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A Second American Civil War for Independence Day

by Eric Ferguson on July 3, 2018 · 1 comment

Artist's conception. Not actually an Alex Jones listener

Artist’s conception. Not actually an Alex Jones listener

I first heard verbally that the nutcase right had a new conspiracy theory that liberals are going to start a civil war on July 4th, which as I write this, is tomorrow. Damn, I haven’t even dug out my musket and bayonet yet! Anyway, I found the source, the source of so many tinfoil hat conservative conspiracy theories, Alex Jones (hat tip Johnny Wendell at Daily Kos).

Sane people know not to believe any of the craziness Alex Jones spews, but many trumpers believe him, including the Russian President of the United States, Trump. I don’t know what is more disturbing, that Trump and other bigoted lunatics believe him no matter how many times he’s proven to be making it up, or that some of them seem to want a new civil war. There’s an element of the extreme right that doesn’t want to start it, not because they don’t want it, but rather because everyone is the hero in his own story, which means they want us to start it. Mocking them is much more fun and much less deadly, so no. Hey guys, how are we going to start a war when you have all the guns? Could you share? Just to make the odds more even?

Of course, the Confederacy did get impatient waiting for the Union to invade and just went ahead and started the first civil war, so maybe best not to encourage them.


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Reflections on Ft. Sumter

by Eric Ferguson on April 14, 2011 · 0 comments

The attack on Ft. Sumter 150 years ago yesterday is a moment in tiny company in US history, namely those moments when absolutely, no longer a doubt about it, we’re at war. There are several directions to go when reflecting on this event. It’s almost hard to know which way and I’m sure I’ll miss something, but here goes.

We tend to think past events were inevitable once they’re no longer current events, but this was an instance where there were a bunch of possibilities. Perhaps the confederacy could have restrained itself from firing the first shots and gotten itself a peaceful secession, or at least forced the union to resort to force first. Without the attack on Ft. Sumter, or a willingness to accept secession, some federal units would have eventually needed to seize a confederate ship or fort or disputed piece of ground, touching off the war with the union being the aggressor, making it much harder to rally reluctant northerners to support the war. As it happened, by choosing to attack, the confederate government made possibly the biggest mistake of the war when it gave the union what we would now call a “Pearl Harbor moment” or “911 moment”.
Which gets to what I meant about the attack on Ft. Sumter being in a tiny company. There are four incidents in US history that clearly meant the war was on, the other three being 911, Pearl Harbor, and Lexington and Concord. What about the other wars? There was always some claim that the other side had done something to let us say “they started it”. The Mexican American War started with some incident that might or might not have happened and might or might not have been Mexico’s fault after President Polk moved troops into a disputed area, but close enough. The Spanish American War started with a sloppy investigation into what blew up the Maine in Havana harbor, and exonerated the design of the pride of the US fleet, which decades later turned out to be the cause and not a Spanish mine. The Zimmerman note got us into World War I, though we have to wonder whether warning Germany of the very bad consequences of making good on its offer to Mexico would have been enough deterrent.

Don’t think for a second this is a uniquely American trait. It seems to be common to all combatants. Maybe there are exceptions. I can’t think of them, and I don’t accept weak excuses as exceptions. Many claims of being the injured party are weak, which illustrates the point there’s something in our psychology that requires it. Leaders must at least have a sense of this, or they wouldn’t feel they need victimhood to rally the people to war; thus why I say the confederacy might have lost the war in those first shots, when it handed Lincoln a case that the union was the aggrieved party.

There is however something that might be unique to Americans. Other countries mark their big victories, and the defeats that came with long term or even permanent losses. We tend to mark defeats in wars we won. Lexington and Concord fits the pattern only imperfectly since it was a draw, though it might be the battle Americans subsequently remembered best (quick, name another Revolutionary War battle — no, Valley Forge wasn’t a battle). Ft. Sumter is probably less well remembered than Gettysburg, but it’s arguably second place. If Pearl Harbor, probably the single biggest defeat we’ve ever suffered, isn’t the battle we remember best from World War II, it’s a close second to D-Day. 911 is a ringer since it will be hard for anything that happens as a result to match that scale. OK, it’s not a perfect pattern, but it’s approximate at least, and someone will have to fill me in if any other country remembers defeats the same way. Maybe this is because we’ve usually come out with a win or a draw?

