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Posts by rustbucket

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  • Burnet County (TX) couple (whole family) unhurt in tornado: ‘I felt the house being lifted’

    06/13/2014 6:38:10 PM PDT · 4 of 16
    rustbucket to bgill

    The print edition of the Statesman had the following on the front page this morning, “At least three Burnet County homes are damaged by a tornado, including one home thrown 150 years from its foundation.”

  • John Paul Stevens Proposes New Constitutional Amendments

    04/24/2014 7:51:55 AM PDT · 23 of 57
    rustbucket to Kaslin; EternalVigilance
    [Stevens]: 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms WHEN SERVING IN THE MILITIA shall not be infringed.'

    Balderdash! Here is a link to an excellent FreeRepublic post quoting numerous founders about who should bear arms and why: [Link to a post by EternalVigilance]

    In addition, here is a statement from the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution in keeping with the founders' views cited in the link above by EternalVigilance: [Link, my bold below]

    XIII. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

    03/03/2014 9:52:18 PM PST · 7 of 10
    rustbucket to Colonel Kangaroo
    As the article states, Jefferson Davis was one first.

    Not the first in American history. Conscription was used by some states during and before the Revolutionary War. See for example "Reluctant Among Revolutionaries: Religion and the Politics of Conscription in Revolutionary Pennsylvania and Massachusetts" by J. L. Tomlin. From that document:

    Massachusetts, which led the pro-conscription camp, had a proud tradition of shared military responsibility among its communities. Its militia, which it prided itself as a bastion against tyranny and the true defense force of free people, was governed by statutes going back to An Act for the Levying of Troops in 1754 which provided for the draft of militia men for service within the colony. ...

    By 1777, when volunteers ceased to sufficiently supply troop needs, Massachusetts demonstrated little restraint in reviving the conscription laws and, accompanied with strong monetary incentives, the drafts met with little popular resistance.
  • Lincoln and Obama: Two Tyrants

    02/24/2014 2:24:52 PM PST · 159 of 225
    rustbucket to SkyDancer
    Was that just after the South bombarded Ft. Sumter and some cadets fired on a Union ship trying to supply the fort a few months before the South fired on Sumter initiating the war?

    The Union ship trying to carry supplies in to Fort Sumter was also carrying 200 Union troops hiding below decks. Some peaceful resupply.

    Before that ship came, Major Anderson's men overcame a ship's captain by force and hijacked his ship to take Union soldiers to Fort Sumter in violation of Anderson's orders from Washington. Anderson's troops also bayonet charged the workers in Fort Sumter to take control of the fort.

    FYI, I have two sources for the hijacking of the ship. I first found a report of the hijacking in an excellent book, "The Siege of Charleston, 1861-1865," by the director of the Charleston Museum, E. Milby Burton. I bought it at a US Park Service book store in Charleston. The seizure of the schooner is mentioned on page 11 (paperback) of Burton’s book. A more extensive description of the various aspects of the move to Sumter is given in David Detzer's book, "Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War." The hijacking incident is described on page 119 (paperback). Detzer says Lt. Hall and a sergeant shoved the captain into a hold on his ship then took off for Sumter. I bought “Allegiance” at the extensive Strand bookstore in New York City a few years ago.

    Oh yeah, here's what Buchanan said after being informed of Anderson's move to Fort Sumter [from "Days of Defiance" by Maury Klein]:

    Buchanan slumped into a chair. "My God!" he cried wearily. "Are calamities ... never to come singly! I call God to witness -- you gentlemen better than anybody else know that this is not only without but against my orders. It is against my policy."
  • Lincoln and Obama: Two Tyrants

    02/24/2014 1:48:00 PM PST · 149 of 225
    rustbucket to SkyDancer
    From Wikipedia (it is correct in this case) [my red bold below]:

    "The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas (the name used by Confederate forces), was fought on July 21, 1861, in Prince William County, Virginia, near the city of Manassas. It was the first major land battle of the American Civil War."

    The only soldiers invading the other side's land were Northern soldiers invading Virginia.

    BTW, I picked "rustbucket" as a handle because I'm older than dirt.

  • Lincoln and Obama: Two Tyrants

    02/24/2014 12:16:39 PM PST · 137 of 225
    rustbucket to SkyDancer
    The Civil War (war of Secession) was basically caused by the policies of Buchanan. Lincoln unfortunately inherited those policies causing the South to start the war by bombarding Ft. Sumter and invading the North at Manassas (first battle of Bull Run). But all this has been hashed out over the past 150 years or so and since there are still people fighting that war, I leave it to them to argue between themselves.

    Um ... Manassas is in Virginia, not the North. Stick around on these threads. You might learn something.

  • Lincoln and Obama: Two Tyrants

    02/24/2014 11:27:34 AM PST · 136 of 225
    rustbucket to DoodleDawg
    But the point I was trying to make is it was a mass hanging.

    I was responding to the fact that you characterized those who were hung simply as US soldiers, not mentioning they had deserted from Confederate units during time of war, an act (theirs, not yours) punishable by death. I took no other exception to your post. Lincoln did not execute all of the Sioux he could have. Pickett did not execute all of the captured deserters he had (if memory serves Pickett's forces had captured over 50 of them at that time).

    There have been other mass hangings in US history. Nat Turner and 16 of his followers were hung following Turner's 1831 slave rebellion [Source]. Wikipedia [which can be a questionable source] says the state executed 56 of those accused of being part of Turner's rebellion.

    Some 40 suspected Unionists were hung at Gainesville, Texas in October 1862 (Source: "Tainted Breeze, The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862" by Richard B. McCaslin). One of the convicted Unionists boasted that the intent of his comrades had been to kill all Southern sympathizers, men, women and children, but it seems clear that a number of those hung were simply members of the group and not aware of such a purpose.

  • Lincoln and Obama: Two Tyrants

    02/24/2014 8:55:32 AM PST · 131 of 225
    rustbucket to DoodleDawg
    George Pickett hanged 22 Union soldiers in North Carolina in February 1864. That seems like a mass hanging to me.

    Those hanged were deserters from the Confederate army who joined the other side and started fighting against their former comrades. After they were captured by the Confederates, they were hanged by order of court marshal.

    From the Richmond Dispatch newspaper of February 19, 1864: [Source]:

    More Executions of deserters at Kinston.

    --The execution of seven deserters at ← Kinston, N. C., on the 13th, has been published. On the 16th thirteen more were banged [sic]. The correspondent of the Raleigh Confederate. says:

    J. S. Brock, Wm. Haddock, C. Huffman, Stephen Jones, A. J. Britton, J. I. Sumerien, William H. Daughtry, Lewis Taylor, Lewis Freeman, and Jno. Freeman, of Nethercutt's battalion; and W. D. Jones, of Wright's battalion, and Jos. Brock, of the 27th N. C. regiment, and C. R. Cuthrelt, of Latham's battery, were all hanged in this place on yesterday, by order of court martial, for deserting their comrade and taking up arms on the enemy's side. They all received the ordinance of baptism, according to the dictates of their own consciences, on the morning of their execution. Two were baptized by immersion by the Rev. Mr. Camp, of the Baptist Church, whilst the others were sprinkled and poured by the Rev. Mr. Paris, of General Hoke's brigade, who were their spiritual advisers at the gallows.

    The prisoners were accompanied to the place of execution by a large concourse of people, both citizens and soldiers, with a strong military escort.--They ascended the scaffold with a firm and elastic step, and met their fate with much fortitude and determination. The ropes were all suspended from the beam of the gallows, and Stephen Jones and Wm. H. Daughtry selected the once by which they preferred to be hanged.

    I am informed that three more deserters are to be hanged here in a few days — making in all 23 within the last two weeks, all of which were captured by our troops in the late expedition against Newbern. Old or Haddook, father of the Haddock who was hanged here yesterday, and his son, were arrested for some cause, and brought to this town last night and lodged in the guard house.

    Perhaps you are familiar with US Military Law [Source]:

    Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

    Here is what General Grant thought [Source]:

    Grant disagreed with Butler's argument, as he had indicated in an earlier letter to Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston regarding Confederate deserters who had joined the Union army. "Of course," Grant had written, "I would claim no right to retaliate for the punishment of deserters who had actually been mustered into the Confederate Army and afterwards deserted and joined ours." He did not agree, however, to punishment for Union soldiers who had been conscripted but deserted before being sworn into the Confederate army. Although Elijah Kellum fell into that category, this exception would never be seriously pursued by Union authorities.

