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!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Florence Regressive Wants Confederate Memorial Day Ended In SC....Get's Schooled By Yours Truly

Well folks, looks like its time once again to play that favorite game of mine: Responding To Regressives. 

Today's extra special snowflakes comes from Florence, South Carolina. Another Southern-born anti-Confederate heritage regressive who demands that the State of South Carolina stop celebration Confederate Memorial Day on May 10th. The original letter from The State (Columbia, SC) newspaper can be seen HERE

Normally I would never bother with Letters To The Editor posts, because unlike regressive columnists, local snowflakes who vent their frustrations that everyone isn't as guild-ridden and virtue signaling as they are don't usually merit more than pity from me. 

What makes this one special is that, despite her claims about Confederate Memorial Day and failed attempt to include the now rebuked myth that Lee opposed memorializing Confederate soldiers, this person actually brought up a positive point about honor former slaves. 

While I will praise her for the second part, I am going to respond to her claims and falsehoods about Confederate Memorial Day. As always my responses are in Confederate Red

Y'all enjoy now!

It’s time for SC to stop celebrating this holiday
It's time for SC (and the rest of the USA) to stop indulging regressive snowflakes

Kimberly Turner (and rebuttal by C.W. Roden: The Man Deniers Fear The Most)
As I was driving through my hometown in May, That would be Florence, SC folks. something pulled my attention away from an otherwise gorgeous day. Insert the usual opening trope here: "I was driving/hiking/walking along and then sees something (flags, monument, guy in Confederate uniform, ect.) that stops them dead/angered me." There, waving over Main Street, was a banner announcing a Confederate Memorial Day tribute to be hosted by the area chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It's actually an annual tribute, just so you know.
That day, despite my outrage, I kept driving. Probably for the best for everyone involved.
Later, I discovered South Carolina is one of six states that observe Confederate Memorial Day. If you have been a live-long resident of SC and socially awake in any significant way, the you would have already known that. The practice was established around 1866 to honor the lives of fallen soldiers because, at the time, no other such day existed. Since then, though, Memorial Day has become a national holiday. So why does South Carolina continue to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day? For the answer to that question please visit my past blog post on the subject HERE.
The answer is simple: to honor the Confederacy. Uh, you just wrote it was to honor the fallen Confederate dead in your last paragraph (and you would have been right if you have left it at that)....please try to be consistent here.
So I ask the Legislature to end Confederate Memorial Day. You can ask....though I think you getting hit by a meteor is more likely to happen.
I know there will be opposition to this. Gee, you think? I imagine even now some are arguing that ending the Confederate Memorial holiday would erase portions of South Carolina’s history. I would argue that ending it would be a violation of SC State Law, but oh well. I can hear the chorus of “heritage, not hate” already.  Like this:

To this I say: If we were truly sincere about preserving South Carolina’s history, we would honor the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Thousands of slaves died coming to South Carolina and even more died at the hands of slave owners.
Yet we devote no day to remembering slaves. 
Well miracle of miracles, you actually said something intelligent. And it only took you four paragraphs. We actually SHOULD have a day honoring that in SC, possibly a day during Black History Month. I for one have no objection to it, I would even help promote it.  
Why is that, I wonder? Why don’t we memorialize the lives of slaves? You mean like with that big beautiful monument honoring African-American history on the SC Statehouse grounds? You know the monument you probably didn't know existed anymore than the holiday you are bitching about. How many slaves have we forgotten over the course of 150 years? None. Indeed some Confederate Heritage supporters have done more to honor and remember the memory of those people and who they were than most regressive snowflakes can virtue signal over.

Why should 28 percent of S.C. citizens be subjected to a government-sanctioned day that only highlights the fact that the state they call home has willfully sanitized its history? Okay where do you get the 28 percent here? Citation needed. As equal citizens under the law — as our fellow man — do they not deserve more? Incidentally, click HERE to see one of the men honored by Confederate Memorial Day in South Carolina. Oh and HERE.
Perhaps instead of memorializing the Confederacy, South Carolina should heed the words of Gen. Robert E. Lee, that most famous Confederate: “I think it wiser … not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.” You're a bit late to the party on this,  but the myth that Lee opposed memorializing the Confederate dead was already debunked HERE.
We must stop passing by civil strife when we see it lain bare.
Today, I beg South Carolina to stop passing by. 
Oh yeah, Kimmy-cup, looks at allllllll this "strife" you go on about:

Well folks, I don't think I need to offer anything further, except to wish all of y'all a wonderful Dixie Day, and y'all come back now, ya hear?

