The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Delator rule

In 1866, Federal agents got themselves ensconced in many Texan cities. Ramsdell deals with this in pp. 129ff. When governor Throckmorton failed to enforce the Congress's imperium over Texas, the figurehead whom Congress chose in his place was one EM Pease.

Pease had been governor before Sam Houston: two terms, two years each. Ramsdell thought he did well at it. In 1866 Pease had gone for another election, which he lost to the (slightly) more conservative Throckmorton. Then Pease went to DC. After the army booted Throckmorton out, Pease came back installed into "power". Ramsdell Chapter VIII / 171f sees through "Pease's" administration as "Radical-Military Rule".

There's a street named after Pease in Houston's downtown. I like to think, this is more for his pre-Civil-War governorship, than for his sham-governorship later.

Ramsdell prefers Throckmorton but does give Pease, personally, some slack. I expect creatures like this to return bitter and vengeful and misanthropic; I know the example of Justinian II. I'm sure that Ramsdell would have loved to tell the tale of the governor out of the 1850s, 15 years on and undead and ravenous for braaaaains. But, Ramsdell couldn't, because Pease wasn't.

But really, what either of these two wanted, didn't matter much. The Federal military was in charge. The pattern under military rule was that local juries would nab a perp, and then some agent or military troop would saunter in and get him off. Kinda like... Seattle.

There's a harrowing account of Victoria (been there! it is hardly a cotton-belt town; it approaches South Texas down the 59). This happened under Throckmorton:

The negro troops stationed there under the lax command of a Captain Spaulding had taken control of the county jail and rendered it impossible for the civil authorities to keep a negro or Northern man confined there, no matter what his offense had been. ... the town was terrorized.

Then there's the account of Myrta Lockett Avary in Dixie after the war. Texas barely counts as Dixie and so Avary doesn't devote much space to it. But there was one event she had to treat as a "signal instance", in page 215:

The Bureau became the negro's partner in crime, as when its officials demanded at one time of Governor Throckmorton, of Texas, pardon and release of two hundred and twenty-seven negroes from the penitentiary, some of whom had been confined for burglary, arson, rape, murder.

It would be nice to have more records - but somehow "court records and papers were seized and destroyed or mutilated". This happened at Lockhart (a town I don't know) and Seguin (been there too! same region as Victoria... more Escarpment, less Gulf Coast I suppose). Ramsdell strongly implies it was the US military who did it.

Under Pease, the local "Unionists" - that is, opportunistic villains - "overwhelmed" Pease "with petitions, not always for offices already vacant, but more frequently for the removal of officials of 'rebel' or anti-Congressional proclivities". If they didn't get their goodies from Pease, they had other links in the chain to pull on. Ramsdell calls out General JJ Reynolds in this context as being notably bad (p. 175).

Among the white "proUnion" criminals, at least, several of them were not proUnion when it mattered - during the war - but claimed to be so now, so as to get sympathy from Texas's real masters at this time, the Federal agents. Andrew Ward in The Slaves' War, 261, records freedman Henry Clay Bruce: that his former master lost his possessions to thieves dressed as Union soldiery. Bruce and his master seem to have agreed that the thief was an impostor. This isn't even in Texas. If this were a Rebel meme; then it was very early, widespread, and consistent.

Ramsdell points out that in this atmosphere of paranoia, finding loyalists to staff essential posts was really, really hard. This might not seem intuitive. Texas wasn't Mississippi; Texas really did have loyalists. Texas was arguably almost all loyalist up to Harper's Ferry and even by 1865 it had retained many - mostly Germans. What Texas was short of, and certainly by 1867, were loyalists to Reconstruction. Fending off hoboes, "proUnion" crooks, and uniformed rapists for a couple years kinda does that to a people. So the state got staffed by... whoever sucked up hardest.

In any authoritarian system, one can expect people to take that opportunity to beg for scraps and to settle old scores. Octavian, too, had his "delators" and his lists of "proscription". Or, just ask any of us who got out of LGF - we'll give you earfuls.

posted by Zimri on 19:45 | link | 0 comments

A pamphlet I cannot find UPDATE, BAD CRAZINESS

I am looking for Governor Throckmorton's Address to the People of Texas. The Weekly State Gazette 10 August 1867 printed it. The Dallas Herald reprinted it on 7 September. Then in 1873 it was a pamphlet.

The Reconstruction Act (and supplement) had, in 1867, annulled the Southern States - in all but name, they had become imperial dioceses of the US Congress. Sure, there were still "governors" in the South; but they had to answer to generals like Sheridan. Texas, in Ramsdell's opinion, did not deserve it.

Under that cover, Unionists ensured that Throckmorton could not get his job done. At the end of it, the US military deposed this legally-elected and loyal governor.

One Kenneth Wayne Howell has a bio of this man out on Google Books (2008). I'll break from Ramsdell and quote Howell.

reviewed his relations with the military authorities and refuted the charges that he was an impediment to Reconstruction. The outgoing governor wrote that he had exhibited every effort to follow federal laws, had aided General Sheridan and his subordinates in Texas, and had maintained peace in the state. Furthermore, he declared that the military had interfered with the civil courts and juries. Throckmorton claimed that the actions of the military had thrown civil administration of the state into disorder and had aroused bitterness and apprehension in the hearts of the people. Despite the vitriolic commentary he aimed at the military, Throckmorton concluded his address by advising the people to abide by the laws, to be kind to the freedmen, to refute by their conduct the Radical charges of disloyalty, to register if allowed to do so, and to elect good conservative men to office.

Kenneth Wayne Howell, Texas Confederate, Reconstruction governor: James Webb Throckmorton (TAMU Press, September 26, 2008), 155. Here's how Howell sends this man into the sunset: Throckmorton's racial biases against the freedmen and his unwillingness to accept Congressional Reconstruction ultimately led to his removal from office.

And with that, Howell closed his laptop, recycled his biodegradable coffee-cup and bicycled back home.

