Re: I sort of wish I'd never heard of this.

1

We flipped before 2, but I'm not sure if it was an age thing. It may have been at a given weight/height benchmark. Now I'd love to flip him back so he won't criticize my driving.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:42 AM
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I know it's wrong, but man, do I hate car seats and am i happy my kids are past them. They make it insanely difficult to take anyone else's kids anywhere unless you have a ridiculously huge car.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:47 AM
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2: I heard you. My wife must read the same blogs as Heebie. I want to dump the car seat and move to a booster now that we've hit the legal weight.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:50 AM
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Go with 1. Height/weight are what's important; age is just a proxy.

Our kids are both relatively small, so our first flipped at two and our second may not even flip then.

All that said, all the evidence seems to be that rear-facing-as-long-as-possible really is safest. From a pure safety perspective, leaving them rear-facing until their at the rear-facing height/weight max is your best bet.

But it's inconvenient, I agree.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:54 AM
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"their" s/b "they're"


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:55 AM
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If you embed the kid in a solid block of styrofoam you can just stick 'em in the trunk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:57 AM
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You can get a teddy bear with a mirror for a belly. That sometimes help them amuse themselves. Or reflects the sun right into their eyes. Whichever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:58 AM
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6: Like Hans Solo!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:58 AM
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You can get a teddy bear with a mirror for a belly.

Yeah, we've got one of these, which is nice because I can also see from my rearview to her mirror to her.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:59 AM
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8: Star Wars was huge in Germany.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:00 AM
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I can forward you several very long articles on this topic as I recently had a case on this issue.

Child safety people say: Keep them facing backwards as long as possible.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:05 AM
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God, I hate the entire car seat thing. Apparently you're now supposed to keep a kid in a booster seat until they are 80 pounds, which is just absurd. The average kid doesn't break that weight until puberty. Hell, my grandmother only weighs ninety pounds.

You know what I remember fondly from my pre-80lb days? Riding down the interstate unsecured in the bed of a pickup truck.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:05 AM
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12.2: My dad always tied us to the truck bed so we couldn't get into the cooler with the beer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:07 AM
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I get nervous when I see people and pets in the back of pick-up trucks, flying down the highway.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:07 AM
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But that nervousness long predates being a parent. I've just got mega vehicle safety fear.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:08 AM
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12: That and airbags meaning a kid can't ride in the front seat. When Sally hit 100 lbs, suddenly our car became much much bigger and more useful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:08 AM
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The idea is to make parents agonize over this enough, so that they won't ever forget their kids are there.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:10 AM
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I do not have access to the full study but I am annoyed by the trumpeting of the "5x" safer claim. Here is what the abstract says:

Children in FFCSs were significantly more likely to be seriously injured than children restrained in RFCSs in all crash types (OR = 1.76, 95% CI 1.40 to 2.20). When considering frontal crashes alone, children in FFCSs were more likely to be seriously injured (OR = 1.23), although this finding was not statistically significant (95% CI 0.95 to 1.59). In side crashes, however, children in FFCSs were much more likely to be injured (OR = 5.53, 95% CI 3.74 to 8.18).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:11 AM
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I've never actually ridden in the bed of a truck on the interstate. That would have terrified even my dad. One time, I stopped for a family stranded on the interstate. When I offered them a ride, they hopped in the back of my pick-up (which did have a topper) right away. I'm not sure if they didn't get in the cab because they were afraid I was a serial killer or afraid I might worry they were serial kills or just because of all the fast food wrappers on the floor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:13 AM
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18: So yes, it looks safer backwards, but I'd love to see the actual data.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:14 AM
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In side crashes, however, children in FFCSs were much more likely to be injured (OR = 5.53, 95% CI 3.74 to 8.18).

It's weird that there would be a difference in side crashes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:14 AM
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And remember parents, if you don't the newest, latest safest things for your kids it means you don't love them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:15 AM
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Also agree with 1. We actually switched to front-facing shortly before one year, which I don't think was legal in our jurisdiction regardless of the child's size. But the kid was 95th percentile in height and weight, and switching definitely reduced her risk of death from extreme outrage and frustration.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:16 AM
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21: I wonder if they controlled for the type of car? I could see a coupe being both less side in a side impact (no central pillar) and more likely to have forward-facing seats (because of the extra reach required to get the kid back there).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:17 AM
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"less side in a side impact" s/b "less safe in a side impact"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:19 AM
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Apparently you're now supposed to keep a kid in a booster seat until they are 80 pounds

They appear to not be accounting for the fatality rate among eighth-graders who commit suicide out of embarrassment from having to ride in a goddamn booster seat.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:24 AM
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British guidelines on front/rear facing seem to be based on weight, not age, which seems sensible. 9kg. is the flipping point.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:29 AM
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27 et al,

I don't think anyone is really arguing that age is the most important factor, (although it is illegal to turn your kid around before 12 months.)

The debate is to turn your kid around at 20 lbs (or whatever the legal limit is) or to keep them facing backwards as long as possible, until they outgrow the upper bound on your carseat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:32 AM
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9kg. is the flipping point.

Which is the legal flipping point in the US, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:34 AM
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Legally, your kid must be both over 1 and over 20 lbs. I feel like those last two comments were incoherent. I'm just saying that focusing on the age is a red herring to the actual debate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:35 AM
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You can put a red herring in a forward facing seat regardless of age.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:35 AM
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12
God, I hate the entire car seat thing. Apparently you're now supposed to keep a kid in a booster seat until they are 80 pounds, which is just absurd. The average kid doesn't break that weight until puberty.

IANAParent, but surely that only applies if they are in the front seat, right? Which still might be annoying, to have the kids in back away from your watchful eye and where they're more likely to get motion sick and god knows what else, but at least you don't have to carry a booster seat around with you wherever you go.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:39 AM
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IANAParent, but surely that only applies if they are in the front seat, right?

No.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:40 AM
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Apparently you're now supposed to keep a kid in a booster seat until they are 80 pounds

My otherwise mild-mannered son revolted at this after 5th grade, when he weighed in at about 65 pounds, and ms bill and I caved. But we kept both kids in rear-facing car seats as infants per the prescribed height/weight/age, and I have the tweaked back to remember it by.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:43 AM
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On the one hand, I agree with everyone else that all of this is crazy. (And my wife reads the same blogs as Heebie, so she becomes irate when I so much as suggest that keeping our kids in booster seats until they've lost their virginity might be somewhat excesive, since that apparently means I have no regard for their safety.)

On the other hand, driving around really is pretty much the only statistically pretty damn dangerous thing that we do more or less all the time, and for little kids the rate of automotive serious injuries and deaths dwarfs pretty much all other serious injuries and deaths. So taking precautions to lower that risk, even if that means doing things we're used to doing (which is always the case, if we're changing behavior to reduce risk), doesn't seem like a bad idea.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:46 AM
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32: They aren't supposed to be in the front seat until they're 100 pounds. By the time my youngest kids enter junior high school, the law probably won't allow them to ride in cars at all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:46 AM
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I'm pretty sure we should start putting big spaceballs helmets on them in the car, just to be safe, until they are 200 lbs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:47 AM
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35 s.b "doing things we're *not* used to doing".

And all the other errors should be fixed as well.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:51 AM
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until they are 200 lbs

Sweet. I can take mine off.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:52 AM
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Maybe this is the real explanation of the childhood obesity epidemic -- parents systematically fattening their kids so they're front-seat eligible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:52 AM
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I just sew little fishing weights into all the hems of her clothes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:53 AM
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Like my parents did with their orange tree, to keep the oranges from growing out of easy reach.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:54 AM
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If you used magnets instead, you could just stick her to the hood.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:54 AM
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Facing backwards, of course.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:55 AM
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41: Aren't those lead?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:55 AM
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45: I should probably use red herrings.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:59 AM
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Now that I think of it, I have a vague recollection that they now make steel weights (for the sake of ducks).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:01 AM
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I may have that backwards and they stopped people from shooting at ducks with lead to save the fish. Its been years since I did any outdoor animal killing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:06 AM
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21: It's weird that there would be a difference in side crashes.

Yes, since the explanations given are related to frontal crashes: That's because the extreme forces in some frontal crashes can jerk the heads of forward-facing children away from their immature bodies, creating a risk of spinal cord injuries. Rear-facing children are safer because their entire backs absorb the force of the crash.

