Dishonest Media and Johnny Manziel

A couple of weeks ago I was on a cruise ship. One of the entertainers was a comedian from Kansas City. I saw him perform three times and in at least two of his performances, two of which were more like seminars, he commented that the media lies to us. Now, I don’t know if their lies are always deliberate but there is one thing for certain – very little you see and hear in the media is true. In fact, barley 48 hours after we returned home an incident occurred near my house that shows just how true his statement is.

On Monday morning after we got home on Saturday, a light sport airplane crashed at an airport less than two miles from our house. A flight instructor was killed and his student badly burned. The first reports were that the airplane was in maintenance when it suddenly burst into flames. Then the account changed to a crash for awhile before going back to the mechanic story. I finally drove over to the airport to see what I could learn, which turned out to be nothing. I found several vehicles from news outlets with the reporters and camera crews sitting inside  waiting for somebody to tell them something (one blonde TV reporter apparently spent the entire day out there waiting to report on the noon and 6 o’clock news.)

Yet, NONE of them got the story straight! The airplane was taking off with a strong, gusty crosswind. Yet the story reported by most of the news outlets is that the airplane “suddenly lost altitude” and some said it hit another airplane while taking off, even though the closest airplanes were at least 100 yards away. No mention of the strong, gusty winds was mentioned even though such winds frequently cause accidents, particularly with light airplanes. Not a single one of the news outlets bothered to do any research. This brings me to Johnny Manziel.

I won’t go into Manziel’s history other than to say that he is probably the most-reported individual in history; in sports for sure. Most of it is rumor and/or exaggeration. Ever since 2012 when he came out as one of the most outstanding football players of all time, sports media has followed him like a hawk and bloggers have used him to draw attention to their pages. When I finally got around to going online a week ago today, I learned that there had been an incident earlier that morning between him and his former girlfriend. A statement was released by the Fort Worth PD about an investigation of an incident involving a 23-year old woman and her  ex-boyfriend. Although the statement did not mention Manziel by name, the police sergeant who tweeted it mentioned that it involved Manziel. The Johnny Manziel circus was about to turn into Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey.

The details of the allegations claimed by the girl friend, one Colleen Cowley, are here: https://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/298200241?access_key=key-Izp0DTFdyZxM1N6LB5QC&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll. The Fort Worth PD informational report is here: http://www.chron.com/sports/texans/article/Police-report-Johnny-Manziel-struck-6807830.php/

Crowley’s statement says that she and three friends went from Fort Worth to Dallas to have dinner at a posh restaurant where they remained until after eleven, then went club hopping. She mentions three clubs in her statement but her car ended up at a fourth. Manziel, with whom Crowley says she had broken up in December, was not with them. However, Crowley says they were texting back and forth. She says they made plans for an “after party” at his hotel. She and two of her friends eventually went to Manziel’s room at what appears to have been somewhere around 1 AM or possibly later. The two friends left to “do their own thing” and she remained at the hotel, although whether they were alone or not is not stated. She said that she had made plans to spend the night in the hotel with Manziel.

After the friends left, the two former lovers got into an argument about another girl that “had caused problems for us in the past.” She apparently got mad and told him that if she was going to stay, she was going to sleep on the couch. She claims that Manziel then threw her on the bed but states that he claimed it was “playfully” but she “took it seriously” and decided to leave, but when she went to the door Manziel “restrained her.” She would later tell police that Manziel didn’t want her to drive because she was intoxicated. (She undoubtedly was since she had been to a restaurant and at least three clubs before she went to his room and is known to imbibe.)

What happened after that is uncertain. Crowley has made numerous allegations of assault and abuse on Manziel’s part but also stated in her affidavit that she went at him with a kitchen knife, at  which point he fled her apartment in Fort Worth. It was after he left that she went to neighbors and got them to make a 911 call. The Fort Worth PD concluded that no assault had occurred within their jurisdiction (the knife attack is not mentioned in their informational report) and forwarded it to the Dallas PD to investigate. The DPD conducted an investigation and declared it closed with no charges filed. The following day word came out that Crowley had requested a protective order.