    There is a long discussion in my last source above about attempts over the years following the hangings to charge and try Pickett for them.

  • The Terrible Truth About Abraham Lincoln and the Confederate War

    01/27/2014 9:02:39 PM PST · 439 of 444
    rustbucket to Partisan Gunslinger
    The south got their way in 1853 regarding tariffs, it was already off the table.

    The South got their way only in that the tariff was reduced, but it was still transferring 40 to 50 million dollars a year to the North in terms of higher prices on imported goods and higher prices on protected Northern manufactured goods.

    Here is Senator Robert Toombs on November 13, 1860 on protectionism of the North (my bold and underline below):

    Even the fishermen of Massachusetts and New England demand and receive from the public treasury about half a million of dollars per annum as a pure bounty on their business of catching codfish. The North, at the very first Congress, demanded and received bounties under the name of protection, for every trade, craft, and calling which they pursue, and there is not an artisan in brass, or iron, or wood, or weaver, or spinner in wool or cotton, or a calicomaker, or iron-master, or a coal-owner, in all of the Northern or Middle States, who has not received what he calls the protection of his government on his industry to the extent of from fifteen to two hundred per cent from the year 1791 to this day. They will not strike a blow, or stretch a muscle, without bounties from the government. No wonder they cry aloud for the glorious Union; they have the same reason for praising it, that craftsmen of Ephesus had for shouting, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians," whom all Asia and the world worshipped. By it they got their wealth; by it they levy tribute on honest labor. It is true that this policy has been largely sustained by the South; it is true that the present tariff was sustained by an almost unanimous vote of the South; but it was a reduction - a reduction necessary from the plethora of the revenue; but the policy of the North soon made it inadequate to meet the public expenditure, by an enormous and profligate increase of the public expenditure; and at the last session of Congress they brought in and passed through the House the most atrocious tariff bill that ever was enacted, raising the present duties from twenty to two hundred and fifty per cent above the existing rates of duty. That bill now lies on the table of the Senate. It was a master stroke of abolition policy; it united cupidity to fanaticism, and thereby made a combination which has swept the country. There were thousands of protectionists in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New-York, and in New-England, who were not abolitionists. There were thousands of abolitionists who were free traders. The mongers brought them together upon a mutual surrender of their principles. The free-trade abolitionists became protectionists; the non-abolition protectionists became abolitionists. The result of this coalition was the infamous Morrill bill - the robber and the incendiary struck hands, and united in joint raid against the South.

    Here is another item for you. The one is from a December 1860 article in the Chicago Times as reported in the New Orleans Daily Picayune:

    The South has furnished near three-fourths of the entire exports of the country. Last year she furnished seventy-two percent of the whole . . . We have a tariff that protects our manufacturers from thirty to fifty percent, and enables us to consume large quantities of Southern cotton, and to compete in our whole home market with the skilled labor of Europe. This operates to compel the South to pay an indirect bounty to our skilled labor, of millions annually.
  • The Terrible Truth About Abraham Lincoln and the Confederate War

    01/26/2014 7:17:06 PM PST · 431 of 444
    rustbucket to Partisan Gunslinger; PeaRidge
    Had they not seceded, the Morrill tariff would not have passed. They had the votes to defeat it.

    The South did not have the votes to stop it once the newly elected Senate took office even if no Southern state had seceded. Here, as posted by former poster GOPCapitalist in 2003, is the vote calculation by Texas Senator Louis Wigfall who outlined his vote calculations on December 12, 1860 before any state had seceded. It deals with Lincoln's nominations in the future Senate, but it applies equally well to the Morrill Tariff vote.

    "Tell me not that we have got the legislative department of this Government, for I say we have not. As to this body, where do we stand? Why, sir, there are now eighteen non-slaveholding States. In a few weeks we shall have the nineteenth, for Kansas will be brought in. Then arithmetic which settles our position is simple and easy. Thirty-eight northern Senators you will have upon this floor. We shall have thirty to your thirty-eight. After the 4th of March, the Senator from California, the Senator from Indiana, the Senator from New Jersey, and the Senator from Minnesota will be here. That reduces the northern phalanx to thirty-four...There are four of the northern Senators upon whom we can rely, whom we know to be friends, whom we have trusted in our days of trial heretofore, and in whom, as Constitution-loving men, we will trust. Then we stand thirty-four to thirty-four, and your Black Republican Vice President to give the casting vote. Mr. Lincoln can make his own nominations with perfect security that they will be confirmed by this body, even if every slaveholding State should remain in the Union, which, thank God, they will not do."
  • Robert E. Lee: American Patriot and Southern Hero

    01/20/2014 10:43:18 AM PST · 145 of 166
    rustbucket to Sherman Logan
    The two sides had different reasons for going to war. Both involved their economies. The South tried to separate peacefully. The South used the preservation of slavery as the justification of secession in many of their causes of separation documents though if I remember correctly a couple of those mention Northern self aggrandizement or the North enriching themselves through legislation. From the Texas Ordinance of Secession:

    They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.

    From the Georgia Causes of Secession:

    The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests.

    The commercial and manufacturing businesses prospered greatly under the various tariff schemes. The tariffs propped up the prices of the domestic manufacturing base (located largely in the North), reduced foreign competition with those Northern goods, and by helping Northern businesses provided jobs for Northern workers.

    I think it was much easier to sell secession to the average Southerner using slavery than using the tariff. Some economic analysis estimates the amount of wealth transferred from the South to the North via the tariff and the increased cost to the South for tariff-protected goods at 40 to 50 million dollars annually. That was about the cost of running the federal government for a year.

    Here is a link to an old post that talks about the import of the tariff on Northern jobs:


    Now lets look at the impact of the two tariffs (Morrill and Confederate) on Northern port cities. Here is another link:


    A delegation of businessmen and bankers from the affected ports met with Lincoln to demand action. Lincoln ended up provoking war to stop the South from taking a lot of business from the North because of the difference between the high rates of the Morrill Tariff and the lower rates of the Confederate tariff (similar but a little lower than the 1857 US tariff). Remember Lincoln's "What will become of my revenue?" statement? The federal government had about quadrupled its debt in the three or so years right before the war. They needed money to run the government and service the debt. With the loss of Southern cotton which accounted for about 75% of the value of US exports, the North faced a severe balance of payments problem and thus inflation (which they did have).

    Sometime I will provide you with all the various steps Lincoln took to provoke war, but right now I'm headed for bed. My surgery drain hole is gushing lymph fluid, and I need to repack the dressing and lie down.

  • Robert E. Lee: American Patriot and Southern Hero

    01/20/2014 7:17:20 AM PST · 137 of 166
    rustbucket to X Fretensis
    So there were no American ships sailing out of Chesapeake bay in Virginia, Wilmington NC, Charleston SC, Savannah Ga. Mobile Al, New Orleans La. or Houston Tx.

    Houston didn't become a major port until the 20th century when they dredged out Bufalo Bayou and made the Houston Ship Channel. As a boy I remember seeing all of the old cotton warehouses in the port of Galveston. I think Galveston was the major Texas port when the war started. Galveston was blockaded by the feds during the war. There may have been other blockades of smaller Texas ports as well later in the war.

    Prior to the war a lot of cotton (but not all) was shipped from Southern ports in American coastal vessels (mostly Northern owned; foreign vessels could not participate in the coastal trade) to New York, from where it was shipped across the Atlantic or used in Northern mills.

    I suspect it was probably more lucrative for Southerners to invest in cotton production than in the shipping trade where the North had long held the dominant position. However, prior to the war there were some shipping firms co-owned by Northerners and Southerners. I'm thinking of a line co-owned by Savannahians and NYC investors. When the war started the North seized or impressed into federal service the ships of that line that were in Northern ports and the South did the same for a ship of that line in the port of Savannah.

  • Robert E. Lee: American Patriot and Southern Hero

    01/20/2014 5:28:48 AM PST · 135 of 166
    rustbucket to Sherman Logan
    Some further thoughts on your post about the Morrill tariff.

    It passed the Senate by 25 to 14, but only after the seven initial CSA states had seceded

    Strictly speaking, the seventh state to secede, Texas, did not officially secede until the specified date of March 2, 1861 (Texas Independence Day, the date of the victory over Santa Ana at San Jacinto) and after Texas voters overwhelmingly approved secession on February 23. The Senate vote you cite was on February 20, before Texas voters, the sovereign voice of the state, approved secession.