Also the reporting and the poorly written abstract to the article (anyone have access to the full?) are pissing me off. Everyone picks up on the 5x and the abstract does indeed say, When 1 year olds were analyzed separately, these children were also more likely to be seriously injured when restrained in FFCSs (OR = 5.32, 95% CI 3.43 to 8.24), but that sentence immediately follows the one on side collisions being 5x so it is unclear whether it is applies to just the 1-year olds in the side-crash subset or all one-year olds (I'm going to bet that it is the former).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:06 AM
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48: I kill a lot of animals with my car these days since I face backwards when I drive for my safety.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:08 AM
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Sometimes I have dreams that I'm trying to drive from the backseat, without a driver's seat in the way. I'm just very, very far away from the controls. I doubt it means anything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:10 AM
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49: I can't get to it: "Most recent three years not available."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:11 AM
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51: I've had that dream several times, but there is a driver's seat in the way in my version. It's an unpleasant and panicky sensation, followed by deep confusion about why I was trying to drive in the back seat to begin with.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:13 AM
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Where's teo?


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:14 AM
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Idea: build and market a car where the entire back seat faces to the rear.


Posted by: eliphaz | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:14 AM
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build and market a car where the entire back seat faces to the rear

Done.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:22 AM
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How about rear facing until age 5:

The issue becomes confusing because both groups also advise that children are safer if they remain rear facing until the upper height and weight limit of their car seats. Many seats top out at 35 pounds in the rear-facing position, a weight many children don't reach until somewhere between their third and fourth birthdays. It's rare in the U.S. for children to remain rear facing that long, although several countries require their youngest passengers to ride rear facing until they are 4 or 5 years old and 55 pounds.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:24 AM
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JP,
pdf sent.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:24 AM
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56: Also.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:25 AM
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58: Thanks.

56: I had a Ford Taurus station wagon years ago that had a seat like that which the kids loved.

My dream is either driving from the back seat, but more commonly driving in reverse wildly out-of-control often on mountainous roads. One of the rare unpleasant dreams I have, but very acutely unpleasant when i do have it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:30 AM
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Why is the weight at which the seats top out supposed to be indicative of anything except how much weight the seats can bear?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:57 AM
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61: I don't see where anybody said it indicates anything else. It's just that you usually don't get to that top weight before something else intervenes (i.e. complaining, little legs not having enough room).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:02 AM
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little legs not having enough room

This has already become an issue with both of my little ones (in both my small Saturn and our Jetta station wagon), and neither one is anywhere close to 80 pounds. I suppose it's no problem for SUVs and minivans.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:07 AM
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63: I was thinking more of the rear-facing seat. At least with ours, well before he hit the maximum weight for the rear-facing mode, he started to fuss because he couldn't extend his legs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:08 AM
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I think, for safety's sake, everyone in the car should be rear facing. Including the driver.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:45 AM
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In our experience, the real shift in car comfort comes when the little critter starts to talk, and you can actually have little conversations as you drive. It takes the stress of both of you.

In general, I've been moving to a more risk-friendly parenting attidute. Yesterday my almost 5 year old climbed really high in a tall tree, higher than he had ever been in that tree, a fact that he was quite proud of. He had his weight between two branches, one of which was quite thin. He then started entertaining himself by breaking other small branches near him. Every time I heard a branch snap, I looked over in panic.

Still I had to let him stay up there. I mean, if an almost five year old can't climb way high up in trees, what is the world coming too?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:48 AM
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I never realized the car seat rules were so overbearing. I have no memories of riding in a car seat. Feeling a little more sympathy for people who buy giant minivans since it must seem like those are the only cars that can hold two giant car seats.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:49 AM
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51, 53, 60: Wow, I've had that dream too. I had no idea it was a common dream. In most of my vesions of it, I am trying to drive a bus or an absurdly long Cadillac.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:50 AM
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Good lord, where is teofilo with the link.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:53 AM
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Jimmy Pongo has it covered in 54. This is a robust blog, with enough redundancy that we don't need every commenter to be on alert at all times. Just like a good ecosystem, there's some overlapping functions.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:57 AM
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I missed that. I'm going to go extinct, aren't I.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:01 PM
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23 was us too. We turned the kid around as soon as he hit the minimum weight for front-facing because otherwise he fussed way the hell too much. Maybe eight or ten months? We'll no doubt go to hell for that, but the kid is fine.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:03 PM
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No no. You're way too domesticated to go extinct. I myself will probably plant six or seven eggplant plants this summer, just for me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:04 PM
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Thank goodness. I'll take a life of domestic servitude. I hear Avocado's doing well for itself.
My version of the dream is that the steering column is weirdly disconnected. It's a higher stress version of the one where I'm trying to shoot baskets, but the instant the ball leaves my hand it veers off. Fortunately, I have awesome dunking powers.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:14 PM
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No time to read the whole thread, but 72 was what I did too -- turn around at about 11 months. Definitely the reduction in fuss (avoiding a crash) was way safer than whatever crash-protective benefits were present in rear-facing. It made a huge difference in everyone's quality of life.

When I was 8, I was doing things like riding in the back of a pickup. Goddamn nanny state.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:20 PM
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Back to the OPP, we found these things very helpful for the sun issue. (I don't think we have that brand, but we have basically the same product.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:25 PM
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The only driving stress dream I remember involved the steering wheel coming off and my (then not yet) ex insisting that I take just a minute to focus on some trivial thing she wanted to talk about, while I tried to get her to grab the reserve steering wheel (the one that pops out on the passenger side if the main one falls off). There is no symbolic content to this dream whatsoever, so don't even bother, OK?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:25 PM
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I never did do this, but I'd heard that if you take the strike anywhere matches and put a bunch of them in an apple (fire-end out) and pitched it from the back of a moving pick-up, it was a very satisfying visual scene. It would also make your mom, NHTSA, Smokey the Bear, and whoever was behind you cry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:26 PM
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Moby, just the thought of that makes my heart race. Does your state not go up in flames for eight months a year?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:34 PM
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79: Not that I've noticed. Long ago, in another state, my brother and I once started a hay field on fire without knowing about it until later and without adult knowing about it at all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:36 PM
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I think you would notice if it did.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:41 PM
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I think I read somewhere that starting fires doesn't mean you are going to become a serial killer unless you also either wet the bed or enjoy cruelty to animals. So we were fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:42 PM
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81: No. We set-off bottle rockets and then went inside. A friend of ours came to the door about a half hour later all excited because he'd had to stomp out the fire. It didn't get much bigger than a couple of square yards.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:44 PM
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82: Well, it is still an open question, isn't it?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:46 PM
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I have never been to my brother's basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:48 PM
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84: Should no man be called a serial killer while he lives?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:54 PM
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Of course, planting eggplants is suspicious enough. They aren't edible in any but the technical sense. Is it just to cover-up digging undertaken for other reasons?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:55 PM
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Back to the OPP, we found these things very helpful for the sun issue. (I don't think we have that brand, but we have basically the same product.)

On ours, the suction cups will not stay fixed. I just went and bought a clingy tinted roll of something similar, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 12:58 PM
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Does your state not go up in flames for eight months a year?

No fire season at all down here, a little because of all the rain and humidity, but mostly because we had the good sense to build our state entirely out of asbestos.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:09 PM
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Which is good, because of all of the cheerfully lit smokes tossed from moving cars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:20 PM
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Indeed. If there was anything remotely like a burn season down here, the entire southeast would have been reduced to a pile of ash decades ago.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:22 PM
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Who would want to live in a place that isn't constantly beset by forest fires, mudslides and earthquakes? It just doesn't make sense.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:23 PM
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I myself was more responsible. I only threw light cigarettes out of the car if I was driving through Chapel Hill. I figured they had better insurance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:23 PM
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92: For the good government.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:24 PM
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91: Climate change: the General Sherman of the 21st century.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:24 PM
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All men should be called serial killers while they live. If they die without having killed serially, the history books will sort it out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:29 PM
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95: Moves a lot more slowly, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:30 PM
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94 was mean, Moby. Although it made me laugh aloud.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:36 PM
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Moves a lot more slowly, though.

...and inverts the pattern of primarily injuring white people.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:39 PM
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Over the course of his career, Sherman injured waaaaaay more red people than white ones.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:44 PM
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100: This surprises me. Spent more time in combat with Native Americans than with Confederates, sure (that is, I don't know, but sounds reasonable. Somehow I associate Sheridan with Native Americans rather than Sherman, but I don't actually remember much solid), but were casualty numbers really high enough to add up to the kind of casualties in the Civil War, even over a longer time?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:47 PM
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I've had the dream in 51, 53, 60 and 68 as well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:53 PM
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101: I don't know numbers, but this doesn't sound good.