APPENDIX: There's some interesting correlations between Howell and Ramsdell. Ramsdell p. 170 also ends the paraphrase:

Finally, he urged the people to abide by the laws, however unjust they might regard them, to be kind to the negroes, to refute by their conduct the Radical charges of disloyalty, to register if allowed to do so, and to elect good Union men to the convention.

Question to Howell: what part of this was Throckmorton's? Another question: why didn't you use quotes? Because to my eyes, this looks fucking bad.

posted by Zimri on 18:28 | link | 0 comments

Hearsay evidence

Ramsdell doesn't like the Reconstruction Act(s): p. 148. He likes their justification even less:

Never, perhaps, was punitive legislation founded upon a more distorted array of evidence, upon a worse misrepresentation as to facts. Some few select witnesses had been examined, a great number of anonymous complaints of persecuted loyalists had been aired, but in the case of no state had there been an honest effort to gain an impartial knowledge of the whole truth, certainly not in Texas. It should be remembered that the accused were given no opportunity to state their own case, or to answer the allegations against them; at best, their protests were simply ignored. The only statements that gained credence were those of military officials, usually not unprejudiced and frequently imposed upon by designing persons, and of local radical politicians who were laboriously striving to excite feeling against the state government in order to serve their own ambitious purposes.

He says the 1800s case against the South was all hearsay. Isn't the whole modern case against the South, that the Southerners had their own tradition of hearsay? But... but I thought that we were supposed to ignore Nordhoff and contemporary newspapers. Only Eric Foner and WEB DuBois could be trusted to deliver this history accurately. (h/t, Michael July 1, 2011 12:23 PM.)

I'm all set to lose my faith. Tell me it ain't so!

posted by Zimri on 18:07 | link | 0 comments


Ramsdell points to the "apprenticeship" and "vagrancy" laws in Texas, in page 122. Texas had the advantage of following on other states' heels. The other Dixie states' conservatives had instituted overtly racist "black codes". The Federal government - even the notoriously conservative President Johnson - could not stomach this; all the DixieCons managed was piss the North off. Seeing that, Texas legislators ensured that its laws would apply to whites as well.

There are some asides to make about vagrancy as well, which Ramsdell neglects. Thomas Woods in The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History points out that Illinois, too, had vagrancy laws. (Remember: Illinois stretches from Wisconsin almost down to western Tennessee. Southern Illinois was a slave-territory, before the Yankees in the north overwhelmed the state's government.) Another point is that Texas had an ample supply of white vagrants and ne'er-do-wells as well.

Where did the American South get the idea for "apprenticing" blacks, to teach them to understand freedom before setting them loose? From Barbados.

Barbados is generally considered the slave-"state" which crossed over with the least fuss and muss. In the 1800s, Barbados was a "state" of Britain. The British ensured its apprenticeship programme, from 1834 to 1838.

But apprenticeship didn't work so well in Texas, for various reasons, not the least that Texas is a little larger than is Barbados.

posted by Zimri on 17:17 | link | 0 comments

General Gregory misses the point

General Gregory in November 1865, alongside Inspector-General Strong, went about the freedmen of Texas. Then he reported this to General OO Howard:

The freedmen are, as a general thing, strongly impressed with religious sentiments, and their morals are equal if not superior to those of a majority of the better informed and educated [that would be white people]. We find them not only willing but anxious to improve every opportunity offered for their moral and intellectual advancement.

Ramsdell records this in the footnote to page 73. He laughs - literally laughs - at it, introducing it as "highly diverting". Then he appends an "etc." to it, and calls it "pathetic ignorance". To rebut it he just cites "the light of over forty years of subsequent history". I have to say, I'm more laughing at Ramsdell than with him. Which is not to say that Ramsdell is wrong. One could easily come up with better footnotes.

Gregory reappears in June 1866 and p. 134, complaining about outrages against Union men and that the conservative civil authorities were letting the conservatives off. Ramsdell points out that the conservatives had not, in fact, taken charge at this time; at this time, the civil authorities were still Provisional and proUnion.

UPDATE 7/3/2011: improved focus. Cut out this post.

posted by Zimri on 15:42 | link | 0 comments

Ramsdell's observations on the Negro

(Hey, that's his term; don't flame me for it...)

Ramsdell explains around page 50 what Juneteenth actually meant. Slavery is a simple concept; master is in his house and he tells the field slaves what to do, and in return the slaves get to live in a cabin and get Single Payer Health Care. When it ends, the master is still in his house and the slave is still in his cabin. The master no longer has responsibility for his charges. So now what?

Here, we have a control set for Ramsdell's claims: slave narratives. For these I use Andrew Ward in The Slaves' War chapters 28-31, 254-97, outside Texas; and DC: US Library of Congress, 1936-38 for inside.

Ramsdell notes much white trickery - like masters just not telling their blacks that they were free, or whites indulging in terrorism. In South Carolina, Lorenzo Ezell saw whites dress up as ghosts, to frighten them back on the job (this then became the Klan, preceding Ezell into Texas). Another dodge was to pay the freedmen in Jeffy-Dollars (Ward, 273; also, Anderson Edwards' narrative in Texas). I suspect that this was less to cheat the freedmen (outright) and more to force him to stay inside the ex-Confederate economy.

Past that, planters and freedmen stumbled into a different model. That was for the former master to bind the former slave to his original occupation by way of contract. The planter told the freedman: if you stay here for three weeks, you will get paid. The freedman told the planter: well, I can't say exactly, because this is a family blog.

Yeah, many freedmen just broke their contracts. Ramsdell 49-50 cites several July-September newspapers observing that. This has backup from slave narratives too. In Ward, we read of Harry Bridges's mother: 264-5. Also, page 275.

Meanwhile, while the crop wasn't being picked up and sold off, the money wasn't coming in, and Texas went further into a financial hole.

