Saturday, February 24, 2018

Panicked Alarm for thrills. A Norwegian flag reported to the press as a Confederate flag.

I don't know what type of person Rebecca Morris is, and the headline is my interpretation of these events.

It is like an episode out of Portlandia.

Recently a resident of Seattle called a reporter that a Confederate flag was flying in her neighborhood on a flag pole. This is the story:

It turned out it was a Norwegian flag.

Now before going forward lets contrast the Norwegian flag to the Confederate battle flag.

The Norwegian flag has a Latin cross, that is a + sign type cross.

The Confederate battle flag has a Greek cross, that is a X type cross.

The Norwegian flag doesn't have any decorative elements or symbols or anything besides the cross.

The Confederate battle flag has 13 stars. They are not small and a prominent element of the design.

They don't look like each other at all except a lot of red.

This was the news tip by Morris.
“Hi. Suddenly there is a Confederate flag flying in front of a house in my Greenwood neighborhood. It is at the north-east corner of 92nd and Palatine, just a block west of 92nd and Greenwood Ave N. I would love to know what this ‘means’ … but of course don’t want to knock on their door. Maybe others in the area are flying the flag? Maybe it’s a story? Thank you.”
A reporter drove to the corner and in this story an excuse is made for Morris.
There was no wind, and on a flagpole there was what obviously was the U.S. flag at the top, and below, a red flag with blue stripes. 
Simply hanging down, not spread out, you could make some assumptions that it was the star-filled “Southern cross” of the Confederacy.
It isn't clear whether there was no wind when Morris reported this flag.  However, if there wasn't any wind, I would think you would wait for some wind to make sure that it was a Confederate flag before you denounce a neighbor to the press. This is effectively a denunciation, Morris characterizes the neighbor flying the Confederate flag as someone potentially dangerous. "but of course don't want to knock on their door."

I can imagine that the neighbor flying the Norwegian flag felt intimidated.

The newspaper digs up another case of a Norwegian flag mistaken for a Confederate flag.

When it was reported back to Morris that it was a Norwegian flag she replied:

She says she had even looked up the Confederate flag online and it sure looked to her like the flag on that corner. 
But on a second look, “Well, it does look like the Norwegian flag!”

So here the no wind theory seems less creditable. Morris claims to have looked up a Confederate flag online and compared it to the flag on the corner.

Or perhaps there was no wind and that fact that the flag on the corner and a Confederate battle flag both had red and blue was enough for Morris to conclude that "it sure looked like the flag on that corner."

Morris then excuses herself by stating, "we're stressed by all things political that we see things that aren't there."

I think before you call the media about something this serious about your neighbor I think you really should make sure of your facts.

I would like to suggest some alternative possible interpretations of the events.

1. Maybe Morris is excitable and given to panicked alarms and just goes off the deep end easily. Perhaps cries often.

2. Or maybe Morris is excitable and saw a real opportunity for drama in her life. Morris could breathlessly report to her friends that she was the FIRST to report it. What dangers might be there with this neighbor she could dwell on breathlessly. The possibility for drama would be endless.

Right-wing news outlets were quick to take advantage of this opportunity to present opponents of Confederate things as addled persons.

Breitbart had this article.

The Daily Caller had this article.

Red State

The article concludes with, "To be fair, the colors are practically the same, but this seems like a mystery the true crime author could have figured out without contacting the media.

The Washington Examiner really takes Morris to task in this article and shows the two flags side by side.

The author of the Examiner article states.
"The reason we know about any of this is because the busybody Morris narc’d on her neighbor. "
The author also points out the alarmist representation of the neighbor by Morris and Morris' decision not to talk to the neighbor with this comment.
She would've discovered her boneheaded mistake pretty quickly, and privately, had she just done the neighborly thing and asked the man about his flag. Instead, she made a great fool of herself by ratting him out him to the local newspaper
I bring this up since I am finding in Dallas a lot of people who really aren't against the Confederate built environment, but really are primarily interested in drama and self-serving moral posturing.

They are focused on extremists and really don't want to know that the Confederate built environment is actually supported by mainstream elements in their society.

For those who have a compulsion to find silver linings in everything, I should point out there there isn't. Perhaps someone might reflect that they should check twice, but people who like panicked alarm for thrills are rarely reflective.

What the activist against the Confederate built environment needs to do is to discourage this in any organizations they have. I got to meetings and some seem to be forums for this type of self-indulgence. This needs to be called out for what it is.

