Libertarians And The Civil War

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Jonathan Blanks, a research assistant at Cato Institute, has written an essay about the incoherent position of those libertarians who defend the Confederacy and claim that the Confederacy was within its rights to secede from the Union. Banks writes: “there is no legal or moral justification for supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War, it is impossible that there could be a libertarian one.”Slavery, as practiced in the Confederacy, would seem to be wholly inconsistent with libertarian principles. However, libertarianism is divided into economic libertarianism and personal libertarianism and these two views come into conflict regarding the Civil War.

In an ingenious observation, Jason Kuznicki noted that “Secession is the decision to step out of an existing political order, so it’s a category error to try to justify it legally.”

Some claim that the Confederacy represents a legitimate act of rebellion and point to the principles in the Declaration of Independence for support. But the Declaration of Independence places conditions on the right of the people to overthrow their government. “Prudence … will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes,” and the overthrow must come after “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” If the new government that is instituted violates individual rights instead of securing them, then the new government is not legitimate by Declaration of Independence standards.

Current justification of the rebellion via the Declaration of Independence would have been met with derision in 1861. John C. Calhoun, a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina, denounced the principle of that all men are created equal saying it was “inserted into our Declaration of Independence without any necessity. It made no necessary part of our justification for separating from the parent country, and declaring ourselves independent.”

The rationale for secession can be discerned by searching these four Declaration of Causes. Contrary to revisionist claims, economic policy factors (except as it applies to slavery) are nowhere mentioned. As Blanks states, “it is clear that the South’s actions—the catalyst for war—were explicitly motivated by freedom’s suppression.”

The “states’ rights” argument in also incoherent. As Clint Bolick puts it: “The very notion of states’ rights is oxymoronic. States don’t have rights, States have powers. People have rights. And the primary purpose of federalism is to protect those rights.”

H/T: Jonathan Blanks, Ilya Somin, Jonathan Blanks, Timothy Sandefur (pdf).

191 thoughts on “Libertarians And The Civil War

  1. If I recall the DOI was drafted years before the constitution….. Each state was independent… That was then and this is now….. I don’t see how anyone could justify slavery in this day and age….

  2. It is easy to justify slavery now. Just read Ayn Rand and you will learn that some people are born to be slaves and be ruled by their betters. The people who do the actual work do so at the pleasure of their rulers. The slaves should have been glad their masters gave them some work to do.

  3. The firebrands of the 1800’s would have told you that there was an endless series of insults and attacks they suffered before ripping the country in two. These unbearable offenses were attempts not to end slavery but to limit the spread. Like their decedents today the confederates missed no opportunity to take offense. They even went to court to prevent individual states from preventing slavery (states rights my aunt fanny!)

    But the modern libertarians I know try to claim the the Civil War was about economics not slavery. This of course blithely ignores that the economic principals they fought for were based solely on slavery and nothing else. These guys would gladly return us to a 19th century nation.

  4. Nal:

    “However, libertarianism is divided into economic libertarianism and personal libertarianism and these two views come into conflict regarding the Civil War.”

    Can you provide link(s) to one or 2 articles written by libertarians supporting the Confederacy’s right to secede?

    I am curious how they make the case. There is no moral justification for slavery and I am interested how they logically support it [secession] within the libertarian axiom of not using force against your fellow man. How they justify secession in order to “legally” enslave their fellow man.

    My assumption would be that they either are not libertarians or they do not understand their philosophy fully.

    There is a glaring contradiction to support secession for the purpose of enslaving your fellow man.

  5. If my understanding is correct, the DOI set up for the loose confederation of states….. Then…… Well…. The rest is history…..

  6. Nal,

    If you think about the big picture… It was initiated by the South to preserve a way of life…. It had only been 80 years or so that the DOI was written.. And we left then England…. England had outlawed slavery and there was just too much riding on it….. If you’ll read the 14th amendment you’ll see that the ability to be compensated was taken away from the South…..

  7. Lincoln before the war: (from the Sandefur article)

    “…[w]e all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other
    men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names—liberty and tyranny. The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a
    liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one. Plainly the sheep
    and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty.

    The Confederacy, built upon the wolf’s definition of liberty, was an
    illegitimate government by the libertarian standards of the Declaration of
    Independence.”

    And now, again, there are wolves in our midst.

    (AY, Yes it is. Yes, it is.)

  8. Just got a mailer…. That the us has been in Syria trying folks to take down the government…… Damn…

  9. Lest I be accused, I don’t support slavery, partial or whole slavery—you wage slaves please note.

    However:
    —-the DOI is accorded as a base,
    —-slavery was well-established as a pillar of the Southern economy
    —-the North’s intentions could be interpreted as an example of the tyranny of the majority.
    —-it was a form resembling the economic warfare we see today, as well as when Britain closed down the Indian textile industry, which in fact is where cotton weaving originated.
    —-it was a war between the states, simply because that was how it played out—–we do not see a civil war with spread factions fighting all over the nation. It takes monolithic form on the two sides of the M-D line.

    As for modern political thought type libertarianism, zilch kleine kunskap.

  10. BTW, my previous comments and links were a response to Bron’s request for “articles written by libertarians supporting the Confederacy’s right to secede.”

    I certainly don’t support that viewpoint. I think Sandefur does an excellent job demolishing the DOI argument.

  11. AN,
    You write/cite while I write.
    Lincoln made his case, and well reasoned. But in which case this should have been a condition contained in the Constitutiion——and it was not.
    It should be unnecessary to mention Jefferson and his slave children.
    I am not an unreconstructed southerner, never have been.
    But with modern knowledge of how power works and its endless greed, we can see that this late arriving moralism is poorly supported by the C.

    I am glad to see that slavery’s journey was terminated. But compensation, then?

  12. The last sentences of the article bear on much of the distortions which are uttered by jigolos of politics today. The Constitution speaks in terms of state powers–not “State’s Rights”. The dynamic is government powers, whether the federal or the state powers and individualo rights.

    The Southern Strategy of Lee Atwater (Google him!) articulates the tricks of the likes of Tricky Dick and Ronnie Reagan. Employ code words less pronunced than the N word to embolden the poor white voters, the dumb middle class voters, and the old Oligarchy of the south to now vote Republican. Pit them against the blacks and those who want Reconstruction to be achieved and segregation abolished. The Civil War rants about Heritage and all that rot are part of the code word battle for the hearts and minds of the dummies in the South and in the North to vote Republican and come into the arms of the party of big business. To put it bluntly: it is not in your interest you dumb poor white trash to vote republican now. It was not in your interest to vote against republicans when they were in favor of Reconstruction after the Civil War. It was not in your interest to fight for the Confederacy in the civil war becasue you did not own slaves, you were a second class citzen and controlled by the oligarchy. It is time that you dumb shits who embrace the Southern Heritage wake up.

  13. Nal, “In an ingenious observation, Jason Kuznicki noted that “Secession is the decision to step out of an existing political order, so it’s a category error to try to justify it legally.””

    Not so ingenious when One considers the political order One is supposedly stepping out of, is an order that he is not in to begin with in full disclosure, critical to true voluntary action.

    Besides, who can know the intent of the southerners without experiencing them first hand.

  14. As this discussion possibly rages on, as it has in the past here, let me simply state my position. The South’s rebellion and its’ consequences was the result of their own tyrannical governance. The “elite” have always controlled the Southern States to the detriment of their citizens, both White and Black. The act of rebellion was nothing less than unjustified treason against the United States, motivated by greed, not principle. Those who still maintain support for this treason today are the real “Un-Americans” and should be vilified as such. The problem is that most of them are so full of the propaganda taught them for years that they are unable to see the truth of their hypocrisy.

  15. I would like to echo what Mike S. said above. The South’s secession was an attempt to continue their way of enslaving people as evidenced by their long standing Jim Crow laws after the Civil War. If it wasn’t all about slavery wouldn’t the South have embraced equal rights for all citizens?

  16. Mike S , rafflaw

    Said in all affection, having a sore toe trampled upon.

    I reasoned only from what was presented here.
    I have had no indoctrination in spite of growing up in Raleigh, NC. So a wholehearted American have I been since birth. Never supported any Southern causes, nor long for the good old days.

    Am on the contrary pleased by the modern attitudes expressed in the News & Observer nowadays, and repelled by the entrenched covert and open racism expressed in comments to the editorials. They appear to be an ingrown if not in-bred group who comment so.

    So feel Mike S. expressions implying that all Southerners are treasonous, etc. is too much of the “let’s make them subhuman so we can hate them”,
    as was practiced against the Huns (and americans of german descent) prior to the first great war.

    I have no need to defend them, but being a compulsive “let’s look at the other side now” reasoner, I did just that.

    Splattering the citizens of the southern US with crap does not lead to enlightenment, nor hopefully annihilation either.

    As for exploitation by the elite, shall we agree that all sections of the nation has suffered and is suffering from that.

    And the Scots-Irish and Norwegian settlers from which I am descended, were not known as slave owners, they were too poor themselves.

    So be careful where you aim your shotguns, please.

  17. The underlying problem is the RWAs.
    What are we to do with them? They are not by nature racists, nor solely by propaganda influenced. Let me note that racism persists today in the North, not just in the South—-and threatens our current President.

    Further than this can not discuss states’ rights. You are the judges, I am the man on the street looking on in shame that so rich a nation has 10 percent owning 85 percent., and poverty existing in all its parts.

  18. Mike, the statement, “The problem is that most of them are so full of the propaganda taught them for years that they are unable to see the truth of their hypocrisy.”, is most certainly the crux of the matter. that is the very reason there is a concerted effort to remove the impostors from their seat of thin air positions gained by torturous salesmanship rendering voluntary consciousness nil and therefore null. The first being the so called mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Anthony Nutter and all so called elected and appointed people.

    The math below to support:

    Though all so called elections in the so called United States are won by a minority vote (and claimed as a majority based on registration), the following math will show You the principle mechanism to this conclusion:

    Philadelphia pro per population is approximately (2010 consensus)1.526 M
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia
    quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/42/42101.html

    Eligible total Philadelphia voters approximately..………………..…1,182,654
    Michael Anthony Nutter received approximately (2011 election)…..134,765
    4 People under 18 years, percent, 2010 22.5% = – 343,352
    phillyelectionresults.com/

    Michael Anthony Nutter received approximately (2011 election)….… 11.3 %
    WHEN A MAJORITY IS 1 MORE THAN 50%, OR……………………..591,328

    Now You can think “well, isn’t eligibility according to registration?”
    Answer: With a HOAX government requiring registration causing barely any participation?!
    Why is it, registration is so low? And why is it, voter turnout is so low?
    Simply by (in) action, Those that don’t, don’t consider it Their government.

    The Government is You and Yours without question.

  19. To me it appears that there are (at least) two questions: was the South justified? And can secession ever be justified?

  20. Rafflaw,
    We were talking about the USA reservaions as to the torture convention.
    I think you said that the memo would not be necessary if there were reservations.
    Well here’s the article disclosing the memo. And the memo uses the excuse of requiring “specific intent” to cause harm to be considered as having violated the convention.
    So again I ask you as the lawyer you are to say whether specific is a higher grade of intent, and if this is an apparent use ot the wording of our reservation using such a term “specific intent to cause pain etc.”
    Would appreciate your thoughts.

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Bush administration told the CIA in 2002 that its interrogators working abroad would not violate U.S. prohibitions against torture unless they “have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering,” according to a previously secret Justice Department memo released Thursday.

    Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft testifies before Congress July 17 about waterboarding.

    The interrogator’s “good faith” and “honest belief” that the interrogation will not cause such suffering protects the interrogator, the memo adds.

    “Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture,” Jay Bybee, then the assistant attorney general, wrote in the memo………etc””

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/24/cia.torture/index.html

  21. Nal:

    I dont think “Americas Turning Point” is a good article with which to make the case you are making.

    The author says that chattel slavery is bad.

    “The great irony of the Civil War is that all that changed at the very moment that abolition triumphed. As the last, great coercive blight on the American landscape, black chattel slavery, was finally extirpated—a triumph that cannot be overrated—the American polity did an about-face.”

    He is saying the Civil War increased the level of government intervention and he is making the case that wars in general increase government as we have seen in the last 11 years in very concrete form. The irony is that as some men were released from bondage, government imposed more restrictions than had existed ante bellum.

    In my opinion he is not making a case for the right of the south to secede but merely allowing that they had a right to secede. The main thrust is the increase in state power during time of war.

  22. idealist707,

    Mike Spindell did not say, nor did he imply, “…that all Southerners are treasonous, etc.”

    You inferred it.

    There’s a difference.

  23. “Those who still maintain support for this treason today are the real “Un-Americans” and should be vilified as such.”

