What’s In A Word?

with sundry quotes provided by
Michael Gaddy & J. David Ferguson

Words offer the means to meaning, and for those
who will listen, the enunciation of truth.
~Alan Moore~
(From the film V for Vendetta)

All the time we hear of crimes against humanity, yet there is one crime that occurs on a daily basis that is rarely discussed; that being the indoctrination of our children, and our public school system’s willful failure to teach our children to think. Just as almost everyone else in this country, I spent 13 years of my life in the public indoctrination centers we commonly call schools. But at the time I attended the transformation between learning centers and indoctrination centers had not fully occurred; meaning that I was still taught some rudimentary thinking skills.

One of the things I was taught was reading comprehension. There is a difference, a BIG difference between learning how to read and learning how to comprehend what you are reading. According to Wikipedia reading comprehension is defined as follows: Reading comprehension is the ability to read text, process it, and understand its meaning. Although this definition may seem simple; it is not necessarily simple to teach, learn or practice (K12 Publishing, LLC, 2015.) An individual’s ability to comprehend text is influenced by their traits and skills, one of which is the ability to make inferences. If word recognition is difficult, students use too much of their processing capacity to read individual words, which interferes with their ability to comprehend what is read.

There is an unfortunate truth in that once a child is taught something, and they are correspondingly NOT taught how to think on their own, the things they are told form part of their being; determining how they feel about certain issues.

I have found that people that have been taught lies about their countries history, or its system of governance, that they are unlikely to accept information which contradicts the things they were taught in school; no matter the preponderance of evidence contradicting their existing beliefs. In most cases the quote by Hendrik Willem van Loon applies quite well to these people, “Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.”

This belief is also supported by science fiction author Isaac Asimov, who stated, “The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” (Newsweek: A Cult of Ignorance, Jan. 21, 1980)

What I have found is that people who have been so indoctrinated into believing one thing is that when presented with facts that threaten their beliefs, they tend to become emotional and insulting towards those who pose a threat to their belief systems. I imagine it is why I have found myself in Human Resources on more than one occasion because the truths I present have offended someone.

However, nowhere has the vitriol aimed directed towards me and the things I write about been more intense than in my discussion of the Civil War. It seems that the moment anyone claims to support the cause of the Confederacy all logic and rational thought shuts down in people’s minds and emotion takes over. I swear, Abraham Lincoln could rise from the dead and reveal the truth to people about this conflict and they still would not accept it; that’s the depth of their indoctrination and their animosity towards what, in reality, was a just and noble cause.

Sometimes the truth has been hidden from us; taking a certain amount of investigation to uncover. Then there are times when the truth is hidden in plain sight ready for those who can discern it. I would like to share a few examples of both as they pertain to America’s Second War for Independence, (the Civil War).

Before I go any further I must make a disclaimer; although anyone that truly knows me should already know this. I am not racist, I do not, nor have I ever, felt that slavery was moral and right. I don’t believe anyone should be held in bondage against their will to serve another. That goes against all I believe in regards to liberty and our unalienable rights. For anyone to believe otherwise about me only shows that they are allowing their emotions to take control of their brains; causing them to ignore the validity of the information I am providing.

Those who become incensed when I claim allegiance to the cause of the Confederacy believe that the Civil War was fought to free the slaves, and that the South fought solely to retain possession of them. That could not be further from the truth; as the following facts will show.

Upon being inaugurated Abraham Lincoln delivered his first address to the people where he said, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

You have to realize that, no matter how repugnant the idea of slavery is, that in 1861 it was legal in the United States. That doesn’t make it right; it just is an unfortunate fact because those who drafted the Constitution would not have had enough support for their document by the States that depended upon slave labor had they banned slavery outright. So not only did they not ban it, they included slaves in the Constitution via the 3/5’s Clause. This allowed for the South to count slaves towards the number of representatives in the House, and it also counted towards electoral votes in choosing who would become president.

So when Lincoln said that, what did he actually mean? Most people would assume he meant he was not going to interfere with the practice of slavery altogether. Most people would be wrong. As I said, sometimes the truth is hidden in plain sight; and this is one of those occasions. When Lincoln said “…in the States where it exists” he meant that he could, and probably would attempt to restrict the growth of the institution of slavery into new States that may be admitted to the Union. If Lincoln were to follow the lead of the Republicans in the House, he would attempt to ban slavery in any newly admitted States. This would severely weaken the South in the House, thereby giving the Northern States more say in the laws passed by the government.

