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The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves

Here is our weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are very welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘Reader Selected News’ thread below or via the ‘News Selected By Our Readers’ link found in the sidebar.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, February 28th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves”

  1. Petronius

    This Week in The Civil War, for the week of Sunday, March 2: Union cavalry raid on Richmond, Virginia, seat of the Confederacy.

    Pursuant to a meeting held by President Abraham Lincoln with Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick, Stanton issued written orders to Kilpatrick and to Col. Ulric Dahlgren, formerly the aide-de-camp to Gen. George G. Meade, the commander of the Army of the Potomac. Kilpatrick with some 3,000 Union cavalry, and a second group of 500 picked men led by Dahlgren, were to conduct a brazen raid on Richmond, Virginia, capital of the Confederacy, this week 150 years ago.

    The objective: to kill Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet, burn the city, liberate the 15,000 Union prisoners of war held at Belle Isle, and wreak havoc.

    The main group of raiders led by Kilpatrick was to demonstrate against the city’s fortifications from the north; meanwhile Dahlgren’s detachment was to circle around to the west and enter Richmond from the south. Kilpatrick reached the outskirts of Richmond on 1 Mar 1864, and there fierce skirmishing erupted near the city’s defenses. Kilpatrick succeeded in burning a few rail cars and flour mills, while some of his troopers amused themselves by beheading an old woman’s flock of geese for saber practice. But when Dahlgren’s group failed to arrive in time, the Kilpatrick raiders, exhausted from long hours in the saddle and the pelting rain, were compelled to retire and go into bivouac. The next day Kilpatrick tried again but was forced to retreat when he ran into Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton’s division of Confederate cavalry.

    Meanwhile Dahlgren’s 500 cavalry couldn’t penetrate the city either. They picked up a free young black named Martin Robinson from a looted plantation who told them he could guide them to a ford on the James River. Robinson was a brickmason, formerly slave of David Mimms of Goochland, and familiar with the area. But when Dahlgren got to the ford it was swollen by the rains and the horses could not cross. Dahlgren, in his frustration, and suspecting the black guide of deliberately misleading him, had Robinson hanged from the nearest oak, using the reins from Dahlgren’s own horse for a noose, as a swift lesson in Yankee justice. They then withdrew to the plantation of James A. Seddon, the Confederate Secretary of War, burned the barns and stables, stole the horses, and looted and wrecked the house. After this Dahlgren retreated northward with some Southern civilians taken as hostages, as well as a quantity of stolen silverware, only to be ambushed en route by Confederate home guards.

    Like the British retreat from Lexington and Concord, there seemed to be rebel marksmen behind every stonewall, tree, fence post, and barn. With rain and sleet beating down, Dahlgren’s command became divided in the darkness and confusion; about 300 of his men were able to rejoin Kilpatrick, while the other half of Dahlgren’s unit was cut off by Confederate cavalry supported by militia and embattled farmers. In the melee, which included hand-to-hand and horse-to-horse fighting, Dahlgren’s men were either killed or captured and Dahlgren himself was killed.

    In the end, all the Yankees had to show for their efforts were a number of farms, mills, railroad buildings, and freight cars burned, a flock of dead geese, and several thousand copies of Lincoln’s amnesty proclamation left in ruined churches, looted houses, and abandoned shops.

    Later that night William Littlepage, a 13 year-old boy and member of the Richmond home guard, was the first to find Dahlgren’s body and rifled his pockets, finding there two folded sheets of paper. Littlepage turned the papers over to his school teacher, Edward Halbach, who was a captain in the home guard. Recognizing the importance of these orders, Halbach passed them up his chain of command. The orders reached Gen. Fitzhugh Lee early on 4 March, and Lee, amazed by their contents, immediately hand carried them to President Davis. Davis, who was then in a meeting with Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin, quietly read through the papers, then paused when he reached the kill orders, and remarked “That means you, Mr. Benjamin.” He ordered Lee to take the papers to Secretary of War Seddon. Gen. Braxton Bragg, chief military adviser to President Davis, forwarded the kill-orders with his endorsement to Seddon denouncing “the fiendish and atrocious conduct of our enemies,” and Seddon decided to publish them. On 5 March the contents were published in the Richmond morning newspapers.

    Seddon sent a photographic copy of the orders to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, noting that since the Union plans called for murder and arson the Yankee prisoners ought to be hanged. Lee, ignoring Seddon’s recommendation, ordered the silver and horses to be restored to the proper owners. Lee forwarded the photograph of Dahlgren’s orders to Kilpatrick’s commander, Gen. Meade, demanding an explanation. Meade officially denied that either President Lincoln, Meade himself, or Kilpatrick were behind the burn-and-kill orders, placing the blame solely on Dahlgren. However, Meade privately believed the orders were genuine. In a letter to his wife, Meade admitted that he had “collateral evidence in my possession” to support the assassination orders.

