16 Jul 2013

Potpourri

Potpourri 117 Comments

==> You know how whatever plane the president gets on, becomes Air Force One by definition? Well today and tomorrow my laptop+nervous system are operating out of the DC offices of IER, so that’s where Consulting By RPM now is.

==> The best abstract for a scientific paper ever?

==> Common but improper uses of phrases.

==> Tom Woods comments on the recent discussion over Rand Paul’s social media director.

==> On the one hand it’s astounding that this got through, but on the other you can imagine the time crunch news broadcasts are on. Still, it shows how this stuff works. They broadcast it because (they claim) they got the NTSB to sign off on the names.

==> Bryan Caplan and David R. Henderson discuss the demise of the Chicago School. Neither mentions Scott Sumner. (zing!)

117 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Dan (DD5) says:

    “common and improper phrases”

    Improper? Or really,.. according to what authority exactly?

    http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/1994_01_24_thenewrepublic.html

  2. jerry says:

    Re: best scientific abstract ever? No. Best ever was written in 1978 by John Doyle.

    Title: guaranteed margins for lqg regulators
    Abstract: there are none.

  3. Joseph Fetz says:

    Since the video for the news broadcast has been taken down due to copyright (Kinsella will probably call them some nasty name), I will summarize.

    Right after the Asiana Airlines crash is San Fran, all news agencies were little whores for any info that would come their way. So, some prankster got into their feed and released some fake names for the passengers, KTVU went on air with them. The names were as follows: Sum Ting Wong, Me So Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow.

    I personally thing that all of them are very obvious and juvenile, but that last one– Bang Ding Ow– is super genius on such a stupid level.

    The craziness gets better, because now Asiana Air is suing KTVU for racially offensive language against their airline and brand.

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      But in the fully context of the prank, I love how it a timeline-narrative of what actually occurred.

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      Sorry, the second one was actually “We Tu Lo”, not “Me So Lo”.

      My typing and memory skill are for shit today.
      :(

    • Bob Roddis says:

      That’s because racially offensive language is much much worse than negligence that results in deaths.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Don’t forget that racist conjecturing about Zimmerman, and where in the world Snowden is today, are far more important things to talk about than discussions about the right to bear arms and protecting oneself, and worldwide secret spying operations.

        We can’t offend delicate sensibilities, no matter what. No matter what.

    • Dan says:

      Google Sum Ting Wong and you’ll find the video in a bunch of places. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rFwNfbsPny0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DrFwNfbsPny0

    • Ken P says:

      Can someone explain to me how these names are “racially offensive”? All but the last one is a creative use of common names.

      How is it any different than those used on NPR for comedic purposes? Ex. The fictitious law firm, “Dewey, Cheetham and Howe”

      I can just see the person carefully verifying the names: We check, Tu check, Lo check. A little common sense goes a long way.

  4. Ken P says:

    Re: best scientific abstract ever

    I think the point was that if it was a quantum weak measurement, it doesn’t really count because it couldn’t carry information.

    I was getting close to figuring out how to send CPI information 2 seconds into the past, but the neutrinos wouldn’t cooperate.

  5. Blackadder says:

    I like Tom Woods, but he has a big blind spot when it comes to the issues surrounding the Civil War. Sadly, he’s not the only one.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      What is his “blind spot”?

      • Blackadder says:

        He doesn’t see the South for the pro-war, pro-imperialist, anti-liberty, racist regime that it was.

        • Bob Roddis says:

          Yes he does. What evidence do you have?

          • Ken B says:

            “The real watershed from which we can trace many of the destructive trends that continue to ravage our civilization today, was the defeat of the Confederate States of America in 1865.
            … So the War Between the States, far from a conflict over mere material interests, was for the South a struggle against an atheistic individualism and an unrelenting rationalism in politics and religion, in favor of a Christian understanding of authority, social order and theology itself.”

            http://web.archive.org/web/19991023114339/http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue04/christendom.htm

            • Ken B says:

              Actually I forgot a really good part:
              I have been a Northerner for my entire 24 years. But when we reflect on what was really at stake in the “late unpleasantness,” we can join with Alexander Stephens in observing that “the cause of the South is the cause of us all.”

          • Blackadder says:

            There’s also this:

            Any civilized man must recognize in the abolitionists not noble crusaders whose one flaw was a tendency toward extremism, but utterly reprehensible agitators who put metaphysical abstractions ahead of prudence, charity, and rationality. Indeed, with heroes like this, who needs villains?

            • Tel says:

              This quote makes no statement about what kind of regime the South was.

              • Ken B says:

                How about mine?

              • Blackadder says:

                This quote makes no statement about what kind of regime the South was.

                I didn’t realize I was limited to only making one criticism of Woods.

              • skylien says:

                Tel didn’t say that, this was just the charge you brought forth and Roddis asked for some substance..

              • Blackadder says:

                Which Ken B has already provided.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                BA,

                The “cause” being mentioned here is a cause against a bad or worse cause from the North, not a sanction of everything the South did or believed.

                I think Roddis was asking for evidence that Woods DENIES the South had tremendous flaws in the ways described.

              • skylien says:

                “Which Ken B has already provided.”

                Blackadder, still your other comment just didn’t make sense even if Ken B provided the answer.

                And Tel might not even be content with Ken’s answer as well.