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article169798837.html#storylink=c

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article169798837.html#storyli

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article169798837.html#storylink=cpy

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Peoples Bank Mural

Commissioned by People's National Bank of Chester and painted by local artist Steve Ellison, one of the oldest and probably most artistic murals in downtown Chester, South Carolina can be seen at the corner of Gadsden Street (SC Hwy 9) and Church Street. 

The mural itself was painted in 1979, and depicts a somewhat peaceful -- and slightly romanticized -- look at rural life in the American South. In addition to several human and animal characters, it also includes a road sign that points to several important places in Chester County history including: Landsord Canal, Fishing Creek, Burr's Rock, Old Catholic Church, Beckhamville, and Catawba Mill. 

Just another one of the more picturesque pieces of Americana found in my hometown of Chester.  

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Story of The Chester Confederate Soldiers Monument

Chester Confederate Soldiers Monument in downtown Chester, SC.
The Story of the Chester Confederate Soldiers Monument
What It Took To Build A Memorial For The Southern Dead 

By: C.W. Roden 

Few people today really understand the personal sacrifices that were made in order to build a Confederate monument after the end of the War Between The States (1861-1865).

Many of the hundreds of Confederate monuments seen in Southern towns today were not erected until decades after the end of the War. This did not mean that Southerners were reluctant to honor those who fought and died for Southern independence, or the defense of their homes from invasion. Far from it. 

Nor were most Confederate monuments erected at the time as a means to put an exclamation point on post-Reconstruction Era Jim Crow laws against racial minorities, as some agenda-based "historians" today would claim.

Much of the Southland had been devastated by four years of terrible fighting and all sections of Dixie faced desperate economic conditions. Negotiable cash was scarce since the Confederate money used by the Southern people was not totally worthless. The money needed to build appropriate monuments to the war dead was hard to come by in a region now so poor that even money for the most essential commodities of everyday living was scarce.  

Even when the economic conditions became better a couple of decades later, the monuments erected represented years of saving, sometimes from donations as small as mere pennies. 

Each Confederate monument has quite a story behind them. A personal story not just about the fallen Confederate dead, or a statue of a Southern officer; but about the pride and the spirit of remembrance of the Southern people who were responsible for their construction. 

A particular interesting story is the erection of the Confederate soldiers monument in this blogger's hometown of Chester, South Carolina. It is a very interesting story about a monument that took nearly forty years to be constructed through the hard work of several people and the spirit of remembrance felt by the citizens of the Chester community, many of whom lost husbands, brothers and sons on battlefields in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina's coasts. 

The idea for the monument began the very year the War ended in 1865, when pupils of Miss Ellen Elmore's School undertook an effort to raise funds by putting on theatricals to build a Confederate monument to honor the soldiers who served from the Chester District. However, with very little money available locally and the small amount the students collected was used to mark the graves of Confederate soldiers at nearby Evergreen Cemetery. 

In 1870, the first serious movement to build a monument began by one Miss Mary Ellen McKee, but due to the impoverished conditions and lack of money, this movement likewise failed to raise more than a few dollars. 

In 1890, another Chester woman, Mrs. Maude McLure, took up the task and by a theatrical performance raised $200.00 However, she too became discouraged and later turned the money over to the city for a park. 

The idea of an appropriate monument for the honored Confederate dead did not die though. Ten years later in 1900, Mrs. Julia Killan Campbell, then president of the Chester Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, took up the task. She personally staged and directed another theatrical performance called "Under The Southern Cross" which used local talent and raised $125.00. This was the first money raised in this effort to build a monument. It was slow work to increase the fun and many discouragements were met, but the UDC were dedicated and untiring in their efforts. 

