Sunday, September 27, 2015

Without money from New York and California the South would be Bangladesh

I think the title is a little much. However, if you look at economic statistics, the South doesn't do as well despite all the army bases and Federal enterprises placed there. I once saw a map of the per capita income and you see a South of poverty. I think the cities are doing better now days and there are places in the South doing better. These are places that neo-Confederates hate, such as South Florida, Atlanta.

Click on the video window to get it full size. Also, you might have to wait to skip a commercial.

Thomas Fleming is no longer with Rockford Institute. Founder of the League of the South now runs Fleming Foundation. Institution dedicated to wailing "All is Lost."

Thomas Fleming is no longer with the Rockford Institute. He is now running the Fleming Foundation which seems to consist of himself as he pointed out.

Link to the Fleming Foundation:

This is his Facebook page.

It seems he left in March 2015 which he announced on his Facebook page.

He was the editor at Chronicles magazine of the Rockford Institute since 1984.

The person who founded the Rockford Institute and probably provided a good deal of the money, John Addison Howard, has passed way in August 2015.

I don't know if Howard's passing is related to Fleming's exit from the Rockford Institute. It could be that Howard was incapacitated and didn't have influence on the running of the Rockford Institute at the time of Fleming's exit, or it could be that Howard faced with the end of his life decided that he needed to finally act to preserve the Rockford Institute. I doubt I will ever find out.

Howard is most remembered in Rockford, Illinois for his attempt, as president of Rockford College, to make the college  a right wing college with purges of those who he didn't like.

The first change of Fleming's status at the Rockford Institute was that he was no longer its president but he was to remain Editor of Chronicles magazine as announced in the March 2015 issue of Chronicles.  There was some comment about his replacement able to get donors interested in the institute. In the March, April, May and June issues, articles by Fleming were run in his usual place in the magazine. Then he is not there.

As his America changed towards greater democracy and inclusion of minorities of all types and with immigration Fleming saw that his hope for a reactionary restoration was not going to happen. However, I don't think you can get support for a magazine or an institution if your message is that things are hopeless and that your goal is to save some cultural items for the future as if a new dark ages is coming.

Fleming mentally existed in the ancient classical world of the Greeks and Romans, including the Byzantines and has never really left it, if anything he has more and more existed mentally within that world.

Having read 30 years of Fleming's essays, I can tell you they often had a theme, but he would start out in the classical world (Ancient Rome and Greece) and work his way through the medieval world and thorough modern times and then get to his subject which the history he related was supposed to illustrate.

The Fleming Foundation has chosen Boethius to identify with. Boethius lived at the end of the  Western Roman Empire and represents the idea of the Fleming Foundation that they are repeating the work of Boethius for a coming dark ages.

Thomas Fleming is now no longer with the Rockford Institute where he had at least the comradeship of his fellow reactionaries, though he probably has supporters in Rockford, Illinois who will go to his activities of the Fleming Foundation.

I don't have any sympathy with Fleming's plight. He hoped to break up the United States of America, he hoped to reverse all the accomplishments of the Civil Rights movement. He was hostile to every movement giving social justice to any minority and women. In the June 1987 Chronicles magazine, page 37, Jane Greer is gleeful that the jury supported a gay basher.

Fleming was quite adamant about reactionaries consider the need for violence at some point.

Instead of achieving these goals he lives in a world with gay marriage and an African American president.

To Fleming it is a dark ages since he doesn't see a future where a reactionary regime with the subordination and persecution of many groups can be accomplished. Where even Tea Party elements think he is fringe. His agenda has no hope.  When he founded the Southern Partisan in 1979, and even when he started being the editor of Chronicles in 1984 there was still the possibility that the election of Reagan might be the start of a long trek to the right in politics with the reversing the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, with the defeat of the gay rights movement and feminism.

The counter-revolution never came. Fleming can see with immigration and the changing attitudes of Americans that his counter-revolution will not happen in his life time and not in any future  visible to the present.