    Another possible problem comes to mind if Senators from states that had already seceded stayed and blocked the passage of the tariff at least temporarily until the new Senate was sworn in. Would Northern senators have accepted the blockage of the bill by Senators whose states had already seceded. Texas Senator Wigfall stayed in the Senate after March 2 with the excuse that he was waiting for official notification from Texas that they had seceded. There were complaints on the Senate floor that he should no longer be there since his state had seceded. If he had succeeded in blocking something they really wanted (little chance of that) I suspect they would have booted him out. For all I know Wigfall might have left the Senate in March of 1861 under threat of expulsion.

    It is also interesting that the measure was signed by Buchanan two days before leaving office. He was, of course, a Democrat.

    He was a Democrat from Pennsylvania, a state whose industry would benefit from protective tariffs. That and the fact that he was leaving office is probably why Buchanan signed the bill. A more perverse reason might have been that he may have wanted to stick Lincoln with the tariff because of the later huge problem of loss of federal revenue that arose because of the later differences between the Northern and Southern tariffs. But I doubt he could see that far ahead or was that partisan.

  • Robert E. Lee: American Patriot and Southern Hero

    01/19/2014 2:22:40 PM PST · 106 of 166
    rustbucket to Sherman Logan

    I and others before me have noted on these threads that a head count was made in December, 1860 that showed that the Morrill Tariff would pass when the new Senate elected in the fall of 1860 took office. If all Southern senators had stayed in Congress in early 1861, they could have stopped it briefly as you say, but the bill would pass in the new Senate even if all Southern senators stayed for the new term.

    I’m going back to bed.

  • Robert E. Lee: American Patriot and Southern Hero

    01/19/2014 9:09:38 AM PST · 54 of 166
    rustbucket to StoneWall Brigade
    Good to see how you feeling?

    Recovery is a bear and very slow. It will be six weeks before I can lift 10 pounds again. It will be worth it though.

  • Robert E. Lee: American Patriot and Southern Hero

    01/19/2014 8:59:10 AM PST · 45 of 166
    rustbucket to oh8eleven; PeaRidge
    Benedict Arnold had a successful career before committing treason, yet we don't call him a patriot.
    Lee had the opportunity to fight for America against the south, yet chose to fight for the CSA.
    How is he an American patriot?

    The text below is by President Rutherford B Hayes [source: President Rutherford Birchard Hayes, my bold below]

    May 2 [1891]. Saturday.-At the G. A. R. [State Encampment] there was a little demagoguery in the way of keeping alive the bitterness of the war. A motion was made and carried against the purchase of Chickamauga battlefield, against Rebel monuments, etc., etc. The truth is, the men of the South believed in their theory of the Constitution. There was plausibility, perhaps more than plausibility, in the States' rights doctrine under the terms and in the history of the Constitution. Lee and Jackson are not in the moral character of their deeds to be classed with Benedict Arnold. They fought for their convictions, for their country as they had been educated to regard it. Let them be mistaken, and treated accordingly. Their military genius and heroism make the glory of the Union triumph.

    If memory serves, the federal government has declared all Confederate soldiers to be Americans.

  • Southern Discomfort: U.S. Army seeks removal of Lee, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson honors

    01/13/2014 9:33:26 AM PST · 74 of 77
    rustbucket to PeaRidge; StoneWall Brigade
    You just got a well deserved compliment.

    I have archived it.

  • Southern Discomfort: U.S. Army seeks removal of Lee, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson honors

    01/13/2014 9:30:15 AM PST · 73 of 77
    rustbucket to StoneWall Brigade
    Rustbucket is the modern day General Lee of the war between states threads.

    You're too kind. More like barely qualified to clean up after his horse, Traveller.

    I have visited Traveller's grave site at Washington and Lee College and seen the Lincoln pennies face down on the grave.

  • Southern Discomfort: U.S. Army seeks removal of Lee, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson honors

    01/13/2014 9:16:16 AM PST · 71 of 77
    rustbucket to StoneWall Brigade
    I wish you a speedy recovery. Thank you, StoneWall.
  • Southern Discomfort: U.S. Army seeks removal of Lee, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson honors

    01/12/2014 2:24:50 PM PST · 65 of 77
    rustbucket to StoneWall Brigade

    Yeah, I’ve been out for surgery. Just got back home today.

  • Southern Discomfort: U.S. Army seeks removal of Lee, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson honors

    12/21/2013 1:17:12 PM PST · 62 of 77
    rustbucket to PeaRidge
    That issue of revisionism led me to eagerly and frequently rebut such famous Freepers as WhiskeyPaPa, non-sequitur, and many others.

    I am not interested in rewriting, but getting the truth respected.

    I once provided some documentation that refuted something WhiskeyPaPa posted. I thought that would end the matter. Next thing I know he reposted his debunked material on another thread. I called him on it. In reply, he said he was posting to the lurkers. In other words, he was posting to people who might stumble onto the new thread and not know his post had previously been refuted.

  • The Heresy of Doubting Apocalyptic Global Warming

    11/14/2013 9:34:12 PM PST · 20 of 21
    rustbucket to rhema
    Hmmm. How would she explain the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 that struck New England as a Category 3 during the Little Ice Age? No global warming there. Recent Hurricane Sandy was only a Category 1.

  • The Koch brothers are like the KKK: Harry Belafonte

    11/04/2013 3:03:12 PM PST · 39 of 52
    rustbucket to massgopguy
    Well Harry if you ever get Prostrate Cancer in the few years you have left. I hope you don’t come to M.I.T. for treatment.

    You are perhaps referring to the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. I donate to that worthy effort. The Koch brothers were students in Course X at the same time I was.

    I was in New York City last month and saw where David Koch was contributing $60 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to reconstruct some fountains at the entrance to the museum. Oh, those terrible Kochs (/s).

    The only KKK member I ever met in person was Democrat Senator Robert Byrd. I was an invited speaker at a science meeting in Charleston, WV, and he came over to say hello.

    I once saw Lester Maddox (see picture in post 11) turn away some blacks at his Pickrick restaurant in Atlanta on a different occasion than the one in the photo. He had no gun or Pickrick toothpick club that I could see from the street, but he did turn away several blacks that time. Georgia Tech eventually bought his restaurant and turned it into job interview rooms for students. I interviewed PhD students for my company in those interview rooms.

  • Bridge May Ice In Cold Weather

    11/03/2013 5:55:36 AM PST · 41 of 55
    rustbucket to LD Jackson
  • Sen. Ted Cruz: Obama 'Absolutely Abusing His Power'

    10/29/2013 9:46:36 PM PDT · 20 of 73
    rustbucket to rustbucket

    Correction, Texas Republicans, not Texas voters.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz: Obama 'Absolutely Abusing His Power'

    10/29/2013 9:44:16 PM PDT · 19 of 73
    rustbucket to 353FMG
    He [Cornyn]is up for re-election and claims to be conservative.

    Here is a poll comparing Cruz' and Cornyn's job approval ratings with Texas voters:

  • Texas GOP Poll: ‘Tea Party’ challenger beats Cornyn 46% to 33%

    10/29/2013 1:30:01 PM PDT · 25 of 44
    rustbucket to GeronL
    In lifetine ACU ratings, Cornyn is more conservative than McCain, but not so in the 25 bills used in the 2012 rankings. Cornyn is 13th most conservative senator in lifetime ACU rankings.

    See for yourself: Link

    Here are the 25 Senate bills used for ranking: Link 2

  • Texas GOP Poll: ‘Tea Party’ challenger beats Cornyn 46% to 33%

    10/29/2013 1:05:18 PM PDT · 22 of 44
    rustbucket to rustbucket

    I should note that the ACU rankings on 25 votes that I cited above were from the second session of the 112th Congress.

  • Texas GOP Poll: ‘Tea Party’ challenger beats Cornyn 46% to 33%

    10/29/2013 11:39:08 AM PDT · 21 of 44
    rustbucket to Sequoyah101
    The adds are revolting and I wish someone would challenge them line for line.

