Tag Archives: Civil War

Is he really that stupid?

NUREMBERG, Germany — As you know, I am visiting friends in this lovely city in the gorgeous Bavaria region.

They are well-read, erudite and sophisticated. Alena asked me a fascinating question today about the intelligence of the POTUS No. 45. “Do you think he’s really that stupid,” she asked, “or is he just playing to the people who support him no matter what?”

Her reference point is that ghastly mini-speech he made the other day about the Battle of Gettysburg, the fight that turned the tide of our Civil War. The ex-POTUS offered not a single word about the significance of the battle, but instead prattled on about how “bloody” and “beautiful” it was.

Her point is interesting to me. She believes he might just be saying such a thing to appeal to his MAGA cult base of voters who themselves might not have any notion about the importance of this — or any other — significant event in our nation’s history.

Hmm. I thought for a moment about what Alena said. I don’t believe the former Philanderer in Chief is that sophisticated. I do believe he is an ignorant fool. She describes him as “evil.” My bride used that term,, too, to describe the presumed  Republican Party presidential nominee.

Perhaps the term “evil” connotes a level of genius. I’ll have to consider it. He strikes me as someone I have felt all along is unfit for public office, given that he’s never devoted a nano-second of his professional life to giving back to the nation,

Yes, I also believe he is that stupid.

Slavery was ‘good’ for Blacks? Umm … no!

Florida students are getting a serious dose of propaganda courtesy of the government of that seriously crazy state.

The state is now requiring public schools to teach curricula that states that Blacks actually derived some “benefit” from slavery. Yep. That’s the state now governed by an idiot who wants to become the next POTUS.

Ron DeSantis, a Republican (of course), wants to soft-pedal the nation’s bleakest chapter in its storied history by suggesting that Blacks drew benefit by being considered three-fifths of a human being and by being “owned” by slaveholders, the way they owned, oh, cattle or farm equipment.

We fought a Civil War over slavery. Florida was on the losing side of that bloody conflict. To suggest that human beings could derive some benefit from being owned by other human beings is as disgusting a public policy as anything I ever have heard.


Flags are symbols, nothing more

So faux patriots like to “wrap themselves in the flag,” as if that is a demonstration of their love of country.

It is a demonstration only of their ignorance of what Old Glory means.

I see the flag as a symbol of the principles on which the founders created the nation when they convened a constitutional convention after we won the revolution. The liberties contained in the nation’s governing document imply a belief that we are free to protest when our government messes up.

Thus, when I see someone burning Old Glory in a public square, I shrug it off. Hey, that’s their right. Now, does flag-burning mean I will embrace whatever cause is being protested? Hardly. If anything, such an act will turn me off.  Then again, the flag symbolizes that, too.

I recall the time Donald Trump attended a political event, walked out onto the stage and just gave the Stars and Stripes hanging nearby a good, old-fashioned hug. He meant to demonstrate that he, too, is a patriot, that he just loves the flag so much he wanted to embrace the stitched cloth … as if such an act really matters. It doesn’t.

This is the same man who urged rally crowds to “knock the crap” out of protesters. Hmm. Is that in keeping with what the founders intended? I think not.

The faux patriots also should be mindful of the ignorance they demonstrate when they fly the Stars and Bars next to Old Glory. Remember that the Confederate States of America went to war with the United States of America because some states wanted to keep slaves in bondage.

Just remember that the flag is nothing more than a symbol. It conveys many complicated messages, some of which involve granting citizens the right to protest our government and to, yes, burn that very flag.


Texas cannot secede, period!

Bryan Slaton has lost his mind. I mean, how else can one explain why the second-term Republican Texas state representative wants to give Texans a chance to decide whether to secede from the United States of America?

Slaton represents a portion of Northeast Texas and has authored a bill that calls for a referendum to determine whether Texans want to leave the nation.

Earth to Slaton: The Civil War settled that issue. The Texas Tribune reports: “The legality of seceding is problematic,” Eric McDaniel, associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Texas Tribune in 2016. “The Civil War played a very big role in establishing the power of the federal government and cementing that the federal government has the final say in these issues.”

Slaton, a Royse City Republican, apparently doesn’t accept that notion.

