Archive for February, 2016



LEAD US AWAY FROM HERE

Time after time I sit and I wait for your call

I know I’m a fool but why can I say

Whatever the price I’ll pay for you, Madame Blue?

Once long ago, a word from your lips and the world turned around

But somehow you’ve changed, you’re so far away

I long for the past and dream of the days with you, Madame Blue

 

Suite Madame Blue, gaze in your looking glass

You’re not a child anymore

Suite Madame Blue, the future is all but past

Dressed in your jewels, you made your own rules

You conquered the world and more…heaven’s door

 

America…America…America…America

America…America…America…America

America…America…America…America

 

Red white and blue, gaze in your looking glass

You’re not a child anymore

Red, white, and blue, the future is all but past

So lift up your heart, make a new start

And lead us away from here

 

Suite Madame Blue

by Dennis DeYoung

1975

ELEVEN DOWN, ONE TO GO

HAVE FAITH IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

HAVE FAITH IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

HAVE FAITH IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

HAVE FAITH IN THE AMERICAN CORPORATIONS

HAVE FAITH IN THE AMERICAN PRESS

HAVE FAITH IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR COMMUNITY

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR FAMILY

HAVE FAITH IN TECHNOLOGY

HAVE FAITH IN GOD

A DISSENTING CALL FOR REASON

“A system of government that makes the people subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)

THE SCHOOL OF RED HERRINGS ON THE HORIZON

“So what?” you say.  “The Confederate Flag is not my flag–an infringement on it is not an infringement on my right to freedom of speech.”

Guess what–your flag will be next.

“So what?” you say.  “Islam is not my religion–an infringement on it is not an infringement on my right to freedom of religion.”

Guess what–your religion will be next.

ANOTHER FREUDIAN SLIP

The vehicle in front of mine had two bumper stickers–one on the left, one on the right.

I read the one on the left, aloud:

“OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM VETERAN”

Not unusual, I’d seen those before.

Then I read the one on the right, aloud:

“GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM VICTIM”

No, that’s not what it read–I tried again:

“GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM VICTIM”

No, that’s not what it read!  I read it silently this time:

“GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM VETERAN”

Then I tried reading it aloud once more:

“GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM VICTIM”

I gave up.  But every time I remembered that bumper sticker, I had to remind myself that it read:

“GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM VETERAN”

And even now, when I read that line aloud, I have to force myself not to read:

“GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM VICTIM”

The subconscious mind knows far more than the conscious mind knows–almost infinitely more.

Most of the time, in one’s waking hours, the subconscious mind is subdued by the conscious mind.

But sometimes the subconscious mind refuses to be subdued, and it fiercely, persistently interrupts the conscious mind’s train of thought–as a Freudian slip.

Some Freudian slips reveal nothing of great importance.

Once, when I was in the fourth or fifth grade–and I had been absent from school that day–a classmate of mine laughingly told me about a Freudian slip the teacher had made.

It was social studies time.  And at some point in the lesson, the teacher– intending to say “Mexican bullfight”–said “Mexican bullfart” instead!

Of course, this Freudian slip revealed nothing of great importance–though it did amuse the class, as well as the teacher herself.

But because most Freudian slips reveal things of great importance, no Freudian slip should be dismissed without a thorough examination.

Many of these reveal things of great importance only on a personal level.

The Freudian slip I addressed in a previous post was one of these:

I meant to say to myself, “I’ll be so glad when this cold (weather) is over.”

Instead, I said to myself, “I’ll be so glad when this Digital Age is over.”

This revealed something of great importance only on a personal level–my intense hatred of Digital-Age technology, and my equally intense desire to see this Digital Age collapse under its own weight.

But the Freudian slip of today revealed nothing of great importance on a personal level–I wasn’t personally affected by the “Global War on Terrorism”.

No, I’m not a:

“GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM VICTIM”

But veterans of this “Global War on Terrorism” are.

And friends and family members of veterans of this “Global War on Terrorism” are.

And troops actively fighting and dying in this “Global War on Terrorism” are.

And friends and family members of troops actively fighting and dying in this “Global War on Terrorism” are.

And civilians suffering and dying in this “Global War on Terrorism” are.

