owned the "surrender triangle" where the Confederate forces stacked their arms.
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                          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                            What happened to the family property? It sounds like something the National Park Service would take.
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                            • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
                              After the war, the family gave the property to a black family and moved to Lynchburg. The Park Service definitely took the property at some point, but I don't know when, and pictures appear to show it as abandoned before then.
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                          • Posted by $ blarman 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                            Missouri was also an unknown battleground state to many.

                            That's pretty fascinating about your family history. That's got to make things a lot more personal. My family on both sides moved out West prior to the Civil War so their stories are primarily about starving due to lack of water, freezing to death in rickety cabins, or baseball. ;)

                            I'd be interested in hearing more about the Oklahoma and New Mexico battles. I don't think I'm familiar with either. Do you have any links?
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 3 weeks ago
            The "Sagebrush Rebellion" was the name of the movement in the 1970s and 80s. There have been other protests over Federal management of land in the west and they won't stop short of total submission. The latest and much narrower protest was the Bundy standoff that most people there did not support because of their tactics. Here is an interesting modern timeline: https://www.hcn.org/articles/a-histor...

            The "Wise Use" movement beginning in 1988 was a much broader revolt, encompassing private property rights across the country, triggered by the big NPCA/NPS plan to massively expand the National Park System by taking over a 100 million more acres. Related plans for new National Forest "greenlining" controlling and acquiring private property made it much larger.

            Blarman's "a lot can be learned from history" is a platitude. Of course knowledge of history is important. So are philosophical principles, without which there are no standards by which to judge the history or the current and threatened policies. Most people today have no idea what has been going on with government takeovers of land and locking it up. The Bundy standoff did not help that, serving more to distract attention to their tactics.

            The fundamental issue is private property rights, not fighting over what branch of government at what level should control the land. Federal control by the viros must be beaten back to whatever extent is possible, but framing the whole controversy as "state's rights" shifts it to an internal battle among statists, and in the west now that is mostly all that it's about.

            Today most people have no idea how the Federal government came to "own" almost 30% of the land in the country or how, when, or why the land agencies were instituted as a means to prevent settlement and grab more land from private owners, and what these agencies have done to people for the last over 100 years. The (unconstitutional) agencies and their power are treated as facts of nature with romanticized acceptance and emotional myth. Most people know nothing about Trump's endorsement of the latest Congressional plan to establish a perpetual off-budget entitlement to take more private property.
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            • Posted by $ Flootus5 2 months, 3 weeks ago
              Agreed on many essential points. But States Rights is still an essential component of the entire issue. Because, the vertical component of the separation of powers is expressed especially in the Tenth Amendment, and the few enumerated powers to the federal government in the federal Constitution. But notice that the States also have a Constitution. This is important when especially in the dry western States not all lands can be wholly privatized, and perhaps not even with the split estate "bundle of sticks" aptly referred to by Wayne Hage in Storm Over Rangelands.

              The HCN Timeline is interesting in its obvious bias against the "militia insurgents" as they call it and how much is left out of the presentation. The High Country News is known for their political proclivities. They have a ton of homework to do. I would have preferred the folks at Range Magazine be tasked with the effort, if it need be done by a magazine publication with a website. HCN have left out so much of the essentials - especially the legal arguments that have been presented in so many of the court cases over the years. By some eminently qualified Constitutional Attorneys, County Attorney Generals, and Scholars.

              Private Property Rights are also an essential component of the issue. Correct. Recall that deeds, quitclaims, liens, encumbrances, etc, etc, are recorded at County Courthouses - Counties being municipal subdivisions of each State. Protecting citizens rights, including private property rights, is one of the central purposes of government as defined in the US and State Constitutions. Recording of the property rights is a local function, i.e., the sovereign States. This has always been a mechanism of protection for the individual. To fall for the sophistry that the original meaning of the States - as in the United States - is synonymous with "statism" is a trap without an exit. A trap designed by the very mindsets that seek to undermine the United States.

              I will not belittle Blarman's point on learning from history. After all, he elaborated quite a bit further than it just being a platitude. And neither would I ever want to belittle the point made about the importance of philosophical principles in this matter. An equally important dimension to this discussion. An excellent contribution.
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              • Posted by ewv 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                The original role of the states was not statism. It is being recast to that under the anti-concept "state's rights". Only individuals have rights, not to be confused with the realm of government authority that was left to state jurisdiction.

                When the slogan "state's rights" is invoked as the objection to violation of the rights of individuals, with states doing the same thing still accepted, that is state statism. It was just as bad in the South where "state's rights" was invoked to keep slavery.

                The unsettled lands in the Territories were understood to be open to, and were expected to become, settlement with claims to private property. The relinquishing of Federal lands under new statehood, was meant to be and should have been state jurisdiction over the process of settlement and land claims, not permanent state land socialism.

                But that switch was already well underway by the last part of the 19th century. In the early days of that it was for control of natural resources, then it shifted to preservationism.
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                • Posted by $ Flootus5 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Methinks you are parsing out the usage of the term rights a bit far. Different entities have different rights. Note the language in the following reference:

                  https://law.justia.com/constitution/u...

                  "In adjudicating the rights and duties of states admitted after 1789....."

