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!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Snake In My Front Yard

The Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus).
A subspecies of the Eastern Racer (Coluber constrictor) found
in the Southeastern United States.
(Photo courtesy of the blogger.)

My front and back yards have played host to a number of species of local critters. 

This is not counting the usual domestic animals like the feral cats that have taken up residence in my backyard, and now pretty much believe every time I use my back door it means "time to eat". Nor is it the rare stray dog that comes around looking for a handout. Nor is it counting the number of birds that use the bird feeders. Nor is it the squirrels and the occasional chipmunk that I've seen over the winter and early spring months. 

Every now and again I get a deer that love chewing on my blackberry bushes. Sometimes a raccoon, or opossum (or a family of both) will show up late in the evenings to finish off whats left of stale bread I toss for the birds, or whatever dry catfood the ferals leave.

This morning though my front yard hosted a somewhat unwelcome visitor. A Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) used the bottom step of my front stoop as a place to get some sunshine before my presence caused him (or her) to beat a hasty retreat into the nearby bushes in the next yard. Not before I managed to get a good shot of the snake -- which I estimate to have been between 25 - 30 inches in length. Fully grown, these snakes have been known to reach full length of 36 - 60 inches (3 - 5 feet).
The Southern black racer is a subspecies of the Eastern Racer (Coluber constrictor). They are not strangers to suburban yards, and especially not to country yards....as I discovered. Despite the scientific term: constrictor, the Southern black racer doesn't actually wrap itself around its intended prey. The diet of the racer is usually birds, eggs, smaller snakes, rodents, frogs, and other lizards -- particularly the Carolina Anole. They are also quite fast, their speed earning them the name "racer" and are known to chase anything that they believe threatens them, so be cautious near them. 

Unfortunately for this species, the non-venomous Southern black racer's close resemblance to the highly venomous Cottonmouth Water Moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorus) causes people to kill them wrongly out of fear. The difference is that the venomous Cottonmouth has white inside its mouth. The Southern black racer doesn't breed with the cottonmouth, and in fact are known to drive away venomous snakes like the Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix).
Despite playing important roles as both predators and prey, snakes like the Southern black racer remain highly misunderstood vertebrates. These animals -- venomous and otherwise -- benefit humans with medications, antivenom, and rodent control. As such they deserved to be preserved through conservation efforts like any other threatened species.

Snakes are fascinating creatures that can be safely enjoyed by people....from a distance.  

For more information about snakes in the Carolinas and Georgia, visit: www.heinrichecologicalservices.com.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Planetary Photography -- 05-26-2017 -- The Young Crescent Moon

Earlier this evening I was able to capture two really great shots of the Young Crescent Moon low on the horizon in the western sky about 30 minutes after sunset. 

A Young Crescent Moon is a waxing moon that is seen one day to several days after the New Moon. It is always seen in the evening, and always in the west just after sunset. On these days, the moon rises about an hour or so behind the sun and follows the sun across the sky during daylight hours. Luna herself doesn't appear in view until the sun sets and the sky darkens. 

What made this Young Crescent Moon in particular tricky to photograph is that it is the first Waxing Crescent Moon following the New Moon and it appears only as a very thin pale strip very low on the horizon.

The first shot is an outstanding close-up of the Young Crescent Moon. It should be noted that the shadow cast over the moon is Luna's own, not the Earth's due to the position of the sun in proximity to Luna in her rotation around the Earth. 

The second shot shows the Young Crescent Moon on the horizon to give the viewer an idea of the scale of the first shot. The clouds in the shot also helped.

I hope y'all enjoyed my planetary photographs -- even though technically Luna (aka the moon) is a satellite rather than an actual planet. I was happy to bring them to you. As always have a wonderful Dixie Day y'all and remember to keep watching the night skies.   

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Celebrating 40 Years Of Star Wars

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....

On Wednesday, May 25, 1977, the world was changed forever by a film that few people -- including those who helped produce it and the actors who played in it -- thought would be successful. 

Star Wars (later renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) premiered in less than 40 theaters across the United States and overnight became one of the most highly successful science fiction films of all time and a worldwide cultural icon.

It came at a time when this country was going through a massive political and social upheaval following the end of the Vietnam War (1964 - 1975) and the Watergate scandal. When the American public was uncertain about the future and pessimistic at best about it's present. 