    ID707,
    Bob Kauten is correct about my intent. There are many southerners today who have cast off the feeling of victimization, understand and rue the Civil War for what it was. However, among many, including prominent politicians, the Civil War was an “unjustifiable attack” on the South. That view is both self-serving, unhistorical and at its base racist

  24. Bron,
    much of the additional government intervention was a direct result of the southern states refusing to really free the African Americans after the Civil War. The Jim Crow laws were a direct attack on the freedoms gained at the end of a gun in the Civil War. The Feds had no choice but to act to provide millions with a better chance at real freedom.

  25. Kauten, your ´correction is correct.

    Mike S. I did not get this indoctrination, being perhaps shielded by my mother and being raised by black “mothers”, and of course the main factor of being ostracised and unable to understand them otherwise.

    Not playing the victim card, just trying to explain to myself why I didn’t get infected with any of it. Never saw a conferate flag until I was 25, we all said negro, never N-word, can’t talk for others—-only myself.

    Just as you, and most perhaps, get tired of being lumped in a group and branded with characteristics, so resent I the same treatment.
    Simple as that.

  26. rafflaw:

    no doubt but the author is not specifically referring to those issues. He is making a broader claim which also encompassed WWI and WWII and we could also say Korea and Viet Nam.

    In my opinion the Civil War was a moral war. The federal government should have worked toward freeing the slaves as soon as the revolution was over and the Constitution was ratified. It should not have taken another 78 years and a bloody war.

  27. Rafflaw et al
    Here’s something my looking at the modern results of racism on my home town’s politics Won’t bother with that now. but this article gives a clear picture of anti-reconstructionism leading to insurrection against a legally elected city government, said to be the only recorded case in USA history.
    It wasn’t in my hometown, but the newspaper publisher there supported the insurrection and is said here to have been a proud racist.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmington_Insurrection_of_1898

  28. Bron,
    The Jim Crow laws were preventing what you suggested the Feds should have done immediately. If the States had followed the law initially, you would not have had the Federal intervention. The Civil War was not a moral war. It was a war fought because the South did not want to give up slaves and the money that earned on the backs of those slaves.

  29. The Sandefur paper is interesting. Tnx.
    It raises the question, since the states had no competence to be sovereign states, as is there maintained——
    Then where do we stand when we cast out the Senate as Mike suggests and I supported him on that..
    It has been an underlying concern of mine, where do we get the smarts to replace the crooks we kick out? Who replaces the crooks on Wall Street?How do we become, in fact, the good guy in world politics surrounded by nations who fight tooth and nail for their causes.

    And in the meanwhile, what do we do now?

  30. Ekerya,

    If I recall there is still an east coast state that has not banned slave owning…. Not that they need to now….
    But the EP only applied to the states in insurrection…. I maybe wrong….but…you never know…

  31. slavery has been the economic engine of numerous great civilizations. slavery has also been the downfall of many of them.

  32. First you have to reconcile that the rioters in new york conducted themselves in the say way that union troops did. Destroying everything and everyone in their path.

    Second you have to reconcile the hypocrisy of forcing someone to kill and die for something they did not want to. Not only that but there was a buy off provision of the draft that allowed wealthy citizens to purchase a substitute to take their place in the draft. Have fun with that one.

    Third, reconcile that the USA was hardly the first or the last country to have to deal with the issue of slavery. We were however the only one that slaughtered half a million people to do so.

    “If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible. If the tax-gatherer, or any other public officer, asks me, as one has done, “But what shall I do?” my answer is, “If you really wish to do anything, resign your office.” When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned from office, then the revolution is accomplished.”

    – Henry david theoreau

  33. Ay,

    “But the EP only applied to the states in insurrection…. I maybe wrong….but…you never know…”

    You are absolutely right. It was not only limited to slaves residing in states that had seceded, but there was a clause that would have allowed them to keep their slaves if they just played nice and came back to the union!

    So who knows what would have happened if the confederacy had weighed its options and decided on that course of action. Considering that martin luther king was still fighting for civil rights a century later, I really dont see all the good the civil war supposedly provided for black people.

  34. “slavery has been the economic engine of numerous great civilizations. slavery has also been the downfall of many of them.”

    Slavery does not create wealth. It merely diverts the products of mens labor by force, to whichever end their master deems. It can create something, but what is produced with slave labor will always be of less value than what would have been created by allowing the slaves to pursue their own individual ends. Whether or not those ends held value to anyone but the person who created it, there would still be more prosperity because resources that would have been spent solely on the subjection of individuals would have been instead used by those same individuals to create something that was valued instead of something that employed coercion to produce.

    In other words, slavery is always less efficient than freedom simply because you have to use time, effort, and manpower to stop people from doing what they were doing, and divert their labor to your endeavor.

  35. Ekeyra,

    Sometimes people from the south are a little s…..l……o….w…….haven’t ya heard it….

  36. “In an ingenious observation, Jason Kuznicki noted that “Secession is the decision to step out of an existing political order, so it’s a category error to try to justify it legally.””

    What does this mean?

    Is it well-defined?

    I worry it is ill-defined, and the same argument could be used to deny “previously unrecognized but found or derived” rights like privacy rights.

  37. Ilya Somin:

    Is Legal Secession a “Category Error”?

    But I don’t think that legal secession is necessarily a “category error.”

    I can’t speak for Kuznicki but I don’t think he’s talking about “legal” secession. I think he talking about seceding from a legal system and then using that same legal system to legally justify the secession.

  38. When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,

    Can this statement be “legally justified” or is it a “category error?”

    If it cannot be legally justified, what does it say about our system?

    If it can be dismissed as a category error, what does it say about category errors?

    It goes without saying that no one here is for slavery or would want to have seen slavery continue past 1776 if not ended sooner, so ignoring that secession in 1863 was favored by slavery proponents, it does bother me that somehow there is no right of secession to the states (or the people.)

    Frankly, I think a huge problem for democracy today is our 435 house does not scale to the populations we have and that imbalance goes and favors time and again corporation and lobbyists. And that the solution is a looser federation of states that are more able to represent the people and tune out the corporations and lobbyists. I think population has scaled ten fold since the civil war, but the size of the house has only scaled three fold.

    I would love to split with California, Portland and Seattle and Hawaii from the rest of you momzers.

    Is the secession as outlined in the Declaration of Independence justified in our system? Would it be fought against as illegal? Category error? Or does it matter?

    Because if it doesn’t matter, what is the importance of this argument?

  39. Is the secession as outlined in the Declaration of Independence justified in our system? Would it be fought against as illegal? Category error? Or does it matter?

    Because if it doesn’t matter, what is the importance of this argument?

    Should be more like:

    Because if separation as exemplified by the Declaration of Independence is illegal in our system, than fuck our system, it is trivially wrong.

    If it can somehow be dismissed as Category Error, and thus seen to be illegal or improper, than fuck Category Error, it is trivially wrong.

    If saying it is category error means it is justified, just out of scope of our system, then who cares about category error? What is the importance of the argument?

    tl;dr: Any system that would judge the rights to separation claimed in the Declaration of Independence as out of order, improper, or illegal is trivially wrong.

  40. Bron,
    The civil war was started by the South for immoral reasons.The north held the Union together for moral reasons. The Feds did the right thing. The South ignored the law and the morality of true freedom.

  41. Upon further reflection I need to hear a more detailed explanation from Kuznicki.

    I need to read an explanation of the categories and who’s doing the justification. I don’t want to put my own assumptions on his statement.

  42. As pointed out above, the only state’s right at play before the War was the South’s ability to continue to enslave people.

    As best I can recall, the only time folks clammer for state’s rights is when there is another group of folks the majority wants to abuse.

    As far as I’m concerned, the Civil War amendments did away with state’s rights..

  43. As far as I’m concerned, the Civil War amendments did away with state’s rights..

    @Oro Lee,

    How do you feel about

    Same sex marriage?
    Legalization of pot?
    California paying for stem cell research?

    If Roe were overturned, how would you feel about states rights then?

  44. The defense posited at the Nuremberg Trials in post war Germany was that the Third Reich was standing up for certain liberties—hat those liberties included the right of the state to kill off Six Million people was posited as a defense.
    What is constitutionally applicable today is not the original intent of the original Framers of the Constitution and also the first ten amendments. We fought a big war to determine the next course in Constitutional law and the notiion of liberty which the next round of Framers proposed. The Framers of the 1860s debated and circulated proposed Amendments to the Constitution which were adopted into law by the States. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were the product of these Radical Republicans who were true libertarians. It is cute to turn things on their head and say that the slave advocates were libertarian. As Curley on the Three Stooges said: “Hotsie Totsie, I smell a Nazi.”

    Schmucks like Rick Perry, who still spew the States Rights mantra, are simply the godsons of Orval Faubus and George Wallace. They like to belly ache that States Rights are being abused when they lynch some fellow for allegedly winking at a White girl and the feds come in and investigate or perhaps even prosecute some Klan member. I think we can safely catagorize Faubus and George Wallace as Libertarians when we think of them as standing up for the rights of folks to talk about heritage and the liberty of the race haters to speak their piece. Yeah, that Confederate Flag is part of your heritage. Of course they do not want you to inspect their heritage too closely. Like great-great-grandpa who came over from Europe as a convict to serve time in the Georgia penal colony. Or that great grandpa who may have been from the mountains in North Carolina and fought for the Union because he did not have slaves and was not about to fight for some slave holder down on the coast. No, its tough to be a white guy out in the boonies in North Carolina and admit that the Heritage might be soiled by some of the choices made by North Carolinians in 1861. They were Southerners fighting for Liberty–for the Union.

    Gosh what a tangle this is. Folks with big money fund such projects by the Cato Institute or the American Enterprise Institute and the tangled web gets ever more complicated so that the Southern Strategy can be advanced and dumb chumps will vote for some guy named Willard who calls himself Mitt and wears jeans so that yu will identify with him as one of you. This week Willard is down here eatin grits and saying Y’all to anyone in sight.

  45. The separation of the British colonies from Britain was illegal by British law. It was considered treason. The signers were appealing to a ‘higher’ law than that of Britain. They certainly were stepping outside the British legal system, and making their own.

    If you’re declaring yourself independent of the U.S. Constitution, by seceding, you’re in the same situation. You just stepped out of the legal system of the Constitution. That didn’t work in the Civil War. The governing authority (Federal Government) wasn’t across the ocean. It was right here. It’s hard to pull off an insurrection, in those circumstances.

    I believe that there’s no allowance for secession in the Constitution. The purpose of the Constitution was to create one nation, not to provide a mechanism for its destruction. I don’t see, in the Federalist Papers, any attempt to persuade using the argument, “Well, if you don’t like it, you can always leave.”

    It’s analogous to the contention that the Second Amendment allows weapons to be kept by the populace for the purpose of violently resisting the tyranny of the Federal Government. Some folks actually seem to believe that. Why would the Constitution provide a method for violently overthrowing the Federal Government?

    The Constitution would provide neither a legal method for secession, nor a means for violently overthrowing the government. Those are illegal.

    So, after all that, I’d say I agree with Jason Kuznicki, that attempting to legally justify secession is a category error.

  46. Even the Articles of Confederation were titled a Perpetual union. I hardly think that a more perfect union would entail dissolving that union. Simple.

  47. “As best I can recall, the only time folks clammer for state’s rights is when there is another group of folks the majority wants to abuse.”

    Your recollection sucks.

    “That may be a cheap shot, but still, nullification, aside by being used to defend runaway slaves and free speech, has been used to stop military conscription, tariffs and unlawful search and seizures. I would say those are civil rights-friendly policies. The nullification threats over conscription during the War of 1812 are very reminiscent of the civil disobedience over the military draft during the Vietnam War. And in both cases, they were effective. The federal government was unsuccessful in creating a draft for the War of 1812 and the draft was eventually abolished after furious protest and defiance in 1972.

    Today, nullification is being used, in everything but name, on a whole host of matters from conservative issues such as gun rights, to liberal issues such as medical marijuana (California, effectively nullified the federal ban on it). Many states are considering challenging the porkfest of corporate welfare that is healthcare reform. The Real I.D. Act, which created a national ID card, was passed, but so many states have refused to implement it that the federal government has, at least for now, given up on it. There is quite a lot of nullification going on right now even as we debate whether or not it’s constitutional, racist or seditious.