I’m also thinking of how the war is still perceived differently in different parts of the country. The Star Tribune article I linked mentioned some South Carolinians had a secession ball. Is it resurgent racism, or just the understandable desire we all have to believe what our ancestors did was at least honorable. A way it was once explained to me is that to southerners, the Civil War is a war they lost. Lincoln is not a hero everywhere.

Are southerners the only ones for whom the war is less about the effects or the issues than about a sense of identity? How about Minnesota? Joining the union side was about the first thing Minnesota did after becoming a state. Gov. Ramsey happened to be in DC when the news of Ft. Sumter arrived, and took advantage of geography to make Minnesota the first state to offer troops, an incident still recalled with pride in Minnesota history textbooks and MPR reports. The suicidal charge of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg was an identity-forming moment, and Minnesota’s regimental flags are being proudly displayed now at the capitol.

Though our resident modern nullificationists seem to have managed to walk by without noticing.


…eat at a Baja Sol Restaurant.

I saw the following tweet, which is mighty (cheney)in’ funny for several reasons….

Think about it – that’s Burrito Bridget, President of Baja Sol Restaurants and wife of Tony Sutton (a/k/a, “Taco Tony”, current Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party) saying it’s “libs” that always resort to name calling??!?

I always say “those that forget the lessons of history, tend to vote GOP” because of (stuff) like Burrito Bridget just tweeted.  Remember when Taco Tony called 13 former GOP state Legislators “quislings”?   Two of those 13 are veterans –  former GOP State Sen. George Pillsbury (World War II) and former GOP State Sen. Bill Belanger (Korean War).

And does anyone believe that Burrito Bridget didn’t intend to use the term “lib” as a pejorative?  

The target of that “lib” smear happens to be a guy on Twitter – @MattTorgerson – who is a self-described, and I quote, “…former Republican, now pragmatic independent…

So, in Burrito Bridget’s world, just like Taco Tony’s world, anyone that’s not a RightWingNutJob like them is a “lib” at best, and more than likely, a “quisling.”

Look, Burrito Bridget and Taco Tony can run their businesses and run their mouths anyway they want.  Bur freedom isn’t free, and there can/should be a price paid for said running of mouths.

That “price paid” should include those that Burrito Bridget, Taco Tony, and their ilk regularly smear  – somewhere near +/- HALF OF THE US POPULATION – never Never NEVER stepping foot into one of their Baja Sol Restaurants.  


Especially if you’re a member of a union, or if you support our Brothers and Sisters in a union.

YouTube of Burrito Bridget at the 2011 MN GOP State Convention, below the fold.
Bridget Sutton, President of Baja Sol


Peter Denny, is an American, who was originally from Australia. Peter Denny considers medicare-for-all, single-payer and the public option to be equivalent. I asked Peter how Australia felt about their plan. He said:

If they ever  tried to take the public option away from Australia, there would be civil war!

Peter also gave me permission to re-post a letter that he wrote to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar:

I am writing to you, to express my feelings on the lack of momentum by our elected representatives, in government regarding the introduction of a “single payer universal health system” for all Americans.

Senator, I’m a very proud Australian now living and working in this great country America. I have been here for almost 10 years now, and, I now consider America to be my country and Australia my hometown. In Australia, we have a sacred cow – health care for all. Australia saw a single payer, universal health program (called Medicare) introduced during the labor period by the then Prime Minister, Goff Whitlam. Yes, there was opposition, mainly by the conservative party, who many of us believed considered health care a privilege and not a right. Unfortunately, I see this, and have experienced this here in America. For too long, this country had, and still has, a greedy group of corporate giants that reap great profits from the distress, misfortune, sickness and ill health of Americans. It is this side of corporate America that leaves a dirty taste in my mouth. It also saddens me to hear of our elected politicians both Republicans and Democrats, being rewarded by lobbyists and special interest groups to keep such initiatives away from the very people who elected them into office at arms length.

