Yeesh, did I feel like crap this afternoon. Someone must have rubbed gravel in my contact lenses, or maybe it’s just allergies. I think I’m going to start speed-dating Alan’s antihistamine array and try to figure something that works, or it’s going to be a difficult summer, eye-wise.

On the other hand, I boxed at 6 a.m. today. The older I get, the more of a morning person I am. I’m perfectly happy riding my bike to the gym at 5:45 and hitting a heavy bag for half an hour. Just don’t expect coherence at 2 p.m.

An enormous storm threatened all day, and I watched it march relentlessly across Wisconsin, Lake Michigan and the lower peninsula. Words like derecho were in the forecast, which is a Spanish term meaning “charge your phone.” I believe it’s a straight-line wind, very concentrated. When Fort Wayne got hit by one a couple years ago, thousands were without power for days. So I came home, charged the phone, charged the laptop and…nothing happened. I mean, a sprinkle, followed by sunshine. The fearsome clouds punished Lansing, but not us.

So, then. Quickly, because I’m headed to bed:

It’s not over for the stars and bars, but when you lose Walmart, well…

And you know what? I don’t have much more. Think I’ll rub my eyes and hit the hay.

Posted at 12:48 am in Same ol' same ol' |

48 responses to “Sandy.”

  1. Dexter said on June 23, 2015 at 2:19 am

    I waited all day for the derecho to clobber us. Nothing. It was supposed to hit again at 2:00 AM for three solid hours of heavy intense rain and howling winds. So far…nothing. We still have to be on high alert until 5:00 AM however. Nuts…I am heading for the sack after watching one more half-hour episode of “Peep Show” the hilarious Brit comedy, which make me howl with laughter on a regular basis. Netflix.

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  2. coozledad said on June 23, 2015 at 6:47 am

    There’s never going to be a discussion on race in this country, and that was just underlined yesterday when the preliterates at Fox News boiled Obama’s frank, intelligent assessment of racism down to “He said nigger!”

    Our media has a child’s grasp of English. It’s absurd to pretend that any of these people would be competent to take a class on the history of slavery in this country and think they would walk away with anything other than some Disney shit in their heads. That white cocoon is too fucking thick.

    I don’t know if it’s because the history ultimately leads a rational person to ask “What is about people of European ancestry that makes them behave like a flesh devouring virus? Is there a genetic therapy in the works to make them human?”

    Maybe this is what makes those ugly, overgrown children uncomfortable to the point of stupidity.

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  3. Suzanne said on June 23, 2015 at 8:17 am

    It must be something odd in the air this year as my eyes have been itching and burning all spring. And I rarely have spring allergies. I’ve been taking Claritin and nasacort nasal spray and anti-allergy eyedrops and still there are days I can hardly stand to wear my contacts.

    That confederate flag is falling fast and hard. Kind of amazing, really.

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  4. alex said on June 23, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Fetching much less attention this week was the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the state of Texas in its refusal to issue confederate flag specialty license plates. Texas was challenged on a First Amendment basis and the court found that Texas doesn’t have to sponsor what everyone knows is tantamount to hate speech. When a big hotbed of southern belligerence like Texas has the good sense to turn the page without being pressured by a national media firestorm, I think it trumps Walmart, which is just reacting out of its usual public relations cravenness. Walmart also dropped some racy children’s clothing earlier this year when the media drew attention to it, and will probably stop selling guns and ammo when the moment is finally right in the not too distant future.

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  5. beb said on June 23, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Coolze, I blame Christianity (we’re going to be saved, you’re going to hell) or maybe Guns, Steel and Germs (excellent book).

    The ‘he said “nigger”‘ response from Fox News makes me wonder if they actually read the transcript? Of course it doesn’t matter because Fox News is notorious about editing comments to sound worse than they are. But the pearl-clutching is a Marvelous piece of theater distracting their vieweras from the various sensible things the president actually said.

    Nancy, I suspect the changing air pressure as the storm worked its way towards us is what caused your eyes to ache. It happens to me, too. And we did get a good thunderstorm after midnight so the weather forecast wasn’t entirely wrong.

