Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Stogie–Donald Debates: Debunking Abraham Lincoln's Fort Sumter 'Plot'

Stogie attacked me at the comments of my earlier post, "Abraham Lincoln 'Plotted' to 'Force the South' to Fire the First Shot at Fort Sumter?":
Donald, instead of insulting me, why don't you actually read a book or two? Yes, Lincoln deliberately provoked the South into firing the first shot at Fort Sumter. He planned it, he plotted it. This is proved by historical research and reference to original documents, like . Read "Lincoln and Fort Sumter" by Charles Ramsdell, the Southern Historical Association, 1937. It is now in the public domain. Lincoln admitted his pleasure at the South firing the first shot, in a letter to a Captain Fox. He wrote:"You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be advanced by the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if it should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the result." [starting the war]. The result was that thousands of angry Northerners joined the army, falsely believing that the South's attack on the fort was unjustified.
And my response:
Who's insulting whom, Stogie? Obviously I read books all the time. It's simply that any countervailing evidence cannot penetrate the tinfoil redoubt you've built up to defend this so-called Southern heritage. Why is the Klan campaigning to keep the Confederate flag up in Columbia? Doesn't that bother you to have the KKK for an ally?
Less belligerently, as readers of course know, I read books all the time. It's pretty much what I do when I'm not blogging, besides eating, sleeping, watching news and sports, and hanging out with my family. I've got until the end of August to lollygag around until the fall semester starts.

So, I'm reading all kinds of things, like I always do.

Perhaps Stogie might check out Richard Nelson Current's, Lincoln and the First Shot, a history of the roughly two-month period leading to the outbreak of hostilities at Fort Sumter. In his afterword, Current reviews the evidence that Lincoln "plotted" to force the South to fire the first shot, and he follows that discussion with more recent scholarship that debunks the memes of the Southern heritage partisans by citing the works of historians James Randall, David Potter, and Kenneth Stamp. I've photographed the key sections. As the summary of Professor Randall indicates, "Lincoln intended and expected a peaceful provisioning of the fort."

You can read the full passage below. Clearly, partisans will adopt their favored views, but Stogie is delusional if he thinks that Lincoln "plotted" to force the South to strike first. Indeed, Stogie's ravings are right in line with the feverish rants of Marxists and radical libertarians, positions that are way outside mainstream and authoritative interpretations of the origins of the Civil War.

And by the way, Stogie has yet to respond to the announcement that the Ku Klux Klan will march to support the Confederate flag in Columbia, South Carolina. Clearly, those KKK ghouls haven't gotten the "innocent Sorth" memo.

Lincoln and the First Shot photo 11692766_10207449592700987_6509380521233457359_n_zpsyxtcnhak.jpg

Lincoln and the First Shot photo 11703136_10207449591380954_1047232389156126524_n_zpsp0cy8az8.jpg

Lincoln and the First Shot photo 11692649_10207449591340953_2853521747704528846_n_zpsbdwutxhf.jpg

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner to Divorce After 10 Years of Marriage

The rumors have been swirling for awhile.

At Variety, "Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner Divorcing After 10 Years of Marriage."

And at the Los Angeles Times, "Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner are getting a divorce after 10 years of marriage."

Célia Šašić Misses Penalty Kick Against #USWNT — #USAvGER

That was kinda shocking.

This Šašić is the goat of Germany.

At Sports Illustrated, "Watch: Germany's Célia Šašić misses penalty kick against USWNT."

The Next Culture War

From David Brooks, at the New York Times.

Read at the link for Brooks' discussion on the new round of the culture wars that's been unleashed with the Obergefell decision. Brooks suggests that it may be time to move past the current battles, which conservatives have lost:
Consider a different culture war, one just as central to your faith and far more powerful in its persuasive witness.

We live in a society plagued by formlessness and radical flux, in which bonds, social structures and commitments are strained and frayed. Millions of kids live in stressed and fluid living arrangements. Many communities have suffered a loss of social capital. Many young people grow up in a sexual and social environment rendered barbaric because there are no common norms. Many adults hunger for meaning and goodness, but lack a spiritual vocabulary to think things through.

Social conservatives could be the people who help reweave the sinews of society. They already subscribe to a faith built on selfless love. They can serve as examples of commitment. They are equipped with a vocabulary to distinguish right from wrong, what dignifies and what demeans. They already, but in private, tithe to the poor and nurture the lonely.

The defining face of social conservatism could be this: Those are the people who go into underprivileged areas and form organizations to help nurture stable families. Those are the people who build community institutions in places where they are sparse. Those are the people who can help us think about how economic joblessness and spiritual poverty reinforce each other. Those are the people who converse with us about the transcendent in everyday life.

This culture war is more Albert Schweitzer and Dorothy Day than Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham; more Salvation Army than Moral Majority. It’s doing purposefully in public what social conservatives already do in private.

I don’t expect social conservatives to change their positions on sex, and of course fights about the definition of marriage are meant as efforts to reweave society. But the sexual revolution will not be undone anytime soon. The more practical struggle is to repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable. Social conservatives are well equipped to repair this fabric, and to serve as messengers of love, dignity, commitment, communion and grace.
More at Memeorandum, especially Rod Dreher, at AmCon, "David Brooks on ‘The Next Culture War’," and Vox Day, at Vox Populi, "They are the SAME war."

I thinks folks on the right should just step back, take a breather on the culture wars and start prioritizing a national security agenda for election 2016. Economics and national security should be the big issues, with immigration a key plank on the homeland side of security. Give homosexual marriage a rest --- at least for now.

Celebrate Fourth of July with Hannah Davis

Hey, for sure.

Via Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:


FLASHBACK: "Hanna Davis on Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2015," and "Hannah Davis Super Sexy Outtakes."

Australian Supermodel Nicole Trunfio Breastfeeds Her Baby on the Cover of Elle Magazine

It's the Australian edition of Elle.

She's mounting a celebrity protest against breastfeed-shaming.

At Us Magazine, "Nicole Trunfio Breastfeeds Her Baby Boy on Elle Australia Cover."

And at the Independent UK, "Nicole Trunfio defends breastfeeding Elle front cover after 'beautiful' shot is criticised":
Nicole Trunfio has responded to the mixed reaction her June 2015 cover shot of Elle Australia has received.

The image shows the supermodel breastfeeding her five-month-old son Zion; a photograph she says that wasn’t “planned or contrived” and that she hadn’t intended to be controversial.

Support for Trunfio was equally as vocal. Many women have even adopted the #normalisebreastfeeding hashtag she used on social media. Another, #Bressure, has since sprung up in response to a campaign by YouTube community Channel Mum.

“I didn't think it was going to be such a big deal,” Trunfio told Good Morning America.

“There's nothing worse than, as a mother, doing something that's so necessary like feeding your child and feeling like somebody could have an opinion about it or somebody's looking at you the wrong way.

“I think it should be something that isn't a [subscriber's cover], it's a huge part of being a woman and motherhood.”

On just how naturally the shot came about, she added: “He was with me on set all day and there were periods I'd take off to feed him and I had on this beautiful outfit and the stylist was like, ‘Wow, that looks amazing, let's move you on set to have this picture taken.' Not that it was going to become a part of the shoot.”

Reports of the Supreme Court's Leftward Turn Have Been Greatly Exaggerated


At Politico, "Supreme Court's liberal admirers get reality check":
Liberals still giddy over a series of major victories at the Supreme Court last week got a bracing reality check Monday, as conservatives carried the day on key cases involving the death penalty and President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda.

