Flagging you down with Facts, Opinions and Advice

3 07 2015

Social media has taught me that I am surrounded by historians.  I had no idea that some of the “facts” thrown at me lately existed in history.  I’d say it made me question my own knowledge, but then I would be a liar.  So, here’s my top 5 facts about the Civil War for those of you who aren’t history buffs.  Following this brief lesson I’ll get to the heart of this blog.

#1 – Among the 34 states in January 1861, seven Southern states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America spawning the Civil War to determine the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy which lasted from 1861 to 1865. During the course of the 4 year war, the number of Confederate states grew to 11.

#2 – The primary cause for the secession was slavery. The Confederate (Southern) states were against the attempts of Northern antislavery political forces to block the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Southern politicians rebelled with the belief that such restrictions on slavery would violate the principle of states’ rights. The subsequent formation of the Confederacy was Southern nationalism. The primary reason the Northern States rejected secession was to preserve the Union’s cause based on American nationalism (unity).

#3 – Confederacy supporters based their secession on honoring The Constitution which protected slavery and states’ rights to own slaves.  The North’s growth in this period was based on industry (in short; a more comparable system to what we see throughout the US today) while the South’s economy thrived on  agriculture which relied heavily on slave labor. For this reason, abolishing slavery would bring severe economic set backs to the growth of the Southern states.

rebel-flag-cloth-bright#4 – To clarify; self proclaimed history buffs say the Civil war was rooted in causes such as preserving The Constitution or saving the economy.  While these history buffs are correct, to say this war was not about slavery at the root is rather inaccurate because the abolishment of slavery would be the cause to change The Constitution and effect the Southern economy when they lose the free labor of slaves. 

#5 – The Civil War was about slavery

Once again the Confederate Battle Flag has entered the spotlight.  It make’s it’s rounds every few years.  People fight to have it removed from (Southern) state flags, flying over government buildings, colleges and so fourth.  The top two words that are thrown around when this pot gets stirred are “racism” and “heritage”.  While one team is offended by the sight of this flag, the other is proud.  If you are proud of the flag, you label it pride in your heritage while others label you a racist.

Let’s be clear, the Confederate Flag isn’t exactly racist in it’s origin.  In fact, it is prideful.  However, it’s origin is rootedarticle-2498164-1955120C00000578-797_634x425 in the fight to keep (what I like to call) human beings enslaved.  Human beings of African descent.  In the Lincoln era the flag stood for courage, battle, pride and a people who wanted to hold fast to the honor of The Constitution.  However, because of its pro-slavery roots, over time the flag came to represent racism against African Americans as white supremacy groups embraced it as their own.  This tainted the flag even more than its bloody history of a nation divided.  This tainted flag continues to divide the people of this nation in it’s own way. 

So, in it’s origin, this flag represented a union of states who wanted to keep humans enslaved for free labor (because it was documented as acceptable and therefore it must be) and then blossomed into a symbol of hatred against humans.  (Ok, not all humans, just those darned black ones.)

In its lifetime, this flag has seen a lot of bloodshed both in war and in hate crimes.

Is it any wonder it makes those (black) humans uncomfortable? Is it any wonder that (decent) humans would like to see it in history museums where it belongs?

slavesIn a world where Christian symbols are frowned upon in public places, schools, government buildings and so fourth we let this symbol of what I like to call “historical greed” fly.

Yes, that’s right, the flag symbolizes a history greed in my opinion. A greed so powerful that human lives aren’t valued.  Free labor at the expense of outright abuse to humans is the origin of my term “historical greed”.  Is this the heritage to be proud of?

As a Southerner, I love the endurance and strength of my homeland.  I am proud of the struggles my homeland has faced and overcome just in my short lifetime let alone centuries before.  I love the spirit of the Southern people.  I don’t see that type of drive anywhere else in this country.  I understand Southern pride.  I have Southern pride.  But, I don’t need a flag to define my pride.  I don’t need a symbol of my heritage to show how strong I am.  I believe the history of what we have overcome through the years speaks for itself.

Here’s a fine example; Hurricane Katrina and the improper assistance our Government gave.  Our courage and our recovery is like giving them the finger-which is what the south is known for…giving Uncle Sam the finger.  Trust me, he don’t mind giving it right back.  Fill our waters with oil and toxic chemicals? Screw you, we’ll deal with it.  It’s what we do.  We deal with stuff.

No matter how united the nation may be, the Confederate states are still somewhat severed.  We are the brunt of jokes, the last in line and the least respected.  Southerners pay for the crimes of their ancestors centuries later…and without evolving we always will.

If the South really wants to “rise again”, let it rise in statistics…education, economy, and so fourth.  Let it rise in the ranks of brotherhood and American pride.  Let the South make a real stand that the joke is no longer on us but on anyone living in the past who still looks at the South as a bigoted, ignorant land. 

Nobody is taking your personal symbols away from you, nobody is taking your guns.  Nobody is forcing you to accept or like anything you don’t want to.  Please stop behaving as if this is just another nail in the coffin of your personal freedom.  Its not. 

