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Old 08-11-2011, 03:41 PM
 
13,569 posts, read 14,903,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CincyIU29 View Post
How people defend a nation built on the backs of degredation of others, undeniably enshrined in its constitution is beyond me.

I used to have the smae views as you. However, in the course of my history classes taken at Indiana (I am a poli sci history major) including one by a South Carolinian from Columbia my opinion has been changed.
You are quite correct, that slavery was the macro issue of the war vis-a-vis the polticial and economic power that the South derived from it, that they felt was now being threatened, in particular the expansion of slavery in the territories. The South also made no excuse or attempted to hide their desire to defend slavery in the CSA. However, it is an incorrect statement to say that the war was about/over slavery. It was the underlying issue that helped to cause the war, but no one in 1861 was fighting over slavery. They were fighting over the expansion of slavery and the polticial and economic power granted by slavery, but it was not the institution of slavery itself.

Lincoln himself was quite open on that point and more eloquently stated many of the same things that you are deriding Stephens over. Do not forget that Lincoln said this:

Quote:
I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.
Abolishing slavery became the aim of the war in the North as it drug on and the Emancipation Proclamation had as much to do with rallying support in the North as it did with driving foreign interest, particularly anti-slave Britain, away from the South.

Therefore, I do think that while there is plenty of merit in your arguments, the assertion that the North was fighting to end slavery as an injustice against humanity is simply not correct. If Lincoln could have kept the nation together while maintaining slavery, he was quite open about his desire to do so.

You also evoked the Declaration of Independence (I think you mistated it was the Consitution) with the line "all men are created equal". While that line certainly evokes a lot of feelings, one needs to place it into the context of people of the late 18th Century and not place 21st Century meaning into it. The writers of the DOI when they wrote that were NOT referring to "all" men, they were referring to white property owners. As in Thomas Jefferson, et al were "equal" men to any other white property owner in England and were do the same rights enjoyed by those persons.

While I disagree with many of the assertions made by the "pro-South" block here, do not water down the "pro-North" position by assigning reason and moral highground where none existed.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:09 PM
Status: "Summer vacation;out of town a lot and not on line much!" (set 17 days ago)
 
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
The 10th Amendment was a reiteration and clearer statement of the overall construct of the Constitution. The amendment in and of itself didn't change anything, that is a pretty undisputed fact based on the writings of the time and debate about the amendment.
But point is, NJ, it clearly stated the priorities as to where those powers not given the federal government, existed. With the states, first, then the people at large.

Quote:
I'm not debating the framing of how the country worked, merely where ultimate authority came from. That authority was the people, not the States. The people gave power to the federal government and to the State the governments. The States did not create the federal government, the people did. That was what we the argument was about and I think the quotes supplied did a decent job of framing the intent as the power being derived from the people. That is the difference between the "Union" of the Consitution and the "Confederacy" of the Articles. The latter was a government formed by the States, the former was/is a government formed by the people.
I just don't see how you can say that, NJ. Maybe we are just talking past each other or something...which is always possible and even probable! LOL

For the moment, let's put aside the AOC and the final Constitution...

I totally agree the "people" had ultimate power. BUT, the Founding Fathers in the pounding out of the constitution made it clear the expression of the said power would be thru the power of the soveriegn states. It was never a direct democracy and nor ever intended to be (hell, that was the worst nightmare of the founding fathers. LOL). But seriously, everything from the electoral college to the 10th ammendment indicates this.

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The "Confederacy" they are speaking of is the government under the Articles of Confederation. At the time it was colloquially known as the American Confederacy. When the papers are mentioning it they are simply referring to the current system in place at the time that the Constitution was replacing with a stronger "Union".
Yes, you are correct that Madison was (in his letter to the people of New York) referring to what was extant with the AOC. However, I maintain you are splitting hairs a bit with the terms union and confederacy. That is to say, there are PLENTY of contradictions and confusions. The AOC spoke of a perpetual union, yet was not perpetual at all, because it by the constitution of a "more perfect union". And then the CSA contitution used "soveriegn states" in their preamble in expressing a desire for a permanent federal union! LOL

So go figure! LOL But seriously, main point is that, although you are correct the AOC was what Madison was talking about? Note that he used the term "confederacy" interchangable with "union"? Heck, as it is, the terms were used interchangable in the document itself. So doesn't all that lend some credence to the fact that, whether "union" or "confederacy" is used, it means a voluntary commitement to the same? Not a coerced one?

