The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

04 December 2010

History channel bans SCV ads aimed at promoting Southern perspective

...for the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States.

Vice-president Nancy Alpert of A&E Television, the parent company of the History Channel, gave the following explanation of her decision to ban the historical ads: "The subject matter of each of the SCV ads, plus the actual language... is well beyond our guidelines for any advertising on AETN."  Alpert cited her opinion that the ads violated History Channel guidelines by quoting, among other things, a statement in one commercial that the war was "Not a 'civil war' fought to take over the United States, as it is called in history books today, this was a war... against an aggressive invasion by federal troops."  She also complained that one of the commercials related to the causes of the War stated that the South seceded in part because "Northern congressmen were able to vote themselves virtually anything they wanted, using Southern tax money, while the South was powerless to stop it."

The SCV could consider scaling back the language to accurate statements about the Southern positions that are more accessible and less threatening to the brainwashed masses, er, I mean government public school educated populace.  There are ways to phrase the Southern perspective that would need softening of the language to achieve the goal of getting the word out of why the Southern soldier took up arms.

The ad/statement/program produced by the SCV should consciously exploit the current distrust of the Federal government created by the continued financial crisis, as well as Congress' continued flouting of the Constitution to build a case that will make sense to the American mind...

For example:  Fort Sumter -- Recall that South Carolina originally ceded land to the federal government for purposes of free interstate and international trade through the harbor.  As regulation of international trade, protection of the shoreline, and regulation of interstate trade are all powers that the several States granted to their new agent, the Federal government, under the Constitution, it was appropriate for one of the busiest ports in the new nation to be protected by the Federal government and U.S. Navy/ U.S. Coast Guard. 

When provisional Confederate States Army under Gen. Beauregard fired at Fort Sumter, was it treason, as many history books portray, or rebellion? 

At South Carolina's secession convention, an ordinance of secession was issued December 24, 1860:

"The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act."

This does not meet criteria for treason, nor does it meet the definition of a rebellion.

Treason definition of the US Constitution: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

Rebellion, legal definition:  A citizen or subject who unjustly and unlawfully takes up arms against the constituted authorities of the nation, to deprive them of the supreme power, either by resisting their lawful and constitutional orders, in some particular matter, or to impose on them conditions. In another sense it signifies a refusal to obey a superior, or the commands of a court.

So, you see that the State of South Carolina has legally (through it's state legislature) withdrawn from the compact of states which established the United States, so the State's secession from the Union does not meet the definition of a rebellion.  First, it is a withdrawl of a whole state from a Federal compact.  Second, South Carolina never tried to change the U. S. government or resisted lawful or constitutional orders, as they were no longer bound by such orders after her reassertion of sovereignty.  

Neither does secession meet criteria for treason as defined by the Constitution, as there has been no levying of War against the other "United" States.   

If the act of joining a Union of States is voluntary, then any state can also voluntarily withdraw itself from the same.

Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, wrote on March 21, 1861: "The great principle embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration is that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." If southerners wanted to secede, "they have a clear right to do so." "Nine out of ten of the people of the North," Greeley wrote, were opposed to forcing South Carolina to remain in the Union.

Now, back to Fort Sumter and shots fired, and of course you say, that is levying war.  

But think again about the situation from the point of view of the South Carolina government:  They had donated the land to the Federal government after the War of 1812 to establish coastal fortifications.  Fort Sumter was established on a tiny harbor island at the mouth of Charleston Harbor:

As South Carolina had voluntarily given the land of this island to the federal authorities, and was now voluntarily leaving that federal organization, it would necessarily reclaim this land.  Any hostile US/federal presence at Sumter would completely disrupt the commercial lifeblood of Charleston.  Just look at the map to see that the little island was central to the harbor, much more than a simple "thorn in the side".

Abraham Lincoln sent a resupply convoy to Sumter, knowing it would provoke the South Carolinians.  South Carolina was protecting the mouth of its principal harbor against what had become a hostile (military) intrusion into its now again its sovereign territory.

So the sovereign State of South Carolina, for the second time newly independent, had to defend its commercial interests and reclaim it's territory which was occupied by Federal forces, and threatened with resupply.  It was goaded into firing the first shot...

Thus logically constructed, and showing the cynicism of Lincoln through what is now known of the historical record, an open minded American, newly doubtful (in 2010) of his or her government, can come to understand and appreciate the Southern perspective, which had never been taught in their public school or university.  

There may yet be mainstream (cable or satellite) media sources which will carry these ads:

Maybe the SCV should try to run the ads on Fox Business, since they are open minded enough to have excellent libertarian shows (Napolitano and Stossel) on every night now.

Otherwise try the Military Channel.  Southerners are disproportionately represented in the military, and that might hold sway, and there is the obvious military angle.

This is the tack the SCV should take in response to the History Channel rebuff.

1 comment: