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Happy Birthday Lincoln — Love him or hate him he’s still one of the five great presidents

Some excerpts from his life and letters that apply, sharply, to our present moment.

“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens,” he said to a caller at the White House, “you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.”

On collusion and corruption in office. Why the outgoing President’s felicitation on the endorsement? Why the delay of a reargument? Why the incoming President’s advance exhortation in favor of the decision? These things look like the cautious patting and petting of a spirited horse, preparatory to mounting him, when it is dreaded that he may give the rider a fall. Any why the hasty after indorsements of the decision by the President and others?

We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are the result of preconcert. But when we see a lot of framed timbers, different potions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places and by different workmen,- Stephen, Franklin, Roger and James, for instance-and we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mortieses exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few-not omitting even scaffolding-or, if a single piece be lacking, we see the place in the frame exactly fitted and prepared to yet bring such piece in-in such a case, we find it impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin and Roger and James all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first lick was struck.

A House Divided: We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed –

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

House Divided Speech –   Of strange, discordant, and even, hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered enemy. Did we brave all then to falter now? – now – when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered, and belligerent? This result is not doubtful. We shall not fail. If we stand firm, we shall not fail. Wise counsels may accelerate or mistakes delay it, but sooner or later the victory is sure to come.

First Inaugural Address | I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and heath-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Second Inaugural Address Fondly do we hope-fervently do we pray-that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God will that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”

[HT: The New Neo]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 10:44 AM

    Oh my. Gerard, you have thrown down the gauntlet to Lincoln haters and “Lost Causers”. Watch for incoming.

    • ghostsniper February 12, 2022, 11:39 AM

      uh oh, let the good times roll. lol
      FWIW, I won’t be participating.

  • OneGuy February 12, 2022, 11:47 AM

    I think Lincoln was a great man and as president had a tough job which I think he totally screwed up. I think at least half a dozen or more presidents would be better choices as best president and Trump would be my top pick.

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 3:01 PM

      My list:

      1. Washington
      2. Lincoln
      3. Jackson
      4. Polk
      5. Coolidge
      6. Trump

      My 2nd tier would include Jefferson, Monroe and Reagan. The worst presidents: Obama, George H. Bush, Clinton, Wilson—but why not Biden? Because he is not the president; Trump is.

    • gw February 12, 2022, 9:39 PM

      Just curious, who among the past POTUS roster would have done better in that period? Why, how?

      • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 8:56 AM

        Bismarck said of the USA, “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.” Washington and Lincoln were both “necessary men”. The times cried out for such men, and God sent them.

      • OneGuy February 13, 2022, 2:38 PM

        War is a failure of diplomacy. War is a last resort. No one who fights a war really wins unless you consider the brutal killing of the most promising of our youth a win. Sometimes the rich and the powerful win in war and this was true in the civil war. We killed 800,000 young men in a four year war and killed god knows how many civilians during and after the war and destroyed millions of lives. The war was a failure. Simple as that.

        Who could have done better? We will never know because no one ever tried. I would suggest a man like David Friedman for the job.

        • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 4:07 PM

          “War is a failure of diplomacy.” Sometimes yes, but mostly it has nothing to do with diplomacy, that is chatting away at length with a people who want you dead. Did diplomacy fail with our favorite Austrian? No, he used it as a tool. War was always his goal. No amount of silly babbling could have possibly changed that.

          To say “war is failure” is just slight step away from saying “all war is wrong”. If you believe this then become a Quaker. And listen every day to “War! What Is It Good For?”

          War has been a necessary tool in the toolbox of every statesman for 6000 years. If you disagree, then your argument is with all of History. Thus it is well and good for every nation to be the best it can be at the game of destroying your fellow man—“Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum” and all that.

          War is always a failure? Ok then. When push comes to shove, make sure you are as far a away from me as you can get. That is not a request.

          • OneGuy February 14, 2022, 7:29 AM

            That is where we totally disagree. You consider the 800,000 plus military deaths and the many thousands of civilian deaths a win/win and celebrate the man in charge. I would rather that all of that had been avoided/negotiated.

            • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 8:03 AM

              I consider the US Civil War a win because it was a win. Everyone alive at the time and everyone since has called it such. The South knew it had lost, and signed documents stating that obvious fact. Yet you cannot bring yourself to acknowledge this.

              People throughout time and space have gone to war for any number of reasons. Those who went to war to prevent themselves and their families being tossed in some gulag deserve better from some dainty fellow living in comfort—I’m talking about you, OneGuy—insulting them and criticizing them because he thinks that all war is a failure. Would you go to war to protect you and your loved ones? Or would you simply stand aside and scold each opponent in high-minded language? I would love to see this.

              God Himself sanctioned warfare—unless the Bible is a tissue of lies. By your calculus God is therefore a loser. When you see Him you can mention that to Him.

              “I would rather that all of that had been avoided/negotiated.” Was that an option? As it turned out, such a thing was impossible. Your statement reveals the mind of a child. Stay out of the affairs of men.

              • OneGuy February 14, 2022, 1:36 PM

                Yes I would go to war to protect my family would YOU? But I would go knowing I failed or my government failed. It is likely that our next war will be with China. It is likely that it will be a nuclear war that will kill tens if not hundreds of millions, it is likely that when that happens you will celebrate it while I will consider it a failure. What a shame that you don’t get it…

                • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 3:00 PM

                  Wow. You would go to war knowing you were a failure? Quite the strategy!

                • OneGuy February 14, 2022, 3:35 PM

                  We do what we must even in failure. I raised my children even though I knew as soon as they were teens that I failed. I stayed married for 20 years even though it was a failed marriage just so I could stay with my kids. I was in the military throughout the Vietnam war even though that was a failure. I hope and pray that our current idiot fake president doesn’t fail us when China starts beating the war drums because I do believe that it will go nuclear. THAT will be a failure. But I will do the best that I can for my family and friends as long as I can.

                • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 3:42 PM

                  “But I will do the best that I can for my family and friends as long as I can.”

                  Your words are fitting for any man. I hope to do the same.

                  I misjudged you. For that I apologize.

            • Geoffrey Britain February 14, 2022, 8:13 AM

              How would you ‘negotiate’ with a Hitler or Stalin? Can we agree that to be impossible?

              Why is that the case? Because some things are beyond compromise. Or do you imagine no canyon too deep?
              The South’s elite were utterly determined to continue the enslavement of their fellow human beings. Those in the North realized that continuance of slavery made a mockery of “all men are created equal” and thus undermined America’s raison d’etre.
              When the North sought to limit slavery by blocking in Congress the further incorporation of slave holder states, the South attempted to secede. A unilateral action expressly forbidded by Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution. When the South attacked Fort Sumter the time for futile negotiations was over.

              Can the founder’s principles be reconciled with Communism? Can they be reconciled with Allah’s declaration that every non-Muslim face the choice of conversion, enslavement or death?

              Some things by their nature are oil and water. Circumstance for a time may force their association but they cannot be permanently joined, no matter how much the desire for coexistence by one side.

        • gw February 13, 2022, 7:59 PM

          Understand your points. But, when I try to view Lincoln through the lens of time, I have to conclude he was extraordinary unlike almost any other leader of this country.

          • gw February 13, 2022, 8:16 PM

            A real failure was the South’s notion that slavery was a positive good. If its aristocracy had adhered to the principles of the Declaration rather than to their greed, war might not have been necessary. Evil can only be eradicated through limited means.

            • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 1:04 AM

              The South had to come up with some philosophy to bolster their dependence on the enslavement of the black man. Thus the belief that slavery was a positive good. John Calhoun made hours-long speeches in the US Senate about this very thing. I became wide-eyed when I read them for the first time.

  • azlibertarian February 12, 2022, 12:26 PM

    My late father was born on February 12. A couple of years before he passed, he gave both my brother and I one of these…..
    https://www.gunlistings.org/image/357769/1/rifles_henry_rifle_abraham_lincoln

    By far, it is the prettiest gun I own, and I wouldn’t dare load a round in it, much less shoot it.

    • James ONeil February 12, 2022, 1:02 PM

      Lightin’ up you crazy youngsters, Lincoln was a great automobile!

      • gwbnyc February 12, 2022, 6:12 PM

        misfire, deleted.

    • John the River February 12, 2022, 1:07 PM

      I was fascinated by the image of that rifle and did a little exploring. Is it in .22lr caliber? Since the original was a rim fired cartridge in .44 caliber I assume the lack of rim fired cartridges in that caliber required a reduction in bullet size.
      In any case, it is a rare and exclusive gun.

      • azlibertarian February 13, 2022, 4:12 AM

        Yep….22lr.

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 2:29 PM

      Rifles are made to shoot. Cars are made to drive. Women are…you get the idea. Take that beautiful Henry to a gunsmith. Then shoot it. Otherwise, what is its point?

      • ghostsniper February 12, 2022, 7:27 PM

        I have a rifle that I very rarely shoot because each time I pull the trigger my wallet gets $9 lighter. My dad’s PA deer rifle, Winchester model 71 .348 circa 1957. It’s 2 years younger than me.

        • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 7:43 PM

          Understood. I keep my ammo simple and cheap: 9mm, .40 and 7.62×39mm.

          • ghostsniper February 13, 2022, 4:34 AM

            Same here, except for that one gun (I have about 300rds on hand for it) which is now a family heirloom and will be passed to my son.
            .22, 9mm, 5.56, 12ga
            None of it is “cheap” any more in my opinion, but necessary none the less.

  • Sisu February 12, 2022, 12:30 PM

    There are many reasons Marxists and other socialists admire Lincoln, and as most know Lincoln was always barry’s favorite President (I suspect because they had similar “pens” and Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, and used the Federal “standing army” against the American People; pretty effective at depopulating the country also). But, let’s focus on Lincoln and his expressed thoughts: –

    “On September 18, 1858 at Charleston, Illinois, Lincoln told the assembled audience:

    ‘I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality … I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman, or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men.’” https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/153860

    Then, here is an interesting series of statements and questions which may suggest a truer picture of Lincoln: https://www.americancivilwarforum.com/lincoln-and-the-central-idea-of-america-2184219.html

    Separately, one might also wonder what happened to original (arguably ratified, now) “missing 13th Amendment”, and the legal questions which surround ratification of each of the “Reconstruction Amendments”. But, again I don’t want to digress.

    Finally, (not wanting to overwhelm those who cannot believe they were lied to in grammar school) two concluding references –

    https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/slavery.htm
    And,
    https://americandigest.org/mt-archives/american_studies/abraham_lincolns_letter_t.php

    • Gary D Foster February 13, 2022, 9:27 AM

      Lincoln did some good things. Like the move to build railroads across the west. But he was very authoritarian. He jailed judges that did not toe his line. He invaded the south when they democratically decided to leave the Union. Nobody was tried for treason after the war because it was not treason. The Chief Justice told Lincoln at the close of the war what they did was Constitutional. His determination to subjugate a huge section of the nation by force of arms was not the sign of a great President. He should be known as “Lincoln the Conqueror”. The War was never necessary to eliminate slavery. IN FACT, had the South remained in the Union slavery would have continued and with Lincoln’s assent. His legacy is swimming in the blood of those who chose not to submit. Just like the truckers in the great white north, they only wanted to be left alone. Slavery was already dying and was not going to last much longer anyway. So you North Union worshipping people think you made life better for freed blacks but they became serfs and no better off in practical terms. He refused to negotiate with the south and was determined to crush them for their desire to be free from Washington DC. Sounds familiar?

