Confederate Battle

There comes a point where you have to say wait a big, fat minute.  Have we all forgotten history? I love this Facebook post by  Leonard J. Siebert.

“Interesting take on the Confederate flag but first we need to address your headline claim of ignorance and racism.

In 1860, northern and western electoral votes ...

In 1860, northern and western electoral votes (shown in red) put Lincoln into the White House.

The United States began its first Civil War on April 12th 1861, by all historic and documented accounts; Abraham Lincoln issued the ‘presidential order’, the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. So your premise that the Civil War was started over slavery, is not supported by the chronological timeline.

When we address cause and effect attempting to pigeon hole a cause can cause erroneous conclusions. Why in your article you claim ‘slavery’ as the cause of the Civil War, the actual historic cause is cited as the secession by seven states in the south, whose economies were all based on cotton. While I cannot deny that there were slaves in those states and slavery in any form is wrong; we need to know what caused the secession of these states as that has been cited as the cause of the Civil war.

Abraham Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton and Major...

Abraham Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton and Major General John Alexander McClernand at the Battle of Antietam.

Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election without being on the ballot in ten of the southern states. His victory triggered declarations of secession by those states.

In general Economic and social differences between the North and the South is cited as the top factor contributing to the actual war with State’s rights versus Federal rights (an interesting parallel, playing out currently) and finally the fight between abolitionists and slave owners, is cited as the third contributing cause with varied degrees and schools of thought as to whom and what was involved.

While Massachusetts was one of the first states to rule slavery unconstitutional, a decision of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts based on that states Constitution of 1780. It was in 1780 that Pennsylvania passed the ‘Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery’ that freed the future children of slaves. Those born prior to the Act remain enslaved for life. The Act becomes a model for other Northern states. Last of that states slaves were freed 1847.

The cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney on March 14, 1794 and could be cited as a point of conversion of America’s society from agrarian culture into an industrial one although most historians cite 1760 as the transition year, due to labor going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power, and the development of machine tools.

I however bring up the cotton gin as the South had long relied on hand labor and agriculture, economically they could not compete with the North and as machines became more efficient and autonomous, slavery was already headed the way of the dinosaur in most industrialized countries; save for the Middle East, that still boast a rather booming and active slave trade.

The key points to take from this is; Slavery was not the chief cause of the Civil War but it was a cause and even us ignorant Southern Okies, have a better grasp of history than you do.

Let me take this a step further with your comment:

“Defenders of the flag need to realize that after the Civil War, nobody was flying this thing, including Robert E. Lee. It is funny how “heritage” didn’t suddenly become important until the descendants of the people who used to be slaves suddenly started to get the same rights they had.”

Did you bother to read this for how contradictory this statement is to the heart of your angst against the Confederate flag? If nobody was flying it; not even Robert E. Lee, than your representation of it being a symbol, like that of the Nazi flag, being one of hate; suddenly becomes negated.

However you were accusing Southerners of ignorance and this is about me highlighting you own or are you just lying. The South had many flags during the Civil War and this caused a great deal of confusion during combat as many resembled ‘Old Glory’. That was what flags and banners are for, you know, identification and communication of combat units, at a distance, during battle, before ‘radio’ existed. Yet addressing your erroneous point more directly:

“On November 28, 1861, Confederate soldiers in General Robert E. Lee’s newly reorganized Army of Northern Virginia received the new battle flags in ceremonies at Centreville and Manassas, Virginia, and carried them throughout the Civil War. Beauregard gave a speech encouraging the soldiers to treat this new flag with honor and that it must never be surrendered.

Many soldiers wrote home about the ceremony and the impression the flag had upon them, the “fighting colors” boosting morale after the confusion at the Battle of First Manassas. From that point on, the battle flag only grew in its identification with the Confederacy and the South in general. Later, a 13th star was added for Kentucky.”

So, what does the above factual history about the Confederate Battle Square or ‘Stars and Bars’, mean in context to your article. It means that you and your editors are either very ignorant of the Civil War, very stupid or lying and using a hate filled rant full of erroneous propaganda to incite more hate against a symbol that will forever be etched in American history; like it or not.

So where was all your righteous indignation over the Confederate flag for the last 154 other years of history or did you only just learn to write? Perhaps you need to devote more time to reading before you start spouting off about history or any other subject.

Basically I have proven the subject matter you used to make your points erroneous; as such the entire headline you maintain is equally erroneous. I am not denying that racism exists, it does but the Confederate Battle Square is not the representation of it, as you are trying so desperately to claim. It is rather a reminder of a tragic point in our history, one that should not be forgotten, ever.

After all, those who do not remember the sins of the past; are doomed to repeat them.  Based on the your article; I’d say your more than half-way there.”

– By Leonard J. Siebert

Thank you Mr. Siebert for setting people straight.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

This post was written in response to this article: “Dirt Ignorant, Flag Waving Bigots Out in Force Across the South“.

Note: The graphics I added.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, everyone! Please take a moment to remember what this day represents: standing up to oppression and a statement of freedom.

Declaration of IndependenceThis day is not about the formation of the United States, but of the dissolution of the bonds the American  colonists had with England, a remote entity who didn’t share their values, interests or goals. England imposed  her will on the colonists without proper representation — deciding  their fates based on grand self-interest.

