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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1101. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:44 PM (#4405910)
If it wasn't about federal hegemony versus states rights, what's the justification for the national government's actions to subdue the rebellion?
   1102. Publius Publicola Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4405913)
This wasn't a compelling argument when applied to blacks, either.


That argument wasn't applicable to blacks.
   1103. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:55 PM (#4405921)
That's just relegating it to the slavery issue again, which you have all sorts of testimony (including Lincoln's) denying that was what the war was about.


I love people who claim the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery (that is what you are saying right?). Without the fundamental disagreement about slavery there was no states rights issue to argue over. The South traitorously rebelled because they saw slavery was going to be forced (slow or quick) out of existence.

Oh and hey ...
Confederate Heritage Month is just beginning. Every year, the seven states of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia and Georgia remember the Lost Cause with proclamations, reenactments and other historical events.
   1104. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4405928)
I love people who claim the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery (that is what you are saying right?)


Try not to be a bigger dumb ass than usual.
   1105. Publius Publicola Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4405929)
If it wasn't about federal hegemony versus states rights, what's the justification for the national government's actions to subdue the rebellion?


The underlying cause of the assertion of states rights by the South was to protect and secure for posterity the institution of slavery. The assertion of national authority by the North was the proximal response to the immediate rebellion. The reason the rebellion occurred when it did was because the first overtly anti-slavery president had just been elected, Lincoln was very firm that any new states would be admitted only as free states. If the South didn't act when they did, then the various territories would have come into the union as free states and the South would have been outnumbered in the senate and would thus lose any vote pertaining to the rights of slaveowners.

There was no other issue related to states rights that would have motivated the South to secede. The assertion that the South was trying to protect their interpretation of the balance of federal vs states powers in favor of the states was put to the lie when the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was voted on. There was no other law that trampled on the principle of states rights so flagrantly as the FSA, and it was instigated via the feverish urging of the southern states because so many slaves were making their way to Canada via the northern states.

edit: Dr. Pepper for BM
   1106. Publius Publicola Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:02 PM (#4405930)
Confederate Heritage Month is just beginning. Every year, the seven states of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia and Georgia remember the Lost Cause with proclamations, reenactments and other historical events.


I wonder if one of the reenactments involves chasing a naked black man through the Georgia swamps with hounds?
   1107. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4405940)
You did not answer my questions. Including:

What was the Union's legal justification for its actions.

People on this site have been exchanging posts for two days on what Lincoln said he was doing.

That the pretext for the assertion of the right was slavery doesn't mean that the Rebel States didn't make a principled assertion that Lincoln and the Union countered.
   1108. SteveF Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4405943)
South to secede


Arguably this is what the war was fought over, though. The right to secede. If the Federal government felt that states had the right to secede, would it matter why those states seceded?
   1109. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:20 PM (#4405951)
Yes.

I'm almost flabbergasted at the lengths some will go to misinterpret and distort a simple proposition.

Whatever the reason--if one side says I can secede and the other says no you can't, what's the political principle at issue? Who's the boss? The Union is absolutely indissoluble/no it isn't: what's the issue? They wanted to keep their slaves, but what was the fundamental principle they based it on?
   1110. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:27 PM (#4405952)
And yet, I come to this.

I whirl the wayback machine and place myself in my doppelganger's 1861 shoes ... and as best as I can imagine how I would feel and decide, knowing *only* what I would know then ... I would have fought for the Union if the South seceded without freeing the slaves and been willing to let the South secede if they freed their slaves (and allowed free movement to the North) first ...

You know, simple acknowledgement of basic human decency and equality and all ...

   1111. Mefisto Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4405955)
God these claims about the Lost Cause are tiresome. From the MS Declaration of Secession:

"In the momentous step, which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin...."

From GA's: "The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery...."

TX: "Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery - the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits - a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slaveholding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them? ..."

Enough.

   1112. GregD Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4405958)
That's just relegating it to the slavery issue again, which you have all sorts of testimony (including Lincoln's) denying that was what the war was about.
Without getting into the entire argument, on this Lincoln was pretty clear:

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

--from the Second Inaugural Address

He certainly believed the war was fought over the power that slavery exerted over the nation. As did Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens, of course. And almost everyone else who spoke and wrote before 1865. After 1865, stories changed rapidly.

Now, the proximate cause was not so much statements of secession secession (which Lincoln was willing to pretend hadn't happened) as an assault upon a federal fort in Charleston Bay. The federal government did--as it would today--respond with as much force as it could muster. In turn other states joined the rebels. That doesn't mean the cause of the war was control over Fort Sumter. Nor the secession statements.

The cause of the war was the Confederate states' unwillingness to accede to normal democratic processes and deal with a president duly elected and instead to try to rewrite the election through fighting. Nothing surprising about this; most civil wars have a proximate cause of a disputed election. But most civil wars aren't at heart about that election; the election is disputed because the outcome seems to matters so much because deeper issues ride on it.
   1113. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4405962)
Jolly--if you're still reading the thread and feel like opining, how would you go about selling something like a thousand books on a variety of subjects, the bulk of which books on abebooks list for between five and fifteen bucks, with a fair number selling for three bucks and a few for fifty to a hundred each.

I invited a used book dealer with a place a mile from here by but he wanted to skim the best for a small fraction of their price on abe, wasn't interested in the rest, and dropped each of the ones he was interested in on the floor from chest height. Not sure what he hoped to accomplish other than a hasty exit...

Does one list on abe, or craigslist, or ebay...? Or, since these aren't especially popular works, is it the kind of situation where after listing everything, a year later you can expect to have sold off 53 of 950 books and made something like four hundred bucks?

Not to be cheap, but it also occurred to me to donate the bulk of them that go for $5 or less to my local library for their book sale so that what remains doesn't take over my house and that it's sorta worth it to do the work of selling the rest. If I can pick up 3 grand over a couple of years I don't mind putting in some time. If it's the kind of deal, though, where you end up making three bucks an hour I'll have to pass.

Any thoughts?


btw, I've earmarked half an hour later tonight for La Jetee. Very excited at the prospect, and should have watched it a couple of decades ago.
   1114. Publius Publicola Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4405971)
Arguably this is what the war was fought over, though.


Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The issue was slavery. The South tried to form their own government so they could preserve slavery before politics overtook them. If they were truly interested in establishing the right to secede, they could have taken their case before the Supreme Court and also taken steps to negotiate with the federal government about their leaving. Instead, the bombarded a federal fort and raided federal arsenals for arms to be used against their fellow Americans. That doesn't sound like the efforts of a people who felt they were on firm legal ground.
   1115. Publius Publicola Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:57 PM (#4405972)
They wanted to keep their slaves, but what was the fundamental principle they based it on?


Greed buttressed by bizarre racial theories.
   1116. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4405976)
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.


Are you claiming that those in favor of secession made no constitutional argument to justify secession and rebellion based on the compact between the Union and the States?
   1117. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4405978)
Boy, but you are really straining to evade the obvious. And the point is a legal/constitutional argument was made vindicating secession, which was countered with a pro-Union one. This was not resolvable and led to war. One side one, and that should have legal effect. That's my point from the beginning.

   1118. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4405980)
Try not to be a bigger dumb ass than usual.


Gosh no one has ever used sarcasm and overstated a point for effect, so I can see how you would make that mistake. Oops.

(Yes this is more sarcasm, just so you detect it)

I'm almost flabbergasted at the lengths some will go to misinterpret and distort a simple proposition.


Well I was addressing the really wrong part about slavery not being the central issue/cause of the Civil War.

Whatever the reason--if one side says I can secede and the other says no you can't, what's the political principle at issue? Who's the boss? The Union is absolutely indissoluble/no it isn't: what's the issue? They wanted to keep their slaves, but what was the fundamental principle they based it on?


As others have said it is not that hard. The South openly rebelled, declared it, fired on Federal soldiers, and so on. The political principle was from the North - no you don't get to pick up your ball and stomp home. From the South it was - slavery is important and we can see it ending.

Legal principle? Ummm gee using Federal force to stop them. Was it "legal" to do so? Was the South (or any state) legally allowed to up and leave? If those are your questions, then why not ask that? IANAL but it has always seemed like a grey area to me, one that the Civil War settled fairly effectively I think.
   1119. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4405982)
Boy, but you are really straining to evade the obvious. And the point is a legal/constitutional argument was made vindicating secession, which was countered with a pro-Union one. This was not resolvable and led to war. One side one, and that should have legal effect. That's my point from the beginning.


It was not a legal argument that led to war. The legal argument was one step along the way, but it was only a single small step. Thinking otherwise is a bit myopic.
   1120. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4405989)
The legal/constitutional argument was the stated justification for both sides actions. One side said it meant they could secede; the other said it didn't. Since the one side lost, we should be able to say that the national government primes state government. We don't go back to viewing the constitution as it was seen in 1787.

   1121. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:21 PM (#4405990)
The South openly rebelled, declared it, fired on Federal soldiers, and so on. The political principle was from the North - no you don't get to pick up your ball and stomp home. From the South it was - slavery is important and we can see it ending.


