Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Heritage or Hate?

This essay was written with my extended family in mind, but our family’s growing diversity and the issues related to that growth are not unique. The opening and closing statements are directed at our situation, but the essay can be shared by many.image_thumb


  • Our Heritage
  • What Does the Confederate Flag represent?
  • Who made the Confederate Flag a symbol of hatred after the Civil War?
  • Our True Heritage? One flag, representing all.
  • As a family, what do we do?

Email=designates a footnote/explanation
at the bottom of the page

Our Heritage:

As descendants of both Union and Confederate soldiers (Harbert Ezell)Email1 and Eli LiteralEmail2 (neighbors in southern Tennessee) we have a right to be proud of these ancestors for serving and protecting their families. In considering why they chose to enlist in either army we have little evidence of their personal struggle in making their decisions concerning the conflict.

Was it the stated political objectives of the politicians and slaveholders, or was it a simple-man's decision that saw themselves as duty bound to protect what little they had once the war started? There could be many reasons other than slavery or so called 'state rights' for choosing to fight, and many of those reasons where probably out of their control. Email3

  • In any war the motives of a government decision to go to war are seldom the reasons that citizens choose to serve in that war effort, and the motives of the public in supporting a war are seldom single-minded.
  • Governments and historians have the benefit of redefining motives, and identifying motives post-war that were inconsistent with their pre-war arguments.

The soldier patriot on the other hand is subject to the deceptions of their governments military and political motives, as well as their blatant disregard for the welfare of the citizen soldier.

cw-soldiers_thumb4In remembering our southern ancestors we are not obligated to endorse or celebrate an unjust cause, or even a single unjust act. We didn’t commit the act. It happened, but that doesn't mean we have to make the same mistake of supporting an unjust cause in the name of heritage.
We can acknowledge our ancestors by recognizing their call to duty and their fallibility, as well as the wrongful nature of some aspect of their life, and then putting their life in perspective.

Every family's closet contains skeletons. We can be proud of ancestors in spite of their bad or wrongful deeds. By putting the past in perspective, acknowledging the role of uncontrollable forces and human error we can take pride without feeling guilt, but we cannot condone the un-condonable for the sake of taking pride.
We should not take pride in wrongful acts for fear of feeling the guilt of our ancestors or their cause.

  • Many uninformed Americans do believe the flag represents their heritage, but they ignore the facts surrounding the flags history.
  • For many well informed and well intentioned Americans the Confederate Flag also represent their heritage. It is possible to feel this way without condoning slavery or white supremacy, but as well informed people they can only do so by ignoring the facts surrounding the flags history.

It is not people of color who have separated ‘heritage’ from the Confederate Flag. One hundred plus years of association with slavery, white supremacy, Jim Crow, segregation, church fires and bombings, and lynching's is what did it. The appropriateness of the Confederate Flag as a symbol of southern heritage was doomed from the moment it was accepted by the Confederate legislature in their defining of its purpose… pro-slavery and white supremacy.

Of all the flags that represented states, regiments, and units in the Confederacy most are unrecognizable to the general public, including those claiming the issue is about heritage, which begs the question: what do they know of their heritage?

Our heritage is not the politics of that or this time. Our heritage is that (right or wrong) our ancestors answered the call of their neighbors and community and made a simple decision to stand with their neighbors against what was presented to them as an oppressive action... right or wrong.
Our heritage is contained in our hearts, our memories, our recollections and family stories. It is in the acceptance of those skeletons as having once been flesh and blood that belonged to fallible men. Men that made mistakes, but also made good, or at the very least continued a line of descendants that has made good since their time.

What Does the Confederate Flag represent?

What we refer to today as the Confederate Flag was never the National Flag of the Confederacy. It was the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee, a blue and white Saint Andrews Cross on a red field(The Southern Cross). As the war moved along the design was incorporated into the second and third National Flag of the Confederacy as well as some other state and unit battle flags. Its popularity was owed more to being the battle flag of General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia than any other assigned stature.realcsaflag2_thumb3

After the Civil War the flag did take on a symbolism of the sacrifices of the southern soldier. Being displayed at funerals and parades, and had it just retained this role it might be argued that it was a sign of southern heritage, but its role in the southern cause was never just as a symbol of the fighting soldier.Email4

Who made the Confederate Flag a symbol of hatred after the Civil War?

