Civil War in America

Every year the Sons of Confederate Veterans use the North Carolina statehouse to celebrate their annual confederate flag day ceremony. It has become more common in recent years for some white southerners to openly wax nostalgic for the days when their ancestors fought and died to preserve slavery.

It is easy to see a connection between present day yearnings for a return to Dixieland and renewed efforts to threaten voting rights. It is less obvious to see similar connections with trends elsewhere in the country. South Dakota is a long way from South Carolina, but that state recently joined the battle to turn back the clock on civil rights and return to the bad old days when white men ruled and everyone else was subservient.


Paul Hue said...

Nadir: I join you in detesting these celebrations of the confederacy, especially those paid for by tax dollars. I find no difference between the confederate and nazi flags. But I have found that a good many of these confederate flag wavers are not racists; they are just ignorant of the facts. They subscribe to a myth. Surely all white racists wave confederate flags; but all confederate flag-wavers are no more racist than trick-er-treaters are devil worshipers.

I have examined claims of threats to black voting rights and have found them to be totally empty. I am absolutely certain that if the federal voting rights enforcement legislation expires it will result in zero effect on blacks voting. Voting fraud and ethics breaches today in the US now focus exclusively on democrats and republicans behaving abhorently in mutally countering ways trying to boost turnout in areas that tend to vote for them, and heavily scrutinize votes in areas that tend to vote against them. In the bad old days, white racists didn't care how blacks voted, they just wanted to keep blacks from voting. Today there's effectively no such people engaging in electoral activities.

Rather than care about the voting rights act, I would like to see all of us care about all forms of voting fraud and to improve processes that will maximize turnout and accuracy. Reforms that would help:

- Encourage competing partisan observers at all voting areas.

- Encourage these observers to challange voters.

- Require photo IDs

- Have partisan observers double-check counting.

- Multiple printouts of each voter's ballot.

The US, whose govt claims to be promoting democracy in the world, should strive to set an example for the world in this matter.

Paul Hue said...

I agree that something of a civil war is about to erupt on the topic of abortion. I support abortions, but I am uncertain of its constitutionality, or at least the current official justification for it. The current justification for it based on Roe v. Wade is that laws against it violate the mother's right to privacy. However, if a fetus is a human, a person's right to privacy cannot enable the person to kill another human. So I don't think that this rationale truly covers those of us who want to preserve the abortion option.

The best argument I've encountered centers not on the scientific question of when life begins, but rather on the legal question of when a state, local, or federal govt recognizes the existance of a human. Surely a born human has a birth certificate. Even illegal aliens somewhere have associated with them a document certified by some government proving their existance and identity. The US govt provides tax exemptions only for born children that have social security numbers, and only counts such people in census reporting. Thus I believe that somewhere in this discussion exists the a crucial legal factor that -- perhaps in combination with the rationale of Roe v. Wade -- can keep state govts from banning abortion.

Either side of this issue, though, seems subject to confronting an absurdity in their position. Those that seek to ban abortion cannot seriously ban killing a single cell egg that's just been fertilized! Conversely, we abortion proponents cannot seriously justify killing a fetus 15 minutes before birth. Finding the cut-off point becomes a nightmare, as far as I can tell.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: I would have expected you to object to linking the quest to ensure that women have the right to terminate their pregnancies with the quest to ensure that all Americans have full citizenship rights regardless of race. At least my linkage of the US Civil War to the US invasion of Iraq assumes that the quest in Iraq constitutes establishing full natural, universal rights for all Iraqis, not merely the rights of Iraqi women to terminate their pregnancies.