By February 1904, they have $300.00 on interest, and decided to ask the cooperation of the Walker-Gaston Camp United Confederate Veterans. At their March 1904 meeting, the old veterans agreed to help and appointed a committee. The Walker-Gaston Camp raised $372.00. 

The UDC gave many entertainments to raise funds and on January 1, 1905, had in the treasury $416.52.

The committee then decided to make a strenuous effort to build the monument by popular subscription, asking men, women and children of the community to contribute. The response was overwhelmingly positive by the people of Chester. Most of the donations were small -- including pennies donated by children -- and came largely from a poor folks, including African-American citizens. Regardless, the overwhelming support for the building of a monument to the dead. By April 1, 1905 the treasury had a grand total of $2,072.75.

A contract was then made and given to the McNeel Marble Company of Gainsville, Georgia. 

On May 10, 1905, a large crowd gathered for the laying of the cornerstone, one of the largest crowds ever assembled in the town of Chester at the time.

Placed inside the cornerstone were things which symbolized the true diversity of Southern-Confederate heritage. Among the items were:

The roll of honor of the Calhoun Guards; Chester Blues; Chester Guards; Co. L 5th Regiment SC Volunteers; Walker-Gaston Veterans; Co. H 24th SC Volunteers; Co. B 4th Regiment SC Volunteers; Co. A SC Reserves; Co. D 17th Regiment SC Volunteers; and Co. A Lucas Battalion. 
A list of the 6th Regiment Band.
A sketch of the Confederate States of America. 
A box of gun and pistol caps used during the War.
Copies of SC Newspapers: The (Columbia) State, The (Charleston) News & Courier, The Chester Reporter, and The Lantern. 
A manual from the Chester Presbyterian Church.
A sketch of the life and service of Samuel Priocleau Hamilton
A sketch of Confederate Veteran Allen De Grafferreid Kennedy.  
The veterans cards of S.J. Lewis, William Lee Davidson, Colonel E.P. Moore, and J.A. Owen. 
A list of Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons from Chester County.
A sketch of Dr. S.C. Babcock, Confederate Surgeon. 

A copy of The Life of Dr. S.C. Babcock, Confederate Surgeon.
Sketches of "Big Tom" Drummer and John Wilson, two African-Americans who served as cooks in the Calhoun Guards throughout the War.
The roll of the Calhoun Guards' regimental officers. 

A poem dedicated to the Daughters of the Confederacy by Mr. Burr J. Randall. 
A sketch by Lizzie Graham McFadden of work inaugurated by her father, Mr. James Graham and assisted by the ladies of Chester who organized into committee to feed the Confederate soldiers who passed through the town. 
A sketch of William Middleton McDonald Jr.
A letter from Chester Mayor William H. Hardin to the Confederacy with the names and signers of the Ordinance of Secession. 
A letter of thanks to the Daughters of the Confederacy for the work they did building the monument to the soldiers of Chester County signed by the members of the city council. 
The memoirs of Captain William Dunovant sent to Miss Adell Durovant of Houston, Texas. 
A photograph of Edmund Ruffin of Virginia who was said to have fired the first shots at Fort Sumter.  
A yearbook of the Palmetto Book Club. 
A sketch of how Mrs. Margret Hemphill Gaston organized the Memorial Association and helped prepare bandages for wounded soldiers. 

The laying of the cornerstone for the Confederate Soldiers Monument in downtown
Chester was a big event in 1905. People from all over the county including
white and black residents and aged Confederate Veterans gathered, standing
on buggies, sat on balconies, or hung out of windows. Note the block
and tackle near the center of the photograph and the group of
UDC ladies gathered at the center.
(Photograph courtesy of the Chester County Library)

The Chester Confederate Soldiers Monument was unveiled before another large crowd of county residents and Confederate Veterans at 6:30 PM EST on the evening of June 27, 1905. 

