Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest; promoting though education the uniquely positive values of Southern history, heritage, and cultural identity. Topics include (but are not limited to):
Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Americana, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Travel & Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Classic Animation Nostalgia, Fandom ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland! Please enjoy and feel free to post comments, or contribute to this blog in any meaningful way.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black Lives Matter Promotes Fascist Censorship Of Confederate Heritage

By this point everyone who hasn't lived under a rock, or playing Xbox online constantly for the last week, is aware of the terrible tragedy that took place on Saturday, August 12th in Charlottesville, Virginia where one person lost their lives and over 30 others were wounded. This tragedy was ultimately promoted collectively by the regressive, anti-Confederate heritage actions of the current mayor of Charlottesville Wes Bellamy, white nationalist reactionaries led by former Occupy Movement activist --now white nationalist shitlord-- Jason Kessler, and a bunch of George Soros paid anarchists/entitled middle class (mostly white) kids who call themselves Antifa or "anti-fascist" (sic). 

Most are also aware of the mass outpouring of irrational, hate-fueled acts of vandalism, cultural marxism, and ISIS-like acts of terror perpetrated by these privileged regressives and reactionary politicians; acts which seem to be just as much an expression of the continued irrational rage prompted by last year's election of our current US President directed at symbols of Confederate heritage as they are the continued attempts on the part of anti-Confederate heritage regressives to label and condemn the citizen soldiers who defended Dixie's independence as "domestic terrorists" and "traitors"(sic). 

Now more regressive trolls are coming out from under the bridge and demanding to go further with the continued damnato memoriae of the Confederate soldier, his leaders, and that aspect of our shared and living Southern heritage. These trolls take the form of the domestic terror group called Black Lives Matter (BLM). 

Before I go into my little rant here, I would like to make something clear. I do not label every individual who supports the group as a domestic terrorist. Many who take part in BLM protests do so because they believe that there are genuine grievances about the role of America's police and minority communities. Some of those grievances are genuine concerns and this blogger feels that such concerns need to be rationally addressed in honest dialogue in public forums. Nor does this blogger feel that black lives do not matter....DUH! Every life has worth, even the lives of people you do not agree with. Neither does this blogger equate BLM with every African-American who lives in urban America -- far from it! Many Black Americans do not even support BLM.

Now having said that, allow me to explain why I label the group BLM itself as a domestic terrorist group. Any group that feels that acts of violence in America's streets -- even as "expressions of rage" -- that results in the destruction of private property, the hazing and beating of US citizens, and the wrongful deaths and outright murder of police officers and other individuals, and fails to call out the individuals from their group who commits these acts; those groups lose the right to any moral standing whatsoever, no matter how noble their original intent. 

This is sad because actual acts of police brutality committed against American citizens, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, or social standing, should be confronted and protested against; but always in tempered and measured ways that make the very citizens such protesters claim they are trying to protect feel at ease. Making ordinary people feel that they will be in the line of thrown debris and that their businesses, private property, or family will face possible violence are not the ways to effect positive change. History shows this to always be true. Anarchy builds nothing. 

However, no group of people who chant generalized slogans like: "What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want them? NOW!" can be viewed rationally as anything but a group of domestic terrorists. Until the leadership of BLM denounces such tactics and takes the high moral road in their stated goals, this blogger's personal designation of them stands. 

Now then moving on, BLM demanded this week that all vestiges of Confederate historical and cultural heritage be banned. This includes not only monument removal, but the display of the Southern (Dixie) Cross banner, any Confederate national flag, the closing of all battle fields of the War Between The States, the end to all reenactments of the war, and the banning of all Confederate heritage groups and Civil War roundtables. 

Their rationale (and I use that term with no small measure of irony) is based on their regressive, intolerant, and -- dare I repeat this?-- pro-white supremacist view of Confederate heritage. A regressive and wrong-thinking view that all symbols of Confederate heritage can be "rationally" equated with Nazism -- not exactly a new perspective championed by the regressive Left, but new and original thinking is seemingly not a part of their ideological makeup. 