Why is the only flag from the Civil War that is recognizable as a symbol of hate the ‘Confederate Flag’?

During the Civil War period the Confederate Constitution and the flags of the Confederacy were all created and designated as symbols, definers, and proclaimers of the pro slavery, pro white supremacy policy and practices of the Confederacy. From the beginning the flag was primarily about slavery and white-supremacy.                      SEE "The Confederate Flag or Old Glory"

cfhate_thumbFollowing the Civil War all one has to do to answer that question of who and why, is review the legislative action involving the flags of the Confederacy, the actions of white Americans, and the inaction of other white Americans over the last 150 years. If all else fails to convince you of the relationship between the Confederate Flag and racial and religious hatred then just look at the remarks being made and actions being promoted by many of the pro-Confederate Flag groups following the South Carolina Church shootings.

In spite of its own hypocrisy the KKK (and other hate groups) lay claim to being patriotic and Christian. Many supporters of the Confederate Flag make an attempt to justify the Confederate Flag as simply being about heritage by implementing an argument that desecrates the meaning and symbolism of the American Flag and the Christian Cross. Email5

There has always been, and will be, a historical place for the Confederate Flag, and until the last Confederate Soldier was laid to rest there was an occasional personal and civic function for it.

Our True Heritage? One flag, representing all.

As Americans we do not celebrate our patriotism by flying flags of the:

  • 13 colonies,
  • we don’t wave the flag that flew during the War of 1812(15 stars, 15 stripes,
  • the Spanish American War(44 stars, 13 stripes),
  • the first World War, the second World War and the Korean War(48 stars).

We by nature relegate those flags to the museums, reenactments, private homes, and special events specific to those times, but even then we still fly and wave the modern 50 states flag of America, the modern day Stars and Stripes.

On the other hand there is not now, nor will there be, a legal banning of personal ownership or private display of the Confederate Flag or any flag. You may choose to paint the flag on your car, embroider it on your jacket, etc. You have that right. You have the right to offend, if that is what’s important to you. It’s a free country, free for all of us. Including the right to speak out when offended.

As a family, what do we do?

As a family what do we do about the appropriate symbolism of the Confederate Flag. One of hatred or heritage. While I have made the argument that the flag is not an appropriate symbol of our family’s (nor anyone else's) heritage, and there is too much history to reduce the flag or the Civil War to a difference of opinion over ‘state rights, I am sure that there will still be some that disagree. So what do we do?

Option 1:

sabOne option might be to substitute the original Confederate Flag, the Stars and Bars, for the Southern Cross(Rebel Flag), or do some research and substitute your ancestors unit battle flag.
This option only removes the ‘visual’ symbol of hatred through substitution, there may still be some social stigma to the ideal of celebrating anything to do with the civil war and slavery. The key to substitution working is that everyone choosing this option take some responsibility for protecting it from the proponents of hate. Don’t let idiots who just want to offend change what it represents to you.
At the same time be informed enough about the issues, and your heritage, to put it in perspective. Differentiate your ancestors role in the war from assumptions about his motives, about a soldiers call to duty, and that your recognition of him is not meant as an endorsement of the civil war and oppression.

Option 2:

I suggest that we do what we do every year, and at every family event or get together, and that is that we compromise on the side of good manners and civil mindedness by maintaining an environment that strives to assure everyone is comfortable in attending.

Whenever we’ve gathered in the past:

  • …we relied on those among us who have such bad habits such as swearing, telling dirty jokes, and chewing with our mouths open to try and refrain from doing so.
  • …we relied on those among us who indulge in such activities as smoking weed, or doing drugs to not whip them out in front of our nephew and nieces.
  • …we relied on those among us who do not understand tattoos, piercings, hunting, or gambling to not offer-up rude condemnations.
  • …we relied on those among us who have different religions/denominations to not interrupt grace or denounce each other.

