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Posts posted by Peter

  1. On 2/25/2020 at 11:41 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:

    What worries me about it is if it will muck up Larry's and my planned trip to Vienna in May.

    Ah. Sweet words from my 20 year "online crush." Perhaps NZ or Australia? Peter

    Grind, Grind. Michael, if you make rules, live honorably by your rules. Those “rules” may be the basis for civilianized interaction on Objectivist Living. The name of your site should mean something. For you say the hell with it, anybody can expletive, expletive based on whatever equivocation you come up with at the time . . . well, I’m outa here. Read your own g.d. rules. Just one more suggestion.  Peter

    From: Jimmy Wales To: atlantis Subject: ATL: David Kelley on civility Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 08:33:13 -0800/ Here's a fairly long quote from David Kelley that is directly applicable to questions about why a civility policy is a good idea on a mailing list which makes an effort to be creative, open, and intensely intellectual.

    From ”Un-rugged Individualism’: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence, p. 38: The forms of civility, and the broader realm of manners, are therefore dismissed by some people as arbitrary.  "Why should I confirm to arbitrary social standards?  I am an individualist."  But while the forms are conventional, what is conveyed through those forms is not. If my argument so far has been correct, then it _is_ objectively important to acknowledge each other's independence in some way or other, whether by saying 'please,' or 's`il vous plait," or by some gesture understood to have that meaning.  It doesn't matter which forms we use to convey this, any more than it matters which sounds we use to express a given concept in language.  But insofar as civility has a communicative function, it does matter that we use the same forms.  Someone who does not practice these forms is rude.  We can assume that his failure to comply reflects indifference to what the forms express (unless he is ignorant, as in the case of a foreigner).

    A similar answer can be given to the complaint that the forms of civility are inauthentic. "What if I don't like the present Grandma gave me and I don't really feel any gratitude?  Am I not falsifying my feeling if I say thank-you nonetheless?"  The purpose of that thank-you is not to convey one's specific feelings about the gift, or the person who gives it.  Its purpose is to acknowledge that it was a gift, from an autonomous person, not something owed one by an underling.  (If Grandma wants more than this, and makes it clear that she really wants to know whether one liked the gift, then one should tell her, as tactfully as possible.) Civility, then, may be defined as _the expression -- chiefly through conventional forms -- of one's respect for the humanity and independence of others, and of one's intent to resolve conflicts peacefully_.


    From Bing. Jimmy Wales · Net worth $10 million USD (2016)

  2. 3 hours ago, ThatGuy said:


    But, but, but, they wear gloves at McDonald’s, food stores, immediate medical care facilities and liquor stores. ThatGuy.. Say it ain’t so Joe! By the way, 2000 Americans have now died at around midnight, Saturday night. Rest in peace. I hope I don’t get it. I do wash my hands, etc. etc. etc. Is it still a conspiracy, you morons? I predict Biden will select a younger woman who was running for Prez but it isn't Elizabeth Warren. Peter.

    From The L.A. Times: Former Vice President Joe Biden is calling for an immediate nationwide stay-at-home order to contain the spread of the coronavirus, saying the main mistake that leaders can make in a pandemic is "going too slow." The Democratic presidential candidate told CNN on Friday that he agreed with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates that the uneven patchwork of state and local lockdowns in effect in the United States will inevitably cost lives and prolong the economic catastrophe. "Why would we not err on the side of making sure that we are not going to have a repeat?" Biden said from his home in Wilmington, Del.

    President Trump has urged Americans to practice social distancing but has declined to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order, leaving it to governors and local officials to decide whether to shut down nonessential businesses. He said this week that he'd like to have the country "opened up and just raring to go by Easter," which is just over two weeks away.

    Biden said he'd watched Gates' appearance on CNN on Thursday night and found him "really insightful." "I thought Bill Gates knew what he was talking about

  3. I was playing computer scrabble and I noticed rai was a word. It reminds me of rap or something from an Indiana Jones movie. But boy is it monotonous. Peter

    Check out the following.

    Algerian Rai: Music of Resistance. Rai, the folk music that put Algeria on the international map, originated in 1930 in a small Bedouin Shepherds village in the city of Oran. Rai is a musical genre mixed with Spanish, French, African and Arab music that is listened to by the Algerian population.

    Algerian Rai music - Cheb Hichem _Yahyou Khayasha nta3 spania

  4. From  Rolllng Stone. Coronavirus Is Spreading — And So Are the Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories Around It

    The government introduced the coronavirus in 2018, and Bill Gates was also somehow responsible.


    There is a vaccine or cure for coronavirus that the government won’t release


    Coronavirus originated with Chinese people eating bats When it comes to major world events, it’s not uncommon for enterprising sleuths to dig deep into fictional sources to find a premonition, however tenuous it may be. (Remember when people thought that Back to the Future II predicted the Cubs’ big World Series win? Or Trump?) In that same vein, last month a screengrab of a passage from author Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness went viral on Twitter, as the passage appears to allude to the creation of a deadly virus known as Wuhan-400, named after the city from which it originated. Aside from the reference to Wuhan, however (which didn’t even appear in the first edition of Koontz’s book), there are no similarities between Wuhan-400 and COVID-19. Unlike COVID-19, which has about a 2% fatality rate, Wuhan-400 kills 100% of its victims, mostly by creating a “toxin that literally eats away brain tissue,” rendering victims without a pulse. So while it may be tempting for proponents of the COVID-19 as bioweapon theory to point to Koontz’s book as a harbinger of events to come, it appears the parallels between the two are tenuous at best. Still, there’s no shortage of other works of fiction for armchair COVID-19 detectives to point to, up to and including…

    The Simpsons predicted the coronavirus Because The Simpsons has been on the air for more than 30 years, there’s been no shortage of elaborate plotlines for internet sleuths to point to as harbingers for various world events, to the degree that “The Simpsons predicted it” is now more of a meme than anything else. Case in point: screengrabs allegedly from the 1993 episode “Marge in Chains” about an outbreak of a mysterious illness, with one appearing to show a newscaster delivering a report about a “corona virus.” Although the episode in question is legit, it focuses on an illness called “Osaka flu” (with Osaka obviously being in Japan, not in China), and the screengrab, which is from another episode entirely, actually reads “Apocalypse Meow,” not “coronavirus.” So chalk this up to Photoshopping and morbidly wishful thinking on internet commenters’ parts. 

