the confederacy was entirely about slavery

If you are one of the people who think the Confederate States of America was about anything other than slavery and white supremacy, you are flatly wrong. You aren’t wrong on interpretation, or importance, or emphasis, you are flatly, utterly, completely wrong on facts.

Don’t take it from me, take it from then-newly-elected Vice President Alexander H. Stephens of the Confederate States of America:

The new [Confederate] constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. … Our new government is founded… its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Savannah, Georgia, March 21, 1861

Emphasis added. It was about slavery. The whole damn project was about slavery.

Here’s an article with some more direct quotes. Such as Texas’s February 2nd, 1861 declaration of secession:

Texas… was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery – the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits – a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. …

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. …

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

It was about slavery.

Here’s soon-to-be-Confederate General Benning of Georgia, writing to Virginia, urging secession following Georgia’s vote:

What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction … that a separation from the North was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery… If things are allowed to go on as they are, it is certain that slavery is to be abolished. By the time the north shall have attained the power, the black race will be in a large majority, and then we will have black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. … The consequence will be that our men will be all exterminated or expelled to wander as vagabonds over a hostile earth, and as for our women, their fate will be too horrible to contemplate even in fancy.”

It was about slavery.

Not every Confederate state listed their reasons for secession and formation of the Confederacy. Some kept it short, two or three paragraphs. But every Confederate state which made a list of reasons went with slavery.

Here’s South Carolina’s declaration of secession, adopted December 24, 1860, listing their complaints:

…an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress [regarding return of escaped slaves –sb] or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed… In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. …

Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States.

… A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

It was about slavery.

Here’s the Mississippi declaration of secession:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

It was about slavery.

Here’s Georgia declaration of secession, passed Tuesday, January 29, 1861:

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. …

The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery and to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers. …

Such are the opinions and such are the practices of the Republican party, who have been called by their own votes to administer the Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States. We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it will be our fault and not theirs.

…their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property [slaves] but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquility.

It was about slavery. They said it was about slavery. They said their government was founded and based on slavery and white supremacy; that it was the corner-stone of their government.

I’m pretty sure that means it was about slavery.

eta: More, from before and after the war.

pictures from the road

I don’t have nearly as many photos of the dry side as I want, particularly ones taken on the way back. As we were headed west, I kept pointing at things and going, “goddammit, I wish I had a picture of that,” but I was flying that Raptor and the only one who could, so not so much for me. Full autopilot, where are you when I need you?

Here’s me packing the last thing to be loaded in – the cooler – before heading off. I’m wearing a highly appropriate shirt given the decision which had just come down that morning. Korrasami 5eva:

It’s canon and you gotta deal with it!

When you’re out and you want to eat somewhere, and you don’t want to do stupid chain restaurants, you kind of get a grip on recognising where is going to be good. Old locals eating there? Probably at least okay. This place was called something like… Backwoods BBQ? I don’t even know. They also had a big “BURGERS” sign up. Regardless, it’s here. I’d put in a streetview link, but here’s what that looks like, so thanks a pantload, Google Maps Driver. Regardless, they had good BBQ.

We were making really good time, and the plan was to get there and help Zinger set up his giant pavilion, but then out of nowhere this happened, and we moved about 5km in 90 minutes.

No, seriously, that’s not a guess, that’s an approximation on distance and specifically correct on time. So I also took the opportunity to take a few pictures of rocks. As usual, everything is larger and there are more photos on the Flickr feed:

This one is particularly worth looking at bigger. It’s pretty good for a shot-while-driving photo, I think:

Once we got there too late to help out with setup, it was already goofy hot and working on getting worse. That’s where I learned I can’t be in sunlight at those temperatures unless I feel like passing out, which was pretty much what I almost did. Emphasis on almost, since the band noticed I wasn’t answering questions even though I thought I was, and intervened with coldpacks and ice and fans and such.

Somehow I hadn’t recognised when getting directions and stuff that we were playing a bunch of shows in Amon Park. 48C/119F and in Amon Park. Definitely the worst Korra AU ever:


After Saturday’s last show, we ducked out to a nearby Thai restaurant (Baan Khun Ya Thai – recommended) mostly for the air conditioning. The staff were really nice and let us linger for a couple of hours while the worst of the heat… well, I’d like to say ‘passed by,’ but really, it mostly hung around, trying to wait us out.

I Am Carrot-Head Groot

Also at a rest stop we saw this. Who the hell needs to be told this, anyway? I mean, c’mon, have some sense. Don’t just toss these out.

No fine high enough

More and bigger pics start here. Next we’re headed west, to Clallam Bay Comicon again. That’ll be both a Crime and the Forces of Evil and a Leannan Sidhe show, because we’re both going and being in each others’ bands and all that. See you there, I hope!

don’t fall for this

Sure, as a floating lair, it looks fairly swank, and the only ethical way to own this monstrosity is to steal it, so that’s fair. But when you see rooms like this?


This is Bond Bait. It’s engineered to make you fall into a variety of the Bad Supervillain traps, most notably monologuing about your own plans and awkward we’re-not-so-different speeches.

I’m sure you do.

Nobody needs another one of those speeches. Nobody. This lair? Give it a pass.

and we’re back!

Got back early this morning. Pretty sleepy still, but now I can say I’ve survived a weekend of gigging in 46-48C (115-119F) temperatures. Surprisingly good crowds, particularly given the weather. Sunday went particularly well – we kind of turned a morning set in an isolated section of the fairgrounds into a musician jam-along that we’re all thinking we should do on purpose next year.

