Thursday, November 29, 2018

In a Festive, Though Tired, Mood...


The Christmas cactus is in full grunt, the holidays approach, and I am damned tired.

Has nothing to do with the holidays, it's the lack thereof which pains me at the moment. Work keeps my brain box hard at work, often into the night. I think too much. I think my psyche senses that we're getting close to the home stretch. The plan is for one more year in harness, then I'll put myself to pasture to write, travel, beat on the drums, and become a general man about town.

Or something.

I have an "Off the top of my head" history post brewing, about the Late Unpleasantness from 1861 to 1865. I find it incredible that so many older men still fuss about that. Not northern men mind you, but any number of my southern friends bemoan their storied past and wish it had ended differently. Puzzling to me. Then again, we won. No doubt we cheated. I'll get to that later this week.

I've been devouring Ralph Peters latest novel and am closing on Appomattox Court House very quickly.

(Source)
I don't much care for Mr. Peters' views on some topics, but he writes very well. He puts you at the campfires, on the march, in the trenches, and in the surging hell of battle. This is the fifth, and last, of the series. I've read them all, highly recommend 'em.

Something I've noticed of late, hits here at the Chant on the individual posts are down by about 50%. I guess the Russian spambots are mad at me or something. Even the overall hits are down by a couple of hundred per diem from the halcyon days.

We may be down to the hard core Chanters. Or maybe this blogging thing has almost run its course. Who knows? I'm in it for the long haul. Heck, if I only have a couple of steady readers, I'll keep writing. Hey, it's free!

Found this in the archives -


That's Big Time, he's the wingman, and one of his squadron mates flying over a Dodgers game some time ago. My mother was asking if I still had that picture, and sure enough, I did. So I share it with you now. It's what I do. Sometimes. Me? Jealous? You betcha!

The WSO made these pies for the recent holiday feast.
Wish I'd been there, love pumpkin pie, love Dutch apple pie.
Heck, I just like pie.

The port we were drinking Thursday last. Yummy.
(As you can see we put quite a dent in it, and we weren't finished when I snapped the photo!)
Cheers!
And with that, I bid thee adieu.

I'll be back here, same time tomorrow, the Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise.




120 comments:

  1. Well, more books to pursue, one of the many reasons I return here daily even though I don't always leave a comment, sometime don't feel like it. Oh and the author for today, he's uh......known. Ooohh....dutch apple......local Chinese-American restaurant makes goood apple pie...... So hits on the blog are down, well, there will be this blog's loyal followers, the Few, the old, the cranky, the sleepless, the crotchidi.....crutchid....the curmudgeons......... :)

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    1. Heh. My target audience.

      Kindred spirits and all that.

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    2. I have noticed that the barking-moonbat, conservative version thereof, blogs are dropping off, but more mentally stable conservativeish or 'Classically Liberal' (as in accepting of all opinions for the most part, something 'Modern Liberals' aren't, yet another takeover by leftists of a perfectly good word or concept) websites are doing fine.

      Especially with the retreat of conservatives from Tweeter, Farcebuck and other large social media platforms. I foresee a slow return to blogs over this issue.

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    3. Yes, I think you might be on to something there.

      I am conservative on some things, liberal on others. I am a small-r republican, not a GOP-er. If a person can make a good case for a point of view, I'll at least listen. I tend to ignore the howler monkeys in the public square.

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    4. That makes you a 'Classical Liberal' like George Washington and many of the other founders of this great country. Which is considered 'Conservative' by people today.

      Delete
  2. Very much looking forward to your upcoming post on the Late Unpleasantness, circa 1861-1865. What views did Mr. Peters take in his books that you don't find agreeable? I've not read them myself, so I don't have an opinion as such. Just curious, I suppose.

    As for why that war lives on so strongly in the minds of some, I'd recommend Tony Horwitz's excellent book, 'Confederates in the Attic'. I think you'll find a kindred spirit in terms of writing style and wry sense of humor.

    My own very short answer to that question is because defeats tend to live on in the historical memory of a defeated population, often being romanticized by successive generations. As a long-removed descendant of people who came over from the Emerald Isle, I can testify to the fact that there's nothing like a few failed rebellions and martyrs to give a cause life for a few hundred years. Given that so much of our South was populated by Scotch-Irish, it's no surprise that the memories of the War Between the States (as some are wont to call it) live on, even into the present.