    Liberals, who are typically more likely to oppose federalism, should ask themselves whether or not nullification would allow states to defund the Iraq War, end the War on Drugs or eliminate the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act. The principle in and of itself can be used for good or bad, but centralized power tends to always be bad. As Tom Woods put it, “If you enter into a contract with somebody, never, ever would you say that the other party in the contract can exclusively interpret what it means… [when] the federal government has a monopoly on interpreting the Constitution… they’re going to interpret it in their own favor.” Given the horrific amount of damage a centralized government can do (according to R.J. Rummel, governments killed 262 million of their own citizens in the 20th century alone), I think it’s safe to say we need every tool available to ward off unchecked government power.”

    http://www.swifteconomics.com/2010/07/08/nullification-and-civil-disobedience/

  48. PastureNiemoller,
    Said it all, supplemented by Oro Lee. The rebuttals to them are merely rhetorical obfuscations.

  49. Ekeyra,

    “Liberals, who are typically more likely to oppose federalism…”
    Please document.

    ‘Nullification’ should not be lumped together with civil disobedience. The word ‘Nullification’ should not be used lightly.
    Nullification was the tactic used by slave state governments to nullify Federal laws.
    Nullification connotes an official declaration that attempts to void the power of the Federal government.
    Nullification is un-Constitutional, and serves to undermine the nation.

    There were, in 1787, compelling reasons to form a Federal government, and those reasons are still valid.

    It’s a fun fantasy, but you really don’t want to find out what a non-collection of 50 ‘sovereign’ states would be like. The situation would be ephemeral. Alliances of states would conquer other, weaker states. Leave it in the realm of science-fiction and fantasy.

    Strive, instead, to change laws that you don’t like. Voting, and civil disobedience, work, but it’s a slow process.

  50. Well then Mike, since Oro Lee has not answered my question, maybe you can help out….

    How do you feel about

    Same sex marriage?
    Legalization of pot?
    California paying for stem cell research?

    If Roe were overturned, how would you feel about states rights then?

  51. ” “Liberals, who are typically more likely to oppose federalism…”
    Please document.”

    I didnt write that or opine that so i dont really feel the need to defend it or back it up.

    “It’s a fun fantasy, but you really don’t want to find out what a non-collection of 50 ‘sovereign’ states would be like.”

    You’re right I dont. Id rather see 6 Billion sovereign individuals.

  52. “You’re right I dont. Id rather see 6 Billion sovereign individuals.”

    The impossible dream of anarchists everywhere.

  53. ” “You’re right I dont. Id rather see 6 Billion sovereign individuals.”

    The impossible dream of anarchists everywhere.”

    If 6 billion people decide they arent going to listen to you anymore, what recourse do you have to change their decision? Arrest them all?

  54. The issue isn’t about states rights and it is likely that critics of the right to unalienable to secede (throw off tyrants in the manner that our founders did) are the ones who prefer to label it that way.

    The author of this post writes:

    “Prudence … will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes,” and the overthrow must come after “a long train of abuses and usurpations.”

    Jefferson gives us no exact date about the time frame for that long train of abuses to occur and accumulate, but he suggests how SHORT that time period can be.

    Let’s examine Jefferson’s time frame for throwing off tyrants.

    The Declaration states:

    “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

    How long a period was that? George the third ruled from 1760 to 1820. That’s 60 years. It’s a “big” time in terms of the human life span. But the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. That is only 16 years of abuse!

    Sixteen! Sixteen measly years.

    By my calculation we are well beyond that in “tyrant years”. Our presidents have been despots since Lincoln established his despotism over the American people. That precedent has gone on now for nearly 150 years.

    We are overdue.

    The American people have been even more patient in my lifetime than the founders were. I’d say Americans gave the despots and tyrants in both parties enough time to see the error of their ways, their usurpations.

    The current totalitarian grip by our federal government, the invasion of the feds into every aspect of our lives (health, education, food, housing, bank accounts, speech, and privacy), the militarization of our local police, and endless wars of aggression overseas by D.C. suggests that we have waited far too long to stop the usurpers of unalienable rights and our Constitution.

    After the statement (in the Declaration of Independence) about repeated abuses, there directly follows the LIST of abuses. Those abuses occurred only within the lifetime of one man, King George. They don’t extend any further back in time. And only within the short period of 16 years.

    LESS THAN ONE GENERATION OF TIME CAN PASS BEFORE A PEOPLE MIGHT NEED TO THROW OFF DESPOTISM..

    Our founders grew up believing they were once free and then, in a short period of time, suddenly realized a completely reversal of their liberties IN ONE GENERATION. That is all it took for them to arm themselves against despotism and that is all it should take anyone.

    One man’s short period of time (less than one generation) is all that is required to provoke a lawful rebellion by any people.

    If that isn’t what the minimum time ought to be for the “tree of liberty” to be “refreshed” then there is no stopping tyrants except by even longer and more desperate suffering. Ask the people of North Korea about that. If you don’t stop tyrants quick enough your children starve to death or live in deprivation and despair for many decades to come if not all of their lives.

    James Madison said it was our “first duty”.

    He wrote:

    “It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much … to forget it…”

    The Cato Institute would seem to want us to “wait till the usurped power” has strengthened itself by exercise and precedents.

    Why does Cato want us to wait until it is too late?

    Perhaps they want it that way.

  55. OK, Tootie,

    What, exactly, are you suggesting we do? Please give us specific tactics. Should we rebel? That worked really well, last time.

    Our founders threw off tyranny by force of arms. Is that what you advocate? Using ‘2nd Amendment remedies’ (otherwise known as small arms) against F-16s and tanks? A plot for a B-grade science-fiction movie, perhaps.

    The Declaration of Independence was a justification, to the world, for breaking bonds between 13 colonies and Britain.

    It’s not a blueprint for continuous rebellion against a government that the 13 colonies created for themselves.

    If we’re oppressed, it’s because we oppressed ourselves. To whatever extent that’s true, we need to unoppress ourselves. Slowly and carefully.

    At this moment, the ‘tyranny’ imposed by the Feds pales next to the tyranny which individual states are attempting (voting restrictions, subjugation of women).

  56. “If 6 billion people decide they arent going to listen to you anymore, what recourse do you have to change their decision? Arrest them all?”

    It’s not me you’re going to have to worry about.

  57. Bob

    I’m not telling you to pick up arms. I’m just telling you that it is legitimate to do so when government has violated its compact agreement with its own people or when it has denied them their unalienable rights. That American men are too cowardly and disinterested to confront these gigantic criminals in DC is another issue.

    Cato suggests there is no legal justification for watering the tree of liberty at this juncture in our history and I suggest they are incorrect.

    As DC stands now most all deserve punishment. Some notable exceptions Rand and Ron Paul, of course.

    But instead of that I suggest joining up with the 10th Amendment Center
    http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/

    And supporting Oath Keepers

    Follow Tom Woods.

    Nullify: often. Keep the feds on the run.

    Also, if you are suggesting that US soldiers are going to come after us with F-16s then you have surrendered to despotism and tyranny without a fight.

    How does the citizen battle such a monster?

    A good method is seen in this video with Gerard Casey (the part you should be interested in occurs between the 2 minute and 3:20 mark. But just watch it all up to the 3:20 mark (if you like)

    If I’m lucky the video will be below here:

  58. The government under the Articles of Confederation was falling apart. The notion that the Constitution made the union “more perfect” was for external consumption only. This was not a perfection of the government, but a re-write.

    Was the Constitution written and adopted in accord with the principles then in effect, namely the Articles, which required unanimous consent? Or can a morbid system just be shrugged off, like lizard skin.

  59. “Same sex marriage?
    Legalization of pot?
    California paying for stem cell research?
    If Roe were overturned, how would you feel about states rights then?”

    Anon,

    State’s Rights is a nonsensical anachronism that in its history has caused far greater harm then good. State and Local governments are actually easier to control, than the national government. If Roe were overturned, perhaps 35 states would have laws against abortion. The same is true with pot and stem cell research. If in any given state you can get a determined minority of about 30% backing something, you can get it passed. See Prohibition and the Law that caused the Scopes Monkey trial. I could feed you examples all day, but to what end, your beliefs are unshakable. Mine aren’t, I’m a pragmatist, but nothing you have presented thus far makes even the slightest sense to me.

  60. Ekeyra,

    If 6 billion people revolted against the system, you, me and most other contributors here wouldn’t last out a year, the thugs taking over the revolt would have people who question authority killed, despite their political orientation. Therein lies the problem with revolution.

  61. Also, the states have the right to secede because the people have that right to withdraw from evil doers, despots and tyrants in their own personal lives. It is an unalienable right to self defense. It has to do with freedom of association as well.

    Virginia, in particular, was promised she could leave the union if she didn’t like being in it. New York and Rhode Island too. This was understood at the time and that is the main reason Virginia and some other states voted to adopt the Constitution.

    So it was common knowledge that the states could depart. Thus, Lincoln was a madman and mass murderer. And it is creepy how Democrats like him so much. No wait. It’s not creepy. It is understandable. Democrats adore mass murder.

    Anyway, Jefferson wrote in his Kentucky Resolution:

    ‘That the government created by this compact [the Constitution] was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of powers delegated to itself.’

    The federal government cannot delineate the extent of its own powers. That is absolute power. And the founders abhorred it. Absolute power corrupts and murders (on a massive scale) absolutely.

    Of course, Democrats love that.

    John Quincy Adams on the 50 anniversary of the Constitution:

    “The indissoluble link of union between the people of the several states of this confederated nation is, after all, not in the right but in the heart. If the day should ever come (may Heaven avert it!) when the affections of the people of these States shall be alienated from each other; when the fraternal spirit shall give way to cold indifference, or collision of interests shall fester into hatred, the bands of political associations will not long hold together parties no longer attracted by the magnetism of conciliated interests and kindly sympathies; and far better will it be for the people of the disunited states to part in friendship from each other, than to be held together by constraint.”

    We have come to this point because of nationalists insist on federalizing all our laws and creating a federal government with totalitarian powers. Both sides of the aisle have contributed to it. It is a credit to the GOP that it possesses the only people trying to stop it: Rand and Ron Paul.

    Everyone else is nuts. Especially the Marxist pigs who run the Democratic Party.

  62. Tootie – the guy is funny and I do like his book cover. Interesting for me is that he is from Ireland, and he did not refer to the annexation of Northern Ireland by Great Britain. Although he hardly talked about anything in the clip.
    How do you know of him?

  63. Tootie – By Marxism do you mean taxation? Or … Socialism? And by Socialism, do you mean welfare, or bailing out Goldman Sachs? I did not follow; I missed the reference.

  64. The point quoted by Somin also seems weak to me
    “[I]f the law allows secession, then no more justification is required”.
    The example about selling a car could be, it is legal to sell a car, but of course, with conditions. It has to be your car, and possibly it can’t have been totaled, even if “you fixed it up”.

  65. martin

    I know of him through Tom Wood’s website. I follow the Mises “think tank” as well. I’m always interested in their guests and scholarship.

  66. martin

    By Marxist pigs (the Democrats) I mean unlawful (immoral) takings by our government for the purposes of redistribution. Taxation for that which is lawful/necessary is not socialism in almost exactly the same way that there is a difference between murder and justifiable killing, and consensual sex and rape.

    For example, Jeffery Dahmer’s murders and a cop shooting a man in self defense. In one situation the killing act is completely unjustified. In the other it is not. Yet in both cases a life has been taken.

    Same goes for sex. In the one case (sex between husband and wife for example) if the sex act is consensual it is not rape. If the sex act is not consensual, it is. In both cases it still is a sex act.

    It is the players in these examples and their intent which changes the same real acts into different moral outcomes.

    Same goes for taxation. That which is done for the sake of the purposes to which a state should exist (to protect life, liberty, etc) is not socialism even though money was taken by gunpoint through taxation. I part with libertarians at this point. I don’t not believe that all taxation is theft.

    That which is done for the sake of anything beyond what ought to be the purpose of the state (and in this I speak particularly of our Federal government which is supposed to have excruciatingly limited powers) is socialism or just outright theft.

    In both cases, though, money is taken. In one case it is justifiable, in the other it isn’t. In one case it is socialism/theft, in the other it is just plain old taxation.

  67. rafflaw

    It would seem to me the racists are the Democrats who have destroyed the black family with welfare handouts and dooming black children to bad public schools.

    Ron Paul, of course, is and was opposed to all of that. Democrats never were.

    So if you are worried about racists, you ought to be worried that there are so many Democrats.

  68. Blouise,

    True :mrgreen: but it would also be nice to have a sane traditional conservative voice to offset the lunatic fringe.

  69. Tootie – you can’t expect the government to be moral. Being lawful is hard enough.

    1. [By that I mean, conforming to your idea of moral. The government must do or allow tons of things that you think are immoral, but spending money would have to be among the least of them, wouldn’t it? Unless your highest value, the thing most dear, is money.] I would have to think that it is the improper program that is the key problem, not spending money on the improper program.

