Friday, May 12, 2017

The Catalyst for Confederate Renewal


Removal of the Jefferson Davis monument in New Orleans
 

All except one of the wars Americans have fought throughout our history have been fought on foreign soil.  Our soldiers and sailors left home to fight an enemy abroad.  But in that exceptional War of 1861, Southern soldiers fought on their own soil.  The enemy was on the doorstep of their homes.  In some cases the enemy had set up camp inside their homes.  What man would not fight to protect his home and family?  

While some could and do question our involvement in foreign wars, one would think that we could all agree that if an enemy is threatening your home and your family, you have a right - yea, a duty - to fight.  In spite of the conflicting views about the causes of the War of 1861, you would think we could agree on that much.  But the irony is that the only veterans in our history who are now denigrated and subjected to ridicule are the ones who fought on their doorsteps to protect their families.  

Prior to the 1960s the memory of the Confederate soldier enjoyed almost universal acclaim.  Our northern cousins may not have agreed on the causes of the war, but they understood and appreciated the Confederate soldier's valor and tenacity.  At the same time most Southerners acknowledged that the Union soldier was bravely doing his duty as he saw it.  I'm old enough to remember when there was some goodwill on both sides about this awful part of our history.  It required a measure of memory suspension, but most of us were willing to suspend memory to achieve harmony.  

Sadly, those harmonious feelings are stretched thin these days.  But the demographics of this conflict have changed since the end of that war in 1865.  156 years is a long time.   It's not our cousins presently living in the north who are clamoring to assassinate the character of the Confederate soldier and remove every monument that reveres his devotion to home and family.  Our enemies live among us.  We've put some of them in positions of power.  I hope we remember that in upcoming elections.

In the meantime, the purging of Confederate heritage continues.  In the wee hours of the morning on May 11, the Jefferson Davis monument in New Orleans was dismantled and hauled away by Mayor Mitch Landrieu's masked henchmen.  They may remove our Confederate heroes from public property, but they will never succeed in removing them from our hearts.  They may find that this holier-than-Thou purge of theirs may be the catalyst for a renewal of Confederate spirit.  And those of you who are apathetic about the Confederate soldier should ponder the fact that the movers and shakers behind this war on Confederate heritage will eventually be coming after what is near and dear to you - the American flag, American history, and the American soldier.

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Perennial Confederate Spirit



 



The destruction of historical Confederate monuments in New Orleans has begun.  Yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning, the Liberty monument was dismantled by a crew who wore masks and bullet-proof vests.  They were watched over by snipers on rooftops, in case some violent Southern patriot showed up to protest.  They need not have worried.  Most Southern patriots know that their jobs would be in jeopardy if they showed up to protest the removal of a Confederate monument.  Political correctness only offers freedom of speech to those on the left side of the political spectrum.  Nonetheless, there were a few brave, but law-abiding, Southern patriots who showed up with candles to mourn the monument's removal.  Most of them had gray hair.


Ever since Lee surrendered at Appomattox, it has been assumed by many that this love for the South and its devotion to freedom and limited government would eventually disappear as the generations who remembered the war of 1861 died off.  They were disappointed in their assumptions, but they continue to hope.  Recently, a prominent celebrity opined that the world will be a better place as soon as the current generation of old Southern white people are dead.  This celebrity is one of the elect who is allowed free speech.


This state of affairs is often blamed on Yankees and other outsiders, but I don't think that's quite right.  I know Northerners (I won't call them Yankees) and immigrants (legal ones) who hold the South and its values in high esteem.  And there are native Southerners who worship at the altar of political correctness.  Many of those hold positions of power like the mayor of New Orleans.


Some try to say this is strictly a racial issue, and certainly race is a factor; but to think that it is all explained away by race is to oversimplify the situation.  There are blacks who have joined the efforts to preserve the Confederate battle flag and Confederate monuments.  And, at the same time,  these Confederate symbols have as many or more enemies among whites as among blacks.