                For my point of view it is not clear that Ken’s quote proves that Woods has a blind spot on these points, I would need to read Woods at length about this topic which I haven’t so far…

                I just think that you can’t really show a quote that proves your point, it is basically the other way around if there is no quote of Woods mentioning these issues in a condemning way then you are right.

                On one point I am sure you are wrong. I already heard Woods repeatedly state that slavery and racism is and was bad in the south and that he is not defending this in any way.

                I can’ speak about the other pro-war, pro-imperialist, anti-liberty issues you mention because I haven’t dived into it far enough yet.

                However I just found this:
                “Did the southern secession have something to do with slavery? Obviously. I see no reason not to take the secessionists at their word, and we are being dishonest if we do not acknowledge the references to slavery in the secession documents. ”

                “Readers at Rachel Maddow’s level will take what I am saying as a defense of the Confederacy. I don’t defend any government, as anyone who glances at my work for five minutes can see, so it would be rather odd for the Confederacy to be the one government in human history for which I make an exception. My political philosophy is available for anyone to examine.”

                http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/hey-everyone-look-at-me-im-against-slavery/

              • skylien says:

                “On one point I am sure you are wrong. I already heard Woods repeatedly state that slavery and racism is and was bad in the south and that he is not defending this in any way.”

                OMG.. Please cut the “is” from this…

            • David K. says:

              Ken B and Blackadder, you cite quote from very early in Woods’s career, when he was not yet a libertarian. These quotes probably do not represent Woods’s current views. (If they did, why didn’t you find more recent quotes?)

              • David K. says:

                Correction: “… you cite quotes …”

              • Ken B says:

                @David K. You might be right but possibly he has only changed his expression and candor. I saw an interview with him where he was asked if he disavowed his early stuff and he said no. I think these are clear examples of the blindness BA notes, and that comes through I think more subtly in other places.

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                I personally think that his not “disavowing” of his views, as you put it, is more of a case of acknowledgement; “yes, I have said these things, and I stand behind them as my words”. However, he’s been quite clear in that he had a change of belief. In fact, it was occurring right about the very time that this particular article was published.

                I can relate, I’ve said many stupid things in my life, some of which are forever etched into the fabric of the internet. Do I “disavow” them? Absolutely not, I take full responsibility for what I’ve said. However, I certainly am not going to say that I still agree with everything that I’ve said.

                As it is now, Tom’s an anarcho-libertarian, so I find it hard to believe that he would empathize with the South in any other fashion than, “all people have the right to voluntarily disassociate”. Certainly he doesn’t support centralized power, imperialism, war, slavery, racism, etc.

                After all, 15 years ago I was a global socialism Marxist, and 10 years ago I was a neo-con in the Navy. Certainly, that is not reflective of what I am today, but it is merely the route I took to getting to my present state. I wish that I was always right and knew it all, but I don’t, so I must rely on the educational experience of time and information in my life to show me the way.

                I will say this, at all points in my life I was completely sure that I had the answer, but then, so is everybody.

                Life is certainly a learning experience, nobody can deny that.

              • Ken B says:

                Are you really arguing Joe that being a self described libertarian should ip so facto absolve one of any prejudice, blindness, or moral failure? Because no one except maybe Joe Biden ever suggested Woods said slavery was a good thing.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          The South was neither pro-war nor pro-imperialist. It didn’t have time to be.

          As for the other, the North was just as anti-liberty AND just as racist. The point made by Woods and others is not “the South was the epitome of the state, and the best one to ever exist” or some nonsense.

          “I don’t defend any government, as anyone who glances at my work for five minutes can see, so it would be rather odd for the Confederacy to be the one government in human history for which I make an exception.” – Tom Woods

          • Blackadder says:

            The South was neither pro-war nor pro-imperialist. It didn’t have time to be.

            Of course it was. They wanted war with Mexico, encouraged a pro-slavery insurrection in Nicaragua, wanted to take over Cuba (by force if necessary), and on and on. They believed that slavery need to expand if it was to survive, and so expansion was a fundamental part of their ideology.

            the North was just as anti-liberty AND just as racist.

            The North was racist, true. To say that it was just as racist as the South is plain ignorant.

            it would be rather odd for the Confederacy to be the one government in human history for which I make an exception.

            I agree that this is odd.

            • Dan says:

              He has explicitly said that he doesn’t support any government, including the Confederacy, many times. I’ve never seen him write that the South was anti-war, anti-slavery, pro-liberty. I’m not sure what more you need.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Silly Dan, if you support Mr. Smith’s action X, it necessarily means you support every other action Mr. Smith performs.

                You know, because logic and stuff. Plus it helps makes everything that has to do with southern secession seem worse. That’s the real goal here. Everything else is a rationalization for it, and made to appear as though it was arrived at value free from sound premises.

            • skylien says:

              BA, I suggest to write an e-mail to Woods so that he can clarify his stance on southern imperialism and so on… You know I somehow think the answer is predictable if he condemns that or not.

              • Ken B says:

                Seriously skylien? You think that really would be useful?

                “Mr Jackson were you being anti-semitic when you referred to New York as Hymietown?”

                The man is better at cryptic speech now is all.

              • Dan says:

                Yeah Skylien, when I was reading through this book of Tom Woods his cryptic love of imperialism was bleeding through. http://www.tomwoods.com/books/we-who-dared-to-say-no-to-war/

              • Ken B says:

                Dan a question. Did Blackadder say Woods was pro-war, or did he say that Woods was blind to how pro-war the Confderacy was? Becuae your link has diddly squat to do with the second.