Now, I’m not saying that these subjects don’t come up, and I’m not saying that they cannot be discussed, as a matter of fact I have no problem openly discussing anything. What I’m saying is, like we always do, let’s do so in a timely and thoughtful way.

Most particularly, as we always do, let’s be considerate, not offensive.Email7 
That’s all we have to do, just extend the spirit of good behavior to this issue.

Our family has really become varied and diversified over the last few generations.

  • In a family that divorce was once unheard of it is now almost as common as in the general population.
  • Descendants of John and Kizzie have been raised as Catholic and various denominations of Protestant, as well as non-religious.
  • Descendants of John and Kizzie are Hispanic, Filipinos, English, Scotch, Irish, and African, across several branches.

Our heritage is not limited to our southern roots.

Our heritage is not contained in a symbol that was designed to represent oppression and superiority. A design that grew in popularity as it was further used, for over 150 years, in the continued promotion of oppression and hateful superiority.

by Glenn Littrell

Heritage or Hate?” is a 4-part series on the subject of the meaning and appropriateness of the Rebel Flag, the Southern Cross. The 4 parts are:

Click on any of these titles to read.


Email1 Eli Literal lived in the area of the Lawrence County, Tennessee and Lauderdale County, Alabama (border counties). Eli did not enlist early in the war, and when he did enlist he was at an age that he was unlikely to be conscripted. He served in the 9th Tennessee Cavalry and is believed to have died from illness at Tunnel Hill, Georgia during the Atlanta Campaign. 

Email2Harbert Ezell lived in the same area as Eli Literal, we know of no connection to each other other than records that indicate they were neighbors in the southernmost parts of Lawrence County and northern Lauderdale County. Harbert and a nephew Will Ezell, fought for the Union. Two other nephews enlisted with the Confederacy, Robert and Lem. Both were captured and held as POWs. Robert would be exchanged and return to fight for the Confederacy. Lem was not exchanged and eventually enlisted in the GDL-Second-Creek-Cem-12_thumb1Union Army and finished the war as a Union soldier. Harbert would live to see at least one of his descendants (my Grandmother Kizzie) marry the descendent of a Confederate.

Unionists in Southern and Border states: People loyal to the U.S. federal government and opposed to secession living in the border states (where slavery was legal in 1861) were termed Unionists. Confederates sometimes styled them "Homemade Yankees". However, Southern Unionists were not necessarily northern sympathizers and many of them, although opposing secession, supported the Confederacy once it was a fact. East Tennessee never supported the Confederacy, and Unionists there became powerful state leaders, including governors Andrew Johnson and William G. Brownlow. Likewise, large pockets of eastern Kentucky were Unionist and helped keep the state from seceding. Western Virginia, with few slaves and some industry, was so strongly Unionist that it broke away and formed the new state of West Virginia.
Still, nearly 120,000 Unionists from the South served in the Union Army during the Civil War and Unionist regiments were raised from most Confederate states.

Email3   Motivations of soldiers:  The great majority of young white men voluntarily joined Confederate national or state military units…  …historians are of two minds on why millions of men seemed so eager to fight, suffer and die over four years:

"Some historians emphasize that Civil War soldiers were driven by political ideology, holding firm beliefs about the importance of liberty, Union, or state rights, or about the need to protect or to destroy slavery. Others point to less overtly political reasons to fight, such as the defense of one's home and family, or the honor and brotherhood to be preserved when fighting alongside other men. Most historians agree that, no matter what he thought about when he went into the war, the experience of combat affected him profoundly and sometimes affected his reasons for continuing to fight." Michael Perman and Amy Murrell Taylor, eds. (2010). Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Cengage. p. 178.


  1. Following the Civil War the flag also came to represent a longing for a resurrection of the rebellion. It also came to represent a resentment and contempt for the northern ‘invaders’ and the ineffectiveness and corruption of the southern rebuilding effort.
  2. In time as southerners managed to regain their political power and wealth they began to face opposition to a return to the oppressive southern ways, in particular Jim Crow laws, segregation, and eventually the cyclical rise and fall of the KKK. While the KKK also gained popularity in the north there were three constants in their practice of hatred of any groups other than themselves.
    Those three constants were: the American Flag, the Confederate Flag, and the Fiery (Burning) Cross.

