Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014

T-shirts

In Wednesday’s Viewpoints, Charles Pecor submitted a jocular look at possible Republican T-shirts that fit their personalities, so to speak. I submit there are excellent examples of that type of humor on the Democratic side as well.

President Obama: Told you I’d ‘transform’ America. Tu si puedo, suckers!

Nancy Pelosi: You need to read the bill to find out all the lies and deceptions we put into it. PS: I did not shoot up Botox, my continuously screeching face is all natural, thank you.

Hillary Clinton: It takes a village to raise a looter.

Eric (The Just) Holder: I’m not racist, I just think it is time for “YT” to move to the back of the bus, that’s all.

Lying Joe Biden: Gross stupidity is not only fun, it’s a way of life for most Democrats.

Dingy Harry Reid: What’s wrong with being an unprincipled lying creep? Works for me.

Maxine Waters: Did the lunar rover discover life on Mars?

Hank Johnson: Has Guam tipped over yet from U.S. Army troop levels?

PS: Pecor claims Scott Walker looks like Alfred E. Neuman (MAD Magazine). That’s ridiculous when you have President Obama in the paper every day. Put a gap in his teeth and Obama could be a first cousin. He even has the, “What me worry?” look down pat.

-- John Brogden

Warner Robins

A rebuttal to the rebuttal’s rebuttal

If Miguel Faria wants us to take his comments about the American Civil War seriously he should use better source material than Ken Burns’ “The Civil War.”. It was entertaining and a good “History for Dummies,” and I loved the fact that it didn’t use re-enactors, but it was basically sentimental fluff that eschewed historical analysis for unquestioned conventional wisdom.

As for Shelby Foote’s masterpiece, “The Civil War,” I have enjoyed reading those three thick volumes three times, but more as wonderfully written narrative than good history. It has been a while since I read it, but it is obvious that Foote has a bias in favor of the South. It was hard to believe that in 1.2 million words, Foote doesn’t mention Andersonville, but mentions the 216 BCE Battle of Cannae too many times.

I’m sure many Confederate soldiers fought for the South because Yankees were down here, but it is ridiculous to confuse the reason a person might fight in a war for the cause of the war. While differences over tariffs, states’ rights and many other things were the subjects of heated debate, the main cause of the war was slavery. As I and at least one other person has pointed out on this page before, the people who started the war left no doubt in their writings that the main cause of the war was slavery.

In addition to those writings, the definitive proof that slavery was the cause of the war, are the Declarations of Secession that most Confederate states published when they left the Union. Just as the United States gave the reasons for its war with England in the Declaration of Independence, most of the Confederate states published Declarations of Secession and in all of them the fear of the abolition of slavery and efforts to stop slavery from spreading to new territories is the main cause of secession.

After the war started and Southern leaders realized that England and France would not help them fight for slavery, they toned down their emphasis on slavery and tried to put more weight on other reasons for the war. One of these reasons was that the states were independent nations that had voluntarily joined the union of small nations called the United States, and had the right to leave that union. In that they were right.

As James McPherson writes in, “Battle Cry of Freedom,” “The Upper South, like the lower, went to war to defend the freedom of white men to own slaves and to take them into the territories as they saw fit, lest these white men be enslaved by black Republicans who threatened to deprive them of these liberties.” (“black” here means “evil,” not African-Americans.)

On another page, McPherson mentions the captive rebel who made the over-quoted “Because you’re down here” comment and adds, “But without slavery there would have been no black Republicans to threaten the South’s way of life, no special Southern civilization to defend against Yankee invasion.”

Faria is wrong in claiming that Lincoln’s call for more troops after the Confederate victory at First Bull Run (or Manassas) caused the draft riots in New York and other cities. First Bull Run was fought in mid-1861. There was no draft in the North until 1863 and the draft riots were later in 1863. The bloodiest single-day battle of the American Civil War, Antietam, was a draw, not a Union victory. It was also one of the biggest of Lee’s many blunders.

Faria’s claim that Southern courage and superb generals made the war last as long as it did is laughable. There is not enough room here to critique the generals of the American Civil War, but suffice it to say that one reason Lee is considered by most people (but not me) to be a great general, is that most of the other Southern generals were incompetent jerks. Just one example: Bragg didn’t pursue the rioted Yankee army after the rebel victory at Chickamauga because he was peeved that they won because Longstreet (on loan from Lee) discovered a hole in the Yankee line instead of winning by following Bragg’s plans, which would in all probability have lost the battle. This caused one of the few good generals fighting for the South, Nathan Bedford Forrest, to warn his commanding general, Bragg, that he might have to do him bodily harm if they met again.

As for Southern courage there is no doubt about the fact that the South fielded many brave soldiers. At least two of them were my great grandfathers. But, they were no braver than the soldiers fighting for the United States and in some cases, like at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, they were downright cowardly.

As for the North having a great advantage in human and materiel resources that is true, but it is very much mitigated by the fact that the Confederacy was a huge territory to invade and conquer. The South had the advantage of interior lines, the morale advantage of people fighting an invader and they only had to fight to a draw, not beat the United States into submission. Some historians go as far as to suggest that the South had the advantage.

Also, go to some battlefield in Georgia at the time of the year the battle was fought and imagine soldiers accustomed to Massachusetts and Maine climates in wool coats and pants marching, sleeping, pushing cannons through swamps and fighting in chigger and tick infested woods in July.

