It’s Called “Voting with Your Feet”

Americans Are Migrating To More Free Republican States

Source: Investors Business Daily | John Merline

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Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are doing better economically, according to a new study published Thursday by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

The “Freedom in the 50 States” study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more.

It found that the freest states tended to be conservative “red” states, while the least free were liberal “blue” states.

The freest state overall, the researchers concluded, was North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. The least free state by far was New York, followed by California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island.

The study also compared its measures of economic and personal freedom to population shifts and income growth, and found that freer states tend to do better on both scores than those less free.

For example, it found a strong correlation between a state’s freedom ranking and migration, which means that Americans are gravitating toward states that have less-intrusive governments.

Escape From New York, L.A.

New York, for example, saw a net migration of -9.2% between 2000 and 2011, and California’s was -4.2%. In contrast, Tennessee gained 4.4%, and Oklahoma gained 1.3%.

An IBD analysis of the data found that “red” states — those voting for Republican presidential candidates in the past two elections — saw an overall net migration of 2.2%, while “blue” states saw an overall average net migration of -0.3%.

“People are voting for places with greater freedom,” said William Ruger, a political scientist at Texas State University and one of the co-authors of the study. That was true, he said, even after controlling for things like weather and amenities that might attract people to states independent of these freedom measures.

The study also found that states with more freedom tended to see stronger income growth. This was particularly true in states with more regulatory freedom.

“Adam Smith was right,” Ruger said. “If you have economic freedom, you will have economic growth.”

IBD has previously reported that red states saw stronger job growth, lower unemployment and bigger gains in per capita income than blue states during the economic recovery. For example, IBD found that in the first three years of the recovery, red states saw 1.9% job growth compared with 1.2% for blue states.


  1. Stan Poulos says

    Totally flawed premise and conclusions. Many “red” states are Southern states. This is were many retirees go; it’s warmer and taxes lower. Many older folks are conservative. It has nothing to do with “freedom” vs “less freedom.” Retirees aren’t moving because they want more guns and “William Ruger?” – The gun family heir? The Republican agenda is not pro Mr. & Mrs. America; it is “PRO RICH PEOPLE & CORPORATIONS” and racist. Furthermore, for Christians, examining the GOP agenda, it is ANTI-CHRISTIAN. More wars; killing all enemies; taking from the poor; more for the rich; eliminating any social programs; etc., etc., etc.

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “The Republican agenda is not pro Mr. & Mrs. America; it is ‘PRO RICH PEOPLE & CORPORATIONS’ and racist. Furthermore, for Christians, examining the GOP agenda, it is ANTI-CHRISTIAN. More wars; killing all enemies; taking from the poor; more for the rich; eliminating any social programs; etc., etc., etc.”

      The Democratic party is the party of racism, the party of slavery, then the party of segregation and the KKK, until the 1960s when MLK and other Republicans were clearly going to win, then Democrats do a 180 reversal on race and MLK is conveniently assassinated and racist black Democrat leaders take over (eventually we get Al Sharpton, inciter of the Crown Heights riot, the Massacre at Freddy’s Fashion Mart, etc, etc), whites are evil and white culture (especially things like marriage and capitalism) are inherently racist, and the Democratic party is going to get you all the free stuff you deserve, and then welfare and the Democratic party lays waste to black America so now +72% aren’t born to married couples whereas in 1965 in was 24% before the Democrats started “helping” them.

      And then the idea of Republicans as the party of the rich. Yeah, if rich is how you define working class and middle class, and not the 1% rich and the criminal underbelly and the non working poor who live off the system and illegal aliens and dead people who always end up voting Democrat.

      And, the idea of the Democratic party as anti-war, what BS. Traditionally the Republican party has been isolationist, and the Democrats the imperialist expansionists (always done in the name of peace or democracy or something nice though), which is why when a bunch of liberals realized they needed control of the Republican party foreign policy as well, when they switched over they become the Neo-Cons (because the real Republicans didn’t believe in conquering nations to spread “democracy” like the Democrats). It was the Democratic party that got us involved in WWI, as a messianic “war to end all wars,” as it stupidly says on my great-grandfather’s medal. A bunch of rich socialist Democrats get blown up because they feel they were entitled to safely vacation in Britain in the middle of a war, so good old Democratic President Woodrow Wilson jumps at the chance to “make the world safe for democracy” and create a world government in a world where socialists have “outlawed war,” all the usual liberal delusions. From WWI, we get the Depression (due to the terms of the stupid peace treaty Wilson imposes, we demand money from Germany to pay our allies, so they can repay the money we loaned them, to loan back to Germany to pay our European allies), from the Depression we get the Nazis, and so we have to fight another damn World War, and then a Cold War that dragged out and that Democrats surrender monkeys never forgave conservatives for winning before they could change our country enough to “merge” and be at peace with Communism.

      Now, here you go making me defend the Republican party, after I’ve long stopped voting, since I no longer even believe we have free elections.

      Well, here’s looking forward to Christian monarchy, the wave of the future after the persecutions and collapse, when “freedom of religion” will mean freedom to practice or quietly not practice Christianity (again), and ideas like homosexuality and abortion will be crimes to even advocate (again).

      • Nate Trost says

        To visions of the (improbable) futureeeeeeee!

        Well, here’s looking forward to Christian monarchy, the wave of the future after the persecutions and collapse, when “freedom of religion” will mean freedom to practice or quietly not practice Christianity (again), and ideas like homosexuality and abortion will be crimes to even advocate (again).

        Unfortunately for you the Christian “monarchy” turns out to be the reign of the First Elder Paladin Paul, a Calvinist in the vein of Rushdoony. While you do have the solace of seeing a sodomite drawn and quartered before you in a public execution, the reason you are witnessing is it is because you are about to be burned at the stake for heretical idolatry and blasphemy in the worship of graven images. The Empire declares you no true Christian but a pagan!

        Oh, and those wild streaks in the sky you see as the flames consume you? I just seized control of the high orbitals with a contingent of space marines and turned the LEO strike platforms on New Zion. First Elder Paul is about to get 400 15 kiloton kinetic strike rods of predestination in the face. Booyah.

    • Will Harrington says

      Stan Poulis. Retirees aside (who are as likely to be liberal progressive democrats as conservatives, it must be noted that North Dakota, the number one ranked state in this freedom scale is not noted for warm air and sunshine. And seriously, have you noticed the number of rich Democrats? Have you noticed that the Democrats opposed civil rights legislation? Have you noticed that their main method of securing the minority vote does not include improving their situation, but maintaining their economic situation with government gifts while then scaring them that the evil republicans will take their stuff, burn their churches, and burn crosses on their lawn? Get real. If you want an Orthodox Christian agenda then get out their and start creating it. You won’t find it in the Republican party, of course, but you will not find it in the Democratic party either and, since the Democrats have largely rejected anything having to do with traditional Christianity, including Orthodoxy, you would be far better off working from the conservative side, where at least protestant morals still provide a base for a common understanding.

      • George Michalopulos says

        If it wasn’t for the GOP, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would have never passed. Sixty percent of Dems voted against it.

        • Stan Poulos says

          Here is how the “Southern” vote went for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It wasn’t the Dems vs Repubs as much as it was the “South” vs the “North;” of both parties.

          The original House version:

          Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7–93%)
          Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)
          Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
          Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)

          • George Michalopulos says

            Thank you for proving my point, Stan. 64% of all Dems voted for the Civil Rights Act while 80% of all GOP did.

            Another thing, the majority of Dems in the South were also Liberals, otherwise known as economic populists and/or Progressives. J Wm Fulbright, Al Gore Sr, Estes Kefauver, et al firmly believed in harnessing the power of the Federal gummint to bring home the bacon.

            • Nate Trost says

              Pretending that the Republican or Democratic parties haven’t gone through substantial evolution since 1964 isn’t proving a point, it’s living in the past to deny a present reality.

              It is also rather amusing to call out Southern Democratic senators for bringing home the bacon while completely overlooking Shelby, Chambliss, et al, to say nothing of departed barons of pork like Helms or Thurmond.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Mr Trost, I’m afraid I must agree with you in this regard, viz the “substantial evolution” of the political parties. If anything, the Democrat Party has become even more racist given how it has destroyed the black family. As for the genocide perpetrated against black people in America, I humbly defer to the Rev Jesse Jackson, who back in ’74 (I believe it was) said that “abortion is genocide.” Who am I to argue?

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      I am not going to get into a fight with Stan Poulos, but let me at least lament his throwing down the racist card.

      If he imagines there is more racism in South Carolina than in Massachusetts, I think he is living on the moon.

      • Catholic Observer says

        Hear hear, Father! I was born and bred in Massachusetts (lived first in Boston, then in a Boston suburb), and I knew many, many rabid racists. And not just from “Southie,” either.

        I live in North Carolina now. Never plan to move back North, ever.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Stan, the Crony Capitalists give more to the Dems than they do the GOP. That’s a fact.

      For what it’s worth, the GOP is divided now between the Chamber of Commerce/Treason Lobby/Wall Street wing and the Main Street/Tea Party/Conservative wing. I don’t know who is going to win out but your criticisms apply only to the Coc/WS wing. The Treason Lobby Wing is heavily funded by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Sheldon Adelson, and other Crony Capitalists. The Tea Party/Main Street is largely on its own, it’s truly a grass-roots phenomenon with a little assist from the Koch Brothers.