Email5The American flag flew over slavery for over 80 years before the Confederate Flag and therefore the American Flag should be seen as pro-slavery and pro-white supremacy. They make a similar argument for the burning cross.
The problem with these argumenta are two-fold:

  1. The American Flag never flew over a country unified in favor of slavery. Since the writing of the Declaration of Independence it had been a divisive issue.
  2. If you accept their argument then you accept the argument that the Confederate Flag is the same. You have not defended the Confederate Flag, you have only indicted the American Flag and Christian Cross as co-conspirators. Thus the desecration of the American Flag and the Christian Cross, in favor of the Confederate Flag.

Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews, North Carolina told Christian Examiner the Klan rationale for cross burnings is "blasphemous."

"It is blasphemous for the Ku Klux Klan to seek to wrap its white supremacist beliefs in the glory of the cross. The cross of Jesus Christ is the antithesis of everything for which the Ku Klux Klan has stood and now stands. In a just world, Christianity could sue the Klan for libel and defamation for seeking to appropriate the cross of Christ which symbolizes his sacrificial love for everyone, red and yellow, black and white, as a symbol for their racist and odious beliefs and practices," Land said.

While Land believes the Confederate flag should be relegated to museums because of the pain it causes African-Americans, he also believes groups like the Loyal White Knights are partially responsible for the current movement to remove the very flag they seek to protect from public property. Land told Christian Examiner, "The white supremacists and the Klan bear more responsibility than anyone for the movement to remove the Confederate battle flag from public places by the ways in which they have besmirched and sullied it by seeking to wrap their odious beliefs in its folds."

Email6   see “Why the uproar?”          
UPDATED: 8-25-15, Some sections edited out of “Heritage or Hate” to create “Why the Uproar”

Email7 see “Why the uproar?”
UPDATED: 8-25-15, Some sections edited out of “Heritage or Hate” to create “Why the Uproar”

We should be more considerate of each other, not just towards family, but our neighbors and our fellow citizens. Every major religion, and every major figure who preached peace, spoke of the same obligations of mankind. Of these one of the most consistent and important were summed up in the concept that we are to love one another. To show compassion, consideration, obligation, acceptance and responsibility for one another. The urge to offend, ignore and neglect each other can not be described as a desirable trait.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Confederate Flag or Old Glory?

   What is identified as the modern day Confederate Flag was never the National Flag of the Confederacy. None of the three flags that were actually chosen as the national flag were ever popular or widely identifiable during the Civil War, and even less so today… which makes you wonder how well informed are those that insist on the so called Confederate(modern) Flag as a symbol of their heritage.

The first official national flag of the Confederacy, called the "Stars and Bars," was flown from March 4, 1861 to May 1, 1863. It was designed by German/Prussian artist and resembles the flag of the Austrian Empire

The "Committee on the Flag and Seal," was "overwhelmed by requests not to abandon the 'old flag' of the United States." and given the popular support for a flag similar to the U.S. flag ("the Stars and Stripes"), the "Stars and Bars" design was approved by the committee. However, as hostilities grew so did public sentiment towards the Stars and Stripes change. The hostility towards the Stars and Stripes, along with the battlefield confusion caused by its similarity to the Stars and Stripes led to it being discarded.

The first Confederate National Flag, fourth and final version. "The Stars and Bars" March 4, 1861 (first 7-star version), November 28, 1861 (final 13-star version)

image_thumb"Every body wants a new Confederate flag," Bagby wrote, also stating that "The present one is universally hated. It resembles the Yankee flag and that is enough to make it unutterably detestable." The editor of the Charleston Mercury expressed a similar view, stating that "It seems to be generally agreed that the 'Stars and Bars' will never do for us. They resemble too closely the dishonored 'Flag of Yankee Doodle' “ 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Slavery or State Rights?

