So, I've been reading with significant interest the hand-wringing about the Confederate flag. Shit just got real - now they're trying to take everything down at the Stone Mountain Park, even though the park is a memorial.

There was a viral video with a crash of some trucks in a flag-procession in Dalton, about an hour up the I-75 from me.

Read this article recently, and if it's the kind of liberal, nose-down-looking tripe the anti-flag people come up with, it's no wonder the other side are entrenching. The title of the article is:

"The Confederate flag symbolizes white supremacy — and it always has"

But then she goes on to argue AGAINST exactly that in more than one place.

Quote: "Haley nodded to supporters of the flag in her speech, saying that for many, the flag was "a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during the time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it racism.""

Quote: "At first, white Southerners mostly displayed it at Civil War cemeteries and at memorials and veterans' reunions. That use of the flag is the crux of the "heritage, not hate" argument: that the Confederate flag is simply about honoring the South's past, its dead, and its culture"

Quote: "
In the early 1950s, stock car racers, Southern universities, and social groups embraced the Confederate flag, Coski wrote in his book. It's this kind of use of the Confederate flag that has made it a cultural marker, shorthand not just for the Confederacy but for a specific strain of white Southern culture."

Amusingly, as "proof", she shows someone holding a Confederate Flag in the background at a segregation rally back in the 1950s in Little Rock. She doesn't comment on the fact that another protestor is carrying an American Flag.

She handwaves that some Southerners object DEEPLY to racist use of that flag: "Some Southerners argued that white supremacists who waved the flag as they violently attacked civil rights activists were perverting the flag's true meaning. A New York Times editorial published two days after four girls were killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church claimed segregationists were committing "desecration" of the Confederate symbol."

Kind of hard to give multiple examples of people arguing against white supremacy with the flag, or using the flag in other contexts than white supremacy.... and title it "it ALWAYS has." It makes your side look utterly ridiculous to argue it has no non-racist context, mention non-racist contexts, and literally go "but slavery though" or "but I'm going to quote some guy sho says it represents segregation" and ignore quotes to the contrary, even though in the supposed interests of balance in the article you've quoted the other side.

Back in America, apparently the hysteria isn't enough just about moving the memorial flag just next to State Capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. Now there's calls to destroy Stone Mountain park, there's calls to rename any street with the name "Lee", and or to destroy or remove Confederate memorials or graveyards.

And of course, sales of the Confederate flag have gone through the roof. Not on Amazon, though, which refuses to sell things that are tainted by hate - unless it's Nazi paraphernalia, Hamas merchandise, Che Guevara T-shirts or what have you. Those can stay. Dukes of Hazzard on the other hand... Various companies have sold completely out, and though some manufacturers have stopped making the flag, others have stepped into the fray.

The witch-hunting continues there, as well. Dixie Outfitters, whose merch very clearly states "Heritage, not Hate" - was the subject of an attack piece in the media: turns out that not only is the wife of the owner's uncle or something some bigwig Klansman (which, these days, means he has four people over to his trailer to drink beer) but a few decades ago they attended some Klan meetings. That they stopped, have no dealings with the Klan at all, and are completely estranged from the Klansman uncle is irrelevant to the media, who are latching on to the "what they really mean" angle. Of course, some of the merch now coming out is less than welcome, including a Dixie flag T-shirt that parodies "#blacklivesmatter" with "300,000 Confederate lives matter". Keep in mind the media these days had Paula Deen removed from her job for several years because it came out that, shock, horror - sometime in the 1970s she referred to someone as a "nigger". That she had changed considerably as a person in the ensuing 40 years isn't relevant to these modern witch hunters, who, apparently do no wrong.

So let me ask. What substantive changes have happened in the events after the shooting at the AME church that have improved anyone's lot? That have made the world safer for people of color? That has combated ACTUAL white supremacy? Have the cops started monitoring white supremacists? Have they put out a task force to monitor lone wolves? Stepped up patrols around black churches? Cops reached out to the black community and set up co-operation? Have we looked at why people are racist in 2015? Tried to do something to open dialog? Fix people who have these stupid ideas?

Absolutely not. All we've done is produced a farrago of hit pieces that suggest every single time that if you're in favor of states' rights, that's literally the same thing as wanting slavery. I'm sure these same people would respond to calls to eliminate the First Amendment because of the Westboro Baptist Church with that whole Voltaire quote about not liking what you say, but defending rights. THAT's different, because... reasons.

And while we're arguing back and forth here, NINE AME churches have been set on fire since this whole debacle started, all in South Carolina. Strangely enough, removing the General Lee from the shelves at Hobby Lobby didn't stop person or persons unknown from literally torching black churches.

But then again, welcome to Bizarro world, where in one moment, Barack Obama uses the word "nigger" and condemns the Confederate Flag for supporting slavery - and then in the next breath alters the draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which is going to be imposed on multiple countries regardless of the wishes of its citizenry, to take out language prohibiting slaver nations from participating. Couldn't possibly exclude some people simply because they choose to own other people. We must foster trade with them, because after all, damn it, profit's more important.

Lest people presume that I'm flying that flag outside my house or something, let me just say that the rants of the past few days are about the amount of bullshit and theater surrounding all this. Here we go with the identity politics once again.

I was in line at a bank and saw a man trying to conceal his flag tattoo from a woman of color. I kind of felt for the guy - he was apologetic and made some comment about being a good ol' boy, but not about hate. And he was not worried about her doing anything or what have you, he was sensitive to her feelings. Their conversation was intriguing. The long and the short of it is, yes, she is old enough to remember people waving that flag to try to keep her out of school, but no, she's no interest in policing what anyone else chooses to wear or to sport as a tattoo, people do things for their own reasons, and she's not one to judge. She concluded her comments with a very emotional "I do have a young male relative though, a black teenager, and what I am worried about is him getting shot."