BLM argues that modern-day Germany, a democratic republic, constitutionally bans all displays of Nazi symbols and slogans. Because of this the United States of America should do the same for those "traitorous" Confederates. 

But not so fast! Certain key points should be made regarding both Germany's constitutional ban of Nazi symbols and the US Constitution. Points that defeat the arguments of BLM -- and by extension any regressive Leftist argument against the public display of Confederate symbols.

In regards to Germany's constitution and democracy, it should be remembered that prior to 1946, Germany was not a democratic society, nor a constitutional republic, as America was since 1787. Germany itself did not even become some resemblance of the nation it is today until around 1870 when the German States were formed into a empire (or reich) and remained so until the end of the First World War. A weak democratic government was formed, but unrest in the struggling nation kept that government from being effective, allowing for the National Socialist Workers Party (Nazis) to rise to power and a tyrant like Adolf Hitler to be named dictator. History shows how that ended. 

The fact it ended in no small part to the efforts of the US military, including the proud grandsons of Confederate Veterans, should be noted. 

When the democratic government of West Germany was founded in the aftermath of World War 2, a constitution was made that banned Nazi imagery. The current German constitution formed after the reunification of Germany in 1991, also includes this....with a notable exception. 

Hindu and Buddhist temples in Germany used by the country's growing Indian population often display the original form of the swastika in their architecture. 

Prior to the display of the inverted form of the swastika by the Nazi Party -- and continued display of the same by regressive devotees of Nazi idealism -- the original swastika was seen as a positive symbol in many cultures, and still is in most non-Western countries today. The German constitution reflects and recognizes this with that exception. 

The US Constitution and its origins are much different, having been formed by men who studied Greek and Roman democracy and republican ideals, taking from the best of them. They also recognized the worth of individualism over collectivism, that all people have inalienable rights granted by God rather than government -- including freedom of speech. The 1st Amendment in the Constitutional Bill of Rights clearly states that freedom of speech and expression cannot be infringed upon -- this also included opposition speech to popular opinions. These are not only a right the government is sworn to protect, but it is a sacred right granted not by government, but by God Himself. 

Taking these facts into account, the BLM's demand to ban all symbols of Confederate heritage and their obtuse justifications for such demands, simply run into a very hard brick wall called individual freedom. This is a fact the US Supreme Court will uphold, as will the ACLU -- a group certainly not known as a Right-leaning one -- and by groups of citizens (many of them honorable Confederate descendants) of all races in America that will not sacrifice personal individuality for collectivist mentalities.

Play denied!

On a final note, this blogger would like to remind all those reading this post that, for all of their talk about protecting certain black lives, and their stated slogan that "Black Lives Matter", BLM does not represent all African-Americans, or their regressive views of the Southland's living heritage, including Confederate heritage. One group of people in Dallas, Texas, made up of both black and white Americans, have sworn to defend the display of the Confederate monuments and banners there. They are far from the only ones who share the view that flags and monuments to dead soldiers are not the problem. 

The problem comes when anyone representing a group-think mentality demands to impose that view on others and threatens violence in order to achieve those goals. That my friends is the very definition of the true meaning of fascism, no different in spirit than the type of tyranny and oppression our grandparents fought long and hard to defeat in Europe during World War 2.

It is this blogger's hope that we as an American society can look past the flawed collectivist views of BLM, Antifa, and white nationalist regressives, and realize that not only do all lives matter and have worth; but that everyone who conducts themselves reasonably should be treated accordingly, while those who seek to deny our shared heritage and humanity should be looked on with disgust and ignored entirely.

Any group of collectivists that denies the worth and dignity of
the individual is morally obsolete.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Anti-Confederate Heritage Reactionary Tries To Link Charlottesville Tragedy To Southern Heritage -- And Gets Soundly Pwned By Yours Truly

This morning, I took the time to look through the news online before making breakfast. 

