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Civil War revisionism

First I would like to thank Bob McDonnell for reading my blog yesterday and realizing that my reasoning was unassailable, and then issuing the apology for his mistake. He did the right thing, and he did it within a single news cycle, so good job, I say. And FYI, my ability to influence others, change history, and control weather is not something that I take lightly. To paraphrase Spider-Man: With great blog comes great responsibility.

[Pause for intense feeling of smug satisfaction to pass through body like a hot flash.]

Okay. So: I will note that, amid the many comments we generated here yesterday, there were extremely disparate versions of American history. And this is as it should be, I guess. History isn't fixed; it's a story we tell. We tell ourselves stories about the present moment, and we invent stories of the future. Some omniscient observer, privy to data on the fall of every sparrow, would know the truth about the world, but the rest of us are condemned to grasping at partial truths amid the whirlwind of generalized ignorance. If you catch my drift.

The argument that the war wasn't fundamentally about slavery -- advanced by a number of commenters here yesterday -- is wrong, however. There is no ground to concede on that point. A friend who knows a thing or two about the Civil War refers me to the words of Alexander Stephens, the newly elected vice-president of the Confederacy (he served until the end of the war), in his "Cornerstone Speech" of March 21, 1861, in Savannah, Ga.:

The new 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. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; 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.

I think that's pretty clear, no?

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 8, 2010; 9:11 AM ET
 
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Next: Australopithecus sediba: Not the "Missing Link"

Comments

Nothing ambiguous about that, Joel. Thanks.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but he was just the VICE president, and we all know how unimportant those guys are.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 8, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

See? Just mudged myself:

Technical question for CqP: if a corset absolutely required the prsences of whalebones splints for it to work properly, would such a piece of whalebone be considered a stay of execution?

Rainforest, once you've been properly mudged, I think you'll find it puts a spring in your step all day long.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

If you can change history, Mr. A, would you please rewind the last few weeks and put Kansas and Kentucky in the NCAA men's basketball finals?

And I'm putting in my request now for the Cubs to win this year's World Series.

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you get seven rim shots on that. Absolutely, the stay executes the elevation of those darling fonts of life sometimes called

the girls
the puppies
twin fawns nestled (go read your Bible, people)

To Life, shall we raise our glasses? Why yes, we shall.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"History isn't fixed; it's a story we tell . . . . The argument that the war wasn't fundamentally about slavery -- advanced by a number of commenters here yesterday -- is wrong, however."

Yeah, that just about sums it up. The states' rights argument was fundamentally about the right of a state to enslave blacks. The economic/tariff argument was fundamentally about the competing modes of production in a nation divided between the wage labor of the North and the slave system of the South.

You can bring different perspectives to the historical table -- a Marxist, for example, might have a very different explanation for what was going on than would a disciple of Adam Smith. But those perspectives are only coherent if they're grounded in reality and in some competent understanding of what actually happened. You revise your theory to suit the events; you don't revise the events to suit your theory. People who argue that the Civil War wasn't about slavery, or that slavery was just some minor issue, simply don't get it.

Posted by: simpleton1 | April 8, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

And, Mudge, I respectfully request a character in one of your novels who sews such plether and nether garments. Model her after the darling and doomed little seamstress who mounts the guillotine in the last pages of A Tale of Two Cities.

The dear little thing has her own wikipee entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seamstress_%28A_Tale_of_Two_Cities%29

But, make her strawberry blonde and Irish, not French, and well, make her me. Thanks, Mudge. Will pay you in corset advice.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mudge -- as to your post at the end of the last kit, I regret to say that I am, alas, *not* a patent attorney (although my father was a patent attorney for 50 years before he died, so I learned it over the dinner table). So, bubbe, I can't help ya.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 8, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

While we're at this "correcting the record" chore, might we not also swing the Mighty Sledgehammer of Ridcule at the comment that it wasn't really a "civil war," anyway, it was a (poster's all-caps) WAR BETWEEN THE STATES. This same poster probably thinks the War of the Roses wasn't really about flowers, and the Russian Civil War wasn't civil at all, because many of the participants spoke harshly to one another.