              • Mike T says:

                BA / Ken B,

                “Did Blackadder say Woods was pro-war, or did he say that Woods was blind to how pro-war the Confderacy was?”

                >> You’re both reaching with this Woods’ blindness claim. From the 1st paragraph of that link Ken B provided:

                “The real watershed from which we can trace many of the destructive trends that continue to ravage our civilization today, was the defeat of the Confederate States of America in 1865.”

                The context of the article was about the Civil War period. Would it be fair to say that Woods’ argument is based on the premise that in this particular event, it was the North who were the pro-war aggressors and not the South? Are BA / Ken B suggesting that people are blind to not acknowledge how “pro-war” the Confederacy was in the lead up to the conflict in 1861?

              • Ken B says:

                @Mike T:
                I believe an unbiased reader of that article, who knew nothing of Tom Woods before reading that article, would come away with the impression that Woods had a rose colored view of the Confederacy. The more the reader knew about the period, and Stephens, and what Stephens thought the cause of the South was, the more he would feel that.

              • Mike T says:

                Ken B,

                I generally agree with your last comment. However, the charge was that Woods had a blind spot for the Confederacy’s war position. I don’t make any claims of being an expert on this historical period, but is it not reasonable to argue that the formation of the Confederate Government as an act of seceding from the Union was not an act of aggression or “pro-war,” despite the other dubious positions held by, or acts associated with, the South at the time?

              • Ken B says:

                Mike T: You can certainly argue that secession is not in principle aggressive or pro war. But
                1. I don’t think you can really make that case with the South
                2. and even if you could there are other things besides secession that disclose the nature of the Confederacy. One being it’s overt imperialistic desire to implant slavery in Cuba.

              • Mike T says:

                Ken B. –

                “1. I don’t think you can really make that case with the South”
                >> Really? In the context of the Civil War, you can’t make the case that it was the North who agressed against the South?

                “2. and even if you could there are other things besides secession that disclose the nature of the Confederacy. One being it’s overt imperialistic desire to implant slavery in Cuba.”
                >> Once again, I don’t see Woods’, certainly in his work over the past several years which I’m most familiar with, defending the Confederacy in general. The context of his claim seems to be with respect to the difference in action and policy between the North and South regarding the Civil War. So that takes us back to your point #1. How was the South pro-war and/or initiator of aggression with respect to this specific conflict?

              • Ken B says:

                Mike T: I am not arguing the south was the agressor in the civil war (I am not taking a position on that here as it is irrelevant to this discussion. Not everyone agrees that attacking arsenals and forts and seizing property are agression, so I prefer to keep it simple.) . But the Confederacy abolutley did want to conquer more territory, including the territories, Mexico, and spread slavery. It absolutley was pro-war in the early stages. (They changed their minds as they lost.) Blackadder is right.

              • Dan says:

                Are you claiming that anarcho-capitalist, Tom Woods, would defend Confederacy plans to conquer Mexico, spread slavery to Cuba, etc.? If not, then what’s your point?

              • Ken B says:

                What’s my point? I would have thought the several reiterations of it sufficient. Woods has a “blind spot” (willful or not) on these aspects of the Confederacy.

                @BlackAdder: Yep, Racehorse Haynes!

              • Blackadder says:

                Are BA / Ken B suggesting that people are blind to not acknowledge how “pro-war” the Confederacy was in the lead up to the conflict in 1861?

                Yes. The idea that the Fire-Eaters were a group of peace loving people is blind at best.

              • Mike T says:

                Ken B –

                “I am not arguing the south was the agressor in the civil war”
                >> Right, just as I think you are attributing a position to Woods that I don’t think he holds.

                “But the Confederacy abolutley did want to conquer more territory, including the territories, Mexico, and spread slavery.”
                >> Where did Woods deny any of this? Are you looking for his explicit repudiation of all the dubious acts/policy of the Confederacy, and claim blindness with its absence? From what I’ve gathered about his writing, his argument about the South is in the context of defending the rights of individuals to resist and/or disassociate with an increasingly centralized power center and its dictates, regardless of other dubious acts/policies carried out by the governing body of those individuals. It’s like complaining about someone who consistently and persistently argues against the horrors of US interventionist and militant policy against innocent people in the Middle East without satisfactorily condemning the atrocious human rights records, for example, of those governments and many of their people. That doesn’t mean that you have a blind spot for such atrocious behavior.

                “It absolutley was pro-war in the early stages.”"
                >> How so? And not being snarky here, I’m honestly curious as to how those in the South were “pro-war” as aggressors in the Civil War (as opposed to “pro-war” merely as an act of self-defense).

              • Mike T says:

                BA –

                “Yes. The idea that the Fire-Eaters were a group of peace loving people is blind at best.”

                >> C’mon now. We’re pulling out the strawman now?

              • skylien says:

                Right Ken, I am serious. It seems you just think that Woods is an dishonest hypocritical redneck. You will not accept any word of Woods against southern imperialism (generally adressed or specifically addressed at the south) anyway. Nothing he has or could say now could change your mind obviously…

            • Matt Tanous says:

              “Of course it was. They wanted war with Mexico, encouraged a pro-slavery insurrection in Nicaragua, wanted to take over Cuba (by force if necessary), and on and on. They believed that slavery need to expand if it was to survive, and so expansion was a fundamental part of their ideology.”

              And the North wanted wars in many of the same ways. The imperialism and pro-war nature of the South, however, is irrelevant as it never got a chance to really act on it.

