Many Republican lawmakers are right in calling for the removal of the Confederate flag, and this does make sense for the Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party that wanted to get rid of slavery.
I might not agree with the modern Republican Party with their conservative social stances or fiscal policies, but kudos to Republican legislators who want to remove the Confederate flag. They are doing the right thing.
Many have attempted to remove the Confederate flag from state government buildings, and for some reason several states want to keep it.
But it feels hypocritical, and a bit ridiculous. The flag stands for a time in history when it was okay to own African Americans as slaves, and nothing that Confederacy flag wavers can say will make this justifiable.
Perhaps they will try to popularize the Confederate flag, but it is not a symbol of America, or even in the states where people live. Why not have indigenous wild animals on the state flags instead? I think this is a better option. A disclaimer: I am from California and I think we have one of the most amazing flags with our grizzly bear as the state emblem.
Also, the irony is many pro-Confederate flag wavers will say America is number one if someone criticizes anything Americans do.
For instance, just look a junk food video on YouTube when someone from outside the US says "Americans eat too much junk food, no wonder they are large" and some American will retort back "Stop saying Americans are fat, we are number one". Perhaps this is a generalization, but it is a bit irksome that in today's social media world some refuse to express their opinions in a rational and even keeled manner. Why does it take a recent tragedy for people to realize how bizarre it is that the Confederate flag should not be waving over state capital?
How would some Americans react to this: Displaying the Union Jack at a State Capital Building.
Hawaii is the exception to the rule with the Union Jack as the canton on a state flag, but can you imagine how outraged some Americans would be if someone suggested the Union Jack be the new state flag in states proposing a change of emblem?
Around the Fourth of July Americans love to get into the anti-British sentiment, and talk about the Revolutionary War but the Revolutionary War was one of a divided American populace, and many families continued to support George III. Also, the American Revolution was like many wars in the past where the affluent tried to get out of fighting, and often had poor people go into battle in their place; this was not a new phenomenon when the wealthy sons dodged the draft during the Vietnam War.
Also, when we studied the American Revolution as kids we never talked about how people who continued to be loyal to the king often had their houses burned down, and they had to flee to Canada.
Loyalist Americans remaining loyal to king and country had to abandon their possessions when the US was recognized as an independent country in 1783. That was one of the downsides to this war. Of course war is never a cheery thing, but it should be pointed out many Americans remained loyal to the crown.
What if there was an American who waxed nostalgic about how the US would be better off we had not broken away from Britain, and still wanted to fly the British flag. I have a feeling people would shout them down. What about their right to freedom of speech. Oh you know this would not go well. However, someone who wants to fly the Confederate flag is able to do this without much criticism in some Southern states, or at least not much until recently.
However, if you ever read about the American Revolution from the British perspective, you will learn it was called the war of American rebellion.
Of course that is not a fact that would be taught in a US history class. Not sure why as I think we should discuss both sides the story. Southerners who erected statues to Jefferson Davis like to tell their side of the story. The movie Gone with The Wind has also romanticized this, but what movies portray the loyalist American position during the Revolutionary War.
The pro-Confederate crowd want us to honor Jefferson Davis these days, and discuss their side of the story but it is getting stale as toast. There were American families who continued to support the British crown after 1783, but they either had to pledge allegiance to the new US, or go to Canada.
Today any American who would say I think we should honor Queen Elizabeth and fly the Union Jack at a state capital would be thought of as silly. However, why is it okay to say Jefferson Davis was a hero, and to fly the Confederate flag? If one would be deemed absurd as a state flag, then so should the other.
At state capital buildings the only flags that should be displayed are the American flag, and a state flag that represents all individuals who live there, or perhaps the indigenous wildlife. The Confederate flag makes a bold and divisive statement that is not encompassing and welcoming. It has not place at a state government. It does not take a national tragedy to know this, by the way. People have talked about this for years.
In the case of Hawaii it was a sovereign nation led by Queen Liliʻuokalani, who was overthrown in 1893. Before that King Kamehameha had flown the British flag as a sign of friendship after a visit from Captain George Vancouver, but he had also flown the American flag. The flag of Hawaii is a combination of both the British and American flags influences, but it has a very different history behind it.