The bottom line is, symbols of an ancient war that divided the nation and took thousands of lives unnecessarily in the name of greed has no place in government buildings or the like.  The bottom line is what an African American friend told me recently when asked how the flag makes her feel; “dread and sometimes fear depending on the circumstances.” 

Fly it proudly on your pick up truck, as your window shades, tattooed on your back and whatever…but don’t force it upon people who may feel dread when they step into a building to handle official government business. 

Know your history and quit labeling it as pride of heritage.  You’re making us all meet the statistics we hate. 

Divided we fall.  United we stand tall. 

I share with you Cyrus’ famous speech from “The Warriors”.  If you think about it, united we would be a force to be reckoned with.  Currently, I see this nation crumbling from within orchestrated by ridiculous situations like racism and media manipulation.

“I say the future is ours if you can count. Look what we have here before us, rival gangs standing together and nobody’s wasting anybody. That is a miracle. And miracles is the way things ought to be. The problem in the past has been the man turning us against one and other. We’ve been unable to see the truth because we’ve been fighting one and other. That’s crap, brothers. The turf is ours by right. It’s our turn. CAN YOU DIG IT?!?!?!”


Don’t believe the hype

7 05 2010

There are a couple of important items I’d like for you to take into consideration here.  I’d first like to clarify that I am a citizen of the Gulf South who is and will continue to be directly affected in a negative way by the BP Oil Spill here in the Gulf of Mexico.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you must be living under a rock on another planet, but here’s a video that should enlighten you.  If you do know what I’m talking about, skip the video & move on…