  • John the River February 12, 2022, 12:48 PM

    The boy I was would be shocked that anyone could deny Abraham Lincoln was a great man and our greatest President. Today in my seventies I still think Lincoln was a great man, but the righteousness of his achievements I wonder at.
    If there had been no war. If 650,000 hadn’t died. If the primacy of the Federal Government hadn’t become a fait accompli by force of arms rather than debate and compromise.
    In peace I think Lincoln would still have achieved greatness. He had vision. He looked to the west. That western horizon would have been reached decades earlier. Without the drain and depravation of war both the North and the South would have expanded and grown, but the North with more manpower, industrial might and technology would have won that race (the first Space Race?).
    How long would Slavery survived after the first, much earlier, harvester arrived?
    How much territory in Mexico would become part of the Confederate States?
    The Civil War was Lincolns worse decision.

    and now Gerard I click the button and ‘Submit’.

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 2:12 PM

      “If there had been no war.” This is what historians call a “contrafactual”, or what normal folks refer to as a “what if”. Lincoln was as clear as can be that he did not want war. The South was as clear as can be that it did. Fort Sumter decided things.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S72nI4Ex_E0

      “If 650,000 hadn’t died.” Latest research raises that number to 850,000.

      “If the primacy of the Federal Government hadn’t become a fait accompli by force of arms rather than debate and compromise.” This is a common misconception. Debate and compromise worked from 1787 until 1860. In every “compromise”—1787, 1820, 1850, 1854—it was the North that gave in to the South. Southern politicians made it clear that an election of Lincoln would lead to secession. The primacy of the federal government—better known as the Supremacy Clause— and was laid out in the Constitution that every Southern state ratified.

      “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”—Article IV, Clause 2.

      The true expansion of federal power happened in the Wilson administration. He was a Democrat, as was the entire ante-bellum South.

      “How long would Slavery survived after the first, much earlier, harvester arrived?” The implication here is that technology would have ended slavery. Actually, the opposite is true. Recall the cotton gin of Eli Whitney:

      “It revolutionized the cotton industry in the United States, but also led to the growth of slavery in the American South. Whitney’s gin made cotton farming more profitable, so plantation owners expanded their plantations and used more slaves to pick the cotton. Whitney never invented a machine to harvest cotton, it still had to be picked by hand. The invention has thus been identified as an inadvertent contributing factor to the outbreak of the American Civil War.”

      “How much territory in Mexico would become part of the Confederate States?” This question was asked from 1835 until 1848 and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The South desired to annex both Northern Mexico and Cuba to create a vast slave empire.

      “The Civil War was Lincolns worse decision.” You might ask the 4,000,000 human beings that he emancipated their opinion of that statement. Lincoln freed ten times more men than were freed by Moses.

      • james wilson February 12, 2022, 3:09 PM

        Mike, you are an evangelist.

        • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 3:28 PM

          True:

          “a person marked by evangelical enthusiasm for or support of any cause.”

          Sounds cool, though everyone who has known me has called me an asshole.

          • Sisu February 12, 2022, 7:08 PM

            Mike Austin,

            You present as many things. More “preacher” than perhaps your persona will allow you to admit. Regardless, consider that within the “chaos” that is history:

            “Slavery” would have within years following 1860 become so unsustainable as to forced those who were protecting their slaves (who were largely unable to be thrust into the then “real world”) to free them into a world they could neither be prepared for nor was prepared for them.

            Research: at that time the Northerners were today’s demonrats, the former never considered the consequences of their “wants”, “certainty”, “arrogance”. …

            Why otherwise did those same Northerners “elect” Lincoln ? … Lincoln manifest everything those Northerners “Knew” what was the “absolute truth”.

            • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 7:50 PM

              “You present as many things. More “preacher” than perhaps your persona will allow you to admit.” All who have known me have called me such even before I began my teaching career in 1989.

              ““Slavery” would have within years following 1860 become so unsustainable…” Unprovable assertion. No one alive in 1860 thought so. Slavery has been around for 6000 years. Had it not worked, it would have been abandoned 5999 years ago.

              “Why otherwise did those same Northerners “elect” Lincoln ?” Because the South did not even allow Lincoln on the ballot. No matter. He did not need any Southerners. But they needed the black man. Lincoln took their slaves away from them. No wonder they hate him. After that they actually had to get up off their pampered asses to support themselves and work for a change. What a tragedy!

      • John the River February 12, 2022, 4:08 PM

        As I remember, Lincoln’s generals reinforced Fort Sumter which annoyed SC who then moved batteries into place. But frankly if you decide not to fight but think you’re going to keep control of all the Federal installations and forts in what intends to become an independent nation, you really decided to go to war.

        I remember a book that outlined the growth of the Federal bureaucracy directly due to the war. Which continues to grow to this day. War decided the question of if a state/or states could leave the Union if it’s growing bureaucracy became too obnoxious. There was no escape clause built into the Constitution, neither was there a “until death do you part” covenant.

        Since you bring it up. I’m not certain that the majority of the 4 million emancipated slaves enjoyed a greatly improved condition in their lifetime. The decision to emancipate the southern slaves almost wasn’t made. Many in the North including Lincoln worried about the effect of releasing a large number of former slaves upon the nation. A political and military decision made as a stratagem of war.
        Would slavery wither away as it did elsewhere such as in Mexico? Was a war really the best answer to decide the question.
        Moses had a coherent tribal organization and families, and they got out of town. Apples and Oranges.

        Superbowl tomorrow, time to make the meatballs. No, I’m not fan.

        • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 5:28 PM

          “As I remember, Lincoln’s generals reinforced Fort Sumter which annoyed SC who then moved batteries into place.” Lincoln attempted to resupply Fort Sumter by sea on April 12, 1861. These supplies consisted of food and such—no munitions. He had notified South Carolinian authorities beforehand.

          “To South Carolinians, any attempt to reinforce Sumter means war. “Now the issue of battle is to be forced upon us,” declared the Charleston Mercury. “We will meet the invader, and the God of Battles must decide the issue between the hostile hirelings of Abolition hate and Northern tyranny…On April 9, Davis and the Confederate cabinet decide to “strike a blow!” Davis orders Beauregard to take Fort Sumter.”

          You wrote “But frankly if you decide not to fight but think you’re going to keep control of all the Federal installations and forts in what intends to become an independent nation, you really decided to go to war.” Your logic escapes me: deciding not to fight really means deciding to fight?

          Federal outlays to pay for the Civil War naturally increased, as did Confederate outlays. And so? After 1865 federal outlays remained constant until the Wilson Administration.

          “I’m not certain that the majority of the 4 million emancipated slaves enjoyed a greatly improved condition in their lifetime.” The issue was emancipation, not the condition of the blacks after the war—an entirely different subject. Did any ex-slave ask to return to bondage? You might visit the writings of Frederick Douglass.

          “The decision to emancipate the southern slaves almost wasn’t made.” That decision was taken by Lincoln long before Antietam (September 1862), and he never budged one inch from it even though his cabinet was against it.

          “Would slavery wither away as it did elsewhere such as in Mexico?” Slavery gave every sign of spreading and increasing. The South certainly thought so. Few alive in 1860 claimed it would “wither away”. The “indios” of Mexico suffered far worse—and still do—than slaves did in the US. Mexico did not even count blacks as citizens until 2015. Any study of racism in Mexico and Latin America in general would immediately find a type of anti-black sentiment not seen in the US for generations. Look up the popular Mexican cartoon character Memín Pinguín. I write this as a Mestizo—Mexican father, white mother—myself and as one who lived, worked and traveled in Latin America for 14 years.

          “Was a war really the best answer to decide the question.” Yes. Nothing else worked. The South chose war as the only method to maintain its economic, political and cultural life—all of which was based upon keeping 4,000,000 human beings in bondage. The South chose suicide rather than admit that blacks could possibly be their equals.

    • james wilson February 13, 2022, 3:58 PM

      The 650k figure was made after the war. Records of war deaths were too spotty to make other than an estimate. Sophisticated modern techniques of inquiry put the figure at 850k. Little doubt illness took as many as combat, but 850k out of fifteen million men of all ages is very significant and previews the first European war. There were rural counties in the South that reported three men of marriagable age and possesing all their limbs present in the county.

      • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 4:20 PM

        My guess is that infection and disease killed far more than muskets and bayonets. Penicillin was as yet 80 years away, alas.

  • Sisu February 12, 2022, 3:14 PM

    There are many reasons Marxists and other socialists admire Lincoln, and as most know Lincoln was always barry’s favorite President (I suspect because they had similar “pens” and Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, and used the Federal “standing army” against the American People; pretty effective at depopulating the country also). But, let’s focus on Lincoln and his expressed thoughts: –

    “On September 18, 1858 at Charleston, Illinois, Lincoln told the assembled audience:

    ‘I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality … I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman, or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men.’” https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/153860

    Then, here is an interesting series of statements and questions which may suggest a truer picture of Lincoln: https://www.americancivilwarforum.com/lincoln-and-the-central-idea-of-america-2184219.html

    Separately, one might also wonder what happened to original (arguably ratified, now) “missing 13th Amendment”, and the legal questions which surround ratification of each of the “Reconstruction Amendments”. But, again I don’t want to digress.

    Finally, (not wanting to overwhelm those who cannot believe they were lied to in grammar school) two concluding references –

    https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/slavery.htm
    And,
    https://americandigest.org/mt-archives/american_studies/abraham_lincolns_letter_t.php

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 7:02 PM

      Lincoln shared the views on race that were common in his day. His thoughts on economic and political equality, though, were far ahead of his time. Judge Lincoln by the standards of his own day. This is basic, introductory historiography, and I am a bit surprised you do not understand this. You are attempting to call Lincoln a “racist” but you are using 21st century “woke” ideology to do so. Antifa and BLM do exactly the same. Nice company you keep. Have you helped to tear down any statues? I am sure you can find one of Lincoln somewhere.

      “Lincoln suspended habeas corpus…” So did Jefferson Davis.

      “Lincoln…used the Federal “standing army” against the American People.” The federal forces, like those of the Confederacy, were largely conscripted. When you say that Lincoln used the Union Army “against the American people” you are admitting Lincoln’s designation of the Confederacy as nothing but “territories in rebellion”. In other words, you are agreeing with Lincoln who never saw the Confederacy as a sovereign nation.

      “pretty effective at depopulating the country also…” The US was at war. As you might know, in war folks get killed. Population of the US in 1860: 31 million. Population of the US in 1865: 35.7 million. This you call “depopulating”?

