The Federal Government *is* the Problem

(August 12, 2022) Although we may applaud several descriptors for the FBI Mar-a-Lago raid ranging from “banana republic behavior” to “hypocritical” the true problem is the Federal government itself. Southerners recognized this in 1861 when they seceded to restrict the Federal government to the powers enumerated in the 1789 Constitution as amended. Although most academics argue that the slavery was the only state’s right that Southerners wanted to defend, their claim reveals a one-sided perspective. 

States’ rights and states’ responsibility are two sides of the same coin. The wording of the Tenth Amendment did not reserve the “rights” unenumerated in Constitution to the states. Instead, it reserved the unenumerated “powers” to the states. To be specific it starts: “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.”

Antebellum Southerners consistently objected to the Federal Government’s assumption of unenumerated powers. One example was Federal spending on public works projects. The Confederate Constitution expressly stipulated that such projects were the responsibility of the states respectively. For example, Georgia—not the Confederate government—built the Western and Atlantic Railroad between Chattanooga and Atlanta where the Great Locomotive Chase took place. 

Additionally, the Federal government presumed authority to pay subsidies to private industries even though no such power is enumerated in the Constitution. Consequently, the Confederate Constitution outlawed such subsidies. 

Similarly, the USA Constitution makes no mention of a power to adopt deterrence tariffs that benefit the economics of fone region over the others. In response, the Confederate Constitution outlawed them. Moreover, the Confederate Constitution authorized taxes for only three purposes:  military defense, government operating expenses, and debt repayments. In contrast, the USA Constitution had a giant loophole authorizing Federal spending for the “general welfare” of the people. Federal spending or taxation on most anything could be rationalized to fit through the “general welfare” clause. That’s how the Yankee camel got his nose under the tent.  

Consider the Mar-a-Lago raid. Even Attorney General Merrick Garland provides specifics justifying the warrant, we are relying on a corrupt Federal system to assure us that it is not corrupt. Mar-a-Lago is just the latest of a long list of abuses showing that the Federal government is drunk on its own power. Consider how they devalue our currency with reckless spending. Also consider how they give our money to dubious governments like the Ukraine that has a tradition of diverting such aid elsewhere and collecting a toll when doing so—apparently even when fighting a war for national survival. Much of the money intended for the people sticks to the fingers of the bureaucrats “administering” such aid. 

Sure, we can vote for new senators and congressmen but that’s like trying to reform the Mafia by putting a new crowd of gangsters in charge. Nothing will change because the problem is that the Mafia was formed to extort money. That’s the nature of the beast. Similarly, the Federal government will never seek to limit its own powers. It is foolish to expect it to suddenly work better with a new gang of mobsters running the thing. Once power is fully centralized there no more remedial options remain because the states will have no powers.

Thus, if the power of the central government is to be limited the initiative must come from the states. Axiomatically, if the states gain power, the central government loses it, and vice versa. Southern secession was just such an initiative, but it failed at an equivalent cost of six million soldier deaths when the proportional losses are applied region’s current population. A second option, authorized in Article Five of the USA Constitution, is the formation of a convention of states to propose new amendments. To date, all amendments have originated in Congress, but they could have originated in a convention of states. When two-thirds of the states meet in convention they are authorized to propose amendments. After three-fourths of the state legislatures approve the amendments, they become part of the Federal constitution. Significantly, governors cannot veto the state legislatures on such votes. 

Presently, 19 states have voted for such a convention as proposed by the “Convention of States Action.” In six additional states one chamber in each has approved the action. Should the combined chambers in those six vote for a convention, the “Convention of States Action” will have 25 of the 34 states needed to convene. Presently, twenty-two additional state legislatures have the resolution under consideration this year. The “Convention of States Action” proposal has three objectives: (1) Limit the Power of the Federal Government, (2) Impose Fiscal Restraints that government, and (3) require term limits on people elected to Federal offices.  

Article Five of the Constitution and the “Convention of States Action” initiative suggest that your vote for the representatives in your own state legislature may be more important than your vote for Federal officers such as U.S. Senators and Congressmen. Your state legislature is the body that will determine whether your state supports, and participates in, a convention of states to limit Federal power. 