The feeling Australians have for our health system can be simply summed up by the following quote taken from one of the World Health Organization’s report in 1999…

“Australia’s Medicare system has become one of Australia’s most trusted, experienced and dependable government agencies”.  (World Health Organization 1999)

Senator, please help the people who elected you, believe in you, and have placed their total trust in you, by standing up for what is right.

Senator Klobucher, please listen to the will of the majority of your people, and go with a Single Payer Universal Health plan for all Americans.

Peter Denny is from Golden Valley and spoke on Air America at the State Fair, last Sunday.


Last week Virginia’s Orange County Board of Supervisors vote to approve the building of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter within the historic boundaries of the
Wilderness Battlefield – and one of the most significant battlefields of the Civil War.  The Civil War Preservation Trust has been fighting Wal-Mart on this location for over a year – seeking an alternative location and compromoise – and after last week they desperately need everyones help to stop Wal-Mart from moving forward and opening the door to further destructive development.  

Even State Senator Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor, has written a letter to the president and CEO of Wal-Mart pleading with him to move the location off the historic battlefield.  Wake-Up Wal-Mart is helping in this fight and you can too by also writing a letter on the Civil War Preservation Trust’s website and also help spread the word yourself.

More from Blue Virginia and the Washington Post below:
Lowell at Blue Virginia has reasonably asked on the location:

Maybe I’m missing something here, like the (supposedly) urgent need to build retail right on top of a battlefield where 145,000 Union and Confederate soldiers fought and more than 29,000 were killed or injured. Can’t this store be located a mile down the road or something? What do you think?

Seems like a sensible question – just not to Wal-Mart.  The Washington Post further reports that:

[Civil War Preservation] Trust president Jim Lighthizer called on Wal-Mart to reconsider its decision to build within the footprint of the Wilderness Battlefield, near Fredericksburg, pointing to what he called, “nationwide anger generated by its proposal.”

“The ball is now in Wal-mart’s court,” he said. “It’s in the corporation’s best interest to work with the preservation community to find an alternative site. …We are optimistic that company officials will see the wisdom of moving somewhere else.”

That doesn’t sound likely, according to Wal-Mart regional spokesman Keith Morris. In an interview he said, “Two years ago, the county decided this site was one where growth should occur. We have looked at alternative sites and there are other sites but they require rezoning. There is no guarantee the county would approve another site.”

Morris pointed to the county planning commission’s second and little-noticed Aug. 20 4-3 vote that reversed a decision of the night before, when that commission deadlocked on the issue. A deadlock is considered a negative vote. Morris said that second vote was an indication of the county’s strong interest in seeing the store built at the proposed site.

There is a possibility that the Trust, as the lead organization of the Wilderness Coalition, will turn to the courts and appeal the board’s decision. Officials are debating their next step now.

Again, please help by writing a letter on the Civil War Preservation Trust’s website and spreading the word online.  

Thank you.


Bring On The Second Civil War!

by TwoPuttTommy on April 17, 2009 · 1 comment

Apparently, the flat-earth tea-baggers, denizens in the GreedOverPrinciples party, are mighty unhappy with the direction our great country is heading.  Notable electeds such as Bachmann MotorMouth Overdrive call for her followers to be “armed and dangerous;” the Department of Homeland Security warns of right-wing extremists.  And now, Texas Governor Rick Perry is threatening secession from the good ol’ USofA.

And it’s that secessionist talk, that inspired the following email sent to me by Mike Wilkinson, with the request that I post it.  So without further ado, said e-mail is beyond the fold:
Bring On The Second Civil War!

On the heels of this week’s announcement by Texas Governor Rick Perry that the Lone Star State might secede from the Union, I am delighted to announce that yesterday afternoon I reached agreement with a life-long friend to serve as our collective witness and reporter to the unfolding secessionist movement in Texas.

This gentleman, who I have known since the 1950s, is on the faculty at the University of Texas, and is perfectly positioned to watch, report and communicate on the activities of the Rebels as they prepare to disembark from the Union to form the Republic of Texas.

Our entrepid observer will be looking for tell-tale signs that the crisis is growing such as a sudden surge of enlistments in the Texas National Guard, the massing of armed Texas militia along the border with adjoining Federal states, the formation of a Yankee naval blockade out in the Gulf of Mexico and the one he says will be a sure sign a confrontation is near…Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson seen parading around the State Capitol in Austin attired in a beautiful antebellum gown.

