Hello, California!
As the Falafel Kings, we would like to correct a few common misconceptions about the South.
-Georgia invented Chick-fil-a, Waffle House, and Coca-Cola...meaning we're pretty much the best state EVER.
-The Real Housewives of Atlanta are NOT what we are like...get over it.
-"Grits" is ALWAYS plural...there is no such thing as a "grit."
-We don't really have accents...that was a joke.
-Our peaches and onions are better than your peaches and onions.
-We think it sucks that you guys don't have snow days :)
-We love your mascot...dragons=awesome.

BTW, the people in this group are:
Kate Borden
KC Crewdson
Bailey McDearis
Andrew Parrish
Rekeyia Sherrell

I love Waffle House!!! So good...
--Jackie Kroll

- NO SNOW DAYS? are you kidding me?!?! We have 2 ski resorts less than an hours drive away...
- your peaches and onions may be better, but our apples are better.
-- Ashish Patel....sup

I knew you guys were trying too hard with the accent.
And we also think it sucks that you guys don't live near the ocean. Of course, that means we complain about anything that isn't 76 F so bully for you.
--Trenton Pham

we may not have snow days but at least we can go in the ocean year round and we actually have waves lol GO DOGS!!!
--David E. White
-I'll cut you some slack, since you're from CA, but it's spelled "DAWGS." :)
--KC Crewdson
-I'll cut you some slack, since you're from GA, but David's talking about the Buena High School Bulldogs, which is most definitely spelled "DOGS." Since our school is a magnet school, we have to go to our boundary schools (either Buena or Ventura High School) for sports and other extracurriculars. Buena will be forever cooler than Ventura, so I second David's sentiment. GO DOGS!
--True Randall

Well I just wanna say it sucks that you guys don't have sports at your school. or snow days. and we are like and hour from an ocean that is actually warm and you don't have to wear a wetsuit. So our ocean is better than your ocean

Monster Truck Shows are a valid source of entertainment. This is fact.

KC dude when i say GO DOGS i mean my football team the buena bulldogs 12 and 2 who ra but i will give you guys a cheer Go DAWGS

The Falafel Kings' Reconstruction Plan

The Civil War has been a harmful but not fatal, blow to our great nation. Our country was torn apart as brother fought brother, women lost their husbands, children lost their fathers, and mothers lost their sons. Therefore, we view unity and reconciliation as our primary goal in the coming years, and we must erase certain societal sins remaining from before the war. Many hurdles to peace and unity currently exist as we move toward peace. Citizens who feel no loyalty to these United States, disbanded state governments and a crippled economy must be overcome. We have created a plan to address these and other issues. We will show mercy to our defeated comrades, guarantee civil rights to all freedmen, create stable governments in the Southern states, revive the Southern economy and impartially enforce and oversee the entire process. ​(Nice rhetoric!!) Agreed
Before a Southern state regains full rights and representation in the Union, we feel it must meet basic requirements designed to prevent further misunderstandings that may produce a break in the union. First, we propose that all government officials must swear allegiance to the union.
(Either you are naive, or idealistic to believe these government officials will honestly "swear" their allegiance to the Union in which they wished to secede from) We feel this will ensure that all government officials will be working to better and safeguard the stability of the Union. (You are aware that many political office-holders were participants in "keeping negroes in their place", Ku Klux Klan Members, correct?) We also would require at least 20% of the Southern population to also swear allegiance to the Union.
(So, similar to Lincoln's 10% plan.... Good starting-point) We feel that if 20% of the Southern population, in addition to government officials, swears allegiance to the Union, further conflict between former enemies would be prevented. (What is a requirement of swearing allegiance to the Union really going to do to prevent "further conflict between former enemies?" Is this really going to make the South loyal to the Union? If it didn't work then, what's different about your scenario?)
New state governments will be used to ameliorate(Nice word :D ) the reunification process. To accomplish reunification, we propose that all ex-Confederates be officially pardoned but that everyone who served in office under the Confederate administration will be banned from serving in a federal or a state office. (Do you really mean ALL ex-Confederates?? Do you realize how many this is?!?! ...and that in doing so, you are sending the message out to the rest of the country that people can get away with malicious, violent acts against the Union?) (So, Former confederate General Robert E. Lee can run for, and possibly take state or federal office? They, after all, have been pardoned and are running for office in the south...)
Also, all government officials must swear allegiance to the Union. We feel these stipulations will ensure loyalty to the Union and help the local governments of both the South and the North to work together to prevent further conflict and war. (The North and the South working together? A bit idealistic if I do say so myself. They just finished fighting a brutal war and you believe they'll just throw their past behind them and start over again when the south are a people who only have their past at their side? The single driving goal of our plan is to reunify our country. With this in mind, we have to consider the ex-Confederate citizens and the roles they played in the Civil War. Under the Reconstruction plan, we propose that all ex-Confederates are pardoned. No physical or financial punishment will be sanctioned against former Confederates. Secondly, anyone who held office in the Confederate Administration is banned from holding elected office; they cannot run for office again or be in a position of public power. We hope that in due time the ex-Confederates will ultimately swear an oath to the allegiance of the United States and, by extension, the Union. However, they will not be coerced into pledging an oath of allegiance; pledging allegiance is a decision that must be made by the individual. (What good is passive hoping going to do? Have you realized that most Southerners, especially Confederates were born loyal to the South and they plan to die that way?)
A second major goal is to enforce the newly established civil rights for freedmen. We hereby establish an organization for the freedmen called the Freedmen’s Association for Liberty, Autonomy and Fair