By the way where did these ex servitors head off to? The US military sure as hell didn't want the bother. Here is Ramsdell 71:

Throughout the summer months they [freedmen] had slipped away from the plantations as opportunity offered or whim suggested, and despite the military regulations to the contrary, large numbers collected around the towns where, luxuriating in idleness and heedless of the next winter, they eked out a meagre subsistence by petty thieving, begging, or doing occasional off jobs. Crowded together indiscriminately in small huts, they rapidly fell victims to disease and vices of all sorts.

Ramsdell cites the Southern Intelligencer in Austin, 29 September; "all newspapers of the late summer bear evidence to this effect". The slave narratives back this up, too; for instance, Ward page 275 already noted. Many freedmen just died, or starved, or begged for their old jobs back.

Ramsdell 67-68 makes additional mention of petty and not-so-petty criminality. (He is fair enough to note that a lot of white mobbery was going on as well. He can hardly take back what he'd just said about those d-mob'ed Confederate soldiers, after all.) One Texan freedman, William Hamilton, thought he had a handle on why the coloured folks were getting into trouble, and reported in this narrative:

De cullud folks has lots of trouble after de war, 'cause dey am ir'rant niggers and gits foolishment in de head. They gits de idea de white folks should give dem land and mules and sich. Over in de valley, Massa Moses owns lots of land and fifty nigger families, and he gives each family a deed to 'bout fifty acres. Some dem cullud folks grandchillen still on dat land, too, de Parkers and Farrows and Nelsons and some others. Den all de other niggers thinks dey should git land, too, but dey don't, and it make dem git foolishment and git in trouble.

What did the North expect would happen?

Sadly, Ramsdell doesn't help his case with loaded words like "luxuriating"; and there's a lot more whence that came, like in p. 50 when he calls the freedman "child-like, concerned only with his immediate present". This sort of thing would fly in 1909 but in 2011, it's just embarrassing.

posted by Zimri on 14:58 | link | 0 comments

Texan freikorps

Perhaps if the Texans' army had not fallen apart, Texas could have secured a more honourable peace. Here's "The Break-Up"; Ramsdell, 34-5:

As the disbanded soldiery swept on through the state... at Houston... the soldiers simply took possession of Confederate and generally of state property wherever they could find it, alleging that as it had originally been collected for their use and as they had protected it, they were the nearest heirs of the defunct Confederacy and entitled to this much of the estate. Added to this was the irritating conviction that while they had suffered hardships in the army they had not been adequately supported by the mass of those who had been allowed to remain at home, and that the resources of the country had been speculated upon and wasted by the incompetent or unprincipled men into whose hands they had fallen. Nor did popular opinion often condemn the soldiers.

I have to say, the similarities between Texas 1865 and Germany 1918-19 are uncanny.

Likewise, the Germans still owned a functional army and state as of Armistice Day; by the time of Versailles... not so much. One would think Wilson, of all people, should have guessed at what would happen in Munich and Berlin when the Germans surrendered.

Add to this that in May 1865, General Joe Shelby turned his thousands of troops toward Mexico, in a bid to join up with Emperor Maximilian and get paid. Here we have what the "Freikorps" tried to do in newly-Lithuanian Memel.

posted by Zimri on 14:31 | link | 0 comments

The Sam Houston perspective on the Civil War

So now I'm reading Reconstruction in Texas by Charles William Ramsdell.

There's a standard Texas history of the 1850s and early 1860s; it revolves around Sam Houston, a former President of Texas when she was an independent state. Houston, we are told, heroically tried to keep Texas out of the Confederacy, and actually won election on a "Unionist" / independent ticket... but was eventually hustled out of office anyway.

Ramsdell agrees with this wholeheartedly. Some of what he has to say I knew already: that Texas did okay in the first two years of war, via the Mexican trade; that Texas failed to take New Mexico; and that the various Federal incursions and Unionist insurrections failed to get far in Texas.

He has other stuff to add, which I didn't know. He notes that John Brown's terrorism is what drove Texas from being a border-South pro-Union state like Kentucky, to voting for Breckenridge. He also notes a "bargaining" phase from January to March 1861: it seems Sam Houston was willing to go so far as to restore Texan independence (and neutrality), but to withhold any oaths of loyalty to Jeffy Davis. (My inexact analogy with Kentucky holds here, too: although Kentucky didn't secede, Lincoln did grant to Kentucky a neutral status. Kentucky joined the Union war effort only after the South attacked it.)

In general Ramsdell hasn't any time for the Confederates. He figures that all the Confederacy did for Texas was to drain it of men and treasure. East of the Mississippi, the war went like the Second World War; west, it went more like the First. By 1865, Texas was still beating off Union invasions, but most of her troops had already deserted.

If Sam Houston wrote a memoir of the Civil War, I suspect it would look much like pages 1-33.

posted by Zimri on 14:14 | link | 0 comments

Preparatory academy for the Dunning School

The commenter in my mammoth Monday post recommends the "Dunning School". William Dunning wrote about Reconstruction: of its aims, viz. equality of blacks and whites in the South; of its events; and of its failure. Dunning blamed its failure not on that it ended too soon but on that it never had a hope of achieving its aims. A google turned up Gail Jarvis at LewRockwell.

The Dunning School provided a justification for the "Democratic" Party of the 1870s-1920s. This Party brought back a caste system in the South whilst maintaining a sham sufficient to mollify the North.

I'd heard of the Dunning School before - from a Leftist, James Loewen. Loewen, of Vermont, believes this school a mite convenient to the racists. He has written several books which in passing lambaste the Dunning School, as inherently compromised and not worthy of a historian's time. For my part I credit Loewen with at least rekindling interest in the topic. I never got to learn this history in school - neither for it, nor against it. All I heard was he-said-she-said about scalawags and carpetbaggers and Southern racists, and awareness of such popular mummery as Gone With The Wind (which I never read nor watched; I just knew it was out there). It is in part Loewen's success that gave to Chuck Lane a market for The Day Freedom Died.

I can find some nits to pick in Jarvis's article.