He did have one request: “Do not send Norm Coleman down here as your ambassador to Texas. Boredom of that intensity will be viewed as an overt hostile act.”

He did admit that he may attempt to profit from the crisis by investing in the new nation and buying some of its expected war bonds.

I commented (and he agreed) that if there is to be fighting, we want it done in the tradition of the Civil War of the 1860s. First, no resorting to modern weapon systems and intelligence gathering. None of this smart weapons crap. We want the return to muskets and sabers, full frontal charges at the quick step against enemy positions, the storming of breastworks for all out hand-to-hand combat and fusillades of cannon fire spewing out grape shot mowing down oncoming troops in one bloody swath after another. No sissy drone planes or satellites to gather information about Rebel positions. Send the cavalry out on scouting raids, for chrissake!!

Speaking of cavalry, I am overcome with nostalgia for a couple of reasons. First, my great grandfather and great uncle were with the Ninth Illinois Cavalry during the first Civil War and fought at the Battle of Franklin in Nov., 1864 which is considered the bloodiest six hours of the War Between the States. Ironically, the Confederates forces were commanded by Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood, a Texan. In fact, Fort Hood in Texas is named after him. Maybe the Texas rebels will fire on Fort Hood reminiscent of the firing on Fort Sumter. I also, by the way, had relatives on the other side. My mother’s grandfather was a confederate sympathizer in western Maryland which had sided with the C.S.A. and, in fact, he owned a couple of slaves. Anyway, that’s a story for another time.

So, let’s get our volunteer regiments lined up. Remember to tell every farm boy to be sure and bring his horse, get out the fiddles and washboards for those evening campfire songfests during bivouacs and fight to preserve the Union. Let’s put an ass-whoopin’ on these traitors like we did nearly 150 years ago!!

Note: How ironic that our three presidents from Illinois all became immersed in a Civil War.

– by Mike Wilkinson

And I’m glad that Mike and his friend had some fun with the subject of Texas taking off and going it’s own way, even if it means they can’t compete for NCAA Football Championships; but sadly – the flat-earth tea-baggers in today’s GreedOverPrinciples party might just actually do that in Texas; they might just take up Michele Bachmann’s call to arms; they might just act out in what the Department of Homeland Security warns of.

And with the current “leadership” of today’s GreedOverPrinciples party, can anyone honestly say a Second Civil War is beyond the realm of possibility?

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The Dislike of Lincoln

by Roseville Dem on March 4, 2007 · 0 comments

An interesting piece over at Dailkos, entitled The Party of Anybody But Lincoln talking about the Conservative Political Action Committee gathering that happened the last few days.  It might have been in the news lately because that is where Ann Coultier called John Edwards a fag.  But that is not only note that shows how out touch these people are…
This little snippet from the post explains the next thing that is sad to believe:

 ”In interviews afterward, some attendees said Mr. Giuliani lost momentum when he heaped lavish praise on Abraham Lincoln.”

That’s right.  Conservatives can put up with differences on abortion, gay rights, and whether or not its okay for your mistress to live at the White House.  What they can’t stand is talking about Abraham Lincoln.  What’s bugging them?  

“While many conservatives regard the Civil War president as the spiritual founder of the Republican Party, others deeply resent him as a man who ruthlessly suspended constitutional rights and freedoms in order to militarily challenge the South’s belief in its right to secede.”

A note to the constitutional scholars on the right.  If it’s personal rights you’re worried about, the constitution specifically allows suspension of habeus corpus in cases of rebellion or invasion.  But of course, that can’t be what’s bothering conservatives, or they wouldn’t be so eager to support Bush’s usurpation of those rights without justification.  It’s the last part of the quote that’s at the heart of the matter: conservatives are still not over the Civil War.  Excuse me, the War of Northern Aggression.

The parts in quotes come from a Washington Times article that they quoted from.  I knew that some people in the south where not over the civil war, but it is still sad to see that type of talk from these people.  But it really should not surprise either, just another reminder of the real different view of the world that they take.