State Rights
The predominate arguments (Rhetoric)
Secessionist Declarations from the States

Before proceeding:

  • Can you name one State Right’s issue that was relevant to the Confederacy secession?
  • Can you name one State Right’s issue that was worth going to war over?
  • Have any of the State Right’s issues that the South went to war over, lived under before the war and subsequently after the war been repealed? Would you go to war over them now?

click READ REMAINDER to continue

Most articles of the Confederate Constitution, are word-for-word duplicate of the United States Constitution, but there are crucial differences between the two documents in tone and content, primarily regarding slavery. The United States Constitution does not contain the words slavery or the term Negro Slaves.


State Rights, in spite of the Confederate Constitution’s preamble statement:

"We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character...”

…the Confederate Constitution was little on state rights in comparison to the issue of slavery. Excluding clauses that addresses state rights in reference to slavery there are only four clauses establishing state rights, and three more that actually remove or decrease state rights.

Rights granted to the individual states in the Confederate Constitution:

  • The ability for the States to impeach judges and federal officers working within their States.
  • The Confederate Constitution omits the phrase “emit Bills of Credit” from Article 1 Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, granting the Confederate States the right to issue such bills of credit.
  • The Confederate States gain the ability to tax ships by omitting the phrase from the U.S. Constitution that prohibits it.
  • Also in Article I Section 10(3) the Confederate States would have the power to make treaties between the each other concerning waterways.

Now, which of these ‘state rights’, gained through succession, did the average southerner feel so passionate about that he was willing to go to war over? These rights are ones that benefit only the upper-class of southerners, the elite, the plantation owner, the aristocratic south.

The Confederate States lose a few rights that the U.S. States retained.

  • States lose the right to determine if foreigners can vote in their States: Article I Section 2(1) as mentioned above.
  • Confederate States also lose the ability to restrict the rights of traveling and sojourning slave owners. : Article IV Section 2(1) (Note: Many Southerners were already of the opinion that the U.S. Constitution already protected the rights of sojourning and traveling slave owners, thus the Confederate Constitution merely made this explicit).
  • The ability for Confederate Congress to determine taxes between States.

The U.S. Constitution contained many of the phrases and clauses which had led to disagreement among the states in the original Union, including a Supremacy Clause, a Commerce Clause, and a Necessary and Proper Clause, yet the Supremacy Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause are nearly identical in both Constitutions.

On the issue of state rights the three mentioned clauses; Supremacy, Commerce, and Necessary and Proper, remained the same in the Confederate Constitution. These three clauses appear to be deeply rooted in the issue of State Rights, but the Confederacy retained them.
In the country’s original constitution, the Articles of Confederation(Article II):

"Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated".

The Articles of Confederation failed in a major way because of its inability to govern the ‘united’ states. The Necessary and Proper Clause expressly confers incidental powers upon Congress, while no other clauses in the Constitution do so by themselves. If the Confederacy was so emphatic about ‘state rights’, to the point of going to war, then why did it not delete or modify these clauses, or why didn’t they reinstate the above Article II from the Articles of Confederation. Again, the reason is these clauses are ones that benefit only the upper class of southerners, the elite, the plantation owner, the aristocratic south.
The State Rights argument was just a cover for who was benefiting from, promoting and preserving their way of life. Crucial to their way of life was the institution of slavery and the ability to antagonize the average southerner into a hostile rage towards the ideal of a freed slave taking their job and threatening their social status: the status of being higher up the social economic ladder than a slave and ‘poor white trash’.

Slavery,  In the Confederate Constitution, five articles addressing slavery is only one more article than the four that promote state right's issues. Even ignoring the net loss when you subtract the state right’s lost in the Confederate Constitution the protection of slavery was paramount in the Confederate Constitution, state legislatures, and pro-white supremacy rhetoric.


