Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....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!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Race-Baiting Columnist Continues To Fan Hatred In Rock Hill, SC

On the October 29th edition of the Charlotte Observer newspaper, Mr. Andy Dys -- also affectionately known as "shitstain" -- continues to create unneeded controversy over the display of the Dixie Cross banner by the SC Division Sons of Confederate Veterans at their annual reunion in Rock Hill next March

Y'all might remember this particular regressive snowflake from my two previous posts HERE and HERE. Recently he was thwarted soundly in his efforts to gin up enough support to have the Dixie Cross removed from a local Civil War demonstration. 

His newest act of disunity can be read HERE.

Once again I will take Mr. Dys' incoherent ramblings point-by-point and correct his wrongful assumptions, and out-in-out lies. My comments, as always, are in red


NAACP denounces move by Rock Hill’s York Tech to host pro-Confederacy Confederate Veteran's group

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article111339632.html#storylink=cpy

Opposition is growing to an agreement by York Technical College to host a March 2017 convention for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group that celebrates the Confederacy and its symbols.  
And already, you show what a hack you are, Mr. Dys. The condemnation of one radical socially regressive group that shared your pro-white supremacist view of the SCV and the Dixie Cross is hardly "growing opposition" especially since the link you provided shows that the NAACP joined your little one-man hate fest back on the 11th of this month. Can we say: old news?
The incoming leader of the S.C. legislative black caucus, the Rock Hill NAACP and others say they will meet Monday with York Tech President Greg Rutherford to voice their displeasure. Yeah and I'm certain that will get y'all somewhere....NOT!
The Rock Hill and Western York County branches of the NAACP released a statement on the SCV event at York Tech late Thursday. We will get to that one at the end of this little rant.
In the statement, the groups called it “an underestimation of the current racial tensions in America,” A century-old well respected veteran's heritage group that does much for museums and civil war preservation meeting to present awards for services cleaning graves and locating lost veterans resting places is capable of that? Really? Boy, that kool-aid y'all drink must really be some strong stuff. adding that it “seems like a blatant disregard for the historic decision” by South Carolina last year to remove the Confederate flag from its Statehouse. a pro-white supremacist knee-jerk decision by the SC Legislature that served hated rather than any true sense of unity. You're welcome for the correct by the way.
Those opposed to the flag, and to the Rock Hill campus hosting a convention by a group that displays and promotes it, say they have been holding strategy sessions. Meaning they have been gathering together to stroke their collective...."egos". They plan to voice their outrage to elected leaders, including the Rock Hill City Council, York County Council and others. All of whom will likely tell them they are making much ado about nothing, or likely that their actions will cost the city a good bit of revenue from people planning to attend the convention. 
So far, white elected leaders have said nothing. Reasonable and sensible on their part.
The issue is not the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ First Amendment right to free speech: Actually fignuts, it is. The issue that concerns NAACP leaders and others is the Confederate flag, a public college and taxpayer money. And once again, Mr. Dys uses this moronic argument - one that this blogger has already refuted HERE.
South Carolina took down the Confederate flag from its Statehouse grounds in 2015 after a white supremacist and Confederate flag supporter Confederate flag mis-appropriator in Charleston was charged with nine murders of black people in a downtown church.
Black leaders and others Radical race-baiting SJW regressives say they see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racial hatred, bigotry, Jim Crow segregation and continued enmity toward equality for blacks. Not all Black Americans would agree with you, as has been demonstrated HERE. And HERE. And HERE. And HERE. And HERE.
“History makes it all too clear that the ‘Confederate flag’ was more widely embraced during resistance to reconstruction and during its resurgence as a Ku Klux Klan emblem than it did by fallen veterans of the Civil War,” said Dr. Jacques Days, Rock Hill NAACP president.
Actually no, history does NOT make that all too clear. For starters the flag has been around since the first United Confederate Veterans Reunions in the late 1880s and present in thousands upon thousands of honorable display in veteran's parades and other events with NO RACIAL CONTEXT whatsoever. But of course, since the standard SJW regressive view of the flag fails to look at a complete history and simply cheery-picks - not to mention fails to recognize the honorable efforts of legitimate Confederate heritage groups to counter that misuse -- I can understand why Dr. Days wrongly views it the way he does.  