George Lucas' epic saga of a galactic civil war pitting a vastly outnumbered and outgunned Rebel Alliance against the seemingly overwhelming forces of an evil Galactic Empire, with memorable arch-typical characters, outstanding special effects (for that time), and equally outstanding musical score; brought America out of its collective depression and gave us hope for a better tomorrow. 

That and it was just a damn good movie with memorable moments that reached out from the silver screen and touched on some deeper yearning in all our hearts. 

Perhaps the most iconic image of the film is the scene where Luke Skywalker is standing by the homestead on the desert planet of Tatooine watching the binary sunset and dreaming of being more than just a moisture farmer on a planet in the outer rim of the galaxy. Certainly all of us have felt that same feeling of melancholy as Luke? Looking out beyond our current place in life, dreaming to find adventure, or perhaps just something a bit more than what we had?

Since that time, Star Wars has inspired seven feature films -- with the 8th coming out this December -- and several outstanding animated TV series spinoffs.*  It inspired fans of the first trilogy of the franchise to build an outstanding expanded universe (now Legends), as well as brought inspiration of thousands of current well-know (and many unknown) science fiction writers, directors, film makers, and scriptwriters to build on the foundation lain down by George Lucas. 

Being born in June 1976 and only 11 months old when Star Wars came to the theaters for the first time, this movie and the amazing franchise built around it by its legions of fans, has been a constant companion in my life -- one that likely jump-started my love for science fiction and fantasy adventure stories. For that I will always hold Mr. Lucas, the genius who inspired and created that incredible universe, in the highest regard. 

I know that I am not the only one from my generation who feels the same way. In closing I would like to say thank you to all those who made this franchise successful.

May The Force Be With Y'all, Always! 

May you find your inspiration and find the courage to follow your dreams, my friends.

* I would like to make it clear for the record that I do not -- in any way, shape, or form -- include that horrible Christmas Special in that group of memorable Star Wars TV shows. I still have nightmares about my first and only viewing of that horrendous show in my youth. The less said about it, the better! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Man Deniers Fears The Most DESTROYS Mitch Landrieu's "Logic"

Well folks, I know that some of y'all who read this blog have been waiting for me to do this one. 

Just hours before masked city-employed thugs shamefully removed a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee -- the fourth Confederate monument to be dismantled in New Orleans in recent weeks -- politically correct fascist and anti-Confederate heritage reactionary Mitch Landrieu gave a long, tedious, virtue-signaling address to the people.

PC Fascist of the Month: Bitch Landrieu, the Gauleiter of NOLA.
(Photo courtesy of facebook.)

Before I start this verbal takedown of Herr Landrieu, I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank those defenders of Confederate heritage who stood the line in New Orleans. These men and women -- and children -- stood firm against radical alt-Left bigotry of the worst kind. Face threats of violence -- and in a few cases actual violence while the local police (no doubt acting on the local authorities word) did nothing. 

My friends, when the final history of this fight is written, y'all will have an honored place next to those pioneers who stood firm against the forces of hatred and tyranny in this nation's history. 

God Bless all of Y'all!  

Okay, I've delayed this one long enough. Time to get on with tearing apart the SJW regressive's newest "hero". This one will go rather long since the guy was kinda long-winded. As always my responses are in Confederate Red

Please enjoy....I certainly did!