The forty foot high obelisk is made of marble and Georgia granite stands today at an intersection in downtown Chester where members of the Calhoun Guards and the Chester Blues (two South Carolina Confederate units) swore their oaths to defend the State of South Carolina in May of 1861. Displayed on the top of the monument are five granite cannon balls, and around all four sides are marble slabs. On two of the slabs are carvings of crossed swords and rifles. On the third slab, facing SC HWY 9, is the main inscription which reads:

This Monument Guards The Memory
Of The Men Of Chester District
Who Obeying The Call Of Their State
Died For The Confederate Cause
Time May Crumble This Monument To Dust
But Time Cannot Dim Their Glory.
Their Patriotism, Their Valor, Their
Faithfulness And Their Fame Remain
Forever The Heritage Of Their

Main inscription on the North Side
of the monument.

The inscription on the final slab is a quote made by Judge William A. Brawley, a Chester resident of that time:

"Their Fame Increases
Like The Branches Of A Tree
Through The Modern Courses
Of Time."

Inscription on the South Side
of the monument.

Today the Confederate Soldiers Monument stands in the same spot where it was erected in 1905 along with one of the four refurbished Confederate Parrott Guns discovered buried in 1986. It has stood there over many important events in the history of Chester and through both good and bad Southern history. The stories that monument could tell if it could talk might almost be as exciting as the story of the efforts made to build it, and the men and boys who fought and died that it honors.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Chester's Aaron Burr Rock

The Aaron Burr Rock, located on the side of SC Highway 9 in Chester in the on Main Street right across from the Confederate Soldiers Monument is a somewhat unique monument to a former American Revolutionary War hero and Vice President of the United States of America dedicated in 1938 by the Mary Adair Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). 

Usually, the monuments erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution commemorate the deeds of Revolutionary War heroes, and although Aaron Burr was a genuine hero of the American Revolution, the inscription on the Chester's Aaron Burr Rock reminds us of one of the most interesting trials in American history. 

In March 1807, Aaron Burr, former vice president of the United States under Thomas Jefferson was brought to the town of Chester, South Carolina, under arrest by members of the U.S. Army charged with high treason.

Many folks best remember Burr not as the youngest colonel in George Washington's Continental Army, but rather for the fatal duel he had with political rival Alexander Hamilton on Wednesday, July 11, 1804 at Weehawken, New Jersey

What many may not remember is that after fatally wounding Hamilton and effectively destroying his chance to be Jefferson's successor to the US Presidency, he left Washington City (now Washington D.C.) when his term expired, and three years later he was arrested twice for treason -- he allegedly attempted to purchase land from Spain and then create a new government. 

Today Historians still debate whether Burr, who was originally arrested on a misdemeanor charge, not treason, intended to create an empire for himself, or whether he was mounting a filibustering expedition against Spain.

In February 1807, Burr was arrested in Mississippi Territory and charged with treason. The Army guards wished to avoid the populous coastal areas and especially the S.C. coast, where Burr was popular, so they marched him through the backwoods destined for Richmond, Va., to be tried by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall.

On horseback, the group reached the village of Chesterville (now Chester). According to records, there were two soldiers in front of Burr, two behind him and one on each side. 

As they approached, Burr flung himself from his horse, mounted the rock and shouted to the bystanders: "I'm Aaron Burr, under military arrest, and claim the protection of the civil authorities." His pleas were ignored by the local population.

The soldiers grabbed Burr and forced him back on his horse and the group rode on. About dark, the party got to John Lewis' Tavern (the spot on S.C. 74 between Chester and Rock Hill now called Lewis Turnout). Burr later attempted to escape after allegedly bribing a housemaid to leave the door unlocked, but was recaptured before he got more than a few feet. The officer in charge of Burr later said that at Lewis' tavern, he found his famous prisoner, and the soldier leading his horse, in a flood of tears. Presumably, Burr's usual great self-assurance had vanished with the cold-shoulder treatment by the people of Chesterville. That night, Burr reportedly slept on a bench at the tavern. The bench he slept on can be seen today at the Chester History Historical Museum. 

The former Lewis Tavern located just off SC 72 is a private
residence today and is listed on the National Register.