      Fortunately, just as a stake has been struck through the chest of Gun Control as an issue, I am cautiously optimistic that the Illegal Alien Invasionists (aka Immigration Reformers) are getting ready to have their a**es handed to them.

    • Pere LaChaise says

      Exactly. Also, for TN’s population to rise by a measly 4%, it takes only a small number by CA to migrate there. “Feardom” is what you have in places like that podunk southern state, “home of the slave” where they fly the Dixie (Rebel) flag high. They can have it!

      • George Michalopulos says

        Well, I’m sure California would love to have Tennessee’s problems. It’s the productive people of California who are leaving.

        There is a danger though. Once reliably Red states like Colorado and New Hampshire absorb the outflow from California and Massachusetts respectively, they turn purple. This has been a danger however the shift may have turned. Those who left previously were productive but socially liberal. It’s possible now that those who are leaving are understanding on a gut level that it was these socially liberal policies that destroyed California. We’ll see.

        As for the Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, may Tennessee (and the rest of the South) continue to fly it proudly.

        • George Osborne says

          Hold on there, cowboy. Tennessee does not fly a Comfederate flag on any official basis whatsoever. We were the last out and the first back in after the War. As far as living here is concerned, Nissan NA moved its HQ from Orange Co., CA to Nashville. Ask those nice folks who moved here how they like the cost of living and the nice, huge houses they were able to buy with there home sales equity! Fuss all you what about this or that jurisdiction but lay-off the Volunteer State!! 🙂

        • George,

          Since I was a child I’ve heard people who are not now and have never been Californians say things like “It’s the productive people of California who are leaving.” During that same period the population has tripled and the economy quadrupled.

          Such tired old silliness reminds me of Yogi Berra’s line: “Nobody goes there any more, it’s too crowded.”

          • George Michalopulos says

            CQ, I guess time will tell. Right now with a net population decrease, I’d say things look pretty grim.

            • California’s population grew last year by 278,000. That’s less than 1% (.08, actually) growth, but it’s growth nonetheless. Net. Growth.

              Have no idea where you got any other idea, and don’t care. I do know that I wouldn’t trust them with anything, as they’ve clearly failed simple addition and subtraction.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Wow, 0.08% growth. That’s something to write home to Mother about. If it wasn’t for the illegal aliens (read: net drain on resources) then that “growth” would really by “not-growth”.

                • Is it really necessary to be snarky because your facts are proven incorrect?

                  Perhaps a typo of mine confused you. Growth in California was in fact .008, which equals 0.8%, not the .08 that I typed, which actually equals 8%.

                  Here’s some growth rates for comparison. California grew last year by 0.8%, the United States of America grew by 0.9%, and the total population of the world grew by 1.2%.

                  The facts do not in any way support the narrative that you’re promoting here.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    CQ, your challenge fascinates me. I will devote (soon I hope) some time to developing an essay regarding the growth and decrease of the various states. Right now I can honestly state that North Dakota and Texas are going (and growing) gangbusters whereas California is experiencing a significant decline.

                    • I issued no “challenge” George. I reported the facts.

                      North Dakota adds 2,281 here, 1,624 there, 862 elsewhere, and you declare it “going (and growing) gangbusters” California adds 278,000 and you declare it “decline.”

                      I, for one, would gladly have my hills back without all that “decline” in McMansions and shopping malls covering them.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      The “challenge” is mine alone. I know what my gut tells me, but I want to quantify it better, mainly for the credibility of my blog.

                      In the meantime, I know people (mostly productive ones I might add) who live in many of the states and I hear what they tell me, I can read the budget deficits/unemployment stats, I see new housing and building construction going on in this state or not in that state, I know how much people are getting paid in certain industries and which states have to kowtow to various government unions, and the picture looks very much like ND/Tex/Tenn/etc=gangbusters and Calif/NJ/NY=struggling to keep up.

                      I mean let’s be honest, people vote with their feet/rats don’t swim to a sinking ship/whatever metaphor you wanna use. Two years ago I believe, I posted a blog entry which was interactive. It showed migration patterns within the US. You could click on any two cities for example and see outflow (red lines) versus inflow (black lines). I’ll try to dredge it up again for a more precise analysis.

                    • geo michalopulos says

                      CQ, if things are so rosy in the Golden State, then why is one out of every six college graduates unable to find a job? didn’t this writer get the memo?


                    • Nate Trost says

                      That’s one out of six law school graduates. The actual numbers for general BS grads is probably worse given the high number of people getting degrees that have no bearing to job prospects in the modern economy. But if you’re going to try and make a point, getting the headline statistic wrong in a article that’s like two paragraphs of text isn’t speaking well of your rigor.

                      Law school graduates not getting legal work is pretty much market forces at play: way too many people went to law school to chase too few jobs. There have been more than a few articles over the past couple years about the law school “bubble” bursting. On top of that, in the aftermath of the recession companies have been restructuring and optimizing their usage of legal services, which has challenged the traditional modus operandi of many a law firm.

                    • George,

                      I haven’t claimed things “are so rosy,” I’ve pointed out errors of fact.

                      We Californians have our challenges on many fronts. Some of them have proven quite daunting over the decades, but they haven’t prevented us from growing.

                      I think what denigrators miss is that people don’t generally move because of politics or economics. They move for love, they move for weather, they move for adventure, they move in hopes of “making it big” or sometimes for no reason at all.

                      And then they figure it out. Sometimes those decisions prove tragic, sometimes their love or hopes dissolve, and sometimes everything works out. That’s reality…breaking everything down to either economics or politics ignores about 99% of life.

                      So yeah, we have our issues, but today the sun is shining and the ocean breeze is blowing and the streets are full of people having a great time. And I’m sitting here working at my desk with all that going on outside, which is a loveliness all it’s own that isn’t expressed in political or economic theories.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      CQ, for what it’s worth, I think that California is the most beautiful state in the Union. It’s also the one with the most potential. That’s why I cry at what untrammeled illegal immigration and over-generous Welfare policies have done to it, essentially making it a basket case. It’s terrible because it’s self-inflicted.

        • Seraphim98 says

          Color me unreconstructed. Though I served honorably in the US military, the sweet strains of Dixie will get me misty eyed far quicker, and make me stand a little taller than the Star Spangled Banner ever did….and while some nowadays stumble at the name of God in the Pledge of Allegiance, for my part I quietly leave out that whole “indivisible” thang…and I find it a winsome bit of history that the first shot fired on Ft. Sumpter was made by a young lady who had been baptized as an Orthodox Christian in Russia (her daddy was an ambassador).

          • geo michalopulos says

            A man after my own heart.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Well, from the glories of Christian emperors to those of the Confederacy we have enough grist for a thousand blogs!

              My only self-imposed rule for chats with the unrecontructed is that only primary sources may be cited, nothing after 1865.

              Start with Alexander Stephen’s “Cornerstone” speech, then go to Robert Toombs “extermination” discourse in his address to the Georgia legislature supporting seccession, and move on from there.

              Ah, this could take us far afield indeed!

              • Seraphim98 says

                My only self-imposed rule for chats with the unrecontructed is that only primary sources may be cited, nothing after 1865

                Interesting rule…but since reconstruction (so called) happened after 1865, I’m not sure I see the point of it. Regardless of the issues which led to the Civil War, and all its many sorrows, it was the Union boot heel on the neck of the South…the utter economic and civic destruction visited upon her for about 10 years or so, and the bitterness born of it that shaped what it was and is to be “unreconstructed”..unbought, unbowed, and unashamed of our desire to be an independent nation. It caused over 100 years of brutal economic hardship. We didn’t begin to get out of it until the late 1960s and early 1970s….and indeed we are still punished by special federal laws and restrictions that pertain only to us for problems that are far more prolific outside our borders than within.

                As for the cornerstone speech…so? You may well fault it’s moral vision with respect to present notions of racial equality and civil liberties, but all that does is identify a point of fracture within the union, a parting of ways of the vision of what American civilization should look like. That same speech also addressed the economic grievances the South had against the North, and they were substantial and merited the ill will they engendered. A perceived threat to the continuance of slavery may well have been the wedge that split the Union…but the moral defensibility of the reason for that split is peripheral to the inherent right of a State that voluntarily joined the Union to withdraw from it voluntarily as well. This is certainly implied in the Supreme Court’s decision on South Carolina’s Nullification Act of the 1830s. The Court said that so long as S.C. was a member of the union it had made itself subject to the laws of that union. This judgement only makes sense if S.C. was understood to have the option of withdrawing from the union if it no longer wanted to abide by federal laws. So with respect to Southern succession the question of slavery (right or wrong) is no part of the equation. The only thing that mattered and that still matters is the question of the right of states to voluntarily withdraw from the union…at least some of whom had state constitutions that specifically reserved that right, which same constitutions were accepted by Congress when those states were admitted. So if you want to moralize about the evils of slavery…go ahead the soapbox is yours. If you want to dispute the right of states to secede or the evils unjustly visited upon the South during and after Reconstruction….that’s another question, perhaps for another blog entry.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  I rest my case.

                  It was too bad about 100 years of Jim Crow, too, but that was probably Abe Lincoln’s fault, also.

                  • Seraphim98 says

                    No…that was largely the fault of the radical republicans who sought to completely crush us in every way possible while we were down. Some if they had been given their way were ready to commit genocide against us…or close enough. Thankfully somewhat cooler heads prevailed. Still for all that it was plenty brutal on black and white alike. But the bitterness of that time remained…and when the federal troops were gone and that bitterness was raw and hot as a fevered boil, blacks paid the price…as perceived political pets and cats paws of the federal government…used to humiliate the south and to subvert any sort of justice for southerners…especially confederate veterans…well there was no way to get back at the government of the union…our infrastructure and economy were in ruin, a quarter of our men dead, so all that anger got turned loose again the symbol of those who had done us so despitefully.