And?

"And we can opt out." That's how you have to finish your quote. They claimed to not be bound by the compact establishing the existing form of government. And the other side said yes you are. That's the political-legal principle at issue, which the war decided. Which, as here, so many want to ignore the implications to the structural nature of the compact.

EDITED for clarity.
   1122. Morty Causa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:38 PM (#4406001)
You do things for a reason. Miller's Crossing. And it helps if you have one and can explain it in broader, overarching terms. The slave states may have thought they had reasons for slavery, good reasons (personal, religious, economic, tribal), but they also expressed a legal-constitutional basis for why besides all that they could maintain their slavery system as a matter of governmental principle. Or rather why the national government did not have the right to dictate to them one way or the other. Not just because it was in the constitution, but because it was a matter of federalism and the national government was not given the power trump them on this, or on any other issue. And even more importantly, that they could opt out of the national arrangement at will. They were not encumbered to stay in the compact if they didn't want to. It is not enough that we get our way. We want you to see we are right in some larger way. This was the Rebel States way. The issue wrt slavery is no longer viable. The issue as to national hegemony is. Why?
   1123. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4406008)
Jolly--if you're still reading the thread and feel like opining, how would you go about selling something like a thousand books on a variety of subjects, the bulk of which books on abebooks list for between five and fifteen bucks, with a fair number selling for three bucks and a few for fifty to a hundred each.

Selling books on abe involves setting up an account and paying a monthly fee. Judging from how you're describing your books, I wouldn't recommend it. Amazon takes a bigger percentage, but I don't think you have to pay any monthly fees. My former manager sells on Amazon, and he's tighter with a buck than almost anyone I know. Abebooks is really much more about selling fairly large number of truly sought after and collectible books, with the likeliest success coming from either the best possible copy or the cheapest possible copy.

I invited a used book dealer with a place a mile from here by but he wanted to skim the best for a small fraction of their price on abe, wasn't interested in the rest, and dropped each of the ones he was interested in on the floor from chest height. Not sure what he hoped to accomplish other than a hasty exit...

A fair wholesale price for a book depends on the relative scarcity of the book in comparable condition (including the condition of the dust jacket). A good rule of thumb would be about a third of the lowest comparable abebooks price. Don't forget that many or most of those books are likely to sit there for years if they're not priced below all the other comparable copies.

Does one list on abe, or craigslist, or ebay...? Or, since these aren't especially popular works, is it the kind of situation where after listing everything, a year later you can expect to have sold off 53 of 950 books and made something like four hundred bucks?

Not to be cheap, but it also occurred to me to donate the bulk of them that go for $5 or less to my local library for their book sale so that what remains doesn't take over my house and that it's sorta worth it to do the work of selling the rest. If I can pick up 3 grand over a couple of years I don't mind putting in some time. If it's the kind of deal, though, where you end up making three bucks an hour I'll have to pass.

Any thoughts?


Without knowing specifics about titles and dust jackets**, it's hard to say for sure, but not knowing anything more, I'd say donate any book where any comparable copy on abe or Amazon is listed for $10 or less, unless it's the only copy.

Oh, and don't even begin to think about trying to sell paperbacks, unless they're either collectible older sci-fi or Hammett/Chandler type books in perfect first PB editions, or some more recent academic title with a $30.00 list price and few copies up there already. About the only way you'll make money selling any other PBs is on the shipping charge.

One other method that might work if you're in a large metro area: Garage sale or estate sale, but only if you would expect to get at least a dozen or so serious browsers and if you were willing to price the great bulk of your books at a dollar for hardbacks and 50 cents or less for paperbacks. The used book market has pretty much collapsed in price for anything but the scarcest of titles, and the sort of people garage sales attract are mostly looking to steal, meaning paying no more than two dollars for nearly any book ever published.

**With collectible books published after about 1920 or 1925, dust jackets aren't everything, they're pretty much the only thing. And BTW contrary to what a lot of people apparently think, 98% of the books published after about 1900 and close to 100% of those published after 1910 were issued with dust jackets. But up to about 50 years ago dust jackets were considered tacky by the interior decorator crowd***, and many thousands of people wound up throwing away a small fortune that they could have passed on to their children.

***There's a great scene in Elias Canetti's Auto-da-Fe where a crazed scholar exhibits a similar mentality by turning all his books' spines inward, so as not to create "ranks of distinction" among his collection, which he wanted to remain classless.

EDIT: About ebay: I did very well there after I closed my shop selling first editions of early Asimov in nice dust jackets, but other than semi-cultish categories such as scarce and collectible sci-fi, fantasy and older mystery fiction, I wouldn't recommend it. If you do consider it, first look up what other copies have actually sold for, and note what percentage of completed listings didn't sell at any price.
   1124. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4406017)
But up to about 50 years ago dust jackets were considered tacky by the interior decorator crowd***, and many thousands of people wound up throwing away a small fortune that they could have passed on to their children.


Couldn't one argue that it was because those dust jackets were thrown away that they are valuable now, and if many thousands of people didn't throw them away, they wouldn't be worth a small fortune?
   1125. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 06, 2013 at 04:22 AM (#4406039)
Jolly--Many thanks for such a thorough response. That's an enormous help. A little discouraging, but an enormous help nonetheless.

That's interesting, about dust jackets. Is that only true for collectors, though? I'm not one, and while I'd rather have the jacket than not, I buy for pleasure, or information, and if the last book I bought used, Anatomy for the Artist, was available only without the jacket, I would have shrugged and paid my 25 bucks. Or, if it was 30 with the jacket and 25 without, I would have similarly shrugged and thought, gee, five bucks for the jacket is a bit of an indulgence. All of that's a long-winded way of saying, does anyone other than a fairly serious collector pay much attention to dust jackets? What's the "pull", by the way?

I saw a ton of paperbacks on abebooks for $3.99 with free shipping. I imagine they're shipped at the cheapest rate if you don't specify, meaning that the seller is still making three bucks on a lot of books, even the cheapest. (Other common paperbacks go for variations of 3.99, such as 1.25 for the book, plus 2.74 for the shipping. I don't really want to make 3 bucks at a time, though.) It doesn't sound like I'd do well there, though, given how comparatively few titles I have. I'll give amazon a try, as you suggest. Maybe with the cheap paperbacks I'll try listing them for a month or two on the paperback swap website and see if I can turn them into some good, new reads.

Btw, when someone in the business says paperback, they don't mean mass market and trade paperback, do they? I always thought those were separate categories.

by turning all his books' spines inward,


I say a very large bookshelf set up this way. It's a bit startling on first sight. The spines were visible from the other side of the open bookcase, but seeing all that white paper when first entering the room was interesting and much commented on (it was a housewarming party).
   1126. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 06, 2013 at 05:32 AM (#4406044)
Morty, speaking of westerns of the 1960s, are you familiar with This Man Can't Die ?

I've never seen it, but the topic came up a couple of days ago, and this review makes it seem promising:

http://www.theaceblackblog.com/2013/04/movie-review-this-man-cant-die-1968.html?utm_source=BP_recent&utm-medium=gadget&utm_campaign=bp_recent
   1127. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 06, 2013 at 05:38 AM (#4406045)
clueless about practically everything.

You should really add that to your handle...
   1128. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: April 06, 2013 at 07:19 AM (#4406049)
How can I get rid of some of my books?

The question of selling or donating used books comes up pretty often on Ask Metafilter. Search through their archives and see if there's anything more relevant, but what I've picked up on (without having ever gone through the process myself) is: outside of those handful of books you think might have some real value, I wouldn't expect to get anything out of the rest (besides disappointment and the loss of time).
   1129. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 06, 2013 at 08:23 AM (#4406053)
But up to about 50 years ago dust jackets were considered tacky by the interior decorator crowd***, and many thousands of people wound up throwing away a small fortune that they could have passed on to their children.

Couldn't one argue that it was because those dust jackets were thrown away that they are valuable now, and if many thousands of people didn't throw them away, they wouldn't be worth a small fortune?


Sure, and you'd be right. Pristine dust jackets on first printings of The Great Gatsby or The Souls of Black Folk are the book collector's equivalent of a PSA-9 Honus Wagner T-206 or a PSA-10 Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps. The fact that virtually nobody took any particular interest in dust jackets up until recent decades is the main reason that the few surviving examples on certain high demand titles command such a high price today.**

OTOH there is this one difference: In the case of dust jackets, I've never heard anyone blame their disappearance on their mothers.

**One memorable example of a non-collector who didn't throw away jackets and profited from it was the late Marxist historian Herbert Aptheker, who in the 90's had literally thousands of books on black history and literature out in San Jose, going back to the early 20th century. It took me two separate cross-country trips and about 10 days of going through them to finish the job, but at the end we both wound up making a ton of money, I wound up with dozens of new titles for my personal collection, and the word-of-mouth advertising alone I got from the collection gave my shop two of the best years it ever had. But without those dust jackets, the effect would have been nowhere near as noticeable.

---------------------------------------------------

Jolly--Many thanks for such a thorough response. That's an enormous help. A little discouraging, but an enormous help nonetheless.