Fleming probably feels his world is coming to end also because he can see the declining interest in classical studies. (studies of the Romans and Greeks). When I was young knowing about the Romans and Greeks was essential to be considered educated and I read a great deal. I even purchased Theodore Mommsen's "Provinces of the Roman Empire," two volumes. Maybe someday I will read it.

In the early and mid-twentieth century the fall of Rome was a topic of popular interest, reasons given usually were related to someones political agenda.

However, in the 1960s Latin was being dropped from the high schools. Interest has declined steadily. Now it is a specialist topic in history like others.

I doubt that there will be much interest in the Fleming Foundation.

And for Fleming, he goes raging, frothing, into the night. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Russia and American Secessionists: America under attack

The Russians are encouraging secessionists movements in the West including secessionist groups in the United States.

The article doesn't mention any neo-Confederate groups, but Russia has been working with the League of the South.

Our initial reaction might be to laugh, since it seems that secession in America is so implausible and the standard response is to refer to the Civil War and say that the question of secession is settled.

Before we go further in discussing this, Puerto Rico has had votes on whether to secede, be a commonwealth affiliated with the United States or opt for Statehood. The opposition to secession in Puerto Rico is made up of Puerto Ricans. If Puerto Rico decides to be an independent country I don't think there is much opposition to this. It came under American sovereignty as a result of American victory in the Spanish-American War.

Back to the issue of secession. Secession movements usually start out with small percentages of the public supporting them. They can languish for decades, but the history of nations can be very long and nations can encounter all sorts of situations, sometimes the nation is down, such as the occupation of France by the Germans. There can be other catastrophes and during those times, it is the patriotism of the members of a nation that determine whether a nation persists. How long was Poland under foreign occupation and yet it exists.

Other nations are long forgotten like Burgundy or Arles, which unless you really know your medieval history, you probably have not heard of them.

Ultimately nations exist because their members imagine themselves to be of that nationality.

Russia instead of being a major communist world power is now a major reactionary and anti-democratic power and attacking the democratic West and looking for any fissure to exploit to bring down Western nations.

Unfortunately the United States is full of monuments to violent white supremacist insurrectionists who sought to break up the United States, that is the Confederates and their Confederacy. Already a very bad idea, now these monuments serve to enable a hostile and formidable foreign power that is against America, against the West, and against democarcy.

Confederate monuments, holidays, and buildings, streets, schools, etc. named after them need to go and need to go now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

World Net Daily columnist proposes breaking up the United States


This is what happens when you honor violent insurrectionists, the Confederates.  The author's solution at the end of the column is to divide the United States into two nations.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Rod Dreher deludes himself or Rod Dreher please!

The Sept./Oct. 2015 issue of The American Conservative has a cover article "My People, Black & White" by Rod Dreher. He collaborated on a book with actor Wendall Pierce, an African American from Louisiana. Rod Dreher is from Louisiana.

Rod Dreher asserts, as the title suggests, that since both he and Wendall Pierce like some of the same foods and have shared Louisiana experiences it gives them a commonality as people from Louisiana that supersedes racial divisions. He also feels that has made some type of an achievement regarding race.

The idea that shared cultural things over arches the division of race is an old idea of neo-Confederate John Shelton Reed, one of the founders of the modern neo-Confederate movement. In short it is an idea that some African Americans and some white southerners both like pecan pie and fried green tomatoes so the racial divide in the South can't be that bad.

The article notes that Rod Dreher is the Senior Editor of The American Conservative. Let's look at this one issue to see who are the contributors.

First on page 11 is Patrick J. Buchanan's column. He was an editor for Southern Partisan the leading magazine for the neo-Confederate movement from 1979 to 2005 (roughly, it died out slowly.) I don't know if Buchanan is still a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

On page 40, in an article "South of the Right: The regional conservatism of John William Corrington," by Allen Mendenhall, they are praising Corrington. I know of Corrington because he was a favorite of Southern Partisan magazine, and I purchased a book of essays written in his memory. In one of the essays, by Melvin Eugene Adonis Bradford, I learned about the nasty little racist Corrington. Maybe I am judgment about Corrington's writing portraying Nathan Bedford Forrest as a hero.