Also, in building an organization don't imagine that these people are really supporters. They will be on to another issue and gone with a few news cycles when they see the current issue as exhausted for opportunities for drama and some new event provides new opportunities for drama.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Status of Texas secession, secessionists still waiting for Donald Trump to fail or to convince people that Donald Trump has failed or will fail. Long term what is the movement's prospects.

The Texas secession movement still exists, and it seems to be what it always has been.

On February 27, 2017 Daniel Miller in a Texian Partisan item in his regular column "Miller on Monday," the topic, "The rumors of our death."

He states:
Prior the Presidential election last November there was a belief among the political class here in Texas that a Hillary win would turn the Texas Nationalist Movement into an unstoppable juggernaut, and a Trump win would kill us.

I am not aware of anyone in the "political class" doing any such analysis. The political class in Texas doesn't take secession here seriously.

In 2016 I was reviewing that a Hillary win would develop a strong interest in Texas secession based on polls about Texas secession surveying Texas Trump supporters and the polls showed that 60% of Texas Trump supporters would support secession, and I said that a Trump victory would deflate the movement, but in no way I said it would kill it.

Mostly media interest in Texas secession is that it is a novelty story.

I had this blog posting when I thought that Trump was likely going to lose.

I re-iterated this opinion and pointed out that the Texas secessionists were afraid that Trump would win

I point out that when Trump said the election was going to be stolen from him I thought the secessionists would greatly benefit from a Trump loss.

Given that Hillary was projected to win I wrote this column.

After the election I wrote this:

After Trump won and Hillary Clinton lost I noticed that right wing secessionist movements had lost "impetus" and did the following blog posting

But I didn't say it had "killed" the movement. I had said:
However, as time progresses I think that disillusionment with Trump will set in and the secession movement will revive and will be telling people, "I told you so!" Actually, long term, and by long term I mean 6 to 12 months, Trump's election will enable the secession movement. As Trump fails to turn the United States into whatever his supporter's right wing fantasy that they wanted was, these supporters will come to see national politics as hopeless to realize their objectives. Secession will get a hearing and have greater credibility.

I saw a revival of the prospects of secessionists over time.

Miller has an interesting approach which shows his "skill" with numbers. He does a poll of people who are current supporters and he reports that only 1% of the supporters of Texas secession have given up.

This side-steps the issue about the possibility of Texas secession movement making any progress. I don't think anyone thought that current supporters of Texas secession would state that they have given up. The issue is whether the Texas secession movement could get a lot of popular interest, new members, and not be a small fringe movement. Miller rejects that he is leading a small fringe movement and likes to report numbers giving the idea that there is mass support for Texas secession. That is my impression of what his web pages are asserting.

True to what I thought the Texas secessionists strategy would by they are trying to show that Trump is failing, or isn't really the person his supporters thought he would be.

Here is one example about the "Lost Trump Presidency."

However, it needs to be asked what are the prospects for Texas secessionists. So I will review some scenarios and assess them.

1. Trump is re-elected president in 2020. I know current electoral trends make this unlikely. Also, his base is mostly older and the Democrats is mostly younger, but there could be developments and Trump is re-elected. The economy might turn out to be especially good for working people.

If Trump is re-elected then the Texas secessionists will be a lingering movement with die hard supporters but waiting for some distant future where their potential base will become disenchanted with America.

2. Democrats do really well in the 2018 elections, capture the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. They will be doing their best to make Trump's life miserable and there will be bills passing the legislature and vetoed by Trump.

At this point I think that there will start to be disillusionment with the American future by the potential base of secessionists as they begin to conceptualize that the trajectory of American in politics is not going to go their way.

The secession movement could start going somewhere in Nov. 2018 if it is perceived that the Trump revolution is certainly going to be undone.

3. The Democrats by 2020 capture all three branches of government.

The Texas secessionists will certainly find a much broader base of support when the alienated right wing finds no hope in an American future, and only hope in a Texas future that is split off from America.


Even if by 2020 the potential political base of Texas secession finally does choose secession what political prospects will secession have?

Texas continues to change at a fast rate. The younger generation is more liberal. People are moving into the state. The younger population is more multi-racial. There is considerable immigration from people whose ultimate origins are from outside the United States.

The goal of the Texas secessionists is to create a right wing state to escape from an increasingly liberal nation. If Texas is becoming liberal that defeats their purpose of secession.

However, this still isn't a obstacle for Texas secessionists. There might be a liberal majority with the current set of eligible voters but not with a set of voters created by a seceded Texas.