Also, shout outs to the aid pavilion staff who were there helping people do heat management. I spent most of the day Saturday and all of Sunday in the aid pavilion partly in self-care and partly – particularly on Saturday when I didn’t have the sense to go straight there – being treated by the nurses on staff. It was a wash-rinse-repeat cycle of aid-pavilion-with-fans-and-cooling-and-ice / perform a set / back to aid tent, emphasis on wash and repeat.

I did learn a few things. I dissipate heat well few places, but one place that works is in my hands. The staff were kind of amazed by how quickly I can melt ice just by holding it. Aheh. Drinking cold fluids didn’t help much; just eating ice in chunks as large as I could swallow helped a lot. So did ordering a case of chemical cold-packs in advance. But in future, with forecasts like these? We’re getting a hotel room or we aren’t doing it.

Pictures tomorrow. Not as many as usual, but a few nice ones, including a broad landscape that also happens to show the 90-minute traffic jam out in the middle of EXACTLY NOWHERE HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? But that was okay. At that point, we had AC. :D

and we’re out

Too busy loading out for shows to write a real post this morning, but congratulations to all the QUILTBAG people in the States on getting marriage equality. I was a little worried they’d limit their ruling to full-faith-and-credit, but they didn’t.

And a shout-out to all the queer kids in homes where their parents and/or guardians are raving and ranting about this ruling today. Keep it together, stay strong, it may seem like forever but you will be out of there eventually. They’re wrong, and you aren’t.

See you in Richland!

going out with leannan sidhe

I’m going out with Leannan Sidhe this weekend, which is normally awesome good fun times. But this time, I’m actively worried. There are a bunch of different alarms and alerts up telling people to stay home and stay indoors and the forecast high during the days I’m going to be out is around 43°C, which is right around 110°F.

And laugh all you want to – I’ll destroy you first – but yes, Solarbird the Lightbringer has heat issues. And this isn’t the kind of thing you’re supposed to blog about, everyone will tell you, you’re supposed to keep it upbeat and confident in a music blog, and I’m actively kind of frightened, because 30C is a bit hot for me, and we’re shooting well past that and past “hi, I’m passing out now” territory and into “why am I doing this” zones.

Plus, we’re camping. There’re no hotel rooms around for less than $600. Well, that’s not technically true, there are, at hotels with reviews that talk about bedbugs, which is to say, there are no goddamn hotel rooms.

Normally, this is all quite fine, I’m fond of a bit of camping. But the lows are, like, 24C, which is, um, like 75F? The outdoor low in the shade is a temperature I find a uncomfortable for sleep.

I’m not kidding when I say I’m really nervous about this. Not in that isn’t-this-exciting way, but in that passing-out-on-stage-is-a-real-possibility way.

Yeah, so, that’s no fun. Here, meet Paper Jam Shatner. I found him while looking for something else completely unrelated and I have no idea why Google showed him to me. Paper Jam Shatner will only make sense at all if you watch a lot of Gravity Falls, but hopefully, that’s you.


nothin’ but class

C’mon, George, have some goddamn self-respect.


It’s hard to tell, but his tongue is out. He only moved because he heard me get the camera, but for once, I got a picture.

ow ow ow ow ow

It’s really important for many kinds of instrumentalists to maintain good callouses, particularly zouk, mandolin, and guitar players. There’s a rumour that Stevie Ray Vaughn used to superglue his callouses back on if they fell off.

Somehow my left-hand (fretboard side) callouses have all disappeared. I’ve been playing all week but in the shower yesterday I was like, “wait, my fingertips on my left hand feel really soft, what the hell?” now, well, YEP THEY SURE ARE.

A few hours of playing tonight seems to be bringing them back, but… da hell?

minigame capchas now?

I’ve never seen this before – a puzzle game for capcha on some Livejournal comment pages:

queen to queen’s level 3

Yeah, I had to do a puzzle to leave a comment. Also to edit the comment.

There must be some truly severe spambots out there at this point is all I can say. Damn.

Oh, also, we saw Jurassic World. It’s much better than I was led to believe, on several axises, and easily the best since the original – which is not a high bar, of course, but I don’t mean it as a backhanded compliment. It was genuinely fun.

I didn’t get into it enough to write my own review, but Anna posted one over here. I guess the only thing I’d say about Anna’s reaction is that the shit Claire got for not picking up on her nephews personally the first day there.. I really read that as fallout from her sister’s impending divorce. I’ve seen divorcing parents ramp the “it’s all about me” neediness up to 12 before, and for me, anyway, it felt very much like that.

Sadly, another character also gave her shit for not dropping everything and attending to the kids, too. Just not as much. I’m sorry, did you miss the part where she had a serious job and where events were unfolding?

Regardless; better and less annoying than I was lead to expect, and well done making me be actively on the velociraptors’ side. Team Velociraptor. Go Blue.

And so it begins: Paypal phone spam

I have a Google Voice number that I set up a couple of weeks ago solely to give to PayPal, given their new horrible data-mining and cold-calling-by-anyone terms of service.

I have given this number to quite literally no one outside my lair. (And not even everyone in it!) I even added it to the Do Not Call registry. So guess what I got today that could only have come through one place?

Die in a fire, Paypal.

If you have a PayPal account, get a throwaway number for it, because the spam robocalls are coming.

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