    A “miracle” bleach product can cure coronavirus. In one of the most sickening examples of conspiracy theorists taking advantage of the panic surrounding coronavirus to sell a product, supporters of the elaborate far-right conspiracy theory QAnon have been telling people to drink Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a bleach-based product that has been touted by anti-vaxxers for years, as an effective means of warding off coronavirus. The product contains toxic chemicals and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and acute liver failure if ingested in large amounts. (Horrifyingly, in the past some mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder have been known to administer it to them as a “cure.”) Although YouTube instituted a ban on videos promoting MMS last year, as Rolling Stone reported in January, it was not difficult to find such content on the platform, illustrating the immense difficulties platforms have faced in attempting to curb the spread of COVID-19-related misinformation.

    The country will be placed in a nationwide quarantine effective immediately. 

    If you can’t hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing, then you have coronavirus. 

    Vitamin C can help you ward off coronavirus

    Coronavirus will go away by summertime. 

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  5. What Happened to Amelia Earhart? The disappearance of Amelia Earhart is, perhaps, aviation’s greatest mystery. Unsurprisingly, it has led to the appearance of numerous theories and notions regarding her fate following her doomed 1937 flight around the world. Typically, the most accepted view is that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, died after crashing their Lockheed Model 10 Electra. Whether this happened somewhere over the Pacific Ocean or on an island is unknown. Some believe that Amelia Earhart perished at the hands of the Japanese because she was, actually, an American spy enlisted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Japanese military either killed her when they downed her airplane or captured Earhart and held her prisoner on the island of Saipan for the rest of her days. There was even a notion that the aviatrix was forced to become a Tokyo Rose – an English-speaking woman who spread Japanese propaganda to the Allies during World War II. Her husband, George Putnam, investigated this claim. He listened to numerous such recordings but never recognized his wife’s voice. There have also been several notions that Earhart survived the crash and lived under a new identity. One book alleged that she became Irene Bolam from New Jersey. Bolam sued the publisher, settled out of court and got the book withdrawn.

    The Phantom Time Hypothesis. Without a doubt, one of the strangest historical conspiracy theories is the phantom time hypothesis. It asserts that part of the Middle Ages never actually happened and was manufactured in order to advance time a few centuries and place the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III in the year 1000. According to this hypothesis, the time period between AD 614 and 911 never took place. Charlemagne never existed and neither did the Carolingian Dynasty. The year is actually 1722. As far as motivation goes, it is usually presented as a conspiracy plot masterminded by King Otto III and Pope Sylvester II. However, some believers assert that those extra centuries could have been added by mistake or by misinterpretation of documents. If this was all an accident, it likely happened during the Gregorian reform when Pope Gregory XIII enabled the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. There are many ways to debunk this idea, but astronomy seems to work just fine. We have historical observations of cosmic events such as solar eclipses and the passing of Halley’s Comet. Astronomers can calculate with certainty when they have taken place and would notice if they were off by a few centuries.

    The Lost Dauphin. King Louis XVI of France and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were sent to the guillotine in 1793. Although the French Revolution brought about the fall of the monarchy, there were still loyalists in the country who considered the young Dauphin of France, Louis-Charles, to be the rightful ruler. Therefore, the heir apparent was imprisoned where he seemingly died of scrofula in 1795, aged 10. Not everyone was convinced that this actually happened. Rumors soon sprouted that crown sympathizers successfully broke Louis out of prison and that somebody else was buried in his place. This idea became particularly commonplace two decades later when the monarchy was briefly restored. Dozens of men came forward claiming to be the “Lost Dauphin.” Their descendants continued their claims for centuries that they were part of the House of Bourbon. Modern technology invalidated those claims. Philippe-Jean Pelletan was the surgeon who performed the autopsy on the young body purported to be that of Louis-Charles. He smuggled and preserved the heart of the boy in the hopes that it would be given a royal burial later. The relic has been in the same crystal urn for almost 200 years. DNA tests in the early 2000s showed that it really belonged to Louis and the “Lost Dauphin” was nothing more than a legend.

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  6. Michael quoted, “No matter how bad you think something is, when you look into it, it's always worse."  

    That sounds like a “deep” generalization but taken by itself it is twaddle. For that to make sense you would need to explain what “something” is.

    Michael wrote: But that's enough to make my point--that taking seriously a potential conspiracy is not the same thing as being batshit crazy. (Besides, this is getting so long, I'm not sure you will read it all.  ) end quote

    I skimmed it. But I will skim it again, Kemo Sabe.  I saw that Rhode Island is considering a ban on New Yorkers crossing into their state. How would Ayn Rand view that? Peter

    Notes. “Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 96. . . . . Any undertaking that involves more than one man, requires the voluntary consent of every participant. Every one of them has the right to make his own decision, but none has the right to force his decision on the others. end quote

    And in her article, "The Left: Old and New" in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, [p. 89] Ayn Rand wrote: In regard to the political principle involved: if a man creates a physical danger or harm to others, which extends beyond the line of his own property, such as unsanitary conditions or even loud noise, and if this is *proved*, the law can and does hold him responsible.  If the condition is collective, such as in an overcrowded city, appropriate and *objective* laws can be defined, protecting the rights of all those involved -- as was done in the case of oil rights, air-space rights, etc." end quote

    Tonto called the Lone Ranger "quien no sabe" (he who knows nothing) and the Lone Ranger called his sidekick "tonto" (fool). NOTE: Tonto called the Lone Ranger "Kemo Sabe" which was actually a bastardization of the spanish "Quien no sabe". The writers were trying to come up with a phrase that meant "he who no one knows".

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  7. I will stop debunking with this last word from Sherlock Holmes. Is a person epistemologically deficient if they believe much of what they read, put 2 and 2 together, and see 17? Peter

    An analysis of the evidence, according to the findings first published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine, shows that the novel coronavirus "is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus," with the researchers concluding "we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible."

    . . . . Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, supported the study’s findings, writing on his blog, "This study leaves little room to refute a natural origin for COVID-19." Researchers concluded that the novel coronavirus is not a human creation because it does not share any "previously used virus backbone." It likely arose, the study said, from a recombination of a virus found in bats and another virus, possibly originating from pangolins, otherwise known as scaly anteaters. MORE: Coronavirus live updates: US now leads world with over 82,000 cases COVID-19 is 96% identical to a coronavirus found in bats, researchers said, but with a certain variation that could explain what has made it so infectious. "We know from the study of other coronaviruses that they’re able to acquire this [variation] and they can then become more pathogenic," Garry told ABC News. "This is a good explanation as to why this virus is so transmittable and has caused this pandemic."

    Notes. "You will not apply my precept," he said, shaking his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?" The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890) Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four (Doubleday p. 111)

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  8. I try to keep my tone light and frivolous. I hope it doesn’t bother anyone. Are you scared yet? That is a big “one day” death total rise, in The Big Apple. Spiderman, one of New York’s finest, is bravely singing, “New York, New York, it’s my kind of town.” Stay safe Spidey!