On page 43 is Bill Kauffman, a contributor to Chronicles magazine over the years, another racist publication. He doesn't write about race. He writes mostly that America's involvement in World War II was some type of conspiracy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the British and other anti-war stuff.  Recently Thomas Fleming left the Rockford Institute which publishes Chronicles magazine. But it is a racist publication.

On page 49 Thomas E. Woods Jr. reviews a book. He is a leading neo-Confederate theorist. Contributor to Southern Partisan, Chronicles and even the Southern Patriot, which was the official publication of the League of the South. I have devoted a web page to his neo-Confederate writings since he has hoped that they fall into a memory hole.

On page 52 is Paul Gottfried, another long time contributor to Chronicles magazine.

But the very worst is on page 58, Taki Theodoracopulos, an arrogant racist if there ever was one. Another contributor to Chronicles magazine. Also, a name dropper extraordinaire. I have read every one of his columns in Chronicles magazine and he does name dropping going back decades to before World War II.

These are just the names I recognize from the publications I pursue in my studies of neo-Confederates. Who knows what the background of the rest of the contributors to this magazine is? Obviously racism isn't a bar to contributing or other involvement in The American Conservative.

The reason I have subscribed to this magazine and purchased what issues I have missed and have them organized in magazine files on my bookshelves is because I had recognized so many names from my research into neo-Confederates in the issues of The American Conservative.

Yes, Rod Dreher ate a meal with an African American and he is patting himself on the back on the issue of race. However, in the end he will be the senior editor of a magazine that publishes racists and neo-Confederates, a senior editor who himself very likely selected some of those neo-Confederates for publication.

He is unfortunately on the editorial staff of the Dallas Morning News, but then again, he does represent what is called the North Dallas mentality.

Regarding Louisiana, someone there voted for David Duke.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The death of Civil War books: Is the fate of many Civil War books the dumpster?

The Butternut and Blue bookstore in Baltimore, MD is closing. They had an open house sale on August 29, 2015 on a Saturday to sell off inventory. So I drove to Baltimore and was there for the open house. I made a point of purchasing a couple books.

Most of the books were more oriented towards military history and not much else, but not all books. I already owned almost all the few books that I was interested in.

The Butternut and Blue bookstore catalogs I had gotten for many years. They were very useful since they had a section of recently published or soon to be published books that listed most everything that was relevant to the Civil War and a couple sentences explaining what it was. It was very useful and afforded a quick way to keep abreast of what was being published and avoid missing anything. The prices were full prices, but I made a point of purchasing some things from the catalog to keep the catalogs coming and support the book store.

The proprietor of the book store in his letter explained that they are getting older and that they have grand children now, but most importantly the interest in Civil War books had been declining since the "mid- to late-1990s." and "Even though many dealers drifted away, Butternut and Blue continued to offer a catalogue every two months."

I also went to purchase a few books, finally visit the bookstore before it closed to satisfy my curiousity, and to see what was the demographics of the customers for the book store. They were all older white men, like myself. Some I think were reenactors I am assuming from observing their copious facial hair, now gray or white.

One person who bought a lot of books was very elderly and a little infirm. I made sure to hold the door open for him and people offered to carry the box of books for him. He declined and carried his own books to the car.

When I visit Baltimore I stay with a friend who lives in an apartment complex. The night before my visit to Butternut and Blue I was at his apartment complex and there were on the lawns of the apartments buildings the contents of two apartments. Two people had been evicted and their stuff just taken out and put on the lawn.

The evicted person takes what they can or wants and the rest is left abandoned later to put into dumpsters. Once abandoned it appears that it is open to rummaging by others. What is left goes to a dumpster and landfill later. I don't know what the timing of this is.

I was able to see that both previous tenants had abandoned books. Some were good books.

The next day, Saturday, when I was leaving the Butternut and Blue bookstore I suddenly realized what the future of Civil War books was going to be. A lot of books going into dumpsters.

