LOTS OF LAWSUITS
The city of Charlottesville is preparing to appeal its defeat in a lawsuit over two Confederate monuments.
The Daily Progress reports the City Council on Monday night authorized the city attorney to appeal once a judge delivers his final ruling against removing statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
Circuit Court Judge Richard Moore ruled last month that monuments don’t send a racially discriminatory message. He also issued a permanent injunction preventing the city from removing the statues.
A group of residents sued the city, citing a state law that protects war memorials. The only outstanding issue is their request for more than $600,000 in attorneys’ fees. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 15.
IN ANOTHER LAWSUIT
We recently reported that a court injunction would prevent Chatham County, North Carolina from removing its Confederate statue from the courthouse square until the lawsuit filed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy could be heard by the Court. But Superior Court Judge Susan Bray has lifted that injunction Wednesday.
The pattern seems to be that when liberals do not like a court decision, they just find another Judge.
County Manager Dan LaMontagne has promised to remove the statue quickly and well before the matter is heard in court. No doubt, they have no intention of ever returning the statue even if ordered by the Court to do so.
Since the libs can always find another Judge, do lawsuits or rulings even matter anymore? I guess they only do when the decision goes the way of the libs!
NAACP LAWSUIT COULD BE A GAME CHANGER
Virginia’s Hanover County School Board voted last year 5-2 to retain the names of Lee-Davis on district schools. The vote followed a school system poll of county residents in which 3 in 4 respondents supported keeping the names.
Now, a year later, the NAACP sued the county over the names, saying they violate the constitutional rights of black students and their families by making them feel unwelcome and creating an unequal learning environment.
The board announced Tuesday night that it will meet behind closed doors next week to “discuss a possible resolution to the pending lawsuit filed in August by the NAACP over the names of Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School.”
“The School Board is carefully and thoughtfully evaluating a variety of factors in its consideration of a possible resolution of the lawsuit,” School Board Chairman Roger Bourassa said Tuesday. “The School Board is committed to providing the best possible learning environment for all Hanover County students and makes every decision with the best interest of students in mind.”
In other words, this means that the district is considering settling the lawsuit out of court. To do this, I am certain that the NAACP will accept nothing short of a name change.
Basically, the NAACP has figured out a new way to punish any organization that dares to keep its heritage.
“If the School Board decides to continue the litigation, the School Board will incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs defending the lawsuit,” Chairman Bourassa said, adding that it could take a minimum of two years for a decision to be made in court. “If the NAACP prevails in the lawsuit, the School Board could be responsible for the NAACP’s legal fees, which are expected to be several million dollars.”
At the end of his statement, Bourassa said both Lee-Davis and Stonewall Jackson will eventually be rebuilt and “will be renamed pursuant to existing School Board Policy.” That policy states that no school should be named for a person, living or dead.
By settling this asinine lawsuit, the precedent will be set and undoubtedly the NAACP will threaten to sue every school and organization that refuses to bow to its demands. The slope just went from slippery to outright beyond slippery.
IN YET ANOTHER LAWSUIT
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is preparing to sue the city of Columbus, Georgia, over a dispute involving the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag on a historic cemetery’s grounds, regional news outlets reported Thursday.
Martin O’Toole, a spokesman for the Georgia Sons of the Confederate Veterans, said the group plans to file a lawsuit in response to the Columbus City Council voting to rescind a 1994 resolution that had until recently allowed Confederate flags to be flown at Linwood Cemetery, a historic burial ground and the final resting place for scores of Confederate soldiers.
“The draft has already been completed and we’ve sent it to different attorneys for their review,” said Mr. O’Toole, a local ABC outlet reported. “I expect that we will file it this month.”
The City Council voted to rescind the resolution last month after a local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans repeatedly flew the Confederate battle flag at the cemetery despite being a request by officials to display the first national flag of the Confederacy, a design that is different from the more controversial battle flag.
“So, we basically told them that was the one flag we did not want on there,” Mayor Skip Henderson said at the time, WRBL-TV reported last month. “They flew it. So council rescinded that resolution and we very carefully removed the poles.”