Jarvis holds that slavery was dying out. As evidence he points to that the Middle Passage slave-trade ended in 1808. I do not find this relevant. Blacks maintained their own population in North America, which they did not in the Caribbean. Slave-owners here had no further need for a trade from outside the US to inside. Jarvis would be better off pointing to the internal slave-trade. Slaves were at first all over the United States (excepting maybe Vermont). The North found stuff to export which were more economic, for that climate and soil, than were plantation cash-crops; the South, Deep South anyway, was better placed for agriculture and faced even more demand for slaves than before. Outposts held out in several "Yankee" states and territories into the 1840s, along the coasts and rivers: New Jersey, Long Island, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York City, and southern Illinois. As the economics of the various American climates shook themselves out, masters faced the choice between freeing their slaves and "selling them down river". We can say that slavery drained away: first into the border-North, then into border-South states like Kentucky; finally into Georgia. This is a long way of getting to a similar point - that slavery was draining itself out of most of the USA's surface area, and was benefitting (directly) proportionately fewer whites. But this model of "slavery was dying" doesn't explain how the Deep South was to grow out of the Institution; at least, if it does, I never read how. [UPDATE 9/14/2018: Around 2015 or so I'd leafed through the Sublettes' American Slave Coast. The Tidewater bred slaves.]

And then there's that all-too-typical Southern whining. It seems no pro-South article is complete without an outburst of BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY against the North. Jarvis's article does not disappoint:

The much praised Fourteenth Amendment gave freed slaves the right to vote but withheld that right from Indians, women, and those involved in the Confederate war effort. (In fact, none of the three famous amendments enacted during the Reconstruction era gave civil rights to Indians. This was the Radical Republicans' version of Jim Crow.)

This isn't relevant either. Indians were legally independent nations, to be dealt with by treaty and not by the Constitution. Women weren't enfranchised anywhere until the empty territory of Wyoming made a bid to inflate its numbers. And why in the name of all that's fair should rebel secessionists receive civil rights - any rights? When you lose the poker game, you have to pay.

But that's just Jarvis, not necessarily Dunning and those with him.

posted by Zimri on 11:47 | link | 0 comments

Don't buy a Kia

Here's yet another take on Kia's pedobear mess. The controversy appears to be settling down now.

I'll just point out here that I've known for sometime that I was not, ever, going to buy a Kia. (And not just because I've been happily tooling around in Hondas for over a decade.) Kia used to put out quietly self-effacing and cute commercials; if I'd known of Kia in the 1990s - and could have afforded even a Kia back then - maybe I would have got one.

That changed with the hamster commercial. Here it has the "hamsters" strutting around in broad daylight like they own the place, wearing sports attire and the occasional gold chain, delivering their Props and Disses, giving it up for the booty-shaking female hamsters and the rest of it.

This is a parody of rap videos, obviously; these are always exhibitions of urban underclass posturing. But, unlike Crowder's inspired "Gots A Peace Prize", the hamster commercial is not a satire. That makes Kia's commercial a celebration of this savage lifestyle. By extension Kia celebrates it as well.

Kia proved a year ago or more that it cares nothing for civilisation. If Kia had rejected this current outrage, it would only have come up with something equally bad.

posted by Zimri on 11:01 | link | 0 comments

Women and holy texts

All through the Ancient Near East, women did join religions, did participate in them, and did write visionary poetry for them. The first author of whom we know is the priestess Enheduanna. Women also delivered prophecies, as Jonathan Stökl has documented. Andrew Dalby in Rediscovering Homer cited numerous examples of female epic poets, and included Homer as one of them.

The Scriptures contain no books which claim to be written by women. The Hebrew Bible does contain, however, poems which so claim; such as the Song of Miriam in Exodus and the Song of Deborah in Judges. (And then there's THAT half of Song of Songs...) Nobody doubted these claims in antiquity, and modern scholars have conceded the point. The Scriptures also contain literature that takes care to include a woman's point of view. The so-called "Hidden Book In The Bible" - the J substrate, ranging from Genesis 2 to 2 Samuel - is one of these. The two volumes by "Luke" in the New Testament form another.

Moving on to the Qur'an: I have not studied every sura in it, but I did once read up on sura 65. This was written in Iraq, sometime 685-720 AD. In sura 65, God pushes the Believers (who accept suras 2 and 5) toward more rights for women. In this sense the sura is Lukan.

We have to keep in mind that the Jewish Scriptures form more than one genre of literature; the work of Luke, likewise, and s/he consciously apes their style in their "Septuagintal" form. The Qur'an only has one genre: the rhyming word of God, which He imposes upon men and jinns. For other genres in Islam, you go to the Hadith.

That means the Qur'an is not interested in human experience. It records God's experience. In its structure, the Qur'an is an instrument of domination by One Alone.

This must end in a hierarchical priesthood and, if not strictly separated, government. Hierarchy is the organisational-chart of men. Women have their own, different, approach to interpersonal relations. As a result, Islam is inherently alien to women. It offers nothing to women, except insofar as it produces "alpha" men.

Everything that the feminists tell us is bad about the Judaeo-Christian Bibles does not, truly, apply to the Bibles as they exist. These traits belong to the Qur'an and no human may extricate them.

If sometimes a woman got her thought into the Qur'an, that did not change what Islam had already become. In any case by the 690s, the Qur'an was already mostly finished; it was too late for an insider to budge it much.

posted by Zimri on 09:15 | link | 0 comments

Friday, July 01, 2011

The elites and the masses: a test case

Conservatives are conducting a discussion as to whether the Republicans should go along to get along - in a plea for moderates' votes; or whether they should just say to hell with it and campaign on a platform of thoroughgoing Reaction. On behalf of the former here's ArthurK, to whom Ace handed his keys for the weekend. First, the silly so-called ArthurK quotes Powerline:

in 1848, Lincoln supported Zachary Taylor rather than Clay for the Whig nomination.

Powerline had quoted Lincoln:

Our only chance is Taylor. I go for him, not because I think he would make a better president than Clay, but because I think he would make a better one than Polk, or Cass, or Buchanan [all Democrats] or any other such creatures, one of whom is sure to be elected if he is not.

