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The Founding Fathers of Insider Trading (The GOP, Lincoln & Co.)
LewRockwell.com ^ | 30.08.03 | Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Posted on 08/30/2003 7:10:08 AM PDT by u-89

The Founding Fathers of Insider Trading

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

To this day, the U.S. government has not provided a clear legal definition of insider trading. This allows the feds to engage in periodic witch hunts against unpopular business people such as Martha Stewart, the purpose of which is to divert the public’s attention away from the government’s own failed policies and blame it all on "capitalism."

But there is a particular type of insider trading – political insider trading – that has been clearly understood for generations. Because this kind of insider trading involves politicians themselves, however, there are no laws against it. A good example of political insider trading appeared recently on an episode of "The Sopranos," the HBO television series about a New Jersey Mafia family. The "don," Tony Soprano, is friends with a sleazy and corrupt state legislator, who gives Tony an inside tip that the legislature is about to give the go ahead to commercial development along the riverfront. Tony quickly purchases some land in the area, and his insider information allows him to buy low and sell high, after the development is announced, and make a killing. The state legislator does the same.

The great historian of the American west, Dee Brown, describes the historical origins of political insider trading in her book, Hear that Lonesome Whistle Blow: The Epic Story of the Transcontinental Railroads, which was recently brought to my attention by John Denson. The book tells the story of a group of men who might be called the founding fathers of political insider trading, the most prominent of which was Abraham Lincoln. The rest were some of the founding fathers of the Lincoln’s Republican Party; many of them served as generals in the union army.

In the mid to late 1850s Lincoln was a prominent railroad lawyer. His clients included the Illinois Central, which at the time was the largest corporation in the world. In 1857 he represented the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, which was owned by four men who would later become infamous as "robber barons" for receiving – and squandering – millions of dollars in federal subsidies for their transcontinental railroad. Granting these men their subsidies would become one of the first orders of business in the Lincoln administration.

These men – Thomas Clark Durant, Peter Dey, Grenville Dodge, and Benedict Reed – were easterners from New England and New York State who had "a store of hard experience at canal and railroad building and financing," writes Dee Brown. And they must also have been quite expert at stealing taxpayers’ money for useless government-funded boondoggles. Prior to the War between the States, government subsidies for railroad and canal building were a financial disaster. So disastrous were these government pork barrel projects that by 1860, according to economic historian Carter Goodrich, Massachusetts was the only state in the union to have not amended its constitution to prohibit taxpayer subsidies to private corporations (Carter Goodrich, Government Promotion of American Canals and Railroads, 1800–1890, p. 231).

In a dispute with a steamship company the above-mentioned men "sought out a first-rate lawyer, one who had a reputation for winning most of his cases," writes Dee Brown. "They found him in Springfield, Illinois and his name was Abraham Lincoln." The jurors in the case failed to reach a decision, but Lincoln’s performance "won him a considerable amount of attention in the Chicago press and among men of power, who two years later would push him into the race for President of the United States." One of those "men of power" was Chicago newspaper editor Joseph Medill, whose newspaper trumpeted the Lincoln candidacy on behalf of the railroad interests of Illinois.

This powerful clique of New England/New York/Chicago business interests "aroused the suspicions of the South," says Brown, since they were so vigorously lobbying Congress to allocate huge sums of money for a transcontinental railroad across the Northern states. Southern politicians wanted the route to pass through their states, naturally, but they knew they were outgunned politically by the political clique from "the Yankee belt" (New England, Pennsylvania, Ohio, the upper Midwest).

These Northern political insiders, who would form the core of leadership of the Republican Party and later, in some cases, of Lincoln’s army, positioned themselves to earn great riches from the proposed railroad subsidies. John C. Fremont, who would be a general in Lincoln’s army, was a wealthy California engineer who conducted an extensive engineering survey "to make certain that the most favorable route would end up not in San Diego but in northern California, where Fremont himself claimed sizable land holdings." Another wealthy Yankee, Pierre Chouteau, "put his money into a St. Louis factory to make iron rails and went to Washington to lobby for the 38th parallel route."

Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas "owned enough strategically located land in Chicago to be a millionaire if his favored route westward through Council Bluffs and Omaha was chosen . . ."

