Saturday, December 12, 2015

Life Goes on at Moogie's Manor

Christmas Cheer from (a not very happy looking) Yappy!

She had two reasons to be unhappy. First: Pepper and Mysti went duck hunting on Thursday for two days without her (where Mysti apparently specialized in whining and knocking over her water bowl); and, Secondly: I made her wear that Santa headband.

She's not really much of a very girly-girl.

This is one shot from this year's Christmas card. Don't you just love the stare-down?

And another, from the back of the card, with the caption, "Remembering our Bouie, sleeping in heavenly peace . . ."

May your holiday season be blessed with warm memories and the opportunity to make many more.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thinking About Thankfulness

I am thankful for having had a great dog in my life. I've had plenty of wonderful dogs, but only Bouie was great. And, I'm thankful for having his "lady" and his offspring in our home to love.

I kinda like my husband, too. I'm thankful he has been in my life these many decades.

I'm thankful for our healthy children and grandchildren, and for the opportunity to see them regularly without having to drive 7 or 8 hours.

I'm thankful to have my father, now 86 years old, still with us. And, I'm thankful to be able to go to doctors' appointments with him so he won't have to walk so far. And, I'm thankful to be here in Little Rock to support him as he begins radiation therapy for lung cancer. I'm truly and prayerfully grateful that his prognosis is good.

I'm thankful for good friends.

I'm thankful I don't have to move anytime soon.

I'm thankful for my Senior Discount at Krogerville. And, I'd better go use it before all the other geezers get all the good stuff.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Heartbreak at Moogie's Manor

We spoiled him mercilessly for the last few weeks of his life, cooking steak and burgers for him every few hours so he wouldn't starve. We soaked up all the love we could manage, then we let our precious pup, our Bouie, trot across the Rainbow Bridge on November 3rd. He was suffering from untreatable, diffused carcinoma of the liver, and even though he gave it a valiant battle, he let us know that he was ready to move on to his next adventure with companions, both old and new. The following is my Facebook post on that sad, sad morning:

"We held our Bouie as he crossed the bridge this morning. We took turns last night lying beside him on the floor -- he was always a floor kind of guy. He ate some rotisserie chicken for breakfast after a last walk with his best friend, and his canine family. He was so weary and weak that it didn't take long for his great, strong heart to stop, peacefully and painlessly. I told him that we'll see him soon. His best friend wrote a beautiful tribute to him. I love you, Bouligny Voodoo, forever and always. Au revoir, my precious puppy."

Here is Pepper's:

Somehow, my house, usually full of joy and activity, is very lonely and empty today. My best friend and soulmate, Bouie, went to heaven today. He was very sick with cancer and was becoming uncomfortable, and so we went yesterday to duck camp and walked around the fields and blinds for one last time. 

This was a great dog. He was a superb hunter, retriever and flusher, yes, but he was also a loving friend to all who knew him. He had ultimate patience, and let grandkids pull on him, run over his tail with bikes, all without complaint. When we went hunting, he knew the minute we stopped the truck where we were. He was excited and alert, wanting to miss nothing. When the alarm went off in the mornings of a hunt, he was first up, ears perked, pacing, ready to go. And he could go all day. Strong, fast, and bright, he hunted like the champion he was. 
From the time I drove to Texas to pick him up, as a strange, gangly, somewhat homely puppy with a pointy head and a long nose, he was skeptical at first, but soon became my best buddy. I can't say I walked him every day, but I bet I got 90%. It was our thing, to walk every morning and every evening, to run miles on the neutral ground. We would go to Bayou St. John twice a week and practice duck dog jumping and retrieves. We would practice marking and retrieving two, three, four birds. I taught him how to flush in one week, and he was one of the best at our hunting camp.
When Katrina hit and we moved back after a long evacuation, the City Park golf courses were closed, so we were able to run almost every weekend along the cart trails and through the woods, chasing whatever was there, and diving into any lake, bayou or creek that looked inviting.
This is the prayer I whispered in his ear as he went to sleep today:
"Dear Father, please welcome our boy Bouie, into your house, into your arms, into your heart. Please make him strong, fast and free again, without pain. Find some folks around heaven who will take him on walks, play fetch and retrieve with tennis balls and dummy ducks, and play catch with popcorn and pizza crusts. Every now and then, let him run through a park chasing white birds until they fly, and diving into water at full gallop. However you hunt in heaven, please take him along. He is masterful at it, and he loves it so. Most of all, Lord, let him find friends who love him, and who he can love. He is really good at that, and he loves it most of all."
Goodbye, my great friend."

