Sunday, June 28, 2015

Flag Flap

The Confederate Battle Flag under fire ... again

As seems to be the norm whenever there's a flag controversy anywhere in the "land of the free" there's a parallel with out little college town.  Take flag removal for instance.

Yesterday an activist shimmied up a 30 foot flagpole to remove the Confederate flag from a Civil War monument on public grounds in South Carolina.

She had to use tree climbing gear because the flag is fixed at that position all the way up, hence it cannot be brought down to half-staff, or all the way down for easy removal.

In Amherst back in 2004, days after the relection of President Bush, a local woman -- also known as an "activist" -- removed a flag from immediately in front of Amherst Town Hall, just below the United Nations flag.

Of course in her case it was pretty easy to accomplish since the flag is attached to a pulley system.

She mistakenly thought the flag of Puerto Rico was the state flag of Texas put up to honor the reelection of George W. Bush, and took matters into her own naive hands.

The flag pole in front of Town Hall, erected in 1972 to specifically fly the UN flag, somewhat routinely flies other flags under it for special commemorations including the Rainbow Flag that briefly replaced it after gay marriage was first legalized in our state many years ago.  

Recently the Black Liberation Flag was flown to commemorate Black History Month, or the Children's Flag flies in April to raise awareness for National Child Abuse Prevention month.  And yes, the Puerto Rican flag still flies annually as well. 

The Children's Memorial Flag flies in April under the UN flag

Perhaps we can get the ACLU to create a First Amendment flag so we can be reminded or our sacred duty to uphold it no matter how messy the going gets.

Redundant perhaps, since that is precisely what the American flag represents.

The BIG American Flag will fly for July 4th in town center as will the 29 commemorative flags


Jackie M'Vemba said...

Lincoln, that greatest of all Republicans said in his second Inaugural: "with malice towards none.. ". Apparently, there's plenty of malice stll left to go around. I see a day coming when even your freedom of religion is gonna be against the law.

Anonymous said...

Very disconcerting this week was the president's reference to the White House is "his house." It is the people's house. The various occupants are only borrowing it for a short period.

Jackie M'Vemba said...

The full Last paragraph of Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Anonymous said...

Whom has the Confederate flag hurt? It may hurt your feelings, I suppose. But really, we make ourselves feel any which way we want to feel. You can't make me sad. You can't make me happy. Or offended. Only I can make myself feel any which way. I don't own any Southern Rock songs, or any Confederate, ISIS or Nazi Party symbols, but if you do, it bothers me not at all

Larry Kelley said...

I wanted to use a photo of the flag CNN described as an ISIS flag that turned out to be sex toys.

Anonymous said...

I'm for flying that flag too! Lol

Anonymous said...

Charity towards all. Now THAT really would be something. But as my niece says, "I hate Republicans!" I wonder if she really does hate Lincoln, for example. Or (gulp) Me! I don't think they're teaching that second inaugural address in the schools. They should . Oh--I guess it's that disconcerting reference to the person said, soon enough your home Bible reading will be unlawful.

Anonymous said...

Dude, the "Lincoln as Republican" argument is so.... well, let's just say it speaks volumes about your ignorance.

Anonymous said...

The person is correct. Lincoln was a Republican. How does that make him or her ignorant? Nor would I think that referring to the speech in question is out of place in any discussion of the Confederacy.

Anonymous said...

It makes the person ignorant because Repubs want to claim Lincoln as one of their own. Clearly (CLEARLY) the Republican party of today bears no resemblance to the mid-19th century. For all intents and purposes, Lincoln's values were against those of today's Republican party.

Anonymous said...

Look it up bub. Like it or not, Abe was (R.). I'm sure the Dems in thise days weren't like the d's of today either. Most of those southern Democrats supported slavery.

Anonymous said...

Lol. Too funny. Another flaming moonbat who cannot live with the fact that the guy who emancipated the slaves, and died for it, was a Republican. Are you trying to tell us he was a Democrat? Go ahead. Rewrite history.

Dr. Ed Part 1 said...

What people need to think about as they celebrate gay "marriage" is that little part about being careful about what you ask for lest you get it.

Words now mean whatever five unelected tyrants say they mean -- tomorrow they could just as easily decree that all gays & lesbians (etc.) be taken out into the woods and shot. When words no longer have meaning -- and for thousands of years, "marriage" has had a meaning -- then all words no longer have a meaning.

So you say that the mass execution of the alphabet soup brigade is so clearly unthinkable that there would never be a need to worry about the consequence of words no longer having any objective meaning? Tell that to the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust -- and has anyone ever determined the number of persons wearing pink triangles who perished as well?

Much as the Dredd Scott ruling sparked the first US Civil War, the asinine edicts that SCOTUS issued this week well might spark the second. Yeats put it best: "the middle is ceasing to hold."