Also, it must be noted that the American Revolution divided the US populace just like the Civil War did, and not everyone rejected George III just because a few wealthy and elite members of the Continental Congress rallied for this. There were Americans who felt it was their duty to support the king, and their story has never been portrayed in US history classes. I first learned about this by reading an American history book written from a British perspective. They are just called sour grapes. Yet we are supposed to validate some pro-Confederates of today, and that rebel cause stood for nothing good.
The point is America is a united nation today so why do we need to fly flags that harken back to a divided past.
In some ways pro-Confederate flag wavers are like desperate ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. You know the ones, those who just cannot let a relationship go. Oh yes you dated that person for two months back in 2003, but you still tell all your friends about it. The pro-Confederate flag group is of this mind-set. It is time to move on. America did in 1865, and you are a bit silly to yearn for a time when leaders would probably not have thought much about you.
If someone would look silly for flying the British flag at a state capital here in the US, the same should be said about anyone wanting to fly the flag of the Confederacy. We do not need to honor that time in history. We need to realize the Confederacy was a failed time that stood for something not so great. If someone thinks the Confederacy is the best thing in the world, then they can paint their car or house to look like that a Confederate flag.
The first amendment gives people the right to parade around town in a Confederate flag shirt. However, it has no place on a state capital building. I am not mesmerized by the heated news frenzy around this, and think we should have taken the balanced approach of getting rid of the Confederate flag years ago when people asked for this in a rational fashion. History is more complicated than a media cycle, but the Confederate flag needs to go.
In the UK people would look bonkers if they wanted to fly the banner of Oliver Cromwell, but for some reason in the US there are people who will tell some good things about their bad habits, like it is okay to fly the Confederate flag.
Not at the state capital, it is not.
I am all for your freedom of speech to wear that thing on a shirt if you must. However, you must know I was turned off by a man driving a big truck back in 1993 who refused to give me the right of way as a pedestrian, and he just happened to be flying a Confederate flag on his truck. I am not going to validate your bad habits by saying these are good. It seems those who want bigoted things want to guilt trip others, and create a sensation about things that are quite simple.
Most people do not support the Confederate flag, and if you need to so dearly, then display it on your own time. The confederacy lost the Civil War, and the flag has no place at state capitals today - simple and done.
Something people in Britain might get, but will go over the heads of the pro-Confederacy crowd.
How would you feel about somebody parading up and down the street with a banner carried by Oliver Cromwell during the English civil war? That is how we should also view people who cling to the Confederate flag like a desperate ex-boyfriend clings to the shirt his ex left behind in 2003; time to take that thing out to the garbage can.
You can catch up with Julia online at:
And at her online Art Workshop here
CBS Sports - Frank Martin endorses removing Confederate flag at state capitol
In Syria, a bloody carnage by Islamist State militants in the Kurdish-dominated city of Kobani claimed at least 142 civilian lives Friday.Reportedly Islamic State militants also targeted the Shiite Imam al-Sadeq Mosque in Kuwait killing at least at least 25 worshippers and wounding hundreds.
BBC News reported: “Footage said to be taken in the aftermath of the blast showed dozens of men in blood-splattered white robes spilling out of the smoke-filled mosque into the street outside.”
Media outlets described the series of attacks as signs of “mounting jihadist onslaught across the Arabian peninsula.”
Reportedly an Islamic State representative hinted at increased attacks during the holy month of Ramadan.
According to the Australian, “Spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani had urged militants to strike back at their foes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and shake the ground beneath them.”
The string of violence indicates an aggressive expansion of strategies that could raise the specter of fear and trigger sectarian divisions everywhere.
If the hand of the Islamic State is established then it is a serious concern because Friday’s trail of bloodbath and unfolding circumstances indicate that the theatre of terrorism has spread beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq.
The Friday attack on Kuwait especially assumes significance for the Islamic State. So far Kuwait is perceived as a model in managing Sunni-Shia tensions that has been the primary fault line of violence in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia represents the Sunni side and Iran feeds on the Shia aspirations. The attack, could seemingly jeopardize the Shia-Sunni pacifist equation in Kuwait, leading it into the nature of sectarian pandemonium on which the Islamic State feeds.