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    1. Not knowing much about anything, I'd say the answer lies in Reconstruction and the North's execution thereof. It was much more like the Versailles Treaty than the Marshall plan. Had something more like the latter had been instituted, maybe things would have been different.

      Course, some things never change. The predominate political party in the South, at the time, was pretty well filled with hatred. I'll leave the rest of this paragraph up to ya'll.

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    2. David - Nothing that Mr. Peters wrote in his books set me off, generally I like the guy, a lot. At one point in the not too distant past he expressed some views on gun control which were "unfortunate." Went against the Constitution they did. But generally I respect the man and love his writing.

      As one of those Scots-Irish types, I get what you mean about defeats living on long after the fact. Culloden still rankles me on a visceral level. I really need to read Mr. Horwitz's book, I will admit to a certain amount of sympathy for the South, not their leaders (a disreputable lot, almost as bad as many of the Northern leaders) but the common man, the guy with a small farm, no slaves, no money, and leading a hardscrabble existence. He was fighting for home, kin, and his freedom. He was led into a very bad war by greedy leaders. But hey, we could say that about most wars.

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    3. Juvat - In my estimation, the murder of Abraham Lincoln doomed the post-war period. He wanted to "let 'em up easy," whereas many others in the North saw only the opportunity for revenge and lining their pockets. Much guilt on both sides. My sympathies lie with the common man, on both sides.

      That particular party has many sins on its plate.

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    4. @Juvat—Point well taken. I would agree that how Reconstruction played out certainly didn't help, as it further embittered a population with a long list of grievances who had just been humiliated by Grant, Sherman & Co. Tying that back to my cultural analysis, I would point out that the Scotch-Irish aren't generally known for being the type to "forgive and forget".

      @Sarge—Culloden still leaves a foul taste in my mouth as well, even centuries after the fact. I too share your sympathies with the common Southern soldier. They were a land invaded, and most of their boys were fighting for home, hearth, and all that. While I am a "damned Yankee" (and the far-removed relation of an Iron Brigade soldier), I'll freely admit that the U.S. Civil War suffers from a severe case of ex post facto sanctification in the North, where we on the whole tend to view it solely as the Great Moral Crusade to Abolish Slavery. The reality was far more complex—as it almost always is. I'll still never forget doing a primary source research project in college on the opinions of Illinois newspapers just prior and during the war. Suffice it to say that anyone who believes the North was anti-slavery, or that the war was (at least solely) being fought to abolish slavery, is sorely mistaken.

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    5. David - Bingo on both counts.

      While a few in the North were actual abolitionists, even among them there was a "not in my back yard" feeling. Yes, free the slaves, but make 'em stay where they are at. The war wasn't really about slavery it was more about power. In some respects it was a continuation of the fight between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist camps.

      Slavery was simply one aspect of the struggle, i.e. did the Federal government have the power to restrict slavery? What are the limits of Federal power? We're still fighting that battle.

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    6. I concur on the juvat theory of why Southern Man still clings to dreams of what could have been. Reconstruction, quite frankly, was a bitch. There was no hands-across-the-border, it was more pimp-slap-across-the-border. Vengeance over Victory. Much heap bad ju-ju. I mean, not to be politically incorrect, but the North treated the South's white men like, well, they was injuns, in some respect. To go from shaking hands and going home to, well, Hitler and the NAZIS spent some time reading up on Reconstruction and Woodrow Wilson's reign of terror, so, if Hitler liked it....

      Then, quite frankly there's the romance. Outnumbered, out-equipped, the South managed to savage the North quite fulsomely. Look at Northern generals vs Southern generals. Grant vs Lee, very much sledgehammer vs rapier. Or Sherman vs Stonewall. Or McClellan vs just about any Southern unknown leader. Southern leaders, and many troops, tended to be or have old southern manners. "Ma'am, sorry we're taking your cow, my men haven't eaten in 3 days, she's a real beauty, reminds me of one I have on my farm, I'll see what we can do to pay for it." vs, well, the North's dog-robbers.