The people who purchase most of these books will be passing away in the next few decades, likely many of them in less time, some are passing away now, since the demographics I saw was those in good enough health to go to a bookstore and want to go to a book store and aren't currently thinking about the fate of their Civil War libraries in the next few years.. Also, in the coming years there will be few and fewer people interested in purchasing the books in the Civil War libraries that will then come on to the market as their former owners pass away. There might not be any Civil War book dealers at all, or if there are a few, they won't want to purchase books they can't sell or which are flooding the online used book markets. One extensive Civil War library after another will be coming onto the market.

Some books are rare or for one reason or other will find buyers. Others can be donated to academic libraries, and I suppose a few might be donated to public libraries.

However, with interest in the Civil War declining, public libraries will not be interested in books for which there is a declining readership and books that were published decades ago and not current. Sure perhaps a few books for a local regiment or regarding a local Civil War leader will be kept in a local library, if the library didn't already have copies already.

Local historical societies usually don't have much space, but I suspect a few books will be placed there relevant to local history.

And then at some point all the institutions will have had donated to them mostly all the books they want. There will be few and fewer empty places to place Civil War books as time goes on. The institutions will become saturated with used Civil War books.

Go to a large university library or public library. The shelves are on rails and you crank to move the whole shelf. That way there is only space between two shelves if a person needs to find a book on the shelves being separated. This is done to get a lot of useful space out of the library building space. These librarians are not going to want to give over valuable space for books which few of their patrons will be interested in.

Libraries are already complaining about the increasing number of academic books that are being published and where are they going to put them all. Almost all the academic fields have had a great increase in books being published. Librarians struggle to find space for hundreds of linear feet of books published every year. University departments have their own libraries filling up with books.

There will be some countervailing trends. With the increasing supply of Civil War books, and fewer purchasers, prices will decline a lot, and some Civil War enthusiasts will be purchasing more books at a faster rate. However, at some point their shelves will be full. Also how many Civil War book sets by Bruce Catton or Allan Nevins do you need?

There was only one "young" person at Butternut and Blue, probably in late thirties or forties versus the dozen others. Maybe later in the day many "young" people came, probably not. Even if the Civil War books are free, there isn't going to be much space for Civil War books with the next generation. The drop of private shelf space for Civil War books appears to be precipitous.

Some might be kept by their children for sentimental reasons unread, or because the older ones make good decor. Probably not a lot of these books. Usually spouses don't like too much space devoted to book shelves.

But as the supply floods the market and the demand continues to drop there will be a point where used book stores won't want to take most Civil War books because they already have too many that are already on sale, on their second mark down, and they are still not selling.

Ebay and Amazon will have books available, cheap, and then there will be the books that are offered again and again and aren't moving. They are wasting the seller's time. A quick check shows that multivolume sets of books are going cheaply already.

Then some books will be in electronic form, not just proprietary systems, but in pdfs and other open formats. Do you want the heavy official records on your shelf, or wouldn't a data disk with a searchable text be better? Actually, I do have hard copies of multi-volume sets, but I greatly appreciate the searchable disk. And perhaps I am being sentimental to like to read a book in an easy chair and I am just not with it, out-of-date. I am looking at the new Apple Ipad Pro for reading pdf books. It has a really nice screen. Maybe all these books are just taking a lot of space and I just can't break the sentimental attachment. Maybe my library is just some ideas of social class from movies I saw as a child.

In the future estate dealers won't want Civil War libraries since they know that they don't sell. Then the Civil War books will face the fate of Reader Digest books. If you go to department stores in the sections where they want to sell expensive goods with illusions of being socially upscale they have a book shelf with books that have gold stamped titles as filler for decor. You will see that they are Reader Digest condensed books. There are other markets for dirt cheap books for when you want to set up interior design for a movie or stage. They won't be interested in anything with Confederate flags since it might create the wrong impression.

