halialkers: J. Edgar Hoover, right profile view. Receding hair line, short nose, beady eyes (Agati)
This had the ceremony finished:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase and....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Declaration_of_Independence an American proxy state declared its secession from the lawful state over an illegal practice it so zealously defended, and... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown,_Virginia The first Anglo society in the New World had the first steps taken to establish it.

Now let's take each one and examine it, shall we? The first was how my state got its origin, though my part of the state was then the no-man's land frontier between the United States and what was still then New Spain, the furthest outpost of the Spanish Empire. It came from Nappy wanting to get some more money to wage his war of conquest against Europe, and was sped along by the second-oldest state in America establishing the world's first black republic, which killed his attempt to build anything special in this part of the world. One of the strictest Founders as regarded strict constructionism did not live up to his principles the moment it would have meant he'd actually have to give up something. How shocking.

The second was the roots of the Mexican-American War, the largest-scale conflict between two states in North America at present. Texas was founded by a bunch of immigrants who quickly broke Mexican law by establishing the institution of slavery in that particularly American form it took, namely blacks as slaves and whites as masters. The Texan immigrants behaved like Lou Dobbs' wet dream of how Hispanic immigrants today would behave and forcibly broke free from Mexico by virtue of defeating an incompetent dictator named Santa Anna. The resulting turmoil led to this particular US proxy later being annexed and a war between the two independent great powers of North America at the time.

And in the third case, the uniquely American phenomenon of over-powerful corporations (by comparison to other First World societies, that is) has one hint at the root of the situation. Namely, the establishment of the first English outpost in the American continent itself that actually survived, by virtue of the 17th Century version of a modern corporation. This outpost survived mainly from a mixture of friendly relations with the Indians, pirating the Indian crop of tobacoo and looting Indian food surpluses to feed themselves because the damn nobles were still picky about doing actual work for a change. And it is also ironic that the American continent's present day English empires were founded by corporations and now in the 21st Century Anno Domini have still more powerful corporations in the present. Gotta love it.
halialkers: (Default)
Let's get one thing straight, shall we? Slavery in the US model was feudalism at its finest. Feudalism is de-centralized and incapable of fighting modernity, as the Crimean War had proven not so long prior. The Confederate slave system was even worse. Like most such systems it was quite repressive, it relied on the naked power of the slaveowner to exploit the slaves.

Now, this system was going to go up against the power of the United States, which had never lost a war prior to that, and which had survived worse defeats from the Indian tribes at that time than the Confederate Army would ever deliver during the War of the 1860s. So.....that's not enough, the CSA will always beat the USA with General Lee in charge. Except that General Lee led a much smaller army that took much higher casualties against a foe that could put more guns and men on the field at all times. You cannot win such a war on that terms.

Then there's the utter handwaving of the fact that 1/3 the Southern population will be for obvious reasons anti-Confederate (the blacks). And there will be in most scenarios a sizeable Unionist population, unless the North manages to get all the slave states as one bloc, which would be virtually the only scenario, and requires a radically different USA.

Yes, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia beat much larger armies. The truth is that it wasn't the CS Armies that beat the US ones, it was the US ones that beat themselves. The moment Lee faced a competent Union general his "Charge at all times" mentality went down in bloody defeat as it was going to.

In short, like with World War II, any scenario vaguely recognizable will still see the Union win, just in different fashions to actual history. Which have their own fascinating scenarios. Imagine a Civil War without emancipation......:eek:
halialkers: (Default)
Three questions that need answering.

First: Is economic inequality a civil rights issue? Not so long ago, a scandal broke where minors were being incarcerated to boost the profits of privately-owned for-profit prisons. The children imprisoned were disproportinately poor and this was true regardless of race. The civil rights leaders were nowhere to be found in that situation, despite the fact that economic inequality is pernicious and not limited to racial boundaries. This, also, despite the fact that economic inequality drives the Fundamentalist movements worldwide, as reactions against it. Why is the Jena Six incident considered civil rights but children who are poor who are imprisoned for greedy evil bastards to make profits off of that somehow not?