Northern Negrophobia

(August 8, 2022) No doubt the media and the activists tearing them down justify the destruction of Confederate monuments on the premise that the South fought to perpetuate slavery and the North entered and fought the Civil War to end it. Today’s academics are comfortable acquiescing to that false public impression because it serves their anti-Southern bias. Only if directly asked, “Did the North go to war to end slavery?” will they sometimes answer that the impression needs to be modified in two ways. 

First, they add that Northerners went to the war to “preserve the Union.” The professors will not, however, explain that Southerners regarded “preserving the Union” as merely a euphemistic way of saying that the Northern objective was to “coerce the seceded states back into the Union” against their will.  There would have been no war if there had been no coercion. Northerners chose coercion and thereby inaugurated Civil War. They chose coercion to avoid disunion, which they concluded threatened the prosperity of the truncated Union. About ten Northern states even conceded the point in formal legislative resolutions opposing Southern secession. 

Second, some professors will also clarify that the North did not go to war to end slavery but to prevent the spread of it to the federal territories west of Texas and the Missouri River. Such, indeed, was a specific plank in the 1860 Republican Party platform. The professors will not, however, explain that Northerners wanted to stop the spread of slavery because they wanted to stop the spread of blacks per se.  They wanted to quarantine blacks in the South. 

Nobody should be surprised that Civil War era Republicans used the “stop the spread of slavery” trope as code phrase for quarantining blacks in the South. Everybody knows that today’s Democrats employ similar deception regarding illegal immigration on our Southern border.  Although they pretend that their motive is humanitarian, it’s a lie. Their true objective is to strengthen their Party because they know that illegal immigrant descendants typically vote Democrat, as do the immigrants themselves should they become naturalized citizens.  

The Northern mantra of stopping the spread of slavery began fifteen years before the Civil War in 1846 during the Mexican War when Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot attached a rider to a military funding bill. Known as the Wilmot Proviso it stipulated that slavery would be outlawed in any of the territories acquired by the war. Although the bill was defeated, those familiar with it today typically misinterpret it as a moral attack on slavery whereas the true motivation was white supremacy. 

In Wilmot’s own words, “I make no war upon the South, nor upon slavery in the South. I have no squeamish sensitiveness upon the subject of slavery, nor morbid sympathy for the slave. I plead the cause of the rights of white freemen. I would preserve for free white labor a fair country, a rich inheritance, where the sons of toil, of my own race and own color, can live without the disgrace which association with negro slavery brings upon free labor.”

Eight years later in response to the Kansas-Nebraska Act authorizing slavery in the western territories to be settled by popular vote, future President Abraham Lincoln opposed the Act by declaring: “The whole nation is interested that the best use shall be made of these [western] territories. We [Republicans] want them for the homes of free white people. . .” Three years before the 1861 Civil War started Illinois Republican Senator Lyman Trumbull said, “We, the Republican party, are the white man’s party.” That same year, Massachusetts abolitionist and Republican Senator Henry Wilson said, “I do not believe in the equality of the African and white races.”

Three months before the opening shots of the Civil War Texas Senator John Regan ripped the mask off the hypocritical Northerners. 

“Suppose the people of the South would today voluntarily surrender $3 billion in slave property and send their slaves at their expense to the free states, would you accept them as freemen and citizens of your States?  You dare not answer me that you would. You would fight us with all your energy and power for twenty years. . .”

During the Civil War in April 1864 Congress “scorned” a proposal by Kentucky Senator Garrett Davis that refugee blacks be redistributed in the Northern states in “proportion to their white populations.” That same year it rejected an amendment to the Freedmen’s Bureau bill by West Virginia Senator Waitman Willey that would empower the Bureau to contact the governors and mayors of Northern states and cities to arrange black settlements in the North. 

Finally, consider the undeniable reality that from Texas statehood in 1845 to the present day (177 years), twenty of the twenty-two states that joined the Union had only about one percent of their populations composed of blacks. The two exceptions were the border states of West Virginia and Oklahoma. As late as 1910 ninety percent of blacks remained in the South. They only began to migrate to the North when World War I production demands created a labor shortage.

