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Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Oh wait….

From the Library of Congress:

“According to the Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference, 2002, page 860, approximately 70,000 books have been published on the Civil War over the years up to that date. The Library of Congress, though not owning every one of these books, most likely owns copies of a great majority of them. The shelf space taken up by the Civil War books just in the E call number classification in the closed book stacks is considerable. This does not include those books which cover Civil War related information and may be cataloged primarily under other subjects. One should also consider that the Library owns many thousands of photographs and illustrations, maps, and manuscript materials on the Civil War.
I hope this information proves to be of help to you. Thank you.
W. Elsbury
Reference Specialist
Main Reading Room
Humanities and Social Sciences Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540-4660
202-707-3399”

Oops!

It’s interesting that the same people who keep telling blacks to get over that whole slavery thing, already, seem to be the same people who want to keep all those statues of slave-owners on every street corner in the South because they’re still not over the Civil War.

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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As their very own secession statements and their very own Constitution point out, the Confederate States of America was founded in order to defend slavery. This is not controversial amongst anybody who has actually read these founding documents, all of which are available on the Internet for your perusal. Fuck, the CSA Constitution even forbade Confederate states from outlawing slavery. State’s rights my fine-feathered ass! It was all about the right to own human beings as farm animals, as livestock, to be treated the same way as any other livestock on a farm.

So here’s a question for anybody who thinks the Confederacy was “honorable”:

How honorable would someone be if they ripped your daughter away from you and sold her as livestock to some stranger to be used as a brood mare by a big strapping male buck? And how honorable would someone be if they sold your daughter’s children resulting from this breeding to other strangers as livestock to either work in the field as a farm animal or be used as breeding stock?

Would that be an honorable person?

Well, look: That’s every goddamn motherfucker who founded the Confederate States of America. It’s not just that they kept humans as livestock. They fucking fought a goddamned war for the right to keep humans as livestock. I don’t have a particularly high opinion of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson because they kept humans as livestock, but at least they didn’t fucking fight a goddamned war for the right to keep humans as livestock. That, at least, is a stain upon their character that they do not possess.

But Robert E. Lee? Jefferson Davis? Alexander Stevens? Those evil-ass motherfuckers can burn in hell, as far as I’m concerned. They’re no more honorable than a pimp or a gang-banger. Hell, they’re fucking *less* honorable than a pimp or a gang-banger — at least the pimp or gang-banger only wants to own women as property, not women and men both.

– Badtux the Honor Penguin

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.Slavery was “a greater evil to the white man than to the black race” in the United States. The “painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction.” — Robert E. Lee, defending slavery in 1857

So, was slavery on its death bed in 1860 when Lincoln was elected?

In a word: No. Slavery was an extremely profitable institution. At the time that the American South declared its independence, it was the 5th largest economy on the planet, and was the most prosperous sector of the country. I once worked with a historian who was going through the accounting books of pre-war plantations in Louisiana, and what he found was a) if you transferred all the numbers to modern accounting systems, there was a consistent 4% return on profit *just on the slaves*, never mind the products that they created — remember, plantations were largely self-sufficient in everything needed for slave’s subsistence (even the bricks used to build the slave houses were made on the plantation, as well as the clothing for the slaves), so very little actually had to be purchased from the outside world. And cotton was extremely profitable. All that cotton, once they paid for ginning it, was pure profit. There were a lot of plantations that failed, but they failed for one reason: their owners were terrible at math. Really. He reported that these books were atrocious. Apparently southern “gentlemen” got lots of education in manners and Greek literature, but they were too good for math, and usually if a plantation failed it was because the owner lost track of how much money he had, spent money he didn’t have, and ended up having to declare bankruptcy. Huh. Go figure.