Good grief, man! May we stop this idiocy from taking root in the Legislature?

Texas can’t secede from the U.S. Here’s why. | The Texas Tribune

This is the kind of craziness that infects any notion of good government coming from Austin.

The first secession in 1861 was declared illegal, too, by the Supreme Court. Yet, Texas joined the Confederate States of America and went to war against the Union. Any effort to do so again would be deemed not just illegal, but insane.

As for Slaton, someone needs to determine this young man’s fitness for public office. From my perch in Collin County, he is sounding like a certifiable nut case.


Shut the hell up, MTG!

Under normal circumstances, I would be inclined to ignore the rants of a back-bench member of Congress who represents the fringe of a once-great political party.

Except these times ain’t normal … you know? That once-great party, the Republicans, are dominated these days by the idiots on the far-right wing. One of them, Marjorie Taylor Greene, has proposed that the United States split between liberals and conservatives. She criticized President Biden for visiting Ukraine in a show of support for the nation fighting against the illegal invasion from Russia.

Why do I care about this moron? Because she and her ilk are positioned to take control of the House of Representatives agenda, thanks to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s tolerance of their wackiness and outright un-American policies.

The country tried to split in two, remember? It didn’t work out. President Lincoln — the greatest Republican in U.S. history and for my money the greatest president — kept the Union together.

Now we hear one of his political descendants spewing trash such as what comes from Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Shut the hell up!


Pollyanna? No, an idealist

One of the harshest criticisms I have received over many decades offering commentary on issues of the day came from a colleague of mine.

He called me a “Pollyanna.” I cannot remember the specific issue that prompted the dig, but it likely had something to do with the political climate of the time and my wish for a return to a kinder time. I guess my critic/friend didn’t ascribe to the same ideals as I did then … and still do today.

I might invite the Pollyanna brickbat once again by declaring that no matter how desperate the current environment appears, I am going to rely on my faith in the U.S. Constitution … yeah, the same Constitution that Donald Trump said we should suspend.

For starters, the Constitution is far stronger and more durable than the insane rants of a disgraced politician. Moreover, we have been through many crises that rival or even exceed the current tempest brewing over efforts to reject election results, or return Trump to the White House.

We endured two world wars, and in the past 75 years two other wars — in Korea and Vietnam — that tore at our fabric. We went to war in the Middle East, prompting yet another crisis of confidence.

We have endured presidential assassinations dating back to President Lincoln’s murder in 1865, presidential scandals — one of which forced a president to resign — the Great Depression and a Civil War.

What has been the common denominator, the one political structure that survived? The U.S. Constitution. It has held the nation together, albeit while showing plenty of wear and tear around the edges.

It will continue to hold us together. No matter how hard the MAGA cultists/traitors seek to undermine it, the Constitution will endure. So will our democratic republic … and so will the electoral process that is taking its share of heavy hits from those who have declared war on our founding document.

This is not the feel-good wish of a Pollyanna. It is the assertion of an old man, a veteran who went to war for his country and a patriot who remains committed to the glorious idealism that our nation’s founders envisioned.


Do they really mean ‘civil war’?

What in the name of certifiable insanity is happening along the rightward fringe of political discourse, with individuals and groups yammering about the prospects of “civil war” if certain events don’t go the way they want them to go?

There well could be multiple indictments coming from at least two states, and the U.S. Department of Justice over the conduct of the most recent former president of the United States. Donald Trump’s cult followers are vowing to take to the streets. They will exact revenge if their leader faces criminal prosecution.

Some of ’em have said they expect a civil war to erupt. What the … ?

Hey, we all know what happened when we had a Civil War in this country. Six hundred thousand Americans died on battlefields throughout much of the eastern United States. The war ended. President Lincoln vowed to bind the wounds that tore us apart … only to be assassinated.

Now some among us are predicting a return to that horrifying chapter in our national history. And why? Because the Justice Department is doing its job in accordance with federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

Oh, and then we have two states — Georgia and New York — looking as well into possible criminal behavior. They, too, are operating legally and ethically in the search for the truth.

Oh, my. These threats frighten the daylights out of me.


All together now: No secession for Texas!

Let’s all say this together, shall we? Texas cannot — under the law — secede from the United States of America!

