Southern Girl, Liberal Heart

My last LTE

I have been a, not just loyal, but vocal supporter of our local newspaper for most of my life. I have been a spirited contributor to the forums online and the occasional LTE.  At 58 I am giving up on them.  I understand economics but I am hard pressed to think selling their integrity will save them.  I understand that Dixie does not want to come out of the dark but that is still no excuse for aiding the Bible Belt tightening.  Catering to the right that has done and will do nothing but condemn any media not solidly right-wing is all for naught. 

I grew up with a Roanoke Times that challenged the Bible Belt mentality, that championed what was right not popular, that served the community as a conscience and a voice for the outnumbered.  Now we have a new direction of repeatedly publishing the dark, dishonest, and dystopian right and giving them another soapbox in addition to the business, church, organizations and numbers they have enjoyed for decades.  And for what, what exactly are you serving? 

The South has voted against our own interests for a very long time because the Bible thumpers have had more sway than the Bible followers.  The proof is in the fact that the only sins they cannot forgive are being outspoken blacks, equality wanting gays or any version of a liberal.

Dan Casey is the last remaining vestige of integrity left and I wonder how long he can hold out in such a changed environment seeking safety over challenge, false equivalencies over actual contrasts and faux knowledge over reality checks.  This “gray lady” is down and it is only a matter of time before you are totally irrelevant.

Night Kaep. 

He says this so well…


CK photo

Sup Sundy Besters? Corey here.  How’s your week? Full of divisiveness and despair? Heard that.

Swear to god, when it comes to hiding out from political drama and hypocritically-butt-hurt-right-wingers,  you can’t even seek refuge in football anymore.

While Kaep tried his best to hold the peaceful protest that has been requested from the ever squawking  “don’t tread on me” bunch, it turns out that when they said “as long as it’s peaceful, we don’t mind if you protest”, what they really meant was “hey boy, the sand’s been scattered on the stage. Get to soft-shoeing or shut the fuck up!”

That’s right, Trumpites, Trumpateers, Pregame Trumps… Whatever y’all are calling yourselves. You’ve been exposed!

Respect the flag… but not people:)

Turns out, it’s not a peaceful protest you want from the black community. What has bothered you isn’t the outliers who (sadly) promote violence at BLM movements even though you’ve…

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Is it your business?

You know, on one level, I can buy it. As a mother myself, I can see the perspective that the legal right to a safe abortion devalues “children” and that it is a real perspective many on The Right insist adds to the misery, violence and lack of decency in our nation. (Though research says otherwise)

BUT (you know there is always a big but), tell us what the right-wing obsession with fighting aid to women who “choose life”, funds for proper training and support for them, funds for proper education and opportunity for their children and the overall “war on welfare” waged by The Right says about how much you yourselves “value” actual children over a potential child?

You folks love to wield that cudgel about how we support the murder of millions of babies, but the helping hand…not so much. The helping hand you are very stingy with. So do tell, who really values life in this nation? Is it The Right who supports war, the death penalty, guns no matter what, punishing the poor and ignoring the plight of children (yes, “violence is exalted” in your culture) or is it The Left who fights against war, wants to end the death penalty, wants to do something about gun deaths, seeks to help the poor and give opportunity to the children who actually exist? The answer seems obvious to me!

The hypocrisy is claimno eviling to believe in freedom while trying to shame those who make movies, music, or video games as if right-wingers don’t buy all of them? The hypocrisy is claiming to believe in liberty when you want to deny a woman the most personal choice she can make.  Sorry, your efforts to protect life or liberty ring very, very hollow.

As a dedicated blogger, on any given day, I never know what kind of comments I will see or what debates I will wade into on or Facebook, but some of the common hypocrisy and irony always seems to strike me. Among the things most often on my radar:

You support the Confederacy, who literally went to war with our nation and caused the deaths of over 620,000 Americans, but decry the “violence” and “ignorance” of demonstrators who protest in Ferguson or Baltimore. How is that?

You deny any racist, white supremacy meaning or use of the Confederate Flag but then assign to it your own meanings, which more often than not is “Southern Pride” and “Being Country” or “Redneck Rebellion” (whatever that is) none of which have anything to do with the Civil War, but your use is real and theirs is invalid. How is that?

You want Planned Parenthood de-funded (hurting poor women) but hate the “welfare state” that is more than likely the only choice for a woman who keeps a pregnancy. How is that?

You will wail about the killing of Cecil the lion and trophy hunting (which I do as well) but brag about the steaks you are grilling… There is nothing more humane about our slaughter houses and feed lots than a trophy hunt. How is that?