An anonymous friend sent us this lovely Memorial Candle and "Bouie's Prayer." It warmed our hearts.

Some favorite Bouie moments:

 Bouie Puppy splashing in the waterbowl.
 On sentry duty
 Sweet face
 His favorite nap spot in Little Rock

Our hearts still hurt, and the girl dogs are still confused -- although they are very cuddly and mindful of where we are at all times.  My chest is tight and my eyes are a little leaky right now. There are just some family pets who creep into your very soul. He was one of those, and his absence physically hurts.

I brought Bouie's ashes home last Friday, so he is here with us again, resting in a place of honor where he can watch over all his loved ones.  So, cheers to you, Bou Boy!  See you soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Planned Obsolescence?

Rant alert.

I've been pussyfooting around a two-year old LG refrigerator repair issue for a week now (The fridge is two, not the repair issue. Yet.)  Our wonderful repair guy told me that he doesn't work on LGs anymore because it's too hard to get parts, and suggested I find a factory authorized repairman since the problem may still be under warranty. 

I Googled "factory authorized repairs LG" and got some pretty shady-sounding results. Then I went on the LG website "find a repairman" page. Entered my zip code (in Little Rock, Arkansas) and got "No data available." Next, I called Home Depot, where we bought the fridge, for recommendations where I was told, "We don't do repairs if you didn't purchase an extended warranty from us," which we didn't because major appliances should function as intended for many, many years. 

Back to the LG site; found a number for Customer Service (where my call was very important to them, so I should please enjoy this lovely music for awhile) and ultimately got to chat with a very pleasant young lady named Michelle who sounded as if she were somewhere on the sub-continent. She walked me through the script and ultimately found two authorized repairmen "in my area" -- one is in Sherwood; the other is in Joplin, MO. Sherwood will have to do.

*deep sigh*

I guess the moral of the story is: next time go with something other than LG. Even if Michelle is very friendly and somewhat helpful.

Or move to Joplin.

Monday, August 31, 2015

61 and Counting!

This is what Mr. Google posted on its home page for me today:

How do it know?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Fluff

I was looking through some older photos and ran across this one taken shortly after Mother's Day. It makes me smile. I call it "Attack of the Killer Tulips" --

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Moogie is Dog-Tired

Today is a "Poor Moogie" day. I had a little minor surgery on a toe yesterday, and today it really hurts!

I also lost about a gallon of blood when I left the doc's office and stopped by the drug store to pick up some prescription refills. When I stepped out of the car, it felt as if I had stepped into a puddle. Well, I suppose that, technically, I had -- it just happened to be a puddle of my own blood in my shoe. Gross.

So, I high-tailed it back to the doc's, where his sweet nurse cleaned me up and applied pressure to that stubborn bleeder. Pressure didn't work, so the good doc cauterized it. When cauterization was first mentioned, I pictured a soldering iron, but, fortunately, he used silver nitrate instead. I was really glad because smelling barbecued Moogie wasn't on my to-do list for the day.

Sweet Nurse called me mid-afternoon on her lunch break to check on me. She said she just wanted to make sure that my toe hadn't fallen off, or that I hadn't bled out. Heh. I thought it was very thoughtful of her to check on my well-being.

So, today, all the anesthetic has worn off and I've been walking around on it too much. Therefore, I do believe I shall take to the couch with my Kindle and a tootsie-propping pillow in anticipation of cocktail hour.

Oh, and Happy National Dog Day!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Want to See Hillary's Head Explode?

It seems that Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren had a little tete-a-tete over the weekend.

And, today, Josh Earnest (most entertaining name for a Press Secretary ever) is pussyfooting all around the question whether Obama would support a Biden candidacy.

And, that email server issue refuses to be laid to rest.

Oooh. Pass the popcorn! This is getting interesting.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Birth of an Endless Nightmare

Ten years ago today, a pitiful little storm struggled to life over the Bahamas, the 11th named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season -- she would be named Katrina the next day.