    Cornyn's ad quotes some magazine or organization saying he is the second most conservative member of the Senate. I looked up his 2012 ranking (the most recent ranking available) by the American Conservative Union based on the votes on 25 Senate bills. By the ACU, Cornyn is tied in 2012 for 16th most conservative senator with four other senators. And get this, by the ACU's 2012 ranking John McCain is more conservative than Cornyn.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/31/2013 2:03:28 PM PDT · 168 of 169
    rustbucket to rustbucket
    I thought I had checked all of the links in my long post, but I did not check the Reign of Iron link. Here is the paragraph in question with the corrected link:

    Welles order gets to Adams. There are different versions of when troops reinforced Fort Pickens. Here's one that says in the evening of April 12th [Reign of Iron]. Here is another that says some troops were offloaded on shore after 9 pm on April 11. [Truth of the war conspiracy]

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/31/2013 11:20:41 AM PDT · 167 of 169
    rustbucket to rustbucket; x
    x, back when you were calling my posts "junk" (April?), I mentioned wanting to repost a long data-filled post of mine that had been on a thread that was later deleted. But I mentioned back then that I deferred reposting it at that time in deference to your dislike of long data filled posts. But I want to repost it so that I can link back to it when I get into a discussion with someone about what Lincoln did that can be interpreted as trying to initiate war. No need for you to reply to it.

    Here is the old post with slight formatting changes and more descriptive link names in a few cases:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Consider the definition of "act of war" [Source:, my bold below]:

    "An act of war is an action by one country against another with an intention to provoke a war or an action that occurs during a declared war or armed conflict between military forces of any origin."

    Without war Lincoln did not have the power under the Constitution to coerce states back into the Union or prevent additional secessions. He would not have sufficient revenue to run the government. If he could provoke the South to attack first, he could manipulate the country into war and bypass constitutional restrictions on his powers. Here are some of the actions he took to at Fort Pickens provoke war:

    Violate Fort Pickens truce to provoke the South to attack

    Truce Details. A Southern proposal was laid before President Buchanan that Fort Pickens would not be attacked if the fort was not reinforced by the North. The proposal was agreed to and signed by the US Secretaries of War and the Navy. This truce kept the peace and the status quo in Pensacola Harbor and prevented war. Here are the terms of the truce in January 29 instructions to Union commanders from the two Secretaries and the Secretary of War’s separate orders to the Army commander in Fort Pickens: [Official Records, Series 1, Volume 1, Part 1, pages 355-356].

    March 5, Lincoln's first effort to violate the truce. The day after his inauguration Lincoln gave verbal orders to General Winfield Scott to "maintain" all forts with special directions concerning Fort Pickens. [Source 1 and Source 2]

    March 5, Scott tells/reminds Lincoln of the truce. [Source] The truce had been mentioned in the press. New York Times, February 6, 1861: "Reported Truce at Pensacola", February 22, 1861: "The Truce at Fort Pickens," but the articles I've found didn't mention how high up in the US government the officials were who were involved in the negotiations.

    Lincoln's second effort to violate the truce, March 11.

    Lincoln’s written order to reinforce Fort Pickens. Finding that nothing had been done on his March 5 verbal orders, Lincoln gave a written order to General Scott that he should reinforce Fort Pickens. [Source] Source 2 above said that on March 11, Lincoln "once more gave special directions in regard to Pickens."

    Scott issues an order to reinforce Pickens, March 12.. In response to Lincoln's order of the previous day, Scott sent secret written orders to reinforce Fort Pickens to his army commander on the Brooklyn, Captain Vogdes.

    Scott's Order received by Vogdes, March 31. Vogdes received Scott's order to reinforce Fort Pickens on March 31. Vogdes then asked the senior naval officer in the harbor, Captain Adams, for boats to land his troops. Adams refuses to obey the order from Scott as he had written orders from the former Secretary of the Navy not to land troops at the fort unless the fort was attacked and besides, the order was old and it came from Scott and not from the Navy.

    By the way, Vogdes called the truce an "armistice."

    April 1. "not only a declaration but an act of war". On April 1, Adams writes Welles, the new Secretary of the Navy, saying he did not provide boats to reinforce Pickens and adding [Source: "Lincoln Takes Command" by Tilley, page 50 or Official Records of the Navies, Series 1, Vol. 4, pages 109-110]

    it [reinforcing Fort Pickens] would be considered not only a declaration but an act of war. … While I can not take on myself under such insufficient authority as General Scott's order the fearful responsibility of an act which seems to render civil war inevitable, I am ready at all times to carry out whatever orders I may receive from the honorable Secretary of the Navy.

    Lincoln's third effort to violate the truce, March 29

    Lincoln's plan to hold Fort Pickens, March 29. Lincoln had not heard whether Fort Pickens had been reinforced as a result of Scott’s March 12 order, but he must have assumed that the fort had been or would be shortly. On March 29, Lincoln asked Army Captain Montgomery Meigs whether Fort Pickens could be held. Meigs thought it could unless the Navy had already lost it. At the same meeting, Seward asked Meigs to develop a plan for holding Pickens. [Source]

    Scott issues orders to reinforce and hold Pickens, April 1. Lincoln approved the orders. Meigs was to go as the expedition's engineer. [Official Records, Series 1, Volume 1, Part 1, pages 365-366]

    "This is the beginning of the war", April 6. As the Fort Pickens expedition authorized by Scott and Lincoln on April 1 is departing New York on April 6, Meigs, on board the expedition ship Atlantic, sends a note to Seward that says, "This is the beginning of the war". [Official Records, Series 1, Volume 1, Part 1, page 368]

    Adams' notice of his refusal to offload troops at Pickens arrives in Washington on April 6. Adams communicated that he had not carried out Scott's order to reinforce Pickens as the order was in conflict with his earlier orders from the Navy.

    Welles responds by ordering Adams to help reinforce Pickens, April 6. [Official Records of the Navies, Series 1, Vol. 4, pages 110-111]

    Welles order gets to Adams. There are different versions of when troops reinforced Fort Pickens. Here's one that says in the evening of April 12th [Reign of Iron]. Here is another that says some troops were offloaded on shore after 9 pm on April 11. [Truth of the war conspiracy]

    Worden did reach the Federal ship the Wyandotte on the 11th. Seas were too rough on April 11 to take Worden over the bar to Captain Adams' ship, the Sabine. Worden's report to the Acting Secretary of the Navy was that he was conveyed to Adams on April 12 and delivered the message then. However, signals could have been sent from the Wyandotte to Adams authorizing the offloading of some troops on the 11th (which would have been before the firing on Fort Sumter). Federal troops had earlier been offloaded onto Santa Rosa Island to relieve fort soldiers on picket duty [from memory].

    Confirming information of April 11 reinforcement from a ship’s log.. [Official Records of the Navies, Series 1, Vol. 4, Log of the Ship Supply]:

    April 11 -- At 9 p. m. the Brooklyn got underway and stood in towards the harbor, and during the night landed the troops and marines on board, to reenforce Fort Pickens.

    The date could be a typo, of course. Also, about March 31, the Brooklyn's troops were sent to Captain Adams' ship, the Sabine. The Brooklyn and the Wyandotte were the ships that delivered troops to Fort Pickens. On April 10, the fort sent a request for immediate reinforcement to Adams because of a possible impending attack. Adams replied that he wanted to see more details to justify the reinforcement.

    FWIW, Vogdes was listed as in charge of Fort Pickens from April 1l to April 16. [1904 Bio of Vodges and West Point Class History]

    1,211posted (originally) on Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:15:54 AMby rustbucket

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/31/2013 12:15:08 AM PDT · 166 of 169
    rustbucket to x
    The same kind of violations of civil liberties that people ascribe to Lincoln also happened in the Confederacy.

    I don't think that, in general, violations of civil liberties were as numerous in the South. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus without Congressional approval, Davis had the approval of his congress before each time period in which he suspended habeas corpus.

    By the way, I've been reading a fascinating book about the time of the document that first formalized, at least in English law, the concept of habeas corpus against abuses by the king, "1215, The Year of the Magna Carta" by Danny Danzinger and John Gillingham. It is filled with interesting details about life in that time period. I recommend it.

    The suppression and destruction of newspapers and arrests of editors, writers, and publishers happened far more often in the North. I've found mention of more than 100 cases in the North in old newspapers, books, and online. Those were caused by mobs, by soldiers, and by orders from Lincoln and his administration. The total would have been higher if I knew how to count the blockage into a state of all Democrat papers a month or two before an election. In contrast, I've only found about six cases in the South, most by mob action and none by the central government. Two of those Southern suppressions actually happened by mob actions before the war. IIRC Davis and/or Lee did complain about press treatment of some subject, and both sides objected to publication of military situations, troop movement, etc., that would give the other side an advantage to know.

