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Posted: 12/3/2005 3:21:08 PM EDT
DiLorenzo Is Right About Lincoln
by Walter E. Williams
by Walter E. Williams


In 1831, long before the War between the States, South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun said, "Stripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government; a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States, or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail." The War between the States answered that question and produced the foundation for the kind of government we have today: consolidated and absolute, based on the unrestrained will of the majority, with force, threats, and intimidation being the order of the day.

Today’s federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. Thomas J. DiLorenzo gives an account of how this came about in The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War.

As DiLorenzo documents – contrary to conventional wisdom, books about Lincoln, and the lessons taught in schools and colleges – the War between the States was not fought to end slavery; Even if it were, a natural question arises: Why was a costly war fought to end it? African slavery existed in many parts of the Western world, but it did not take warfare to end it. Dozens of countries, including the territorial possessions of the British, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, ended slavery peacefully during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Countries such as Venezuela and Colombia experienced conflict because slave emancipation was simply a ruse for revolutionaries who were seeking state power and were not motivated by emancipation per se.

Abraham Lincoln’s direct statements indicated his support for slavery; He defended slave owners’ right to own their property, saying that "when they remind us of their constitutional rights [to own slaves], I acknowledge them, not grudgingly but fully and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the claiming of their fugitives" (in indicating support for the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850).

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was little more than a political gimmick, and he admitted so in a letter to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase: "The original proclamation has no...legal justification, except as a military measure." Secretary of State William Seward said, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free. " Seward was acknowledging the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation applied only to slaves in states in rebellion against the United States and not to slaves in states not in rebellion.

The true costs of the War between the States were not the 620,000 battlefield-related deaths, out of a national population of 30 million (were we to control for population growth, that would be equivalent to roughly 5 million battlefield deaths today). The true costs were a change in the character of our government into one feared by the likes of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, and Calhoun – one where states lost most of their sovereignty to the central government. Thomas Jefferson saw as the most important safeguard of the liberties of the people "the support of the state governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies."

If the federal government makes encroachments on the constitutional rights of the people and the states, what are their options? In a word, their right to secede. Most of today’s Americans believe, as did Abraham Lincoln, that states do not have a right to secession, but that is false. DiLorenzo marshals numerous proofs that from the very founding of our nation the right of secession was seen as a natural right of the people and a last check on abuse by the central government. For example, at Virginia’s ratification convention, the delegates affirmed "that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to injury or oppression." In Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address (1801), he declared, "If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." Jefferson was defending the rights of free speech and of secession. Alexis de Tocqueville observed in Democracy in America, "The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; in uniting together they have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the states chooses to withdraw from the compact, it would be difficult to disapprove its right of doing so, and the Federal Government would have no means of maintaining its claims directly either by force or right." The right to secession was popularly held as well. DiLorenzo lists newspaper after newspaper editorial arguing the right of secession. Most significantly, these were Northern newspapers. In fact, the first secession movement started in the North, long before shots were fired at Fort Sumter. The New England states debated the idea of secession during the Hartford Convention of 1814–1815.

Lincoln’s intentions, as well as those of many Northern politicians, were summarized by Stephen Douglas during the senatorial debates. Douglas accused Lincoln of wanting to "impose on the nation a uniformity of local laws and institutions and a moral homogeneity dictated by the central government" that would "place at defiance the intentions of the republic’s founders." Douglas was right, and Lincoln’s vision for our nation has now been accomplished beyond anything he could have possibly dreamed.

The War between the States settled by force whether states could secede. Once it was established that states cannot secede, the federal government, abetted by a Supreme Court unwilling to hold it to its constitutional restraints, was able to run amok over states’ rights, so much so that the protections of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments mean little or nothing today. Not only did the war lay the foundation for eventual nullification or weakening of basic constitutional protections against central government abuses, but it also laid to rest the great principle enunciated in the Declaration of Independence that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

The Real Lincoln contains irrefutable evidence that a more appropriate title for Abraham Lincoln is not the Great Emancipator, but the Great Centralizer.

Foreword to The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War by Thomas J. DiLorenzo. Copyright © 2002 by Thomas J. DiLorenzo. Reprinted with permission.

March 22, 2005

Walter E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist.




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Link Posted: 12/4/2005 6:09:18 AM EDT
What a bunch of revisionist baloney. Author proably hangs out with David Irving.
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 10:57:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OrionSix:
What a bunch of revisionist baloney. Author proably hangs out with David Irving.


Which part?
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 12:57:46 PM EDT
The framers of the Constitution are rolling in their graves. They must be disgusted at the way all their work has turned out.
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 2:15:38 PM EDT
The south will rise again!

It wasn't the "Civil War." It was the "War of Northern Aggression."

It wasn't about slavery. It was about states rights.

We woulda won the war if (fill in the blank)________________________________.