Thank you for coming.
Oh believe me, the pleasure isn't going to be yours at all, buttercup.  
The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way – for both good and for ill. New Orleans hasn't exactly been around for thousands of years....I presume you mean the land itself?
It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans: the Choctaw, Houma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando de Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from Senegambia, Free People of Color, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of Francexii and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and central Americans, the Vietnamese and so many more. You forgot the Clovis Tribes....just a little history check there.
You see: New Orleans is truly a city of many nations, a melting pot, a bubbling cauldron of many cultures. So is pretty much America as a whole.
There is no other place quite like it in the world that so eloquently exemplifies the uniquely American motto: e pluribus unum — out of many we are one. Humm, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Fransisco, San Diego, San Antonio, Atlanta....um nope. I think diversity is pretty much in just about EVERY major American city, fella. NOLA is unique in its history, that is the only part you got right, and likely one of the only few parts you will get right in this speech.
But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were brought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor of misery of rape, of torture. I think many people familiar with US history knows this, and deals with it quite maturely, thank you.
America was the place where nearly 4,000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp. A fact nobody disputes, and certainly one I won't. Those were terrible things, no question there at all.
So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth. Yeah and here is where you start to show you're full of shit, sir. The monuments in question did not commit the crimes you mentioned, they are war memorials.
And it immediately begs the questions: why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame … all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans. Maybe because you didn't bother to make an effort at building any of them in the time you had, instead of spending the last couple years engaging in an unholy jihad against the monuments in question.....BOOM!
So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission. Well, I'm certainly not being quiet fella, so come at me bro!
There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. I think a mature person is capable of getting that....of course, I put an emphasis on MATURE. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth. Who says anyone is?
As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.” LOL! You quote President J.W. Bush? You, who once criticized just about everything the guy did. Oh this is precious. That being said I agree with the words spoken by the former US President, and strive to live by them here on this humble little blog of mine.
So today I want to speak about why we chose to remove these four three monuments to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, and one to Reconstruction but also how and why this process can move us towards healing and understanding of each other. You know, there has never been a virtue-signaling cuck yet who has presented a reasoned, infallible argument in support of cultural ethnic cleansing. I can't wait to see what yours is, though I suspect it will be a rehashing of the same old tired ones that I have refuted time and time again.
So, let’s start with the facts.
The historic record is clear: the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, Uh....what what? Humm, I read the inscriptions on those monuments, and the details about their construction at the time. Nothing written by those who actually constructed them implies anything but what the historical record claims: they are there to honor those men. but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. A fictional myth that was refuted long ago HERE and created by the idiot savants of another myth HERE. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity. LMAO! ROFL! "the wrong side of humanity"?! Wow, I knew this virtue-signaling bit of drama would be amusing, but really? Really?
First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy. Only thing is that none of the words on the monuments you mentioned dedicated to Lee, Davis and Beauregard mention the Confederacy except in abstract. They did however prominently mention the men in question.
It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, Uh....DUH! They fought against it. Actually they technically fought against an invasion by the USA of what was then a sovereign confederacy of independent States. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. By your standards perhaps, but by the standards of the mid-19th century, those who defend their homes from an illegal invasion are Patriots of the highest caliber.
These statues are not just stone and metal. There you and I agree. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, A war memorial ignoring death? Wow....your ignorance is astounding. ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for. Something tells me that memorial recognizing dead soldiers -- especially those engraved with the names of the fallen, such as the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC -- do nothing but remember terror....the terror and ugliness of war, as well as the men brave enough to face it.
After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; Oh Lord, more drama! they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city. Uh, no. The historical record is quite clear. They were erected to honor those three men. So far you have yet to provide evidence to the contrary.
Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy.
He said in his now famous ‘Cornerstone speech’ that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.” And of course the Vice President -- largely one of the most useless jobs in American government -- and just ONE MAN had the authority to make such a bold claim for every single person who lived in seven independent States at the time? Really? This old, worn-out argument keeps getting used and refuted time and time again. Don't you anti-Confederate heritage regressive have anything new to offer?
Now, with these shocking words still ringing in your ears, I want to try to gently peel from your hands the grip on a false narrative of our history that I think weakens us and make straight a wrong turn we made many years ago so we can more closely connect with integrity to the founding principles of our nation and forge a clearer and straighter path toward a better city and more perfect union. Given all the mental gymnastics you have been spouting in your speech, I doubt you could keep anything straight....if you know what I mean. (wink)
Last year, President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments about the need to contextualize and remember all of our history. He recalled a piece of stone, a slave auction block engraved with a marker commemorating a single moment in 1830 when Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay stood and spoke from it.
President Obama said, “Consider what this artifact tells us about history … on a stone where day after day for years, men and women … bound and bought and sold and bid like cattle on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet. For a long time the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as history with a plaque were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.”
A piece of stone – one stone. Both stories were history. One story told. One story forgotten or maybe even purposefully ignored. As I have documented on this blog on several occasions, the omission of black history from American History until the last few decades has been unfortunate, and I strongly support all efforts at correcting those oversights. I think you will find that many of us who honor the Confederate heritage you denigrate feel largely the same way. We respect history.
As clear as it is for me today … for a long time, even though I grew up in one of New Orleans’ most diverse neighborhoods, even with my family’s long proud history of fighting for civil rights … I must have passed by those monuments a million times without giving them a second thought. And here comes the personal virtue signaling blah-blah-blah.
So I am not judging anybody, I am not judging people. That is so laughable I won't even bother responding. We all take our own journey on race. My journey there has been pretty vanilla....pun intended. I just hope people listen like I did when my dear friend Wynton Marsalis helped me see the truth. He asked me to think about all the people who have left New Orleans because of our exclusionary attitudes.
Another friend asked me to consider these four three monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it? I can do so quite well, in point of fact. In fact, I am pretty sure I can manage a sight better than most grade school teachers -- and some college professors -- these days could.
Can you look into that young girl’s eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? If taken the right way, yes I could. Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Well not being a Leftist, I cannot claim the superpower of looking into someone's mind and finding what I think that a free-thinking person believes or might do. Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? If it involves becoming a soldier and believing it is ones duty to defend home and family, perhaps....though being anti-war, I would not encourage someone to do so. Again people have the right to make their own choices. Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too? But you haven't clearly demonstrated that her potential is in fact limited in any significant way by the presence of a monument.
We all know the answer to these very simple questions. Well I just gave you mine, Sybil. I don't know what else the collective "we" might consider the answers....but I bet you're about to share huh?
When you look into this child’s eyes is the moment when the searing truth comes into focus for us. This is the moment when we know what is right and what we must do. We can’t walk away from this truth. Sorry Mitch, but you sir, are NOT an expert on what an individual might consider the truth. 