    Notes. From Reuters: Cuomo said 44,635 people have tested positive in New York, up about 7,400 from Thursday, and that 519 New Yorkers have died from the virus, up from the previous day's total of 385 deaths. "We are battling a deadly virus," Cuomo said. "It's the worst news but it's not unexpected news either."

    A total of 2,996 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, including the 19 terrorist hijackers aboard the four airplanes.  Citizens of 78 countries died in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. At the World Trade Center, 2,763 died after the two planes slammed into the twin towers.

  9. 45 minutes ago, ThatGuy said:

    All that doesn't have to be a conspiracy theorist to have a natural skepticism

    If you ever wanted to see a “supposed fact” that has been “peer reviewed” it is the origins of the coronavirus.  I found some oldies that might be of interest. How do we know anything? If it interests you feel free to read these letters from our own Ellen Stuttle, Ghs, etc. Peter

    Excerpts from Fact check: Did the coronavirus originate in a Chinese laboratory? USA TODAY

    Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has suggested to Congress and Fox News that there may be a connection between the Wuhan lab and the origin of the virus. And conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh wrote in an article in February that “it probably is a ChiCom (Chinese Communist) laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized.” . . . . There is no evidence to suggest that the virus was created in a Chinese laboratory. People who have claimed it started in a lab cite only the geographical proximity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research lab in Wuhan, and the market where some researchers believe the virus transferred from animals to humans. Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, said in an interview with The Washington Post: “Based on the virus genome and properties, there is no indication whatsoever that it was an engineered virus.”

    Notes. From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: The facts of reality – Bill Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 11:38:21 -0500. Ellen Moore wrote: "I am aware of the passages you quote.  But I do not understand them to say that you think they mean.  Somewhere in the seminars, Rand said, " 'fact' is an epistemological tool."  Your quotes reinforce that meaning, i.e., when we say that something is a "fact", we are saying that our epistemological statement corresponds to the concretes in existence."

    It has long been my understanding that Ayn Rand regarded "fact" as metaphysical concept, and "truth" as an epistemological one. A "fact" is that which is, regardless of anyone's knowledge. A "truth" is the identification (or "recognition") of a fact, and is therefore contextually dependent of a given state of knowledge. I believe Ellen is confusing the two concepts, as Rand used them. Ghs

    From: Ellen Moore To: Atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: The facts of reality - Bill and George Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 17:36:28 -0500. Perhaps this post will annoy you both: I admire both of you for your detailed examination of the "fact as metaphysical" and "fact as epistemological" discussion.  I have to admit that, based on your premises both metaphysical and epistemological, there is nothing either of you conclude that I disagree with.  Except for one issue of I think is more fundamental and more important.

    I don't accept the idea that you are ~fundamentally~ correct about the entire issue concerning "facts" as viewed by Ayn Rand. Ellen Stuttle claims that neither her husband nor others "could swear for sure what she did mean", and ES maintains that Rand "wasn't immune to ambiguity".  Let me suggest that their inability to grasp her meaning may not have been Rand's "ambiguity", but resulted from their own failure to decipher the distinction between metaphysics and epistemology as they sat around talking.

    My point is this.  Aside from human beings in the universe, there is no entity sitting around talking about "facts of reality".  The concept "fact" and the phrase "facts of reality" are fundamentally statements made by a human consciousness about human knowledge of entities. Everything pertaining to human cognition is epistemology.  Absolutely all such linguistic references are instances pertaining to human epistemology. Epistemology allows humans to differentiate between what they say about entities in the universe, and call that a "physical fact".  They can talk about the factual nature of reality and call that "a metaphysical fact'.  They can talk about the "truth or falsity" of their propositions, and call that an "epistemological fact".  None of these statements are necessarily ambiguous [as long as we all know what each one of us is talking about].   I believe that Bill's and George's discussions here are about semantics.

    George said, "A 'fact' is that which is, regardless of anyone's knowledge."  But, "that which is is" is also, and must be, an objective epistemological statement of someone's human knowledge of metaphysics. George cannot stub his actual toe on "fact" - he can stub his toe on a rock.  If he said, "Damn, I stubbed my toe on a rock", he is referring to his knowledge of the concrete event.

    A very complex combination of "existents" like the American Revolution pertains to a series of actual physical events that did exist in the past.  To say they existed, and to name them as such, is a "fact" pertaining of our epistemological knowledge of concrete events.  This is precisely the meaning Rand identified and used

    But the fundamental premises remains firm.  Only concrete entities, their attributes, actions and relationships, are existents in reality. All human statements pertaining to human knowledge of existents, "facts", belong in the category of epistemology. This is the meaning I have understood from Rand's statements to the effect that, " 'Fact' is merely an epistemological convenience."  It is a necessity of a fallible human consciousness in discussing the distinction between our knowledge of "truth", and "error". Ellen M.

    From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: The facts of reality - Bill and George Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 19:26:35 -0400. Ellen Moore says: >Perhaps this post will annoy you both [Bill and George]:

    Perhaps this post will annoy everyone concerned. Insofar as I think I understand the view of "fact" which EM is presenting (and, Ellen M., I usually do have trouble understanding your posts, make of this whatever epistemological sins on my part you will), I think I agree with *her* viewpoint -- though I disagree that there aren't ambiguities in what Rand said during the seminar.

    Indeed, I have some additional evidence for believing that Rand herself viewed "fact" as metaphysical, indirect evidence: At about the same time as her epistemology seminar, I guest-attended a seminar on the philosophy of science which Leonard Peikoff was giving at Brooklyn Polytechnic (he was on the faculty there at the time).  To the best of my recollection -- and Larry, who also attended LP's seminar, has the same recollection -- Peikoff presented "fact" as metaphysical, and I doubt that he'd have enunciated a view which he thought was at variance with Rand's. Ellen S.

    From: "George H. Smith" Reply-To: "George H. Smith To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: The facts of reality - Bill and George Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 19:28:14 -0500. Ellen Moore wrote: "My point is this.  Aside from human beings in the universe, there is no entity sitting around talking about "facts of reality".  The concept "fact" and the phrase "facts of reality" are fundamentally statements made by a human consciousness about human knowledge of entities. Everything pertaining to human cognition is epistemology.  Absolutely all such linguistic references are instances pertaining to human epistemology."

    Nor, apart from human beings, is there any entity (that we know of) sitting around and talking about rocks and trees and birds. So are these merely epistemological concepts as well, with no metaphysical referents?

