Saturday, November 30, 2013

Against Violence in a democracy

I want to make it clear about where I stand on violence and destruction conducted in a democratic society. More specifically our democratic society. 

I am entirely against it and it is wrong.  The resort to violence or to destruction against an opponent is wrong. The issues of the day are not to be resolved with violence but with the democratic process and debate. 

My opposition extends to other malicious acts, such as using an organization's envelops to send back weighty objects to rack up charges.   I am not going to go into a big theoretical definition of maliciousness, you know what it is when you see it. If you are working out a rational why it isn't, then probably it is malicious.

One negative of resorting to violence is that you invite retaliation in kind. I only mention this to those who can't be reasoned with in any other way. Violence also gives sympathy to your victim. Again, I mention this to those who can't be reasoned with in any other way. 

Violence subverts society and the discussion of issues and is injury to another person. 

I am not precluding self-defense, I someone is getting ready to throw a rock at a window, by all means act. 

Also, I am not saying that if you say something appalling you should be granted immunity to other consequences. If you are saying something that people think is appalling they certainly have a right to say it is appalling. Logically, people will consider your fitness for a position or question your judgment. This opens up all sorts of questions which I am not going into.

I just want to make it clear that if someone is considering vandalism or violence I am not going to excuse it or rationalize it or do less than condemn it outright. 

From time to time I will be stating an opposition to vandalism and violence to make it clear where I stand. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas carols and the United Daughters of the Confederacy

In the Nov. 2007, Vol. 70 No. 10, issue of UDC Magazine, the official publication of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), on pages 12-14, Sybil R. Willingham, UDC Historian General 2006-2008, has an article, "Christmas Songs as Propaganda," about which Christmas songs were written by abolitionists.

Willingham doesn't directly say don't sing Christmas carols written by abolitionists. What she says in the conclusion of her article is:
As you gather round with friends and family this Christmas, perhaps you will join in singing some of the old favorites that our Confederate ancestors sang too. Merry Christmas.
The unspoken message is that the reader should consider whether their Confederate ancestors would have sang a particular Christmas carol or not depending on whether it was authored by an abolitionist in their selection of Christmas carols to sing. A UDC member would not have to be told not to sing a particular song, they would reject it knowing it was written by an abolitionist.

Willingham also writes:
Some of our favorite hymns that we enjoy singing today contained controversial verses that have since been removed.
"O Holy Night"

The article explains that the carol "O Holy Night" was written in France. Willingham informs the reader that this Christmas carol became very popular starting before the Civil War and during the Civil War because of the 3rd verse of the song.
Truely He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His Gospel peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
This must be one of the versus which Willingham finds controversial. Breaking chains to free slaves! Ceasing oppression! Well, perhaps this is controversial for the UDC membership.

The carol "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day" Willingham informs us is based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, titled "Christmas Bells," set to music in 1872. The carol omitted the 4th and 5th versus of Longfellow's poem which referred to the Civil War.

Willingham then concludes the article with a section, "The Songs We Love." She comments, "It is doubtful that the aforementioned songs were sung in their entirety in Southern churches and homes during the War" in referring to songs written by abolitionists.

She then describes Christmas carols which were sung in the Confederacy: "Hark, the herald angel sings,"; "O Come, All Ye Faithful,"; and "Silent Night." These would be the "Songs We Love."

Willingham also points out that "Jingle Bells," was written by John Lord Pierpont, who enlisted in the Confederate First Georgia Cavalry."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Anti-Union campaign in the South compares a labor Union to the Union army of the Civil War and identifies with the Confederacy

Rather interesting article online here:

The anti-labor union campaign asks people to oppose the labor union like the Confederate army opposed the Union army during the Civil War.

This is another news story on the same thing.

The organization CEI has pulled their Op-Ed from their web page. Fortunately the Internet Archive has the article here:

From the Op-Ed
One hundred and fifty years ago an invading Union army was halted at Chattanooga by the Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg. The Battle of Chickamauga was one of the bloodiest days of the entire Civil War, and a resounding defeat for the Northern forces. Today Southeastern Tennessee faces invasion from another union— an actual labor union, the United Auto Workers (UAW). The UAW has its heart set on organizing Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant, which employs several thousand and supports thousands more throughout the Southeast.
Actions like this helps alienate a large demographic against the Confederacy. I doubt it is effective anti-union tactic, but I am sure that the American labor unions will take notice and it will be effective in encouraging an anti-Confederate sentiment.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The United Methodist Church chooses the Confederacy

I did not hear back from the national, state, or local leadership of the United Methodist Church that they decided to not host the United Daughters of the Confederacy so I am assuming that they went through with it on Nov. 10, 2013.

Also, they weren't willing to comment on it. It is something they don't want to defend to the public and hope that it will be something they will not have to explain to anyone. Not exactly moral leadership.

One of the following denominations is not like the others. Can you guess which one? Click on the following image to see the full graph.

Note: The entire campaign on the effort to get churches to not enable neo-Confederate groups is online at

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Christian Confederacy: A Map of Churches that Host neo-Confederate organizations. Updated

This is a link to a combined map of UDC and SCV hosting churches.

It is interactive. It isn't the greatest.

You should open up some cities since you only see one or two markers and there have been multiple churches in the city that have hosted such as in Richmond.

Also, the legend for the map is covering up a church in San Diego. The names are to the left and there is no positioning to keep them from overlapping. Some of the churches hosting more than once, but I can't seem to find how you indicate it on the map.

I am still learning the software. However, it seems it is made for only simple maps and is a google throw away software.

You would also think that there would be someway that the map would open up in Google Blog.