Glad to help, and better to learn the truth before wasting too much time chasing a will-o-wisp.

That's interesting, about dust jackets. Is that only true for collectors, though? I'm not one, and while I'd rather have the jacket than not, I buy for pleasure, or information, and if the last book I bought used, Anatomy for the Artist, was available only without the jacket, I would have shrugged and paid my 25 bucks. Or, if it was 30 with the jacket and 25 without, I would have similarly shrugged and thought, gee, five bucks for the jacket is a bit of an indulgence. All of that's a long-winded way of saying, does anyone other than a fairly serious collector pay much attention to dust jackets?

At the point of original purchase, God yes, or else no publisher would ever include them, and retailers would lose one of their main display features. And as a used book dealer, unless a book was in high demand and had spine lettering so bright that it was virtually neon, the only way I'd ever buy a jacketless book for resale would have been if the title were one that seldom came up on the open market.

The reason? It's not just the big price difference, in the case of an open shop it's the visibility factor, and the fact that on a non-fiction book there's often a vast array of information contained on the DJ flap that can act as the book's best salesman. I used to pride myself on my ability to give a coherent summary of a great percentage of the non-fiction books in my shop, but Jonathan Yardley I'm not, and anyway, I wasn't always there on the spot when a book was being pulled off the shelf for purchase consideration. At that point, the dust jacket often meant the difference between a sale and a non-sale, and not just for a collector.

What's the "pull", by the way?

Not sure what you mean by that.


Btw, when someone in the business says paperback, they don't mean mass market and trade paperback, do they? I always thought those were separate categories.

Most dealers I know only say "hardback" and "paperback", but in reality they do make that distinction. In my case I'd price 95% of my mass market PB's between $1 and $2, whereas with the trade PB's it was more like between about $2 and $6, depending on demand and my subjective opinion of a title's quality. Some dealers just price all paperbacks at half the list price with a set minimum, but I always found that to be a stupid way of selling, when two copies of the same book that were published 50 years apart can have an original price that ranges from 25 cents to 25 dollars, depending on the edition.

EDIT: That Metafilter link of Doris's is worth a look. Some good advice there.
   1130. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4406058)
Confederate Heritage Month is just beginning. Every year, the seven states of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia and Georgia remember the Lost Cause with proclamations, reenactments and other historical events.


Interesting, at least to me, that South Carolina, of all places, isn't on that list. Or maybe every month is Confederate Heritage Month over there.

Neither is my home state of Arkansas, of course. We weren't a major player in the war (not that Texas was, either), & there are parts that aren't really Southern, anyway. (Which doesn't apply to where I'm from; the Louisiana border was about 20 miles away.)

Again, though, Texas (which starts 35 miles away from my hometown) is just putting on airs here. I'd be mildly surprised if BDC doesn't agree.
   1131. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4406067)
Morty, speaking of westerns of the 1960s, are you familiar with This Man Can't Die ?


No, I'm not.
   1132. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:51 AM (#4406069)
Or maybe every month is Confederate Heritage Month over there.

I dunno, let's run that idea up the flagpole...
   1133. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4406070)
The legal argument wasn't the cause of the rebellion, it was the after-the-fact justification. In almost every lawsuit -- even, say, an auto accident -- there might be a dispute about some point of law. But that legal issue didn't cause the lawsuit, the accident did.
   1134. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4406087)
It isn't just "legal". It's LEGAL and political and constitutional and in a philosophical governmental sense.

No, it was the before the fact justification. The dissolubility of the Union (or not) was an issue from the very beginning of the United States of America. When Andrew Jackson, very much a slaveowner, threatened to go to South Carolina and hang every would-be secessionist, what was that about? Slavery cannot be segregated from the issue of the integrity of the Union. And the Civil War settled that issue (or so it was supposed to have).

Let me ask you: is abortion about the right to kill fetuses or is about freedom from government interfering with a woman's bodily reproductive functions? Or can the two not be intellectually separated from each other?

But, anyway, that does not address my point. Subsidiary or supervening principle, pretextual or essential principle, that issue (hegemony) was decided by that war, or should have been, so why did we and our institutions go back to claiming that the national government didn't prime States Rights?
   1135. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4406088)
Are you claiming that those in favor of secession made no constitutional argument to justify secession and rebellion based on the compact between the Union and the States?


Of course not. The South made a lot of silly arguments to rationalize their attempt to withdraw from the Union. For instance, they also made the argument that what they were doing was the same as what the Founding Fathers did during the Revolutionary period, which is an absurd comparison. The motto of the American Revolution was "No taxation without representation". The Southern states were actually overrepresented in Congress and had controlled the presidency for much of the ante bellum period. But that isn't the argument we're having. The argument isn't about what rationalizations each side put forth to wage war on the other. The argument is about what the genuine underlying cause of the conflict was. And that cause, for the South, was the protection by the slaveowning plutocracy of the South of their slave property. Here's a quote from Grant's (Grant, who was as clear-eyed about the whole mess as anybody was) memoir:

THE CAUSE of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery. For some years before the war began it was a trite saying among some politicians that “A state half slave and half free cannot exist.” All must become slave or all free, or the state will go down. I took no part myself in any such view of the case at the time, but since the war is over, reviewing the whole question, I have come to the conclusion that the saying is quite true. 1
Slavery was an institution that required unusual guarantees for its security wherever it existed; and in a country like ours where the larger portion of it was free territory inhabited by an intelligent and well-to-do population, the people would naturally have but little sympathy with demands upon them for its protection. Hence the people of the South were dependent upon keeping control of the general government to secure the perpetuation of their favorite restitution. They were enabled to maintain this control long after the States where slavery existed had ceased to have the controlling power, through the assistance they received from odd men here and there throughout the Northern States. They saw their power waning, and this led them to encroach upon the prerogatives and independence of the Northern States by enacting such laws as the Fugitive Slave Law. By this law every Northern man was obliged, when properly summoned, to turn out and help apprehend the runaway slave of a Southern man. Northern marshals became slave-catchers, and Northern courts had to contribute to the support and protection of the institution.
This was a degradation which the North would not permit any longer than until they could get the power to expunge such laws from the statute books. Prior to the time of these encroachments the great majority of the people of the North had no particular quarrel with slavery, so long as they were not forced to have it themselves. But they were not willing to play the role of police for the South in the protection of this particular institution.


I love Grant. He gets right to the heart of the matter.

It's really astonishing that otherwise intelligent people on this board have swallowed hook, line and sinker the propagandistic and revisionist version of that period of history the Daughters of the Confederacy have stuffed into the history books of the southern states. No reputable historian agrees with it yet there it is, in all the history books. I grew up in one of the northern states and even there, I had a history teacher tell us it was about states rights. What bullshit.

As long as we're on historians, I promised I would deconstruct the views of Shelby Foote- faux historian, rebellion apologist and petite racist. I am repeating below excerpts of 2 separate interviews Foote conducted- one in the companion book to Burns mini-series and the other in 1999 as part of the Acacemy of Achievement series. I am doing this because I think his quotes illuminate how effective the Daughters of the Confederacy have been in distorting the instruction of history in large swaths of the country, and how that distortion has brainwashed a large number of our countrymen, a few of them who are posting in this very thread:

Interviewer: For you, what are the great lessons of the Civil War?

Shelby Foote: This country has two great sins on its very soul. One is slavery, which we'll never get out of our history and our conscience and everything else, the marrow of our bones. The other one is emancipation. They told four million people, "You are free. Hit the road." Two-thirds of them couldn't read or write. Very few of them had any trade except farming, and they went back into a sharecropper system that closely resembled peonage. I'm not saying emancipation is a sin, for God's sakes, and I'm not saying there shouldn't have been emancipation, but it should have been an emancipation that brought those people into society without all these handicaps on their head. And that now, my black friends, they are tremendously protective about slavery. They don't want to hear the word. The opposite of the Jews, who are very proud of coming out of Egypt. And it was this short-circuiting, of instant emancipation, that certainly was a good thing, but it had a very bad effect on them.

I mean, wow. Blacks don't want to hear about slavery. Emancipation should have been done better. Yeah, and your ancestors worked as hard as they could to make sure that didn't happen. You ever hear of the KKK, Shelby?

Interviewer: Why did Americans kill each other in such great numbers?

Foote: ...Southerners saw the election of Lincoln as a sign that the Union was about to be radicalized and they were about to be taken in directions they did not care to go. The abolitionist aspect of it was very strong and they figured they were about to lose what they called their property, and faced ruin.
Southerners would have told you they were fighting for self-government. hey believed that the gathering of power in Washington was against them. Another important thing historically is that when they entered into that federation they certainly would never have entered into it if they hadn't believed it would be possible to get out. And when the time came when they wanted to get out, they thought they had every right.
Of course, they say wars never settle anything- but that business about secession was settled by that war.