The next day, the party moved on to Richmond for the trial. He was tried on the charge of conspiring to make himself emperor of a large part of the Louisiana Purchase land and Texas. A jury would later find Burr not guilty. 

In 1938, the Mary Adair Chapter, DAR, placed an inscription on a rough-hewn rock to commemorate one of the most unusual events in the history of the city of Chester, South Carolina. The inscription (with an incorrect date) on the rock that sits on the highest hill in downtown Chester reads:
"In 1806, Aaron Burr, when passing through Chester, a prisoner, dismounted on this rock and appealed in vain to the citizens for help."

Inscription engraved on the Aaron Burr Rock by the Mary Adair
Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution in 1938.
The date of the event in question is wrong. Aaron Burr passed
through Chester in March 1807, one year later.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Total Solar Eclipse, Columbia, SC, USA.
The bright star in the upper left corner is the planet Venus.

Greetings and Salutations my fellow travelers!

Today was perhaps one of the most amazing moments of my adult life as I traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, into the path of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. 

Truly the sight of Luna completely covering the brightest star in our sky, and the sight of the sun's corona around the dark new moon, is without question one of the most awe-inspiring sights in astronomy. 

I set up my camera on the south lawn of the Statehouse grounds -- a place I hadn't been since my previous visit back in May -- and waited patiently along with several hundred folks who had traveled to the direct path of the totality of the eclipse. 

This marked the first Total Solar Eclipse to cross the United States of America since 1979. 

I set up my Sony DSC-H300 Cyber-shot and tripod, improvising a makeshift solar filter using the lens of a spare pair of eclipse glasses I purchased for the event (in order to prevent damage to the camera) and took several shots of the moon going into phase between around 1:30 PM until 2:40 PM when the last thin line of sunlight was visible through the glasses. 

The full Total Solar Eclipse reached South Carolina at precisely 2:41 PM EST. The sky got darker and the nearly 98F late August temperatures dropped over 10 degrees just as Luna completely covered the sun. All around people whooped and cheered. 

Contrary to what some believe, you can view the sun with no eye protection during the totality, when the moon covers the sun completely. But you need eye protection or an indirect viewing system for the partial phases

I removed my eclipse glasses once the dangerous sunlight was blocked out and stood in awe of the impressive black sun and blue-white corona in a Southern sky that looked close to twilight. A few large stars became visible for the 2:45 seconds of the total eclipse. 

Folks, the feeling that I got from watching that moment was a mixture of utter awe and humility. 

Consider folks how old this Earth of ours is, not to mention the moon. Once it was much closer to this planet, and has since moved away over the billions of years of rotations. We humans live on this planet at just the right time when the moon is positioned so far away, yet still close enough relatively that the moon can perfectly cover the full sun and leave the lovely corona visible, if only ever-so briefly. Folks, if that isn't proof of an intelligent design in this universe of ours, I could not tell you what is. 

Those of us in South Carolina this afternoon who were there to see it, and blessed by God above with clear skies for the occasion, were truly fortunate indeed. 

The following are the photos I took from the event. You will not that I didn't label every single frame of the transition towards the eclipse, though I was able to give an exact time for the two pictures (both the close-up and wide angle shot) of the Full Total Eclipse itself. I will tell you though than no photo can possibly do the actual sight of the event with your own eyes any justice.

Invasion of the sun-worshipers, LOL!

Well folks, I hope that y'all enjoyed this once in a lifetime event as much as I did. It was my pleasure to bring it to y'all. Keep looking to the skies folks, and y'all come back now, ya hear?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Debunking The Myth That General Robert E. Lee Opposed Confederate Monuments

A strawman argument can best be described as a type of logical fallacy committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. 

Over the last few years, anti-Confederate heritage regressives have enjoyed propping up just such a straw man argument against the display of Confederate monuments and flags on public property -- or anywhere else for that matter.  

Employing their usual tactic of taking someone's words selectively and adding their own unique interpretation to them, social regressives and certain agenda-minded "historians" make the argument that, based upon his own written correspondence, General Robert E. Lee himself opposed the idea of erecting and displaying monuments to the Confederate soldier. 