  • Whereas the original U.S. Constitution did not use the word slavery or the term "Negro Slaves", but "Person[s] held to Service or Labour" which included whites in indentured servitude.
  • Though Article I Section 9(1) of both constitutions are quite similar in banning the importation of slaves from foreign nations the Confederate Constitution permits the CSA to import slaves from the United States and specifies Africans as the subject.
  • The Confederate Constitution then adds a clause that the CSA's Congress has the power to prohibit the importation of slaves from any state that is a non-Confederate State. (isn’t this one more state right lost under the Confederate Constitution?)
  • The Confederate Constitutions (Article IV Section 2) adds that a state government cannot prohibit the rights of a slave owner traveling or visiting from a different state with his or her slaves.
  • The Confederate Constitution added a clause about the question of slavery in the territories (the key Constitutional debate of the 1860 election) by explicitly stating that slavery is legally protected in the territories.

The Confederacy explicitly defined slavery as its cause in its constitution. It did this explicitly, it also redefined the institution as being relegated to the African Race.

The predominate arguments(Rhetoric):

The Rhetoric of its leaders and legislatures further endorse the establishment as a demonstration of the godly anointed supremacy of the white race. The hateful rhetoric of these leaders mentioned state right’s, but emphasized the impact of the abolition of slavery in regards to their economy, their social stature, their safety, their wives, etc. Energizing the average southerner to take up arms could not be done by shouting state rights. State rights wasn’t something that the average southerner saw around him, it was a concept that was touted as bad and undesirable, but it wasn’t something that was going to walk in and take his job. It wasn’t something that would belittle him on the street by being ‘uppity’. He wouldn’t have to share the bunk house with state rights. On the other hand a freed African Slave was all around him, would do his job for less and might work harder, might wear finer clothes in public. These were the fears that had to be implemented to protect the southern economy and way of life. State rights may have been a drag on the southern economy, but abolition was a real threat.

Article IV Section 3(3)

The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several states; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form states to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory, the institution of negro slavery as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress, and by the territorial government: and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories, shall have the right to take to such territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the states or territories of the Confederate states.

In an 1861 speech delivered by Alabaman politician Robert Hardy Smith, the State of Alabama declared its secession from the Union over the issue of slavery, which he referred to as "the negro quarrel". In the speech, Smith praised the Confederate constitution for its un-euphemistic protections of the right to own slaves:

“We have dissolved the late Union chiefly because of the negro quarrel. Now, is there any man who wished to reproduce that strife among ourselves? And yet does not he, who wished the slave trade left for the action of Congress, see that he proposed to open a Pandora's box among us and to cause our political arena again to resound with this discussion. Had we left the question unsettled, we should, in my opinion, have sown broadcast the seeds of discord and death in our Constitution. I congratulate the country that the strife has been put to rest forever, and that American slavery is to stand before the world as it is, and on its own merits. We have now placed our domestic institution, and secured its rights unmistakably, in the Constitution. We have sought by no euphony to hide its name. We have called our negroes 'slaves', and we have recognized and protected them as persons and our rights to them as property.”

Robert Hardy Smith, 1861

In his Cornerstone Address given a few weeks before the Confederacy would fire the first shots of the Civil War, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens laid out specifically what southern states were seceding over, and what would be the foundation of their new government’s constitution:

“…The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization…”
”…Our new government[‘s]… foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

Secessionist Declarations from the States:

Four southern states issued Secessionist Declarations. All four pronounced an emphasis on slavery: 

Mississippi kept it simple:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world... [The north] advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.”

Georgia's declaration, managed to use various forms of the word "slave" or "slavery" 35 times:

“…The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization…”

South Carolina was big on property rights, and by "property," they meant "people":

“…The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery…”

Texas, just a snippet of its long, frothing white supremacist diatribe:

“…[Texas] was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery - the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits - a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time...”
“…They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States...”
“…We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable…”

by Glenn Littrell

Heritage or Hate?” is a 4-part series on the subject of the meaning and appropriateness of the Rebel Flag, the Southern Cross. The 4 parts are:

Click on any of these titles to read.


U.S. Constitution

Article of Confederation

Supremacy Clause

Commerce Clause

Necessary and Proper Clause

Constitution of the Confederate States of America

see also: Heritage or Hate   and    The Confederate Flag or Old Glory

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Why the Uproar?