Notice he uses the word "property" instead of slavery. Shelby has a problem saying the word slavery throughout this interview, or acknowledging that the slaves might have rights too that his side was denying to them. And the claim that the the southern states took for granted at the time they ratified the constitution that they could withdraw any time later is just absurd. That's a post facto rationalization. You can't have a Union if its members are jumping in and out and in again like Mexican beans. There was no language of secession in the Constitution, and for good reason. At least he does acknowledge here, in an elliptical way, that slavery was the basis of the conflict. It just must have slipped out, as you will see later in the interview.

Interviewer: Did the soldiers on both sides really know what they were fighting for?

Foote: Early in the war, a union squad closed in on a sigle ragged Confederate. He didn't own any slaves and he obviously didn't have much interest in the Constitution or anything else. And they asked him, "What are you fighting for anyhow?" And he said "And he said, "I'm fighting because you're down here." Which is a pretty satisfactory answer. Lincoln had the much more difficult job of sending men out to shoot up somebody else's home. He had to unite them before he could do that, and his way of doing it was twofold. One was to say the Republic must be preserved, not split in tow. That was one. And the other he gave them as a cause: the freeing of the slaves.

Several things here: the sense of victimhood, forgetting that the Southerners were the ones who wanted the war, who invited the fight by firing the first shots. "Shooting up somebody else's home". Boo ####### hoo, Shelby. Then also forgetting that the soldier he is talking about is anecdotal, was probably conscripted, and had not choice. And that when he was found, he might have been trying to desert, and many Confederate soldiers did.

Interviewer: Let's talk about people.

Bedford Forrest's granddaughter lived here in Memphis. She recently died and I got to know her and she even let me swing the general's saber around my head once, which gave me a great treat. And I thought a long time and I called her and said: "I think the war produced two authentic geniuses. One of them was your grandfather. The other was Abraham Lincoln." And there was a silence at the other end of the phone. And she said, "Well, you know, in our family we never thought much of of Mr. Lincoln." She didn't like my coupling of her grandfather with Abraham Lincoln all these years later. Southerners are very strange about the war.



Yes they are, Shelby. And you're one of the strangest. Forrest a genius? What the #### did Forrest ever do that would demonstrate genius? He was a sociopath, a murderer and a virulent racist. Here's what Forrest said about the Ft. Pillow massacre, when his men bayoneted surrendering negro soldiers: "The river was dyed with the blood of the slaughtered for 200 yards. It is hoped that these facts will demonstrate to the northern people that negro soldiers cannot cope with southerners." If anyone should have been hung on the Confederate side for war crimes, I think my choice would be Forrest.

Interviewer: It sounds like the beginning of the Lost Cause. What is the Lost Cause?

Foote: The Lost Cause is the Confederacy. It is referred to as the Lost Cause. On the Confederate monument in my hometown of Greenville, Mississippi, the Confederacy is referred to as the only nation that was ever born and died without a sin having been committed on its part. And a lot of people have that view of it. Lost things are always prized very highly.
But those people command our sympathy. The South conducted itself bravely in an extremely difficult situation. many of the things we're proudest of in the American character were exemplified in the southern soldier, for instance. We take a justifiable pride in the bravery of thoise men, north and south.


Again, wow. The Confederacy never committed sin. The Confederacy was founded on a sin- the sin of slavery. And I don't think black southerners feel very badly about having lost anything. Foote makes this omission over and over again- not considering the welfare or attituded of the 4 million slaves in the south, who were just as southern as he was.















   1136. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4406089)
Interviewer: So who won the war?

Foote: I can tell you who lost it- the South lost the war. But I'm not sure anybody lost that war. It's a tragedy. Te Centennial was called a celebration that should have been a time of mourning. If anybody won the war, it's people like jay Gould and Jim Fiske, the robber barons of late in the century. That war was once defined in an outrageous way by [the writer] Alan Tate as an attempt on the part of the North to put the South into Arrow collars. That was a joke, but there's some truth to it: the homogenization of our society, and the really cruel follow-through of Reconstruction.
Capitalization went spread-eagle and diversity went out of our life. I think that when the South was defeated to the extent that it was that the whole nation lost something when they lsot that civilization, despite the enormous stain of slavery...
On the face of it, the North won the war. But the bill for winning was huge in human values, not to mention human lives.


Note that Foote can't quite bring himself to consider the interests of the slaves here. They didn't win anything, Shelby?

"Reconstruction was bad." "The war was all about the greed of the north." Heh. Reconstruction falied to the extent his southern brethren diligently worked to make it fail. Jim Crow. The KKK. The Daughters of the Confederacy.

The Confederacy is dead and buried and good riddance. They offered us nothing but misery and ignorance. All they left behind is the awful legacy of inequality we are still trying to rectify.


The best for last:

Interviewer: So who won the war?

Foote: I can tell you who lost it- the South lost the war. But I'm not sure anybody lost that war. It's a tragedy. Te Centennial was called a celebration that should have been a time of mourning. If anybody won the war, it's people like jay Gould and Jim Fiske, the robber barons of late in the century. That war was once defined in an outrageous way by [the writer] Alan Tate as an attempt on the part of the North to put the South into Arrow collars. That was a joke, but there's some truth to it: the homogenization of our society, and the really cruel follow-through of Reconstruction.
Capitalization went spread-eagle and diversity went out of our life. I think that when the South was defeated to the extent that it was that the whole nation lost something when they lsot that civilization, despite the enormous stain of slavery...
On the face of it, the North won the war. But the bill for winning was huge in human values, not to mention human lives.


Note that Foote can't quite bring himself to consider the interests of the slaves here. They didn't win anything, Shelby?

"Reconstruction was bad." "The war was all about the greed of the north." Heh. Reconstruction falied to the extent his southern brethren diligently worked to make it fail. Jim Crow. The KKK. The Daughters of the Confederacy.

The Confederacy is dead and buried and good riddance. They offered us nothing but misery and ignorance. All they left behind is the awful legacy of inequality we are still trying to rectify.
   1137. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4406093)
When Andrew Jackson, very much a slaveowner, threatened to go to South Carolina and hang every would-be secessionist, what was that about?


Nullification, not secession. But even the nullification dispute, while formally about tariffs, was at heart a defense of slavery.
   1138. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4406096)
You can't be this obtuse. How many ways are y'all going to conjure up to miss the point? The right to opt out or the right to nullify--it all falls within the same point I'm making: who, when the rubber hits the road, is the boss? Should that or shouldn't that have been finally and conclusively and thoroughly decided by the Civil War? Isn't that the overweening meaning in terms of our structure?
   1139. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4406097)
Of course not. The South made a lot of silly arguments to rationalize their attempt to withdraw from the Union.


The states of the South (and the West) continues to make assertions and arguments about State Rights . And it was taken seriously in 1787 and has been ever since. You simply labeling it silly is not an argument against a strain in our body politic that still is very much alive.

We seem to be talking past each other.
   1140. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4406098)
Andrew Jackson was not fooled: he knew what that was about. He looked Calhoun in the eye and said in no uncertain terms: the union, it shall be preserved. This issue and slavery are not mutually exclusive. In fact, slavery is only one example that falls under that umbrella. No one argues for slavery, but the argument that the States in some other matters are sovereign over the national government is very much alive. This has persisted, even though one would think it was literally exploded by the Civil War.
   1141. BDC Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4406101)
Texas (which starts 35 miles away from my hometown) is just putting on airs here. I'd be mildly surprised if BDC doesn't agree

I do agree :) Texas has a strained relationship to the Civil War. Very little of it was fought here, and the little that was is not much remembered or re-enacted. There's lots of historical tourism in Galveston, for instance, one of the few important battlegrounds, but you can spend a week there and never hear about it.

White native Texans are often eager to talk to me about their Unionist ancestors. And I'm sure there are several grains of truth in their accounts. The Red River country was strongly Unionist, as was the German Hill Country. I've encountered little Confederate pride or nostalgia among older Texans. West Texas in particular might as well not even have been in the Confederacy; Unionist Republicans like the Reconstruction governor Edmund J. Davis were often Westerners or Rio Grande Valley people with no Confederate ties at all.

The most visible Texas Confederate monument I've seen is in Mississippi: the Texas Memorial at Vicksburg, which I visited last week.
   1142. BDC Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4406105)
On another of the subthreads here: the Ft Worth Startlegram actually had a large front-page feature a couple of Sundays ago on 21st-century Texas secession possibilities. Several positive indicators were mentioned: we'd be the world's 14th-largest economy, or whatever. And then when you turned to the rest of the story, came the caveats. Something would have to be worked out about Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, for instance (and all the other military bases and contractors). Something would have to be worked out with Mexico about that border everybody worries so much about. Something would have to be worked out about the airlines that use DFW and Houston as hubs for US traffic. And dozens of other problems that quickly relegate all this secession stuff to fantasy.

It was a weird piece, akin to "what if men could suddenly fly?" or "what if every girl suddenly did get a pony?" But the fact that they were running it at all is interesting.
   1143. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4406113)
I think the real question is whether the Confederate States would have attempted to secede over any other issue on which they disagreed with the Union States, and whether Lincoln (or any other President) would have forcibly tried to prevent them, and sacrificed so many lives in the process, if it had been over any other issue. Something tells me no, at least not at that time.
   1144. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4406114)
We seem to be talking past each other.