She would also alter the course of history.

This is a well-done recollection of days leading up to -- and years following -- the storm by Bill Capo, a reporter at WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans. I commend it to you.

Now, please excuse me -- the heebie jeebies are crawling up the back of my neck.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Katrina, Plus 10 Years, Minus 12 Days

Today is August 17th. According to the National Hurricane Center:

"Environmental conditions appear conducive for development over the next severaldays, and a tropical depression will likely form by the middle of
the week while the system moves westward or west-northwestward near
15 mph.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...50 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent "

That's a pretty darn good chance.

In 2005, on August 23rd, Hurricane Katrina slogged to life near the Bahamas. The rest is history.

I fervently pray that this particular history never repeats itself.

Late August still makes me anxious.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

One Family's Meaningful Farewell Tribute

There is a charming obituary in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette announcing the passing of a delightful lady, Ms. Freeda.

Included in the heartfelt tribute to Ms. Freeda was a treasure trove of information about her well-lived life, such as:

Freeda sledgehammered every rule of eating healthy to obtain a nice long life. She had a passionate love of peanut butter cookies, cornbread and buttermilk, pecan pies, candy bars, and Diet Coke. She lived to be 80.

And then there was:

Freeda disliked very much any Texas or Alabama football team and considered any game those states won as rigged or otherwise not on the up-and-up. She disliked very much the end of football season, her middle name, and McDonald's.

My favorite passage, however, is the opening one:

Freeda . . . passed on August 12. A fact that is not lost on the family is that she died before she could see Hillary Clinton elected, just as she had hoped.

What a delightful, intelligent lady!!! Her family closed with this:

A service will be held . . . where it is asked that you bring your Razorback spirit. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you instead go fishing. Watch a Razorback game. Eat a well-made pecan pie. And love.

I do believe Miss Freeda was a lady whose acquaintance I would have loved to have made. Rest peacefully, Ms. Freeda. And a raucous Wooo Pig Soooieee from Moogie's Manor.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Video Publish Fail. Really Cute Video, Too.

Well, shoot. I couldn't get the video to transfer from Facebook. Maybe I can get Pepper to publish it to YouTube later. Sorry.

Pepper and Bouie went to Duck Camp yesterday to do a little work on the house.

(The girls were left at home to take care of Mom. And they weren't particularly happy about it.)

When it was time to play, Pepper sent Bouie off in search of quail. Here is the intrepid hunter, having a ball. Not bad for a guy who'll turn 9 years old next week:

It makes my heart smile to see him so happy.

Good boy!

Friday, August 14, 2015

One Small Victory for Common Sense

Well, we can take some small comfort in the DoD's decision not to file charges against the Marines who fired at the Chattanooga Religion of Peace murderer. (See Post from August 3, 2015)

Perhaps there has been an outbreak of common sense in the Pentagon. Let's hope it goes viral, not only in the Pentagon, but all around the Beltway and its environs.

I wouldn't hold my breath, however. You-Know-Who is still the Commander in Chief.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Have the Top Brass Taken Leave of Their Senses?!?

I don't know whether there is any truth to  the allegations floating around in cyberspace that a Navy officer and a Marine fired their weapons at the Muslim miscreant who shot up two recruiting stations in Chattanooga on July 16, killing five service members and wounding others. Further speculation suggests that the military members who returned fire are to be charged with illegally discharging a firearm on federal property.

If charges are indeed filed, prepare to witness a Moogie in all her righteous wrath. The re-shaping of our mighty military, and not for the better, has apparently ramped up on steroids.

Pepper says if charges like that were leveled against him, he would demand a court martial. And I suspect the air in that chamber would turn such a vibrant shade of blue that it could be seen miles away.

The SecDef needs to get his head out of his nether regions and stand up to the Administration, especially about policies that jeopardize the safety of our military and their families. Maybe the new Chief of the Army will hold some sway -- if he doesn't get mesmerized first.

Bad, bad times are afoot.

Friday, July 31, 2015

An Uneasy Truce

The invasion of the alien housefly drones has stopped as suddenly and mysteriously as it began. I guess the Mastermind(s) behind the inexplicable population boom of indoor houseflies got all the info about Moogie's Manor and its denizens that it/they needed, for now.


