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09 July 2015


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William R. Cumming

A boil pricked or a volcano lying dormant?



You really ought to read this - http://www.unz.com/pgottfried/the-neocons-confederate-problem-and-americas/


You put me into a serious emotional twist on that, and no, I am no fan of the type of emotional outbursts like the tide turning speech your first links leads us to.

But yes, in a way it feels to me as some type of shadowboxing. The flag itself is quite beautiful. If you ban it, and that is the German experience, what other symbols will arise to substitute it. They may be much less easy to read, even less easy then the flag.

I am a fan of Jonathan Capehart, I have to admit, and he writes this about the Confederate Flag:
"To have that racist banner wave would be the height of disrespect."

Maybe he is right, I'll check some other people. But he will still be confronted with people that fly it in their backyards, and may not be able to find out every single reason for that.

And now I follow your link. ;)



The fist and the 'fro are "out'a sight" but ascendant, because you know white Southerners are racists best symbolized by Dylann Roof, who sure wasn't a mentally ill drug user but the average Southern white male. Meanwhile documented felon and undocumented alien Francisco Sanchez, who murdered a woman in sanctuary city San Francisco, is NOT I repeat NOT the average Hispanic immigrant. Any correlation to voting patterns and party affiliation between said groups (White male, Hispanic and African Americans of both sexes) is just purely coincidental. This has nothing, really nothing trust me, to do with political power.


I didn't expect to be so angry, that surprised me.

Who are these people to denigrate a culture they know so little of? And they have such a poor knowledge of the war, and what their supposed heroes fought for.

Let the dead and heir memorials rest.

- Eliot


Well Col,

As you told me once, (paraphrasing) "you have been taught to hate the South...shut up and read Shelby Foote's Civil War Trilogy"...sage advice indeed...Kind of inoculated me at least by a third from the past three-to-four weeks of non-stop Rainbow Flags, Confederate Battle Flags and Sharks... and left room to cast one's gaze upon the effect of throwing Saddam's officers on the street to starve and the ongoing delusional and frightening march to nuclear exchange over a coup governed, fascist ridden Ukraine among other potential game changers like the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement...


Col. Lang -

The neocons hate Southern Whites? Join the crowd. I'm a northern liberal, they don't exactly have tender feelings for me either.


I always loved it when they played Slow Dixie at Ol' Miss.


The practice ended in 2009 when the administration banned the song. They've also changed mascots and renamed Confederate Way in an effort to appease critics.

- Eliot



I can only try to combat ignorance with knowledge. I once again recommend Shelby Foote's "The Civil War: A Narrative." pl


Let the dead rest, indeed. I have been following with interest the current effort to dig up the bodies of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife and move them from the Park Formerly Known as Forrest. Here's a good article in The Huffington Post about Forrest's involvement with the KKK:


"But even this Forrest critic can admit that the Klan founder did one great thing for this country. He disbanded the KKK, and even worked to fight those who wanted to keep it going."



I was raised in the first generation of suburban kids in Seattle. I still live in the suburbs. I worked with college educated yuppies. The only time in my life I was around rural Southerners was in the US Army. We hardly tolerated each other. I have more in common with urban educated blacks. I just learned that the Duke of Hazard’s Confederate Flag is a 1960’s offspring of the backlash to the civil rights movement.

This is wedge politics. Get 51% of the vote and stay in power. The basic problem of neo-conservatives and neo-liberals is that they represent a very small proportion of the American population: pro-Israel and wealthy. They have manipulated “us versus them” human prejudices to control America. The real question is how long how can they remain in power and can the American state continue to exist when their hatreds have restarted the Cold War with Russia and made a billion and half Sunni Muslims America’s blood enemy? Their end game is selling off government functions for a profit and transferring rule to undemocratic transnational super-institutions; all inherently anti-American.

SAC Brat

A dumb question from the slow guy in the back of the class.

If the War Between the States was about slavery predominantly, wouldn't that be represented in the soldiers correspondences, in the newspaper editorials and letters to the editors of newspapers? There must be tons of letters and newspapers that would settle the issue of what the people at that time were fighting for, which may not match the current popular version of history. I ask because a few years ago the Reading PA newspaper reprinted several war time articles, editorials and letters that were critical of the Lincoln administration and gave a good insight into the mood of the area during the war. Something that always amazes me is how much documentation is available from various times in the US and I always found it best to read the direct source to be sure some scholar's interpretation had some link to the reality at the time. Old newspapers are a lot of fun to read to see what people were thinking (or were being told to think about) at various times in the past, versus what we think they should have known.

