Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


NORTH CAROLINA'S BRAND SHOULDN'T BE HOMAGE TO FALSE PAST: Headed east on Hillsborough Street toward the state Capitol, the view dominated by a 75-foot-tall monument – commemorating “Our Confederate dead … First at Bethel, Last at Appomattox.” It was dedicated May 20, 1895 and unveiled by Julia Jackson Christian, granddaughter of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. It is a relic to what should be a time gone by -- part of the Jim Crow-era propaganda campaign to cloud the realities of defeat in the Civil War. As significant, it was a daily reminder to the freed African-American population that they remained second-class with rights and privileges still subject to those white men wanted to grant. Is our first message to visitors; “Welcome to North Carolina. We were part of the Confederacy”?

THE NC GOP'S AMENDMENT PLAN: FOOL THE VOTERS: Jason Husser, poll director and associate professor of political science, said in a press release that, “North Carolina voters answering amendment ballot questions have the potential to make very important and extremely long-lasting changes to laws in the state. However, a large portion of those voters are either unaware of the proposed amendments or confused by what their vote will actually enact.” For Republican leaders, this lack of awareness and general confusion about the impact of the amendments isn’t a problem. It’s their intention. Their strategy for gaining voter approval of amendments that range from needless to dangerous relies on voters being kept in the dark. That’s why the most consequential amendments were written with vague and misleading language. And that’s why the legislature came back into special session to block a commission from adding clarifying captions about the amendments to the ballot. And that’s why a three-judge panel found the language of two amendment ballot questions so inaccurate that it ordered the legislature to rewrite them.

WHY WE NEED TO BUILD THE DURHAM-ORANGE LIGHT RAIL LINE: We live in a state that has made extraordinary investments in infrastructure over the past few decades. Even better, we live in a region that has reaped much of the reward from farsighted investments over that same period. It is for these reasons that the Durham-Orange light-rail transit project is an investment that should be built. That Research Triangle Park was created is a major, unalloyed benefit to our region. When voters in the early ‘80s approved financing for the 10,000-foot second runway and new terminal at RDU International Airport, it made all the difference as research and finance companies have flocked to our area – bringing jobs for young people whose parents are grateful to have those opportunities close at hand. In recent decades we’ve prevailed in the competition to become a top place to live, work and play. But it’s not the time to congratulate ourselves. We must do more than try to handle traffic – we have to provide mobility options to remain as competitive as we have been for the quality of life we all want to have.

SEA-LEVEL RISE IS HERE. NORTH CAROLINA NEEDS TO ACT: So how is North Carolina faring in terms of our response to sea level rise? Not very well. Some communities are discussing the topic but real action remains. On a state level, even less is being done to prepare for the coming rise. Instead coastal development flourishes as more beachfront buildings, highways and bridges are built to ease access to our beautiful beaches. The time has come to recognize that we cannot hold the shoreline still as the level of the sea rises. We should: ▪ Prohibit beachfront development by increasing setback lines. ▪ Raise buildings. ▪ Demolish or move back threatened buildings. ▪ Don’t allow rebuilding of storm-destroyed buildings. ▪ Plan, prepare for and begin an organized retreat from the rising sea. We must take the long view and respond now to the rising sea in a planned fashion. Currently the unspoken plan is to wait until the situation is catastrophic and then respond. We must begin the retreat now.

NATION DESERVES EXAMINATION OF KAVANAUGH, NOT PUFFERY OR PARTISAN JOUSTING: Kavanaugh’s dodge on the Federalist Paper’s question is reflective, unfortunately, of the irrelevance of these hearings that should be providing the Senate and the American people, with the kind of information they need to know to understand both the nominee’s qualifications for the life-time appointment and his views on the administration of justice – particularly concerning critical issues before the nation today. In fact, Kavanaugh’s views on the powers of the presidency, are of utmost importance. Revelations of the last few days coming from Bob Woodward’s new book and a startling column in The New York Times expose an unhinged, impulsive chief executive and senior staffers dashing about seemingly in a panic to protect President Donald Trump from himself along with protecting the nation and the world from Trump’s selfish irrationality. The nation deserves a true examination of the nominee that reveals his judicial temperament and approach to the law.