Lincoln did not come out and say he was either for or against the institution of slavery; only that he would not interfere with it WHERE IT ALREADY EXISTED AS AN INSTITUTION.

For those who believe that Lincoln initiated Civil War with the South to free the slaves, there is ample evidence to the contrary. For instance, in a letter to his friend Horace Greeley, Lincoln writes, “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”

Slavery, as it existed in the South, was a side issue for Lincoln, not the reason he led our country to war against the seceded Southern States. He addressed the issue when it served his needs, and disregarded it when it didn’t. That alone shows how much Lincoln cared about ‘freeing the slaves.’

Aside from his image on Mount Rushmore, and his memorial in our nation’s capital, Abraham Lincoln is known primarily for two things; his Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address; both of which defined him as a ‘great’ president. But what is the truth regarding these two defining acts?

More often than not, when someone attempts to promote the belief that Lincoln did fight to free the slaves they bring up his Emancipation Proclamation. The only thing most people know about that document is what they were told about it in school; myself included. However, had they read it, and been able to comprehend its meaning, they would see that it was a moot point, a statement without any authority or effect.

The actual text of the Emancipation Proclamation says, “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”

The South did not rebel against the United States. Get that point through your heads before we go any further. When Jefferson Davis was elected to be the president of the Confederate States of America he delivered an Inaugural Address, just as Lincoln did, to the people of the Confederacy. In his speech Davis said, “Sustained by the consciousness that the transition from the former Union to the present Confederacy has not proceeded from a disregard on our part of just obligations, or any failure to perform every constitutional duty, moved by no interest or passion to invade the rights of others, anxious to cultivate peace and commerce with all nations, if we may not hope to avoid war, we may at least expect that posterity will acquit us of having needlessly engaged in it. Doubly justified by the absence of wrong on our part, and by wanton aggression on the part of others, there can be no cause to doubt that the courage and patriotism of the people of the Confederate States will be found equal to any measures of defense which honor and security may require.” (My emphasis)

The South did not rebel against the United States; they withdrew from the Union and sought only to live in peace as a co-equal nation with its own system of government; just as our Founders declared their independence from England in the Declaration of Independence.

Therefore, if they were just in assuming independence from a system of government they felt was not only hostile towards them, but tyrannical and oppressive, then when Lincoln raised an Army to force them into adhering to the Union, Lincoln was the aggressor, not the South. Also, if they were just in leaving the Union, any law or proclamation passed by the government of the Union had no effect in the South; it would be like Washington D.C. passing a law that applied to the citizens of Mexico; it would be null and void.

Such was the Emancipation Proclamation. Even Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William Seward, declared the hypocrisy of the document, “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we can not reach them and holding them in bondage where we could set them free.” Yet because we have been taught that this was one of Lincoln’s finest moments, we hold that document up and wave it in the faces of those who support the cause of the Confederacy as proof that Lincoln fought to free the slaves.

Forgive me if I mention it, but your ignorance of the truth is showing.

Then there is Lincoln’s other defining moment; the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln begins his famous speech by saying, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

So far so good; even I won’t disagree with that. Then he goes on to dedicate the battlefield at Gettysburg to the fallen; and this is where I begin to have problems with what he says. Lincoln then declares, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Think about that for a moment. Who was he dedicating the battlefield to; those who fought and died fighting for the Union? Was it their cause that he was saying must be advanced? If so, then Lincoln was denying the principle contained within our nation’s founding document the Declaration of Independence; “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

While you might say that the Union created by our Constitution was inviolate; that it could not be broken, Lincoln himself said otherwise in 1848, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, most sacred right- a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to excercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize and make their own, of so much territory as the inhabit.” (Speech in the House of Representatives on the War With Mexico Jan 12, 1848)

Even Lincoln’s close friend, Horace Greeley, stated in an article published in the Chicago Tribune, “If the Cotton States decide that they can do better out of the Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace.

The South has as good a right to secede from the Union as the colonies had to secede from Great Britain. I will never stand for coercion for subjugation. It would not be just.

Whenever a considerable section of our Union is resolved to go out of the Union, we shall resist all coercive measures to keep them in. We hope never to live in a Republic when one section is pinned to another by bayonets. Those who would rush on carnage to defeat the separation demanded by the popular vote of the Southern people would clearly place themselves in the wrong.”