    Ellen wrote: "George said, "A 'fact' is that which is, regardless of anyone's knowledge."  But, "that which is is" is also, and must be, an objective epistemological statement of someone's human knowledge of metaphysics. George cannot stub his actual toe on "fact" - he can stub his toe on a rock.  If he said, "Damn, I stubbed my toe on a rock", he is referring to his knowledge of the concrete event."

    Nor can I stub my toe on causation, or identity. So if I say "X caused Y," is this merely an epistemological statement, or does it have a metaphysical referent? Of if I say, "A thing is what is it," am I merely referring to my own epistemological concepts, devoid of any metaphysical referent?

    Come to think of it, I have never stubbed my toe on an "existent" – but Ellen apparently views this concept as metaphysical.  So the positivistic test of "toe-stubbing" doesn't seem to hold up, even by Ellen's standard.

    Ellen wrote: "But the fundamental premises remains firm.  Only concrete entities, their attributes, actions and relationships, are existents in reality. All human statements pertaining to human knowledge of existents, "facts", belong in the category of epistemology."

    To say that "all human statements pertaining to human knowledge of existence...belong in the category of epistemology" is to say that *all* concepts and propositions, by definition, are epistemological and *none* are, or can be, metaphysical -- since all concepts and propositions "pertain" to human knowledge in some way. This kind of ambiguity will take you headlong into a representationalist theory of knowledge (such as we find in Descartes and Locke), wherein knowledge is conceived as a correspondence between abstract ideas, rather than as a correspondence between epistemological propositions and metaphysical facts. .

    The point is: To what does a concept *refer*? As Prof. B put it in a statement with which Rand expressed her full agreement, "It's not that the fact refers to the knowledge; it refers to the reality known, or possibly known." What does Ellen suppose this statement *means*?

    And what would it mean, on Ellen's account, to say that "truth" is the "identification" or "recognition" of a fact, or that a true proposition "corresponds" to a fact of reality? Does this mean that truth is the recognition of an "epistemological convenience"? Or that a true proposition is one that corresponds to a "linguistic reference"? Ellen's confusion on the matter, as trivial as it may seem, is the same kind of confusion that has led many past philosophers down the royal road of epistemological subjectivism, in one form or another. Ghs

  10. John Le Cockroach is demented. Seriously. And Evil. My minor subterfuge didn't work, alas. I was hoping he would say his name was spelled without an H aa in "Jon" instead of "John."  But the joke didn't work and he is still infesting OL. His two boys hate him. His wife barely  tolerates the son of a bitch. What a loser and monster. He never served in the military. He is evil incarnate. He will destroy this bastion of freedom if he stays. 

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  11. I do apologize if my attempts at humor on this site and others have seemed a bit manic. No. I am not under the influenza (or influenza) of any drugs or illnesses. I just like to have fun in an “idea park” where it is safe, philosophically right, and just fine if you think of things under the influence and tutelage of Ayn Rand. Peter     

  12. 4 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    Peter: truth is not something you manufacture then stick in your head. That's why you are not a searcher but complain about searching.

    Brant, what bothers me about conspiracy believers is that they cannot explain what they saw in rational, scientific terms. Oh, no! You must go to the link and listen to it yourself!  And be indoctrinated. Doesn’t that remind you of communist and Nazi propaganda? Peter

  13. Thank you Brant. I will avoid that in the future. Amazon and Insta-cart are apologizing for not having what you ordered or for being so slow in fulfilling your order.. Christ. On our 11 o’clock news. I saw a CBS video of a coronavirus scam artist He was persuasive. And I got the following in my email.  Peter

    Dear McAfee Customer,As the global COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, our commitment to you remains unchanged: to protect your connected life. During these unprecedented times, we understand the challenges and concerns you may be experiencing, and we are fully committed to defending you and your loved ones against the latest online threats, no matter where you are.McAfee support teams are standing by to assist you. You can find answers and updates in our online help center, which includes articles, videos, community forums, and an interactive Digital Assistant. We appreciate your patience if you contact us and experience longer than usual hold times, as we work through the necessary steps to protect our staff and communities. We also encourage you to read our blog that lists five things everyone can do to stay safe online.McAfee is here for you. Thank you for being a McAfee customer. It is our privilege to serve you, and please know we are always here to help.Sincerely, McAfee Customer Support. 

  14. The DOW is up another 5 percent. No! It's over 6 percent. 22,531. Now down to 5.88 percent.

    Sorry Bud.  I have re-blocked ole Jon. Odd.  Info comes up anyway, "Jon Letendre reacted to this" with a smiley face emoji just below my "Great Oz" letter.

    I suppose I should ask, has anyone or anyone "you" know, come down with the coronavirus? Is anyone getting food from fast food places? I heard McDonald's employees are wearing gloves.

  15. Michael wrote on the Coronavirus thread: Peter has a treasure trove of archives from the old Atlantis forum.

    I block John La Cockroach but I read his message without logging in (since he is blocked and a block head.) I looked up the word Mason (and Free Mason) used on another OL thread and found this oldie. I seem to remember a picture of PinkCrash and she was pretty, with dark hair. Peter

    From: "Erik Herbertson" To: "Atlantis" Subject: ATL: American Civil War Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 22:14:20 +0200. Here is an interesting article by a libertarian (Timothy Sandefeur) who have a different view on the American Civil War than the quite common among libertarians:

    On there is the opposing view.

    The reason I pick this one up is partly because it deals with David Boaz (Cato Institute) article about the recent Mississippi flag controversy, partly because the very James McPherson mentioned in DiLorenzo´s article wrote a review on three books about the Civil War in the April 12 issue of The New York Review of Books.

    In the review McPherson writes that there are many facts (statements, articles, speeches, declarations etc.) supporting the view that the main goal of the leaders of the Confederacy in 1861 was the preservation of slavery. But after the war, many of them changed their motives in establishing a Confederacy to the issue of States rights instead.

    McPherson points out the fact that during the forty-nine of the seventy-two years from 1789 to 1861 the presidents of the United States were slaveholding  Southerners. At all times before 1861 a majority of Supreme Court justices were Southerners. In the Congress, the Southerners were often in majority. In the House of Representatives Southerners had a disproportionate strength because of the electoral system "which stipulated that three fifths of the slaves were to be counted as part of a state’s population for purposes of determining the number of seats each state would have in the House. This provision gave slave states an average of twenty more congressmen after each census than they would have had on the basis of the free population above. The combined effect of these two constitutional provisions also gave the slave states about thirty more electoral votes than their share of the voting population would have entitled them to have."(McPherson). Anti-slavery Republicans called this situation the "Slave Power" and sometimes the "Slave Power Conspiracy".