      And, well, there's the whole FU Federal Government thingy. People fail to remember that Big Government really started around the Civ-War period, and expanded greatly during the punishment of Reconstruction. So the South went to war against Big Fed, lost, and watched Big Fed grow bigger and bigger and bigger... And who doesn't love hating Big Fed?

      So, well, my hypothesis-ees, or however you pluralize hypothesis.

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    7. Hypotheses, I cheated, I looked it up.

      Yeah, the Feds, there is a limit to what we want them to do, the Constitution kinda spells it out, but as the Supremes are part of Big Fed, it's rather like the fox guarding the hen house.

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    8. Mr. Martin: "They were a land invaded..."

      Say What?? You are aware that Gettysburg is in Pennsylvania, you know, that state just south of New York, east of Ohio?

      OldAFSarge:

      Sorry. He just hit a raw nerve and I emptied both barrels on him. It's as bad as the one of ' who shot first '. I have family on both sides of the M-D line and have lived in both the north and south of this country. If someone wishes to re-fight that war, the least they can do is to get the facts right.

      I'll step of my soap box now and finish reading the comments.

      Paul

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    9. Paul - The Army of Northern Virginia invaded the North twice, and were turned away both times, at Antietam and at Gettysburg. But the bulk of the war was fought in the South so Southerners quite rightly considered themselves to be invaded. The CSA incursions into the USA were both short-lived, the USA's invasion of the CSA was four years long. So Mr. Martin has history on his side. You may have unloaded with "both barrels," but you missed, technically.

      But I'll get into that more in my upcoming post.

      That war had such an impact on the American psyche that it is no surprise that an event which ended 153 years ago can still rub some folks raw.

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    10. The USA's invasion of the CSA was, well, how long did Reconstruction last? Think East Germany during the Soviet Union and you're not too far off. Okay, maybe that's a little too far, but maybe not, considering some of the evils of Reconstruction.

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    11. This is one time that I will argue with you.

      Just because someone is inept in his/her actions, does not mean that those actions don't count. In that line, some people in our own lifetimes come to mind.

      Invasion is invasion, length of time is irrelevant. By the standard you suggest, Hitler's Germany should feel righteous. After all, Germany was occupied for far longer than four years.

      The ( American ) South went to war because many of the leaders and many of the common people felt that their States had the right to continue the evil of slavery. Yes, there were other issues, but slavery is the issue that gets the most attention.

      "That war had such an impact on the American psyche that it is no surprise that an event which ended 153 years ago can still rub some folks raw."

      A good part of that is that it DIDN'T end 153 years ago. When my father was stationed in Louisiana, I remember seeing the ' Whites ' and ' Colored ' drinking fountains and being told that I could not ride in the back of the public bus because I didn't have the correct skin color to sit there. I remember watching on tv as Federal forces escorted two young girls into a " public school ". I remember watching other struggles as our country worked it's way towards living up to the standards our founders set for us. We have come a great way, as a nation, but as, I think, all here will agree, we have not yet reached those goals.

      So much for getting off my soap box.

      Paul

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    12. "I'll step of my soap box now and finish reading the comments."

      By the way Paul, there are two " f's " in the word " off ".

      PLQ

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    13. The war did END 153 years ago, the effects of it did not. That much I'll give you.

      American blacks suffered the wrath of the losers, and suffered the exploitation of the winners.

      You're right about one thing Paul, we're closer to being who we should be than ever before. We still have a ways to go and there are those standing in the way of progress who want to keep black Americans down. Some white, some black.

      It's a crying shame.

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    14. >We have come a great way, as a nation, but as, I think, all here will agree, we have not yet reached those goals.

      That general statement I will agree with, but IMNSHO the most obvious and overt racism now (and for at least the last 10 years prior) is against whites. And I say this as a NON white person. Further, not only is there widespread uncontested anti-white racism, it is social and career death to even wonder aloud (much less actually assert) whether any problems "disproportionately" plaguing non-white groups might have any causes other than "white cis-het patriarchy" or some other bullshit social justice construct. This is a problem for many reasons, not only because it is grossly unfair to whites, but also because it actually hurts the non-whites these misguided policies purport to be "helping".

