Overheard on CNN.com: Civil War battles still alive?
April 11th, 2011
06:21 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Civil War battles still alive?

Comment of the day: "Abraham Lincoln was a Southerner himself - being born in Kentucky and such. Abe is my 4th cousin 4x removed!" –RoboCarrot

4 ways we're still fighting the Civil War

Readers got into a passionate discussion about what issues from the Civil War era are still alive today. CNN's article highlighted four traditionally touchy subjects: the disappearance of a political center, the debate over how much power the federal government should have, commitment to war effort, and the authority of the president. An interesting thread to emerge from the discussion was about states' rights in particular.

Purnell said, "The Civil War was fought to preserve a way of life based on slavery. The tired dodge about states' rights was and still is nothing but a fig leaf on a very big and ugly truth." SteveXS said, "Yes, the Southern secessionists believed they were patriots reaffirming the Founding Fathers' belief that the Colonies were free and independent states. But free and independent for what? To protect and maintain the institution of slavery."

waterford1 said our ancestors came to the United States to "flee the evils" of other systems, noting that states' rights were meant to "prevent a single centralized government or person to have too much control and power." waterford1 went on to say, "There is the Constitution, federal and state. Federal does not equal Constitution. The states and central federal governments are to strictly follow the Constitution which is supreme. The state laws are in many ways supposed to trump the federal laws or at least be able to modify them to fit each states specific need. We have been on a very slow but steady path of one centralized government that controls all."

kauppily disagreed about immigrants' motivations for coming to the states. "A large portion of American immigrants came here to seek better opportunity, which does not automatically mean they were fleeing a dictatorship." Also, Tacitus6 wrote, "Actually, the framers were quite specific that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, superseding state law."

And SSBlurpe said, "All this whining and crying about political differences. Compared to the rest of the world, we have it pretty darn well. At least if we hate our leader we can vote him out in 4 years."

2 arrested as France's ban on burqas, niqabs takes effect

A story about the response to a French ban on burqas and niqabs, garments that obscure women's faces, got commenters into an intense conversation about a government's relationship with individual laws and beliefs. Most seemed to support the rule, although that wasn't true of everyone.

10001NYC said, "Some Muslim countries make all women (foreign or otherwise) wear a head scarf. Now one European country ban's full face covers. Seems about equal to me and neither bothers me. If I live in a country, I realize I will be required to abide by the laws of the land."

MissCreant said, "France is a self-proclaimed and self-determined secular country. If you wish to wear overt religious symbols that have democratically been declared illegal, then don't live there."

Many addressed the issue of safety and security when covered by a garment. cliffndort said, "If you are in a country other than your own, you abide by the law. PERIOD. And, frankly, any country that allows any person from anywhere to enter their country without full facial identification is a blatantly stupid country."

Some were torn. rmtaks wrote, "This is a tough one for me. On one hand I loathe the idea of a government banning any kind of expression, and consider it an egregious abuse of civil rights. On the other hand, the clothing in question is more often than not used by individuals to abuse the rights of others."

Others were concerned about what the garments represent. crls01 said, "I live in California. I once lived in a house where my neighbors were Islamic followers. It was truly sad to see these young, beautiful, potentially great female wives wear their 'burqas' for fear from their old, abusive husbands. Once the wives (while the husbands ran errands) came to our house seeking help and ultimately freedom."

In mixup, toddler served alcohol at Applebee's restaurant, police say

The story of an Applebee's that accidentally served a Margarita instead of apple juice got the commenting juices flowing. svann said, "Maybe in a restaurant that serves minors its not a good idea to use old apple juice containers to store your margarita mix."

Some had fun with this story. Joking, PigPen1234 wrote, "I have a 2-year-old and I never give him alcohol anymore. He turns into a totally different person when we drink together and we always end up fighting."

Some could totally related. cryofpaine said, "Had this happen to me. I was staying with my grandma, and my uncle came home with a screwdriver. He put it in the fridge to get rid of later, but my grandma found it and thought it was just orange juice. Mistakes happen. I would seriously question the part about the kid possibly dying if he drank the whole glass. "

Many echoed cryofpaine, saying they thought it was an unfortunate occurrence but not something to worry excessively about. Serene1111 said, "It was an accident. The container was mislabeled. Glad he didn't die. But if the kid isn't harmed, time to move on."

In making that point, several commenters alluded to the possibility of lawsuits in their comments. MysticRiver said, "I'm glad the toddler was okay. I hope Applebee's picked up the cost of his medical care, and I also hope the parents let it go rather than rush on down to the nearest lawyer to see how much they can cash in on this incident."

donebyproxy said, "Sorry – parent is to blame. You don't give your child anything in a bottle that has not been boiled, and this applies to sippy-cups and anything else to touch your child's mouth, to the best of your possible ability. Taking you baby to such a place to begin with is questionable judgment, and NEVER give them something from somebody you just met....totally weak. You can't blame the restaurant here, but I bet they'll settle with the mother very quickly."

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: iReport • Overheard on CNN.com
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. John Quincy Adams

    "The indissoluble link of the union between the people of the several states of this confederated nation is. after all, not in the right but in the heart. If the day should ever come (may heaven avert it!) when the affections of the people of these states shall be alienated from each other; when the fraternal spirit shall give way to cold indifference. or collision of interests shall fester into hatred, the bands of political associations will not long hold together parties no longer attracted by the magnetism of conciliated interest and kindly sympathies; and far better will it be for he people of the disunited states to part in friendship from each other, than to be held together by constraint"

    April 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dim Mak

    If islamic countries require western women to cover up then western countries can require to see a woman's face. I see fully covered women all the time come into my store always walking behind their husbands like property. I understand dressing modestly, but that has nothing to do with modesty and more to do with men being controlling.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dim Mak

    If islamic countries require western women to cover up then western countries can require to see a woman's face. I see fully covered women all the time come into my store always walking behind their husbands like property. I understand dressing modestly, but that has nothing to do with modesty and more to do with men being controlling. Oh and how do you confuse apple juice with margarita? One is clear and brown while the other is green. ?????

    April 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kim

    The muslim clothing are not the threat its the people oppressing those women in those clothing fabric is not what we should fear its the fanatical belief in the muslim religion.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey

    "...after they've seen Paris?"
    Don't litter the venue of Chanel.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey

    The antebellum South took its style from Europe, not from America's industrialized North.
    The end of slavery should not have ended what was admirable in the antebellum South, just as World War II did not have to end Germany's pride in its cultural heritage.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    @Dim Mak: there are a myriad of different margarita flavors. Or, it could have been straight-up tequila. I'm thinking it was probably a mixture of apple juice and tequila to make apple margaritas...they usually add the rest of the ingredients just prior to serving.

    April 12, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    Yes,I believe that the Southern states did have a right to secede just like Kurdistan today has a perfect right to secede from Turkey. No state should be forced to remain under the control of another. Vascagondas in another shining example of this as they endeavor to secede from Spain.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. kim

    Why dont you go ask some black people if the war was not about slavery then tell them that the south is wanting there human property back to work hard labor with no pay! I want to see what happens when you do.

    April 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. really?

    All whites and non-whites should give in to the real king: the shaving bunnies in the DQ commercials

    April 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kim

    Its still the UNITED STATES the south is not going anywhere!

    April 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bogdog02

    Addendum: The fith way we are still fighting the CIVIL WAR,it's called,"South Carolina". Rebel battle flag still flies at state capital,secession balls annually,(one hundred fifty years) celebration of the start of civil war,denials of the REAL cause of
    the war.

    April 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
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