    This political dominance of Southerners speaks against the claim that the antebellum South was concerned with states´ rights. As long as their pro-slavery interests were secured by a pro-slavery president and a pro-slavery majority in the Supreme Court and the Congress, they did not really care about states´ rights. McPherson: "In 1850 Southerners in Congress, plus a handful of Northern allies, enacted a Fugitive Slave Law that was the strongest manifestation of *national* power thus far in American history. In the name of protecting the rights of slave owners, it extended the long arm of federal law, enforced by marshals and the army, into Northern states to recover escaped slaves and return them to their owners.

    Senator Jefferson Davis, who later insisted that the Confederacy fought for the principle of state sovereignty, voted with enthusiasm for the Fugitive Slave Law. When Northern state legislatures invoked states´ rights and individual liberties against this federal law, the Supreme Court with its majority of Southern justices reaffirmed the supremacy of national law to protect slavery (Ableman v. Booth, 1859). Many observers in the 1850s would have predicted that if a rebellion in the name of states´ rights were to occur, it would be the North that would rebel.

    The presidential election of 1860 changed the equation. Without a single electoral vote from the South, Lincoln won the presidency on a platform of containing the future expansion of slavery. Southerners saw the consequences that would likely follow. The Union now consisted of eighteen free states and fifteen slave states. Northern Republicans would soon control Congress, if not after this election then surely after the next. Loss of the Supreme Court would follow. Gone or going was the South´s national power to protect slavery; now was the time to invoke state sovereignty to leave the Union."

    The issue I´m concerned with here is not really the right of secession as such, but the *motive(s)* for the South to secede. I would have wanted "pro-Confederates" using much more comments like the above in assessing secession. All too often I have read texts where libertarians elevate the Confederacy to the status of freedom fighters like the revolutionaries of 1776. I don´t think this is a reasonable position for the very reasons pointed out in Sandefeur´s article. Also, the Confederacy established in their Constitution the explicit right to own slaves. Many of the original Founding fathers had doubts about slavery, as most of us know, and wanted an end to it. George Mason called slavery "diabolical in itself and disgraceful to mankind". After nearly one hundred years of agitation against slavery as a violation of the American principles of self-determination, the CSA gives slavery constitutional protection. Some freedom! CSA was not more noble than the USA. Habeas corpus was suspended in the CSA as well, draft was introduced and civilian property was stolen. CSA had rotten elements just like USA had (and has). You don´t need to inform me about Lincoln´s actions.

    The libertarian historian Jeffrey Hummel has written a book, "Emancipating slaves, enslaving free men", where he supports the right of CSA to secede, but he seems to have substantial information in his book, like criticism of CSA, for example. I haven´t read the book, just looked at some pages. It seems very interesting.

    I´m a Swedish citizen, and no expert on U.S. constitutional law, but it would be nice if some of you could comment this and perhaps bring me even more material on the subject. I would also like to know if Ayn Rand had any discussions about this subject. Erik Herbertson

    Opposing viewpoint

    Libertarians and the Confederate Battle Flag by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

    The Cato Institute recently joined with the NAACP and the financial scandal-ridden left-wing hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, in denouncing the Confederate battle flag and calling for its eradication from public spaces. In an April 16 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal Cato’s executive vice president David Boaz argued that the last state to include the battle flag in its state emblem, Mississippi, should scrap it. Comparing the flag to posters of the communist terrorist Che Guevara or "vulgar bumper stickers," Boaz makes the untenable (and insulting) argument that the hundreds of thousands of Mississippians who favor keeping the emblem do so because they want to commemorate slavery. Anyone who disagrees with this theory, says Boaz, is a "spin doctor of the South," in other words, a liar.

    That would have to include nearly every serious historian. In The Causes of the Civil War, edited by the noted "Civil War" historian Kenneth Stampp, the issues of states rights versus centralized governmental power, the political plundering of the southern states with protectionist tariffs, tyranny of the majority, a conflict of cultures, and political blundering are all cited as contributing causes of the war. Only a small band of Marxist historians claims that the war was caused by slavery alone. And David Boaz too, apparently.

    Boaz buttresses his hypothesis with a quotation by University of Chicago philosophy professor Jacob Levy, who believes that "when the state speaks . . . it claims to speak on behalf of all its members." So, since not everyone approves of the Confederate battle flag, it should be taken down. That’s right, Cato’s executive vice president apparently believes that when Bill Clinton, the former chief spokesman of the American state, said that our taxes were too low, that criticizing government policy was tantamount to instigating terrorism, that he did not have sex with "that woman," and thousands of other lies and deceptions, he was speaking for all of us.

    Rubbish. Only in totalitarian societies does the state purport to express the views of every last citizen. Indeed, the history of totalitarianism is a history of snuffing out all dissenting views with tactics ranging from censorship to mass murder. To this list should be added the rewriting of history, which is really what the battle flag opponents are up to.

    In his book What They Fought For, 1861-1865, historian James McPherson reported on his reading of more than 25,000 letters and more than 100 diaries of soldiers who fought on both sides of the War for Southern Independence and concluded that Confederate soldiers (very few of whom owned slaves) "fought for liberty and independence from what they regarded as a tyrannical government."

    The letters and diaries of many Confederate soldiers "bristled with the rhetoric of liberty and self government," writes McPherson, and spoke of a fear of being "subjugated" and "enslaved" by a tyrannical federal government. Sound familiar?

    Many Confederate soldiers thought of the war as "the Second war for American Independence." A Texas cavalryman told his sister in a letter that just as earlier Americans had "rebelled against King George to establish Liberty and freedom in this western world . . . so we dissolved our alliance with this oppressive foe and are now enlisted in The Holy Cause of Liberty and Independence again."

    An Alabama infantryman wrote his mother, "If the mere imposition of a tax [in 1776] could raise such tumult what should be the result of the terrible system of oppression instituted by the Yankees?"

    Another theme in these letters was that many Confederates believed (and rightly so) that they were fighting to defend their property and families from a hostile invading army. "We are fighting for matters real and tangible . . . our property and our homes," wrote a Texas private in 1864.

    Union soldiers did not believe they were fighting to end slavery but to "preserve the union." "We are fighting for the Union . . . a high and noble sentiment, but after all a sentiment," wrote an Illinois officer, "They are fighting for independence and are animated by passion and hatred against invaders."

    Other Confederate soldiers sought revenge for the burning of southern cities and the murder of civilians, including women and children, while others voiced a desire to "protect the fair daughters of [the South] . . . from Yankee outrage and atrocity."

    When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January of 1863, which freed no slaves because it exempted all territories under Union control, there was a massive desertion crisis in the Union army. Union soldiers ‘were willing to risk their lives for Union," McPherson writes, "but not for black freedom."