And "Abraham Lincoln, the future President evidently agreed with his debating partner that the route through Council Bluffs-Omaha and the South Pass was the most practical. Lincoln acquired land interests at Council Bluffs" (emphasis added). A short time later, after the Chicago/New England/New York "men of power" propelled him into the White House, Lincoln began signing legislation giving these men millions of acres of public lands and other subsidies for their railroads.

Virtually all of the "leading lights" of the Republican Party got in on the political insider trading game by demanding bribes for their votes in favor of the subsidies. Pennsylvania congressman Thaddeus Stevens "received a block of . . . stock in exchange for his vote," but he also demanded "insertion of a clause [in the subsidy legislation] requiring that all iron used in the construction and equipment of said road to be American manufacture." In addition to being a congressman, Stevens was a Pennsylvania iron manufacturer. At the time, British iron was far cheaper than Pennsylvania iron, so that Stevens’s "restrictive clause" placed a bigger burden on the taxpayers of the North who, at the time, were already being taxed to death to finance the war.

Congressman Oakes Ames, "who with his brother Oliver manufactured shovels in Massachusetts, became a loyal ally [of the subsidy-seeking railroad companies] and helped to pressure the 1864 Pacific Railway Act through the war-corrupted Congress." (It took a lot of shovels to dig railroad beds from Iowa to California).

During the post-war Grant administration the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, Schuyler Colfax (later Grant’s vice president) visited the western railroad routes to attend a ceremony in his honor but, writes Dee Brown, "he preferred cash above honors, and back in Washington he eagerly accepted a bundle of Credit Mobilier stock from his follow congressman Oakes Ames, and thus became a loyal friend of the Union Pacific."

Another of Lincoln’s generals, General John Dix, was the Washington lobbyist for the railroads who "spent most of his time strutting about Washington in a general’s uniform." (Dix was the same general who Lincoln ordered in 1862 to shut down all the opposition newspapers in New York City and arrest and imprison the editors and owners).

General William Tecumseh Sherman was also sold land at below-market prices and, after the war, he would be in charge of a twenty-five year campaign of ethnic genocide against the Plains Indians, which was yet another form of veiled subsidy to the railroad corporations. After the war Grenville Dodge, who was also a Union Army general despite his lack of military training, proposed making slaves of the captured Indians and forcing them "to do the grading, with the Army furnishing a guard to make the Indians work, and keep them from running away."

These men – the founding fathers of insider trading – were responsible for the massive corruption of the grant administrations which was only the beginning of what historians call "the era of good stealings."

August 30, 2003

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is the author of the LRC #1 bestseller, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War (Forum/Random House, 2002) and professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland.

Copyright © 2003 LewRockwell.com

Thomas DiLorenzo Archives at LRC

Thomas DiLorenzo Archives at Mises.org

Really Learn About the Real Lincoln

Now there is a study guide and video to accompany Professor DiLorenzo's great work, for homeschoolers and indeed anyone interested in real American history.
http://www.fvp.info/reallincolnlr/



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: civilwar; corporatewelfare; corruption; crockwellsucks; gop; gopcapitalistsucks; gotcrap; graft; graydiaperbabies; graylosers; ihatelincoln; insidertrading; insidetommysdelusion; iwantmycbf; lincoln; lincolnhatersunite; loserslament; lostcauselosers; railroads; republican; robberbarons; southernwhine; subsidy; tommydelusional; waah; whigs
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1 posted on 08/30/2003 7:10:10 AM PDT by u-89
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To: u-89
Lew Rockwell's just mad that every time he calls for one of his slaves to bring him a julep, nobody comes. Hell, that's enough to drive a man to naked treason, it is.
2 posted on 08/30/2003 7:15:34 AM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Should I take your comments as an endorsement of political corruption, graft, bribery, kickbacks and fleecing taxpayers?

To recycle your words "Hell, that's enough to drive a man to naked treason, it is."

3 posted on 08/30/2003 7:40:03 AM PDT by u-89
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To: u-89
Give em a break. They learned all they need to know about the issue in seventh grade.
4 posted on 08/30/2003 7:51:31 AM PDT by steve50 (Lessor of three evils from now on)
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To: u-89
You can take my words as calling Lew Rockwell a racist traitor. Not that my labeling him as such makes him one, his own words do that well enough on his own.
5 posted on 08/30/2003 7:55:55 AM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: steve50
Which is better than learning all one needs to know on the subject from one's klansman's grandfather when three years old.
6 posted on 08/30/2003 7:58:14 AM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
You can take my words as calling Lew Rockwell a racist traitor.

