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Sobering and stark, this letter reminds me of two very important things: first, ideas have consequences, and BAD ideas, especially lies, can grip an entire a nation in the clenched fist of death and the darkness of war. Second, I am reminded that citizen journalism — A man with a camera, or a woman who can tell a story — can break the grip of lies, shatter the darkness and change the course of a nation. Never stop telling your story, Heather. And may the rest of us join our voices to yours.

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A few years ago I produced a documentary titled "Fracking Western Maryland?" and I realized the power the person has with a camera, who knows how to use it. I had only ever done historical docs where you know the outcome before you start, or political or corporate work as a "gun for hire". What a revelation. It started out as "journalism" to be fair and give both sides equal opportunity. By the end I was an activist and my work was being shown by the Sierra Club and others to just lay out the case...and let the voters decide where the truth was.

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Thank you for your service, Mike. I found this about your work but don't see how one can view the documentary. Do you have a link?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/neptuneplays/fracking-western-maryland

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Thank you Lynell. We never posted the entire doc, because the non-profits that started using it wanted people to come to their events to view it, and/or buy a DVD. We posted a number of bits from it and other videos as I transitioned from "journalist" to "activist" when we got close to the voting.We won...best piece of work I ever did as far as results. Here's the YT playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLof63b3XbBuV7yzAOKz4c3d0kDUkLh8-w

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Just listened to the first piece, Mike. It's fantastic. Well worth pursuing, I'd say. Glad you switched "careers"!

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Thank you Lynell. So far that fracking doc has been a one time thing as a "feature" piece. I ended up self funding a lot of it...and just can't continue to do that. The gas & oil industry has unlimited resources and sadly the forces fighting Climate Change and returning to a green sustainable planet are non-profits and community groups with very limited resources. If I had the resources, this kind of work would be my focus. It's also very mentally draining to be fighting the "good" fight against mega players...and you know that many of them in their hearts know the truth. I ended up screaming at a woman who was a lawyer for the Industry out in the hallway after a hearing because she said when questioned by a State Senator that she would live next to a fracking site with her young children. They are not under oath in these hearings, no one is. They can say anything and there is no penalty. That statement along with a lot of other half truths and lies that she put out pushed me over the edge that night. She was obviously on the legal team to be the professional mom...with a heart. I'm sure her paycheck takes care of her children very well...and she'll never live anywhere near a frack site. Even folks like Josh Fox who produced "Gasland" have a hard time being funded enough. Anyway the good news is Western Maryland is not being fracked.

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I hear you, Mike. Good news for Western Maryland (where I live close by in Virginia). The best I can do is vote for lawmakers who care about a cleaner environment, and sign my name to petitions.

Many thanks for what you have done!

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WOW!! So glad you became an activist with your documentary talents!!

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(Re-posted "All I Want is Water")

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MaryPat here's the "Fracking Western Maryland?" link https://youtu.be/q2YPVxyD9k4

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Mary Pat thank you. Please see my answer to Lynell above in the thread.. I have great respect for Heather. She has found a way to fund her writing...thank God. This is an incredible forum and now that I know it's here, I may work to try to find a way to leverage it, to help do more good work. I believe Climate Change is our number one planetary issue...followed closely by folks trying to cling to 1950 or 1860 with their politics. Slavery is over, racism should be dead, the industrial revolution hurt us as much as helped us and we should not be fighting to just have the truth heard and acted on.

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Oh, thanks, Mike. I will be offline for several hours today, but will get back when I can!

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Thanks so much for posting the YouTube link! Very interesting watching.

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Judith here's the "Fracking Western Maryland?" doc link https://youtu.be/q2YPVxyD9k4

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Lynell I posted the "Fracking Western Maryland?" doc. Here's the link: https://youtu.be/q2YPVxyD9k4

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That sounds interesting. I had a career in TV/video production before I moved into science and academia because of my environmental concerns ;) - lol!

Hydraulic fracturing can be a much more environmentally sound means of hydrocarbon extraction. In fact, it was developed to increase efficiency of oil well production via secondary and tertiary extraction, which is a good thing.

It also allows us to use cleaner energy sources for electricity production (in fact, the corporate switch from coal to gas turbines - a consequence of cheap fracked gas - has resulted in less air pollution).

The main issues with fracking are 1) the volumes of waste water; 2) the chemicals used in the fracking fluids; 3) the environmental justice issues of the affected communities as well as 4) the fact that natural gas still keeps us hooked on hydrocarbons.