      “…the legal questions which surround ratification of each of the “Reconstruction Amendments”. All of these were ratified after Lincoln’s death. Or are you blaming his corpse for their passage?

      “But, again I don’t want to digress.” Then don’t.

      Your links are rather weak tea and easily refuted. One of them had no idea who Allen C. Guelzo is. Anyone who does not know who he is has no business commenting on the US Civil War.

      • Sisu February 13, 2022, 9:37 AM

        It is difficult to objectively investigate and summarize discrete periods in history, when one is admittedly of a predetermined mindset as to how to present such. (Analogous to why so many have abandon MSM as an information source.)

        “The historian Allen C. Guelzo is a self-described Yankee partisan. In a dozen books on the Civil War and Reconstruction, he has portrayed the Union cause as a righteous enterprise. In the very first sentence of his newest work, he charges Robert E. Lee with treason.” Excerpt from, actually the first sentences of NYT Book Review (presented outside NYT paywall): https://extragoodshit.phlap.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Book-Review-%E2%80%98Robert-E.-Lee-by-Allen-C.-Guelzo.html

        The next comment I will offer is that “slavery” continues to exist in the world (and this country – immigrants enslaving immigrants, human trafficking, etc.) today, so the 5,999 year stat is gratuitous. It was the industrial revolution that was making slavery in the Southern States increasingly non-competitive. Certainly slaves for servants in the Northern States remained viable as cheap labor, and remains so today, hence the underground economy employing illegal immigrants.

        Also note that, in those states which offered Articles of Secession (seven of the eleven (?)), not all mention slavery and when mentioned it was used as an example of one of many violations of States’ Rights, all violations of the Tenth Amendment; and, Texas had additional gripes given that it had been a sovereign nation prior to combining in exchange for mutual defense promises.

        As the product of NYC education system, all the way through CUNY, I understand it is difficult to accept that you were lied to about events in American and world history. But, repeating the lies even if your name is “Allen C. Guelzo” and you write books that make you a lot of money will never convert those lies to an objective understanding of history.

        Last, I will present the enigma of the “right” of a sovereign state in a federation formed by the consent of the governed to be denied the “right” to withdraw their consent from a tyrannical central government with no authority except that which had been voluntarily delegated to it, and no resources of any kind other than those willingly ceded and provided to support it (fund its operations) in performing its explicit enumerated functions. …

        What was the deification event that graced Lincoln to declare himself “all knowing and all seeing” ? Please do share including historical references.

        • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 10:36 AM

          “Please do share including historical references.” Of course. The South lost, and all its fantasies went down with it—“gone with the wind” you could say. Your clinging to a “lost cause” is like a man clinging to a corpse.

          • Sisu February 13, 2022, 3:16 PM

            Romans slaughter Christians by the thousands, and before that Jews. Rome fell; history retold their “telling”. … You, Sir, just undermined any credibility you previously may have been granted. … An incredibly weak argument (a “movie” as authoritative history documented; “Frankly, Mi Ke, I don’t give a Damn.” – “they” won the “battle(s)” so the war is over. … Don’t know much about “kill’n ideas”.

            Looked at what is happening in this country and other nations. Consider nature.

            Everything in “nature” diverges. Are you not a “Darwinist” ? … What evidence other than the South’s military succumb to the North’s superior resources can you offer to support your implicit argument that the North’s cause in the US Civil War was more “Just” than the South’s ?

            Please do reference the Constitution and any of the Federalist Papers or other precepts to the Declaration of Independence, Article of Confederation, … Corpus Juris Civilis, which may not be applicable … given my limits you may better know the precedent international law at the times of the Continental Congresses, Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, … (Frankly I do not have time to research the answers. But, please share your response and I will “fact check”. Thanks, for your understanding.)

            • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 4:38 PM

              Pardon me Sisu, but is English your first language? It is difficult to understand your arguments, such as they are. Even so I’ll do my best.

              “Romans slaughter Christians by the thousands, and before that Jews.” Persecution of Christians happened under Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Decius and sporadically from time to time. Jews were not persecuted as Jews at all. In fact some Romans went out of their way to protect them—Julius Caesar for one. Jews had their heads bashed in in the two great Jewish Revolts under Vespasian and Hadrian. They rebelled against Roman authority and paid the price for their stupidity. Roman emperor Titus (r. 79 – 81), in fact, had a Jewish mistress, Bernice by name.

              To reference all those documents you mentioned is a complete and utter waste of time. No pieces of paper can do us any good now. However, I can refer you to Mr. Colt.

  • james wilson February 12, 2022, 3:15 PM

    I’m confused anymore. It it Lincoln’s birthday? Or President’s birthday, or Marty King’s birthday, or black history month?

    • borderbill February 12, 2022, 3:21 PM

      Yes

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 3:31 PM

      It’s Biden’s birthday. He just told me so.

  • Dan Patterson February 12, 2022, 5:12 PM

    The propaganda spawned by revisionist history is made worse by the hagiographies from the jesters of the naked kings.

  • Zaphod February 12, 2022, 5:15 PM

    Roll the Second Founding Kabbalists who are doubtless having a circle jerk today.

    There’s no doubt it was a Second Founding. There’s also no doubt Lincoln’s election was an unmitigated disaster for the United States. But rather like Tolstoy’s Napoleon, he could be and do no other. Real blame lies with the metastasized Yankee Puritan strain which went nova in the generation preceding his election, dictatorship, apotheosis.

    Sure had a way with words, though. Had a generosity of spirit (at least in his fine words) which might have paid better but not great dividends had he lived and continued to rule (sic).

    To the extent that he *was* a good and great man, his legacy has been traduced by the scumbags who bandy his name about today. And back in the day. Lincoln Brigade FTW.

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 5:38 PM

      The only sentence you wrote that has any logical coherence is this one: “There’s also no doubt Lincoln’s election was an unmitigated disaster for the United States.” No doubt? Are you not aware that there are thousands of American and foreign historians since 1865 who think otherwise?

      As for the rest of your comment, I have not the slightest idea of what you are trying to say. Your skills in English grammar and syntax are rather amusing.

      • Vanderleun February 12, 2022, 6:06 PM

        Zaphod’s here because he’s been booted out of TheNewNeo where he usually spreads nothing but the impression that when you are dealing with Zaphod you are dealing with something that cannot outrun its own flatulence.

        • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 6:16 PM

          Or as my principal once described a student: “One enchilada short of a combo plate.”

        • Zaphod February 12, 2022, 6:41 PM

          An admirable précis. And solves the mystery of why I seem always to smell roses wherever I go.

          Word to the wise: If you find yourself devoting too much time to a Neocon Blog, just do what I did:

          (1) Point out to a NormieCon commenter that no, we do not live in Jimmy Carter’s economy; we live (as serfs) in Larry Fink’s (BlackRock) Economy.

          (2) Remind everyone that the Israeli (they were all ‘Americans’) Baseball team in the last Summer Olympics has as much educational value as hand-wringing about Elaine Gu.

          (3) Link to an interesting historical book published in 1924 authored by one Maurice Samuel.

          That’ll do the trick.

          As for those posts, let’s just say that the Memory Hole has been seeing some action over at that blog.

  • gwbnyc February 12, 2022, 6:18 PM

    The man, the tunnel, the automobile.

    Now, I rest.

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 6:23 PM

      The Brigade. The school in Buenos Aires where I worked. The logs. The leftist freak with last name Steffens. The town in Oregon. The capital of Nebraska.

      Now, I rest.

      • Denny February 13, 2022, 5:09 AM

        Nebraska has a capital?

        • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 6:14 AM

          That’s the rumor.

          • gwbnyc February 13, 2022, 9:41 AM

            edited away.

      • gwbnyc February 13, 2022, 9:44 AM

        it was a battalion.

        I attended a few reunions in the mid eighties-

        high point: speaking with Bill Bailey
        lows: being in the same room as Ed Asner and Steve Nelson, and all at once.

  • james j wilson February 12, 2022, 6:41 PM

    Perhaps not in 2022 but historically a great man might be a good man or a very bad man. In any event there are very few great men who are primarily good.
    Washington was the most important President. There is no navigating the first eight years without the gravitas he brought with him. The Republic does not have make it to 1797.
    Lincoln is the greatest President, and the worst. Zaphod’s flatulence smells like a rose compared to the Lincoln hagiographies.
    Twisted grammar is no bar to me. I was the guy who was assigned to deconstruct the most horrendous English ever spoken by a customer, an elderly Chinaman from Canton. Others would become frustrated, then agitated. Not me. Bring it on.

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 7:32 PM

      “Twisted grammar is no bar to me.” But it is to logic, understanding and coherence. How many works of Literature, Philosophy, History and so on rely upon “twisted grammar”? Remember: I taught school for 27 years. I have graded tens of thousands of essays written with “twisted grammar”. Those who never cure themselves of it should study the uses of brooms, mops and bathroom cleaners. I spent half of my adult life trying to help students trapped in the English usage that you so blithely write “is no bar to me.” It was a bar to thousands of my students, some of whom, after my classes, went on to Harvard, Caltech and MIT.

      Are you impressed yet?

      • james wilson February 13, 2022, 3:01 PM

        No. It would be presumptous to think I could be as impressed with you as the man himself.

        • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 4:21 PM

          Wow! We agree! Alert the media.

        • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 8:14 AM

          You know that your 2nd sentence contains a grammar error, yes? But do not worry yourself needlessly with such “twisted grammar”. Just sit back and whisper to yourself, “Tocqueville…Tocqueville…Tocqueville” and all will be well.

          • james wilson February 14, 2022, 3:21 PM

            It is curious how incurious you are about Tocqueville. But since you are a Lincoln groupie you may have reason to fear the man who saw Americans more clearly than they could see themselves.

            I’m in his book. It’s embarrassing. But there is no progress without embarrassment. You might try it because you are all over his pages also.

            What was it Marcus Aurelius said about “everlasting readers”?

            Mike Austin, evangelical, preacher, and hall monitor.

            • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 3:56 PM

              All true. It’s a nasty business but someone has to do it. But you forgot these: Retired Teacher. Outdoorsman. Backpacker. Bikepacker.

              And then there is this:

              http://mikeaustin.org/interview_with_the_oregonian.htm

              How I see myself:

              http://mikeaustin.org/how_i_see_myself.html

              How you see me:

              http://mikeaustin.org/how_others_see_me.html

              Why I am so smart:

              http://mikeaustin.org/books_and_records_and_maps.html

              • james wilson February 15, 2022, 4:00 PM

                The Republic lasted from 1789 to the War. Menckin’s observation was a daggar to the heart of Lincoln worship and the “new beginning”, or, as the French count things, the Second Republic. Except it was now a republic only in form. The weasel sucks the youk out from a small hole at the bottom while the egg appears untouched.

                Marx, Engels, and their heirs did not try to refute their opponents with argument when they had none. They insulted, ridiculed, and derided them as you did with Menken and Toqueville. What else can you do with Mencken’s daggar or Tocqueville’s remardable Monday morning quarterbacking of the American democracy, which he did on Sunday morning?