Meanwhile Western army veterans and think tanks are mulling on preparedness to fight Islamic extremism on the lines of the Second World War.
The Telegraph quoted Shashank Joshi, Senior Research Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) saying:
“Islamic States’ ambitions go far beyond the Levant, and their influence is markedly growing even where they lack tanks, artillery pieces, and armies. Today’s attacks may be a reminder of the geographic scale and complexity of the challenge that we face.”
So far there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the attacks across France, Europe, Middle East and Africa was coordinated under a single Islamist Ideology or carried out by a single terrorist group. But confounding is the Islamic State’s growing strength and notoriety despite a unified and coordinated attack by the Western nations, especially the United States.
USA Today reported: “U.S. officials say they have seen no evidence yet to suggest that a series of deadly attacks across three continents Friday were linked, but analysts said it is likely they were loosely coordinated.”
Ironically the premise on which the Islamic State claims to stand—Islam—seems to be a hogwash as they have targeted almost everyone; Sunnis, Shias, Christians, Jews, and Yezidis.
Abdul Kuddus is a writer at Digital Journal
The Dominican government has set up a number of centers for Dominicans of Haitian descent to register their citizenship status and avoid being deported, but the process is reportedly discriminatory.
The Nation quoted Greg Granding, an activist working for the Haitian cause as saying:
“The targets for expulsion are descendants of Haitians who came to work in sugar plantations in the early 20th century yet never legalized their residency status. They are nearly all poor, street venders, peasants, domestic servants, laborers, mothers and fathers.”
Reportedly the Dominican government has set up seven deportation centers located at the Haiti-Dominican border, notably in the border cities of Dajabon, Independencia and Elias Pinas.
According to CBC News:
“The government of the Dominican Republic ruled that anyone who had arrived in the country after 1929 and was not born of at least one parent with Dominican blood would be retroactively stripped of their citizenship.”
Dominican Republic and Haiti occupy opposite ends of the island formerly known as Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea divided by language, history, and race. Diplomatic tussle continue because the Dominican Republic has carried out mass deportations of Haitian immigrants at various times. The Parsley Massacre of 1937 reportedly altered the relationship between the two countries and its effects can still be felt today.
Haiti suffers from political instability, dictatorships and natural disasters making it the poorest nation in the Americas. In contract, Dominican Republic is a major tourist destination, a reviving economy and a key ally of the United States. Haitians often migrate to Dominican Republic for jobs. In 2010, a large number of Haitians also crossed over after the devastating Haiti earthquake.
An online petition is seeking US intervention to stop the deportation. The petition called on the White House to influence the Dominican Republic government and stop the biased deportation of Haitian-born Dominicans.
Reports indicate that people of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic are discriminated as a second group—people who came to the country or brought by force to work in the sugarcane fields.
Over generations, politicians have continued to raise the alien issue to consolidate their political agendas. The deadline for registration comes amidst elections with President Danilo Medina betting on another presidential term.
Human rights groups, including Amnesty International have criticized the discriminatory action as xenophobic toward Haitian-born Dominicans. The fear of mass deportations has raised little international attention or even condemnation from world leaders.
The deportations which could begin sooner has received a muted response from the United States and the rest of the world. The reason for the diplomatic silence refers to the troubled relationship many countries have with migrant workers who cross borders illegally seeking employment.
Abdul Kuddus is based in New Delhi, India.
Thursday's guest post features a petition which reads:
"Set aside the sale of our home, and return it to the Armstrong family.
Why is this important? A survivor of sexual abuse by priests, myself as a child, when I discovered a paedophile in the extended family and his mates abusing a five-year-old little girl I lost control, reacted violently and assaulted him. The paedophile got legal aid took me to court and won forcing the sale of our home to cover his legal costs.
Both the Prime Minister David Cameron and our MP Hugh Robertson turned a blind eye to the Kent paedophile ring I had exposed to protect state owned bad bank NRAM who our mortgage was with and who after a delay of six-years took advantage of my family's situation to take illegal possession of our empty derelict home, Grove Mill Cottage, Hollingbourne, Kent ME17 1UQ
Northern Rock Assett Management Bank only had security on the cottage but not on the adjoining garden land that isn't mortgaged and we still own."