If today’s anti-statue mobs were to realize that Civil War era Northerners wanted to keep blacks quarantined in the South, they might well turn their attention to tearing down statues to Northern Civil War heroes. 

Open Letter to Virginia Governor Youngkin

(August 4, 2022) The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN and the Big Three broadcast networks will never be reliable allies Youngkin allies. Consequently, you may come to regret your desertion of Health Commissioner Dr. Colin Greene and former Historical Resources Board appointee Dr. Ann McLean.

Apparently, the cancel culture mob attacked Greene for saying and that racism is a “politically charged” word sometimes used to blame whites for the inferior health outcomes among blacks collectively and that he hasn’t seen “compelling evidence” that systemic racism played a role in maternal and infant health disparities for black mothers and their babies. 

Regarding the first point, he may merely be suggesting that the collective inferior health of blacks could be due partly to their own behavior and that he is not prepared to accept systemic racism as the default explanation. Heather McDonald has addressed this very point as it involves crime and incarceration. In America’s 75 largest cities blacks account for only 15% of the population but represent 62% of robberies and 57% of murders. It is their own behavior, more than racism, that causes blacks to be jailed at a higher rate than whites. Similarly, it is possible that black health outcomes collectively correlate more closely with economic status than with race. In other words, poor whites may have similar statistics.

As for McLean, if her remarks on the John Reid radio show endorsed a viewpoint that states in the year 2022 can legitimately secede, she is wrong. But that is not the interpretation I took from her remarks. She was discussing America’s attitude toward secession during the antebellum era. In point of fact, Northerners considered secession at least six times before the Civil War: 1789 Federal Government Assumption of State and Continental Debts, 1803 Louisiana Purchase, 1807 Embargo Act, 1815 Hartford Convention, 1845 Texas Annexation, and 1846 Mexican War. Moreover, her chief point during the interview was to deplore the movement to eradicate the name of Lee at the Arlington National Monument. (BTW, please answer if you favor that movement because David Rubinstein, the co-founder of Carlyle Group where you made your fortune, is the major force behind it.)

You would not presently be governor if the Daily Wire had not handed you the issue of school board race and gender indoctrination on a silver platter. Moreover, those movements would never have become so powerful if the state had kept the Confederate statues up to share space with monuments of civil rights leaders and other blacks. Under such circumstances our multiracial society would be more congenial, productive, and realistic. 

While your failure to resist BLM, Anti-fa, and cancel culture mobs may get you temporary nods from the cultural elite, be assured they will abandon you at the first opportunity. If you really want to know what they think of you, read your Wikipedia entry. Here are some examples:

Conspiracy theorist Amanda Chase acted as a Youngkin campaign surrogate in 2020.

The AP reported that Youngkin “failed to refute a conspiracy theory about the 2020 election.”

When Axios asked during the campaign whether he would have voted to certify Biden’s election had he been a member of Congress at the time, Youngkin initially refused to answer. 

When Youngkin’s gubernatorial opponent, Terry McAuliffe spoke a “gaff” concerning parental rights over education of their children, Youngkin used it to create an attack ad. Following the election, Newsweek concluded that McAuliffe’s gaff had been “a major factor in the race.”

When a politically conservative activist tried to get a book removed from a school library, Youngkin supported a bill that would bolster such activism. Both McAuliffe and Richmond mayor Levar Stoney called Youngkin’s use of this issue “a racist dog whistle.”

In July 2021, while running for governor, he was caught on a hot mic telling an activist that he would “start going on offense” against abortion rights if elected governor but would largely avoid the topic until then.

In sum, you are not a racist. You do not need to appease everyone who gets quoted in the Washington Post as labeling you, your appointees, or Virginia whites, as racist. 

No Southerners on New Army Base Names

(July 6, 2022) According to Chris Cameron of The New York Times, a military commission has released the new names for eight of the Army bases presently named for Confederate officers. None of the bases will be named for a white male Southerner of any era. Men like Alvin York, Audie Murphy, and Carlos Hathcock were evidently passed over because they were white male Southerners. York was the most decorated American soldier of World War I while Murphy held that honor for World War II and Hathcock’s Vietnam experience made him a role model for future military snipers. 