When I look into these children's eyes, I do see a truth --
that educating someone not to fear what shouldn't be feared is
morally right.
And I knew that taking down the monuments was going to be tough, but you elected me to do the right thing, not the easy thing and this is what that looks like. So declaring three monuments symbols of white supremacy -- effectively supporting and embracing a pro-white supremacist argument -- is the "tough" thing? No sir, rejecting that view and supporting the modern, living view of Confederate heritage and its symbols....that is the path that take effort and understanding. Declaring false history "reality" and then embracing racism -- as you did, let's not kid ourselves -- that is the easy thing....and the most cowardly. So relocating these Confederate monuments is not about taking something away from someone else. Uh, yes it is. This is not about politics, this is not about blame or retaliation. Uh, yes it is (part duex). This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once. Good, because it won't solve jack shit.
This is, however, about showing the whole world That you are a virtue-signaling snowflake twat? that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile and, most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves, making straight what has been crooked and making right what was wrong. You know, I think while some who share your viewpoints might agree, the rest of the REAL world might find your message to be a bit less benign, if not completely lost.
Otherwise, we will continue to pay a price with discord, with division, and yes, with violence.
Let's see, there have been about ten murders in New Orleans, dozens or armed robberies, and half a dozen sexual assaults since you delivered this speech. I'd say New Orleans is off to a great start (sarcasm). 
To literally put the confederacy on a pedestal in our most prominent places of honor is an inaccurate recitation of our full past, Nobody said it was meant to signify the FULL past. it is an affront to our present, You mean an affront to those who hold the mindset of cultural conformist fascism, don't you? and it is a bad prescription for our future. No, it is a part of that cultural patchwork you described so eloquently at the beginning of your speech.
History cannot be changed. No, but many people like you have shown over thousands of years in human history that it can be rewritten to suit the present....though it should not. It cannot be moved like a statue. What is done is done. The Civil War is over, DUH! and the Confederacy lost DOUBLE DUH! and we are better for it. Obviously there is no way to prove that, unless you have the ability to travel to alternate universes. Otherwise you speculate. Surely we are far enough removed from this dark time to acknowledge that the cause of the Confederacy was wrong. Defending home, family and political independence from an invader out to destroy your land? Nothing wrong there. If you mean the goals of the Confederate government itself, that also tends to be a matter of opinion, but one I don't care about. My only interest in that history is the men who fought themselves and protecting the honor they earned in that defense.
And in the second decade of the 21st century, asking African Americans — or anyone else — to drive by property that they own; occupied by reverential statues of men who fought to destroy the country and deny that person’s humanity seems perverse and absurd. The loss of 11-13 States would NOT have "destroyed the country" in terms of weakening the United States of America. That argument is too silly to even try and refute logically. Also you do NOT speak for all African-Americans, or how they think, white man! (LOL sorry couldn't help the last part, but the rest is true.) 
Centuries-old wounds are still raw because they never healed right in the first place. So, creating more division by mocking people who honor that piece of Southern identity and removing it will? In what universe does that ever work out?
Here is the essential truth: we are better together than we are apart. Indivisibility is our essence. Isn’t this the gift that the people of New Orleans have given to the world? Uh no. It was a collection of individuals, operating on individual goals, living their individual lives, that made NOLA what it is. This collectivist mindset of yours is getting tiresome.
We radiate beauty and grace in our food, in our music, in our architecture, in our joy of life, in our celebration of death; in everything that we do. We gave the world this funky thing called jazz; the most uniquely American art form that is developed across the ages from different cultures.
Think about second lines, think about Mardi Gras, think about muffaletta, think about the Saints, I think about their losing streak....sorry Saints fans, but its true. gumbo, red beans and rice. By God, just think. By God, I-I'm getting all misty-eyed here (sniff sniff) All we hold dear is created by throwing everything in the pot; creating, producing something better; everything a product of our historic diversity. My home state of South Carolina gave the world sweet tea and barbecue -- also taken from efforts made by a diverse group of Southern people from all ethnic spectrum. A fact the whole South celebrates today. What's your point?