Last edited by TexasReb; 08-11-2011 at 04:38 PM..
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:35 PM
 
560 posts, read 204,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
You are quite correct, that slavery was the macro issue of the war vis-a-vis the polticial and economic power that the South derived from it, that they felt was now being threatened, in particular the expansion of slavery in the territories. The South also made no excuse or attempted to hide their desire to defend slavery in the CSA. However, it is an incorrect statement to say that the war was about/over slavery. It was the underlying issue that helped to cause the war, but no one in 1861 was fighting over slavery. They were fighting over the expansion of slavery and the polticial and economic power granted by slavery, but it was not the institution of slavery itself.

Lincoln himself was quite open on that point and more eloquently stated many of the same things that you are deriding Stephens over. Do not forget that Lincoln said this:



Abolishing slavery became the aim of the war in the North as it drug on and the Emancipation Proclamation had as much to do with rallying support in the North as it did with driving foreign interest, particularly anti-slave Britain, away from the South.

Therefore, I do think that while there is plenty of merit in your arguments, the assertion that the North was fighting to end slavery as an injustice against humanity is simply not correct. If Lincoln could have kept the nation together while maintaining slavery, he was quite open about his desire to do so.

You also evoked the Declaration of Independence (I think you mistated it was the Consitution) with the line "all men are created equal". While that line certainly evokes a lot of feelings, one needs to place it into the context of people of the late 18th Century and not place 21st Century meaning into it. The writers of the DOI when they wrote that were NOT referring to "all" men, they were referring to white property owners. As in Thomas Jefferson, et al were "equal" men to any other white property owner in England and were do the same rights enjoyed by those persons.

While I disagree with many of the assertions made by the "pro-South" block here, do not water down the "pro-North" position by assigning reason and moral highground where none existed.

I completely agree with you. I completely understand that war was over the expansion of slavery and the economic differences between the states due to slavery. I do not think the North entered the war in a humane crusade to end slavery, but Lincoln saw it as a political opportunity to reinvigorate the North who had grown weary of the war. I agree that Lincoln would of preserved the Union with slavery but the South left before that was even given a chance

Unfortunately, I've done a poor job of differencing my historical analysis from my irritation born from my time in South Carolina where some people seem almost convinced they're fighting a war that ended in 1865. Modern impact/obsession with the CSA in the contemporary South is interesting, but also very annoying when you meet it head on in people who carry a 150 year old grudge against people just cause they're from a certain state.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Southeast Arizona
2,601 posts, read 1,728,395 times
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Originally Posted by CincyIU29 View Post
I'll cede to you Douglas Harper is a proffesor, it took some digging around to find his name. Just because he is an accredited historian does not mean he is right however, he even says in his bio that he was on the Southern side

So, what does that mean, that he's "wrong" because he doesn't agree with you?

After literature, my online friend and I wandered into Civil War discussions, and instantly got pinned down by withering crossfire (we were on the Southern side)

My sources were actual documents not interpetations or derivations of the work.

I used:

The second link to the Cornerstone speech by Stephens you provided .

The language of the Dallas Tarriff, 1816.

The language of the Tarriff of 1828, 1828.

The Language of the Tarriff of 1832, 1832.

The Language of the Compromise of 1833, 1833

Yep, and those are all well and good, except your interpretation of the Cornerstone Speech. By calling him a racist moron you are applying modern mindsets to historical events, and with that sort of logic it is impossible for a civil discussion on these matters.

My information on the foreign reaction to the civil war comes from a collection of historical lettters, quotes, etc. collected by historians such as Ephiram Douglas Adams book, Great Britain and the American Civil war.

I ought to take a look at it sometime. I only have somewhat of an idea of what was going on in Europe at the time, but your assertion about what was happening in France wasn't cited. I happen to live in a part of Arizona that was somewhat affected by the French Invasion of Mexico in 1862 (Jurarez's escape from Mexico) and have at least some good knowlege of what France wanted to do with the country in the event of a Confederate victory.

You have never once responded to single counter point I make. I have responded to every single one of your counterpoint you made in your first post back to me. If your argument is so correct and strong it should be easy to do so.

I responded to almost all of your counterpoints, your problem is, is that because of my answers are seemingly not good enough. That I produce a pro-Southern Civil War scholar isn't good enough but you produce a pro-Northern Civil War scholar and it's all hunky-dory because my position would be moot. The fact is, you used the Cornerstone Speech to bludgeon us pro-Southers and I provided TWO SOURCES that state and outright confirm that the Cornerstone Speech and Alexander Stephens' own words are unreliable. If you want a true look at Confederate policy, read Jefferson Davis' Inagural Address or sometime OTHER than the Cornerstone Speech.