Give credit where credit is due. Thomas J. DiLorenzo wrote the article. He is trying to make a career out of attacking Lincoln. Beats attacking someone who can fight back, I suppose. I think this Lorenzo guy is hilarious. His single-minded Lincoln obsession is absolutely hysterically funny. There is no need to refute it. Anyone who can be duped by DiLOrenzo is just a dupe anyway. Who cares?

7 posted on 08/30/2003 8:09:03 AM PDT by Huck
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Not really. The trick is life is an ongoing learning process. It's much easier to just pick a set of facts you like and close your mind.
8 posted on 08/30/2003 8:13:21 AM PDT by steve50 (Lessor of three evils from now on)
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To: u-89
Would you agree that the greater industrial base and population density of the north made a northern route more reasonable for the trans-continental railroad?
9 posted on 08/30/2003 8:15:10 AM PDT by sharktrager (There are 2 kids of people in this world: people with loaded guns and people who dig.)
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To: u-89
I know this still goes on in my area - Dallas/Ft. Worth. When the new DFW International Airport was built years ago, all the rich and well connected people owned all the cheap farm land on which it was sited. Ross Perot Jr. bought lots of cheap farm land north of Ft. Worth and then the fed, local, and state governments helped him build a large private airport, Alliance Airport, basically paying for it. The City of Ft. Worth than had the audacity to want to manage it and all hell broke loose. When the smoke cleared, Perot ran the airport and the Ft. Worth upstart politicians were licking their wounds.
10 posted on 08/30/2003 8:15:16 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all things that need to be done need to be done by the government.)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Could you please link to some Lew quotes to prove your case? I've never seen anything racist on his site.

So in your opinion fidelity to maximum personal liberty, limited government and governing by strict adherence to the constitution i.e. the principles on which this country was founded equals treason? Well I admit it does go against the modern state of affairs - but then if you are all for a strong, centralized, intrusive, meddling, high taxing, socialist government and nanny state why are you on FR? This site's purpose was to roll back years of government growth.

11 posted on 08/30/2003 8:30:06 AM PDT by u-89
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To: sharktrager
The question is not which route was better but what was the federal government doing subsidizing it?

The left loves to rail against capitalism and the robber barons but what one doesn't hear about is that government corruption made it all possible. Politicians, judges and law enforcement officials were bought and paid for and aided and abetted in the troubles of the period like governors sending in the national guard to fight strikers for example. The left wants more government so they will not criticize it and the wealthy and politically connected use it to their own profit. So both sides (if there really is two sides) love big government.

The problem is when one realizes that the government has been the tool of the wealthy and powerful for their own benefit then one starts questioning all the maneuverings of the State and then the facade of purity and nobility begins to crumble. That is why articles like this are valuable and that is why this information is not main stream. It is a shame that sentimentalism and willful blindness prevents a lot of people from truly critiquing their government's policies. If they had or would we could prevent a lot of the messes we are in.

12 posted on 08/30/2003 8:52:12 AM PDT by u-89
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To: u-89
describes the historical origins of political insider trading in her book,

This is ridiculous. Does the author really believe that the concept of individuals benefitting from political contacts was invented by the Lincoln administration? Corruption of this sort has existed as long as governments have existed. Before this author writes silly things like the above statement, he might want to actually do research on such topics by reading historical works by Suetonius or Tacitus or even more recent history from countries other than the United States.

13 posted on 08/30/2003 8:54:26 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
Wasn't there a land grab by the government of Texas - eminent domain - to build a baseball stadium? And while they were at it they claimed land across the highway which was later commercially developed in a way that had nothing to do with the ball field but very porfitable to the political cronnies. I remember reading something about that before the 2000 election. And why do governments (taxpayers) have to build ball fields for private corporations anyway?
14 posted on 08/30/2003 8:57:48 AM PDT by u-89
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To: vbmoneyspender
I believe scope of the topic is US corporate welfare and cronyism - not the history of the world.
15 posted on 08/30/2003 9:00:18 AM PDT by u-89
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To: billbears
This powerful clique of New England/New York/Chicago business interests "aroused the suspicions of the South," says Brown, since they were so vigorously lobbying Congress to allocate huge sums of money for a transcontinental railroad across the Northern states. Southern politicians wanted the route to pass through their states, naturally, but they knew they were outgunned politically by the political clique from "the Yankee belt"

history ping

16 posted on 08/30/2003 9:04:52 AM PDT by Fraulein (TCB)
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To: u-89
Could you please link to some Lew quotes to prove your case? I've never seen anything racist on his site.