We are proof that out of many we are one — and better for it! Out of many we are one — and we really do love it!

Out of many.....
....we are one....

...and -- my God! -- it is beautiful!
And yet, we still seem to find so many excuses for not doing the right thing. You mean the "politically correct" virtue-signaling thing don't you? Again, remember President Bush’s words, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.” By correcting he means moving forward with history, not destroying war memorials to the past.
We forget, we deny how much we really depend on each other, how much we need each other. We justify our silence and inaction by manufacturing noble causes that marinate in historical denial. Again, where is your proof? We still find a way to say “wait, not so fast.” Maybe because we don't wanna run over the innocent. Speed kills, you know.
But like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “wait has almost always meant never.” Almost, but not quite....a lesson you seem to forget. The fact that people don't lynch people and get away with it anymore is a pretty powerful point.
We can’t wait any longer. Seeing how much you Leftist lost politically every year for the last decade, or so, I'd say that y'all certainly can't wait much longer. We need to change. Oh I agree you do. And we need to change now. No more waiting. I suspect we are talking about the statues and not your ideological dead ends though, huh? This is not just about statues, Oh, so it isnt? this is about our attitudes and behavior as well. If we take these statues down and don’t change to become a more open and inclusive society this would have all been in vain. Um....so why removed the statues then if you think so? Oh wait, that whole "send a message" virtue-signaling crap you mentioned earlier! Ahhh, I getcha!
While some have driven by these monuments every day and either revered their beauty or failed to see them at all, many of our neighbors and fellow Americans see them very clearly. Yes, but for what they truly were, or whatever manufactured political dogma tells them it is? Many are painfully aware of the long shadows their presence casts, not only literally but figuratively. And they clearly receive the message that the Confederacy and the cult of the lost cause intended to deliver. That its okay to honor recognized American Veterans? Yeah I can totally see how that message would be a negative....NOT!
Earlier this week, as the cult of the lost cause statue of P.G.T Beauregard came down, world renowned musician Terence Blanchard stood watch, his wife Robin and their two beautiful daughters at their side.
Terence went to a high school on the edge of City Park named after one of America’s greatest heroes and patriots, John F. Kennedy. But to get there he had to pass by this monument to a man who fought to deny him his humanity. And obviously was unaware of who General Beauregard was as a human being who fought later in his life for the humanity and equality of black Americans....but shhhh, we can't let the truth get in the way of good old "guilt" can we? Oops...too late!
He said, “I’ve never looked at them as a source of pride … it’s always made me feel as if they were put there by people who don’t respect us. This is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. It’s a sign that the world is changing.” I am sorry he felt that the people who put them there did so for those reasons. I am even more sorry that there were not better efforts made to teach that person otherwise. If so, then unnecessary fears and narrow-minded prejudices could have beeb avoided.
Yes, Terence, it is, and it is long overdue.
Now is the time to send a new message to the next generation of New Orleanians who can follow in Terence and Robin’s remarkable footsteps.
A message about the future, about the next 300 years and beyond; let us not miss this opportunity New Orleans and let us help the rest of the country do the same. Because now is the time for choosing. Now is the time to actually make this the City we always should have been, had we gotten it right in the first place. Mitch, you need to worry more about the fact that New Orleans is turning into the South's version of Detroit....if it hasn't already reached that point. Playing the part of the kid who drops his pants on the playground and whips his dick out, then shouting "Look at me! Look what I can do!" isn't going to cut it. Your little signal to tell the rest of the country to follow your example here won't improve anyone else's life in the long run. None of these efforts over the last 30 years have, or are likely to do anything more than create more hatred.
Oh it may earn you a place in history....though it might not be the one you'll like a few decades from now.