Reading a collection of Ambrose Bierce's newspaper columns got me started on that path, and realizing a lot of popular topics are not new.


All the black band members must have been sick that day.


Interesting article. It's always been amazing to me that folks in the South vote Republican when they have nothing in common with the financiers of the Republican Party.



Were there any? OTOH band members in Confederate Army bands were often Black. They were at Gettysburg. pl



It's surprising to me that folks in Baltimore keep voting Democratic when they've nothing in common with the financiers of the Democratic Party. How's family and job stability for Black Americans there after fifty years of Democratic leadership?


turcopolier wrote: 'Were there any?'

I watched it twice and I didn't see any.

I'm not sure having blacks in Confederate Army bands means anything since we don't know if they were doing it of their own free will or if they even knew they had an alternative (if they did).

I'll say this at this point in time. I'm about sick of hearing about it. The country has more immediate problems we should be discussing.


VietnamVet wrote: 'Their end game is selling off government functions for a profit and transferring rule to undemocratic transnational super-institutions; all inherently anti-American.'

Which is why what is going on in Greece is so important. Go Greece.


You can't reason with schizophrenic cultists.

Sidney O. Smith III

SAC Brat
Look behind you in the very last row of the class. That’s me. I agree completely: if you want to find the truth, look at sources you mentioned.

Prof. Gary Gallagher has done some amazing work along those lines.
As for the Union cause, click here:

(And he does emphasize Union cause, not a war of “liberation”.)

As for the Confederacy, click here


He also offers a “great course” on CSA military leaders of ANV. (online course).

Don’t worry; I believe he is a Westerner with no vested interest.

NBF was a military genius, imo. You don’t want to lose that tradition via politics.
Recommend Wyeth if you haven’t read it already. Wow.

Lincoln had the guts to look West for military leaders. Grant.

JDavis? Don’t see it myself.

The Federals were scared to death of NBF; hence a lot of the false accusations from the North during “the war”, imo.

It’s not 1964 in the South anymore. That is part of the “wedge politics” about which you speak. Anyone who says it is still 1964 is up to no good. Trust me.

The Deep South may very well be more integrated than any other place in the USA.
You got it right though…it’s all about wedge politics and perhaps hiding other more insidious activities that no one wants the American people to see. Hmmm….need to mull that over a bit.

Love Seattle btw. Wife to be and her older son are out there now; took the public catamaran earlier today to Victoria island before off to Vancouver. What’s up about all this haze? I told her the air was amazingly clear and beautiful in PNW.

I told her I wouldn’t be surprised if she returned wearing rose tinted glasses and looking like a “dead head” where she says, “Well, we walked into what I thought was a herbal shop, selling this special kind of oregano they offered in a tea. Next thing I knew I was at the top of the Space Needle thinking about the cosmos. Sid, you wouldn’t believe the grandeur of it all.” Just kidding, just kidding. Will be curious to see how that legislation works out and it may very well be the future.



You have a problem in arguing with me about the WBS. It is that I command a lifetime's worth of data derived from study of primary records while you are venting your POV. The Black bandsmen in the 1st Virginia Infantry Regiment at Gettysburg were all pre-war bandsmen in the Richmond militia battalion that became the 1st Virginia. You think they were marched in chains to Pennsylvania where they played Pickett's division across the field? You really believe that? Perhaps you do not know that because of his White casualties Lee lacked the manpower to march his numerous Union Army prisoners home. To do that he used armed Black bandsmen, cooks, teamsters etc. as guards on the march to the Potomac. I find your attitude toward Blacks who served with the Confederates as employees of the army to be paternalistic and insulting to their memory. The US archives contains thousand of the personnel records of these men surrendered at the end of the war. pl



Lincoln had the band play Dixie when he was in Richmond after its fall. He said it was their country.
Lincoln also said the only way to destroy your enemy was to make them your friend.

Yes, the flag controversy is a distraction from more important problems. It suits Obama well.

Donald Johnson

Were these black employees of the Confedrerate army slaves?

I found links about this and it sounds like they were




The haze is just hideous. I've lived in the Seattle area for decades and never seen anything quite like it. I'm told that much of the haze originates from forest fires up in British Columbia. However, there are so many people moving to the Seattle area every month that the number of autos is horrendous. I now take the bus whenever possible, as the same distance that I used to cover in 25 minutes in my car can now take over an hour - if I'm lucky.