Mr. O’Toole said lawyers for the Sons of Confederate Veterans plan to fight the City Council’s decision on two grounds, a local CBS outlet reported. “The major one, the first one, is a violation of the official code of Georgia, annotated section 50-3-1.”
We are hearing reports that the board that governs the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room is considering a name change to win corporate donors they fear would be wary of controversy surrounding anything with the name “Confederate.”
COMING – WIDE-SPREAD MONUMENT REMOVALS IN VIRGINIA?
For the first time since 1993, Democrats took unified control of the Virginia governor’s office, state Senate and state House. Expect this to result in new efforts at the State level to remove Confederate monuments statewide. Governor Northam is likely to sign any such legislation that is passed through the Assembly.
NON-HERITAGE NEWS AFFECTING THE SOUTHLAND:
The Houston Astros have been accused of using video feeds to “steal signs” from their opponents during home games in the World Series.
PRESIDENT CARTER HOSPITALIZED AGAIN
The former president was admitted to Emory University Hospital on Monday for “a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain, caused by bleeding due to his recent falls,” according to an official statement from The Carter Center.
RETURN TO SENATE?
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces he is running for his old seat in his home state. The bid is expected to face opposition from President Trump, who fired Sessions as attorney general in 2018.
ANOTHER NEW DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE?
Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and billionaire businessman is expected to file paperwork to place his name on the Alabama primary ballot, according to multiple reports.
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is considering joining the 2020 presidential race according to multiple reports.
TEXAS “DYING” TO MURDER ANOTHER INNOCENT
For some unknown reason the government of Texas has had an obsession with killing folks that spans over a century. We are all for the death penalty. But Texas just seems to enjoy it and that is just sick! In fact, Texas has its own system of courts just to fast-track executions so that accused men and women do not even have time to file an appeal. God forbid that someone falsely accused be found innocent on appeal and allowed to return to living their lives before Texas can kill them.
This time it is Rodney Reed. Texas plans to execute Reed, who has been on death row since 1998 for a crime that many experts now believe he did not commit.
A bipartisan group of Texas state senators, along with celebrities including Rihanna and Beyoncé, and 13 police officials involved in Reed’s arrest and original conviction are all calling on Texas Governor Gregg Abbott to stay the execution until DNA evidence can be examined that is believed will exonerate Reed and prove him innocent. It has also been established that at the time of Reed’s trial, prosecutors knowingly withheld “exculpatory” evidence. That is, evidence that could establish the innocence of the accused.
But the Governor refuses. No doubt, if he could, Abbott would flip the switch on “old sparky” himself.
Why is Texas so afraid to entertain the possibility that Reed, and others on death row for whom the State is illegally withholding “exculpatory” evidence, may be innocent?
The execution is scheduled for November 20.
President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is considering launching a podcast to provide analysis of the impeachment process amid public congressional hearings. A spokesperson for Giuliani confirmed that the former New York City mayor was weighing his options, saying that “Many Americans want to hear directly from Rudy Giuliani.”
LATEST FROM MAYOR PETEr BUTTit-hurts
In an interview with The Associated Press, Pete Buttigieg said that if he’s elected in 2020 he would like to pick the first female secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department. The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is slated to formally unveil his plan during an upcoming speech in New Hampshire.
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, age 86, missed courtroom arguments this week due to illness.
On Tuesday, the ailing Justice “phoned it in,” allowing the Supreme Court rule in favor of Sandy Hook families, allowing them to sue Remington Arms, the maker of the AR-15 used in the alleged 2012 Newtown shooting.
And in her absence the Court also heard arguments for and against rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which keeps hundreds of thousands of immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children from being deported.
Automakers from Ford to Tesla are building a new generation of electric vehicles that are faster and more powerful than almost anything else on the road.
LINCOLN (AND NOT THE SOUTH) BROKE THE COVENANT (AND STARTED THE WAR)
Al Benson, Jr., is the Editor-in-Chief of The Copperhead Chronicle.
He is also a regular feature writer for The Southern Patriot, The Dixie Heritage Letter, and other pro-Southern publications.
He is a proud member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Confederate Society of America, and the League of the South.