 The Confederate Flag’s use as a symbol of hate and fear goes back over 150 years. Its use since that time has continued to promote that hatred and fear.

Q:   But why don’t we put that behind us? Shouldn’t we let the hate fade?

Well for one it is still used as a symbol of hate and fear, the only change now is it is also being justified as a symbol of defiance and non-conformity. As long as it continues to be used to inflame the public the controversy will go one.

Q:   Why don’t the ‘symbol of hatred’ people capitulate to the ideal that not everyone displays it as a symbol of hate?

So the innocent few (the true heritage believers) can have their symbol if those whose heritage was under that oppressive flag acknowledge that not all who wave that flag are racist?
Well the true heritage believers need to take that argument to the abusers (of their heritage) instead of trying to pass the burden on to the victims of the abuse.

Q:   Why don’t the ‘so-called haters’ stop trying to be ‘politically correct’, stop being so sensitive, so easily offended?

Do you believe that others shouldn’t be so easily offended? It’s just a cloth, a symbol. Well consider this:

  • Are you offended by someone burning the American Flag? Its just cloth, a symbol.


  • Are you offended by someone flying the Al Qaeda flag?
  • Are you offended by someone flying the ISIL flag?
  • or the Taliban flag?

They’re all just cloths, symbols. Email1

Q:   How long before it will be acceptable for those flags to be flown in someone's front yard?  lgbt

I would guess, never.

:   Also consider this:

  1. Wasn’t there public outrage when African-Americans began celebrating Kwanza?
  2. Don’t certain mainstream groups now complain about the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement?
  3. Wasn’t there public outrage over Image result for black power flagPeace symbols and the Black Power flag in the 60s and 70s?

All three are symbolic, and none of them are connected to systematic oppression, racism, lynching's,  etc., yet there are still those that find them offensive with little justification.

Q:   Just who are the ‘haters’ here?

Are they the ones who brandish a symbol that has been used to spread hate and fear, or are they the ones who call that symbol hateful?

  • One man’s funny joke is another man’s obscenity.
  • One person’s Political Correctness is another person’s censorship.
  • One’s good manners is another’s intolerance.

As our rhetoric has become more divisive we have become less tolerant of a difference of opinion leading to harsh, unbending responses that seldom generate resolutions. We find ourselves increasingly taking stances of being offended or wanting to offend.
Agreeing to disagree is no longer seen as a compromise position so that our differences don’t divide us. Now we see disagreement as the norm, the division as the compromise… the only right choice has become division between our position (the right one) and everyone else (the wrong one).

:   If we have to choose between displaying a symbol that is hateful to others, but not to us, why would we insist on displaying that symbol? Yet we do it all the time. Nicknames and mascots that are seen as offensive to native Americans, the Confederate Flag is seen as a symbol of hate and fear by Catholics, Jews, Hispanics, and African Americans.

On the one hand those that want to keep those symbols site traditions and mythical heritage, while those who oppose them can site genocide, oppression, lynching's, and racism. Anyone can connect these conditions and acts using sanitized High school history books. By going to more sophisticated sources we can further prove the point in detail. Yet, the fondness for those mascots, and the simple fact that the Washington ‘Redskins’ have always been called the Redskins takes precedent over genocide, oppression, and enslavement?

Unfortunately we live in a time when we are so touchy about our differences we have become too thin-skinned, and I’m not just talking about those that feel offended. I’m also, and especially, talking about those people that are offended by other people being offended. offensivebiteme_thumb3_thumb

Q:   Think about it. Who is more sensitive?