Posted by: Brock Llaanders | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:58 PM
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102: Me too. I wonder what was the pre-automobile equivalent, if any.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 1:59 PM
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103: Yeah, I've been googling since I posted 100 -- I'm mostly quibbling about "waaaaaaay more", when "lots" is clearly true. I can't find a lot of hard casualty numbers for the Indian Wars -- it just seems implausible that they were anywhere near as efficient at killing people as the Civil War.

Also, the Welsh look suits you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:02 PM
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104: Suddenly you realize the reins are just tied to the dashboard, not to the horses?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:03 PM
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Also, the Welsh look suits you.

Sort of a Welsh/Flemish cross.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:04 PM
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I'm walking, but I appear not to be in control of my shoes. Aagh!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:05 PM
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I don't think Sherman was in charge of the Civil War in the same way he was in charge of the Indian Wars, but my historical knowledge here is a little shaky. Maybe the ari batsignal should be lit up. Anyhow, as I understand it, the March to the Sea was far more destructive to property than people.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:06 PM
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You're turning the spinning wheel, but it's moving the butter churn.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:07 PM
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Pounding with rock, but rock not in hand!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:08 PM
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109: The March to the Sea wasn't terribly bloody, but there was a whole lot more combat he was involved in during the Civil War. Not that I know casualty counts broken down by general.

But I guess I wasn't allowing for "Commanding General of the Army" making all casualties during his tenure his problem, while just being one of many generals in the Civil War lessens his personal responsibility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:10 PM
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The real question is how many individuals did Sherman personally eat?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:14 PM
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||

So as we head into the summer months, and our esteemed front page posters scatter off to tend to their other obligations, I'm wondering if unfogged shouldn't be more like network television and have a fallow period where only greatest hits posts from the archives are reposted, only with a fresh comment thread. A chance to replay the tape of history, as it were.

Additional benefits would accrue from the build-up of excitement around the new fall lineup, with ALL NEW EPISODES like "LB broods about a disturbing position taken by the Solicitor General", "Heebie shares details of assembling blowmolded plastic children's toys", and "Neb writes about something incomprehensible about some obscure band again" (the overhyped Beamish show having been cancelled after the pilot).

|>


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:16 PM
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Man, it's depressing rooting for anyone in the 19th C. I have Sherman mentally filed as one of the good guys, and of course that doesn't work in any context other than the actual Civil War. (Not that wanting to root for Sherman was why I was quibbling. I was mostly just stuck on thinking that the Indian wars didn't have the sort of giant meatgrinder battles the Civil War had.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:17 PM
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I have Sherman mentally filed as one of the good guys, and of course that doesn't work in any context other than the actual Civil War.

This is baffling to me, since I think if him as one of the original architects of modern "total war", war against civilian populations as a political tactic, and a host of other atrocities. But you're a Yankee, I guess.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:20 PM
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That link in 103 is a neo-confederate attack on a pro-union, pro-Sherman piece written by Victor Hanson. It's got all of my heuristics crossed up -- I glanced at it and thought "yeah, of course, VDH is a moron who is wrong about everything . . . Wait a minute, war of aggression against the southern people what?"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:22 PM
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it's depressing rooting for anyone in the 19th C.

Honestly, it's hard to root for the American military at any point in history, except during brief interludes where we became the good guys only by virtue of the overwhelming nastiness of the other side (see also: Stalin during WWII).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:22 PM
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115: I would not be surprised to learn that many (even most) of the people who criticize Sherman for his Indian war shootings are really white southerners who are mostly pissed that he burnt Atlanta or something. The number of people who care about the Civil War simply staggers the number of people who care about anything else from the 19th Century.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:23 PM
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My best friend is a descendant of Sherman, and his cousin is actually named William Tecumseh Sherman F--, which is kind of awkward to have on your driver's license if you get pulled over in the South.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:23 PM
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Not written by Hanson, but the rest of 117 is correct.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:24 PM
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119 was pnwed by 117. Which doesn't bother me this time as I thought the piece in 103 was really strange also, but I wasn't confident enough of my history to call it neo-confederate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:25 PM
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115: Coates.

(McMegan, alas, is still a jackass.)


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:25 PM
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Yeah, I almost didn't link to it for that very reason, but honestly I just didn't want to waste time finding another link.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:26 PM
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120:
"Do you know how fast you were going, son?"

"Not half as fast as my great-great-granddaddy went through this shithole."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:26 PM
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And 121 is wrong because I misread 117. Pay me no mind, please.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:28 PM
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126.last is assumed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:28 PM
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Also, is "Brock Llaanders" related to "Btock"? If so, a bit early in the day, isn't it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:29 PM
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But you're a Yankee, I guess.

Ayup.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:29 PM
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I knew I could count on you, Moby.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:29 PM
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My best friend is a descendant of Sherman, and his cousin is actually named William Tecumseh Sherman F--, which is kind of awkward to have on your driver's license if you get pulled over in the South.

Especially the surname F#*$.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:31 PM
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116: My understanding is that the demonization of Sherman's march was in large part done retrospectively as part of the neo-Confederate movement. Sure, shades of "total war" (as if it had never been practiced before), but the real goal was to get quickly to the coast (and then north into South Carolina) which included outstripping the supply chain (so yeah, foraging necessary) and destroying the key infrastructure but not a real scorched earth policy.

A Yankee here as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:31 PM
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My first ancestor in the U.S. got his farm* for service in the Civil War. A bunch of the Irish got killed, but I think it help many of those who got through.

* no mule.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:33 PM
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"So, where's the fire?"


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:33 PM
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IMO, Sherman is a progenitor of "total war" only if by that phrase you mean "property destruction and massive freeing of slaves.". I think attempts to link him to total warfare in the WWII sense are basically a neoconfederate canard -- and in any case "total war" usually refers to a country's internal organization, not its actions in foreign theaters. But Sherman very clearly didn't think that mass killings of southern civilians was necessary.

And I'm perfectly fine with the US army in the revolutionary, civil, and two world wars. Even in more questionable situations, on a comparative basis to other world armies the US army looks pretty good.

I doubt that Sherman was worse than his contemporaries vis a vis the Indians, but I don't really know enough to back up that point.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:36 PM
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Especially the surname F#*$.

Like this guy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:36 PM
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Completely unrelated to the topic at hand, I have a non-rhetorical question for the "progressives need to oppose a Democratic legislative priority from the left to show they are a force to be reckoned with" faction.

The Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would outlaw employment discrimination against gays and lesbians, looks like it could come up for a vote soon. Let's stipulate that, as the linked post suggests could happen, the bill goes to the floor with protection for LGBT, but an amendment passes that strips out the T. Should progressives vote to against final passage?

If not, why?

I ask out of sincere curiousity, not trollishness.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:37 PM
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132: My understanding as well. Also, for those who haven't read all the archives, my father on the subject.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:37 PM
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137.last: There's a difference?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:38 PM
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139: The difference is only perceptible under ultraviolet light.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:42 PM
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I'm aware that a lot of the demonizing of Sherman is neo-confederate b.s., but I do think the defenses of him are pretty weak. I've read enough to convince me he was no angel. He was on the right side, I guess, so that counts for something.

included outstripping the supply chain (so yeah, foraging necessary)

And simultaneously destroying the confederate supply chain, which was civilians' stuff.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:43 PM
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138: I love that story and have passed it on several times.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:44 PM
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141.1 seems to imply that somebody whose job involves wholesale destruction and slaughter is by definition not an angel, which definition does not seem well supported by the old testament.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:46 PM
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He was on the right side, I guess, so that counts for something.

In war "on the right side" is pretty much everything.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:48 PM
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141: You're aware that war is often hard on civilian populations?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:49 PM
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143: Excellent point! Turns out that Sherman was positively angelic!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:49 PM
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141.1 seems to imply that somebody whose job involves wholesale destruction and slaughter is by definition not an angel, which definition does not seem well supported by the old testament.