    2. You imply, but I doubt that you mean, that the Republicans are not pigs, using your definition, although possibly not Marxist pigs, although they do vote for Social Security, so maybe.

  70. Tootie,
    It is easy to make up your own facts, but your Rep. Paul has proven himself to be a racist with years of racist writings under his name and in his publication.

  71. I want to know who rubbed the magic lamp and made 2T reappear? And how will we now get the cork back in the bottle?

  72. “Slavery, as practiced in the Confederacy, would seem to be wholly inconsistent with libertarian principles.”

    Nal, there were slaves in the NORTH too.

    “In an ingenious observation, Jason Kuznicki noted that “Secession is the decision to step out of an existing political order, so it’s a category error to try to justify it legally.””

    Actually they were following Thomas Jefferson’s words that if a government becomes corrupt, it is our DUTY to throw off that government and form a new one.

    “Some claim that the Confederacy represents a legitimate act of rebellion and point to the principles in the Declaration of Independence for support.”

    The South actually seceded PEACEFULLY until they were invaded in South Carolina at Fort Sumter and they defended themselves from invasion. No one died at Fort Sumter, so despite the invasion by Lincoln’s troops, the South was not guilty of murder at the preset of the war. Lincoln did not PEACEFUL secession happen. Most Northern newspapers SUPPORTED the South’s secession, that is why Lincoln had the papers shut down and their editors imprisoned. This is all documented, but Lincoln-cultists like Nal just keep repeating the “Lincoln was a saint” crapola.

  73. It’s nice to see what we’ll be getting if the top moves ahead much…..this is the best they can do with the schooling that they have already been provided…… Anymore education for them would prove to be a waste…..right tootles……..

  74. Mike S. –youre nuts. You said:

    “As this discussion possibly rages on, as it has in the past here, let me simply state my position. The South’s rebellion and its’ consequences was the result of their own tyrannical governance. The “elite” have always controlled the Southern States to the detriment of their citizens, both White and Black. The act of rebellion was nothing less than unjustified treason against the United States, motivated by greed, not principle. Those who still maintain support for this treason today are the real “Un-Americans” and should be vilified as such. The problem is that most of them are so full of the propaganda taught them for years that they are unable to see the truth of their hypocrisy.”

    How exactly did the South rebel? By PEACEFULLY seceding?? The NORTH invaded the South and the South defended their land. If someone invaded your home, and you shot the intruder out of defense of you and your home—would you appreciate being called the one who “rebelled”???

    I would like a direct response to my question instead of your usual ad hominem response.

  75. rafflaw, you said:

    “I would like to echo what Mike S. said above. The South’s secession was an attempt to continue their way of enslaving people as evidenced by their long standing Jim Crow laws after the Civil War.”

    Did the North also have slaves?? Yes, they did. In fact, the North was able to KEEP their slaves even AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation was issued [which actually freed NO slaves by the way].

    So, please tell me—-how did just the SOUTH enslave people but the North did not??

  76. Ha! I was going to suggest that we fight the Civil War over again…then I realized, a lot of folks never stopped fighting it. Never mind.

  77. Firing on US troops then as now was treason. The CSA was intent on being treasonous to support their unholy slavery system. They lost but like all bullies can’t even accept that they brought it on themselves. Underlying the support of this mythology is unvarnished racism, which those who feel that way expose their cowardly hypocrisy.

  78. “Firing on US troops then as now was treason. The CSA was intent on being treasonous to support their unholy slavery system. They lost but like all bullies can’t even accept that they brought it on themselves. Underlying the support of this mythology is unvarnished racism, which those who feel that way expose their cowardly hypocrisy.”

    They brought WHAT on themselves? The fact that the act of secession is granted by the Constitution? Firing on US troops was no more treasonous than the Revolutionary War militias firing on the redcoats. The wars of 1775-83 and 1861-1865 were exactly the same war—wars of secession. The Declaration of Independence itself is a declaration of secession.

    You people act like the Federal government is above the American people. They are not. Jefferson clearly said that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. So, Mike, you tell me…if the South did not consent—which they did NOT, that strips the government of their power, does it not? Government has no power without consent of the people Jefferson clearly wrote.

    So exactly what is your point Mike? I also noticed that you didnt answer my question [shocker]. Here it is again. This time, would you kindly answer it?

    “If someone invaded your home, and you shot the intruder out of defense of you and your home—would you appreciate being called the one who “rebelled”???”

    Slavery was NOT the cause of the Civil War, high tariffs was. The Southerners did not create slavery. That had existed centuries before 1776. In fact, the only glaring error of the Constitution is that it expresses that all men are created equal and all deserve freedom and liberty because of the natural law—yet the Constitution included 3 clauses that acknowledged slavery and did not condemn it.

    Where in the hell do you get off saying that slavery is “their [the South’s] unholy slavery system”??? The Constitution wrongfully allowed slavery to exist and the North still had slaves in 1861. Dozens of countries prior to 1861 ended slavery through compensated emancipation. The US is the ONLY country that fought a war and used that as an excuse. Slavery was becoming less profitable by 1861 and it would have fizzled out on its own without a war, that is fact. The industrial revolution would have made slavery in the south less and less economical. It had already declined in the North and it wouldnt have lasted much longer in the South.

    Slavery in the United States was nothing more than government-sponsored racism. The US government from its origin in 1776 allowed slavery to exist and did nothing to stop it. Lincoln even admitted the war wasn’t about slavery—he continually claimed his war was about “saving the Union”—but even that was absurd. How can he “save” a Union in whose Constitution he was continually trampling on? That’s like “saving” a marriage by being unfaithful and beating your wife.

    Get away from the school textbooks Mike and start learning FACTS about Lincoln, secession and slavery. Secession being treason is a big MYTH, and you accept it hook, line and sinker.

  79. rafflaw, your answer:

    Missouri, Kentucky, Delaware and Maryland—border states but they remained in the Union and did not outlaw slavery. New Jersey allowed slavery until 1865 as well. The Emancipation Proc. did nothing about NORTHERN slavery. Northerners still were allowed to keep their slaves. Despite the Proclamation outlawing SOUTHERN slavery..it did no such thing. Even ones who were supposedly “free” went right into the custody of the federal government—hence still not “free”.

  80. Larry,

    Finally, we’re back on topic.
    “The fact that the act of secession is granted by the Constitution?”
    Where, please? Quote it for me. It’s a relatively short document. I’ve read it a few times, plus numerous analyses. I don’t recall seeing that.

    You said, “Jefferson clearly said that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. So, Mike, you tell me…if the South did not consent—which they did NOT, that strips the government of their power, does it not? Government has no power without consent of the people Jefferson clearly wrote.”

    Yes, Jefferson clearly wrote that, in the Declaration. It’s not U.S. law. It’s not in the Constitution, which is U.S. law. Including such a clause would be ridiculous. Laws aren’t nullified because citizens don’t feel like obeying them. Legislatures and courts usually handle stuff like that. And state legislatures can’t nullify Federal law.

    The slave states did consent. They ratified the Constitution. Sorry, I wasn’t there.

    The Constitution, nowhere, says that any time a state feels ornery, it can secede. If you’re living in any nation, you can, of course, simply say that the laws no longer apply to you. But the rest of the nation won’t agree.

    We are citizens of the United States of America. Check your passport. Individual states are not sovereign. An individual state cannot legally remove the citizenship of the U.S.A. citizens within it.

    That was true then, and it’s true now. If you don’t like it, modify the Constitution. There is a procedure for that, right in the Constitution.

    If you want to bluster about this, fine with me. I’m just telling you how it is. Your refusal to accept it won’t change it.

  81. Larry:

    Lincoln-cultists like Nal just keep repeating the “Lincoln was a saint” crapola.

    I didn’t mention Lincoln at all.

  82. Nal, you took my quote out of the context of my entire paragraph, which justified mentioning Lincoln. I said clearly:

    “The South actually seceded PEACEFULLY until they were invaded in South Carolina at Fort Sumter and they defended themselves from invasion. No one died at Fort Sumter, so despite the invasion by Lincoln’s troops, the South was not guilty of murder at the preset of the war. Lincoln did not PEACEFUL secession happen. Most Northern newspapers SUPPORTED the South’s secession, that is why Lincoln had the papers shut down and their editors imprisoned. This is all documented, but Lincoln-cultists like Nal just keep repeating the “Lincoln was a saint” crapola.”

    That comment was clearly on topic. You omitted the pertinent part of my quote and only included the part you could comment on. That’s called being a coward.

    Bob, the DOI is not US Law, you are correct. But the fact that our country up until 1789 was under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union…and then in 1789 when we dissolved the Union by nullifying the Articles meant that our country was no longer a “perpetual Union” since we seceded from that document. The words “perpetual Union” are not in the Constitution. It was understood by everyone in the early days that no state could be forced to enter or remain in the Union.

    But I will tell you one thing. There is absolutely NO law that permitted Lincoln to do what he did. Show me ONE shred of evidence that Lincoln had the right and authority to invade sovereign states. Just show me ONE thing. “Secession” was not this evil, treasonous word up until 1861 like it is now. Nearly everyone understood that secession was permitted. The New England Federalists attempted to secede back in the early 1800’s but they finally decided not to—NOT because it wasn’t permitted or because it was evil or treasonous—but because many of the members of the convention feared that voting on secession would ruin any chances of holding public office one day, so the voted against it. No one ever questioned the RIGHT to secede during all this—-but only the wisdom of doing so because it might stifle future careers in politics or hurting them economically.

    You really should start reading books. It works wonders.

  83. Bob, something you said that was quite funny…..

    “The slave states did consent. They ratified the Constitution. Sorry, I wasn’t there.”

    The slave states consented because they were in the NORTH and the NORTH was not being hit with the incredibly outrageous tariffs that were inflicted on the South. That was the reason for the war! Because Southerners were being hit by a huge tariff that was not being imposed on the North—so to say the slave states consented, while true, is in essence inadvertently agreeing in the central cause of the war—-high tariffs—–tariffs that were NOT administered to the North, but were in fact being administered in the South.

    I guess the slave states [North] wouldn’t secede from a Union in which they didn’t feel its government wasn’t abusing them! Good holy lord, you people really are pieces of work!

  84. “The fact that the act of secession is granted by the Constitution?”

    Larry,
    As Bob Kauten pointed out that statement is not a “fact” and the so-called “Right of Secession” does not exist in the Constitution of the United States”. Some people, grasping at straws may have inferred it from the Declaration of Independence, but the DOI is not law. Given that the basis of your argument rests on a fact that doesn’t exist, your argument fails.

    “If someone invaded your home, and you shot the intruder out of defense of you and your home—would you appreciate being called the one who “rebelled”???”

    I didn’t answer your question above because it was based on a “fact” that doesn’t exist. The firing on Fort Sumter was a planned act of treason by the CSA, which wanted to create an incident that would start the rebellion. They didn’t accept a duly elected President, who they perceived would thwart their efforts towards making slavery a national institution, Kansas perchance?

    “the only glaring error of the Constitution is that it expresses that all men are created equal and all deserve freedom and liberty because of the natural law—yet the Constitution included 3 clauses that acknowledged slavery and did not condemn it.”

    Yes that was a glaring error of the Constitution and there are many other errors within it. Look at why this error was made and we see it was because of the insistence of the Southern States that slavery remain, or they would not sign. Since may of the signers were slaveholders we can understand why this was so. However, your argument still avoids the truth which is that slavery was and is a horrible thing, done solely for profit. By my moral standards it is unholy, perhaps your moral standards are somewhat less restrictive?

    “Slavery was NOT the cause of the Civil War, high tariffs was.”

    Nonsense. A justification made up after the fact to try and rationalize treason and carried forth today to “whitewash” (apt term) the Southern infamy.

    “Slavery in the United States was nothing more than government-sponsored racism.”

    Finally Larry, you produce a fact. Yes it was government sponsored racism, which was imposed by the South for profit. Now admittedly the Slave Trade was started long before, but which section of the country benefited from it more? That Northerners went along with it for profit also does them no credit.
    There are stains in American history no doubt, but other than the planned genocide of Native Americans, no stain equals that of slavery.

    “Get away from the school textbooks Mike and start learning FACTS about Lincoln, secession and slavery.”

    Larry, you shout “FACTS” and yet your central fact isn’t true. I would respectfully suggest that it is you who need to study more.

    “Slavery was becoming less profitable by 1861 and it would have fizzled out on its own without a war, that is fact. The industrial revolution would have made slavery in the south less and less economical.”

    There you go again with spouting a non-existent “fact”. The industrial Revolution would have made slavery more profitable simply because having arduous factory work done for free would have increased manufacturers bottom line.