And friends and family members of civilians suffering and dying in this “Global War on Terrorism” are.

It is of great importance that we all remember this.

It is of great importance that we all remember all of the victims of this “Global War on Terrorism”.

A BIZARRE KIND OF BARGAINING REVISITED

A flag is a piece of cloth that says something.  It is a piece of cloth that speaks.

The Confederate Battle Flag (the Southern Cross) says, “This is the Confederate side of the battlefield.” And that is all it was designed to say.

The First Confederate Flag (the Stars and Bars), the Second Confederate Flag (the Stainless Banner), and the Third Confederate Flag (the Bloodstained Banner) say, “This is the Confederate States of America.” And that is all they were designed to say.

Because the Confederate Flag (all four designs) is a piece of cloth that says something, a piece of cloth that speaks, it is representative of speech itself.  Thus an infringement on the Confederate Flag is an infringement on our right to freedom of speech.

Dylann Roof abused our right to keep and bear arms, and murdered nine people. Yet the Confederate Flag has been censored–as if the Confederate Flag is to blame for this mass shooting.

Because our right to keep and bear arms was abused, our right to freedom of speech has been infringed.

Islam is a religion.

Because Islam is a religion, it is representative of religion itself.  Thus an infringement on Islam is an infringement on our right to freedom of religion.

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik abused our right to keep and bear arms, and murdered fourteen people.  Yet Islam has been scrutinized–as if Islam is to blame for this mass shooting.  Muslims–adherents of Islam–have been ostracized, persecuted, and (in some cases) murdered.

Because our right to keep and bear arms was abused, our right to freedom of religion has been infringed.

“So what?” you say.  “The Confederate Flag is not my flag–an infringement on it is not an infringement on my right to freedom of speech.”

Guess what–your flag will be next.

“So what?” you say.  “Islam is not my religion–an infringement on it is not an infringement on my right to freedom of religion.”

Guess what–your religion will be next.

A bizarre kind of bargaining is going on here.

Americans are saying, “You can infringe on our right to freedom of speech, as long as you don’t even question our right to keep and bear arms.”

Americans are saying, “You can infringe on our right to freedom of religion, as long as you don’t even question our right to keep and bear arms.”

Our right to keep and bear arms is as important as every other right guaranteed us in our Bill of Rights.

But if we lose our right to freedom of speech, our right to freedom of religion, and every other right guaranteed us in our Bill of Rights–by overzealously guarding our right to keep and bear arms, and leaving every other right wide open to infringement–what good will our right to keep and bear arms be to us?

Let me add that these largely Republican politicians who are committing this cultural genocide against their Southern constituents are not acting in a conservative manner at all.  

In the last fifty years, the Republican Party–traditionally the more progressive or liberal party–has become the more conservative party–while the Democratic Party–traditionally the more conservative party–has become the more progressive or liberal party.  In short, these two political parties have switched platforms.

Conservatism involves more than just keeping the status quo. Conservatism involves approaching change cautiously and thoughtfully. Making rash decisions, acting on impulse, is not conservative at all.  The conservative considers all possible consequences of a change before making it.  The conservative doesn’t rush, but takes all the time he or she needs to weigh the pros and cons of any change.

By this definition, George W. Bush’s decision to send troops to Iraq before the campaign in Afghanistan had been completed was not conservative at all.  His father’s decision to send troops to Iraq only after its military had invaded Kuwait–and not while the U.S. military was engaged in another campaign–may not have been the best decision.  But at least it was a conservative decision.

Republican Governor Nikki Haley–who started this cultural genocide of the American South–was not conservative at all, in what she did.  The conservative decision would have been to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from South Carolina’s capitol building in Columbia–because no flag should fly above a state capitol building except that state’s flag and the current federal government’s flag–then stop there.

But she didn’t stop there–she moved on to remove all Confederate flags from historical flags displays and Confederate memorials too.  This wasn’t conservative at all–this was just irrational.  And Republican governors, county commissioners, and mayors all over the Southern United States followed Nikki Haley’s cue–removing Confederate flags, not from state capitol buildings or local government buildings–but from historical flags displays, Confederate memorials, and Confederate cemeteries.  And now the destruction of Confederate memorials has begun, in New Orleans–and will likewise spread all over the Southern United States–unless of course the constituents of these largely Republican politicians start resisting this cultural genocide.