Last, let me end with this reason a Yankee might want to fight. Had I been an American living in the North in 1860, I would have been willing to join up to fight after seeing things like this from Southern newspapers that were reprinted in the North. This is from Georgia’s Muscogee Herald: “Free Society! We sicken at the name. What is it but a conglomeration of greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, small-fisted farmers, and moon-struck theorists?... The prevailing class one meets with in the North is that of mechanics struggling to be genteel, and small farmers who do their own drudgery, and yet are hardly fit for association with a Southern gentleman’s body servant.”

-- Jim Sandefur

Lizella

Vocabulary enhancement

A letter to “Viewpoints” (Sunday, Nov. 23) that begins with the sentence “Bestiality and zoophilia refers to humans who have sexual attraction or relationship with animals” just begs to be read. And indeed I read the rest of Travis Middleton’s letter.

I got the impression he would like a federal law banning a wide variety of sexual practices (although I could not figure out why he would want to ban animal trainers and breeders). This sounds like more government regulations, not fewer. The attempt to regulate human behavior and desires through laws and regulations has seldom worked out well, witness the fact that Prohibition provided a fertile ground for organized crime.

This sounds much like creating a theocracy, and these just don’t work out well either, and you end up with something like ISIS. Surely Middleton would not be interested in living under Shariah law, but it would take care of all the “perversions” that trouble him.

In any event the State of Georgia already has bestially covered:

2010 Georgia Code Title 16 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES CHAPTER 6 -- SEXUAL OFFENSES § 16-6-6 -- Bestiality

He does seem fascinated with the word “sodomy,” and since he does have a good vocabulary using such words as “melange” and “vortex,” he might add some classy Latin words like fellatio and cunnilingus to the mix for a little variety. He probably does not approve of those either. Just trying to be helpful.

-- Charles J. Pecor

Macon

Body cameras

Your Editorial Board opinion piece in Wednesday’s paper was a missed chance on your part to depart from the usual, and expected, leftist media reporting. Chief William Farrar of the Rialto Calif. Police Department, in his statement that “they (Police) tend to behave a little better, follow the rules a little better,” should be ashamed of himself. To read the chief’s and the Telegraph’s statements, it is police brutality and excessive force by the police that is completely responsible for the complaints. I guess the anti-police crowd never take into account that when the public, especially those who tend to stay in trouble and complain about everything police related, are made aware that police are wearing cameras, they tend to behave better, and complain less because they know they were wrong to begin with.

We have enough anti-cop attitudes from the crooks in Washington D.C. We would be a lot better off if our law enforcement officers were presented on a level playing field for once. Next time you need some help, when you call 911, ask the operator to send you a looter and a crook instead of the law. Let me know how that works out for you.

-- Ron Renno

Forsyth

Forget the Constitution

The head of the Houston County Republican party, Aaron Hufstetler, in his recent letter in Viewpoints, labelled the United Nations as “the most useless and anti-American organization on the globe,...” His group is known locally for advocating drug testing of all applicants for public welfare, which is actually unconstitutional. But Hufstetler is really angry with the protests in Ferguson. He would allow two hours of protests and then have the police arrest all protesters and keep them in jail until a hearing is arranged.

As for those whose goal is to loot and destroy local businesses Hufstetler advocates and justifies the owners shooting them on first sight. That would take care of the looters.

It is obvious from the above statements and passions that Hufstetler has not read our Constitution lately, if at all. His group are also strong supporters of the Fair Tax at a rate of 30 percent and abolition of our state income tax. Obamacare and the ACLU are not their favorites.

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

Is money power?

Everyone’s heard that voter turnout in this year’s general election was pathetic. Nationwide, it was the lowest since 1942 and there was a war going on that year. Some folks will blame their neighbors, but I won’t do that. It’s completely understandable why so many voters would stay home. All the news we heard was bad and all the political campaign ads were negative. It was enough to depress a hyena.

How can we promote civility and engage in a more meaningful public conversation? One practical way to accomplish that would be to limit the money the campaigns and political committees spend. You might think this idea is unconstitutional but that’s probably because you’re hearing only one side of the issue.

Let’s think about the other side of this issue between today and the next election. Is free speech a public conversation as described by James Madison? Why or why not? What does it mean to say there ought to be an “even playing field”? What is the practical purpose of our public conversation? Is money the equivalent of speech or is it the price of admission to the means of speech? Why do we say money is power? How does that saying relate to this issue?

-- Tom Louderback

Louisville, Ky.

Feinstein’s fault

Democrat Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., released a Senate Intelligence Committee report on enhanced interrogation and called it a stain on America. Not so. The stain on America is Feinstein, her liberal morons and the left-leaning media that would rather report about things that divide this country like Ferguson, Missouri, than things that uplift America. Conservative control of the Senate can’t come fast enough. I’m counting on the White House to follow soon after.

-- Rodger Woltjer

Perry

Protecting America?

We want the CIA and other American agents to protect us from “the enemy” yet we criticize the manner in which they accomplish this. How quickly we forget 91/1 and the outrage expressed by Americans everywhere. No one would’ve dared challenge the techniques used by our agents then to extract vital information from war prisoners in an effort to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice.

The recent publication of information regarding our agents’ efforts in this instance is highly irresponsible. The anticipated retaliatory recourse against our troops stationed on foreign shores alone should’ve put the brakes on. This entire process leaves me absolutely confounded and upset. What are they thinking -- is the “need to know” by the media more important than the security of our troops?

We go out of our way to protect the dignity and rights of enemies we capture during war. The audacity of agents of our enemy to question our relatively mild intelligence gathering techniques compared to their barbaric, routine beheading of our non-combatants. We need to get away from “a need to know everything” and let the professionals we hire to protect us do so “by any means necessary.”

-- John Haugabrook

Warner Robins

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