By necessity, "God Hates Fags" has gone from being the hateful diatribe of the Westboro Baptist (so-called) Church to the mainstream of Judeo/Christian thought -- back when it was about "live & let live", back (circa Stonewall) when it was just Gays & Lesbians and all they wanted was to be left alone, that was not inherently incompatible with mainstream Judeo/Christian thought. One could "love the sinner while hating the sin" and we could all agree to disagree if it was a "sin."

Back when I was an undergraduate, in a very different world, I once defended the right of the campus gay & lesbian group to receive student funding for a dance. Sexual orientation back then was what mental illness is today -- anything other than open hostility and contempt was viewed as evidence that you were "in the closet" yourself, and denying it was conclusive proof that you were. Two scared kids representing the Wilde-Stein Club had made their presentation to the Student Senate, and then there was absolute silence.

I stood up and said something to the effect of "Folks, they're students too. They are paying the same Student Activity Fee that everyone else is and they have every bit as much a right to benefit from it as everyone else does. So they want to have a dance -- this is a free country, they have every bit as much right to have a dance as everybody else does. I don't intend to go, but then I don't intend to go to the 'Dungeons & Dragons' event that we just funded, nor would I ever attempt to build a canoe out of concrete, let alone attempt to race it down the Kenduskeag -- concrete doesn't float."

That was then, this is now -- this isn't about equal rights anymore, this isn't about being left alone. Instead, it is about denying others their rights and not leaving them alone. It's not about me letting others have relationships that I don't approve of, it is about forcing me to change my personal/religious values and to affirm said relationships. (And no one even cares why I oppose gay marriage -- unless there are minor children involved, I don't think the state has the right to license any relationship.)

Dr. Ed Part 2 said...

And I don't think that the state has the right to force me to affirm any relationship either. There are a lot of heterosexual relationships I don't approve of -- people whom I don't think are "good for each other" and I am not forced to affirm those relationships. I have that right to express my opinion based on my personal ethical/religious values.

As Warren Williams (who is Black) often says, we *DO* have a right to discriminate. He discriminates against other women - Mrs. Williams would be rather upset if he didn't. Certain combinations of sounds in Rap Music sounds like a Diesel Engine getting ready to throw a rod (traumatically, through the side of the engine), and when you grow up in an environment where you then have 15-30 seconds to act -- or you die -- you are not going to enjoy Rap Music.

I thus discriminate against Rap Music and venues that play it. I'm not going to force them not to play it, I'm just not going to go -- that is what it means to live in a free country. Same thing with catering a gay wedding -- it isn't like there aren't a lot of other folks who would love to have your money. And as food is involved, I can neither think of wanting someone who doesn't like me preparing it NOR want to prepare food for someone who might question me doing so. Imagine the consequences of a food poisoning incident, suspected or real, and then the issue of if it was accidental or intentional. While food "intoxication", the byproducts of bacteria (e.g. botulism -- or ETOH) are *in* the food and hence can be identified from leftovers, *and* happens almost immediately (think ETOH), food "poisoning" is an illness contracted from food, as opposed to someone sneezing. Shaking hands and then eating spreads a LOT of illnesses, likewise shaking hands and then rubbing your eyes, and then you throw in a lot of people from distant areas meeting at a wedding, sharing viruses that others don't have immunity to -- its damn near impossible to say if the food got people sick or not.

Hence you rely on compliance or noncompliance with "safe food handling practices", the reputation of the person's preparing/handling the food, and the presumption that such person's aren't going to intentionally contaminate the product. At least it can be documented that someone was sick - there is medical evidence of that. What about when the couple aren't satisfied with the photos, or the floral arrangements, or the service or whatnot? The claim is going to be made that this was malicious, and because of the vendor's dislike of gay weddings -- and hence it isn't about forcing people to participate but forcing them to publicly advocate the gay causes (and reject their own religious views) out of fears of potential liability claims and allegations.

Now the real question is what happens when the gay baker, florist or designer (and there are many gay men in these professions) is equally required to provide services and/or product to an openly homophobic event? What happens when there is a demand to make a "God Hates Fags" cake, or to cater such a banquet, or such?

Dr. Ed said...

There is absolutely no way that the Democratic Party, post the 1933 election, represents the values of Thomas Jefferson & Andrew Jackson.

Facts matter: Most of those people instantly became Republicans. An interesting study of past party registration was done amongst the small towns along the Maine Coast -- communities where almost everyone (sometimes absolutely everyone) had been a Democrat in 1930 had become communities inhabited by persons as fervently Republican. As these were the very same people -- maybe a death here and someone turning 21 there, but essentially the same people as no one moved anywhere else back then - it is an evidence of a massive party shift.

When I was young, I'd heard so many political figures described as a "God Damn Democrat" that I honestly thought that was the formal name of the party. My grandmother framed a picture of FDR with a toilet seat, and insisted on using a combination of smaller stamps on all her letters rather than use the FDR stamp that was in common use back then. But she had to have been a Democrat in 1930, she had to have been because absolutely everyone in her town was, the records show it.

