July 4th – thoughts and photos

First of all, I hope everyone is having a great 4th of July celebration; a safe one, without any fingers being blown off, and a quiet one, without idiots disregarding local ordinances and regulations about shooting off fireworks. 

That said, on this Independence Day, a couple of things are on my radar. Did I say my radar? I mean in my immediate sphere of concern. I’ll tackle one of those things in this post and another in a following post.

Believe it or not, I am strongly motivated to keep to myself and live a happy and near-carefree life, much like this slice of bagel.

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OK, that does look like a scowl, but that is, unfortunately, the same as my face. You see, 60+ years of dealing with people left traces I cannot erase. My relaxed and beatific visage might be, and occasionally is, mistaken as an expression signifying Foxtrot-Off.

Anyway, we have now (mostly) established I am a happy-go-lucky dude going about his life . . . except for these lines in my “About” page.

“I am tired.  I want to live the remaining of my life trying, for the most part, to enjoy it.”

. . . and . . . 

“I am not blind to the problems of the world, the suffering of literally billions, and to the gathering darkness.  I give to charity, I help others, I keep up with what is happening, and cast my small voice hither and fro to join other voices in opposition of bad stuff and support of good stuff.”

One controversy, if that is even the correct word, currently crossing my path is the confederate flag. More precisely, depending on which mouthbreather one argues with, one of THESE flags. 

Pedantic mouthbreathers will make this or that excuse for the variations and the legitimacy of each. Let’s cut the crap . . . two crossed bars with stars in a field of red is universally accepted as a symbol of the South-That-Was from 1863 onwards.

Now, go back to that link and read the following:

Note: It is necessary to disclaim any connection of these flags to neo-nazis, red-necks, skin-heads {sic} and the like. These groups have adopted this flag and desecrated it by their acts. They have no right to use this flag – it is a flag of honor, designed by the confederacy as a banner representing state’s rights and still revered by the South. In fact, under attack, it still flies over the South Carolina capitol building. The South denies any relation to these hate groups and denies them the right to use the flags of the confederacy for any purpose. The crimes committed by these groups under the stolen banner of the conderacy {sic} only exacerbate the lies which link the seccession {sic} to slavery interests when, from a Southerner’s view, the cause was state’s rights.

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That throws my calm out the window; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot are they talking about!? That, for sure, is now a scowl.

Let’s parse that down a bit  . . . the first thing that irks me is the duplicity and faux indignation of this passage. 

. . . it is a flag of honor, designed by the confederacy as a banner representing state’s rights and still revered by the South.

Oh, it’s revered, OK . . . but representing state’s rights? Read a bit further:

The crimes committed by these groups under the stolen banner of the conderacy {sic} only exacerbate the lies which link the seccession {sic} to slavery interests when, from a Southerner’s view, the cause was state’s rights.

Very Clintonesque . . . but ponder me this; what state rights were these honorable Southern States so up-in-arms (pardon the pun) about? Oh, yeah . . . the basis for their one crop economy and the cheap labor required to make it profitable. They claimed the right for a slave-based economy and the expansion of such to the Western States.

By any gauge reasonable people can apply, these god-fearing-slave-owning southerners were really not all that honorable. I say god-fearing because one cannot divorce the religious angle in the sordid affair of slave ownership, but that’s a horse to flog another time.

Now, I could be wrong and I am willing for someone to educate me otherwise by explaining to me which other state rights were under contention. That would be tough because of THIS, the actual declarations of secession for the states now claiming a history of honor. The declarations specifically state slavery as the reason for secession. Go ahead; read them and count how many times the word slavery appear in the writing. 

Following the end of the Civil War, the flag then existed for roughly eighty relatively quiet years. Until . . . from THIS link . . .

In 1948, the newly-formed segregationist Dixiecrat party adopted the flag as a symbol of resistance to the federal government. In the years that followed, the battle flag became an important part of segregationist symbolism, and was featured prominently on the 1956 redesign of Georgia’s state flag, a legislative decision that was likely at least partly a response to the Supreme Court’s decision to desegregate school two years earlier. The flag has also been used by the Ku Klux Klan, though it is not the Klan’s official flag.

Gee . . . I wonder why segregationists back then, and neo-nazis, red-necks, skin-heads {sic} and the like” now, would pick this particular flag to represent them? Something to do with the flag representing honor, perhaps? Standing for individual rights and equality for all? No, wait . . . it was specifically in response to the movement of equality and civil rights for all that triggered both the formation of the Dixiecrat party and their adoption of this particular flag.

Understand this; the Confederate Flag, whatever its incarnation, is overwhelmingly favored over the Nazi Flag as a symbol of hate and intolerance. That’s saying something; it’s not often the Nazi flag comes in second to anything in a race to represent hate and intolerance.

OK, I’ll stop here . . . basically, I am in favor of anyone who so desires to fly the confederate flag (or variations thereof). Keeping in mind what I say above, it tells me one of two things:

1) the person has little or no education and has no idea what that flag stands for (i.e. an idiot), and hence is not someone I want to associate with.

2) the person knows exactly (and agrees) what the flag stands for and should thus be considered a lower form of human, and hence is not someone I want to associate with.

I am not in favor of the flag flying over any government facility. Regardless what the original intent behind the flag, it has come, rightly or wrongly, to serve as an identifier and symbol for hate and intolerance. To claim anything else is to deny clear and often bloody evidence.

As an important part of this country’s history, the confederate flag should not be forgotten . . . but neither should it be venerated, and it certainly does not deserve a place of honor in our history.

Further reading:

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/Confederate_Flag.htm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/29/civil-war-confederate-flag_n_7685970.html

. . . and especially read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/22/confederate-flag-racist_n_7639788.html

Edited to add: I came across this link as I was doing further searching on this contentious topic. It’s what I do; I want to read reasoned arguments both for and against any given position. The operative word is “reasoned” but I also include “researched” and “knowledgeable” in my criteria. Proponents for the sanctity of the flag invariably have arguments from emotions stirred by a decisive lack of facts as to the history of the confederacy and the flag itself.
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/Politics-Voices/2015/0623/How-Confederate-battle-flag-debate-is-twisting-history

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Musings Stuff, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to July 4th – thoughts and photos

  1. AnnMarie says:

    Happy 4th (what’s left of it)!

    Independence . . . that’s worth celebrating!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Happy 4th to both you and mother, as well. The above made it less so.

      It’s in response to a conversation I had with a mutual acquaintance. I sent you an e-mail about it.

      Like

  2. Your bagel looks like he needs a hug! :-)
    What you said about the confederate flag and those who fly them is right on! I agree 100%! I’ve had some interesting discussions lately with people from the South who say that flag is only about “southern pride”. WTF?!?! :-( I won’t say more…as you already shared everything I’ve been thinking, saying, and feeling. EXCELLENT post! Thanks for writing this post!
    I hope you had a good 4th of July, Emilio!
    I did! GREAT time spent with family and friends!
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Sadly, the bagel met with a horrific demise, literally being eaten to death. No hugs involved.

      I wrote the above because I had a similar discussion with a relative. Truthfully, I don’t think they know anything about the flag, its history, and current meaning. I think he just likes the idea of being a “rebel”.

      We did have a great 4th; I spent it with my best friend, and Melisa spent it with hers. We did not have any guests or family visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

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