On Feb. 14 each year America celebrates Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day originated from the Christian identification of Saint Valentine who promoted love. He was martyred by the Romans in the 14th century.

Valentine’s Day is only one of the multitudes of celebrations stemming from the practice of Christianity that for centuries have been part of American society. America celebrates Mardi Gras “Lent” and Halloween, which originate from All Souls Day.

Christmas is the celebration of Saint Nicholas and the birth of Jesus. Easter is a celebration of the resurrection. All of these are significant on their own, but more important, collective they represent creation of a tradition and the culture of American society.

The original American culture that has preserved and protected America’s society for over 400 years is made up from honoring and celebrating icons from the past. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and even April Fools Day are celebrations that built American culture.

All of these days of celebration have had an undertone of benevolence. People gather together and exchange gifts, hold parades, and rejoice with gratitude to those who came before us. This has been going on for centuries, and has effectively tied us together creating “we the people.”

And in the construction of “we the people” are icons that may be repugnant to those who weren’t treated equally. But those repugnant icons are worthy of existence for the value of immortalizing the failures, which forever will be a significant part of the culture of “we the people.” Both the good and the bad through the centuries must remain visible so the current society can understand that the perfection of the culture was always the goal.

A nation that cannot trace the past with visible icons to remind it of what was in the struggle to build, preserve and perfect its culture is exposed to repeating the failures of inequality as the demographics of the population evolve. If a new majority takes the leadership role and control they’re as subject to exercising inequitable treatment of a minority as did their predecessor.

There’s danger in how the traditional culture is being attacked by malcontents, who perceive themselves as victims and wish to destroy the icons and denigrate the traditional celebrations. These aren’t people promoting benevolence. They demonstrate vindictiveness, while taking a sledgehammer to a statue, burning of a flag, urinating on a crucifix, and insulting the national anthem.

It’s obvious these malcontents are intending to dispose of the traditional culture instead of contribution to and improve it with inclusion of their benevolent contributions. When you see, hear, or encounter an unpleasant or disparaging icon put it in perspective as just one of the elements in the construction and continuing effort to improve on what’s currently the best hope of humanity — the American experiment.

David Hardee lives in Bayou Vista.

Locations

(108) comments

Paul Hyatt

Can not say that I disagree with you one bit.

Jarvis Buckley

Enjoyed reading your article . Food for thought.

George Croix

Well, I await the 'resistance' resisting that.......

Steve Fouga

Nice article. Synopsizing, a society should acknowledge and celebrate its formative traditions, even distasteful ones, and preserve a visible record of its mistakes as well as its accomplishments.

I agree, as long as the mistakes are recognized and displayed as such. Otherwise there is no learning, and some might be encouraged to repeat them.

Emile Pope

No. Keeping a monument to its mistakes is commemorating them regardless of what excuse is given. There are no monuments to the Nazis in Germany, Russia, England etc...but people still seem to remember them. And if these "records" of these mistakes are to be believed, THEN WHY IS THERE NOTHING ABOUT IT BEING A MISTAKE MENTIONED ANYWHERE ON THE MONUMENT??? If it was such a mistake where is the notation located? Putting a monument to racism and segregation while not in any way stating how disgusting and horrible it was is simply commemorating it regardless of the ridiculous arguments to the contrary.

Carlos Ponce

Emile, the monuments do not honor racism nor segregation. They honor MEN. Just like the statue of slave importer and governor of Spanish Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez. So you live in a city named for a person responsible for bringing slaves to Louisiana. Any problems with that?
"There are no monuments to the Nazis in Germany..." There are monuments to the fallen German soldiers of World War I and World War II in Germany. See:
http://thirdreichruins.com/memorials.htm
While they do not honor "Nazism" they represent the men who fought for Nazi Germany. Just like the statues in the United States do not honor racism nor segregation but the men who fought for the Confederacy - some of African descent. See:
"Black Confederate Soldier’s Monument – Honoring Willis Howcott"
http://www.confederatedigest.com/2009/01/black-confederate-soldiers-monument.html
There is a Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery. It has an African American Confederate soldier depicted.
Frederick Douglas wrote: “There are at the present moment, many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants, and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets..."

Emile Pope

Those statues represent segregation and racism and were put up when Jim Crow was approved by the Supreme Court and enacted by decree. And the "men" were traitors who fought to keep the most horrible cruelty to civilization. If those monuments are kept as a warning for us not to make the same mistakes again, why isn't anything about that mentioned? Why isn't anything critical of the monuments, the people, or their objectives placed anywhere near those statues? And the "Black Confederates" you talk about were slaves brought along by their masters to serve them while they fought. So you are wrong.

Carlos Ponce

Haters gonna hate.....

Carlos Ponce

And the "Black Confederates" were not all slaves brought along by their masters to serve them while they fought. So you are wrong.
"The 1st Louisiana Native Guard was the first official black regiment in the Confederate Army. The Guard was formed when Louisiana Governor Thomas Overton Moore accepted into the state militia a regiment of approximately 1,100 FREE African American men. When Governor Moore called for troops to defend Louisiana on April 17, 1861, a committee of ten prominent New Orleans free blacks called a meeting at the city’s Catholic Institute on April 22 to pledge their loyalty to the Confederate cause. About 2,000 people attended the meeting including 1,500 free blacks who signed a militia muster roll."
https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/1st-louisiana-native-guard-csa-1861-1862/

Steve Fouga

Emile, I agree 100% with your comment concerning mistakes being mentioned on the monuments. In fact, that was exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote my comment. How much better to retain the monument and use it to teach a history lesson...