"[Clarence] Thomas calls the segregation of the Old South, where he grew up, 'totalitarian.' But that's liberal nonsense. Whatever its faults, and it certainly had them, that system was far more localized, decent, and humane than the really totalitarian social engineering now wrecking the country."
— LLEWELLYN H. ROCKWELL


17 posted on 08/30/2003 9:14:11 AM PDT by rdb3 (They've read all the books but they can't find the answers...)
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To: rdb3
bump. BTW, if you get the Rockwell people discussing the Civil War, they'll tell you that the slaves would have been better off if the Civil War had never occurred.
18 posted on 08/30/2003 9:30:16 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: u-89
Wasn't there a land grab by the government of Texas - eminent domain - to build a baseball stadium?

No, I don't think so. You must be thinking of the left's attempt to smear Bush by claiming, as Managing Partner of the Rangers, he had the city of Arlington build him a baseball stadium. Not so. The Rangers were already in Arlington and the city wanted to keep them there so they took the initiative in buiding the new stadium. Incidentally, it was ex-Mayor of Arlington, now judge, Tom Vadergriff, who almost single handedly brought major league baseball to North Texas. Staying in Arlington was fitting.

The most recent deal was Maverick and Stars owners getting the city of Dallas to sell bonds to build a new basketball/hockey arena when they already had a relatively new and perfectly good arena. Ironically, Ross Perot, Jr. was owner of the Mavericks at the time so, once again, he was feeding at the public trough. (Those who believed Ross Perot wanted clean government and therefore voted for him back in 2000 were played for fools. He was just gunning for G.H.W. Bush for some imagined sleight in the past. He succeeded in giving us Clinton.)

However, nearly all sports team owners try to get the taxpayers to foot the bill for their playpens. The Cowboys are presently shopping for a new place. What is wrong with Texas Stadium? Nothing.

And, yes, it is always the rich insiders who get things cheaper and at someone else's expense. As unfair as it seems, I don't know how it can be prevented. The only way to stop the pain is to become a rich insider, so work hard.

19 posted on 08/30/2003 9:30:31 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all things that need to be done need to be done by the government.)
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To: vbmoneyspender
BTW, if you get the Rockwell people discussing the Civil War, they'll tell you that the slaves would have been better off if the Civil War had never occurred.

I'm well aware of that. It's an indefensible, idiotic thing to say as well.

And, BTW, what else do they talk about but the civil war?


20 posted on 08/30/2003 9:35:14 AM PDT by rdb3 (They've read all the books but they can't find the answers...)
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To: rdb3
Not sure what you're saying other than Rockwell doesn't believe the stance of Justice Thomas. I agree some of the laws here in the South were quite ridiculous and I wouldn't have supported even one of them. However the issue behind that is, do the separate and sovereign states have the right to order their own affairs as they see fit within their borders? Within a true federal republic, the answer would be yes. But by the 1940s, this was no longer a true federal republic. The idea of the states being subservient to the national government from the get go is frankly repulsive. But the myriad of other laws not dealing with race that have been enforced upon the citizens of the respective states by a national government is not right either. Forcable integration by the government was the first step and it could be said, integration notwithstanding, that since the 1940s, the national government has taken its place in the plans of the more ardent Federalists that were dismissed out of hand at the original Constitutional Convention

Segregation was wrong and it could be easily be argued that it was a just cause for the national government to cause those laws to be done away with. But because of this interference, the national government has gone about the business of interfering within the states thinking it somehow has a right to do so on everything from the Ten Commandments to seat belts. My question to you would be is that right also?

21 posted on 08/30/2003 9:35:51 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: u-89; stainlessbanner; 4ConservativeJustices; sheltonmac; GOPcapitalist; aomagrat; stand watie
In the mid to late 1850s Lincoln was a prominent railroad lawyer. His clients included the Illinois Central, which at the time was the largest corporation in the world. In 1857 he represented the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, which was owned by four men who would later become infamous as "robber barons" for receiving – and squandering – millions of dollars in federal subsidies for their transcontinental railroad. Granting these men their subsidies would become one of the first orders of business in the Lincoln administration.