In this, I am not talking about some voter suppression tactic being done by the Republicans with voter id requirements etc. I am talking about radical measures such as reviving the poll tax and everything that was eliminated by the Voters Rights Act. I am talking about rejecting the 14th Amendment making African Americans voters. I am talking about really severe restrictions on who should be allowed to vote. Neo-Confederates and anti-civil rights activists reject the ratification of the 14th Amendment as being legal.

Some people don't think you should vote if you are receiving any government benefit. Others might have a poll tax of $20 an election and make it cumulative. If you have missed a few elections you might be asked for $60 for the missed elections and $20 for the current elections. Poll taxes also suppress voting indirectly because after you exclude poor people, the candidates that are running for office tend to seek to represent the interests of the more prosperous and not the interests of the poor and so voting for poor tends to be pointless and in this new Texas probably really need the money.

I am sure that there will be no citizenship based on birth in America if parents were not citizens.

Other restrictions could be added. Such is could be made that you have to be a resident in a place for a much longer time than now. That will tend to eliminate more people who aren't home owners. It will tend to exclude more poor people and those who move more.

So they could have an electoral majority once they chop off large segments of those currently allowed to vote.

I think that if the Texas secessionist movement starts really gaining support I think many will come to realize what their plans are for Texas and that they are entirely hostile to the interests of minorities, women, LGBT, and others.

Through a quirk in Texas law, it is possible to have a ballot issue on only one party's primary ballot. Primaries typically have lower turn out than the general election, involve more the more ideological elements of a political party.

So it could be possible that some secession resolution or measure might pass in the Republican Party primary.

One consequence would be that the partisan divides in Texas would be converted to divides over secession.


If the Texan secessionist movement does get some wide spread interest among right wing and reactionary forces, what might be the consequences?

I think that they will find that even though they have significant levels of support among a certain base like the one that elected Trump, they will find that they still don't have a majority of Texans supporting them. In fact they might find that Texas secession has finally gotten significant attention from various political classes who are against it.

So winning elections won't be a path to secession and the secessionists will choose another path to secession, which is actions against the state and federal government and those who they see as opponents. That is obstruction, intimidation, and violence.

Also, if the secessionists think the composition of the electorate is wrongly determined they are not likely to respect elections.

Don't think that choosing these tactics is unlikely. The Bundy's still defy government law out west. The U.S. government took a long time to deal with a small band of right wing militia who took over the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge.

What would Texas be like if we had 30 such cases happening simultaneously?


I don't see Trump getting re-elected and the Democrats are winning some special elections in electoral units that previously would have been won by Republicans by a very wide margins.

Trump is doing very badly in the polls and I don't think the Democrats will put forth a candidate in 2020 with serious problems with getting elected.

So I think that the Texas secessionist movement might start reviving as soon as the Nov. 2018 elections are over, and the extent to which they revive will be determined by how well the Democrats do in the 2018 elections. It seems the Democrats might do very well.

If the Trump base feels that the Trump revolution is likely to be over at some point they will be looking for alternative venues for political action. I don't think they will be apathetic. They will likely feel aggrieved that Trump lost because they believe Trump lost because of some mechanization or manipulation and the election wasn't fair.

I don't think the surge in the purchase of guns during the Obama administration was due to the expectation that there was going to be some restriction on gun ownership. That was the reason given by some, but I think that there was some fear that with a African American president they no longer felt secure and wanted to be armed and in many cases heavily so.

I think the first ignition point will be the passage of some gun control measure by the Democrats.

Dallas Jaycees carry giant Confederate flag down Commerce street in 1964. Confederate "heritage"

Note the time is 1:24 for the scene.

Neo-Confederate often like to go one that it was some fringe elements that "mis-used" the flag.

Here we see the Jaycees carrying the flag as a protest against possible civil rights legislation.

This is the link to the video so you can watch it in full.

It is about the sit-ins at the Piccadilly restaurant in Dallas, Texas in 1964.

This is the link to the story.

The Confederate flag wasn't misrepresented by a few fringe groups. It was understood as representing white supremacy by mainstream southern society.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mentioned in article in "Dallas Weekly," working on Dallas.

I am given a mention in this article in the Dallas Weekly.

I have just finished rough drafts of two papers. One is on Fair Park, the other on the Confederate memorial at Pioneer park.

I had heard that the Confederate memorial at Pioneer Park was coming up for consideration in late February, but I don't think that is going to happen.