    As for Walmart (use of the hyphen has been depreciated by the company), claim that they’ll remove Stars and bars themes items… I’ll believe it when I see it. (Northern stores, sure, southern stores? not so likely.)

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  6. Wim said on June 23, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Cooze, this morning in a biscuit joint I heard a graybeard redneck whining that he doesn’t get to say the N-word but Obama does and it just isn’t *fair*. I was surprised he kept saying ‘the N-word.’ Baby steps, I guess.

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  7. nancy said on June 23, 2015 at 8:50 am

    It wasn’t just Fox. The New York Times put it on Page One today, although at least they included a thoughtful explanation.

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  8. Dorothy said on June 23, 2015 at 8:51 am

    We had a derecho come through Knox County OH three summers ago (checked my Facebook pictures and it was June 29, 2012) and boy howdy I’d rather not see another one of those again. Lost power for four days – we had a well so we had no water, but thank goodness the campus had a source for us. I’ve gotten so used to air conditioning in the sweltering months that it was like torture to be without it, and no ability to run a fan either, so the still hot air about did us in.

    We had 6 pots with herbs (cilantro, basil, mint, etc.) on our back patio and all the relentless rain last week seems to have drowned them all. They’ve been drying out since Sunday but me thinks we should just dump them out and start over. I hope Lowes or other nurseries still have some of these plants – we’ll be searching this weekend!

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  9. Heather said on June 23, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Yesterday morning my friend texted me a radar image of the storm covering the entire state of Wisconsin, no joke. She knew I was flying home to Chicago from Boston that day. I was braced for a cancellation, but in fact we got out only an hour late. I tweeted a “thanks” to American Airlines.

    I listened to the Marc Maron podcast with Obama on the plane. It was great of course. A lot of pols try to engage with new media and it’s usually awkward, but Obama is always very cool and comfortable, none of this “Well, if this is what the kids are doing these days . . . ” And Maron wasn’t too awed to lead the conversation, but of course he only had an hour. I think most of his interviews go on for a bit longer.

    I knew that people were going to squawk about the n-word. But this is a guy who has doubtless been called that to his face a time or two.

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  10. Jolene said on June 23, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I haven’t listened to the whole Maron/Obama podcast yet, but, in what I did hear, there were two snippets that I especially liked.

    One occurred when Obama was talking about sorting himself out, deciding what he wanted to be and do. Among other questions, he said, he asked himself, “What is my code?” I thought that was such an endearingly young-man question. Underlying it is, “I’m young. I don’t know what I’m doing. I want to be cool. I want to be proud of myself.” Only a guy, I think, would put those concerns in terms of having a code.

    The second line that caught my attention was Maron talking about how, in past years, he’d been more tuned in to news and politics. He said, “I spent a couple of years running the country from my couch,” which cracked me up because, of course, that’s what I do. Obama liked it too, saying that he heard from a lot of people who have that occupation.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on June 23, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Jolene, a lot of governance also goes on from coffee shops and restaurants. 🙂

    It’s been a rough year for eye allergies here too, and I also don’t normally have problems in the spring. The idea that it could be changing air pressure intrigues me.

    Cynical me believes that Confederate items are going to creep right back into Walmart. I give it six months.

    Our power was out for several days when we had that derecho, and the first few were spent driving around looking for ice. Finally we realized it wasn’t worth it, cooked the meat, and threw out everything else. It went up to $7 for a small bag when you could find it. The desperation people were experiencing made me realize what a thin line exists between civility and chaos.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on June 23, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Well, damn, just when I needed a rebel flag so I could participate in June 27th’s Burn a Confederate flag day.

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  13. jcburns said on June 23, 2015 at 9:48 am

    A quick drive down a country road in any state east of the Mississippi will net you a Confederate flag to burn, Jeff. Of course you’ll probably have to retrieve it in a hail of gunfire from that trailer window.

    I want to package this up as a convenient curriculum on why there was a Civil War…for every young person in America to absorb. They need to read every word of Ta-nehisi Coates’ roundup of not extremist screed, but a broader level of discourse from the Southern political mainstream before, during, and after “the great unpleasantness.”