If up to me, I would place a plaque or signage of some sort on or alongside every Confederate monument, explaining that the person's actions during the Civil War were considered treasonous, that they were viewed as enemies of the United States, and that they had been rehabilitated by pardon and amnesty by President Andrew Johnson. I would briefly synopsize the officer's attitude toward slavery and states' rights by quoting directly from his speeches and correspondence, if available. I would discuss the man's skills and accomplishments as a military officer in light of the most recent scholarly opinion of his efficacy. I would further explain the context of pre-existing signage on the monument, e.g. who applied it, when it was applied, the spirit in which it was written, and whether it is still appropriate in a modern context.

I believe this would be so much more useful than either retaining the monuments as they are, with no contextual commentary, or eliminating them entirely. Teach the lesson; learn from the mistake.

Carlos Ponce

"that they were viewed as enemies of the United States"
Congress recognized Confederate soldiers as American veterans.

George Croix

The simple fact is that the dirty laundry of the past in all it's forms from slavery to beating up on indigenous peoples to taking land from other countries to complete the continental States ALL led to where this country is today. Remove ANY of it, and this country is another country, and with that, it's population is another population, made up of different individuals. Had none of that happened, would the World Wars have ended as they did? Would the German scientists have come to this country, to help US build The Bomb, rather than their homeland?
Who among us...anyone....anyone.....is worse off today that they'd have been had America never existed as it did to get where it is today??
If you existed at all, where would you be right now if not here?
Perspective.....
Don't have to LIKE the past to have personally benefited from it, and have the good sense to recognize that....

Steve Fouga

Carlos, surely you're not trying to claim the Union did not consider the Confederates to be enemies!!

Carlos Ponce

Some didn't especially BROTHERS who fought on opposite sides.
Congress recognized Confederate soldiers as American veterans. They got over it. Will Steve?????

Steve Fouga

Do you deny that the Confederacy was an enemy of the United States? Yes, or no? If yes, please explain your position. If no, then explain how a military leader of said enemy is not an enemy himself.

In case you've forgotten or never knew what an enemy is, here's a definition from a popular online dictionary:

"a hostile nation or its armed forces or citizens, especially in time of war"

Simple concept.

George Croix

Good idea.
And the Egyptians should do the same thing with the pyramids.....

Carlos Ponce

Statue of General Lee in Dunn, North Carolina was vandalized by Confederate monument vandals. The statue was that of General William C. Lee, clearly depicted in a World War II United States Army Airborne uniform, no relation to General Robert E. Lee. This General Lee's command was racially diverse with black paratroopers.
https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/confederate-monument-vandals-take-aim-at-wrong-lee-statue-in-dunn/1794689102

Emile Pope

"I agree, as long as the mistakes are recognized and displayed as such. Otherwise there is no learning, and some might be encouraged to repeat them." Steve Fouga. So why isn't this being done?

Steve Fouga

Emile, I think it's a combination of racism, stubbornness, and cost.

Racists don't believe there was anything wrong with what happened, stubborn people are too bullheaded to move off of their position and admit what they probably really believe, and I'm sure there are legitimate issues about spending the money to do it in many cases. Where monuments are being removed, the latter is obviously not the case.

Emile, I believe a 20-ft statue of Adolf Hitler in downtown Berlin with the following inscription would be better than no statue at all: "Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), the most well-known German, was responsible for WW2, leading to the deaths of more than 70 million human beings."

Steve Fouga

Wow, Emile, I left out an important reason: In some cases, well-meaning people believe removing the monuments is the best course. I disagree, but not enough to go on a crusade to save them.

Carlos Ponce

Amazing how today's Liberals lament over American slavery that ended over 150 years ago yet have no problems with modern day slavery that occurs because lack of a border wall.
"Five Members of Mexican Sex Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Prison
Prosecution Dismantled International Sex Trafficking Organization that Forced Young Women and Girls from Mexico and Central America into Prostitution for Over a Decade"
"Male members of the [Rendon-Reyes]Organization typically used false promises of love and marriage to lure the victims into fraudulent romantic relationships. In some instances, they forcibly abducted the victims, and on one occasion, a victim’s child."
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/five-members-mexican-sex-trafficking-organization-sentenced-prison
"Former DHS special agent who fought sex trafficking says 'enough politics, build the wall for children'"
https://www.sott.net/article/406517-Former-DHS-special-agent-who-fought-sex-trafficking-says-enough-politics-build-the-wall-for-children
17th, 18th and 19th Century American Slavery - abolished.
21st Century Slavery that crosses an open non-port of entry border sites continues.
"Ex-DHS Agent: 10,000 Children Trafficked Into US as Sex Slaves Each Year"
“Had there been a wall, Liliana’s traffickers would have likely been compelled to try their luck at any given port of entry, which are armed with advanced technology and well-trained officers,” [Timothy] Ballard wrote.
Looks like those who say "No wall" are in collusion with the child sex slave traffickers.

Emile Pope

Your first sentence is totally false and nothing in your long winded letter supports it...

Carlos Ponce

Emile, my post is accurate and backed with documentation from the Justice Department and other sources. If you can back your statement we'll read it. But as usual you offer NOTHING.