How people defend a nation built on the backs of degredation of others, undeniably enshrined in its constitution is beyond me.

So a country that says essentially "Slavery is a state issue", "If the day comes that a Confederate state becomes a free state and a slaveholder briefly travels through it his property won't be impaired but he can't stay in said state forever with said property" and leavs the door open for potential free states and PROHIBITS THE SLAVE TRADE is somehow beyond you? The secession documents only apply for the state that wrote it not the 11-13 state nation at large.

I used to have the smae views as you. However, in the course of my history classes taken at Indiana (I am a poli sci history major) including one by a South Carolinian from Columbia my opinion has been changed.
Well then, if you know my views so well, please state everything you once believed and correspond it to my current beliefs as you see it and we'll see what is comparable or not.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:48 PM
Status: "Summer vacation;out of town a lot and not on line much!" (set 17 days ago)
 
9,724 posts, read 10,469,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CincyIU29 View Post
I completely agree with you. I completely understand that war was over the expansion of slavery and the economic differences between the states due to slavery. I do not think the North entered the war in a humane crusade to end slavery, but Lincoln saw it as a political opportunity to reinvigorate the North who had grown weary of the war. I agree that Lincoln would of preserved the Union with slavery but the South left before that was even given a chance

Unfortunately, I've done a poor job of differencing my historical analysis from my irritation born from my time in South Carolina where some people seem almost convinced they're fighting a war that ended in 1865. Modern impact/obsession with the CSA in the contemporary South is interesting, but also very annoying when you meet it head on in people who carry a 150 year old grudge against people just cause they're from a certain state.
Now you sound a little more reasonable, Cincy, and perhaps a conversation is possible. NJGoat and I profoundly disagree with one another on certain things...but we carry on the same in a civil and mutually respectful way. I consider him a friend, for sure.

So just to say for the moment, I don't understand why you think that giving the Southern side of the War Between the States is tantamount to still fighting the war. Do you really think there are not two sides (at the least) to any historical question? And especially when it comes to war? As it is, it is the South -- as a region -- that is the most traditionally patriotic of all. Just because we are proud of the fighting spirits of our Confederate ancestors, and will present a side of the conflict so seldom heard, does NOT mean we are not proud to be Americans. My friend DesertKid has done a great job of articulating all this.

Matter of fact, you want to talk about regional bias and hate? It has been my experience that it is northerners (as in the sense of those who nurture a pathological hatred for the South) on the forum who keep wanting to bring all this stuff up...

Last edited by TexasReb; 08-11-2011 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:05 PM
Status: "Summer vacation;out of town a lot and not on line much!" (set 17 days ago)
 
9,724 posts, read 10,469,872 times
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Originally Posted by Desert kid View Post
Well then, if you know my views so well, please state everything you once believed and correspond it to my current beliefs as you see it and we'll see what is comparable or not.
Rep point already given...and plus 1! Outstanding job with all your posts, DK!
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:56 PM
 
560 posts, read 204,685 times
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Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
Now you sound a little more reasonable, Cincy, and perhaps a conversation is possible. NJGoat and I profoundly disagree with one another on certain things...but we carry on the same in a civil and mutually respectful way. I consider him a friend, for sure.

So just to say for the moment, I don't understand why you think that giving the Southern side of the War Between the States is tantamount to still fighting the war. Do you really think there are not two sides (at the least) to any historical question? And especially when it comes to war? As it is, it is the South -- as a region -- that is the most traditionally patriotic of all. Just because we are proud of the fighting spirits of our Confederate ancestors, and will present a side of the conflict so seldom heard, does NOT mean we are not proud to be Americans. My friend DesertKid has done a great job of articulating all this.

Matter of fact, you want to talk about regional bias and hate? It has been my experience that it is northerners (as in the sense of those who nurture a pathological hatred for the South) on the forum who keep wanting to bring all this stuff up...
Well I'm afraid the last part of what you said it has become a bit of a chicken and an egg thing with who disliking who.

In my experience I didn't really encounter the issue until I went to school in the South. While there were a couple Southerners who only judged me based on me and not where I came from, I had enough bad experiences that it was the beginning of a long chain of events that changed my opinion on the modern version of Southern pride.