The tragic events in Charlottesville were still in my mind since learning of them late last night, and I wanted to see what further information had come to light. 

Not that I trust the mainstream US media to report anything closely resembling the truth mind you. I know all too well that the story will be used in the future to justify continued attacks on Confederate monuments and calls for their removal. I can easily predict that some line connecting this incident will be attached to every journalistic hit-piece against the display of any Confederate symbol in the near future, much like the continued references to the Left's favorite white supremacist continues to be two years after the Charleston tragedy. 

Still curiosity got the best of me, and wouldn't you know it, I found a story written just last night by another Southern-born regressive from Virginia, who attempted to link the slogan "Heritage Not Hate" to the actions of those white nationalists. 

I am hopeful that many people reading this blog are aware that true defenders of Southern-Confederate historical heritage are largely honorable Southern people made up of many people, including a number of non-whites and non-Christians, who reject white supremacist ideology, as documented here on this blog on many occasions. 

To make the broad claim that everyone who displays a Confederate flag, or stands at a Confederate monument is on the same side, or share the same thoughts and mentality toward those who think or look differently is of course simplistic and asinine. Then again regressive alt-Leftism isn't largely made up of mental giants who possess the ability to see distinctions in people. I personally know the difference between a person who is a classical Liberal and a modern-day regressive Social "Just-Us" Warrior. Because I know the difference, I choose not to classify all liberals in the same light. That being said, not everyone takes the time to look closely at distinctions between people and not lump them all together in group-think mentalities. 

Which brings us to today's example of the subspecies regressive cuckus, Mr. Tyler Coates of Virginia and his hit-piece in esquire.com attempting to link Confederate heritage and the slogan "Heritage Not Hate" to those white nationalist throwbacks in Charlottesville yesterday. Since the site does not allow for comments, your blogger will once again dissect the arguments here, pointing out their obvious flaws in Confederate Red.



It's No Longer About Southern Heritage. In Fact, It Never Was. 

Your opinion -- such as it is -- is duly noted, snowflake.


It's time Southerners recognize the lies we've been telling ourselves for over a century.
I wonder if I can make you recognize the lie you are telling yourself right now dude?

"It's about heritage, not hate." And if you had the first clue as to what that phrase truly means, you would agree. Sadly many modern-day regressives clearly do not. Sometime soon I am going to have to write a detailed post on the subject.

As a kid growing up in Virginia, that's the answer I always received when I questioned a Confederate flag hanging on the side of a shed or the statues of Confederate generals lining Monument Avenue in Richmond, our state capital. These weren't symbols of intolerance, racism, or white supremacy. No, these were to honor the lives lost in a lost cause: a war that divided our country in two, a series of battles in which the Southern man bravely defended his homeland and tragically lost. The monuments were built by grieving families who lost their loved ones: sons, brothers, husbands, and significant others. Killed in an ugly, useless war (as all wars ultimately are) and built as a means of closure for many who never learned the ultimate fate of their lost loved ones. The flags are displayed to honor the courage of those men and as part of our shared Southern historical and cultural identity. For 98% of us who honor them properly, they mean nothing more than that, and never have.
We Southerners have a strong sense of pride for our history and culture. We're very good at lying to ourselves to fit the narrative we want to believe. Your first sentence was well written, though you had to follow it up with what I am pretty sure will end up being regressive BS. Let's see if I am correct, shall we?

I grew up in Montross, Virginia, a tiny little town about an hour from Richmond. There's not much to say about it, but our bragging rights come from the fact that Montross is the seat of Westmoreland County, where two of America's most famous generals were born: George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Both of them moved away when they were children, but the symbolism is still there: Two men who played major roles in fundamental moments of our nation's history had their origins in our tiny part of the world.