The same day I was at the Butternut and Blue I went with a friend to a mall and at Macy's instead of having book shelves, they had big wall paper posters of bookshelves lined with books. Probably adds 2 linear feet to the available space in both directions. It seems even this use of books is becoming obsolete.

At some point Civil War books won't physically have anywhere to go. As the children of the deceased former owner of a Civil War library need to clean up the house so it can go on sale they will initially try to find a place for the books. They will find that their aren't any used book stores or used book dealers who want more than a few.

They are also trying to get rugs and furniture and dishes and paintings and all the stuff we accumulate in life distributed. Maybe they are arguing over the vases or the jewelry. They will be deciding if the old oriental rug is too worn to be kept or if it is still nice whether it will it fit in with their home or apartment decor. They might have been watching the reality TV show about hoarders and be wary of keeping too much stuff. They will be distracted with emotional concerns with relatives they don't normally see. Some of these relatives they will be glad to see again, others they have avoided.

Then there is the funeral to plan. Then there are the usual disputes over family estates and relatives stealing stuff.

Probably many of them don't value books that much or at least not as much as the deceased relative and maybe they might have books but they aren't Civil War books.

The deceased relatives will have a lot on their minds and the books won't be a priority. Soon they will be asking anyone including neighbors or friends or people at work whether they want them. They will think, "didn't Fred in purchasing buy a history book? Maybe he will want some?" And this will be for the relatives which care something about books, others might curse the bother of so many books to carry to the dumpster.

Then it will either be the dumpster or one or more relatives going to have to be taking the books home with them and they really don't have the space, spouses will be angry,

For some books, I don't have any concerns about them going to the dumpsters. People who buy Civil War books have seen books that didn't need to be written and contribute nothing to scholarship or education and were written for the sole purpose of just having a book to sell to a target group that marketing had identified.

There are other books for which the Civil War was just a lot of fighting where men were men and it all thrills and chills and loud noises. I won't be concerned about those books either. A few need to be kept for the study of historical memory.

But there will be great many good books by good authors that are going to end up in landfills, tons of them.

The decline of the interest in the Civil War wasn't inevitable. The Civil War was an event of great importance in American history and is still perhaps the central event in American history. The nation ceased to have slavery. The Civil War was horrendous. It led to Reconstruction, the first attempt at a multi-racial democracy.

The problem is that the Civil War magazines and newspapers looked at the Civil War with a very narrow lens to satisfy the reenactors. It is the toy soldier game view of the Civil War. Where the mentality comes from some time before the modern civil rights movement (Mid-20th century).

Civil War historians didn't do much better. With few exceptions they ignored or gave a free pass to the obvious neo-Confederates in their ranks. They often shared the reenactors' mentality of the Civil War. They rarely spoke out against the Lost Cause nonsense.

For those Civil War historians who might reject the previous paragraphs I ask why is James Robertson still a respected historian or Gary Gallagher?

When the National Park System in an attempt to get broader interest in the Civil War by bringing up the issue of slavery, to give an explanation why they were fighting, there was a great whining arising in the Civil War clubs and really inane reasons given. No the Civil War was to be about manly white men fighting manly white men with courage and glory and loud noises.

Finally the public is realizing the problems with Ken Burns' sorry "Civil War" series. But it is 2015 and too late, interest in the Civil War has been killed. Some Civil War historians did speak out, but most didn't and were thrilled with the temporary increase in the interest in the Civil War. PBS and Ken Burns should have been roasted. I still hope that they might.

And what was it with PBS selecting the Civil War trilogy of a fairly obvious neo-Confederate and racist Shelby Foote? A historian which the Southern Partisan claimed as being one of them. Didn't the producers find it odd that Shelby Foote kept referring to abolitionists as Jacobins? No it was another example of a free pass given to a white racist and neo-Confederates by PBS.

Currently the Civil War Trust has a petition to ask Congress to protect Confederate statues everywhere. You can read it here. For the Civil War establishment it is still the early morning of May 17, 1954, the supreme court still hasn't issued its ruling on Brown vs. Board of Topeka, and Plessy vs. Ferguson still might be saved along with the Romance of Reunion mentality of the Civil War.