    One reason I reacted as I did is that we already discussed the topics you mentioned back in April. See my responses here and here.

    Thanks for refreshing my memory. We didn't agree then, and we don't agree now. That's fine. I will try to check on previous posts I've made to you before posting to some information to you again. If you bring something up on the thread to me or someone else that I disagree with and you and I have discussed it before, maybe I'll just post links back to our previous discussions.

    I didn't relish having these things thrown at me as though they were new and important information that I absolutely had to look up all over again, regardless of what was going on in my own life at the time.

    Thrown? I throw, and you post? How about "posted" instead. Post back that you are busy and can't respond right now or don't care to. I'll be more judicious with my reply than I was above. I've had to beg off replying a number of times myself when we had visitors staying with us from out of state, or a deadline on a scientific paper, or a trip out of town, or estate or tax matters to attend to.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/29/2013 6:57:29 PM PDT · 164 of 169
    rustbucket to x
    [You in post 161]: Maybe you should address yourself to them, rather than waste people's time with massive data dumps of the same tired stuff over and over again, when people may actually have things going on in their own lives that are more important than humoring you.

    You called my posts massive data dumps that you didn't have time to reply to and that professional historians had addressed their points. According to you, my data-filled posts that you didn't want to respond to were wasting people's time. That is why I posted back that if you were going to complain about posts filled with historical data on a history thread, "Then why are you wasting our time and yours on a history thread and disparaging sourced information posted to the thread?" I didn't tell you to stay off the thread. Isn't history the point of these threads?

    The alternative would be to simply ignore what you say. Would that be better?

    I post historical information that you can respond to or not. Your choice.

    ... trying to force a conclusion one way or the other just isn't going to work.

    Where am I trying to force a conclusion? I provide historical information that supports my opinion. If you want to provide some historical information that indicates my sources are wrong, please do. I'd appreciate it. If you're too busy or don't have an inclination to research the issue, so be it. Again, it's your choice to respond or not.

    Finding dozens of Southern editorials on secession that say that Lincoln's inaugural meant war doesn't really prove anything ...

    The only time I posted "dozens of Southern editorials" was in my own thread in 2004, though I've provided a link to that thread maybe four times over the years to posters who probably had not seen it. And besides, I posted both Southern and Northern editorials. I even provided a link to the text of Lincoln's speech. Strictly speaking, the subject wasn't secession. It was the editorials' opinions of Lincoln's first inaugural and what it meant. The editorials showed how very far apart the two sides of the country were. I'd not seen such a collection of editorials anywhere before.

    You (at least, I think it was you) suggested a New York Times book to me based on their own articles during the war. I bought that book and later their disk containing the articles they published about the war and related issues during the war. For that, I thank you. I'm open to useful suggestions like that. It is another history source for me. The main problem with their articles on disk is that the text they provided was apparently prepared by optical character recognition, and some of the results had a number of errors when I compared to the actual articles themselves.

    Finally, I'm at a loss as to what the upshot of all this is.

    To prove that the current government is illegitimate?
    [rb: No]

    To restrict the federal government to the powers it had in 1850?
    [rb: No]

    To break up the country?
    [rb: No]

    To vindicate the Confederacy, a government that certainly wasn't any better than its adversary?
    [rb: The Confederacy wasn't a perfect government at all, but I think the Confederacy's view of the Constitution was certainly more accurate than Lincoln's. The history I was taught oh so many years ago oversimplified history, IMO. I wanted to research what actually happened myself and post on threads where the history of that period is discussed. I had access in local libraries to great collections of newspapers of the period. What actually went on didn't always make it into the history books.]

    To make Lincoln the great villain of American history?
    [rb: Up until recently, he violated the Constitution more than any other president. And, I believe, and I think the data support my opinion, that Lincoln initiated war because to let the South go with its far lower tariff than the North's recently passed Morrill tariff would ruin the Northern economy. I think the South went to war to protect its own slave based economy. And for other reasons as well.]

    To feel better about being Southern than you already do? [Heck, as I've posted on these threads, I argued against segregation while living in the Deep South in the 50s and 60s. I donated food to the march on Selma because I thought that blacks had a right to vote even if it was not for the party I favored. I went to hear Martin Luther King speak. I argued at work during a summer job that blacks had the same rights as whites, and I got threatened with murder by a white hick. I voted against the Democrat race-baiters and segregationists when I became old enough to vote. So, I know both the good sides and the bad sides of the South. I wouldn't trade it, warts and all, for any other part of the country, and I've been to all 50 states.]

    I'm not saying it's all a waste or I wouldn't participate, but there are definitely reasons why this becomes trying and wearying at times.

    If it's trying to you, don't bother posting. I would much rather have you provide some information, whether it supports my argument or not. Mostly though, you seem to post opinions, not data.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/29/2013 11:42:57 AM PDT · 162 of 169
    rustbucket to x
    You really don't think that Lincoln was simply going to give the secessionists whatever they wanted when they wanted it, starting with recognition. No, there would be a period of uncertainty, of stalemate, and eventually it would be resolved somehow.

    From his actions, I don't believe Lincoln wanted to resolve anything except on his terms. Compromise did not appear to be one of his characteristics, nor would the South compromise on their understanding of the Constitution. Both sides didn't appear willing to budge from their basic positions, meaning the war was almost inevitable unless they tried to negotiate or stayed with the status quo. Lincoln would not negotiate or even talk with the Confederate commissioners informally and/or secretly, which I think he could have done without officially recognizing them. It takes two to negotiate. Wasn't peace worth talking with the other side who sent their people up to talk with you? Peace apparently wasn't in Lincoln's interest.

    The South, for its part, is not without blame. They should have not pushed so hard to get the forts evacuated now, and they should have made every effort to make sure that Sumter was well supplied with food. And, yes, I know that Governor Pickens had early on offered to supply Fort Sumter with food, and Anderson turned him down and even sent back items he didn't order. Whose fault is it that Anderson ran out of food?

    Lincoln saw an opportunity to initiate the war with it appearing to be Davis's fault. So Nicolay and Hay indicated in their history of Lincoln, their boss that they saw almost every day. Lincoln took that opportunity instead of negotiating or waiting patiently after sending messages to Governor Pickens that Sumter would be evacuated. He chose to do what his advisors had told him would lead to war, not peace. I have posted that it would have been a better decision for the South not to attack Sumter but to let Lincoln try to stop foreign ships heading to Charleston to collect import duties, a possible act of war or piracy, or as Wigfall termed it, collecting tribute.

    Oh, wait ... I forgot that you don't have the time or inclination to look up things like what Nicolay and Hay said and prefer instead to say that professional historians have already dealt with things I post. That's a dodge. You apparently prefer to leave research to us little people or historians. You, my "elite" respondent, can't be bothered. Then why are you wasting our time and yours on a history thread and disparaging sourced information posted to the thread?

    I am a retired Ph.D., and I am by nature and training a researcher. Surely you are not casting aspersions on me because I am old and enjoying myself just because you don’t have time to fully participate in a history thread. Over the last ten years or so I have gathered a large collection of old newspaper articles and history books on the war and its issues. I post things to these threads from them and from information I find on the web like Holt's and Scott's March 5, 1861 letter to Lincoln. That was something I had never seen before the other night, and it only took a few minutes to find what Scott was telling Lincoln about the truce right after the inauguration.

    I'll keep posting stuff when it pleases me, even though you might not be willing or able to respond. Cheers!

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/28/2013 6:52:40 AM PDT · 160 of 169
    rustbucket to rustbucket; x

    Typo. It was late.

    “Here are the March 5 words written by Scott to Buchanan on a letter written by Holt:”

    Should read more correctly

    “Here are the March 5 words written by Scott to Lincoln on a letter written to Lincoln by Holt”

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/27/2013 10:39:03 PM PDT · 157 of 169
    rustbucket to donmeaker
    No, they did not offer to negotiate, rather they offered to give Lincoln a chance to join their heinous insurrection.

    See Post 22

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/27/2013 9:23:42 PM PDT · 153 of 169
    rustbucket to x
    Gideon Welles denied knowledge of any specific "truce" agreement beyond the general "do-nothing" policy of the Buchanan administration.

