Abe Lincoln - Reviewing a Legend

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Smokin', Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Smokin'

    Smokin' Administrator

    Jan 3, 2005
    Machu Picchu
    I have to say that I've been politically curious for a few years now but have always been historically curious. I grew up watching channel 13 and those long, long, week long, episodes of the Civil War that contain the rantings of confederate loyalists and the sad stories of those who fought on both sides. It was grueling at first, but it aided me in history classes throughout my education simply because it was burned in there.

    Luckily for me I had a great highschool American History teacher and in my local community college I had a great professor who reminded everyone in class, "that history is written by the victors".

    I conceded that this help propell me in to propetual cynicism, but I'd never change that about myself if I could. As much as some of you may think I'm a conspiracy nut I have to contest that I am not, I, like PettyFog, although very different, am here to implore that you all think critically NOW, especially about the past.

    I'd like start this discussion off, if any of you choose to participate with a quote from a book written by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, recently cited by Ron Paul in a discussion about Abe Lincoln.

    "Why invest in real estate in Council Bluffs, Iowa, of all places? Why not Chicago or even Springfield, the state capital? Because Lincoln the political insider knew that there was a very high likelihood that 1) the federal government would eventually subsidize a transcontinental railroad; and 2) the starting point for that railroad could well be in the vicinity of Council Bluffs. If so, the value of his real estate holdings would be wildly inflated and he would make a killing.

    When he became president legislation was immediately proposed, in a special legislative session called by Lincoln in July of 1861, to create the taxpayer-subsidized Union Pacific Railroad. “There was no firmer friend of the Union Pacific bill than the President himself,” writes Starr. (In contrast, most mainstream “Lincoln scholars” make the preposterous assertion that he had nothing to do with such legislation). The bill was passed in 1862 and it gave the president the power to appoint all the directors and commissioners and, more importantly, “to fix the point of commencement” of the Union Pacific Railroad. And guess where Lincoln chose to fix the point of commencement of the railroad. He “fixed the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad . . . at Council Bluffs, Iowa” (p. 202). His financial gains must have dwarfed Corning’s $10,000 salary offer. During the Grant administrations dozens of prominent people would go to federal prison for such criminal self-dealing but Lincoln, the ringleader of the whole enterprise, has up to now escaped scrutiny."

    I havent yet read this book, I'm truly intrigued that someone took the time to research Honest Abe in depth and to compare the legend that we all grew up with, with well reality or some relative of it.

    I'm not yet sold, as I will do my own amatuer research and draw a conclusion based on it.

    I look forward to some comments.
  2. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    A book written by a probably crackpot, cited by a certifiable crackpot.. I wont go further.

    My comment: SO WHAT! If you lived in the now instead of some never-land, you wouldnt be surprised... you'd ALSO have known and accepted that not even Lincoln was all that Altrustic.

    I just realized why Paulians and the Moonbat Left have such an affinity...

    You both live in the world of:

    "The Politics of How Things Ought To Be."

    There IS NO way-back machine... and if you continuously dwell on how corrupt everything is, and always was, you will NEVER do anything to change it.

    You have to push PRACTICAL remedies for the CURRENT situation, not come out with some ridiculous crap like Ron Paul... who evidently believes the LAST war we should have fought was in 1812.
  3. Smokin'

    Smokin' Administrator

    Jan 3, 2005
    Machu Picchu
    I've just lost any respect I've had left for you with that first line. I'll respond to anyone else who cares to discuss and will respond to you this way:

    This is truly most absurd thing you've ever said.

    Let us not learn from the past, rather, lets completely forget about why and how it happened, and fix the present...

    My question to anyone who isn't in stage 2 of dementia:

    How do you we go forward without learning the truth about the past?

    Afterall -- "those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it..."
    --Georges Santayana
  4. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Smokin, I unerstand what you are saying but I also understand what PettyFog was saying in the line you quoted. Yes you need to learn from history and the past. However, there are people who dwell on the corruption in our past and only the corruption. They use the fact that bad and corrupt things have happened to discount the good. There are no perfect people or leaders and there has never been a perfect country. That is life and reality and Pettyfog is not saying to forget the corruption of the past, he is saying to not let it stop you from moving forward. Almost every situation is imperfect with imperfect people and you have to deal with that.

    Are you truly surprised that Honest Abe did something for his own benefit? I for one dont care. The sacrifices he made for our country eclispse any real estate deals he benefited from through possible misuse of his power. As a nation we were fortunate to have him as our leader at
    that point in time. He faced the most horrific situation in our country's history.

