Closing Thought–23Feb22

Just days ago the Winter Olympics ended with Norway running away with the meddle count….the US could not manage many medals……..

I use to cross country ski so those events are to my liking……

A whole new meaning to the term ‘blue balls’…..

A cross-country skier froze in a very sensitive spot following the men’s 50km mass start skiiing race at the Beijing Olympics Saturday. After finishing 28th, Remi Lindholm of Finland applied a heat pack to his genital area, the Guardian reports. “You can guess which body part was a little bit frozen when I finished,” he told reporters. “When the body parts started to warm up after the finish, the pain was unbearable.”

Organizers had been concerned about competitors because of Saturday’s freezing winds, Reuters reports. They ultimately shortened the race by 20km, making it just 30km long, but Lindholm still told reporters it was “one of the worst competitions I’ve been in.” He was on the course an hour and 16 minutes, the New York Post reports. Skiers wear only thin suits and under-layers along with plasters covering their faces and ears.

Alexander Bolshunov took gold, followed by his teammate Ivan Yakimushkin. Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger took bronze in his only Olympic event due to a lengthy isolation period following a positive COVID test. “Just to get to the race today is a small victory in itself and the rest is really a bonus. I think I got absolutely everything out of my body today and I didn’t have a chance to do any better,” he said. Bolshunov is now the only man to have won five cross-country medals at one Olympics; in addition to his three golds, he took home a silver and a bronze, having medaled in every event in which he competed.

Broken bones….strained muscles…..but frozen genitals is not something one would expect as a hazard for the Olympic sports.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Blacks And The Confederacy

Since it is Black History Month I thought I would look into the myth that has been passed around especially down here in the South when the debate around the American Civil War rages.

That myth is that many free blacks and slaves fought for the Confederacy.

First of all this is a myth….it began in the 20th century to try and counter the slavery issue and what it meant to those in the South.

How and where this myth came about is unclear, but it gained prominence in the late 20th century. There exists little evidence of its truth and considerable evidence of its falsehood. The Confederate government forbade the enlistment of Blacks as soldiers. It did draft Blacks, both free and enslaved, to work for the army. These men and women served as laborers, cooks, teamsters, wranglers, and other jobs with the army, usually under guard of white soldiers. Other enslaved people worked in Confederate industries in support of the war effort, including in mines, on the railroads, and in factories. Slave labor had always been a part of the Southern industry, with slave owners sending people to work for pay, which went into the pockets of the owners. Some owners allowed their enslaved people to keep some, or even all, of their earnings.

Throughout the war, debates in the Confederate congress over the issue of arming enslaved men to serve as combat troops continued. Such ideas were voted down by the Congress until March 1865, less than one month before Lee’s surrender. Even after the Confederates allowed the enlistment of Black troops the concept drew resistance. Robert Toombs, former Secretary of State for the Confederacy, and a general with Lee’s army in early 1865, called the idea of Black troops “…the worst calamity that could befall us…” In June 1865, he wrote an article in the Augusta Chronicle which included a statement that “The day that the Army of Virginia allows a negro regiment to enter their lines as soldiers they will be degraded, ruined and disgraced”. By the time his opinion appeared in the Chronicle the Army of Northern Virginia had been disbanded following its defeat.

More on this myth……

Some black Southerners aided the Confederacy. Most of these were forced to accompany their masters or were forced to toil behind the lines. Black men were not legally allowed to serve as combat soldiers in the Confederate Army–they were cooks, teamsters, and manual laborers. There were no black Confederate combat units in service during the war and no documentation whatsoever exists for any black man being paid or pensioned as a Confederate soldier, although some did receive pensions for their work as laborers. Nevertheless, the black servants and the Confederate soldiers formed bonds in the shared crucible of conflict, and many servants later attended regimental reunions with their wartime comrades.

This is not to say that no black man ever fired a gun for the Confederacy. To be specific, in the “Official Records of the War of the Rebellion,” a collection of military records from both sides which spans more than 50 volumes and more than 50,000 pages, there are a total of seven Union eyewitness reports of black Confederates. Three of these reports mention black men shooting at Union soldiers, one report mentions capturing a handful of armed black men along with some soldiers, and the other three reports mention seeing unarmed black laborers. There is no record of Union soldiers encountering an all-black line of battle or anything close to it.

All in all the myth was inaccurate….basically it was an attempt to re-write history to try and illustrate some positivity of Blacks in the South.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”