    The people of the South have paid for many sins, created by the wealthy elite that ruled them the and rules them now. It is by inculcating their citizens with this nonsensical, dishonest self-pity that continues to make this part of our country the least democratic and most poorly developed area of our country and that is a damned shame. Due to spreading this myth of Southern victimhood the South in general has the poorest standard of living and other lifestyle measures of any other region. I feel bad for so many Southern Whites who have been taken in by these historical falsehoods and blame other for their misfortunes, when in fact it is their leaders who either are among the wealthy elite, or who are the servants of that elite. This includes supposedly pious men who would have us believe that Jesus was the first Capitalist.

  85. “We are citizens of the United States of America. Check your passport. Individual states are not sovereign. An individual state cannot legally remove the citizenship of the U.S.A. citizens within it.”

    Actually you are wrong. Very wrong. Sovereignty rests with the states, not the Federal government. What do you think the meaning of “We the people” means if not for state sovereignty? What would it matter what “we the people” said if the federal government can just say no?

    Each state declared its sovereignty and Independence from England on its own—not as a part of a monolithic “United States”. When King George signed the declaration, he signed with each individual state.

    It’s the whole reason why elections are decided by electoral college instead of votes of “the whole people”—to ensure state sovereignty. If not for state sovereignty, there would be no need for state legislators or senators. It would just be an authoritarian rule from a central government and their King. This is why when the federal government passes certain laws, certain states can opt NOT to follow it. For example: Many states have now opted out of Obamacare—–can you tell me how this could be permitted if states weren’t sovereign and HAD to obey the federal government?

  86. Larry,
    I know there were some states who outlawed slavery later than the bulk of the North that outlawed years before the EP. These same states did not have the problem with Jim Crow laws that you seem to want to blame on the Feds too. Kentucky tried to secede, but remained neutral and two of the states you mentioned outlawed slavery during the Civil War.

  87. Larry:

    You omitted the pertinent part of my quote and only included the part you could comment on.

    You said I repeated “Lincoln was a saint.” That is untrue. That’s called being a liar. I will not deal with you in the future.

  88. Mike said

    “There you go again with spouting a non-existent “fact”. The industrial Revolution would have made slavery more profitable simply because having arduous factory work done for free would have increased manufacturers bottom line.”

    Yes it would have been FREE labor, but not efficient enough and sure as hell not FASTER than machines.

    “The firing on Fort Sumter was a planned act of treason by the CSA, which wanted to create an incident that would start the rebellion. They didn’t accept a duly elected President, who they perceived would thwart their efforts towards making slavery a national institution, Kansas perchance?”

    Lincoln provoked the South into firing. Keep in mind, no one died in that attack. You really think Lincoln was going to STOP slavery? He said during his first inaugural address he had NO INTENTION of interfering with Southern slavery and if he did, he would have no constitutional authority to do so.

    Dont believe ME? You can read it here: [third paragraph in his speech]

    http://www.ushistory.org/documents/lincoln1.htm

    Hell, Lincoln even supported a constitutional amendment to prohibit the federal government from ever interfering with Southern slavery!! And you sit there and tell me the South feared Lincoln would “thwart their efforts toward making slavery a national institution”???? Are you insane???

  89. Lincoln provoked the ‘South’ into firing on Fort Sumter?

    Let’s see, a contingent of the U.S. Army occupied a U.S. fort on U.S. soil.
    That’s not an invasion, sorry.

    Firing on the U.S. Army is treason. In this case, an act of treason that caused the deaths of over half-a-million people. Glorious, noble, don’t you think? All wars are.

    You say,
    “What do you think the meaning of “We the people” means if not for state sovereignty? What would it matter what “we the people” said if the federal government can just say no?”

    Exactly. ‘We the people,’ not ‘we the states.’ Delegates of we the people (those living at the time) created the Federal government, with all of its virtues and faults.

    The Federal government consists partially of a Legislature and a President, which are elected by we the people. The Federal government can just say no. That’s why it’s called a government.

    Why you need this explained to you is a mystery.

    Definition of ‘sovereign’: “one possessing or held to possess supreme political power or sovereignty” (Merriam-Webster).

    Supreme political power is held by only one entity in the United States of America, and that entity with the supreme political power is the nation known as the United States of America. Sovereignty is not held by any of the smaller units within that nation.

    Oh, and stop asking people in this discussion if they are ‘insane,’ or ‘nuts.’
    It’s disrespectful, and only reflects the mental state of the questioner.

  90. “but not efficient enough and sure as hell not FASTER than machines.”

    Larry,

    Would that have not been efficient enough because Blacks were running the machines. That is the essence of factory work. Workers operate machinery.
    Didn’t the slaves run the cotton gins?

    Finally, where is your apology for stating that the right to secede was built into the Constitution as a fact? You may talk a good line of bullshit Larry, but clearly that is what it is. I give you your advice of studying more, but when ones mind is made up, the facts only get in the way. Look how your reading has led to a misunderstanding of the Constitution, in favor of your presumption the South was victimized.

  91. I somehow got out-of-sync in my reading of these comments. I had missed a few.
    Thanks, ‘Larry’! Your comments are hilarious!

    But I see through you, Bill Maher! You’ve invented this ‘Larry’ character as a parody. You had me going for a while, but no one’s really that deluded, Bill! You pushed it just a little too far.

    Thanks, it’s been fun!

    And, David Drumm (Nal), thanks so much for posting your article. We had a good time! I looked some stuff up, found out what-in-the-world a ‘category error’ is. Learned a few things.

  92. Bob,

    Glad you enjoyed it. If you haven’t already, be sure to check the links in my previous comments for more of the on-going discussion.

  93. Why is it i feel the need to defend my positions more from the people who share some of them, then the people who do not?

    Mike,

    The US spends more money on “defense” than the rest of the planet combined. They are the biggest, well funded, and most ruthless gang, right now. Your nightmare scenario is our current paradigm.

    Also, when have i ever advocated armed revolution? All i’ve ever advocated is ignoring the decrees of a bunch of pompous old men who will tell you to your face and without a hint of shame or irony that they dont have time to even read the laws they pass, yet fully expect you to abide by them.

    People making individual decisions to live their lives peacefully makes society function. If people stop making those decisions it doesnt matter how many cops or swat teams or tanks the government has, because they will be outnumbered and cut off from their source of funding. Have more faith in your fellow human beings. If the vast majority felt like going “mad max” one day, what could stop them anyway?

  94. “Have more faith in your fellow human beings.”

    Ekeyra,

    You and I do agree on certain things and for those we disagree on your reasoning is always well thought out and cogent. However, while I have great empathy for almost all people, including those I disagree with, my experience has taught me to have little faith in humans when it comes to political process. The tendency of many on all sides of the political spectrum to seek out leaders who appear “strong” is I think genetic, as with the Great Apes. In that respect anarchy appeals to me, except that I know that anarchy leads to fascism, because it would frighten too many people who would seek that “strong” leader to protect them from what they would perceive as chaos. Humanity simply needs to evolve further, or it will remain stuck in a loop of predations and violence.

  95. Bob said:

    “Lincoln provoked the ‘South’ into firing on Fort Sumter?

    Let’s see, a contingent of the U.S. Army occupied a U.S. fort on U.S. soil.
    That’s not an invasion, sorry.”

    Yes, Lincoln did provoke the South into firing. South Carolina seceded in December 1860. Lincoln would not have ANY state secede and leave the Union, and he made sure of that at ALL costs—-this DESPITE the fact that 12 years earlier he gave a speech to Congress and was 100% FOR the secession of states when he said:

    “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right—-a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right onfined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhibit”.

    He said that before Congress in January 1848. So, here we have , ONCE AGAIN, Lincoln’s OWN WORDS flying in the face of you all here on this blog. Your defense of Lincoln is more of a defense than his OWN words. It sounds like Lincoln sure as hell believed in secession too! I also reminded you twits earlier of the New England secessionists in the early 1800’s—they attempted to secede too, but when they thought their future in politics would be affected by it, they chose not to—–NOT because it was wrong or treasonous, but because of their own selfishness. Not ONCE did anyone tell the New Englanders that it was TREASON to secede, not once.

    Lincoln was advised by his to military commanders that an incoming ship would be considered a threat to confederates and prompt an attack, so Lincoln sent a ship of food provisions and additional armed soldiers to Fort Sumter. The confederates fell for the ploy and fired the first shot. This was all planned by Lincoln because Lincoln wanted to take military action against the South but did not want to be the aggressor.

    Even NORTHERN newspapers reported Lincoln’s instigated it.

    The Providence Daily Post said:

    “Mr. Lincoln saw an opportunity to inaugurate civil war without appearing in the character of an aggressor”

    The Jersey City American Standard wrote:

    “there is a madness and ruthlessness [in Lincoln] which is astounding…this unarmed vessel…is a mere decoy to draw the first fire from the people of the South, which act by the pre-determination of the government is to be the pretext for letting loose the horrors of war”

    Maybe this is why Lincoln shut down over 300 newspapers during the war and imprisoned their editors—–columns just like this.

    I have just refuted the fact that secession is treason by Lincoln’s OWN words and refuted that the South was provoked into firing first by excerpts from actual columns from NORTHERN newspapers. And you twits will STILL believe your 10th grade history books over documented FACTS.

  96. My last paragraph meant to say:

    “I have just refuted the MYTH that secession is treason by Lincoln’s OWN words and refuted the MYTH that the South just fired at the Union for no reason whatsoever through excerpts from actual columns from NORTHERN newspapers. And you twits will STILL believe your 10th grade history books over documented FACTS.”

    Instead of firing back at me with ad hominem attacks and 2 paragraph long responses that address nothing I say—I want you all here to respond to the actual QUOTES I used by Lincoln and the quotes from the newspapers. Those are not MY words, they are documented words that can’t be rewritten—-but oh how many have tried to rewrite history for the past 150 years and all of you on this blog have just gobbled up the textbook Lincoln, that he was a saint and did nothing wrong and hated slavery. None of it is true, but even QUOTES from Lincoln don’t persude anyone here. If HIS OWN WORDS do not make you see the light, what will?

  97. Bob said:

    “Supreme political power is held by only one entity in the United States of America, and that entity with the supreme political power is the nation known as the United States of America. Sovereignty is not held by any of the smaller units within that nation.”

    Actually you’re wrong. Very wrong. The term “United States” was never meant to be used in a monolithic sense. It is meant to be used in the plural…United States…just the way it sounds…United States—meaning: states that are united—-NOT “United States” as some monolithic title describing just one centralized piece of land.

    States are free and independent and combined they form a Union. The federal govt did not create the states—the states created the Federal govt. Do you not know that?

    The states formed a VOLUNTARY agreement when entering the Union—and it’s not even POSSIBLE that states can surrender their sovereignty to a centralized power.

    The states have the rights of nullification and secession. Nullification is the right to ignore unconstitutional federal laws. Secession is the right to seperate from the non-voluntary Union. If states are not sovereign as you claim, that means the Federal govt has supreme authority over the states, and that is NOT what the founders wanted, nor what they wrote down. The federal govt is to be the servant of the states. The ONLY power the federal govt is to have is what the states delegate to it.

    Remember the STATES were created first, then the federal govt. How can the creation be greater than its creator?

  98. im sorry, i meant to say above:

    “Secession is the right to seperate from the voluntary Union”—-not “non-voluntary”. Non-voluntary is what everyone here believes it is, but none of the framers believed that. They all knew the states were in a voluntary Union. Lincoln even knew it was voluntary at one time [at least as far back as 1848—-as I gave you his quote], but once he became President, it all changed. He felt the secession of states was personal against him, and he was not about to have it—not on his watch. So he murdered 700,000 Americans to accomplish his agenda.

    When Lincoln created the pretext for the civil war and provoked the South into firing first, that was just the first in a long list of provocations created by presidents to start war [when the president wanted war and did not want to be the aggressor]. Here is a short list of later examples:

    President McKinley—Spanish-American war
    FDR———–Pearl Harbor
    LBJ———–Vietnam
    George W. Bush———–Iraq

  99. Bob said:

    “Laws aren’t nullified because citizens don’t feel like obeying them.”

    If they are unconstitutional, oh yes they can!

    “Legislatures and courts usually handle stuff like that. And state legislatures can’t nullify Federal law.”

    If they are unconstitutional, oh yes they can!

  100. Bob said:

    “Let’s see, a contingent of the U.S. Army occupied a U.S. fort on U.S. soil.
    That’s not an invasion, sorry.”

    That may have been Lincoln’s interpretation, but it surely wasn’t the interpretation of a newly formed country called the Confederate States of America, who had just seceded from the United States government—hence not giving a shit about an army that was part of a country they had just seceded from, hence also not being the “United” states anymore, if there were some states that had already separated from it. The CSA didnt care if was the United States Army or the Poland Army, it was still a country NOT considered a part of their newly formed one. Are you understanding now? You may not AGREE with the Southerners interpretation of the Constitution—and except for the slavery issue, they were completely right about—-but you have to be just willingly ignorant to understand the meaning of secession.