So often people meet those opposed to their ideas or memes with “your ignorant” (which is always worth a chuckle), but in reality it is their idea or meme that has been proven wrong, a lie or a distortion of truth and that is never even acknowledged. How is that?

Some days you cannot roll your windows down in traffic yet many still deny that pollution could have any impact on the environment. How is that?

Feel free to add more hypocrisy and irony you note in your own perusals. I know there are many more. (And yes, I know liberals are also guilty of these same distortions and meme pushing, it is just not much fun to beat up on your friends)Whore

No, I am not “smug”!

I do not know Emmett Rensin but after reading this, I think he is as full of shit as a Christmas turkey,  but that is not me being “smug”,  it is just an observation.
He might have a point about there being a “moral difference or policy divergence” between the left and the right but for the fact that it has been proven over and over and over again (and well documented) that what they claim is “moral difference or policy divergence” is rooted in belligerent ignorance, Biblical judging and void of real policy knowledge.  So I fail to see how we can be guilty of not accepting what is not even established fact.

Some may indeed express their incredulity in a “smug style” because it is rather an odious thing to behold and one can be forgiven for not respecting the idiocy.  It is sad, but it IS that simple.  It is not “theory”, it is proven fact “that conservatism, and particularly the kind embraced by those out there in the country, was not a political ideology at all”.  It just isn’t and their repeated hypocrisy proves it is not even a remotely closely held principle as they abandon it at every turn when it suits or benefits them.  They may well rail against “welfare” but they line up for the free clinic trucks too.

He also wrongly claims we think “stupid hicks don’t know what’s good for them”.  Of course they do, they just choose to wallow in their blame and anger rather than reach for solutions that prove their idiocy and hypocrisy.  They are not “getting conned by right-wingers and tent revivalists”, they seek them out for affirmation of their hate, bigotry, racism, and for reinforcement that their moral superiority is rooted in proof of white supremacy and heritage.  Voting against their own self-interest is not what they mean to do, they are voting against the “others” getting any support, even if it hurts them too.

His level of maturity is further proved by claiming we all develop the “disdain cultivated in the aftermath of a divide quickly exceeds the original grievance. You lose somebody. You blame them”. Well no, you might, but WE don’t.  At least the grown-ups in the room don’t.  We have the capacity to know that we contributed to the breakup by what we did or did not choose to do.

Liberals chose to lift up the burdened and the most expedient way to do that was at the expense of the rest of us.  That hurt those with little charity in their humanity and a baffling array of disdain for the poor, immigrant, gender bending and struggling we all came from.

I do not believe they were ever our “allies” and when the Democrats started to embrace Civil Rights and equality (which Southern Democrats were not steeped in), they started leaving.  Nor are they “rubes” by any means; they sought and often helped create the right-wing media that feeds their hate.  And no, I do not want to “win” and make progress so badly that I will ever agree to respect that mindset.

If it makes you feel guilty to be called a “smug liberal” think how ‘great’ it would feel to be Ann Coulter’s friend. In reality we are not “smug”; we are deeply troubled and puzzled that so many chose regression and isolation rather than understanding and equality.  And if the right-wing is not “smug” in their disdain for us, the media that does not toe their line and government that does not reflect their moral code, what the hell are they?

I will agree that the internet made some of it much worse, but it also offers a world of rebuttal and refutation if you are willing to look for it.  A liberal is much more likely to be disturbed by their own Facebook or Twitter “newsfeed” because the media has been so complicit in respecting right-wing BS and so afraid of their massive boycott campaigns that we have to look at the source to know it is not a right-wing site sneaking into it.  Find yourself “troubled by the currents of contemporary political life” do not look to traditional news outlets to debunk or call it out.  They won’t, not until it is safe to do so.

And, for the record, history has more than proven that liberals are better informed because they work at it they are not “smarter” but they are not as quick to let their political support cloud their every decision.  The extreme left notwithstanding.

Liberals do not so much process “better” they just do not use a stopped up filter and aim to see all variables before they pronounce.  We do not have “better brains” we just have less hurdles to understanding the human toll.

I will agree that for a long time we thought if we just explained the truth (black people are not less, gay people are not deviant, the poor need to be included), that we could get people to understand, but many of us now realize that is just not going to penetrate so we plan to out-maneuver, over represent and stand in unity as we move forward.  We know now we can write them off and go for the population centers to win in the places we can and obstruct and shame where we cannot.  I do not call that “smug” either, I call it realistic.