To preface this I grew up following SEC football, which is where my idea to go down South and sympathy towards the CSA (States rights) and Southern pride began. However, my dad does not consider UF a Southern school and I didn't either, so I wanted the real deal in the deep South in SC.

I found that many were nice, until I told them I was from Ohio. Or I played lacrosse. Or that I liked the Bungles or Reds. At which point the person often became disinterested to the point of being rude. Confederate flags were everywhere and whenever we played a northern team in football I felt even more out of place and pressured to almost hide my identity.

It was this attitude of Southern exceptionalism the led me to question the pro-CSA sympathies developed my Sr. year of hs. An art history professor I had at IU from Columbia, SC caused to question it further. Then I read the Cornerstone speech and that pretty much sealed the deal.

For me whenever I see someone expressing Southern pride, it is usually associated with Civil War or ripping on the North.

I have no problem with regional pride (my time in the South really made me a lot more proud of my Midwestern background being from Cincinnati), in fact I wish the Midwest had more of it. But the fact that in the South it always seems to somehow drag up this ugly period in our history is grating and forces us to be reactionary and defend our region(s) the NE and MW.

I'm sure depending on where you went in the North you could've had the same treatment I had in reverse, but having to deal with it for 6th months made it manifest very strongly in my life at least.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:09 PM
Status: "Summer vacation;out of town a lot and not on line much!" (set 17 days ago)
 
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
GS picked up on this, but I need to question it as well. If the intent was to form a permanent nation, why would those same framers/ratifiers assume that is was anything but?
I am still not sure, NJ, why you seem to think I don't agree with that statement on a basic level. But it was only hope and intent...which is only natural; it wasn't the ultimate ideal to be enforced at any and all costs. There were other priciples working. Jackson said "Our Union, it must be preserved." Calhoun replied, "Our Union, next to our liberty, most dear."

Quote:
I think the question here comes down to the natural right of people to rebel against a system they feel is oppressing them, versus some legal/Constitutional right to leave the "permanent" nation. I fully agree that people have a moral right to rebel against a system that is oppressing them. That is what the colonies did, they rebelled. They did not secede from England through some legal cloak. They invoked the natural rights of man to choose their own destiny.
Here is, as we at least seem to agree, we are going to come to an impasse. Have you ever read the British side of the American Revolution? I did once, in a Western Civilizations course. It didn't convert me to a Tory, I hasten to add! LOL...but it gave me a perspective on history I had never thought of before. It really brought home that the winners write the history. Actaully King George was very accomodating toward the colonists. They (colonists) were VERY much more rebellious in ultimate intent than were the the fire-eaters of the Lower South. Can you imagine if the British had won? We would now be living in the, say, United Colonies of Great Britain and reading how jolly dandy it was that King George had had the cojones to put down a bunch of upstart rebels who had the audacity to dump perfectly good tea into the Boston Harbor! LOL

What I am saying here, is that the DOI was the South's justification as well. And such was spoken of in many of the justifications for secession. To add, the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America, featured a likeness of George Washington

Quote:
In that frame of reference, the South certainly had a moral right to rebel, but that sort of validation is not what you are seeking. You are seeking a legal means to justify secession and paint the actions of the North as to those of an aggressor nation acting against another sovereign entity. Sorry, but I can't buy that and I doubt we will ever find anything to clearly substantiate either position.
You are right in that we will simply never agree on this. At most, it is interesting and informative to discuss, and perhaps we might presuade -- in whichever direction!

Quote:
Ah, but the intent was not solely to form a national govenment to protect the United States from outside threat. It was also to protect the people from internal strife and provide a mechanism to defend the people against the encroachment of the then sovereign States upon their rights. The national government was formed by and for the people and its most direct effect was to guarantee certain rights to the people that could not be infringed upon by any government. Again, it was as much about defense against internal enemies as it was against external enemies. MA and TX were no longer allowed to be MA and TX if those actions would infringe on the rights of the people, those rights were guaranteed by the Constitution and the federal government was sworn to defend them.
Again, this is where it will all come go logger-heads with us. If Massachussetts and Texas were no longer permitted by the central government to govern themsleves? What "rights"? would be violated? The whole purpose of the federation was to ally with one another out of practical considerations...and that the said central government would protect the same. Simply that and nothing more.