No matter where you stand on this state of affairs, you can be sure that it will not be resolved any time soon.  Those who hope for the end of the Confederate spirit with each passing generation are always disappointed.  You can suppress truth, even for long periods of time - but you cannot kill it.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Woolgathering

Woolgathering: indulgence in aimless thought or dreamy imagining


 

Self-talk motivation or life is a mind game:  I've always had to work at motivating myself.  I used to talk to myself like an angry parent talks to a lazy teenager.  "Get in there and clean up your room!  You're a lazy bum!  Why can't you be neat like other people? When are you going to grow up?!" It never worked.  Now I talk to myself like a I'm a toddler.  "Come on, baby, let's get a little work done.  I know you want to play with your toys (aka books, art supplies, sewing), but just spend 15 or 20 minutes in the kitchen, and then you can play."  This works much better - and I usually end up spending 45 minutes working in the kitchen.  The moral to this story: Be gentle with yourself.  It's easier to cajole a toddler than to bully a teenager.

oppressors disguised as benefactors:  Jesus said, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves." (Luke 22:25-26)  
Relate this to our government. It takes from us in the form of social security, medicare, medicaid, and a host of other taxes.  Then when our prepaid government services (aka "benefits") are passed out - a small return on the taxpaying public's investment - our civic leaders act like they are our great benefactors.  The moral to this story: We fall far short of Our Lord's standards.

from small houses on big lots to mansions on postage stamps:  Fifty years ago everybody's dream was a little house in the suburbs with a big yard.  Now the dream seems to be a mansion on a lot that is scarcely bigger than the house.  Fifty years ago, people wanted to be outside.  Today they want to be inside.  I guess it's understandable.  Although people had air-conditioning fifty years ago, they were't quite as addicted to it as we are.  And they didn't have the electronic devices we have - devices that work better if you're not in the glaring sunlight.  Fifty years ago moms were at home to supervise the kids playing in the big suburban yard.  Now mom and dad both work until 5:00 or 6:00 and the kids are still at school in after-care.  What do they need a big yard for?  But I've been thinking - fifty years ago there weren't a lot of depressed people.  Today there are.  Antidepressant use has increased by 400% just since 1988.  No doubt there are a variety of reasons.  I think a major reason is not enough time outdoors.  The moral to this story: Go outside and play.  It's cheaper than antidepressants.


Monday, February 6, 2017

InCoWriMo and Sealing Wax

February is International Correspondence Writing Month, InCoWriMo for short.  The idea is to send a letter, postcard, or note everyday in the month.  This is the second year I've participated in this postal extravaganza. 

Today I wrote a long overdue letter to a penpal, and I thought I would embellish it with a wax seal.  I'm a pretty crafty person.  It's not often that I have a craft failure, but my history with sealing wax has been dismal.  I am a sealing wax klutz. But the memory of my last wax disaster had faded, so I thought I'd give it another go.  

 
After burning my thumb, setting a paper towel on fire, and ruining an envelope with an ugly seal, I remembered that I had ordered a sealing wax spoon right after my last wax failure.  Miraculously, I found it in my craft room without having to tear the place up.  Then - for the ka-zillionth time - I settled down in my chair with my iPad and watched videos about sealing wax.  I even found one that showed the spoon method.  Here's the happy result.  If I were a rooster, I'd crow!
 
 As per the Youtube instructions, I held the spoon over a lighted candle and rubbed the stick of sealing wax around in the spoon until I had a nice pool of melted wax.  This nifty little spoon has a tiny spout so I poured the melted wax on the envelope and stamped it with my crown wax stamp.  Success!  Of course, some people have success by simply holding the wax stick over the candle until the end begins to melt and dripping melted wax directly onto the envelope.  When I do this I end up with burned fingers and black soot in the melted wax.  From now on it's the spoon for me! -------- By the way, if you want to participate in InCoWriMo, but don't know who to write to, my address is on the envelope above.