Equal Laws, or FALAFEL. FALAFEL will guide freedmen to a more productive life after emancipation. Freedmen will be guaranteed the basic education and skills denied to them under slavery. The Federal government will reward teachers who volunteer to help educate freedmen. Education will allow the freemen to fit into society and become well-informed citizens so they can vote. Suffrage rights will be given to all black men. Additionally, the vast plantations whose owners died in the War and remain uninhabited shall be partitioned and given to the freedmen to start new lives as farmers. (So...as Cassandra pointed out, what are you planning to do about terrorizing groups like the KKK, the White League, and the Red Shirts? You're giving blacks the right to vote, but how are their rights going to be enforced?? If, at all?)
The Southern economy has been destroyed. Due to lack of crop diversification and property damage caused by the war, citizens are now suffering food and money shortages. It is vital to restore the Southern economy swiftly, as a poor Southern economy would promote civil unrest as well as damage the economy of the nation as a whole. The most important step in this recovery process is getting the agricultural industry back to a functioning status. Southern plantation owners are saddled with high labor costs to produce cotton, now that they will have to pay wages to former slaves who work for them. Because Southern cotton is highly sought after in domestic and foreign markets, it is essential that this profitable business be reestablished.
To facilitate rebuilding this vital industry, the Federal government will subsidize the wages of freedmen working on cotton plantations by 50% for a period of at least five years. Additionally, we will establish the Farmer’s Bureau, designed to help farmers; by providing seeds at a reduced price and tools to help the Southern farmers recover from the shock of war. Another way in which we will help the Southern farmers is a five-year increase on tariffs on imported raw materials. This will encourage Northerners to buy Southern goods for use in their factories.
Another apparent problem that accompanies reconstruction is the racism expressed towards the freedmen. Ex-slave owners will have difficulty seeing freedmen as citizens and equals, but instead as property that has been taken from them. This could cause the ex-slave owners to create ways to return the freedmen once again to slave-like lives. For this reason we believe that it is necessary for Union troops to monitor the South to ensure the new policies regarding freedmen are carried out. With this would come animosity toward the Union troops, so we feel it is important that the Union troops work with Southern government officials to mitigate the hostility. Furthermore, the Southern planters will be required to comply with the new policies in order to receive aid from the Farmer’s Bureau. (How can you honestly regulate planters' actions and make sure that they comply with your policies? It's a nice bribe, but how are you going to know if they meet the standards?)
As members of Congress, we believe that this is the best plan to rebuild the part of our country most devastated by war, the South. This will lead to a united country. Admittedly, it will be difficult, yet we have confidence that it is possible. If we treat everyone without prejudice and punish only when absolutely necessary, we will successfully rebuild our country. With this plan, we will once again be a strong, stable example of democracy for the rest of the world.