[Historical footnote: Taylor did win. But... this "Polk" would be James Polk, the President at the time of Lincoln's comment. Polk had beat the shit out of Mexico, extending Texas to the Rio Bravo and the US in general to the Pacific. Polk didn't nab Puerto Penasco and Baja but one can't have everything. Lincoln's preference, Taylor, is mostly known for keeling over in office before his time - as had the only other Whig President. Lincoln was always a Polk-hater; Lincoln viewed his nation's enemies as living in the South and - by 1847 - in Utah; not outside the borders.]

Here's ArthurK again:

That's something to think about when your deciding which candidate to support in the rapidly approaching primaries. Not to say that you should always go with the mushy, centrist guy but that you should appreciate that we're playing for high stakes and it's better to win slow than lose.

So here's the commenters. 18-1 waves his private parts at ArthurK's auntie:

And so after electing Taylor, the institution of slavery was ended peacefully, and we never did get another Democrat administration. Or maybe the strategy didn't quite work out so well.

Gambler taunts him a second time:

Good point...maybe McCain is available again.

fluffy like a rock boils ArthurK's bottom:

Lincoln also allied himself with Northeast Republicans when he finally got around to switching parties. Just sayin'

Dr Spank unclogs his nostrils at him:

We get it already.

That's from the top 13. Almost the whole thread is hilarious.

What can we learn from this? Simply what I've been pondering earlier: those who don't straddle the line between the commoners and the elites, those who have no real stake in the DC game - people with nowhere blogs and people who comment - we're not interested in Tweedledum over Tweedledee. We just want this bullshit to end, and to go back to where it was before.

posted by Zimri on 19:34 | link | 0 comments

Lacrosse and Strauss-Kahn

I read a lot of Auster and Ace, and I take both seriously. They are often at odds, and I doubt they read each other much (although their commenters do).

There's been another report, which I didn't want to touch, about Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Some say he raped a black maid in New York. I hear today that the prosecution has problems.

Auster is on record in many fora stating that whites don't rape blacks. As an instance, at FrontPage there was this, which I found by accident from a Google search. Extrapolating from that, an elderly white man would have a hard time forcing himself upon a working-class black woman.

On the side of the maid, or at least of ambiguity, here's Ace and his comments.

Here's my thought: Strauss-Kahn isn't "white" in the way of the US or even Britain. He's French. The French're different. Maybe French men do rape blacks. They certainly did a lot of that in Louisiana, Haiti, and Martinique. Nowadays, amongst the French themselves... their proles won't do it, but their élites are another story.

I hate to be like the accusers of the Lacrosse team. Really, I do. But this guy Strauss-Kahn is difficult to defend on his good days.

I have this gut feeling I'm going to be posting an apology-post on his behalf in some months - that next month, someone will find this maid driving a gilded carriage through New Orleans.

That's why I didn't want to touch it.

posted by Zimri on 19:12 | link | 0 comments

I must sign on behalf of the English Defence League

To recap - because I missed this, over the week - Pamela Gellar and Robert Spencer have excommunicated the English Defence League. Several other anti-jihad bloggers - "anti-jihad" means "anti-Islam" - have supported the EDL against these two. There is, now, a pro-EDL open letter. Gellar and Spencer have since dug in. Here is Lawrence Auster's take.

Auster's take is best described as a signature from a distance. Auster has done enough work in these trenches that his signing would mean something. I believe that I have attained enough understanding, and have posted enough original work, that my signing could also mean something. Auster supports the pro-EDL letter. But Auster will not sign it. Auster's reasons are here. Auster's reasons do not involve his history with the signatories, which include adversaries like Gates of Vienna (mutual). These reasons have to do with Auster's history with Spencer (mainly) and with Gellar.

This blog "House of David" also has a history with Spencer, and with the EDL (and with GoV). If I am to sign this thing, I will need to acknowledge mine own baggage. So bear with me here while I hash it out. After all, you don't have to read it if you don't want to.

EDL, first. I heard of the EDL in 2009. At the time, I held out for the EDL in the abstract, but held off on the EDL as it existed in 2009. The following May I cheered when the EDL raised the blue and white. That put me closer to the pro-EDL camp. The EDL flies this flag to this day - to the chagrin of anti-Zionist pond scum.

Now, Spencer. In Islamic / "Orientalist" scholarship, I have found Spencer's work mildly useful. I will interject here that in this field, even "mildly" - even a "B" grade - is a very, very good grade. Compare this to dhimmic popular accounts (Esposito, Armstrong) or to overly-enthusiastic anti-Islamic scholarly attempts (Crone 1970s, Ibn Warraq); these have use only in their footnotes. To get even an "A-minus" from me takes the 1980s+ Crone, David Cook, or Robert Hoyland. My "A" grade belongs to Hinds and Motzki and... that might be it. So much for the Good Spencer. The Bad Spencer has, in the recent past, made deals with pro-Nazi elements like ProKoeln.

To put these together, the EDL is a nationalist group and Spencer has been burnt by nationalists in the past - by German national socialists. Spencer is right to be wary of the EDL. I kind of have to say that; it took awhile for me to warm to the EDL myself. It took even longer for me to warm to, say, Lawrence Auster. It might be awhile longer before I set foot in GoV; probably never back to Blogmocracy. However in the case of the EDL I believe that this organisation has kept itself as clean as we should expect of it. (By contrast with the BNP cult; h/t Auster again.)

As to whether I should sign this letter, my reasons will differ from Auster's. Auster cares that he would be a distraxion, on account that he believes he is - and is - controversial. I don't so care.

My reasons for signing, or not, would more go to this point: I care more for Islamic scholarship, for its own sake, than for where this scholarship must lead. This pro-EDL open letter is a political document. Spencer, like the GoV stable, is an activist first and a scholar second. This is what has led Spencer (and the GoV authors) to falter in the past. I am a researcher first, and a blogger of The Random second; I am no activist. Still, I must beware of the propagandist's siren song myself.

