First of all, Alterna Comics, a great independent comics publishing company, is facing bankruptcy. They are having an emergency fundraising drive, so stop on over and support the cause of independent comics!
Second of all, I added some new books to the Good Reads section – a Pierce, Dickinson, and Marx biography (rather, one of each, not a combined bio – though that would be pretty rad).
Third of all – Lincoln and Pierce. Pierce was in favor of letting the South secede if they so wanted, of fighting a purely defensive war, and so blamed Lincoln as the aggressor in an unnecessary conflict. That was Pierce’s view of the abolition movement in general – he saw it as an unconstitutional attempt to use federal power to dictate something that was a purely state matter, and one that was likely to lead to bloodshed. Which sounds reasonable, except that we’re talking about SLAVERY here, not legalized weed. As somebody who played by the book even as it choked the lifeblood out of his presidency, Pierce couldn’t countenance Lincoln’s expanded sense of the executive’s powers, his limited suspension of habeas corpus, and the like. The classic breakdown is that Pierce – Lincoln (leaving out Buchanan, who entirely deserves his awful reputation) breaks down to legal vs. moral, the law of the nation vs. the laws of humanity, and so forth. And that’s tricky – merely national laws have reigned in the excesses of people who thought they were answering to a higher law, and for the better, and that fact guided Pierce. But there are also times when the laws can no longer contain the humanity that is trying to live within them, and Lincoln was guided by that insight.
– Count Dolby von Luckner