If all evidence points to the fact that the South did indeed have the right to secede, and that the Civil War was NOT fought to free the slaves, then why in God’s name would a president choose to initiate war with a neighboring sovereign nation?

The answer is quite simple actually; money. For years the government had been raping the South with the tariffs it imposed upon the goods they needed. That money went, primarily, towards improvements in the North. When the South seceded, those tariffs vanished; leaving the government without a means to replenish the Treasury.

On March 1, 1861 the following appeared in the New York Evening Post, “… either the (federal) revenue from duties (protective tariff) must be collected in the ports of the rebel states or the ports be closed to importations from abroad… If neither of these things be done, our revenue laws are substantially repealed; the sources which supply our treasury will be dried up; we shall have no money to carry on the government; the nation will become bankrupt before the next crop of corn is ripe… Allow railroad iron to be entered at Savannah with the low duty of ten percent, which is all that the Southern Confederacy think of laying on imported goods, and not an ounce more would be imported at New York; the railways would be supplied from the southern ports. What, then is left for our government? Shall we let the seceding states repeal the revenue laws for the whole Union in this manner? Or will the government choose to consider all foreign commerce destined for these ports where we have no custom-houses and no collectors, as contraband, and stop it? … Or will the president call for a special session of Congress what the last unwisely failed to do—to abolish all ports of entry into the seceding states.”

The Northern business interests; which were the controlling faction of the Republican Party, did not want to allow this to happen. In an article from the Boston Transcript, dated March 18, 1861, we read, “The difference is so great between the tariff of the Union and that of the Confederate States that the entire Northwest must find it to their advantage to purchase their imported goods at New Orleans rather than New York. In addition to this, the manufacturing interests of the country will suffer from the increased importation resulting from low duties…the government would be false to its obligations if this state of things were not provided against.”

Read again the following comment, “…the government would be false to its obligations if this state of things were not provided against.” To whom, or what obligations do they refer, if I may ask? Was not the government established to ensure justice and provide for liberty for all the people; not a specific class of business interests? If the protection of the business interests in the North were the primary reason why the heavy tariffs were imposed upon the South, then the South had all the right in the world to severe the bonds which held them to the Union.

But it gets worse. On the very same day the Philadelphia Press called for war against the South to protect the business interests of the North, “At once shut up every Southern port, destroy its commerce, and bring utter ruin on the Southern states… A state of war would be preferable to the passive action the government has been following.”

There is your reason for the Civil War, right there; the North and the government was afraid for its very life. Without the lifeblood of revenue from the tariffs, and the protections they provided Northern business interests against foreign imports, the North, and its system of government would have withered and died.

Lincoln may, as many politicians tend to do, flip flopped on the issue of freeing the slaves, but it was not initially his reason for initiating Civil War against the South; survival of the federal government and the protection of the business interests of the Republican Party were.

Even where I to agree with the fact that Lincoln fought to free the slaves, (which I don’t) he never considered the black race as equals. In his debate with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln declared, “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” (Sept. 18, 1858)

Then, prior to issuing his Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln met with a group of former slaves who had been given their freedom. During that meeting, Lincoln told them the following, “You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffers very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated.

You are freemen, I suppose … but even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race. You are cut off from many of the advantages which the white race enjoys.

See our present condition—the country engaged in war—and then consider what we know to be the truth. But for your race among us, there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or the other … it is better for us both therefore to be separated.”

Are those the words of a great man fighting for equality for the two races? Yet that is what we are taught in our schools about Abraham Lincoln, that he was a great man. Just as everything else we have been taught about the Civil War; that too was a lie.

And that is why our school systems can no longer rightfully claim to be institutions of learning; having instead become indoctrination centers were our children are taught lies and politically correct rubbish.

In 1864 Major General Patrick Cleburne warned what would happen in America today regarding the education of our youth regarding the noble struggle of the Confederacy, “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision… It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.”

And it seems that, since most people cannot shut off their emotions for a second, and examine only the facts, why most people will still despise the Confederacy, the images associated with it, and the men who fought so valiantly for the very same principles fought for by our Founders four score and seven years prior.

But words still retain their meaning; even when those reading them are too indoctrinated, or incapable of understanding the truths they contain. It’s all up to you whether you want to continue believing a lie, or accept the truth for what it is. I can only provide the information for you to consider; it is up to you to ponder it and come to your own conclusions.

But ya’ll know which side I’d take where it all to happen once again, don’t you?


About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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