The protective order has been misreported. A DFW news outlet reported that the judge had granted the request for a protective order for two years. However, Texas judges do not have that authority without a hearing. Prescribed procedures in Texas are for a hearing to be set for a date within 14 days of the request.  A judge may decide to issue a temporary order but it is valid for only 20 days, at which time it may be lifted or, once a hearing has been held, replaced by a permanent order valid for not more than two years. A DFW area TV station reported that Manziel had been ordered to stay away from Crowley for two years, but this would be contrary to Texas law since no hearing has taken place.

Crowley has also gone to the Dallas County DA’s office and pressed charges. As a result, the DPD reopened their investigation. The media, however, has been reporting this as if a new “criminal” investigation has been opened. In fact, all police investigations are “criminal.” The ongoing investigation has simply been reopened.

Whether the DPD investigation will uncover anything new is anyone’s guess, but it’s doubtful. With one exception, Crowley’s allegations all took place either in his room or in her car while he was driving her to Fort Worth. The one possible exception is in a parking lot. She mentions an encounter with a valet but doesn’t relate any abuse that might have occurred that would have witnessed. (There is also a question – how long was the couple in the valet’s presence? Unless Manziel called to ask to have his car brought up, the valet would have had to go get it while they were waiting.) She incriminates herself in her statement but the assault with the kitchen knife took place in Forth Worth. Whether she will be charged remains to be seen and may depend on Manziel’s actions. (He should press charges against her since she threatened him with a deadly weapon, an assault at minimum.)

Reporting of the Manziel/Crowley incident basically has him tried and convicted and on his way to jail, or on his way out of the NFL at least. In fact, all the police have are allegations by Crowley, allegations that have yet to be proved. Charges are based on evidence, not suspicion – except in the media and the court of public opinion the media seeks to influence.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Guns – As American as Apple Pie

3006 (2)I grew up with guns – literally. One of my earliest memories is of my dad holding the barrel of his .22 against the head of a cottontail he had caught in his rabbit gum and letting me pull the trigger instead of whacking it on the head with his pocketknife or tapping it with a ballpeen hammer. I’d get up early and go with  him to the woods hunting squirrels then when I was nine years old, I started hunting with a 20-gauge shotgun that belonged to my aunt. Two years later Daddy came home one day with an Ithaca 20-gauge pump shotgun of my own (I still have it.) Oh, I’d had a BB-gun for awhile but I was hunting with a shotgun at a very young age (although not as young as my younger brothers,) By the time I was in my teens, I had become a rifle purist and would only hunt squirrels with a .22 and try to “bark” them by hitting the tree next to them and knocking them out of the tree so the bullet wouldn’t spoil the meat. Daddy had an old military blanket box that he kept in a closet that was full of .22 cartridges an 12-gauge shotgun shells that he had bought right after World War II when I was still little. The ammunition was getting old and he told me to shoot it up – I did. My “bible” (I had a Holy Bible too) was a US Army marksmanship manual that Daddy kept from his time in the Army. I read it cover to cover time after time and practically memorized everything in it. When I was my teens, one day my younger brother and I were out behind the barn shooting a .22 at a target set against the dirt on a tree trunk that Daddy had pushed up with a bulldozer. Our neighbor down in the hollow called up complaining. He claimed he could hear the bullets whizzing over his head. He couldn’t. We were shooting in the opposite direction from where he lived and the bullets were going into the mound of dirt around the uprooted tree. Daddy told him we were practicing to kill communists. As it turned out, I killed quite a few communists but I didn’t do it with a rifle.

Me and Patrick

I also grew up reading; reading anything I could find about anything. A lot of my reading material was historical, particularly about pioneer times and the military from the Civil War to World War II. I read nearly everything Alfred Leland Crabb and Robert Ruark wrote, and I read about the Founding Fathers and people like Francis Marion, Daniel Boone and David Crockett. I also read the US Constitution and its amendments, the first ten of which are called the Bill of Rights.