Years ago I picked up a book in a used book store called Promise of Glory, written by a C. X. Moreau. It was historical fiction about the Battle of Sharpsburg in 1862. It was a good book and I enjoyed it, so I hung onto it. It was good historical fiction and I agreed with much of it, but there was one place in it where the author got his history wrong.
In one place, on page 38, Moreau made a statement I have to disagree with. He wrote: “There was no way around that. They (the South) had broken the faith. Lee, Jackson, all of them. Late at night, around their campfires, with a bottle going around, his officers spoke of it in hushed voices.”
The whole idea of it, from this one little fictional exchange, was that, somehow, the War was the fault of the South. Supposedly they started it when they fired on Fort Sumter, and now that they had broken the Covenant there was no turning back. Needless to say, I disagree.
Recently, I got a letter from a friend in New Jersey, along with a copy of a book, a thin little volume called The Truth of the War Conspiracy of 1861. The little book was written by Huger William Johnstone, who had served with the 5th Georgia Volunteers during the War of Northern Aggression.
My friend’s letter noted that: “I didn’t know that an armistice between the Federal government and the Confederate government existed until I read this book a few years ago. Lincoln had several plans to break that armistice and actually did break it by reinforcing Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Florida on the evening of April 11th. Just a few hours before the bombardment of Fort Sumter began. Lincoln broke that armistice on March 12, before he was inaugurated–by ordering the reinforcement of Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens. This act and subsequent violations of the armistice made the North the aggressors, not the South.”
It seems that Mr. Johnstone spent several years going over the records of the War and trying to put much of it together in a coherent manner. He stated, at one point, that “The mystifying dis-arrangement of those records was a work of genius. It seems easy now, but I was years in getting the facts into chronological sequence. In 1917 I succeeded in perfecting proofs fixing the responsibility for the ‘War Between the States,’ 1861-1865, on one man–Abraham Lincoln.”
Johnstone mentioned a Yankee Major, Major Vogdes, who he later met as General Vogdes, at Fort Adams, Rhode Island. Vogdes recalled the incident in question and stated that he had “…reinforced Fort Pickens before Fort Sumter was attacked, but that this act was overshadowed by the clamor and furor about Fort Sumter.” If his recollection was correct, and we have no reason to think it was not, that means that the North broke the armistice by reinforcing Fort Pickens!
In the process of putting this material together, Johnstone says he “held frequent imaginary conversations, discussions, arguments, with my loyal, trusted friend, the Blade–(my old service sword, which hangs on the wall, environed by books, records, and memories.)” In other words, he used his old sword as something to bounce his ideas and thoughts off as he put this material together.
While this may sound odd to some, it is really not that novel an idea. Many who have no one to talk to in the midst of their research will often bounce their thoughts off some inanimate object to see how they sound on the rebound. In a manner of speaking it is sort of like talking to oneself, or thinking out loud, which is not all that uncommon.
In 1864 Lincoln sent a message to Congress, in December, which emphasized this sentence: “I simply mean to say that the war will cease, on the part of the Government whenever it shall cease on the part of those who began it.” This was classic Lincolnian deception. If the truth were known, the US Government and Lincoln started the war by committing “at least four flagrant acts of war, against two vital points in the South, weeks before Fort Sumter was fired on. That these acts were secret, and the most treacherous known to civilized diplomacy, does not weaken the force of the facts. The secret emphasizes the treachery. Had secret orders been obeyed, or other like orders not miscarried, war would have been openly inaugurated at a point five hundred miles from Fort Sumter, long before Fort Sumter was fired on. That the first open clash was at Fort Sumter, was an accident, caused by a misfit in Abraham Lincoln’s schemes to force war ‘at any risk or cost.’”
Johnstone observed, accurately, that “There was a solemn agreement, an Armistice, existing at Charleston, entered into by the United States Government and South Carolina officials on December 6th, 1860; and a special agreement, armistice, at Pensacola, entered into by the United States and Florida authorities on January 29th, 1861,–(both filed in United States War and Navy Departments–by which the United States agreed not to attempt to reinforce Major Anderson, nor Fort Pickens; and South Carolina, Florida and the Confederate authorities, agreed to make no attack on Major Anderson, or Fort Pickens, while these solemn agreements were observed. To violate an armistice is considered a treacherous act of war.” Lincoln violated the armistice and, therefore, started the war!