              “The North was racist, true. To say that it was just as racist as the South is plain ignorant.”

              The North had slave states. They remained slave states through most of the war – the slaves were freed in the South before they were in the North, and only through an acknowledgement that they were property (and thus could be “spoils of war”).

          • skylien says:

            Matt, you beat me to it with this quote..

          • Ken B says:

            This is fun. Matt Tanous writes
            “The South was neither pro-war nor pro-imperialist.”

            But Susan (formerly kown as Bod Roddis) responds to Blackadderer’s claim that “[Woods]doesn’t see the South for the pro-war, pro-imperialist … regime that it was.”with “Yes he does.”

            You two should fight it out.

        • Ken B says:

          I had quite forgotten this. In the words of S B Tillman:
          “one only has to consider that at the Hampton Roads Peace Conference (1865), the rebel commissioners proposed domestic reunification if the United States made war: on France & what was, in effect its colony, Mexico, or on Haiti, or on some central American state—so slavery could expand yet again.” http://www.volokh.com/2013/07/18/some-comments-on-secession-by-seth-barrett-tillman/

          So much for not being pro-war!

    • Ken B says:

      I know him only in the context of that spot. Perhaps that would be like someone knowing Murphy only for his creationisms, but I must say it does not encourage a closer acquaintance.

  6. JoshuaJ says:

    Hrmf.. I already knew all of those correct 28 words and phrases. The only people I’ve heard use the incorrect versions are the ignoramuses on daytime television.

  7. Ken B says:

    A guy wanders onto FA, and announces
    “Really all our problems date from the fall of the Berlin Wall. I endorse what Stalin said, that the cause of the proletariat is the cause of us all!”

    I’m not saying this is enough to show the guy is a communist, but does anyone here not think he’s at least a bit blind to the true nature of communism? Because I think that’s a very kind and generous conclusion myself.

    • K.P. says:

      When I hear “the true nature of X” With X being any complex idea, institution, theory, or whathaveyou, I think things are being reduced too much already.

      I’m not sure whether that makes me kind and generous or not.

    • Mike T says:

      Ken B -

      I think there’s also another aspect to this that should be noted. You keep quoting Woods from one article 16 years ago. You stated above when responding to a comment about Woods’ views having changed since then: “You might be right but possibly he has only changed his expression and candor..” Do you have any explicit quotes from something he’s said more recently (ie within that past 5 or 6 years) that gives credence to your assertions?

      • Ken B says:

        I haven’t looked. Why should I need to, when you admit I met Susan’s challenge? Anyway perhaps he’s just gotten more careful. I linked once here a takedown review of one of his book that detailed the huge carpet he sweeps confederate awfulness under.

      • Ken B says:

        I just noticed. BA gets dissed for finding other articles indicative of Woods’s slant, and now I get slammed for not doing the same thing. Racehorse!

        I’m packing it in at this point. I presented proof, even Mike T admits its proof implicitly. Now we’re only debating whether Woods has gotten better at using coded speech. I think he has, and every single person I have sent recent Woods stuff to thinks so as well. We could be wrong, deniability and ambiguity go with the territory, but I have seen nothing presented here to indicate Woods recanted.

        • Dan says:

          This is why having a conversation with this worthless troll is a waste of time. I will have disagreements with BA from time to time but he doesn’t go out of his way to twist and mangle someone’s words until they don’t remotely resemble the person’s beliefs, like we see from king troll here.

          A few months back I realised that I had never gotten anything out of reading his comments, and I had decided I should just stop wasting my time reading them. Thankfully, this post reinforced the wisdom of that decision.

  8. Blackadder says:

    As the term suggests, a “blind spot” is more about what one overlooks or ignores than about one explicitly says. So asking for quotes from Woods where he explicitly claims x, y, or z is not really to the point.

    If a person often writes about a conflict and only ever mentions the flaws of one side, despite the fact that the other side is subject to the same criticisms only more so, that’s a problem, particularly when that person is a historian.

    • Mike T says:

      His criticisms are directed at the the North for their role in the lead up to the war.

      Let’s say Person A and Person B have engaged in some voluntary contract. Person A is a scumbag racist and even has a habit of picking fights with other weaker people. Person B is generally a better person, but not by much, showing the similar characteristics but not to the same extent. Person B violates the terms of their contract demanding different terms and when Person A refuses and wants out, Person B starts beating the s$!t out of Person A. They wind up in a long drawn out fight that leaves both severely injured.

      Is it a blind spot, or as you put it, a “problem,” to highlight the issues with Person B’s actions on how they handled that situation without getting into all the serious moral and character flaws of Person A?

      • Ken B says:

        You aren’t asking yourself why in books aimed at a large, non specialized, audience he would take such an approach. If I wrote a history of Austrian economists concentrating mostly on ugly racial remarks from Mises, Hayek, and the Ron Paul newsletters, with some quotes from commenters on various blogs tossed in, would you leap up and defend my approach in the same way? I bet not.

        • Bob Roddis says:

          What Tom Woods books have you read, Kennee Bee?

          Did you read “Nullification” where Woods points out that the only nullification case regarding slavery was from Wisconsin where the Wisconsin Supreme Court “nullified” an attempt to capture a fugitive slave? And that it was the south that whined and whined about it?

          I don’t recall anything about “the south” in “Rollback”. Or in “Meltdown”.

          You don’t what you’re talking about. Go away.