We should stop for a moment and ask ourselves — at this point in our history, after Katrina, after Rita, after Ike, after Gustav, after the national recession, after the BP oil catastrophe and after the tornado — if presented with the opportunity to build monuments that told our story or to curate these particular spaces … would these monuments be what we want the world to see? Is this really our story? The better question would be why the hell didn't you build other monuments instead of tearing down a few? Why not build large monuments to whatever history you want and just leave the other alone? What is your story in waiting all that time....or better yet, not being smart enough to consider that alternative?
We have not erased history; Nope, you've demonized a part of it. we are becoming part of the city’s history by righting the wrong image these monuments represent your opinion....which I might add is a lot like having an asshole, we all have them and crafting a better, more complete future for all our children and for future generations. I doubt you could craft anything better than a good case of hemorrhoids, fella.
And unlike when these Confederate monuments were first erected as symbols of white supremacy, A fact that you have not provided evidence for we now have a chance to create not only new symbols, but to do it together, as one people. You are aware that the money used to build those old statues was done from donations by a diverse group of people -- including former slaves? I mean you were aware right?
In our blessed land we all come to the table of democracy as equals.
We have to reaffirm our commitment to a future where each citizen is guaranteed the uniquely American gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unless you disagree with modern political correctness, in which case you are a racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, beastialphobic, pedophobic....or whatever the next regressive social "just us" cause will likely be.
That is what really makes America great and today it is more important than ever to hold fast to these values and together say a self-evident truth that out of many we are one. 

That is why today we reclaim these spaces for the United States of America. Uh, those spaces were already a part of the USA, dumbass! What are you going to do next, take the headstones off the graves of British soldiers who died in the Battle of New Orleans and say you reclaimed those spaces for the good ole US of A too?
Because we are one nation, not two; um actually according to you we are a diverse group of people from many cultural identities who are part of one melting pot. So can we keep this coherent? indivisible with liberty and justice for all, not some. Again, show me where anyone today who honors Confederate heritage for all the right reasons wants to deny anyone else liberty and justice? We all are part of one nation, all pledging allegiance to one flag, the flag of the United States of America. And New Orleanians are in, all of the way.
It is in this union and in this truth that real patriotism is rooted and flourishes. Lots of your fellow SJW regressives would strongly argue against that, dude. You might wanna consult with the collective mindset on that one.
Instead of revering a 4-year brief historical aberration that was called the Confederacy we can celebrate all 300 years of our rich, diverse history as a place named New Orleans and set the tone for the next 300 years. Um, a quick speech-check here: didn't you say at the start of this that it was thousands of years?
Also, how is denying one piece of the larger heritage in any way, share, or form setting the tone for the future in any meaningful way? The answer of course is: it will not. At least, not in a way that is anything less than undesirable in the long run.