 Now, the Bill of Rights are just that, amendments that establish definite rights for American citizens, not for the states. In fact, the Bill of Rights was added because without them, the new Constitution wasn’t going to be ratified by the people of Virginia. The first of those amendments guarantees freedom of religion, speech and the press and the second guarantees the right of the people to “bear arms”, meaning to carry arms. It read thusly – “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Now, many modern journalists, antigun activists and some legal scholars attempt to associate the amendment with the present-day National Guard because of the comment about a “well regulated Militia,” but this is untrue. The National Guard did not exist prior to 1916. Prior to that time, each state maintained its own “militia” which under Federal law was made up of all able-bodied men of a certain age. (The National Guard came about as a result of the Dick Act of 1902 which gave the War Department more authority over state militias. Although it is often advocated as being the result of problems that arose during the Spanish-American War, the real reason for the act was to deprive states of having their own “private armies” and were really aimed at preventing another civil war.) Militias were called up to protect against Indian attack, for law enforcement, to put down insurrection (riot) and to serve as the source of manpower for the Federal Department of War. But there was also another – the main – reason for the Second Amendment and that was for the people to have the means to resist a tyrannical government. After all, when the Second Amendment was written, the former British colonies had just come through a period of armed rebellion against a the British Crown, which colonial rebel leaders considered tyrannical. The Second Amendment gives “we, the people” the right to keep and bear arms to insure the security of the “free State.” It’s purpose is not for recreational shooting, for hunting or for sport, but to maintain an armed population with the ability to resist the government when it becomes tyrannical.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment

http://constitution.laws.com/2nd-amendment

http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/history/the-founding-fathers-on-the-second-amendment

From the time of its inception, young Americans with skill with firearms have proven beneficial to the United States. “Overmountain Men” from western North Carolina, later Tennessee, defeated a British force under Major Patrick Ferguson at Kings Mountain, an action that directly influenced the decision by the British to retreat to Yorktown where they were defeated by French artillery and agreed to surrender to Washington. A  regiment of Tennessee sharpshooters halted the British advance at Chalmette Plantation outside New Orleans and guaranteed the departure of the British from what is now US soil in 1813. Southern sharpshooters took a heavy toll on the Union Army during the War for Southern Independence. In the Army manual I read from cover to cover to many times there is a statement from a German officer in World War I. The man said “God save us from these Americans, they shoot like devils.”

For the past half century or so, there has been an organized movement to disarm the American people. It began gathering steam in the 1980s after John Hinckley made an attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan – with a small caliber .22 revolver – and hit White House Press Secretary Jim Brady in the head, permanently disabling him. Brady and his wife became ardent gun control advocates and turned their back on the conservative principles of the man who employed him. Ironically, although Hinckley used a .22 revolver, the main target of gun control advocates has become “military-style assault rifles,” which they take to mean any rifle that can be fire simply by pulling the trigger. While some 9-10,000 Americans are killed each year with firearms, only some 5% are killed with rifles. The other 95% are killed with handguns. (These numbers don’t include suicides, of which some 50% are by some kind of firearm, mostly pistols because it’s difficult to kill yourself with a rifle or shotgun.) Yet it is the “assault rifle” that gun-control advocates want to ban. In fact, when they talk about gun “control,” what they actually mean is confiscation.

One of the sources of ammunition (pardon the pun) for gun-control advocates is the so-called “school shooting.” In reality, there have been very few shootings in schools over the past few years and nearly all of those have been at colleges and universities. In October 2014 a high school student in Washington State killed himself and seven of his friends in the high school cafeteria. The Newtown shooting in Sandy Hook, Ct took the lives of 28 people, most of them elementary school children, but it was the only shooting in a primary or secondary school that took the life of more than 1 person since 2005. Since Newtown, there has only been one “mass” shooting in a secondary school. The most recent primary/secondary school mass shooting before that was the Columbine HS shooting in 1999. In reality, although schools have been the scene of shootings since the 1760s when renegade Indians attacked a school in Pennsylvania and killed the headmaster and 10 children, they have been conflicts between students, conflicts between teachers and students and conflicts between someone at the school with someone outside it. During the Civil War, Union soldiers sometimes amused themselves by taking potshots at school children. However, most school shootings in the United States have been students killing other students or their teachers, usually over some kind of squabble. One of the deadliest school shootings occurred at the University of Texas in Austin on August 1, 1966 when an ex-Marine with a brain tumor named Charles Whitman killed 17 people and wounded 31, mostly with a high-powered rifle, before he was shot and killed by a police officer. Only two weeks before Whitman’s rampage, Richard Speck killed eight student nurses in Chicago – and he didn’t use a firearm at all. He used his bare hands and a knife. He stabbed and strangled them after raping some, if not all, of them. The largest mass murder in US history occurred in 2007 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA when a student killed 33 of his classmates and wounded 25. As was the case with most other school shootings, he used pistols.