    “Firing on the U.S. Army is treason. In this case, an act of treason that caused the deaths of over half-a-million people. Glorious, noble, don’t you think? All wars are.”

    If Russia has approached South Carolina waters in a ship in order to provoke, would it be considered treason to fire at them? No, I dont think so. It would be self-defense. It was self-defense for SC to fire upon a ship that belonged to ANOTHER COUNTRY…the United States…in which the CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA had just seceded from, hence making the USA another country [not to mention NOT the United States anymore, since all states were NOT united now]. What point are you making that the CSA was firing at the UNITED STATES ARMY? The CSA didnt recognize that government as their government anymore. They already had their own president, Jefferson Davis, who had been sworn in before Lincoln was sworn in. They didnt acknowledge Lincoln as their president, nor did they acknowledge the USA as their country anymore. So, what was your point?

    Was it treason for the militias in the Revolution to fire at the British?? How would we have formed our country if not for SECESSION? We SECEDED from Great Britain—so the very ACT of secession cannot be treasonous, or you would have to agree that our country was formed from treason….correct? Do you think the framers, after seceding from a tyrant [King George] and beginning a new country were going to turn right around and adopt the VERY SAME government as Great Britain, the very government we just seceded from? That is why they permitted secession, so that incase OUR government became tyrannical, no state would be bound by the very same kind of tyranny we just broke apart from.

    Why can’t you get this?

  101. Larry,
    May I cut in, to interrupt this long conversation with yourself?

    With all your corrections, I’m not sure which points I’m responding to are still valid.

    1. First of all, don’t refer to the commenters here as ‘twits.’ It undermines your arguments. Did you wish to be taken seriously?

    2. It’s hard to wade through all of this, but I believe that you neglected to put into historical context, the quote from Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was speaking of Texas seceding from Mexico. His speech was, as you say, 12 years earlier. Lincoln was certainly not applying this to the then existing states of the United States of America. That may not be consistent, but I’m not defending Lincoln.

    3. Despite anything that Lincoln said about the U.S.A./Mexican war, Fort Sumter was on U.S.A. soil. The U.S.A. army was privileged to occupy any fort on soil of the U.S.A. South Carolina did not receive permission from the U.S.A. to secede, and the people, and soldiers there were citizens of the U.S.A. Firing on the army of the U.S.A. was clear cut treason.

    4. After all of this verbiage, you still have not addressed your previous assertion that the Constitution of the U.S.A. allows secession. You were asked multiple times to elaborate. Were you wrong, or were you prevaricating?

    5. I do not find, in the massive texts above, my referring to secession as ‘treason.’ I referred to the attack on the army of the U.S.A. at Fort Sumter as treason. I’m right. You, not so much.

    6. “Was it treason for the militias in the Revolution to fire at the British??”
    Yes, it was. The British considered the colonists to be British citizens. “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately,” was attributed to Thomas Paine. The penalty for treason was hanging.

    7. “States are free and independent and combined they form a Union. The federal govt did not create the states—the states created the Federal govt. Do you not know that?”
    No, I don’t know that, because it’s not true. Read the Preamble to the Constitution. “We the people of the United States…,” not “We the states…”

    8. “What point are you making that the CSA was firing at the UNITED STATES ARMY? The CSA didnt recognize that government as their government anymore.”
    The ‘Confederate States of America’ was never a legal entity. There existed an insurrection against the U.S.A., which called itself the CSA. The insurrectionists, still citizens of the U.S.A., fired on the ‘UNITED STATES ARMY,’ as you so CAPS LOCKly put it.

    9. “Bob said:
    “Laws aren’t nullified because citizens don’t feel like obeying them.”
    If they are unconstitutional, oh yes they can!
    “Legislatures and courts usually handle stuff like that. And state legislatures can’t nullify Federal law.”
    If they are unconstitutional, oh yes they can!”

    Nope. The Supreme Court rules on constitutionality of laws. No one else. South Carolina ratified that, May 23, 1788. You could look it up. Was South Carolina just joking?

    10. “Why can’t you get this?”
    Because you haven’t made any valid points. There’s nothing to “get.”

  102. “What point are you making that the CSA was firing at the UNITED STATES ARMY? The CSA didnt recognize that government as their government anymore.”

    So with this stellar bit of reasoning the citizens/governments of Fulton & DeKalb County, Georgia (Atlanta), having become fed up with the morons running the rest of the State can legally secede and fire upon the agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation if they come to stop it. After all what is a State but a bunch of different localities banding together? Why are you for States Rights and not County Rights?

  103. Good point, Mike!

    But it reaches not quite far enough. If we are invoking imaginary privileges, why stop there?

    “A man’s home is his castle.” It’s in the Constitution! Or somewhere.

    “Doth not a man have the right to make and dithobey hith own lawth?”
    -Bob Kauten

    A man (or a woman) should not be bound by even so much as a homeowner’s association, much less city ordinances.

    What has happened to our Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of every individual from all laws?

    Shotgun Willie sits around in his underwear
    Biting on a bullet and pulling out all of his hair
    Shotgun Willie’s got all of his family there
    -Willie Nelson

  104. Bob said:

    ” It’s hard to wade through all of this, but I believe that you neglected to put into historical context, the quote from Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was speaking of Texas seceding from Mexico.”

    But Lincoln said:

    “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government…”

    ANY people ANYWHERE…key words. Did ya miss that?

  105. “South Carolina did not receive permission from the U.S.A. to secede, and the people, and soldiers there were citizens of the U.S.A. Firing on the army of the U.S.A. was clear cut treason.”

    Didn’t receive permission? There you go again suggesting the Federal govt is OVER the states, something the framers DID NOT want. You keep missing that point. States are sovereign. I have already proved it. The states created the federal govt, not the other way around. Please get this through your head.

  106. “So with this stellar bit of reasoning the citizens/governments of Fulton & DeKalb County, Georgia (Atlanta), having become fed up with the morons running the rest of the State can legally secede and fire upon the agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation if they come to stop it. After all what is a State but a bunch of different localities banding together? Why are you for States Rights and not County Rights?”

    Because states are sovereign, not counties. The framers never mentioned anything about counties. They DID mention that states have power over the federal govt—something Bob fails to grasp. “states” is synonymous with “we the people”, he thinks they’re separate. The people make up the states—the people dont make up the federal govt. Big difference.

  107. “The people make up the states—the people dont make up the federal govt. Big difference.”

    Really.

    I guess Madison was just pulling our leg when he started the Constitution with the words “We the People of the United States” then.

  108. Larry:

    People makes states; states make republics; republics suppress the excesses of factions among the people; people supress excesses of states and republics.

    Here’s the long — and more eloquent — version from the author himself:

    From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

    A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.

    The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.

    The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose. On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people. The question resulting is, whether small or extensive republics are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favor of the latter by two obvious considerations:

    In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. Hence, the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents, and being proportionally greater in the small republic, it follows that, if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice.

    In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.

    It must be confessed that in this, as in most other cases, there is a mean, on both sides of which inconveniences will be found to lie. By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects. The federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local and particular to the State legislatures.

    The other point of difference is, the greater number of citizens and extent of territory which may be brought within the compass of republican than of democratic government; and it is this circumstance principally which renders factious combinations less to be dreaded in the former than in the latter. The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.

    Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic, — is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. Does the advantage consist in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage.

    The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.

    In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.

    ~James Madison, Federalist 10

  109. mespo,

    I think next to Jefferson, Madison and Adams are tied as my penultimate favored writers of the lot.

  110. Gene H:

    Marcus Aurelius is a top 5’er, too — as you have pointed out. I’m partial to Thomas Paine (My country is the world, and my religion is to do good….My mind is my church) in 4th Place.

  111. “I guess Madison was just pulling our leg when he started the Constitution with the words “We the People of the United States” then.”

    Gene, the federal govt is supposed to be the representation of the people—not the people themselves that are being represented. We “the people” are the ones being represented, we are the ones who, without our consent, the govt has no power—as Jefferson wrote. The federal govt is our servant, not our master—–but Lincoln was the one who brought all that to an end.

  112. Also, Mike, let me add that the Union is not formed by COUNTIES, but as a union of STATES. Your pathetic analogy of county governments is just plain moronic [best word I could think of]. The framers did not create COUNTIES, but STATES. STATES form the Union—but that union is voluntary—not perpetual. King George did not sign the declaration with COUNTIES but the STATES. The fact that I have to explain this to you [who seems to be up in years and seemingly educated] is astonishing.

  113. “Nope. The Supreme Court rules on constitutionality of laws. No one else. South Carolina ratified that, May 23, 1788. You could look it up. Was South Carolina just joking?”

    Ahh you mean just like they did with the Dred Scott decision? That was 100% unconstitutional. Chief Justice Taney basically said blacks were NON persons, something even the framers did NOT say. They supported slavery but they NEVER said ALL blacks were NON persons. This was a great example of something that should have been nullified—-and 8 years later in 1865, it was—-but the people should have ignored it because Taney’s decision was rooted in racism, not the Constitution. So, because you support the fact that the Supreme Court is the all-ruling power [even if they make unconstitutional decisions], then you must agree with Taney that all blacks were NON persons, right???

    Right???? So, you support racism Bob???

  114. Bob, are you a racist?? You must be since you agree that the Supreme Court is always right and always makes constitutional decisions—but since Taney obviously did not—you cant pick and choose what you agree to be good or bad. If they are the all-ruling power, you must accept Taney’s racist decision—-which makes you racist. I believe in the right of nullification. People have the right to nullify unconstitutional laws—period.

    Why do you appear to be against slavery if you think Dred Scott was a non person—in essence supporting racism??

    Answer please??

  115. Bob, I cant wait to see how you either respond to my above post or completely ignore it. There’s no way around the racist stance you MUST take on Dred Scott if you believe that the Supreme Court is the all-ruling power and ALWAYS makes the constitutional decision. You either think they are always right, therefore you must be racist in the Dred Scott case…or you think they [at times] can be wrong—which solidifies my stance on nullification. There’s no middle ground.

    In the case of Dred Scott, the SC DID make the wrong decision and it was NOT based on the Constitution since none of the framers said ALL blacks were non persons. So, you have a choice to make—–the SC is not always right which justifies nullification of unconstitutional laws, or they are always right—which brands you a racist. I can’t wait to see how you will attempt to weasel out of this.

  116. Larry,

    I’m not sure what started your twisted obsession with Lincoln. Perhaps your mother was scarred by a man in a stovepipe hat when she was pregnant with you. Maybe a man with just a beard touched you in a wrong way when you were a boy. However, Lincoln – while far from perfect – is not the linchpin for the problems currently facing this country. He didn’t make the Federal government “our master”. What he did – albeit by means I personally disagree with in some details (such as suspending habeas corpus and using force to silence critics) – was preserve the republic in the face of a manifestly illegal attempt to secede by the Southern states who did indeed attack the very political body to which they belonged.

    Lincoln does indeed enjoy a rather cult like status among our former Presidents. Personally, I think he’s overrated and always have. He’s not even in my top five for favorite Presidents. However, that doesn’t detract from the fact that he preserved the union in circumstances many would have failed.

    Is there a problem with the Federal government and its relation to citizens as defined by the Constitution? Without a doubt. But Lincoln has nothing to do with it. The situation of today created by the Patriot Act and items like H.R. 347 and the NDAA have done far more to damage democracy than Lincoln ever even thought about doing. This whole neoconservative and neoliberal dismantling of the Constitution, corruption of our political and legislative processes, and the steady encroachment of corporatism is a product of the 20th Century. This first gasp was the misstep of the failed Business Plot of 1932. The true bad guys – the Neos – didn’t get their bearings again to make a concerted bid for power until after WWII. Eisenhower saw the makings of the corporatist oligarchical fascist state in the making when he warned future generations against the MIC. Piece by piece, these people succeeded in removing your freedoms and liberty slowly over time. Sometimes in overt ways, sometimes by more subtle means, but they were playing the long game having had their short game disrupted in 1932. They really started to pick up steam in the mid to late 70’s as they positioned like minded people into key positions in government. And when Reagan took office? It was off to the races. Deregulation. Damage caps. Expanding corporate personality. Secret wars for private profits. Rolling back restrictions on campaign finance. And when 9/11 gave their bought and paid for villains Bush and Cheney the excuse they needed to step up the war against domestic democracy? They jumped in with both feet. If you want to look for causal connections to the dysfunctional disconnect between Washington and the citizens of this country, there is no need to go back and scapegoat Lincoln. Our downward spiral as a country away from democracy and into oligarchical fascism started in far more recent times and the villains still walk among us unpunished and unrepentant.