No, being an angel requires engaging in no more wholesale destruction and slaughter than the interests of justice strictly require. Angels in the old testament were good at getting this exactly right; Sherman was not.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:50 PM
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I do think the defenses of him are pretty weak

Especially during the Indian Wars, where he essentially ordered the extermination of any Indians that wouldn't allow themselves to be rounded up and shipped to a reservation.

perfectly fine with the US army in the revolutionary, civil, and two world wars

I'm not fine with the firebombing of civilian populations or the instant destruction of entire cities with nukes, but I understand that people disagree about that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:51 PM
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144: So, we'd say Sherman was on the "right side" against the South, but the "wrong side" against the Indians.

Is there some formula we should use to calculate his moral worth?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:54 PM
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The first step is converting everything to mouse orgasms.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:55 PM
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149: The formula would probably have to involve calculus. I can never remember how to do that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:55 PM
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No, being an angel requires engaging in no more wholesale destruction and slaughter than the interests of justice strictly require. Angels in the old testament were good at getting this exactly right; Sherman was not.

The children that lived in Sodom were really very naughty!



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:56 PM
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On the boring original subject, our rear-facing seat seems to top out at 22 lbs, which I guess pretty much nullifies the issue. (J. is pretty shrimpy, so I bet she'll be well over 1 before she weighs 22 pounds, too.) Hmm, of course we could get a convertible variety with a higher weight capacity when it's time to switch, and go on using it in rear-facing mode. Dang.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:57 PM
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||

Siouxsie Sioux is 52.

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:59 PM
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No, being an angel requires engaging in no more wholesale destruction and slaughter than the interests of justice strictly require.

Then again, the rise of the neo-Confederate movement suggests that perhaps Sherman's total war wasn't total enough.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 2:59 PM
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Just wrap the kid in at least five layers of bubble wrap until she's 25. Reduces injury in car crashes AND prevents STDs!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:00 PM
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Best yet, adopt a 20-year-old with his or her own apartment.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:01 PM
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I'm not gonna defend Sherman during the Indian Wars, because I don't know enough to do so. I do think that 141 and 147 are fairly ridiculously narrow constructions of what it means to be "at war," and particularly silly as applied to Sherman, whose strategy involved enabling his army to move quickly and to cut off the confederate supply chain.

I think the issues raised in 148 are tough calls. My short answer is: firebombing of Tokyo and many German cities probably OK, Dresden no, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, no, at least not without a more serious run at obtaining peaceful (but unconditional) surrender first. But I view those all as tough questions and find it hard to contemplate the mentality of actually commanding an army through a real world war.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:01 PM
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155: OK, McConnell, last chance: get with the program or we go all Sir Arthur Harris on your ass.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:02 PM
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My dismissive tone in "he was on the right side, I guess, so that counts for something" was intended to suggest that he shouldn't get much credit for it--at a first approxmiation, I'd say each mouse orgasm should be divided by four. He just happened to be fighting for the side that was morally in the right. It's not as if it were a moral imperative for him.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:02 PM
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The children that lived in Sodom were really very naughty!

Were they ever.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:05 PM
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147: What's the basis for saying that Sherman engaged in more "wholesale destruction and slaughter" than was necessary? I'm not aware of a major civilian death toll (in the Civil War) to be laid at his feet, and this:

And simultaneously destroying the confederate supply chain, which was civilians' stuff.

seems really weak. If it's stuff that's going to be used to support an army, destroying it is legitimate (and, to the extent that it brings a quicker end to the war, possibly merciful).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:05 PM
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What's the basis for saying that Sherman engaged in more "wholesale destruction and slaughter" than was necessary?

I don't want to rehash conversations we've had before--suffice to say that you and I have sharply differing views on the necessity of the civil war.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:09 PM
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Post title to 163.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:11 PM
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163: Right, I'd forgotten. But that's any Civil War general, then, not anything peculiar to Sherman.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:13 PM
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requires engaging in no more wholesale destruction and slaughter than the interests of justice strictly require. Angels in the old testament were good at getting this exactly right; Sherman was not.

I'll step up and do the full-throated defense of Sherman here (as regards his Civil War command, not his Indian War role). The conduct of the Union army under his command was (1) militarily justified; (2) appropriately measured w/r/t avoidance of civilian casualties; and (3) no worse than what the CSA undertook when and where they were in a position to do so.

Militarily justified. The strategic logic of disrupting the enemies supply line has already been mentioned. And indeed, in the first phase of the campaign (from Tennessee to the burning of Atlanta) that's exactly what it entailed. In the second and third phases of the campaign, the intent was as much to demoralize the enemy (by showing its powerlessness to continue the war) as to interdict sources of supply. There was also a deliberate effort (some of it more bottom up than top down) to inflict punishment on the malefactors. In the third phase of the campaign (Savannah to Virginia) this was especially apparent; contemporary accounts suggest that gratuitious destruction of non-strategic property (curtains and dishes and what-not) was more common in South Carolina than neighboring states, and at the estates of prominent seccessionist firebrands. I'll call that strategically justified; to paraphrase someone else, every so often you have to take a slave state and slam it against the wall just to show we can do it.

2. Appropriately measured. As mentioned by others, the March to the sea was not about indiscriminate slaughter of anyone (unless we're counting livestock), much less civilians. Sherman even permitted an evacuation of Atlanta before he burned it, which is more than Bomber Harris can say. (There's also some debate about how much of the burning of Atlanta was intentional; a burning cotton warehouse is dangerously unpredictable.)

3. No worse than tactics employed by the CSA. The tactic of increasing cavalry mobility by expropriating the property of civilians ("living off the land") was pioneered by the CSA. The South obviously had less of an opportunity to pillage Northern civilians because they barely penetrated beyond Maryland, but they did it to their own people in the Shenandoah Valley until the Union started scorched earth tactics to deny them. And tearing railroads to deny their use to the enemy was practiced by both sides; Sherman's major innovation in this regard was a technique for twisting the rails so they couldn't be repaired.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:15 PM
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163 really kicks things up a notch.

Also, by 1863-1864-1865 (the relevant years if we're talking about Sherman) the war was not only "necessary" but very much underway. It was a good idea to win it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:19 PM
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The tactic of increasing cavalry mobility by expropriating the property of civilians ("living off the land") was pioneered by the CSA

O RLY?


Posted by: OPINIONATED GENGHIS KHAN | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:19 PM
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165: any Union general, you mean.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:20 PM
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Sherman's major innovation in this regard was a technique for twisting the rails so they couldn't be repaired

And, simultaneously inventing the roller coaster.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:20 PM
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169: Because the Southern generals were mostly sticking daisies in Union rifle barrels?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:24 PM
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169: If there was a moral obligation not to fight the Civil War, because the underlying issues weren't worth it, wouldn't it apply to both sides? If I put my head on one side and squint, I can get to a pacifist-esque position that says that there are no justified wars. But I can't see any position other than a pro-secession one that makes the Union unjustified and the South justified.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:26 PM
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I can't agree with that. I really like eggplant, and eat it all sorts of ways. Roasted with a pesto-ish topping is particularly good.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:27 PM
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Or what NPH said, more succinctly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:27 PM
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I'm guessing that 166 pretty much closes the book on the evolution described here.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:28 PM
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172: I don't agree with either component, but I can see such a position: National sovereignty is inviolable by other sovereigns and U.S. States are sovereign entities.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:30 PM
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149:So, we'd say Sherman was on the "right side" against the South, but the "wrong side" against the Indians.

This formulation inspires me to rethink the "War of Northern Aggression" just a little. Not enough to join any revisionists or fly Stars & Bars, but maybe to just step back a little into objectivity from the comfortable position of identification with the "liberators"..

That is to consider the competition between economic visions of competing imperialists a major factor in the Civil War. And the withdrawal of the Gov't from reconstruction in the mid-70s to be more explicable because the conditions of Southern Negroes had never been more than a minor issue for the North compared to control of the resources and development of the West.

Maybe there never were any "good guys" including the tall bearded one. Just another hostile takeover for America Inc.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:32 PM
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I thought the last time we had this argument, both Brock and I were advocating a pacifist position. Brock may not have been as specific about it, but I know that's where I was coming from. I've said before that I recognize the Civil War and WWII are hard case for my viewpoint and that I will probably never have the historical knowledge to justify my belief here.

That said, I don't know how anyone could endorse the behavior of any army in WWI, or even the existence of that war. I think of that one as the easy case.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:33 PM
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If there was a moral obligation not to fight the Civil War, because the underlying issues weren't worth it, wouldn't it apply to both sides?

