Recent quotes:

The culture of the Civil War veterans

Even veterans who managed to keep their bodies and wits intact often proved unable or unwilling to escape the pull of the war. They created numerous magazines, attended post meetings, and wrote a blizzard of reminiscences and regimental histories in which they forged a culture of memory, of military detail, of mutual recognition and heroism, of communal support. Civil War veterans, drawing and pouring over their countless hand-drawn maps, arguing about old campaigns in letters and in sketches and speeches they delivered to each other, raising funds for monuments to their own units, were themselves the first Civil war “buffs,” a tradition passed on now through at least six or seven generations of readers, re-enactors, and Civil War roundtable members.

Civil War's massive scale

The death toll, the sheer sense of human loss experienced in the war, North and South, among blacks and whites, left a profound and haunting pall on American society and culture for generations to come. The old, official count of Civil War dead relied upon for a century and a half was approximately 620,000. According to some remarkable new research, as many as 750,000 American soldiers and sailors may have died in the conflict, the majority from disease. Approximately 1.2 million were wounded, including perhaps 30-40,000 northern amputees (there are no equivalent numbers for Southerners) who struggled with life and livelihood well into the late nineteenth century. There is no reasonable count of civilian deaths, nor of the numbers of freed slaves who perished in the struggle for their own emancipation. Research now suggests that a quarter of all freedmen who made it to contraband camps operated by the Union forces died in the process. Based on the military death count alone, per capita, if the Civil War were fought in the United States today with its ten-fold greater population, 7.5 million soldiers would die. For most Americans that is an unthinkable toll, but such was the equivalence for their kinfolk in the 1860s.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Newspaper Edits Female World Leaders Out of Charlie Hebdo March | Mediaite

What's a Center for Civil Rights for?

But UNC board member Steven Long took issue with what he said was a lack of diverse points of view at the center. […]“I’ve read your materials,” said Long, who was on the board of the conservative Civitas Institute, according to a 2013 news release. “There is no diversity of opinion in that center.”Shaw responded: “We are unapologetically representing clients in cases ... We’re civil rights advocates. We have a point of view.”Boger pointed out that the law school’s Banking Institute was created to support the banking industry in North Carolina. “We don’t ask that center to consider socialism as an alternative or to talk about the dissolution of large banks,” he said. Boger also pointed out that public health professors advocate against sugary drinks in the fight against obesity.
the police and the prosecution in the State of Connecticut were seeking extraordinary authority to detain/seize anyone lawfully walking down the street in a public place in Connecticut, if they believed that people in the vicinity may have committed a crime. One of the bulwarks of the Fourth Amendment protection is that the police need something called particularized suspicion, meaning that they need to have some evidence to believe that you have committed a crime in order to stop you. This opinion does away with that. In fact, the police don’t even have to be correct about the person in your vicinity they are seeking to stop. In Kelly, the opinion at issue, they had the wrong guy they wanted to stop. In other words, they completely botched their job and as a result, we’ve all lost our ability to freely walk down the street without being forced to submit to police authority for no reason at all. In some other countries, we call that martial law. In America, we call that officer safety.
Civil rights once meant an existential struggle between the oppressed and villains like Bull Connor with his dogs and fire hoses. Now Oprah is miffed over being treating rudely while eyeing a $38,000 purse in Switzerland; the NAACP wants sensitivity training for a rodeo clown with an Obama mask; American Idol’s failed contestants sue for “cruel and inhuman treatment”; near-billionaire rapper Jay-Z warns that the have-nots may riot; and a depressed former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was reduced to spending $750,000 of other people’s money on essentials like stuffed elk heads and Michael Jackson’s old fedora.
it turns out TED is deliberately keeping abortion off the agenda. When asked for comment, TED content director and TEDWomen co-host Kelly Stoetzel said that abortion did not fit into their focus on “wider issues of justice, inequality and human rights.” “Abortion is more of a topical issue we wouldn’t take a position on, any more than we’d take a position on a state tax bill,” Stoetzel explained. She pointed me to a few talks on women’s health and birth control, but this made the refusal to discuss abortion only more glaring. In the last three years, the United States has seen more abortion restrictions enacted than in the entire previous decade; the United Nations has classified the lack of access to abortion as torture; and Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland because a Catholic hospital refused to end her doomed pregnancy. Just how is abortion not an issue of “justice, inequality and human rights”?
I’ve reported on jurisdictions where all felony search warrants are now served with a SWAT team. At least one federal appeals court has now ruled that under the Fourth Amendment, there’s nothing unreasonable about using a SWAT team to perform regulatory inspections.