These largely Republican politicians are no more conservative than Nikki Haley–and are just as irrational.

The fact is that by failing to uphold the principles of conservatism that it has claimed to champion for the last fifty years–by engaging in this cultural genocide of the American South through largely Republican governors, county commissioners, and mayors–the Republican Party has betrayed the trust of its loyal Southern base.

Let me also add that it does no good to guard against federal-government infringement of our rights as U.S. citizens, if we allow our state and local governments to infringe on these same rights.

Our federal government has been infringing on our rights for a very long time–and it is well that we guard against further infringement, and hold it accountable for current infringement.

Yet this trend of targeting red herrings to dodge the issue of gun regulation is not being carried out by our federal government at all–but by our state and local governments.

It is our state and local governments that are indirectly infringing on our right to freedom of speech by censoring Confederate flags and destroying Confederate memorials.

And it is our state and local governments that are indirectly infringing on our right to freedom of religion by passing laws to keep Syrian refugees out of their jurisdictions simply because they are Muslim.

Our right to keep and bear arms is as important as every other right guaranteed us in our Bill of Rights.

But if we lose our right to freedom of speech, our right to freedom of religion, and every other right guaranteed us in our Bill of Rights–by overzealously guarding our right to keep and bear arms, and leaving every other right wide open to infringement–what good will our right to keep and bear arms be to us?

Likewise, our federal government is as potentially dangerous to every right guaranteed us in our Bill of Rights as our state and local governments are.

But if we lose our right to freedom of speech, our right to freedom of religion, and every other right guaranteed us in our Bill of Rights–by overzealously guarding against infringement of these rights by our federal government, and leaving them wide open to infringement by our state and local governments–what difference will it make?

DOESN’T ANYONE ELSE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS?

“‘I understand the flags are down, but I want to make it permanent,’ said Escambia County Democratic Women’s Club president Dianne Krumel.  ‘I don’t want any chance of those flags going back up.'”

Pensacola News Journal, June 26, 2015

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2015/06/25/city-pensacola-remove-confederate-flag/29284051/

The Confederate Battle Flag was replaced with the First Confederate Flag, in the displays of the Five Flags of Pensacola’s history and heritage in 2000–two years after I moved here, from Mobile, Alabama.

The Confederate Battle Flag was designed by the Confederate States of America in 1861, to replace the First Confederate Flag in the battlefield–because the First Confederate Flag so resembled the United States Flag that it caused confusion among both Confederate and Union troops, thereby friendly fire on both sides.

The Confederate Battle Flag was never a symbol of racism, or even rebellion.  It was simply a flag designed exclusively for the battlefield to indicate the parameters of the Confederate presence.

But because the Confederate Battle Flag was taken on by segregationists and White supremacists to represent their interests a century after it was designed, it became associated with segregationists and White supremacists, in the minds of their victims.  And in using the Confederate Battle Flag to represent their interests, these segregationists and White supremacists–who never represented the majority of White Americans–did this flag a great disservice.

Nevertheless, it was unavoidable that those who had been victimized by segregationists and White supremacists might take offense at the Confederate Battle Flag–the damage had already been done.

And this was why the Confederate Battle Flag was replaced with the First Confederate Flag, in the displays of the Five Flags of Pensacola’s history and heritage in 2000.  It was a way of showing consideration for victims of segregationists and White supremacists, while maintaining representation of the Confederate States of America as one of the five nations under which Pensacola, Florida, had lived and thrived.  It was also more historically accurate, since the Confederate Battle Flag was never the official flag of the Confederate States of America–it was designed for battlefield use only.

When the mindless, misplaced rage against the Confederate Battle Flag erupted–as an insane reaction to the mindless, misplaced rage of a mass shooter last year–I truly hoped that this mindless, misplaced rage would not affect Pensacola, Florida.  Because the Confederate Battle Flag had been replaced with the First Confederate Flag fifteen years before, in the displays of the Five Flags of Pensacola’s history and heritage.  I had felt then–as I still feel–that this was a reasonable solution to the Battle Flag controversy–and that this was enough.