                All roads of the “Second Founding” lead to the end of America, where clearly we now sit. No road in the first republic led here. That was no accident. A Republic, if you can keep it.

  • Tom Hyland February 12, 2022, 7:13 PM

    Lincoln’s war damaged State’s rights and the problem has never been fixed. The war created the overruling Federal monster and sucked all of America into it. In 1868 Congress invented the 14th Amendment because there were now all of these “freed” black folks with no official status of citizenship. Congress, a bunch of white dudes, had no intention of bestowing equal status upon former slaves and they denied these people full Constitutional Rights enjoyed by white Sovereign Americans who claimed their residing State Republics as their home. The 14th Amendment citizen was eventually defined as a citizen of Washington D.C., a corporation, and a resident of the Federal Zone of NY or VA or any of the now 50 Federal Zones as defined within the Buck Act, 4 U.S.C.S.104-113 (1940.) The 14th Amendment citizen is not privy to God-given Rights; defined but not limited to those described within the Constitution; but is only afforded strictly defined privileges that can be changed or denied by the stroke of a pen wielded by Federal judges and administrators. The ultimate purpose was to create a perpetual tax-payer unprotected within the strict confines of the Constitution which stated how taxes could be levied.

    The reckless and dangerous nature of having TWO categories of American citizenship was expressed in dissension by Supreme Court Justice John Harlan in Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244 (1901). Justice Harlan wrote, “The idea prevails with some… that we have in this country substantially two national governments; one to be maintained under the Constitution, with all its restrictions; the other to be maintained by Congress outside and independently of that instrument…. if the principles thus announced should ever receive the sanction of a majority of this court, a radical and mischievous change in our system will result. We will, in that event, pass from the era of constitutional liberty guarded and protected by a written constitution into an era of legislative absolutism…. It will be an evil day for American Liberty if the theory of a government outside the Supreme Law of the Land finds lodgment in our Constitutional Jurisprudence. No higher duty rests upon this court than to exert its full authority to prevent all violation of the principles of the Constitution.”

    In spite of the grave warning of Justice Harlan, the ill-conceived 14th Amendment and its creation of a second-class citizen unworthy and disallowed of unalienable God-given Rights protected by our Constitution is a virus that has spread until now almost every American has been enveloped and diseased; permanently cast down to the level of a recently “freed” slave.

    This is why when you mention “Constitution” in a court room you are warned that you are in contempt if you persist, because the judge has taken silent judicial notice that you don’t have a Constitution you can claim. Thanks to Lincoln for helping to create the Federal citizen and not much else, truly.

  • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 7:16 PM

    Dear Zaphod : Look up the following words: Xanax; psychiatry; electro-shock therapy; exorcism.

  • rabbit tobacco February 12, 2022, 8:05 PM

    What would you do, if your
    state was invaded, and thousands
    of soldiers started killing , raping,
    looting, and destroying your families’
    homes?

    • Mike Austin February 12, 2022, 8:15 PM

      What would you do if millions of rabid slave holders tore your nation apart, asked foreign nations to destroy you, invaded the free parts of your nation to engage in murder, destruction, looting and war, held hostage 4,000,000 human beings all of whom were created imago dei, put to death thousands of prisoners of war, and threatened to expand their Godless ideology to your state at the point of a bayonet?

      Curious minds wish to know.

      • oldvet50 February 13, 2022, 4:47 AM

        People that hold such strong beliefs espoused here should really dig deep into history AND use common sense. I recently learned that the Emancipation Proclamation did not intend to free all slaves, just the slaves in the rebellious states – the union states got to keep their slaves until the second 13th Amendment passed after the war was over. In addition, I learned there were many Negro Confederate soldiers, that only around six percent of Southerners even held slaves (according to Snopes), and the North was, in effect, stealing the money from the South through excessive tariffs (the REAL reason for the war). The main thing that turned my thinking around was, do you really believe that poor southern white families would send their sons off to war to die so they could keep slavery alive when it was no benefit to them? I realize now that what I was taught in school, even in the 1960s, was a revisionist version of the true events surrounding this war. But after all, the victors DO write the history and the victors want to look like the saviors of the oppressed black man when, in reality, the Northerners wanted no part of them either. Read the history that was written closer to the event for a better understanding.

        • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 6:07 AM

          Your arguments are part of the Southern mythology called the “Lost Cause”. All of them were refuted 150 years ago, but like a virus they regularly reappear among those who are unaware of the primary sources of the time, say 1850 – 1865. I have written about these many times here at American Digest.

          Just so you know, I am a Southerner myself. My family on my mother’s side fought with Lee almost until Appomattox. All of my family are “Lost Causers”, as was I until about 20 years ago. Also I taught US History for 27 years in 3 nations, 10 of those years at the college level in Argentina. Starting in 1996, I began to list every book I read, and so far the total is at 1,024. Many of these are on the US Civil War.

          http://mikeaustin.org/books_read_from_1996.htm

          All the above is simply to note that I do know a bit of the subject, and not to claim perfection or to belittle anyone else whether they are historically cognizant or not. What matters in US Civil War History are the primary sources, that is, those sources written during the time being discussed. Everything beyond that tends to decay into mere opinion and supposition.

          You wrote: “I recently learned that the Emancipation Proclamation did not intend to free all slaves, just the slaves in the rebellious states – the union states got to keep their slaves…” Four slave states remained with the Union—Delaware, Missouri, Maryland and Kentucky. In three of these states slavery was already fading away by the outbreak of war. The total slave population of the North in 1860 was 432,589. In the states of the Confederacy it was almost 4,000,000. Lincoln did not emancipate any slaves in the Union because he had to insure those states would not join the Confederacy.

          “In addition, I learned there were many Negro Confederate soldiers…” You were deceived I’m afraid. The debate about enrolling negroes in the Confederate Army was only seriously taken up in early 1865—after a Southern defeat was obvious. The few blacks that were forced into Southern ranks in 1865 were not allowed firearms, but were issued shovels and picks. Please see the letters about this between Lee and Davis. No Southerner could possibly admit that the black man could fight as well as the white man, as this would have dissolved the entire ideology of Southern culture, where slavery was seen as beneficial to both whites and blacks, and where blacks were created by God to be subservient to whites. Please read the speeches of John Calhoun.

          “…that only around six percent of Southerners even held slaves (according to Snopes)…” Snopes? Really? In fact 20 percent of Southern families owned at least one slave. Those who owned 200 or more were called the “Planter Class” and numbered around 1100. These were the elites of their day, and controlled the legislatures and governorships of every Southern state. They are the ones who started the war and they are the ones who lost it and they are the ones who concocted the “lost cause” argument after the war.

          You wrote “the North was, in effect, stealing the money from the South through excessive tariffs (the REAL reason for the war)…” The cause of the US Civil War has been and is debated endlessly. It need not be, as those in the South knw exactly why they started the war: it was because of slavery. Both Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens admitted as such. Slavery was protected in every constitution of the 11 seceding states. Tariffs as the cause of the war only became popular in the South after the war.

          You wrote “The main thing that turned my thinking around was, do you really believe that poor southern white families would send their sons off to war to die so they could keep slavery alive when it was no benefit to them?” You have not then read the thousands upon thousands of letters written by rebel soldiers. They most certainly saw the benefit of slavery to themselves. A rebel solider during the war said, “If I ain’t better than a nigger, who is I better than?” Southern slavery assured the poor whites of the South that even in their poverty they were superior to the black man. No Confederate soldier was in favor of emancipation.

          You wrote: “But after all, the victors DO write the history.” Not true at all. Your writing disproves that statement, in that it merely repeats what Southern leaders wrote about the war after it was over. Your version of the Civil War comes from those who lost it.

        • Tom Hyland February 13, 2022, 7:12 AM

          What you’ve written here, oldver50, is reiterated by author Ilana Mercer in this concise article. Lincoln was lifted up to heaven in a Federal-powered propaganda campaign the likes of which had never been seen in order acclimate, brain wash, Americans to bow to their Federal Daddy… forever. I see right through the adoration crap. No one can persuade me that this war was necessary or Lincoln was a saintly savior. He was crazier than a rat in a coffee can. I think you’ll enjoy reading this. https://tinyurl.com/5dvke7k5

          • james wilson February 13, 2022, 3:42 PM

            Slavery mysteriously ended in Cuba twenty years after the War of Northern Agression. One-third of the inhabitants of Cuba were slaves.

            Now in America half of inhabitants are slaves, the remainder are at the top of the grift looking down or at the bottom catching handouts.

            John Derbyshire has written that life is one bubble breaking after another.
            For some, I would reply. Lincoln evangelicals, never.

            Tocqueville, who loved America and it’s unique practice of democracy, warned that democracy under universal suffrage is nothing but an incredibly dangerous revolutionary instrument. My enemies understood this perfectly while I once looked on stupified by Abe and a cast of hundreds more.

            Mencken understood perfectly: Soldiers marched off to the war representing their individual state and returned as subjects of one.

            And here we are. Worshiping the end of the old Republic, 1789-1861, while living at what is clearly the end of America. A new beginning indeed. It’s a Repbublic, if you can keep it.

            • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 4:49 PM

              You always refer to that foreigner Tocqueville no matter the subject at hand. Certainly you are better read than that. Mencken was clever but relied solely upon insult.

              The rest of your comment seems almost part of the Kabbala. If someone told me you had written it, I would not have believed him.

              I see that grammar terrorizes you. “Twisted grammar” and all that.

              • Anonymous February 13, 2022, 8:31 PM

                Tocqueville’s great book is an inquiry into why Americans were handling democracy so well when democracy was so often lethal elsewhere. He described the American democracy in minute detail and it is from that that we may see exactly how it was twisted apart piece by piece, precisely as he warned. It is unprecedented that one man gets everything right and nothing wrong before the drama is finished. WTF do I care if he was French?

                He traveled nine months through America from the mid-atlantic, west to Buffulo and down to New Orleans, spoke with sailors, laborers, businessmen and politicians everywhere, Andrew Jackson in the White House–desribingJackson to be as vulgar as advertised but also a man who had the exact measure of all his considerable enemies–and Sam Houston crossing the Mississipi with the Chactaw on the Trail of Tears. Houston informed Tocqueville of the exact state of each Indian nation, some of which Tocqueville had already seen for himself. Tocqueville is a treasure who spans continents.

                Your comment on Mencken, too , has nogravity. It is unnecessary to think well of anyone to grasp the economical truth of one statement. Berlioz wrote one great symphonic piece, the rest was shit. John Maynard Keynes was a destructive narcissist rivaling even Rousseau, but he made statements at the bookends of his life that were profound.

                You call yourself well read but I think you just read a lot.

                Wilson

                • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 1:25 AM

                  You wrote all that just because I don’t care for Tocqueville? Wow.

                  You say that my comment on Mencken—that he relied upon insult—“has no gravity”, only shows that you have not read him. See what he wrote about Hoover and FDR and get back to me. So you don’t like Hector Berlioz? Please explain why I had to know your opinion of him.