Team Waffle:

(Cassandra Gluck's response to your plan) What will you do to stop the Ku Klux Klan? Union Troops are just going to suppress Southern locals from doing rebellious things when they are present, such as threatening blacks. Don't you think that having Union Troops in the South will only make the KKK not threaten black people while the Union Troops are around? But once the Union Troops leave to go somewhere else, the KKK will start threatening and killing blacks once again? Will the Union Troops be there forever? Do you really think that the local Southern governments will be willing to work with Union Troops? Most of the Union soldiers consist of Northerners (aka the Carpetbaggers and Scalawags), do you really think that having Northerners working with angry Southerners will "mitigate" hostility? Do the Southern states need to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment before being readmitted to the Union? Will freedmen be able to hold office in government? Will the North be willing to help rebuild the South's economy after the South killed Union soldiers and tore the country into havoc? How will you handle hostility between former-master's slaves and the slave's ex-masters owning property next to each other? What will you do when the "aristocracy" planters fight in protest and refuse to give up their land so a black can take it? How will you ease the tensions between blacks and whites? Will blacks and whites have different restaurants? Will there be segregation right from the start after the Civil War?
(Madeline Bell's response) The requirements for readmission into the US seem a bit simplistic. Is pledging alliegience to the Union really going to stop further problems? What about the other 80% of the population that may NOT pledge allegiance? There is power in numbers, and it seems as if there wasn't enough planning for people who weren't just going to accept Reconstruction without a fight. And as Cassandra mentioned, how is occupying the south going to support your idea of "unity and reconciliation"? It seems as if it would provoke the south as well as cause the north to lose interest quicker than otherwise, since keeping an army stationed is expensive. Also, you mention restoring the cotton industry, but also point out that the south's "lack of crop diversification" is what caused the economy's downfall. Shouldn't you have proposed bringing in a wider range of crops, rather than restoring the one that brought the economy down? I think the south needed food staples at that time more than the cash crop cotton, which was in lower demand internationally because of Britain's planting in Egypt and elsewhere. What rewards are you going to offer schoolteachers? How are you going to ensure that freedmen will actually be able to receive an education, since the army cannot be everywhere at all times? Similarly, how will you make sure that freedmen will be safe at the polls? How will you make them feel safe enough to even try to vote, as they will surely be intimidated by their white neighbors?
(Anna Geare's response) I definitely agree with everything Cassandra and Madeline stated before. My main issue with your plan though was you're idea to stop all further conflict by 20% of the population and all government officials pledging allegiance to the Union. First of all, what if government officials don't want to pledge allegiance? If you force them, than won't that just add to more hostility? I also don't find it realistic that 20% of the population being "loyal" will instantly make all conflict go away. Like Madeline pointed out, what about the 80% that doesn't swear alligiance? Wouldn't this simply cause more hostility between those that do pledge alliegance and those that don't, just like the hostility towards the "carpetbaggers" and "scallawags"? Also, you don't take into account the reaction of the North. Won't they be angry if all the ex-Confederates are pardoned? Won't they get tired of spending so much money on military occupation to support the South who lost the war? After paying such high taxes to support the war, won't the North get angry at the higher tarriff? (Cassandra, you forgot.... The North love higher tariffs... Tariffs are designed to ward off foreign material and to protect national goods. The south, however, despise increased tariffs because it means paying a higher price on an item they could have received from a foreign country for much cheaper.)

Team Fricky Fricky Fre$h:
To start off with something sweet I loved your introduction! I enjoyed the use of rhetoric. And now to do what Mr. Geib assigned...
Having 20% of a states population declare allegiance to the Union is a very low percentage. How will you be able to tell whether or not they are just telling you what you want to hear? The South was still bitter about the war and the majority of the people were still loyal to their state over the Union. It seems too lenient to pardon every single ex-Confederate, they did afterall commit treason. As for the giving land of those who died in the war, what about their families? Won't it simply enrage the South if widows and their children are left with nothing? And I am pretty sure their relatives would be upset that the land their deceased loved one fought for was given for ownership to the people he used to own....slightly ironic. And occupation is just asking for trouble. The South was upset over it then and I do not think that anything could change their anger towards the "Northern Aggressors", but occupation will simply heighten their anger. It is contradictory to be trying to unify the nation and then send troops in to monitor them. The North would probably been upset over a higher tariff, they had just finished paying for a war and were much more willing to leave the South alone then bother with them anymore.
(Red comments also done by this group--Jackie)

(Brent Ocker- In regards to your final paragraph, along with jackie's comment, how do you expect the "respectable south" to go and plow and harvest their own land after decades of having others do their work for them? the south see themselves as a respectable people of which should not bother their time with menial tasks like plowing land. Furthermore, the South have no items of which the north wish to "buy" from them. The North is an industrial powerhouse. What would they be interested in plowing tools for? Overall, an interesting idea yet impractical in many ways. I really enjoyed reading the section on economy, however. There were many thought that came to mind whilst reading your excerpt and it is a great point to branch off from. Generally, well done. A few cracks and bumps but I am pleasantly suprised. )