Then Pensacola’s mayor, Ashton Hayward, ordered even the First Confederate Flag removed from the Five Flags displays last year.  He did this with no consideration for the feelings of his constituents–he just imposed this local-government censorship on all Pensacolians, without asking them anything.  And though Ashton Hayward was not my mayor–because I lived outside the city limits–I had heard nothing but negative comments about this mayor from people who did reside in the city.  And now I understood why.

What a presumptuous bastard this mayor, Ashton Hayward, was–and still is.

Still, it was up to the Escambia County Commission to make the final decision.

As mentioned in a previous post, the group of contrarian control-freaks that descended upon the County Commission was very small–and almost exclusively White.  These bastards didn’t care about the feelings of Escambia County residents of any race or ethnicity.  They only cared about themselves–they were just social misfits on a power-trip.

I mentioned, in a previous post, how these bastards condescended to one Black man, as if they–mostly White–were just doing him a big favor.  I wasn’t mistaken about their condescending, bigoted attitude.  But I was mistaken about the identity of this man.  He was actually County Commissioner Lumon May–and they were applauding because he apparently reassured them that they would have their way.

Yet this group of losers was led by one ugly, obnoxious person–someone I had never met, still have never met, and hope I never have the displeasure of meeting–Dianne Krumel.

Dianne Krumel is a Democrat–and the little band of little-tin-gods she led before the Escambia County Commission was probably comprised exclusively of Democrats.

Ordinarily, this would be irrelevant.  But this cultural genocide of the American South is far from ordinary.  It is a ploy by the Republican Party to distract Americans’ attention from the only political issue relevant to the Charleston shooting at all–gun regulation.  It was begun by Republican Governor Nikki Haley–and is being continued by Republican governors, county commissioners, and mayors all over the American South.  Yet these anti-Southerners–these White bigots who hate the South because they know nothing about it, and who are driven by mindless regional prejudice–are Democrats.  And they’ve been around for generations–there is nothing new about them.

What is new–as I’ve mentioned before–is this kowtowing to these regional bigots by Republican state and local politicians.  Yes–just as some of these regional bigots are Republicans–some of these state and local politicians are Democrats. But the vast majority of them are Republicans.

And this trend of targeting red herrings representative of the rights guaranteed all of us Americans in our Bill of Rights–first the Confederate Flag, which is representative of our right to freedom of speech, then Islam and Muslims, which are representative of our right to freedom of religion–so that any issue surrounding our right to keep and bear arms can be completely avoided–is exemplified right here in Pensacola, Florida.

“I understand the flags are down, but I want to make it permanent.  I don’t want any chance of those flags going back up.”

The entire Commission of Escambia County, Florida, caved in to this one demand by one person–a Democrat who is not only White but almost certainly a Jew–and resolved never again to fly any design of any flag representing the Confederate States of America.

One person brought the entire Commission of Escambia County, Florida, to its knees–where it still remains.

I am not even from Pensacola, originally–yet I seem to be the only Pensacolian who is even questioning this.

Doesn’t anyone else have a problem with this?

CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, FOR A CHANGE

When everything changes for the worse, and nothing changes for the better, the end has begun.

This climate change is the only thing we humans cannot change.

The other three developments:

Exponentially-increasing overpopulation,

Economic globalization,

And especially Digital-Age technology,

These three things we can change.

When nothing changes for the better, how can we be optimistic?

When nothing changes for the better, how can we be hopeful?

If the American people wised up, and elected a truly independent president–the first since George Washington–that would be a change for the better.

If the American people stopped their federal government’s support of the Zionist State (“Israel”)–that would be a change for the better.

If the American people had their federal government make laws to stop U.S. corporations from outsourcing American jobs to foreign countries–that would be a change for the better.

If the American people had their federal government cede most of its land to Native Americans of all tribes–that would be a change for the better.

If the American people had their state governments pass laws absolutely prohibiting any mobile-device usage while driving–that would be a change for the better.

If the American people in the Southern United States stopped their state and local governments’ cultural genocide against the Southern United States–that would be a change for the better.