No, the quality of argumentation yesterday wasn't quite up to the level of, say, who wrote Shakespeare's plays, the Earl of Oxford or Pee-Wee Herman. Still, I thought there was at least some merit to the one poster who claimed Lee should never have surrendered at Appamottox when he did, because the Civil War ended on a defensive foul (holding, when Albert Haynesworth sat on Jeb Stuart's horse), and the South should have had the opportunity to replay fourth down. The poster did concede, magnanimously, that Lee's chances didn't look all that good anyway, it being 4th and 46 on his own 18 yard-line. The theory goes that a draw play with A. P. Hill carrying the ball might have shocked the Union Army, which was in its notoriously porous "prevent" defense. Me, I don't see Hill getting more than 18, 20 yards on that play.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

But ftb, you are patently an attorney, are you not? *so confused*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Howdy, all. Thanks for the birthday wishes. C-Park, I'm still only a youthful 49. Fifty's next year.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

*faxing a snort to Mudge*

And a huge HBTY to Bobsewell, you young whippersnapper, you.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 8, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

News from the southland:
We had a rainstorm last night, leaving everything shiny and temporarily de-pollened under the pretty blue sky. May it do the same for you! I discovered this morning that I have a pink dogwood in the backyard. I'm a bit of a white dogwood purist, but the pink is lovely nevertheless. And my two azaleas (one in front and one in back) have budded enough to show their colors -- dark red for both. They need some friends; I'll go to the garden center this weekend and check out their azalea color options. Spring has most definitely sprung!

Posted by: -bia- | April 8, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Why Bob! You don't even have the egg shell offa your nose yet!! Happy wishes and some of the best is yet to come for you.

Posted by: VintageLady | April 8, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Little known fact that on Lombardi's last words were "tell A.P. Hill to hang on to the fording ball".

Posted by: engelmann | April 8, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Hippo Birdie Buddha

Yep, that's right, today is Buddha's birthday

It also happens to be DABDay

Draw A Bird Day

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

*making Darth Vader-like sounds*

Come over to the dark side, bobs. Happy birthday yungun.

Mudge, your 10:38 is a classic.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you might appreciate my experience yesterday with a copy editor.

I gave her a document that had text lifted verbatim from a document she reviewed last year. And she changed some of that text! And she changed "The revised requirements reflect that..." to "The revised requirements reflect the fact that..."

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Well! I'm so glad yesterday is over with!

Thanks, Mudge, I picked up the forms from the coffee table. Took me a while to get through the mess to find them, but I did. And thanks for sorting the recyclables from the trash, that was very kind of you. Once bc is done with fire hose duty, we'll be well on our way to normalcy!

How is it that the entire stock of TP wasn't used? Never mind, don't answer that question. I'll go to Costco tomorrow and check in with Total Wine about restocking the cellar.

bia, your rain from yesterday is headed our way. When I walked this morning, all was clear and crisp and still. Now, we're cloudy, windy, and the humdity is waayy up.

Cassandra, know that your friends love you and are keeping you in their prayers.

Posted by: slyness | April 8, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

omni, I went to junior high school with Sid Gotama ("the Buddha," to you), although back then we just called him Shakey Sid. He was a Shakya, ya know, and lived in a neighborhood a couple blocks away that we called Little Kapilavastu or sometimes just Kobanaville.

He was always a nervous, high-strung kinda kid. "Sid, Sid, try to calm down," I'd say to him once in a while. "Here, come sit down, take the weight off. Relax, close your eyes, breathe deep, and stop thinking about Debbie Sithawanahasani all the time. She's going to the Sikh Hop with Butch Krishtamurtanayanya, anyway, so you don't stand a chance with her."

So yeah, I worked with him a lot on this while inner peace thing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, maybe the extra words helped make the formatting look more pretty and fill out the page so there wasn't an annoying first paragraph sentence at the bottom.

Pretty matters.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

SCC: whole inner peace thing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

A good friend of mine has started her first round of chemotherapy today for breast cancer. Apparently, it is to take 4 hours. When we spoke last night, she said that it would be impossible for her to focus on reading and that she was angry and scared and would just get through it. The tumor is completely gone and she's getting Herceptin as the "hemlock of choice" as she puts it, to prevent recurrence.