    You talk about your wonderful teacher saying "history is written by the victors". In the Civil War, the confederates lost. Tell me if you've read their history of the Civil War and slavery and tell me what you think of it.
  5. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Well, smokin... I'm sorry you have no respect for me. But I invite you to look at the forum description.

    This is a place to vent, even for babbling idiots... or otherwise good people who promote the views of babbling idiots.

    What pisses me off about your posts is not that you make a certain opinion.. it's that you ignore any rebuttal I make, and THEN project onto me your own rigid views. Saying you're just considering the views does not reconcile with your 'evidence' which more rightly belongs on Art Bell's radio show.

    That said... Address Ron Paul's view about the civil war being unnecessary and only an action set about because of 'special interests'.

    Cause that's where you're going with this, and you know it. Dont ask me to sit idly by and feed your denial and self-delusion by my silence.

    I say the above in all due respect for your person.

    And, Mo, thanks for explaining exactly what I meant by the post.
  6. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Petty, I know that I didnt explain exactly what you meant.

    If Ron Paul really did say that about the Civil War then he really is too much for me. Study Revolutionary history and it's pretty obvious that the Civil War was inevitable.
  7. Smokin'

    Smokin' Administrator

    Jan 3, 2005
    Machu Picchu
    I did not write this post to argue Ron Paul's perspective... I brought it up because it is interesting to know about the past... not sweep it under the rug. And yes, it did meet public eye in the MTP interview and that is why i brought it up.

    You can respond all you want. I will ignore the crap you write, calling me stoner, and crazy, etc... until it is no longer crap. You attack me on occassion, your new position is to simply be on the opposite site of what I say in a VERY abbrasive way.

    I posted a quote that is fact and wanted comments. I included my opinion... you BASH my opinion: See your post above...

    Its grossly inresponsible for you to say the guy who wrote the book is a crackpot because you dont like what he wrote. You didnt even read it.

    No need to give me lectures about what the forum is for. I helped created it... see SITE ADMIN as my title. Although you are the moderator i can just as well change that, or delete posts, but I dont, I participate with out telling you your a crackpot, crazy stoner.

    You need to lighten up and realize you a wrong or out of line far more often than you like to think.

    I'd appreciate it in the future if you would argue against points you dont agree with with the same approach as the ones you do.

    I realize the enjoyment you get by being RIGHT all the time. It must feel great, but do you get more or less demonstrating your ability of being a prick?
  8. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    I'm wrong or mispeak, I acknowledge it dont I?

    Just did, again, yesterday.

    so there!

    Just to be perfectly clear about my 'world view', I take it from Machiavelli and Orwell, not Nietzsche.
    With Nietzsche there is no hope, while Machiavelli and Orwell show how things really work in light of human nature. Yes, many of the same precepts but far less pessimistically applied.
  9. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas

    Your attention is invited to AA's definition of insanity. 8) Now take a deep breath.

    You've known Pettyfog longer than I have. You know that he can be kind, gentle, helpful, informative, surly, self-righteous, exasperating, and generous. But you also know that Pettyfog can NOT engage in courteous debate with anyone who disagrees with anything he says. He has the curious right-wing notion that insulting the views and belittling the intellect of someone who says something he perceives as "incorrect" is the preferred mode of appropriate discourse. Petty is incapable of engaging in polite intellectual interchange. It's not because he's mean or cruel. It's because he believes that his method is more [you should exclude the expression] evolved. It is the mode of discourse preferred on shows like The Oh Really Factor and Rush Limbaugh, and it's one he believes is the best. To actually act polite or to assume that someone else might have an opinion equal in value to his is something we're not going to see. Tolerance is a right-wing weakness, and Petty is not weak.

    It is incumbent upon us NOT to expect him to act otherwise and NOT to get riled up when he doesn't. And, yes, when Josh and I took him to task recently he acknowledged that he went over the line. Good on him. It didn't stop him from continuing to be equally insulting -- just not to the two of us on that subject -- nor should any of us expect him to do so.

    Let Petty be Petty.

    No charge, Smokin'! Think of the preceeding as a PSA. :wink:
  10. Smokin'

    Smokin' Administrator

    Jan 3, 2005
    Machu Picchu
    This is supposed to be a discussion forum... and I have no tolerance for OH Really or any blowhard. They will not exist in this forum without resistance from time to time.

    I'm less upset that he has this approach and more upset that he invites me to make points just to bash them. I wont have that. Its fine with me personally... but not fair to the discussion.