GET OVER IT!
Link Posted: 12/14/2005 3:52:02 PM EDT
First of all Lincoln didn`t destroy the Constitution, he enforced it. Up until the Civil War,most of the southern states believed they could simply walk away from their obligations under the constitution when they didn`t agree. The nullification crisis during Andrew Jackson`s administration is an example. Lincoln believed that the states did not exist as separate independent states under either the Articles of Confederation, or the federal constitution; so they could not claim any sovereign right to secession (with the possibles exception of Texas). Since the federal constitution had a mechanism for dissolving the Union, a constitutional convention, they were bound to follow it.

As for the slavery question, Lincoln was undoubtedly anti-slavery. He was not an abolitionist initially. He wanted to limit slavery and bring about a gradual, peaceful extinction. The casualty rosters of the civil war brought his position in line with that of the radical republicans in congress.


Try reading "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James McPherson. It discusses the social and political aspects of the civil war.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 4:58:23 AM EDT
Abraham Lincoln was unfortunately, the one forced to deal with the issue that the founding fathers chose to ignore when establishing the USA. Lincoln's predecessor, and probably several before, also chose not to confront the issue directly, so it was just a powder keg waiting to explode.

The issue of slavery was almost a non-starter for the newfound country of ours, so it was just a matter of time before the country would come to a cross-roads and deal with it.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 10:16:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:
First of all Lincoln didn`t destroy the Constitution, he enforced it. Up until the Civil War,most of the southern states believed they could simply walk away from their obligations under the constitution when they didn`t agree. The nullification crisis during Andrew Jackson`s administration is an example. Lincoln believed that the states did not exist as separate independent states under either the Articles of Confederation, or the federal constitution; so they could not claim any sovereign right to secession (with the possibles exception of Texas). Since the federal constitution had a mechanism for dissolving the Union, a constitutional convention, they were bound to follow it.

As for the slavery question, Lincoln was undoubtedly anti-slavery. He was not an abolitionist initially. He wanted to limit slavery and bring about a gradual, peaceful extinction. The casualty rosters of the civil war brought his position in line with that of the radical republicans in congress.

Try reading "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James McPherson. It discusses the social and political aspects of the civil war.


Thank you for at least mentioning that.

<----------------- From Texas

Where's my restitution?
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 11:02:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By arbob:
First of all Lincoln didn`t destroy the Constitution, he enforced it. Up until the Civil War,most of the southern states believed they could simply walk away from their obligations under the constitution when they didn`t agree. The nullification crisis during Andrew Jackson`s administration is an example. Lincoln believed that the states did not exist as separate independent states under either the Articles of Confederation, or the federal constitution; so they could not claim any sovereign right to secession (with the possibles exception of Texas). Since the federal constitution had a mechanism for dissolving the Union, a constitutional convention, they were bound to follow it.

As for the slavery question, Lincoln was undoubtedly anti-slavery. He was not an abolitionist initially. He wanted to limit slavery and bring about a gradual, peaceful extinction. The casualty rosters of the civil war brought his position in line with that of the radical republicans in congress.

Try reading "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James McPherson. It discusses the social and political aspects of the civil war.


Thank you for at least mentioning that.

<----------------- From Texas

Where's my restitution?



Send me a hot Texas wimmenz and I`ll think about it!
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 12:06:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By arbob:
First of all Lincoln didn`t destroy the Constitution, he enforced it. Up until the Civil War,most of the southern states believed they could simply walk away from their obligations under the constitution when they didn`t agree. The nullification crisis during Andrew Jackson`s administration is an example. Lincoln believed that the states did not exist as separate independent states under either the Articles of Confederation, or the federal constitution; so they could not claim any sovereign right to secession (with the possibles exception of Texas). Since the federal constitution had a mechanism for dissolving the Union, a constitutional convention, they were bound to follow it.

As for the slavery question, Lincoln was undoubtedly anti-slavery. He was not an abolitionist initially. He wanted to limit slavery and bring about a gradual, peaceful extinction. The casualty rosters of the civil war brought his position in line with that of the radical republicans in congress.

Try reading "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James McPherson. It discusses the social and political aspects of the civil war.


Thank you for at least mentioning that.

<----------------- From Texas

Where's my restitution?


Send me a hot Texas wimmenz and I`ll think about it!


I now work on the campus of the same University I did my undergrad studies at.

Every day I see wimminz hot enough to melt all the snow in Jersey!*

Married, though, so can look but not touch.


*Was walking across campus one day during the summer, behind this one girl with the tiniest, flimsiest sheer blue skirt; when all of a sudden, a gust of wind blew it up (was even better underneath). That was a while ago, I am happily married and get pie regularly, but every time I think of it I still smile visibly.