Source data is at and also on the map itself.

I have bar graphs of churches that host neo-Confederate groups at this blog post.

The campaign against churches enabling neo-Confederacy can be followed at this web page:

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

With friends like this you don't need enemies. Ron Paul speaks at rally for Ken Cuccinelli about nullification. UPDATE:

With friends like this you don't need enemies.

In Virginia one reason Republican candidate for governor Ken Cuccinelli is so far behind the democratic candidate is that a 3rd party Libertarian candiate is pulling a fair percentage of the vote, something like 7 or 9 percent. Not real big, but large relative to the lead of the democratic candidate over Cuccinelli. It is assumed that these voters would vote for Cuccinelli.

So Cuccinelli had Libertarian Ron Paul come to one of his rallies to support him. The article is online here:

Ron Paul talked about nullification and spoke against the 17th amendment to the Constitution. The 17th amendment has the U.S. Senators directly elected.

One of the big problems in the polls is that Cuccinelli is seen as being too extreme. So Cuccinelli might pick up some Libertarian votes but he might further lose people who seem him as being too extreme.

If Cuccinelli wins this election nullification and other elements of neo-Confederate ideology will take a large step in being mainstreamed. However it is not seen as likely that Cuccinelli will be elected. I suppose I should update this posting tonight.

UPDATE: Cuccinelli lost by a very small margin, about 1% or a little less.

But even if Cuccinelli loses, nullification and elements of neo-Confederate ideology still will be mainstreamed to some extent into conservative circles.

Monday, November 04, 2013

"Slate" article, "How Fears of a Slave Revolt Drew the South into the War - The Revolutionary War."

The Slate article, "How Fears of a Slave Revolt Drew the South into the War - The Revolutionary War," is online at:

It is an interesting article written by Eric Herschthal, a Ph.D. candidate in history at Columbia University.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

When the "New York Times" was pro-neo-Confederate

When  I say when the New York Times was pro-neo-Confederate I don't want to imply that it doesn't have sympathies with the Confederacy today.

This is a short item from The Southern Magazine, April-May 1934, Vol. 1 No. 2, "Mississippi Edition," which was published by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Individual issues were often dedicated to a state or a region.

On page 28 is the section titled, "The Main Street of the South," by Anne V. Mann. One of the articles is titled, "Southern Society Pays Honor to Five.

The text of the article as to the New York Times is as follows:
The New York Times of March 3rd says: 
Five persons who "contributed unusual achievements in the perpetuation of the history and traditions of the South" during 1933 received parchments of distinction from the New York Southern Society last night at its annual Dixie dinner dance at the Waldorf-Astoria. 
[The article mentions Mrs. Livingston Rowe Schuyler as one recipient then continues.]
Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of The New York Times, was honored as "a greater leader in journalism and in public life,  whose lofty and patriotic career reflects such credit upon the South." The parchment was accepted by his daughter, Mrs. Arthur Hays Sulzterger, representing Mr. Ochs, who was unable to attend. 
[The article then goes on to list the other recipients.]

It is not surprising that the New York Southern Society gave Ochs an award. Ochs gave a neo-Confederate rendering of the news as the Confederate Veteran reported in a 1903 article. I boldface the relevant section in this part of the article.
The New York Times, one day's issue, includes; The news section, 28 pages, the annual financial supplement, 56 page: the quotation supplement, 4 pages; the magazine supplement, 16 pages; the magazine section 6 pages; the winder resort section, 8 pages -- total, 118 pages. 
A few years ago the New York Times, with all its prestige was about to succumb. At that critical period, Mr. Adolph S. Ochs, as thoroughly "self-made" as any American, with experience in the Chattanooga Times, beginning in his boyhood, had ambition for the ownership of that venerable New York daily, and securing the cooperation of friends, he assumed the responsibility, and determined to publish "all the news fit to print" on conservative, dignified lines. It was a prodigious undertaking, and Mr. Ochs won. 
The feature of this enterprise of interest to VETERAN Readers is that the Southern people may read the New York Times with perfect satisfaction. They get the news reliably all the time with never a word of discredit upon their section. [Confederate Veteran, Vol. 11 No. 1, Jan. 1903, page 40.]
Given the time period at which Ochs was publishing the New York Times it was a paper that was opposed to civil rights and supportive of white supremacy. The Confederate Veteran continued to mention the New York Times and Ochs favorably in larger articles with his picture and a half page picture of the New York Times' skyscraper and informing the reader that Ochs and the paper were in alignment with Southern opinion.

From a 1905 article:
The New York Times was in ""hard lines" when Mr. Ochs bought it, and now it is not only far beyond any question of reliability but, better still, it is one of the most conservative and one of the ablest newspapers printed. Indeed, it rarely misses giving "all the news fit to print." Mr. Ochs's southern friends rarely have a wish that is not developed in the New York Times. [Confederate Veteran, Vol. 13 No. 12, Dec. 1905, pages 578-578]
Adolph S. Ochs was a supporter of the Lost Cause. He donated $1,000 to the Lee Mausoleum Custodian Endowment Fund in Virginia in memory of his departed mother. [Confederate Veteran, Vol. 35 No. 3,  March 1927, page 112.]

It turns out that though his father was a Captain in the Union army his mother smuggled quinine into Kentucky for the use by the Confederacy. His mother, Barbara Levy Ochs was a "devoted" member of the A.P. Stewart Chapter of the UDC. Her brother was in the Confederate army. [Confederate Veteran, Vol. 36 No. No. 5, May 1925, page 164.]

It might well be a good project to see how this identification with the Confederacy affected the New York Times' reporting and publishing.

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