Second: Why is it that genocide is an evil thing to do but cultural genocides and ethnocides are acceptable government policies in the developed world? The idea that there are nation-states is a pretty fiction, but no more and no less. Spain has the Basques, the Catalans, and the Castilians and the Galicians. France has the Basques and Catalans and Gascons and Bretons and Italians and Alsatians. The US has my old saw, the Indian peoples, whom we attempted to destroy their cultures thereof. Now....given that eliminating entire peoples because we don't like their cultures is wrong (as in the Shoah and the Killing Fields), why is eliminating the cultures themselves somehow not wrong?

Third (and finally): Why have there been pages and pages on the crimes of one Adolf Hitler of Branau Am Inn and virtually nothing on the crimes of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, at least in English-language media? I can name seven Holocaust scholarship books off the top of my head. I can only name one that dealt with the Soviet slave labor camp system, virtually none that touch on Soviet behavior in Eastern Europe and on Soviet ethnic cleansing, and damned fewer yet that will touch the nature of Soviet scientific evils, including a plan to shape a "New Soviet Man." Since Hitler's Master Race was almost cartoonishly evil, how again, is the Soviet Union's history of atrocities and evils done in the name of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," somehow not? Why the volumes on the Holocaust and the slaughters in Russia, but not even a box's worth of equal social history on the Gulag and Soviet ethnic cleansing?
halialkers: (Default)
Congratulations to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama II! Being the first is always tough, and I wish you well, Mr. President. You've a pile of shit of Augean proportions to shovel, but if you play your cards right you might reduce it merely to the height of horses' bridles. Godspeed and God be with you, Mr. President!
halialkers: (Default)

While the inauguration of Barack Obama as the next leader of the United States is an awe-inspiring moment, and hats off to the new POTUS, BTW....I would like to remind people of a few realities we often tend to forget:

All inhabitants of all continents are not truly "native" as such. The Native Europeans are groups like the Mari and the Udmurts and the Euskera and the Sami. The Native Indians are the Adivasi such as the Sora, the Onge, and the Jarawa. The native East Asians are groups like the Ainu, the Ati, the Kavalan, and the Paiwan, and the native North Asians are the groups such as the Nenets, the Tuvans, the Samoyeds, and the Yukhaghirs now under Russian rule, as they have been for quite some time. Then, there are the indigenous African peoples who speak languages such as Efe, Twa, Juu, and Hoan. And of course, there are the more familiar Indigenous peoples such as the Wurundjeri, the Arrente, and the Yolgnu of Australia, and groups like the Jivaro, the Lumbee, the Klamath, the Lakota-Dakota-Nakota, the Najavo, the Muskogees, and the Apaches, and further south, the Yanomamo, the Quechua, the Nahua, the Mapuche, and the Fuegians.

Effectively, all continents have been stolen from others. That the Australian and American continents should have been stolen as blatantly and recently as they were is horrible and cruel, but all the same....it is just one of an endless series of stolen continents. When people start talking about giving the Basques their own countries...or the Nenets and the Ainu theirs...then might justice be done for Natchez and and the Nez Perce. It's shameful to say that it will hardly be done otherwise....

halialkers: (Default)

^This guy.

He managed to get the Indians to work together.

Unfortunately, he lost due to British wankery and his brother not understanding that he needed to wait a bit before attempting to jump Tippecanoe.

Oh, well. He still gets the BADASS OF THE MONTH AWARD.

halialkers: (Default)
5 Myths About Those Civic-Minded, Deeply Informed Voters

By Rick Shenkman
Sunday, September 7, 2008; B05

One thing both Democrats and Republicans agreed about in their vastly different conventions: The American voter will not only decide but decide wisely. But does the electorate really know what it's talking about? Plenty of things are hurting American democracy -- gridlock, negative campaigning, special interests -- but one factor lies at the root of all the others, and nobody dares to discuss it. American voters, who are hiring the people who'll run a superpower democracy, are grossly ignorant. Here are a few particularly bogus claims about their supposed savvy.

