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Total number of comments: 8 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:24)

James F. Epperson

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  • Is it Racism? Why did we Ignore New Orleans but obsess about Boston?
    • James F. Epperson 05/15/2013 at 9:27 am

      I think a major issue is bombing the Boston Marathon---a very iconic event---vs. shooting up a New Orleans Mother's Day parade that no one had ever heard of. That said, I do think there is a tinge of racism here.

  • Dear ExxonMobil: This is What Global Warming Looks like
  • Palin was Right About those Government Death Panels
    • James F. Epperson 10/07/2011 at 2:43 pm

      Allow me a modest dissent on this. I do share your concerns about having these decisions made by faceless bureaucrats and mid-level functionaries. But this individual had been acting as an enemy of the United States for some time, and had placed himself beyond the reach of ordinary law enforcement. The logic of your argument, if applied in historical retrospection, would say that Lincoln should have tried to arrest all those Confederate soldiers instead of raising armies to fight them. (In fact, one of the important Civil War cases, the Prize Cases, may be the most on-point decision to look at.)

  • Zakaria: Tea Party Tactics Immoral, Dictatorial
    • I don't think I have conflated anything. Buchanan championed Lecompton as a means of getting Southern support (as did Pierce), just as Romney is walking away from his own health care bill in Massachusetts (as well as flip-flopping on other positions) as a means of getting Tea Party support. Douglas "championed" Kansas-Nebraska (hell, he wrote it) to curry Southern support. The similarity I see is in the uncompromising, "my way or the highway" approach to politics. An excellent example is the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, written by James Mason of Virginia (I think) to be unfair and offensive to Northern politicians, as a "poison pill" to kill the Compromise of 1850. The logic was that either the South would get a strong FSA or the Compromise would be killed.

      Another similarity is the racial one. In the antebellum era there were all sorts of claims that failing to support and maintain slavery would lead to "enslavement" and "degradation" of white Southerners. Now we have obsession with immigration and the numerous racially offensive comments about the President. Sorry, it is the same kind of idiocy to me.

    • With equal respect, I think my knowledge of the Civil War is fine; I invite you to visit the website behind my name.

      Over the period 1850-1860 the fire-eaters made numerous demands on the Federal government, with a threat of secession behind each one. They blew up the Compromise of 1850 by telling Stephen Douglas he had no chance of the Democratic nomination unless he opened up the Kansas-Nebraska Territory to slavery. They insisted on admitting Kansas as a slave state, despite the evident fraud behind the Lecompton government. They insisted on expanding slavery, and were even pushing a court case that might have been used to rule state abolition laws unconstitutional. They split the Democratic Party by insisting on a Federal slave code.

      I think the comparison to uncompromising politicians more interested in a goal than in actually governing is quite apt. Another apt comparison for the Tea Party is to spoiled children who don't understand that they can't always have "their way."

    • I have an avocational interest in the American Civil War, and the Tea Party very much reminds me of the attitude of the "fire-eaters" in the antebellum period---Give us what we want (and what we want is extreme) or we will tear the temple down! And they did ...

  • Can Bookstores be Saved?
    • As a graduate of UM (1975), I remember when Borders was a simple little bookstore on State St. I agree this is sad (not least of all because we had stock in the company; should have gotten out when it started crashing).

  • Repeal the PATRIOT Act is the Lesson of Bush White House Spying
    • Fundamentally, I agree with you, but I do acknowledge the political realities---if there are any slip-ups on the security front, the GOP will be all over Obama as not caring about national security. If this were to occur after Obama had spearheaded a repeal of the (un-)Patriot Act, it would be that much worse for him. I think this is a form of domestic "political defense." I think/hope/pray that, if he is re-elected, he will let the Act lapse. I do find the timing interesting---the extension means it will come up for renewal in 2015. I also acknowledge that I could be wrong---Presidents throughout history have had a habit of working to acquire more power.

      Keep up the good work---I read the blog regularly and post the best entries on Facebook in a no doubt vain attempt to educate my right-wing friends ;-)


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