This argument has been employed, ad nauseam, by the regressive Left, their media allies, and other assorted lapdogs (namely the previously mentioned hysterians....I mean, "historians") to attempt to justify their removal of Confederate monuments for whatever stated reasons they have. 

But to what end employ this particular argument though? Obviously the cultural vandals care nothing for the actual words of General Lee "the traitor" on any profound level. 

The point of using this particular straw man argument is to demoralize those defenders of Confederate heritage and proud Confederate descendants who would continue to speak out against the destruction of these monuments and removal of flags. Who oppose the continued attempts to damn the memory of the Confederate citizen soldier. 

More so, it is a false argument designed to convince average American citizens still on the fence regarding symbols of Confederate heritage and its symbols that perhaps the greatest example of the Confederate soldier -- the so-called "Marble Man" Ole Marse Robert himself -- opposed honoring the Confederate soldiers that he led and who died under him in defense of their homes and families. 

This false narrative is not only an insult to the average intelligence and common sense of the Southern and American people, it is an insult to the memory of perhaps one of the most well remembered and well respected leaders in American history -- and despite media narratives to the contrary, General Lee still is. 

This straw man narrative is based on the selective interpretation of a letter written by Lee himself in response to a request by another former Confederate General Thomas L. Rosser for help in erecting a suitable Confederate monument. 

This is the letter in full: 

(Courtesy of the Lee Family Archives website)

Nearly all regressive outlets and agenda-based "historians" who promote the straw man argument that Lee opposed the construction of Confederate monuments after the war points to the first sentence of the second paragraph alone without appropriate context -- that is when they even site this letter at all. Most regressives tend to simply throw out the talking point and repeat it until even they believe it themselves.

So let us examine the meaning of Lee's first sentence without the context of the second for a moment: 

"As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated; my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishments; & of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour." 
Lee accepted the defeat of the Confederacy and Southern independence and resigned himself to make the best of rebuilding the South and reuniting the country. His choice of careers in accepting the leadership of Washington College in Lexington (now Washington-Lee College) reflects strongly on this. He encouraged other former Confederate veterans and young Southern men to be good American citizens.   

But did that aspect of Lee's character mean that he opposed the erection of Confederate monuments, or honoring the Confederate dead? 

Not exactly. 

At the end of 1866, when Lee wrote his words, the South was still struggling financially from the devastating effects of the War and money was scarce for many starving families of Confederate veterans and those who had lost loved ones in the fighting. What little money there was needed to be used to buy the tools for farming and the means to grow food, or to rebuild ruined cities and communities. 

One of the main reasons most Confederate monuments at the time were not built between 1880 - 1920 was the severe economic hardships the defeated Southern States endured for decades after the War, and largely did not end until the end of the Great Depression of the 1930s and early 40s. 

The desire to honor the fallen men and boys of the Confederate military was still there. This is reflected in the second sentence of the second paragraph of Lee's letter: 

"All I think that can now be done, is to aid our noble & generous women in their efforts to protect the graves & mark the last resting places of those who have fallen, & wait for better times." 

So in the context of those details, the second sentence explains Lee's polite refusal to support the building of a Confederate monument. The second sentence, referring no doubt to the Confederate widows and Southern ladies of Soldier's Aid Societies being formed across Dixie, and the first efforts at establishing a remembrance day for the honored dead, clearly shows that nowhere in his heart did General Lee forget those men and boys who fell under his command in the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia. Any former military officer in any army who'd ever had to write letters of condolence to families of fallen soldiers will tell you no commander would, nor ever could do that. 

So obviously Lee was not opposed to memorializing the honored dead of the Confederate army. 

It would be here that the Opposition throws up another straw man for our consideration: There were no Confederate flags or Confederate uniforms at Lee's funeral in 1870. 

Which is true, there were no Confederate symbols of any type at Lee's funeral. Neither was Lee himself laid to rest in his gray military uniform -- or any uniform at all. 