We're not talking past one another. You just seem incapable of wrapping your brain around the idea that the Civil War was not about slavery instead of States rights, even thought that's the opinion of any historian with any credibility.
   1145. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4406115)
Something tells me no, at least not at that time.


The answer is no, so that something who is telling you is correct.
   1146. spike Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4406116)
The fact that rednecks are the last group that it's okay to make fun of is the reason why they so frequently remain conservative belligerents.

No, it's because rednecks will pay you handsomely to do so - Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy, Lewis Grizzard, Bill Engvall, Ron White - all had a primary constituency of said rednecks, and were well paid by the affected group to further stereotypes about them.
   1147. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4406118)
We're not talking past one another. You just seem incapable of wrapping your brain around the idea that the Civil War was not about slavery instead of States rights, even thought that's the opinion of any historian with any credibility.


You haven't been reading anything I've written, have you? You certainly don't address what I've written.
   1148. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4406119)
You just seem incapable of wrapping your brain around the idea that the Civil War was about slavery instead of States rights


Fixed.
   1149. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4406121)
I think the real question is whether the Confederate States would have attempted to secede over any other issue on which they disagreed with the Union States, and whether Lincoln (or any other President) would have forcibly tried to prevent them, and sacrificed so many lives in the process, if it had been over any other issue. Something tells me no, at least not at that time.


The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions did not address slavery. Jefferson and Madison made a general claim about the rights of states, which, btw, most of the other states explicitly repudiated, and on which score Hamilton wanted the federal government to test Kentucky and Virginia's resolve.
   1150. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4406122)
You haven't been reading anything I've written, have you? You certainly don't address what I've written.


It's been addressed by several people, including me, to the point where it's now ad nauseum.
   1151. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4406123)
You just seem incapable of wrapping your brain around the idea that the Civil War was about slavery instead of States rights


What can it be about both? Why is the one not subsumed in the other?
   1152. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4406124)
It's been addressed by several people, including me, to the point where it's now ad nauseum.


Then you should be able to tell me what is my point, which I've explicitly expressed a number of times.
   1153. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4406126)
What can it be about both? Why is the one not subsumed in the other?


Because the South was uninterested in states rights except where it pertained to slavery, as was also explained and documented ad nauseum above. In fact, the slave states energetically punted away states rights on several occasions when they interfered with the sustenance of their slavocracy.
   1154. Lassus Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4406127)
Then you should be able to tell me what is my point, which I've explicitly expressed a number of times.

The frequency with which multiple people are unable to do so should tell you something, Morty.
   1155. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4406128)
White native Texans are often eager to talk to me about their Unionist ancestors. And I'm sure there are several grains of truth in their accounts. The Red River country was strongly Unionist, as was the German Hill Country. I've encountered little Confederate pride or nostalgia among older Texans.


This is true. Sam Houston, for one, lost everything in defense of the Union. But, bless his lone star heart, he stuck to his guns anyway and remained a staunch Unionist.
   1156. zenbitz Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4406130)
I think that morally - slavery aside - the south had the right to secede from the Union. I think the current 50 states also have that "right" - i.e., the right to self-determination. I don't think they have the *legal* right, but so what. ( I don't believe in Natural Rights... so lower case "right" if you please)

So I guess the moral thing do to in 1861 is to let the south secede, then conquer them as a foreign nation because they are slaveholding bastards? Sort of a bizarre opinion, but consistent.
   1157. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4406131)
1153:

That is not true. Jefferson and Madison argued in reference to the Alien and Sedition Act. And it was a claim made by states on other issues--like interstate commerce. Spamming irrelevancies by Grant and Shelby Foote (noted constitutionalist) is not to the point I made.

You seem to be under the impression that I think that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War. In order to do think my contention excludes slavery, you have to see the think pretty superficially.

Whether you think it's a pretext or not (as I've said ad infinitum), it was still an expressed principle used to justify the rebellion and federal hegemony that should have been discredited by the Civil War, but somehow hasn't been. It now exists in principle as to other issues, as it did with regard to race and other issues before and since. The State Rights issue was the largest impediment to forming the union and to keeping it intact. Why didn't the war resolve that issue?
   1158. The District Attorney Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4406133)
Whoops, heh. I certainly didn't mean to imply that the Civil War wasn't about slavery. Although I believe Lincoln when he says he'd choose the Union over slavery, I think he thought -- correctly -- that that wasn't the choice he was facing. It was no longer an option to have slave states and free states in the same Union, and obviously slavery was not coming to the North.

It wasn't a good example of my point, really, which was that war Presidents have been single-mindedly devoted to the goal of winning the war as quickly as possible with minimal US casualties, sometimes to a fault. FDR and the concentration camps would have been a better example: a President actually deciding that, even though this thing going on is really horrible, we can't prioritize it because it wouldn't directly help win the war. That's a better example than a President saying that, in some hypothetical world under different circumstances, they would have allowed the horrible thing to continue, whereas in the real world, they didn't allow it :-)

If I can psychoanalyze Morty (a very frightening prospect) here, he seems to be endorsing Jubal Early's view of the war so that he can use it to shoot down Bull Connor, which is interesting :-)
   1159. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4406134)
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions did not address slavery.


You will of course note that both of these states were border states with large Unionist constituencies, where it would have caused an internal rebellion had they included the rights of slaveowners in their resolutions. In fact, there was a rebellion in Virginia when the western part of the state broke itself off rather than support a slavocratic rebellion. A rebellion was brewing in Kentucky too but Kentucky was tucked too tightly into the Unionist orbit for anything of note to occur. Grant's taking of Fts. Henry and Donelson sealed the fate of the slavocrats in Kentucky.

And, as far as I understand it, Kentucky never seceded anyway. The South slapped together a fake state legislature to draw up an article of secession but everyone knew it was a sham.
   1160. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4406138)
Jefferson and Madison argued in reference to the Alien and Sedition Act.


Jefferson and Madison were both dead and gone at the time of the Civil War and so had no role in the instigation of the rebellion.

And it was a claim made by states on other issues--like interstate commerce.


All of the differences in interstate commerce had at their root the economic differences that arose as a result of two separate economies- one of slave labor and the other of free labor.

Spamming irrelevancies by Grant and Shelby Foote (noted constitutionalist) is not to the point I made.


Quoting directly from memoirs and interviews is not spam. It's historical fact. Of course, if you are asserting that you are more an authority on the history of the Civil War than Ulysses S Grant, that would make for a separate and interesting conversation.

The State Rights issue was the largest impediment to forming the union and to keeping it intact. Why didn't the war resolve that issue?


It did resolve it. There has been no serious attempt at secession ever since. Just because some batshit southern politicians try to resurrect that corpse from time to time doesn't mean the matter hasn't been settled.
   1161. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4406139)
Why didn't we target the Japanese POW camps. You don't fight a war by attacking incarceration facilities.

Moreover, isn't there dispute as to how much we knew about them--the extent of the atrocities. Certainly, the allied commanding officers seemed shock. Eisenhower expresses his shock and horror in Crusade in Europe (and describes the same with regard to others, including Patton).

Moreover, isn't there a fear that if you start attacking camps, POW camps and others, the foe will not only kill those in them but will start killing prisoners of war it hadn't been killing before?
   1162. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4406142)
Jefferson and Madison were both dead and gone at the time of the Civil War and so had no role in the instigation of the rebellion.


Okay, you can't even consistently miss the point.

It did resolve it. There has been no serious attempt at secession ever since. Just because some batshit southern politicians try to resurrect that corpse from time to time doesn't mean the matter hasn't been settled.


Man, you don't read, do you? I have not been talking only about secession. I've been talking about States Rights, the idea of federalism and dual sovereignty which has been around forever since the beginning. You had a example recently between Arizona and the president on immigration. Why is the idea of the right to federal pre-emption still extant? It's all over the place throughout our culture. Immigration, gun laws, workplace safety--just how blind are you? That you disparage and demean a use of the principle doesn't make the issue go away. Why wasn't the larger constitutional issue dealing with our governmental structure settled with the Civil War?

Get it out your mind that I don't think slavery had anything to do with the Civil War. (I'm the guy who has gone on record as stating maybe we should have occupied the rebellious states like we did Japan.) Whether you think the division of sovereignty embedded in our history has its roots in racism is really beside the point when it comes to our system of government--and whether it was altered by war. The point is there, it is used, and it has to be dealt with.


   1163. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4406143)

I think that morally - slavery aside - the south had the right to secede from the Union. I think the current 50 states also have that "right" - i.e., the right to self-determination.


I used to think that way, but have since come to the opposite conclusion. The fact is that almost from the moment the Union was formed, each state became inextricably bound to all the others.