I expect that once this first step is over with, she may be in the mood to read during subsequent doses of hemlock. So, I was thinking of picking up "The Forsyte Saga" for her. Nice thick book and a simply lovely read. A huge dose of karma is attached, as well.

She knows about the boodle, but has only lurked, so if the boodle wishes to roar out some boodle karma and good wishes, I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 8, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

One note on the forces leading to the Civil War:
(from Wikipedia article "King Cotton")
"The invention of the cotton gin came just at the right time. British textile manufacturers were eager to buy all the cotton that the South could produce. The figures for cotton production support this conclusion: from 720,000 bales in 1830, to 2.85 million bales in 1850, to nearly 5 million in 1860. Cotton production renewed the need for slavery after the tobacco market declined in the late 1700s. The more cotton grew, the more slaves were needed, to keep up with the demand of cotton."

Cotton is a far more brutal type of work. Slavery seems to have been getting worse and worse from the '40s to the war, contradicting any general trend of human progress.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 8, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

ftb, all good wishes for your friend, glad she has you to vent to.

I have never seen the grass this green or the buds on the azaleas and trees so prominent this early in April.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 8, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Stephens comes across as a sharp and honest individual. Slavery had not been without controversy within Georgia.

The Stephens view eventually prevailed in the South. Efforts to make blacks citizens through the postwar Constitutional amendments were increasingly thwarted, especially from about 1900 onward.

Leasing convicts for labor became a racket in some parts of the South, including northern Florida, where there seems to have been a huge demand for people to gather turpentine, a thoroughly unpleasant job, especially when the labor contractor had no incentive to keep the work force healthy. Even worse, lynchings were prevalent mainly in areas like logging/turpentining camps, where workers lacked connections to the local white community. Florida's forest products industry perhaps led to a very high rate of lynchings, continuing surprisingly late into the 20th century.
http://www.pbs.org/harrymoore/terror/lynching.html

Truman's integration of the armed forces might have been the biggest single blow to segregation. I've never looked into how he managed to do it.

The economics of slavery have been examined quite a bit (the plantations seem to have been big money makers). There must be studies of the economics of post-war plantations, sharecropping, and forest products production after the war, using workers who were not exactly free.

Disclaimer: the treatment of blacks seems to have varied wildly from place to place and from time to time. For example, during Reconstruction, blacks fled rural violence and took shelter in Atlanta, Augusta, or Athens, Georgia (Allen Trelease, White Terror, p. 238).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 8, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Whole inner peace thing

Pretty matters


Now that is boodling for sure.

And, do not forget this, Raysmom:

There is no force so strong in human hearts as the urge to
correct
fix
alter
change
improve
wikify

another's copy.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, I hope yello isn't the guy doing the HVAC work at the Corcoran.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

A friend brought me the first four books in the Mitford Series, written by Jan Karon to read during infusions. A gentle story of a town and it's people and a Episcopal Minister in a mountain town in western North Carolina. Also, most places supply ipods and for patients who want to listen to their music and/or take a little snooze while listening. It helps to have a buddy who comes with the patient the first time. I'm a member of a group called Christian Cancer Companions and I will be called on to be with new cancer patients when they have their chemotherapy if they need someone.

Wonderful that your friend is cancer free, ftb.

Posted by: VintageLady | April 8, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

True 'nuff CqP. I don't take it personally (even though my post kinda sounded that way).

*faxing a heaping helping of boodle mojo to ftb's friend*

Anyone have any idea why my dogwood and crabapple have so few blooms this year?