                    Had there been more mercy and understanding instead of that great repression called the Reconstruction, we would have seen much much less of the brutalities that occurred under Jim Crow. That bitterness would not have been there to unleash. Prior to the war whites and blacks lived with each other. We knew each other. It was for sure a very unequal relationship, and doubtless opinions and attitudes about the nature of the races would have continued…but more likely as a sort of caste system, there would have been no great animus against blacks…and a lot less of a culture of resentment of blacks against whites. Going forward it would have doubtless been complicated and still burdensome for blacks in many places…but one crucial element would be very muted, if present at all…the venom confected in the stultifying heat and misery of the reconstruction…the vendetta of Radical Republicans against the South and it’s defeated Confederacy.

                    For what it is worth the Fed. Government went “Jim Crow” under the insistence of that “great” progressive president “Woodrow Wilson”…southern states had nothing to do with that.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Seraphim, thank you for this lovely response. Robert Penn Warren was commissioned to write an encomium back in 1961 on the centenary of The War Between the States. One of his more searing insights was that the conquest of the South by the North infused the Radical Republicans with a moral sanctimony, a “plenary dispensation” as he put exonerate America from any and all excesses in the future. It created the Neoliberalism/Conservatism that gave Wilson, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, and GWBush the right to impose “democracy” on other nations at the point of a sword.

                      I think that’s somewhat overbroad but there is no doubt that Neocons get all teary-eyed when speaking of the Emancipation Proclamation (which Warren points out did not actually free any slaves). Anyway, it’s what gives them ammo to force The Declaration of Independence down the throats of foreigners.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Seraphim, I urge you to make a pilgramage to Ash Grove, MO, worship in the Orthodox Church there (OCA), venerate the relics of the Optina Elders and have Fr. Moses take you on a tour of his museum. It is a remarkable testimony to both the division and hatred; the ability of love in spite of that and humility to heal even the worst of our sins.

                      If you make the tour with an open heart, listen to the stories and accept the presence there, you will never be quite the same again

                      It is the one place that I know of where the Church is actually addressing the wounds of our land, bringing them into the transformative life of Jesus Christ and offering them up without rancor, without adherence to political ideology or a false sense of historical fatalism.

                      George, I know you are close enough to go pretty much any time you want. Go, see, and write about what you experience here.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    I won’t blame Lincoln because had he lived the awful nightmare of Reconstruction would probably have been avoided. Jefferson Davis admitted as much some ten years after Lincoln’s assassination. This was buttressed by the opinion in the other direction by Frederic Douglass, who around the same time thought that Lincoln’s legacy was largely a failure.

                    Having said that, I can’t help but wonder what kind of post-slavery regime America would have had. In his 1958 debate with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln spoke vociferously against the granting of equal rights for blacks or allowing them to serve as jurors in cases involving whites, or intermarrying with whites. How this differs from Jim Crow I don’t know.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I’ll make just a few more comments, then leave the subject, which is so fraught and which is a distraction from the interesting business of this blog.

                      Argument with the unreconstructed modern confederates is like argument with the yetzer hara. They always have an answer. Lincoln’s pre-war racism doesn’t differ from Jim Crow? Jim Crow was a system whereby, for a century, magistrates, officials, sworn officers of the law, from the highest to the lowest, withdrew the protection of the law from all black people. So George, that’s the difference.

                      Yes Jim Crow was terrible, but it’s really the fault of Reconstruction, and thus, the Union. Note, however, that the War lasted four years and reconstruction 10-15. No doubt, reason enough to cultivate, nourish, and nurture grievances so terrible in nature, and taken out on so many people, for a century and more.

                      Alex Stephens and Robert Toombs are no different in their attitudes than Abe Lincoln? But for the fact that they advocated the perpetual enslavement of blacks and were willing to go to war for it. Stephens refined the “flawed thinking” of Washington, Jefferson, Madison et. al. when he pointed out that they had missed the profound moral understanding that the Negro was born to be enslaved forever. Toombs made it clear that land was needed for the increasing slaves, lest extermination ultimately be required. Both, I believe, with their compatriots, were convicted by their own consciences; they knew the massive injustice, and feared its ultimate consequences.

                      States are like ancient nations conquered by the Russian Empire? Really? Actually, from Wisconsin and Ohio to Alabama and Mississippi, they were created by Americans and applied for admission to the Union as fast as possible. All within a few short years of settlement.

                      Why make these kinds of arguments? It’s all casuistic rationalization. I don’t really like this controversy, because history is history and contains lots of good and bad. I share Southern pride in their military leaders and their valor. But its the latter-day apologetics that are hard to take without counterpunching. Like the pride that one of those who fired on Sumter was Orthodox, or whatever it was, out of the blue…..which started it.

                      That’s why my eventual point in these arguments is to stay with the primary sources. They speak for themselves. War was unavoidable, and the Union winning it was absolutely necessary. This has always been the Southron lament against the Union and Lincoln: they fought to win! Unforgivable!

                • Ivan Vasiliev says

                  Have you thought out the ramifications of this republic truly divided? Imagine it! A stew of two or three or however many squabbling (and perhaps warring) nations, economically weakened and open to outside aggression. Isn’t that just what the Founders strove to prevent when they cobbled together our, O, so imperfect Constitution?
                  And, as bitter and unjust as the outcome of the War Between the States was for the South and as terrible as the suffering was for the black race from the beginning of its captivity until its liberation (and to be fair and just, for at least a century afterwards), what other country would anyone living in it really have preferred?
                  I think you should ponder leaving out the word “indivisible”, Seraphim. To be divided into separate nations, struggling against the others interests instead of being for one another; made weaker instead of stronger in a world like the one we are in would be the death of our democracy (as immature and unworthy of the name as it often is). It would be the doom of the great hope upon which this nation was founded. We haven’t lived up to that hope, but we would have lost all hope if the Union had been destroyed in 1860 or if it is destroyed at any future date. Lincoln’s greatness was most certainly NOT the defeat of the Confederacy or the crushing of the South (and he never saw it thus); it was in the preservation of the Union. That’s a very different thing. It is one thing to love Dixie. If that is your homeland, you should. Just as a New Englander should love the shores of Maine or the hills of Connecticut and the Plainsman the wide open spaces of the west. But none of us should love our home regions at the expense of the Union we all have together as “one nation under God”.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    I love my State, Washington, where I was born, where I can go from saltwater to high mountains in an hour; where my children and grandchildren are born and live.

                    But it’s not my country, and I don’t get misty-eyed about it.

                    Other than the original colonies, who agreed to become states even though they had a measure of sovereignity, the argument for a right of secession is completely spurious. Every other state (with the exception of Texas) was organized by Americans for the express purpose of joining the Union. They had no pre-existent status at all that did not derive from the United States as a nation.

                    And Seraphim, I haven’t “moralized” about slavery. I only cited Stephens and Toombs. They might be said to “anti-moralize” about it. In fact, when you read the screeds of the real confederates (as opposed to their bashful descendants), it makes the hair rise on the back of your neck….

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      You have every reason to love your state because of its staggering beauty.

                      A minor quibble if I may: the territories were created from the bottom up but by American settlers in largely unpopulated lands. There was no necessity that they must or had to enter the Union. Indeed, they had to pass several benchmarks before they could be even considered for statehood.

                      Case in point: had the Mormon population of Utah not listened to their President/Prophet Willard Woodruff and abandoned polygamy in 1892, Utah would either have continued to be a Territory to this day or a sovereign nation known by the name Deseret.

                      Puerto Rico, Guam, the Fiji Islands, etc, are either Territories or Dependencies of the United States and have been for decades. If Puerto Rico wants to be a State, I say come on in; if on the other hand they want to become independent, I say “go for it.”

                    • Seraphim98 says

                      A couple of points:

                      But it’s not my country, and I don’t get misty-eyed about it.

                      But that is mainly because you have been raised to think that way rather than the way many people north and south thought prior to the Civil war. To them they were indeed citizens of the US, but they were first citizens of their states. Their notions of self government were rooted locally before nationally. The basic view was this: The federal government existed basically to coordinate the affairs of the states collectively with nations outside our borders, and to organize and oversee those institutions and functions necessary to coordinate the interrelationships of the several states…tariffs, coinage, standing military, etc. Inside the borders the federal government had very little right to do or say anything outside a few carefully delimited constitutional areas.

                      That upbringing blinds you to the meaning of the word “state”. We are the United States, not the United Provinces. State are not just the next subdivision down in a scheme of American Empire. In conception…each state is a nation. and the United States is a compact…a super nation composed of several smaller ones. Since the Civil War states have more and more been treated/conceptualized for policy purposes like provinces…but they are states, not provinces.

                      Cars, aircraft, and instant communications have shrunk the world you live in. Talking to someone in India is no harder than talking to your next door neighbor…sometimes easier, depending on the neighbor. A 100 mile drive is an afternoon excursion, not the undertaking of the greater part of a week. A state was every bit a nation for all practical purposes for someone of the 19th century.

