Newton Knight In “The State Of Jones” Gives Insight Into Southern Opposition To Civil War

The fact there was wide-spread opposition in the south to the idea of succession during the Civil War is not the part of “The State Of Jones” that makes it worth reading.  Instead the 2009 book by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer that makes compelling reading is the fast-paced and throughly researched events in the life of one man who basically told the confederacy to ‘go to hell.’ 

The man was Newton Knight, and as been written many times “is clearly the most famous Civil War hero you’ve never heard of.”  I had never heard of Knight before buying this book earlier this year, and wonder how I could have missed such a colorful personality.

A gutsy, principled back-woodsman who stayed true to his principles makes this read a real treasure.  While there were many morally in-touch white southerners who opposed slavery and secession, such as 31,000 in Tennessee who fought for the Union, or 8,000 is Arkansas who took up arms for the north, nothing seems to compare with what happened in Mississippi.  That is where Newton Knight and his band of guerillas launched a virtual insurrection against the Confederacy in Jefferson Davis’ own home state!

The Piney Woods come alive, and readers get to slog along the way as Knight runs away from the Confederate army where he was a soldier in a war he did not believe in.  Once back home we follow his life and his efforts in the swamps to thwart the Confederate soldiers.  By the time the book ends readers will come to understand what American patriotism means.

The Tishomingo Hotel and depot in Corinth where the carpets were blood-soaked, and surgeons who operated pitched amputated limbs from the porch by flinging them with a finger or toe into a pile.  They were piled like cord wood.

If you have a desire to read a gripping story of the Civil War, and learn about the life of someone who will leave a lasting impression, then I suggest you pick up “The State of Jones’ and become acquainted with Newton Knight.

Republicans Think They Have A Weak Presidential Line-Up

Well, hello!

Many Republicans have been saying they are not satisfied with the current field of presidential contenders.

This morning it was time for FAUX news to echo what so many of the GOP have been discomforted by.

It should come as no surprise that the world is always brighter for a party if just one more candidate enters a political contest.  There was much glee when Rick Perry announced his candidacy, but  late entries are ever hardly impressive, and any one jumping in at this stage is only seeking political suicide.

Care to enter, Sarah?

Any candidate at this stage who looks weak will always look better once the nomination is in hand.  The process has a way of elevating anyone.  Granted, the elevation is not always to the degree needed to win the general election. 

But the over-all dismay with the current Republican playing field will soon pass once there are a few wins by one  candidate next year in the first primaries and caucuses.   That is just how the process works when we always think there is someone better ‘out there’ to run for office.  Sometimes, as in the case of the GOP this year, there are no  any better candidates.

On Fox News Sunday today, Chris Wallace and the panel talked about Rick Perry’s future chances to secure the GOP nomination after his less-than-impressive showing during last week’s debate. Brit Humestarted out by arguing that Perry not only stumbled, he “really did throw up all over himself in the debate at a time when he needed to raise his game.”

A.B. Stoddard, reacting to Herman Cain‘s Florida straw poll victory, suggested this represented not just a disappointment over Perry within conservative circles, but a “dissatisfaction” with the current field amongst the base. Bill Kristol, who summed up the debate in an op-ed titled “Yikes,” defended his claim that Rick Perry was “weak” in the debate, and cited the Florida poll in agreement with the idea that GOP voters aren’t happy with the candidates they already have.

70 percent of the Republicans, having seen with their own eyes Romney and Perry up on the stage Thursday night… voted against the two frontrunners. It was a vote of no confidence in Perry, I think, because of his really poor debate performance, but also in Mitt Romney, who spent a lot of time in Florida over the last five years. To get 14 percent isn’t very strong, so I think these are very weak frontrunners.

Rick Perry Correct About College Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants

The last Republican presidential debate this past week was dreadful.    From booing an American solider to calling for the Education Department to be eliminated the debate  was nothing more than a ludicrous display from the right-wing.

But what has followed from those who love to kvetch on talk radio turns out to be just as bad as the debate itself.

Conservatives have been kicking Texas Governor Rick Perry for his answer about allowing eligible children of undocumented immigrants to be able to attend state colleges in Texas, and pay in-state tuition.

This blog has been a long-time champion of this concept. 

It is an idea that conservatives should embrace as it involves personal responsibility along with a desire to better one’s self and be less prone to needing government programs.  With a job comes the additional benefits of growing the economy and increased tax revenues for more military spending. 

Republicans should love this idea!

So what makes all this hard for conservative to understand?  Why are so many spending time this weekend kicking Perry for not being conservative enough?

I strongly suspect that Perry would echo the words I penned in June of this year.

Why should a bright and capable young person, who has successfully completed high school, and possesses the ability to attend a state university be denied in-state tuition rates simply because they came to Wisconsin from another country with their parents, having no ability as a child to make life decisions? Why should anyone wish to force these capable young and keen minds into a permanent economic underclass that will be their fate unless they find the education to meet the requirements of the ever-changing economy?

I firmly belive that a rather large swath of the conservative element in this nation has an issue with ‘brown people’.

If these were Poles or Brits who had somehow landed in this nation and had skin that resembled that of Rush Limbaugh (just not as stretched out) there would be no lather about the words expressed by Perry. 

To his credit on this matter Rick Perry took the correct path, promoted a sensible and needed policy, and deserves to be praised.  I can find many reasons Perry should not be elected president, but his humanity and reasonableness about educating the children of undocumented immigrants clearly is not one of them.