And facts matter: The Republican Party split off from the Whig party over the issue of slavery, the Republicans opposed it. And had he lived, Lincoln would have reigned in the Big-Business Republicans and Reconstruction (which beget both the Klan and Jim Crow) would not have been as it was.

And yes, the Crony Capitalists have taken over the GOP again -- but that doesn't mean we have to like it. And remember too that it was GAR, GOP, and God. Remember that Nixon was accused of trying to get Southern Racists to vote for him -- Blue Dog Democrats. Democrats.

And MLK2 was a registered Republican.

For that matter, Allen West is a Republican -- I'd like to see him be POTUS.

Oh, and, ummm -- gay marriage isn't going to go over well in the Black Church...

Anonymous said...

Man, you peeps are dumber than dirt. I didn't deny Lincoln was a Republican. I am pointing out that the Republican party of today bears no resemblance to Lincoln's time. They are similar in name, only.

God, you people really are dense. No wonder you've lost on so many issues lately. You're anti-education, anti-progress, anti-everything. It feels so good to watch you lose... losers.

Dr. Ed said...

Oh, and Larry, this arrived today:

The whole thing is relevant, but this most relevant -- and, unfortunately, the folks running Planet UMess aren't cut from the same cloth. Imagine this being said of a UM administrator:

It should be noted that the protest petition that nearly resulted in the Chris Kyle movie being banned on campus was signed by a few more than 200 students. Over 43,000 students attend the university.

A year ago, when University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel took that job, he said in his inaugural address:

"This is what great universities do: we encourage all voices, no matter how discomforting the message. It takes far more courage to hear and try to understand unfamiliar and unwelcome ideas than it does to shout down the speaker. You don’t have to agree, but you have to think."

President Schlissel and his administration should be praised for following through on this important aspect of students’ experience.

Anonymous said...

Would you lock up and turn out the lights, Ed?

Jackie M'Vemba said...

"With malice towards none, with charity for all..."
Even for former slaveowners. And even for "you people" whoever you are.
They ain't makin' Republicans like Abe anymore.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what You can do for your country." They ain't makin' Dems like Jack anymore either.

Anonymous said...

The president of the United States when running for office in 2008 affirmed that due to his faith, he believe that marriage was a sacred institution between a man and a woman. He said the same thing in 2010 and again in 2012. To reiterate, he emphasized that his belief was because of his great faith. Are we to condemn those now who take the same view that President Obama has taken ?

Anonymous said...

On second thought, leave 'em on.

Anonymous said...

The President (and Mrs. Clinton) had often affirmed their belief in the millenia-long belief that marriage is a one-man-one-woman institution. But their views have "evolved" into a new belief. So much for their great faith. Any way the wind blows, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear! We celebrate diversity of skin color, ( the least important aspect ) but so rarely embrace diversity of thought. This was a refreshing change from that . Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

At the very least, B. Hussain Obama is a Deluder.

Walter Graff said...

Hey even Lincoln was a politician.

He wasn't an abolitionist, he never thought blacks should have the same rights as blacks, he wanted to send blacks back to Africa and colonize the countries he could, Emancipation was a military policy and it didn’t apply to border slave states like Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland and Delaware, states that remained loyal to the Union.

What we remember Lincoln for is far different than what he said in his first inaugural address where he said he had no issue with slavery and was even willing to make it a constitutional amendment.

"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

In the end, Lincoln gave in to politics and made many of his decisions based not on what he believed, but rather on what made him popular. Nothing has changed. Well, except for parties. While Lincoln was a Republican on paper, he was more liberal than any politician today. Back then the parties had the absolute opposite ideologies of today's comparable namesakes.

Anonymous said...

Homophobic? As the comedian once joked: I'm not Afraid of 'em. I just don 't Like 'em.

Anonymous said...

In the end Lincoln beseeched the victors to forgive. Same thing Jesus recommended. That wasn't the popular thing. Still isn't. Though the families of the church shooting victims showed the rest of us how it's done.

Anonymous said...

And JFK's exhortation to "Ask not what your country can do for you..." is more in line with conservativism, but there's still a D next to his name. Imagine the second part of the statement about asking "what you can do for your country," being uttered by todays liberals. The guy wou said they ain't makin' Dems like Jack anymore" is right on. Nor, I suppose are they makin' Reps like Abe anymore.

Anonymous said...

The left will never let go of slavery. They hang onto it because it is useful to them.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of slavery, can someone fill me in: the Jews were slaves in Africa (Egypt) for how long? Not sure here.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating re: slavery

Anonymous said...

Interesting reading, that link. For example, I did not know that Muslims had slaves or that Africans sold their own people into that awful institution.