Texas tried that once. It didn’t work out. We joined several other southern states to go to war with the United States because slave owners wanted to maintain the right to own fellow human beings as property. The Civil War came to an end in April 1865 and Congress wrote a law that prohibited secession. Period, man!

That didn’t dissuade the Texas Republican Party, though, from delivering a resolution at the end of its conference in Houston this past weekend that calls for a statewide referendum aimed at “achieving Texas independence.”

I have declared already that the Texas GOP has gone ’round the bend. This resolution only strengthens my argument.

The secession argument keeps rearing its disgusting head whenever right-wingers get pi**ed off about something, or anything! They want to remove the state from the clutches of federal control, believing foolishly that the state can solve its own problems.

“It is now time that the People of Texas are allowed the right to decide their own future,” state Rep. Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredericksburg, said in a statement announcing the resolution at the GOP conference.

The Texas Tribune reports: “The legality of seceding is problematic,” Eric McDaniel, associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Texas Tribune in 2016. “The Civil War played a very big role in establishing the power of the federal government and cementing that the federal government has the final say in these issues.”

Texas can’t secede from the U.S. Here’s why. | The Texas Tribune

Yeah, a “very big role,” indeed.

The Confederacy committed the ultimate act of treason in declaring war on the U.S. government. The Civil War cost the nation more than 600,000 lives in the bloodiest conflict in its history.

President Lincoln’s second inaugural speech in March 1865 — a month before he would be assassinated — declared his intention to heal the wounds that ripped the nation apart. “With malice toward none and charity for all,” he said, the nation must move forward together.

Now we hear from the lunatics of Abraham Lincoln’s own Republican Party wanting to secede once again. Why? Because they don’t want the feds setting the rules all Americans must follow.

Do you see what I mean, therefore, about how nuts today’s Republican Party has become?


Honest Abe: unelectable

This is the face of an unelectable politician and, no, it is not because he isn’t particularly “telegenic.” It is because his ideas within his beloved Republican Party have become grist for the trash heap.

Consider the very notion that the man I consider to be our nation’s greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, is no longer the voice and face of a party that once called itself “The Party of Lincoln.” President Lincoln held the nation together during its darkest period, during the time when Americans fought each other over slavery and that thing one side referred to as “states’ rights.”

Then, as the Civil War drew to a close and as President Lincoln delivered his second inaugural speech after winning re-election in 1864, he said he would bind the wounds that divided us, that he would proceed with “malice toward none and charity for all.” An assassin struck a month later and denied the president the chance to deliver on his promise.

The party under which he ran for president twice has become something the president wouldn’t recognize. He certainly would not condone the tone it has taken in recent years. It has been hijacked and twisted into a form that bears no resemblance to the party of the so-called “big tent.”

Donald John Trump’s control over the party starting with the 2016 GOP presidential primary campaign has taken it on a destructive course. It’s not that the party is destroying itself. It is that the ideas it promotes has gained new followers who are wedded to the hideous notions espoused by its leader.

The Grand Old Party has become a cult whose followers are infiltrating the ranks of candidates throughout Congress and into statehouses, county courthouses and even into ostensibly non-partisan city halls and school board meeting rooms.

Imagine a Republican with the chops of Abraham Lincoln seeking public office today. Imagine how the 16th president himself would fare were he to become a candidate.

Abraham Lincoln likely couldn’t be elected as a Republican because his party would lack the good sense to nominate him in the first place. The future of civil discourse and debate in this country deserves better than what lies ahead.


Cancel culture? Really?

As a general rule I don’t usually quote “Star Trek” actors to buttress a point I want to make, but this one attributed to Mr. Sulu seems to ring so very true to me.

GOP politicians in Texas and everywhere else keep raising hell about “cancel culture” politics they allege are espoused by progressives. You know how it goes: Someone finds a phrase or a term to be offensive, so they set out to blot that from our vernacular; “cancel culture” has resulted in the bringing down of Confederate memorials honoring traitors who sought to topple the U.S. government during the Civil War.

The right wingers among us just can’t stand that notion.

And yet … they seek to ban books that teach students about racism in our nation’s history, about slavery and about certain damning chapters in the building of our nation.

Isn’t that more than just a little hypocritical?

It sure looks like it to me.