The Lucky Charms:
(Rebekah Israel) I agree with the person from fricky fricky fre$h. Great introduction! Now I will list my questions and comments...
I do not believe that this is all going to be as easy as you are making it sound. First of all, you are not going to be able to simply "erase certain societal sins." People are not just going to forget everything that happened, maybe they will eventually forgive each other (however that is not likely to happen in a loooong time) but war tensions will not just be "erased". Next, how are you going to show mercy to "defeated comrades" when they start saying, "I will die before a nigger votes down here." or when they start putting sheets over their heads and burning crosses in people's front yards? Who will be the people to "impartially enforce and oversee"? I am guessing they will be union soldiers and if so, they will most likely be biased. What do you plan on doing if ex confederates/southerners break the Southern Alliegance? If it is just an oath, how are you sure they will obey it? Will there be any punishments for if they don't? Keeping the Southerners out of office is going to create an even more segregated country and worsen northern and southern tension. Isn't one of your main goals unification? How do you plan on achieving that with only northerners in government? If you have mercy for the es confederates, the Freedmen's Association is going to feel too threatened to even meet. What do you plan on doing when people are being beaten and killed for attempting to go to these meetings? How is the government going to award teachers? Will the award be worth it, when people are risking their safety and when they become an outcast in society and are tormented and taunted and called "nigger lovers"? If you are planning to give the land of dead plantation owners to freedmen, where are the families of the dead plantation owners going to live? You cannot depend on cotton to create a prosperous economy. Everyone already has cotton so it is not very profitable. With what money will government plan to subsidize freedmens wages? 50% subsidization is a lot for only freedmen. What about poor whites or former soldiers? Where will the tools and the seeds for the farmers be coming from?

Your plan would probably not work, but I dont really think anyone's is going to. Its nearly impossible to make everyone happy. It was a nice try though.

(Lauren Parrino) Sorry but your entire unification plan seems to be based on swearing allegiance to the Union. How will this prevent conflict between the North and the South? Pardoning the ex-confederates will definitely earn Northern favor, surely showing mercy to the men who waged war against Northerners and killed members of their family won't cause outrage. I suppose it seems like a good plan, after all Johnson's lenient policy made him particularly popular. Good luck. After pardoning all of these men you've decided that none of them are allowed to hold office. Southerners will most likely feel as if their rights are being suppressed and shall certainly cause tension, even if they have sworn allegiance. The main point that I must stress I (and it seems everybody else is too) is the conflict with the Ku Klux Klan. How will you ensure the rights of the freedmen? Will you protect them? You can't favor both sides at the same time. Although your plan seems peaceful and negotiating, in the end you'll just end up making bitter enemies.

Maya Morales-
Well done guys, I enjoyed reading it and I agree with Brent about the economy idea. However, you fail to realize that the North and the South will not get along in the immediate years following the Civil War. Just because a couple states swear allegiance does not mean that the country will be magically unified. I would have much more to say, except my classmates pretty much said it all. Though I do agree with them on one thing: Nice introduction, the rhetoric was enticing!

OK, so here's my reply to some of your comments:

First, I'm not sure what happened, but our explanation that we weren't going to take the land of a man who had died in the war if there were surviving widows and/or orphans was in that paragraph originally, but is no longer there.

Also, the South provides raw materials to the North (like cotton for the Northern textile industry), not plows.

Next, we were probably a bit vague on this, but the police would be a combination of former Union soldiers and Southerners. That way, the Northerners would really be in control, but the South would at least feel like they were being represented. Maybe a couple people in the police force would become friends. Not everyone was crazy for (or against) the Union.

Finally, if a Southerner can deflate his pride enough to swear an oath to the Union, he is completely defeated and won't try and secede again. In addition, most Confederates were
for their states, not against the Union. They felt that they had the right to secede, just like the colonists felt they had a right to leave England. Because of that, I don't think they should be treated like Benedict Arnold. We think the best way to unify the country is to move past this as quickly and as peacefully as possible. Obviously, it won't all be peaches and cream, but we choose to be as diplomatic as possible.

Thanks so much for your comments!

BTW, Robert E. Lee was awesome. He was the best military mind around, and he freed his slaves before Grant did. Perfect example of for his state not against the Union or against African Americans.