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Tony Grist

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Changes [Apr. 17th, 2010|10:22 am]
Tony Grist
Yesterday was such a lovely day I got the loungey chairs out of the shed and Ailz and I sat in our newly paved yard- under the shade of the holly bushes- and looked up at the very blue sky.  After a while she went back inside, and I dozed, with my book of crossword puzzles in my lap.

No planes flying, the economic system in meltdown, the catholic church wilting under attack, Russia and the USA agreeing to cut their nuclear arsenals, earthquakes, political ferment, Goldman Sachs getting sued for fraud- is this a freak in the time-flow- a brief cross-current- or are we living through a period of quite extraordinary change?

[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-04-17 11:52 am (UTC)
The indictment of Goldman Sachs has been brewing for some time. It's the sort of thing that would never be reported by the BBC, but there have been much more serious allegations floated against the firm than the formal charges. And in reality, I suspect this has little to do with actual wrong doing, though of that there is no doubt plenty. This is probably part of the government's attempt to re-institute financial regulation and oversight on Wall Street, which our beloved banksters oppose, for some reason.

There are other big changes, obviously, at least here in the US. The Reopublican party over here is openly embracing the Confederacy in order to bind itself evermore tightly to ignorant, disaffected, Protestant whites.

My wife is a school teacher and had a confrontation just yesterday with a girl over her claimed "right" to wear clothing portraying the battle flag of the Confederate States of America. This girl insisted that it had nothing to do with slavery and was merely a symbol of her "heritage". Her rant was speckled with "them" and "they" and all the imaginary grievances she claimed to suffer at "their" hands, despite the fact that "they", her black classmates, were sitting in the classroom beside her. When confronted with this fact, she refused to even look at "them".

My wife's been there for twenty years and this is a first. Other teachers are reporting incidents of the same and in another class another white kid called one of his black classmates "a nigger" - which for those in my wife's lunch group was a first, curiously.

I grew up in this area and there was nothing like this in the classroom thirty years ago, either. Of course 'reasonable' conservatives say this is mere coincidence and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the Democratic president of the US is black or that the Republican governor of this state proclaimed April "Confederate History Month", with great fanfare, but never once mentioned the word "slavery".

I think there are momentous changes afoot.

I think those who benefit from the status quo, and their handmaidens in the media, are trying desperately to down-play such change, but it's there.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-17 01:01 pm (UTC)
So, what do you think- are these Republican leaders just playing around- like a kid with a box of matches, or do they really want to bring back the old Confederacy and split the United States?

Would a reborn Confederacy be a viable nation- or would it swiftly slip into third world status? Maybe I'm out of touch, but I'm thinking most of the parts of the States that generate money would stick with the Union- and there'd be a mass exodus to the North and West of Southerners with brains.

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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-04-17 05:58 pm (UTC)
These Republicans are mostly just children playing with matches, best I can tell, albeit greedy, stupid children, with a truly breataking indifference to the suffering of their fellow man. I suspect they lack the self-awareness required to understand the shamefulness of what they do. Men like McDonnell, the newly-elected governor of Virginia, are opportunistic parasites, not neo-Confederates as such.

Poor and middle-class whites in this state do indeed have serious grievances - rural poverty, sub-standard medical care, rampant drug abuse, decrepit infrastructure, industrial flight, gentrification, the list goes on and on. They are all the sort of problems that could be addressed successfully by the state and Federal government, but it would involve increased taxes and public spending on social programs, something these reptiles are obviously opposed to and violently so.

Consequently, in order to remain in power and continue shilling for their corporate masters, the Republicans must substitute these imaginary grievances istead, the lost cause of the Confederacy and the system of institutionally enforced white supremacy it represented. Shocking as it might be in this day and age, at least out there in the civilized world, these symbols have amazing power among certain voter groups and not just in the South, either, I'm am very sad to say.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-17 07:43 pm (UTC)
There's nothing like a lost cause to get people going.

It's like Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Highland uprising. Charlie was a weak, arrogant, stupid man and his victory would have been a disaster for the country- a return to Stuart autocracy with theocratic trimmings- but all the romance, all the good songs, are on his side.

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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-04-18 10:53 am (UTC)
Bonnie Prince Charlie is an excellent parallel, in part because his supporters and the core of Confederate dead-enders are ethnically, and in some sense culturally, the same people. The Highlands were pacified by relocating the population to Ireland. From there, they came to the Colonies in overwhelming numbers, landing mostly in Pennsylvania and then traveling down the Valley Road to Virginia and North Carolina and subsequently to Ohio, Kentucky, Tennesse and beyond.

Among other things, it's one reason the Indian wars were so incredibly vicious. One tribal society started a blood-feud with another and the result was entirely predictable. As a friend of mine of both Native-American and Scots-Irish descent once noted, the problem was not the disparity between the two cultures. The problem was that they understood each other's motives all too well and were both capable and eager to respond in kind.
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