    One of my happiest days as a Georgian-not-by-birth was when Governor Roy Barnes yanked the Confederate symbol off our state flag. Sounds like SC and MS may be moving toward a more humane world, too. And Wal-mart, wow. When we go up north this summer, gonna check if Meijer is selling any confederate flag junk.

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  14. brian stouder said on June 23, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Let me hasten to agree with Jolene at 10 above, as I don’t like those (rare!) occasions when we interpret things differently…raising the all-too-likely prospect that I’m simply under-informed (aka wrong!)

    So, does the WalMart news mean no more Duck Dynasty stuff?

    and for the record, the Confederate battle flag cannot honestly be viewed as an innocuous bit of “heritage”, or a remembrance of ‘honorable’ service by Soutern troops. Remember that could have been no war, if all the original Confederates wanted was to be let alone, with regard to the continued existence of human slavery in “their” part of the United States.

    The fight was all about the expansion of human slavery, to all parts of the nation – and not just in the south. The election of President Lincoln – who had repeatedly promised to leave slavery alone where it existed – was enough for the South to start an aggressive war against the rest of the nation.

    The “heritage” crowd can go to hell, as far as I’m concerned

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  15. Kirk said on June 23, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Sorry if this sounds pedantic, but as someone else pointed out here some time ago, the obnoxious Confederate battle flag that’s such a hot topic is not the Stars and Bars.

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  16. coozledad said on June 23, 2015 at 10:03 am

    As long as this passes for history, the “noble cause” bullshit will continue to spawn generations of hick derp. Tell ’em what they want to hear, pwofessah!

    National Geographic picked this clown up from WVTF in Roanoke. He reminds me of something Hilary Mantel said in reference to historical fiction, but it goes for the broader importance of a study of history from source documents, without the interpolations of capitalist religion:
    (History) allows the youngest student to possess the ground equally with his elders; without a knowledge of history to give him a context for present events, he is at the mercy of every social misdiagnosis handed to him.

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  17. Jolene said on June 23, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for pointing out TNC’s history lesson, JC. It’s an excellent piece of work, and, indeed, everyone should read it. It’s astonishing, today, what people were not only willing to say in print, but what they said as a matter of principle.

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  18. nancy said on June 23, 2015 at 10:09 am

    A few weeks before the turn of the millennium, an old cast-iron water main broke in Fort Wayne, leaving a pretty big chunk of the city without water for a few hours. Shoving matches broke out at the grocery stores over bottled water, and I’m sure many were already at a slow-simmer Y2K panic already. Couldn’t have helped.

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  19. Jolene said on June 23, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for the agreement, Brian. I don’t like when we disagree either. 🙂

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 23, 2015 at 10:16 am

    A brief update from the road with semi-decent internetage:

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  21. Bitter Scribe said on June 23, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Hell, a few years ago Walmart was caught selling T-shirts with the emblem of the Nazi SS death’s head battalion. (To be fair, it was due to some bonehead low-level buyer who didn’t know what they were, and Walmart pulled them soon after it came to light.)

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  22. coozledad said on June 23, 2015 at 10:32 am

    People continue to say astonishing things. Here’s the former head of the RNC:

    I like the “I’m not offended by “our flag” slip.” The Confederate flag IS his flag. It’s the flag of his donors at the CCC, it’s the state flag of Mississippi and it might as well have been the flag of the Republican party from Nixon forward. Of course he isn’t offended. It reminds him of the good old days.

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  23. alex said on June 23, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Brian, it’s astounding that until now so many have refused to recognize the disingenuousness of the rebel flag’s defenders. It’s no more a symbol of southern heritage than the swastika is a symbol of German heritage, and the only purpose for waving it around is to intimidate and offend.

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  24. AndreaJ said on June 23, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I drive by 3 or 4 confederate flags on my daily commute and see maybe another 1 or 2 flying from the backs of very large pick-up trucks on any given day. We live in a semi-rural area right on the Mason Dixon line – the Northern side. One flag flew in front of a house that was up for sale for over 2 years. (I wonder why the house took so long to sell?) The people who finally bought it drive a hybrid with a Hillary bumper sticker and the flag is long gone.