Lisa Gray

Nice article. I even agree with Steve![thumbup]

Emile Pope

Weren’t the Founding Fathers malcontents? Yet we celebrate them and their writings. Trump was a malcontent and got elected to a job he was unqualified for. The fact that someone likes the way that things are doesn’t make it good or right. Especially when that way benefits them. You mentioned MLK. He was certainly a malcontent. Does that disqualify him? Perhaps instead of name calling and dismissing their concerns without consideration people should listen to them and consider what’s right instead of how it affects them. And I hope that the writer isn’t saying that elimination of monuments to racism and segregation (good) is somehow going to end up by eliminating Valentines Day (bad). The writer talks about 400 years of tradition. During that time There were I believe a lot of malcontents. But I guess that it didn’t matter since they were 3/5 of a person and couldn’t vote...

Carlos Ponce

"Weren’t the Founding Fathers malcontents?"
Not at first, Emile. They once considered themselves loyal subjects of the crown. But Parliament decided to misuse their colonial status. With no representation they felt the need to declare themselves independence.

Emile Pope

Are you serious??? Recognizing the bondsmen as a complete person would have given them freedom, citizenship, AND the right to vote. Do you really think that they would vote to keep slavery or support southern slaveholders? And those who say better late than never are usually the ones who never had to wait...

Carlos Ponce

"Are you serious???" asks Emile. It;'s HISTORY. Learn it!
The 3/5 referred to slaves. No freedom, no citizenship, and no right to vote. Some slaves were given an opportunity to earn their freedom. This was up to the individual slave owner.
Study history, Emile. Start with
https://constitution.laws.com/three-fifths-compromise
Anti-slave states did not want to count any slaves. Pro-slavery States wanted each slave counted as a person without the benefits of citizenship.
"For the most part, those who opposed slavery only wanted to consider the free people of a population, while those in favor wanted to include slaves in the population count."
"Do you really think that they would vote to keep slavery or support southern slaveholders?" They did.

Emile Pope

The slaveholders wanted the bondsmen to be counted as people but with no rights whatsoever, which is the definition of hypocrisy. The north rightly said that if they had no rights at all then how could they be counted as people?

Emile Pope

And the last comment "they did" is too ridiculous for comment...

Carlos Ponce

They did. Emile is trying to rewrite history again.

Carlos Ponce

""Do you really think that they would vote to keep slavery or support southern slaveholders?" They did.
Does Emile Really think slavery was abolished in 1787 with the passage of the Constitution? They wanted to keep the Union which meant appeasing the slave owners. That's HISTORY. You cannot rewrite what actually happened.

Carlos Ponce

"The slaveholders wanted the bondsmen to be counted as people but with no rights whatsoever, which is the definition of hypocrisy." That's what happened Emile. Did you fail American History?
"The north rightly said that if they had no rights at all then how could they be counted as people?"
The North said that if they counted slaves in their census then they could count their horses, mules, oxen etc. Look it up. You may not like it but that's what happened.

Emile Pope

So the malcontents don't consider themselves to be Americans? Aren't Americans allowed to disagree and dissent with others? Or only certain people allowed this privilege?

Carlos Ponce

Emile posts, "But I guess that it didn’t matter since they were 3/5 of a person". You miss the point. Recognizing them as 1 for enumeration would have given the Southern slave holding states more political power than the North giving the South control of the House of Representatives. And they could always gain more House seats by importing more slaves. Not good.

Cary Semar

Absolutely right, Carlos. I never thought of it that way. However, the constitution only protected the slave trade until 1808. It was then outlawed. I suppose that if you can throttle back an evil to 60%, you have made some progress. Better late than never.

Karl Popper argued that piecemeal reform was preferable to radical reform or revolution. If you just stick your toe into the water, you can pull it back if it is too cold.

Carlos Ponce

"However, the constitution only protected the slave trade until 1808."
But as posted in Wikipedia: "However, it was not always well enforced and slaves continued to be smuggled in limited numbers. The 1807 law did not change that—it just made importation from abroad a crime. The domestic slave trade within the U.S. was unaffected by the 1807 law."

Gary Scoggin

Emile, Carlos -- I'm lost. Are you guys actually arguing a point or is it just a habit?

George Croix

There's a big difference between being personally dissatisfied and with being intentionally destructive. And ginning up grievances and making phony claims is WAY different from confronting and fighting against legitimate ones.
Before anybody gets their drawers all in a wad and decides to take their personal disappointments and failures out on somebody else, try a little honest introspection.
In theory, ANY change to the past would change an exponentially larger amount of things in the present, if not the course of history itself.....which would be likely....
So, if we don't like the way things were, ask where we'd be without them today.
If we'd even exist at all.....Dad having never met Mom because the past was changed...
Life is good, bad, and indifferent for everybody...the only differences are the degrees of each for any individual, and whining about things that existed before we were even born or that we have never been subjected to is the ultimate waste of time, and serves nothing to but to replace effort with excuses..........

IMO, as always...........

Gary Scoggin

"If we'd even exist at all.....Dad having never met Mom because the past was changed..." Wasn't there a movie with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd about that? ;-)

George Croix

Yeah, and in it they fed the DeLorean pretty much the same things we all....all.... get fed from time to time...junk....[beam][beam][beam][beam]

Emile Pope

Really? So when some people complain about the way things are they are speaking their mind if we agree with them but whiners if we don’t? Or malcontents? I’ll stick with MLK on this one...

George Croix

You'll stick with creating a point that nobody else made that supports yourself, Pope, just like you nearly always do......
I said complaining about the way things USED to be or that we ourselves never were part of....
It never occurred to me that would be too difficult for anyone to grasp.....but I did expect it to get twisted around by the usual suspects.....