The NAACP wants “thoughtful deliberation, earnest discussion and willing reconciliation” with York Tech and its decision to host a group that supports the Confederate flag, Days said. Translation: They want the event shut down, driven away, and for York Tech to apologize for ever having the temerity to consider it without their say so in the first place. SO THERE!
The convention in March 2017 is likely to draw protests, black leaders say, if York Tech does not withdraw from its contract with the SCV. And now the mindless threats come. Rest assured that I and other members of the SC SCV are not going to be intimidated. The SCV states on its website “One comes down, many go up” about the Confederate flag. That they do, and mean to continue so long as that wrong-thinking view is advanced by the PC Establishment.
The Confederate flag is the SCV emblem and its leaders have refused to say the Civil War was about slavery, claiming their group is about heritage. Again not true about the slavery part. And yes it is about honoring Confederate heritage, something I think Mr. Dys has proven to have a very warped view of. 
York Tech has at least a quarter black students among its 5,000-plus enrollment on campuses in York, Chester and Lancaster counties. And what does that really have to do with anything? I am certain a number of those same students will want to check out the event for themselves, to learn one historical perspective rationally....but wait, maybe that is the REAL problem, huh Mr. Dys?
State Rep. John King, D-Rock Hill, the incoming black caucus chairman in the General Assembly and the only black member of the York County legislative delegation, said he will attend the meeting Monday with Rutherford.
The meeting may include many black leaders from the clergy, NAACP, elected officials, business leaders and more.
“Look at how far we have come forward in this state,” King said. Progress is a subjective term, sir. What one calls "progress" others call "oppression" as is all too often the case in the annuals of human history. “To have this flies in the face of the people who worked to have the flag (wrongly) taken down. Rock Hill has a slogan ‘No Room for Racism.’ This goes against those very words.” In your very questionable opinion perhaps, sir.
York County Councilman William “Bump” Roddey, the only black member of the County Council and a York Tech alum, said Rock Hill has advanced far in race relations with law enforcement and other ways.
But he said the county will be permanently scarred with a “stigma” of this convention that supports the Confederate Flag.
LMFAO! The whole county will be "permanently scarred" from a two-day meeting of a historical preservation organization that does charity work and preserves graves? REALLY?! That would cause a "stigma" in your mind, Bumpy? (Please excuse me while I go to the restroom. I am liable to pee myself at this point folks!) 
“It is a stain on all that hard work,” Roddey said.
Speaking of "stains" I was a bit late....gee thanks a lot, Bumpy. LOL!
Bucky Sutton, commander of the Micah Jenkins Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans, declined to comment. There is no point in commenting on this farce anyhow. I am only doing so because I'm getting a kick out of it. 
York Tech President Rutherford has not made any statements on the college’s contract with the SCV since he found out about it from The Herald last month. Efforts to reach Rutherford for comment about Monday’s meeting were unsuccessful. Harrassment. Intimidation. Yep, Dys and the NAACP are following the standard SJW playbook step by step. 
York Tech leaders were caught unaware of the SCV contract, as bookers at the campus Baxter Hood Center contracted the event without the telling senior leadership, who found out about the convention from the race-baiting hater, Mr. Dys. The Herald.  
And why would that be a problem? Hosting the Sons of Confederate Veterans is no different than say hosting a VFW or Shriner's convention. Most civic groups recognize the SCV as no different, only radical SJW twits intent on creating unneeded problems think otherwise.

There you have it folks. Another mindless SJW propaganda piece dissected and laid bare by yours truly: The Man Deniers Fear Most

Now I must go, Halloween is coming up soon -- my favorite holiday -- and I have much to prepare for before the Great Pumpkin arrives. Not the least of which is finding the most sincere pumpkin patch I can find and....um, well, anyhow y'all have a wonderful Dixie Day! 

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article111339632.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article111339632.html#storylink=cpy

Planetary Photography - 10-30-2016 - Venus & Saturn In Conjuction

Tonight the brightest planet in the evening sky joined in conjunction with the farthest of the visible wanderers of old in the southeastern night sky about 30 minutes after sunset. 