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

jumper1,
Athens, Georgia recovered from the war rapidly thanks to cotton and the postwar labor setup. Cotton acreage increased until around 1905, when every bit of land was cleared and planted. That must have made for an incredible amount of manual labor.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 8, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

This is a link to the ordinances of secession of the southern states -- several people quoted passages from some of these yesterday. Most of the states seem to have just passed laws severing ties, without going into detail on reasons, but the four states that issued formal declarations of secession all gave slavery as the cause. Virginia's ordinance also makes reference to "the slave holding-states." The emotional intensity of the revisionism on an issue where the historical record seems plain was a little disconcerting.

http://www.civil-war.net/pages/ordinances_secession.asp

Posted by: rashomon | April 8, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, did you put grass fertilizer with weedkiller down close to them? Or could be a fungus. Dogwoods are quite temperamental.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Nope, Mudge. Fertilizer didn't happen last year. The ratzinfratzin Cox cable guys cut one of the dogwood's roots a couple years ago, but that doesn't account for the crabapple.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, VL, Raysmom and Sneaks. I will pass that on to her.

I'm still growing my hair -- the longest it's ever been in my life. Soon, I think (especially during the hottest part of the summer), I'll cut it and donate it, and then start growing it long again to donate again.

More or less more on kit -- there is such an irony in all this Civil War "discussion". If it is possible to generalize (well, yeah, it is) about those who covet (or, indeed, have coveted in the distant and not so distant past) the opportunity to get something for nothing by using slave labor and then get all bent out of shape about so-called "welfare" programs, because we all know *that's* getting something for nothing -- well, I would hate for this kind of behavior to be thought of merely as "human nature".

Besides, slavery and trafficking is still with us, and it's a huge money-making industry. The victims today, however, tend to be overwhelmingly women and girls and the industry is sex, which sells like there's no tomorrow.

And then there is the outsourcing of manufacturing labor to undeveloped/underdeveloped countries where the standard of living is very, very low and the cost of labor is likewise low. I suppose it's just dandy for the shareholders of such companies, and it's much more difficult to find goods which are *not* manufactured that way, but I really wish that those companies' executives, as they fly their private jets to their many homes and sail on their massive yachts, should trade places with those workers in those countries for as long as a decade -- not just a few days or weeks.

*rant* *rant* *rant*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 8, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

It seems that to some, it's very important that their ancestors not only be remembered but remembered in the best light possible. If those ancestors don't look so good under the bright sun, they will block the sun, turn on one of those multi-colored mood lightbulbs and toss in an Olin Mills backdrop for good measure. I think the thought is that the actions of their ancestors reflect poorly on them, and they would rather re-paint the picture than show the ugliness and boast on how far they've come.

In my experience, these are the same people who think of high school as the best days of their lives.

Back to busting butt so I can start my weekend a day early. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 8, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Joel radiates with the truth.

Now if you can just find the fountain of youth!

Posted by: Windy3 | April 8, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom - did you have a dry period when the trees were producing buds last year? I don't water my dogwood much, and found out when it was really dry one June that we had very few blossoms the next year. I thought it needed water in late July and August, and found out it is actually earlier than that. Don't know about crabapple though.
Interesting reading yesterday (just caught up). Glad some of the ranters use caps, makes it easier to know which ones to just skip, without having to read until I get to the mindless parts.
Read some of those posts anyway. It seems like the well-off are still getting the less fortunate to fight their battles. Plus c'est change, plus c'est la meme chose.
Am going to go out an enjoy a gorgeous spring day working in the yard. Best wishes to all, and boodle mojo to those who need it.

Posted by: km2bar | April 8, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, my (big) office building just shook along with my chair and yep, myself. Glad I'm out of here soon ... until next week of course. Pretty soon I probably won't even notice it.

Back to work.

Posted by: Windy3 | April 8, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Thursday's Haiku Day
Don't forget to pass a rhyme
And pet lonely poets.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Windy, you'll still notice it!

Posted by: seasea1 | April 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Wilbrodog. You haiku so I don't have to.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

From a piece about plans to present the (apparently controversial) play "Corpus Christi" at Gallaudet:
- - -
"No. Blasphemy does not qualify as free speech," said John Ritchie, student action director at TFP Student Action, in the statement. "Just as everyone is entitled to their own good reputation, Gallaudet University has no right to harm and slander the spotless reputation of the God-Man with blasphemy, then run to academic freedom for cover."
- - -

I think Mr. Ritchie misunderstands the concept of free speech.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/college-inc/2010/04/gallaudet_play_under_protest.html?hpid=sec-education

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Oversharing:

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/109261/spare-the-office-the-details?mod=career-worklife_balance

A very common problem out there.