Vietnam Vet can correct me, but I'd say that Seattle was still kind of a 'small town' even up to the mid-1980s. Then Microsoft started taking off, and McCaw Cellular (which later sold to AT&T), the University of Washington and other colleges, as well as Boeing, Nordstrom (or, as we call it here 'Nordy's'), Starbuck's, and the ports continued to expand. Then in the 90s, Amazon started up, and it is now building about 90 floors of commercial space down in an area of Seattle that is also a biotech hub. (Amazon's cloud services alone are a vast business, and the Pacific NW's traditionally lower energy costs have made it attractive to people fond of building server farms. Meh.)

I can stand on a corner in Seattle and count 10 construction cranes at a time -- the place is simply booming. And of course, Seahawks mania and all the pretty pictures of Seattle in every televised pro sports event exacerbates the stampede.

Overall, the Puget Sound region is even more Asian than it used to be; a friend who helps with strategic planning for a very large business in this region said their most recent projections estimate the population will be at least 40% Asian by 2040. I suspect it will be higher than that by 2030. In the meantime, 'Eastside' (Tech Corridor) addresses are being listed in English and Mandarin. Homes are being purchased for cash, and if they are condos -- depending on whether the floor has the correct feng shui -- they are also being snapped up, presumably as investments by some hedgie in Hong Kong or... 'wherever'.

My cousins assure me that Seattle's current haze is still nothing compared with Beijing's horrific air pollution, but I'm not sure that us Seattlites can stand much more of this heat and appalling air quality.

Hideously, the apricots are already in. They are generally an August crop.
The strawberries were over by late June; they are generally a 4th of July treat.
We have **never** had tomatoes growing until late July - this year, they are already fist-sized and ripening (in Seattle -- this is creepy).

As for the 'strange oregano': a very politically conservative friend of mine phoned from Southern Cal just after we 'Warshingtonians' legalized cannabis. She was in a state of disbelief, until I pointed out that our state taxes can't begin to keep up with the needs of our schools, etc, I sensed plenty of people joined me in believing that the Drug Lords should not keep all that filthy lucre -- we need a cut of the proceeds just to educate our kids. And in this region, education is next to Godliness, so ... if it means legalizing pot, so be it. The state is licensing the retail outlets, and I see more of them all the time.

As for all those cars on the roads contributing to the air pollution because they are stalled in endless lines of traffic, Seattle thought itself a 'small town' for so long that people voted down the chance at federal money because they didn't want light rail and all the social and 'big city' problems it can create. Surprise!!
Seattle turned into a 'Big City' with only buses as its 'transit system'.
I'm told that Atlanta got the light rail money; I leave it to others at SST to report on how well that thing works.

Light rail is being built in Seattle, and of course these same yahoos that handed out far too many building permits per acre and create the traffic problems are at the helm of the light rail billions -- a whole other topic...

Meanwhile, many of Seattle's newer commuters (tech, biotech, and medicine) prefer biking. Which would be great if we had decent bike paths. My friends in the medical field refer morbidly to Seattle's downtown bike commuters as 'organ donors'. (Some of those same docs also ride bikes themselves, but ALWAYS with a top-notch helmet, plus blinky lights, plus fluorescent clothing. And on bike paths whenever it is possible.)
This city has a long way to go before its really safe for biking.

So I hope your future wife has a great visit, but please DON'T move here.
You seem wonderful and open minded and erudite, but we don't need any more people.
I might make an exception for Pope Francis, but that's about it.
We can be hospitable, but we're a lot more hospitable if we know you are only visiting, and not moving here ;-)
In that respect, some of us Pacific Northwesterners are far less hospitable than what I hear of the South.

From Puget Sound Regional Council of Governments on population stats: http://www.psrc.org/assets/2782/trend-d3.pdf


Hmm, I see the song "the south will rise again" was considered offensive, when the started to sing it in 2004?:


It no doubt could also refer to a success of a Southern football team.


Ok the teams marching band is:

Any chance you can help me concerning the song?

Ah, that's why passages sound so familiar. At a lower level in school we were taught and sang all these American traditionals, could one have been "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"?:


"When Ole Miss reestablished itself as relevant in college football again in 2003, during the playing of "Slow Dixie" (a mash up of "Dixie" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"), the student section began to substitute the words "the South will rise again" in place of "his truth is marching on" (see video below at 1:58). The Ole Miss student government passed a resolution trying to incite the student section to instead chant "to hell with LSU" in place of the controversial lyrics, but to no avail. Finally, in 2009, Ole Miss's chancellor asked the band to stop performing "Slow Dixie."

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