Civil War enthusiasts usually have an abrupt cut off in the historical timeline with the end of the Civil War except how it relates to some Civil War protagonists. Little interest in Reconstruction and if there is interest it is most the idea that Reconstruction was a period of "negro misrule."

The impression that is given to the general public is that the Civil War is for older white people who probably spend a lot of time complaining about Obama or young people or both and "still hear the guns" and so have a very narrow interest in the Civil War and would react to the discussion of slavery or race or criticism of the Confederacy like people would react to a loud fart at an elegant formal dinner party.

The Civil War of the Civil War Trust and other organizations in the community of present day Civil War enthusiasts is going to die out and it is a good thing.

However, interest in the Civil War will come back in another generation, a generation where it will be the Civil War of the abolitionists in a multi-racial America and the Civil War will again have popular interest.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Possibility of a question about secession on the Texas Republican primary ballot, could be very interesting.

It turns out that the Texas Nationalist Movement has started a petition drive to the question of whether Texas should secede on the Texas Republican primary ballot. They only need 66,894 signatures and will target 75,000 to cover the inevitable discovery that some signatures are invalid.

Texas is a big state with a big population and with a higher than national average rate of right wing crackpots. So there are easily enough people willing to sign their petition.

This article explains what is happening.

The Republican party leadership is entirely against this. From the article:

But that hasn't stopped the Republican Party of Texas from rolling its eyes at the secessionists. Texas GOP communications director Aaron Whitehead said the Republican party certainly doesn't welcome outside groups trying to doctor the party ballot.
“Historically the executive committee of the Republican Party has chosen what goes on this,” Whitehead said, “and it’s party preference that it stays that way.”
You would think the Republicans would be more emphatic and specific in criticizing a movement that is against the UNITED States of America.

The problem probably is that they don't want to give the secessionists free publicity, and also this is something the Republican Party base might be sympathetic to.

What must worry the Texas Republican leadership is that the percentage of Republicans who might be willing to vote yes on this could be embarrassingly high. Individuals might vote for it as joke, or an expression of opposition against Obama, or just to irritate the Republican leadership all thinking that their little protest vote won't matter that much.

Then when the results are tabulated the percentage that voted yes might be very high.

Also, the Democrats may well decide to encourage the yes vote to embarrass the Republicans. A leading Democratic figure might condemn the Texas Nationalist Movement which would encourage members of the Republican party base to vote for the Texas Nationalist Movement in a reflexive response.

Other tactics might be to have some group condemn Texas secession in a way that would drive people to vote for secession. For example, point out that LGBT rights wouldn't be safe in an independent Texas.

This can be a dangerous game to play. If the Texas Nationalist Movement gets a significant percentage it could very well give the secessionists credibility and get more people involved and then another ballot with an even higher percentage vote for secession.

Chances are now that they will get a percentage yes on the Republican primary to embarrass the Republicans, but the movement won't be able to achieve their goals and as Texas demographically changes it will be much less interested in secession.

However, the future is opaque to us. Sometimes the unexpected happens and in some crisis the Texas Nationalist Movement might be in a position where they have a good prospect of achieving their goals.

I think though that this will be all great laughs and the Republican Party will learn the lesson that being the party of crazy can have negative consequences.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

"Buy Confederate Flags from a Black Guy." Hilarious send up of neo-Confederate apologists and people like H.K. Edgerton. UPDATE:


Don't take this video seriously. It is a very, very, desert dry satirical piece skewering the Confederate flag and its supporters.

If you listen to it, you can see the person is a comical genius. At the end I think you can see he is struggling to keep from laughing or smiling.

You will laugh.

It is a real send up.

The website is actually.

This video will do a slow burn. It is on the Daily Beast already.

As of 9/2/2015 9:05 pm EST it has 91,000+ viewers.


Adweek has done an article on the website.

The count as of 9/3/2015 12:19 pm EST at YouTube is 102,000+ viewers. Help this go viral.

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