Progressives got another signal that any momentum they were experiencing at the high court could be short-lived: the justices announced they will address the thorny issue of affirmative action next term, taking up for the second time a case challenging the University of Texas’s use of race in its admissions process.

For some, it felt like whiplash.

“The cases today are shocking,” said Nan Aron, a prominent liberal activist and president of Alliance for Justice. “Last week was wonderful and no one can take away the victories that occurred, but I think it’s also important to understand those victories in a context [that] the court is one that continues to rule in favor of powerful and wealthy interests at the expense of most Americans. The decisions certainly today suggest that trend continues.”

Aron dismissed conclusions that the court was shifting to the left as it ruled in favor of same-sex marriage rights and upheld the nationwide availability of insurance subsidies under Obamacare, calling such pronouncements “largely premature and exaggerated.”
Some conservatives agreed that the court wasn’t necessarily taking a new direction.

“I always thought the claims that the Roberts court ‘is the most conservative since’ whenever were overblown and I think the claims of a dramatic leftward turn are overblown, too,” said Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve. “When you kind of step back and look at the substance of the cases, what’s at issue and what the court did, I don’t think you see a great liberal shift.”

All three decisions the justices issued Monday were 5-4 rulings. Justice Anthony Kennedy voted with the court’s other Republican appointees to reject a challenge to Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol, effectively easing application of the death penalty nationwide, and to knock back regulations the Obama administration issued trying to limit mercury in power plants, complicating Obama’s environmental policies.

Even the sole case where the court’s liberal wing prevailed Monday by winning over Kennedy had a potential downside for the left. The court’s ruling allowing the redistricting of congressional seats to be handled by independent commissions is likely a setback to Republicans in Arizona, which brought the case to the justices, but a blow to Democrats in the much-larger state of California....
Keep reading.

In-Depth: 4 Harms the Court's Marriage Ruling Will Cause

From Ryan Anderson, at the Daily Signal.

Grizzly Bear Climbs on Car at Yellowstone National Park

Pretty fascinating, actually.

Good thing the folks inside kept their windows rolled up, considering.

Watch: "Grizzly Bear Clambers Over Family Car."

Jeb Bush Calls Confederate Flag a 'Racist' Symbol

I don't care for Jeb Bush, but coming out so forwardly and unashamedly attacking the Confederate flag as "racist" is no doubt an extremely calculated political move.

Lots of conservatives love that flag, and in a number of important states, they'll be a crucial bloc of voters. And Jeb's blowing them off. Or, he's signaling to them that the Confederate flag's just not going to be up for debate in the GOP primaries, and if you're going to make it an issue you're going to be demonized as no different from the KKK. It's pretty harsh, but I suspect that calculation is the reality of the top brokers at the heights of Republican power and money.

At the Washington Post, "Campaigning in South Carolina, Jeb Bush calls Confederate flag ‘racist’."

Walmart Apologizes for Making ISIS Cake After Saying No to Confederate Cake

I thought this was some conservative Twitter meme at first, but it's not. Walmart really made an ISIS cake.

At ABC News, "Walmart Apologizes for Making ISIS Cake for Man Denied Confederate Flag Design."

Viviany Beleboni 'Crucifixion' at São Paulo Homosexual Pride Parade

I had to follow up on this, especially since my blog was getting some hits off this post: "Celebrate Hate? Homosexual Revelers Use Brazil Pride Festivities to Blaspheme Jesus Christ."

See Blazing Cat Fur, "After Blasphemous Gay Pride Parade, Brazil Seeks to Ban ‘Christophobia’."

And at BuzzFeed, "This Transgender Actress Caused a Huge Internet Uproar After Dressing Up as Crucified Jesus In a Parade."

Imprisoned Mobster Whitey Bulger Writes Letter to Three Teenage Girls from Massachusetts

This is pretty interesting.

The girls were doing a high school project and mob boss Whitey Bulger wrote back to them.

At the Washington Post, "Boston mobster Whitey Bulger writes letter from prison: ‘My life was wasted and spent foolishly’."

And at CBS This Morning, "Legendary mob boss Whitey Bulger expresses regret in letter to teen girls."

Apple Music's Streaming Debut

This is cool, especially if you're a super hip digital music aficionado.

At WSJ, "High Expectations Play in Background of Apple Music’s Debut."

And at BuzzFeed, "Apple Music Launches Tuesday With Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”."

Monday, June 29, 2015

SpaceX Rocket Failure Raises Questions About Business of Commercial Space Flight

At the Los Angeles Times, "Rocket explosion is a blow to billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX":

An unmanned SpaceX rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station disintegrated over the Florida coast just two minutes after liftoff Sunday — the third major failure for America's commercial space industry in eight months.

The explosion was a blow to billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX aerospace venture, which has shaken the global launch business in recent years by showing it can successfully fly rockets at a fraction of the price of other providers.

It was too early to determine what went wrong Sunday, but executives at the Hawthorne firm vowed to quickly pinpoint the problem. "We will identify the issue we experienced, fix it and get back to flight," Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, said at Sunday news conference.

The failure creates a challenge for NASA. It was the third cargo ship loaded with food, water and other supplies lost in less than a year.

"We expected … we would lose some vehicles," William Gerstenmaier, a NASA associate administrator, said at the news conference. "I didn't think we'd lose them all in a one-year time frame, but we have."

Among the Falcon 9's cargo were parts needed for a water filtration system, said Michael Suffredini, manager of NASA's space station program.

He said the astronauts on the space station have enough food and water for about four months and that another Russian resupply ship was scheduled to launch Friday.

NASA would start planning to bring the astronauts back to Earth, he said, only if vital supplies dwindled to enough for 45 days.

Musk tweeted soon after the failure that there had been "an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank."

"That's all we can say with confidence right now," Musk wrote.

The loss of another commercial rocket operated under a NASA contract comes at a time when the agency's critics in Congress are threatening to reduce funding. Among the targets has been a program under which NASA gave contracts to SpaceX and Boeing Co. to develop spacecraft to fly astronauts to the space station.

SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has also been lobbying for the opportunity to launch the Pentagon's spy satellites and other crucial spacecraft. The company's congressional critics have argued that the upstart is not as reliable as a Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture that has long had a lock on the military work.

"SpaceX will now have to work on their technical problems and political problems simultaneously," said Greg Autry, an assistant professor at USC who follows the space industry.

The Falcon 9 rocket had flown successfully 18 times. Sunday's cargo mission was the seventh under the NASA contract.

It was the company's first failure since August 2008, when a different rocket — the Falcon 1 — did not reach orbit.

The explosion happened despite good weather. The countdown went smoothly.

After just over two minutes of flight, NASA lost contact with the rocket. Video showed it shattering apart, leaving a cloud of debris.

The success of the SpaceX mission had become more crucial after a Russian resupply ship spun out of control in late April and was destroyed as it fell back to Earth.

Before that, on Oct. 28, a rocket operated by NASA's other commercial cargo hauler, Orbital Sciences, exploded just seconds after liftoff from a Virginia launch pad.

Orbital executives blamed that failure on a fuel pump in one of the rocket's 40-year-old Russian engines. Orbital has since redesigned the rocket, aiming to begin flying it again next year.

"Orbital Sciences isn't anywhere close to being ready to fly again," said Marco Caceres, an aerospace industry analyst with Teal Group. "It will be months and months before they fly, and we're not sure then if they'll be successful."