        • K.P. says:

          Well, I would certainly hope not.

          I can’t see much of an analogy between Woods’ one-sidedness towards the war and racial remarks and economics.

        • Mike T says:

          Ken -

          “You aren’t asking yourself why in books aimed at a large, non specialized, audience he would take such an approach.”

          >> Maybe because what’s generally taught in history books in classrooms today can pretty much boil down to North = Good, South = Evil, Civil War solved the slavery/secession problem. Perhaps we should be asking why the general public, by and large, heap so much praise on the North, Lincoln, and a slaughterfest that maimed or killed 1.5 million people when everyone else in the Western hemisphere expunged the institution of slavery without spilling any blood. Is it so wrong for someone to point out the largely ignored atrocities of the North??

          • Ken B says:

            Surely that’s an argument for a balanced approach?

            ” everyone else in the Western hemisphere expunged the institution of slavery without spilling any blood”
            This is just false, as I have noted here before. Haiti is the clearest example. The British *forcibly* exterminated the slave trade and killed a lot of people doing it.

            • Mike T says:

              “Surely that’s an argument for a balanced approach? ”
              >> Sure

              “The British *forcibly* exterminated the slave trade and killed a lot of people doing it.”
              >> I was not aware of that. In the Americas? In any event, the larger point is that nowhere (that I’m aware of) engaged in anywhere near the bloodbath as the US Civil War when the institution of slavery was being abolished around the world around that time.

              • Ken B says:

                “I was not aware of that.”
                I know you weren’t. That’s kinda my point isn’t it, since you rely on DiLorenzo and Woods? Maybe suggesting they are not even handed but have an agenda?

                The only large scale war? Sure. Of course the US is the only one that had to contend with the Confederacy, and its millions, so this cuts both ways.

              • Mike T says:

                Ken,

                “I know you weren’t. That’s kinda my point isn’t it, since you rely on DiLorenzo and Woods? Maybe suggesting they are not even handed but have an agenda?”

                No, your point seems to revolve around taking unsubstantiated leaps. I’ve never even read DiLorenzo and I’m only familiar with Woods’ more recent work. You’re proving my point from my original response above about you and Blackadder reaching on this one. Claiming Woods has a blind spot, agenda, etc is suggestive of willful ignorance. Just because some of his past work focused on one party’s atrocities and not an other’s does not prove willful ignorance. From what I’ve read of Woods, I don’t see it, but he’s the only one who can rightfully answer that charge.

              • Ken B says:

                Oh Mike the3 one thing you can’t say is unsubstabtiated. I quoted Woods and the rest of you are scurrying to explain away what he said. Like “long ago, early in his career.”

                But that was in another country and besides the wench is dead.

                I also cited the organization he founded and explained my reasoning. I gave links to more detailed takedowns of Woods, here and on othe threads.

              • Mike T says:

                Ken –
                I was primarily referencing your claim that I “rely on DiLorenzo and Woods,” especially funny since I’ve never even read DiLorenzo.

              • Ken B says:

                Mike, if you rely on Woods you rely on DiLorenzo, as Woods does. But I apologize for thinking your reading on the topic was more extensive than it is!
                :)

              • Mike T says:

                “Mike, if you rely on Woods you rely on DiLorenzo, as Woods does.”
                >> I never said I relied on Woods either, Ken.

                “But I apologize for thinking your reading on the topic was more extensive than it is”
                >> I only explicitly stated I didn’t read DiLorenzo. He sends his thanks for endorsing the “extensiveness” of his work.

              • Ken B says:

                He is welcome!
                While we are on the topic, I can think of some equivalent terms for “extensive”. Whopper, full of it, enormity. I will let you decide if any of those fit his claim that only 6% of southerners owned slaves, and basing arguments about having a stake in slavery on that number. To me that looks deeply tendentious, ascribing ownership only to the head of a family, instead of to the household. If Tom and his wife and 6 kids have 8 slaves, and Bob and his wife and 3 kids have no slaves, and we say only Tom owns the slaves es his sons drive, then we get 6% owners, more or less. But we hardly get 6% with a stake in slavery.

              • Mike T says:

                Ken –

                “I can think of some equivalent terms for “extensive”. Whopper, full of it, enormity.”
                >> Was that how you were using it when directing it at me?

          • Blackadder says:

            everyone else in the Western hemisphere expunged the institution of slavery without spilling any blood.

            It’s true. Only in the American South did people rise in armed rebellion to prevent the end of slavery. This is supposed to make us less sympathetic to Lincoln how?

            • Mike T says:

              “This is supposed to make us less sympathetic to Lincoln how?”

              >> It’s supposed to make us acknowledge there were other options other than a brutal 4-year war to end a horrific institution.

              • Blackadder says:

                It’s supposed to make us acknowledge there were other options other than a brutal 4-year war to end a horrific institution.

                Suppose that after becoming president Lincoln had decided to just let the South go. Sure, it would mean abandoning all the people in the South who wanted to stay in the Union (many of whom were being violently repressed), not to mention the millions who were enslaved. But suppose he decided it simply wasn’t worth the likely cost.

                Would that have meant there wouldn’t have been a war? I think it’s unlikely. Given the pro-war, pro-imperialist ideology of the South, if they had been left alone they almost certainly would have turned to war with Mexico or invaded Cuba or Haiti, in order to expand their slave territory. And eventually they would’ve gotten into a war with the United States, either over the fugitive slave issue, or to try and break off more slave states and territories from the Union, or over one of the myriad reasons that nations tend to go to war with each other. Would these wars have been less bloody than the Civil War? It is impossible to say, but I see no reason to think so.