                      As for getting misty eyed…I understand why you don’t. Your region never underwent what my region went through. Every inch of our soil was purchased with the blood of 1/4 of our entire male population…and we lost our nation as it was aborning. The stories of the horrors of the reconstruction are still passed down generation to generation to many of us whose ancestry stretches back to the Confederacy and beyond. I had four great great grandfathers and many more great uncles and cousins who fought for the Confederacy, one gg grandfather of which was nearly starved to death in a Union prison. We lost our nation…you didn’t lose yours….imagine perhaps if you were a Serb living now in Albanian occupied Kosovo…how would you feel to see the Serbian flag, or the flags of Serbian units who once fought to keep Kosovo Serbian…then you might begin to understand how some of feel about our flag and the cause that was lost at so high a price. Ask the Greeks how they feel about the loss of Constantinople though it was 500 years ago.

                      So…you may not have grown up to understand or cherish your state as anything more than a provincial subdivision of a larger government. Your view makes sense from that perspective…but I and mine were not raised that way, and we feel very differently.

                      when you read the screeds of the real confederates (as opposed to their bashful descendants), it makes the hair rise on the back of your neck….

                      They don’t raise my hackles an iota. Those views were fairly common North and South at the time, there is little controversial in them by the lights of that era. The only essential difference was a number in the North felt slavery/forced servitude was just wrong for anyone. They did not consider blacks the intellectual or social equals of whites, and only considered a tiny minority of blacks even capable excelling within the context of Western European Arts and Science. If you doubt this you may read what Thomas Jefferson had to say on them…or even Abraham Lincoln who told Frederick Douglas to his face there was no room for the black race in America. Lincoln’s only interest was in preserving the Union, he said if keeping slavery would preserve it, then he would preserve slavery. Such statements are no less offensive to modern ears than those of Stephens of other partisans of the South.

                      So those old confederate voices don’t shock me in the least, their views on most points with respect to the black race were pretty near universal in North America and abroad with the exception of the desirability of a state of permanent bondage as slaves. I’m not going to be selectively outraged if I can help it.

                      Other than the original colonies, who agreed to become states even though they had a measure of sovereignity, the argument for a right of secession is completely spurious.

                      Ok…even if you deny the right of succession to states created after the original 13…weren’t several of the states that succeeded original colonies…and weren’t two other original colonies who had large political support for succession occupied and their legislatures disbanded/sequestered so no vote could be taken on the measure (think Maryland and Delaware….how does that song go again…”The despot’s heel is on thy shore,
                      Maryland!*/His torch is at thy temple door, Maryland!” The tyrant/vandal/scum, etc. referenced is of course Lincoln). So if your argument permits them succession in principle then why can’t other non original states leave the Union and join with these other original states who chose to leave the union as well?

                      Finally I have a question of my own. Do those who so adamantly deny succession to the states of the Confederacy….what do you say to the states who had been annexed/”voted” into the Soviet Union…Do you object that the Ukraine and Georgia and others prefer their own national sovereignty again? If you don’t why was it okay for that union to peacefully dissolve, but it was not okay for the United States union to peacefully dissolve? There was no reason it had to come to bloodshed if the North had just accepted the South didn’t want to be one country with the North anymore.

                  • lexcaritas says

                    But Ivan the Union was entered into voluntarily by ratification by the constituting states and their people and it should have been preserved voluntarily and by ongoing consent.

                    When it must be maintained by force and war how is that different from Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968?

                    Don’t we believe that governments are duly consituted by and among men to preserve their inalienable God-endowed rights and that when a government becomes destructive of these ends it is the right and duty of the people to abolish it. The 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution reserve rall ights and powers not specifically granted to the limited Federal government of putatively co-equal branches to the states and people, respectively. Implicit in this reservation of rights and powers must be the right of a state to secede when it determines that the union is a unbearable threat to it or its people. Obviously, no state would take this action lightly and it would only resort to it in dire circumstances, and the way to persuade it to remain in (comm)union is by fair treatment and persuasion not the practical tyranny of military force, invasion and occupation.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Thank you Lex. People forget that the Constitution and the Union that grew out of it, was created by the States. Had they not ratified it, there would not be a United States of America. The Union is not only a creation of the various States but a continuing creation of Territories who petition to join this Union.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      The first state in which the idea of secession was seriously discussed what Massachusetts.

                  • Seraphim98 says

                    Have you thought out the ramifications of this republic truly divided?

                    Those ramifications are not at issue, nor is the long term wisdom of succession in the first place. What is at issue is the right of a state to secede from the union if its people no longer share a common vision with the union nor desire any longer to be a part of it. The only organizations I know that you can join but not “unjoin” without a lopsided fight are criminal.

                    • historian says

                      The proper manner for one state to “unjoin” the United States is via an amendment to the Constitution. This is allowed for by the Constitution, while simply skipping out on the Constitutional “more perfect union” unilaterally is not.

                      It is telling that secessionists do not consider treating the rest of the United States as equals in the process, but always loudly proclaim their superiority to those other members’ interests.

                    • Seraphim98 says

                      Historian, since there is no reply button under your comment I have to do it this way:

                      The proper manner for one state to “unjoin” the United States is via an amendment to the Constitution. This is allowed for by the Constitution, while simply skipping out on the Constitutional “more perfect union” unilaterally is not.

                      It is telling that secessionists do not consider treating the rest of the United States as equals in the process, but always loudly proclaim their superiority to those other members’ interests.

                      You say the proper way to unjoin is via an amendment, this is an argument I’ve never heard before. You yourself say it is not present in the Constitution, though I would assert that you are mistaken. There is already an amendment sufficiently worded to address the question of secession. It is the 10th amendment which reserves all rights and powers not specifically given to the federal government to the states and the people. Presumably that include the unenumerated power to leave the union. Now should such a new amendment be proposed to make that clear, I for one would support it. That said, might I add that skipping out is not what succession is. It is not a light matter…and as noted in the Supreme Court decision on the SC Nullification Act, the idea of potential succession is implicit in the framing of that decision. They said so long as a state is in the union it had to abide by federal laws. That then implies if a state is no longer satisfied with the union and with its laws then it can leave that union to be free of them.

                      It should also be recalled that secession was not just a southern sentiment. There were secession movements in the north as well among those who did not like the south and it’s slave based economy (they said while wearing cloths made with slave grown cotton). Those movements just weren’t as full blown as those in the south. Now do you imagine if the call for secession had come from northern states that the south would have tried to preserve the union by force of arms?

                      Of course it may be in a given instance a state or region wanting to secede really is superior to the rest regardless of whether they feel that way or not….just saying.

                      Personally I feel it would have been better for the question of succession to have been brought before the supreme court in 1860, to at least have them weigh in on the issue according to the legal understandings of their time…but that didn’t happen, the North provoked a war instead.

                      I also fail to follow your reasoning that secessionists feel somehow superior to all the other states by wanting to secede. Where does this notion come from? And how are the other states less equal in the process if one or more states desire to leave the union. Is a community that incorporates itself rather than be annexed by a larger neighboring community making itself more equal than the people in the larger community? Would you give the larger community equal say in whether or not the smaller community should incorporate as it’s own civic entity? If one spouse in a marriage feels abused by the other…how much say should the second spouse get in whether the first should be freed from that marriage? If the one does not agree to the divorce does that one get to keep the other in chains to prevent the other from running away? If not what say should any other state have should one or more states desire to leave the union. In my book, none…the only real issue is how to equitably divide common property.

                      Now I’ll grant you that in this day and age states are entangled with each other in ways not even imagined in 1860, and secession today would involve more courtroom battles than real ones….to settle for example fair price for infrastructure benefits gained while part of the union, portion of the national debt (if any…shouldn’t be) to be assumed, etc.

                    • historian says

                      Seraphim, Have you ever read Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address? Here’s one link of many to it:

                      I’ve written nothing here that is not contained there in greater detail, and as an original source it is superior to anything I could write to you to explain the thinking on this.

                    • Seraphim98 says

                      Historian, again in the absence of a reply button, I reply here to your invitation to read Lincoln’s first inaugural address.

                      To be brief, I and my compatriots do no agree with his understanding of the the right of secession. Nor do we agree with his confabulation concerning the implications of the legislative milestones on the way to our union.

                      i do agree with him that the citizens of the country have both constitutional and revolutionary rights and by those rights may seek to dismember the Union.

                      So even if one discounts a constitutional right on the part of the South, one cannot dispute a revolutionary right.

                      I believe he is right in his caution that to champion the principle of secession sows the seeds for further fracture of any new governments formed by secession until all that is left is anarchy. Of course at some point such an article becomes a reduction to absurdity. The pragmatic dangers facing the newly seceded South were very real and may have been so constitutionally flawed as to leave that new union facing a secessionist crisis of its own a generation or so hence.

                      As for the rest…by in large beautiful lies. Most of the things he said he would not do to the South he did and did them on a scale rarely seen in human history.

                    • historian says


                      We are destined to disagree on this issue. It’s not just that you have your historical facts upside/down, any student of the era knows you’ve reversed secession and aggression by several years (indeed, secession was well underway and Jefferson Davis inaugurated before Lincoln even took office), but also that you appear to have only conditional loyalty to the United States of America and the Constitution that is its foundation. Did you know that the Dred Scott decision, affirming the Constitution’s view on slavery, was handed down only three years before South Carolina seceded? Are you aware that the South had won every single challenge to slavery until it seceded, indeed it had to win because the Constitution required it win.