    Boaz belittles the fact that tariffs and states’ rights were also motivations from the war, but the fact is, as soon as Lincoln took office the Republican Party, which virtually monopolized the federal government for the next seventy years, enacted tariff rates of nearly 50 percent, which remained at those levels for decades, and set in motion the great centralizing forces of federal power by adopting an internal revenue bureaucracy, central banking, corporate welfare, income and excise taxation, and the demolition of the system of decentralized government that was established by the founding fathers. Perhaps Boaz believes this was all just a coincidence.

    By calling for the eradication of the Confederate battle flag from public places the Cato Institute, the NAACP, and the Southern Poverty Law Center are saying that we should destroy the most enduring symbol of opposition to centralized governmental power and tyranny, a symbol that to this day is a part of secession movements around the world, from Quebec to Northern Italy.

    No one was a more articulate and outspoken abolitionist than the great libertarian legal philosopher Lysander Spooner of Massachusetts. But in 1870 Spooner wrote that "all these cries of having ‘abolished slavery,’ of having ‘saved the country,’ of having ‘preserved the union,’ of establishing a ‘government of consent,’ and of ‘maintaining the national honor’ are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats – so transparent that they ought to deceive no one."

    The great historian of liberty, Lord Acton, wrote to Robert E. Lee on November 4, 1866, that "I saw in States Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of he sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. . . . I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo."

    Disavowing the views of these great libertarian scholars, Boaz apparently prefers the interpretations of history given by Kwesi Mfume, Al Sharpton, and Morris Dees.

    Some 620,000 Americans died in Lincoln’s war, at a time when the population of the U.S. was about 30 million. Standardized for today’s population, that would be roughly the equivalent of 5 million American deaths in a four-year war – 100 times the number of Americans who died in the ten-year Vietnam conflict.

    On the other hand, dozens of other countries during the nineteenth century ended slavery peacefully through compensated emancipation. The death of some 300,000 Southerners, most of whom believed they were giving their lives for the causes of liberty, independence, and self government, is apparently of no concern to Boaz. He is only concerned about the purported sensitivities of American blacks, but shows no concern whatsoever for the descendants of hundreds of thousands of brave men who had nothing to do with slavery and who gave their lives for what Professor McPherson characterized as "deeply felt convictions."

    In war, the victors always get to write the history. A century of federal government propaganda about the causes and effects of the War for Southern Independence has been so effective that even the Cato Institute has apparently fallen victim to it.

    April 19, 2001

    Thomas J. DiLorenzo is Professor of Economics at Loyola College in Maryland.

    From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Re: American Civil War Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 17:01:31 -0500

    Erik Herbertson wrote: "The issue I´m concerned with here is not really the right of secession as such, but the *motive(s)* for the South to secede. I would have wanted "pro-Confederates" using much more comments like the above in assessing secession. All too often I have read texts where libertarians elevate the Confederacy to the status of freedom fighters like the revolutionaries of 1776. I don´t think this is a reasonable position for the very reasons pointed out in Sandefeur´s article. Also, the Confederacy established in their Constitution the explicit right to own slaves. Many of the original Founding fathers had doubts about slavery, as most of us know, and wanted an end to it. George Mason called slavery "diabolical in itself and disgraceful to mankind". After nearly one hundred years of agitation against slavery as a violation of the American principles of self-determination, the CSA gives slavery constitutional protection. Some freedom! CSA was not more noble than the USA. Habeas corpus was suspended in the CSA as well, draft was introduced and civilian property was stolen. CSA had rotten elements just like USA had (and has). You don´t need to inform me about Lincoln´s actions."

    It is misleading to say that most of America's founding fathers wanted to end slavery. Many supported it, and virtually all of those who opposed it were gradualists who took a position akin to that of St. Augustine's prayer, "Lord, give me chastity, but not yet." There was a widespread belief that slavery was economically inefficient compared to free labor, so the South would eventually be forced to abandon slavery out of self-interested motives. As far as political measures to end slavery were concerned, the original strategy (embodied in the Constitution) was to prohibit the slave trade (not slavery itself) 20 years after ratification, in the hope that a purely domestic supply of slaves would be unable to maintain the "peculiar institution."

    Eric is right to point out that many founding father at least had serious "doubts" about slavery. Eric, for example, quotes George Mason's polemic against slavery, but he fails to mention that Mason himself was a slaveowner who said he would never free his slaves. He also conceded this was a contradiction which he would not attempt to rationalize or justify.

    As for the Southern "motive" for secession, this can be a difficult thing to get a handle on, because "motives" pertain only to individuals, not to collective entities, such as states. Although most southerners did not own slaves (and many commoners resented the slave owning aristocracy), it is clear that for many southerners the issue of slavery lit the fuse that would eventually ignite the struggle for independence.

    Nevertheless, the official southern rationale was independence. Likewise, the official northern rationale was the argument that secession is illegitimate. Lincoln was very clear about this: "My paramount object in this struggle *is* to save the Union, and is *not* either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing *any* slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing *all* the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union....." (Lincoln went on to note that this was his *official* position; personally, he would like to see all slaves set free.)

    Two other things should be kept in mind. First, the Union itself contained four slave states. Second, the Emancipation  Proclamation "liberated" only those slaves in rebellious states; it did not free the slaves in the four Union border states, nor in those southern territories that had been conquered by Union armies. It is was simply and solely a war measure designed to weaken the South. (For more on this, see Jeff Hummel's excellent book, *Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men,* which Eric also mentioned.)

    Eric correctly notes that slavery was explicitly sanctioned by the Confederate Constitution, But slavery had long been legally sanctioned in the Union, not only by provisions in the Constitution (such as the fugitive slave clause and the notorious three-fifths provision), but by federal and Supreme Court decisions as well.

    Slavery aside, southerners had a number of legitimate grievances, such as the propensity of northerners to impose high tariffs that benefited northern manufacturing at the expense of southern agriculture. But we should have no illusions about the fact that the slavery controversy did play an important role in how some southerners thought about independence.

    But whatever the motives of some southerners may have been (and they were complex, sometimes having as much to do with cultural as with political reasons), both sides agreed that the Civil War was being fought over the right of secession. There are some parallels here with the American Revolution. The physician Benjamin Rush (the guy who convinced Thomas Paine to write "Common Sense") estimated that the motives of around one-third of the American revolutionaries were less than noble. (Some, for example, wished to escape the responsibility of paying their debts to British merchants, whereas others did not like the restraints imposed upon them to protect Indians.) Moreover, the British (for military reasons similar to those later invoked by Lincoln) offered to free any slaves that fought on the British side, and it is scarcely coincidental that most Indian tribes sided with the British as well.