Emile Pope

The people I hear are protesting what is going on today. Which is what I thought the writer was referring to. Anything you add doesn't count...

George Croix

Goodnight, Governor......[beam][beam][beam]

Steve Fouga

George, that's a pretty profound post. [thumbup]

George Croix

Steve, I was thinking about my Dad who died 57 years ago, and then shortly after that reading over a 'Dad proud' copy of a letter given to my daughter thanking her for saving the life of the daughter of the woman who wrote that letter.
It got me to thinking.
If my Dad hadn't died when I was young, NOTHING would have been the same for me afterwards. No way I'd ever have been working in a place to have met the guy I became friends with who had a niece who got my attention and for some reason liked me back and I ended up marrying. If I hadn't married her, I'd never have been in a place to end up working at the refinery and altering the lives of people out there at regular work and emergency responses, as they altered mine, too. No way I'd have ever had my daughter who ended up a valedictorian and all honors grads of everything then finally a doctor bringing life into the world and savings ones already here. NONE of those new lives or saved ones would ever have gone on to live lives of their own with all the ever expanding contacts and results of that. I'd not have the two grandkids I have now, both smart as their Mom who just may end up doing even greater things but will at least EACH impact the lives of hundreds if not thousands of others, ever expanding...on and on.....
ALL because my Dad died when I was 11.........
I could have dwelled on that crushing loss, and spent my life in the low expectations that accompany poverty, or vow to not get beaten, to take advantage of any opportunity that might come along, to MOVE along, grateful for what Dad taught me that allowed me to turn personal tragedy into what I hope will one day be judged a productive life when it's over.....
For that matter, if my Dad's parents hadn't come to this country from Switzerland early in the last century, none of that and literally millions of more people interactions would ever have occurred....including no me, etc. after that....
It's all pretty humbling, and should be thought provoking....
I find I can be thankful for the opportunities all their sacrifices and even deaths left for me, while still honoring their memories and feeling sad they had to go.....
No sense living in the past..............

Steve Fouga

[thumbup] https://youtu.be/ZzL7Zo6p8rM

George Croix

"He said his greatest contribution is the ones he'll leave behind."

song 'Small Town Southern Man'
Alan Jackson

Mike Zeller

[thumbup] Great life story George, and I've always loved that Alan Jackson song. We may not see eye to eye on some of our political views, but hey, that's what makes the world go round. You're right, anything we have ever done, or not, brings change to this world. You sure are making it hard for me to disagree with you, from now on. [smile]

Emile Pope

There’s o way that you could know how your life would have turned out if your father didn’t die. It may have turned out better or worse. You’ll never know. But trying to justify oppression, brutality, and murder as something acceptable because of the results is despicable. And your sidetracking the issue of people addressing issues they are having today by accusing them of bringing issues up issues in the past is getting tiresome. Write back when you have something interesting to say.

George Croix

Not being a self-serving makeup artist, Pope, I know that any change at any time of anything changes all things from that point on to some degree...even if it's only a small amount OF time....start talking people and events and all they do and experience and the trails they leave, and only the least perceptive or most dishonest could try to dodge the inescapable reality of the situation.
Justify? Only a guy like you could draw such an...interesting....conclusion.
There's no justification for enslaving and brutalizing any peoples.
Justify is not a synonym for deal with, and accept the realities, and learn from the past rather than live in it and use it as an excuse for your own personal benefit.
Oppression, brutality, and murder that neither YOU nor a single person you know was ever subjected to, Pope.
Not one of you, unless you claim to be 160 years old.....
If you had a shred of honesty in you, you'd ask yourself exactly where you'd be today had your antecedents NOT been brought to this country...if they'd remained where they were born, and lived out their lives there. You sure as heck wouldn't be HERE in this country yourself, if you'd ever been born at all, or lived to adulthood.
You can hate what happened to your long ago kinfolk, as anybody should, as ALL should, while still having the stones to admit that had it never happened Emile Pope would not exist here today.....That's just the facts of life. Life itself.
But, no.......that's not your style.........
You've got a lot of company......and it must be tough knowing that an increasing number of people are sick and tired of hearing about the dam_ Civil war, over and over and over, as some excuse for life as we know it today....of being held accountable for things that people we never knew did.
Good luck with that going forward...if you ever decide to go forward........

George Croix

Mike, I bet we both can both figure out a way or two.....[beam][beam]

Emile Pope

By the way, how’s that huge illegal voter investigation coming along. All of those non-citizens voting...must be dozens, no thousands of arrests forthcoming. May Fox will televise them...

Carlos Ponce

They haven't arrested the 80 who volunteered to have their names removed from the voter rolls. But as reported in the Austin- American Statesman, some actually voted. First clear the voting rolls of non-citizens then worry about the indictments.

Emile Pope

What about the other 97,000?

Carlos Ponce

Patience, Emile. Lawsuits have slowed progress. As I posted last month they found many who had achieved citizenship and the DPS and SOS offices have updated their records with verification. That's all this was - update their information. But the knee jerk reaction from ACLU, MALDEF and LULAC has slowed down progress. And the original number was 95,000 not 97,000.

Emile Pope

Love it when you have no proof but say to wait and it’ll eventually arrive...