    I’ve told you this before. Your obsession with demonizing Lincoln is practically textbook pathological, Larry. I’m no fan of his, but you’ve created a parallel fantasy reality where the CSA were the good guys and Lincoln is the Devil. Sorry! That’s not how that all really played out. The CSA started a war with the Federal government and the man in charge went overboard in some of his efforts to preserve the union and quell the rebellion. Both side have blood on their hands, but on the matter of secession, the South was legally wrong to go about it the way that they did and to do it for the reasons that they did. And don’t give me more of your lame bullshit about State’s Rights. There are some legitimate State’s Rights questions that existed before the Civil War and there are some that exist today, but that is not what the Civil War was fought over. It was a war about the South’s dependence upon slave labor and their desire to preserve that way of life and mode of business in a world where slavery was becoming less and less tolerated by civilizied Western countries and that tide of political change was coming to our shores via the most populated area of the country with the most contacts with Europe where the propriety and case for emancipation was first being made in the West: the Northern State and specifically New England. The Civil War was first and foremost about money. Money made on the backs of slaves. The Civil War wasn’t about State’s Rights in any valid manner. The net result was opening the process to where more people living here were rightly considered citizens and began the battle – still ongoing – to ensure civil rights were for everyone.

  117. mespo,

    Yeah. It’s hard not to love Paine. He was a very eloquent writer. “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” A lesson those currently (and recently) in Washington seem to have forgotten, ignored or perhaps misplaced.

  118. Larry,
    “But Lincoln said:

    “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government…”
    ANY people ANYWHERE…key words. Did ya miss that?”

    No, actually, I went through Lincoln’s entire speech. Was Lincoln quoting the Constitution? Lincoln’s words are not law. The Constitution is the law.
    FAIL.

    “There you go again suggesting the Federal govt is OVER the states, something the framers DID NOT want. You keep missing that point. States are sovereign. I have already proved it. The states created the federal govt, not the other way around. Please get this through your head.”

    You proved no such thing, because it’s simply not true. You keep missing that point. States are not sovereign, and you have not proven it. I already quoted from the Preamble to the Constitution, and so did Gene H., above.
    FAIL

    “They DID mention that states have power over the federal govt—something Bob fails to grasp. “states” is synonymous with “we the people”, he thinks they’re separate. The people make up the states—the people dont make up the federal govt. Big difference.”

    They didn’t mention that the states have power over the fed govt – please find it in the Constitution. The people make up the states and they make up the nation. The government of the nation takes precedence over the separate governments of the states, except in intra-state commerce, state taxes, and law enforcement within the state. That’s not even a rigid rule. Citizens of the U.S.A. have the same Constitutional rights, no matter which state they wander into. The Constitution supercedes state law.
    FAIL

    “…the federal govt is supposed to be the representation of the people—not the people themselves that are being represented.”
    Makes no sense.
    FAIL

    “STATES form the Union—but that union is voluntary—not perpetual.”
    Not voluntary, once the Constitution is ratified.
    FAIL

    “King George did not sign the declaration with COUNTIES but the STATES. The fact that I have to explain this to you [who seems to be up in years and seemingly educated] is astonishing.”
    I, too, am astonished. Are you referring to the Declaration of Independence? That Declaration is the only one mentioned in this thread. King George’s signature is not on the Declaration of Independence. Did you think that he signed it, in rebellion against himself?
    FAIL

    Thanks for the patronizing “…up in years and seemingly educated,” to Mike. I’m 65 and seemingly have a doctorate. I am astonished that you would attempt to foist this fact-free pseudo-history of yours, onto anyone with a 6th-grade education. Onto anyone who can read the Constitution, to be specific.

  119. raff, Gene and Bob,
    Don’t confuse him with facts, his head is made up, as Riley used to say in the old radio program.

  120. Larry,
    I see you wrote me some more love-notes while I was composing a demolition of everything you’ve said.

    “Bob, are you a racist?? You must be since you agree that the Supreme Court is always right and always makes constitutional decisions—but since Taney obviously did not—you cant pick and choose what you agree to be good or bad. If they are the all-ruling power, you must accept Taney’s racist decision—-which makes you racist. I believe in the right of nullification. People have the right to nullify unconstitutional laws—period.

    Why do you appear to be against slavery if you think Dred Scott was a non person—in essence supporting racism??

    Answer please??”

    Larry, you just told me I was a racist-that I “…must be since you agree that the Supreme Court is always right and always makes constitutional decisions…”
    Please quote me, where I said that the “…Supreme Court is always right and always makes constitutional decisions…” I didn’t.
    You may call me a racist if you wish. My racism, or lack of it, has no bearing on this conversation.

    Did I say I was against slavery? Nope. You made it up, like everything else in your arguments. Whether I am pro-slavery, or anti-slavery, has no bearing on this conversation.

    “So, you have a choice to make—–the SC is not always right which justifies nullification of unconstitutional laws, or they are always right—which brands you a racist. I can’t wait to see how you will attempt to weasel out of this.”

    The incredibly clever, intricate, sophisticated trap that you set for me didn’t work. I didn’t step into it. I do not need to make some silly fantasy choice because you say that I do. I don’t need to weasel out of your trap, because I’m not in it.

    The Supreme Court’s rulings change over the years, with the times and the make-up of the Court. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong. Sometimes Congress is right, sometimes wrong.
    Sometime the Executive is right, sometimes wrong.
    That’s life. Try to show some courage, and get over it.

    Nullification of Federal law by state governments is not allowed in the Constitution. Analyze the sentence. It’s really not that hard to understand, for a man of your cleverness, complexity, and sophistication. I mean, you constructed that trap that I didn’t bother stepping into. You’re obviously the last of the great Medieval scholars.

  121. OS,
    “Life of Riley”? I didn’t hear that on the radio, far as I remember. Saw it on TV, with William Bendix. Somewhere in the 1950s.

  122. Larry,
    My pathetic reply was ridicule of the stupidity of you argument. every premise you’ve proposed has been demolished, but you were too ignorant to know it and too arrogant in your ignorance to understand that your argument lost.

  123. Bob,
    Life of Riley was on the radio in the 1940s. Ran from about 1945 to 1951, then became a TV show in the ’50s.

  124. Gene, I have no obsession with Lincoln. However, I do have an obsession with the truth, and when people like you and others portray him as a saint, I chime in and offer the truth. Lincoln is the first president that annihilated stgates rights. I contribute alot of problems today to him. The suspension of habeas corpus was no problem for me during the civil war–however Lincoln did not have the authority to do it. That’s Congress’s job, not the president’s.

    Because of him and the government’s indoctrination in school text books, secession of states is seen as treasonous today, whereas between 1776 and 1861 it was not seen as treasonous at all. The New Englanders in the early 1800’s planned to secede and no one ever questioned their RIGHT to…but now when a state says they might secede, it’s seen as treasonous.

    Lincoln waged war on civilians, shut down newspapers [NORTHERN ones!] and imprisoned their editors, he deported a member of congress, planned to colonize all blacks to Liberia and created the state of west virginia illegally [was not ratified]. Just what I’ve said is bad enough, but you don’t think it’s that bad. It’s only about as un American as you can get.

  125. Bob said:

    “Larry, you just told me I was a racist-that I “…must be since you agree that the Supreme Court is always right and always makes constitutional decisions…”
    Please quote me, where I said that the “…Supreme Court is always right and always makes constitutional decisions…” I didn’t.”

    You said:

    “The Supreme Court rules on constitutionality of laws. No one else.”

    That implies you believe they are always right—because if it’s CONSTITUTIONAL, it MUST be right—correct? You dont believe in the right for states to nullify unconstitutional laws—so you MUST accept SC decisions–that means you must accept Dred Scott—therefore–racist.

    The Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798 clearly state the case for nullification. In fact, the New Endlanders who were pissed at Jefferson for his trade embargo actually used Jefferson’s OWN WORDS in his resolutions for nullifying it. What did Jefferson do?? INVADE them?? NO. He accepted their opposition! Lincoln didn’t. Lincoln murdered 700,000 Americans because of his opposition.

    “The Supreme Court’s rulings change over the years, with the times and the make-up of the Court. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong. Sometimes Congress is right, sometimes wrong.”

    Oh but wait Bob…I quoted you above. You said they vote on constitutionality of laws. How could they possibly EVER be wrong if they are deciding on laws based on the CONSTITUTION? So, are you saying there is no checks and balances in cases where they are wrong?? You’re making my case for nullification for me…thanks.

    The Virginia and Kentucky resolutions ALONE prove the state sovereignty issue, but I can give you many more examples. I have already given you some. The problem is, and where we disagree is, you are describing the way things ARE and Im describing they way things were written by the framers–how things should be.

  126. Larry – “but Lincoln was the one who brought all that to an end.” How is that possible with the people as the power? How can their representative misrepresent them?

  127. “Gene, I have no obsession with Lincoln. However, I do have an obsession with the truth, and when people like you and others portray him as a saint, I chime in and offer the truth”

    Bullshit, Larry. Every time Lincoln or the Civil War is mentioned, you’re off to the races demoniizing Lincoln. You clearly do have an obsession with Lincoln, however, it has nothing to do with the truth. It has to do with you wanting to make him the nexus of all evil in American history. Every assertion I’ve ever seen you make has been refuted. You wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you on the ass, Larry. Why? Because that is the nature of your obsession. You need a scape goat and you picked Lincoln. No amount of facts will deter you from your focus on Lincoln. You don’t see your obsession because like many mental illnesses it comes with a form of agnosia – you are blind to your own obsessive behavior. The same obsessive behavior you display here whenever Lincoln or the Civil War is mentioned. The same obsession that led you to say “when people like you and others portray him as a saint” despite the fact that I previously portrayed Lincoln as anything but a saint.

    You need help, Larry.

  128. “Every time Lincoln or the Civil War is mentioned, you’re off to the races demoniizing Lincoln.”

    Exactly. Everytime he is MENTIONED, meaning I am not the one who brings up the subject….people on this blog do. If it was an obsession of mine, I would talk about him just under ANY post. But it is when YOU guys bring him up that I offer facts about him, because I get sick and tired of people like you portraying him as a saint. He was far from you portray him as…a good guy who just didn’t do some things right. He was a tyrant and the complete opposite of what the high school history books tell us.

    “Every assertion I’ve ever seen you make has been refuted.”

    Really? When? Every assertion I ever make is IGNORED, not refuted. Here is a short list of the evils Lincoln did that NONE of you have refuted:

    1. Suspended habeas corpus WITHOUT the consent of Congress [he did it by himself. The Constitution says ONLY Congress has that authority. He was a dictator]

    2. Violated international law and waged war on civilians and burned entire towns populated ONLY by civilians, executed civilians, looted and plundered the towns. He expressed personal thanks to Sheridan for the atrocities and war crimes he committed.

    3. Thanked his naval commander Gustavus Fox for manipulating the South Carolinians into firing the first shot by provoking them with an oncoming ship.

    4, His continual white supremacist rhetoric and his utter disgust for the black race, not to mention his apathy for slavery. His own words incriminate him on these very issues and I have posted many times—-which nobody has refuted.

    5. Shut down over 300 opposition newspapers for having the audacity for reporting Lincoln’s tyrannical and unconstitutional actions [including provoking the South into firing the first shot]. He censored all telegraph communications, he imprisoned the Mayor of Baltimore as well as a large percentage of the duly elected legislature of Maryland. Illegally created the state of West Virginia. He deported the most outspoken member of the Democratic opposition, Clement L. Vallandigham. Violated the second amendment by disarming the border states.

    6. He favored the colonization of all blacks to anywhere but the United States. He was a member of the American Colonization Society as well as the Illinois Colonization Society. He supported the Illinois Back Codes which deprived the small number of blacks in the state of any semblance of citizenship.

    7. Did not, nor had any interest in freeing slaves. He never said freeing slaves was the reason for his war and certainly did nothing to end it. He said during his first inaugural address he had no intention of interfering with Southern slavery and even if he did, he had no constitutional authority to do so. But everyone here IGNORES Lincoln’s OWN WORDS and still repeats the lie that Lincoln wanted slavery over and he freed slaves.

    8. He supported a constitutional amendment that would PREVENT Congress from abolishing and interfering with slavery. The amendment read:

    “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of the state.” [“Domestic institutions} meant SLAVERY]

    9. Issued an arrest warrant for Chief Justice Taney for having the audacity to oppose the fact that Lincoln [all by himself] didnt have the authority to suspend habeas corpus [but ONLY Congress does]. The warrant was never served ONLY because of the lack of a federal marshall who had the balls to take him from his home and throw him in prison.

