The American Civil War Was Fought Over Slavery

The American Civil War Was Fought Over Slavery. To claim otherwise is willful ignorance or malice.

Idiots like this man don’t just harm themselves by their beliefs and behavior.  They perpetuate one of mankind’s greatest evils, the belief that men are unequal in kind and that a greater man may rightfully hold another lesser man in slavery and use him as he sees fit. Refusing to acknowledge the cause of the Civil War and the evil for which the Confederacy fought is refusing to acknowledge that slavery is a great evil, one that was (mostly) destroyed in the Civil War but continues to live in the minds of men like this.

Gentleman who thinks Confederates were the good guys in the Civil War gets epically self-owned

This refusal to confront and accept the reality of slavery and racism and the century spanning harm it has done and continues to do to human beings the world over makes it possible for men like Hitler and Trump to rise to power. These grotesque caricatures of human beings are acceptable only to those so steeped in hatred and denial that they see the most vile examples of humanity as their saviors, simply because those men promise to grant them the power they feel owed by their race and birthplace.

The state documents of secession are available and specifically call out slavery as the reason for secession. Only South Carolina even tries to be fancy about it, but their document too eventually gets to the core issue – slavery.

If you want to read the documents of secession to see for yourself, or use them in an attempt to enlighten someone, the following is a good source:  https://www.battlefields.org/learn/primary-sources/declaration-causes-seceding-states

Conservatives don’t want freedom. They want power.

I had to share this excellent analysis of the United States’ so-called conservatives, properly called white nationalists or fascists. I’ve made this argument in the past, but this commenter does an excellent job of summarizing the truth about the right in America, with supporting examples.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/9az4zx/trumps_economic_adviser_were_taking_a_look_at/e4z43wc/


Conservatives don’t want freedom. They want power. Freedom for those at the top is power over everyone else. Freedom for those at the bottom is a threat to power at the top.

“Freedom” for the GOP means taking out the government’s ability to balance out the needs of the many against the needs of the few. Who cares if clean air regulations save literally thousands of lives? They cost shareholders money. Privatize the gains from polluting, but shove the cost onto the public.

In this case, regulation means putting the thumb on the scale to ensure that Facebook and Google become vehicles for conservative propaganda. It’s never been about freedom. It’s always been about power and control.

“States rights” = the freedom to oppress black people. It was about protecting slavery and then Jim Crow. “States rights” advocate Scalia still argued for the government’s right to regulate marijuana. “States rights” has always been about protecting the power of old white conservatives. It was never a real ideology. It was always about power over others.

“The right to bear arms” = the right for white people to bear arms. Ronald Reagan and the Republican-controlled legislature in California repealed open-carry? Why? Because the Black Panthers carried openly. “Stand your ground” often doesn’t apply to black people.

The TEA Party was created by Big Tobacco. The entire “get government off our backs” movement was funded by major corporations fighting deregulation. The TEA Party, which supposedly cared about the federal deficit, has gone entirely silent as Donald Trump blows up the deficit. It existed entirely to hamstring The Democratic Party’s ability to control federal spending. They didn’t want “freedom” from government healthcare. They wanted “freedom” for one of “their” guys to decide the budget, to work it so they get enormous subsidies in the form of unpaid tax cuts.

“Tough on crime” = “tough on poverty”. Crimes associated with having none, such as property crimes, are responded to with the full force of the police state. SWAT teams are called out 50,000 times a year, often to serve warrants. Property crime account for $14 billion in losses each year. Wage theft accounts for $50 billion. Meanwhile, the agencies in charge of enforcing wage theft, protecting consumers, and policing corporations are gutted.

It’s never been about freedom. It’s always been about power. Power to tell women what to do with their bodies. Power for Christians to tell others how to worship. Power for wealthy businesses to pollute, cheat, and steal with impunity. Power to do whatever you want to black people–structural racism allows for poor whites to still have absolute power over others, so that they can buy into a system that has no constraints on power for those with money. The modern GOP is a fucking sham. It’s about giving the powerful more power, and it spends literally billions of dollars a year to try and convince people otherwise, because it’s a fundamentally untenable moral position. It’s cancer.


 

Americans Have a Clear Political Choice to Make

Americans now have the clearest political choice in my lifetime. On one side is strength, love, and a drive for progress. On the other is hatred, fear, and a drive for fascism.

Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee last year. Gillum is the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor of Florida.

The New York Times covers this stark choice in “Democratic Embrace of Diverse Candidates Collides With Barbed Politics of Trump Era”. The forces aligned with fascism have been very busy since Andrew Gillum became the Democratic nominee for Florida governor, covered in “Racist Robocalls Target Andrew Gillum, Democratic Nominee for Florida Governor”  and White supremacist group’s robocalls target Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum. The latter piece describes the white supremacist robocall: “Over a soundtrack of drums and jungle noises, the man says, “We Negroes…done made mud huts while white folk waste a bunch of time making their home out of wood an stone.” The impersonator says the huts would useful housing in a hurricane. He also says he’ll pass a law letting black people escape arrest “if the Negro know fo’ sho he didn’t do nothin.'”