Carlos Ponce

"Love it when you have no proof but say to wait and it’ll eventually arrive..."
No proof of what? Everything comes from GCDN articles or the Texas SOS with links provided in earlier posts. Oh wait, that's it. Emile never BOTHERS to look at those links. [rolleyes]

Bailey Jones

Just a couple of points - In 1776 a group of New Yorkers rioted in Manhattan and physically pulled down a statue of King George III. And yet we somehow remember who King George was and that we had a revolution. The removal of monuments isn't about erasing history, it's about changing allegiances, and in 2019 there's not a single reason for any American to remain loyal to the Confederacy. (Full disclosure, my namesake died fighting for the south.) As has been pointed out in other comments, many of these monuments were erected as much as symbols of white supremacy after the end of Reconstruction as for any celebration of the honored dead. The difference between a statue of Jefferson Davis and Thomas Jefferson - both slave owners with dubious racial beliefs - is that Thomas Jefferson was a patriot who spent his life creating America, while Jefferson Davis was a traitor who waged a war trying to destroy it. (Davis was charged with treason and imprisoned, but released as part of the reconciliation with the south.) But the main point I wanted to make, what brought me here, is simply that, without "malcontents" there would be no United States of America. Malcontents led the revolution against the British. Malcontents fought for the end of slavery. Malcontents got women the vote. Malcontents fought to end Jim Crow. Malcontents put both Obama and Trump in the White House. We're a nation of malcontents - that's what we do. God forbid that any of us should wake up one morning, look around, and declare ourselves to be "content".

George Croix

Good points.
Was pretty much a malcontent myself at the refinery, never suffering fools or brown nosers gladly...
BUT, malcontent is not a synonym for destructive or criminal.
And protest is not a license to damage property that does not belong to us.
Got a B, then use the procedural/legal system or your wallet to protest or get the change you want.
Mob rule is for losers too stupid to handle life in an adult manner....or being used that way by somebody smart enough to get those less so to do their dirty work for them....

Bailey Jones

I certainly don't condone destructive behavior. But our glorious revolution was rife with it - imagine today if a mob pulled the governor out of his home, set it ablaze, then stripped him and poured skin blistering molten tar over him and ran him around town in a wagon? Or set fire to warehouses of imported goods, or dumped them in the sea? Yet we call them patriots and get outraged when a man takes a knee during the anthem. Who are the malcontents, really?

George Croix

I can't quite get a connection between the situation facing the inhabitants of the 13 colonies and that amplified when not outright ginned up by a spoiled half-A or maybe quarter-A athlete who can't get enough attention on the playing field so decides to play the victim card on a national stage.....
But, I'd be in favor of the 'athletes' being given their own piece of land to form their own nation and let them take care of themselves and thus escape the horrible, terrible, miserable conditions they claim to have suffered.....
I'm all about making people happy....[beam]

But I can think of several current politicians all around and at multiple levels that desperately need the exact treatment you describe, were it not for that pesky Constitution thing that they suddenly remember when it's convenient for them.....[wink]

Bailey Jones

George - I have the hardest time following your comments. Why would we tear down monuments to our founding fathers? Because they were men of their times? That's completely different from statues commemorating treason against our nation, and treason in the name of slavery at that. Burn down plantations??? Where do you get this stuff? Why is it unreasonable to not want our children to go to a school named after a traitor? There are plenty of great heroes to name schools after. Why is it unreasonable to not want a statue of someone who waged war against America in order to preserve slavery on the lawn of the courthouse where the descendants of slaves come to seek justice? Because some white racists in 1910 America thought it deserved to be there? We overturned Jim Crow, we overturned Dred Scott, overturning some tacky monument to racism is no different.

Bailey Jones

George, as far as the connection between the colonies and a man who sees an injustice where you don't, I'll just quote Jefferson - "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then."

George Croix

I'm just going along with the flow of the discussion, Bailey, which immediately morphed from malcontents to slavery, with the complaining that monuments related in any way to the time of slavery should be torn down. No excuses. Just destroy them.
If people want to tear down monuments, or get rid of the vestiges of a long passed past, then selective indignation must be set aside in favor of complete elimination, lest those same complainants be perceived to be self-motivated about their subject of choice. Isn't that right? Isn't anything less than total eradication hypocrisy??
Those Founders, among others, like Jefferson, were slave holders, so monuments to them, too, must be torn down, must they not? Failing to tear them all down, wherever they are, is the 'just a little bit pregnant' excuse. In fact, should we even quote them, if we believe they were irredeemably fouled by their slave holding??
A pyramid appears on our currency, so, following right along, we must demand that the Egyptians and Mayans and Incas and all pyramid builders everywhere using slave labor be excoriated and damned for all eternity, and their monuments to human suffering be destroyed. Must we not, if we truly believe???
If history is to be defined by one thing, then all of it containing that thing is in play. Can't stop at just a statue or a dozen or a hundred when entire land masses were used to carry out the evil deeds. Hence the necessary destruction of the lands and locations such activities occurred, at any level, to set right their vile use centuries ago.
As to your seeing an injustice comment, you obviously didn't read all my posts as I have now and always repeatedly stated that enslaving and brutalizing our fellow man is deplorable, BUT IT DOESN'T GO AWAY SIMPLY BY REMOVING REMINDERS OF IT.
In fact, the very best way to guarantee an eventual return to the errors of the past is precisely TO set them aside in our memories.
The constant deflections and diversions to this country's past that not a single soul alive today ever lived in is nothing but a dodge. At some point in history, all of the peoples on this planet have been subjugated by somebody else, and right this minute there still are some in that condition.
Where's the concern for all of them........???
I left out Hadrian's Wall, reminder of the Roman holders of slaves and exclusion of a people from their society, and also......................


Emile Pope

Who's talking about criminal behavior? Who's talking about property damage? Another red herring...