The bottom line is that we are no more “smug” than the right and far less damaging to the liberty and individualism they proclaim to uphold.  Ironic but true.

I think Rensin has taken the words of a few and extrapolated them to be speaking for all.  Dangerous stuff. The differences are real, that is why they are studied and why explanations are needed for some to grasp them.  If we were indeed so “smug” we would not need to vilify or decry the stupidity of those demanding respect for their regressive beliefs and authoritarian efforts.  Smug would only have to sit back and watch it fall on its own heavy burden.

In the end, it is concern and deep hope that we can still reach people, even if only one at a time with the idea that the person they want to exclude could be their child, niece, nephew, grandchild, or neighbor.  He calls us “smug” and to some, makes a good case, but the reality is we are still fighting to reach them even as we fight their efforts.  I guess he missed the part where the right has EVER tried to reach us or respect our side of anything?  I know I have never seen it.

Such an excellent commentary from a Southerner who “gets it” so well. Outstanding, please read.

To Breathe Your Free Air

Lee_Park,_Charlottesville,_VA Lee Park, Charlottesville, Virginia I have written about my family’s Confederate heritage in the past here at the blog (see here and here). My grandparents were like second parents to my brother and I growing up. They sought to instill in us an appreciation and love for our Southern heritage and for our ancestors who helped shape it.

As a child and as a young man, I idolized my grandmother and grandfather. In many ways, I still do. They died when I was in my early twenties–and over twenty years after their deaths, I still have the urge sometimes to pick up the phone to call them (I still remember their phone number with the same ease I remember my date of birth; and I still carry their house key on my key ring). Their portraits hang in my house and I keep their memory alive by talking about…

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Whose Constitution is it?

Much is still made in any internet forum of our Constitution, what is in it, what it means, what it was meant to mean and most of all how it is not followed, ignored or changed to suit… Oddities and ironies abound, like those who claim it is always only the party they oppose who is ignoring or not following it. Or those who claim to revere it, follow it, and believe in it, but also think it gave them the Amendment II to fight the government it created.

Let’s think about this for a moment. Amendment I has a boat load of freedoms spelled out. And it seems clear. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” yet many seem to think that means their Christianity trumps all (including the Constitution) and that there is no “freedom from religion”. They mock and deny other religions, atheists and agnostics but don’t you dare not say “Merry Christmas”! Then there is “or abridging the freedom of speech,” which is so widely misunderstood that many think it means no one can tell you when you are wrong or that you are wrong. When it comes to “or of the press;” many decry any press that does not feed their bias. Lastly is “or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” And we all know how well that one works out. Protests are not respected, they are also mocked and derided and getting harder and harder to even do. And try to speak to your Congressional representatives? Good one. Well that is just not how that works. But still we believe in the First Amendment, except when we don’t.

Amendment II is likely the most hotly argued and deeply divisive right in the Bill of Rights and no amount of facts, background, history, jurisprudence, mass shootings or rhetoric is going to change any minds. I wish I knew why I ever even bother trying. But I will always note that “A well regulated militia” is in there for a reason and “shall not be infringed” has just never really been true.

Amendment III about quartering soldiers has not been necessary in over a hundred years so it is there but seldom argued or discussed for that obvious reason.

Next comes Amendment IV “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Well that one is surely not practiced as intended with (NSA and even local) law enforcement actions and judicial activism to root out criminals, drug lords, terrorists, anarchists and other assorted really bad guys, but the point remains it has not been stable and iron-clad as “rights” should be.

Amendment V “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” When a prosecutor can get an “indictment on a ham sandwich” as they say, we clearly have a problem and the piling on of charges makes a docket look like Hell’s Angels, the mob and the Crips are in town. And “Eminent Domain”? Don’t get me started.

Amendment VI “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” Well except when the media and rumors might make that impossible…so again, not an iron-clad right.

Amendment VII “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.” Which might explain why so many write in mediation agreements and try to settle out of court…can we trust a jury? Should we trust a jury?

Amendment VIII “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Over two hundred years in and we still do not agree on what is “excessive” or what is “cruel and unusual. Iron-clad?
Amendment IX “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” But since these were not enumerated, we just should “know” what they are and when they have been violated? How is that working for us?

Amendment X “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Do we even know what they meant by “the people”? And have we followed this one much? Iron-clad?

Do you see my point? People get apoplectic about the Second Amendment and scream about the First Amendment but there is little that has been free from interference, and not a whole lot of freedom delivered by these guaranteed rights when you look close enough. And it is also why all ends of the political spectrum offer their own interpretation of the Constitution.