/end hijack!
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 11:55:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:
First of all Lincoln didn`t destroy the Constitution, he enforced it. Up until the Civil War,most of the southern states believed they could simply walk away from their obligations under the constitution when they didn`t agree. The nullification crisis during Andrew Jackson`s administration is an example. Lincoln believed that the states did not exist as separate independent states under either the Articles of Confederation, or the federal constitution; so they could not claim any sovereign right to secession (with the possibles exception of Texas). Since the federal constitution had a mechanism for dissolving the Union, a constitutional convention, they were bound to follow it.

As for the slavery question, Lincoln was undoubtedly anti-slavery. He was not an abolitionist initially. He wanted to limit slavery and bring about a gradual, peaceful extinction. The casualty rosters of the civil war brought his position in line with that of the radical republicans in congress.


Try reading "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James McPherson. It discusses the social and political aspects of the civil war.



I disagree with the "enformcement" part. According to Jefferson, in his Inaugural Address, he implied the States did have the right to secede from the union but would be better off if they did not. Since he was a FF, he would know what the framers intended.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 11:57:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OrionSix:
What a bunch of revisionist baloney. Author proably hangs out with David Irving.



Wrong.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:39:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By UPD415:

Originally Posted By OrionSix:
What a bunch of revisionist baloney. Author proably hangs out with David Irving.


Wrong.


OrionSix HAS logged in, and HAS posted since making that comment.* As a Team Member, he has a "My Active Topics" button/feature/function, so he SHOULD know that this discussion is still going on. I asked him to elaborate immediately after he posted that, but obviously have yet to hear back from him.

Instead of categorically dismissing it as "revisionist baloney," an open-minded or reasonable person MIGHT consider it "another viewpoint". One could draw parallels to the attack on the Liberty.

Jake.



*
OrionSix

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Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:52:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 11:48:56 AM EDT by HELOBRAVO]
Lincoln shredded the constitution.
You can debate if he was justified, but you can't debate that he threw it out of the window, unless it's just to troll/argue..

I can't bite my tounge after glancing slavery bullsh*t in a couple of post.
1.The nothern army almost quit when they heard they were fighting for slaves until they were convinced otherwise (because it wasn't true.).
2. Lincoln "freed" the slaves ONLY in areas of the country he didn't control ()to cause more trouble for the south, he wanted to send all blacks back to where they came from, and his reasons for giving the issue lip-service were self serving. He stated he didn't give a crap unless doing so would advantage him.
3. Lets not forget bout all the people he put in prision (journalist included) with out probable cause....I could go on .
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:44:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 6:48:13 PM EDT by Spiff]

Originally Posted By HELOBRAVO:
Lincoln shredded the constitution.
You can debate if he was justified, but you can't debate that he threw it out of the window, unless it's just to troll/argue..

1.The nothern army almost quit when they heard they were fighting for slaves until they were convinced otherwise (because it wasn't true.).



So the *entire* Northern Army almost quit when they heard they were fighting for slavery? I don't think so.



2. Lincoln "freed" the slaves ONLY in areas of the country he didn't control ()to cause more trouble for the south, he wanted to send all blacks back to where they came from, and his reasons for giving the issue lip-service were self serving. He stated he didn't give a crap unless doing so would advantage him.



Nothing new here.
War is hell, you do *anything* that will help you win. By making the war, a war over slavery, Lincoln stopped dead in it's tracks any hope the South had for European intervention. By *only* freeing the slaves in Southern territory, he kept the Border States more or less in line with the North, and pro-slavery Northerners quiet. He was a master politician, the above is a perfect example. During the war, Lincoln had only one goal, to win the war and keep the United States together. Everything else was secondary.




3. Lets not forget bout all the people he put in prision (journalist included) with out probable cause....I could go on .



Imprisoning thousands of it's citizens during war, without probable cause, has been done before in this country. Hell, everyday people on this forum spout off about imprisoning (or worse) so called traitors in the press who speak out against our involvement in Iraq.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:00:06 PM EDT
No, FDR did that.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 11:22:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By UPD415:

Originally Posted By OrionSix:
What a bunch of revisionist baloney. Author proably hangs out with David Irving.


Wrong.


OrionSix HAS logged in, and HAS posted since making that comment.* As a Team Member, he has a "My Active Topics" button/feature/function, so he SHOULD know that this discussion is still going on. I asked him to elaborate immediately after he posted that, but obviously have yet to hear back from him.

Instead of categorically dismissing it as "revisionist baloney," an open-minded or reasonable person MIGHT consider it "another viewpoint". One could draw parallels to the attack on the Liberty.

Jake.



*
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Sorry - I have been busy trying to develop a real life. Have not really had one for the last three years. Will try to give you something a little more solid soon.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:48:02 PM EDT
Understood; and that's completely fair (esp. since this is in the much slower-paced world of the History forum, as opposed to GD).