NASA officials said that SpaceX would do its own investigation of the failure under the supervision of the Federal Aviation Administration...

South Carolina Legislature Has the Votes to Take Down Confederate Flag at Statehouse Grounds

I don't know.

Leftists want it down. A majority of Americans want it down. State legislators want it down.

Shoot, the only ones that want to keep it flying are the Southern heritage folks and their KKK allies.

At the Charleston Post & Courier, "Majority of House, Senate support taking down Confederate flag":

The S.C. Legislature has amassed the support necessary to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, potentially ending a decades-long, divisive battle over the banner’s fate, according to a survey of lawmakers led by The Post and Courier.

he poll of lawmakers has determined that both the House and the Senate have achieved the two-thirds majority needed to take the flag down, if all supporters were to cast their votes. At least 33 senators and 83 House members say the flag should go.

“I just think that it’s time,” Rep. Mike Forrester, R-Spartanburg, said Monday. “It’s causing too many problems. ... I think it needs to be in a place of honor, but probably not on the Statehouse grounds.”

The issue has heated up following the June 17 killing of nine people, including a state senator, at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, allegedly by a white supremacist who is pictured with a Confederate flag in photos on the Internet.

Members of both chambers have been notified that they are scheduled to return to Columbia on July 6 at 1 p.m. to tackle vetoes and the flag debate. A vote in the Senate could potentially occur that same day...
Keep reading.

Ku Klux Klan to Rally for the Confederate Flag at South Carolina Statehouse

The debate continues with Stogie at Saberpoint, who has responded to my earlier post on Fort Sumter. See, "Did Lincoln Deliberately Instigate War at Fort Sumter? Yes, He Did."

Meanwhile, remember at the crux of this debate is not so much who started the war, but why the belligerents were willing to go to war. The North, of course, under President Lincoln's leadership, fought initially to preserve the Union. The South, ultimately, fought to protect states' right to own property in slaves. (The whole debate is at the search link.)

Stogie has consistently said that the South fought to defend against Northern aggression, and that the protection of states' rights to own slaves was never a cause of war.

Okay, well, I guess the KKK never got the memo.

At the Charleston Post & Courier, "Ku Klux Klan to protest removal of Confederate flag on July 18 at Statehouse":

The Ku Klux Klan has been approved to hold a protest rally at the Statehouse next month against removing the Confederate battle flag, with the group calling accused mass murderer Dylann Roof a “young warrior.”

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan applied for the permit last week to hold a rally for 100 to 200 people on July 18 on the north side of the Statehouse.

That’s where the Confederate battle flag presently flies.

Brian Gaines, spokesman for the S.C. Budget and Control Board, said the state provides rally space at the Statehouse site when space is available or previously not reserved.

The move was not endorsed by Gov. Nikki Haley. “This is our state, and they are not welcome,” she said in a statement issued by her press office.

In its application permit, the Klan lists equipment needs as a podium and public address access. The group is headquartered out of Pelham, N.C.

Robert Jones, grand dragon for the group, said on Monday that the Klan is a civil rights organization dedicated to white culture and history as symbolized by the rebel banner.

During a phone interview, Jones gave words of support for Roof, saying he erred in going after black people while they worshipped. On the Klan group’s telephone answering machine is a recorded message that refers to Roof as a warrior.

Roof, 21, of Eastover is charged with nine counts of murder in the June 17 shooting at Emanuel AME Church.

All the victims were black; Roof is white, and has reportedly promoted white supremacist activity in his writings and on the Internet...
Interesting that this Robert Jones dude praised the suspect Roof "as a warrior," and he tacitly endorses the murders when he adds the qualification about how Roof was only wrong to the extent that "he erred in going after black people while they worshipped" [sic].

Hey, if those darkies hadn'ta been worshiping, lock and load ye whippersnapper!

I'm sure Stogie's got some canned response to the KKK's support for the suspect Roof and the Confederate flag. I mean, Southerners loved and protected their slaves, right? They protected them right up until the slightest whiff of a fugitive escape, and then slave masters would use their legal rights to beat and whip their black chattel back in line.

Democrat Party racism and violence. That's some Southern heritage, I'll tell you. That's some real sick Southern heritage.

PREVIOUSLY: "Dylann Roof, Southern Democrat Throwback, is Drug-Addled 'Wannabe Emo Anarchist' with Androgynous Haircut," and "Crazy Emo-Prog Dylann Roof Doesn't Fit the Left's 'Right-Wing Racist White Supremacist' Narrative."

BONUS: "What the Left, and Sadly, Some Conservatives Just Do Not Grasp."

Settlement Reached for Families of Yarnell Hill Fire 'Hotshots'

I blogged quite a bit about this fire at the time. Horrifying.

At the Arizona Republic, "Yarnell Hill Fire lawsuits settle for $670,000, reforms."

Also at ABC-15 Phoenix, "Settlement reached for families of Yarnell hotshots," and "Granite Mountain Hotshots remembered 2 years after perishing in wildfire."

Celebrate Hate? Homosexual Revelers Use Brazil Pride Festivities to Blaspheme Jesus Christ

From earlier this month.

At the Conservative Post, "Gay Pride Participants Mock Jesus and the Bible in a Disturbing Way."

And from Amy Proctor, on Facebook.

Facebook Profiles photo 11241440_10155712178555177_7650213372491645357_n_zps7lfnnjzc.jpg
Gay Pride Festivities in Brazil. I've seen WAY worse in San Francisco.

I notice they're not targeting Buddha or Mohammed.... why? Because this movement is an anti-Christ movement and no Christian can support it in any way.

Choose you this day whom you will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15- "But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord."
No doubt similar blasphemy was taking place all across the U.S. this weekend. For example, at Twitchy, "#LoveWins? Bronx priest reports getting spit on after today's gay pride parade in NYC," and Gateway Pundit, "Catholic Priest Spit On at Bronx Gay Pride Parade."

BONUS: At Time, "Facebook Has a Super Easy Way to Let You Celebrate Gay Pride," and "Here's how to add a rainbow filter to your Facebook photo in honor of the gay marriage ruling."

Greece to Default on Payment to International Monetary Fund

Frankly, I still don't see Greece leaving the European Union, but this is a major development.

At WSJ, "Greece to Default on $1.73 Billion IMF Payment":

European leaders appealed to Greeks to vote “yes” in a referendum on their country’s bailout, warning that the risk of Greece’s exit from the euro was real, as Athens confirmed it wouldn’t be able to make a loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund due on Tuesday.

The Greek government’s decision to call a vote on measures its creditors demand in return for more bailout aid has cast the country into uncharted waters. As of Tuesday, Greece will be cut loose from international rescue loans for the first time in more than five years. It will also default on the €1.55 billion ($1.73 billion) IMF payment, whose deadline is the same day.

Many economists and officials fear that without further financial support, Greece may have to abandon the euro, sparking a messy departure from the bloc. The European Union also hopes to avoid contagion from spreading to other parts of the 19-country eurozone after Greece’s decision over the weekend to shut down its banking system for at least a week to prevent money from flooding out of the country.

“You shouldn’t commit suicide because you’re afraid of dying,” Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said in a speech aimed at convincing Greeks that the budget cuts and policy overhauls their government has rejected are actually good for their country.

“You should say ‘yes’ regardless of what the question is,” he said. A “no” vote, however, “will mean that Greece is saying ‘no’ to Europe.”