              • Mike T says:

                Blackadder,

                Yes, it’s possible there could have been a bloodier outcome than the Civil War if events played out differently, but setting the bloodbath bar at the Civil War level is awfully high. Don’t you think?

              • Ken B says:

                It is awfully high. Was the height of that bar known in 1861? (If so then the South is surely even more culplable for firing the first shot, seizing the first territory, taking the first prisoner.)

                It’s not perhaps quite so high a bar that it couldn’t be overcome, as it was in 1914. Surely a point on BA’s side that things seem to get even worse as technology advanced.

              • Mike T says:

                Ken –

                “Surely a point on BA’s side that things seem to get even worse as technology advanced.”
                >> No, it isn’t. Because the range of possibilities were not confined solely to war.

              • Blackadder says:

                Mike,

                It’s hard to say. The brutality of war was increasing during that period. Varying the state date by a couple of years might have lowered its overall bloodiness, but so might have more decisive action by the Union troops early on. It’s mostly speculation.

              • Ken B says:

                ” No, it isn’t. Because the range of possibilities were not confined solely to war.”

                So to be*a* point it has to be a completely dispositive argument? Interesting.

      • Blackadder says:

        Mike,

        If you believe that your story about A and B is somehow representative of the start of the Civil War then you have been sold on a fairy tale.

        Here is a passage from T.R. Fehrenbach’s history of Texas on what the situation was like:

        A sixty-year old preacher, a Democrat born in Kentucky who believed the Bible sanctioned slavery, criticized the flogging of Negroes in a sermon. His Texas congregation tied him to a post and almost killed the old man with seventy lashes on the back. In Palestine, Texas, a self-appointed committee collected all “dangerous books for destruction by public burning.” People also burned possessions of Northern manufacture. Northern-born schoolteachers were hounded out; Yankee seamen were mobbed in the port towns. Guilt by association, if a man had Yankee friends, was accepted without question. Vigilance committees, the vigilantes, were formed everywhere. A secret organization known as the Knights of the Golden Circle sprang up across the state. The Knights’ aims were to make the South safe for slavery and to conquer Mexico as a side order. Two filibusters were actually armed and organized, but before they reached Mexico, they were diverted to another, bigger war.

        Those who did not want to go along with session were threatened and in many cases killed. Such was the manner in which the South broke its “voluntary contract” with the United States.

        • Ken B says:

          Blackadder highlights one of the forgotten facts — forgotten here I mean, and in Woods’s stuff — about the antebellum years. The Slave Power (and if the caps dismay you you simply lack historical context) was waging a war on the republican and civil rights of *whites*. This is where the rubber met the road on slavery. Most northerners were indeed willing to allow slavery to persist in the south where it already existed. But that was not enough for the Slave Power, who trampled more and more rights of *whites* in order to spread slavery and use the central government to spread their own influence (fugitive slave act). That is why feelings got so high and why it is wrong to say that just because the north did not want to abolish salvery in the south it was bot concerned with slavery and halting its spread.

        • Mike T says:

          “Those who did not want to go along with session were threatened and in many cases killed. Such was the manner in which the South broke its “voluntary contract” with the United States.”

          >> Yes, Blackadder. Person A and Person B *both* suck. That’s established and not in dispute.

    • Ken B says:

      Right. And there’s a simpler explanation than “blind spot”.

  9. Ken B says:

    skylien, since (as usual) you are more interested in actual discussion than the claque I will respond to you more fully.
    In short: close but not quite.
    Woods is a founder and member of the League of the South.
    I suggest you peruse their FAQ and manifesto, both linked from their site dixienet.org

    An unkind reader would I think they are racists who use coded language.
    I don’t quite agree with that; I take them at their word that they “disavow[s] a spirit of malice”.
    Note however that they don’t embrace much more than that.
    I think they are a kind of social conservative, pining for a lost era and a uniform culture that never really existed.
    To that extent I have a lot of sympathy with them; there are a lot of pathologies in modern culture I too would like to be free of.
    But I also get the feeling they — like Leftists and frankly most people — wrongly conflate race and ethnicity with culture.
    This is why they use an ethnic term, Anglo-Celtic, to describe themselves and their goals. It is why their address to blacks assumes they are outsiders.

    As far as I can see Woods, who founded this group, still belongs and still endorses it.
    I don’t think it’s a stretch to conclude that the members, possibly in good faith possibly not, pretty much have to have a blind spot to the Confederacy which forms so central an image of their “City on a Hill”.
    Woods included.

    • skylien says:

      Ken,

      As far as I could see Woods isn’t a member of the LS any more. Also I already heard him say repeatedly that he was a stupid neocon in his past.

      What I have read of the LS can be interpreted this or that way. Protecting their culture could theoretically mean in cryptic language that they want segregation, slavery etc. But this is pure speculation. I don’t know these guys and they sound quite nationalistic. However nationalism isn’t really a rare thing in the US.. Just to which boarders it is directed seems to be the problem with the LS for most people.