In 1870, the State of Virginia was under US military occupation and martial law during the Reconstruction Era. One of the occupation laws was that the display of Confederate flags and wearing of Confederate uniforms was forbidden. In fact, under martial law gatherings of more than a few people -- including funerals -- were overseen by squads of uniformed soldiers, as Lee's funeral, one of the largest in the state's history at the time, undoubtedly was. Nobody could have brought out a Confederate flag, or worn a gray or butternut uniform without being summarily arrested and fined. 

Newspaper article from the Rome (Georgia) Courier dated
Jan. 31, 1867 detailing an account of former Confederate
soldiers arrested for the public display of a Confederate flag
during Reconstruction in violation of occupation law.
(Courtesy of Mr. Eddie Inman)

So yeah, that little straw man catches on fire and quickly burns to a cinder.  

Oh but the regressive aren't done with their straw men just yet: "Lee never wanted a huge statue of himself anywhere." 

Also true, but always to a point when it comes to these arguments. 

Based on his writings, which detail who he was more than any modern-day interpretation could, Robert Edward Lee was a humble, devoutly Christian man who opposed any attempt at self-glorification. He probably would have opposed any attempt to build a grand monument of himself while he was still alive. 

However, before you regressive haters jump up and down and give yourselves high-fives for coming up with a "brilliant" counter-argument, keep in mind something about human nature, and show you just how ridiculous this line of thinking is. 

Unless a person is a complete egomaniac, nobody would support having such a grand monument built to them while they still live.

Do you think Abraham Lincoln would approve of the Lincoln Memorial being built while he was still alive? Or George Washington would have applauded the Washington Monument? Do you think that Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson would approve of Mount Rushmore being carved out while either of them were still breathing? 

For that matter do you think the citizen soldiers of the Confederate army, or for that matter the soldiers of the Union army, who fell in the battles of the War Between The States would have wanted statues and large monuments built to them while they were still breathing? No, I am fairly certain they would have preferred to have come home alive and been with their families. Do you think ANY gravestone or marker in any cemetery in the world, no matter how grandiose, is there because the person in the grave wants it there, or rest till Judgment Day under it?

Monuments to soldiers and great men are never built while they are still around. They are built by those who came after them, and by those who still remember them, so that future generations do not forget them and the lessons they imparted.  

With that the last straw man turns to dust and blows away. 

In the end, by his own words, General Lee was not opposed to future generations in "better times" honoring the Confederate dead, or remembering him; though he probably would have found many conclusions about who he was from those who promote both the "Lost Cause" and "Righteous Cause" mythological narratives -- to be widely wrong on all counts. 

Almost certainly he would never support the misuse of the Confederate flag his soldiers fought and suffered under, nor the monuments to their memories, misused as tools for modern political division and the fomenting of racial hatred in America, and would speak out vehemently against those alt-Right reactionaries and alt-Left anarchists who today seek to divide this nation.

IMPORTANT BLOGGER'S NOTE (08-20-17):Oops! In offering my summary on this post, I accidentally mislabeled a personality on Mouth Rushmore. I wrote John Adams instead of Thomas Jefferson. I have since corrected the mistake and would love to offer appropriate credit to the individual who pointed out the discrepancy, however "Anonymous" poster isn't a real name I can use. All the same I would like to thank the diligent individual who pointed out the mistake. ~C. Roden (blogger and writer)

Planetary Photography -- 08-19-2017 -- The Waning Crescent Moon & Venus

This morning I woke up early enough to catch this outstanding pair of shots of the waning crescent moon (Luna) and the bright planet Venus in the east. Both Venus and Luna are the second-brightest and third-brightest heavenly bodies to light up the sky, after the sun, so they are pretty hard to miss. 

The lit portion of a waning crescent moon always points toward the sun. The lit side of a waning moon also points in the moon’s direction of travel: eastward, in orbit around Earth. At each new moon, the moon passes between the Earth and sun to some extent, to leave the morning sky and enter the evening sky. More often than not, however, the new moon sweeps to the north or south of the sun, so there is usually no solar eclipse at new moon.

I hope y'all enjoyed my night sky and planetary photography. Clear skies willing, my next set of photographs will show the much anticipated Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21st. 

Until then keep looking to the skies.

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.