                  The rights of a state is in context to federalism, a political construct, individual rights are inherent in the individuals' existence and coming from a higher source than government.

                  I have the Day by Day Desk calendar from the Atlas Society. On a day in late January the quote was:

                  "The Government Was Set to Protect Man From Criminals And The Constitution Was Written To Protect Man From Government" Ayn Rand

                  Haha! That is great!
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                  • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
                    The concept 'rights' is entirely different than state jurisdiction that was supposed to have been protected from unlimited Federal power.That is a fundamental distinction.

                    'Rights' is a moral concept pertaining to freedom of action in a social context, as determined by the nature of man and protected by limited government at all levels. No state government or any other level of government has any moral freedom of action to do whatever it wants, which is statism.

                    "State's rights" invoked as a "right" to maintain slavery, free from Federal limits protecting the rights of individuals -- the slaves -- was state statism. So are the appeals to "state's rights" by modern conservatives who openly sanction the power of states to violate our rights, only objecting to Federal power.

                    They have done that many times even on this forum. They don't want to "protect man from state government", citing the Constitution, of all things, as their justification.
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    • Posted by teri-amborn 2 months, 3 weeks ago
      I agree.
      Historical "package dealing" is rampant in this country.

      I have been observing for quite some time the phenomenon of people overwriting historical facts with modern opinion of those given referents.

      150-years-ago people didn't even think the things that we think. If you could converse with someone from the past it's likely that you wouldn't be able to understand each other.

      It's completely ludicrous to wipe out historical artifacts because somebody "hates what it represents".
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  • Posted by mccannon01 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    American Civil War or War Between The States is continuously being argued, but an important contemporary point is being missed. I'll illustrate that in the following:

    I participated in Civil War re-enacting for over 22 years. It cost me a lot of time and treasure, but it was a living history hobby that was well worth it. I participated mainly as Confederate over those years (I am in a Confederate artillery colonel's uniform for my Gulch image), but have also portrayed Federal artillery at a number of events. Part of this hobby is to know your subject so research of both sides is important, but I'm not going to address that here.

    Unbeknownst to most Americans is the fact that American Civil War re-enacting is a world wide hobby and I've had the pleasure to meet re-enactors from England, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Austria, Poland, and Australia. They not only participate in the hobby in their home countries, but have come to the US to engage in some of the largest events, such as a 5 or 10 year anniversary (140th, 145th, 150th, etc.) of Gettysburg.

    In 2002 I asked a re-enactor from England why they were so deeply invested in American Civil War portrayal when England had such a rich history of civil wars on its own soil? The answer I got was the flags, uniforms, and paraphernalia of the losers is usually outlawed and can't be displayed when making historic encampments and battle scenarios. I assured him due to the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, that would never happen here.

    I was wrong. It's happening every day. This is just another example of the left hijacking the narrative and destroying our rights. It has nothing to do with arguing the American Civil War or The War Between The States. It is about control over you and me right now.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    Purveyors of political correctness are doing it's damnedest to rewrite history. They are no better than the communist of the former Soviet Union. I blame our current educational system and the Marxist prof's in the colleges and the universities for warping young peoples minds. They don't teach history like they did back when I was in school including the college I went to.
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  • Posted by rhfinle 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    The Left has learned how to wage a war of rhetoric. If you can attach a name to a thing you can manipulate it. Think of the catchwords which have become so prevalent: Racism, Terror (as in War On...), Holocaust. When you put a specific name on a general concept, that becomes a handle which you can use as a weapon. No White person wants to be called a Racist these days. In the Seventies Recycling was the greatest thing, but Reprocessing was somehow b-a-a-a-d. So the anti-nuclear contingent carefully labeled nuclear fuel recycling as reprocessing, and thus had a label to use against it. The end result was Jimmy Carter got enough public support to shut down the new Allied General reprocessing plant, and permanently destroy the ability of the US commercial nuclear industry to re-use fuel. This is just a case of the same thing. Label someone as an Extremist and you turn everyone's opinion against that person. I saw this attempted in DC a couple of years ago when the news ominously reported that the cops had stopped someone driving around, wearing camo, and who had stored (possibly dangerous, subversive!) Survivalist Paraphernalia in the car. He had done nothing wrong; they just tried to make him look bad.
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  • Posted by term2 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    I think that in this age of manipulation, one has to make ones own decision as to what happened with whatever date he or she has available- and run with that.
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  • Posted by term2 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    I think the whole civil war was really an attempt by the NOrth to PREVENT the south from not bending under the taxation and controls of the north.

    We are headed for another civil war actually. The country is divided and its going only to get worse as long as the collectivists stay on their path.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 3 months ago
    Since the history of the war has been a fraud since 1861 I'm surprised that the feds have waited so long to remove anything that exposes the cover-up.
    The Republican form of government in America died in 1861.
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    • Posted by 3 months ago
      The problem with history is that the winners get to write it. My brother used to have a web site that uncovered all of the deceit in the writings about the Civil War, complete with lots of documentation. While it was popular, even with knowledgeable historians, there were enough complaints about how "racist" the site was that it was taken down and replaced by an alternate that spouted the "accepted" version of history. What was interesting about the successor site was that it had no references, and when some complained about that, they got a "because everyone knows" type of response.
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