      He has a post up clarifying his stance to the LS in which he says this:
      “I became convinced that in spite of those aspects of Southern history that all reasonable people deplore, there was much of value in Southern civilization that deserved a fair hearing”

      So what do you think does he means by that? If you think it is actually racism and slavery and white supremacy that he thinks deserves fair hearing, then I really think you are not very generous in your interpretation…

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/in-case-you-were-wondering/

    • skylien says:

      Here is a talk of him about his transition from stupid Neocon to Libertarian:
      http://bastiat.mises.org/2012/11/from-neocon-to-libertarian-tom-woods-on-how-reading-rothbard-changed-his-life/

      He writes entire books in which he systematically condemns generally really any aggressive war and preaches non-interventionism, liberty for all, and yet you think he only tries to do this to spread an ideology of white-supremacy and an aggressive powerful southern tyrannical state?

      Here Woods again about the LS:
      “At one point the discussion centered around whether the organization should focus on the South or whether its scope should be more broad and look to encourage decentralist ideas wherever in the country, at the state or local level, an interest in them could be found. I took the second position, which lost.”

      Your position on Woods just doesn’t make any sense to me.

      • Ken B says:

        Well skylien I am not interested in tracking his alleged transformation. Even Hummell sees his PIG history as neo confederate maundering. It seems to me that his defenders here are playing a game, using “what abou now” as a way of not facing the truth about what he said often and loudly then. So now even his most famous book is too old and we have to look beyond that?

        I note in passing you have completely distorted what I claim . Which to repeat as ever pointlessly to those who care not to hear, was about a blind spot not an overt embrace. Also that citing Rothbard’s to burnish one’s anti racist credentials is both sad and hilarious.

        • skylien says:

          Well what is the point of inferring a blind spot if it is not to suggest it to be willfully which means he in fact would support it if he didn’t know that this wouldn’t be a good publicity move? If this is not your intention and it is at worst only by accident then you should not have any real problem with that what so ever since his political views make explicitly clear what he thinks of that stuff.

          And of course I do care what someone thinks and says now not 5,10, or 20 years ago especially if he changed his mind. I had some technocratic views as well. If you want to condemn me now for it please go on.

          BTW I did not distort your view. If you state that he is still a member of the LS when in fact he isn’t then I am just putting it right….

          • Ken B says:

            Sure you distorted me. You said I think he wants to spread a tyrannical racist state when I didn’t say anything like that, either of him or even of the league of the south, which i explicitly said i thought was not a race hate group. instead called them deluded.

            • skylien says:

              I will explain what just doesn’t make sense to me:

              1: You agree that Woods genuinely is against tyranny, slavery, racism.

              2: Yet you cite stuff from his past which you call cryptic talk (to express WHAT?) at which you think he got only better now (so no real change of mind, again just improved cryptic talk, but to express what? What does or could Woods have codified in his cryptic writing that makes it, well, cryptic?).

              You can’t have it both ways. Either you think Woods is fine (no cryptic talk) or he isn’t (cryptic talk as I would understand means that in fact he must transmit some sort of imperialist, racist or whatever obviously bad body of thought?).

              So if you think I distort your view then better clarify your “cryptic talk” so that I can understand it. What do you mean with cryptic?

              • Ken B says:

                I do not accept that Woods is what you say in 1. I accept he’s an Ancap. These are not the same.

                Google esoteric speech.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                One cannot be both an anarcho-capitalist and not be against “tyranny”, if by “tyranny” we mean initiations of violence against other people’s persons and/or property.

                I think you’re talking about statism.

                However anarcho-capitalism does allow for the individual to decide not to enter into relationships and/or contracts with others for any reason they want, so it does not preclude racism.

                For slavery, if you mean “voluntary slavery” as per Block, then you have to make sure in your accusatory approach against an-caps to make them look like horrible people, that you separate the “slavery” that sees Mr. Smith agreeing to Mr. Jones treating him in accordance with X, Y and Z, and Mr. Smith being threatened with force to act in accordance with X, Y and Z.

              • Ken B says:

                I can also doubt that some Christians love their enemies.

              • guest says:

                However anarcho-capitalism does allow for the individual to decide not to enter into relationships and/or contracts with others for any reason they want, so it does not preclude racism.

                A black man’s view on Ron Paul being racist Part 1
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6sYZxZi4qQ

              • Ken B says:

                Got a video of a black man’s view of Tom Woods being Ron Paul?

              • guest says:

                Got a video of a black man’s view of Tom Woods being Ron Paul?

                I’ll do you one better.

                Here’s a video of a black man being Ron Paul:

                A black man’s view on Ron Paul being racist Part 1
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6sYZxZi4qQ

              • guest says:

                …a black man’s view of Tom Woods being Ron Paul?

                I can’t read. I apologize.

                So, I change my response to, “No”.
                :D

              • skylien says:

                “I do not accept that Woods is what you say in 1. I accept he’s an Ancap. These are not the same.”

                So its 2 then. Exactly what I have said above… You actually are saying that Woods does spread some obvious bad body of thought which might include tyranny, slavery, racism or whatever. I did therefor not misrepresent your view. The only thing I did was to speculate on what exactly you charge Woods since you just do not really spell it out. Why are you so vague???

                Well what I have found under “esoteric speech” is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esoteric_Nazism

                I don’t know how that helps to prove that I misrepresent you, rather the opposite.

                In short I do think that I represented your view correctly, that you think that Woods is not sincere, and maybe even an evil person with some very bad intentions, not just having a blind spot. You think this ‘blind’ spot is intentional….

              • Major_Freedom says:

                guest:

                “A black man’s view on Ron Paul being racist Part 1″

                The statement “Does not preclude racism” does not mean “Everyone in an-capistan must become racist.”