Call Area 51 if you don't hear from us in a reasonable amount of time.

But, whatever you do, just don't call the White House!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Grand" Summer Memories

Facebook is a wondrous thing. Sometime it's a really frustrating and habit-forming thing, but it's wondrous nonetheless.

On Monday I experienced one of those wondrous moments.

A friend posted a private message with a link to an article in The Nashville Leader (Nashville, Arkansas, not that other place in Tennessee), asking if my grandfather wasn't a barber in Nashville.

The article is one of a series building up to the 2015 football season. This entry traces the history between the owner of the White Way Barber Shop on Main Street, Mr. Reeder McCullough, and Nashville High's football team, the Scrappers. Mr. McCullough recalls how he came to be the Main Street barber:
The year was 1963 and Reeder was working in Bossier City, La. when he and his wife Emma, were at home for a weekend. Visiting friends in the White Way Building on Main Street, he mentioned ambitions to own a barbershop when the owner offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse. Now, 52 years later, Reeder still talks Scrapper football as he cuts and styles hair for hundreds of Nashville folks.
That "owner" was my grandfather, "Daddy Gus" Foshee!! (His clients called him "Mr. Gus," but he was my Daddy Gus!)

Talk about a flood of memories. Searching some of those closed drawers in my head, I remembered that Daddy Gus sold the barber shop when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and that would've been in 1963. He planned to "retire" so he could stay off his feet but wound up taking a night watchman's part-time job at the Case-Nashville knife plant. He even took me with him a couple of times when I would go for a long summer visit and we would play dominoes until the wee hours of the morning, but I digress.

It's the barber shop memories that brought a pleasant smile to my face. 

The White Way had a real barber pole -- the kind that spun and spun like a huge candy cane. I could watch it forever, certain that the end of that red stripe would turn up eventually. There was a bench outside beneath the picture window where you could sit on hot days to catch a breeze or to enjoy the sunshine on a cool afternoon. No one worried about bolting it down, because nothing was ever stolen from the sidewalk on Main Street -- that would have been unthinkable!! Shoot -- no one ever locked the doors to their houses in those days.

The barber shop smelled so . . . cleanWhich, of course, is probably because it was clean. Immaculate. Scrubbed from top to bottom so frequently that you could eat off of the floors. And, I probably did eat off of them from time to time as young children are prone to dropping snacks on a regular basis and are not shy about picking them up and popping them into their mouths. I have recently re-discovered this characteristic of all children as I babysit with one toddler or another. Here I go, digressing again.

My grandparents had their big meal of the day, "dinner," at lunchtime ("supper" was the small evening meal, usually leftovers, or cornbread crumbled into a glass of buttermilk with salt and pepper, and maybe a slice of yellow-meat melon.) I remember him smelling like the barber shop -- and that antiseptic stuff in which he soaked the clean combs --  as he waked through the front door. 

I can see his blue eyes twinkling, maybe giving me a wink, as he dug into the fresh vegetables from his garden, and maybe fried catfish or crappie caught by my grandparents, thawed that morning from the freezer, and lovingly prepared by my grandmother, Bee Mama. She always wore one of those full, frilly flowered cotton aprons in the kitchen with her hair pulled back into a chignon positioned just above the nape of her neck. 

(My grandparents would often bring us fish or vegetables, "put up" in wax-coated freezer cartons. Mama couldn't bring herself to cook a certain carton of crappie because it reminded her so of her sweet, innocent mother who had no idea that the masking tape label she had placed on the carton could have any connotation other than the fish it purported to identify. It read "big crap." Heh.)  

Daddy Gus would "rest his eyes for a spell" on the couch in the living room before returning to the barber shop for the afternoon, taking care not to muss his thick mane of hair. He often snored while he was resting his eyes. But, then again, don't we all? ;-)

I'm grateful to Facebook and my observant friend for giving me the gift of these summer memories. I wish I could find my photo albums in the storage unit so I could scan a photo of Daddy Gus with Elder Daughter. (And if wishes were horses, we all would ride.) Oh well, the memories are vivid in my head today and that's a good thing.

Stolen from

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Family Kind of Weekend

The weekend was a lake-focused one.

