The Real Flag Outrage

About nonce a year of so for the last 50 years there has been something about the flag and how it is bad for society.  The latest is a “Trump Two Step” about the knee thing that was all the rage about a year ago….Trump had to find something to divert the attention of the media and the public so why not some made up societal disrespect.

There is a bigger story there than the Trump diversion……

The flag, the Bible, the cross, the ring, the badge, the collar… we are a country rife with symbols, literally wrapped and weighted with the pomp and pageantry of the many things we’ve chosen to identify our beliefs, our memberships and positions.

These symbols are designed to represent ideals, signify philosophies, advertise status, be unspoken statements. Those who wear, bandy, raise and wield them do so because they wish for their memberships, their affiliations, their support of the symbolized groups or ideals to be known.

“I’m a Christian. I’m a married person. I’m a priest. I’m a cop. I’m an American. I’m a…” and so on.

While many who subscribe to these symbols do so with authentic belief, honest dedication, and deep attachment to what’s being symbolized, not a day goes by when someone somewhere isn’t caterwauling about this or that symbol and how and why it should or shouldn’t be worn, waved, wielded or wasted. Given all the Sturm und Drang, we’d like to presume everyone involved understands what these symbols actually stand for. But there’s growing evidence to the contrary, particularly when the words and deeds of those defending those symbols contradict and sully their inherent message:

Source: The Real Flag Outrage? When Bigots And Liars Hide Behind Stars And Stripes | HuffPost

This is all too made up…..the only purpose it serves is to change the discussion when things get a bit a of a drag.

Kneel, touch the earth.

“Oh say can you see . . . ”

The anthem starts. I can feel the courage . . . of Colin Kaepernick, the (then) San Francisco 49ers quarterback who refused to stand for the national war hymn, not when one of the wars was directed at Americans of color. Occupying the public spotlight that he did, Kaepernick risked — and received — widespread condemnation. Rabid fans burned replicas of his jersey. I’m sure as he knelt that first time, as his knee touched the earth, he had a sense of what he was setting off.

This is patriotism.

Source: The Courage to Kneel – LA Progressive

Personally, I have no time for this type of game……I prefer to deal with problems head on and leave these types of things for those of lesser minds.

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The Antifa of 1865

ANTIFA!  A term that has found a home in the MSM…..the protesters of the protesters….the group that took on the neo-Nazis in Virginia and made a nmje for themselves in the process…..the protests were put together because there was to be a removal of a statute of Robert E. Lee….and the “other side” showed up and all Hell broke lose…..as they say…..

Let history (you know damn well that there was a history lesson in there, right?) tell the tale…..

“Anybody who would trash Lee and laud Lincoln is either stupid as a post or just plain evil,” said a sage reader. This applies in spades to anyone who would laud the Radical Republicans of 1865, as one TV GOP blonde has recently, and asininely, done.

The Radical Republicans, if you can believe it, considered Abraham Lincoln a moderate (a bad thing, in their book). Lincoln successor Andrew Johnson these fanatics branded a reactionary (punishable by obstruction and impeachment).

Praised these days by the blonde-ambition faction of the Republican Party, the Radicals were stars of America’s own Reign of Terror over the South, at the end of the War Between the States.

Source: The Radical Republicans: The Antifa of 1865 – The Unz Review

Some things change others do not…..

Closing Thought–29Aug17

Adopt A Nazi!

You can adopt a tiger….or an elephant or maybe a whale….now there is a new twist to the concept……

The term neo-Nazis has had a bad couple of weeks…..it all started with the protests in Virginia….

Now a group is raising money for a specific purpose…..crowd funding has become the way of the future for raising the needed cash for this dream or that….and this one is very clever use of the cash raised……

More than 1,800 people have “adopted a Nazi” in the US, raising nearly $133,000 to help neo-Nazis and white supremacists “fund their own demise”.

The campaign, launched by the Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco (JBASF), invites individuals to donate money for every person planning to attend a right-wing rally scheduled for Saturday in the northern California city.

Source: ‘Adopt a Nazi’: How groups are countering neo-Nazis | USA | Al Jazeera

The Prague Spring–1968

1968 was a good year for history…..wars, protests, naval disasters, etc…….

Long before the Arab Spring there was the Prague Spring in 1968…..it was billed in the West as the Czechs attempt to throw off the bonds of communism and step into the light of democracy.

There were volumes written in support of this action here in the West….but was it about Communism and democracy?

On the morning of Aug. 21, 1968, Mr. William Teltscher realized that his trip to Czechoslovakia had ended before it really started. Being a descendant of a traditional wine-trading Jewish family from Mikulov, south Moravia, he decided to visit his native country for the first time since his family left Czechoslovakia in 1939 for England, escaping the Nazi furor. However, he landed in Prague’s Ruzyne airport only to see the tanks being unloaded from Soviet transport planes, so he turned around and left the country on the next plane for London.

He was apparently one of those who believed the Prague Spring might eventually lead to significant changes to the totalitarian system or at least give the citizens of Czechoslovakia the feeling that they are once more able to determine their country’s destiny. Like many other hundreds of thousands, he was deceived.

Source: Exploding the myth of Prague Spring | Prague Post

Once again history was not exactly as it has been painted by the media…..but we already knew that…..right?

The Molly Maguires

We are having our fair share of protests these days but if you look back in history we have always had our share of protests….both non-violent and violent alike.

One of those anarchic type groups that seldom gets any mention when history is mentioned is the Molly Maguires.

Louis Adamic’s history of the Molly Maguires: a secret society of Irish-born mine workers in the US who terrorised the exploitative mine bosses of the time.