                  And being “well-read” also means “reads a lot.” Pretty basic stuff.

    • FLSTF February 14, 2022, 9:08 AM

      Rabbit- you mean just like the liberals and illegal aliens are doing to our country?

  • Gary D Foster February 13, 2022, 9:25 AM

    Lincoln did some good things. Like the move to build railroads across the west. But he was very authoritarian. He jailed judges that did not toe his line. He invaded the south when they democratically decided to leave the Union. Nobody was tried for treason after the war because it was not treason. The Chief Justice told Lincoln at the close of the war what they did was Constitutional. His determination to subjugate a huge section of the nation by force of arms was not the sign of a great President. He should be known as “Lincoln the Conqueror”. The War was never necessary to eliminate slavery. IN FACT, had the South remained in the Union slavery would have continued and with Lincoln’s assent. His legacy is swimming in the blood of those who chose not to submit. Just like the truckers in the great white north, they only wanted to be left alone. Slavery was already dying and was not going to last much longer anyway. So you North Union worshipping people think you made life better for freed blacks but they became serfs and no better off in practical terms. He refused to negotiate with the south and was determined to crush them for their desire to be free from Washington DC. Sounds familiar?

    • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 10:12 AM

      1. “He jailed judges that did not toe his line.” The nation was at war. As Lincoln said, “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” And a reminder that the South imprisoned 4,000,000 souls in slavery.

      2. “He invaded the south when they democratically decided to leave the Union.” The South did not vote on the issue of secession. That issue was decided by a small group of Southerners called the “Planter Class”. They are the only ones who voted, not the citizens of the rebel states.

      3. “Nobody was tried for treason after the war because it was not treason.” Not so. Davis was accused of Treason in 1865 and imprisoned for two years.

      4. “The Chief Justice told Lincoln at the close of the war what they did was Constitutional.” Irrelevant. Most judges declared secession null and void. There is nothing in the Constitution concerning secession. The South claimed a right that did not exist. The issue therefore was decided upon the field of battle.

      5. “The War was never necessary to eliminate slavery.” The war was not fought “to eliminate slavery”, but to maintain the Union. That of course changed in early January, 1863 with the Emancipation Proclamation.

      6. “IN FACT, had the South remained in the Union slavery would have continued and with Lincoln’s assent.” An unprovable assertion; a “contrafactual”.

      7. “Slavery was already dying and was not going to last much longer anyway.” No one thought that at the time. In fact, the South planned a huge expansion of slavery into Cuba and Northern Mexico.

      8. “He refused to negotiate with the south.” That is because the South refused to negotiate unless Lincoln agreed that it was an independent nation.

      The rest of your screed is an attempt to establish some commonality between the Southern slave drivers and the truckers. How many slaves do the truckers own?

      Your statement that the South “just wanted to be left alone” could have been said by every criminal in History.

  • Auntie Analogue February 13, 2022, 10:54 AM

    I appreciate and understand the positions of both sides in the Civil War, and those positions are of their time, not of ours (yet today the neocons/Deep$tate use what is, essentially, the Northern states’ moral posture to wreak sanctions and violence on other people’s countries and, indeed, to increasing excess upon our own “Deplorables”). The stronger side won, not because of its moral fig leaf but because it had the vast preponderance of population and industrial base and output, and, unlike the losers who had next to no men-of-war, had a massive navy whose sea blockade made its Anaconda Plan strategically unbeatable.

    Then there’s something lighthearted for you:

    “♫ Lincoln-Lincoln bo-Bincoln, bo-nana-fanna-fo-Fincoln, fee-fie-mo-Mincoln . . . : Lincoln! ♫”

    • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 11:37 AM

      Now I have that ditty going through my mind.

      The South lost because:

      1. The strategic incompetence of Jefferson Davis and his inability to manage effectively the war and his administration.

      2. The South fought an offensive war when a defensive war might have succeeded. The Southern mentality could never allow this, and so it decided unknowingly at the onset of the war to commit suicide.

      3. The narrow-mindedness and strategic blindness of Robert E. Lee. He never understood the absolute importance of the West and so allowed Grant to sweep all before him and cut the Confederacy in two by 1863.

      4. The low-quality generals appointed by Davis to defend the West. Losers every one.

      5. The necessity of the South to achieve diplomatic recognition by either France or England.

      6. The South’s reliance on a one-crop economy to fight a modern war.

      7. Lee’s decision to invade the North (1862 and 1863) led to defeat and the near-destruction of his armies.

      8. The South lacked generals who could operate on a strategic level. The North had Sherman, Grant, Sheridan and Thomas.

      9. Sherman’s invasion of the South (1864 – 1865) absolutely destroyed its ability to defend itself and feed itself, and cut the South into 3 parts.

      10. The brilliance and strategic understanding of Lincoln.

      11. The Emancipation Proclamation (1863).

      12. Lee’s insistence in the primacy of the Virginia theater of operations over the rest of the Confederacy. This forced him into a sanguinary war of attrition that the the South could not win.

      Northern resources compared with Southern resources actually mattered very little. History is full of examples of smaller nations defeating vaster larger ones. The Northern blockade hardly made a difference until late 1863 when the South had already suffered tremendous defeats at Vicksburg and Gettysburg (1863). The South was extremely effective at “blockade running” and commerce raiding. The CSS Alabama was a special annoyance until its sinking in 1864. The war at sea really was just a side-show and had very little strategic importance.

      After July 1863 it was obvious to all that the war was unwinnable by the South. But it still fought on until its extinction. Heroic, yes—but astoundingly stupid and suicidal.

  • Jack February 13, 2022, 10:58 AM

    I’ve enjoyed reading the arguments about Lincoln, the Constitution and its Amendments and the opinions. All of them are interesting and well stated. My overall nod goes to Mike Austin because push, pull, give or take, he does know and understand American history and much more about what created it than any of the rest of us.

    IMHO and without going into detail about it, the Civil War was fought because the North understood that Southern States knew very well that they were nothing more, or less, than economic profit centers that existed to support a powerful central government that looked down upon them and which wanted to restrict their trade and associations with European and other nations that the North could not control. And, it was also fueled by the voices of abolitionists.

    Lincoln’s sole desire was to preserve the Union and subsequent events in Europe, WWI and particularly WWII, cause me to think that whether he realized or not, the US, existing as a single nation, very likely saved the entire world from Nazi and Communist control.

    But regardless of what has been said or how many folks on either side were killed or maimed or worse, we still have the fact that the negro, who was a problem then is a worse problem now. He is or becomes a problem any time he is mixed with another race. If he is the superior he is a tyrant and if he is subordinate or junior, he has to be looked after, provided for and policed constantly.

    I don’t hate individual blacks but I do despise black culture in all of its disagreeable forms and aspects and I do believe that their repatriation would have been a proper and genuine way to heal the US from the wounds and division that existed then and which exist now. Of course it’s too late to effectively control him now so a great many of us deal with it by locking our doors and carrying a side arm.

    • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 12:22 PM

      I curse that day in 1619 when the first black slave landed in Virginia. So many evils came about because of it. Now we are daily faced with thousands of wannabe Nat Turners, all of whom ignore the law with no penalties whatsoever. I await that day when things will be settled against these ferals—one way or another.

      • Jack February 13, 2022, 3:54 PM

        Yep, they are nothing but trouble who bring hatred, instability, moral poverty and turmoil. But the worst offense is that of mixing them with other races.

        • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 4:24 PM

          The Old Testament has a word or two against miscegenation.

  • Dan Patterson February 13, 2022, 11:01 AM

    If someone’s mind is clamped down on a thing, there is no use trying to persuade or reason with him about it; logic and fact have been discarded for righteous indignation and confirmation bias. Professor and farmer alike will have their reasons for believing in the primacy of someone else’s written word, or the duty of one to plant by the signs of the almanac. Neither point is sharp enough to cut butter.

    Sometimes I try to put myself in the place of a newspaper man of the 19th century, but I always fail at it. Maybe it’s my aversion to nicotine or my resistance to wearing a hat.

    • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 11:06 AM

      You forgot the ever-present bottle of whiskey by the typewriter of every 19th century newsman.

      • Vanderleun February 13, 2022, 4:03 PM

        Let me tell you all sometime about that time in days of yore when I had over 200 different bottles of cognac and brandy in my editorial office at Penthouse. And yes they were right by my IBM Selectric typewriter. At least for a little while.

        • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 4:24 PM

          Damn. I’ve some catching up to do.

        • Dan Patterson February 13, 2022, 6:03 PM

          A fella can’t be too far from his support system and inspiration. Those categories mean different things to different people, and different times.

          • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 6:13 PM

            True. My support system:

            1. Rosary
            2. Bible
            3. Marlboros
            4. Canadian Mist
            5. Smith & Wesson .40
            6. American Digest
            7. Kung Pao Chicken

        • gwbnyc February 13, 2022, 11:14 PM

          ah.
          armagnac.

        • Gordon Scott February 14, 2022, 1:39 PM

          Gerard, I can’t imagine why you haven’t written that book. Here’s the title for you: Days of Vaseline and Gold Chains.

          For those too young, Penthouse was famous for publisher Bob Guccione and his shirts unbuttoned to the waist, and his gold chains and medallions. It was also famous for its soft focus photography, achieved by coating the camera lens with a thin layer of Vaseline.

  • Will M February 13, 2022, 12:47 PM

    My first post here, like EVER, so hello to Julie and jwm!

    Mike Austin, to riff a bit on the Lincoln/slavery/civil war issues – as you are a former history teacher, I’d enjoy hearing your take on just how and why slavery really did become an issue in the 18th, 19th c, at least in the Western world. It strikes me that today’s alleged politically conscious younger generations just assume that had they they lived in past centuries they would have been in the anti-slavery ranks .. yet given their unquestioning loyalty to whatever Woke-ism that rears its insane head on any given day, I strongly doubt they would have. Back in the day, slavery was a given fact of life, practically everywhere on earth. Probably nobody wanted to be enslaved, but as a general fact of life, it was borne like the general fact of human suffering, storms, earthquakes, illness – avoid them if you can, and if you can’t, ce la vie.

    As far as I’m aware, none of the great ancient Greek or Roman moral philosophers, those whose works are still studied and widely quoted, ever raised an objection to the fact of slavery. (nor did any of Roman philosophers and moralists ever condemn the gladiatorial games). Spartacus famously led the gladiator/slave revolt, but his revolt wasn’t an anti- slavery “movement” or a social cause as we would think of it. The Bible does not, as some argue, actively promote slavery, but it does seem to countenance the fact of slavery in words to the effect of “if you have slaves, treat your slaves kindly”.

    Today, most civilized people would regard the practice of slavery to be on par with what we would think of as venial sins, murder, theft, envy, congenital lying, etc. However, a sophisticated, morally-attuned ancient Roman or Greek citizen, while holding murder, theft, etc. in opprobrium, would *not* agree that slavery was a moral wrong … mistreating slaves perhaps, but not slavery itself.