That doesn't make any sense--try making the same statement but subbing in "Iraq War", or "Vietnam War".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:33 PM
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177: Maybe, just possibly, people kind of suck. And yet here we are.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:35 PM
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Could you spell out explicitly what makes it not make sense to you (that is, the obvious difference between the moral obligations of the North and the South in terms of not fighting), and how that applies to, say, the Vietnam war?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:37 PM
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. . . And Brock really does go for the full-throated War o Northern Aggression belief.

Unfogged: More pro-Confederacy than I would have thought.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:38 PM
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178: You don't have to be a pacifist to believe that WWI was a gigantic mistake.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:39 PM
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Both world wars were atrocityfests on all sides.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:39 PM
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158: Dresden no,

Turns out even this one is a bit more complicated than I was led to believe growing up. Goebbels got the ball rolling at the time, then *David Irving* reinforced it in his 1963 book The Destruction of Dresden which Kurt Vonnegut relied on for the "facts" in Slaughterhouse Five beyond what he witnessed himself. Not that it was not very, very bad, but does not necessarily stand out compared to Hamburg etc. in terms of deaths and lack of strategic importance.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:43 PM
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I'm coming to believe that one should always oppose war because (1) it's extremely difficult to sort out the merits of any contemplated war from the cheap seats; (2) many people will always find reasons to support war, which adds excitement to their drab, wretched lives; and therefore (3) while the consistent pacifist will occasionally be wrong, that won't prevent the occasional "good war" from being waged, and it may occasionally head off a dumb war.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:48 PM
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186: The downside is that a consistently pacifist position may be respected in the abstract, but isn't going to convince many people. If you want to convince people not to support a particular war, you need reasons why that specific war is a bad idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:51 PM
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In 1860, Sherman was professor of engineering at the predecessor of LSU. Legend has that he was annoyed at a tenure decision and then...


Posted by: Daniel Coitus Gilman | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:51 PM
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Also, by 1863-1864-1865 (the relevant years if we're talking about Sherman) the war was not only "necessary" but very much underway. It was a good idea to win it.

Here's Sherman before the war (thanks, Wikiquote):

You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it... Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth--right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:52 PM
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......and Sherman during the war (Letter to the City Council of Atlanta):

You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.... You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride....I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:52 PM
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That said, I don't know how anyone could endorse the behavior of any army in WWI, or even the existence of that war. I think of that one as the easy case.

What do you mean by "the behavior of any army"? And if you really want to argue it, I'll probably be willing to defend the existence of the war, too. (IMO responsibility for the war lies pretty heavily on the German side, and if they hadn't gotten the particular war they ended up with, they would have gotten another one, later and even more deadly.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:53 PM
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After the long course of my life in history, I no longer find any personal comfort at all in opposing war.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:54 PM
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189 and 190 are awesome.

There's a big difference between "should this war happen at all" and "now that it's happening, should we fight and win it."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:54 PM
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192: Cheering for blood in the streets, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have lost its charms.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:55 PM
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187: Agreed. 186 is more about evaluating which side one takes than how one defends that side.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 3:59 PM
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if they hadn't gotten the particular war they ended up with, they would have gotten another one, later and even more deadly

Not necessarily. If the Schlieffen Plan had succeeded, the war might have been brought to a fairly speedy conclusion, with consequences for civilization that are not obviously worse than what actually resulted.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:00 PM
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191:I blame Hungary.

Look to the East for the causes of WWI. Austria-Hungary could no longer be maintained, and Russia, Italy, the Ottomans, even Poland were looking at the fall of A-H as an opportunity.

Given the Eastern War, France also had an opportunity.
Everybody had alliances. God only knows why GB jumped in.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:02 PM
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196: In much the same way that the Prussian victory in 1870 didn't prevent WWI, it's not clear to me that a German victory on the Marne would have actually prevented a later and even more catastrophic war.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:05 PM
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194:I simply said I find no personal comfort in any level of pacifism. Arthritis has ended my self back-patting.

It is kinda the difference between complaining about the daily weather (war) and trying to affect long-term climate (socialism).

Oops! Analogy. I ban myself.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:07 PM
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I've gone back and forth for years on whether I agree with thoughts like 196 concerning WWI.

My current view: it would almost certainly have been worth quickly appeasing Austria and throwing Serbia and Russia under the bus, to gamble for a few more years of peace during which Germany could get less crazy. A quick German victory in 1914 might not have been too bad. After 1915 or so, however, it really was worth digging in and fighting for the allies, because Germany was getting worse in a war climate and a German victory really would have created a dangerous, tyrannical power that needed to be resisted by the democracies.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:08 PM
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a German victory really would have created a dangerous, tyrannical power that needed to be resisted by the democracies.

Well that was certainly a bullet dodged.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:11 PM
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We taught them a lesson in 1918, and they've hardly bothered us since then.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:12 PM
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201 -- Well, yeah, but that was really a question of losing the peace. It doesn't really answer the question "would we have been better off if the allies had been beaten in 1915."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:13 PM
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I guess you could say that WWI created a Germany deluded enough to invade Russia, and a Russian strong enough to not only supplement the weather, but go all the way to the Elbe.

I think I'd probably read a new and well done bio of Nelson Miles.

For nearly 20 years, I went by Phil Sheridan's statue nearly every day. I'm as pro-Union as anyone you're likely to meet, but most days I would glare at him a moment, and recall his contribution to the rhetoric of 'total war' -- "nits make lice."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:20 PM
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And apparently I was doing him wrong nearly every day. I'm not sorry -- his sentiments weren't any different, even if he never said those words.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:23 PM
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Sheridan ally did say "If I owned Texas and Hell, I'd rent Texas and live in hell" which, you know.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:39 PM
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Sheridan really did say "If I owned Texas and Hell, I'd rent Texas and live in hell" which, you know.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:39 PM
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War: What is it good for?

[Sir John Keegan, mainly.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:43 PM
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Could you spell out explicitly what makes it not make sense to you (that is, the obvious difference between the moral obligations of the North and the South in terms of not fighting), and how that applies to, say, the Vietnam war?

I don't have time to rehash all this now--we really did cover it about as well as we're likely to be able to before, IIRC. But we should remember to talk about it again at some point, on a slow day.

My short answer is basically self-determinism. The North believed its right to keep the nation together was more important than the South's right to continue slavery, and decided to enforce that belief with warfare. The same can't be said of the South--if it had been allowed to secede peacefully, it would have. (There would have been inevitable clashes at some point--likely imminently--over territories in the West, but that's different.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:12 PM
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it's not clear to me that a German victory on the Marne would have actually prevented a later and even more catastrophic war.

Being a counterfactual, it's inherently unknowable. I'm just saying it's not obvious that it would have been worse if Germany had swept to Paris in 1914/15. Particularly when you consider the possibility that Czarist Russia might have collapsed a little less catastrophically and the Ottoman empire might not have been partitioned in such an unstable fashion.

Also might have been better for portions of francophone Africa to have been administered by Germany rather than France prior to independence.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:15 PM
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The North believed its right to keep the nation together was more important than the South's right to continue slavery, and decided to enforce that belief with warfare. The same can't be said of the South--if it had been allowed to secede peacefully, it would have.

I hate to pick on Btock, whose heart is in the right place, I'm sure, but this is just an obtuse reading of the historical facts. The South believed in the right to secede in defense of slavery, and was willing to enforce that belief with warfare. I mean, remember which side attacked first?

Hotheads in the South provoked the secession crisis in the full knowledge -- nay, in the hope -- that it would lead to a military confrontation, which they foolishly believed they could win. The federal government bent over backwards to avoid provocative actions that would escalate the crisis, even after the first southern states went over into active rebellion and occupied federal installations. It wasn't until the bombardment of Fort Sumter that the North even mobilized an army in defense of the Union.

The South got the war they (or the dominant planter class) wanted. "Slow to anger, but full of righteous fury" is often a comforting self-deception, but here it really applies.



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 6:57 PM
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So, I see from the last comment that somehow the Civil War is being refought (I have not caught up with the thread), but I really, really want to tell my story that relates back to like, 77, so I'm going to do it anyway.