My exception must be to such political events as affect my access to scholarship.

In London, teachers are beaten for incorrect views on Islam. [Barbados Free Press - yes, I can vouch for them.] That puts all of those who research Islam in that city, at least, on notice. (Would it matter if I noted here that I was born in London?)

To protect the liberty - the life - of English Orientalists, of all Orientalists, I must sign this petition. Whether or not Orientalists are interested in the politics of Jihad... the Jihad is interested in them.


Dear Ms. Geller,

We the undersigned are writing to register our astonishment and dismay at your public denunciation of the English Defence League, and in particular your reference to the “neo-fascists that had infiltrated the administration of the group”.

This is a grossly inaccurate and unfair slander against the leaders and membership of the EDL, who have never wavered in their refusal to include neo-Nazis, fascists, or adherents of any other ideology that seeks to divide people based on their ethnicity. The core mission of the EDL has always been, and remains, to stop the encroachment of sharia and Islamic fascism.

For the past two years the English Defence League has been on the front lines of the resistance to sharia and militant Islam in England. Its leaders have put their own lives in danger by doing so. They live under constant threat, not just from murderous Muslim zealots, but from their own government, which has harassed and arrested them repeatedly. Tommy Robinson, the leader of the EDL, has been arrested multiple times, and is currently facing trumped-up charges designed to put him and the EDL out of action.

To paraphrase Geert Wilders: “I was dragged to court by leftist and Islamic organizations that were bent not only on silencing me but on stifling public debate.” The EDL is being dragged into a kangaroo court of uninformed public opinion. The more people’s fears can be raised, the more quickly debate can be smothered.

In the final analysis, as Geert Wilders points out, the strength of our community depends on the freedom we feel to “enter our convictions in the open lists to win or lose”.

All communities inevitably experience conflicts based on differences of opinion. It is crucial that we approach one another’s efforts in good faith, presume the other’s efforts to be well-meaning until conclusively proven otherwise, support initiatives made by others that further our common cause, and refuse to be dragged into parsing ever more finely our differences.

Our ideal of the “perfect” can kill any merely “good enough” effort.

Your unfortunate statements were picked up and repeated by other websites and blogs, some of them quite prominent and well-respected. This has done harm to our common cause, and has driven a completely needless wedge between the American and European wings of the international Counterjihad.

To help heal the damage that has been done, we insist that you apologize in a public forum to the English Defence League.

Its leaders and members are heroes, and their organization is widely considered a beacon of hope in Europe. All Europeans who resist the Islamization of their countries look to the EDL for inspiration, and all of them stand in solidarity with it in its struggle.

We strongly request that you reconsider your deplorable words and withdraw them.

Sincerely yours,
David Ross (USA), The House of David

UPDATE: Baron Bodissey via email has acknowledged that I have signed this letter. MORE UPDATEYNESS: Here...

UPDATE / HEAD-DESK: Read the comments. "truth for its own sake, regardless of its more unpleasant implications ... "

posted by Zimri on 17:54 | link | 2 comments

Weekend fireworks

This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. -- Frederick Douglas(s)

Black people still don't like the Fourth. It is in any case now proven that Fourth of July is a Conservative celebration (Ace) - which means, it is for white proles; and for the occasional veteran, or immigrant from a Communist nation.

[Disclosure: we Tories have our own ideas about the Fourth (Moldbug). We're more with Douglas(s) on this one.]

So, what can we expect? To the extent that past is prologue, we have the recent example of Black Memorial Day. Flash mobs follow white people. Over the weekdays, whites are at work or at home. On the weekend, whites hit the town... and meet up with what Peoria's Antipundit calls "The Element". Independence Day is, even more than Memorial Day, a point of difference between the condiments of this vibrant American salad bowl. Lastly, I am not sure to what extent Black Memorial Day has quite yet sunk in with the general public.

If anything should happen, the good news is, the media and Eric Holder have it all covered.

posted by Zimri on 17:16 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Right blogs are worthless

I asked a question on 11 June. This question has only grown more urgent as the summer has heated up. Three weeks later I figured it might be worth checking for answers.

I just checked National Review's Corner. You know - the blog for the magazine that used to belong to William Buckley. The Corner has not mentioned the case of Carter Strange. For a defence of Strange, and of other victims of black mobbery - including black victims - you have to go to Auster; or to the race-o-sphere; hell, even to this pathetic excuse for a blog.

I also have not found anything on NRO's Corner from 22 June on about flash mobs in general.

Right blogs do not have use for us.

posted by Zimri on 19:54 | link | 0 comments

Dick and teabags

JWF explores the eternal dilemma.

If your seven-year-old hears someone say "dick" on TV, he'll probably know what it means and will laugh. If he hears someone say "teabagger", he'll ask "dad, what's a teabagger?"

I knew what "dick" meant when I was seven - I mean, I think I did, maybe from a movie; I don't remember. I do remember hearing "cock" for the first time; at age nine - rather, I'd read it. I read this word, and figured out what it meant, at a Houston public library. No, I didn't find it in a book - someone had scrawled about how much he (probably a he) loved sucking such members, immortalising this upon the wall of the library's restroom.

"Teabag" I learnt when I was 25. A bunch of us from work were hanging out with a trucker at a bar; he explained it.

Personally, I'd prefer explaining "dick" to my kid over "teabag".

posted by Zimri on 19:05 | link | 0 comments


I sometimes post stuff before it's strictly ready. Monday's post was one of these. I think it is ready now. A few more quotes and a few revisions got the job done.

Long posts are hard. It's not hard to write long posts - Ace and Moldbug do 'em. What's hard is to write a long post that sustains a coherent argument, contains a minimum of errors, and does not repeat itself.

posted by Zimri on 18:32 | link | 0 comments

Monday, June 27, 2011

Proletarian orality; Brahmin journalism

One "James N." writes this: There was very little discussion at the time [1950s] of what would become of black culture and black society once those concepts [segregation] and their associated reality were destroyed. Well, now we know. [This at Lawrence Auster's.]