In reality, the sharecropping system that arose after the Civil War was caused by the same thing that would have led to the continuation of slavery: the unique labor-intensive nature of growing cotton prior to modern herbicides and cotton picking machines in the late 1940’s. When my grandmother and grandfather married in 1942, they were sharecroppers in Red River Parish in Louisiana, growing cotton in exchange for a cut. My grandmother once pointed out the small one-room shack (without electricity or indoor plumbing) they lived in at the time, which was in the middle of what was now a cow pasture because it was too hilly too support mechanization, but back then it was a cotton field. The demand for labor was so bad that even white people ended up in the fields hoeing cotton and picking it at the end of the season. My mother clearly remembers picking cotton in the fields as a small child, it was not one of her treasured memories. It wasn’t until mechanization took hold in the 1950’s that the sharecropper system faded away, because cotton was really, really hard to mechanize. The cotton bolls don’t really lend themselves to being picked mechanically, being mostly fluff, and until herbicides there was no substitute for people with hoes scuffing the weeds that tried to grow among the cotton rows. Even today probably a quarter of the cotton doesn’t get picked by the mechanized cotton pickers, it’s just that even 3/4ths of the crop is cheaper than paying people to pick it.

Believe me, if the planters could have held on to their slaves, they would have done so, and would have continued doing so long after Brazil did away with slavery, at least until mechanization after WW2. The sharecropping system was a poor substitute for what they *really* wanted, which was free labor that didn’t have any rights and could be treated as livestock because they *were* livestock, legally. These were deplorable, deplorable people, as the quotes from Robert E. Lee above should make clear. They excused atrocity with the most transparent of self-serving excuses that they likely even believed themselves in the end. But these excuses were just a way to avoid the fact that they fought a war, and lost a war, in order to defend the right to own human beings as livestock. Even though all the historical evidence — every single secession convention, and the Confederate constitution itself — says that the South went to war to defend slavery, Southerners have written that out of their collective memory and created an imaginary pre-Civil-War South where slavery was dying out naturally and that was horribly economically oppressed.

Because the truth — that the South was tremendously wealthy prior to the Civil War, and managed to lose the war despite being one of the richest nations on the planet due to the incompetence and mismanagement of its leadership class (especially, their failure to get their new nation recognized by any European nations due to their arrogance that their cotton was vital to the world economy and thus assistance from the British, especially, required no special diplomatic efforts, and their failure to feed their armies and their population despite having the richest soil on the planet) — simply doesn’t stroke the ego like the notion that the South was poor and oppressed and that’s why the North won.

— Badtux the History Penguin

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Every Southern town, it seems has its memorial featuring a statue of some Confederate general or another. And whenever you point out that these were evil motherfuckers who fought a war to defend keeping human beings as livestock, I get the invariable whines of “but what if it was *your* ancestor there in the public square?”

Yeah? What if? I’d say the same goddamn thing: Tear the evil sonofabitch’s statue down. These evil motherfuckers killed more Americans than Hitler. You don’t see statues glorifying Hitler in every public square of America, do you? No?

And in fact, one of my ancestors did fight (and die) for the Confederacy. I tracked the family tree back to some dude who moved from North Carolina to the Cajun prairie of Southwest Louisiana in order to breed human beings as livestock. Yep, he had himself a regular business there, he had a big honkin’ stud, a fine collection of brood mares, and made his living renting his stud out to all the plantations in the area when he wasn’t selling the kiddos who popped outta his brood mares. Except these were human beings that he was breeding like livestock.

In short, he was one evil motherfucker. And for his sins, he condemned the next three generations of his family to bone-crushing poverty when he went out to fight to defend his right to own human beings as livestock and promptly got his ass capped by a Union bullet. (Or maybe he just died of dysentery in one of the unsanitary military camps of the area, whatever, all I know is that he never came back). He’d married a Cajun wife, who had been happy to marry this wealthy Anglo and escape her life of poverty. Guess what. She ended up back in the swamps with her relatives again, raising her kiddos, Anglo last name and all, as Cajuns. It always baffled me how my father’s side of the family for three generations back had spoken Cajun French at home as their native language and been raised in the Cajun culture despite their Anglo last name. Now I know. It was the family punishment for my great-great grandpappy’s sin.

Now, if I found out that my great-great grandpappy had been a high muckety muck in the Confederate army, would I want a statue in some public park commemorating his bravery? Fuck no. He was an evil motherfucker who went out to kill Americans in order to maintain the right to treat human beings as livestock. He no more deserves a statue in a public square than Adolph fucking Hitler does. Both wanted to kill Americans in defense of their right to do some evil, evil shit. If my ancestor had a statue on some public square, I’d fucking spit on the goddamn thing. Then pee on it for good measure. Because he was evil, evil, EVIL, and that evil does not need to be glorified in public, it needs to be documented in history books and in museums where that evil can be presented in its proper context.