The Republican party is led by a criminal racist piece of shit, one who has inspired many followers and emboldened the hateful to come out of the shadows and remove their hoods. It will take a long time to bring the United States into the 21st century and we can only begin this process once we’ve defeated the leaders of the far right and stop our slide into fascism.

 

The NRA is an Extremist Group and Needs to Be Destroyed

As a former Life Member of the NRA and a former Army Infantryman and Deputy Sheriff, I’ve spent years with firearms, carrying them and using them, and I know firsthand what they’re capable of. When I joined the NRA as a young man, I quickly realized that the NRA was becoming radicalized, turning away from a group dedicated to education and sports and becoming an extremist group dedicated to preserving itself and its twisted vision of ideal America. I remember getting my first voting guide for the NRA board and realizing that everyone I could vote for was an extremist. In the many years since that time, the NRA has become more openly hateful and used ever more extreme propaganda to convince whites their identity, safety, and way of life is under attack. The NRA’s rhetoric has focused on encouraging whites to buy more firearms before they’re banned and to carry those firearms everywhere, and to vote only for politicians who commit to making firearms easily available to everyone and to protecting their identity and way of life.

After the latest school shooting made possible by the NRA and its supporters and politicians, Dallas Sportscaster Dale Hansen speaks of the truth behind the right’s inaction on gun reform and aggression against those who push for reform, even attacking the victims of gun violence.

If we’re to make further progress as a nation, the United States must destroy the NRA and other extremist groups. We’re facing an existential threat from far right groups aligned with Russia and white nationalism and the NRA has publicly aligned itself with these groups. As citizens, this fight is ours. We know we cannot count on the current GOP to help us defeat these threats. We must stand up and take them on wherever we find them.

Source: On School Shooting: “Since It’s Almost Always A White Kid, There’s Just Nothing We Can Do”

A Science Teacher Confronts Young Minds Damaged By Propaganda

“What people ‘believe’ about global warming doesn’t reflect what they know,” Dan Kahan, a Yale researcher who studies political polarization, has stressed in talks, papers and blog posts. “It expresses who they are.”

In this New York Times article, we encounter science teacher James Sutter and his greatest challenge: teaching propaganda-hardened young minds the reality of climate change.

The Heartland Institute recently science teachers a book of misinformation titled “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.” Their goal is to influence “the next generation of thought,” according to Joseph Bast, the group’s chief executive. See the SourceWatch page and Wikipedia entry on the Heartland Institute for more information on the group and its goals.

I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this is a fight for the hearts and minds of our children, and their future. Groups like the Heartland Institute are doing their best to implant ideas that benefit the harmful corporations they work for, while individuals like James Sutter and progressive groups are doing their best to educate students on the evidence and how to think critically about science so they’re prepared to act on that knowledge.

How Propagandists Feed the Right Wing Conspiracy Machine

New York Times – A Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorist, a False Tweet and a Runaway Story

The New York Times presents the case of a well-known right-wing propagandist who generates false stories that are taken up by Breitbart, Limbaugh, and the rest of the hate machine and used to cast doubt on facts harmful to the right, in this case sowing doubt about Comey’s testimony on Trump’s obstruction of justice.

This fits the definition of treason to me. These propagandists are working for Russia, whether paid by Putin or not. As with Trump, the GOP led government is unlikely to take action against these traitors because it helps keep them in power. Party over Country is the GOP mantra.

We need to be aggressive in speaking truth to the right

Here are two reports on the CPAC’s attempt to paint the alt-right as left wing fascists, which is a contradiction, as anyone who’s studied fascism knows.

Alt-right leader expelled from CPAC after organizer denounces ‘fascist group’

CPAC’s Flirtation With the Alt-Right Is Turning Awkward

A friend on G+ pointed out that this is a prime example of the right’s common tactic of taking any complaint the other side has about them, making the exact same complaint about the other side, and then repeating it until it sticks. I’m glad others see this tactic. It’s basic propaganda and we need to call it out wherever we see it.

The left needs to be on the attack as well as defense, all the time. The enemy of progress is relentless and we need to be too. As soon as the right starts some BS propaganda like this, the left needs to come out in force and ridicule the right while also explaining why it’s BS. We can’t reach everyone, but we need to make our voices as loud and far reaching as possible.

My biggest complaint about the left is that they usually refuse to play hardball and tell it like is. Sanders is a great exception and I think Warren is too. I’m a pretty intense person and I started adulthood in the Army infantry and then served as a deputy sheriff. I have a hard time with the left being meek and gentle when aggression is called for. We can be both kind and fierce, and we need to be both.