Over the last week or so there has been a ton of conversation about the South, Dylann Roof and the Confederate Flag. Just for one second, let’s take a deep breath. What was the Civil War about? Someone will usually say that the Civil War was about States Rights. Okay. That’s a half answer. The Civil War wasn’t about states’ rights to have their own Navy or trade exclusively with Africa or England. The Civil War was about a state’s right to continue slavery as they saw fit. The Confederate Flag is clearly associated with slavery. Then, after the war, the Confederate Flag was most associated with the KKK, a terrorist organization. So for me, as a Black man who grew up in the South, the Confederate Flag is associated with nothing positive. It is associated with terror and racism. Now, I fully understand that there are those Americans who see nothing but positive when they look at the Confederate Flag. They see bravery, honor and dedication to duty. We need to understand that the Confederate Flag symbolizes both. It is like that Batman character – Two Face. You can’t have one without the other. I think that removing the Confederate flag from the state capital in South Carolina is a step in the right direction. Oh, and I should add that Dylann Roof understood the meaning of the Confederate Flag. He clearly understood its link with racism. (Now, before some folks begin to seize, I don’t believe that every Southerner is a racist. On the other hand, I don’t believe that every Northerner is a saint. Look, America is a complex country. Good and evil can be found everywhere. )
ObamaCare (Affordable Care Act) has been upheld by the Supreme Court. I’m a little surprised. The following is from ScotusBlog:
That, the Court concluded by a six-to-three vote, was what Congress intended when it passed the sweeping overhaul of the health insurance market five years ago. If the subsidies are not available across the nation, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote for the majority, that would bring about “the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”
Had the ruling in King v. Burwell gone the other way, to eliminate subsidies in thirty-four states, at least 6.4 million Americans likely would have almost immediately lost the insurance coverage that many of them have for the first time. And, given the way Congress wrote an interlocking law, the cascading effect of the loss of subsidies for so many probably would have collapsed the whole arrangement — a point that Roberts embraced in foreseeing the potential for a “death spiral” for the ACA.
Bobby Jindel. The GOP needs more candidates. It is like that old disco song – “More, more, more.”
Here are 10 “great” moments from Donald Trump’s announcement speech.
Well, it appears that the United States and Russia have agreed on some sort of mechanism for Syria to give up or destroy all of their chemical weapons. I really think that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have pulled a rabbit out of their hat. They were going lose a vote in the House on striking Syria. This could be the best of all options. No missile strikes and Syria gives up their chemical weapons. Totally cool.
The United States and Russia reached a sweeping agreement on Saturday that called for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014 and indefinitely stalled the prospect of American airstrikes.
The joint announcement, on the third day of intensive talks in Geneva, also set the stage for one of the most challenging undertakings in the history of arms control.
“This situation has no precedent,” said Amy E. Smithson, an expert on chemical weapons at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “They are cramming what would probably be five or six years’ worth of work into a period of several months, and they are undertaking this in an extremely difficult security environment due to the ongoing civil war.”
Although the agreement explicitly includes the United Nations Security Council for the first time in determining possible international action in Syria, Russia has maintained its opposition to any military action. (more…)
Mark Sanford has had a really, really bad week in politics. To be honest, I’m not sure why anybody in South Carolina would vote for this guy. He’s already proven that he is more than happy to lie to voters. Maybe he is a changed man. On the other hand, it seems to me that the voters of South Carolina could probably find some other Republican who is lost on the Appalachian Trail.
It has been a little over a week and we still don’t have a good idea about why a fire started in a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had effective regulations? What if we had regulations which stated that a school or an apartment complex could not be located within one or two miles of the fertilizer plant? What if the fertilizer plant had been forced to place “expensive fire suppression equipment” in their plant which would have snuffed out the fire before it got out of control? What if the volunteer firemen had been adequately trained in such a way that they would’ve known that it was hopeless trying to put out this fire and instead could have focused their attention on evacuating the area?
Oh, if you’re a Dallas Cowboy sports fan, like I am, the thought that the Dallas Cowboys picked a center with their first pick, a center who probably will not start, is so disappointing.