Johnstone further noted “For either party to prepare to act against a point covered by an armistice, is an act of war. It has been held, and rightly, that for any person to visit a fortification, where an armistice exists, with the intent to advice or plan means or methods, to strengthen such fortification is the act of a spy, a reinforcement, and an act of war. So that any act, any order intended to change the existing status quo at any vital point, especially where an armistice exists, by strengthening, or arranging to strengthen such a place, thus making force necessary, is a treacherous act of war. Yet you say that the United States Government, and Abraham Lincoln, ordered and secretly organized and sent, armed expeditions, under ‘secret’ instructions, to commit acts in violation of existing ‘armistices.’ Why to organize such a force, to mobilize it, for such a purpose, is an act of war. Where an armistice exists, such an order is a flagrant act of war.”
While it may seem that Johnstone is belaboring this point, he is trying to get across the truth he has presented here via repetition. If Lincoln broke the armistice, then Lincoln started the war!
Johnstone notes that: “Bear in mind that Captain Vogdes, U.S. Army was sent with an armed force, on the U.S.S. Brooklyn, to reinforce Fort Pickens, in January 1861; but was stopped by the armistice of January 29th at Pensacola bar, and that this armed force remained there, under Captain Vogdes, on the Brooklyn. As soon as Lincoln became President and Commander-in-Chief, these facts became known to him, officially; and the following order was sent to violate the existing armistice, reinforce Fort Pickens, and inaugurate war. It is well known that General Scott was opposed to war; but he obeyed the Commander-in-Chief, Abraham Lincoln. I quote the record.” (Extract) “Hd. Qtrs. of the Army, Washington, March 12, 1861. Sir: (C) At the first favorable opportunity, you will land your company, reinforce Fort Pickens, and hold same until further orders, etc. By command of Lt. Gen. Scott. Signed E. D. Townsend, Asst. Adjt. Gen.”
On April 11th, at nine in the evening, the Brooklyn landed the troops and marines on board and reinforced Fort Pickens–in violation of the armistice. This occurred the day before Fort Sumter was fired on!
But, the point to be made here is that this whole scheme was planned a whole month before Sumter was fired on! Johnstone here notes two points. “First: That the South was diligently using every means possible to preserve and establish peace; and used no treachery. Second: That the United States Government and Abraham Lincoln, deceived the people; deceived Congress, deceived the Confederate States Commissioners, by hypocritical ‘yearnings’ and ‘private’ ‘confidential’ and secret official acts, all done to insure Lincoln’s scheme to force war on the South.” All the time seeking to make it appear that the South opened the hostilities when actually it was Lincoln that did!
Johnstone’s book is available on Amazon and is not a long read, but you can tell he is not someone who wrote for a living, so you need to take that into account. That being said, his book proved on thing–Lincoln broke the Covenant and started the war and the Yankee/Marxists in our day need to be constantly reminded of that and to know that we are not about to let them forget it!
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is a pastor in Montana. Additionally, he is a syndicated columnist and the radio host of the daily show Chuck Baldwin Live.
In 2004 he ran for Vice-President of the United States. In 2008 and 2012 he ran for President. All three times he was nominated by the Constitution Party. In the late 1970’s – 1980’s he was a leader in the Moral Majority.
I am convinced that Christian conservatives, on the whole, care absolutely nothing about constitutional government. They care absolutely nothing about the Bill of Rights, God’s Natural Law or the Declaration of Independence. In their hearts, they support monarchy and dictatorship. It’s not the idea of monarchy that they find repugnant. All they find repugnant is the idea that the monarchy might be led by a Democrat.
I’m reading Christian conservatives by the dozens that express their strong desire for Trump to send military troops to take over California, for Trump to declare martial law and send military troops to throw all of the Democrats in the House of Representatives in prison, for Trump to send military troops to seize America’s journalists and judges and for Trump to send military troops to seize people like me who dare to challenge the president’s unconstitutional actions.