    Thus, in the American Revolution as in the Southern Revolution, the motives of individuals were often varied and mixed. Lysander Spooner dealt with this troublesome issue by clearly distinguishing the right of secession from the motives that may impel some people to demand secession. Thus, although Spooner had long been a  vehement abolitionist, he defended the southern cause, claiming it was as legitimate as the American  revolution had been. I agree with him on this.  Slavery was sanctioned and flourished much longer under the Union flag that it did under the Confederate flag. We should therefore take them both down, everywhere and permanently. If we must have a national symbol, then let us salute the old revolutionary flag with a coiled snake and the motto, "Don't tread on me." This would be a clear indication that Americans oppose all forms of slavery, both chattel and political, and regardless of whether the tyrant prefers to be called "Master" or "Mister President." Ghs

    From: "Erik Herbertson" To: "Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: Re: American Civil War Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 01:07:14 +0200

    Thank you George, for your response. When I asked about the motives for secession, I was more interested in the views held by the leaders of the Confederacy, rather than the various inhabitants of the South, who obviously held different views.

    In Sandefeur´s article there is a quote by CSA:s vice president Alexander Stephens, which underscores the claim that preservation of slavery was the main purpose for the leaders of the Confederacy. But yes, not even among "leaders" was this a unifying belief. General Robert Lee was against slavery. And certainly did many hold free trade arguments against Northern tariffs. But the British Manchester liberals and free traders Richard Cobden and John Bright supported the North.

    Among Republicans, such as Lincoln, Union seemed to be more important than the abolition of slavery, yes. But the Republicans at least had an ambition to do something about it, by forbidding its expansion to new territories and states. They could not abolish it altogether, because of the federal structure. The Emancipation Proclamation only liberated slaves in CSA territory because Lincoln only had military authority to decide about it there, but not in the rest of the Union. At least that is what I have read. But I don´t want to be Lincoln´s advocate. He did a lot of damage. I´m just assessing who is "better" in this conflict, if that´s possible at all. I don´t think it´s possible.

    The old revolutionary flag George mentioned seems to be a good symbol for real freedom fighters. Erik Herbertson

    From: PinkCrash7 To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: American Civil War Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 21:25:05 EDT

    George Smith wrote: >Eric correctly notes that slavery was explicitly sanctioned by the Confederate Constitution, But slavery had long been legally sanctioned in the Union, not only by provisions in the Constitution (such as the fugitive  slave clause and the notorious three-fifths provision), but by federal and Supreme Court decisions as well.

    According to Steven Yates, author of "When is Political Divorce Justified?" in the book, _Secession, State and Liberty_, edited by David Gordon (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ 1998),  "the Confederate Constitution explicitly forbade importing any more African slaves, and [Jefferson Davis] once vetoed a bill which he deemed in conflict with this:

    'Gentlemen of Congress: With sincere deference to the judgment of Congress, I have carefully considered the bill in relation to the slave trade, and to punish persons offending therein, but have not been able to approve it, and therefore do return it with a statement of my objections.  The Constitution (Art. I, Section 7) provides that the importation of African Negroes from any foreign country other than slave-holding states of the United States is hereby forbidden, and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same... This provisions seems to me to be in opposition to the policy declared in the Constitution - the prohibition of the importation of African Negroes - and in derogation of its mandate to legislate for the effectuation of that object.'

    "In other words, Davis knew the institution would gradually die out as more and more slaves were able to buy their freedom or die and not be replaced.

    "The reason the southern states gave for secession was their desire for a self-determination they saw themselves losing in the face of both government intrusions and broken agreements - in short, to escape a federal government which had already stepped outside its bounds...."

    The book, _Secession, State and Liberty_ is a fascinating book containing a collection of essays about secession -- including one by Murray Rothbard ("Nations By Consent: Decomposing the Nation-State") and another by Bruce Benson ("How to Secede in Business Without Really Leaving: Evidence of the Substitution of Arbitration for Litigation").  The one that I found the most interesting is by James Ostowski, "Was the Union Army's Invasion of the Confederate States a Lawful Act? An Analysis of President's Lincoln's Legal Arguments Against Secession".   I would highly recommend this book to Erik and to anyone who is interested in the subject of secession. Debbie

    From: Michael Hardy To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: American Civil War -- answer to George Smith Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 16:09:27 -0400 (EDT)  I am surprised that George Smith doubts that the desire to maintain slavery was the major motive for secessions of the southern states.  The conventions that decided to secede published their reasons.

             The official "Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union" states that "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world," and goes on to enumerate various threats to that institution.

             The official "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union" complains at length about the refusal of northern states to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the harboring of slaves charge with murder or with inciting servile insurrection, etc.  It states over and over and over and over that it was from the "non-slave-holding states" that the state of South Carolina wished to be separated.

             Why just those ones?  Why not all of the other states? George, how do you answer that?  Did South Carolina have various separate grievances, unrelated to slavery, against precisely those states that, by some strange coincidence, also happened to be non- slave-holding states?  And did they then refer to them by means of that coincidence without suspecting that they were setting themselves up to be misunderstood as acting for the purpose of preserving slavery?

             The "Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union" makes much of the ""beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery."

             Below I quote from the official Declaration of Causes of Secession of the state of Georgia.

             These documents are

    at <>.          Mike Hardy

    << A similar provision of the Constitution requires them to  surrender fugitives  from  labor.   This  provision and the one last referred to were our main inducements for confederating with the Northern  States. Without  them  it is historically true that we would have rejected the Constitution. In the fourth year of the Republic Congress passed a law to  give  full  vigor and efficiency to this important provision. This act depended to a considerable degree upon the  local  magistrates  in the  several  States  for its efficiency. The non-slave-holding States generally repealed all laws intended to aid the execution of that act, and imposed penalties upon those citizens whose loyalty to the Constitution and their oaths might induce  them  to  discharge  their  duty.


    ongress then passed the act of 1850, providing for the complete execution of this duty by Federal officers. This law, which their own bad faith rendered absolutely indispensable for the protection of constitutional rights, was instantly met with ferocious  reviling’s  and  all conceivable  modes  of  hostility.  The Supreme Court unanimously, and their own local courts with equal unanimity (with the single and temporary exception of the supreme court of Wisconsin), sustained its constitutionality in all of its provisions. Yet it  stands  today  a dead  letter  for  all practicable purposes in every non-slave-holding State in the Union. We have their covenants, we have their oaths to keep and observe it, but the unfortunate claimant, even accompanied by a Federal officer with the mandate of the highest judicial authority in  his hands, is everywhere met with fraud, with force, and with legislative enactments to elude, to resist, and  defeat  him.   Claimants are murdered with impunity; officers of the law are beaten by frantic mobs instigated by inflammatory appeals from  persons  holding  the highest  public  employment in these States, and supported by legislation in conflict with the clearest provisions of the Constitution, and even the ordinary principles of humanity. >>

    From: "George H. Smith" Reply-To: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: American Civil War -- answer to George Smith Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 17:30:07 -0500

    Mike Hardy wrote: "I am surprised that George Smith doubts that the desire to maintain slavery was the major motive for secessions of the southern states.  The conventions that decided to secede published their reasons."