Fuck these evil American-killing bastards. Melt down their statues for scrap. They were fucking evil, through and through, and deserve no statue, only disdain.

– Badtux the Southern Penguin

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Trump claimed that Comey had lost the support of the field agents inside the FBI. Acting Director Andrew McCabe says that is not true.

Soon to be former acting director McCabe, methinks.

Meanwhile it has cooled down nicely here in the Silly Cone Valley, and The Mighty Fang is taking advantage of multimedia Cat TV, sitting in front of the patio sliding door’s screen door (said sliding door is open, of course, to allow cool air into the house) watching — and smelling, and hearing — the world go by. His nose is twitching left and right, his ears are twitching left and right, his head is twitching left and right, watching birds and rodents and things I can’t see flutter about outside. Ah, to be a cat, and so easily entertained… at least he’s given me my chair back. That was a thing for a while!

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, precious white snowflakes protested the removal of yet another participation trophy for losing a war. It appears that most of the pro-participation-trophy protestors are from out of town.

A reminder: Jefferson Davis was probably the most hated man in the South in 1865, widely derided as out-of-touch, as being incompetent and the cause of the Confederate loss, and as having caused undue amounts of suffering by drafting farmers who were trying to put food on their families’ tables and by not forcing the plantation owners to have their slaves grow food for those whose men had been drafted. The fact that he later became a hero of the “Lost Cause” was an after-war fabrication, a propaganda success that Fox News likely views with envy.

But none of that really matters, because it’s not about Jefferson Davis, it’s about butt-hurt Klansmen and neo-Nazis upset that their participation trophies for losing a war are being taken away from them. Oh wah! Hey, dudes, if you want a trophy, win next time! (Cue massive eye-roll!).

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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Let’s put it bluntly: There will not be a military coup under the current leadership of our military unless the alternative is a dictator ignoring the Constitution and retaining power after his term of office has ended. Period.

The deal is that our military officers take a oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and the Constitution makes the President their commander-in-chief. The only way they could possibly justify overthrowing the President would be if, under the Constitution, he were no longer the President anymore because his term of office has expired.

Even there, they would hesitate. They would hesitate because our current top leadership, from General Mattis on down, has studied their history. They know what happens once a military starts overthrowing civilian governments. The end result is invariably either the destruction of the military as future civilian governments purge the military and install their own cronies in order to prevent future coups, which always — always — destroys the effectiveness of the military, or else it is a military dictatorship until the military dictator dies. The end of the military, or the end of democracy. That’s the outcomes 99% of the time. There are exceptions, but they are few.

So to liberals who are hoping for a military dictatorship to overthrow the Orange Racist Russian Stooge: Don’t. Not until he refuses to voluntarily relinquish power at the end of his term. At that point, there are no best options, only bad, and worse. Until then, any military coup could only make a bad situation worse, and that’s the last thing we want to have happen.

– Badtux the Pragmatic Penguin

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mlk-poverty

Yes, today is when we celebrate the life of a happy token negro who never said anything threatening and was like all peace and love and all that. Kinda this kindly uncle (tom) figure who just magically made civil rights (sort of) happen for black people by being nice.

Of course, the real Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fireball. He didn’t encourage violence because a minority attempting to gain equal rights via violence is a minority asking to be exterminated, but he had no problem inconveniencing racists in every way possible while pandering to the tv news crews and to politicians like LBJ all the way. He also knew that poverty and ignorance had to be eliminated. Every conversation with LBJ where I’ve read the transcript, he’s pushing for anti-poverty programs and education programs. For everybody, not just for black people, because he knew that poverty and ignorance fed racism the way that june bugs feed ducks.

Then he was killed and became a martyr, kindly uncle (tom) who was all peace and love and all that and polite, like, and certainly not threatening to us white folk. SIGH. History re-written. So it goes.

– Badtux the History Penguin

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