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Comment Re:Fact check or PC checking? (Score 1) 337

But I will admit that I am one of those people that believes the Civil War wasn't really about slavery, but that slavery was simply a symptom of larger underlying factors that caused the war. So that probably makes me a racist in some people's eyes.

Evidently you missed a couple of salient declarations.

From South Carolina's secession assertion:

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

From the Confederate Vice President's "Cornerstone Speech":

The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away... Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the "storm came and the wind blew, it fell." Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. It was about slavery. The attempt to paint it otherwise is disengenous.

Comment Re:fighting carbon pollution? (Score 1) 369

You're confused; not only is bacteria not entirely capable of breaking down the bitumen (it's not crude oil they're pumping), but the product is toxic to them. DuckDuckGo Richard Johnson's work for the UofE and you may have a better understanding of the problem. Whilst you may truly believe that running abrasive sand loaded with toxic material that takes (at this point with accelerant acids and microbes) 10 years to clean up through metal pipes over the largest aquifer in North America is a good idea, those that understand the challenges don't. Pretending that this is equal in risk to a "huge, huge volume of oil and petroleum products going through massive pipe system" illustrates your lack of understanding.

Comment Get yourself to Private Banking immediately (Score 1) 842

Most of the major banks offer a Private Banking service. Ask about it at your bank (Wells Fargo was a huge help to us). A surprisingly large part of the service consists of specialized staff to help you deal with these issues. You are not the first person, nor the last, to have immense wealth suddenly thrust upon them. The myriad of psychological issues that accompany those windfalls are best dealt with by people who have the experience of dealing with individuals struggling with the unforseen downsides and conflicts. It's far better to be rich than to be poor, but the transition in either direction is not an easy one. Good luck.

Comment Farmers drained one of the largest lakes in the US (Score 1) 599

California farmers have in the past, and continue to, wreak havoc on California. Read a bit about this asshole and his environmental catastophe: J.G. Boswell. His wikipedia page has been sanitized by his minions, but Amazon has a fairly good book on his rape and pillage of the state. Now the farmers are sucking the underground water table so dry the state is sinking at an unprecedented rate. California wasn't such a desert until we "improved" the farming environment.

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