I just didn't know you from around the board any and didn't know if you were one of those "hit-and-run" guys like Merlin.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 12:10:19 PM EDT
After rereading this, I realize that my initial reaction was aimed more at the ttile of the thread, than the article itself, althought the article and the book would appear to have some intellectual problems.

First, the Great Centralizer - my response is so what? Does anyone really think of themselves as a Californian or New Yorker or Texan beofre they think of themselves as an American? Sure the founding fathers surely envisioned less of of a centralized government, but they also never envisioned the steam engine, the uatomobile, aircraft, telephones, and the internet. All things that bind us togehter. We benefit from uniformity of laws and systems that regulate us.

The evidence the founders envisioned a more poruos nation that was subject to the dialy polticial whims that could drive secession or union seems slim. The Full Faith and Credit clause and the Citizneship clauses would seem to run counter to that. Imagine the hissy fits some states would throw when they do or don't get their way. The government would be a mess.

The Civil War fought for a myriad of reasons, slavey was one of them, but not the only reason. True slavery ended peaceably in other places, but there was a sense of moral urgency - that slavey had to be ended. The South was stuck in an economic system in decline, one that existed on a morally bankrupt premise.

If one wants to blame someone for the Civil War blame GEN Robert E. Lee, if he has remembered the motto of West Point, then the CSA would not have had an Army.

Was PRES Lincoln perfect? No - but neither did he destroy the Constituion; he exhibtyed great leadhership through a very difficutl and problematic time.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 3:54:54 PM EDT
Lincoln will burn in Hell throughout eternity for his crimes.

Jefferson helpled write the Constitution. He would know if a state could seceede. Also, go check out what the states thought about giving up power. Read the 9th and 10 Amendments. Lincoln destroyed those.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 3:59:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 5:12:13 PM EDT by OrionSix]
See that's just nuts.

ETA: You clearly have some sort of agenda that I am not aware of; I note that you are from Alabama - suppose the South had been left to go its own way; Alabama and the rest of the South would be no better than any other third world nation. The North, Midwest, and West would also all be much poorer our strength as a nation lie in our unity, not in any percieved differences between states and regions.

I'm curious as to what powers you see the US Government excercising that are so detrimental. And any crime that PRES Lincoln committed pales in comparison as the abomination that slavery was.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 6:57:38 PM EDT
I'm not going to get into the cival war era part of this debate but I will go back to when the costitution was written. Both then and now there is one thing that holds true. What is right for one part of the country might not be the best in another. What I'm getting at is that STATE government has a better idea what laws are good for the state than the FEDERAL govt. would. Yeah, yeah, We have senators and congressmen who represent us at the federal level but with the fed. it's give and take trade offs. Since this is a gun forum I'll use my gun example. Gun laws that may be right for New York or California may be foolish in Kansas or Oklahoma.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:56:50 AM EDT
Even if we were to concede the Civil War was about slavery, it would still [ultimately] be about State's Rights...... no matter how evil/immoral/whatever slavery was (or is, since it's still going on).

It's like our present battle. The "War on the RKBA" isn't [ultimately] about firearms, it's about freedom.*

Jake.


* Opening intentionally left unprotected.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 6:50:39 AM EDT
I have a book at home that contains all the know writings of Thomas Jefferson. Sicne the United States is in reality a Federation of independed states, he believed that any state had the right to withdraw from the federation if they thought it was no longer advantageous to be a part of it.

One has to remember the definition of states in his time. The words state and nation were interchangeable in the 18th century Since the Civil War we tend to look upon states as some sort of subdivision of a single nation. During the American Revolution, each colony thought of itself as an independent nation. They banded together to fight a common foe and became a federation of united states.

Remaining a federation they tried to deal with the issues of how these independent states would act as a federation. Hence the issue of states rights. What they came up with was a very limited constitution designed to limit the power of the federation (federal government), not enhance it. That's why the constitution is such a small document. Written in that document is a statement grating all powers not granted by the federal constitution to the federal government are to reside with the states. Hence the constitution of the state of New York is a book of some 240 pages and addresses a wide variety of issues not handled at the federal level.

I think that a statement by Shelby Foote during the Civil War series sume it up best. He said that before the Civil War people said that the "United States are..". After the war they said "The United States is...".

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 12:01:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By plowboy1989:
I'm not going to get into the cival war era part of this debate but I will go back to when the costitution was written. Both then and now there is one thing that holds true. What is right for one part of the country might not be the best in another. What I'm getting at is that STATE government has a better idea what laws are good for the state than the FEDERAL govt. would. Yeah, yeah, We have senators and congressmen who represent us at the federal level but with the fed. it's give and take trade offs. Since this is a gun forum I'll use my gun example. Gun laws that may be right for New York or California may be foolish in Kansas or Oklahoma.



I tend to disagree with this assessment; there may be some specific things that need to be regulated that have very localized requirements, but those are far and few between. IMO we are better served by uniformity. The State Government should be little more than an Administrative division - the difference between people in different states is minimal.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 12:02:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:
Even if we were to concede the Civil War was about slavery, it would still [ultimately] be about State's Rights...... no matter how evil/immoral/whatever slavery was (or is, since it's still going on).

It's like our present battle. The "War on the RKBA" isn't [ultimately] about firearms, it's about freedom.*

Jake.


* Opening intentionally left unprotected.



Well it resolved the question of whether the Federal Governement or State Government is primary; correctly I think too.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:49:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OrionSix:

Originally Posted By plowboy1989:
I'm not going to get into the cival war era part of this debate but I will go back to when the costitution was written. Both then and now there is one thing that holds true. What is right for one part of the country might not be the best in another. What I'm getting at is that STATE government has a better idea what laws are good for the state than the FEDERAL govt. would. Yeah, yeah, We have senators and congressmen who represent us at the federal level but with the fed. it's give and take trade offs. Since this is a gun forum I'll use my gun example. Gun laws that may be right for New York or California may be foolish in Kansas or Oklahoma.


I tend to disagree with this assessment; there may be some specific things that need to be regulated that have very localized requirements, but those are far and few between. IMO we are better served by uniformity. The State Government should be little more than an Administrative division - the difference between people in different states is minimal.


The difference(s) between people in different states is/are indeed, minimal. However, their needs can be extremely varied (Midwest vs. Alaska vs. Hawaii vs. wherever). By and large, these are best served by administrative divisions which are more beholden to a discrete "set" of citizenry.

Also, at the end of the day, regardless of whether it works better/best administratively, is the fact that it's what the Constitution provides for, and I'm a pretty big fan of that document, even if few others are or seem to be (not taking a shot at you; speaking of the citizenry/gov't in general).

If folks would prefer it otherwise, there are provisions for amendment (and no, I'm not talking about nine black-robed and virtually unaccountable Justices).
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:54:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OrionSix:

Originally Posted By wise_jake:
Even if we were to concede the Civil War was about slavery, it would still [ultimately] be about State's Rights...... no matter how evil/immoral/whatever slavery was (or is, since it's still going on).

It's like our present battle. The "War on the RKBA" isn't [ultimately] about firearms, it's about freedom.*

Jake.


* Opening intentionally left unprotected.

Well it resolved the question of whether the Federal Governement or State Government is primary; correctly I think too.

I agree with the former clause; not at all with the latter. It's called "exceeding one's authority under the Constitution".


Originally Posted By Our Founding Fathers:
Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.



Whatever song that was playing on the radio at the conclusion of the Civil War was an early version of "Goodby to Romance."
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:41:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By OrionSix:

Originally Posted By plowboy1989:
I'm not going to get into the cival war era part of this debate but I will go back to when the costitution was written. Both then and now there is one thing that holds true. What is right for one part of the country might not be the best in another. What I'm getting at is that STATE government has a better idea what laws are good for the state than the FEDERAL govt. would. Yeah, yeah, We have senators and congressmen who represent us at the federal level but with the fed. it's give and take trade offs. Since this is a gun forum I'll use my gun example. Gun laws that may be right for New York or California may be foolish in Kansas or Oklahoma.


I tend to disagree with this assessment; there may be some specific things that need to be regulated that have very localized requirements, but those are far and few between. IMO we are better served by uniformity. The State Government should be little more than an Administrative division - the difference between people in different states is minimal.


The difference(s) between people in different states is/are indeed, minimal. However, their needs can be extremely varied (Midwest vs. Alaska vs. Hawaii vs. wherever). By and large, these are best served by administrative divisions which are more beholden to a discrete "set" of citizenry.

Also, at the end of the day, regardless of whether it works better/best administratively, is the fact that it's what the Constitution provides for, and I'm a pretty big fan of that document, even if few others are or seem to be (not taking a shot at you; speaking of the citizenry/gov't in general).

If folks would prefer it otherwise, there are provisions for amendment (and no, I'm not talking about nine black-robed and virtually unaccountable Justices).



I too am a big fan of the document; by education I am a lawyer so I spent a great deal of time with it; I 'm not really practicing right now - trying to get back on Active Duty with the Army (not as a Lawyer) - that is just for information - ; I am not adviocating a compelte abrogation of the Federal System or the Constitution, and I do think there is a tendency for some Courts and Administrative Agencies to overreach. I just find the arguments re Lincoln disingenuius.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:51:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:
I agree with the former clause; not at all with the latter. It's called "exceeding one's authority under the Constitution".




While I don't completely disagree; beucase I do think that Congress does or trys to do that frequently - I am curious about what area or law that has gotten people ire up about what is being regulated.