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My tariff statement was in response to an earlier assertion by you that the Civil War was persecuted by the North in order to retain the income from tariffs at Southern ports. I fully recognize that as one of the reasons for Southern secession, but I find it lacking to be a motivator for Northern persecution of the war.
I never said Southern ports...I said the disproportiate percentage of taxes paid by the Southern states. But ok, I won't quibble too much on that one. I will, however, bring up this one by Horace Greely (a staunch Union man):

New York Daily Tribune, December 17, 1860, “the great principle embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration is that governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed.” If the Southern states wished to depart, “they have a clear right to do so.” And, if tyrannical government justified the Revolution of 1776, “we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Million of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861.”

I will have to dig it out, but Lincoln told Greeley, when the latter just asked why not let the "erring sisters go in peace", replied, cynically, something like "then where will we get our tax money"? (the Southern states paid about 75% of that coming in to the national treasury).

So my always counter-reply is, what was the WAS the reason for Lincoln to invade the South? Can you really say with all candor that it was all about some altruistic desire to keep the union together in a way which respects the whole concept of union?

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That's going to loop us back into a perspective based argument that we won't find common ground on.
Of course we agree on that!

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Is repudiating the principles of the DOI a greater injustice than repudiating the law of the Constitution? Is repudiating the principles of the DOI in order to maintain the unity of the nation it helped form an injustice? I'm already pretty sure what your answers are. These are simply rhetorical statements.
It goes without saying, I don't accept the basics of your argument here as given from your outlook. If there is anything the DOI advanced, it was that government derives its just powers from the consent of the government. No way around that one. It was Lincoln's policies that repudiated the said truism.

Quote:
However, if we take your principles of the DOI, those principles would assert the rights of men to REBEL against a government that is oppressing them. It does not assert the right of men to secede unilateraly from a nation. If we want to shroud ourselves in the DOI, then think about what it actually says and what that would mean to your argument. If the South was invoking such a moral right, than that would mean they were rebelling and the actions of the North were justified.
The only way I reply to that is, really, going back to "government derives its powers from the consent of the governened." Reason being, we will be forever entangled in which side had "morality" on its side. To me, the ultimate justification is that the people of the South -- right or wrong, rash or foohardy or not --wished to seperate themselves from a political connection from the northern states. And offered to do so in the most peaceful and conciliatory way possible. Lincoln rejected this, and had to use subterfuge to start a war that was never necessary.

Quote:
You are correct that it was an unfair question, because it's alt history and merely a guess as to what the future may have held with a divided nation. I do believe that as a NATION we are better for having fought the Civil War, but that doesn't mean not having fought it and simply parted ways would have resulted in something that wasn't even better than what we have today.
As you say, we can never really know the answer to that question!
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:19 PM
Status: "Summer vacation;out of town a lot and not on line much!" (set 17 days ago)
 
9,724 posts, read 10,469,872 times
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Originally Posted by CincyIU29 View Post
Then I read the Cornerstone speech and that pretty much sealed the deal.
Cincy? I appreciate your respectful and civil reply, and will reply in more detail later...but for the moment, I just want to take a minute to request that you read the links DesertKid provided putting it all in proper perspective and all. Stevens and Lincoln were actually good friends, and the former said nothing that the latter did not say, himself, in so many words. By today's standards, almost ANYONE -- North or South -- would be considered a hopeless "racist". And I am sure you know that the slave-trade itself was a purely northern commodity?

Anyway, again, thanks for a congenial missive. As it is, I gotta get off line for the evening! Gotta get up early in the morning!

G'night all!
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Originally Posted by CincyIU29 View Post
Unfortunately, I've done a poor job of differencing my historical analysis from my irritation born from my time in South Carolina where some people seem almost convinced they're fighting a war that ended in 1865. Modern impact/obsession with the CSA in the contemporary South is interesting, but also very annoying when you meet it head on in people who carry a 150 year old grudge against people just cause they're from a certain state.
I find your paragraph above very interesting; can you tell me what years you were in South Carolina? I had no idea so many southerners still had the attitude you are describing. I have some family who live in the south (and they always have) but I have not encountered that attitude much. My family is pretty much urban. Could that make a difference? My famility members are in Little Rock, Baton Rouge, Mobile, and Georgia (none in South Carollina).

This is sort of a side issue and some may consider it off-topic to the thread, but I am the OP and I have an elastic view of on/off-topic. That doesn't mean I think I "own" the thread; I am just pleading for some tolerance for these side issues, as I find them fascinating. I wouldn't mind starting a new thread if some "strict constructionists" of on-topicness object to this here. (In some other forums on- versus off-topic has been a fierce and emotional issue, much to my mystification).
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