      Finally, an anecdote from my father, who after arriving in the US in 1951 (from China via Hong Kong and Taiwan) traveled through the South as a tourist in the early 1950's between bouts of graduate school. So dad was in some town square on his first day in Alabama looking at the civic buildings. He went inside city hall and was confronted by two drinking fountains, labeled as you'd expect. He headed toward the "Colored" fountain, whereupon a white man stepped up and took him by the arm. "What now," thought my dad.
      "Oh, no, you don't use that one. You use this here 'White' fountain," said the man.
      "But I'm not white, I'm from China," said dad.
      "I can see that, son," said the stranger, "but you're a guest here in this country, so you use the 'White' facilities."
      And so my dad did for the rest of his two-week road trip through Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. No one said a word about it to him. Nor did he have trouble sitting where he liked in diners and restaurants (which was at the white counter, or at a front table). Then again, dad is a very pale-skinned guy and back in those days was always dressed impeccably in good tailored woolen suits. Another Chinese grad student, who accompanied dad on part of the trip, was from the Philippines ("overseas Chinese" as we say, and maybe 1/4 Filipino, and dark and muscular) was NOT allowed to sit at the white counter in diners. (There was quite an incident once when dad went in first and got two seats without trouble, then his darker friend showed up. Long story short, the manager acted very apologetic, but moved them to a table in the back by the kitchen. Whispered: "Sir, there are some patrons who might mistake your companion for a negro, and that would drive away business.") If I recall, dad told me these stories after I'd come home from some elementary-school civics class (I was raised in a very liberal upper midwestern college town) having been told how horribly racist those dreadful Southerners were. Dad didn't really offer his interpretation of things, but he did tell my then 9 or 10-year old self, "It was more complicated than they're telling you in school."

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    15. Yup, can't disagree Mike.

      The folks doing this agitating don't want equality, they are making a living out of racism of the kind you speak of. Hate because of the color of another one's skin has to be the stupidest hate there is. No matter who does it.

      Thanks for the comment Mike. I appreciate your point of view.

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    16. Mike_C:

      I too want to thank you for your comment. The story that you/your father related adds a viewpoint which I find very valuable. Prejudice comes in many flavors and is one of a number of human failings. That said, I have long believed that as soon as I become perfect, I shall expect everyone else to be perfect also. As I don't think that I shall become perfect any time in the next several millenniums, no one else need rush to become perfect.

      For whatever the above is worth.

      Paul

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    17. I remember, 1996, the 2nd week working at the local PD, got a serious hankering for the BBQ that I could smell from my office. Went in, loud building became very quiet, tried to order, they were 'out' of everything. All because I was fair skinned. 3 blocks from the PD. In a 'Liberal' town.

      So, yes, I know racism and bigotry exists in this country. Grrrr.

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  3. Blogging is slowing down, emails are down... it seems everyone went to the soundbites of social media.

    I remember reading something by Ralph Peters way back... I don't recall the title just that I liked it... Harold Coyle ,"Team Yankee" & "The Ten Thousand" I liked but I have not read any of his books in a long time either.

    I wonder if there is a relationship between the authors I haven't read in a long time & the sliding away of blogging & emails? Besides me getting older...

    No matter, I'll be here to read your blog tomorrow.. with a little luck.

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    1. I too am a big fan of Harold Coyle.

      Getting older, it's definitely a thing. Not for sissies.

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  4. My kin were displaced from land bestowed upon them for Revolutionary war service. So their view of the great unpleasantness may have been skewed a wee bit. I grew up under their grandchildren. Hard to hear those stories and not feel the pain.

    BUT.... when I got to the part in the Torah about "if you steal a human to sell as a slave, you deserve death", that put to rest any rose colored view of that curse on America.

    AND.... what about the consent of the governed? Did that die after the Constitution was ratified? Do contracts bind only in one direction? Even if the other party violates the terms?

    IF preserving the Union was the goal, why the carpetbaggers, the theft of property by the same, and oppression of the defeated?

    IF freedom for the enslaved was the goal, why the hundred year wait (or even the need) for civil rights legislation? Why the "not on my block" mentality?

    These are questions I still struggle with. I'm not expecting answers, just things I continue to think about when the subject is broached... It was an awful time, that defines us (the U.S.) to this day... I see no virtue in either side, only the individual honor of the warriors and their families. That's the only way I can stomach the entire mess.