                      We pledge allegiance to the United States of America, and we take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. That pledge and that oath contain nowhere language to suggest that they are only in force until you, or any State or collection of States, just don’t like it any more.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Historian, a not-insignificant quibble: Yes, secession was underway before Lincoln took office but South Carolina didn’t secede until after Lincoln was elected president. Back then, there was a leisurely transition of six months between the election in November and the actual Inauguration/onset of the administration in April.

                      In quick order Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, etc. followed once it became clear that Lincoln was the winner (even before the Electoral College met to ratify the popular count).

                    • Seraphim98 says


                      You wrote:

                      We are destined to disagree on this issue. It’s not just that you have your historical facts upside/down, any student of the era knows you’ve reversed secession and aggression by several years (indeed, secession was well underway and Jefferson Davis inaugurated before Lincoln even took office),

                      But, at least in part here isn’t the issue that aggression did come. Rather than let go those who no longer wanted to be part of the union, and despite promise of non provocation and non aggression, Lincoln did just those things, he provoked then escalated aggression against the South. His appeals to a progress towards a more perfect union ring hollow when said union must be maintained at gunpoint and economic ruin for the less willing partner. God preserve us all from such “perfection.”

                      As for secession being underway for a long time, I’m not sure I see the relevance; the sentiment had been growing for years both north an south. It came to a head first in the south. Still sentiment for secession preceding an act of secession says nothing one way or the other about the right to secede itself. It does demonstrate though that a huge cross section of the the states were no longer happy with that union and pressure was mounting within them to end it. Lincoln’s election was simply the last straw.

                      “but also that you appear to have only conditional loyalty to the United States of America and the Constitution that is its foundation.”

                      In the common thinking of that time loyalty to one’s state…to one’s home weighed at least as heavily if not more so than any loyalty to the nation as a whole. If one spoke of loyalties with respect to foreign powers and potentates then there was loyalty to the US Gov. When one considered loyalties within our several borders, then it was loyalty to one’s state that took precedence, since the national government is the creation of the several states, not vice versa. Your view strikes me as anachronistic.

                      Did you know that the Dred Scott decision, affirming the Constitution’s view on slavery, was handed down only three years before South Carolina seceded? Are you aware that the South had won every single challenge to slavery until it seceded, indeed it had to win because the Constitution required it win.

                      Oh yes, very much aware of Dred Scott, the striking down of the Missouri Compromise, etc. For what it is worth there is no one in my family on either side born on this soil that was born above the Mason Dixon line. In short from the day my first ancestor set foot in the new world to the present (and the last Old world ancestor being a Swedish grandmother back in the mid 1700s) to present none lived outside the Old South. I’ve at least 7 generations if not more in my home state. One of my great grandfathers was the first Indian agent in MS and his brother my uncle fought side by side with Chief Pushmataha. Other grandfathers served at great peril in the Confederate Army, one of which was imprisoned and nearly starved to death by Union soldiers on Ship Island. I am awash in our history going back to the 1650s if not before.

                      As irrelevant as most of that may be save for bragging rights, it wasn’t the South’s Supreme Court victories that fixed the South heart to quit the Union. It was the admission of Maine and California as free states. Up until that point, a balance of power had been held in the Senate between slave and free states. That balance had come to an end. The South could see the handwriting on wall. It was only a matter of time before free states would use Congress to legislate against the slave states, to eventually so unbalance the scales of power that the North would seek to dominate the South and through that power subvert will of those states electorate within their own borders. Granted it would not likely have happened in a hot second…but it would happen, and the South already economically hurt by pro northern, pro industrial tariffs that would not allow them to trade their cotton abroad (though northern mills could sell their cloth abroad)…they figured enough was enough, and it was time to go. The election of Lincoln the candidate of the new radical republican party which was out to reframe the nation after their political image was just the final affirmation that the North only cared for us and our interests so far as they could exploit them to their own ends.

                      You wrote:

                      We pledge allegiance to the United States of America, and we take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. That pledge and that oath contain nowhere language to suggest that they are only in force until you, or any State or collection of States, just don’t like it any more.

                      The pledge was first written after the Civil war as I recall…actually closer in time to the Spanish American War, and it’s last emendation came during the Red Scare when “under God” was added. BTW the pledge of allegiance is hardly a legal oath, though it is a patriotic sentiment. As for upholding and defending the Constitution…that Constitution contains an amendment to says explicitly all powers not given to the federal gov. explicitly were reserved to the States and their people. Given that a number of states admitted to the Union as right of secession clauses in their congressionally approved state constitutions, it may be reasonably inferred that among those unenumerated rights and powers was that of the states to leave the Union. I’ll grant that it is better to accomplish through some means of due process, but the absence of a first appeal to the establishment of such process does not nullify the presumed right to secede.

                      As for language allowing separations…just what legal language was present that permitted the original colonies to rebel against their anointed King and Sovereign when they became unhappy with the UK’s policies on taxation and representation. Are those the only “legitimate” complaints for which one body politic may sever it’s bonds with another. If the colonies were within their rights to dissolve their political ties with Great Britain, why was it improper for the South to just up and away itself when it saw that it’s best economic interests lay elsewhere?

                      Or were our founding fathers, however so nobly intended, just wrong and should have rather endured with the Georges…Then when Napoleon came along we would have just taken Louisiana rather than having to pay for it, Canada would not be a separate people from us, we would have soon enough had the good Queen Victoria for a monarch, slavery would have been ended in a manner equitable to all without a single gunshot. There would have been no civil war…not sure what would have happened in the Southwest and Caribbean vis a vis Spanish territories, the world circling might of the British empire would have likely put the kibosh on WWI pretty quickly. Then Russian would not have been so weakened as to allow the Bolsheviks to come to power…no Soviet bloodshed and revolution there or in China, Laos, Camboidia, Eastern Europe or else where. No communist troubles and no WWI means no ruined Germany to put Hitler in power, and thus no Holocaust, no WWII, with no Holocaust, Zionism might have remained more peaceful and the Middle East would have been more peaceful as well than what transpired in the establishment of the new state of Israel…essentially at gunpoint. Without that thorn Arabic nationalist movements may have been more peaceful as well, hence no bloody insurgencies, no twin towers, no bombed marathons, no bombed subways or hacked up policemen. And for all that the UK might will have let its various large colonies separate peacefully as a great worldwide commonwealth of nations greater than it is even today…if only our founding Fathers had been prescient enough to understand their bid for “liberty now” would set the stage for the world to unravel in one bloody altercation after the other for the next 200 plus years.

                      If you defend our Revolution you can’t really condemn the Secession of the South for wanting to go it’s own way. If you don’t defend the Revolution for it’s breech of loyalties, then you can’t in the same breath demand loyalty from the South to a government whose origins were born in revolution and the sundering of it’s own faded loyalties.

                    • historian says

                      That’s true, George, and it’s not insignificant at all because it highlights the fallacy of the revisionist position on this issue.

                      If every State had the right to unilaterally abrogate the Constitution whenever it didn’t like the election results there would be no nation.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Seraphim, your answer is profound. By what right did we have to rebel against King George III but no right to secede from the Union? If that’s the case, then the Greeks, Bulgars, Serbs, etc., should surrender their sovereignty to Ankara.

                    • historian says


                      My family, also, fought and died for the Confederacy. So what?

                      I know the political fears regarding Maine and California, but I am also aware of the Constitution (something you honestly seem not to have studied save from revisionist sources) and am aware that one could only have ended slavery via a Constitutional Amendment which, by the way, is precisely how it was Constitutionally ended. Similarly, one could amend the Constitution to allow for a State to secede, if one desired to act Constitutionally.

                      Aggression did come, tragically. It came because the South chose and initiated it. Having cried Havoc! and released the dogs of war, the South found itself devoured by them. “…all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” It is always thus with sin, we release our sinful passions only to have them devour us.

                      The American Revolution was illegal and successful. The only possible relevance it has to this discussion is if you mean to concede that Southern secession was similarly illegal but unsuccessful. This, by the way, is what an objective historian would conclude.

                    • Seraphim98 says


                      Here is a link to a little unreconstructed (not revisionist) look at the legal case for secession:

                      From the southern perspective it is the Yankee histories which are dumbed down, revisionist or both. Frankly I’ve yet to encounter a Southern history that strikes me as remotely revisionist…sometimes touchy as a scalded cat, but not revisionist. I cannot say that about other histories whose conclusions seem to be driven by the prevailing winds of political correctness.

                      As for the constitutional amendment that ended slavery it and its following amendment were essentially instituted at gunpoint. Regardless of the merit of their content, their entry into our constitution was clouded by the state of marshall law imposed upon the South. The sitting legislatures did not represent most of the citizens of the states, and the vast majority of those citizens were denied the right to vote because they were veterans of the Confederate armed forces. So those who voted for those amendments were at best fig leaves for Northern socio political ambitions.

                      The American Revolution was illegal and successful. The only possible relevance it has to this discussion is if you mean to concede that Southern secession was similarly illegal but unsuccessful. This, by the way, is what an objective historian would conclude.

                      So you are saying that it was the success of the American Revolution that made it legal and presumably right and made it able to demand loyalties that it’s own founders were not willing to support for themselves with respect to the British Crown…and the only thing that makes the Southern attempt “wrong” is its lack of success.

                      What I would like to know from you though…was the Revolution right? Were we right to break away from Great Britain? And if you believe we were right, then how was the south wrong to want the same…for this question I’m less interested in legal/illegal, but right and wrong. And if we were not right to break away, then on what moral basis could the US gov. demand its constituent states have no power to depart from the union themselves?