I too have the dreams about having to drive from the backseat, and one about having to operate the pedals with my hands (with obvious problems). But this one:

The only driving stress dream I remember involved the steering wheel coming off

reminds me of something that actually did happen to me. As a new driver, I was driving my mother's car, a manual transmission. I stalled as I attempted to take off at a stoplight, a fact that went unnoticed by the person behind me. They hit me from behind as I was in the act of turning the key to restart the car, with the result that the key broke off in my hand. I had this complete and utter moment of panic as I tried to figure out how the fuck I was supposed to proceed. (Turned out there was enough of a nubbin on the broken off key that I could turn it and restart the car, so totally anti-climatic.) But the immediate and complete moment of confusion was priceless.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:29 PM
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It just occured to me that I no longer have the driving-from-the-backseat dream, presumably because I barely ever drive anymore. It has not to this point been replaced by a biking-while-astride-the-rear-wheel dream.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:40 PM
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166.3 No, "living off the land" was stanndard procedure for all of the years before canning. But the Sherman bow tie was great--a combination of long prybars and building a fire out of the railroad ties. The bending action and the heat ruined the rails so they could not be laid straight again.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:47 PM
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211: I don't disagree with anything written here (other than that my reading of the facts is "obtuse"). Again, we went through all this at length before. Fort Sumter is in the south. It's not as if the Confederates marched on Baltimore, nor is there reason to believe they would have.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:47 PM
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I've had the driving-from-the-backseat dream many times. As a kid, I had a recurring nightmare that whichever adult who was in the car driving fell out and I had to drive -- but not from the back seat. I had that dream basically all my life until I got my drivers license.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:57 PM
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I dreamed that I was driving from the backseat in my underwear and I was late to school for the final exam in the course I'd forgotten I signed up for.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:01 PM
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"Nits make lice" is most commonly associated with Chivington, on the eve of Sand Creek, rather than Sheridan, isn't it? And I think that Knecht is mostly right above, but Lincoln was intent, in the run-up to Sumter, on forcing the South either to capitulate or to fire the first shot of the war. Which is to say, by spring 1861 Lincoln wasn't really trying to avoid a fight so much as to make sure that one started on the terms of his choosing: with the Confederacy appearing belligerent, leaving the Union free to court the border states and the states of the upper South.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:02 PM
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As a kid, the uncontrollable cars in my dreams would also eventually shrink until they could fit under others' wheels.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:04 PM
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215's invocation of Baltimore is somewhat ironic, given that Confederates did in fact kill a bunch of Union men there in one of the first skirmishes of the war.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:05 PM
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That's where the famous case Ex parte Merryman got its start.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:06 PM
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Why am I doing this? I couldn't really say.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:06 PM
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"living off the land" was standard procedure for all of the years before canning.

I should have been more specific there. I didn't mean the general practice of requisitioning supplies from civilians, but the specific tactic of divorcing the main body of the army from a fixed supply chain, which CSA generals Stuart and Early did IIRC well before the March to the Sea.

Fort Sumter is in the south. It's not as if the Confederates marched on Baltimore, nor is there reason to believe they would have.

Throughout the winter of 1860 and the spring of 1861, the political leadership in the South took a series of actions that were deliberately calculated to provoke a war, while the leaders of the North (for the most part) sought to avoid one, going to great lengths and suffering numerous humiliations in the process.

How anyone with a view of the facts could honestly attribute greater bellicosity to the North as in 209 is beyond me. I voted for obtuseness because the only alternative is bad faith, which I would never attribute to you.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:09 PM
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220: you are referring to this? If so, the choice of Baltimore wasn't ironic--it was made for that very reason. If you're referring to something else, I'm not remembering it.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:09 PM
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Lincoln was intent, in the run-up to Sumter, on forcing the South either to capitulate or to fire the first shot of the war.

You're the historian here, not me, but if Lincoln had been more concerned with coercing the South into submission in the Spring of 1861 than avoiding war (keeping in mind that he was President for a scant five weeks before Fort Sumter), he might have done something aggressive, like, I dunno, imposing the naval blockade that quickly choked the South once it was implemented soon thereafter.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:13 PM
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I wasn't attempting to attribute greater bellicosity to the North in 209. The parenthetical in 209.last was a nod in that direction, and to be more clear: I think those inevitable clashes over territories in the West would very likely have been imminent and very likely at the provocation of the South. Better?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:14 PM
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I've had the driving-from-the-backseat dream many times.

Me too! Also one where I am driving but cannot see.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:15 PM
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Brock, how can you be so right in 35.2, and so wrong on the Civil War?

When you asked how I could have thought for a moment that you were serious in the abusive-priests thread the other day, this kind of comment is why. Even sorta-kinda defending the South's version of the Civil War is far enough from my worldview that it shakes my confidence in someones's reality-based perspective.

Eh, but I should respect the fact that you've said repeatedly in this thread that you don't want to rehash earlier discussions. Mea culpa.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:17 PM
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225 came out more hostile than I intended. My point is that Lincoln had a strong incentive to resolve the crisis peacefully (the anti-slavery Republicans had the political upper hand and had time on their side), and his actions reflect that. Whereas the Southern hotheads saw war as their best option.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:17 PM
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226: clarification appreciated.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:19 PM
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I thought it was pretty clear the Civil War was the fault of gypsies?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:20 PM
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Roma, Sifu, Roma. Don't you know anything?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:21 PM
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Did I say gypsies? I meant lobsterbacks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:23 PM
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Gypsy RosE Lee?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:24 PM
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232: The Civil War was started by teh Tomato.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:24 PM
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Even sorta-kinda defending the South's version of the Civil War

I really don't think I'm doing that--what I'm doing is refusing to endorse the North's version of the Civil War. It's been thrown around here (and elsewhere) as an example--alongside WWII--of a "necessary" war, and I just don't believe that's the case. I'll grant there were some good outcomes, but a hell of a lot of people died.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:24 PM
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236: It was a completely unnecessary war. The South should not have started it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:27 PM
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229: No worries. My suggestion in the first instance was that Lincoln maneuvered the South into firing the first shot -- again, with an eye on the border states and the states of the upper South, neither of which had yet seceded -- not that Lincoln or very many other people in the North wanted or pushed for war. Which is to say, I was making an interstitial point, not arguing anything of great consequence.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:33 PM
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but a hell of a lot of people died.

Well, sure. War is awful. Which is why I'm one of those tiresome pacifist types.

But (and I totally shouldn't be saying this on a night when I am exhausted and still have to do my local taxes) -- I don't understand the distinction you're making between not endorsing the North's version, and yet also not endorsing the South's. In my layperson Yankee experience, the major points of dispute are:

1. Slavery would have ended without a war
2. The South had legitimate grievances that were worth going to war over

Is there a non-Northern position on these issues that doesn't end up defending the traitors Confederates?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:34 PM
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I totally shouldn't be saying this on a night when I am exhausted and still have to do my local taxes

I finished mine about a half hour ago.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:35 PM
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I don't think you need to choose between "traitors" and "Confederates", Witt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:37 PM
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I was being snarky, Sifu.

I finished mine about a half hour ago.

Show-off.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:39 PM
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Snarky, yet literally true. A rare treat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:41 PM
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In my layperson Yankee experience, the major points of dispute are:
1. Slavery would have ended without a war
2. The South had legitimate grievances that were worth going to war over

That's indeed very Yankee framing, but if it makes you feel better I can answer unequivocally:

1. No, at least not any time in the short run. By now? Who knows.

2. No.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:41 PM
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I'm still trying to summon the will to do my federal taxes tonight rather than extending and maybe getting them done this weekend. State taxes aren't due until the 20th, and there's no reason to rush when the governor has already decreed that refunds will be delayed until the next fiscal year starts in July.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:41 PM
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I have had my Pittsburgh income taxes come back with an error 4 our of seven years I've filed one. My federal, 1 out of a very, very many.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:42 PM
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244: So what about the Confederacy is it that you're defending?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:43 PM
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247: Nothing!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:43 PM
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224: I'm confused now. Wasn't your point that the Confederacy wasn't really so belligerent as all that? That it wasn't like Southerners were invading Baltimore or anything? Because the Baltimore riots suggest that the city was actually teeming with Confederate sympathizers, rebels who were willing to kill at the slightest provocation. But maybe I misunderstood your point above.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:43 PM
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You have to pay municipal taxes?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:46 PM
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the city was actually teeming with Confederate sympathizers, rebels who were willing to kill at the slightest provocation

True, and yet, I don't think* you'd have seen an unprovoked march on Baltimore by a Confederate army. Was my point.