    The Richmond papers had a field day with the Dahlgren orders, and meanwhile the New York Times celebrated the amount of Southern private property that had been destroyed, rejoicing also in “the large number of dilapidated and deserted dwellings, the ruined churches with windows out and doors ajar, the abandoned fields and work shops, the neglected plantations.” The Times also mentioned young Martin Robinson, whom the Times characterized as a man who “dared to trifle with the welfare of his country” and therefore got “a fate he so richly deserved.”

    One year later, after the fall of Richmond, Stanton directed his agent, Francis Lieber, to recover the original orders from the captured Confederate archives, and Stanton personally destroyed the document. Dahlgren’s father spent the rest of his life trying to clear his son’s name, and various Northern apologists have claimed the assassination orders were a Confederate forgery. However, the chain of custody from Littlepage to Fitzhugh Lee to Jefferson Davis is well documented and allowed no time or opportunity for tampering. Several photographic and lithographic copies of the orders survived the war, and were verified by various Union officers, including John McEntee of the Bureau of Military Information, who accompanied Dahlgren on his raid. The orders have subsequently been attested by the Smithsonian as genuine.

    The discovery of Stanton’s written kill order on Dahlgren’s body was a grave embarrassment for the Lincoln regime, a source of international outrage, and gave rise one year later to the more successful assassination conspiracy of John Wilkes Booth.

    Jefferson Davis was imprisoned for two years in a casemate at Fortress Monroe. Lt. Gen. Nelson A. Miles, the post commandant, had the blacksmith rivet leg irons onto the old gentleman. He was allowed no visitors and no reading materials except a Bible. Davis nearly died in his cell from mistreatment and neglect. He was indicted for treason, but after two years was released on $100,000 bail, which was raised by public donations. The prosecution was dropped in Feb. 1869, almost four years after Appomattox. His citizenship was restored posthumously in 1978.

    • Stanton. You tempt me, Petronius ..

      /superb reminder, my brother

    • captstubby

      outstanding Petronius .

      coincidentally,
      Today in history.
      Mar 1, 1781:
      Articles of Confederation are ratified
      On this day in 1781, the Articles of Confederation are finally ratified. The Articles were signed by Congress and sent to the individual states for ratification on November 15, 1777, after 16 months of debate. Bickering over land claims between Virginia and Maryland delayed final ratification for almost four more years. Maryland finally approved the Articles on March 1, 1781, affirming the Articles as the outline of the official government of the United States. The nation was guided by the Articles of Confederation until the implementation of the current U.S. Constitution in 1789.
      The critical distinction between the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution —the primacy of the states under the Articles—is best understood by comparing the following lines.
      The Articles of Confederation begin:
      “To all to whom these Present shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States”
      By contrast, the Constitution begins:
      “We the People of the United Statesdo ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
      The predominance of the states under the Articles of Confederation is made even more explicit by the claims of Article II:
      “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”
      Less than five years after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, enough leading Americans decided that the system was inadequate to the task of governance that they peacefully overthrew their second government in just over 20 years. The difference between a collection of sovereign states forming a confederation and a federal government created by a sovereign people lay at the heart of debate as the new American people decided what form their government would take.
      www. history.com
      http://www.history.com/topics/.....federation

      Lincoln said in his 1st Inaugural Address, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
      Lincoln was on record as saying, “”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; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”
      Lincoln also said, “Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would, directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears.” Obviously his object was to maintain the Union at all costs and ending slavery (or not) was to him merely a means to that end.
      That Lincoln himself was on record as believing that the invasion of the States was unlawful is shown by another quote from his 1st Inaugural Address, “That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.” Yet in this same address he proclaims his belief that the Union is perpetual and the he has sworn an oath to preserve it.
      However there were very basic and foundational problems with the entire effort to preserve the Union. For one thing it was known by all that it was a voluntary union entered into by sovereign States. It was also known that the Federal Government only has those powers which are expressly delegated. Nowhere in the document does it say the Federal Government has the power to force States to remain in the Union.
      In addition, three states—New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia included “resumption clauses,” which would allow the states to leave the union to “resume” their status as independent states.
      New York declared, “That the Powers of Government may be reassumed by the People, whensoever it shall become necessary to their Happiness.”
      Rhode Island said, “That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness.”
      Virginia stated, “Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.”
      President Lincoln did not see the Civil War as a war to end slavery until that became necessary to stop European powers from recognizing the South.

      “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”
      Lord Acton
      Most are not aware of the correspondence that took place between Lord Acton and Robert E. Lee after the Civil War. In that correspondence Lord Acton said,
      “I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore 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.”
      To which Lee answered,
      “I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”

      The Not So Civil War & the Issue of States’ Rights
      Dr. Robert Owens November 1, 2013

    • Petronius

      The Articles of Confederation were “perpetual” (“The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union”). However, the States seceded from the Articles because they who had made could unmake.

      That principle was not changed by the Constitution of 1789.

      The idea that a “critical distinction” was introduced into the US Constitution by its Preamble is simply false. Nor is it true that the Constitution was created by “the new American people.”

      In the early drafts the Preamble read, “We the people of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations [etc.]” But as it began to appear that some of the 13 States might not ratify (and Rhode Island was one of those that almost didn’t), the framers thought better of it, and decided to eliminate the spelled-out names of the various States.