George Croix

I wasn't talking to you at all, Pope.
I was enjoying not having to explain the obvious to the one I was talking to......

But, wait. That IS you, isn't it, obfuscating the obvious...
How 'bout that!!!
If history had gone differently, you wouldn't be here to do that.....

Steve Fouga

I couldn't agree more. [thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

"In 1776 a group of New Yorkers rioted in Manhattan and physically pulled down a statue of King George III."
Why? The statue was made of LEAD (Pb). What did they do with the lead from the statue after melting? They made musket balls. 42,088 musket balls were made from the melted statue. The statue was pulled down out of necessity. They could no longer import lead from Britain and had to use what lead existed in the newly formed United States. The muskets were British Brown Bess .70 caliber muskets left over from French and Indian War. The French musket was .69 caliber, a smaller caliber because lead was expensive and rarer in the colonies.
Now you know the rest of the story.

Bailey Jones

A very good discussion is here - https://allthingsliberty.com/2014/09/the-statue-of-george-iii/ But I get what you're saying, and I agree - confederate statues should be melted down and made into something useful.

Carlos Ponce

Not what I'm saying at all Bailey.

Emile Pope

Maybe they could melt down the confederate statue and use the metal for sewer pipe...still would be a part of history...

George Croix

Bailey, then what....tear down the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial and fill the reflecting pool with piranha....[beam]
Then burn all the remaining plantation homes currently owned by people who never did a darn thing to anybody and sow all the surrounding yards and fields with salt.....
Fill in any East Coast harbors where the ships full of people sold into slavery buy their own kind landed?
Do all that, and there would still be some grievance discovered by the perpetual victims of that which they never took part in.
Maybe show international concern and go to Egypt and tear down the Pyramids, too, and remove that hated symbol from our currency.....
No way to ever satisfy fanatics, and especially any with a vested personal interest in constant victimism.....
It's not their fault...they're simply what they are.
It's our fault for any feelings of guilt for what people we never knew did......

In the meantime, contemporary slavery, ACTUALLY impacting people right now, exists in too many places on this planet, but there's no hay to be made from that...

IMO, as always.............

Carlos Ponce

It would not be history, Emile. It would destroy history. Not wise.
Auschwitz-Birkenau still stands open to visitors in Poland. The sign the NAZIs erected "Arbeit Macht Frei" still rises above that death camp. Why does it still exist? To remind people of what happened.
You still don't get it. The Confederate Heroes Monument in Galveston and other monuments and memorials do not honor racism. It does not honor the Confederacy. It honors the men who fought in that war.
About the Galveston monument:
"Entitled 'Dignified Resignation,' the work includes symbols of defeat: broken sword, broken cannon, flag on the shoulder."
Isn't that what you want? To show the DEFEAT of the Confederacy?
https://www.facebook.com/WmScottFieldArchitect/posts/1752003018201456

Emile Pope

Save us your long winded false equivalencies. Those monuments were specifically designed to commemorate treason, segregation, and racism. Dignified resignation? Show me where the other monuments do that and then we'll talk...

Carlos Ponce

Emile, there's just no pleasing you. The statue in Galveston does exactly what you called for. But as they say, there's some things you cannot fix.

Jim Forsythe

Waste not, want not
This proverbial saying was first recorded in 1772 but had an earlier, even more alliterative version, willful waste makes woeful want (1576).In 1776 people did not waste anything.
Not using the toppled statue was unthinkable.
The statue was melted to make bullets only after it was pulled down because of protest. They saved the head of the King George III to symbolically behead him. They also keep other parts of the statue.
The only reason they erected it in the first place so they could dedicate a statue to William Pitt.He was regarded as a hero and friend to the colonists. However, it seemed improper to erect a statue of the King’s advisor where no statue of the king existed, so the General Assembly commissioned both statues.
The crowd was inflamed against the King.
"The statue of King George III stood for six years. And then the Declaration of Independence was read to a crowd of American troops and colonists; the document formally severed the colonies from Great Britain and clearly cast George III as the "Royal Brute of Great Britain” with twenty-six indictments against him. Passions inflamed, the group marched to Bowling Green where ropes were used to bring the statue down. "
No love lost for the King!
"But not all of the statue would make it to the forge. His head was removed—the King was thus symbolically beheaded—and it was intended to be displayed above Fort Washington on a spike, as criminals were displayed. However, through some murky maneuverings—it’s said that the head was misplaced at a tavern—Loyalists were able to regain the head and sent it back to England. Other pieces that the Loyalists were able to obtain were hidden and have periodically emerged. For example, the tail of the horse that the King had been seated upon is housed in the New York Historical Society."

Emile Pope

And how did those "middle class tax cuts" work out? If you paid more than a penny in taxes you paid more than Amazon. Tired of "winning" yet?

