Thursday, February 20, 2014

Last Call For The War Of Southern Microaggressions

Why, I can't possibly imagine why putting the flag of a defeated, traitor group dedicated to the preservation of slavery as a basis of economic and social power on a Georgia license plate would piss anyone off.

The state of Georgia has released a new specialty license tag that features the Confederate battle flag, inflaming civil rights advocates and renewing a debate on what images should appear on state-issued materials.

The new specialty tag has stirred a clash between those who believe the battle flag honors Confederate heritage and those, particularly African-Americans, who view it as a racially charged symbol of oppression.

Because it is, thanks.

A spokesman for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said Tuesday that the state should not have sanctioned the battle emblem to appear on a Georgia tag.

“To display this is reprehensible,” said Maynard Eaton. “We don’t have license plates saying ‘Black Power.’”

Like that would ever be allowed on a license plate anywhere.

For their part, the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said it meant no offense. People have a right to commemorate their heritage, and the state would be discriminating if it rejected the group’s application, said spokesman Ray McBerry.

By sanctioning the plate, they are not saying they agree with our organization. They’re just saying it’s a level playing field,” he said.

Sure.  Because slavery was a level playing field.

Here's my question, "Heritage Not Hate" people.  You're celebrating a bunch of literal and actual traitors to the United States of America, a group that declared open warfare on the country and did so by engaging in a war that killed three-quarters of a million Americans, or about 2% of the entire population of the country, all over the fact that slavery was the economic powerhouse of the rural South.  Not that the rest of the Union was super awesome to Native Americans, Mexicans, Irish, Chinese and anyone else who wasn't Anglo-Saxon in general derivation, but you don't see people raising "Sons of the Veterans of the Mexican-American War" or "The Trail Of Tears Was Awesome And Stuff" license plates, right?

Why would you want to raise that battle flag?  At the very best, you're saying "I don't want to be part of the United Stated of America" while you're free to tool around in your big ass truck or whatever and can drive to any state in the lower 48, and look like an asshole doing it.  Can't stop you from being an asshole, but you can maybe not get a state-sanctioned license plate declaring it to all of Earth, maybe?


Meanwhile, In Wisconsin

Virginia, New Jersey, now in Wisconsin yet another Republican governor faces an investigation for wrongdoing in his office.  Scott Walker, come on down! 

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has been eyeing a 2016 presidential run since his battles with labor unions made him a Republican star, is in the midst of dealing with the fallout of two criminal investigations at home that could complicate his move to the national stage.

One is ongoing, and while the other is now closed with no allegations of wrongdoing by Walker, it has the lingering potential to embarrass him.

That could begin as early as Wednesday with the release of more than 25,000 pages of e-mails from an ex-staffer that were gathered as part of the now-concluded investigation. The probe focused on Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive before his 2010 election as governor and led to convictions of six former aides and allies.

Even if Walker escapes the e-mail release unscathed, he faces an additional inquiry from state prosecutors, who are believed to be looking into whether his successful 2012 recall campaign illegally coordinated with independent conservative groups.

 But ever the fair and balanced, the Washington Post ends thusly:

If conservative groups succeed in undermining the investigation’s legitimacy, the result could ironically convert the probe from a possible Walker weakness into an unexpected strength, rallying conservatives around a governor perceived to be holding firm against liberal bullies.

Course, they would need help from outlets like the Washington Post for that, right?

Dave Weigel has more on those 27k plus emails released yesterday:

Among the pile of emails, it was found that Walker also used his campaign email to conduct county executive business. In June 2010, Walker emailed the conservative radio host Charlie Sykes and encouraged him to get information on Democratic groups from his office. "Ask [my official office] and we would be happy to send over the info," Walker wrote.

Not illegal, just immoral.  Oh, and at least one of those emails appears to be pretty damning in the "illegal and immoral" department.

"Consider youself now in the 'inner circle,'" Walker's administration director, Cynthia Archer, wrote to Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch just after the two exchanged a test message.

"I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW and Nardelli. You should be sure you check it throughout the day," she wrote, referring to Walker by his initials and to Walker's chief of staff, Tom Nardelli.

Using state resources to coordinate his recall campaign is going to be a big problem for Scott Walker, no matter how the Wingers try to spin it.

Too Close To Home - Hailey Owens

By now, most of you have heard about what happened to Hailey Owens of Springfield, Missouri.  For those who have not, this timeline of events is helpful to fill in details.  They have stayed true with what all sources agree on without the extra speculation.

SPRINGFIELD, MO (KCTV/AP) -A body believed to be that of Hailey Owens was found Wednesday at a Springfield home owned by the suspect, Police Chief Paul Williams said at a news conference. Official confirmation won't occur until after an autopsy, but the chief said police "have a high degree of confidence" in the preliminary identification. 
Police say Craig Michael Wood, 45, is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder but formal charges have not been filed. The Greene County prosecutor is reviewing the case. 
A grade school coach has been jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder in the abduction and death of a 10-year-old Springfield girl. 

The details of what happened after the abduction aren't clear and won't be for a long time.  It all happened so fast.  Violent crime always does. The people left behind can take a long time to put the pieces together.  A few press releases have been slowly letting pieces emerge, but this will take days, if not weeks, to unravel. What we know is that a little girl has died, and someone evil made the choice for it to happen.  The local response has been immediate and overwhelming.  It has been a rare and eye-opening thing to read about something major from both the local and national perspectives.  

So what do I have to add?  I can say with authority that Springfield citizens pulled together as fast as they could.  When the abduction occurred, one person tried to follow in their car, and another called and reported the license plate.  According to this timeline, I had something on my Facebook within thirty minutes (I didn't see anything until it was too late, but it was on there).  Pictures and information flowed and ad hoc pipelines did a fair job of stifling rumors.  The response was huge and incredibly personal.  Within an hour, my Facebook feed was a barrage of photos as people tried to help.  The Springfield Police Department was not able to save Hailey, but they were there within a few short hours.  Their effort was commendable, and they have been professional and solid so far.  From the moment of abduction until the suspect was in custody, not quite four hours elapsed. In that short time, a terrible crime was committed and a little girl was lost.


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