She's positively right. Might I suggest a re-ordering of priorities here?





Today is July 1, and I'm not exactly where I thought I would be at this point in time which is really okay as in many areas I'm much further ahead than I thought I would be. Money - I could have a tighter grasp of where it's going and what I'm doing with it, but I feel pretty good about this since back in May I learned I was getting divorced, and by June 1, 2015, I actually was. Going to give myself a B in this area. I prepared a budget, but I wasn't fabulous about sticking to it. On the other hand, I couldn't know what bills I hadn't been paying previously were going to be. Food - I didn't take the girls out to eat myself although there were a couple of times when we stopped for treats we didn't need. I'm disappointed in myself although I have made strides here. Giving myself a C in this category. I feel like food waste is down, I'm making more with what I have, but if I really want to lose weight and feel better I need to stop running out for treats so frequently. My biggest mistakes here were not pulling cash out of the bank, it's easier to overspend with my debit card, stress eating, not having a menu, and unnecessary trips I could have avoided. I would give this a higher grade considering my mental state, but I feel as if I put C effort into food this past month and part of that was just being so overwhelmed and depressed. Not excuses, just why I didn't perform better in this category.

Spending time with the girls. This is a tough one so I'm not going to give myself a grade. I've spent more time with them in the past, but we were pretty inactive and sedentary. I failed to plan regular exercise and activity and chose the junk food route more often than I liked. A couple treats here and there are fine, but I'd like to tie those to events like birthdays and hard work rather than mom is in a down mood and wants some chocolate or ice cream. Yard work - giving myself an A here. I hate yard work and the yard looks pretty good considering he hasn't done anything all month. I have flowers out on my porch, some greenery, and I started demolishing part of that huge ass brush pile in back which was an insane amount of work on a hot and humid day. I thought I was going to have a patio area so I set that up and took it down which was frustrating and emotionally draining. I swept the back patio area several times, moved patio furniture, pulled up the disgusting carpeting, and I think that the yard looks better than it has since we moved in here. The grass is neatly mowed, our lawn is nothing spectacular, but it's what we can do without actual landscaping. I have iris and lilies out in front. I'd like to get something for my mailbox and the stop sign in the corner of the yard. I have a play house the girls have outgrown that I need to get rid of, but these are small tasks I can manage.

Writing - I feel like I deserve a B+ in this area. I'd rather space things out more instead of writing in bursts. I didn't write any fiction at all for a while, I feel like that was a mistake. I also feel like I used writing to escape and could have better used some of the time I was hunched over the computer. Dealing with my ex - not sure how to grade this one since I haven't had an ex before. There were things that went better than I thought that they could have, but I'm not proud of the fights and some of my thoughts. I stood up for myself a few times and I'm proud of myself for that. I still depend on him too much so weaning myself off of that is a new goal of mine. Self help and care - I feel as if I have earned a solid A here. I've pulled tough books off of my shelves and done a lot of reading and some writing. I'm particularly proud of my anger writeups. They may not be fabulous writing, but from a soul clearing perspective, they've probably done more for me than anything else I've written. I've kept up on the daylogs and I'm proud of that too. I'll take a break when the girls and I are in Michigan for my cousin's wedding. That's the kind of break I think I should be taking as it will be inconvenient to write away from home and I'd rather not cart around a computer regardless of size.

I should probably give myself an F in exercise and activity, but I did get out and do a few things so I'll give myself a D. This is an area of my life where I could really ramp it up. Even a small notch or two would make a big difference. This is the area where I'm least proud of myself, but it's an area where I have a lot of room for improvement which is exciting. Taking care of the house - giving myself an A here. It wouldn't pass a white glove test, but I've had people over and they've really noticed a difference. I don't have money for some of the big decorating tasks I have planned, but soap and water and effort are very inexpensive and I've used those wisely. We've been much better about dishes, the fridge has stayed cleaner. I swept and cleared out an area in the basement, loaded up some of his stuff, kept laundry up to date for the most part, sorted clothes, and did some work in the garage. It was fun to discover that I'm not the lazy slob I thought I was before. One thing I realize - I'm not scheduling self care like haircuts and budgeting for clothing for myself. Part of that is financial, I was scared to spend that money although I did buy some summer clothes and a dress I wore yesterday. I think I could invest in a couple of foundation building pieces that would make me look and feel better. Also, I desperately need to get in for a trim. My hair is all over the place and I'm worried about split ends.

We haven't missed church yet, I've been going to therapy faithfully and taking the girls. Our insurance has changed so I hope their therapist is still covered, if not, I don't know what I'm going to do. My plan is to call her and explore my options. This is something he could and should be doing, but I want to know for my own sake so I'm going to call her myself. I need to get in to the doctor. I want to go back to the chiropractor and to my work out person although once I'm done paying her off I can't really afford to see her again until I get more income. That's making me kind of sad, but going back to school or getting a job is a fall project so I have to content myself with the way that things are for now. I still want to get out of the house more and meet some new people. I have things to work on and things I can look back on and realize that I survived and overcame some pretty crappy circumstances. I had to pull money out of savings, but not as much as I could have so there's that to add to my list of accomplishments. I didn't go out on any dates, I realized I'm not ready to start dating again and I like that about myself. I feel like I've been more mature and responsible overall and I'm praising God for the blessings he's showered on me. I could be a complete wreck right now and I feel like my ship needs a few minor repairs, and one or two major ones before I'm sailing the high seas again. It's a good feeling and I know I'll keep getting better which is really something positive on my horizon. 

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