If the American people had their federal government overturn Roe v. Wade–the Supreme Court ruling that has been responsible for the unnecessary deaths of millions of unborn human beings–and started using contraception religiously, instead–that would be a change for the better.

If the American people had their federal government overturn the recent Supreme Court decision forcing a redefinition of marriage on the entire nation–because it is a violation of states’ voters’ rights–that would be a change for the better.

If the American people stopped blindly trusting their press–and started holding it accountable for its dishonesty, divisiveness, and sensationalism–that would be a change for the better.

And if this whole Digital-Age system–the Internet and the cellular technology that goes with it–collapsed under its own weight–that would most definitely be a change for the better.

How about change for the better, for a change?

MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

“And so if we’re serious about freedom of religion–and I’m speaking now to my fellow Christians who remain the majority in this country–we have to understand an attack on one faith is attack on all our faiths.”

President Obama, at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, February 3, 2016

FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE

[This was originally posted August 16, 2015]

The following is an excerpt from a draft of a family history written by my father:

     Back to Great Grandpa Mark Mayo.  I’ve enclosed some information about his war years–the history of Grandpa Mark’s unit, Company “E”, the roster of the men, and a brief summary of their engagements.  In November of 1864, Company “E” had some men captured at Pine Barren, Florida (about 25 miles north of Pensacola), and they were held as prisoners of war until the war ended. Most of the 15th Cavalry Regiment’s engagements were in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana but as stated in the record, Company “E” was detached for special assignments for months at a time throughout the war as cavalry support for other outfits or for scouting enemy units.  Enclosed is a newspaper article from the Mobile paper about the battle of Eliska, Alabama, which was the last battle Grandpa Mark was in.  On his pension form, he told about his last battle around Claiborne, Alabama, which took place at the community of Eliska. As the information I’ve enclosed states, about 400 regular Confederate cavalry troops of the 15th Cavalry Regiment were sent to Eliska to help the local militia and some local people repel what was thought to be not too large a force of Union troops heading their way.  Grandpa Mark’s and Uncle Frederick’s Company “E” was one of the companies that went.  They ran into from 4,000 to 6,500 of some of the best equipped troops in the Union Army under General Steele, who were commanded in the field by General Lucas.  The Confederate troops were completely defeated.  The local people up there call it Lucas’ Raid.  A few days later General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General U.S. Grant at Appomattox, which effectively ended the Civil War.  Grandpa Mark and his brother were barely able to get away from Eliska alive.  After the South surrendered, Grandpa Mark took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America at Milton, Florida as was required of all Confederate veterans.  I don’t know where his brother, Frederick, and the McCurdy brothers took their oath–maybe the same place.

     I might mention that after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, just a couple hours later there was one more great battle raging farther South, which would be the last major engagement of the Civil War.  It was at Blakely, Alabama–a town across the river from Mobile where Confederate troops were guarding the eastern approach to Mobile.  Sixteen thousand Union troops completely overwhelmed the Confederate troops at Blakely.  The Confederate troops at Blakely were made up of regulars, and many old men and young boys. Many of the Confederate troops drowned while trying to swim in the river to escape the overwhelming force of Union troops.

     After the Civil War, Grandpa Mark drove a stagecoach for a while.  In 1880 Grandpa Mark and Aunt Mercy Jane’s husband, my Great-Great Uncle Francis Marion McCurdy, went into the timber business together in Escambia County, Florida.  Great-Grandpa Mark had married Margaret Angeline Jernigan in 1867. Great-Grandma Angeline was born in Santa Rosa County in 1843.

What did the Confederate Flag mean to Confederate troops?  Same things the Union Flag meant to Union troops: home, security, and survival.

My great-great grandfather Mark Mayo, my great-great grandfather Francis Marion McCurdy, and my great-great-great uncle Frederick Mayo were Confederate soldiers in the War between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America.

Like most Confederate soldiers, these three young men were not a part of the slave-owning aristocracy that had supported secession from the United States–their families had no say in that.  And like most Confederate soldiers, these three young men did not fight in the interest of slavery–or even for the cause of states’ rights.  They simply fought to protect their homes and families from an overwhelmingly powerful, invading army.


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