Take any state -- how about Montana, for purposes of this thought experiment. The territory of Montana was taken from its Native American inhabitants by force of government arms. That same army provided protection to the settlers who moved there. Investors from the other states funded the Great Northern Railway. They funded the Rural Electrification Administration. They funded the interstate highways that cross the state. Out-of-state investment and/or government aid built many of the hydroelectric dams throughout Montana. The other states built the air bases and army bases now in the state. Not including Indian reservations, the federal government owns and manages some 24 million acres, or about 25% of the state. Moreover, the current peace and prosperity of Montana has been ensured by the military and economic power of the United States as a whole and the lives sacrificed by the citizens of other states.

Every citizen of the United States thus has an interest in the territory of Montana, and it would be immoral for Montana to unilaterally liquidate that interest, save in the situation of severe and ongoing oppression of a kind that is not present. The other states could, of course, voluntarily cede their interests in the state of Montana, but that is a method of secession that has never really been challenged -- secession with the approval of the other states. So Montana has the right to ask permission to secede, but doesn't have the right to secede on its own.
   1164. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4406146)
If I can psychoanalyze Morty (a very frightening prospect) here, he seems to be endorsing Jubal Early's view of the war so that he can use it to shoot down Bull Connor, which is interesting :-)


My point has to do with an overarching principle of government--not of personal freedom or individual rights. It's about the nature and system of our arrangement. Since our birth as a nation (during the foreplay period,too) we have agonized about how much goes to Cheech, how much goes to Chong. This was the constitutional dilemma that war should have resolved. Shouldn't it have? Otherwise, the you-can't-tell-us-what-to-do/yes,-we-can dispute to the governmental death doesn't make sense
   1165. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4406147)
The fact is that almost from the moment the Union was formed, each state became inextricably bound to all the others.


Didn't Lincoln say it all when he is supposed to have reproved Meade for allowing Lee to escape with his army after Gettysburg. Meade thought he had done well: "But, Mr. President, we have repelled the invader from out land." Lincoln, disgusted, replied to the effect: don't you get it. It's all our land.

There has always been dispute concerning the nature of the national arrangement. Is it one of parts that can be taken apart, disconstitued, so to speak, or is it like the states are ingredients that went into making a cake. There's not deconstructing a cake.
   1166. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4406148)

The answer is no, so that something who is telling you is correct.

I think it's obvious with respect to the Confederacy's motives. With Lincoln's/the Union's I'm not sure and it's a more interesting question in some ways. If the South had no slaves and attempted to secede over, say, the federal income tax (which I believe only came about at the time because of the Civil War deficits, so I realize this counterfactual wouldn't actually have happened), would there have been a Civil War? Would the Union have kept prosecuting it as long and painfully as it did?
   1167. Greg K Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4406149)
#1163

That's an interesting way of approaching it. Without having put any thought into it yet myself, could similar logic be used to question the legitimacy of the rebellion of the American colonies from the British Empire?

The caveat about oppression perhaps would be the difference?
   1168. The District Attorney Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4406151)
Canadian government question: Has it ever been laid out what exactly would happen if a Quebec secession referendum succeeded? The 1995 referendum was extremely close, so I'm guessing plans must have been made.
   1169. BDC Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4406153)
If the South had no slaves and attempted to secede over, say, the federal income tax

The issues here are very complicated and very interesting. States Rights and the concept of the Union are both complicated things, and as many have said here while arguing over the balance that should be attributed to each, both were strongly entangled with slavery in the antebellum period.

States and parties north and south did disagree over other states' rights issues: "internal improvements" were one of them. The National Road from Maryland to Illinois was controversial (and though it did pass through a sliver of Virginia, probably couldn't have been built entirely in the South, because of resistance there to federally-funded infrastructure. On the other hand, nothing had the potential to break up the Union quite like slavery.

The Gettysburg Address abstractly gets at one issue not necessarily related to slavery, though of course it was in this instance. Can a republic endure? If some of its constituents, individuals or states or counties or whatever, can nullify either laws or elections, then obviously it can't. And as several here have said, this remains a huge issue. Not in idiotic cases like that resolution posted above where some moron legislator wants to declare his state immune from the First Amendment, but in hugely divisive issues like Obamacare's Medicaid provisos. The Civil War still lingers behind such issues, though they don't seem on the face of them to have much to do with slavery, segregation, or race; look at the Medicaid Map for an example. It's not 100% Union vs. Confederacy, but it's hard to look at it and not see the old maps of secessionism still traced on it.
   1170. spike Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4406156)
Because the South was uninterested in states rights except where it pertained to slavery,

Or worse, tried to have it both ways a la the Fugitive Slave Act.
   1171. Greg K Posted: April 06, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4406161)
Canadian government question: Has it ever been laid out what exactly would happen if a Quebec secession referendum succeeded? The 1995 referendum was extremely close, so I'm guessing plans must have been made.

I'm far from an expert, but to my recollection Parizeau and Bouchard planned to move pretty quickly after a "Yes" vote, already having bill ready to go to a vote on establishing a sovereign Quebec, and establishing a Quebec military immediately.

I'm not sure how much a "Yes" vote would have changed Chretien's line...recognizing Quebec as a sovereign state was probably not the first thing on his "post-Yes" to-do list.
   1172. Jay Z Posted: April 06, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4406169)
My point has to do with an overarching principle of government--not of personal freedom or individual rights. It's about the nature and system of our arrangement. Since our birth as a nation (during the foreplay period,too) we have agonized about how much goes to Cheech, how much goes to Chong. This was the constitutional dilemma that war should have resolved. Shouldn't it have? Otherwise, the you-can't-tell-us-what-to-do/yes,-we-can dispute to the governmental death doesn't make sense


Answer how the Fugitive Slave act plays into states rights or STFU.
   1173. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4406172)
KMA.
   1174. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4406173)
#1163

That's an interesting way of approaching it. Without having put any thought into it yet myself, could similar logic be used to question the legitimacy of the rebellion of the American colonies from the British Empire?


#1163 is or course correct, and similar arguments were made at the time of the attempted secession. That's why the rebelling states chose the bellicose path they did, rather than the constitutional one, which they would most certainly have lost. They never had a moral argument, even though they tried to convince people that God made the black man inferior and so slavery was a blessing to him, and so that made the slaveowners altruists. The way the southerners could turn logic and moral philosophy on its head without blushing was truly marvelous.

Man, you don't read, do you? I have not been talking only about secession.


Oh, I've read everything you wrote. You started with a false historic premise, got crushed on it, then tried to zig and zag and evade and change the subject to things like present day immigration issues. If you could just admit you were wrong, and were mouthing Daughters of the Confederacy-inspired historical nonsense you were taught in grammar school, we could all move on to a more substantive discussion. But you seem to be refusing to do that so...
   1175. BDC Posted: April 06, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4406178)
Answer how the Fugitive Slave act plays into states rights or STFU

KMA


Actually, that's not a bad synopsis of the Lincoln/Douglas debates :)

   1176. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4406179)
LOL. Pretty good, BDC.
   1177. GregD Posted: April 06, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4406198)
There are interesting questions about the relationship between actual secession, states' rights, and slavery. As lots of you know, there are different issues involved in the Confederate split.

1) the right of revolution--everyone accepted that any people have a right to try forcibly to revolt (though they should ideally try other means first) but the right of revolution depends entirely upon success in international law such as it existed. Other nations should not recognize revolutionary uprisings until they have power. Lincoln always called the South revolutionary for this reason (though some of his other ways of referring to the South became internally inconsistent.)

2) the legal right to secede--the Confederacy used this because they hoped to declare themselves immediately a nation under international law, without needing the recourse to victory. There's nothing meaningful domestically or constitutionally about a legal right to secede from a nation that doesn't want to let you go. There's no mechanism other than revolution to keep a nation from simply refusing even if a right to secession was unambiguous. And if a nation is willing to let a region go, you don't need a legal right to secede, since you can work it out. So a legal right to secede--domestically--is meaningless. Some of the Republicans (including Chase!) worried that it was constitutionally valid, but none of them thought that mattered in wartime. (The trickier issue would have been if the Confederacy somehow avoided war by leaving federal ports alone but also avoided recognizing the federal government, since that would have left the North fumbling to define exactly what federal superiority had to mean.) The legal right to secede matters essentially for its role in the Confederacy's status in international law--is it an existing nation, or an attempted revolution?

3) the other issues of states' rights that don't reach secession. Here, everything is much more confused, and many Republicans believed ardently in states' rights until you get to nullification and secession. They thought states should make their own common law; they deferred to state licensing that was inconsistent; they worried over how to build national markets without destroying state law and practice. There were a few pure centralizers, but not that many. They wanted a strong national state doing what it needed to do in their view--internal improvements that crossed state lines--but also a wide variance in state practice. State rights endured because the Republicans wanted them to endure; even the 14th and 15th Amendment keep power in the state hands but just give the federal government authority to intervene if a state crosses a threshold. They wanted "voluntary" state acquiescence in civil and voting rights, not a national voting system, for example.


On secession, there's no consistency. Federalists talk secession in the war of 1812; there are always loose talks of western secession at various points. Many Southerners thought secession was constitutionally empty (and strategically foolish) and squashed secession talk in 1848-1851, when a group of fire-eaters tried to build momentum and got demolished (and many never recovered their political influence, even after secession.) There were legal arguments about secession that were interesting and caused some dissension north and south but it was not a pressing issue in and of itself.