    Where and how did the first stirrings of what we would think of an anti-slavery mvt really begin? I imagine that it was the result of the Western world’s emphasis on Reason, the slow evolution of the scientific revolution and the resulting eventual industrial revolution. However, even these developments appeared in a sense ex nihilo – the ancient Romans, after all, were several steps from a scientific revolution and industrialization…. but they never got there. The Western World did, and the ball really started rolling in the late 1700’s. Why? How? (I have my own notion as to the answer, and to be honest, it’s a bit “out there”, but I think it’s genuine – and hello to Julie again, you’ll like it 😎)

    Anyway, most people seem to assume that slavery in the Western World is in the rear view forever, but I’m not certain. Slavery was – and still is in some parts of the world – predicated on economics, ownership’s need for a labor force. If the USA becomes fragmented into sectors and enclaves as I’m almost certain it will, I don’t see any guarantee that there wont be those who will enslave others to further their own security and economic needs.

    WM

    • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 3:42 PM

      Happy to oblige.

      I am not at all against slavery per se; I am vehemently against a slavery based on race. There is nothing inherently immoral against slavery: that is, a condition of a man either permanent or temporary based upon the actions of the man himself or based upon his freely made choice. Consider our prison system: the convict is for all intents and for all purposes a slave of the state. He will remain in bondage until his time is served. He became a slave because of his own actions, his own choice, his own free will. A slavery based upon race means that the slave did nothing to deserve his condition; he is just the wrong color according to the ruling elite. This type of slavery eliminates free will from the equation, meaning that the slave can do nothing to gain his freedom. This type of slavery is wholly materialistic: a man born the wrong color is ipso facto a slave. No questions will be tolerated. To do so would be to put the entire system of slavery into question.

      Slavery has been around since Cain killed Abel. There is no record of any society being free of slavery. The usual cause of a man being enslaved was war. All who survived a defeat belonged to the winning side. Everyone knew this basic fact of life. Unless a man were assigned to a particularly gruesome task—mining, for example—he could look forward to one day gaining his freedom through manumission or by paying his owner a sum of money. Native American societies in North America enslaved each other on a regular basis. After a time such slaves would be made members of the tribe with all the rights of any other member. For any slave of the Aztecs, there was no such luck. Once enslaved your fate was to be sacrificed to the god Huitzilopochtli. There was no recourse and no appeal.

      In spite of what the sub-IQ types of BLM and the Congressional Black Caucus say, most slaves in History have been—wait for it—white. Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Hittites, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Goths, Gauls, Egyptians all enslaved losers in war, almost all of whom were Caucasian. Greeks enslaved other Greeks all the time. In 480 BC Athens had a population of 60,000 citizens but 350,000 slaves—almost all white Greeks. Sparta had at most 8,000 citizens but 400,000 slaves—called helots. In the early Roman Republic (509 BC – 133 BC) most families had at least one slave. He was considered a member of the family, and often his owner would work side-by-side with him in the fields. Some free born citizens in the ancient world would sell themselves into slavery over debt. Once the debt was paid, the man regained his freedom.

      The only philosophic school in the Ancient World to say a harsh word—actually not very harsh at all—was the Stoic School (c. 330 BC).

      “…they were noted for their urging of clemency toward slaves. Seneca in his Letter 47 exhorted, “Kindly remember that he whom you call your slave sprang from the same stock, is smiled upon by the same skies, and on equal terms with yourself breathes, lives, and dies.”

      Gladiators were not all enslaved. Any free man could join a gladiator school—the one in Capua run by Lentulus Batiatus (c. 80 BC) was the most famous. Spartacus was one of its students. There he was pampered, trained and well-fed. The owner of the school—the lanista—would hire out his gladiators for private parties or public games. Very rarely did the gladiators fight to the death. If so requested by a wealthy Roman for a special occasion, the price would go up of course. State owned gladiators had it much rougher. They were prisoners or troublesome slaves, and had to fight until death in a public arena. Sometimes a successful gladiator would have groupies follow him around and Roman women would offer them the delights of their bodies.

      The Bible does not at all condemn slavery, as slavery then was not based upon race. Many slave owners were Christians. Onesimus was a Christian slave who had escaped his master. Paul, in his “Letter to Philemon” told him to return to his master and be obedient to him.

      The first true and effective anti-slavery movement began among the Christians in Britain. It was headed by William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833) and culminated in the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. This Act was mostly against race based slavery—that is, against black enslavement. The sub-IQ negroes of the modern US have no understanding of the basic principles behind slavery: African blacks were sold to whites by African blacks. It was the white man who ended this race based system. Blacks, then and now, had no ability to free themselves. The blacks in America did little to free themselves. It was “de white massa” Lincoln who did it for them.

      Naturally slavery still exits, but usually on an economic basis. Slavery will end when murder will end. That is, never in this fallen world.

  • Will M February 13, 2022, 5:26 PM

    Mike Austin, thanks for your reply.

    Couple of quibbles – yes, certainly we can enslave ourselves as convicts do, or to our wonton appetites or to our moods, etc., but I think a clear distinction, albeit for discussion purposes, should be made between self-enslavement in whatever manner that might occur and enslavement as ownership of another human being, ie., how we traditionally view it. As for self-enslavement, I’m not sure there’s really nothing inherently immoral about it. In fact, many of those who did enslave others in the past might have been personally more moral than those of their fellowship who chained themselves to their own appetites.

    Also, you say you are vehemently opposed to slavery based on race. So it’s not as immoral to enslave if not based on race? But let’s put race in a larger context by asking “What is racism?”. As far as I can discern, racism is tribalism – it’s tribalism on a very large scale, but it’s still tribalism at root. Story I once read – white guy in Africa being shown around the hinterlands of some area by a native. White guy happens to ask, what do you think of white people? Native answers with the usual over the top invectives; white people all devils, inherently evil, the whole litany. After a while, white guy asks, what do you think of the villagers who live live 12 miles to the west of your village? Native responds by virtually repeating everything he said about white people, ie., they’re all devils, inherently evil, etc. Point being, it’s all tribalism, micro or macro.

    So, yes, in the past whites enslaved whites, just as American Indians enslaved other American Indians, but it was that wholly negative aspect of tribalism, the demonizing of “the Other” that resulted in the enslavement. Race distinction might render the tribalism more dramatic, but again, it’s tribalism. So, in this respect, I’m not really getting your distinction between slavery based on race and slavery otherwise based. To me, they’re identical.

    Now, if you’re speaking about the race-based slavery that we had here in the USA and the horrible blowback we’re getting now, I’m in agreement.

    There were situation whereby a Southern slave could win freedom, no? I believe freedom was dangled in front of those blacks who would bear arms for the Cause, even if that didn’t come to pass.

    • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 12:40 AM

      My thoughts on the morality of slavery come from the Bible—both the Old and New Testaments. If slavery were against God’s Will, then Paul would not have told Onesimus to return to his master and be obedient.

      “Racism” these days has lost all useful content. All it means now is that someone does not like someone else. Everything has in fact become “racist”—bridges, ice cream and so on. Traditionally “racism” had a specific meaning, that one race was inherently biologically inferior to another. That inferiority could be intelligence or physical strength or some other characteristic. That is obviously true: whites are more intelligent than blacks; blacks are stronger than whites; and so on. Anyone who reads History with eyes wide open can see this in an instant. There is a reason why and how whites conquered the world. There is a reason why and how blacks are more suited for the NFL than for MIT. There has never been a black Shakespeare or Sophocles. It seems the highest level of art that a black can achieve is rap music.

      And I have not mentioned the Mongoloid races: Asians and Native Americans. One could complement Asians on their ability to assemble iPhones while at the same time wonder why Asians never produced a Jefferson or a Hobbes or any political system conducive to human freedom and dignity. The highest level of Native American civilization was the Aztec—one of the most cruel and bloody in History. Every Native American tribe was addicted to a particularly degrading and violent treatment of other Indians, especially of women. All this says nothing about the races being equal in the eyes of God and before a court of law.

      There were very few occasions the ante-bellum South when a slave could gain his freedom. If he did so, he immediately headed to the North.

      One can disagree with what I have written here. One can even call me a “racist’. But no matter: either what I wrote is true or it is not.

  • Will M February 13, 2022, 5:33 PM

    Mike Austin, btw., as to your assertion that blacks have no ability to free themselves …. well, there was the successful Haitian slave revolt. Yes, the place is a perennial hellhole, but still a freedom of sorts.

    • Mike Austin February 13, 2022, 6:24 PM

      I used the verb “had” rather than “have”. But your point is well taken. The blacks in Haiti had that great general to assist them, Yellow Fever. Perhaps 50,000 French soldiers died from it. Hundreds of thousands of blacks as well.

      Oddly, it was the Haitian Revolt that saved America from a Napoleonic invasion and led the Little Corsican to sell Louisiana.

      Haiti is indeed a Hell-hole. But then it always was.

  • Fred February 13, 2022, 10:02 PM

    Mike Austin has fired up the wits of many this Sunday, but I must amend him as regards his list of our worst presidents. My revision is as follows: “The worst presidents: Obama, George H. Bush, Clinton, Wilson—but why not Biden?”

    Biden is not ruling the United States of America, as Austin states, and neither is Trump. Like Nixon in 1960, Trump may have received the votes to win, but he was never given their true tally. As Stalin said nearly a century ago, “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.”

    The president or co-presidents of the United States in 2022 are not the faceless puppeteers who tell their top-level expediters how the public-facing expediters are to behave. Those public faces in turn are told by them what to whisper into the senile Democrat’s earpiece. When Biden forgets he’s not in charge and says he’ll “take questions” that he is forbidden and unequipped to answer, these public faces and their fellow cult thugs shriek, howl and must bum-rush out of the room the few actual journalists (as opposed to the incurious fanatical volunteer turncoats that comprise the bulk of the legacy press these days) before information about the greatest fraud and charade in the history of the world can be exposed.

    The sick, hideous reality is that none of us can be sure who is running the United States at this time.

    Every time a commentator on the largest network or a journalist at the smallest newspaper utters “President Biden,” he encapsulates in easy-to-swallow form a lie for which we lacks the truth we need to supplant it. We do not even know who holds the faceless puppeteers nearest the top in thrall.

    What we do know is that these are enemies such as this nor any other republic has never had. These are renegades whose identity — if leaked before they die or flee — will surely guarantee them as prompt and furious a fate as Mussolini or Ceaușescu received at the hands of their aggrieved countrymen.

    These are diabolical fiends of a magnitude far beyond that of Judas Iscariot himself, for they are satisfied to willingly plunge a dagger into the backs of 330 million citizens of the greatest nation and the best hope of our sin-spattered species. This treachery has been done — as current events now make clearer by the day — to end E Pluribus Unum, to desecrate the graves of the Founders themselves, to exterminate this nation once of, by, and for the people out of a spite so black-hearted as to tempt me to wonder aloud if it is not in fact the doing of Satan’s own named servitors.