DiLorenzo bump

22 posted on 08/30/2003 9:42:25 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: billbears
This emailed posted on the LRC Blog was the inspiration for this article:

John V. Denson writes to Thomas DiLorenzo:

"Enjoyed listening to the tape of your Lincoln program in Richmond, Virginia, and also purchased the work book which I look forward to reading along with watching the video.

"In preparation for a train vacation, I purchased a book entitled Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow. I did not expect to find any particular information about Lincoln but there is a nugget that I think will serve as another arrow in your quiver to help deflate the false mythology surrounding Lincoln.

"At the time the first railroad bridge was proposed to cross the Mississippi River the steamboat business objected that it was were interfering with a navigable river. The bridge was built and a steamboat crashed into it and this resulted in the famous Rock Island Bridge case. The railroad hired Abraham Lincoln to represent them in a Chicago trial in 1857. Lincoln's close connection to the railroad allowed him to get inside information on where the railroad might go and so Lincoln purchased land at Council Bluffs. When Lincoln became president he was able to make sure that the railroad would go near his land, causing him to reap immense profits.

"The whole railroad story is one of corruption, death, and destruction. There is much here about how the Union army was used through General Sherman and General Sheridan to exterminate the Indians and to trick them out of their land. The whole railroad picture was governed by a partnership between big business (the railroads) and government in the name of internal improvements. The two main obstructions to the great fortunes that were to be made in the railroads were the political power of the South to fight this phase of mercantilism, and the Indians and their possession of the land where they wanted the railroads to go. The Union army wiped out both obstacles and huge profits were made by those politically connected to Lincoln and his administration, which of course included Lincoln himself."

23 posted on 08/30/2003 10:58:59 AM PDT by u-89
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
I didn't know the story I heard was a leftist political attack. In fact I didn't know much about it and that's why I phrased my comments as a question.

As far as public financed ball stadiums goes they do that here in New Jersey too. Can't say I care for the idea.

24 posted on 08/30/2003 11:03:28 AM PDT by u-89
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To: rdb3
The quote you post is saying that Lew thinks totalitarianism is defined by federal government interferences and not by local laws which he implicitly says he finds fault with meaning he does not agree with them. The remarks say that in his opinion the Jim Crow laws were begein compared to the intrusive laws of today that negate property rights and freedom of association.

So one could argue over the definition of totalitarianism but one can not honestly say that Lew Rockwell supports descrimination or Jim Crow laws. There is no room for that interpretation of his statement. Therefore it is not a racist remark.

I do not know the context from which this quote was lifted from but it does not seem like the most diplomatic way of stating his position. For the record I have a broader definition of totalitarianism than LR seems to have as I see Thomas'claim against the State and Rockwell's both as valid examples.

25 posted on 08/30/2003 11:30:14 AM PDT by u-89
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To: u-89
Lew Rockwell has become Noam Chomsky "lite". So have the Losertarians.

This foray into history is a slick way of getting people to distrust the Feds (nothing wrong with that per se), without having those same people put the blame for where the system is today where it belongs: ON THEMSELVES.

26 posted on 08/30/2003 12:09:49 PM PDT by 11B3 (Looking for a belt-fed, multi-barreled 12 guage. It's Liberal season, no daily limit.)
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To: u-89
Funny. I thought this was a thread about Lincoln by a widely published Lincoln critic. Yet if one were to go by the comments of its detracters alone they'd think it was a thread about Lew Rockwell. Go figure.
27 posted on 08/30/2003 3:21:17 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
You can take my words as calling Lew Rockwell a racist traitor

Call him whatever you desire but would you do one thing for me first? Namely, please tell me what relevance your anti-Rockwell rant has to the contents of this article or its author.

28 posted on 08/30/2003 3:25:15 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: Huck
Give credit where credit is due. Thomas J. DiLorenzo wrote the article. He is trying to make a career out of attacking Lincoln. Beats attacking someone who can fight back, I suppose. I think this Lorenzo guy is hilarious. His single-minded Lincoln obsession is absolutely hysterically funny. There is no need to refute it. Anyone who can be duped by DiLOrenzo is just a dupe anyway. Who cares?