      And so instead they changed the Preamble simply to read “We the people of the United States….” That wording preserved the same terms as currently were used in the Articles of Confederation, and clarified that only those States that actually ratified would be bound by the new Constitution.

      “We the People of the United States” therefore referred to the people of the individual States acting separately through their States. The people, James Madison said, are parties to the Constitution, but “not the people as composing one great body.” Rather, it is “the people as composing thirteen sovereignties.” And “no State is bound by it, as it is, without its own consent.” Jonathan Elliot, ed., The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Washington DC, 1836), III, 94.

      As Madison wrote in Federalist No. 39, the Constitution is to be ratified by the States, not by the American people as a whole: “not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong. Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act.”

      The resulting Constitution was a voluntary compact among each of the 13 States, none of which surrendered its sovereignty.

      The federal government was (and remains) the creature of the States and exists for the benefit of the States –– not the reverse.

      As captstubby correctly noted, several of the States in their acts of ratification expressly conditioned their ratifications upon retention of their sovereignty and the right to withdraw from the Union. In such a partnership any right expressly reserved by one is equally the right of all.

      The framers of the Constitution (1789) recognized that there was an unalienable right of independence; they had recently fought a long war against Great Britain to establish that principle. Each of the 13 colonies were recognized by Great Britain as “sovereign and independent States” by the Treaty of Paris (1783) that ended that war.

      In the Constitution of 1789, the States delegated certain specific powers to the federal government, but each retained ultimate sovereignty.

      There was no declaration or evidence of surrender of sovereignty by the States at any point, either before or after Appomattox.

  2. canary

    Obama had the White House official photograph take a photo of him striking a pose as if he’s on the phone with Putin.

    Scroll down to the official WH photograph released to news. He is wearing blue jeans and a blue workshirt with the sleeves rolled up even though there’s snow in the window, and his hand on his hip. He tries to looking like Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....s?page=257

    I just think it was a fake photo for his memory book, or he’s trying to look like he’s in charge and being tough. I think there would be papers, clutter on his desk, shadows of others in the room
    ready to tell him what to say or holding up flash cards to help him out.

    If it was a call in private (lol) he sure wouldn’t have his personal photographer in there.

    I wonder how many photos were taken until he was happy with this one. I can see him asking the photographer for advice.

    Does rolling up my sleeves with snow in the background make me look tougher.
    Should I put my hand here, or on my hip like this. How’s this. Or this?
    Do, I look like I’m an in charge kind of guy?
    Does it look like I might have my hand on my pistol?
    Think the gay guys will like this pose?
    Did you get my work boots?
    Don’t forget to count to 3 for me.
    Well, we’ll take a short break and get some more photos.

    • electraglide

      The Wall Street Journal reports:

      “The American and Russian presidents spoke on the phone for 90 minutes on Saturday after Russia’s parliament voted unanimously to deploy troops in Ukraine, defying warnings from Western leaders not to intervene.”

      90 minutes? Really?

      Luckily I found a transcript…

      POTUS: [on hold (88 minutes)]

      Putin: “Hello”

      POTUS: [reads prepared remarks from teleprompter]

      Putin: (unintelligible) [click]

    • Fav: An empty cab pulls to the curb and Obama gets out. “Hello,” he lied.

  3. captstubby

    looks like that future Presidental Library will have a lot of empty shelves.
    but rumor has it there will be a smoking room in the back.

  4. Astravogel

    Daddy, what’s that big cloud coming down on the White House?
    Chickens, son, chickens.

  5. canary

    While Snopes, and other greenies claim pictures of frozen Niagara Falls circulating were from late 1800 and early 1900, Reuters show photos of frozen Niagara Falls for the 2nd time in 2014.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2014.....gara-falls

  6. Kytross

    I was doing my bible study today. I try and read one chapter of Proverbs a day. 31 chapters, 31 days in every other month. Today is March 6th so I was reading chapter 6 and these verses popped out at me:

    16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
    17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that shed innocent blood,
    18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
    feet that are quick to rush into evil,
    19 a false witness who pours out lies
    and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

    Sounds a great deal like our current president.

    Haughty eyes, Check
    Lying tongue, Check
    Hands that shed innocent blood, indirectly through Obamacare and his foreign policy, check
    A heart that devises wicked schemes. just ask Jack Ryan or any of his political enemies, check
    Feet that are quick to rush into evil, check
    A false witness who pours out lies, check
    A person who stirs up conflict in the community. Isn’t that what a community organizer does? Isn’t that exactly what Saul Alinsky advocated in Rules for Radicals, a book that is dedicated to Satan himself?

    I don’t think that Obama is the Anti-Christ, quite frankly he’s not nearly evil enough, but his actions have never once shown him to be pro-Christ. He has dedicated his life to carrying out the plans of those who have allied themselves with Satan against the will of God.

    *sigh*

    And still I pray for the president, that God will guide him and protect our nation.

    • canary

      “Hands that shed innocent blood, indirectly…”

      Well, he directly used his hands to sign legalizing partial birth abortion. I don’t know that a veterinarian would do that procedure to puppies.


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