Stocks and bonds fell around the world on Monday, but there was little sign of outright panic. European stocks recovered slightly from early losses.

Bonds in Italy, Spain and Portugal—highly indebted countries seen as vulnerable to the Greek crisis—also pared losses after initial sharp falls, and remain far from the levels seen in 2012 or 2013, when banking problems in Spain and Cyprus raised doubts over the eurozone’s integrity.

Eurozone finance ministers refused on Saturday Athens’s request to extend the European portion of Greece’s €245 billion bailout by an extra month. That would have carried Greece past the July 5 vote, but likely still left the government without enough funding to pay the IMF.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke by phone with Mr. Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz and asked for help getting an extension to the bailout, a Greek government official said.

“The Greek prime minister expressed the position that the democratic expression of the Greek people is hindered by the closure of banks, which doesn’t apply with the democratic tradition of Europe,” the official said.

Another government official said that some branches of Greek banks would reopen by Thursday for those who don't have a debit or credit cards.Greeks can withdraw as much as €60 a day.

Mr. Tsipras and his government are calling on Greeks to vote “no” to send a signal to Europe and the IMF that Greece wants a better deal for continued rescue loans. Mr. Juncker rejected the argument that such a vote would give the government a better negotiating position.

“Greek citizens who are being called to vote next Sunday need a clearer picture of what’s at stake,” Mr. Juncker said.

French President François Hollande issued a similar warning. “It’s a question of knowing whether the Greeks want to remain in the eurozone—which is where they belong in my opinion—or if they will take the risk of exiting,” Mr. Hollande said after an emergency meeting with top ministers and finance advisers.

Mr. Hollande also stressed that France and the rest of the eurozone are now in a better position to withstand a Greek departure. “Today the French economy is robust—much more so than four years ago—and it has nothing to fear from what could happen,” the French leader said...
Keep reading.

Also, "Greece Orders Banks Closed, Imposes Capital Controls to Stem Deposit Flight."

And at Memeorandum.

The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage

Actually, "gay" "marriage" isn't conservative, but as readers might have noticed, I accept the Court's decision and I think it's time for Republicans to move on. (There are other cultural battles to fight, but I think the economy and foreign policy will be winners in 2016.)

Be that as it may, here's Richard Grenell, at Fox News:

Led by conservative Justice and Reagan appointee, Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court ruled Friday, in a 5-4 decision, in favor of same-sex marriage. Despite the often binary depiction in the media, this decision is in fact a landmark victory for conservative principles. In fact, Friday’s decision is a momentous win for the founding principle of the Republican Party: individual liberty.

Consistent conservatives should frame their views in accordance with the fundamental belief that individuals, not governments, have the right to determine the course of their own lives.

Fellow conservatives, particularly within the Republican Party, typically do a good job arguing against totalitarian, one-size-fits-all approaches to policy. What works for a family in New York City, might not work in Jenison, Michigan, or Tulsa, Oklahoma.

It is for this reason that Republicans and conservatives have embraced issues such as school choice, which gives parents the right to choose the method of schooling that best fits their child’s needs. Parents, not governments, should decide what is best for their family.

Republicans and American conservatives have also been remarkably consistent on taxation. Consistent conservatives believe people should keep more of the money they work so hard to earn—not because the vulnerable don’t deserve assistance, but because individuals can and will make better, and more effective financial and charitable choices with their money than government bureaucrats.

The list of important conservative positions, all relating back to the fundamental principle of individual choice, goes on and on: property rights; freedom of association; and freedom of speech, etc.

But when the topic of gay marriage arises, some conservatives have not been consistent.  The debate on marriage within the Republican Party has been hijacked by those who wish to dictate their beliefs onto others. Rather than professing consistent, conservative beliefs, some within the party have taken to advocating for a remarkably liberal, totalitarian approach.

This hypocrisy has not been lost on the electorate.  Millennials, possibly the most naturally conservative-leaning constituency, laugh at the inconsistencies they hear coming from “conservative” voices on issues like gay marriage.

Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is one of those inconsistent conservatives.  Walker immediately lashed out at the Supreme Court’s decision, proposing an astonishingly big-government response. Walker called for a Constitutional Amendment, ensuring that politicians will forever be able to dictate whom one should or should not be able to marry. In other words, Walker wants to cement the will of politicians into our daily lives.

Walker has taken a stunningly liberal position.  As conservative Justice Kennedy wrote in his opinion, “marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order. States have contributed to the fundamental character of marriage by placing it at the center of many facets of the legal and social order.” Indeed, marriage today is as much as it has ever been an important, legal contract—one which carries with it profound financial and emotional ramifications.

Walker, and others like him, seem to ignore the real-life implications of contemporary marriage, instead focusing solely on a religious definition of marriage with which they happen to agree...

Olivia Munn Practicing Sword-Fighting with Aaron Rodgers

At ESPN, "Aaron Rodgers photobombs Olivia Munn's video."

And at Maxim, "Here is a video of beautiful @oliviamunn sword fighting because Monday."

Abraham Lincoln 'Plotted' to 'Force the South' to Fire the First Shot at Fort Sumter?

Oh boy.

Stogie at Saberpoint might as well be a 9/11 truther, considering these outlandish blood libels he's spewing against Abraham Lincoln.

Now this is just downright bizarre, from the comments at Mediaite, "Memphis Mayor Wants to Literally Dig Up Confederate General and Move Him":
jim  rmiers1 • an hour ago

Very few people joined up to fight for the union to end slavery. They fought to restore the honor of a nation that had their flag torn town at Ft. Sumter and they weren't going to quit until the flag and their honor were restored. Now to many in the 21st century this sounds ridiculous and archaic but this was the mentality in the mid 19th century.

Stogie Chomper  jim • 28 minutes ago

That's why Lincoln and his staff plotted to force the South to fire the first shot -- by refusing to negotiate the peaceful return of the fort to South Carolina, by refusing to leave, and by attempting to resupply the fort with Yankee warships. People today still mistakenly believe the South started the war by firing the first shot -- but it was started by Lincoln, purposely for its propaganda value, by forcing the issue.
The truth is Lincoln pledged not to fight to reclaim Fort Sumter for the North. Indeed, he nearly let the U.S. Army forces of Major Robert Anderson run out of provisions, and then only sent supply ships to re-provision the troops there with the permission of South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens. But Pickens was an extremist who refused Lincoln's attempt to peaceably re-provision the fort. Confederate President Jefferson Davis piled on the belligerency, ultimately ordering Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard to bombard the Union forces at the fort. The North so refused to fire the first shot that Major Anderson responded to General Beauregard's demands to surrender by saying he'd rather run out of food before initiating hostilities.

These are just facts. Don't let old Stogie get away with his conspiracy bullshit. Man, this is really getting interesting. Get your tinfoil hats ready!

And check back for further iterations of the Stogie-Donald debates!

Israel Intercepts Gaza Flotilla

At Legal Insurrection, "Gaza Flotilla III flops":

Hillary Clinton is 'Undermining' the Public’s Trust in Politics

Here's Ron Fournier, from this Morning Joe, this morning:

Homosexual Marriage is Not a Constitutional Right

It is now.

It wasn't seven years ago when California voters banned it at the ballot box, in Proposition 8. The Courts overturned the will of the voters, here and elsewhere. As I wrote at the time, "Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right."

This editorial, at IBD and seen on Twitter, is from 2013, "Forget Gay Marriage: What About The Decline of Marriage?"