    I know this will not end. I don't plan on changing him. But I take exception when some TELLS ME where I am going with a discussion or pollutes a topic with purposely abbrasive comments... in the future attacks of the person and the not the view:

    or the "don't you know any stoners" comment (i dont mind it included in a REAL post or his signature)

    ... will be deleted or should be based on how most forums are run.

    A man wrote a book. If I would have posted this article the day the book came out it wouldnt have been met with much resistance. But since Petty hates RON PAUL.... and Ron read the book, its obviously written by a crackpot, Ron Paul is a crackpot, I'm a crack pot and the discussion dies...

    ... I think its unfair to those who want to post and ask questions or participate. I don't post here to be yelled at or insulted. I post here to discuss, disagree, explain, learn, etc.

    Its coming to the point that whenever I post... I check back an hour later to find that 'Fog has attacked my source, the person who wrote for the source, my opinion, the facts related to my opinion, and my attitude.

    The next post was by Mo' who did exactly what Petty wanted... make the discussion about my view...

    This post was about Abe and how we learned one version of Abe and never knew he was involved in corruption. So instead of a lengthy-link ridden post full of info, I'm attacked.

    With that, I contend one thing... Petty is weak. Either that or he is mean... pick one, he can't be both.

    If we did the same as him, the forum would just die:

    Discussion #1

    PettyFog - We need to get them Terrorists.
    Smokin - You idiot, you're crazy your ideas are crazy, why dont you whine about terrorists.
    PettyFog - YOUR AN IDIOT.
    Smokin - I asked my mom why people think like this, she said, "He must be an idiot. case closed

    -- end of thread

    He used to debate & insult... now he's abandoned the former.

    I'm done. No breathe needed.
  11. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Smokin' I'm sorry. My post was intended to discuss your post about Abe and Petty's response. I guess I did too little of the former and too much of the latter. It is probably due to my level of frustration with "historians" like Howard Zinn who think the US has never done anything positive and never had a decent President.

    I love to discuss history and was glad to see someone posting something about it. I read a lot of history and with every book I always learn something new about historical figures so I wasnt surprised about what your post said about Abe. However, I recommend reading several books on the same person and time period. Only after doing that do I feel comfortable piecing together an opinion or view of that person and time. Historians are humans too and some might be overly eager for recognition.

    Also, it sounds like when this stuff was investigated, Lincoln was already dead. They may not have pursued investigating Lincoln's involvement at the time because he was dead. It also might have been unpopular given the fact that he basically died for the country. If Lincoln wasnt investigated and found to be involved then it's really not part of our history so I dont think we should have been taught it in school. It is up to todays historians to piece together these parts of our history.

    Finally, the Grant administration was one of, if not the most, corrupt Administration in US history so it's not surprising that it was investigated for things that the Lincoln admin got away with.
  12. Smokin'

    Smokin' Administrator

    Jan 3, 2005
    Machu Picchu
    I agree with Human factor when it comes to investigative history, most especially when it is so far in the past. Authors too often make thier own case then fill in the blanks with whatever they think fits. And sometimes with half truths, concoctions, and / or ommitted details that are often needed to make sense of it all.

    People like you and I and others who post here understand that there is some truth out there we dont know about. Sometimes its brought to lite, other times, it will get presented as fact, proven to be so, but still disregarded since the icon mold is very often unbreakable.

    The Lincoln thing is unique in that everyone learns about him first and foremost as one of the best presidents ever, so good, he has a day named after him. He freed the slaves, fought a bloody war, and initiated one of the largest reconstruction efforts in history. Obviously trying times.

    If only a few points in this book are true and Lincoln is realized to be a less than loveable character, does it matter? Did it matter?

    Like you said, the Grant administration was corrupt to the bone. There was a TON of money going around to rebuild things like bridges, towns, roads, etc. It wouldnt surprise you that he gave alot of money out to his friends... again the railroad companies, real estate developers, etc... the same people who fuel the war profit from its rebuilding.

    Its somewhat parallel to today. The reasons to go to war, the wishes of the rich, the opportunism of the politicians, and so many other aspects of life, altougth life seems so different, is almost unchanged today. But it is also human.

    School often has a rosy light shining on most accounts of our countries past. These books often reflect a dark one.

    Grant has competition these days... I wonder if the 8 year of GW will eclipse the Grant tenure.

    Funny, it took 130 years to come out with a book telling ill of Lincoln. GW isnt out of office yet, I've seen shelves full for him.

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