On Saturday, Pepper took Bouie and Mysti (much to Yappy's chagrin) with him and SiL#2 to fetch the boat from the repair shop on Lake Ouachita where it had been since shortly before the Fourth. The dogs had a lot of fun swimming and spending time with their dad and friend. Pepper enjoyed swimming with the dogs; he did not enjoy spending mega-bucks on the boat.

Then dawned Sunday and we headed out for the lake again (and to pick up the boat from the repair shop. Again. But that's another story.), eager for a day with family and summer Arkansas sunshine.

We got the sunshine, in spades. Dang!! It was hot!!

"We" was constituted of Pepper and Moogie, The Son and his three kids (Grandkids ##1, 2,& 3), Younger Daughter and SiL#2 with #5 (yep, SiL#2 had a Pepper-centric weekend.), and three Yellow Sisters from last year's litter. 

Yep, three 11 month-old Labs. On a lake.  And on an isolated island with lots of sticks. And old campfires to rummage through.  And Pepper casting fishing lines to chase.  And people sitting on funny styrofoam things in the water to try to capsize.  Successfully.

We were privileged to be spectators at a private performance of the Labrador Olympics of 2015!

It was a fun day of family time, even if I did get a little fricasseed in the sun. There are sections of Moogie's skin that haven't seen direct sunlight in ages. We were all pretty worn out by the end of the day. At least #5 got in a little nap. That would've been a good idea.

Here are some pics. My phone storage was acting up so I didn't get a shot of Younger Daughter and #5, or of #3. Or, I guess, of The Son. Oops. Elder Daughter and family were in Dallas, visiting SiL#1's folks.

Here's #2 riding the knee board.

#1 on the Boogie Board.

Pepper, #1, and some dogs scaring some fish.

Three Yellow Sisters, enjoying the water.

A little male bonding time.

Two sisters -- the largest (Persi) and the middle-sized one (Yap).  Petite little Chelsea was farther out.

Poor #2 was the target of Chelsea on more than one occasion --  she wanted a cuddle from her boy (or, to try to drown him).

Yep, they're sisters, all right. Playing and tussling all the time, even in the water.

Yappy was one tuckered out puppy (which is not totally a bad thing!). She's still kind of subdued, even today!

What a fun time!  Now, if I can just shake off my too-much-sunshine-exposure hangover.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Keep an Eye to the Sky

Do you remember way back in 2013, when Pepper and I had first relocated to Moogie's Manor? I reported that we had been invaded by swarms of houseflies. I mean swarms! They all seemed to find their way to the master bath, probably because there's a skylight in there and they just followed the natural sunlight.

Well, they're baaaaack. Only this time there are multitudes more! We've been swatting and cussing and sweeping up fly carcasses all over the bathroom (and some in the kitchen!).

Up until this afternoon, I believed  they're government drones intent on discovering Pepper's and my (alleged) scheme to take over save the world. But something new is happening today.

Instead of me having to swat (or squish -- ewwwww!) them, they're just falling out of the air. Kind of like the alien machines did in War of the Worlds.

So now I think they might be from Pluto. The Plutonians are miffed at being  de-(and, potentially, re-)planetized, and don't like that nosy New Horizons spacecraft snapping all those pictures of them before they've had their coffee, so they're seeking revenge on Queen Moogie and her Consort.

Or maybe they're just drones. Or houseflies.

Either way, I'm content as long as they keep falling from the sky.

When is housefly season over anyway?

Perhaps Moogie should have skipped that second cup of coffee today.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chalk One Up for the Good Guys

Early Wednesday morning in New Orleans East an armed man entered a gas station and demanded money from the clerk and a customer. That was his first mistake.

The customer, not taking kindly to being strong-armed, followed the thug out of the store. Thug fired at customer (his second mistake); customer fired back, hitting thug in the hip!

Thug remains hospitalized and will be charged upon his release.

Sometimes we all need a little good news.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Senseless Slaughter

Four dead Marines. An injured police officer. Two others injured. Two shot-up military facilities and another dead terrorist hooking up with his virgins in paradise. Why do I suggest that the shooter might have been an adherent of Islam? His name, just released, is Muhammed Yussef Abdulazeez, age 24, born in Kuwait.