After decades of public debate, of anger, of anxiety, of anticipation, of humiliation and of frustration. After public hearings and approvals from three separate community led commissions. After two robust public hearings and a 6-1 vote by the duly elected New Orleans City Council. After review by 13 different federal and state judges. The full weight of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government has been brought to bear and the monuments in accordance with the law have been unjustly and amorally removed.
So now is the time to come together and heal and focus on our larger task. Not only building new symbols, but making this city a beautiful manifestation of what is possible and what we as a people can become. In YOUR image, of course.
Let us remember what the once exiled, imprisoned and now universally loved  Nelson Mandela and what he said after the fall of apartheid. Yeah cause there is sooo much apartheid in America in 2017 huh? “If the pain has often been unbearable and the revelations shocking to all of us, it  is because they indeed bring us the beginnings of a common understanding of what happened and a steady restoration of the nation’s humanity.”
So before we part let us again state the truth clearly. I'm still waiting for you to state the truth the first time, jackhole.
The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. Wow, hearing it the second time, I still think that is an arrogant and cheap statement. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. ZZZZZ This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered. It was soldiers being honored, not government or causes, you goober. How many times do I have to say that? Nevermind, you aren't listening anyhow.
As a community, we must recognize the significance of removing New Orleans’ Confederate monuments. It is our acknowledgment that now is the time to take stock of, and then move past, a painful part of our history. Anything less would render generations of courageous struggle and soul-searching a truly lost cause. Oh for heavens sakes, are you even listening to your words -- rather your speech writer's words, I should say? You really think that the struggle for equality in this country depends solely on the existence of memorials? Holy shit, you really do? Ugh! The suspension of common sense here is giving me a migraine.
Anything less would fall short of the immortal words of our greatest President Abraham Lincoln, who with an open heart and clarity of purpose calls on us today to unite as one people when he said:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to do all which may achieve and cherish: a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” You tore down three monuments, to men who helped to some degree reunite this country following that ugly War. Monuments that were put there in part to help heal the division of this country and to remember the dead. Now you claim that removing those monuments lives up to the words of Lincoln in his 2nd Inaugural Address? You sir, are the biggest hypocrite I have ever seen, if not an outright liar.  I also promise you that the spirit of Ole Honest Abe will not be waiting to give you 72 virgins to reward you for your part in this cultural jihad.
You didn't live up to those words. If anything you diminished the memories of the men who did. Namely these men:

Thank you.
Thankfully this trip into the mindest of another SJW regressive is over. 
Bitch....I mean, Mitch: Thank you, fuck you, and bye! 

Thank you once again for reading and I hope you enjoyed my takedown of the latest regressive anti-Confederate heritage reactionary of the week. 

Today's lesson folks.

Y'all have a wonderful Dixie Day now, ya hear?  

Confederate Memorial Day Service At Steele Creek Presbyterian Church 05-13-2017

The Camp Colors of the the Stonewall Jackson Camp #23 SCV
Charlotte, NC.

Greetings and Salutations my friends and fellow travelers. 

On Saturday, May 13th, my travels took me to Charlotte, North Carolina to take part in another Confederate Memorial Day service -- just one of dozens of individual ones that took place that same weekend in both North and South Carolina.  

I joined just over 200 other Confederate descendants at the historic Steele Creek Presbyterian Church to attend a memorable Confederate Memorial Day service sponsored by the Stonewall Jackson Camp #23 Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Mary Anne Morrison Chapter #57 Order of the Confederate Rose, both from Charlotte. Memorable because it turns out this one might well be the last one, for reasons I will explain at the end of this post. 

The following are the photos I took during this beautiful service, which ended with roses being laid on the stone wall surrounding the old cemetery by members of the Order of the Confederate Rose in memory of Confederate ancestors of those in attendance.

Historic marker for the Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, the 2nd oldest
church in Mecklenburg County, NC.
In Memory of Captain John R. Erwin
A resident of Scots-Irish descent and member of Steele Creek
Presbyterian Church. When the South called for those to defend her independence,
he was one of the first to answer. He enlisted with Co. B 13th NC Troops (Ranaleburg Rifles).
After serving with that company he returned home and raised a cavalry unit that joined the 5th Regiment NC Cavalry (Mecklenburg Rangers) and served till the end of the War.
Captain Erwin is one of 87 Confederate soldiers buried in the historic cemetery.

The following Confederate ancestor's list was compiled by the Stonewall Jackson Camp #23 Sons of Confederate Veterans & Ann Morrison Jackson Chapter #57 Order of the Confederate Rose from those in attendance at the Steele Creek Presbyterian Church Confederate Memorial Day Service. 
*The roses set on the cemetery wall were laid in honor of these Confederate citizen soldiers.