    I now fear that when the final trap is sprung on America, it will fall on us with the brutal speed and steely certainty of the guillotine’s blade. No election, in this or any other year, will save us. The America-hating left and the near bovine center-right in this nation will all but assure it. When at last the rain of previously agreed-upon nuclear annihilation from China, from Russia, from North Korea falls, so shall the shroud of history drape us all. Pray to God for the guidance, mercy and wisdom that all who survive shall surely need — or for His forbearance, forgiveness and mercy that humanity not perish completely.

  • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 12:52 AM

    There is nothing in what you wrote that is not true in every detail. I can do little about the state of the Union save for paying attention to events and keeping my powder dry. And of course laughing at the cosmic degenerates who infect Washington DC.

  • Denny February 14, 2022, 6:37 AM

    Thank you Gerard for your work and maintenance of American Digest. These last eight or so posts on this thread are breathtaking and beautifully truthful and informative.

  • Will M February 14, 2022, 9:49 AM

    Mike Austin, I have no disagreement with you on the difference between races, and on the stupidity of the Progressive default answer of “You’re a racist!” to anybody who disagrees with them …. but I think we should keep in mind that your perspective – and mine – are filtered through and shaped by Western perspectives. Yes, we conquered the world to the point where even Chinese business men wear Western-style suits and ties. But does this make our Western perspective “better” in any ultimate sense?

    If one were to ask an astrophysicist, what is the sun?, you’d get a reply along the lines of “it’s a celestial body composed of hydrogen and helium around which the earth and planets revolve, a continuum of nuclear explosions”, etc.

    If we were to ask an aboriginal person what the sun is, we might get “the sun is a living being, the god (Solar Logos) of our planetary system, the Life Giver who we worship”.

    Who’s more right? Is one view really more superior to the other? We could say they’re both correct of course, but ultimately, which perspective leads to a more materialistic, perhaps soul-less view of the world, and which is the more spiritually fulfilling, the more spiritually nourishing “holistic” view? And one could ponder, can we nurture both perspectives at once?

    My point here is that, yes, on average blacks and indigenous people have, by Western standards, a lower IQ than do caucasians, and that blacks may not be suited for Western Civ at all, but I think it would be remiss to dismiss the qualities they do have.

    The great German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer observed while on one of his trips to NYC in the 1920’s that the single most sincere and genuine form of worship he had ever encountered was in the black churches of Harlem.

    Something else that occurs to me – back in the days when we were defeating the Indians and herding them into reservations, many Indian children were forced into Christian churches and into European-like schools and such – a well-meaning if somewhat hubristic gesture – where the Indian children had a great deal of trouble, often trying to escape back to their tribes. Contrast this with white settlers who were captured by Indians, children mostly, and of whom scarcely none were willing to return to white civilization when offered the opportunity. One could conclude that they preferred the Indian way of life, and why? It certainly wasn’t because the Indian way of life was more comfortable, certainly not by white standards of comfort. Their life spans were cut short due to exposure to the elements, lack of food, etc. A harsh, unforgiving, and in many ways brutal life, Yet they seemed to prefer that way of life. I suspect it’s because the Indian way of life was essentially more compelling, it was indeed more ‘essential’ – and perhaps more essentially spiritual than what could be found in Western Civ.

    No mistake, I’m glad I was born into Western Civ. Plenty to offer here and I do my best to take advantage of it. I ❤️ my AC, I love reading history, and automatic steering is wondrous. But I’m not going to assume that my way of life is superior in all ways. In fact, I don’t think it’s much of an exaggeration to say that Western Civ, at least what it has devolved into, has stripped us of spiritual insight and left us spiritually numb.

    • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 10:55 AM

      “…But does this make our Western perspective “better” in any ultimate sense?” That depends upon what tools are used to measure “better”. I would say that any race that advances the knowledge of God’s creation is better than one that does not. By that calculus the white race is nearly infinitely better than any other.

      “Spiritual nourishment” certainly can be a method by which a race is measured. But as I am a Christian, I consider every other religion false and possibly Satanic. The Hottentot might believe that rocks and trees are gods, but that does not therefore make it so. There are those who claim that all religions must be respected, but then offer no reason why this must be the case. A false religion leads to errors in human understanding and to nightmares of political organization. As C. S. Lewis wrote, “Horrible nations have horrible religions.”

      One can say that there is room for any number of perspectives, but one would be in error. No society can exist for long if it believes that 2 + 2 = 8. Truth exists and can be found; indeed, finding the Truth is the purpose of life.

      The differences in races do not exist because of “Western Standards”. They exist because they are observable by anyone over time and over space. For just one example: Choose any African nation at random. What is life there like? Would anyone actually choose such an Hobbesian existence given knowledge of the outside world? The blacks in Africa enjoyed their highest standard of living when their nations were controlled by whites. Black mothers would not have to weep over their dead children who could have been easily cured by “racist” medicine. And I would imagine that Bonhoeffer, if he visited Harlem today, would have a different view of things than he once had.

      If Christianity is true, then forcing Indian children into Christian schools was the right thing to do. The Natives of North America practiced some of the most abominable cruelties ever recorded—and they inflicted these upon other Indians. They had to be dealt with if civilization was to survive. Perhaps the worst examples of humanity of which we know were the Comanches, now happily extinct. Those who today admire the Indians would never—ever—choose to live as they did. Certainly the Indians preferred their way of life over that of the whites, but their way of life included raping white women to death, cutting off their breasts and noses, shoving all manner of things into their genitals, and so on. White males of all ages—except for babies, whose heads were bashed against trees—had their eyelids ripped off and their genitals stuffed into their mouths. The Iroquois enjoyed scraping away the flesh of white captives’ fingers with a seashell until just the bones were left.

      Yet these people were and are considered “spiritual”. Modern fantasies about the actual behavior of the Native Americans have no basis in reality.

      It was not at all determined that Western Civilization would lead to such spiritual emptiness and soul searching as we see all around us. Yet here we are. Our condition is due to the great gift of free will. We chose to abandon God and so are left with shallow lives lacking all meaning. This is why so many turn to “Eastern” religions and confect some imaginary Native American “spirituality” so that they can have some pretense of contentment. But all such fantasies eventually end up in the Gulag and with men scraping each others skin off with seashells.

  • Will M February 14, 2022, 11:12 AM

    Fred,

    I myself am not too worried about nuclear annihilation at the hands of Russians, China, N Korea. Even in a fragmented USA, there’s enough nukes to retaliate. Drop one on China’s Three Gorges Dam, and they’d be bailing out and fishing corpses from the water for the next 300 years. Mutually Assured Destruction has worked well as a doctrine for good reason.

    Re the unraveling of Western Civ – maybe we can take some solace in the fact that this happens to every civilization that has existed or ever will exist. Civilization are born, come to fruition, flourish for a time, decay, and die. Contrary to some popular opinion, ours is no exception. We’re now in the stage of deep decline whereby the elite are corrupt and are unable to come up with creative solutions. So be it. Not much we can do about it, except …

    … you’re absolutely right, we can look to our own spiritual welfare, maintain our individual spiritual sangfroid, accept what is going on as a spiritual challenge.

    Also, if you’re young, maybe learn a trade that people actually will need.

  • Will M February 14, 2022, 12:07 PM

    Mike Austin, to paraphrase William James, all religions have at least a grain of truth to them. Given that, and the fact that humans develop technically, spiritually at different stages, some more quickly than others, I can indeed acknowledge and even respect religions that are not mine. I can assure you that our distant ancestors were no better re: their religious practices and beliefs than any Comanche’s or Aztecs. And Great Balls O’Fire, consider the constant centuries of European religious warfare, often over the slightest doctrinal differences, and that wasn’t that long ago in cosmic time sense, more like an eye blink.

    I lean toward Christianity myself, though I do accept reincarnation as a fact, which Christianity, thus far does not accept. But I have to acknowledge that had I been born in India, I most likely would have been Hindu, had I been born in Iraq, then Muslim. Hindu, Muslim, I’m quite sure I would have found reasons to believe them superior. Are you sure this would not have been true of yourself?

    Yes, American Indians could be barbaric, but that doesn’t negate the spiritual truths to be found in their beliefs. We napalm-fried a lot of Japanese civilians, partially in the name of Christianity, and that doesn’t negate the truths of Christianity.

    But yes, I actually do find Christianity the most spiritually encompassing of religions for many of the reasons you listed. I mean genuine Christianity, which is hardly practiced any more – you’d probably have to go back to the Gnostics to find any genuine Christians. I think one of the hallmarks of the real Christian is insight, insight into the fact that different peoples develop at their own pace and have their own religions which serve them well at their own degree of spiritual development.

    Btw, the most conservative churches in the USA are the Southern black churches. Most other American churches are pretty thin gruel by comparison.

    • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 1:11 PM

      All religions do indeed have a grain a truth in them. But rather than just saying that and walking away in self-satisfaction, the honest man will seek out that religion that is Truth itself. There is only one. Or Jesus was a cosmic liar.

      “I can assure you that our distant ancestors were no better re: their religious practices and beliefs than any Comanche’s or Aztecs.” Your assurances go against all of History. Nothing from Sumer to our day shows anything like those practices. Not even the Assyrian kings come close.

      “…consider the constant centuries of European religious warfare, often over the slightest doctrinal differences…” Those alive at the time—roughly 1521 – 1648—did not at all think those differences were “small”. In fact, they thought them worth dying for and killing for because they took religion seriously. We do not. To them, the very souls of men were at stake, and Heaven and Hell were real places. We moderns ridicule them because we can hardly imagine a people actually believing in their religion. We find it quaint. Now think about how they would consider us.

      I cannot say how I would believe had I been born in India. The reason is because I was not born in India. I do not indulge in such imaginary scenarios. It need be said that millions have been born into Hinduism and Islam who later became Christians.

      “Yes, American Indians could be barbaric, but that doesn’t negate the spiritual truths to be found in their beliefs.” Could be? And what “spiritual truths” do you see in slicing off female breasts and stuffing genitals into mouths? These activities were part and parcel of the very nature of Comanche culture, and they would have never tolerated anyone trying to stop them from practicing what was, for them, absolutely necessary to the way they lived their lives. This is why they had to be exterminated. No other culture could possible live near them. Even their Indian neighbors hated their guts and were pleased when the white man got rid of them. The same was true of the Aztecs. To ask them to abandon their faith in Huitzilopochtli—and thus abandon the sacrificing, skinning, cannibalism and ripping out beating hearts— would be to ask them to commit suicide. Thus was Cortez forced into his grisly task.

      “We napalm-fried a lot of Japanese civilians, partially in the name of Christianity…” I have never heard or read of any American action taken in the Pacific Theater because of Christianity. It need be said that the Japanese belief in Bushido and Shinto made them almost as demonic as the Aztec and Comanche. Almost.

      “…you’d probably have to go back to the Gnostics to find any genuine Christians.” The Gnostic “Gospels” have for almost 2000 years been called heretical. There was a reason why, for example, The Gospel of Thomas was not allowed into the Bible. It was not just heretical, it was nonsense. The Gnostics were not in any way Christian. They had much more in common with Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. Gnostic teachings are little more than New Age gibberish.