Robert E. Lee, I'll admit, always cast a darker shadow over that part of Virginia than his Revolutionary War counterpart. I grew up being fed the tall tales of his devotion to his home state, his compassion and integrity; he sided not with the South, but with Virginia, and that is why he led the Confederate army against a tyrannical Union. I would have said an illegal and unconstitutional Union invasion, but oh well. It's bullshit, of course, but again: Southerners like their legends, and we like to present beautiful odes to our heroes even when the acts they committed were hardly heroic—but were, in fact, treasonous. Technically secession was never declared "treason" until a US Supreme Court decision (White Vs. Texas 1869) Four years AFTER the War Between The States ended in 1865. Now obviously you are aware (at least I hope so) that in a Constitutional Republic, or any democracy for that matter, a person cannot be convicted of an alleged crime when one is not legally declared a crime. Since there was no consensus on the legality of secession prior to that court decision, neither Lee, nor any other Confederate leader committed a legal crime. That isn't bullshit dude, it's legal fact. Own it!

I have never looked up to the men whose effigies stand tall in various parts of the South. I never thought they were heroes, simply because of the fact that they were fighting for a destructive, evil cause. Defending one's home from an illegal and unconstitutional invasion and destruction is an "evil cause"? Wow, guess all those European countries who fought in vain against the Axis Powers and the Soviet invasions during WW2 and after were clearly in the wrong, eh? We can have an endless debate over "states' rights" as the root of the Civil War; I find it pointless, because it is nothing more than a convenient narrative to avoid the truth. These men were fighting against the notion that all men and women—not just the white men in power, and the women who stood beside them—deserve the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for which our forefathers fought in the late 18th century. And naturally like all Leftist regressives, you are using that wonderful superpower y'all have where you can look into the hearts and minds of people and tell for certain you know what each and every individual thinks, thought, or feels. What a wonderful ability that is! Does it come with the educational lobotomy y'all get? They wanted to continue the practice of enslaving black men and women, of protecting whiteness. I will never see a Confederate flag or monument and separate it from a history of white supremacy, no matter how often I was instructed by our biased history lessons to ignore it. If you truly knew anything about those who actually honor the term "Heritage Not Hatred" or made an honest effort in your life to try and understand those who do, then you would know that a good many of us do not look past the negatives in Confederate heritage either. We simply do not believe they define the whole, nor negate the positive aspects as you seem to; but neither do we look past the wrongs committed by our ancestors either.

Last night in Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists descended upon the town—and upon the grounds of the University of Virginia—to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a city park. (Emancipation Park, to be exact; Southerners often turn a blind eye to irony.) Brandishing tiki torches, racist and homophobic slogans, and Nazi salutes, the group began to clash with Black Lives Matter activists and other groups protesting the planned "Unite the Right" rally. Those clashes continued on Saturday morning, when Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. Allow me to point out a couple of ironies YOU seem to be overlooking fella. For one thing the gathering was largely condemned by honorable Confederate heritage groups opposed to the display of the flag and co-opting of Confederate symbols by white supremacists. Another thing, Emancipation Park was named in far more recent history, long after the statue of Lee was placed there. I know those details don't fit your narrative, but if you truly wish to lecture about honesty and not lying to oneself, you might wanna practice what you are trying to preach. 

To my fellow Virginians and Southerners who have stood so steadfast in their refusal to see our Confederate monuments for what they are, I ask you: What does this say about our heritage? It says that the enemies of our shared and living Confederate heritage are not just groups like the NAACP and radical Leftist regressives, they include those alt-right white nationalists who seek to wrongly co-opt symbols they have no moral claim to -- a detail that honorable Southern heritage groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans have known for two decades and have actively spoken out against. A detail that I pointed out on this blog HERE. These men and women are not protesting the elimination of Southern culture and history, but rather reacting to their own deluded notions that white people are losing control of our country. Exactly, they are not actual Confederate heritage supporters. Thank you for at least pointing out the distinction. When a group of men and women shout out "Jew will not replace us" in front of a statue of Robert E. Lee, what does that say about your symbol of Southern heritage? It says that a good many white people like you and those self same men and women require a history lesson about the 10,000 Jewish Confederates who fought in the War. When these people brandish Nazi symbols and scream "fuck you faggots" in front of your idol, (a historical statue honoring a community leader) what does it say about a historical figure who supposedly stood up against a tyrannical government to protect his land? The question should be: what does it say about the moronic, non-Confederate heritage supporting people doing so? Your question is just stupid.
Imagine if I asked: When people claiming to represent BLM chants What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? NOW! (a chant they are known for) in front of a statue of, oh say....W.E.B. Dubois, what does that say about said historical figure? Obviously it wouldn't say jack about Dubois, or his personal history at all. The people chanting would still be dumbasses with a hateful agenda, but said historical figure would have no actual part in this. 

