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Peace and Lies

With today's anniversary of Appomattox, I wanted to link back to this post from almost two years ago. I discussed a simple fact about the aftermath of the Civil War: The North, which is to say, the United States bought the South's acquiescence into reabsorption into the federal union by ceding the battle for historical memory, nostalgia and valor to the South. The Union bought a seemingly permanent regional peace by abandoning the freedmen of the South and going along with a concocted story about superior Southern valor.

Yep, That Is Weird

I'm not sure I'd say I'm outraged. Outrage is a cheap emotion anyway. But this is a pretty odd way for the federal government to sum up the curtain call of the Civil War at Appomattox 150 years ago.

From TPM Reader CV ...

Greetings TPM folk,

Today is the 150th anniversary of Lee's surrender at Appomattox and if you go to the NPS website for the Park you find this explanation: "On Palm Sunday (April 9), 1865, Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia signaled the end of the Southern States attempt to create a separate nation. It set the stage for the emergence of an expanded and more powerful Federal government. In a sense the struggle over how much power the central government would hold had finally been settled."

I find that disturbing and offensive. *Thats* the nutshell takeaway from the Civil War?

Tinfoil Rand

Rand Paul, like Ted Cruz, will never be president. It is highly, highly unlikely either will be nominated. No, I will not say this about each candidate who announces. But it is notable that these two - who are essentially media creations - are the first two in. The alleged coalition Paul is striving to create is deeply improbable, if not downright impossible. But quite apart from that, and many other profound liabilities, there's just one that will inevitably sink him: a long, long history of conspiracy theories which are uniformly whacky and often veer into the rantings of the militia, white supremacist and neo-confederate right. Here's one that is simply whacky that came to mind as I was reading the Paul coverage this morning.

Read More →

19th Century Laissez Faire, Homes ...

Not sure you need more than this sentence ...

But while fellow “constitutional conservatives” like Ted Cruz imagine a winning coalition composed of GOP “base” voters psyched out of their skulls along with nonvoters who have been secretly pining for a rightwing savior, Paul’s electability argument is that his eccentric path back to the policies of the distant past will attract key elements of the other party’s base.

Read the rest here.

Why We Need Cameras

A white police officer has been charged with murder after video emerged showing him shooting a black motorists as he ran away. The video is shocking.

The camera was not a dash or body cam. It appears to have been shot by a bystander. But in almost every case cameras are the friend or whoever is telling the truth. And just as important, they shape behavior, probably actually preventing some tragedies from happening in the first place.