It is no hyperbole to say that if Donald Trump declared martial law today the vast majority of Christian conservatives would wholeheartedly support it.
To most of these so-called Christian conservatives, the Bill of Rights applies only to them. It doesn’t apply to Democrats, Libertarians, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, liberals or anyone who disagrees.
They are supporting a President for wanting the federal government to have permanent authority to spy on every American citizen, militarize local and State police agencies, develop “pre-crime” law enforcement tactics that would turn anyone the government chooses into a criminal without them ever having committed a crime and use government-defined “mental health” issues as justification for police to deny Americans their Natural right of self-defense. And, once again, so-called Christian conservatives seem just fine with it all.
Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote:
While most of us have been thinking about the end of summer and while the political class frets over the Democratic presidential debates and the aborted visit of two members of Congress to Israel, the Trump administration has quietly moved to extend and make permanent the government’s authority to spy on all persons in America.
The president, never at a loss for words, must have been asked by the intelligence community he once reviled not to address these matters in public.
These matters include the very means and the very secret court about which he complained loud and long during the Mueller investigation. Now, he wants to be able to unleash permanently on all of us the evils he claims were visited upon him by the Obama-era FBI and by his own FBI.
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution — written in the aftermath of British soldiers and agents using general warrants obtained from a secret court in London to spy on whomever in the colonies they wished and to seize whatever they found — was ratified as part of the Bill of Rights to limit the government’s ability to intrude upon the privacy of all persons, thereby prohibiting those procedures used by the British.
Thus, we have the constitutional requirements that no searches and seizures can occur without a warrant issued by a judge based on a showing, under oath, of probable cause of crime. The courts have uniformly characterized electronic surveillance as a search.
I am not addressing eyesight surveillance on a public street. I am addressing electronic surveillance wherever one is when one sends or receives digital communications. FISA is an unconstitutional congressional effort to lower the standards required by the Fourth Amendment from probable cause of crime to probable cause of foreign agency.
How pervasive is this unlawful spying? According to Binney, the NSA’s 60,000 domestic spies capture the content and the keystrokes of every communication transmitted on fiber optic cables into or out of or wholly within the United States. And they do so 24/7 — without warrants.
Now, back to that quiet late summer proposal by the Trump administration. Some of the statutes that govern who can go to the FISA court and under what circumstances they can go are about to expire. Inexplicably, the president once victimized by FISA wants to make these statutes permanent. And he wants to do so knowing that they are essentially a facade for spying. That would institutionalize the now decades-long federal assault on privacy and evasion of constitutional norms.
It would also place Trump in the same category as his two immediate predecessors, who regularly ordered government agents to violate the Fourth Amendment and then denied they had done so.
Some of my Fox colleagues joke with me that I am shoveling against the tide when it comes to defending the right to privacy. They claim that there is no more privacy. I disagree with them. As long as we still have a Constitution, it must be taken seriously and must mean what it says. And its intentionally stringent requirements for enabling the government to invade privacy remain the law of the land. The president has sworn to uphold the Constitution, not the NSA.
But do most Christian conservatives care about this? Not at all! As long as Donald Trump is the one doing it, they are all for it.
Here is and example of Trump’s militarized Police State proposals that are already being enacted:
President Donald Trump on Monday said the Justice Department is preparing to launch a sweeping crackdown on crime that he named “the surge,” a term commonly associated with the George W. Bush administration’s decision to send tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq in 2007.
“In coming weeks, Attorney General Barr will announce a new crackdown on violent crime — which I think is so important — targeting gangs and drug traffickers in high crime cities and dangerous rural areas,” Trump said during the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago. “Let’s call it the surge.”
The president did not provide any details on the plan but said it is going to be “very dramatic.”
“And you’re going to see tremendous results very quickly,” Trump added.
As if to emphasize his view of America’s cities as war zones, Trump went on to tout his administration’s success in putting military equipment into the hands of U.S. police officers and claimed “Afghanistan is a safe place” compared to Chicago.