Carlos Ponce

Worked fine for me and the rest of Middle Class Americans!
The laws that allowed Amazon to claim foreign tax credits was in place LONG BEFORE Trump became president. The form used is Form 1116 Foreign tax credit. There are references to that form dating back to February 9, 1960. I believe Ike was president. But the law continued on the books through Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama.
And you blame Trump?
Pacific Stars and Stripes, February 9, 1960.
"Foreign tax credit or deductions for taxes imposed by the overseas country may be taken only if income from the foreign nation is included on U.S. tax returns."
Congress can change this law but Nancy is working on other things.
But in fact: "In 2017, Amazon paid close to $1 billion in income tax. In 2018, the amount jumped to $1.18 billion, accounting for local, state, and international taxes. Amazon pays plenty in terms of payroll taxes and also state and local taxes. Nor should you forget the taxes paid by Amazon’s employees on their wages. Not only is that direct revenue to various levels of government, but the incidence of those taxes falls somewhat on Amazon, which now must pay higher wages to offset the tax burden faced by their employees."
https://forbes.com/sites/stephaniedenning/2019/02/22/why-amazon-pays-no-corporate-taxes/#79c385cb45b4
Amazon pays PLENTY in taxes but uses deductions and credits to offset Federal taxes. It's LEGAL.
Not tired of winning but it sure looks like you're tired of LOSING so you're making things up. Can't claim ignorance after I've explained it to you.[beam]

Emile Pope

A lot of long winded garbage trying to justify the middle class getting screwed over. A permanent tax cut for billionaires and corporations and a temporary cut for the middle class that is immediately taken back. People who file early are not only discovering that they aren’t getting a big tax refund, but are actually having to pay more taxes. And oratory won’t change that...

George Croix

No.
They are paying LESS money in federal income taxes for 2018, not more.

If they failed to pay attention and did not change their W4 deductions when the tax laws went into effect, then it's on them. The government is not yet a babysitter for the general population.
Lower taxes means less money out of your paycheck but also LESS WITHHOLDING for income tax.
At the end of a tax year if you get money back it's YOUR money, not a gift from the government...you are being repaid the balance due in excess of your tax burden that you LOANED the Feds interest free for 12 months.
Under the new tax laws, the monthly tax takeaway was reduced significantly for most people, and that reduction comes from tax monies no longer taken out of the gross pay. You're paying in LESS EACH MONTH.
It's staying in your pocket, not an interest free loan to Uncle Sam.
If you did not manage your own deductibles and had too little deducted monthly after the tax law changed, that's on YOU....and you may well have to send some of that money you got each month back.
BUT YOU STILL ARE AHEAD FOR THE YEAR - YOU PAID LESS TO THE GOVERNMENT IN 2018.
If anyone doesn't understand that very simple thing, then no wonder the usual suspects are convincing people they 'paid more', and repeating it ad nauseum......
Can't fix that..........

Carlos Ponce

At least we now see the dichotomy in the Democrat Party. On one side we have Democrats like Amazon owner Jeff Bezos who understands American tax law and how to use it. On the other hand we have Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who despite her degree in economics is completely clueless as to how tax law in this country works. Not my opinion but one held by Democrat NYC Mayor de Blasio and Democrat NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. I say let her speak.

Emile Pope

Saying that the taxes Amazon employees personally pay should be included in the taxes the company pays is beyond ridiculous. And Amazon doesn't pay payroll taxes!!!!!

Carlos Ponce

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, looks like Emile is giving you competition for not knowing anything about economics.

Jarvis Buckley

Emile unfortunately for your ideology .both Carlos & Georges long winded comments are both correct. Emile your crying wolf way to much. Causes folks to wonder if your just not frustrated Bills wife didn't win the
Presidential election . Get over it Trump is doing a great job.

Wayne Holt

One thing I hear a lot and have never understood in discussions about the Civil War (and it has been repeated in this exchange many times already): that the South was "treasonous" or betrayed the United States by rebellion.

Uhhh...the problem with that is the Northern States decided no one could leave the union peacefully, which is what the Confederacy attempted to do. In fact, the (u)nited States of America was envisioned as a federation, not a national government. It was the mercantile North that changed the rules of the game and made it illegal to leave. How did they do that? When the Southern delegations left Congress, Lincoln acted like it was business as usual and carried on as if all the united States were represented. Congress should have been dissolved and some kind of peaceful negotiation to conclude this fundamental difference of how we were united should have been attempted.

Where did the federal--not national--government get the right to decide that equal partners in the federation had no further right of exit if their state delegations voted that way? Treasonous? If you're looking for treason, start with those who ignored the founding documents and the words of the Founders about the sovereignty of the states under our system. There never was supposed to be United States entity that had that right to punish leaving of sovereign partners...that's is why they were called sovereign.

So make whatever points that absolutely should be made about slavery's abhorrent nature but don't do it by invoking treason against a government that obliterated the rights of sovereign states with no legal justification. Those Confederate soldiers were not treasonous within any logical use of the term, and almost none were slaveholders. Much of the oppression and corruption of the modern American state had its genesis when the North's monied interests crossed that Rubicon.

Emile Pope

They were traitors. When you take up arms against your country you are a traitor regardless of the reasons you give. Save your gibberish and convoluted logic for the easily impressed. Try AM radio...

Carlos Ponce

Emile calls them traitors.
The United States Government calls them US Veterans.
So Emile is calling a group of US Veterans - traitors.
In 1868 President Andrew Johnson pardoned Confederate soldiers.
In 1898 President William McKinley said, "Every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate Civil War is a tribute to American valor. And while, when those graves were made, we differed widely about the future of this government, those differences were long ago settled by the arbitrament of arms; and the time has now come, in the evolution of sentiment and feeling under the providence of God, when in the spirit of fraternity we should share with you in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers."
But Emile calls them traitors. Haters gonna hate.
"Public Law 85-425 - Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, AN ACT To increase the monthly rates of pension payable to widows and former widows of deceased veterans of the Spanish-American War, Civil War, Indian War, and Mexican War, and provide pensions to widows of veterans who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
For the purpose of this section, and section 433, the term 'veteran' includes a person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and the term 'active, military or naval service' includes active service in such forces."
http://uscode.house.gov/statutes/pl/85/425.pdf

Emile Pope

Still traitors...