Yes, the U.S. Attorney in Chattanooga has announced that investigators are treating the attacks as "domestic terrorism." I have heard it reported that the FBI will now treat the attacks as domestic terrorism until they know it isn't international. How very decisive of them. I wonder if they had to clear that position with the White House?

As with the slaughter at Ft. Hood, these shootings took place at a "gun free zone."

This absolutely ignorant, patently absurd policy of making military facilities "gun free" must be repealed.

Our military members are trained and trained and trained in the use of firearms! If anyone can safely carry, and take out a rampaging shooter, our military can. Tragically, they now clearly appear to be unarmed sitting ducks for anyone that has access to an App that will locate the 20 nearest "gun-free" commercial zones. Yep, there's an App for that.

Just Google "ISIS tweets warning" and you won't believe the number of links that come up relating to Twitter-delivered threats to the military and American cities. With information like that on hand, there is no question that our military members with the bullseyes painted on their chests need to be armed with sidearms, at the very least.

Rest in peace, brave Marines.

And burn eternally in hellfire, Abdulazeez.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Roll the Dice and "Deal" the Cards

It will be interesting to watch how many Democrats work up enough gumption to oppose the Iran "Deal."  Wouldn't you love to have been a fly on the wall while Joe Biden was schooling the Congressional Democrats about it? And pitiful "Spineless" John Boehner "promised a fight." Yeah, I'm sure the White House is shaking in its collective boots.

One of our Arkansas Senators, Tom Cotton, told reporters today that, after reviewing the specifics of The Deal, he felt it wasn't as bad as he had feared; "it was worse."

Rush Limbaugh referred to the President's press conference today (the first in eons) as a "victory lap." Yep. That about sums it up. Even though he runs like a girl.

I'm afraid we've grown accustomed to failing to stop Obama's fundamental transformation of this country. I'm feeling a little jaded, and a whole lot hopeless, today. Do you suppose that's what the whole "hope and change" was about from the get-go?

Nothing would surprise me today.

It'll be interesting to see whether Obama's "legacy" survives a nuclear conflagration.  It probably will-- no one seems to recall Bill Clinton's assurances back in 1994 that his administration had reached a "good deal" with North Korea in which the Norks would "freeze and dismantle [their] nuclear program." Said the former prez:

"Before I take your questions, I'd like to say just a word about the framework with North Korea that Ambassador Gallucci signed this morning. This is a good deal for the United States," Clinton said at the press conference."North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons."South Korea, with support from Japan and other nations, will bear most of the cost of providing North Korea with fuel to make up for the nuclear energy it is losing, and they will pay for an alternative power system for North Korea that will allow them to produce electricity while making it much harder for them to produce nuclear weapons."The United States and international inspectors will carefully monitor North Korea to make sure it keeps its commitments. Only as it does so will North Korea fully join the community of nations."

That worked out pretty well, huh?

Maybe we should dust off the Bomb Shelters.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cause and Effect

Stolen from Purple Clover

So, we've now identified the source of the problem. What are we gonna do about finding a solution?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sherman's Modern-day March to the Sea

The Mayor of New Orleans, along with the entire City Council, has demanded a "conversation" about removing Civil War statues from public view and placing them in "museums." For real.

I frankly think that the frantic entire rush to re-write history is yet another example of Rahm Emmanuel's "never let a crisis go to waste" theory. When it became apparent that the President's immediate demand for more gun control wouldn't fly after the slaughter in a South Carolina church by a madman (or a demon), the Left turned to another target it's been after for years, with the smallest scintilla of a connection to it: a Confederate battle flag appeared in a photo with the demon.  The Confederate battle flag, representative of the offensive Civil War and its fuel, the institution of slavery.

The following is a thread on my Facebook page from Thursday. There is no easy solution to the "re-writing history" frenzy that is currently raging in this country, but I think the thread contains some thoughtful arguments, pro and con. My good friend of long standing is a brilliant lawyer in DC (not a government lawyer) who is also a screaming, pure Libertarian who listens to any and every genre of music, is a gourmet cook (of some really good and some really odd things), travels the world, reads more news sources daily than I knew existed, and teaches ESL to adults in his spare time.  The first two paragraphs are my original post: 

It appears that New Orleans's knee-jerking, politically correctified elected officials have taken leave of their questionable senses. If they agree to remove statues of Confederate luminaries because they are painful reminders of slave days, they should remove Joan of Arc, too. The French were among the worst slave traders. Hell, they should probably rename the city and Parish, too.