Now, it’s easy to point the finger and blame the oil industry and bad mouth and fight to put an end to drilling systems like this one that failed, but let’s look at the big picture here…
Yes, there are options … One option is to shut down the drilling for oil in the USA and hug trees and be happy whilst paying $5.00 per gallon of gasoline to get to and from wherever it is you need to travel in this already economically crippled nation, which in turn will be more crippling when foreign fuel becomes our prominent source of fuel.  Another is to give up the use of vehicles all together  (which is an even more environmentally brilliant plan) and walk or bicycle or ride horseback everywhere you need to travel and save lots of money and hug lots of trees along your journeys.  You can leave home a few hours before your estimated arrival time and you should be able to handle it.  Or, we can all be realistic and face the fact that drilling for oil in the US is a necessity and while this recent incident is incredibly horrible and destructive in countless ways, it would only be worse on this entire country to end drilling for oil here.  Tree huggers will then ask me why? Why??? Especially as my homeland takes the brunt of this horrible ecologically damaging incident!?!? I’ll tell you why! Jobs for one.  Think of the millions of jobs lost in a country that already is at an all time unemployment high with zero jobs available.  Fuel cost is another reason, and I think I made that abundantly clear in the beginning of this paragraph.  I, personally drive 35 miles one way to work every day and (though I do have an extremely fuel efficient vehicle) I do not earn enough money to support an increase to an estimated $5 per gallon of gasoline.  I suspect not many people can.  I also suspect that people are already struggling to hold on to their jobs and already can barely afford to get to them in some cases.  I consider myself fortunate right now because I’m average.  I earn average pay (I used to earn above average pay before the economy and job markets went to shit here in the last few years).  So, let’s look at other options.  First of all, for many years other forms of fuel have existed that would be cheaper and better for the environment, however the government has purposefully ignored these options because the oil industry is big money.  Maybe now is the time to explore those options and consider making them available to the general public at a reasonable price.  Producing these other means of fuel enables jobs and a better economy, let alone it is better for the environment.  It just seems a little too logical, doesn’t it? Second of all, if we chose to ignore that option and continue to use fuel as is … should we really rely on foreign countries to supply it? I mean, that is nearly suicidal for America, don’t you think? Do I even have to explain why? If I do, then you have been doing more than hugging trees and perhaps you’ve eaten too many of the mushrooms growing below those trees!
Listen, the human race is very spoiled … well, maybe not in third world countries but there is a vast majority of human beings that are far too spoiled to give up conveniences such as driving OR electricity.  And that’s another item I’d like to discuss here.
Simply stated, when you lose electricity you lose light, heating or cooling, refridgeration, and other great spoils that come with that magical power that flows into your home spoiling you in ways your ancestors never dreamed of.  Currently, coal-burning plants provide over half of the electricity generated in the US.  Coal is abundant and cheap.  Wind and solar energy is neither.  By comparison, these alternate methods are costly and unreliable and also require less man power which equals less employment.  The US is home to huge reserves of coal and oil.  Renewable energy currently represents about 1% of all the energy produced nationwide.  If it weren’t for massive amounts of government cash there would be little or no renewable energy.  Tree huggers really hate these fuels we use to maintain our economy and our lifestyle, but in the privacy of their homes they are enjoying them … trust me.  So, all these ignorant people who preach the well being of the environment open the door for much larger issues that they are too blind to focus on, for instance the Cap & Trade Legislation.  Let’s look at purpose of this legislation for what it really is, a control issue (Similar to controlling our health care, our banking, our industry and so on).  The Cap & Trade Legislation will boost the cost of coal to unreasonable rates while claiming that it generates “greenhouse gas” bringing global warming even closer.  Please!!!! Hasn’t anyone caught on to the fact that global warming is a farce yet? And besides, the greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide … you know that stuff that’s vital to all plant life on Earth.  Now, those of us who this all of this my way (the right way) will be spat at and called naïve by tree huggers, the media, and government officials but let me be frank with you here; there is no such thing as “Natural Capitalism”.  There is just capitalism.  Period.  Capitalism operates on the basis of profit … need I say more? I certainly hope you aren’t someone who’s purchased “carbon credits” in the midst of all this nonsense.  If so, I’m sorry … not sure how you’ll be cashing those in or how they’re going to pay off for you, so maybe you should just hug a tree or something…
Listen, I’m really not trying to be ugly.  If you think I don’t care about the environment, you’re very wrong.  Ever since the great oil catastrophe struck right outside my back door basically, I’ve been somewhat hysterical.  I think it could’ve been prevented … not by avoiding oil drilling in the Gulf but by better safety measures that were studied, engineered and so fourth after the (similar) Exxon-Valdez incident 20 years ago.   Heck, they are still dealing with the aftermath … just as we will be here probably 20 years later.  All I can hope, as my area is completely destroyed economically and ecologically, is that this time they learn something from this and are more prepared.  But, I don’t hope this puts an end to oil drilling in the US.  We here in the Gulf South have a lot at stake.  We’ve already suffered a tremendous blow with Hurricane Katrina crippling us and setting us back nearly a decade for recovery.  Now, our two main sources of income; seafood and tourism are severely damaged and facing the possibility of complete destruction (depending on how quickly they can solve this horrible underwater oil spewing mess and the thousands upon thousands of gallons erupting from it on an hourly basis).  Not only that, but very special and unique wildlife is threatened by extinction all because of this.  BUT, realistically, having lost so much already … the people of this area cannot afford to also lose jobs by closing the oil industry here NOR can we afford for gasoline prices to spike up to outrageous heights in the midst of our already severely crippled economy!
Anyway, as I was saying … I don’t intend to be ugly or belittling to those who have so much faith in our government or the fight against global warming or anyone who wants to save the planet.  Hell! I want to save the planet.  I really do! But, there is little to no evidence that global warming even exists … or, “Climate Change” (the new, improved name for global warming since it was starting to become abundantly clear that the term “warming” wasn’t working).  It outrages me that my tax dollars are being spent on proving the existence of something that doesn’t exist (of course, my tax dollars are spent on a lot of shit that outrages me).  For years, scientists that were skeptical about global warming were scoffed at and labeled as evil, Earth-hating monsters.  Turns out they were right to be skeptical, and in fact should’ve been more skeptical.  Not only should they have been questioning global warming, but also the scientists who supported the concept.  The scientific community has been profiting from huge grants and political power growth by propagating fear of extinction and global warming.  The media loves the global warming lie and the media is the backbone that pushes our nation toward a (dare I say) “Natural Capitalism”.  I wonder what term will be used to candy coat the capitalism.  It will have to be comparable to other great terms like “politically correct” and “diversity”.  I can hardly wait.  I’d like to be the owner of the advertising agency to come up with the slogan for it.  I love big money too.  I mean, come on … don’t you?
For that matter, I’d like a high ranking position in the “carbon credit” biz.  I mean, whole industries (like the automobile manufacturing industry, the oil industry…etc…)were required to buy these magical credits to offset their use of “fossil fuels”.  I’d really like to know how that works.  I mean, how does money change the effects? Seriously!?!?! For the love of God, make me understand how credit will help the environment.  How does the fact that I buy credit from you so that I can continue to do an act that is damaging to the environment help the environment? How does this make sense? But, big money in forcing people to do so none the less … and from what I gather, you can spend more to gain the rights to do more to create more damage.  Of course, it’s not worded that way exactly, but that is what it boils down to.  Brilliant!!! Brilliant indeed!!!!!!  And here’s an interesting tid bit; There were 3 major corporations who battled the climate change fraud which included none other than BP … yes, BP the very corporation who’s rig just sank in the Gulf of Mexico creating this disasterous tragedy we speak of.  Coincidental, isn’t it? But, it is essential to understand that the Cap & Trade Legislation (passed by the house and pending a senate vote last I checked) is based on false reports and threats by the EPA to begin regulating carbon dioxide emissions that has no legitimate basis in science.  Global warming a.k.a. Climate Change has no real basis for any law or expenditure of public funding as it no longer exists really.  It’s far past the time media should continue to refer to it as anything other than fraud.
So, people I implore you, think for yourselves and don’t be mislead.  Hold on to your freedoms and don’t be fooled by candy coated name games for “natural capitalism” or just plain capitalism.  Yes, coal mining is dangerous business … but it doesn’t have to be.  Just like oil drilling is dangerous business but doesn’t have to be.  Foreign suppliers and big taxes take away from our economy in more ways than one.  How great do we want this depression to get? Seriously! Do your homework & think for yourselves!