However, I decided to write up a draft to be prepared if and when the Confederate memorial at Pioneer Park comes up. The paper is 24,097 words long. There is a real racist history involved.

The Fair Park paper is more modest at 5,744 words.

In both cases there is additional material, but I wanted to have fairly comprehensive papers readily available if either Fair Park or the Confederate monument issue comes up.

My plan is to research and write up Dallas and there is a fair amount to be written up.

I am going to get back working on the streets and get the 2nd version of the map done.

I don't think the issue of Confederate named schools is going to come up until I make it an issue so I am holding off researching the schools.

Friday, February 09, 2018

New California, another move for a white ethnostate

In almost any election it is very likely if not inevitable that the vote will vary across the geographical space for which the election covers. In a city election some districts will vote more for one candidate and other districts, boroughs, wards or whatever they might be called will vote relatively more for another candidate.

Similarly in state elections and national elections.

If it is the case where all the sub-units have generally voted for one candidate or party there is little impetus for secession. However, if it is the case where one faction would have won in one geographical area where the other faction won in another geographical area and it is likely that it will continue that way and one faction is not likely to win in the foreseeable future we get the impetus for secession. Though this impetus will be likely not advance if still being in the larger polity means a lot of goodies.

A political faction will conclude it is better to be in charge of a small realm than to be subordinate in a larger realm. Suddenly many reasons will be brought up that the polity needs to be divided.

Across the United States there have arisen small movements that want to see a new state created out of larger states or the secession of a state form the United States, such as Vermont or Texas.

For the states it is usually the desire to create a new state out of some rural parts of the whole state.

There was an effort to make a state out of rural northeast counties of Colorado, an effort to make a state out of the eastern handle of Maryland, some northern counties of California wanted to have a state. These movement usually have a meeting, make a declaration, publish a map, design a flag and then fade into obscurity.

One obstacle is that many of these rural areas are kept afloat with money from the state and federal governments. The northern California counties were getting a lot of state support. You can't put food on the table by just being cranky.

The "Sagebrush" rebellion was motivated by the desire to exploit the public lands. Wanting other people's stuff is sanctified with all sorts of language.

Now we have a New California movement. We can expect the usual, a website, a flag, a declaration, etc. The title of  this article largely explains the basis of this movement, "Resisting the resistance: anti-liberal rage brews in California's right wing."

The Guardian calls the movement "far-fetched." The thing about secession movements is that they have a history of being far-fetched until they aren't.

There doesn't seem to be a general understanding, left or right, that nations exist in the imagination and are believed in as a matter of self-interest.

At the 2016 Texas State Republican Party convention in Dallas the platform committee voted down a secession plank by only 16 to 14 with one abstention. In 2018 it will be interesting how the platform committee votes. In 2016 there was the Cruz presidential campaign which absolutely needed that there be no secession in the state platform. In 2018 if the Republicans have lost both the U.S. House and Senate, the Republican Party might go for secession in 2019.

Opinion polls in 2016 showed that 60% of Trump supporters in Texas supported secession if Hilary Clinton won.

Nations are built in the imagination and like things in the imagination can vanish.

One thing that is common in these secession movements, excepting Texas, is that they are rural white areas escaping from a larger more multiracial polity.

In Texas secession would not create a largely white state, but the Texas secessionists policies would likely create a state with a ruling white minority. One Texas secession group complained loudly about a federal judges decision against the suppression of voters. Texas has gotten civil rights largely if not entirely through the federal courts, and Texas secessionists know this.

Trump's victory in the presidential elections of 2016 have put secessionist agendas on hold. Their potential base will be supporting Trump and not secession until Trump is no longer seen as a viable option.

The upcoming elections of 2018 will be very important to the future of the secession movement. If the Democrats take over the U.S. House, and win many state legislatures, many Trump supporters won't see a future for themselves in an United States and will desire a disuniting.

As it is, a majority of Americans vote Democrat in Congressional elections and yet the U.S. House has a majority of Republicans. The Democrats for all their self-vaunted moral superiority on gerrymandering recently, historically have proven just as willing to gerrymander districts as the best of them. If the Republicans lose control of state houses, the Democrats will gerrymander with a passion, though what they call it should be amusing to hear.

Once it becomes clear in either 2018 or 2020 that there is no future for an alt-right in the United States, I think we will find out that secession movements will thrive. Some group will find that their rural white area is oppressed, even though it is likely getting a lot of government support, and see a need for a new state. The issue isn't the money, but race.