Those who disregard history are doomed to repeat it. Ask why European concentration camp sites remain open to the public. "Never forget" in multiple languages are the words on a sign welcoming visitors to Dachau. There is wisdom in educating subsequent generations.

DC Friend:  If this is so obviously the correct position, why is the trend running so overwhelmingly against it? I'm certainly not a knee-jerk liberal, but I think that taking Confederate homages out of places of honor and putting them in museums is generally a good idea.

So what argument am I missing here? It can't be that they're trying to whitewash history (no pun intended) because no one's talking about destroying the statues or making them inaccessible to the public. I haven't heard one call for closing the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. 

It can't be that you should never take down a statue that is a part of a country's past, else you'd be arguing that statues of Lenin should still fill the plazas of eastern Europe and statues of Hitler should grace the entrance to the Reichstag.

It can't be that the statues honor "Southern heritage," if you include in that heritage black southerners. 

I see that some people are really outraged about this trend, but I honestly don't see why.

Enlighten me. What is the argument against moving the statues to a museum (and saying this is "PC" is a conclusion, not an argument)? I just don't get it.

  • Moogie:  The most obvious answer is: "What Museums?" the Confederate Museum in New Orleans is certainly not large enough to accommodate what the Council and Mayor propose to move. Accordingly, museums would need to be built at taxpayer expense. Then we'd have anther outcry against expenditures to "honor" Confederate homages. Few places have Smithsonians at their fingertips.

    I also consider the statues to be works of art. Why restrict the public's ability to see pretty things? Not everyone can afford to, or has time to, go to a Museum. 

    Perhaps the dialogue could include a rational discussion of who Robert E. Lee was, other than a Confederate General. Who was PGT. Beauregard? They were not evil men; they were not despots as were Lenin and Hitler. Maybe we should require schoolchildren to read "The Real Lincoln." His correspondence reveals that he wasn't quite the idol-quality guy that we see revered today. What were the US economy and culture like in the 1800s? How did they differ from today's? Are those differences proof that a civilization can grow and change? 

    Must we throw out the baby with the dirty bath water? 

    If we're doing away with all homages to the Civil War, let's address Union references, too. Why not shut down all Civil War sites -- no more Gettysburg and Vicksburg and Shiloh and . . . . That would save us a boatload of money! Maybe we could start to pay down some of the debt we owe China.

    Where does it stop? Connecticut is already proposing to drop Jefferson's and Jackson's names from the Democrat Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner fundraiser because they were slave owners. Where does it stop?

    Where does it stop.

  • Moogie:  And while we're at it, let's pressure Rome to demolish that barbaric Colisseum.

  • DC Friend: Well, since I posted this, I see that the House of Representatives has voted to prohibit people decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers in national cemeteries with Confederate flags, so you're obviously more right than I thought about some people trying to rewrite history and to prevent opposing viewpoints. That's crazy.

DC Friend: But I still don't understand the argument in favor keeping Confederate statues and flags in any governmental places of honor. All the analogies you make (Colosseum, Joan of Arc, Paris, Dachau) are interesting, but analogies are notoriously slippery and to me these don't seem to fit. 

Without using analogies, how would you finish this proposition? 

Resolved: That the people of New Orleans should continue to leave statues of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and P.G.T Beauregard and the statue honoring the victory of the White League over the Reconstruction government in the 1874 Battle of Liberty Place in places of honor on government property in New Orleans because .....

(These are the four statues whose relocation is being proposed. To me the most interesting question is what to do with the one for the Battle of Liberty Place -- I'd let that one stay.)

Moogie:  ... they represent a dark period of New Orleans history that should not be forgotten lest it, or something worse, recur. They are also beautiful works of art and testaments to the divine talent vested in the human soul and hands. New Orleans is a pretty big place. There is plenty of government property upon which to place new works that celebrate the "culture, unity, hope and future" of New Orleans as desired by her current mayor, without relegating extant works of art to warehousing.