                      But now back to legalities, I think an objective (as if there were such things) historian could also see the success of the American Revolution as setting an ostensible legal precedent for the future succession of some part of the Union at a future date. So is it only might that makes right….or is sauce for the goose sauce for the gander?

                      And back on the subject of revision for a moment. You wrote:

                      Aggression did come, tragically. It came because the South chose and initiated it.

                      Yes the South fired the first shot, I did not deny that. Rather I said we were deliberately provoked. Lincoln wanted it to happen. He made it happen. Are you aware of the correspondence between Lincoln and McLellan that surfaced several years ago on the subject of Ft. Sumpter? If not, allow me to bring them to your attention. They served as part of the source material Gore Vidal used in his biography of Lincoln. Here was the situation. The commander of the fort, and the general in charge of reclaiming it for S. Carolina were old friends from the Academy. The commander said he could not surrender the fort without permission from his superiors. He was also running short of supplies and would need troop ships to remove his men if permission were given. Gen. Beauregard gave the commander leave to contact washington and ask for ships to withdraw his men, however the lifting of the southern blockade of the fort was contingent upon the Union sending no warships and no reinforcement. Lincoln took council with Gen. Mclellan…and decided to force the south’s hand so that they (the Union) could claim the “moral” high ground of “they shot first”. Lincoln sent in every available warship he could muster and a great number of reinforcements. As I stated, Lincoln provoked the attack, and throughout the course of the conflict that followed escalated the bloodshed unto the point of scorched earth tactics against civilians under Sherman that had not been in use by civilized men since the times of pagan Rome who razed and salted Carthage. Sumpter could have ended peacefully. Neither it’s commander, nor the Southern general charged with it’s capture wanted bloodshed. Lincoln would have nothing less.

                      Finally, how about this little bit or northern revisionism I suspect you might not known. The south gets a lot of grief about the horrors of it’s Andersonville prison…and no doubt it was terrible, every bit as bad as accounts say. But, what northern accounts forget to mention (edit out) is that the southern soldiers guarding the prisoners were only marginally better off themselves, and that the south was concerned enough about conditions there they petitioned Union forces to send food and medicine with the promise to only use it for the care of Union troops. The North of course declined…they valued the sanctimonious outrage and pro war PR they could muster out of it more than the lives of their own. Also if you read the first hand accounts of the battles fought under Jeb Stuart you learn, it was common for Northern generals to leave battlefields strewn with body parts and the gore of the dead and dying (good psychological warfare), but it was southern troops who cleaned the battlefields at night every chance they got and gave every dead soldier, union and confederate a christian burial (as best they could) before the next day’s fighting broke out. Moreover, after the war, the union continued it’s own near starvation of it’s confederate prisoners. I know. My own gg grandfather was one of them. I heard the story from the mouth of my great great, great aunt, his daughter. Did you learn any of that in your “unrevised” sources?

                      The bottom line is just because our sources differ, doesn’t mean the one’s you favor was the one which was revised. In truth I suspect each side see’s the war by the lights of it’s own experience. Interpreting the meaning of events and motivations I doubt will ever be entirely objective enterprises, and I’m not sure they should be. As things stand I have no reason to doubt that Southern generals besrode the earth like heroic demigods of an ancient tale, and Union generals rode forth from the ash choked North as a race of butchers and monsters, the liegemen of Sauron, almost to a man. And on both sides the better part of the politicians were not worth the spit of the men, blue or gray who fought and died on a thousand hillsides from Texas to Gettysburg. When children asked in the age following what their belly buttons were, their sage parents told them the truth…that’s where you were shot by a Yankee mini-ball.

                      If you want to accuse us of romanticizing our history, feel free. There is truth to that. But we have not revised it.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Thank you for this wonderful expose. It should be known that the South had the opportunity to exterminate large swaths of Northerners but recoiled at the thought. Here’s the background: Gen Albert Pike of the CSA (who incidentally was born in Boston and thus a Yankee), secretly negotiated with the Five Civilized Tribes in what is now Oklahoma. He intended to lead an army of Indians on a genocidal rampage through Kansas, the parts of Missouri that were sympathetic to the Union, Iowa, and possibly Illinois. When the Confederate Senate got wind of this plan, it put the kybosh on it real quick. Such a thing had not been heard of in the annals of war since Genghis Khan and the Christian sensibilities of the South would not countenance it.

                      Anyway, Pike went on to have an otherwise illustrious career as a Masonic intellectual and elder statesman of the United States. He wrote Morals and Dogma and was probably an occultist. For some reason that escapes me his statue stands in Washington, DC today.

                    • Seraphim98 says


                      Sorry to have gone on so long on this tangent. But speaking of Native Americans and the Civil war. It is also not well known that several tribes sided with Confederacy, even though their history with us had been a bit patchy over the years (they were not treated right). It is also telling that one of our generals was half Native American…from Louisiana, and that Native American Tribes were permitted representatives in the Confederate Congress (I think they were non voting but had some say in things that affected their people). Our congress to this day does not offer anything like this to Native American nations.

                      But most telling of all…another point often forgotten if known at all the Indian wars of the 1870s were largely the outgrowth of payback against those tribes that aided the Confederacy. So the Union moved from perfecting it’s control over the South at gunpoint…so we could be a big happy “free” family on the one hand while initiating a campaign of near genocide against those who helped and sympathized with us.

                    • historian says


                      If you’ve never encountered a Southern revisionist history it could only be because you read very little history.

                      The vast majority of histories of every stripe are written by authors seeking to dramatically press an interpretation of history they’d like to advance. The only way to avoid falling into their trap is to rely upon original sources, and by that I do not mean the excerpts that tend to “prove” the author’s point. Original sources tend to paint a far more complex and paradoxical (read: human) condition on all sides than packaged histories. But what we tend to do is to say the storytellers whose stories please us are telling “the truth” and those whose stories displease us are being “revisionist” when they’re both stacking the deck. And, of course, the more one story gets repeated the more “true” it is assumed to be even if it’s wholly bunk.

                      To recap: Original sources tend to illuminate far more complex and paradoxical pictures of an era than narrative histories, which almost to a one revise history to suit their audience.

                      As for our American Revolution, I don’t think I’ve ever said it was legal. The question of whether it was “right” or not turns entirely on the definition of “right” being proposed, which tends always to justify the point of view of the person posing the question.

                      To me the Revolution, no matter the paradoxical mess of Enlightenment rationalizations used to justify it, has spawned a decidedly mixed bag of results.

                      The claim that Lincoln “tricked” the South into starting the War is as old as it is false. It requires us to ignore the political rhetoric, popular press and militarization of the South, and it requires us to not consider that the South thought it would prevail in a war before the war started. (That the South started off with convincing wins served to bolster a pro-war sentiment that existed before the first shot was fired.)

                      The deeper problem with this narrative is that it amounts to a rejection of the South’s responsibility for its own actions. “The devil made me do it” was funny when Geraldine (Flip Wilson in drag) said it, but not so funny when such a claim is made to avoid responsibility for the drop dead serious act of starting a war.

                      Those who know about Andersonville know that it was hell for everyone. Those who know about Sherman know the destruction he wrought…today such acts are cheered it as “shock and awe” when we or our allies do them elsewhere on earth, and “war crimes” where our enemies or their allies do them. War is hell. Someone ought to point that out sometime.

                      I laughed reading the remainder of your post, which I trust was offered in that spirit.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    If the union had divided, it is likely that the European powers would have had a great deal more influence. However, the simple economics of industrialisation would have forced the South to abandon slavery and the essentially feudal political econonmy it had. Abolitionists in England would have had quite an effect on the South as England would have been its biggest trade partner. Slavery would have eventually, organically faded away.

                    The north would have been England’s economic competitor and would have been sorely pressed to develop a stable independent economy, still it never would have returned to colonial status.

                    Allowing the seccession would have been a much better choice. Andrew Jackson’s famous toast: “Liberty and Union, one and inseparable” while emotionally appealing, is not as true as we would like it to be.

                    • Tim R Mortiss says

                      It must have come to you in a vision!

                      And conflicting Orthodox jurisdictions would have “organically faded away”, and there would be a single Patriarch of The United States, and a Patriarch of the Confederate States, with peaceful concord between the two! Protestantism itself would have organically faded away, surely.

                      And the Patriarch of the Confederate States, with his see at Richmond, would have been the descendant of organically faded away slaves….you’re right, I can see it all now.

                      Abraham Lincoln has a lot to answer for. And he will, for “as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether”!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I completely agree with you. While I admire Jackson for paying off the national debt (no small feat) I rather think that Old Hickory would have had a different view of unionism-uber-alles had the Abolitionists showed up at The Hermitage.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mr Mortiss, then how do we square these precepts of Lincoln with this one:

                      “Any people anywhere being inclined and having the power have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better”?

  2. Libertad says

    This news is not surprising, despite the government and corporate media telling us that Americans like having government control every aspect of their lives. My home state of New Jersey is bleeding people; over 60,000 productive citizens are moving out of state every year. All the less free states can do is impose coercive measures to force people to stay; for instance, if you sell your house and move out of state, New Jersey grabs a substantial portion of what you sold the house for. They do not do this if you just move to a different location within the state. I doubt the statists will tolerate this migration to freedom for too long; can we expect to see Berlin Walls popping up around the less free states? Maybe travel restrictions or penalties on moving from a less free state to a more free state? Hmmmmm…

  3. Texas should be ranked among the least free. Between traffic cameras and deed restrictions, which gives former land owners tremendous power over the current land owners, it’s far from the stereotype portrayed in the media.