“To help keep you safe, I’ve made $600 million worth of surplus military equipment available to local law enforcement,” Trump told the audience of police chiefs. “If you remember, the previous administration didn’t want to do that… They didn’t want to make you look so tough. They didn’t want to make you look like you’re a threat.” (Source)
News flash to Donald Trump: A militarized Police State IS a threat. It is a bigger threat than all of the Chicago street thugs put together. But do most Christian conservatives understand that? Not at all! As long as Trump is the dictator, they are all for it.
And here is Dr. Ron Paul trying to warn the American people about Trump’s dictatorial “pre-crime” law enforcement tactics being implemented by the White House.
Will Christian conservatives pay any attention to Dr. Paul’s warnings? Are you kidding?
The truth is, Judge Napolitano and Dr. Paul are merely scratching the surface of Trump’s infatuation with a Police State.
Here is a Trump-appointed judge blasting a federal court’s decision to not rehear the case of a police shooting of an innocent young black man. U.S. Circuit Judge James Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit was angry that the court allowed an earlier ruling to stand that said the officers involved in the shooting were not entitled to qualified immunity in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the young man’s family.
Trump’s appointee, Judge Ho, brazenly declared, “If we want to stop mass shootings, we should stop punishing police officers.” In other words, government employees with guns should be above the law. This is the same position that Attorney General William Barr takes.
Barr was one of the fiercest defenders of the FBI sharpshooter who murdered Sam and Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992. The government sniper “bravely” shot 14-year-old Sam in the back and later zeroed in on Sam’s mother Vicki’s head as she was standing in the door of her kitchen holding her infant child in her arms. The “brave” FBI killer blew Vicki’s brains all over the baby. What a hero! William Barr made sure that the government assassin got away scot-free with double murder.
Obviously, if policemen are above the law, so are soldiers. Trump plans to pardon two soldiers who have been charged with—and one of them has already been convicted of—WAR CRIMES. (Source)
For Donald Trump to pardon these war criminals would be a war crime all by itself. Soldiers are NOT above the rule of law. To allow soldiers to commit war crimes without punishment says the WORST about US and unleashes massive retaliation around the world, which results in the deaths of more of our troops. In essence, war criminals are not only murdering the people of foreign countries, they are murdering their own fellow soldiers. The Secretary of Defense and the military chain of command is pleading with Trump to NOT pardon these war criminals for the reasons stated here—and many others. But Trump doesn’t believe in the rule of law. And neither do many of Trump’s supporters, apparently.
Donald Trump is acting in true king-like fashion. And, again, most Christian conservatives are just fine with it.
Then there are Trump’s war crimes of using military force to seize the oil fields of an independent sovereign nation: Syria.
President Donald Trump has approved an expanded military mission to secure an expanse of oil fields across eastern Syria, raising a number of difficult legal questions about whether U.S. troops can launch strikes against Syrian, Russian or other forces if they threaten the oil, U.S. officials said.
The decision, coming after a meeting Friday between Trump and his defense leaders, locks hundreds of U.S. troops into a more complicated presence in Syria, despite the president’s vow to get America out of the war. Under the new plan, troops would protect a large swath of land controlled by Syrian Kurdish fighters that stretches nearly 90 miles (150 kilometers) from Deir el-Zour to al-Hassakeh, but its exact size is still being determined.
Officials said many details still have to be worked out. But, Trump’s decision hands commanders a victory in their push to remain in the country to prevent any resurgence of the Islamic State group, counter Iran and partner with the Kurds, who battled IS alongside the U.S. for several years. But it also forces lawyers in the Pentagon to craft orders for the troops that could see them firing on Syrian government or Russian fighters trying to t
So much for bringing U.S. troops home from Syria. As I noted last week, Donald Trump is not scaling back U.S. wars in the Middle East; he is exploding those wars exponentially. Do most Christian conservatives care? Not one bit.
Should Donald Trump be elected to a second term next year (and I believe the odds are he WILL be re-elected—impeachment notwithstanding), there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he will spend the next four years turning America into a monarchical militarized Police State and expanding America’s Warfare State beyond any of his predecessors. And by the time 2024 rolls around, he may indeed be permanently ensconced as America’s Monarch-in-Chief. If that happens, Christian conservatives will embrace it with open hearts and celebrate it as akin to the Second Coming.