BTW the Lopez series of cases has been could I think for bringing Congressional power back under control.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 11:43:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OrionSix:

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By OrionSix:
Well it resolved the question of whether the Federal Governement or State Government is primary; correctly I think too.


I agree with the former clause; not at all with the latter. It's called "exceeding one's authority under the Constitution".


While I don't completely disagree; beucase I do think that Congress does or trys to do that frequently - I am curious about what area or law that has gotten people ire up about what is being regulated.

BTW the Lopez series of cases has been could I think for bringing Congressional power back under control.


First, I'd like to actually go back to your "resolved the question of whether the Fed Gov or State Gov is primary" statement. I should have elaborated on this more in my original retort, but my wife was gripin' at me to hurry up and run to the store.
What I meant (and should have said) was: It did resolve the question of primacy. It did so by force (war), which was one of Williams' (the author of the article alaman posted to start the thread) main points.

Second, I'd like to reply properly to your assertion that this resolution was correct. You took the position that it was ("Yes"). Since I was limited on time, I quickly rebutted that it wasn't ("No"). What I should have said was that we are both right. On SOME THINGS, the Fed Gov is primary. On OTHER THINGS, either the [many] states or [We,] the People are primary. The reason for the distinction is the same as for my earlier quoting of the 10th Amdmt.

Third, I can't really answer this question ("I am curious about what area or law that has gotten people ire up about what is being regulated."). I can only speak for myself. Personally (and generally speaking), my ire is raised by the Fed Gov regulating things that they don't have the authority to regulate. Specifically (but by no means will the following list be all-inclusive), as a firearms owner, my ire is raised by the Congress using the Interstate Commerce Clause as a trump card where, in its absence, the law would not give them carte blanche to regulate x, y, and z "for the children". My ire is also raised by eminent domain abuses. From an historical perspective (and actually relevant to this thread ), my ire is raised at all manner of things in the ten or so years preceding and following the Civil War.

Fourth, the Court is a tease. They give us Lopez, and we think things are going one way, then they hit us with Raich v. Ashcroft. I'm kind of ambivalent about Raich anyway, though, since it was a drug case. It was too easy to pull Commerce out of their collective asses. Failing that, all they'd have to do was bring up the State's (i.e. the Fed Gov's) compelling interest in prosecuting the War on Drugs. At the end of the day, they went with Commerce (but don't even get me started on "Necessary and Proper").

Randy Barnett (a senior fellow at both the Cato and Goldwater Institutes, as well as one of Eugene Volokh's co-bloggers) was one of the three attys who argued Raich before the Court. He is also presently the lead on the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative case (U.S. v. OCBC). He came to the Law School here and talked about both cases a month or two before Raich was decided by the Court. My personal opinion is that the Court granted cert on Raich because it would be more palatable to backpedal on Lopez WRT another drug case. Actually, they didn't backpedal so much as they were asserting that Lopez was only decided the way it was because there was no economic activity to be regulated.

I may have missed something somewhere, but it's late and I'm gonna crash. Take care.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 12:00:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By alaman:
Lincoln will burn in Hell throughout eternity for his crimes.

Jefferson helpled write the Constitution. He would know if a state could seceede. Also, go check out what the states thought about giving up power. Read the 9th and 10 Amendments. Lincoln destroyed those.



Lincoln will burn in hell for freeing millions of slaves? Wow.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 12:43:19 AM EDT
I don't have a dog in this fight, but:



Originally Posted By OrionSix:
<snip>

First, the Great Centralizer - my response is so what? Does anyone really think of themselves as a Californian or New Yorker or Texan beofre they think of themselves as an American?



Yes, I do think of myself as Texan first.



Sure the founding fathers surely envisioned less of of a centralized government, but they also never envisioned the steam engine, the uatomobile, aircraft, telephones, and the internet. All things that bind us togehter. We benefit from uniformity of laws and systems that regulate us.
<snip>



That's pretty much the gun grabbers' argument. It amazes me that so many people who are willing to enjoy what few constitutional rights we have left are willing to wipe their ass with the rest of the document.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:03:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By alaman:
Lincoln will burn in Hell throughout eternity for his crimes.

Jefferson helpled write the Constitution. He would know if a state could seceede. Also, go check out what the states thought about giving up power. Read the 9th and 10 Amendments. Lincoln destroyed those.


Lincoln will burn in hell for freeing millions of slaves? Wow.


guardian,

I obviously cannot speak for alaman, but I don't think that was exactly what he was saying.

First let me state, though, that alaman appears to open with a faulty premise, and you [appear to] go down the same road. Let me explain:

"Lincoln will burn in Hell throughout eternity for his crimes."