    • No traffic cameras in Houston, gone long ago. Deed restrictions beat zoning any day, works great in Houston. Can not think of any place I would rather live than in Texas (except maybe Tuscany or Provence).

      • On the contrary. Zoning is fairly predictable and can be changed. Deed restrictions are a patchwork mess. Up in the Dallas area some people had the bright idea of platting all the open land as subdivisions and then dropping restrictive deed restrictions on it. Good luck building a church because even though that property you bought is in the middle of nowhere the deed restriction says “residential” which, according to Texas case law history, means no churches. Oh, and by the way, the jerk who put them in place in many cases still has veto power over what you can build even if the property has changed hands several times.

        Houston is an anomaly with it’s deed restrictions and no zoning but it’s a mess. If Texas were really free then deed restrictions would be eliminated and you could do what you want with your property. Of course that would undermine the history of selling mineral rights, but you can’t have that, oh no. Can’t trample on the “rights” of the oil companies.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Not being a Texan but visiting quite often I can say that whatever else can be said about zoning vs deed restrictions, whatever they’re doing in Texas seems to be working.

  4. Interesting. The OCA is getting the same response.

    Well deserved, I might add.

  5. Linda Albert says

    So if you are moving to a ‘red’ state for more freedom, why then when you move to Montana, do you start complaining about the smells of agriculture, the noise from the gravel pit, your neighbor’s dog(s) barking and some poor soul who needs to divide his property and sell a piece to pay for his mother’s nursing home care. All true examples from my corner of Montana. The main attitude among the out-of-state transplants seems to be “I’ve got my piece of the last best place and now I don’t want anybody to change it so I’ll join the county / city planning boards and legislate against anybody but me making a living, providing for themselves or their family in their old age, ruining the view of the mountains by building a house where I can see it or driving on the road by my property. Do us all a favor and stay where you are.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Linda wisely spoke of “my corner of Montana.”

      It is difficult to generalize about Montana. I can’t think of any two towns where the citizens are less alike than Missoula and Miles City.

      • Linda Albert says

        You’re right. Miles City is still the Montana in which I grew up. They still have the old cowboy ethic of Western courtesy and minding your own business. If a man had a complaint about you he would come to you to hash it out instead of invoking the local constabulary. And they haven’t been run over with chain stores. On the other hand asking around for organic food or pu-erh tea will definitely get you raised eyebrows and suspicious looks. Missoula is thought of “that pothead hippie town,” but they have a lovely bulk herb and essential oil store.

    • Catholic Observer says

      That happened in Vermont, too. The transplants ruined it for the natives.

  6. geo michalopulos says

    Stan, much of what you say is arguable: some truth, some over-simplification, but let’s dispense with the racist canard against the South once and for all.

    Two things: 1) blacks are moving back to the South in record numbers, and 2) blacks and non-whites are winning elections in several of these states. Louisianna and South Carolina have as their governors people of Hindistani descent and the Speaker of the House for the Oklahoma legislature is a black man (who is also a member of the Choctaw Nation if memory serves).

    • Stan Poulos says

      The day after Obama was elected in 2008, the top Southern leaders of the GOP held a news conference led by Mitch O’Connell. He said, “Our goal is to see this President fail.” (Possible paraphrase) The Southern WHITE RACIST GOP has fought against everything Obama has tried to accomplish. Miraculously, Healthcare Reform has passed yet, the GOP has tried to repeal and water-down the new healthcare law again and again. Furthermore, the current policies of the GOP to destroy SS, Medicare & Medicaid are NOT what Mr. & Mrs. America wants – it’s what the GOP rich want. The GOP is still fighting against the policies of FDR from the 1930’s. The 8 years of Bush gave us 2 wars (one illegal); freedom for Wall Street (the rich) to almost destroy America via their greed (mortgage backed securities); etc. In fact, the policies of the GOP because they are based on greed and enhancing the rich are far from anything Christ preached.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Christ is Risen!

        Although, I have left arguing on this blog for personal and spiritual reasons, this is also why I have decided to quit:

        Read and weep for our Nation and for all of humanity. This article also confirm even more my continued belief in a worldwide and continuing Communist Conspiracy.

        Take care guys. I will not be responding to any replies or comments.

        Peter A. Papoutsis

        • M. Stankovich says


          Χριστὸς Aνέστη!

          Αν και σίγουρα δεν θα κάνουν καμία προσπάθεια να αλλάξει το μυαλό σας, αυτό σπάει κυριολεκτικά την καρδιά μου! Είστε μια βιβλική και NT Έλληνας λόγιος για τον οποίο τρέφω μεγάλο σεβασμό. Έχω αγωνιστεί και σέρνεται μέσα Patrologia Graeca, περιμένοντας την επιστροφή σας. Αν έχετε οποιοδήποτε ενδιαφέρον, παρακαλώ επικοινωνήστε μαζί μου στο here μου. Ειλικρινά λυπάμαι πολύ να σας δούμε να αφήσει τον Πέτρος!

      • Seraphim98 says

        Christ is Risen!
        Dear Stan,

        I’m going to go out on a limb and guess, based on your name, sociopolitical sensibilities, and rhetorical style, that you are either the owner or a frequent denizen of VoR, with my suspicions (rightly or wrongly leaning towards owner). So…I’m white, Southern (unreconstructed), of several strains of old colonial stock (some ill treated indentured servants), and I’m Orthodox…one of those “empty envelope” Konvertsy types of many years…but very appreciative of and partial to the Orthodoxy of Holy Russia. Politically I self identify as a social conservative libertarian with occasional Southern Agrarian tendencies. I’m a great believer in the free market capitalism but wary of the world of stock driven megacorporations with global reach and too much political influence. I don’t like socialism at all, not in government, not in medicine, not in the market (big corps=socialized property=no voice for the little guy). So…I don’t care if the people fighting what President Obama is pushing for are racist or not. His policies stink. His vision for the nation is a recipe for economic and cultural disaster. I want his vision and all his related policies that support that vision to fail, and wish him a long and happy life in retirement as a commencement speaker for dying liberal institutions. I am not rich, pretty much every thing I own would fit in a small UHaul trailer, and all the money I have in the world could not pay for two of Obama’s suits. So it’s not just some “rich” guys who want to take have serious ideological issues with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and Income taxes, death taxes and the 16th amendment in principle from which these things flow to greater or lesser degree. You don’t like the GOP…I’m not doing cartwheels over them either…but I’ll take them any day over freedom killing, culture killing, need I say baby killing, big brother big government progressivist socialism that defines the Democrat party and its candidates.

        So here’s a poor white man (God willing not poor forever), an Orthodox Christian who agrees with you on very little at the socio economic level…If we had a God anointed Tsar, I might be a little more liberal in my governmental predispositions vis a vis social welfare…but not with our current system of government (which at the national level I want starved fiscally to bare functionality…or near enough).

        That said…if you are who I think you are, I do thank you though for introducing me to the artistic works of Nesterov, some are almost as deep as icons, and truly beautiful to boot. And if you are not who I think you are, then my apologies for guessing wrong, but my political, social, and theological convictions still stand.

  7. Daniel E Fall says

    This is a simple effort at differentiating between red n blue states, but in the simplest context North Dakota is the Saudi Arabia of the USA.

    And wealthy old folks love to chase warmer climes…

    I find the entire study to be flawed.

    Minnesota is a great place to live. If the Republicons hadn’t put a doma amendment on the ballot to defeat Obama, we’d never be passing gay marriage.

    Between the ridiculous effort on the right to ‘defend’ marriage and hold marrieds in a higher government status than nonmarrieds and the lefts emfatuation with a misguided concept of fairness; we now have government blessing the personal sexual relationships of persons.

    The founders should all be lined up against a wall for their failure to see how popular ideas don’t parlay into good government.

  8. Michael Kinsey says

    Basel III goes into effect in 2017-2019, in a similar move the Fed took in 1929. It increases reserve requirements to 8% in all international banks under it’s control. The 2 fold increase in reserves will be impossible to attain for most too big to fail banks, which are overleveraged 300-3000%.The 7 nations before 911 not under Basel control were Iran, Iraq, Afganisistan,Sudan,N.Korea,Cuba and Libya. 4 down, 3 to go.The removal of Iran will cause all to say peace and safety.Russia and China will not engage in total war over Iran. The world economic collapse which will ensure, will be offered a solution which the Bric East will accept. IMF World Bank cashless,SDR’s, new world reserve currency, after the fall of the dollar. The fall of the dollar wipes out quadrillions in fiat money and debt.Erases it. The fractional reserve banking system is given a reboot, as the dollar is played out, as all pyramid schemes do. China will administer the fatal wound to the dollar, which will be healed. The IMF will remain solvent, and issue a gold based, then floated to fiat cashless currency, like the dollar was in 1932, 1972. The mark of the beast will employ the world 666 VAT and carbon taxes in the role of the IRS played with the dollar. Fraction reserve banking is the sacred cow of international banking, and they will not suffer it’s loss.Iran with it currency attached to oil exchange is an intolerable threat to the new system.The new system was the principal cause of the 911 false flag attack and the wars against Iraq and Afganisistan, and US intervention in Libya. Cuba and N.Korea may be endured, but Iran has to destroyed. He causes all, rich and poor to recieve a mark, so that none may buy or sell unless they have the mark. The severly weakened world economy will be cohersed and forced, if necessary to accept the mark.Basel III is deleberate, they know what thier doing.The threat to Isreal is removed, if Iran is taken out.Peace and Safety ,Indeed.
    Sudden destruction will come upon them. An X-class solar flare lasting 8 hours, 1/3 of the earth is burned up. This is the destruction of the great whore accomplished in one hour. Satellites orbit the earth faster than it rotates in one day, and most will be lost in the 8hours. The missle systems of the West are the reason China and Russia will not risk total war over Iran, and accept the mark. This threat is removed when the solar flare hits. Russia and China will move ,at this time to reclaim Caspian Sea oil reserves, and march on Europe and the Holy Land. China will march West. WWIII is Armageddon. The ships of Chittim, move against him,( US subs). unharmed by the flare.All this can be researched in the Revelation of St. John. I offer this as a likely scenero. Most of it, is very likely to be accurate. I have faith in the Holy Scriputures and consider them infallible. This is why I have great difficulty considering people who beleive 911 was not a US government false flag attack, authenticly faithful Christians. They believe lies.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      How can what happens on Earth cause solar flares? I don’t follow this at all….