The South lost the war. Over a century later, we're still fighting one—but it has nothing to do with states' rights or Southern pride. It is about racism, intolerance, and hatred. And at the center of it all are symbols that, despite the well-intended Southern narratives that have failed to reframe them as anything else, are the strongest representation of racism in our country's history. They are only to white supremacists....and ironically to regressive Leftists like you. To everyone else though they mean far more than just one narrow, limited view of their identity that ignores their full history. 

It is time the Confederate monuments come down for good, as they are now forever linked with an intolerance that extends beyond the borders of the Southern states. Only in your mind, dude. Others seem to disagree HERE. It's not about Southern heritage anymore, but rather America's heritage of propagating white supremacy as we comfort ourselves with slogans that suggest otherwise. You are correct that this isn't really about Southern heritage, it is about groups of haters misusing symbols they have no legitimate claim to in order to promote their own sordid agendas. Real defenders of those symbols -- people of all races and religious creeds -- frequently speak out against those who misuse them wrongly as symbols of hatred, or seek their removal from public display. Such people were not evident in Charlottesville on August 12th, only true enemies of our Confederate heritage (in one form or another) were. 

Well there you have it folks, a lesson in intellectual honesty and in the ability to define distinctions. I hope y'all enjoyed it as much as I did getting this off my chest.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Original Godzilla Actor, Haruo Nakajima, Dead At Age 88

Harou Nakajima, the original suit actor for Godzilla.

Legendary stunt actor Haruo Nakajima, the first actor to wear the iconic Godzilla suit, has passed away aged 88 from pneumonia.

Born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan on January 1, 1929,  Nakajima began his film career as a stunt actor in samurai films. The most memorable of these was his small role as a bandit in the film Seven Samurai (1954) directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film was one of the major inspirations for George Lucas when creating the Star Wars cinematic universe. 

Nakajima is best known to fans across the world as the original suit actor for the legendary movie monster, Godzilla. 

Nakajima practicing his steps with the bottom half of the
Godzilla suit on set.
In his remarkable two decade acting career, Nakajima played the legendary Kaiju consecutively for the first 12 films of the Showa Period (1954-1975) of the Godzilla movie franchise. Starting with the original film Godzilla (1954) till his final performance as the classic city-destroying, radioactive fire shooting monster in Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) Nakajima brought Godzilla to life in many of the monster's most memorable movies. 

Nakajima, in the full Godzilla suit, on set being prepared for
his next scene.

Of course, it was Godzilla which would inspire a number of popular giant dinosaur scenes and spoofs in films and television shows, including: the female T-Rex terrorizing San Diego in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Reptar, the favorite cartoon monster character of Nickelodeon's animated television series Rugrats. 

As a life-long fan of classic monster films, I remember seeing my first Godzilla films as a young kid in a marathon on Atlanta's Turner Broadcasting Stations (TBS) in the mid 1980s and the impact this cultural phenomenon had on me through the talents of Mr. Nakajima, who brought life and personality in a dinosaur suit. 

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu, Nakajima-san. RIP.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Regressive Charlotte SJW Radical Has Confused View Of Reality -- And Gets An Education From Yours Truly

We're going deep down the rabbit hole on this one,

Greetings once again my friends and fellow travelers.