*Counterfactual history is alwys full of uncertainties, of course.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:47 PM
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250: 3% off the top (no deductions).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:48 PM
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Plus a tip if your street needs paved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:49 PM
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The tip is less if you ask in Pittsburghese, is it , Moby?

You have to pay municipal taxes?

Yes, and the sole reason I have not done them yet is irritability. My state and federal taxes were done weeks ago, but I bristle at the fact that I not only have to pay a 4% wage tax, I have to file a second set of forms for my home municipality so that they can take back 1% (or something) from the municipality where I work. The whole thing is racist* and annoying and totally typical of the the uber-parochial state. And I say that as someone who was born and raised and loves it here.

*It is probably impossible to fully grasp the visceral level of Philadelphia-hatred that the suburbs can express without sitting through a number of local public meetings.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:54 PM
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OP: We purchased the Britax Marathon, which can be both forward and backward-facing up to 65 pounds. So we're going to have these for a while.

On the downside, they're pricey (~200) and YOOOGE. Like, buy a bigger car (okay, bigger than a Hyundai Accent) huge.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:57 PM
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Witt, the rest of the states hates Philly just as bad your own suburbs.

If I understand you correctly, you pay most of the local tax in Philly because you work there even though you live in a suburb? Because Pittsburgh would be nearly not quite broke if we could get anything more than $52/year and a parking tax from people who only work in the city.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:58 PM
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256:

'rest of the states' s/b 'rest of the state'.

Just to be clearly, I don't think there is any specific complain about Philly. I can't help but notice PA is not a friendly state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:59 PM
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OP: We purchased the Britax Marathon, which can be both forward and backward-facing up to 65 pounds. So we're going to have these for a while.

I understood the question in the OP basically to be: when should you turn them around?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:59 PM
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I know what would make Moby and Witt feel better: you guys should go to the supermarket and get a six-pack.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:00 PM
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260: I was working on that joke, but yours is better as well as quicker.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:01 PM
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259, that is.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:01 PM
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259: It's getting late, so you'd better drive 70mph to get there.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:01 PM
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TURN THE SEAT AROUND
LOVE TODDLER SKULL CRUSHIN'
TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN
I WOULD ENJOY A MUFFIN


Posted by: OPINIONATED AND POSSIBLY HIGH GLORIA ESTEFAN | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:02 PM
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256: Right. And yes, believe me, I am very very aware that Berks and Lehigh and so on hate Philadelphia much more than the closer-in suburban counties. But they don't have a lot of residents working in Phila, so they can't display their hatred via wage-tax proxy fights.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:03 PM
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I like how the Massachusetts guys are the ones making fun of us. Pot, meet kettle.

And anyway, you are clearly not up on the local news.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:06 PM
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258: We have that model also. It seems good enough right through 40 pounds. I don't know about past that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:08 PM
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265: They can still laugh at me. There are a couple of grocery stores that sell beer in the area, but none by me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:09 PM
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Don't make me go to the superarket down the street and buy beer on sunday just to prove a point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:09 PM
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Wait, what am I saying? Go ahead and make me do that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:09 PM
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It's going to be a rude awakening when I have to pay not just federal tax but also state and local, after my income changes from "stipend" to "wages". It's going to mean I end up with less than a 50% raise from my current income D-:


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:09 PM
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Don't make me go to the superarket down the street and buy beer on sunday just to prove a point.

And pick up some of that sweet, sweet decriminalized weed while you're at it.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:12 PM
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270. If you'd end your sentences with aperiod instead of a colon, maybe you wouldn't get a 'D-' and you could get a better job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:12 PM
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Up to $18 for a glass of wine at Whole Foods? None of the listed wines is worth anything near that. Appalling.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:13 PM
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273: All the wine sold in PA is over-priced by 25% or more. Death to the PLCB.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:14 PM
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268: "Beer" s/b "tequila".


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:15 PM
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buy beer on sunday just to prove a point

They need their booze more on weekdays: specifically, the days when the regular columns by Rick Santorum and John Yoo appear in the local newspaper.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:15 PM
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264: I still can't believe Philly gets to tax its suburbs. We don't even get potholes fixed or streets plowed and we get nothing from all of the suburbanites who get in my way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:17 PM
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But we do still have pretty strict blue laws around here: we can't buy tequila at the grocery store between 2 and 6 am.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:20 PM
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I still can't believe Philly gets to tax its suburbs.

And I can't believe you live in this state and have never heard the long, sustained whine coming from the eastern end. Seriously, I don't like the wage tax and I think it does drive jobs away from the city, but from the way people carry on you'd think they have a personal right to enjoy all of the fruits of the city without contributing in return.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:31 PM
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I recently discovered that my new favorite liquor store is open Sundays. I didn't think that was even allowed. Now it's my double-favorite liquor store.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:32 PM
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I once tried to make myself feel better by thinking that at least I'm buying liquor and wine* from a union worker and support state government. It didn't work. Cheap and convenient drinking is too high in my preference ordering.

*beer is different monopoly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:33 PM
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279 and previous: Wait. Forgive me, but I'm confused. I'm assuming that it's not Philly taxing its suburbs, exactly, but taxing those who work within the borders of the city, i.e. who earn a wage in the city and therefore make regular use of its byways. This drives jobs away from the city? Of course I don't know the figures that are undoubtedly available on this, but ...

oh wait, you have to pay income taxes in both the county (outside the city) and within the city? Double taxes? Ah.

On the other hand. There's an ongoing phenomenon here in Baltimore, for example, whereby people intentionally move out of the city while continuing to commute daily into it, thereby withdrawing their local taxes from the city, and the city suffers financially from this urban flight. (These people not infrequently then complain that streetcleaning is dreadful in the city, say.)

Suffice it to say that this doesn't seem straightforward. I realize that details do matter, however.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:04 PM
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A third reread of 279 tells me that Witt and I are roughly in agreement, actually.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:07 PM
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And with Moby, too. Sorry, guys, I was just so wowed by this municipal wage tax concept that it took a while to sink in.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:09 PM
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I pay taxes to the city of Philadelphia. One last time, anyway.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:27 PM
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263 is dead to me. I did not need that song stuck in my head. My sainted mother loves Gloria Estefan to a degree unimagined by other humans. AAAAAAAHHHHH!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:30 PM
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Oh man, now I'm hearing the Show Choir version done when I played drums for Show Choir in high school. I really, really loathe you, comment #263.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:32 PM
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Gloria Estefan

Who?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:39 PM
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288: Whaa?!?!?! Dood. You've really never heard of Gloria Estefan?!?!

Here's the song in question, but wow. I'm surprised that you managed to avoid her music.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:44 PM
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289: Ha, gotcha. Nah, I've heard of her, heard her name. Can't say I know any songs enough for them to become an earworm.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:55 PM
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289: Dude, oldsters like parsimon and me know that song from the Vicki Sue Robinson original. And I don't know that I've ever heard Gloria Estefan. Now beat it, kid.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:57 PM
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291: I think of Gloria Estefan as oldster music, is the thing. I guess my mom's hipper than you.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:04 PM
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Plus, Stanley, if my sainted mother could lurve Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash and (gulp) Rod Stewart*, your mum can go for Gloria with your full blessing. Just smile and nod!

* Seriously. I was stunned to hear that she'd secured tickets to see him 5 or 10 years ago. Really, mom? Rod ... really?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:07 PM
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It'd be an interesting sub-thread to hear what people's parents' favorite music is/was. Outside of Estefan, I can't say for Mom, but for my dad it's probably:

-Three Dog Night
-Traveling Wilburys/Elvis tie
-Green Day*

*No, really. Fucking loves 'em. Bad Religion's a close fourth for Pops.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:13 PM
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On the OP. Thanks to Jimmy Pongo (JP solidarity!) I read the study and I am not sure I would change my behavior based just on that piece of work (and also found it available for free here).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:25 PM
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I should say that for me it's not really about oldster or youngster music per se: Gloria Estefan is kind of poppy, right? I didn't listen to a lot of pop music, or pop radio, by the late 80s.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:25 PM
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What are you talking about? Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, and (early) Rod Stewart are great. 263 made me laugh harder than anything I've seen here in a while.

Brock is nuts (nttawwt) but then I recalled some conversation here in which he argued that the Brits should have let Hitler take Poland, so I guess he's just super committed to very dubious pro-appeasement arguments.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:28 PM
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282.2: Wait, I don't know anything about this issue, but I'm pretty sure that the county and city of Philadelphia are coterminous and have the same government, like SF.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:34 PM
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297: Oh, my mom and I went to see Johnny together -- 2nd row seats! Early Rod Stewart was okay, but it was a little surprising to discover that my mom knew of and liked him, much less decided to see him. Neil Diamond, no, I just don't get The Jazz Singer.