Do you remember when Donald Trump said that he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and his supporters would still vote for him? Well, he wasn’t making it up. He could, and they would.
And get this:
The political and legal world appears as an immense accumulation of images. One of the most striking images from the 2016 presidential campaign was the notion put forward by then-candidate Donald Trump that he could literally shoot someone in the middle of Manhattan’s 5th Avenue and suffer zero political consequences.
In a Manhattan courtroom on Wednesday morning, Trump lawyer William Consovoy argued the 45th president could take such a shot, make it, and suffer zero legal consequences as well.
Have you heard any Christian conservative objecting to such a preposterous claim? No, you haven’t. In fact, a new poll published by Monmouth University Polling Institute shows that 62% of Trump’s supporters would continue to support him no matter what he did or did not do. NO MATTER WHAT!
Would these Christian conservatives have remained silent if Barack Obama or Bill Clinton and their attorneys had said what Trump and his attorney said? This is the talk of monarchies. Again, Christian conservatives do not object to monarchy as long as Donald Trump is the king.
On the other hand, if Donald Trump can drop over 100,000 bombs and kill tens of thousands of innocent people around the world (which he has done) and not be held legally accountable, what would one more murder on 5th Avenue matter?
By embracing Donald Trump’s monarchical machinations, Christian conservatives are not singing, “Hail to the Chief”; they are shouting, “Hail, Caesar!”
A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE OF SLAVERY – Part 6 of 10
Mike Scruggs is the author of The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths, and Lessons from the Vietnam War: Truths the Media Never Told You.
As a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist he has written and published over 600 articles on military history, national security, immigration, current political affairs, Islam, and the Middle East.
There was a great variation in the conditions of slavery among peoples and over time in history. Sometimes conditions improved or deteriorated within a single civilization.
The Old Testament Book of Job was one of the earliest Hebrew writings. The events surrounding the story of Job probably took place between the times of Abraham and Moses in northwestern Arabia or southern Jordan, perhaps abound 1500 BC.
The verse also indicates Job made an effort to treat his slaves with fairness and dignity. The point here is that God considered Job blameless and upright, although he was obviously an owner and master of slaves. The Bible does not condemn slaveholders per se. Its disfavor is for those who abuse or mistreat their slaves (or modern employees.)
Yet the “ultra-abolitionists” of the Civil War era condemned what Scripture had not condemned. The Southern churches stood on the Authority of Scripture, while many in the Northern churches began to embrace the ultra-abolitionist argument that there was a “higher truth” than Scripture.
SOUTHERN SLAVERY AS IT REALLY WAS
Two important studies shatter the notion that abuse and mistreatment was prevalent in Southern slavery: First, the enormous research of Robert William Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman, in their 1974 book Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery, and second, The Slave Narratives, prepared by the Federal Writers Project during the Roosevelt Administration from 1936 to 1938, and published in 1941, covering interviews with about 2,300 former slaves.
The material conditions of Southern black slaves compared favorably to Northern industrial whites. Their caloric intake, for example, was ten percent greater than free whites. The vitamin content of the slave diet far exceeded that of whites and the recommended daily levels established in 1964. The protein content was 110 percent greater and the iron content 230 percent greater than the minimum daily requirement. According to testimonies in The Slave Narratives, it is very evident that slaves enjoyed abundant, varied, and much appreciated food. The reason the nutrient value of the slave diet exceeded that of whites so much was that the whites ate white potatoes, while the slaves enjoyed the much more nutritious sweet potatoes. Most slave families were also allowed their own small gardens, most frequently planted with sweet potatoes.
While most slaves were field hands or household servants, there were significant numbers in other occupations. Seven percent of slaves, almost all of them males, were essentially part of the plantation management staff. Such positions were foremen (or drivers), overseers, and even general managers. In fact, most field foremen were black slaves. Another twelve percent were skilled craftsmen such as carpenters and blacksmiths. About seven percent were semi-skilled, which included teamsters and many household servants.