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    1. STxAR, I see we have similar views. Coincidence? Probably not.

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    2. You have hit the nail on the head as to why I didn't just whip that post right out. I have mixed feelings about that time period myself. You have clarified certain things for me and I think it all boils down to a common thread throughout human history - it's the little guys who always, let me stress that, always, gets screwed.

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    3. The early Civil Rights movement seems to be a call for, well, actual equal rights. Then the Dems got their hands on it and it mutated into a soviet revolution meets American South movement. I guess LBJ (hwack-ptooie) was right about the DNC's successful takeover of Civil Rights and the control over a minority population that is just now really beginning to crack, mostly because the DNC's focus is on another minority group that isn't even American, but we won't go there because that's a whole other huge supertanker of smelly fish.

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    4. There are times I'm very hesitant to post here. I am in the midst of the well read, so it's a mine field, or a cow pasture (I've wandered in those, and came away scathed, very scathed). Thank you for the kind words. I really do appreciate it. Our outlook is colored by the age we live in, as well as the latitude we were raised in. Getting the full and complete historical story is nigh on impossible, but still important. I look forward to your post.

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    5. Beans - Yup, Civil War ends, slaves are freed but hey, guess what, the blacks still get treated as if they were, you guessed it, slaves. Watch the last 15 minutes or so of the movie Free State of Jones for some true anger inducing stuff.

      While I don't wish the soul of anyone to rot in Hell, for LBJ and McNamara I might make an exception.

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    6. STxAR - Your input is ALWAYS welcome. Good stuff.

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    7. OldAFSarge:

      "While I don't wish the soul of anyone to rot in Hell, for LBJ and McNamara I might make an exception."

      You might wish to add W. Wilson to that list.

      Paul

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    8. Woody set back our nation by 50 years or more. Let's see. Hmmm.

      Introduction of sterilization of undesirables. Check.
      Concentration Camps for undesirable minorities. Check.
      Abortion by the State pointed at undesirables. Check.
      Gun Control aimed at undesirable minorities. Check.
      Removal of undesirable minorities from government positions. Check.

      No. This is not a list of Hitler's sterling achievements. This is Woodrow Wilson and his administration. Whom Hitler and his administration studied and followed.

      Nice guy.

      Not!

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    9. Okay, he was stupid AND evil. I'll add him to that other list.

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    10. Thanks AW. I knew that he was stupid and evil; I just didn't have those bullet points at my fingertips, as you did.

      Paul

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    11. Beans is certainly on top of this stuff, isn't he Paul?

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    12. Very few remember that Woody had his 'secret police' and 'citizen spy networks' tattling on American Citizens just because they had 'foreign ties.' Who else does that sound like?

      Up North, until around 1917, Biergartens and Bier Halls were very popular. Suddenly, after WW gets on the 'Krauts are Bad, m'kay' bandwagon, poof, name changes right and left.

      Many people with Germanic names from like, Revolutionary War times, changed and 'anglicized' them.

      And, yes, Woody had German-American citizens rounded up and put in 'internment camps' and had their properties seized and sold, just like FDR did to the Japanese-Americans, some German-Americans and some Italian-Americans during WWII (most people know about the Japanese-Americans, few to almost none know about the other two ethnic internments...) Woody taught both Hitler and FDR how to do things.

      Tell me again why Woody and FDR (who, it now is coming out, in the later years was actually Eleanor doing things using his name, much like Hills did with Bills) are such sainted presidents?

      I could go on, but it's the holiday season, and we should be concentrating on happy thoughts, and pie, right?

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    13. Gee, citizen spy networks, just like Okobungo created during his reign of terror.

      It's like you can keep linking all the bad things modern presidents (Post WWI) have done to, well, Woodrow Wilson, right?

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    14. And 'foreign ties' included such things as knowing another language, especially German, or speaking with an accent, especially German, or questioning the Government's actions, because only foreigners question the US government, right?

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    15. Hhmm, there seems to be a common thread in all this.

      Starts with a "D" it does.