Even Wilbrodog.. but that would be oversharing about his oversharing.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Wilbrod - You made me worry my co-worker. She was standing nearby when I got to the "even more information" part at the end of the story, and laughed quite loudly.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

bob, I think he understands "free speach" quite well. He just believes it only applies to him.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, Bob McDonnell is far from being alone in issuing "what I meant to say was..." statements on this matter - so did Alexander Stephens, himself. You can read it here:

http://www.adena.com/adena/usa/cw/cw223.htm

Of course, the apologists for the "root cause was not slavery" argument have their own take on Stephens and his "cornerstone speech", which you can read here and thereby save yourself the trouble of reading a lot of the rewordings of it that shall quite likely be posted in this blog:

http://www.etymonline.com/cw/cornerstone.htm

One thing that is interesting to note is that in the 1861 Georgia special convention on secession, Stephens had in fact argued against it, claiming that the Union's problems were fixable. He did, however, argue that Georgia might eventually be forced to secede over an aspect of the issue of State's Rights - namely that certain Northern States were enacting local legislation that in effect nullified the Federal "Fugitive Slave Law". So he was a supporter of State's Rights who thought the South should secede if too many States applied that principal in a manner to which he objected!

Posted by: seismic-2 | April 8, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Gee, that is pretty clear. Ouch, that hurts.

Slyness

I am so thankful for you guys, too. God is good. He sent me great friends. Really, really, great people, and I love you all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 8, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, Bob McDonnell is far from being alone in issuing "what I meant to say was..." statements on this matter - so did Alexander Stephens, himself. You can read it here:

http://www.adena.com/adena/usa/cw/cw223.htm

Of course, the apologists for the "root cause was not slavery" argument have their own take on Stephens and his "cornerstone speech", which you can read here and thereby save yourself the trouble of reading a lot of the rewordings of it that shall quite likely be posted in this blog:

http://www.etymonline.com/cw/cornerstone.htm

One thing that is interesting to note is that in the 1861 Georgia special convention on secession, Stephens had in fact argued against it, claiming that the Union's problems were fixable. He did, however, argue that Georgia might eventually be forced to secede over an aspect of the issue of State's Rights - namely that certain Northern States were enacting local legislation that in effect nullified the Federal "Fugitive Slave Law". So he was a supporter of State's Rights who thought the South should secede if too many States applied that principle in a manner to which he objected!

Posted by: seismic-2 | April 8, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, my attempting to correct that typo ("principle" rather than "principal") led to a re-posting. My apologies.

Posted by: seismic-2 | April 8, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Stephens "correction" reminds of that old saw about the politician's speech on whiskey. I don't have the citation, but I'm sure you've all heard or read it: In essence, I'm against whiskey as the devil's potion, but I'm for whiskey as the lubrication for conviviality.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 8, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

My wife called a little while ago. Seems she accidentally locked her purse and car keys in her car (not running).

She's 2 1/2 hours away, in Williamsburg.

*sigh*

(She's trying the local Toyota dealer for help.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

New Scientist has posted its story on the new australopithecine from Sterkfontein, South Africa.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 8, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

http://www.sciencemag.org/extra/sediba/

Podcast, skull, etc. of the new Australopithecus. And the two Reports publishing the scientific info. They've made it all available a bit ahead of the usual 5 pm online publication time for the journal.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 8, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Pinot Noir is just starting stage two of the fermentation process. (6 gallons).

Lunch made and eaten. (Pasta with spicy sausage, broccoli, onion and olives in our house red sauce.) -- leftovers available.

First half of workday completed.

Now, to get focused. I don't want to be distracted by this discussion. --fighting urge to enter the fray.

I won.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 8, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, too bad she didn't park down on 7th street in DC. Most of my old neighbors could have opened the car door for her ... one way or another.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 8, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

RT, makest though wine?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey, the website is very funky. I swear I went into switchout

thou
for
though


Sheesh. But this triggered the submitto button.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Thouest arest forgiveneth, CqP.