[My analogies come from my analysis of what the real issue is behind this sudden history revision. The analogies relate to slavery. I think this modern Sherman's March to the Sea is not about the Civil War itself, it's about the institution of slavery itself. Slavery can't simply be condemned, there must be some current, physical manifestation of the condemnation. Since the actual historic figures who participated in the Confederacy's effort to maintain the institution of slavery can't be drawn and quartered themselves, in person, then their likenesses must be banished. (Except for Nathan Bedford Forrest, and his WIFE, whose bodies the Memphis city council has voted to EXHUME and relocate!)]

Where will it end.

DC Friend:  Well, okay, I'm sympathetic to the argument that we need to keep the errors of the past front and center so they won't be repeated. (But that is definitely not an argument I've heard anyone else make about why Confederate memorials need to be retained.) I'm also very sympathetic to the notion that the statues themselves are sometimes beautiful.

Those are both valid points and ones that I don't really disagree with at all. However, I don't think those are sufficient to carry the day for keeping all Confederate monuments, many of which are clearly intended to honor the person. If I were a Memphian, I'd be adamant about demanding that the statue honoring the vile Nathan Bedford Forrest be taken down -- and that if his body isn't dug up and moved, then the tombstone should be accompanied by a placard explaining both his evil deeds and his undeniable military talents. 

On the other hand, if I were a resident of Richmond I'd be adamantly opposed to removing any of the statues on Monument Row. They are particularly beautiful and particularly historic in the setting of the capital of the Confederacy. 

So I'm open, for the reasons you suggest, to making a case-by-case assessment of whether particular monuments should be removed to a more "historical/educational" setting that can't be misinterpreted as honoring an aspect of our past that was mistaken (at best). In the mix of factors, the fact that the statues are deeply offensive to many citizens would carry great weight with me, however. The government should not be engaging in speech that is intended to offend a substantial segment of the citizenry.

Moogie:  Case by case assessment may be a reasonable compromise, depending on who assesses what. And, whether there is an acceptably accessible public alternative site. 

I disagree, however, with the notion that the speech is "intended to offend a substantial 
segment of the citizenry." Intent is a highly fluid concept, subject to manipulation. In the vernacular of our generation, simply, it is what it is. 

Also, many Confederate luminaries are worthy of recognition, if for no reasons other than their actions following the war; Robert E. Lee, being a subject in chief.

Moogie:  P.S. -- why does Richmond get a pass?

DC Friend: RIchmond was integral to the Confederacy in a way that New Orleans, which was Union territory from 1862 on, never was. 

I'm not as sold as you are on Robert E. Lee's post-war conduct, though I give him great credit for surrendering rather than obeying Jefferson Davis's directive that he disband his army and engage in guerrilla war. Lee was adamantly opposing to allowing blacks to vote until his dying day.

Moogie:  Lee promoted many other virtuous ideas concerning slaves. Nobody, however, on either side of the War of Northern Aggression ( sorry, I couldn't resist), proposed giving women the vote for decades, so there is that.

DC Friend: I might very well vote to leave the statue of Pierre Gustave Toussaint Beauregard up, since he is in some ways the symbol of New Orleans' ineffective foppery. 

Lee did promise that if the North would just let Southern whites take control again, they w
ould treat the unintelligent (his view, not mine) Negroes with "kindness and compassion." I guess you can't blame him for that not really working out, since he died before Southern whites managed to violently expel blacks from the political system.

And Beauregard was a native son of New Orleans, a hub of the world at the time.

Moogie:  Lee also insisted that negroes' service to the Confederacy, contrary to their owners' objections, be deemed voluntary on the part of the black soldiers, and a paid occupation. It was a complicated time.

Since Thursday, a cry has arisen to change the name of  several schools in Virginia -- Robert E. Lee High, J.E.B. Stuart High, and W.T. Woodson High. Three other states have followed suit. Movements are afoot to change the name of Confederate Boulevard in Little Rock -- you know, the street upon which sits a Confederate cemetery. 

Sherman and his men are marching through the countryside again.

The PC Aristocracy and its minions are fomenting a xenophobia of a dead civilization -- a civilization "gone with the wind." At light speed.

Where will it end.  Will it end?