    On March 5, 1861, Winfield Scott told Lincoln that the truce at Pickens had been established by Buchanan and "seceders. See: Link. Here are the March 5 words written by Scott to Buchanan on a letter written by Holt:

    Next, after considering many plans of relief, the President, two Secretaries, Capt. Ward2 & myself settled upon the employment, under the captain (who was eager for the expedition--) of the four, or more, small steamers, belonging to the Coast Survey.-- Three, or four weeks ago I have no doubt the captain would have succeeded; but he was kept back by some thing like a truce established between the President & a number of principal seceders -- here, in So Carolina, Florida &c -- which truce or informal understanding included Ft. Pickens. [Hence a company, intended for the latter is still in the sloop of war, the Brooklyn, lying off the fort, at sea, with orders not to land till an attack shall be made by the Secessionists.]

    The fact that a truce existed had been published in a number of papers, but the papers I have found that mention it (the New York Times, The Brooklyn Eagle, the National Republican [Washington], the Evening Star [Washington], and others) did not mention that Buchanan and two of his cabinet secretaries had been involved in setting up the truce. So, Welles probably was aware of the truce, just not all the details. (Holt certainly was aware; he and Toucey were the two cabinet secretaries who had received the Southern communications and communicated the terms of the truce to Union forces waiting offshore in Pensacola Bay.)

    Lincoln bypassed Welles concerning Lincoln's Pickens expedition. He kept Welles out of the loop. Great management style.

    Analysis? That's rhetoric from a lunatic in love with the sound of his own voice. Since you found the quote, leap forward a few pages to see Foster's response. That Wigfall claimed not to be a citizen but still spoke as a senator raised not a few eyebrows.

    I mentioned Wigfall's situation in my post 99 to you. Wigfall was indeed one of a kind. His analysis was pretty much how the South saw things.

    I'm not going to try to sort out just who knew what and when and who told what to whom.

    Nice to know what kind of poster I'm dealing with.

    And if we entered into negotiations, it was certainly a good idea not to let the other side take all your bargaining chips before even getting to the table.

    Exactly what negotiations did Lincoln have with the Confederates over Fort Pickens or Fort Sumter? Confederates offered to negotiate. Oh, yeah, Lincoln can't "recognize" the Confederacy or even see their commissioners on the other side of the street. As I remember, Lincoln didn't "negotiate" with Governor Pickens or the Florida governor either, but he could have. Lincoln didn't even worry about the shape of the negotiation table, let alone negotiate.

    Lincoln did offer to send troops to Sam Houston in Texas, but Houston threw Lincoln's letter that made that offer into the fireplace. Lincoln did try to stop Virginia's secession by meeting with a Virginia unionist, but by then his fleet was already on the way to Sumter.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/26/2013 6:13:27 AM PDT · 133 of 169
    rustbucket to donmeaker
    Ah yes, it was there.

    If it was at Fort Barrancas, then the incident you are thinking of happened well before Buchanan's truce at Fort Pickens. A day or two after the incident you are thinking of, Union troops abandoned Fort Barrancas and moved over to Fort Pickens. This happened maybe January 10 or 11 (too lazy to look up the exact date).

    The truce with Buchanan didn't go into effect until late January or early February, 1861. In late January, Buchanan secretly sent the ship Brooklyn loaded with troops with which he intended to reinforce Fort Pickens. This was much like his earlier secret effort to reinforce Fort Sumter with troops on the Star of the West. Florida troops found out the ship was coming and said basically we will attack Fort Pickens unless you stop the reinforcement. The truce that was then agreed to by both sides was to keep the status quo -- the Union would not reinforce Pickens and the South wouldn't attack it. If the Union tried to reinforce the truce, the South was free to attack the reinforcement effort and the fort. Pickens was a large fort, and the small Union force inside the fort at that time could not have adequately defended it from attack.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/25/2013 5:04:21 PM PDT · 131 of 169
    rustbucket to donmeaker
    So did he say in his inaugural that he would, or didn’t he?

    IIRC, he said he would hold, occupy, and possess the forts. What exactly did that mean? Much of the language in his inaugural speech was ambiguous. Here are some editorials about the inaugural speech:

    The Mobile (AL) Register:
    … his language leaves it doubtful whether he will even attempt to execute the laws “so far as practicable.” … There is the same impenetrable fog about what he says concerning the holding of public property and collection of duties.

    The New Orleans Picayune:
    These passages in the inaugural are susceptible of a construction just the opposite of peace. … he would be compelled to send upon us obnoxious strangers enough to make mince pies of the southern people and cook them over their blazing dwellings.

    The New York News: The inaugural is not satisfactory; it is ambiguous, and we fear the Republicans, even while professing the most peaceful intentions. Coercion could not have been put in a more agreeable form; it reads like a challenge under the code, in which an invitation to the field is veiled in the most satisfactory syllables.

    The New York Day Book:
    In other words, though you do not recognize me as President, I shall not molest you if you will pay taxes for the support of my government. We must have your money, that we cannot bring ourselves to decline, and if you do not let us have it peacefully, why, we shall be compelled to take it from you by force; in which case you, not we, will be the aggressors. This means coercion and civil war and nothing else.
  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/25/2013 12:32:30 PM PDT · 130 of 169
    rustbucket to donmeaker
    The truce at Ft Pickens was violated first by members of the local militia that attempted to enter, but were driven off.

    Source and specific date, please. Could you be mistaking Barrancas for Pickens?

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/25/2013 12:29:48 PM PDT · 129 of 169
    rustbucket to donmeaker
    Prigg revealed that state regulations which required little things like evidence, due process had the effect of both protecting people who did not owe service, and protecting slave catchers from liability from (surely inadvertant) kidnapping of innocent persons.

    The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was ruled constitutional by SCOTUS (Prigg was 1843, I think). Once the government commissioner found that the person in question was a slave, state laws no longer applied.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/24/2013 10:50:19 PM PDT · 125 of 169
    rustbucket to rustbucket

    Ha! Typo. United Trust = United States

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/24/2013 10:48:41 PM PDT · 124 of 169
    rustbucket to donmeaker
    Prigg v. Pennsylvania 41 US 539 (1842) said the following [my red bold]:

    The clause [rb: the fugitive slave clause of the Constitution] manifestly contemplates the existence of a positive, unqualified right on the part of the owner of the slave, which no state law or regulation can in any way qualify, regulate, control or restrain. The slave is not to be discharged from service or labor, in consequence of any state law or regulation.

    Now certainly, without indulging in any nicety of criticism upon words, it may be fairly said, that any state law or state regulation which interrupts, limits, delays, or postpones the right of the owner of the slave to the immediate possession of the slave, and the immediate command of his service and labor, operates, pro tanto, a discharge of the slave therefrom.

    I suspect some of the state laws resulted in blocking or greatly delaying the "immediate" return to service of the slave. As the Michigan legislature said, their law was intended to block the return of fugitive slaves.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/24/2013 10:36:54 PM PDT · 123 of 169
    rustbucket to x
    [Me]: As lentulusgracchus has pointed out, war was the responsibility of Congress. Lincoln was clearly on the path that would result in war.

    [You]: Maybe, maybe not. But if you expect a declaration of war every time the US fights, you must have been disappointed over the last 70 years or so. In this case, though, you weren't going to get a formal declaration of war, because that would have meant recognition of the Confederacy as an independent state.

    Thanks for the comment about recognizing the Confederacy. I hadn’t thought about that.

    By not calling Congress into session, Lincoln did various unconstitutional things over the course of the next two and a half months. Congress does not have the constitutional authority to excuse unconstitutional actions by the President, but the Republican Congress certainly wasn’t going to impeach Lincoln over his actions.

    Nobody expected any kind of declaration of war, and if the Senate thought it could handle the situation, it wouldn't have adjourned.

    Perhaps you forget that at that point with most senators from seceded states gone, the Senate was controlled by Republicans who could decide to whether to extend the session or not. At the time that the Senate ended the session and adjourned, the official line of the Administration was that Fort Sumter was to be evacuated (widely reported in the newspapers, I believe). Evacuation would have been a step toward peace. A cabinet majority in favor of not evacuating the fort and sending the Sumter expedition only happened on March 29 after the Senate had adjourned.

    Declaration of war or not, people who were paying attention to Lincoln’s inaugural address (including Democrat newspapers north and south and Southern newspapers) said the actions proposed in Lincoln’s inaugural (keeping and possibly retaking forts and collecting import revenues) would lead to war. On the other hand, Republican newspaper editorials thought the speech wonderful and peaceful. Based on what did happen, it is easy to see which side was blowing smoke.

