Posted on 08-04-2010
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Mohammed Al-Madadi is an idiot.  Its bad enough he could not swear off his nicotine addition for a two hour flight between Washington and Denver.  But it appears that the Qatari diplomat made things  worse on being caught by joking that he was trying to light his shoes.  See here and here.  Given the history of shoe bombing it is not clear why he felt this would be funny on a plane.  Qatar is a close ally and presumably Al-Madadi will soon be summoned home for a tongue lashing if not worse.  If the summons do not appear Washington should expedite his departure.  Meanwhile he can count himself lucky that diplomatic immunity shields him from consequences here.  And on the 14 hour flight home, please wear a nicotine patch.

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Posted on 08-04-2010
Filed Under (History) by Rashtrakut

Saw this blog post on Obsidian Wings and noticed that I omitted a major result in Virginia’s attempted secession that is often overlooked today.  While it is often the butt of jokes for being on the right side of history it earned a spot as a star on the American flag.  I speak of course of West Virginia.  Western Virginia long seethed in discontent and having few slaves felt disenfranchised by an apportionment process that counted each of the the close to half a million slaves in the rest of the state as 3/5ths of a person.  Needless to say the region declined to join a rebellion in support of slavery.  West Virginia was lucky.  It was occupied by Union troops early in the war and largely escaped the ravages of the war.  Its reward was statehood.

Eastern Tennessee (where slave ownership was rare as well) made a similar attempt to break away from its seceding state.  See link.  Unlike West Virginia it was occupied by the confederates and was unsuccessful.  While the region did not get a star on the flag, it was rewarded by the inclusion of native son (and War Democrat) Andrew Johnson on the 1864 Republican presidential ticket as Lincoln’s running mate.  It was a fateful decision whose repercussions on race relations in this country are perhaps still being felt.

More evidence on why the revisionism diminishing the role of slavery as a cause of the Civil War is bunk.

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