Or is it "areth"? I canth never remembereth...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes yes yes, Mudge but do we haveth amonst the brethren a vinter?

Forsothies I hopie...hopeth.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

thufferin thukitash!

CqP, yes. I am only the co-pilot on this. I am definitely holding out hope that we will have a very nice batch. It is approaching wine at this point. It is about 2 to 3 months away.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 8, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I have a friend who does this and mostly the vintage is fab....occasionally, we drink wryly a moderately blechie bottle.

And, it cannot be sold, as you likely know; must be given to not run afouleth of the Sheriffs of NOttinghams...we had a small coopeth for a while, but that cometh close to the lee end of the law...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Discussions in our corner get heated over historical slights if someone brings up the topic of Quebec separation, but nothing like that screaming match yesterday (granted maybe because the most radical of the two sides here literally speak different languages, but still).

I've tried to rationalise it by telling myself it was some anglo saxon fixation on the reputation of distant ancestry. But honestly in hindsight it looked like a
whole lot of repressed hatred blowing up. I actually found a number of the remarks generalising southerners as racist, ignorant and traitorous to be more overtly xenophobic than the convoluted attempts to minimise slavery.

Kudos to those of you who stuck through it and provided ocassional reason. Bobsewell, in particular, I have a classic southern gentleman mental image of you now. You almost looked like you were enjoying picking calmly at some of those hysterical posts :-)

***

Can't remember which kit mentioned it but I don't know of any Canadian who would use the term American in any context of nationality other than for someone/thing from the USA. On the other hand noone I know uses the term America for the country. We refer to it as 'the States' or the US. Spain and some Latin Americans seem to use the unwieldly 'estadounidense', but this seems to be a formal convention because I don't recall it used in colloquial speech much. As far as I can tell French holds most to US convention and l'Amerique is the USA, but that's just from personal experience.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 8, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

CqP, was just listening to this, and had to link it for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOpY0wQdJ5w&feature=related

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

(Nuke-SIL here)

Thank you all for the wonderful pastries you sent for our family to enjoy. They were from a local bakery favorite of ours and absolutely delicious. Your thoughtfulness at this time is vey much appreciated. J. Carter

(NukeSpouse here)

Thank you so much for the well wishes and the wonderful pastries. How nice it is to have such thoughtful, caring imaginary friends!

(me again)

Frankly, NukeSpouse is a little tongue-tied, but trust me, she's very glad for the support, as am I. All the difficult duties are done, and the family's been celebrating my FIL's life and the fact that so many of the family as possible could make it.

And yes, I DID leave plenty of pastries for everyone else!

*heading-home-tomorrow Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Let me second qgaliana's appreciation of bob's debating skillz--and the fact he was doing it in the wee hours. Also a shout-out for his use of one of my favorite scenes from "Blazing Saddles."

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, O'Mudge of the Dale

Here is one of the oldest songs noted for singing that is NOT liturgical.

Sumer is icumin in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJvF9xucG90

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that is a vision song, with the girl being Ireland and the man, if good, then one who leaves/forsakes the land and the man, if bad, well, then that be England.

Bawn usually means fair-haired, with the idea not necessarily blonde. More the shinyness of hair on young people, teens especially.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

And for all, Nat King Cole singing
Summer is a comin' in

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTgDxR3AIg8

I usually reserve this song for after tax time but sigh, spring passed us by and it is hot.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Hark! A new kit appeareth!

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

And one more, an oldie. Haven't seen/heard of John Waite in ages.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqyWgGgIe8w&feature=related

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey - those of over the last couple of days got a little heated or lacked any appreciation of history should take a look at the comments at the Richmond Times-Despatch!

Posted by: robinamerica2010 | April 10, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Make that "Dispatch" - how illiterate of me!

Posted by: robinamerica2010 | April 10, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse


Can anyone imagine what the teabaggers would say if Obama, required federal prisoners to write an essay as a condition of restoring their voting right?

Posted by: demtse | April 12, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse


Can anyone imagine what the teabaggers would say if Obama, required federal prisoners to write an essay as a condition of restoring their voting right?

Posted by: demtse | April 12, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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