The most recent “school” shooting was at a community college in Oregon where a student at the school killed nine of his classmates and himself and wounded seven. The true circumstances of the shooting aren’t fully known other than that he used one or more pistols in the slayings. However, he appears to have been a member of the writing class in which he first shot the teacher then killed eight students.

Here is a list of school shootings in the US – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States#2010s

Although shootings on elementary, high school and college campuses attract the most attention, there have been other shootings where several people were killed. However, in nearly every case, the shooter knew the victims and killed them for some reason. A few shootings for a time were in post offices. (Back in the 60s an 70s there was a spate of airline hijackings, mostly by black activists who demanded they be taken to Cuba.) A recent headline-making shooting took place in Charleston, SC in June where Dylan Roof shot nine people in a church. Roof is white and the victims were all black. However, Roof’s friends and he indicated that his original plan was to kill people at the College of Charleston. However, evidently since it was summer and school wasn’t in session, he changed his plans and went to the church. Like most other shooters, Roof used a pistol.. There have been a couple of shootings in movie theaters, notably one in the Denver area and a more recent one in Louisiana.

Every time there’s a shooting, there’s a clamor for more gun legislation. However, except for criminal-related shootings, in nearly every case the weapons used were purchased legally. While some shooters were depicted – after the shootings – as having mental health problems, they had notpreviously been identified as such. Law enforcement was never able to identify a motive for the Newtown shootings although there has been a lot of conjecture, mostly by people who don’t have a clue as to what happened. The shooters are often claimed to have a fascination with firearms, although such a fascination often only dates back for a short time before the shootings. (Some also seem to have had a fascination for computer games.) Yes, firearms aficionados occasionally kill but its usually in a fit of passion. I had a friend who loved guns. He eventually killed his wife then shot himself. However, Johnny was a little bit whacky anyway. He didn’t kill his wife because he loved guns, he killed her because of some kind of family situation that escalated.

If one looks closely at the numbers of shootings, it becomes obvious that they’re really nothing new. We humans have been killing each other since Cain slew his brother Able because of jealousy and we’ve used every kind of weapon imaginable to do it, from the rock that Cain used to atomic bombs.

It is commonly believed that the United States leads the world in murders. Actually, the US is ranked as 14th out of 86 nations in numbers of murders and 43 out 86 in numbers of murders per one million population. It is ranked 1st out of 170 in the number of firearms owned per 100 residents (this number is an estimate.) The US is number 10 in murders with firearms per capita with South Africa heading the list. It shouldn’t be surprising that the United States ranks high in most statistics since, after China and India, it is the third most populous in the world. As of 2013, the population of the United States was over 316 million. By comparison, the UK’s population was only 63.8 million. The population of Mexico, which has a high crime rate, is less than half that of the United States with 116.2 million people.

A major factor in the public belief that there is an epidemic of “school” and “mass” shootings is deliberate dishonesty in reporting and definition. Gun control advocacy groups such as Everytown, the group founded and funded by former New York Mayor Blumberg, identifies a “mass” shooting as any in which more than one person is killed. Another group identifies a mass shooting as any when more than one person is attacked. The problem is the definition of “mass” which by normal definition refers to “a large number.” Gun control activists are redefining the word to suit their own purposes, which is to give government, particularly at the Federal level, complete control over all firearms and the elimination of the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear” arms.