No worries, it's not like it was Lawrence Welk -- which was my grandmother's favorite. The family took her and my godmother to see him. They had a ball, which was the whole point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:40 PM
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298. I don't know. 256.2 and 264 gave me the vague idea that living in the suburbs meant being in a different county hence different tax area ... or something. But yeah, it's unclear, and there's language in 256 that suggests something different. It's probably not double taxes, though, as I suggested in my initial attempt to get what the situation was.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:48 PM
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Huh. I managed to do what all the best authorities recommend and ended up owing a little bit, but not enough to trigger a penalty. Why am I not happy?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:39 AM
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Somewhere up thread:

Any commander on either side in the 30 Years War would have called Sherman a total pussy. Context, context.

Everybody had alliances. God only knows why GB jumped in.

It had alliances, you fool.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 1:24 AM
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The first three or four Rod Stewart solo albums are really great. Down-hill pretty rapidly thereafter, though. There's a really good 3-CD Mercury compilation of the early stuff.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:07 AM
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The first three or four Rod Stewart solo albums are really great.

But arguably not as good as his earlier stuff with Jeff Beck.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:24 AM
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re: 304

Maybe, although I like the folkier/soulier elements and slightly more restrained sound of the early solo albums, and probably slightly prefer it over the more overtly rock sound of the Jeff Beck group. Which is still good, of course.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:32 AM
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I'm pretty sure that the county and city of Philadelphia are coterminous

Correct.

To 282, the issue is that everybody who works in Philadelphia pays a wage tax. If you both live *and* work in the city, you pay something like 4.2%. If you just work in the city, and you live outside its boundaries, you pay just under 4%.

There are no county-level taxes that I'm aware of outside the city, but many smaller municipalities (remember that in PA you can have lots of little townships and boroughs in one county) *also* tax the "earned income" of their residents. Therefore, you have to file papers proving that you've already paid your pound of flesh to Philadelphia, and then let your local township fight with the city to take back its 1% or whatever.

The city wage tax causes a lot of very loud "Well, we just won't HAVE our office in the city then," posturing by businesses, some of which is even true. It also causes a jobseeker to do mental gymnastics trying to compare net salaries if you are lucky enough to get offers in both the city and suburbs.

It *also* causes a lot of rather baroque arrangements, such as if you are hired by an entity that has offices on either side of the city line, if you begin work on the city side and are later transferred to the suburban side, and then go back to the city side, the company either pays extra to you to make up the salary difference that you lost by moving back over the line, or if they're big enough, negotiates a deal with the city that their workers who have moved offsite don't have to pay the wage tax if they come back.

Very high salaried people who travel a lot (like lawyers, ahem) often find it worth it to go through the mess of proving which days they worked in the city versus not -- so they might only have to pay the wage tax for 140 working days rather than the whole year, or something.

Anyone who actually knows anything about municipal tax policy is MORE than welcome to jump in, here. I'm off to work.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:56 AM
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There are no county-level taxes that I'm aware of outside the city, but many smaller municipalities (remember that in PA you can have lots of little townships and boroughs in one county) *also* tax the "earned income" of their residents.

I don't think I had ever heard of a system like this before. All of our county and local money comes from sales taxes and out of the state's budget. I only file a federal and a state tax return.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 6:13 AM
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306: And Pittsburgh is very much not coterminous with Allegheny County. We're below a quarter of the population of the county. The usual story is that the fight to swallow the city of Allegheny (now Pittsburgh's North Side) was so ugly that we haven't expanded since. That was over 100 years ago, so I'm not sure I buy the story completely. The city is small, geographically, and you can have a very quick commute while living in other city. I live about as far from downtown as you can and still live in the city and I'm only six miles from downtown.

Also, you pay your local taxes* based on where you live. Where you work does not matter. Hence Pittsburgh is in Act 47 Status (we're broke and that state has a commission that has to approve our expenditures). This doesn't bother me hugely (we have a very stupid mayor), except that the commission is only watching to see that we don't go into actual bankruptcy, not that we actually get on sound footing.

* There is a $52/year tax that you pay for working in the city and a small payroll tax (1%) paid by your employer. Except that non-profit employers are exempt from this and all of the big employers are non-profit in the technical sense.

Therefore, you have to file papers proving that you've already paid your pound of flesh to Philadelphia, and then let your local township fight with the city to take back its 1% or whatever.

Yes and I messed-up my first year here. I could not get them to acknowledge that I earned most of my money in Ohio because I checked the 'full year resident' box. I paid hundreds extra because I couldn't get anybody to answer my phone calls or letters trying to fix it. I assumed I'd have to get a lawyer to fix it and I wouldn't have saved enough to pay the lawyer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 6:44 AM
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But, all I really want is to be able to buy wine and beer at the grocery store and bourbon in vending machines located in elementary school lobbies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 6:45 AM
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I'm only six miles from downtown.

To MH's point, I am about the same distance from downtown as MH, yet live in an unincorporated township. (And on my usual route to downtown, I do not enter the city limits until I am ~2 miles out.) I also just made the hypothetical transition Witt describes, moving from a suburban to city office (but within the old city limits of the annexed and tragically victimized Allegheny) at my firm. Feel free to judge harshly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:04 AM
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I pay city income tax in New Yyork, but it's handled through the state return. We used to have a commuter tax. (Totes unfair, right? It's not as though NYC is any kind of economic engine for the region.) Unfortunately, about 10 years ago the Democratic speaker of the house, whose district is actually in NYC, agreed to eliminate it, giving up hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue for the city. In order to try to help a the Democrats win a single special election for a state senate seat. Which they lost anyway.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:07 AM
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Which they lost anyway.

Hey, at least they tried; that's what counts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:09 AM
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Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, and (early) Rod Stewart are great.

Yes, exactly.

Who the hell do you like, parsimon?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:20 AM
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In the UK I pay income tax, national insurance, and a local tax. Both of the former, as a salaried employee, get deducted at source by my employer and I never have to worry about them. The local tax is nominally based on the value (circa 1991) of the property in which you live and is usually paid monthly by direct debit.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:24 AM
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The local tax is nominally based on the value (circa 1991) of the property in which you live and is usually paid monthly by direct debit.

We're doing a reassessment because of people in neighborhoods with crashing property values were upset about paying the same property taxes as people in areas with rising values. It wasn't set back as far as 1991, but I don't think they done a complete re-valuation in a very long time. The county executive (as this is a county level tax) managed to defy court orders just long enough that he can run for governor without having dealt with the issue. I'm not sure what will happen out of that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:28 AM
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Whoops I forgot property taxes which come out of the escrow account for my mortgage so I don't really file anything for those either.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:41 AM
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re: 315

The council tax is really a local levy. It has a tenuous connection with property values but only because the Tories attempt at introducing a local flat charge went very badly wrong. It's really the bastard offspring of local authority rates [a property tax], and the Poll Tax [aka Community Charge].

In a fairer world it'd be income based, with some sort of punitive element [possibly involving heavy sticks, or something] for people who make their money from capital gains or something other than salaried income.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:47 AM
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I'm not paying Philly based on having worked there -- although I might have done so for a few days. As a (former) part owner of a pass-through, I pay taxes in each state where we have an office. Some geniuses allocate the total revenue by state -- I'm not sure exactly how, whether the location of the lawyer who billed the hours, or of the lawyer who sent the bills -- but it doesn't matter what I personally did, I still have to pay taxes in Michigan, Delaware, Massachusetts, California, etc, and I pay Pennsylvania more than everywhere else combined.

As I said on the other thread, I'm very happy that 2009 is the last tax year of this foolishness.

And no, I'm not done yet. I'll be getting extensions today.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:00 AM
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And yes, I think it would have been very nice if Pennsylvania had seen fit to treat my daughter as a resident when she went to Temple.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:02 AM
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318: You could have put 'Apportioned' on your business card the way interstate haulers have it on their trucks' tags.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:03 AM
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If I had a license in Pennsylvania!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:08 AM
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(I'm glad I don't owe the City of Pittsburgh anything. Hell, I've never even been to the office there.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:09 AM
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313: Who the hell do you like, parsimon?

Abba.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:51 AM
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