The constitutional right to homosexual marriage won't strengthen the institution of marriage. In fact, it will have the opposite effect, as all manner of sexual relationships will now be legitimized and America will continue to slide down the slippery slope.

Homosexual Marriage Symposia

I'm seeing a number of conservative roundups on homosexual marriage.

For example, at National Review, "The Supreme Court Has Legalized Same-Sex Marriage: Now What?"

Also at the Federalist, "Gay Marriage Is Here – Now What?", and First Things, "After Obergefell: A First Things Symposium."

How Conservatives Move Forward After Obergefell v. Hodges

From JPod, at Commentary, "Three Ways Conservatives Can Move Forward After Last Week."

Personally, I think Republicans should downplay homosexual marriage, as I've indicated. Clearly, with today's ruling on the death penalty, all is not lost in the culture wars, not the death penalty and certainly not abortion, which death-loving Democrats avoid talking about at all costs.

Supreme Court Upholds Lethal Injection Drugs for Death Penalty

This case broke down along the Court's classic 5-4, right-left split, with Samuel Alito writing the majority opinion.

At LAT, "Supreme Court OKs use of controversial sedative in executions":
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for Oklahoma and other death-penalty states to execute convicted murderers with a lethal injection that relies on a substitute sedative.

The 5-4 decision rejected claims from death-penalty foes who said the drug in question, midazolam, is not reliably effective and could subject an inmate to a cruelly painful death.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said the prisoners who challenged the use of this drug "failed to establish that Oklahoma's use of a massive dose of midazolam in its execution protocol entails a substantial risk of severe pain."

Moreover, they failed to suggest a reasonable alternative drug, since the most effective barbiturates are no longer available, he said.

In one of two dissents, Justice Stephen Breyer questioned the constitutionality of the death penalty itself.

"I believe it is highly likely that the death penalty violates the 8th Amendment" and its ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

He said the court should hear arguments on that question in the future...
As the Obergefell case showed, the Court slavishly hews to public opinion. And so as long as a majority in public opinion supports the death penalty --- and public support is still at 60 percent now --- then the Court will continue to uphold it.

One wildcard is Anthony Kennedy, of course. He's basically a leftist. Frankly I'm a bit surprised he didn't rule against Oklahoma's drug cocktail in this case.

More at Memerandum.

'The Marxists will literally use any distraction, even a minor one such as Bristol’s pregnancy, to divert from all the horrific crap raining down on America and across the globe...'

They will.

The Middle East continues to burn, but hey, Bristol Palin is pregnant.

From Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, at Right Wing News, "Bristol Palin Releases Ultrasound Photo! And the Father of her Baby is…"

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How Does Homosexual Ruling Affect 2016 GOP Presidential Field?

More on the political fallout of the left's culture war victory.

From David Lauter and Mark Barabak, at the Los Angeles Times, "A GOP conundrum: How does a 2016 candidate play the same-sex marriage ruling?":
Within minutes of the Supreme Court's decision declaring a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, President Obama joined the celebration, calling one of the gay plaintiffs to congratulate him on live television, then going to the Rose Garden to hail Friday's ruling as a moment when "slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt."

Almost simultaneously, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one of the leading Republicans in the race to succeed Obama, denounced the decision as a "grave mistake" and called for a constitutional amendment to reverse it. Another GOP hopeful, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said the high court had "crossed from the realm of activism into the arena of oligarchy," and called for a constitutional amendment to allow voters to remove Supreme Court justices from office.

By contrast, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also seeking the Republican nomination, stepped softly, saying only that he thought "the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision." GOP candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said: "While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law."

The widely different approaches highlighted how gay rights — same-sex marriage, in particular — continue to divide and shape American politics.

Republicans running for president face a choice in responding to the court's ruling. They could try to use the strong emotions same-sex marriages evoke as a way to mobilize conservative voters in primaries, but potentially at the cost of undermining their campaigns in next year's general election. Or they could seize on the finality of a Supreme Court ruling as a way of avoiding an issue on which their party is out of step with the majority of voters, but at the risk of alienating conservatives who see the court decision as a violation of deeply held religious principles.

How they choose to navigate the issue will help determine whether the vast majority of the country quickly accepts the court's ruling, as happened with the decision to wipe out laws against interracial marriage nearly half a century ago, or whether it will remain divisive for years to come...

And see my earlier comments on this, from just a few minutes ago, "As Left Wins Culture Battles, Republicans Have Chance to Pivot for 2016."

New Footage of Tunisia Terror Attack

Via Sky News, "Tunisia Terror Attack: New Footage of Rampage."

Plus, "Tunisia Attack: Footage of Gunman on Beach."

As Left Wins Culture Battles, Republicans Have Chance to Pivot for 2016

Meh. I'm skeptical of this argument.

And I'm skeptical because the left makes everything about culture. Economics is about culture. About "flyover country" and the "47 percent."

2016 will be about race and especially gender, if Hillary's the nominee, which it'll be surprising if she not.

From Jonathan Martin, at the New York Times, "As Left Wins Culture Battles, G.O.P. Gains Opportunity to Pivot for 2016":
WASHINGTON — A cascade of events suggests that 2015 could be remembered as a Liberal Spring: the moment when deeply divisive and consuming questions of race, sexuality and broadened access to health care were settled in quick succession, and social tolerance was cemented as a cornerstone of American public life.

Yet what appears, in headlines and celebrations across the country, to represent an unalloyed victory for Democrats, in which lawmakers and judges alike seemed to give in to the leftward shift of public opinion, may contain an opening for the Republican Party to move beyond losing battles and seemingly lost causes.

Conservatives have, in short order, endured a series of setbacks on ideas that, for some on the right, are definitional: that marriage is between a man and a woman, that Southern heritage and its symbols are to be unambivalently revered and that the federal government should play a limited role in the lives of Americans.

Remarkably, some of these verities have been challenged not by liberals but by figures from the right.

The past week and the month that preceded it have been nothing short of a rout in the culture wars. Bruce Jenner, the famed Olympian, became Caitlyn Jenner in the most prominent moment yet for transgender people. The killings of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., at once rendered the Confederate battle flag unsuitable for government-sanctioned display. And Friday’s legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide elevated a community that had been consigned to the shadows for centuries of American life.

But even as conservatives appear under siege, some Republicans predict that this moment will be remembered as an effective wiping of the slate before the nation begins focusing in earnest on the presidential race.

As important as some of these issues may be to the most conservative elements of the party’s base and in the primaries ahead, few Republican leaders want to contest the 2016 elections on social or cultural grounds, where polls suggest that they are sharply out of step with the American public.

“Every once in a while, we bring down the curtain on the politics of a prior era,” said David Frum, the conservative writer. “The stage is now cleared for the next generation of issues. And Republicans can say, ‘Whether you’re gay, black or a recent migrant to our country, we are going to welcome you as a fully cherished member of our coalition.’ ”

The critical question is whether the Republican Party will embrace such a message in order to seize what many party officials see as an opening to turn the election toward economic and national security issues.

It will not happen easily: Every major Republican presidential candidate criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday affirming same-sex marriage as the law of the land.

Of course, many of the Republicans running for president are keen to move on from the culture wars, but others, like Mike Huckabee and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, are already seizing on matters like same-sex marriage and what they call judicial overreach to distinguish themselves in a crowded primary field. And the conservative activists and interest groups that play an important role in the primary will not let any of the candidates simply move on.