The eight applicable bases are: Fort Polk, Fort A. P. Hill, Fort Pickett, Fort Lee (Virginia), Fort Hood, Fort Gordon, Fort Rucker and Fort Benning. Fort Polk will be renamed for a black Private; Fort Hill for a woman, Fort Picket for a Choctaw Indian who fought in World War II, Fort Lee for two blacks involved in World War II logistics such as mail delivery, Fort Hood for the first Hispanic to become a four-star general, Fort Gordon for Dwight Eisenhower, Fort Rucker for a Vietnam era Pennsylvania-born medevac pilot, and Fort Benning for a Kentucky Lieutenant General and his wife. Of those being honored with base names only Lieutenant General Hal Moore, who will share the honor with his wife as the new Fort Benning, might be considered a white Southerner.

Notwithstanding that white Southerners have long represented a disproportionately large share of America’s military service members, the failure to pick even one for the forts named above is an insult. According to the latest data I can find, 44% of America’s military are composed of Southerners whereas the South represents only 36% of the nation’s population. The commission will officially release all the proposed name changes—including more beyond the eight above—in October. One of the members of the naming commission is Brigadier General Ty Seidule. He formerly taught history as West Point but is best known for his book, Robert E. Lee and Me, which is a character assassination of Lee.  

U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency

WaPo’s Latest Distortions on VMI

(July 5, 2022) Provided below is an article by James Bacon from his Bacon’s Rebellion blog concerning the way that the The Washington Post slants their coverage against those trying to conserve the school’s traditions.

The Only Thing “Systemic” About VMI Is the WaPo’s Cherry Picking of Data

by James A. Bacon

(July 5, 2022) Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira was up to his old tricks in an article published over the weekend about Governor Glenn Youngkin’s appointments to the Virginia Military Institute.

Board of Visitors. Predictably, he portrayed the divisions at VMI as between rival camps of those who “support change” and “those resisting it” — a vacuous description of the controversies dogging the military academy. It is more accurate today to characterize the rival camps as those who believe VMI needs a good dose of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to redress past racial wrongs versus those who regard DEI’s raising of racial consciousness as antithetical to VMI’s socially egalitarian culture.

Be that as it may, Shapira frets that Youngkin’s appointment of four Republicans to the 17-person board “would roll back some of the efforts designed to make VMI more inclusive and diverse.” Only 6% of the Institute’s 1,650 cadets are Black, he notes, and only 14% are women.

Let’s set aside the obvious facts that women are far less interested in pursuing military careers than men, that they comprise only 16.5% of Americans in uniform, and that few college-bound women are interested in undergoing the rigors of the Rat Line.

Let us focus instead upon Shapira’s discussion of race at VMI. Youngkin’s board selections, he wrote, made VMI “slightly less racially diverse” by replacing one Black member, Sean Lanier, whose term had expired. “The new makeup of the VMI board includes nine White men, four Black men, two White women, one Hispanic man and one Native American woman.”

Gee, Blacks now comprise only 23.5% of the board — still a higher percentage than the 20% of Blacks in Virginia’s population. I thought Shapira and others of his ilk demanded that boards, faculties, and student bodies “look like Virginia.” Apparently, that criterion applies only when Whites are over-represented, not when they’re under-represented.

Far more interesting than the racial bean counting, though, is a startling fact that Shapira never mentioned in the dozens of articles portraying VMI as a bastion of systemic racism before suddenly shifting gears and supporting the administration of Superintendent Cedric Wins against reactionary alumni.

Shapira quotes Lanier, the departing African-American board member, as saying the following (my bold).

When the former superintendent asked me nearly a decade ago to help recruit more African Americans to attend VMI, thepercentage of Black VMI students commissioning was in the low single digits, and now well over 50 percent of Black students are commissioning. I’m very proud of that, but there is still work to do.

Wait? What? Do you mean to tell me that the former superintendent, J.H. Binford Peay III had been trying for a decade to recruit more African-Americans to VMI before Shapira had portrayed VMI as marred by rampant racism and former Governor Ralph Northam canned Peay?