GAYLE SHAEFER: GOP'S MOVE TO MAKE JUDICIAL RACES PARTISAN BACKFIRED OF THEM: Regarding the letter to the editor “Not ‘Right’” about Chris Anglin’s party affiliation, I feel the need to point out that the Republican legislature recently passed laws making judicial elections partisan. Prior to their doing this, these elections had been non-partisan for years (as, in my opinion, they should be). When Anglin filed to run as a Republican, the legislators quickly tried to block his use of the Republican designation on the ballot. The court found that Anglin’s party affiliation will show, as the law allows. The legislature also rearranged the order in which candidates’ names will appear on the ballot, so that the Democratic candidate’s name will move from first to last in the N.C. Supreme Court category. Too bad that the current legislatures’ shenanigans might have backfired on them in this case. Let’s hope that their blatant attempts to usurp power from the executive branch through their proposed constitutional amendments are a dismal failure.

GEORGE SWEAZY: TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS "STEALING" OUR CLEAN AIR: Every religion teaches some version of “thou shalt not steal.” But in the area of environmental protection we are stealing clean air, clean water and a livable planet from our children and grandchildren. National Geographic keeps “A Running List of How Trump is Changing the Environment,” and it’s currently 60-plus items. Some are specific, such as weakening the air pollution rules for coal-fired power plants. And some are more general and far-reaching, such as slashing Department of Energy funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency by 72 percent. Many of these actions are done in the name of economic development, and that’s important, but it needs to be “sustainable development.” That’s “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs.” And if we don’t do sustainable development, we are stealing from our children and grandchildren. If you think I’m wrong, have the courage of your convictions and check me out. Ask someone under 30 if our planet will be better or worse in 10 years. And if they say “worse,” either tell them why they’re wrong or tell them what you think we should do about that.

LOUISE LOCKWOOD ZOROWSKI: LACK OF ACTION ON SILENT SAM IS THE PROBLEM: The intransigence of the power structure to moving the statue of a Confederate soldier known as Silent Sam dumbfounds me. Since 1965, students, professors and others have written letters, met with officials at the university and staged demonstrations asking that this statue be removed. In February 2012, a coalition of students, professors and residents offered a compromise: Keep the statue in place, add a plaque about its history and erect another statue to honor a prominent African-American. Response: No action. In 2015, cities talked about taking down Confederate statues following the massacre in Charleston. Response: North Carolina passed a law making it difficult to relocate Confederate statues. In September 2017, students met with Chancellor Carol Folt to talk about moving the statue. Response: Folt says the 2015 state law ties her hands. Protests continue. Response: UNC spends $390,000 to protect the statue. In August 2018, Silent Sam is pulled off his pedestal. Response: Call for prosecution of those who took the action, ask for an investigation into the police response. It is time to end the racial discord engendered by Silent Sam and relocate him.



From the dark side

This week's loser is actually the N&O itself, for publishing a crazy conspiracy theorist as an "expert" on Silent Sam and the Civil War:

Regarding the Silent Sam controversy, there is more to the issue than meets the eye. Those who remember the movie “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” will recall the letter British Queen Victoria wrote to Albert Pike. Pike was a slave-owning Confederate brigadier-general, whose statue sits in the middle of our nation’s capital city today.

Why aren’t those who destroyed Silent Sam marching to Washington in protest of the Pike statue? Rarely are we told what the Civil War was really about. Powerful people in Britain did not like American independence, and in March 1809, a British emissary, John Henry, in Boston wrote a letter saying they wanted to find an issue that would divide the North and the South here (e.g., abolition of slavery).

Honestly, that second sentence should have triggered at least a few questions from the editorial staff, like maybe, "Why does a supposedly professional historian with a PhD refer to a really bad Hollywood movie in an introduction to his essay?" It's kind of a theme with this guy, as we see again here:

It is also a mistake to say Confederate soldiers fought to keep their own slaves, because 93 percent of Southerners owned no slaves! Only the small planter class (as in “Gone With the wind”) owned slaves.