    Texas Senator Wigfall was still in the Senate waiting for official notification that Texas had seceded. Here was his analysis (similar to Democrat and Southern newspaper editorials) of what Lincoln’s actions would bring [Source: Congressional Globe, March 7, 1861, page 1441]

    I cannot believe that the Senator from Illinois [Douglas], by the speech which he made yesterday, intended to follow up the train of reasoning which the President of the United States has seen fit to adopt, of producing war, and yet throwing the responsibility upon the wrong party. The President of the United States says that if there is war he is not responsible for it; he is not going to shed blood; he is not going to assail anybody. Why, sir, if the President of the United States were to send a fleet to Liverpool and attempt there to enforce the laws of the United States, and to collect revenues, and that fleet were fired at, would anybody say that the British Government were responsible for the blood that might follow?

    These States have withdrawn from your Union; they have formed a government of their own; they have interfered with nobody, they intend to interfere with nobody; and yet you attempt to enforce the laws of the United States beyond the limits of the United States; and because we are not willing to pay tribute, and acknowledge a foreign – and under these circumstances hostile – flag, it is said that we make war. You may amuse women and children with arguments of this sort, but men will otherwise understand them.

    In response, Senator Douglas said he believed the inaugural meant peace. He continued, saying:

    If I had arrived at the conclusion that it meant war, I would have denounced it in unmeasured and unrelenting terms. I am with the President, as far as he is for peace; I am against him the moment he departs from that policy.

    Obviously, Senator Douglas did not know that on March 5 Lincoln issued a verbal order to reinforce Fort Pickens without telling the Confederates thereby breaking the truce there. The truce had been negotiated with President Buchanan, and both sides had been honoring the truce. When Lincoln’s order to reinforce Pickens (sent by Scott) finally reached the Union forces on ships offshore of Fort Pickens, the Navy commander there refused to offload the Union troops into Fort Pickens, saying in part that reinforcing the fort [and violating the truce] was, ”not only a declaration but an act of war.” Meigs, who had helped plan the Pickens reinforcement, said that it was the beginning of the war. The ship Meigs was traveling on to Pickens attempted to enter Pensacola Harbor flying English colors. More deceit by the Union.

    To paraphrase and change what you said in your post, perhaps reinforcing Pickens was a situation in which “outright, planned deceit” was rewarded. The Southern forces did not attack after Pickens was reinforced because they had only a day’s worth of ammunition and shells and it would take longer than that to take the fort. That and the fact the the attack on Sumter happened at the same time. Actually, Union troops began offloading into Pickens a few hours before the attack on Sumter.

    Well, Lincoln had said in his inaugural that he would hold the forts. It could be argued, I guess, that he was simply doing what he said he would do in the inaugural. But was he acting with honor to violate the truce there without telling the Confederates? I don’t think so. Would I trust such a man? No. Was he trying to start a war? Yes.

    Senator Douglas continued responding to Senator Wigfall:

    … The Senator from Texas says that, but for those two forts, Pickens and Sumter, situated as they are, there would be no danger of collision. I think so, too. I fear that these forts cannot long remain in the position they are, with safety to either party. Fort Sumter could have been reinforced a few weeks since. I am no military man; but I believe it is admitted by all military men that it cannot be reinforced now, even by the use of the whole American Navy, without at least an army of ten thousand men on land to cooperate. [rb note: Scott said 25,000 men and Anderson said 20,000]

    A few days later (March 15), Douglas made the following comments on the Senate floor about needing to know whether the policy was peace or war and that the South was entitled to the forts in their states. He would seem to be asserting the right of Southern militia to take control of federal property within their state. Sometimes that property was seized and held in the name of the United Trust until the state settled the secession question (Georgia, Arkansas) and in some case receipts were issued itemizing what was taken (Texas, before the voters ratified secession). Here's Douglas again:

    The people have a right to know whether the policy is peace or war. They have a right to know whether they are to send members here in favor of peace or in favor of war. Is dealing fairly with the people, to keep them in the dark on this question until the members of Congress are elected, and then to precipitate the country into war, without giving the people [Congress?] an opportunity to vote on it?

    We certainly cannot justify the holding of forts there, much less the recapturing of those that have been taken, unless we intend to reduce those States themselves into subjection. I take it for granted no man will deny the proposition that whoever permanently holds Charleston and South Carolina is entitled to possession of Fort Sumter. Whoever holds Pensacola and Florida is entitled to the possession of Fort Pickens. Whoever holds the States in whose limits those forts are placed is entitled to the forts themselves, unless there is something peculiar in the location of some particular fort that makes it important for us to hold it for the general defense of the whole country, its commerce and interests, instead of being useful only for the defense of a particular city or locality.

    And, yes, I know that Douglas lost the election for president, but his comments illustrate some of the thinking, certainly northern Democrat thinking, during the period right after Lincoln’s inauguration.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/24/2013 11:58:03 AM PDT · 118 of 169
    rustbucket to donmeaker
    The personal liberty laws did not violate the constitution.

    There is an interesting footnote that addresses this in the book "Abraham Lincoln: A History, Volume 3" by Lincoln's two secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay. It says that the personal liberty laws of Vermont, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin interfere with the federal law and are thus unconstitutional. Here is a link to the page with the footnote: Nicolay and Hay

    Some distinguished lawyers and judges from Massachusetts agreed in the case of Massachusetts. From the Philadelphia Public Ledger of December 20, 1860:


    Chief Justice Shaw, B. R. Curtis, Joel Parker, and other citizens of Massachusetts equally distinguished, have addressed a letter to the people of that State on the Personal Liberty Bills, which they declare to be unconstitutional. They urge strongly the repeal of them and say:

    ... We would repeal them under our own love of right; under our own sense of sacredness of compacts; ...

    ... we firmly believe that the men from whom the worst consequences to our country and ourselves are likely to proceed, have no wish that these laws should be repealed, and no disposition to use any threats in reference to them. On the contrary, they desire to have them stand as conspicuous and palpable breaches of the national compact by ourselves ...

    Shaw was Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Curtis was a former Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court who resigned in protest of the Dred Scott decision. Parker was professor of constitutional law at Harvard and former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

    The last slave returned to its owner from Massachusetts was in 1854.

    Here is what the Michigan legislature and the Detroit Free Press said about Michigan's personal liberty law. From March 2, 1861, issue of the State Gazette of Austin, Texas quoting an article from the Detroit Free Press [italics theirs, paragraph break and emphasis mine]:

    Absurd and Impudent Action by the Michigan Legislature

    We can conceive of nothing more absurd than the passage by either house of the Legislature, at Lansing, of the resolutions which are reported to have passed concerning national affairs, while the personal liberty bill still stands. The personal liberty law -- so the legislature of 1859 construed it, and such is the only construction which it will bear -- "was designed to and if faithfully executed will prevent the delivering up of fugitive slaves." It is therefore plain, palpable, unadulterated nullification of the fugitive slave law.

    Michigan, for six years past, has stood in the attitude of open and avowed hostility to the authority of the Constitution of the United States. Until she has changed this attitude -- until she has hauled down the flag of rebellion -- until she is fully within the line of her constitutional duty -- how absurd is it, how impudent is it, in her to pass resolutions that the Constitution of the United States, and all laws in pursuance thereof, "are the supreme law of the land" -- that "there is no method for a State, or the citizens of a State, to escape the obligations imposed by the Constitution except by and through an amendment of that instrument" -- that "Michigan is now, as she has always been, entirely loyal to the Constitution;"

    ... We know of nothing better calculated to stimulate secession than this action, especially as it is the action of a State whose professions of loyalty to the Constitution are a lie. -- Detroit Free Press
  • TEXAS: Sen. Ted Cruz won’t endorse Sen. John Cornyn for re-election

    08/24/2013 7:40:30 AM PDT · 28 of 57
    rustbucket to CenTex
    Here is the video of Ted Cruz at the August 20th Town Hall in Dallas. He does a really good job with the few hecklers. He lets one of them speak and then addresses their question.

    Cruz Town Hall

    Where is Cornyn's town hall? For that matter, where in my Republican representatives town hall?

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/23/2013 10:22:15 PM PDT · 110 of 169
    rustbucket to donmeaker
    Article III requires that controversies between the states and the federal government be resolved before the Supreme Court as original jurisdiction.