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  25. ROGirl said on June 23, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Alex, I didn’t want to be the first one to bring up the swastika/confederate flag analogy, but I’ve been thinking it.

    As far as “honoring” history goes, there’s this from James Joyce, a thought from Stephen Dedalus: “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” If Pros were here I hope he would appreciate the Ulysses reference.

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  26. Snarkworth said on June 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    The confederate battle flag is part of my family heritage, too. It was carried by the soldiers who wounded my great-grandfather and killed his brother.

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  27. Icarus said on June 23, 2015 at 11:33 am

    i’m wondering if I should stock up on confederate flags and make a killing through eBay sales? What about Dukes of Hazard’s General Lee (vehicle)?

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  28. LAMary said on June 23, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Icarus, I suspect you will have a lot of competition.

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  29. Deborah said on June 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    For those of you who clicked on Jeff (tmmo)’s link, here’s a little back story: The Taos Pueblo has a North and South presence, a lovely stream divides them. They have governance in each segment and each takes turns running the whole Pueblo, every two years or so they switch (I think). This is how it used to be anyway, don’t know if it’s still that way. The reason for the switching back and forth was/is to alleviate the natural human inclination to have conflict among groups. The North side has the tallest building, thus blocked the wind better and the plaza area is south facing, so is more comfortable in the winter months. The style of architecture, obviously called Pueblo style, has been adopted all over NM. Santa Fe dictates that you can only build in Pueblo style or Territorial style (which has some added brick trim) within the city limits (with a few exceptions). Early in the 20th century Santa Fe adopted this style of architecture around the “downtown” plaza as a ploy to attract tourists. It caught on and now is the norm all over. Of course this is all from memory, having read it somewhere a long time ago, so I may be totally wrong about some of it. Here’s a link about NM Pueblos and here’s a link to some more info about the Taos Pueblo.

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, we’re going to a feast day this evening at a Pueblo near here called Ohkay Owingeh, it used to be called the San Juan Pueblo until a few years ago they went back to their native name. We were going to go on Weds but I’ve heard from people in the know, that is when all the tourists go and it will be super hot during the daytime. They have dances on Tues evening too, and most important it will be cooler in the evening.

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  30. Deborah said on June 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Oops, here’s the link to more info about the Taos Pueblo

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  31. Sherri said on June 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Too late, Icarus. Ebay has banned Confederate flag sales:

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  32. brian stouder said on June 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Isn’t this sort of like getting caught in flagrante delicto, and pulling up the covers?

    If it is wrong this week (and it is), wasn’t it wrong last week?

    But indeed, this is looking a gift horse in the mouth, I suppose. Advancement is advancement

    (and that Ta-nehisi Coates article JC linked was marvelous, indeed)

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  33. Icarus said on June 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    well there go Moose & Squirrels’ 529 startup funds.

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  34. Deborah said on June 23, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I know a lot of you read Talking Points Memo, and maybe someone already commented with this link, but here goes anyway

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  35. Sue said on June 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    The flag discussion is great and long overdue, but…
    Notice how it’s distracted everyone from that other discussion? The one about how to stop the ongoing game of massacre bingo? When our card has enough slaughter events of enough different groups, do we finally get to talk about it? Deal with it?
    Of course not. Gabby Giffords is still being harassed, piles of dead children still don’t trump Joe the Plumber’s rights, and we’ve moved on from a Sikh temple to an African-American church.
    My cynical inner core says this flag thing is orchestrated diversion. This isn’t people coming together to do the right thing, having a revelation that wakes them up to moral behavior. This is damage control.

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  36. brian stouder said on June 23, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    and not for nothing, but those Second Amendment gun-fetishists ought to read the Fifteenth Amendment again –

    XV Section 1. The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation

    Notice the word “abridged” – which covers lots of ground….(gerrymandering voters, burdonsome voter ID laws, and limited voting hours leading to long lines leap to mind)

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  37. brian stouder said on June 23, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    a non-sequitur:

    Dahlia Lithwick (spelling?) was on Ms Maddow’s show last night, and had several interesting things to say, as this SCOTUS winds toward the finish line. One thing I’d seriously begun to wonder was whether this isn’t some vanity on the part of the SCOTUS; drawing out the process and building up anticipation. As it happened, Ms Lithwick addressed this specific thing, saying she used to think they did exactly that – sort of stage managing the release of really big decisions. But she then stated that this is really NOT the case. On all the biggest decisions, everyone wants to write their opinions, and answer back whatever the argument was on the other side, and refine and edit and rewrite…and I found this oddly comforting

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  38. nancy said on June 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    What Sue said. How did this story go, in just a few days, from nine people dead to the stars and bars?