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  5. I am a proud Son of the South, hopefully one of your southern friends. Many years ago I read regularly a site that covered the War of Northern Aggression written by a retired USAF type. Had a callsign of "Shotgun". Could give you more on him but not my laptop. Don't think the site is still up as he passed a few years ago. He pretty much summed it up for me by this statement, "I am a Southerner by birth and a Rebel by choice. As I read and study, I pull for Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet. As I live, I thank Grant, Lincoln, and Democracy." Shotgun

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    1. Sounds like my kind of guy.

      Yup, you're one of my southern friends, while sometimes those views irk me, I understand them. As I mentioned elsewhere, Culloden still bugs me.

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    2. Part of the 'South' thingy is self-reliance. Part of being a more agrarian and less populated society. With self-reliance comes a negative regard for the Borg-like thinking of the city-folk of the North.

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    3. "Borg-like thinking of the city-folk of the North" - um, no, just no. Most city folk are just doing their jobs, back then they were struggling to just survive. But those who lean left these days, yup, Borg.

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  6. BTW, the Flight Lead in me give Big Time a 10 out of 10 for position on the flyover.

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  7. To repeat myself from an earlier post--

    "Yesterday, my wife and I went to see the Texas Civil War Museum just off Hwy 820 over in White Settlement. Went to watch
    an hour long presentation by these folks--

    https://dallas.carpe-diem.events/calendar/8133409-tales-of-the-civil-war-as-told-by-professional-storytellers-at-texas-civil-war-museum/

    The displays are outstanding. Weapons, uniforms, an entire room for the artillery pieces, Robert E. Lee's personal folding pocket knife that he carried through out the war."

    If you're ever in the area, well worth the time to see.

    In the above mentioned story telling, one of the characters said "They signed the surrender at Appomattox, but the war wasn't over".

    +1 to the above comments about the assassination of Lincoln and Reconstruction. I have a copy of Grant's memoirs. It is heart breaking to read his recounting of the surrender. Honorable men trying as best the can to begin the healing. Grant's order of "Hats off". Heartbreaking because you know it will all be for naught.

    Pie. Yes, please. Over Thanksgiving, I was yakking with a 16 year old lad recently attached to the family line by a marriage. We both professed our fondness for pumpkin pie with whipped cream. We further agreed that if, after the application of whipped cream, you can still see the piece of pie, you're doing it wrong.

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    1. All too often the signatures on a document don't really end the war, they merely signal the next stage. The Versailles Treaty springs to mind as do the agreements "ending" the Vietnam War and the numerous "treaties" and "agreements" signed between the Israelis and the Arabs.

      Civil wars are the worst.

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    2. They are indeed.

      When the U.S. Army crossed into Mexico in 1846, it's number included Capt. Robert E. Lee, Engineers, 1lt. George Meade, Engineers, and 2lt. Ulysses S. Grant, Quartermaster. The men who left the U.S. Army did so for many reasons. In my reading, it strikes me that a great many did so because they could not they could not bear the thought of entering their home states, counties, towns, wearing the uniform of an invader.

      History credits Lincoln with preserving the Union. What was ultimately preserved was the power of the Federal Government.

      On a lighter note---

      "When Camargo was reached, we found a city of tents outside the Mexican hamlet. I was detailed to act as quartermaster and commissary to the regiment. The teams that had proven abundantly sufficient to transport all supplies from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande over the level prairies of Texas, were entirely inadequate to the needs of the reinforced army in a mountainous country. To obviate the deficiency, pack mules were hired, with Mexicans to pack and drive them. I had charge of the few wagons allotted to the 4th infantry and of the pack train to supplement them. There were not men enough in the army to manage that train without the help of Mexicans who had learned how. As it was the difficulty was great enough. The troops would take up their march at an early hour each day. After they had started, the tents and cooking utensils had to be made into packages, so that they could be lashed to the backs of the mules. Sheet-iron kettles, tent-poles, and the mess chests were inconvenient articles to transport in that way. It took several hours to get ready to start each morning, and by the time we were ready some of the mules first loaded would be tired of standing so long with their loads on their backs. Sometimes one would start to run, bowing his back and kicking up until he scattered his load; others would lie down and try to disarrange their loads by attempting to get on the top of them by rolling on them; others with tent-poles for part of their loads would manage to run a tent-pole on one side of a sapling while they would take the other. I am not aware of ever having used a profane explicative in my life; but I would have the charity to excuse those who may have done so, if they were in charge of a train of Mexican pack mules at the time."