    Mike then quotes from the Declaration of Immediate Causes from Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Georgia, all of which refer to slavery in some fashion.

    I never denied that slavery played a significant role in secession -- indeed, I specifically stated that "we should have no illusions about the fact that the slavery controversy did play an important role in how some southerners thought about independence." But the issue is more complex that Mike has indicated. Secession occurred in two waves. Seven slave states seceded within three months of Lincoln's election, even though, apart from his opposition to the extension of slavery into the territories, Lincoln had pledged not to tamper with the peculiar institution.

    The second wave occurred after the Fort Sumter incident, when Lincoln had refused to evacuate Union troops from Charleston Harbor. This was the spark that caused four additional states -- Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas -- to join the rebellion. The Governor of Virginia (who had previously been critical of South Carolina's actions) flatly refused Lincoln's order to muster militia for to the purpose of forcing the rebellious states back into the Union, and he accused Lincoln of starting a civil war for the purpose of subjugating the South. As Jeff Hummel puts it: "Previously unwilling to secede over the issue of slavery, these four states were now ready to fight for the ideal of a voluntary union." (*Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men,* p. 141.)

    This is what I meant in saying that the motives for secession were varied and complex. But it would be silly to say that slavery was the fundamental issue that was contested during in the Civil War (even if it was the motive that caused *some* southerners to demand independence), since neither side was calling for its abolition. (As I pointed out before, slavery was legal in four border states within the Union itself.) Rather, the fundamental issue had to do with the right of secession. This is an issue that had been debated in the United States for many years.

    Btw, I have no sympathy with either side in that bloody and senseless war. Ghs

    • Haha 1

  16. 3 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    There is only one thing I demand obedience to--the site's rules with the flexibility I extend at times due to contexts.

    Oh, thank you, Great Oz! You are the genius behind the curtain. Maybe Jon La Cockroach can start his own thread. Just sayin'. 

    • Haha 1

  17. Shhhhh! Your name is Rodney?  Smiley face emoji. Don’t you see? It’s all connected to The Jefferson Starship and The Clinton Administration. And lyrics.

    Hello by Hedley Is anybody listening now? Does anybody miss me now? What can I do To get through to you Cutting through the static and noise I really wanna hear your voice Need you tonight I hate how we fight

    Hello by Lionel Richie I've been alone with you inside my mind And in my dreams I've kissed your lips a thousand times I sometimes see you pass outside my door Hello, is it me you're looking for? I can see it in your eyes

    Genesis. No Reply at all. Hello? Hello? HELLO? Is anybody listening? Ohhh (Yeah, can you hear me?) No reply at all (Ha, come on) Is anybody listening?

    Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb Hello? Hello? Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me Is there anyone at home? Come on now I hear you're feeling down Well I can ease your pain Get you on your feet again Relax I'll need some information first Just the basic facts
    Can you show me where it hurts?

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying
    When I was a child I had a fever
    My hands felt just like two balloons
    Now I've got that feeling once again
    I can't explain you would not understand
    This is not how I am
    I have become comfortably numb

    Just a little pinprick
    There'll be no more, ah
    But you may feel a little sick
    Can you stand up?
    I do believe it's working, good
    That'll keep you going through the show
    Come on it's time to go

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship, smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying
    When I was a child
    I caught a fleeting glimpse
    Out of the corner of my eye
    I turned to look but it was gone
    I cannot put my finger on it now
    The child is grown
    The dream is gone
    I have become comfortably numb.

  18. Back in the real world, how are law enforcement and the military doing? The San Diego Union-Tribune 2 hrs ago By Andrew Dyer: San Diego-based Navy ship confines crew amid soaring COVID-19 cases.

    SAN DIEGO — The crew of the San Diego-based amphibious transport dock Somerset have been ordered to remain on board the ship as the Navy announced Wednesday that six more San Diego-based sailors have tested positive for COVID-19. The order to remain on board coincides with comments made Tuesday by Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, who said such orders are already being implemented on submarines 14 days out from getting underway.

    Navy officials from the Somerset, Naval Surfaces Forces Pacific, 3rd Fleet and the Pacific Fleet would not confirm the order late Wednesday; however, a post on the ship’s Facebook page made note of the latest “schedule change.” “By now you may know about our schedule change,” wrote Capt. Dave Kurtz, the ship’s commanding officer, in the post. “I won’t go into details here due to operational security, but want to assure all that we’re taking every precaution we can to maintain the health of our Sailors and their families, while maintaining our ship’s readiness in support of the Nation.”

    The spouse of a sailor on the Somerset told The San Diego Union-Tribune that sailors weren’t given advance notice of the move and were told upon arriving to work Wednesday morning. The Union-Tribune is not publishing her name because she said she fears reprisals for her husband. “They went to work today and were told they can’t go home anymore,” she said when reached by phone. “They told him his family concerns aren’t their problem and this is no different than being deployed.”

    In his Facebook message to families, Kurtz said the ship is where the country needs its sailors right now. “Our Sailors have volunteered to serve where and when the country needs them,” Kurtz wrote. “That place is on USS SOMERSET and that time is now.”

    The move came as the Navy announced the largest single-day jump in confirmed novel coronavirus cases Navywide. Seventeen Navy sailors and civilians were announced positive for COVID-19 late Wednesday. Among them are two sailors stationed aboard San Diego-based ships; however, the Navy is no longer disclosing which ships have positive cases.

    Four more San Diego sailors and three San Diego Navy civilians are also among the new cases reported Wednesday. Wednesday’s announcement brings the total number of local military testing positive for COVID-19 to 33, including 18 sailors on Navy ships and 14 shore-based sailors. Four Marines have also tested positive. Five sailors on board a Navy ship at sea in the Pacific also tested positive, the Navy announced, though it did not say which ship.

    On Tuesday, Thomas Modly, the acting Navy secretary, announced three sailors on board the San Diego-based carrier Theodore Roosevelt were being flown off the ship after testing positive while the ship is deployed to the Western Pacific.

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