“Our candidates running in a primary are put in a little bit of a box by the events of this week, but at the same time, it does change the landscape for the general election, which is a blessing,” said Carl Forti, a Republican strategist who has worked on presidential races. “I’m glad I’m not on a campaign and don’t have to advise my candidate on how to navigate those three issues this week, because the answers for the primary and the general are radically different.”

Privately, some of the strategists advising Republican hopefuls believe the last week has been nothing short of a gift from above — a great unburdening on issues of race and sexuality, and on health care a disaster averted. Rhetorical opposition to the Affordable Care Act will still be de rigueur in the primaries, but litigating the issue in theory is wholly different from doing so with more than six million people deprived of their health insurance.

Collectively, this optimistic thinking would have it, June will go down as the month that dulled some of the wedge issues Democrats were hoping to wield next year...
That's the other thing: Republicans need to realize they've been beaten on homosexual marriage and back off for awhile. There'll be time to revisit when the harshly negative social effects start to bleed through. Meanwhile, taxes, economic growth, immigration, and foreign policy remain well within the GOP's wheelhouse, and they should press full steam ahead. The Dems can be beat in 2016, easily. But Republicans need to get real about all the recent changes and focus on their strengths, which are plenty.

Keep reading, in any case.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

'Hurrah for gay marriage. But why do supporters save their vitriol for its foes instead of the barbarians at our gates?...'

Well, it's not really Islam, after all?

Real Islam is a "religion of peace," dontcha know?

From Bari Weiss, at the Wall Street Journal, via Elizabeth Price Foley at Instapundit, "Love Among the Ruins":
On Friday my phone was blowing up with messages, asking if I’d seen the news. Some expressed disbelief at the headlines. Many said they were crying.

None of them were talking about the dozens of people gunned down in Sousse, Tunisia, by a man who, dressed as a tourist, had hidden his Kalashnikov inside a beach umbrella. Not one was crying over the beheading in a terrorist attack at a chemical factory near Lyon, France. The victim’s head was found on a pike near the factory, his body covered with Arabic inscriptions. And no Facebook friends mentioned the first suicide bombing in Kuwait in more than two decades, in which 27 people were murdered in one of the oldest Shiite mosques in the country.

They were talking about the only news that mattered: gay marriage.

Unlike President Obama, I have always been a staunch supporter of gay marriage, and I cheered the Supreme Court’s ruling making gay marriage legal in all 50 states. But as happy as I was, I was equally upset on Friday—and not just with the Islamists who carried out those savage attacks.

Moral relativism has become its own, perverse form of nativism among those who stake their identity on being universalist and progressive...
Keep reading.

Plus, from Rick Moran, via Ed Driscoll at Instapundit, "U.S. AUTHORITIES WORRY OF TERROR ATTACK OVER 4TH OF JULY...":
Even before the terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait on Friday, U.S. counterterrorism officials were warning that increased activity by Islamic State sympathizers in the U.S. may foreshadow an attack over the 4th of July weekend.

While it is common for Homeland Security to issue terror advisories in advance of a holiday, two foiled terrorist plots this month as well as the carnage on Friday have given special significance to the efforts of law enforcement to be vigilant over Independence Day weekend...
I'm actually surprised at DHS, considering how untold number of leftists this week were spewing about the "real threat" to American security from "right-wing terrorism."

Confederate Flag Supporters Rally at South Carolina Statehouse

This is after the far-left ghoul climbed up the flagpole.

Seen just now on Twitter:

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux Says Mock ISIS Butt-Plug Flag at London Pride Parade is the Real Thing

Oh boy, at least we live in interesting times, heh.

At Memeorandum, "CNN Mistakes Dildo-Covered Flag at Pride Parade for ISIS Flag."

And at Fusion, "We’ve translated the alleged ‘ISIS flag’ spotted at London Pride."

Crack journalism. Or, journalism on crack. Or up the crack. Oh forget it.

CNN ISIS Butt-Plug photo screen-shot-2015-06-27-at-5-55-42-pm_zps9vuhkrnf.png

BONUS: From leftist Rosa Brooks, at Foreign Policy, "Can Gay Marriage Defeat the Islamic State?" (at Memeorandum).

Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, Honored with Hundreds of Miles of Roads in Former Secessionist States

At the New York Times, "Honors for Confederates, for Thousands of Miles":

A plaque on the exterior of the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, Va., honors “the first martyr to the cause of Southern independence.”

It commemorates James W. Jackson, ardent secessionist and proprietor of the hotel that was at that site during the Civil War. But he was not the first man killed in the Civil War. Among those who died earlier was a Union officer, Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth, who removed the Confederate flag flying from the hotel. He was confronted and shot to death by Mr. Jackson, who was quickly killed by Colonel Ellsworth’s men.

There is no memorial for Colonel Ellsworth in Alexandria. But there are many memorials for Confederates. Elsewhere in Alexandria, a city right across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, are streets named Lee, Beauregard, Pickett, Bragg and Longstreet, all Confederate generals. A highway is named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.

In the wake of the mass murder at a black church in Charleston, S.C., Jon Stewart noted in his “Daily Show” monologue, “In South Carolina, the roads that black people drive on are named for Confederate generals who fought to keep black people from being able to drive freely on that road.”

It isn’t just in South Carolina or Virginia. Cities throughout the South have streets, schools and parks named for other Confederate generals like J. E. B. Stuart, Jubal Early and Stonewall Jackson.

At least 10 United States military bases are named for Confederate leaders. A suburb of Houston, Missouri City, has a subdivision with the street names of Pickett, Bedford Forrest (Court and Drive), Beauregard, Breckinridge and Confederate. And on the other side of its Vicksburg Boulevard is, strangely, Yankee Court.

We set out to see just how often Confederate leaders are honored in the 11 former Confederate states by sifting data on street names collected by the Census Bureau.

Davis had the longest length of roadways bearing his full name, 468 miles, followed by Stuart with 106 miles. Robert E. Lee, considered the greatest Confederate general, was third with nearly 60 miles.

It is quite possible that more streets were named for Lee, as we searched for the full name only. Similarly with Stonewall Jackson, who has 40 miles named after him. Using only a last name would also have pulled in any streets, roads and highways named for Andrew Jackson, the seventh president, Maynard Jackson, the former Atlanta mayor — or Bob Jackson, a real estate developer.

Across the entire United States, the most common names honored are Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Jackson. In the 11 former Confederate states, Jackson, with 3,430 miles, and Washington, with 1,701 miles, have the most roadway. Third is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with 1,183 miles, then Lincoln, with 683 miles.

These calculations are based on a Census Bureau data set of all roads in the country...
Keep reading.

Meanwhile, Stogie keeps the discussion going at Saberpoint, "More Butt-Hurt for Donald Douglas: The Top Six Racist Quotes of Abraham Lincoln." A key point Stogie notes there, "By today's standards, Abraham Lincoln was a virulent white supremacist and racist."

Ah, by "today's standards."

The problem for Stogie, and those like Professor Livingston who make arguments about how "racist" the Northerners were, is that in the 1850s most everyone except the most radical abolitionists adopted "racist" views on the relations between whites and blacks. And I've asked Stogie repeatedly, "Who claims Northerners weren't racist? Who denies the North was racist?" None of the scholars I've blogged or cited denies that racism was rife in the North. Stogie's argument is a classic straw man, arguing against a point that no one makes.