      2Lt U.S. Grant

      Camargo, Mexico

      August, 1846

      Excerpt from Ulysses S. Grant—Memoirs and Selected Letters

      ISBN 978-0-94045058-5

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    3. True, Mr. Lincoln did not preserve the Union. The United States Army and the United States Navy did, under his command. No good would have come had we divided into two nations. No matter what so many "If the South Had Won the Civil War" authors like to surmise.

      Just my opinion, yours might be different, and I respect that.

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    4. Grant is a fascinating individual. Not the person that is portrayed publicly. Given a bad rap, actually. He did what he was ordered to. Maybe not the most elegant of individuals, but effective.

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    5. He got the job done. That's all that matters.

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    6. He was a far more civil and caring man than people believe. And he was vilified by his contemporaries and by historians. Sad to see such a great American be treated so badly, almost as if he was a Southerner.

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    7. I just learned something new. I may have to rethink my disdain for and avoidance of the fifty dollar bill. Thank your for the insight.

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    8. Grant saw hard times in his life, really hard times between the Mexican and Civil Wars. Really shaped his thinking.

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  8. Hard to come up with a comment that matches the quality of the blog.

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  9. Very nice post.

    Good thoughtful subjects.

    Nice pies.

    Pretty planes.

    Hmmm, wine...

    OMG, GHOULS DRINKING!!!!

    :)

    (the last was a vague reference to an HP Lovecraft story about a painting called "Ghouls Feeding" so, well, me being me. You may have some insight now why I am not considered socially acceptable by many people. :-) )

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    1. Why yes, I did spray the monitor on that penultimate bit.

      Delete
    2. Well, what would you expect from someone who lives in a Lovecraftian town? (seriously, Gainesville, FL is mentioned in one of Lovecraft's town. OoooooooooOOOOooooooo…)

      Delete
    3. Well, Rhode Island is also mentioned in some Lovecraftian stories, so...

      Delete
    4. Little Rhody is a special kind of strange.

      Delete
  10. I like pie....but pie REALLY doesn't like me! More's the pity. Mrs J authorized one very small bite of Pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Sublime!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pie is no man's friend.

      Hi, they call me NoMan.

      Delete
  11. Nice post, thanks for thinking it through. My great grandparents fought in the CSA, my grandparents were born in Georgia, my parents were born in Texas, wait for it, I was born in OREGON! I have eaten grits and Tex-Mex all my life, I live in Florida, married to a native-born Floridian, I cook Cajun and I love okra. Oh Lordie! What am I?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1. Totally American. Only way you could be more American is if, well, no. You can't be more American than that.

      Delete
    2. Of course, there is only one true way to be an American. That is to act like an actual citizen, either natural or naturalized. Once you're a citizen, and act like a citizen, then that is a true American.

      Off soapbox.

      Delete
  12. As to pie - in our family it is Pumpkin and Pecan pie for Thanksgiving. Speaking of which, some of y'all need to come by and help me finish eating on those pies. My wife had to go back to where she is currently working ( a Southeastern State ) and there is much more pie left than I should eat by myself.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would volunteer, but The Missus Herself has declared a moratorium on pie until Christmas Day.

      Delete
    2. Pumpkin and Pecan pie for Thanksgiving.

      Apple and Mincemeat pie for Christmas.

      Cherry pie and Banana Pudding for New Years.

      Cobbler for July 4th, either blackberry or cherry.

      Homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for Mrs. Andrew's birthday.

      Chocolate cake with chocolate icing for Bean's birthday. (King Arthur cake mix, some prepared chocolate icing)

      All made at home, all gluten-free (due to Mrs. Andrew's celiac disease.)

      Now, Anniversary? If we're cheese-fondue-ing at home, then chocolate fondue with a variety of tasty fruits (strawberries, banana, orange slices) and some gf donuts (bought, hey, sometimes I'm a slacker) or pound cake (rolled from home.)

      Sometimes being stuck in a rut is a tasty place to be. And would explain why I no longer have the figure I had in high school.

      Delete
    3. Damn! I gained five pounds just reading that comment!

      (AND I drooled all over my keyboard.)