The current administration usually adorns these types of declarations with one of the adorable phrases “we can’t wait” or “for the children.” Nevertheless, these are abuses on their face and no amount of decorative wording can justify these actions.

The great men we call the Signers and Founders did not start by creating a new government to replace what they had, but first agreed that whatever may happen, what they had was severely broken, and knowing that regardless of what MIGHT come in the future, that what they were already subjected to was simply unacceptable.

The Signers had no way of knowing that several years in the future their efforts would eventually lead to a functional democratic republic.

As a developer I believe in having a true understanding of all inputs and potential complications before opening up an IDE, but when your life and liberty are on the line it’s all too often important to act impulsively. Remember this the next time you’re treated like a war criminal for refusing to submit to bogus “authority,” are threatened with force if you dare step outside  your “free speech zone”  or are declared an enemy combatant simply for disagreeing with Dear Leader.

Bald Eagle by Águila calva CC BY-SA 3.0The Declaration of Independence, for which this holiday is named, identifies twenty-seven (27) distinct classes of violations against the colonists. Fully twenty-two (22) of these are being actively repeated by the current administration and other recent administrations.  Of the remaining five, three are likely already happening as well — the incomprehensible lack of government transparency shrouds far too many of their actions. Moreover, there are plenty of additional offenses against us taking place each and every day, such as the gross invasion of our privacy by the NSA. Are we really supposed to believe that “person, papers and effects” doesn’t include our computers, telephones or travel?

Since the passage of the 16th amendment, which provided the federal government with it’s very own wishing well, our nation has gone to hell in a hand-basket. The last hundred years our nation has decayed more and more, providing a roost for some of  the worst mankind has to offer. From war profiteering to false flags to backroom deals for lobbyists…our elected representatives would do well to wear the logos for the brands and companies who sponsor each of their activities, for so rarely are they truly representing the interests of their actual  constituents. We can no longer stand idle while these people perform their ghastly deeds in secret, in our names. Sadly, “voting the bums out” when the only alternatives proffered are two sides of the same coin isn’t a realistic solution.

The worst part of it is that this has been in the works for so very long. Our nation flounders because we are so easily divided. The last several Presidents, while on television during (and I use this term in protest) “debates”  they portrayed their actions and positions as heatedly different, each performed in exactly the same ways. Taken as a whole, there has been nothing done by any of them to distinguish them from one another.  You would be hard-pressed to look at the individual actions of any of them and be able to identify exactly which person, or which political party, had done.

Not to be outdone, congress alternates between doing nothing at all and doing everything wrong. Personally, I would rather survive without  the added oppression imposed by “look-busy legislators”, so I pray for stalemate rather than compromise. My darling wife is very fond of saying, “when both houses of congress agree — you can be sure there’s a greater-than-normal conspiracy underway.” Some of the greatest offenses against the American public have been at the hands of a united and near-unanimous majority. Sigh.

This month I’m going to write about each of the reasons the Signers declared independence from England and how that applies to our lives today.  After 238 years, are we falling into the same trap?  Come back and visit. And tell a friend.

-Shawn

The NSA’s Own ‘6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon’

If the NSA is  harvesting data 2-3 points from everyone (and yes, they are), they have a map way more intricate that anything we could ever collect on our own. They know everything about everyone who has ever talked to anyone who has ever talked to anyone you have ever talked to. Think about that.

English: Kevin Bacon.

English: Kevin Bacon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In perspective, 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon  only requires “a link” at  some point in two people’s lives, nothing more substantial than a name in the credits. Yet, the NSA is collecting data 3 people away from everyone for every communication or other ‘link’. Everyone.

Oh, I’m sure that  many  will interpret the phrase  “terrorist suspects” to mean only the  million or so people  on the public  terrorist watchlist, but that doesn’t actually include the other “suspects” such as those who support the Constitution – you know, like every law enforcement officer, military member and duly elected representative in America is sworn to do.

Do you bank at BofA, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of the recent Boston Bombings  also banks? That’s a “link.”

Do you use Facebook, where there are literally dozens of Al Qaeda affiliated groups? That’s a “link.”

Have you visited Twitter or Youtube, where the digital terror group (if you accept the FBI’s terminology)  ‘Anonymous’ shares information about their activities? That’s a “link,” too.

Or, admittedly my favorite example, did you vote for President Barack Obama, who has provided weapons to militant terrorists abroad  and personally signed off on the sale of guns used in well over 200 Mexican murders? That’s a “link.”

Oh, did you think you had to have actual contact with these people in order for it to count? Bah. Clearly you’re not familiar with how the law is abused in America today. Each time someone tells me I’m blowing things out of proportion with my pessimistic view of government, I send them the following links:

I read an article yesterday from the NY Daily News that tried so very hard to dispel the theory that the NSA is the American Stasi. His reasoning is perfectly sound, as long as you are willing to bury your head in the ground and believe every lie told to you.

The Stasi only wishes they had the ability to track and record every single movement and communication, along with legal authority to ‘disappear you‘ without judicial oversight. Where the Stasi  failed, our government has not only succeeded, but excelled. Why stop with targeting of those who are actually intending to do ill – heck, even after multiple warnings the Boston Marathon will never be the same. Meanwhile, Shia LeBeouf tells it like it was…OVER FIVE YEARS AGO:

Surely they don’t think the ever-goofy Shia is a terrorist? Must be the hair, right? Are you fed up yet?

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