Curious. Instead of adding to the string of anti-Rockwell ad hominems you at least took the time to notice that it was written by Tom DiLorenzo...before launching into a string of anti-Dilorenzo ad hominems. It puts you ahead of your colleagues by a few feet though you are still behind any substantive discussion by several miles.

29 posted on 08/30/2003 3:28:59 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: u-89
This powerful clique of New England/New York/Chicago business interests "aroused the suspicions of the South," says Brown, since they were so vigorously lobbying Congress to allocate huge sums of money for a transcontinental railroad across the Northern states. Southern politicians wanted the route to pass through their states, naturally, but they knew they were outgunned politically by the political clique from "the Yankee belt" (New England, Pennsylvania, Ohio, the upper Midwest).

Why put the railroad in the South when it was the North that was more industrialized?

30 posted on 08/30/2003 3:41:29 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: 11B3
> This foray into history is a slick way of getting people to distrust the Feds (nothing wrong with that per se), without having those same people put the blame for where the system is today where it belongs: ON THEMSELVES.

Do you mean on the people in general or just libertarians specifically? If the latter I would take serious issue with that but if the former I would agree that the people have not carefully guarded their heritage bequeathed to them by their forefathers. That's why the term "the greatest generation" meaning those who lived through the depression and W.W.II is nothing more than leftist propaganda. It gets the people to congratulate themselves on supporting FDR's socialist/globalist revolution.

> Lew Rockwell has become Noam Chomsky "lite". So have the Losertarians.

What do you mean by that? On one hand you say those who question the government are leftists subversives then you follow up saying there's nothing wrong in questioning the government. The founders warned us not to trust the government and to be ever vigilant against it. Libertarians do just that. Leftists only question government actions when they perceive corporate influence but do not question government itself because they support big government, just not business. Libertarianism and socialism are polar opposites. The comparison is nonsensical.

31 posted on 08/30/2003 3:51:09 PM PDT by u-89
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To: #3Fan
Why have taxpayers fund private enterprise???

That is the big question and the issue here along with politicians and other government employees getting profitable insider knowledge in return for funding private enterprise with public moneys and sculpting policy to favor the connected (and generous). Not who makes a better case for deserving the spoils of government largess.

32 posted on 08/30/2003 3:59:55 PM PDT by u-89
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To: Huck
DiLorenzo is a nut, but as long as he is able to spread his racist and treasonous BS with a trowel on Rockwell's site, Rockwell gets full credit for it. This guy should be confined to the darker corners of Free Republic, not given a credible forum. Not that Rockwell is a credible forum, but hey.
33 posted on 08/30/2003 4:05:44 PM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: GOPcapitalist
Rockwell allows this $#!+ to be published on his web site, by doing so he endorses it.
34 posted on 08/30/2003 4:08:00 PM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: u-89
Why have taxpayers fund private enterprise???

I'd rather see private companies do the job but if the government felt there was a security advantage and an economic advantage for the country to quickly get the railroads across the country maybe they had a point.

That is the big question and the issue here along with politicians and other government employees getting profitable insider knowledge in return for funding private enterprise with public moneys and sculpting policy to favor the connected (and generous). Not who makes a better case for deserving the spoils of government largess.

Hard to say. It's natural that those that were already in the business would know the best way to do it and would've positioned themselves to do this great undertaking. It's also natural that there would've been people who fought to get this great undertaking on their land. After all, states still vie for these kinds of projects, it brings in revenue. Some states make a better case than others and win. Thoses that know the business are more likely to position themselves to win.

35 posted on 08/30/2003 4:09:47 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: GOPcapitalist
Sadly it is all too common around this site for ad hominems to replace reasoned critique. Do these people think name calling is edifying to lurkers? It is done either out of immaturity, limited cognitive ability or malice of character (and some people qualify in all three categories).
36 posted on 08/30/2003 4:10:08 PM PDT by u-89
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
You still do not seem to get it. Rockwell did NOT author the article that appears at the top of this thread. Tom DiLorenzo did.

Since arriving on this thread you have not posted ONE WORD about the contents of Tom DiLorenzo's article or its subject matter. Instead you have launched into a wholly irrelevant ad hominem tirade against Lew Rockwell for what seems to be no particular reason whatsoever. In light of that fact I must question your purpose of posting.