Counter to that, there did exist data on this topic. But, I am now convinced, it was deliberately suppressed. These suppressors were, and are, those whose government Obama and Holder have inherited.

I hold it as obvious that human nature does not change. So, to find out what is likely to happen if a given event should occur now, we need a comparable set of people and events in the past. 150-ish years ago was the Reconstruction / Redemption era.

Here is the problem with the histories about that time: they are slanted. If we're to go to primary sources, it's not much better then either. Northern sources reported according to Northern concerns. Southern papers were under strict military control. The Redeemers were largely proles. Proles spread their accounts orally - they still do, as you can gather from all the emails you get from your dear 70-year-old maiden auntie.

When you have emailed back your polite "lol" to Aunt Mabel's latest, and escaped to your local Government-approved bookstore: it gives you all you could want between Chomsky and Coulter. If you want to study Reconstruction / Redemption, these books will include The Day Freedom Died, Sundown Towns, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, and most recently Inherently Unequal - and then there's the Right's ghetto, filled with Politically Incorrect Guides. Those are just the ones I have read in the past decade - and in the Left's case, to my shame, I have praised them on this blog. (Like here. I was a neo-con then.) There's other books of that sort on Amazon. Many, many, many others.

We'd like to check this data against a Southern account of the Redemption era; but in the 1860s and '70s, the South had too few historians and journalists to process what they knew. Much of the Southern heartland was a ruin, on account of the Late Unpleasantness. The North left insufficient infrastructure to support much of an intellectual class; much less would they tolerate a pro-Southern one.

And how to explain the disaster of Reconstruction? Whom could we trust? Even fewer than contemporary historians were there scientists worth the title - genetic biometrics couldn't exist until after the 1950s. In the late 1800s, racial arguments had to engage "anthro-criminologists" and phrenologists. To the historian working during the 1950s, pro-Redemption histories were showing their age; either badly "scienced", so to speak, or just plain prole. Such were easy targets.

But there have survived some accounts of Reconstruction: I know of The Cotton States in the Spring and Summer of 1875 by Charles Nordhoff. I found this at Moldbug's in July 2008 while I was at LGF and, yes, I did pass it on to a LGF thread soon afterward. (Only updings for that, interestingly. Even this late it was a different LGF.) You won't find it in Borders. (Amazon, yes.)

What I found in Nordhoff was a long list of grievances against Reconstruction - not only by whites but also by blacks. All of this was delivered to the author orally. For instance, p. 43 on Louisiana:

in New Orleans... I myself have seen colored members of the Legislature - men who were slaves but ten years ago, and began life with nothing at that time - now driving magnificent horses, seated in stylish equipages, and wearing diamond breast-pins

Nordhoff implies that this man might not have acquired this wealth strictly honestly. As a side note, those diamonds in the mid 1870s would have come from Africa... mined by slaves, of Bantu origin.

When you read Lane or Loewen, to the extent they even let you read primary sources, they filter them through the contemporary North and never fail to tell you how hysterical were the Southrons. You, innocent reader, are to correlate this to the chain-emails you get from your semi-deranged Conservative and Christian email buddies. In the Northerner's eyes there could not be, for instance, black rapes against whites in disproportion to the reverse; every such accusation must follow the template of Scottsboro. Nowadays, we know that interracial rapes are uniformly black-against-white. (Auster at FrontPage.)

On the topic of racial crime, maybe you can't trust your loony white spinster aunt. Maybe you can't trust most Southern historians, credentialed in 1895, either. But you can, I think, trust Nordhoff.

We can see this happening right now in Peoria - the part of Nordhoff to be played by Wilkinson.

The authorities inform us that Wilkinson has registered complaints against black "flash" mobs before. The Narrative is now at work claiming Wilkinson as a wolf-crier; whether or not any wolves have in fact shown up at his neighbourhood before, doesn't matter. Peoria City Councilwoman Barbara Van Auken wants all outsiders to know that this is "exaggerated"; as does the Peoria press, except that they omit that Van Auken runs for Team D. The Peoria AntiPundit has more on Van Auken... so much more:

Now for the reaction from the media and the response from the Second District councilwoman, Barbara Van Auken. This whole thing happened in the Second and she comes out and calls Paul a liar straight away. This is the same woman who when drunk with her rich friend, went to the Frat house’s on the Bradley campus and tried to quell a party at one of them. When the Bradley police arrived, she not only called them fake cops but stuck her boney finger into the chest of the officer while telling him so. Now if that was you or me, they would have to x-ray my ass to see how exactly to remove that officer’s boot from my ass and that would be after they smashed my face on the concrete while sticking a Taser up my rectum so far it would see daylight from my rear molar. Not her, she’s a damn councilwoman and she had her drink glass and olive to prove it. I wonder what we taxpayers paid for the legal fees for her and this embarrassing moment.

Doesn’t matter, because those white folks up on Moss voted her back in last time so they must have approved. Moss has it’s Frats and Thrush Street has it thugs. Bet Van Auken won’t show her finger on Thrush Street at 10pm. Like to see 10 black kids walk down the middle of Moss late on a Friday evening. Talk about a rip in the space-time continuum. Good God.

The media also quotes a local: said the group blocked a few cars but was very orderly. He witnessed no fights and called the racist allegations a "heck of an exaggeration." Note here this local's name: Khalid Davis. The local was born, or converted, to Black-Arab asabiya at least if not to full Islam.

Also to be noted in each account is the same word: "exaggerate". One might even suspect a reporter of Leading The Witnesses.

The contrary reports are such obvious sham, Auster has to quote the whole thing. The Dem/media Memory Hole Effect is real, recently evident over polar bear hunts. I do not expect the original article to last in its present state.

This illustrates how modern Brahmins find ways to controvert the Prole's eyewitness account. Dig up a counter-source - any counter-source, no matter how compromised. Find a D government official to deliver the official word; don't bother with R. Emphasise the orality of the original account.