At their extreme, states' rights manifested in the South because everyone recognized that state law created slaves, and so state law was crucial for preserving slavery. And slavery sat behind the nullification crisis (as Calhoun said), though not the very early Ky and Va resolutions.

But on federal power, most people were pragmatists. When Democrats had power, Southerners in the 1850s pushed for a massive system of U.S. marshals to override local law and enforce the fugitive slave law, funded a naval buildup to prevent England from cutting off the slave trade to Brazil, and for that matter supported internal improvements where they helped them. Louisiana's planters were, for obvious reasons due to the sugar trade, massively pro-tariff (not the other planters.) Northern anti-slavery people experimented with intense states' rights (personal liberty laws), secession (Garrison) and nullification (Wisconsin's Supreme Court nullified the Fugitive Slave Act) but a core of legal thinkers--Chase, especially--kept them on a nationalist track by arguing the Constitution was anti-slavery in its intent. That faction won the party and then won the White House, which produced a secessionist movement in the South, but there's no consistent states' rights position on either side until the war. It was an interesting question but one where Southerners and Northerners switched sides repeatedly. Jefferson going from states' rights (resolutions) to massive federal expansion (embargo/Louisiana Purchase) within a few years was mirrored by Federalists going from national state-builders to secessionists, and so it ever was. Extreme states' rights was an instrumental, not philosophical, position.

No issue seems likely to have caused fragmentation except slavery, since no one could otherwise build a big-enough tent. And secession got its momentum by the election of an explicitly anti-slavery (but not immediate abolitionist) Republican Party, that in turn swung previously big-federal government Southerners toward secession. But you can't separate the acts that started the war either. It was fought over slavery, but absent Southern secession and--even more crucially--unprompted military assault upon federal forts--there would not have been a war of the type that emerged. (Of course that Southern assault came because Republicans refused to protect the extension of slavery, so the two circle around and mutually reinforce each other.) But in determining priority, it's clear that most white Southern politicians were unambiguously and consistently defending slavery but shifting wildly in their view of the federal government's powers and, especially, of secession.
   1178. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4406208)
Very nicely done Greg.
   1179. Srul Itza Posted: April 06, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4406238)
This is a very weird argument.

The nature of the State-Federal arrangement is set forth in the Constitution.

The Constitution grants certain authority to the Federal Government, and the Supremacy Clause makes all Federal Law superior to State Law in those areas.

Between the broadening of the concept of interstate commerce and the broad reading of the necessary and proper clause, the areas where the Federal Government has authority have stretched and stretched, but there are still certain areas where the Constitution is not deemed to give power to the Federal Government. This is recapitulated in the Tenth Amendment: "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."

The issue remains, what are those powers. Marriage, Divorce, inheritance, general property rights, are essentially part of it. The Courts continue to grapple with it, as the Federal Beast grows and grows.

So what's your point, Morto?
   1180. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4406267)
   1181. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4406272)
Oh, I've read everything you wrote. You started with a false historic premise, got crushed on it, then tried to zig and zag and evade and change the subject to things like present day immigration issues. If you could just admit you were wrong, and were mouthing Daughters of the Confederacy-inspired historical nonsense you were taught in grammar school, we could all move on to a more substantive discussion. But you seem to be refusing to do that so...


It would if you would simply quote what I said that you object to. I've invited you to do so. I've asked you question in hopes of clarifying what it is you think I'm saying and what it is I think you're holding. You don't respond. You don't seem to comprehend at the basic levfel how a back and forth exchange is suppose to proceed.



   1182. Publius Publicola Posted: April 06, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4406281)
It would if you would simply quote what I said that you object to.


I already have, several times. Others have done the same. Even those not engaged in the debate have noted to you that you are wrong and are avoiding honest debate. It now appears pointless to engage with you any further since you seem refractory to any legitimate correction.
   1183. The District Attorney Posted: April 06, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4406282)
I'm far from an expert, but to my recollection Parizeau and Bouchard planned to move pretty quickly after a "Yes" vote, already having bill ready to go to a vote on establishing a sovereign Quebec, and establishing a Quebec military immediately.

I'm not sure how much a "Yes" vote would have changed Chretien's line...recognizing Quebec as a sovereign state was probably not the first thing on his "post-Yes" to-do list.
Okay. I assume you mean bills within Quebec. I suppose those bills could then fail, which would probably kill the thing, but if not, then what? Is there in fact a point where Canada gives up the fight? Especially if the vote in favor of separatism were 51% or something, rather than an overwhelming majority.

Maybe I'm wrong about how there must have been a plan, because it seems like there are a million ways it could go, so it'd be hard to anticipate.

Presumably, the thing that could force a quick resolution rather than an endless legal dance would be military-related... either the Quebecois creating their own military, or the Canadians denying military protection to Quebec. Although I wouldn't want to make a direct analogy to Fort Sumter, if Quebec did try to claim Canadian military or other government property in Quebec as their own, presumably Canada wouldn't just stand by and let that happen.

Even if it didn't come to that, if it looked like secession was a fait accompli, there presumably would be a Canadian faction that would flip straight from non-separatism to total separatism: if you guys wanna leave so badly, don't expect to have an open border or share a currency or anything, just piss off and go completely away. Would that position win out? Would Quebecois who thought that they were voting to be a "sister nation" then want to change their minds?

And all this is even before you get into the complications of the Commonwealth and the legal role of the Queen. Hell, I'm sure the US would try to put a thumb on the scale in favor of non-separatism, although I'm not sure what exactly it would do. It would shake up the entire world, especially for Americans and Canadians.
   1184. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4406285)
(I try one more time. Don't make it harder than you have to.)

Are there state rights? That is, do the states retain rights and powers that the national government cannot supersede rightfully in law and political philosophy?

If that is so, then what did the Civil War resolve on a larger scale? Only the matter of slavery? Or, does it also close any pretext for secession that may have previously been seen as open? If not, then it had no broader application; it had no import as to the essential relationship between the thing called the USA and those states that made it up?

The consensus here, then, is that the Civil War had no effect when it came to the relationship between the constituent states and the union produced by them as the United States of America, except with regard to slavery and violent secession (making war on the national government). Is that right?

If that is so, then that's what I find perplexing--that that's all that was decided by that horrible conflict in terms of the governmental system. (I state for the umpteenth time.) Why didn't it decide the greater issue having to do with that relationship between the parts and the whole? Why did it not decide not only the issue of slavery and whether the states could secede, but also whether the states were in wholesale subordination to the national government?

If there is no change, no import as to other rights and powers, then what was the principle behind the national government's justification for not allowing secession? Perhaps it will help if you imagine that those states had not made war, but instead had simply withdrawn all support to the national government, not sent legislators to Congress, not taking part in national elections etc. What could the national government have done? What should it have done?



   1185. Greg K Posted: April 06, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4406286)
Okay. I assume you mean bills within Quebec. I suppose those bills could then fail, which would probably kill the thing, but if not, then what? Is there in fact a point where Canada gives up the fight? Especially if the vote in favor of separatism were 51% or something, rather than an overwhelming majority.

Maybe I'm wrong about how there must have been a plan, because it seems like there are a million ways it could go, so it'd be hard to anticipate.

Yes, I was referring to a bill in the Quebec legislature.

I'm less sure of where I read it, but I have heard that Bouchard was distributing memos saying that Canadian Air Force assets in Quebec borders would over-night become property of the new nation of Quebec...which I highly doubt the government of Canada would take lying down.

I find the counter-factual fascinating just because it involves so many issues that I have no idea how to resolve. I assume there would be millions of people in the nation of Quebec who would want nothing to do with the nation, and still think of themselves Canadian. What do you do with those people? Or how do you incorporate (if at all) all the Anglo citizens of Quebec? I know the right-wing Alliance party (or were they still PC then?) were pretty explicit, saying that if Quebec thought they were going to enjoy some kind of economic partnership with Canada after separation they had another thing coming. They weren't actually in power at the time, but I'm sure the Liberals didn't feel all that differently.

As far as I know the federal cabinet did have a plan to take a "Yes" vote to the supreme court. But beyond that I agree, I'm sure they were considering some contingency for a fait accompli by Quebec. Though if the panicked days leading up the referendum (when the possibility of a Yes victory sunk in as a reality rather quickly) is any judge, there was certainly an element of "headless chicken" syndrome within the Canadian government regarding the crisis.

EDIT: About 10 years ago the CBC made a really good documentary about the referendum, available through their website for the unfortunate price of $500.
   1186. BDC Posted: April 06, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4406287)
The consensus here, then, is that the Civil War had no effect when it came to the relationship between the constituent states and the union produced by them as the United States of America, except with regard to slavery and violent secession (making war on the national government). Is that right?