Sandra Bland and Race in General

The controversy over the death of a young woman named Sandra Bland in the Waller County, Texas jail concerns me greatly. You see, Waller County and the town of Hempstead is only about an hour’s drive from our home. My wife was living off of Texas 290 a few miles southeast of there when we met. She enjoyed the drive to Hempstead and after we met, she took me out there to visit an open-air market. We’ve been there a number of times since then. Hempstead is a typical small Southern town with a diverse residency. Just east of town, which lies just under 50 miles northwest of downtown Houston, is Prairie View A&M University, a historically black school that is part of the Texas A&M system. Sandra Bland, a Chicago-area native, graduated from Prairie View in 2009. She returned to Texas in July of this year to interview for a job with a connection to the school. On the afternoon of July 10 she was pulled over by Texas State Trooper Brian T. Encinia for failing to signal a lane change. The complete dashcam video of the incident is available and it shows beyond a doubt that Ms. Bland failed to signal. It also shows that she failed to stop at a stop sign when she was pulling onto the road where she was pulled over. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaW09Ymr2BA Trooper Encinia pulled her over with, as he stated, the intention of giving her a warning. He was courteous and attentive, and noticed that Ms. Bland seemed to be agitated. When he went back to her car to give her the warning, Ms. Bland became visibly upset and started berating the trooper after he told her to put out a cigarette. She mouthed off and he told her she was under arrest and to get out of the car, but she refused. He opened the door and threatened to pull her out then pulled out his taser and told her he was going to “light you up” at which point she got out of the car. He directed her to the side of the road where he apparently attempted to handcuff her. Ms. Bland fought him until another officer, a black female, arrived and helped Trooper Encinia subdue her. She was then transported to the Waller County jail in Hempstead where she was booked for assaulting an officer of the law and went before a judge who set bail at $5,000. The following Monday morning she was discovered dead in her cell, after strangling herself using a plastic trash can liner. Two woman in the cell next to her said that she seemed despondent and they heard no struggle or anything from Bland’s cell to indicate  that anyone was trying to harm her. They said that she was very emotional and was An autopsy performed by the Harris County pathologist found that the marks on her neck were consistent with a suicide.

Now, there were no racial overtones in this case – until black activists and members of the media invented them. The facts of the case are out there. Granted, the officer became upset when she verbally assaulted him, which is normal. However, the arrest is not the issue. The issue is that black activists and members of her family, including an attorney they hired, claimed that her death was not a suicide but that someone murdered her. There were claims that Waller County is “the most racist county in Texas” and other such proclamations by people who have never set foot in the place and by certain black agitators, particularly one Quanell X, a Black Muslim who misses no opportunity to get before the television cameras. http://www.houstonpress.com/news/would-you-buy-a-revolution-from-this-man-6574627 In short order, a tragedy became a national issue as members of the black press and others ranted about how Ms. Bland had not committed suicide and the real cause of her death was being covered up.

Actually, it is not surprising that certain people decided to make Sandra Bland’s suicide a racial issue. After all, that is what they do. It started with the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, when he was shot by a mixed-race neighbor of his father, whom he was visiting, after he apparently attacked the man and somehow knocked him to the ground. Witnesses told police that Martin was on top of George Zimmerman when he was shot. Local authorities determined that there was no reason to charge Zimmerman in a case that witnesses said was self-defense. However, the family hired a lawyer and began a national campaign to have Zimmerman arrested, tried and convicted. The Florida governor got into the act an appointed a politically ambitious district attorney from out of the area as a special prosecutor. Instead or presenting evidence to a grand jury, she decided she would indict Zimmerman herself. The case went to trial and the jury found that the evidence indicated that Zimmerman had acted in self-defense. Martin’s family and their lawyer caused millions to be spent on an investigation and trial and ruined Zimmerman’s life. Then there was the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, who was found to have been high on pot at the time, attacked a young police officer who shot and killed him. A grand jury and the FBI investigated the case and found that there was no evidence to indict the police officer, although he resigned from the Ferguson police department and left the area. Then there was the case in Baltimore where a young black man was arrested and died in a police transport (driven by a black officer.) There were also a couple of cases in New York where black men died in altercations with police. (Actually, black men die in altercations with police practically every day but only a handful of the cases attract national attention.)