How many people here remember the social "just us" regressive Miss Bree Newsome, who infamously climbed the flagpole on the South Carolina Statehouse grounds and temporarily removed the Confederate battle flag ANV from the monument back in June 2005? 

Yeah, I didn't really remember her name either until she showed up again like a bad case of crabs to offer her somewhat paranoid worldview concerning the upcoming HBO series about the Confederacy winning the war and keeping slavery to the modern age....no really, they are making that. 

Even if I actually subscribed to HBO, I would not dignify such a series by watching it for various reasons. When it comes to historical depictions in a television series, I would stick with the outstanding (if not entirely historically accurate) AMC series TURN Washington's Spies

While I would not watch any potential series about a victorious CSA maintaining slavery to the 21st century -- largely because I cannot find myself suspending my intellect, or sense of disbelief long enough to accept such an outcome outside of parody -- Miss Newsome also objects to the series because she feels that her unique mental view of the Confederacy and slavery did in fact survive and continues to this day.


The article to the story can be found at the Washington Post HERE. I read it and, well, really needed time to overcome the assault on my intelligence from reading what had to be one of the most paranoid, victim-culture tirades I've read in some time from an SJW regressive. Much like Alice falling down the rabbit hole and ending up in Wonderland where everyone is mad, I felt like I'd just come off an LSD high when I finished reading Miss Newsome's warped view of reality.

This tirade deserves a point-by-point response, so once again your blogger will deliver it here on this blog. As always, my responses will be in Confederate Red. Enjoy.

We don’t need a TV show about the Confederacy winning. In many ways, it did.