1. Our voters are pretty smart.

You hear this one from politicians all the time, even John McCain, who promises straight talk, and Barack Obama, who claims that he's not a politician (by which he means that he'll tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear). But by every measure social scientists have devised, voters are spectacularly uninformed. They don't follow politics, and they don't know how their government works. According to an August 2006 Zogby poll, only two in five Americans know that we have three branches of government and can name them. A 2006 National Geographic poll showed that six in ten young people (aged 18 to 24) could not find Iraq on the map. The political scientists Michael Delli Carpini and Scott Keeter, surveying a wide variety of polls measuring knowledge of history, report that fewer than half of all Americans know who Karl Marx was or which war the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought in. Worse, they found that just 49 percent of Americans know that the only country ever to use a nuclear weapon in a war is their own.

True, many voters can tell you who's ahead and who's behind in the horse race. But most of what they know about the candidates' positions on the issues -- and remember, our candidates are running to make policy, not talk about their biographies -- derives from what voters learn from stupid and often misleading 30-second commercials, according to Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

2. Bill O'Reilly's viewers are dumber than Jon Stewart's.

Liberals wish. Democrats like to think that voters who sympathize with their views are smarter than those who vote Republican. But a 2007 Pew survey found that the knowledge level of viewers of the right-wing, blustery "
The O'Reilly Factor" and the left-wing, snarky "The Daily Show" is comparable, with about 54 percent of the shows' politicized viewers scoring in the "high knowledge" category.

So what about conservative talk-radio titan
Rush Limbaugh's audience? Surely the ditto-heads are dumb, right? Actually, according to a survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Rush's listeners are better educated and "more knowledgeable about politics and social issues" than the average voter.

3. If you just give Americans the facts, they'll be able to draw the right conclusions.

Unfortunately, no. Many social scientists have long tried to downplay the ignorance of voters, arguing that the mental "short cuts" voters use to make up for their lack of information work pretty well. But the evidence from the past few years proves that a majority can easily be bamboozled.
Just before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, after months of unsubtle hinting from Bush administration officials, some 60 percent of Americans had come to believe that Iraq was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, despite the absence of evidence for the claim, according to a series of surveys taken by the PIPA/Knowledge Networks poll. A year later, after the bipartisan, independent 9/11 Commission reported that Saddam Hussein had had nothing to do with al-Qaeda's assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 50 percent of Americans still insisted that he did.

In other words, the public was bluntly given the data by a group of officials generally believed to be credible -- and it still didn't absorb the most basic facts about the most important event of their time.

4. Voters today are smarter than they used to be.

Actually, by most measures, voters today possess the same level of political knowledge as their parents and grandparents, and in some categories, they score lower. In the 1950s, only 10 percent of voters were incapable of citing any ways in which the two major parties differed, according to Thomas E. Patterson of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, who leads the Pew-backed Vanishing Voter Project. By the 1970s, that number had jumped to nearly 30 percent.

Here's what makes these numbers deplorable -- and, in fact, almost incomprehensible: Education levels are far higher today than they were half a century ago, when social scientists first began surveying voter knowledge about politics. (In 1940, six in ten Americans hadn't made it past the eighth grade.) The moral of this story: Schooling alone doesn't translate into better educated voters.

5. Young voters are paying a lot of attention to the news.

Again, no. Despite all the hoopla about young voters -- the great hope of the future! -- only one news story in 2001 drew the attention of a majority of them: 9/11. Some 60 percent of young voters told Pew researchers that they were following news about the attack closely. (Er -- 40 percent weren't?) But none of the other stories that year seemed particularly interesting to them. Only 32 percent said that they followed the news about the anthrax attacks or the economy, then in recession. The capture of Kabul from the Taliban? Just 20 percent.

Six years later, Pew again measured public knowledge of current events and found that the young (aged 18 to 29) "know the least." A majority of young respondents scored in the "low knowledge" category -- the only demographic group to do so.

And some other statistics are even more alarming. How many young people read newspapers? Just 20 percent. (Worse, studies consistently show that people who do not pick up the newspaper-reading habit in their 20s rarely do so later.) But surely today's youth are getting their news from the Internet? Sorry. Only 11 percent of the young report that they regularly surf the Internet for news. Maybe Obama shouldn't be relying on savvy young voters after all.


P.T. Barnum's laughing at 21st Century America from the grave.

And guess who else laughs with him?

Emperor Norton.


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