37 posted on 08/30/2003 4:12:22 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: u-89
As we all know GOPcapitalist never ever engages in personal attacks. LOL
38 posted on 08/30/2003 4:13:00 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: u-89
It is done either out of immaturity, limited cognitive ability or malice of character (and some people qualify in all three categories).

You are absolutely right, and from the looks of things the personification of all three just arrived to flood this thread with his inanities.

Meanwhile I patiently await any one of them to do so much as make a factual comment about the article's arguments or its contents. The chances of that happening are unfortunately slim to none.

39 posted on 08/30/2003 4:15:08 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: GOPcapitalist
It's personal, GOPcapitalist; I did it specifically and with absolute intent to annoy you. Nothing more.
40 posted on 08/30/2003 4:17:00 PM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: GOPcapitalist
Since arriving on this thread you have not posted ONE WORD about the contents of Tom DiLorenzo's article or its subject matter. Instead you have launched into a wholly irrelevant ad hominem tirade against Lew Rockwell for what seems to be no particular reason whatsoever. In light of that fact I must question your purpose of posting.

You would never post on a thread ignoring the topic of the thread and simply post attacks would you?

(Look here at post #59 to see how well GOPcapitalist stays on topic and refrains from personal attacks. LOL)

41 posted on 08/30/2003 4:21:24 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: u-89
Also a word of friendly advice for you and any lurkers out there. It looks like FR's resident pet lunatic ole #3 ran out of people to flame on his chosen thread of the day and has relocated over here. Just as he does with every other thread that has the misfortune of encountering his computer screen, expect him to attempt a hijacking of this one by polluting it with an endless stream of highly venomous, rabidly vitriolic, and wholly unsubstantiated personal attacks upon everything and anything that crosses his way. I see that he has begun attacking me even though I have not made a single comment to him on this thread.

The only way to put an end to it is to ignore him entirely. Do not respond to him. Do not acknowledge his posts to you. Otherwise he will flood you with a set of posts from a realm of anal retentiveness unseen even in Walt. He has previously and will again quite literally attempt to debate what the meaning of "is" is. Abstain from responding to his posts though and he will bore of this thread and quickly find another one to pollute.

42 posted on 08/30/2003 4:23:14 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
It's personal, GOPcapitalist; I did it specifically and with absolute intent to annoy you. Nothing more.

Now that's odd, cause it looks to me as if you arrived here, saw the name "Lew Rockwell" in the headline, and started ranting about Lew Rockwell without bothering to check what the article was actually about.

43 posted on 08/30/2003 4:25:26 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: #3Fan
The railroads got so much a mile allotted them for construction in the mountains and a lesser amount in flat areas. Since the construction was 1-3 thousand miles from D.C. guess what happened?

Like today we have stories of $800 monkey wrenches and $1500 toilet seats. And Hillary's cattle futures, senators like Toraccelli, DNC chairmen like Terry McCallauff(sp?) making millions on Global Crossing.

My uncle was a small town pol here in NJ. He told me it was very difficult to stay honest but possible. He said it was impossible at county level and forget state. Federal is even worse. That is why this talented man stayed local - he was honest to a fault. Just because it's the way of the world doesn't mean I have to like it or accept it.

> but if the government felt there was a security advantage and an economic advantage for the country

Sorry to say those are always the reasons trotted out for this stuff. That's why it is important to study the history of this crap closely. When enough people realize how many scams are conducted in the name of the people's benefit or national defense and their taxes get high enough maybe, just maybe the brakes might be applied.

44 posted on 08/30/2003 4:25:52 PM PDT by u-89
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To: GOPcapitalist
Here we go, I got him going again. ROFL

Also a word of friendly advice for you and any lurkers out there. It looks like FR's resident pet lunatic ole #3 ran out of people to flame on his chosen thread of the day and has relocated over here. Just as he does with every other thread that has the misfortune of encountering his computer screen, expect him to attempt a hijacking of this one by polluting it with an endless stream of highly venomous, rabidly vitriolic, and wholly unsubstantiated personal attacks upon everything and anything that crosses his way.

Woohoo, hell of a rant, hell of a rant!

I see that he has begun attacking me even though I have not made a single comment to him on this thread.