Further, the key to this debate, on why the South seceded, is the relative positions on slavery of the antagonists, of North and South. Lincoln opposed slavery. He opposed it consistently. And he particularly opposed the extension of slavery to the territories, and by implication --- considering the South's ideological aggression in its belief in property rights in slaves --- to the North as well. Furthermore, after the North's defeat of the South in the Civil War, the old ideology of the Southern nation, and especially Southern beliefs in the subordination of the "darkies," continued for at least a century, into the decade of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The Republican Party was the party of emancipation and civil rights. The Democrats, who carried forth the legacy of the "lost cause" and Jim Crow in the mid-20th century, were the party of segregation and white supremacy.

These are just facts. Stogie never addresses these facts other than to further prevaricate with more accusations of Northern racism, or to react with shocked blabbering, "Are you calling me a racist?!!"

No, I am not nor have I ever called Stogie a racist. I just disagree with him on the origins of the Civil War, and he's having a devil of a time winning this debate, especially with his reliance on fringe personalities like Professor Livingston and this economic illiterate Gene Kizer.

In any case, since this post is on how the South names roads to honor the memory of Jefferson Davis, lots of miles of roads, here's Professor Ilya Somin, at the Volokh Conspiracy, with a long entry on why Southern secession was indeed about the preservation of slavery. See, "Slavery as the Motive for Southern Secession in 1861":
Some commenters on my posts on secession (here and here) doubt my claim that the southern states seceded in 1861 for the purpose of preserving slavery. After all, they point out, Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans had promised not to abolish slavery in the states where it existed. This is a common point advanced by those want to claim that slavery was not the main cause of the Civil War. Indeed, it was first advanced by apologists for the Confederate cause in the immediate aftermath of the War in order to paint the Confederacy in a more positive light by demonstrating that it was fighting for "states' rights" rather than slavery. But the claim doesn't withstand scrutiny.

Confederate leaders repeatedly stated in 1861 that the threat Lincoln's election posed to slavery was the main reason for secession. In January 1861, soon-to-be Confederate President Jefferson Davis said that his state had seceded because "She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races." Davis was referring to well-known speeches by Lincoln and other Republicans citing the Declaration in criticism of slavery. Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens similarly said that "slavery . . . was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution" and that protecting it was the "cornerstone" of the new Confederate government. Many other Confederate leaders made similar statements.

Why did Lincoln's election cause them to fear for the future of slavery? It is true that the Republicans did not plan to abolish slavery in the near future. But white southerners still saw Lincoln's election on an antislavery platform as a serious threat to the "peculiar institution." Whatever their position on slavery where it already existed, the Republicans were firm in their commitment to preventing its spread to the vast new territories acquired by the US in the Mexican War. That, in fact, was the main point of the Republican platform. Slaveowners believed that an end to the expansion of slavery threatened their economic interests. In addition, the creation of numerous new free states without the admission of any new countervailing slave states would erode slaveowners' influence in congressional and presidential elections and potentially pave the way for abolition in the future.

Perhaps even more important, most white southerners didn't trust Lincoln's assurances that he wouldn't move against slavery in the South. After all, this was the same man who had famously said that "this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free," and that "the opponents of slavery" should "arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction." He meant that blocking the expansion of slavery would eventually put pressure on southern states to abolish it "voluntarily." But slaveowners suspected that he and other Republicans would attack the Peculiar Institution directly if they got the chance. Within the Republican Party, Lincoln was a relative moderate. More radical Republicans wanted stronger, more immediate action against slavery. And their influence within the party might grow over time.

Finally, slaveowners feared that Lincoln's election would undermine slavery in border states such as Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and even Virginia, which already had many fewer slaves than the Deep South. By using patronage to promote the growth of Republican parties in these states and relaxing enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act, a Republican-controlled federal government could eventually force these states to abolish slavery. Without strong federal enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act, slaves from border states adjacent to slave states could more easily escape to the North and border state slaveowners would have incentives to sell their slaves to the deep south, where slaves couldn't run away as easily; this, of course, would undermine the institution of slavery in the border states. If the Republicans could turn the border states into free states and do the same with all the new states to be established in the West, they could create a large enough majority of free states to enact a constitutional amendment banning slavery throughout the country.

It was to head off these various threats to slavery that the southern states chose to secede in 1861. For documentation of all these points, including quotes from Confederate leaders, see historian William Freehling's excellent book, The South vs. the South.

Ultimately, slavery would probably have lasted longer if the South hadn't seceded in 1861. The Confederates clearly underestimated the North's will to fight (just as northerners underestimated that of the Confederates). Nonetheless, they did have reason to see Lincoln's election as a serious longterm threat to slavery. And that fear underlay the decision to secede.
Okay, thank's for reading.

And check back for the next iteration of the Donald-Stogie debates!

Oh My! Radical Leftist Freddie deBoer Calls for Legalizing Polygamous Marriage!

Well, so much for the widely derided right-wing "slippery slope" on legalized polygamy.

Yesterday Salon's Sophia Tesfaye was mocking conservatives who raised the possibility of legalized polygamy: "“Polygamy, here we come!” Right wing melts down over gay marriage victory."

But a quick search shows that Salon's backed polygamy for years, "Legalize Polygamy!"

And then of course radical leftist Fredrik "Freddie" deBoer was off the blocks with the case for legalized polygamy as well, almost as soon the Supreme Court issued its ruling. See, at Politico, "It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy":

Welcome to the exciting new world of the slippery slope. With the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling this Friday legalizing same sex marriage in all 50 states, social liberalism has achieved one of its central goals. A right seemingly unthinkable two decades ago has now been broadly applied to a whole new class of citizens. Following on the rejection of interracial marriage bans in the 20th Century, the Supreme Court decision clearly shows that marriage should be a broadly applicable right—one that forces the government to recognize, as Friday’s decision said, a private couple’s “love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family.

The question presents itself: Where does the next advance come? The answer is going to make nearly everyone uncomfortable: Now that we’ve defined that love and devotion and family isn’t driven by gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals? The most natural advance next for marriage lies in legalized polygamy—yet many of the same people who pressed for marriage equality for gay couples oppose it.

This is not an abstract issue. In Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissenting opinion, he remarks, “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.” As is often the case with critics of polygamy, he neglects to mention why this is a fate to be feared. Polygamy today stands as a taboo just as strong as same-sex marriage was several decades ago—it’s effectively only discussed as outdated jokes about Utah and Mormons, who banned the practice over 120 years ago.

Yet the moral reasoning behind society’s rejection of polygamy remains just as uncomfortable and legally weak as same-sex marriage opposition was until recently.

That’s one reason why progressives who reject the case for legal polygamy often don’t really appear to have their hearts in it. They seem uncomfortable voicing their objections, clearly unused to being in the position of rejecting the appeals of those who would codify non-traditional relationships in law. They are, without exception, accepting of the right of consenting adults to engage in whatever sexual and romantic relationships they choose, but oppose the formal, legal recognition of those relationships. They’re trapped, I suspect, in prior opposition that they voiced from a standpoint of political pragmatism in order to advance the cause of gay marriage.

In doing so, they do real harm to real people. Marriage is not just a formal codification of informal relationships. It’s also a defensive system designed to protect the interests of people whose material, economic and emotional security depends on the marriage in question. If my liberal friends recognize the legitimacy of free people who choose to form romantic partnerships with multiple partners, how can they deny them the right to the legal protections marriage affords?
Keep reading.

And remember, if you're not down with legalized polygamy, you're a hater!

See, "The Same-Sex Marriage Bait-and-Switch - You Will Be Assimilated!"