Steve Fouga

“Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” -- Article III, Section 3, U.S. Constitution

Are you saying that if you don't agree with a federal government action, it's okay to take up arms against the government? It's an interesting perspective, but I doubt it's legal.

Carlos Ponce

Is Steve saying he disagrees with a Presidential pardon which is LEGAL or a statute LEGALLY passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president recognizing Confederate military as US Veterans?

Steve Fouga

No. Why do you ask?

Carlos Ponce

Steve, looks like you also have a problem.

George Croix

Well, then, the Minute Men were traitors.
George Washington and his Continental army were traitors.
All of the armed Militia and individual private citizens potshotting red coats were traitors.
But, WITHOUT those traitors, where would each of us be today, IF we'd ever even been born....

There's that inconvenient fact again...........most useful for the easily able to reason and be honest......

Steve Fouga

They absolutely were traitors, and a war was fought because of their illegal actions toward the government. But in this case the traitors won, and got to make their own rules. And one of those is that taking up arms against the government is grounds for treason. And that’s the act the Confederates committed.

They were eventually pardoned by Pres Andrew Johnson.

And then George and Carlos and Jim and the rest of us were born, and so on. 🙂

Carlos Ponce

Those men are long dead, Steve. They were pardoned by a president. They are treated as United States Veterans by Congress and a different president. Traitors? You have to remember they were members of state militias who fought to defend those states, their homes, their families. If Steve Fouga fought to defend his home we would not call him a traitor. You have to remember that people back then considered themselves as citizens of their home states. Prior to the Civil war they would say and write "The United States are....". It was not until after the war that the the verb changed: "The United States is....". "Civil War" is what it is called post-war. Another name was "War Between the States". Were they fighting for slavery? Most did not own slaves. Some never had seen a slave. They were fighting for their state. They were fighting to protect their homes, their families. Do you consider General Sherman who led a campaign of devastation in Georgia a hero or a war criminal? Much debate on that. What he did was far from "civil".
Study history.
The troops that fought at Gettysburg and Antietam were identified as the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia. Armies were not identified by the region those men represented.

Emile Pope

Guess what? Being pardoned means that you were guilty of an offense. They were traitors, fought against their country, and were found guilty of doing so. Being pardoned didn't change any of that...

Steve Fouga

Why are you arguing with me, Carlos? Showing your true colors? Did you suddenly decide the constitution is the final word only when it comports with your own biased and distorted view of history?

If you ever decide to take up arms for Texas against the United States, you will have committed one of the very few acts that is considered treason under U.S. law. I'd advise against it, unless you wish to be considered a traitor, probably posthumously.

Carlos Ponce

Steve has shown his true colors - disdain for pardoned US veterans.

Steve Fouga

Not sure why you're harping on this "pardoned war veterans" business, Carlos. It makes you sound nutty. I have no disdain for them. Just a willingness to acknowledge that they are pardoned traitors. In fact, I was the one who first made that point in this thread. Some of them were among the best military minds the U.S. has ever produced. Too bad they decided to fight against their country.

Carlos Ponce

"Pardoned traitors"????? Jesus said forgive. The government has. Steve not forgiving sounds ............HATEFUL.

Steve Fouga

Consider them forgiven. [cool]

George Croix

So, then, had the South won, that would be OK?

Round and round we go......

And, yes, we were born afterwards....and never would have been had it gone the other way.....
It's just something to think about, when anyone is whining about their miserable and unfair existence here now, a century and a half afterwards, when if they'd ever been born at all they'd be in another country.
Personally, I hate snow, so am glad Switzerland was left behind.....

Steve Fouga

My point was that taking up arms against whatever government is in power is considered treasonous, and those committing the act are considered traitors by the government. That their cause might be just doesn't matter in the eyes of the law. But the justness of their cause, or lack of it, definitely matters to those of us living with the results of the war they initiated.

I'll happily take the results of both the American Revolution and the Civil war, since one of those results is that I'm here to enjoy the life I have. In the first case, the traitors won, becoming heroes and exemplars to freedom fighters the world over. In the second case, the traitors lost, and remain heroes to only a few -- though heroic they were, in fighting for an unjust cause.

George Croix

Well, then, we share the same points.....
It's all pretty obvious, so I can't help but wonder why it's so hard for a few other folks to grasp........or at least admit to.....
One man's traitor is another man's freedom fighter.....and how we look upon them is in large part determined by how their actions effected us personally.
Maybe removing convenient excuses is just too much to expect of any people so vested in using same to shield them from reality....??
I dunno......I've got enough trouble living in this time period, much less trying to jump back and forth as convenient....

Anyway, moving on......Steve, just curious since I know you're a cyclist to know if you've seen any differences in courtesy, compliance, and/or auto/cyclist interactivity since the new regs went into place.....
It's been really quiet since enacted which is odd considering the noise made leading up to it.....

Steve Fouga

George, to be honest, I seldom put myself in a situation where the new law would matter. I ride mostly on the far east and west ends of the Island where traffic is light, or on the beach. Not only that, but for the past month I've been out of action awaiting hernia surgery. I've been confined to the indoor stationary bike where I don't even have to wear bright colors to be safe.

Now that you mention it, I haven't heard a peep about it either.

George Croix

Thanks for the update...such as it was....[beam]
Hope your surgery goes OK.
That's what you get for too often putting all your weight on a relatively, uh, sensitive area, jammed down on a tiny surface area seat....
Bicycling can be hazardous to you health.....[wink]

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