By Bree Newsome (Edited by the Man Deniers Fear The Most)
Fade in. (Insert Wayne and Garth going "Didi-oo didi-oo didi-oo didi-oo" LOL sorry couldn't help it folks! Party on, dudes!) The scene is South Carolina in 2015. Thousands of mourners fill the street to watch as a horse-drawn caisson is paraded to the Statehouse in Columbia. I know, I was actually there in person. Scattered throughout the crowd are dozens of news crews reporting on the assassination of a black state representative and pastor who was shot to death in his church by a Confederate sympathizer lone wolf gunman who represented no group, just himself and his own mixed-up views on race and racial identity. There’s a close-up as the coffin is unloaded and carried into the Statehouse. The camera then zooms out to reveal a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds and the Confederate battle flag flapping in the wind at full mast. Actually the wind was calm that day and there was no wind at all. The battle flag was not flapping at all, just hanging there limply, sadly. Almost as in mourning as well.
Of course, the scene I just described isn’t a movie scene at all, but events that took place just two years ago on June 24, 2015. And you described them very poorly and factually incorrect. Then again I guess as an "artist" you need to set the tone for your rather subjective narrative don't you? (By the way, not to nit-pick here, but shouldn't you have written: "Fade out" after the end of that first paragraph....I mean if you are attempting to write a proper scene?) The Confederate battle flag continued to fly above the U.S. and South Carolina State flags, which had been lowered to half-staff even as President Obama delivered a eulogy for Clementa Pinckney in Charleston two days later. Uh....what? Um, I might remind you that the battle flag flew at a 30 foot pole on the grounds of the Statehouse by a Confederate monument (which I am certain you know all too well) and that the only US and SC State Flags flying are on a pole on top of the Statehouse itself -- way on top of the building. Now how could a flag flying on a 30 foot pole even begin to fly over two flags at half staff on a pole....on TOP OF A F***ING BUILDING?! Addressing a room that included the (thankfully former and far from lamented) governor of South Carolina and many other high-ranking officials, the president stated that “Removing the flag from this state’s Capitol (From the soldier's memorial on the grounds, for clarity sake)… would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which [the Confederacy] fought — the cause of slavery — was wrong.” The Confederate citizen soldier fought for community, family and personal honor. The monument and flag were there to honor them and them alone. Removing it was an act of hatred and ignorance disguised as "tolerance". Worse, it was an act that ultimately helped empower white supremacist idealism rather than reject it.
For a nation that had supposedly settled the issue of slavery in a Civil War 150 years ago, it seems odd that this statement would be necessary in 2015. Well President Barry-O did say a number of odd things throughout his two terms, and SJWs today continue to express some pretty outrageous and bizarre statements here in 2017. (I can’t recall a time, for instance, when a president had to issue a clarifying statement that the United States was on the right side of the Revolutionary War and therefore a monument to King George III was inappropriate in the Capitol.) For one thing even if there were a statue to King George III in the Capitol, nobody today would be making the assumption that it would be there for some dark and sinister purpose. For another thing statues and monuments to British royalty and the Crown's soldiers who fought in the American Revolutionary War would not offend me. I could care less if the Capitol had a monument to British soldier and the King's Colours flew beside it in their honor. I wouldn't personally object to it. Perhaps that’s because most wars end with one side being clearly defeated, its cause and ideology clearly rejected. Not always. By contrast, thanks to monuments, nostalgia and sociopolitical realities that still remain, America has yet to definitively part ways with its Confederate past. You and I obviously have different views of what is meant by "Confederate past". For me and most sane, non-social "just us" warriors, honoring the memory of the Confederate soldier and respecting that service is not really synonymous with some modern-day political dogma.
Perhaps this is why HBO’s recent announcement of a new show called “Confederate,” (BLEH!) which presents an alternate history in which the Confederacy won the Civil War, struck many, including myself, as completely tone-deaf to historical reality. Well, it is alternate-history/fantasy, so "reality" really wouldn't come into play now, would it? It frankly doesn’t require much imagination to fantasize a world where the Confederacy remained undefeated. Tell that to people who write fiction for a living. Good imagination is a major requirement for writing. After all, the current president of the United States received endorsements from various white supremacist organizations, including the Ku Klux Klan, (You forgot to include the fact that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were both ALSO endorsed by the KKK....just saying) a group founded by former Confederate soldiers whose mission was to terrorize newly freed blacks and the radical Republicans seeking to grant them voting rights. This is true to a point, though the history there and connection between the original KKK and the current crop of losers who call themselves that is subject to broad interpretation. I might also add that not all of those who made up the original Ku Klux Klan had been former Confederate soldiers (and indeed a good many former Confederate soldiers had nothing to do with it), some had in fact been pro-Unionists and people who avoided being drafted at all. Just last month, members of the KKK gathered for a rally in Charlottesville, Va., to defend against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee erected in 1924. An action that was for the benefit of that group alone and done without any sanction -- indeed with a great deal of condemnation -- by legitimate Confederate heritage groups.