One wonders what else Shapira has neglected to tell his readers in his “systemic” cherry picking of data to trash VMI and the alumni fighting to preserve its most hallowed traditions.

What Lee Really Said After Pickett’s Charge

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(July 2, 2022) In recent articles I’ve contrasted how Robert E. Lee took responsibility for his failure at Gettysburg and contrasted that with the evasion of accountability by President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and General Mark Milley of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their failure to accept blame for the Afghanistan debacle. Instead of focusing on a witch hunt to uproot nearly non-existent racism in the military they should have focused more on competently executing the Afghan withdrawal. After the failure was as obvious as the evacuees falling from overloaded aircraft ascending into the sky Biden, Austin, and Milley had the audacity to label the withdrawal as a brilliant success. 

In truth, the obvious fiasco may have been enough to convince Vladimir Putin that America has become a paper tiger thereby encouraging him to invade Ukraine. If so, we can thank Biden, Austin, and Milley for $5 a gallon gasoline, negative economic growth, historic inflation and possibly an impending depression.  The mess they made is a good argument for restoring honor to Robert E. Lee because he took duty seriously. He even blamed himself aloud in the presence of the soldiers returning from Pickett’s failed charge at Gettysburg that concluded the battle as a Confederate defeat. 

Those wanting to retain memorials to Lee should not sacrifice his record as a Confederate General to political correctness. His leadership qualities put those of Austin, Milley, and especially Biden, to shame. Consider the following direct quotes by eyewitnesses concerning Lee’s behavior after Pickett’s failed charge.

“A great many of Pickett’s fugitives passed by us and General Lee spoke to nearly all, telling them . . . ‘We want all good men to hold together now.’ He also used the expression ‘It was all my fault this time.’” — Colonel Edward Porter Alexander. 

“General Lee . . . alone, on Traveler, rode up and said. . . ‘this has been my fight and upon my shoulders rests the blame.’” — Captain Robert A. Bright on the staff of Major General George Pickett.

“One of the remarks made to General Pickett by General Lee, we distinctly heard him say: ‘General Pickett, your men have done all that men could do; the fault is entirely my own.’” — Fourth Corporal Charles T. Loehr, Company D, First Virginia Regiment.  

 “On the brow of the ridge was a solitary horseman . . . whom on nearer approach I discovered to be . . .  Lee. . . He asked, ‘Are you wounded?’ ‘No, General, not hurt but completely exhausted.’ ‘Ah, yes’, he said, ‘ it was too much for us. It was my fault. . . ’” — Private Randolph A. Shotwell, Company H, Eighth Virginia Regiment. 

“When we got back to our artillery, we met General Lee . . . who said, ‘Colonel, rally your men and protect the artillery. The fault is mine . . .’ Whether these were his exact words I cannot say but I can say they were substantially his words.” — Lt. Colonel Samuel T. Shepard, Seventh Tennessee Regiment.

“I was standing within a few feet of [Shepard and Lee] and remember [Lee] using the words ‘the fault is mine’ at least twice.” — Second Lieutenant John H. Moore, Company B, Seventh Tennessee Regiment.

“I saw General Wilcox come up to . . . [Lee] and, almost crying, explain the state of his brigade. General Lee immediately shook hands with him and said cheerfully, ‘Never mind General, all this has been my fault — it is I that have lost this fight and you must help me out of it in the best way you can.’” — Lieutenant Colonel Arthur J. L. Fremantle, Observer, Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards. 

All the preceding quotes were on the very day of Pickett’s Charge and on the Gettysburg battlefield. A month later, Lee officially took blame for the defeat in a letter to President Jefferson Davis and offered to resign as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. In a replying letter declining the resignation Davis explained that he believed it would be impossible to replace Lee with a better commander. 

In sum, there was no commander on either side of the Civil War more beloved by his troops than was Lee. They did not love him because he was once a slaveholder. Their devotion was due his leadership which involved sharing their hardships and putting himself in harm’s way when required, as was the case when Yankee artillery exploded on the very field where he rallied the soldiers returning from Pickett’s Charge.  Robert E