Believe it or not, race has become an industry. Dozens of black journalists and media figures devote their full energies to racial issues – and little else. Organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which was started by white political progressives in the Northeast, and the Southern Poverty Law Center exist solely for the perpetration of issues pertaining to race as does the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the B’Nai B’rith and the Jewish Defense League. Take away race and these organization’s reason for existence vanishes, thus it is in their best interests to keep racial issues alive, even if they have to invent them. Each of these organizations takes in millions of dollars each year in dues, grants and donations. The NAACP collects close to $9 million  a year in dues from its members, not to mention the millions it generates through donations. It’s no wonder that they seek to keep the issue of race alive.

When it comes to blacks, there has been a concerted effort since early in the Twentieth Century to convince young blacks people that all of their problems are caused by whites. The Nation of Islam, which was founded by a mysterious white man who was last heard from in 1934, teaches that the human race was originally black until an evil scientist started breeding out the blackness and created a race of whites, an evil race. People such as Quanell X teach this to impressionable young blacks in urban areas such as Chicago, Detroit and Houston. http://www.houstonpress.com/news/would-you-buy-a-revolution-from-this-man-6574627  They hold that whites brought blacks to America as slaves without acknowledging that the people who went out into the African interior and captured the tribesmen who were then sold to masters of slave ships were themselves African. To do so would take away from their philosophy of blaming whites for everything. The story of the Atlantic slave trade glosses over the fact that it was Hispanics who started it, Spaniards and Portuguese who needed laborers for their sugar plantations in the Caribbean and South America. Black activists – and many whites in the North – blame slavery on the Southern cotton planters, whose dependence on slavery was confined to a period of roughly half a century after the cotton gin was invented and a market for American cotton developed both in England and New England. They also conveniently leave out that slavery was legal in all of the northern states except Rhode Island and that slave owners in the North took their slaves to the South and sold them when their states abolished slavery. They act as if modern Americans, or our immediate ancestors at least, owned slaves when in fact slavery was abolished 150 years or almost four generations ago. Not a single white (or black) person has owned another person in America since 1865.The slave-owning ancestors of the oldest Americans living today would  be great-great grandparents. Incidentally, some of those slave-owning ancestors had African blood, and not all of it was due to masters having children with slave women. Many blacks, particularly in Louisiana and South Carolina, owned slaves. Some of them owned large numbers of slaves.

There is only one way to do away with racial issues and that is to forget about race. So what that Africans were brought to America as slaves? Tens of thousands of Africans died of disease and in tribal wars during that same period. In fact, the descendants of those slaves are better off in most respects than modern Africans. There’s a good reason that so many Africans today seek new lives elsewhere, particularly in Europe. Africa is still plagued by disease such as AIDS and Ebola while war between rival warlords and political factions is constant. Slavery is still practiced in Africa and in coastal Africa, piracy is rampant. South Africa has the highest murder rate in the world. As far as American negroes are concerned – their only connection to Africa is that some of their ancestors were brought to America, or came voluntarily, some 400 years ago – they need to stop thinking of themselves as African-Americans but as Americans. Booker T. Washington believed that the only way negroes could become productive citizens was through education and that integration should be gradual to avoid problems with whites. He was opposed by W.E.B. Du Bois, who believed in political power. While Washington was from the South and had been born into slavery, Dubois was from Massachusetts and wasn’t born until 1868. Dubois eventually became a socialist and flirted with communism. Du Bois and other black and white political progressives advocated activism as the vehicle for blacks to attain social equality.  Du Bois eventually prevailed and the NAACP, of which he was a founder, became the primary “voice” for American blacks. Perhaps its time for blacks to return to Booker T. Washington’s philosophy.

According to her mother, Sandra Bland came to Texas with a mission – to stop social injustice in the South. If she truly believed she was on a mission, she must have been confounded when she found herself spending a weekend in jail for an altercation that started because she failed to signal a lane change. (So far, no attention has been paid to her having failed to stop when she pulled out from a side road.) If she believed such a thing, and there is evidence that she did, she may have had a martyr complex. She apparently ranted on social media about injustice, particularly on the part of police against blacks. It turns out that she had a history with police in both her home state of Illinois and Texas, including having pled guilty to drug charges in Texas. At the time of her death, she owed over $7,500 in fines in Illinois – http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Suburban-Woman-Found-Dead-in-Jail-Had-Previous-Encounters-With-Police-316025661.html In short, Ms. Bland was not the model citizen her fans have tried to paint her to be.