      • Michael Kinsey says

        A solar flare is an act of God and is described extensively in Revelation. Ask God why He sends bowls of wrath and vials and opens seals. Your question is very much above my spiritual paygrade..

  9. Michael Kinsey says

    Attached to the mark of the beast will be the worship of occult/demonic/dragon world religion, and the looting of Christianity, which the antichrist will disperse, doing what his predecessors have not done.The 10 heads are horns, of the beast, they accept the dragon’s power, They are Taosim, Hinduism, Confusism,Buddhism,Judism, they are the 5 fallen, Christianity is broken into 4 parts, Orthodoxy, RCC,Protestantism, New Age Christianity,Antichrist comes out of New Age Christianity. The little horn that begins with a small people and waxes great. I wrote most of this in 1986-87, and suspect this is why Gleb Podomoshenski ,Christensen and Eliel refused to publish it.Freemansonry subdues Islam, Christianity, and Judism, and claims origin from any of them.The Koran, Bible, and Torah are used in each country that has that religion as dominate in that nation.It was no great insight to predict the Iran, Iraq, Afganistan wars. They geographicly, are Media and Persia and a small part of Syria.This is the ram and he-goat prediction of the Holy Propjet Daniel concerning the begining of the end. The end begins when they say peace and safety.

  10. Michael Kinsey says

    Islam is the 10th horn/king and is the false prophet, which will be the helper of antichrist. This will indicate exactly who he is. I still do not know.

  11. I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I, along with the majority of the kids I grew up with, have long since left the state. I can’t think of anyone I went to high school with who stayed in our hometown if they graduated from college. And while I won’t ‘out’ myself here by naming that hometown, it’s not that small of a town by Oklahoma standards. A few classmates ended up in Tulsa and OKC. I’d say the largest concentration of classmates have moved to Texas (yes a red state that doesn’t prove the point here since TX is less red than OK) but we can be found all over the US.

    I can’t imagine moving back to Oklahoma. My parents are preparing to move away now. I have one sibling left but his kids go to private schools. If they couldn’t afford private schools, they would leave too.

    • Archpreist John Morris says

      I also grew up in Oklahoma. I left because when I graduated from Oklahoma State University, I got a job in Texas. Then I went to seminary at Holy Cross and have been assigned to parishes outside of my home state. I have since been back to Oklahoma City many times to visit my mother and father. I have watched Oklahoma City grow and prosper. I would move back to Oklahoma in a New York minute if I were able to do so. However, I doubt that I will since I own a house in Vicksburg where I serve and I hate moving. But Oklahoma City is a great place. I miss visiting there since my mother died and I no longer have a reason to go there.

  12. Michael Kinsey says

    Holy Prophet Daniel, typo, propjet is a demeaning, it was not intended.

  13. Michael Kinsey says

    Cebsored me, again, bite me!!!!!!!!!!

  14. cyntha curran says

    George, personality, I prefer Orange or San Diego over Houston or Dallas but a lot of folks go there since its cheaper to buy a house. Believe it or not Houston or Dallas are to the left of Orange or San Diego but policy at the state level is differenet between the states but Republicans should not think that Texas is locked in, the large metro areas like Houston, Dallas and Austin have people from other states coming in as well as a lot of international immirgantion not all illegal. Houston grew 4 times faster in its immirgation population than LA, immirgants noticed its cheaper to live as well, so more Hispanics, Asians and Middle Eastern people will changed Texas politics within 10 to1 5 years from Red to Purple, mark my word.

  15. cyntha curran says

    “The Republican agenda is not pro Mr. & Mrs. America; it is ‘PRO RICH PEOPLE & CORPORATIONS’ and racist. Furthermore, for Christians, examining the GOP agenda, it is ANTI-CHRISTIAN. More wars; killing all enemies; taking from the poor; more for the rich; eliminating any social programs; etc., etc., etc.” Well if Republilcans are so racists why do they moved to Texas which has about 39 percent of the population with a spanish surname and about 12 percent black versus Oregon which is about 12 percent of the population with a spanish surname and about 4 percent black or Washington State about 10 percent with a Spanish surname and about 4 percent black and 8 percent Asian, granted Seatle is about 15 percent Asian. in fact, Democratic states are in some parts of the US more white, Oregon, Wahington, Iowa, Minnesotia, and Maine and the whitest state and very poltically liberal Vermont. Vemonnt about 3 percent Hispanic, about 3 percent Asian and about 1 percent black.

  16. cynthia curran says

    I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I, along with the majority of the kids I grew up with, have long since left the state. I can’t think of anyone I went to high school with who stayed in our hometown if they graduated from college. And while I won’t ‘out’ myself here by naming that hometown, it’s not that small of a town by Oklahoma standards. A few classmates ended up in Tulsa and OKC. I’d say the largest concentration of classmates have moved to Texas (yes a red state that doesn’t prove the point here since TX is less red than OK) but we can be found all over the US.

    I can’t imagine moving back to Oklahoma. My parents are preparing to move away now. I have one sibling left but his kids go to private schools. If they couldn’t afford private schools, they would leave too.
    I think that follks moving to Texas should pause, it has the making of more long term problems than Oklahoma since its a lot more Hispanics even liberal folks mention the problems in California shifting from white to Hispanic by a California study mentioning that the education levels of Ca which were higher in the over 40 year population are lower in the 25 and younger, this is also happening in Texas, under Rick Perry Poverty grew while the economy grew the state’s poverty level grew since a lot of immirgants from Mexico and Central America moved in to do construcation jobs in Houston. New Mexico rankts 4th in out of wedlock births behind Dc, LA, Miss . This is data from the US Census and New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics that are native born. Native born Hispanics higher out of wedlock births than foreign Hispanics.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      I think I agree with what you’re saying, but, without adequate punctuation, I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying.

  17. Happy Mother’s Day to All Mothers!

  18. Ivan Vasiliev says

    Someone must have put something with psychedelic properties in the water over a very large part of the country these past few days, or, many people here have acquired very interesting and astonishingly funny senses of humor. If one reads everything on the page in sequence without a break he might think he fallen through the rabbit hole.

  19. The study does not control for total population or population density. Seems a problem if you’re going to fairly compare New York or California with North or South Dakota. (BTW: North Dakota’s total population is less than 1/2 the population of San Diego…if you simply swapped populations North Dakota would grow by more than 100%, and San Diego would have fewer traffic jams.

    It also uses metrics for “freedom” that are a grab-bag:

    Personal freedom dimension consists of the following categories: Victimless Crime Freedom (9.8%), Gun Control Freedom (6.6%), Tobacco Freedom (4.1%), Alcohol Freedom (2.8%), Marriage Freedom (2.1%), Marijuana and Salvia Freedom (2.1%), Gambling Freedom (2.0%), Education Policy (1.9%), Civil Liberties (0.6%), Travel Freedom (0.5%), Asset Forfeiture Freedom (0.1%), and Campaign Finance Freedom (0.02%).

    Drill down a bit and you’ll find that “victimless crime” means everything from the manufacture, sales and use of so-called recreational drugs to prostitution and physician-assisted suicide.

    I’d find it more compelling if they’d measured “Freedom” by the results of the values they champion. That’s not hard to do. Economically what’s the difference between the rich man and Lazarus? How much of the population suffers from diabetes, cancer, or obesity? What’s the infant mortality and life expectancy of the population? What’s the STD rate? These are very often the results that the promoters of “Freedom” never wish to discuss.

    Remember the first lie? “You will not die.”

  20. Michael Bauman says

    No matter how often we stumble through Great Lent confessing as little as possible; no matter how often we shout uncomprehendingly from stone hearts Christ is Risen. It is for us that He came and shed His blood and allowed His Body to be torn so that we might have Life. Yet mostly we squabble and rant.

    To heal all it takes is to take our eyes off the created thing whether it be sex, rights, or money and recognise the gifts we are given everyday and begin to be just a little bit grateful for them.

    God forgive us all.

  21. Michael Bauman says

    George, hard to tell what Jackson would have done: He did free his slaves in his wil, but he clearly believed in separation of the races.

    If the abolitionists had approached him boldly and bravely without antagonizing him he might have had them in for a drink. On the other hand, I could easily see him whaling them off his property.

    Jackson’ s idea of union was almost mystical in quality.