Lexington Ghost Tour

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Kolchak
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Kolchak » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:51 pm

Gee-Whiz! I have to stop using my little 10 inch Craig tablet for these long essays. It doesn't have spell check and it writes so small that I can't see my glaring mistakes until I get on the Dell big boy monitor! Not to mention the keys are so close together that I can hit the save key without knowing.

You are quite astute about the Revolutionary War. At most only one in three Americans favored independence. It could have been as low as one in four. Depending who you listen to 1/3 to 1/2 the population didn't care what happened either way. They just wanted to be left alone to live their lives. The general consensus has been that 1/3 wanted to be fee from Britain while 1/3 wanted to remain loyal to the crowns, and 1/3 said we don't care.

With two world wars as allies and a shared language and cultural, it is hard to look at Britain as bad guys today. When the 4th of July rolls around again, look and listen to how often you hear words like independence, and revolution? Unless it has to do with a TV commercial selling cars or furniture, you almost never hear those words spoken. I think there is a reason for that. The 4th of July is not about fighting a war. It has become a day to watch baseball, shoot off fireworks and eat hot dogs, hamburgers and bar-b-q.

Maybe in certain areas of Boston, NYC and Chicago you might see or hear anti-British rhetoric, but you can almost bet the farm that those are areas of large Irish-American populations. But most places in the US aren't like that.

R.E. Lee was never put on trial. His US citizenship was not restored until Jimmy Carter was President. They made a big deal out of having a southern President to give the south's greatest military leader his citizenship back. I was in high school and watched the circus that it was. Carter was in Richmond with all of Lees descendants including his great-great-great-great grandson and I just wanted to vomit. Carter may have been from the south, but he was not a southern president. Ronald Reagan was born in Illinois and lived most of his life in California, and was a thousand times more southern in his views and actions than Carter ever was. In fact right now Jimmy Caters grandson is running for governor and just like grand-paw he is a firm believer in raising taxes to solve the problems.

There was talk of trying both Lee and Jefferson Davis after the war. Davis was held in solitary confinement for over a year. The revisionist history books will tell you that secretary of war Edwin Stanton just wanted to put the war behind us and move forward as a united nation. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Stanton and the radical republicans knew and feared that if a public trial were to be held in a federal court, that the issue of secession as a legal right of the states would have been proven. Then what to do??!! To even try and put Lee on trial would have resulted in starting the war all over again, he was held in that high esteem.

They let Davis go and knew it would be their side that wrote the history books. So they did and an accepting public has been eating the party line ever since.
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Kolchak » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:06 pm

Btw....

The book Murph suggested is a good read. May I suggest something a bit more modern to go along with it. Thomas DiLorenzo is an economic professor at Loyola University in Maryland. He has written extensively on how the civil war was about money and increasing power for a stronger central government. His books "The Real Lincoln" and "Lincoln Unmasked" are both hard hitting and very good reads.
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Murfreesboro » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:06 am

Very interesting discussion here, about the Revolution, the Civil War, and WWII, for that matter.

Two of the four family lines of my grandparents were in this country at the time of the Revolution. My father's mother's family fought in it and are very proud to be descended from a Revolutionary War hero, but my mother's father's family ran away from it, running into the mountains. I bet a lot of people did that back then. There was so much wilderness, after all, and many people originally immigrated here to get away from European wars.

I wrote my doctoral dissertation on British verse satire of the late 17th & early 18th century. It is remarkable how much of the vocabulary of the Revolutionary period was developed by the satirists of that time over in England, such heavy emphasis on "Liberty" and "Patriotism." Our American constitution was really structured as an implementation of the theories of John Locke and Montesquieu, who were writing in response to what had happened in England in 1688, the "Glorious" (because bloodless) Revolution. I do think America is special, that our form of government is an improvement on the English system. But it would never have existed save for being the outgrowth of that system. That's why the American Revolution worked so much better than, say, the French Revolution did, because the French Revolutionaries tried to eradicate their past instead of building on it.

My husband is a walking encyclopedia of WWII history, especially the European theater. I believe he would probably say that Hitler was a sociopath. However, he has also said that if Hitler had died at a certain point in the 1930s (I forget the year), he would actually be remembered as a great leader, because much of what he did for Germany was great when he first came into power. He built their autobahn system, for example, and I think the Volkswagen plant got underway at that time, too. Stuff like that. He pulled them out of the Depression, which had been especially horrific for them when their money became worthless.

As for my attitude toward Sherman--I have tried really hard to be fair to all sides in the Civil War since I have hit my maturity. As a child and young adult, I was blindly Southern in my allegiances. This probably had to do with my Mississippi childhood during the Civil Rights Era, when we were despised by most of the country. We all reacted to that. Some people became ashamed of their Southern heritage, and others became stubbornly loyal to the South. I fell into the latter group. So it is with an effort that I have tried to be fair to the Northern side during that conflict. It is true that the winners write the history books. The reality is always more complex than any story they can tell.

Kolchak, I agree with your assessments of Carter & Reagan.
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MauEvig
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby MauEvig » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:30 am

Murf I completely understand where you're coming from. Albeit I will add, that my loyalties were more toward the Northern side. I too would blindly follow a side without giving much thought about it at least until my adulthood. Still the subject really is fascinating to say the least.

Now if a civil war were to break out nowadays, taking a side would be a lot more difficult for me. I have friends and family on both sides. Likely, I'd want to be neutral and flee to Canada. Of course that all depends on the circumstances too. I don't think another civil war would break out between the North and South. I think it would be more likely to be about the people versus the Government. There are people in both the North and the South who would likely be loyal to the Government, and people in both the North and the South who would be loyal to the people opposed to the Government. And who is to say another civil war would even be about the North and South? Maybe it'll be between the East and West? If that were the case, taking a side might be a bit easier since I'm from the East part of the US.

All wars are tragic in general, often you have brother against brother, father against son, daughter against mother, sister against sister, cousin against cousin etc.

Yes, I am aware that Hitler did "great" things for Germany. He was a great leader if nothing else. It would have been better perhaps if he had died earlier on in his career. But who is to say what would have become of Nazi Germany? Would Hitler have had a successor? Would there have even been a holocaust? Hard to say. That runs into the "what if" category again.

Of course I do not view the British as the "bad guys" nowadays. I do think the entire prospect of royalty is a bit overrated though. From what I understood it was the Greeks the United States built a lot of their foundations on. We got democracy from the Greeks anyway and many of our philosophies as a nation. I do think we have borrowed a lot of ideals from the British though, many of the first Americans were descended from them after all. Even I have some English blood in me, but I'm a mix of all kinds of things. I'm not sure if any of my ancestors fought in the Revolutionary war or not. I do know my Grandfather on my mother's side (the one I have discussed in other threads that I believe his ghost watches over us) fought in WWII as a medic in Japan.

The Japanese side of the war seems to have been a different thing entirely. While the Allied powers in Europe took on the Germans, the Americans seemed to focus their efforts on Japan. Somehow I found it rather amazing that Japan, being a small string of islands dared to take on the United States. Yet, few people remember Pearl Harbor these days, but back in the day from what I understand, it was a lot like how we view 9/11 now. I just wonder how Japan ended up in allegiance with Germany. For all of Hitler's bigoted views, why did he allow Japan to be on his side? It doesn't seem to make much sense to me. And also, despite Stalin eventually siding with the allies, some argue he was worse than Hitler.

I may post more on this later, I have to get ready for my classes. :)
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Murfreesboro
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Murfreesboro » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:41 am

Mau, ever since you posted your "what if" questions, especially "what if the South had won the Civil War," I have been musing about that. I realized, for the first time in my life, that if the South had won, I probably wouldn't exist at all. That's because I don't believe two of the four family lines of my grandparents would have met up. My ancestors who fought in the Revolution moved to northeastern Kentucky, on the banks of the Ohio River, where their Revolutionary War hero had obtained his land grant. As far as I know, they fought for the Union. So my great-grandfather on that side probably wouldn't have moved to Birmingham, Alabama, looking for work a hundred years ago, if the South had been a separate nation. Consequently, my grandparents on that side would never have met, and my father and his siblings would never have been born.

On my mother's side, her mother's parents were German immigrants who came to NYC in 1865, so they missed the war entirely. But by the 1890s they had moved into southeastern Arkansas, where her father's family (the ones who ran from the Revolution) had eventually settled. If the South had been a separate nation, my German ancestors probably wouldn't have moved to Arkansas. So neither my mother nor her siblings would have existed.

Two of my family lines were Confederate--my mother's father's family, and my father's father's family. On my mother's side, they were shopkeepers, not slave owners, but they still fought for the South. On my father's side they were planters, the whole Tara thing, so they were more the stereotypical Southerners that people see in the movies. However, in the 20th century, it was my father' s family, the descendants of slave owners, who believed in Civil Rights and incurred the anger of the KKK, etc. My mother's family were more stereotypically racist. Go figure. The South is complicated.

Anyway, I realized that if the South had won, I probably wouldn't be here.

ETA: Your last post brings up very provocative points in several different directions. I will just respond to one of them. If there were to be another civil war (God forbid, but it could happen), I believe it would be very much along ideological lines, as you said, more about the type of government we might have and what relationship the people would have to the state. The American Civil War was more about warring economies, I believe, the agricultural South vs. the industrializing North. I don't think another war would break down so much along geographic lines.

As for the sources of our own government, of course the Greeks invented democracy (it is even a Greek word), but what makes our form of government special, I believe, is the separation of powers, and that's the model that was outlined by political philosophers following England's Glorious Revolution. Also, we were not designed to be a pure democracy, but a republic, which is a more conservative animal. Pure democracy is just "one man/one vote," and people can be swept up by dangerous enthusiasms. There is also such a thing as the tyranny of the majority. That 's why our government was designed to "put the breaks on," so to speak, so that things had to be deliberated for a while.

One principle of the American legal system that differentiates it from the traditional English common law is the idea that a person is "innocent until proven guilty." Interestingly, a History Channel documentary I own about the Salem Witch Trials suggests that this principle is the legacy of those trials. One of the scholars interviewed near the end says that, after people began to feel guilt-ridden about the witch trials, they enshrined that idea, "innocent until proven guilty," so that nothing like that would ever be likely to happen again. (Those accused of witchcraft in Salem, by contrast, had been required to prove their innocence, a much more difficult thing to do than proving guilt, if one is guilty.) I find that fascinating.
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Murfreesboro » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:43 am

I'd like to correct one phrase above--I should have written "put the brakes on," not "breaks," of course--LOL
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Kolchak » Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:33 pm

If the south had won the civil war, I doubt that it would look today anything like it did as envisioned by the framers of the Confederate Constitution. Secession was made a focal point in southern values. It would not have taken much IMHO for some hot headed politician to get angry at another and have their state secede from the Confederacy. Possibly to rejoin the Union! I may have strong personal feelings for the south and Confederate cause, but I don't trust any politician regardless of where he is from and what he proclaims to stand for.

There are several well known southern thinkers who are referred to as Agrarians. They wanted the south to most of its economy in agriculture and IMHO that is impossible in todays world to exist solely as an agrarian nation. Industry is essential as is research into medicine, technology and energy. The Confederate Constitution opposed a standing army. Again IMHO, not only would they need a standing army, but a blue water navy and nuclear weapons.

Its very doubtful that the south would have sided with Germany in any conflict that opposed Great Britain. Southerners by and large were big supporters of the United Kingdom. If it had not been for the issue of slavery, it is a very real possibility that Britain not only would have supplied weapons and material, but would have supplied soldiers as well. A young Winston Churchhill wrote an essay in which he talked about British troops fighting alongside Confederate troops at Gettysburg and winning the battle.
His pro southern sentiment was the majority in Britain.

Your question about Japan is interesting and is one I've talked about with others. We tend to believe that Japan by and large gets a pass in movies and documentaries because they are Asian. In the eyes of the politically correct, it's okay to bash the Germans because they are white and European and therefore like us. So by bashing them we are also bashing ourselves in the typical left wing liberal mantra of self flagellation. It doesn't matter that it was the Japanese who attacked us and committed much higher numbers of torture and abuse on the people they enslaved. The fact they are Asian was and is enough to give them a pass.
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Murfreesboro » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:07 am

I have never read the Confederate constitution, but everything I have ever heard about it makes me think it was not as well thought-out as the U.S. constitution. I have often considered how a nation formed on the principle of "states' rights" would most likely have come apart over that issue, if they had succeeded in splitting from the Union. Which is not to say that they didn't have some genuine grievances, just to acknowledge that their cause was probably doomed in every way.

I think it is almost a sure thing that England would have entered on the side of the Confederacy if it hadn't been for slavery. I believe that's the political reason why Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, to forestall the South's gaining military aid from England. (Cagily, it didn't free slaves in the Northern states, only those in open rebellion, so it didn't have any immediate consequence for the slaves.)

About America's "focusing our efforts on Japan" during WWII--America was heavily involved on both fronts. My own father fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was at the Bridge at Remagen, a battle so intense that they made a movie about it. And of course everybody has seen the news footage of D-Day. If you have gotten the impression that we somehow focused more on Japan, I think that's mainly because we were pretty much on our own against Japan. At least, we were the main power against Japan in the Pacific. The Soviets had a lot to do with defeating the Germans. In fact, the Germans most likely would not have been defeated if they hadn't had to fight on two fronts at once.

Of course, we also fought on two fronts, and were victorious, which is amazing, really. I doubt we could have done that without the entirety of the United States' being committed. If there had been two nations here instead of one, the history of the 20th century would have been vastly different, I believe.

ETA: Kolchak, the Fugitive-Agrarians were a group at Vanderbilt (my school), which is well known in literary studies. The Fugitives were poets, and the Agrarians were social-political philosophers, but they overlapped. One of the most illustrious of them was Robert Penn Warren, who wrote All the King's Men. They were part of what literary scholars call the "Southern Renaissance."
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Andybev01 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:25 am

Successful secession?
All you that doth my grave pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.
Kolchak
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Kolchak » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:52 pm

Andybev01 wrote:Successful secession?



Hey Don't Laugh! A few years ago the History Channel did a special on the history of the southern Appalachians. They had Billy Ray Cyrus act as host. We'll Billy ain't no Phi Beta Kappa, so in his attempt to talk about the civil war and secession......Billy Ray Einstein calls it "Succession". The History Channel didn't try and correct. Makes you realize how deep and professional the hysterical channel can be. LOL
:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Kolchak » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:26 pm

I forgot you were a Vandy gal, Murph! Your SAT scores were A LOT higher than mine! I doubt if they'd let me walk across the Vandy campus, because mine were so low! LOL!

Yes, back then Vandy had (I'm sure still does) some serious free thinkers.

To see the BS in the so called Emancipation Proclamation, all you have to do is read the Bill it was attached too. Not only did it not free slaves in Union states, it didn't free them in Confederate areas under Union control. Key West, Florida had a population of 20,000 and was the most populous city in Florida. It was also under Union control and had been since the begining of the war. It was exempt from the Proclamation. Orleans Parish is New Orleans and was the most populous city in the south with over 150,000 people. It had been occupied by Union forces since 1862. It too was exempt. History books seldom mention that.

Roosevelt and Churchill both agreed that Germany was the greater threat and it was decided that efforts to destroy Germany and Hitler should take precedence over Japan. For every defense dollar spent, only ten cents went to fight the Japanese. This was why so many of the european jewish scientists who escaped Hitler were opposed to dropping the bomb on Japan after the war in europe had ended. They didn't feel the hatred for the Japanese that we did. They were all in favor of using it on Germany because they had personal feelings about Hitler, but imho they lacked the empathy for the US, who saved their lives and who they owed a great deal for their survival and the ending of the war. Thankfully Truman did the right thing. It was thought an invasion of the Japanese home islands would have cost over 500,000 Americans killed and wounded. My father fought in the Pacific during the war and could have easily been one of those 500,000.
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Murfreesboro » Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:13 am

Oh, I fear Vandy has gone the way of most of the major universities today, P.C. City. It is still a great school. My son graduated from there in 2011 and stayed for the grad program in math, and my daughter is hoping she will get in next year. Acceptance there has gotten so difficult that I fear she might not make the cut, even though she is an excellent student. But they will accept only 200 from TN nowadays. It's a lot tougher to get in now than it used to be, alas.