The most disturbing aspect of the Bland case is that so many were so quick to rush to judgment. Thanks to social media, a movement quickly began to protest her “murder” by “the racists of Waller County.” Never mind that the mayor of Hempstead, where she was held in jail, is black as are at least two members of the city council. Hempstead elected its first black mayor in 1984. One of Waller County’s justices of the peace is a black woman. Yet article after article talked about the “racism” in the county, pointing to how the Waller County sheriff was fired from his job as chief of police “for racism” when in fact the conflict was due to his having used profanity during an arrest which led to a court case back in 2007. One article claims that Waller County was once predominantly black but no mention of this is made in the Handbook of Texas or the Hempstead history. The implication that Sandra Bland’s arrest and subsequent death was all due to racism without offering one shred of proof. I saw Quanell X ranting about how “blacks of Waller County are treated” this week on TV. Actually, Quanell X is from Houston and his pronouncements are just that, pronouncements. Yes, there is a high incident of traffic stops involving blacks but this is due to the large number of black college students at Prairie View.

Yes, the death of Sandra Bland is sad, but in many respects its even sadder at the way her death has been depicted by those who are using it for their own agenda.

Not all blacks are buying the propaganda being put out about how Bland was a victim – http://thyblackman.com/2015/07/24/the-black-womans-mouth-and-sandra-bland/

The flag is down but what does it change?

http://www.constitution.org/csa/ordinances_secession.htm#South%20Carolina

South Carolina politicians have spoken (the people had nothing to do with it. If they were intended to have a voice, there would have been a referendum.) Pundits and activists are claiming that now that South Carolina’s Sikh governor has had her way, the world will be a better place. (Sikhs are members of an Indian religious group. Although Haley says she’s a Methodist and is a board member of her husband’s Methodist church, she attends Sikh services. Her full name is Nimrata Nikki Randhawa.) Don’t bet on it. None of these “earth-shaking” events ever amount to anything. Personally, I could care less whether a Confederate flag ever flies over anything, including over the cemeteries containing the remains of Confederate soldiers and/or veterans, but I am deeply concerned about how the media and politicians are so damned concerned about symbols. I am most concerned about how northern historians are coming out of the woodwork claiming once again that the South seceded over slavery and that the Civil War was fought to free the slaves. Neither assertion is true. The above link shows the articles of secession of each of the eleven states of the Confederacy and the two other states that also voted to secede but remained in the Union (after Lincoln declared martial law and sent troops to occupy them and suspended habeas corpus.)Yes, some of the Southern states seceded because they feared that New England abolitionists were going to force Congress to pass laws abolishing slavery nationally (states in the North had abolished slavery with state laws, not national laws) but that was only part of the reason. The states that seceded before Fort Sumter did so because they believed that the non-slave states were ignoring the Constitution and Federal laws and no longer wanted to be part of an organization with them.

Although slavery was a factor in secession, the Civil War was initiated by the United States after South Carolina troops fired on Fort Sumter – after Lincoln refused to withdraw its garrison as requested by the South Carolina governor – in an attempt to force the seceded states back into the Union. In spite of claims by northern academics, this is well-documented. In fact, five of the states that joined the Confederacy plus Kentucky and Missouri only voted to secede after Lincoln demanded troops to “put down the rebellion.” Lincoln chose Virginian Robert E. Lee to command his army. When Lee refused and stated that his loyalties were to Virginia, the irate Lincoln proclaimed that Lee’s wife’s ancestral home would be turned into a cemetery. He used subterfuge to take possession of the estate for non-payment of taxes even though Lee’s wife had sent the payments by an agent. (In 1884 the US Supreme Court ruled that Lincoln’s actions were illegal and returned possession to Lee’s son. However, the property had been turned into a graveyard and he was forced to sell the land to the United States.) Lincoln’s object in going to war was NOT to destroy slavery, but to force the seceded states to return to the Union. This is evident by the US Army’s actions regarding slaves during the first two years of the war. Instead of freeing slaves in areas they came to control, they left them where they were. Those slaves who sought to follow after them, were considered as contraband and while some of the men were used as laborers, the rest and the women and children were placed in contraband camps.