Kind of like you did in Post #59 in the thread linked above?

The only way to put an end to it is to ignore him entirely. Do not respond to him. Do not acknowledge his posts to you. Otherwise he will flood you with a set of posts from a realm of anal retentiveness unseen even in Walt. He has previously and will again quite literally attempt to debate what the meaning of "is" is.

Another figment of your imagination.

Abstain from responding to his posts though and he will bore of this thread and quickly find another one to pollute.

You were getting in a flame war before I said anything to you at all. Have you ever went to a thread without getting in a flame war?

45 posted on 08/30/2003 4:28:40 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: u-89
The railroads got so much a mile allotted them for construction in the mountains and a lesser amount in flat areas. Since the construction was 1-3 thousand miles from D.C. guess what happened? Like today we have stories of $800 monkey wrenches and $1500 toilet seats. And Hillary's cattle futures, senators like Toraccelli, DNC chairmen like Terry McCallauff(sp?) making millions on Global Crossing. My uncle was a small town pol here in NJ. He told me it was very difficult to stay honest but possible. He said it was impossible at county level and forget state. Federal is even worse. That is why this talented man stayed local - he was honest to a fault. Just because it's the way of the world doesn't mean I have to like it or accept it.

Yeah, there will always be those that position themselves to make money when they foresee these big projects coming. I don't think it's fair to say that only Republicans did this. Since the nation divided between Republican and Democrat in the Civil War, it's only natural that when the railroad got built that it would be Republicans building it because the Democrats seceded, there weren't many around were there?.

Sorry to say those are always the reasons trotted out for this stuff. That's why it is important to study the history of this crap closely. When enough people realize how many scams are conducted in the name of the people's benefit or national defense and their taxes get high enough maybe, just maybe the brakes might be applied.

Yeah, I agree. In this age of computerization and the internet, it should be more practical to keep the taxpayer informed of how their money is spent and it should be done so people can see scams.

46 posted on 08/30/2003 4:36:10 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: u-89
Why start with Lincoln?

Why not go back to Washington' time and take a look at the companies selling government lands? Take a look at the banks financing those sales.

Greed is about as constant as an atomic clock.

47 posted on 08/30/2003 4:40:55 PM PDT by fightu4it (conquest by immigration and subversion spells the end of US.)
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To: fightu4it
You are correct of course that there has always been those in and out of government working in tandem with selfish, venal motivations. I believe the point DiLorenzo has been making with his book on Lincoln and his follow up commentaries is that the country was fundamentally altered by the ascension of the GOP and The War Between the States.

Regarding the specifics of corruption sure it existed before 1861 but it was checked to a degree by partisanship, regionalism and sometimes even a respect for constitutional law. Lincoln and the GOP's success established corporate welfare, bribery and graft as official policy, all at the expense of the general public. Conservatives tend to blame all of today's ills on FDR and LBJ. The point is we were in trouble long before them.

48 posted on 08/30/2003 5:57:55 PM PDT by u-89
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To: u-89
Lincoln and the GOP's success established corporate welfare, bribery and graft as official policy, all at the expense of the general public.

Yes. That and the fact that Mr. Lincoln's real image is nowhere near as pretty as the snow white secular saint of democracy of popular portrayal.

49 posted on 08/30/2003 7:38:57 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: GOPcapitalist
before launching into a string of anti-Dilorenzo ad hominems. It puts you ahead of your colleagues by a few feet though you are still behind any substantive discussion by several miles.

String of ad hominems? Come now. The closest thing to an ad hominem is my claim that Mr. DiLorenzo is trying to make a career out of Lincoln bashing. I said Lincoln is DiLorenzo's single-minded obsession. I don't actually think either of those statements qualifies as ad hominem. And even if they do, they are hardly a string. So back off on that one. You're completely wrong. Totally off base. Whining up the wrong tree. And by the way, can DiLorenzo go two paragraphs without mentioning Lincoln? I don't think he could write a recipe for cornbread without mentioning old Ape Lincom.

As for substantive discussion, I said very plainly in my post that I don't see any point in it, and I gave my reason why. It's pointless. Get it?

As for Rockwell, anyone with any sense knows he's scum. Now THAT'S ad hominem. It's also right on the money. Good day.

50 posted on 08/30/2003 8:14:08 PM PDT by Huck
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