Andy, the South's secession would have been successful if England had entered on her side against the U.S., which they probably would have done if not for the issue of slavery. After all, our country initially "seceded" from the British Empire, and we wouldn't have been successful in that bid, either, if not for the intervention of France.

From what I have read, I believe that Lincoln sincerely opposed slavery, but his Emancipation Proclamation was most certainly a political document aimed at saving the Union, which was always his first priority. I believe he famously said that if he could save the Union by retaining slavery he would do it; by freeing some slaves and not others, he would do it; or by freeing all of them, he would do it. He was all about preserving the United States. As the war progressed, though, I think he began to see that freeing the slaves was going to be necessary to his larger object. His thought on the subject evolved over time.

Interesting discussion about the European vs. the Pacific theaters of WWII, Kolchak. Years ago, I used to teach a freshman English course using a Norton Anthology Essay reader. There were two essays in it, back to back, about the use of the atomic bomb in Japan. One was written by a woman who had survived Hiroshima, and it was just heartbreaking to read her memoir. The other was written by Paul Fussell, who was a veteran of the Pacific theater and who wrote a well-known popular history of WWI called The Great War and Modern Memory. Anyway, Fussell cited all those statistics you were quoting , about how many more people would have died on both sides (including, most likely, himself) if that bomb had not been dropped. After reading both of them, I came away with the opinion that, intellectually, dropping the bomb was the right decision, but emotionally, I was still torn up about it.
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Kolchak » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:49 pm

I did my graduate work at the U. of Miami about 22 years ago and my GRE scores were far from great. I think I just got lucky. At the end of the day it did little to help me in my career, except to increase how much I owe to loans. I know Vandy is a private school, but you'd think they'd allow more than 200 Tennessee residents in?

I've read where Lincoln probably opposed slavery on moral grounds, as he got older. I don't know how much of that I believe. It appears that anything Lincoln, FDR and JFK did while President gets a pass by historians and the media trying to perpetuate the mythos of these men. I've read in Lincolns own words how he felt blacks were inferior to whites and opposed the races living together in any way shape or form. He was in favor of sending blacks back to Africa as well. But, these statements are either ignored or powdered over by those who would keep the Cult of Lincoln alive. Regardless of the issue of slavery, Lincoln and later Woodrow Wilson would continue to push for a stronger central government and lessening of states rights. These issues were in direct opposition to what Thomas Jefferson inended the Constitution to be.

The Confederate Constitution pretty much mirrors the US one, but with little things like line item vetoes and a slightly different structure within the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Going to be up in your neck of the woods in early November, and do a little hunting. As you know I was stationed at Ft Campbell and although I lived on the Kentucky side, I have friends and family in Clarksville and we haven't seen each other in years, and considering how none of us is getting any younger.......You get the idea.
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Murfreesboro » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:07 pm

Honestly, I think I would have made more money if I hadn't gone the academic route, but I have never regretted having the education I have.

Vanderbilt admits only 200 Tennesseans per freshman class because they are pursuing "diversity," the liberal god. I think my daughter stands a fairly good chance of getting in, not only because she is a strong student, but also because of her family ties to the university; Vanderbilt still considers legacies, at least somewhat. However, we fret that she may not receive a big scholarship offer, and she needs one. We don't want her going into serious debt over her college degree.

I am no authority on Lincoln. I have read two biographies about him and one of his wife. From what I have gathered, I think it is fair to say that he was racist in the way that almost everyone of his generation was re the black race. He didn't envision full integration, and he was for a time in favor of black colonization of Africa, an idea he later abandoned. One biographer argued that he had formed a dislike of slavery in his youth, when his father put him to hard manual labor and confiscated his wages, an experience Lincoln likened to slavery. I can see that a person might find slavery itself unjust without fully accepting equality of the races.

I think you are right that, like Woodrow Wilson later, Lincoln favored a stronger central government, and he got it.
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Re: Lexington Ghost Tour

Postby Murfreesboro » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:19 pm

OH, BTW, hope you have fun on your TN hunt, and that you get to spend quality time with your relatives!

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