    I have more if you want, but do you actually NEED more than this? Really? If you can call the above facts unimportant, than everything is unimportant to you. All of the above is documented FACT, and you nor anyone else on this blog has refuted ONE WORD of it [unless you call ad hominem attacks “refutation”].

    You claim that you have not portrayed Lincoln as a “saint” but you have never ever mentioned any of the above evils I just did. Because you’re willing to ignore them. I listed 9—-[well there is more than 9 within this very list, I lumped some within the same listing], but I could have listed 50 at least. If you NEED more things than this, then it’s YOU, not me, who needs help.

  129. The word ‘Lincoln’ is mentioned 98 times in this thread (not counting this comment). Lincoln is mentioned about 67 times either directly by Larry, or quoting Larry’s harangues about Lincoln. Most of the remaining mentions of Lincoln are in response to his bringing up Lincoln.

    Why would anyone think Larry is obsessed with Lincoln?

    Larry, and briefly Tootie, are the only folks on the thread that are interested in talking about Lincoln.

    Lincoln has little to do with the topic of the article.

    Starting a Lincoln blog might be just the thing for you, Larry. Are your bedroom walls covered by photos of, and articles about, Lincoln?

    Too bad Lincoln is dead. It’s difficult to stalk him.

    There, now there are 110 uses of ‘Lincoln’ in this thread. Is that better?

  130. “You’re only further proving my point about your obsession. Seriously, Larry. Get some help.”

    And you keep proving my point that when I post FACTS about Lincoln, you simply just ignore them with comments like those. And you claim you have REFUTED them? You just IGNORE them!

  131. Bob, great job ignoring every single one of my posts above. Gene claims my facts about Lincoln have been refuted, but you and Gene just prove over and over that you simply just IGNORE comments you cannot refute.

    Mike and Nal does the same thing. I will leave a post that has 4 paragraphs in them and every single one of you copy and paste a small portion of the entire post and comment on it and claim the entire post was refuted. Or, most of the time, as evidenced above, you simply just ignore the entire post altogether and claim I am “off topic”, despite the fact that the story is about the Civil War, which has EVERYTHING to do with Lincoln, since he is the one who started it and murdered 700,000 Americans to accomplish his agenda.

    It’s like writing a story on the Holocaust and saying I’m off topic if I mentioned Hitler. The “off topic” bullshit is just one of several tactics you frauds use to deflect away from Lincoln’s wrongdoings and un-American stances on just about every issue he acted on. It’s all deflection and I’m not buying it. Another tactic is to point out that I’ve used words like “nuts” and “twits” to deflect away from the real issue—despite the fact that in 95% of your responses, there lies ad hominem attacks and that is A-OK to you, just as long as your purpose is accomplished: avoiding Lincoln’s words and actions. You guys are gatekeepers to a fictional Lincoln that only exists in school text books and is so far from reality, it’s truly insulting to anyone who is not afraid to confront the truth.

    You claim it’s all the South’s fault and they did all the bad shit—-despite the fact that the NORTH had slaves, the NORTH wrote in newspapers how tyrannical Lincoln was, the NORTHERN soldiers took off to Canada when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued because they were pissed because they were told the war was to “save the Union” only to think the war was about freeing blacks. Lincoln was hated in the NORTH too, but to you nimrods the South were the only ones who abandoned virtue.

    Why don’t you frauds go through each of my 9 points above and tell me where I’m wrong and provide links to show evidence that I’m wrong. If I’m bullshit and you claim you have refuted it, then provide the evidence. Show PROOF that each of my 9 points is false.

    Do you need my posts above re-posted Bob or can you address them this time?

  132. Larry,

    I’m not going to refute your crap every time you regurgitate it. It has been adequately refuted in the past by me and others. Mostly by others. Despite that fact, you still foam at the mouth every time someone mentions Lincoln or the Civil War. I’m ignoring your “facts” for the same reason I’m suggesting that you need to get professional help.

  133. “I’m not going to refute your crap every time you regurgitate it.”

    Translation: Because I can’t.

    “It has been adequately refuted in the past by me and others.”

    Show me where?? If you claim it’s been refuted, you should have NO problem whatsoever to just simply re-post it—-like I have done with MANY of the things I have said—only to have you fools IGNORE it the 2nd and 3rd time. How many times did I post that the New England states attempted to secede in the early 1800’s and NO ONE questioned their RIGHT to secede??? I’ve posted that like 3 times, IGNORED every single time. So, why not re-post things you “claim” has been refuted?? You CANNOT, that’s why, because nothing I said has been refuted.

  134. “you still foam at the mouth every time someone mentions Lincoln or the Civil War”—yes every time someone mentions the Civil War. So, WHO has the obsession?? I’m not the one bringing it up. I only comment on it when YOU all mention it on this blog. So, the obsession lies with the bloggers here——not ME.

    I’m still waiting for you to refute my 9 points. Hell, just refute ONE.

  135. “No. I won’t, Larry. Why? Because you may feed a fever, but you starve a psychosis.”

    Translation: I can’t refute it, because Larry states documented FACT and the only thing I can offer is ad hominem attacks.

    I will assume that your lack of/refusing to [whatever you wish to call it] refute my facts about Lincoln obviously means you simply CANNOT. I already knew you couldn’t before your refusal to, so it’s really no shock to me. It doesn’t even shock me that you blatantly admit it—-because twits like you [members of the Lincoln cult] love to get the last word in, but ironically also refuse to offer evidence their claims are right and refuse to debunk people like me with the facts about Lincoln.

    “Brilliant, Gene H.!

    I’m starvin’ it.”

    Brilliant?? Gene claims I’m crazy but yet he has no problem making the “crazy” person justified by their claims by his refusal to debunk them? Of course both of you would starve it, but it’s not from choice, it’s from lack of being able to feed it. If you have no food [and are unable to get any] you claim you’re “starving it” as if you are making the choice to. You can’t. Not being able to is NOT a choice.

    Once again [with Lincoln cultists] I win by default.

  136. Larry,

    The logical fallacy you are committing is called argumentum e silentio. Your conclusion is based on my silence, not any actual evidence that my assertion that your tired rants against Lincoln have all been addressed at some point or another on this blog is false. I’m not going to rehash the arguments because that’s simply feeding into your psychosis. I’m going to dismiss your babbling because that is all it merits at this point.

  137. Larry is arguing with himself. There aren’t, and never were, any people here who are in some sort of Lincoln cult. There seems to be one person who is in an anti-Lincoln cult. There’s no opposition.

    Larry,
    No one is interested in talking about Lincoln. He’s dead. It doesn’t matter, particularly, that Lincoln did this or Lincoln did that. I’ve never met him, so he’s just some name, to me. I forgive him his errors. He’s dead.

    I don’t believe Lincoln is somewhere listening to you go on and on about him. Lincoln doesn’t care whether you like him. I don’t care whether you like him. You never met him, either. He seems to represent some concept that you are obsessed with. I’m not.

    A group of southern states started a Civil War, and lost it. You started an argument about that war, and lost it. You backed the wrong side.
    Forget it. Get over it. Move on.

  138. “The logical fallacy you are committing is called argumentum e silentio. Your conclusion is based on my silence, not any actual evidence that my assertion that your tired rants against Lincoln have all been addressed at some point or another on this blog is false. I’m not going to rehash the arguments because that’s simply feeding into your psychosis. I’m going to dismiss your babbling because that is all it merits at this point.”

    Actually, what you just said [above] is false. Not only has anyone NOT refuted what I said about Lincoln, when I posted those 9 things above—MOST of those 9 things I had not yet typed in this thread BEFORE you said my points had been refuted. I had NEVER posted point #8, the fact that Lincoln supported a constitutional amendment preventing Congress from interfering with slavery. I had never posted that before—so for you to say ALL my points had been refuted [even if it true that even ONE was refuted, which is not the case], is a bald-faced LIE.

    You won’t rehash the arguments because NONE of my points have been refuted, not one. You can’t use the excuse that you “don’t have time” to rehash them, because you have plenty of time to post entries like the one above [saying they have been refuted, when they have not], so it’s not a time issue. The issue is simply that you are WRONG and CANNOT rehash them because the refutations do not exist.

  139. “Larry,
    No one is interested in talking about Lincoln. He’s dead. It doesn’t matter, particularly, that Lincoln did this or Lincoln did that. I’ve never met him, so he’s just some name, to me. I forgive him his errors. He’s dead.

    I don’t believe Lincoln is somewhere listening to you go on and on about him. Lincoln doesn’t care whether you like him. I don’t care whether you like him. You never met him, either. He seems to represent some concept that you are obsessed with. I’m not.”

    So, your point is that if something happened long ago or someone lived long ago, it doesnt matter and not worth talking about? Then why didn’t you tell Nal no one gives a fuck about the article he wrote and posted about secession?? Hmmm? That happened long ago, right? So, tell Nal you don’t care about it and tell him to “move on”.

    In fact, you very first comment in this thread was this one….

    “idealist707,

    Mike Spindell did not say, nor did he imply, “…that all Southerners are treasonous, etc.”

    You inferred it.

    There’s a difference.”

    Since you don’t care about things that happened long ago because the people are dead, why did you obviously care enough to defend Mike to a comment “idealist707” said? Hmmmm?

    I think I know why….when you feel you’re right about something, then people who lived long ago and events that happened long ago MATTER. But when you have been defeated and can’t refute a single thing someone says [I’m referring to my 9 things about Lincoln above, that no one attempted to refute by the way], you simply claim they “don’t matter” because the people are dead. I just proved things DO matter to you or you would have told Nal in your very first comment that Southern secession happened long ago and it doesnt matter now, and you wouldn’t have defended Mike in your first comment.

    You and Gene are pathological liars. I’m not just saying you are, I’m PROVING it, and I’m quite sure it makes your blood boil that the “nut” is destroying you two with your own words used against you.

    Why can’t you refute just ONE of my 9 Lincoln evils?? Why??? You OBVIOUSLY have the time to spend on this thread, so why not devote that time to making me look foolish and refute just ONE of the 9? Why is that so hard if you claim to be the beacon of truth?

  140. Larry,

    “…why didn’t you tell Nal no one gives a fuck…”

    I just love it when you talk dirty. May I have some more?

    I cannot make water wet; it’s already there.
    I cannot make you look foolish; you’re already there.

    If my blood boils, thereby driving off water vapor, will my blood pressure decrease? Thanks for the idea!

  141. Bob, GREAT job of once again IGNORING my questions only to focus on the word “fuck”. You continue to do EXACTLY what I said you were doing days ago——focusing on EVERYTHING but the issue at hand. Funny how Gene claims he doesnt want to “feed my psychosis” [his excuse for not wanting to confront FACTS] because you’re feeding by continuing to do exactly what I said you are doing days ago when I said you focus on everything else [than the issue] as just an avoidance tactic.

    You continue to do that, and that alone makes you look like a babbling fool.

    How about answering my questions?

    “So, your point is that if something happened long ago or someone lived long ago, it doesnt matter and not worth talking about? Then why didn’t you tell Nal no one gives a fuck about the article he wrote and posted about secession?? Hmmm? That happened long ago, right? So, tell Nal you don’t care about it and tell him to “move on”.”

    Will there be an answer anytime soon?

  142. I found one of Bob’s big lies above:

    He said this on March 12 before I joined the discussion…

    “The separation of the British colonies from Britain was illegal by British law. It was considered treason. The signers were appealing to a ‘higher’ law than that of Britain. They certainly were stepping outside the British legal system, and making their own.

    If you’re declaring yourself independent of the U.S. Constitution, by seceding, you’re in the same situation. You just stepped out of the legal system of the Constitution.”

    OK, did everyone see what I just re-posted from Bob? Above he is saying basically that secession is treason, right? He said it was treason for the British colonies to secede—did he not? THEN, he says in the next paragraph that if anyone declares themselves independent of the US Constitution, by seceding, they are in the SAME situation….which he is saying is “treason”. [By the way, Bob is wrong, because the South was NOT declaring themselves independent of the Constitution, they were actually following it].

    Here is Bob’s lie: After I chimed in to the discussion, Bob said this to me on March 16:

    “I do not find, in the massive texts above, my referring to secession as ‘treason.’ I referred to the attack on the army of the U.S.A. at Fort Sumter as treason.”

    LIE. You DID say secession is treason—as I displayed above—where you said “If you’re declaring yourself independent of the U.S. Constitution, by seceding, you’re in the same situation”—and the “same situation” as you pointed out was “treason” when you said that what the British colonies committed.

    Bob is a BIG FAT LIAR. I PROVED it. With, as in the cases of Lincoln, his OWN WORDS.

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