The two planets are seen in the sky only 3 degrees apart -- or about the approximate width of your thumb at an arm length. I captured both planets just over the treeline at 25 minutes past sunset. 

This photo will wrap up a number of dazzling October night sky events this blogger was blessed enough with good weather to photo. The two planets will remain in close proximity on Halloween night. On November 1st, Luna will be joining these two planets in the evening sky, then traveling closer to Mars by the 5th and 6th. As always -- weather permitting -- I will endeavor to capture those planetary meetings. 
As always I hope y'all enjoyed these photos. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Planetary Photography - 10-28-2016 - Mars, Venus & Saturn

The red planet Mars swings to perihelion -- its closest point to the sun in its orbit -- on October 29, 2016. It’ll only be 1.38 astronomical units (AU) away from the sun on this date. One astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun, or about 93 million miles (150 million km). 

The Mars perihelion is a once-in-two-Earth-years event. Mars came to perihelion last on December 12, 2014. It’ll be at perihelion next on September 16, 2018.

Tonight I was able to get a really good shot of Mars in a clear south-southwestern sky, along with Saturn and Jupiter moving closer toward their conjunction at sundown on Sunday, October 30th. 

I took the photos just after sunset at a baseball field just outside of Chester city limits as a background. In the first shot I got all three planets - as well as a nice shot of a plane's contrail in the dusk. The other two photos include a single photo of Mars and a pretty shot of both Saturn and Venus through the fence behind home plate. 

I hope y'all enjoyed them. Cloud cover permitting, I plan to get a shot of both Saturn and Venus at their conjunction on Sunday night. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Planetary Photography - 10-28-2016 - Luna & Jupiter In Morning Sky

Wow this month has certainly been a good one for this blogger in terms of night sky photography. 

Early this morning a clear sky presented a great opportunity to capture the meeting of the waning crescent moon with the king planet Jupiter in the eastern sky just before sunrise. A truly beautiful sight of Luna in a thumbnail crescent with Jupiter as a bright morning star joining beside her just over the treetops. 

As always I am happy to share these views with y'all. Tonight, I will try to get a photo of The Red Planet as it reaches its perihelion -- closest point to the sun in its orbit -- in the night sky.   

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Turns 50!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the classic Peanuts cartoon special It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, which debuted on the CBS channel on Thursday, October 27, 1966.  

This special, the second featuring the cast of American cartoonist Charles M. Schultz's classic and iconic Peanuts comic strip, was created to capitalize on the great success of 1965's  A Charlie Brown Christmas.

When It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown debuted on television nearly half of all TV viewing audiences at the time turned in to watch it, making it the first Peanuts special to debut at No. 1.
Although the Christmas special is arguably more widely recognized, both producer Lee Mendelson and animator Bill Melendez considered It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown to be a bigger success. 

As I have pointed out in a previous post, the Peanuts specials -- particularly the holiday specials -- are timeless classics that hold a warm place in the nostalgic part of this blogger's heart. As a child growing up in the 80s and a teen in the 90s, I found myself eagerly waiting every Halloween to watch this holiday masterpiece. Even now as a 40 year old psuedo-adult, I still enjoy the tradition of watching this classic piece of my childhood around Halloween night.  

Oh Linus, you blockhead!
This goes out for anyone who has lived under a rock [possibly one of the rocks that Charlie Brown got in his candy bag] and never actually watched the special.

Unlike the equally outstanding Christmas special, this Halloween tale largely centers around Charlie Brown's blanket-toting pal, Linus, who -- for reasons never fully explained -- believes that a spirit called The Great Pumpkin would rise out of a pumpkin patch on Halloween night and deliver toys to children who sincerely believe in him. As the other children get ready for Trick-or-Treating and Halloween parties, Linus prepares to spend the evening sitting in a pumpkin patch waiting for the appearance of the entity. 

The other kids mock Linus for his beliefs and for missing out on Halloween, but Charlie Brown's young sister, Sally, is willing to put her crush on Linus over her desire to go on her very first Trick-or-Treat outing and wait with him.

Perhaps the holiday episode is best remembered for Snoopy's first animated appearance as the World War I flying ace, and his infamous imaginary air battle in his Sopwith Camel (doghouse) with the legendary Red Baron in one of the most iconic animated sequences ever produced. 