In Memory of Confederate Soldiers 

1st Lt. Dr. William Gilbert 28th NC Inf. Co. H -- by Lisa Rudisill
Pvt. Absalom Rudisill 11th & 44th Rgmt. NC Inf. -- by Lisa Rudisill
Pvt. John D. Hardin 2nd NC Artillery Co. A -- by Michelle Houston
Pvt. John Wesley Bittle Rutledge 4th SC Co. A -- by Lisa Hamrick 
Pvt. Robert B. Thomas 2nd NC Inf. -- by Larry Thomas
Pvt. John E. Johnson 56th NC Inf. Co. K -- by Jimmy Morrison
Pvt. Daniel Rufus Rudisill 57th NC Inf. Co. G -- by Lewis E. Rudisill
Pvt. Joseph Vincent Lively Lowry's Light Artillery -- by Brian Allmon
Pvt. Caleb Rudisill 8th Battalion, NC Jr. Reserves -- by Lisa Rudisill
1st Lt. Dempsey E. Raby Thomas' NC Legion Co. G -- by Keith Raby
Pvt. Irvin Bittle Hamilton's SC Provost Guard -- by Lisa Hamrick 
Pvt. Ephrain Wilson Starnes 4th NC Cavalry/59th Co. E -- by Bill Starnes
Pvt. Andrew J. Johnson 45th NC Inf. Co. E -- by Jimmy Morrison
Pvt. John A. Lockman 52nd NC Infantry Co. G -- by Lewis E. Rudisill 
Pvt. Pleasant Calloway Ferguson 48th NC Inf. Co. I -- by Rowdy Ferguson
Pvt. William McBee Lee SC Holcombe Legion Co. B -- by Creighton Lovelace
1st Lt. Abraham Jackson Hick 27th TN Inf. Co. E -- by Rev. Patrick MacLean
Pvt. Lawson Haynes 22nd NC Inf. Co. K -- by Ron Haynes
Pvt. Robert B. Chandler 1st VA Artillery -- by Billy Williams
Sgt. Robert Franklin Henderson 49th NC Inf. Co. H -- by Jeremy Ferguson
Pvt. Enoch Chapman GA Inf Anderson Guards -- by Debbie Allmon
Pvt. Peter Pruett (no unit mentioned) -- by Ron. Haynes
Pvt. John Morrison (no unit mentioned) -- by Jimmy Morrison
Pvt. John Unger 89th VA Militia Co. B -- by Billy Williams 

My thanks to the NC Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Stonewall Jackson Camp #23 SCV, & the Anne Morrison Jackson Chapter #57 OCR for helping to make this event memorable. A special thanks to Commander Brian Allmon SCV, President Lisa Rudisill OCR, and NC Division SCV Commander Kevin Stone for their efforts in making this event possible. 

Now folks, let me tell you why this service is likely to be the last one.  

On Sunday, May 21st of this year, after several years of resistance against urban sprawl and Charlotte zoning laws, the congregation of Steele Creek Presbyterian Church reluctantly agreed to sell the church property to nearby Charlotte Douglas International Airport. While I understand why they agreed to this, I am saddened to hear that it had to be done. The old cemetery and the artistic headstones from many of the older graves will likely remain safe, though they will be surrounded in the coming decade by runways and storage areas.

With that yet another piece of the soul of Southern heritage, an old church founded by Scots-Irish Presbyterians who migrated from Pennsylvania in the 1750s, that began as nothing but a lean-to and later a wooden building, that survived British invasion, Yankee occupation, and several natural disasters; will soon be lost all because those who run Charlotte Douglas International Airport wants to expand and be a bigger airport than the one at nearby Atlanta, and very poor zoning laws. 

The end result, this land of ours loses another piece of its soul. Sadly, this is far from the first -- nor likely the last time -- urban development and what we laughingly call "the price of progress" will result in another lost piece of American history. 

I am sorry to leave this blog post on such a downer, folks. I really am. I really don't like to see good land and wonderful history that connects us to it lost to development. I hate seeing the strip malls and hotels and tourist traps that now cover some of nearby Appalachia -- Pigeon Forge, Tennessee being a really good example of this. Beautiful mountains bulldozed, land paved over and then dotted with vulgar hotels, inane theme parks and ghastly golf courses for a bunch of polo-wearing tourists.

I believe losing old battlefields, beautiful forests, and open land take something away from all of us deep down. That what we call "progress" diminishes the future we set for ourselves, without the things that remind us where we came from. 

Or maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic? 

Please let me know how you like this post, the photos, or even my little rant against urban sprawl at the end in the comments below. 

As always have a wonderful Dixie Day, y'all!