As for their prospects, the examples of the Bundy Ranch or the Malheur Wildlife Refuge show that the federal government doesn't seem to be able to take effective action against a small group with guns. Yes, some of the lack of action was not to give the fringe groups sympathy, but also, I think that the government knows these fringe elements are not so fringe and the federal government doesn't want to activate right wing popular support for them. This however is a tacit admission that there is a potential white resistance out there of such magnitude that it is a concern.

For those individuals who are located in regions where there might be a potential secession movement, some preparation should be done. Not necessarily a lot. Just think of what your strategies might be. Start a Facebook page against the secession movement. You don't necessarily have a lot to do, but you can at least start collecting together anti-secessionists and have a place for people to go if suddenly it gets serious.

For Texas I have this Facebook page and the page has some really basic things that could be done in case the situation gets serious.

Also, I have detailed out some measures to cut into any potential secession movement. For example I have a posting in which I explain that individuals counties and cities can secede out of secession back into the United States.

The last post was Oct. 27, 2017 for when CNN mentioned me as a research resource on Kathleen Hartnett White, an advocate of secession in the magazine Texas Republic.

I am just doing about five or six postings a year.

What will be useful if the Texas secession movement gets going is some place where journalists and the public can get background information all in one place and have some effort they can join in right away.

This Facebook group is basically an emergency kit in case of developments. I think getting a counter-movement start quickly will be important.

Eliminating the Confederacy is a great way to get racist stupid people to stay away

This article reports that the Kings Dominion amusement park has changed the name of their roller coaster from "Rebel Yell" to "Racer 75"

On the amusement park's Facebook page are some rantings including threats to never return to Kings Dominion again.

It doesn't seem to occur to these people that their absence might be considered an added benefit of getting rid of a Confederate monument, or getting rid of a Confederate name.

This article shows that there is a steady progress of de-Confederating the built environment. Also, what is important about this change, there doesn't seem to have been any protest movement to push the amusement park to change the name.

Instead, the park itself decided it was an undesirable name. Commercial establishments are deciding to drop the Confederacy on their own because they don't think it is good business. Dolly Parton drops "Dixie" out of the "Dixie Stampede."

As each commercial establishment drops the Confederacy the remaining Confederate things with other businesses seem more and more anomalous and these other businesses face pressure to drop the Confederacy.

Probably, many businesses are quietly dropping the Confederacy across the nation, it just isn't making  the news.

Of course less reference to the Confederacy in commercial establishments make the built Confederate landscape on public property less acceptable.

It is a process that is going to feed upon itself.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Florida State Senate votes to replace statue of Confederate general in U.S. Capitol with civil rights leader.

The Florida state senate has voted to remove a Confederate general from the U.S. Capitol.

Each state has a right to place two statues in statuary hall in the Old Capitol building. One of Florida's statues is Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith and will be replaced by African American civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune.

The vote was 37 to 0. It is likely that the Florida House will get a majority to remove the statue.

There are several Confederate leaders and generals in Statuary Hall. Once one statue is removed, it will leader others in other states with Confederate leaders in Statuary Hall to ask that their state remove Confederate statues.

However, the website doesn't mention who is Confederate or not and you also have to pull up information state by state.

Kirby will not be the first Confederate removed, Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, Alabama's statue, was replaced by Helen Keller in 2009. However, this change may not have been so much motivated by getting rid of a Confederate but putting a much more well known figure in DC.

Here is a list of the statues.

Again it doesn't say that the individual is a Confederate. There is a link for each individual. I see six or seven Confederates there including Kirby.

This removal also keeps the process going to eliminate Confederate statues. As soon as the removal of Confederate statues recedes form the public's attention, another removal somewhere brings it to the public's attention again and inspires someone somewhere to get rid of their Confederate statue.

Also, it brings to the public's attention that there is a whole new venue to act in removing Confederate statues.

As the statues are removed the normalization of the Confederacy will be less and less and the remaining statues, as I have said before, will seem more and more anomalous.

As there are fewer and fewer Confederate statues in major cities and then fewer Confederate statues in lesser cities, citizens in cities that still have Confederate statues are going to question their leadership as to why they still have Confederate statues. I think that this issue will raise to the surface the nature of the leadership in these cities that still have Confederate statues in 2020.

At some point a Confederate statue in the town square will be associated with a rural place that is backward and undesirable. At some point a factory or business won't be located somewhere because a Confederate statue will be seen as making it difficult to recruit potential employees to work there.

At that point there will be real pressure to get rid of Confederate statues in even the most rural conservative parts of the nation.

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