Housing standards for Southern slaves in 1860 compared favorably to free whites. There were 5.3 persons per white household and 5.2 persons per slave household. Only rarely was there more than one family per slave cabin. Most slave cabins were about 360 square feet of ground space plus sleeping lofts for children and some porch space. This exceeded the average living space of New York City households in 1892.
Medical care for the average Southern slave was considerably better than for the white Northern factory worker. Most larger plantations maintained a substantial hospital. These were usually visited by the same doctor that treated the plantation owners and white employees. The largest plantations had full-time doctors. The hospitals were usually staffed with one or more full-time slaves acting as nurses and midwives. They were typically elderly slaves who could no longer perform physical labor. Other slave-women specialized in caring for the children on the plantation.
Owners of smaller farms with fewer slaves usually provided the same healthcare for their slaves as they did for their own families. There is every indication that slave owners paid considerable attention to the health of their slaves. Owning slaves was a major economic investment. No rational slave owner neglected the health of his slaves. Also, contrary to the propaganda of Northern abolitionists and modern liberals, a compassionate Christianity pervaded Southern slave owners far more than most other segments of Southern or Northern society. Thus Southern slaves enjoyed a relatively high standard of medical care offering cradle to grave healthcare security.
The average slave lifespan was only 36 in 1850, comparable to Northern industrial workers and whites in France, Italy, and the Netherlands, but four years less than the average of all American whites. The maternal death rate of slaves in childbearing was 167 per thousand births. While this is very high by modern standards, it was slightly less for slaves than whites. The infant mortality rate for slaves was 183 per thousand, about three percent higher than white Southerners. The slave suicide rate was only one in ten thousand per year, only one third that of whites.
The standard issue of slave clothing was quite adequate. The clothing was not fashionable, but very sturdy. Slaves were generally issued two pairs of shoes per year made of high quality leather.
Contrary to popular belief, slave owners generally relied on motivational incentives rather than the whip to increase the work efficiency of slaves. Some typical incentives were cash payments, time off, team bonuses, and the opportunity to make money selling produce from their own gardens and small plots of land. Many plantations worked on a task system. A slave was assigned tasks that could be easily accomplished in a day. They usually finished these tasks ahead of schedule and used the time to rest, visit, or work on their own accounts. Some were allowed to work off the plantation to earn additional money.
The slave family was usually kept together and had strong patriarchal rather than matriarchal features. They had de facto ownership of homes and gardens and were allowed to keep incentive and other entrepreneurial earnings for themselves. The unit of plantation distribution was the family. Marriage ceremonies were often performed, although many were de facto. One significant moral defect of the slave system was that slave families could be broken up. But on the average only one slave in 22 was sold in a year. At least a third of these were estate sale disbursements. Most family separations occurred because of westward migration.
Another astonishing statistic derived from Fogel and Engerman’s data is that when the cost of food, housing, clothes, and healthcare, plus various kinds of cash incentive pay are added, the total compensation of the average slave was fifteen percent higher than the pay of comparable free agricultural workers in the South.
Fogel and Engerman also estimate that the owner share of slave production after expenses was only about 14 percent. Slave maintenance costs were from cradle to grave. It took slightly more than 21 years from birth to breakeven. Slave labor could not therefore be said to be irresistibly profitable. Slavery was probably a doomed economic system that could not have lasted another generation. Slavery was not the cause of the War and would have ended without the War, just as it did in all other countries.
By comparison, the living conditions endured by most of the natives living on the coasts of West Africa were grim. According to the 1864 edition of Malte Brun’s System of Universal Geography, published in Boston, in the region of Dahomey, “Two thirds of the African population lead lives of hereditary bondage in their own country, and those who are free, are liable to be reduced to slavery at any moment, by the order of their despots.” Except for the small ruling caste, who had grown rich selling their own people as slaves to New England, European, and Arab slave-traders, most of the natives lived in rude huts and suffered unspeakable pagan brutalities and tyrannies at the hands of their local chieftains and kings. (Dahomey is now the Republic of Benin, on the eastern border of Nigeria.)
The slave trade, especially the passage from Africa to America—all on New England slave ships—was very profitable to New England, but the conditions for slaves were absolutely wretched, and about 13 percent died.
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