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Black artist will burn, bury the Confederate flag across the South on Memorial Day

Black artist will burn, bury the Confederate flag across the South on Memorial Day
by David A. Love | May 22, 2015 at 12:16 AM

Can you think of a better way for a black man to spend Memorial Day than to burn a Confederate flag?

As was reported in the Orlando Sentinel, an artist will do exactly that, with plans to make it happen in all the states throughout the former Confederacy.

John Sims, an artist from Sarasota, Florida, is honoring the constitutional right of self-expression by staging burnings and burials of the Rebel flag, that troublesome symbol of the Old South that many, particularly African-Americans, associate with slavery, white supremacy and state-sponsored terrorism and lynchings.

“We are in America, and people have the right to fly whatever flag [they want],” Sims said. “And I have the right to bury whatever flag, and to burn whatever flag.”

Sims noted that the Dixie flag, which the South flew during the Civil War, is associated with many toxic memories of the American experience, especially from the black perspective. “There’s a notion of ‘Southern Heritage’ and who owns [that], but a very important part of Southern culture is the African-American experience.… The Confederate flag is a flag of terror from its use by the Klan in the ’20s to the anti-civil-rights movement in the ’50s and ’60s,” Sims said.

“The flag is almost too toxic to handle, and for those who do, I’m suspicious of their engagement. Are you in denial?”


To be sure, a number of people will disapprove of Sims’ form of artistic expression, but their own sentiments in support of that flag are misplaced and indefensible.

Although the Confederacy lost the Civil War and surrendered 150 years ago, some white folks refuse to let it go. Still fighting a war to keep blacks down and poor whites in poverty — because the slave system did not need white labor — they simply cannot escape the nineteenth century. As Euan Hague wrote in Politico Magazine in April, the passion for the Confederate flag has not ended for many Americans. Neo-Confederate sentiments seemed to be in relative hiding until the 1980s and 1990s.

Today, the symbols of the Confederacy are all around us. The state of Texas just went before the U.S. Supreme Court and defended the placement of the flag on Texas license plates.

Recently, students at the University of Texas at Austin passed a resolution to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its prominent spot on campus. And at the University of

North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Students for Education Reform are demanding the renaming of Saunders Hall — a university building which honors Confederate colonel and KKK Grand Dragon William Saunders — to Hurston Hall, in honor of Zora Neal Hurston, the first black UNC student prior to integration.


Although defenders of that flag may want to convince us that it has nothing to do with slavery, or segregation, or hating black people, we know better. After all, aside from serving as an official flag of the Confederacy and a symbol used by groups such as the Klan, the Confederate battle flag played a prominent role against the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. After the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision, states such as Georgia reintroduced the flag in protest, while other states incorporated the secessionist symbol into the state flag, and others flew the battle flag on top of the state house. After Georgia changed its flag in 2003, Mississippi remains the only state flag to incorporate the Confederate emblem.

(more at link)


I think that this is wonderful, particularly Sims' statement that "We are in America, and people have the right to fly whatever flag [they want]...And I have the right to bury whatever flag, and to burn whatever flag.” Too many white southerners try to pretend that they can revere the Confederate flag and also be patriotic Americans. Sorry racists, you can do one or the other, but not both.


Nonsense, Mike. And you should know better.

Bt was used as a spray by organic growers for more than 40 years without observable resistance increasing among target insect pests. Why? Because natural Bt has a very short persistence in the environment. Depending upon weather conditions, within 24-48 hours, the BT has degraded into carbon dioxide, water, etc.

Splice a Bt gene into a corn plant, on the other hand, and you wind up with something quite different. The Bt is in every single cell, all the time. Stems? Bt. Roots? Bt. Corn kernels? Bt. Even root exudates and pollen? Bt. This is NOTHING like an organic farmer using a Bt spray one to three times a season (probably rotating at least once in there to a pyrethrum or spinosad to further reduce resistance), which is why Bt resistance was NOT a problem for more than four decades prior to the widespread adoption of GMO crops.

And about that "matter of knowingly committing to a short term solution for a long term problem?" Funny how all the costs are borne by farmers (especially organic growers who are losing an important tool from an already quite limited repertoire), yet all the profits and other benefits accrue to Dow, Monsanto, Syngenta, etc. Funny how that works, eh?

I think you need to reexamine your bias here if you wish to retain a shred of credibility on the biologist / scientist front.


In so doing, he would alienate true progressives, who value the whole Bill of Rights.

Gun control is a losing issue.

Your statistics include suicides. While any suicide is a tragedy, is the gun really to blame? A tall building, an oncoming train, piped car exhaust, or a tank of nitrogen could just as easily be employed toward the same end.

We already have more than 20,000 gun laws on the books at various local, state, and federal levels. Is that not control? What level of control would you deem sufficient? How many more laws would make you happy?

The Bill of Rights is pretty clear about the "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Yet you want a Democratic candidate to call for further infringements. This will alienate voters who value and respect the Bill of Rights as a cornerstone of our government. Many of us are Bernie fans because he generally shares this respect, although (on-edit) I see down-thread that he voted in favor of an Assault Weapons Ban, which is a pointless gun control measure that I disagree with entirely.

We have a gun control proponent candidate in Hillary. Aren't you in her Third Way camp anyway? Why are you proposing to give (bad) advice to Bernie?


There should be only two categories of products:

1) All products that require disposal or recycling should require a refundable deposit (similar to but larger than those for soda cans at present in many states). Manufacturers would be responsible for receiving and properly recycling these materials once they are collected. From cars, to computers, to plastic water bottles to plastic tarps: the state holds the deposit until they are redeemed, then the manufacturer (or an association of manufacturers) recapture the resources of said materials.

2) Products and packaging could only forego the required deposit and return requirements if they are 100% biodegradable within one year of exposure to the environment.

If it's not either quickly and safely biodegradable or recyclable, with the attendant funding and cradle-to-grave plan for such recycling, we don't need to be manufacturing it.


What, exactly, is the Constitutional status of a "Congressional-Executive Agreement"?

It seems to me that TPP supporters are trying to have it both ways. They want the TPP and other trade agreements to supersede the Constitution, yet they are unwilling and unable to muster the votes necessary to pass an actual treaty, much less a series of Constitutional Amendments.

The author, Joe Firestone, does grapple with these questions further down in the article:

Treaties are the law of the land, and they trump previously passed legislation. But, first, according to the Constitution a Congressional – Executive Agreement is not a treaty. And second, even if it were, it would not trump the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. So, Federalism, as expressed in Amendment 10, means that the states of the union have a limited sphere of state sovereignty that cannot be breached by either the Federal government, or by treaties or international agreements concluded by it.

And that sphere of state sovereignty is precisely in the area of providing for the general welfare of its citizens. If a state in the US decides, for example, that the Federal minimum wage isn’t high enough for the general welfare of its citizens, it is free, right now, to pass a minimum wage at any level exceeding the Federal minimum that it thinks is desirable. Multinational corporations have nothing to say about this in any tribunal, but under the TPP they could sue the State for lost profits and collect damages.

So, if enacted, the TPP would violate Federalism, state sovereignty, and therefore the Constitution of the United States, in a way that the Federal Government cannot now do. It is clearly an unconstitutional treaty, which the United States has no right to conclude.

This is an important column. K&R,

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