      “Btw, the most conservative churches in the USA are the Southern black churches.” That’s why the majority of their members voted for the pedophilic, sodomite worshipping and abortion loving Biden—because they are “conservative”.

  • Anonymous February 14, 2022, 12:18 PM

    >>The differences in races do not exist because of “Western Standards”.>>

    Nope, Mike, not what I was getting at. The difference in races exist by any standard. But our interpreting the pros and cons of races or of religions do depend on our cultural standards.

  • Will M February 14, 2022, 12:35 PM

    >>One can say that there is room for any number of perspectives, but one would be in error.<<
    Mike –
    Totally disagree 💯. One can look at, say, snow in a “realistic”, scientific manner, or in an impressionistic way, or even surreal way … and they’d all be true. Regarding religion, there are all kinds of paths to God, perhaps an infinite number. For me, God is – and okay, this is not necessarily the best analogy – a cosmos-sized crystal with an infinite number of facets. Pick a facet, make it yours. But don’t waste time deploring the other facets. They may not be for you, but they’re for somebody.

    • Denny February 14, 2022, 1:23 PM

      “Regarding religion, there are all kinds of paths to God, perhaps an infinite number.”
      I can safely bet you and win, that the god who revealed this above “truth” to you is the one that you see every morning in the mirror, or, it just sounded good when you heard some other illogical nitwit say it.
      The new fake Pope Francis might have been one of them.

    • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 1:25 PM

      “Regarding religion, there are all kinds of paths to God.” Jesus said that “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” But you claim otherwise. So whom to believe, you or Christ?

      Decisions…decisions.

    • Denny February 14, 2022, 1:41 PM

      “Regarding religion, there are all kinds of paths to God, perhaps an infinite number.”
      Methinks that the god who revealed this above “truth” to you is the one that you see every morning in the mirror, or, it just sounded good when you heard some other illogical nitwit say it.

      The Scripture in my my Bible claims that there is only one path to God and all other paths are to gods that don’t exist.

  • Will M February 14, 2022, 1:50 PM

    Mike, was JC merely a football coach or a politician holding a banner while trying to convince the throngs that his particular system was better than the others? Or was he the Spirit exclaiming that the only way to God was through him, not as an individual man, but as the Spirit in the flesh?

    The path to God is through the Spirit, however it is revealed – that’s how I read that.

    JC also said that to be his disciples we must hate our parents, bros and sisters. No need to take that literally either. It simply means we’ve got to transcend flesh and blood and blood ties to perceive the Spirit.

    • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 3:21 PM

      “…was JC merely a football coach or a politician…”

      I thought you knew. He is the Son of God.

      How else can I help you?

  • Anonymous February 14, 2022, 1:53 PM

    Denny, if that works for you, great.

    Will M

  • Will M February 14, 2022, 2:23 PM

    Mike, great sins have been committed in the name of Christianity. As I said, Europeans slaughtered each other over doctrinal differences for centuries. There were the Inquisitions. The pogroms. Don’t you suppose there were plenty of people who came to the conclusion that the god who Christians worshipped was demonic, just as you assume all other non-Christian gods are?

    Btw, the Gospel Of Thomas does make sense., it’s replete with spiritual significance and meaning. It’s hardly gibberish. The best you can say is that it’s gibberish to *you*.

  • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 3:11 PM

    No, it was gibberish to the Church Fathers who helped put the Bible together. That is why the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” were not included in the Canon. You do not seem to be aware of how the Bible came together.

    You wrote that the Gospel of Thomas is “replete with spiritual significance and meaning.” Not to adults it isn’t. It is all New Agey goo-goo mysticism. One can get more “spiritual significance and meaning” from Dr. Seuss.

    When you wrote that the Gnostics were true Christians, that told me that:

    1. You know little of Gnosticism;
    and:
    2. You know less of Christianity.

  • Anonymous February 14, 2022, 4:07 PM

    Mike, there were reasons why the Thomas Gospel was rejected by the Church Fathers, but it being “gibberish” to them was not one of them. For one, it had no consistency with the other gospels, eg., there’s no recounting of the Death and Resurrection. But it does have great spiritual depth for those who can see. There is actually a lot of New Age hooey out there, for sure, such as “mindfulness”, which, like a lot of New Age material, takes a very profound concept and reduces it to an easy, challenge-free commerciality, but the Thomas Gospel isn’t one of them.

    This whole conversation sort of underscores the point I’ve been making – you and I would mostly likely agree on most every contemporary social and cultural issue, but your insistence that your spiritual viewpoint is the only truth to be had, and that all other POVs are false – this has thrown up a barrier, the same kind that led to the European religious wars and gives way to all sorts of ugly prejudices.

    I suppose I could likewise say your interpretation of JC’s “I am the Way, the Truth”, etc. underscores your lack of understanding of – not “Christianity” because that’s long been a lifeless institution – but of what Jesus really meant.

    Of course each side in the religious wars was convinced they possessed the sole, one-and-only Truth, and what did that win them? Answer: the loss of faith in Christian institutions.

    • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 4:43 PM

      The reasons you gave for why the Gospel of Thomas was rejected as part of the Canon are exactly correct. None of the Gnostic Gospels dealt with Christ in the way the Synoptics did.

      “…you and I would mostly likely agree on most every contemporary social and cultural issue…” True that.

      “…but your insistence that your spiritual viewpoint is the only truth to be had, and that all other POVs are false – this has thrown up a barrier…” It is not “my spiritual viewpoint”, for I had nothing to do with it. My Master Jesus Christ insists that only His viewpoint contains the whole Truth. All others are ipso facto false to one degree or another.

      ““Christianity” because that’s long been a lifeless institution..” Not according to Christ. He is the Vine, and I just a rather small branch. Christianity lives today is the hearts and souls of millions upon millions of Christians. I very much doubt they would call their Faith “lifeless.”

      I grieve that you see Christianity as a dead religion. Your faith has indeed become lifeless. That must be why you mess around in Gnosticism hoping to find truth there. You have left the Light and now prowl about in darkness. But the Light is patient and awaits your return.

  • Anonymous February 14, 2022, 4:13 PM

    Denny, nah, I think Pope Francis is garbage, a poseur who came out of liberation theology. He panders to Woke fashion. He’s not faithful to his religion at all.

    • Mike Austin February 14, 2022, 4:22 PM

      Everything you wrote about “Pope” Francis is objectively true. Benedict XVI is the true pope.

      I would say more about this Jorge Bergoglio creep, but Gerard might kick me off his site.

    • Denny February 15, 2022, 11:11 AM

      If you read my comment again you will see that I accused Pope Francis of being “fake” and also accused him as being one of the illogical nitwits that believe there are “many paths” to God.

  • Will M February 14, 2022, 8:20 PM

    Mike, my faith in Jesus isn’t dead, but as for institutional Christianity, well, even in his own time, Kierkegaard saw the churches as being no more than social clubs devoid of spiritual vibrancy. Christianity might be a minority religion in the USA now, and that’s for the simple reason that many people, serious spiritual seekers, have found it to be an empty well. (I make an exception for the Marian movement which seems lively and most importantly, experiential). I don’t blame the people for the dwindling number of Christians – I blame the institutional churches that no longer provide a connection between the seeker and the Divine.

    I am one of those who had to go outside the institutional church to find Christ.

    • Mike Austin February 15, 2022, 1:54 AM

      It is hard to disagree with what you wrote, though it pains to admit it. I see much of it myself.

      I am a cradle Catholic. I left the Faith when I was 10 or so (1963) and simply ignored God until 1990. I was sharing a house in San Jose, Costa Rica with a Protestant pastor’s son. We had many discussions about Christianity. One Friday evening he gave me a book to read, “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis. I read it twice over the weekend. I realized then and there that my entire life was a lie, and that I had to turn all of it around as I was walking in darkness.

      I returned to the Catholic Church, naturally. I was shocked by what I saw. I left a Church where Latin was the language, the priest faced the altar, women wore veils and men wore suits. I returned to a Church where English was the language, the priest faced the people, women wore yoga pants and men looked to be dressed for the beach. Everything seemed like nothing but fun and games, holding of hands and singing dreadful songs.

      It took me several years to find out what had happened to much of the earthly form of Catholicism. Now is not the time and here is not the place to discuss that, but I did find out. None of this shook my Faith at all; rather, it strengthened it.

      I would guess that 90 percent of priests, bishops and cardinals are either sodomites, cowards, weaklings or heretics—some are all four. I doubt many of them believe in anything to do with the Magisterium. The same demonic nightmare that has overtaken America has overtaken the Catholic Church on earth.

      The wars that are coming our way will be both Supernatural and temporal in nature. Saint Michael, defend us in battle.

  • Will M February 15, 2022, 7:53 AM

    Mike, we can thank the Second Vatican Council in the early 60’s for the subsequent degradations of the Catholic Church. Starting in the mid-50’s, everyone began to sense some great wind of change coming down the road; youth culture came to the fore, the civil rights movement started rolling, etc. Unfortunately the Church decided to leap onto the bandwagon, perhaps thinking that what was coming was really some great spiritual transformation. But alas, it was only a cultural change and the Church went along with it, wanting to conform – that’s when the traditional Latin Mass was dropped, priests started facing the congregation as if *they* were the stars of the show, when the seminary entrance exams became lax (and we saw the results of that 20 years later), when the abomination of liberation theology began to gain traction ….

    Of course the Church is never supposed to bend to contemporary culture. The Church is supposed to be the steady rock in the raging river waters of passing fashion. That’s when, I imagine, the Church began to lose connection with Christ. And serious spiritual seekers, finding nothing of sustenance, began to turn elsewhere, sometimes to Eastern religions, and sometimes they just gave up, figuring the whole thing was a charade. This sounds like your experience, Mike.

    But you know how sometimes we puzzle over a problem for days and we just can’t figure out the solution, then we just drop it and move onto something else, and suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the solution pops into our heads …. that’s the way, I think, it is with the serious spiritual seeker. The solution will eventually find them. The Hound of Heaven is relentless.

    • Mike Austin February 15, 2022, 9:53 AM

      Your diagnosis is spot on.

      Vatican II is the most obvious place to chart the degradation of the Catholic Church. But the rot began long before. Pope Saint Pius X condemned the evils of Modernism in two encyclicals in 1907. Yet those very evils survived, thrived and infected the entire Church. Vatican II was the result. Sodomy had already taken over most of the seminaries, and the most powerful cardinals in the US and Rome were practicing sodomites. Pope Paul VI probably was as well.

      The most important task today of the majority of bishops and cardinals is to demolish whatever remains of Catholic Faith everywhere it can be found. Jesus wondered if when He returned, would He find Faith on earth. We are nearing the answer.

      Sometimes when I tell others about the condition of the Church, they ask me in wonderment why I stay in it. My answer is that I am not Judas. Christ died on the Cross, not so that I could avoid it, but so that I could join Him there.