Human nature does not change. The ancestors of the people involved now, were in this same country then. If it happens, now; it also, happened, then. If underclass blacks mob, riot, loot, and rape now; if elite whites cover up for their enormities now... it also, happened, then.

The epic tragedy of the heroes of Reconstruction and the villains of Redemption is just that, a mummery; it is a Lie Our Teachers Have Told Us. This whole episode needs to be reopened. It needs to be reopened, and it is the Right who must reopen it.

posted by Zimri on 18:29 | link | 2 comments

Be aware of your surroundings

"Be aware of your surroundings" is code. It means "watch out for young black people" and, also unspoken, steer clear of them.

From Auster (whom I linked below as well), here's Erica Palan channelling Andrea Harris; with little to say, but using lots of angry words to say it. She brings up that joke of a recommendation too.

I have a dream; I believe this dream to be rooted in the dream of all mankind. I have a dream that one day we will live in a nation where we do not have to Be Aware Of Surroundings. I have a dream in which a maiden of any colour may cross downtown Philadelphia alone, carrying her possessions, without fear of insult.

This was not King's dream. This was the dream of Ziyad bin Abihi. I should rather live in his Basra than walk down any Martin Luther King street in this country.

posted by Zimri on 18:14 | link | 0 comments

The war of Guendelsberger's leg

I've been hammering at The Alligator as a hack paper for some months now. This satirical weekly has made clear that it despises George W Bush; that it denounces the racism - excuse me, insufficient empathy - of Rush Limbaugh; that Our First Black President is a gutsy caller; blah blah. These opinions are all popular amongst the black community.

In Philadelphia a gang of youths has broken the leg of one of this paper's editors. We're not told what the youths look like, beyond that they're young.

My first assumption has to be that the teenaged attackers were Euro-Reactionaries and fans of this blog. I get so many fans here, it becomes a most arduous trial to keep track of their IP addresses. Maybe these miscreants had the same problems with The Alligator as I do. If so... I'd like the authorities to know that I have never counseled extralegal violence against The Alligator's staff. (My position, since I need one, is that the new reactionary state should get them up before a televised Truth-And-Reconciliation Commission. But I am in no real rush.)

Another possibility is that those who work at The Alligator haven't done enough to heal our wounds. I expect this paper to ... well, to keep doing what it's doing. I am sure that Sarah Palin is involved somehow.

posted by Zimri on 17:49 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"We need to kill all the white people around here"

There was a racist march in Peoria:

Tonight, around 11 p.m., a group of at least 60-70 African American youth marched down one of the side streets (W. Thrush) to the 4 lane main drag (Sheridan). They were yelling threats to white residents. Things such as we need to kill alll the white people around here. They were physically intimidating anyone calling for help from the police. They were surrounding cars. Cars on the main drag had to slam on their brakes to either avoid the youth blocking not only all four lanes, but a large section of the side street as well. fights were breaking out among them. They were rushing residents who looked out their doors, going on to porches, yelling threats to people calling the police for help.

Cars were doing U turns on the streets just to avoid the mob, mostly male. One youth stated his grandfather was white and several assaulted him on the spot. One police officer answered the call. The youth split into two large groups, one heading north, the other south. They were also yelling racial threats to the police officer but he was outnumbered. Another police car did not show up until after the youth finally dispersed and the patty wagon (van) also eventually showed up.

Residents are very shaken, both black and white alike. This is the fifth large mob action in about a month with smaller groups of 10-12 are out threatening children and adults a few evenings a week or later into the night. The times vary, even occuring during the day. In talking to the police officer, they are short staffed. Residents were advised to simply keep inside and to lock their doors. In other words buckle down, it’s not even safe to sit on your porch or go into your yards.

This hadith comes to us from a Google cache of The Peoria Chronicle, from Paul Wilkinson, "president of the Altamont Park Neighborhood Association".

Peoria is also the hometown of Matthew Hale.

Which means we have to check out Wilkinson's claims. So, I checked this out on Google; a Paul D Wilkinson is listed as a contact for said association. I find other material from this man dating back to 2008. He seems to be what he says he is - a liaison between his neighbours and Peoria's city government. He has no ties with the extreme Right; maybe he voted for Bush in 2000 and/or 2004.

Here's a local blogger - Peoria Anti Pundit. [Google picked him up.] He witnesses to Wilkinson's character.

posted by Zimri on 15:34 | link | 0 comments

The new racism: American white proles as subhuman

Here's a post, or couple of posts, at Ace's. In each Ace calls out Maher for a variety of sins, and then goes off on David Carr. Carr's comment was that Amerikaner whites have "Low, Sloping Foreheads". Ace thinks it's "Nazi phrenology". It's not. It could be worse.

The sloping forehead belongs to "anthropological criminology". It was Cesare Lombroso, an Italian, who came up with it first. I cannot locate racism against any one group in the original. Italian racism did exist; but it generally went against Sicily and the Greeks. Both are more Mediterranean and gracile than are northern / Roman Italians. Lombroso based his theory instead on chimpanzee skulls and maybe the odd Homo Erectus (and not a Neanderthal). Ergo, this theory was crap but at least not initially racist.

Like phrenology, Anthropological Criminology was an abortive attempt at biometrics, itself an outgrowth of Darwin's Descent of Man. Around this time were the first IQ tests; these, too, were notoriously bad, often grading the Ashkenazim as mentally inferior to whites. But IQ tests got fixed and IQ has stood the test of time.

Anthropological Criminology could not be fixed. It was debunked before the First World War. (So, to nitpick on Ace again, it never was Nazi.)

Carr is pulling from eugenicist imagery of those late 1800s. He's pulling from the same well as Der Sturmer. Even more so, he's pulling from anti-Negro cartoons - which often do show the Negro as chimp-like (I don't say this, in case you were wondering).

Anyway, given that we now know that Europeans are 5% Neanderthal - like New Guineans are 5% Denisovan - I have been wondering how long it would take for the World Community to declare European proles as cavemen. I see I didn't have long to wait.

posted by Zimri on 14:51 | link | 0 comments

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