One cannot burn in Hell for breaking "Man's Law". "God's Law" is another story entirely (obviously, one's agreement/disagreement will be predicated on his/her belief system). To not be "guilty" of opening with a false premise, alaman MUST HAVE been referring to transgressions against "God's Law". The act of freeing slaves does not, in my estimation, violate God's Law, so alaman LIKELY wasn't stating that Lincoln would burn in Hell for freeing millions of slaves.

Just to think this completely through, however, someone who believed that Lincoln DID violate God's Law by freeing the slaves might base that belief on their reading of "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's". Much like the taxes/coins in Jesus' example did not legally belong to him (rather, to Caesar), the slaves did not belong to Lincoln (i.e. they were not his to release, which could be construed as "theft" [violative of both Man's and God's Law]). Personally, I think it's a stretch, but it's the only thing that came to mind to support that angle (and I didn't want to put TOO much thought into it).

The question of whether Lincoln violated Man's Law throught his life and presidency should be much easier to establish, however. I just don't think that burning in Hell should be the penalty for that.

So, before going any further, we wouldn need alaman to explain exactly what types of crimes Lincoln will burn in Hell for.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:10:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 53vortec:
<snip>
Yes, I do think of myself as Texan first.


You know, I don't believe that's so different from how the Founders saw themselves. Further, speaking completely off the top of my head (i.e. no research), I would guess that this sentiment prevailed into (and, in many cases, THROUGH) the Civil War era. Might that have even played a part in Lee's decision to be "a Virginian first, and an American second"? I would even hazard the guess that this whole "American first" sentiment may have been an artifact of Reconstruction.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:18:45 AM EDT
Letter from Lincoln to Albert Hodges
A. G. Hodges, Esq

Frankfort,Ky.

My dear Sir: You ask me to put in writing the substance of what I verbally said the other day, in your presence, to Governor Bramlette and Senator Dixon. It was about as follows:

"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act official upon this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I took that I would, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not take the office without taking the oath. Nor was it my view that I might take an oath to get power, and break the oath in using the power. I understood, too, that in ordinary civil administration this oath even forbade me to practically indulge my primary abstract judgment on the moral question of slavery. I had publicly declared this many times, and in many ways. And I aver that, to this day, I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery. I did understand however, that my oath to preserve the constitution to the best of my ability, imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, that government – that nation – of which that constitution was the organic law. Was it possible to lose the nation, and yet preserve the constitution? By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground, and now avow it. I could not feel that, to the best of my ability, I had even tried to preserve the constitution, if, to save slavery, or any minor matter, I should permit the wreck of government, country, and Constitution all together. When, early in the war, Gen. Fremont attempted military emancipation, I forbade it, because I did not then think it an indispensable necessity. When a little later, Gen. Cameron, then Secretary of War, suggested the arming of the blacks, I objected, because I did not yet think it an indispensable necessity. When, still later, Gen. Hunter attempted military emancipation, I again forbade it, because I did not yet think the indispensable necessity had come. When, in March, and May, and July 1862 I made earnest, and successive appeals to the border states to favor compensated emancipation, I believed the indispensable necessity for military emancipation, and arming the blacks would come, unless averted by that measure. They declined the proposition; and I was, in my best judgment, driven to the alternative of either surrendering the Union, and with it, the Constitution, or of laying strong hand upon the colored element. I chose the latter. In choosing it, I hoped for greater gain than loss; but of this, I was not entirely confident. More than a year of trial now shows no loss by it in our foreign relations, none in our home popular sentiment, none in our white military force, — no loss by it any how or any where. On the contrary, it shows a gain of quite a hundred and thirty thousand soldiers, seamen and laborers. These are palpable facts, about which, as facts, there can be no caviling. We have the men; and we could not have had them without the measure.

["]And now let any Union man who complains of the measure, test himself by writing down in one line that he is for subduing the rebellion by force of arms; and in the next, that he is for taking these hundred and thirty thousand men from the Union side, and placing them where they would be but for the measure he condemns. If he can not face his case so stated, it is only because he can not face the truth.["]

I add a word which was not in the verbal conversation. In telling this tale I attempt no compliment to my own sagacity. I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Now, at the end of three years struggle the nation’s condition is not what either party, or any man devised, or expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new cause to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God. Yours truly

A. Lincoln
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:21:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 53vortec:
I don't have a dog in this fight, but:



Originally Posted By OrionSix:
<snip>

First, the Great Centralizer - my response is so what? Does anyone really think of themselves as a Californian or New Yorker or Texan beofre they think of themselves as an American?



Yes, I do think of myself as Texan first.