It’s also not difficult to close one’s eyes and imagine what America would be like in 2017 had slavery never ended — because it never really did. And here folks is where we find our just how very deep the rabbit hole in Miss Newsome's mind goes. Chattel slavery as it existed before the Civil War merely evolved to suit a more advanced, sleek and efficient economy, but one still built on placing people in chains. Whoo boy, this is going to be some serious mental gymnastics folks.
The United States represents roughly 4 percent of the world’s population, yet holds nearly 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated people. A very sad commentary of the price of American freedom if the stats are accurate. Those incarcerated are disproportionately black, Latino and poor. Sadly also true. This system of mass incarceration is not merely about criminal punishment (comma needed here) or rehabilitation (comma needed here) but is a literal economy. Just as chattel slavery was an economy that generated profit in myriad ways for those who participated in it, private prisons are a multibillion-dollar industry that generate profit from locking people up and forcing them to serve as cheap labor. People are locked up in prison because they commit crimes. Granted some crimes are petty and some criminal laws need to be better done, but there is no vast conspiracy to put vast amounts of American people in jail.
The roots of mass incarceration in the 21st century trace directly to the period immediately after the Civil War and the emancipation of slaves. So.....there were no prisons and no lawbreakers in America prior to 1865? Humm, interesting. Between 1865 and 1866, Southern states passed a series of laws known as the “Black Codes” designed to grant local authorities power to arrest black people for virtually any reason at all and force them to provide free labor via convict leasing programs. Some of the most notorious prisons in the South would be built soon after: Parchman in Mississippi, built to house black male prisoners, where Rep. John Lewis would later be held during the Freedom Rides in 1961; and Angola Prison in Louisiana, erected on the site of a former plantation, purchased with profits from a slave-trading firm. Angola remains the largest maximum-security prison in the country and is notorious for its extremely high prisoner death rates.
Given that the true cause of the Confederacy was slavery Southern independence, did the Confederacy really lose altogether? Um, yeah. Former Confederates were only out of power disenfranchised and denied the legal rights of US citizens, despite the Northern cause of the War being to preserve the Union and reunite the country for roughly 12 years during the period of Reconstruction (1865-1877). Campaigns of terror led by groups such as the KKK were overwhelmingly successful, and despite a brief period of gain for African Americans during which time seven African Americans from the South were elected to the U.S. Congress, by the beginning of the 20th century, white supremacists in the South had succeeded in returning blacks to a condition as close to slavery as possible, and many of those abuses endure today. Really? Please give me the statistics on how many African-American sharecroppers there currently still are in the South right now? And of course there are no non-white politicians, doctors, lawyers, business people, or sports stars anywhere in the South today huh? You just gotta love that good ole boy system, huh? (sarcasm in case it went past you).
So the Confederacy hardly needs to be imagined. Indeed, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss,  the showrunners for “Game of Thrones” who are tapped to helm “Confederate,” didn’t see fit to cast black actors in their current show for any roles other than slaves who are freed by a white savior, the character Daenerys. Wow, uh, do you read fantasy novels at all, lady? Certainly by your rather ill-informed statement you have never read author George R. R. Martin's book series. If you had you would know that was how the series was written and that the directors of the HBO series followed the books closely (well at least as closely as they can given that Martin is taking his sweet time with the rest of the novels). Even in a world of fantasy, the show’s creators struggled to imagine darker-skinned people as anything other than slaves only capable of being freed by a white person. That’s not imaginative, but quite the opposite. Well, I'm waiting to read your upcoming sci-fi/fantasy novel where you portray a person of color throwing off the chains of oppression and fighting back....oh wait. (For the record there are a number of outstanding African-American authors in the science fiction community who have written some great stories worth making into movies and possibly a cable series, or two; but you can blame Liberal-controlled Hollywood for not even looking their way.) In the show’s seven-season run, not a single episode has been written or directed by a person of color. Has anyone fitting your shallow (and might I add: racist?) criteria for a good director or writer actually stepped up to offer? Well, have they?
Imagining a world where the Confederacy won, where the legacy of slavery is fresh and the imagined terror of it ever-present may seem like fantasy for white creatives, but ask most black people living in the United States today. They’ll tell you it’s their reality. At least you were honest enough to say "most" though I doubt even that is true, just the ones who live in that ever-shrinking bubble of SJW paranoia you inhabit, ma'am.

I hope y'all enjoyed this post, and my responses to Miss Newsome's rantings. Now having made our way through the very dark and deep rabbit hole in her mind and found a place where everyone is mad down there, I have only one more message for Miss Newsome and all other anti-Confederate heritage regressives out there:

Bless your little ole heart.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Planetary Photography -- 07-02-2017 -- Luna & Saturn

As I promised y'all in my last post, I was able to get a somewhat halfway clear photo of the moon and Saturn meeting in the night sky this evening. You can see Saturn just beyond the bright slightly cloud-covered moon through the branches of one of my backyard trees.

Unfortunately I was unable to get any other good shots because of the cloud cover that obscured viewing of the planet. I hope you enjoyed my photo though. 

More planetary photography coming soon, until then keep your eyes to the skies, y'all!