That wouldn't be my view. In ways that often look oblique from a distance, the role of the federal government in governing the US as a whole changed enormously after the Civil War. In 1850 the Federal government supported a (limited) military, ran a postal system, collected customs, built a few infrastructure projects, basta. By 1900, and all the more by 1950 and then 2000, Federal government lies behind and atop and beneath any number of governing functions nominally (or sometimes not even nominally) administered by the states. Might it have happened without the Civil War? I dunno; might baseball have become super-popular in the 1920s and '30s without Babe Ruth? At some point, one has to say "yes, that was a hugely important event, though I can't quite account in great detail for all its ramifications."
   1187. SteveF Posted: April 06, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4406320)
It was fought over slavery, but absent Southern secession and--even more crucially--unprompted military assault upon federal forts--there would not have been a war of the type that emerged.


The motive behind secession certainly was preserving slavery, and nobody would dispute that.

The motive behind the particular attack on Fort Sumter was, however, quite directly related to secession. South Carolina had seceded. The troops at Fort Sumter were foreign troops that had refused to leave. The attack on Fort Sumter can be viewed as illegitimate if you are implicitly rejecting the legitimacy of secession (or even foolish and immoral if you do not), but it cannot be viewed as unprompted or unprovoked.

----

I don't really agree with the implicit viewpoint of some (who may or may not post here) that most arguments regarding states rights are tinged with racism, or that most people who make such arguments are racist.

I think you can have some legitimate arguments about whether the Federal government is overstepping its bounds, especially in light of the way the courts have broadly interpreted the commerce clause, without being a racist.
   1188. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4406326)
The motive behind the particular attack on Fort Sumter was, however, quite directly related to secession. South Carolina had seceded. The troops at Fort Sumter were foreign troops that had refused to leave. The attack on Fort Sumter can be viewed as illegitimate if you are implicitly rejecting the legitimacy of secession (or even foolish and immoral if you do), but it cannot be viewed as unprompted or unprovoked.


Fort Sumter had been purchased by the national government pursuant to Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 17 in the 1830s. It was indisputably federal property and the troops had every right to be there. Thus, the attack was unprompted and unprovoked.

This is putting aside the fact that secession was illegal (as well as foolish and immoral). Secession being illegal reinforces the fact that Fort Sumter was federal property and the attack was unprovoked.

I don't really agree with the implicit viewpoint of some (who may or may not post here) that most arguments regarding states rights are tinged with racism, or that most people who make such arguments are racist.


States rights have been, from Day 1, the method of defending racism, slavery and segregation. That doesn't make every such argument racist, but it does mean that those invoking states rights have the burden of proving no racist intent or effect.

   1189. SteveF Posted: April 06, 2013 at 08:04 PM (#4406328)
That doesn't make every such argument racist, but it does mean that those invoking states rights have the burden of proving no racist intent or effect.


I think everyone suggesting a law should have that burden, to one degree or another, whether or not states rights are being invoked.
   1190. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4406371)
Why didn't it decide the greater issue having to do with that relationship between the parts and the whole? Why did it not decide not only the issue of slavery and whether the states could secede, but also whether the states were in wholesale subordination to the national government?


Because it was not what it was about. The war was about succession and about slavery, and it solved both of those pretty clearly. The issue of the true relationship between nation and state wasn't solved because there is nothing to solve. It is expected and natural that such governments under our constitution will always jockey/struggle and the equilibrium between them will continue to change over time.

It is like asking why a husband and wife are having their second fight, why didn't the first fight "solve" the issue?
   1191. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4406406)
This is putting aside the fact that secession was illegal (as well as foolish and immoral). Secession being illegal reinforces the fact that Fort Sumter was federal property and the attack was unprovoked.


Why was it illegal?
   1192. spike Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:15 PM (#4406413)
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union spring to mind.
   1193. Mefisto Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4406439)
Why was it illegal?


Really, it's not worth discussing because it's of purely hypothetical interest after Appomattox. The basic answer is that nothing in the Articles or Constitution permitted secession and many clauses are inconsistent with it.
   1194. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4406440)
1192:

What do you mean?

1193:

Did those instruments prohibit it?

   1195. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4406469)
@1129: great info therein, Jolly. Thanks again. I went through two cartons of books yesterday (have to find something to do while posting, and this was prior to seeing Doris's splendid link). About half were such as the mass market The Shining, but the other half were things like a trade copy of The Book of the New York International Chess Tournament 1924, and Ploughshares, v4 n1. leaving me with a carton to donate to the libary's 25 cent/50 cent sale, and another not very large, not very heavy carton of books with a list value (according to the cheapest price on abebooks and the most dispiriting view of their conditions) of around $500.

Most of the other 60 cartons I have are similarly divisible, so it makes some sense for the moment to winnow (which at least gets the library some books they can sell), and keep the roughly $15,000 of list value books, then perhaps list a hundred of those titles as you mentioned on Amazon, and see if they move. Even at one-third the abebooks price it'd be worth doing, I think, although I'm more prepared than after this thread for not a whole lot to happen.

The question of selling or donating used books comes up pretty often on Ask Metafilter. Search through their archives and see if there's anything more relevant, but what I've picked up on (without having ever gone through the process myself) is: outside of those handful of books you think might have some real value, I wouldn't expect to get anything out of the rest (besides disappointment and the loss of time).


Thanks Doris. That's a tremendous link, and I will definitely check it out in detail, especially before doing anything with the non-mass paperbacks I mentioned above. $15,000 "list" seems like a lot, but of course until those books get to people interested in them, that figure is all air.

What's the "pull", by the way?

Not sure what you mean by that.
By "pull" I meant the attraction of the jacket, but you answered that more than ably.
   1196. GregD Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4406470)
Why didn't it decide the greater issue having to do with that relationship between the parts and the whole? Why did it not decide not only the issue of slavery and whether the states could secede, but also whether the states were in wholesale subordination to the national government?
Many Republicans did not have strong centralization views, or certainly not any stronger than their Whig forebears. There were some prototypical 19th century centralizers, but the US legal system--with its separate state common laws and licensing--trained lawyers to respect state differences. They wanted the federal power to levy tariffs and promote internal commerce to be uncontested, but they didn't want--by and large--Congress to create municipal law. This was true of some so-called Radicals like Chase as well as almost all Moderates. And the federal government they built did what they wanted; it set tariffs; it governed the West in the way Congress wanted; it ended up spending a massive surplus on soldiers' widows pensions; it maintained continual but fairly distant oversight of elections that were still left in the daily control of local government, and it didn't do much else. The growth of a new federal government really comes in the 20th century, and even then it is shaped by federalism. We have, after all, a Federal Reserve with all the regionalism in it, not a National Reserve.

On Sumter, lots of Southerners thought the attack was absurd and outrageous. South Carolina attacked--not the Confederacy--because secessionists got worried that with time the other states would waver, so they wanted to force a crisis. And they did!
   1197. SteveF Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4406479)
On Sumter, lots of Southerners thought the attack was absurd and outrageous. South Carolina attacked--not the Confederacy--because secessionists got worried that with time the other states would waver, so they wanted to force a crisis. And they did!


I am convinced you are right. I appreciate the time you've put into this thread.
   1198. Mefisto Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4406494)
Did those instruments prohibit it?


Not in so many words, but many clauses are, as I noted, inconsistent with secession.

In any case, secession purports to be a legal right. Thus, it's up to secessionists to prove the existence of that legal right, not for Unionists to disprove it.
   1199. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:14 AM (#4406497)
Who re-coded BTF pages so they now line up with the RH margin instead of the left? Kind of annoying.
   1200. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4406498)
Right. The reason polygamy is a different case is because multiple-partner contracts are a different form of contract than two-party contracts. The "but if we let same sex couples marry, why not polygamy, and then why not goats!?"


Unh-uh. Legit marriage w three or more partners requires the consent of all partners. Goats, obviously, cannot. Or shouldn't, anyway. It's hard to see how it would go well for the goat.

I favor gay marriage, unconditionally, but there's no way gay marriage doesn't advance the argument for polygamy. I also can't imagine why anyone favoring gay marriage (consenting adults, doesn't harm others, nobody's business, etc.) would be against polygamy, but that's another argument.

Of course one distinction is pretty obvious: Unlike Iraq, World War II was not a war of choice.

Joe Kennedy, who lost a son and almost a second in WWII, would differ -- as would millions of his contemporaries. I'd cast it more as a war we were provoked into, but 9/11 was also a provocation to war and a justifiable casus belli.


For war with Iraq?

In any case, it wasn't a provocation to war, but rather a provocation to extinguish al-Qaeda.

I'm not at all sure that killing time -- and thousands of American soldiers -- for a few more months while we got enough bombs to "waste" one on a demo was the right thing to do.


Several people have mentioned this. Novice question: in a policy of containment, why would thousands of Americans have died each week?

...Which, as I said, makes no sense as applied to a "marriage" having two men. It makes perfect sense as applied to a marriage having a man and a woman, because then the man certainly is "the guy" in that marriage.


Does it make it easier to think of marriage between two men as between "the guy" and "the other guy"?

edit: nice of Bogie to leave the Italian prisoner (or, as he calls him, 'spaghetti eater') behind to die in Sahara. Ah, just like Hollywood. Leave him behind, then change your mind. Eat cake, have it too.
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