                I don’t see what the view of one person who happens to be black has to do with anything.

              • Ken B says:

                I don’t deny that Woods may be a bad guy, but neither have I said he is.

                He is beyond any doubt a cult leader, given to a amping the tension between his followers and the rest of the world. That’s why every video and column begins with stuff about what one is “allowed” to think.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                So critiquing the intellectual establishment’s narrow band of permitted discourse (which Chomsky consistently alludes to as well), that is evidence Woods is a “cult leader”?

                So I guess if a Newton or Hawking were to walk into a church, and complain about the narrow band of permitted discourse allowed in the church, where they should instead open their minds a little more, and be more accepting of other ideas, that would be evidence that Newton or Hawking are trying to introduce a cult…in the church…

                Ken B, there is a reason why we tend to disagree on a lot of things, and it mostly has to do with the verbal diarrhea you like to drop on this blog.

              • Richie says:

                Oh jesus h. christ. The “cult” crap. If I had a dime for every time a Misean or Rothbardian (or hell, anti-state person) was called a “cult member”, I have the Fed wanting to lend me money.

                Every person with what ever belief set he or she holds could be considered a member of a “cult.” Keynesians, MMTers, Austrians. But not Ken B. by god! He hasn’t been brainwashed!

              • guest says:

                The statement “Does not preclude racism” does not mean “Everyone in an-capistan must become racist.”

                Sure it does.

                Just kidding.

                He should have titled his video, “… on the CLAIMS that Ron Paul is racist”, huh?

                [SPOILER: He is defending Ron Paul against the claim that he is racist.]

  10. Blackadder says:

    Since we’re on the subject, I found this 1862 essay on the Civil War by John Stuart Mill to be well worth reading. This paragraph, in particular, is quite good:

    Suppose, however, for the sake of argument, that the mere will to separate were in this case, or in any case, a sufficient ground for separation, I beg to be informed whose will? The will of any knot of men who, by fair means or foul, by usurpation, terrorism, or fraud, have got the reins of government into their hands? If the inmates of Parkhurst Prison were to get possession of the Isle of Wight, occupy its military positions, enlist one part of its inhabitants in their own ranks, set the remainder of them to work in chain gangs, and declare themselves independent, ought their recognition by the British Government to be an immediate consequence? Before admitting the authority of any persons, as organs of the will of the people, to dispose of the whole political existence of a country, I ask to see whether their credentials are from the whole, or only from a part. And first, it is necessary to ask, Have the slaves been consulted? Has their will been counted as any part in the estimate of collective volition? They are a part of the population. However natural in the country itself, it is rather cool in English writers who talk so glibly of the ten millions (I believe there are only eight), to pass over the very existence of four millions who must abhor the idea of separation. Remember, we consider them to be human beings, entitled to human rights. Nor can it be doubted that the mere fact of belonging to a Union in some parts of which slavery is reprobated, is some alleviation of their condition, if only as regards future probabilities. But even of the white population, it is questionable if there was in the beginning a majority for secession anywhere but in South Carolina. Though the thing was pre-determined, and most of the States committed by their public authorities before the people were called on to vote; though in taking the votes terrorism in many places reigned triumphant; yet even so, in several of the States, secession was carried only by narrow majorities. In some the authorities have not dared to publish the numbers; in some it is asserted that no vote has ever been taken. Further (as was pointed out in an admirable letter by Mr. Carey),[*] the Slave States are intersected in the middle, from their northern frontier almost to the Gulf of Mexico, by a country of free labour—the mountain region of the Alleghanies and their dependencies, forming parts of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, in which, from the nature of the climate and of the agricultural and mining industry, slavery to any material extent never did, and never will, exist. This mountain zone is peopled by ardent friends of the Union. Could the Union abandon them, without even an effort, to be dealt with at the pleasure of an exasperated slave-owning oligarchy? Could it abandon the Germans who, in Western Texas, have made so meritorious a commencement of growing cotton on the borders of the Mexican Gulf by free labour? Were the right of the slave-owners to secede ever so clear, they have no right to carry these with them; unless allegiance is a mere question of local proximity, and my next neighbour, if I am a stronger man, can be compelled to follow me in any lawless vagaries I choose to indulge.

    • integral says:

      I expect after this paragraph John Stuart Mill immediately called for the complete dissolution of the United States.

      • Ken B says:

        Well that’s why you fit in so well here. Others might read it and see.

    • guest says:

      Suppose, however, for the sake of argument, that the mere will to separate were in this case, or in any case, a sufficient ground for separation, I beg to be informed whose will? The will of any knot of men who, by fair means or foul, by usurpation, terrorism, or fraud, have got the reins of government into their hands?

      Whose will is sufficient ground for compelling states to stay in a Union? The will of any knot of men who, by fair means or foul …

      Before admitting the authority of any persons, as organs of the will of the people, to dispose of the whole political existence of a country, I ask to see whether their credentials are from the whole, or only from a part.

      Agreed. But then, if it takes the whole to secede, it also takes the whole to maintain the legitimacy of the state.

      Were the right of the slave-owners to secede ever so clear, they have no right to carry these with them; unless allegiance is a mere question of local proximity, and my next neighbour, if I am a stronger man, can be compelled to follow me in any lawless vagaries I choose to indulge.

      Agreed. Then both the States and the general government are illegitimate encroachments on individuals’ rights.

Leave a Reply