Below is a copy of a video of me camping in my own back garden at our repossessed cottage
"Northern Rock bank failed to exercise due diligence at the LRO when granting the mortgage in 2003 and only had security on the cottage itself while my family still own the garden land, mortgage free, leaving the bank void of security. The Bank, NRAM now refuse to comply with our 'Subject Access Request' that would serve to demonstrate their error because they want to cover up their incompetence and gross negligence.
Consumers need to protect their homes from illegal repossession by the banks not least state owned banks by supporting my family in our struggle to return to our home. The bank rejected our written offer to settle the mortgage account and sold the cottage off on the cheap to create a 'Fait acompli by arrangement' to Mr Lee Smith a director of Holtwood Developments Limited Maidstone ME15 OPP who was made aware through the Court of the unusual circumstances leading to my family losing our home to paedophiles in advance of finalising the purchase of the Cottage. We have it on good authority from friends in the village to cover-up his greed in stealing our home Mr Lee Smith is telling folk that I was the paedophile and deserve to be shot."
Paedophiles have had the upper hand for centuries. Even our government are using delaying tactics regarding the Historical Child Sex Abuse Inquiry, Where will it all end? I intend to support every CSA survivor, who has had their childhood destroyed and destined to live with the pain for the rest of their lives. I wouldn't wish a paedophile on my worst enemy. Eviction from family homes destroys family life and devastates communities. When a family is evicted from their home they lose their identity and place in society. The family is separated and leads to hopelessness and desperation and can lead to suicide. Making my family homeless destroyed me and my psychiatrist diagnosed me as suffering from PTSD which explained why I tried to take my own life by jumping from a motorway bridge.
How the petition to The Prime Minister and The Chairman of UKAR will be delivered:
E-mail, Facebook, Twitter @terryarmstrong, and through the media granting personnel interviews and a press conference.
Sign the petition here
Terry's story at the Guardian
The evidence of misrepresentation by Ministers is extensive, and I’ve watched as other petitions meet the requirements for debate in Parliament and are patronised and belittled; remember the response to the fantastic WOW campaign? The issues around finding the Truth from this Govt. are growing exponentially, as is the support for finding the truth, the problem is the next stage - HOW to make the Tories take notice and STOP the Lies and unfair practice?
This is something I would normally expect the opposition to be doing as a matter of course, but past performance of the Labour party demonstrates we have no hope of this happening. However given this growing interest in finding the Truth, maybe a letter to the Labour Leadership contenders, signed by all of us Truth Seekers might persuade them that the public expect their Politicians Not to Lie and we expect them to champion for this?
As Jolyon Rubinstein states on his campaign “If I were to lie in a court of law, I would go to jail. But it’s entirely legal for an MP to lie to Parliament. Doesn’t sound right, does it?”
We agree with that and, as we can’t get the Tories to listen, maybe we can persuade the new Leader of the Opposition to do precisely this, and hold the Tories and their lies to account – what do you think and would YOU sign such a letter?
ONLY TOGETHER CAN WE FIGHT FOR OUR SURVIVAL
Check out Jayne's blog here
Related - Guardian - Conservative party deletes archive of speeches from internet
“A commitment was made to publish updated figures in May 2015 during the Work and Pensions Select Committee review of sanctions in February 2015.”
Now I may be a little cynical here but if these figures were to be published last month – Where Are They.
I have been unable to find them, and also tried to think of reasons for a delay, but in the end could only arrive at the conclusion the DWP are hoping the data update announcement will be forgotten.
I’d like to know just how many claims and refusals have been made for Hardship Funds since March 2012, mostly because I think its highly likely there will be substantial growth in these claims? And also because this promise to publish data in the future, has been used numerous times before, including queries regarding the number of Benefit related deaths.
So I have submitted my own FOI request–
Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
In your recent response to FOI – Hardship Fund for claimant facing financial difficulties? made 28 April 2015 by JCG ; on May 29 2015 you stated “A commitment was made to publish updated figures in May 2015 during the Work and Pensions Select Committee review of sanctions in February 2015.”
Therefore, my request is where and when are these numbers to be published?
I’ll keep you posted.
#Together WE Fight for Our Survival
Check out Jayne's blog here
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