    That was true for states that remained in the Union. However, the Constitution no longer applied to states that had seceded. As John Taylor once put it:

    In the creation of the federal government, the states exercised the highest act of sovereignty, and they may, if they please, repeat the proof of their sovereignty, by its annihilation. But the union possesses no innate sovereignty, like the states; it was not self-constituted; it is conventional, and of course subordinate to the sovereignties by which it was formed.

    The sovereignties which imposed the limitations upon the federal government, far from supposing that they perished by the exercise of a part of their faculties, were vindicated, by reserving powers in which their deputy, the federal government, could not participate; and the usual right of sovereigns to alter or revoke its commissions.
  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/23/2013 10:11:03 PM PDT · 109 of 169
    rustbucket to rockrr
    You know that I’ve always had an admiration for your postings. You have crafted a careful narrative that supports the efforts of the cornfederates that is so reasonable that it almost passes the sniff-test.

    Blush. High praise from someone I've considered my conscience on these threads. Many thanks for your service keeping my dark side in check.

    The Founders may not have put a procedure for seceding into the Constitution because they didn't want to make it too easy to separate. Some of them apparently believed though that under certain conditions (oppression, unhappiness) a state could secede and that was consistent with the Constitution. At the same time, they didn't want to prohibit secession because in all likelihood, a Constitution that outlawed secession from this new experimental form of government would not have been ratified by all states, New York and Virginia in particular. Indeed, much later on, a proposed amendment to outlaw secession went down to defeat in the Senate 28 nays to 18 ayes on March 2, 1861, even after many Southern senators had left.

    With respect to your comment about Article I, Section 10, I think for the most part Confederate states did not violate that section while they were still in the Union and subject to the Constitution. Virginia did make a provisional agreement on April 24 to cooperate with the Confederacy after their secession convention voted to secede on April 17/ The agreement was temporary pending the outcome of the May 23 secession referendum by Virginians in their sovereign capacity at the ballot box. I believe the rationale for the agreement was primarily the defense of the state prior to confirmation of secession on May 23. See: Link.

    On April 23, 1861 Alexander Stephens made a speech to the Virginia Secession Convention pushing this agreement or alliance. In his speech, he mentioned the number of troops the Confederacy had called out to that point in time. It is the first authoritative number I have seen, and it roughly confirms what I found in the old newspapers. Here is an excerpt from the speech pertaining to those numbers:

    First, as to the ends or objects of the alliance. To me it seems very important that your military should at least be in co-operation with, if not under the direction of the Confederate States government. We will necessarily have a large amount of forces in the field. When I left Montgomery there was 50,000 troops ordered out; 15,000 of them were then under arms, and most of them are perhaps under arms by this time From information received from the Executive to-day, it appears that the President of the Confederacy has ordered out thirteen more regiments since I left. That will be about 12,000 more troops. North Carolina may be considered as co-operating with us now, though this large force [72,000] does not embrace any from that State. Tennessee also has tendered 5000, with an assurance from distinguished gentlemen from that State to our government, on Tuesday of last week, that soon after the news of the bombardment of Fort Sumter, 15,000 had tendered their services, and that, if necessary, 50,000 would be forthcoming. So large a number, however, would not be called for from there.

    Lincoln calling for the invasion of the South triggered the reaction of people in those states volunteering to serve. His proclamation caused the secession of four additional states and might have caused Maryland and Missouri to secede if they hadn't been occupied by force.

    Contained within those Articles is the means for remedy to whatever grievances the south may have had. Even legislation or agreement that didn’t meet their needs could have been appealed to SCOTUS.

    That approach doesn't appear to have worked very well for the South. Despite long years of legislation and court battles (some even reaching SCOTUS) over the return, or lack there of, of fugitive slaves, a number of Northern states had on their books personal liberty laws that appear to violate the Constitution. Large numbers of fugitive slaves lived openly in some states where it cost more than a slave was worth to try to recover the slave through the state's legal system.

    I submit that the insurrectionists did none of these things. Instead they took the passive-aggressive path of least resistance, framing their movement with the pretentious cloak of secession and daring anyone to object.

    Hmmm. Insurrectionists is not the right term; too pejorative. Secession was accomplished by elected conventions and/or by referendums of the states' voters to reassume the powers they had delegated to the federal government, their agent. Pretentious? Another pejorative word. Southerners believed sincerely that they had that right under the Constitution, much like the New York ratifiers had before them.

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/22/2013 8:52:03 PM PDT · 100 of 169
    rustbucket to rockrr
    Only if they do it [secede] legally.

    What way is that? What constitutional provision controls the issue? Were Hamilton and Jay (two of the authors of the Federalist Papers outlining what the Constitution meant) wrong about what the Constitution meant?

  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?

    08/22/2013 8:46:07 PM PDT · 99 of 169
    rustbucket to x
    Doesn't answer the question of why the special session of the Senate Buchanan called was adjourned when the nation was in the greatest crisis in its history. Was it really Lincoln's business to call Congress back into session after (one branch) had voted to adjourn after about 24 days?

    As lentulusgracchus has pointed out, war was the responsibility of Congress. Lincoln was clearly on the path that would result in war.

    The Senate usually had special sessions every two years at the end of the regular session, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. So, this special session was by no means unique. Doubtless, the new president had appointments he wanted to make, and some of the higher ranking ones required Senate confirmation. The new government needed to be set up.

    In checking the minutes of this special session I see where Lincoln's secretary Nicolay would periodically bring in communications from the president, and the Senate would then go into executive session to discuss them.

    The session had opened with Lincoln's inaugural address. There then followed quite a bit of discussion on what Lincoln meant in the inaugural and whether the Senate should print the inaugural speech, which was apparently not usually done. A number of other things were discussed including whether to expel Senator Wigfall of Texas since his state had seceded, but he was staying in the Senate until he was officially informed of the secession. There was discussion about forts in the seceded states and what the administration intended to do about Fort Sumter. One argument at that time was that Sumter should be evacuated as a military necessity. There were not enough troops to force their way in to the fort, which was apparently true if Scott's and Anderson's manpower estimates were correct.

    Bottom line on all this: Lincoln came out and said that he wasn't going to start shooting first.

    Could the South trust anything that Lincoln said? He sent Lamon to Charleston to say that Sumter would be evacuated. It wasn't. His Secretary of State similarly assured the Confederate Commissioners about Sumter, and they ended up accusing the Administration of gross perfidy concerning Sumter. Lincoln sent Fox down to visit Sumter, and Fox was allowed to visit Sumter for supposedly a peaceful purpose but in reality Fox was planning his Sumter relief expedition as became clear by some captured communication, IIRC. Lincoln said the Union couldn't stand half free, half slave, yet he supported a constitutional amendment leaving slavery alone in those states that wanted it. Which Lincoln was president?

    What was to prevent a not-so-trustworthy Lincoln from reinforcing Sumter with men and ammunition instead of just supplying the fort with food? Until news began leaking out that an armada of war ships was being prepared by the North the Confederates had allowed Anderson to buy food in town for the fort. Anderson had earlier turned down an offer from the governor for free food; he insisted on paying for it.

    The Richmond Daily Dispatch of April 5, 1861 said the following (I have no idea whether it was true -- it doesn't seem to match the story that the North/Anderson was putting out):

    The Mercury has a correspondent who says:

    Up to this time, two hundred pounds fresh beef, and three dozen cabbages, have been sent to Fort Sumter three times a week — besides potatoes by the barrel. Thus, both officers and privates have been allowed to have at least a considerable amount of wholesome provisions fer seventy men, and what cause is there for complaint? These facts are derived from the best authority, and are reliable. Let the Northern people do justice to Southern liberality.

    As a Monday morning quarterback I would not have stopped food supplies and instead have widely publicized that the South was providing all the food that the fort needed, leaving no justification for Lincoln's supply-Sumter-with-bread Expedition.

    If Davis or Pickens had bothered to read or understand Lincoln's inaugural, they might have let Lincoln start the war that you guys are so certain that he wanted, and let him bear the consequences.

    I've seen it argued that there was a chance that one or more already-seceded Southern states might waiver about their secession if Davis et al. let Lincoln supply the fort. I don't know whether that was true or not. I doubt it. More probably Davis recognized that a confrontation with the North would drive more states into the Confederacy, just as Lincoln recognized that such a confrontation would firm up support for himself. Both things happened.