  • Person “A”, the person who is beaten, bullied, refused service, falsely arrested, subjected to slurs, slander, or liable;


  • Person “B”, the person who is offended by the audacity of person “A” when he complains about any of these things being done to them.

by Glenn Littrell 

Heritage or Hate?” is a 4-part series on the subject of the meaning and appropriateness of the Rebel Flag, the Southern Cross. The 4 parts are:

Click on any of these titles to read.

arabrewEmail1 A lot of people who defend the Confederate Flag against accusations of it representing hate, are the same people who go berserk about anything that resembles a symbol that they don’t like.   For example----------------->

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The American people are buying into their phony Social Security crisis…

imageThis week, Social Security turned 80 years old and we’re celebrating with birthday parties across the country.
Unfortunately, the right-wing (GOP/Republicants) is celebrating too, but for very different reasons. They are celebrating that the media and the American people are buying into their phony Social Security crisis.
The New York Times recently wrote that, “Rising national debt levels may threaten the ability of millennials to collect on promised Social Security and Medicare benefits.” And this phony talking point is sinking in – in fact, recent surveys show that 43% of young people believe that Social Security won’t be there for them when they retire.
Thankfully, we have the facts on our side and we’re prepared to fight back!
On Social Security’s 80th birthday, fight the renewed attacks on Social Security.

For 80 years, through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American in full and on time. And the message we need the American people to get is that Social Security is not going broke. It has a $2.8 trillion surplus, can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 19 years and approximately 80% of benefits owed after that if no action is taken.
And when we finally ask the wealthy to start paying their fair share, we can not only extend the lifespan of the Social Security trust fund, we can increase benefits for the majority of Americans.

Spread the word, share this!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


01. To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
02. When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
03. A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months.
04. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
05. The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes stood on shaky
06. The batteries were given out free of charge.
07. A dentist and a manicurist got married. They fought tooth and
08. A will is a dead give-away.
09. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
10. Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I will show you A-Flat
11. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
12. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
13.When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
14. Police were called to the day center when a three year old was
resisting a rest.
15. Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off?
He's all right now.
16. If you take your laptop for a run, you could jog your memory.
17. A bicycle can't stand alone. It's two tired.
18. When a clock is hungry it will go back four seconds.
19. The guy who fell onto the upholstery machine was full
y recovered.
20. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
21. When she saw her first strands of gray, she thought she would
courtesy of A. Baker

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Demonizing The Poor, Sanctifying The Wealthy:

PART 1: Demonizing The Poor

DtP (6)“…Whenever society passes laws to pick on or target the weak or the vulnerable, it is targeting the wrong people. They aren't the ones destroying this country, not even close. They're just easy targets. They have no voice. Sure, certain organizations do a great job of trying to advocate for them but it doesn't even put a dent in the overall problem. They are still scapegoated and blamed for most of society's problems. After all, "They're just lazy freeloaders who refuse to work!"
It's easy for conservatives and right-wing "Christians" to sideline, marginalize, scapegoat and demonize the vulnerable (poor, gay, sick, immigrant, etc.) because the vulnerable don't have paid lobbies, legal representation, political representation, or spokespeople. They can't defend and position themselves like the super rich.”        
Charles Toy: The Christian Left

“Poverty looks pretty great if you're not living in it. The government givesDtP (7) you free money to spend on steak and lobster, on tattoos and spa days, on — why not? — cruise vacations and psychic visits...
Enough serious-minded people seem to think this is what the poor actually buy with their meager aid that we've now seen a raft of bills and proposed state laws to nudge them away from so much excess. Missouri wants to curtail what the poor eat with their food stamps (evidence of the problem from one state legislator: "I have seen people purchasing filet mignons"). Kansas wants to block welfare recipients from spending government money at strip clubs … …There's virtually no evidence that the poor actually spend their money this way… …And contrary to the logic of drug-testing laws, the poor are no more likely to use drugs than the population at large…  (but,) …We rarely make similar demands of other recipients of government aid. We don't drug-test farmers who receive agriculture subsidies… We don't require Pell Grant recipients to prove that they're pursuing a degree that will get them a real job one day… We don't require wealthy families who cash in on the home mortgage interest deduction to prove that they don't use their homes as brothels… The strings that we attach to government aid are attached uniquely for the poor.”  By Emily Badger: Washington Post

LINDSTROM, Minn. — Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about wjds7$39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government…  …Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice…”        By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM and ROBERT GEBELOFF: New York Times

PART 2: Sanctifying The Wealthy                 Coming Soon

compiled by GlennDL

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