      Delete
    4. My grandmother had a big pecan tree in her front yard in West TN. Needless to say, I grew up eating some good pies off that tree. What I really love, though, is hickory-nut pie. I cannot be responsible for injuries sustained by anyone who gets between me & a hickory-nut pie.
      --Tennessee Budd

      Delete
    5. Hickory nut pie? Dang, never heard of it, I feel like my education is lacking!

      Delete
  13. "Damn! I gained five pounds just reading that comment!

    (AND I drooled all over my keyboard.)"

    LOL!

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  14. Is today the day that the comments would not end?

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we could be sitting around singing "Henry the IIIVth" over and over again, but is there ever any end to that song?

      Delete
    2. It goes on and on and on and on...

      Delete
  15. The hits may be down, but it seems like the comments are WAY up!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I look forward to Mincemeat Pie, and Egg Nog, with spirit or without.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We he-ah in the South have a fine purveyor of produce and products called Publix that sells their own house-brand of ice cream with such delectable seasonal delights as "Peppermint Stick" and Mrs. Andrew's favorite, "Egg Nog." She loves it so much that I usually buy some extra and stash them away in the freezer.

      Delete
    2. Tuna - What time should we stop by?

      Delete
    3. Beans - Seasonal delights, we loves them.

      Delete
    4. We're open Tuesdays and 2nd Saturdays, from 8am to 8:15! I'll save you a slice.

      Delete
  17. Noble Beans, thank you for you quick series of comments starting at 1239. Mr. Wilson truly was an evil man, and I could not have made you comments any better than you did. Thank You!
    GET was part of the Wilson administration, and greatly admired the man, which puts a severe tarnish on FDR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Strange how people just forget how evil the progressive presidents have been.

      As to GET, I must show my complete ignorance of who GET was/is/will be.

      FDR was a tarnish, by the way.

      Delete
    2. GET is auto corrected FDR. No edit button.

      Delete
    3. I always turn auto correct off, I know more words than it does.

      GET and FDR aren't too far apart on the keyboard, not exactly like HAL and IBM but that's where my mind went. Though FDR would translate to GES...

      Delete
  18. Dutch Apple pie! HUZZAH! I need to go get some Badger Tracks Ice cream! Ship's makes it with vanilla ice cream, with strawberry swirls, and chocolate chunks. The red and white are the UW colors. Another company, (Kemp's, perhaps? ), makes the addition of cashews, to represent the Badger's claws. That is the one I'm after. But I will accept Bear Tracks, that is chocolate ice cream, fudge swirls, and cashews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We get moose tracks around here, Vanilla ice cream, fudge, and peanut butter cups.

      Yum!

      Delete
    2. That sounds like the coyote scat we used to track in the winter. I bet it tastes better, too.

      Delete
    3. Moose tracks is also available here. It is very tasty!

      Delete
  19. "BeansNovember 29, 2018 at 6:42 PM

    I hate odd numbers..."

    Really, I've long thought you to be rather an odd number.

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a good sort of way, of course.

      Paul

      Delete
    2. I may be an odd number, but at least I'm not irrational. Or at least I think I'm not irrational.

      Delete
  20. "Or at least I think I'm not irrational."

    Then again, how could you tell?

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  21. However, we/I like you just as you are.

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Part of being irrational is all the negativity.

      And now I think it's a tad late for bad math humor.

      Delete
  22. Like Beans, I hate odd numbers...and yes, I am an odd number also. But, I loved the initial picture of the Christmas Cactus! Mine just doesn't want to get with the Christmas spirit and blooms for July 4th.

    As someone who was born in Massachusetts and learned to walk in Haaavaaad Yaaad, spent summers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Little Rhody, and have genes that date back to the first voyage of the Mayflower, I have always considered myself a Yankee, now transplanted to Michigan. But after reading Sarge's definition of Yankee, I can't argue at all.

    My favorite breakfast food is apple pie, with a chunk of extra sharp chedda. No one does chedda like Vermonters!! In a pinch though, vanilla ice cream is an acceptable substitute.

    But Beans' holiday menu list sounds delish!! I think we should all go there for not only great, funny conversation, but very good food!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apple pie with a chunk of Vermont cheddar.

      The perfect breakfast!

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.