That movie reference and painful exclamation mark (also a habit of his) aside, that 93 percent thing is bogus. It may have been created by idiots like this to "reshape" the South's image, but way too many of my Progressive friends have repeated such nonsense, because it reaffirms their opinion that an elite ruling class has always been the problem.

The reality is much more complicated, and requires an insane amount of research to pin down. Not blowing my horn, but I have done much of that research myself. I have spent hundreds of hours scouring actual Census documents, mostly on microfiche, in efforts to track down the activities of my own ancestors. Slave ownership was a lot more common than this author would admit, and not just by "wealthy" Southerners. My Great Great Great Grandfather and his son both fought for the Confederacy, and they owned slaves. And they were not anywhere close to wealthy. When they migrated from what is now downtown Chapel Hill in the 1840's to Rome Georgia, they went from owning 5 slaves to 3. And I doubt they set 2 of them free; the (much) more likely explanation is they sold them to finance the move.

Why is anecdotal evidence like that important? Because the Census records from the early to middle part of the 19th Century were not alphabetical; the individuals taking the Census literally walked (or rode horse) from farm to farm, homestead to homestead, so in order to find people you are looking for, you have to read all of it until you do. In some neighborhoods nobody owned slaves, in other neighborhoods everybody did. Not just plantations, families owning 3-5 like my ancestors.

Anyway, don't fall for that "most Southerners did not own slaves" revisionism. It's incorrect, and it seeks to put the blame on an extremely small segment of the population. And don't fall for this nonsense, either:

Northern generals also allowed many of their soldiers to gang rape Southern women with impunity. Look in the Raleigh Museum at the diary of a Southern woman in Raleigh during the Civil War, who describes how her neighbor is thinking of killing herself rather than be gang raped by “virtuous” Union soldiers. And the woman herself described how she and her daughters saw a “sea of Union soldiers faces” looking up at their second floor window as the soldiers started to climb the outside walls intending to gang rape them!

In the latter part of the Civil War, Confederate leaders used the same fear tactics other about-to-be-conquered military commanders did, mostly to inspire more volunteers. I daresay there were many "diaries" with fearful entries in them, but one of the precepts of using primary sources like this for (real) historical research is: "What actually occurred?" Did her neighbor actually commit suicide? Were they gang-raped? As far as "Doctor" Dennis Cuddy is concerned, those questions don't matter. The author's fear is enough for him.

But enough about this particular "essay." If the N&O had done even a cursory check of Cuddy's other publications, they would have discovered he lost his mind some time ago:

The Power Elite (PE) has had a goal of bringing about a world government for centuries. It will be Socialist, and it will be feudal as evidenced by the shrinking size of the middle class from 61% in 1971 to only 50% today (see Pew Research Center, December 9, 2015 report). The PE also has been undermining national sovereignty with the next major step toward that end a world currency by 2018 (see THE ECONOMIST, January 9, 1988; and THE ECONOMIST, October 3, 2015 has a "Special Report" on page 9 projecting major global economic events from now to 2023).

The PE has a plan for bringing its New World Order out of chaos, and President Obama's apparent ignorance and incompetence are important parts of that plan. Just as a thief went on a looting spree in the February 26, 1962 "The Andy Griffith Show" after deputized Floyd the barber said: "Everything is under control. There's nothing to worry about in Mayberry today," President Obama made a similar statement the morning of the ISIS-inspired San Bernardino massacre. He declared: "ISIL is not gong to pose an existential threat to us.... Our homeland has never been more protected...." Makes you feel so safe, doesn't it?

The most importance element to achieving the PE's ultimate goal is the undermining of American biblical values. As I have mentioned before, this began with the Illuminati inciting the French Revolution and rejecting religious moral authority. With Auguste Comte in the mid-1800s developing the Religion of Humanity where man, not God, is the final moral arbiter of right and wrong. This is how Lucifer/Satan, seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden.

A few years after Auguste Comte's secular humanist principles were published, Madame Helena Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society on October 10, 1875. It was Luciferian, and Blavatsky (later with Annie Besant) edited the magazine LUCIFER in the late 19th century. This was at the same time L. Frank Baum wrote THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, which was a theosophical allegory.

Floyd the Barber and the Wizard of Oz are apparently both part of the Illuminati. Or something.