See I can't relate to that. Texas is no different from any other state despsite what the tourism office puts out; their is no Texas ethnicity and anyone can become a "TExan." All you have to do is move there. I note also that you have posted elsewhere on the board you ahve served in Iraq for 18 months +. If you look at your left hand pocket on your DCU's it says U.S. - - - not Texas; the oath you took was to the UNited States - not just Texas.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:47:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2005 8:55:36 AM EDT by 53vortec]

Originally Posted By OrionSix:

Originally Posted By 53vortec:
I don't have a dog in this fight, but:



Originally Posted By OrionSix:
<snip>

First, the Great Centralizer - my response is so what? Does anyone really think of themselves as a Californian or New Yorker or Texan beofre they think of themselves as an American?



Yes, I do think of myself as Texan first.




See I can't relate to that. Texas is no different from any other state despsite what the tourism office puts out; their is no Texas ethnicity and anyone can become a "TExan." All you have to do is move there. I note also that you have posted elsewhere on the board you ahve served in Iraq for 18 months +. If you look at your left hand pocket on your DCU's it says U.S. - - - not Texas; the oath you took was to the UNited States - not just Texas.



Well, there is no sense in trying to argue something you don't believe exists. I will say I am a 6th generation Texan (paternally), and my family taught me to be proud of that. If you don't believe that various subcultures exist withing the confines of a single nations borders, I don't know what to tell you.

And FYI- I'm over here as a contractor, no DCUs.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:06:46 PM EDT
I did not say different sub-cultures don't exist. I know that there are ones around the nation; which makes our country so interesting. I know that I need to pull my hat down a little lower, and buy my pants a little longer. (See I listen to Lyle Lovett - )

I am not questioning your family history or the cutlure thereof; I am discussing political divisions and the imnportance thereof. The conditions pre-Civil WAr were a great deal more "tribal" - as if the people of Maryland and Viriginia had any meanigful differences. The Strength of Union does not mean regional cultures are not important.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:22:36 PM EDT
Ok, here we go again... The Civil War Topc (tm)...

POINT: The right side DID win the war. Period.

The war was about weather we ere a collection of allied nations, or one nation indivisible. If you think the wrong side won the war, think of all that the US has accomplished in the world, and REALISTICALLY think about how we could have raised the armies that won the first & second world wars, & built the economic & military juggernaut that toppled Communisim with the 'state first' attitude that existed before the Civil War...

The US is what it is today BECAUSE we solved the southern question... Our economic and military might would NOT have been achievable otherwise (immagine when they started the draft for WWI and later WWII, a few pro-isolation states deciding to secede? Immagine if every tough political debate in our history since 1860 was resolved with 'Pfft, We'll take our ball & go home?' Immagine all that the US did being done without the southern half of the nation?

Just think for a minute...

Personally, I'd rather live in the most powerful, economically prosperous country on the face of the earth - the country responsible for everything from manned flight to computers to space exploration... That country is far preferable to living in Europe's shadow just to get screwed over by an opressive state government in Madison, Richmond, or similar instead of getting screwed by DC...

Oh, and also look at this bit of history: HISTORICALLY, STATE GOVERNMENTS (BY AND LARGE) HAVE BEEN MORE OPRESSIVE & EVIL THAN THE FEDS EVER WILL BE.

UP THRU THE 60S, YOUR BELOVED STATE GOVERNMENTS INSISTED THAT YOU HAD NO RIGHTS UNDER THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION WHEN DEALING WITH THEM, UNTILL THE FEDERAL SUPREME COURT CORRECTED THEM!
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:57:10 PM EDT
Dave you make excellent points - what many people disregard in their arguments for less Federal Governement pursuant to Amendments IX and X, yet fail to reconnize the US Constitution was not binding on the State Governements till the SCUS said they did; your gun rights are more secure under a Federal interpreation - most state Consitutions, if they have a right to bear arms article, are far more restrictive.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 10:54:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 53vortec:
Yes, I do think of myself as Texan first.



So I take it you have nothing against people from other parts coming here and thinking of themselves as being African, Mexican, Japanese, etc., before they think of themselves as being American?
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 11:16:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Ok, here we go again... The Civil War Topc (tm)...

POINT: The right side DID win the war. Period.



Funny you should bring this point up. I showed this thread to my wife about a week ago, and we discussed this very thing.

Do people *really* want to live in a 21st century where there wasn't an immensely strong United States of America during the 20th century? Even with the mistakes, we as a nation have made, it's chilling to dwell here very much.....
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:31:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By alaman:


Jefferson helpled write the Constitution. He would know if a state could seceede. Also, go check out what the states thought about giving up power. Read the 9th and 10 Amendments. Lincoln destroyed those.





Actually Jeferson was the US Ambassador to France at the time of the Constitutional Convention. He did write to some of the delegates he knew when he heard about it. IIRC, his views on reforming the Articles of Confederation weren`t given much weight. He was seen as a radical dreamer whose ideals didn`t translate into a workable realistic government. And if you remember, Jefferson greatly expanded the powers of the presidency when it suited him with the Louisana purchase. Something not covered in the constitution.
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