In September 1862, Lincoln announced that if the seceded states didn’t return to the Union by the end of they year, he was going to order his commanders to free all slaves in areas that came under Union control. The order did NOT emancipate slaves, as is commonly believed. Slaves in Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, which were part of the Union, were not affected. Neither were slaves in Tennessee, much of which was under Union control due to the Confederate strategy of withdrawing south into Alabama and Mississippi. No forethought was given as to what do with freed slaves once they had been emancipated. They were left confused and wondering what to do. Lincoln seized on the opportunity to use freed slaves to alleviate a shortage of manpower and authorized the raising of colored regiments in addition to the labor battalions he had already authorized. The families of the new colored troops followed after them and set up camps near the army camps. (This was also true of white soldiers.) Hundreds of young black women became prostitutes. Nashville alone had over 1,500 prostitutes and many of them were black. In the spring of 1864 Union cavalry made an excursion from Memphis into Mississippi, freeing thousands of slaves along the way. Confederate cavalry under Gen. N.B. Forrest defeated the Federals and drove them back to Memphis. The just-freed blacks panicked and fled into Alabama headed for Georgia until they found their way blocked by a river after Federal troops destroyed the bridge. Many rushed into the river and drowned. Lincoln’s proclamation didn’t work. The war continued for almost two and a half years. Yet even though the North eventually defeated the South, slavery wasn’t officially abolished until December 1865 when the Georgia legislature (made up of Unionists and blacks because anyone who had supported secession was forbidden from voting) ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

With the war over, the writing of history began. Northern educators knew that they couldn’t justify the northern invasion of the South on the basis of it being to “preserve the Union” so they made it a noble cause by claiming the war was fought “to free the slaves.” It made for a better story.

The Civil War has been over for just over 150 years and the painful era of “reconstruction” that followed has been over for almost 140 years. Not a single Southerner has owned a slave since 1865.  Reconstruction was made painful because of the efforts of “radical” Republicans in both North and South who sat out to punish the South, not only for the rebellion but also for its institution of slavery. They conveniently forgot that slavery was practiced in the North as well until only a few decades before the war broke out. They also forgot that the New England states had come close to seceding in protest of the War of 1812. For that matter, they also forgot that their predecessors had rebelled against the British Crown a century before. Now it seems that the descendants of those radical Republican reconstructionists are once again among us. They quickly seized on the presence of a Confederate flag flying over a memorial on the South Carolina capitol grounds as symbol of the unreconstructed South. Even though Charleston shooter Dylann Roof was not carrying a Confederate flag at the time of the shooting and made no mention of the Confedracy in his “manifesto,” neoreconstructionists quickly seized on the flag as something that had to come down, and while at it, get ride of all of those monuments around the South – and elsewhere in the country – as well. “It will promote racial healing,” they claim. Writer after writer associated the Confederate flag with the KKK; never mind that the KKK has it’s own flag and the flag they most identify with at rallies has long been the United States flag. Yes, Klan members sometimes carry Confederate flags but they also carry the US flag right beside it and in a more prominent position.(In the Cohen Brothers movie “O Brother Where Art Thou,” no US flag is shown even though that was the flag the KKK of the period used. Instead, they feature the Confederate flag.)

If anything, the lowering of the Confederate flag in South Carolina has made a lot of people madder than they already were. In the news accounts that I saw, the crowd assembled to watch the lowering of the flag was made up mostly of blacks. All of those I saw interviewed, with one exception, were blacks. One South Carolina Democratic Senator gave an example of “white racism” in his speech during the debate before the vote. He said that a white woman told him that “all you care about are blacks and Mexicans.” Add feminists, LGBTs and labor unions to that and it pretty well sums up the Democratic Party, which, by the way, owes its very existence to the men who fought under that Confederate flag and the KKK that came along after the war. After all, the stated goal of the post-war KKK was to “support the Democratic Party.” Without the klan and its nightriders, there would have been no Democratic party in the South.

Nikki Haley may have felt like a “huge weight was lifted off of my state” when the flag came down but nothing has really changed.