Bogey Six O'clock high!
"Curse you, Red Baron!"

The show then follows three story arcs: the kids enjoying Halloween, Snoopy's imaginary journey as the flying ace down behind enemy lines crossing battlefields and entering a farmhouse (where the party is taking place) to avoid enemy patrols, and finally Linus and Sally having a rough night waiting in vain for the Great Pumpkin and missing out on Halloween fun -- although someone did show up to meet them (and also subsequently made it across German occupied French territory and back to Allied lines). 

It's the Great....beagle?!

With her first Halloween night ruined, Sally angrily tells off Linus, who owes her restitution -- probably later given to her from his share of Halloween candy that Linus's older sister, Lucy is forced to ask for him during Trick-or-Treating.  

The story ends with Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch most of the night, until Lucy shows up to bring him home and to bed, and learning absolutely nothing from the whole ordeal as he rants into the closing credits about waiting again next year for the Great Pumpkin, to Charlie Brown's look of exasperation. 

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is full of humor -- some at Charlie Brown's expense, such as the now infamous place kicking scene with Lucy, and later with Violet and Lucy using the back of Charlie Brown's bald head as a model for a jack-o-lantern. Not to mention his Halloween costume, which thanks to a little trouble with a pair of scissors make him look like a big white potato. Not to mention the most famous line of the special:

"I got a rock."

Like the Christmas special, It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown also includes the memorable music of the legendary Jazz composer Vince Guaraldi, particularly his most famous piece Linus and Lucy which played in the opening sequence where the two characters walk out to the pumpkin patch to find a suitable pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern. 

The legacy of this holiday classic continues on today in Peanuts comic strips and children's books, as well as American popular culture with references and themes related to the Great Pumpkin. One of my personal favorites was the parody of the special on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim series Robot Chicken.  

No matter how old I have aged, this timeless classic never fails to lose it's charm. Like all Peanuts comics and television specials, there is always a message. I will leave y'all with the most profoundly philosophical message from this special:

"Never jump in a pile of leaves with a wet sucker."
~Linus Van Pelt

I wish I'd heard that message one autumn afternoon when I was six.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Planetary Photography - 10-25-2016 - Venus, Saturn & Antares

As the sunset this evening in the southwestern sky I was fortunate enough to get a couple of really beautiful shots of the planets Venus and Saturn. 

The first photo I managed to get near a set of power lines of Venus appearing in the evening sky. I was especially proud of this shot with Venus in the pink sunset clouds.

The second photo I took approximately 20 minutes later near a baseball field just outside of Chester's city limits. Venus in all of its bright glory with tiny Saturn (relatively speaking) and the bright star Antares joining in. 

As always I am pleased to share these amazing views of our night-time neighbors with all of y'all.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Epic Fall Day With My Sister's Boys -- Part Three: The Search For The Great Pumpkin

The third and final stop on my Epic Autumn Day In October with my young nephews was Bush-N-Vine farm located on SC HWY 321 between the towns of York and Clover. 

Our mission: to locate the Great Pumpkin....or rather a fair-sized pumpkin for them to make a really cool-looking Jack-O-Lantern.

Aside from being a really great source of organic fruits and vegetables, Bush-N-Vine farm also has really great activities for kids and families in October, including a really nifty hayride to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin.  

Bush-N-Vine's York stand located on the farm itself.
An excellent stop for real organic vegetables at reasonable prices.
Pumpkins and gourds of all kinds...but alas no Great Pumpkin.
J.T. posing on a tractor.
All Aboard!
Tyler enjoying the hayride.
Caleab (aka Freckle-nose) giving me a close-up.
Tyler might have found a winner!
"Hey I wanna ride too!"
The tractor arrives to take us back to the stand.
Thus our adventure comes to an end.

The boys had a blast and I really enjoyed spending the day with them and spoiling them like a good uncle. They enjoyed all the activities from the festival, to the reenactment, and finally the hayride. Both ended up sleeping on the ride back to their home completely tuckered out.

Our epic Saturday in October comes to an end.... with smiles all around.

We definitely have to do it again next year!