ADDED: DeBoer responds to his critics:
But why publish it on the day gay marriage becomes law?

Because I do think, despite what so many progressives have halfheartedly said, that marriage equality meaningfully influences the legal and moral case for polygamy, and that this is a good thing. I waited until that day because, with marriage equality now the law of the land, with broad popular support, the political risk of association with polygamy has died, and so the time has come to make the case for polygamy, a natural outgrowth of social liberalism and one of several moral imperatives for us going forward. I wrote the piece because I believe in a natural moral right to group marriage, and for the reasons I said in the piece. You can agree, or disagree, but you cannot dictate my reasons or my views.

Wow! Islamic State Using TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missiles!


At Long War Journal, "Islamic State uses US-made anti-tank missiles in Hasakah offensive."

TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missiles photo CIdFmKsUkAEXzOA-1024x651_zpsfdcwg8ln.jpg
The Islamic State has released photographs from its offensive in the eastern Syrian city of Hasakah. Two of the photos detail the use of the US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile.

The current offensive in Hasakah is happening concurrently with an offensive in Kobane in northern Syria, and a renewed push at the Deir al Zour airbase. The assaults come after Kurdish forces made significant gains in the northern Syrian province of Raqqah, considered the “capital” of the Islamic State. Over 100 people, many of them civilians, have been killed in the assaults. (For more information, see LWJ report, Islamic State attacks Kobane, Hasakah, and Deir al Zour.)

Photos released from the battle showcase the spoils gained in the fighting. Several crates of ammunition are seen to have been captured from the regime, as well as several vehicles. Other photos show dead regime soldiers, but the images are too graphic to be published by The Long War Journal. Other images highlight actual fighting, including the two showing the use of the TOW missiles.

This is not the first time the jihadist group has used the US system. Earlier this month, the Islamic State publicized the use of the missiles during the capture of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. Last December, the jihadist group also published photos showing its forces using TOW missiles against Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces in the Damascus countryside. The United States has supplied several FSA groups with TOW missiles, which have sometimes fallen into the hands of jihadist groups or have been used to assist jihadist groups. The TOWs used in Palmyra and Hasakah were likely captured from battles with the FSA in other parts of Syria...

Via Bad Blue.

Don't Get Trolled on Confederate Flag

From Robert Tracinski, at the Federalist, "Let’s Not Get Trolled on the Confederate Flag":
I’ve been getting the feeling over the past few days that the Left is trying to troll us into defending the Confederate flag, simply by way of the trivial, obnoxious, and gratuitously partisan way they’re campaigning against it.
Yeah, well, that's the left for you, despicable cretins.

I'm not defending the Confederate flag. It's Democrats battle flag. That's just a fact.

Linked there is Ta-Nehisi Coates, who despite his disgusting racialization of everything, is right about this: "What This Cruel War Was Over - The meaning of the Confederate flag is best discerned in the words of those who bore it."

Stonewall Homosexuals 'Noisily' Celebrate Supreme Court's Depraved Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

I wonder if by "noisily" it turns out the homosexuals weren't using lubricants for their public sex.

At the Independent UK:

PREVIOUSLY: "Stonewall Homosexuals Celebrate Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling."

BONUS: At the ISR, "Stonewall: The birth of gay power - An excerpt from Sherry Wolf's book, Sexuality and Socialism."

Bree Newsome, #BlackLivesMatter Extremist, Tears Down Confederate at South Carolina Statehouse (VIDEO)


This is just extreme. No, it's beyond extreme. It's frankly insane.

The woman, Bree Newsome, is on Twitter here. She's a radical leftist and #BlackLivesMatter activist.

At Memeorandum, "Woman removes Confederate flag in front of SC statehouse."
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”

And at the Charleston Post & Courier, "Woman removes Confederate flag in front of South Carolina statehouse (has video)."

Saberpoint on Gene Kizer's, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States — the Irrefutable Argument

Man, this book must be really bad.

See Stogie at Saberpoint, "Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States -- the Irrefutable Argument."

Kizer's book is here.

And here's my response to Stogie:
"The North's economy was based mostly on manufacturing for the South and shipping Southern cotton around the world."

Yes, and cotton was an extremely low-value added commodity, of which the U.S. economy would increasingly marginalize had not the South attempted to export its ideology of property in slaves into the territories, in essence attempting to nationalize the ideology of slaveholder's rights to own blacks.

The fact is, the South had a pre-industrial economy that failed to attract capital, and was already headed for a falling rate of productivity and further economic backwardness. Ironically, what investment that was sent to the South was overwhelming invested in planting, since that's all Southerners really knew how to do -- own black slaves, beat them into vicious submission, to eek out increasingly marginalized returns.

Moreover, insular agrarianism isolated the South, cutting it off from the influx of new people and ideas (people obviously hostile to chattel slavery and much more morally enlightened). Today, the Confederacy, if it had continued to exist, would be a poor primary exporter like the peripheral Latin American economies. Cutting edge industries, back then rail, steel, manufacturing, shipbuilding, and now high-technology information systems, robotics, and nano-technology, would be found nearly exclusively in the North. Folks might as well move to Mexico for all the Southern economy would be cracked up to be.

But again, Stogie, all this stuff you're spouting about the North being the aggressor against the South is more of the mythic national ideology of the South, the same ideology that claimed to favor liberty and states' rights, but in fact pursued tyrannical policies, nationalized economics, used murderous Gestapo-style police force to keep the system in place, and advanced racial ideologies to keep alive a social hierarchy of American apartheid.

Kizer's book is economically illiterate. Yes, the South dominated cotton exports, but economic history shows that "King Cotton" is no longer king. The South was bound to backwardness one way or the other. But by bringing on the Civil War, Southerners guaranteed their experiment from 1961-1865 would wind up on the scrapheap of history, not unlike the Soviet Union (or the Nazis, if you prefer), with which the South's methods of tyranny had so much in common.
As always, check back for future iterations on the discussion of the Confederacy.

Here's Donald Trump's Letter to Univision

He's getting pretty aggressive on this whole thing.

PREVIOUSLY: "Donald Trump Under Fire for 'Mexican Rapist' Comment, Doubles Down (VIDEO)."

San Francisco Homosexuals Celebrate Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

At CBS News San Francisco:

President Obama Calls Jim Obergefell, Plaintiff in Depraved Homosexual Marriage Ruling (VIDEO)


Homosexual Marriage Ruling Starts New Religious Freedom War

At IBD, "Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Starts New Religious Freedom War":

Observant Christians — and adherents of other faiths — are reeling from the Supreme Court's declaration of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage and preparing for an unprecedented struggle for their right to express their beliefs and live their lives accordingly, as new battles will now be waged unless and until a future Supreme Court reverses course.

The Constitution says nothing about marriage or abortion. Yet in 1973 the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to abortion, resulting in decades of relentless political and legal conflicts.

Now the Court has held that the Constitution likewise forbids the 50 states from defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. But many people of faith disagree, and the First Amendment promises that they have the right to do so. Devout Christians are already enmeshed in legal battles over this issue.

Navy chaplain Wes Modder, sportscaster Craig James and others have lost jobs or are losing their jobs because they hold Christian beliefs on sex and marriage.

Business owners face more than losing their businesses, as Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman could lose her home and life's savings, and Colorado baker Jack Phillips risks jail time if he continues refusing to bake cakes celebrating gay marriage. There are others, and the list grows monthly.
Keep reading.