In the US in the mid-19th century trade-unionism was tame and timorous. Most of the strikes ended disastrously for the labor organizations concerned. There were labor unions whose membership pledged itself to “avoid exciting topics.” Labor leaders, so called, were for the most part men who neither labored nor led: aspiring third-rate politicians and windy orators who had little capacity for understanding the new industrial forces as they affected the worker; or reformers and lopsided idealists, full of lovely vagaries and longings, who had drawn their original inspiration and their terminology from the writings of the utopian Socialists and the Brook-Farmers. They met in labor conventions to pronounce solemnly upon the nobility of toil and recite verses about the golden sweatdrops upon the laborer’s honest brow, which “shine brighter than diamonds in a coronet.”

Source: The Molly Maguires, 1850-1875 – Louis Adamic

Just another trip down memory lane in the Professor’s Classroom…..there is so much about the struggle of the American worker that seldom gets any attention….it should even if you do not agree with their tactics….it is still part of our national heritage.

They All Fall Down

It appears that we are once again ass deep in the civil rights thing from years ago….and as always we are re-fighting the Civil War….the thing now is that to ward off any possible source for protests governments are deciding to remove the statues of so-called “heroes” of the Civil War….you know people like Lee, Forrest, etc….

I read an article in the Federalist that made some goods points about this mash-up over monuments.

Initially well-intentioned, the movement for historical erasure is picking up steam and will soon be speeding out of control. We should use caution before sweeping too much of our history away from the public eye.

Source: If We Topple Every Statue Of An Imperfect Person They All Come Down

While  I agree that some of the statues should come down but not all of them…..history is history and even ugly history deserves its place.  There is a difference between history and heritage., although the PC crowd would have us believe they are one in the same.

If the monument celebrates a battle, a birthplace or a place of death then these should remain….but if it is a statue to celebrate a white guy that was pissed because he lost a war then it needs to go.

If the monument’s only purpose is hate then it needs to go down and soon.

We Are Better Than This

Surely everyone knows about the mash-up in Virginia this past weekend…..it illustrated that the fights of the 1950-‘s and 60’s are still being fought …..that issues from the past have never gone away.

I read a good op-ed entitled…”We Are Better Than This”…..

Making America Great Again means entertaining support from white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, the survivalist movement, vigilante militias, and it is all neatly packaged in a spiffy new advertising meme labelled the alt-right.

Okay, America, we are now experiencing what it means to go back in time. This is what they meant when they said we were going to take America back. It meant we were going to revisit the good ole’ days when overt racism was the order of the day, when nuclear detonations were rationalized and accepted as, well acceptable, when white men made all the decisions and coal was king. Back to the days when environmental degradation was a critical component to economic progress. Back when civil liberties could be curtailed in the name of law and order, especially if you were from the classes of the troublemakers

Source: We Are Better Than This – LA Progressive

I am sorry but this type of thing, these confrontations, does nothing to “Make America Great Again”….

The President has come out with comments on the violence…..

President Trump’s comments so far on the violence in Charlottesville have been denounced by those on both sides of the political aisle. A sampling of columnists’ takes on his response:

  • In the New Yorker, Jelani Cobb says this is one of the weakest responses to Nazism America has seen. Even the eventual White House clarification wasn’t much better than Trump’s original response. “When questioned about the rationale for Trump’s evenhandedness, the White House clarified that both the protesters and the counter-protesters had resorted to violence. This is notable in that the United States was once a country that did not see Nazis and those willing to fight them as morally equivalent.”
  • At CNN, Timothy Stanley says Trump failed this test. The president likely sees “not a prejudice problem but a crisis of law and order” when he looks at what happened in Virginia, just like many conservatives consider the KKK and Black Lives Matter “as bad as each other.” But “Black Lives Matter, for all its faults, sees a truth that Trump does not: America operates an unjust racial hierarchy in which people of color are relegated to the bottom. When African-Americans protest, they are expressing their powerlessness, they are punching upwards. White supremacists, by contrast, enjoy power and authority. They are punching downwards out of irrational hate.”
  • At FiveThirtyEight, Julia Azari points out why it’s interesting Trump isn’t specifically condemning white supremacy. His “comments are striking for a couple of reasons. For one, Trump repeatedly denounced his predecessor, Barack Obama, for refusing to use the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ to refer to attacks by Islamist radicals. For another, denouncing Friday’s white supremacist protest and Saturday’s (apparent) attack should have been comparatively easy for an American politician.”
  • Michael Gerson acknowledges at the Washington Post that it’s difficult to find the right words in the face of a tragedy like this, but Trump is, apparently, completely incapable of doing so. “The flash point in Charlottesville was the history of the Civil War,” and “the oppression and trauma that led to Appomattox did not end there. Ghosts still deploy on these battlefields. And the casualties continue. But Trump could offer no context for this latest conflict. No inspiring ideals from the author of the Declaration of Independence, who called Charlottesville home. No healing words from the president who was killed by a white supremacist. By his flat, foolish utterance, Trump proved once again that he has no place in the company of these leaders.”
  • In the New York Times, conservative writer and radio show host Erick-Woods Erickson weighs in. Though he considers the “social justice warriors” of the far left and the white supremacists of the far right to be “two sides of the same coin,” Erickson points out that a white supremacist was allegedly to blame for this violence. “On a day that saw one person killed during the Charlottesville violence, the president did not need to play the ‘both sides are culpable’ game. No side would be protesting in Charlottesville had not the white supremacists decided to march.”

Sad thing is that this is not an isolated occurrence…..more to come….

There is a wealth of articles and such about what the country should do about this rise in hatred…..a better question would be “what will this country do about this rise in hatred”?