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  39. Colleen said on June 23, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Alex, thank you for the Nazi flag comparison. Like RoGirl, I didn’t want to be the first to bring it up, since yelling “nazi” on the internet isn’t viewed as a good debating skill. But really. What is the difference between the “heritage” of the Confederate flag and that of the Nazi flag? Germans could claim it as part of their heritage as well, but have the good sense not to. What ELSE can the Confederate flag stand for but a place and time that was shameful? And the fact that it’s so often paired with the Nazi flag by mouth breathing idiot sticks should say something….

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  40. coozledad said on June 23, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Bill Kristol, apologist for American fascism:

    Neocon really is just short for NeoConfederate.

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  41. susan said on June 23, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Being a stickler here, but this is the “stars and bars” flag. The redneck pissant one is the the confederate battle flag.

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  42. Sherri said on June 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    I’ve expressed my support for gun control here many times, but I still think that getting rid of the Confederate flag matters. It’s been an accepted part of polite society, and officially sanctioned in far too many states, not just a redneck symbol. That has to end. We’ll never eradicate it, but we can make it too toxic for anybody other than rednecks to defend.

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  43. Sherri said on June 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    If there’s any doubt that Confederate flag support and Lost Cause mythology isn’t just limited to rednecks, but also still lives among those with power, read this:

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  44. MichaelG said on June 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Never heard of a “derecho” storm.

    On the news this evening there was a shot of the South Carolina State Capitol with the US and South Carolina flags at half-staff and in the same shot was the Confederate flag at full staff. Shows their heritage. Why are all the TV people calling it the “State House” rather than the “Capitol”. Why do they keep calling it the “Confederate Battle Flag” rather than just the “Confederate Flag”?

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  45. Deborah said on June 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I met Jeff (tmmo)!!! It’s so cool to meet nn.c people face to face. More on this later.

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  46. Kirk said on June 23, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Because it is the Confederate battle flag (did I mention that it isn’t the Stars and Bars?). There was no one Confederate flag, but several.

    The seat of government in Ohio is known as the Statehouse. No one calls it the Capitol.

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  47. Jolene said on June 23, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Big rainstorm here and have had no electricity for a couple of hours. The DC area is famous for extended power outages. Hope this one doesn’t last too long.

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  48. brian stouder said on June 23, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Deborah – very cool; and Jefftmmo, great video!

    our next big travel goal will be Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam; but another western trek to see Yellowstone/Little Big Horn may win out (if I get a vote)

    One key point to gently remind people about, is that the damned Confederacy started the war; and they didn’t start it to “preserve” there way of life, but instead to aggressively assert that slavery was exist EVERYWHERE in America, period.

    The “North” – aka the United States of America – was attacked by the organized insurrectionists, and fought against the destruction of whole whole American idea.

    Indeed, President Lincoln did issue the Emancipation Proclamation in late 1862 – but note: that proclamation very (very) specifically proclaimed freedom for slaves in areas that the United States (aka the Union) did NOT control – and left slavery untouched in “border” states that were under Union control.

    We specifically did not free slaves that we had the power to free; and specifically did proclaim emancipation for slaves that were then beyond our control.

    The Southern sons of bitches (aka “the slave power”) were given one last mulligan; one last all-ee all-ee in-free way to drop the damned war and keep “their” slaves, and they skipped it.

    So when I hear code words like “heritage” and all the rest, I immediately think bullshit-bullshit-bullshit.

    Honestly, is this any different than when Reagan visited the SS graves at Bitburg? Bad guys are bad guys are bad guys – and to hell with hateful “heritage”

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