Fracking itself is benign and useful in many applications; it just needs to be highly regulated (at the federal level) and the processes monitored and modified as new data emerges.

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5) the earthquakes afterwards....

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Yes, that is mostly caused by the deep-well injection of the liquid wastes #1, not the actual process of fracturing the rocks or extraction gas.

https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/does-fracking-cause-earthquakes?qt-news_science_products=0#qt-news_science_products

Disposal of the fracking fluids is a huge issue but one that could be addressed if stringent regulations were in place.

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Where are all the fracking fluids going? Maybe someday all wells will pull up contaminated water.

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Yes, I vehemently think deep well injection is the worst possible disposal method.

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William, you defend fracking based on some ideal of how it "could"theoretically be done, but that isn't the reality. The reality is a huge increase in earthquakes, and so much intrusion of hydrocarbons into the groundwater that people with wells who live near or above fracking operations can light their tap water on fire. The other huge reason to stop fracking is that there has been a huge increase in greenhouse gases since NASA scientist James Hansen testified to Congressin 1987, warning of climate change. All the changes that climate modelers have predicted--extreme heat waves, extended droughts, extensive wildfires, bigger more frequent more severe storms, more frequent widespread floiding from sudden heavy rains, melting of the polar ice caps--are all happening sooner and more severely than the modelers predicted. Our climate is close to a tipping point where we will no longer be able to bend the warming curve downward. It is urgent that we rapidly ramp up our use of solar and wind power, and rapidly reduce our use of coal, oil, and natural gas as close to zero as we can get. These strategies are essential to stabilize our climate somewhere close to the already warmer world we have created, to prevent worst-case climate change. We should not be fracking to extract ever more natural gas, just as we should not be burning coal or processing tar sands or drilling the pristine Arctic for oil. To save a livable planet, we need to leave all those hydrocarbons in the ground.

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Elizabeth, you are absolutely correct. We should not be doing new fracking and the well sites near or in population centers should be systematically retired. We can't just pull the plug and do this at one time, it's not realistic, but as sustainable energy comes on line we can roll back fracking wells to the places that have the least impact on us, until it's all retired.

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William here's the link to our "Fracking Western Maryland?" doc. It's very focused on our set of issues, but there's also a lot of "universal" lessons to be learned. I feel the G&O Industry does themselves a disservice by their half-truths and secrets...but they are trying to survive in an increasingly educated and hostile environment. https://youtu.be/q2YPVxyD9k4

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William you are correct in your 4 bullet points and in Western Maryland where they wanted to frack it would have been a complete travesty. The area has an economy based on 4 season outdoor recreation that provides over 60% of their annual income. The fracking construction process would have destroyed their narrow roads. The area has a large lake and underground aquifers that go everywhere. Deer Park water has come from there for 150 years. The Fracking process may be relatively "benign" in flatland areas that don't have much water or human/livestock population, but in a place like Garrett County MD the geology is not suited at all. The blasting and high pressure needed cause cracks in the already upheaved strata. Here's 2 of my favorite chapters from our film. State Senator & Committee Chair Conway was my democratic state senator from Baltimore. She was an "under the table" fracking supporter. Mike Herdering is a retired USMC Colonel with a geology background. He is a resident of Garrett County. The videos speak for themselves.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvwzZzm-z8M&t=152s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nwajYrs2mw We unseated 5 term Sen. Conway in her next election and she was endorsed by the State Dem machine. The environmental groups in Baltimore & MD banded together with our local support and we defeated her with an openly anti-fracking candidate in a city where there will never be fracking, because there is no gas within miles. People took note. Joan does not speak to me.

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Wonderful, Mike! What a journey! I would live to see your documentary.

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Carole, it has been a wonderful journey. I made a lot of good friends and a few enemies along the way. I posted the doc last night and watched it for the first time in a long time...some of the key interviews with Eric, Smokey, Matia, Mike & Linda I recorded a few days after first meeting them at a meeting they were having to organize what became "Engage Mountain Maryland". Here's the link: https://youtu.be/q2YPVxyD9k4

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I'll get it posted soon, I need to find the master file, it's been 5 years...and will come back with the URL. At this point it's actually a good lesson on how to fight the G&O industry in your area and win.

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Thank you, Mike

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Actually we are in the early process of something like that using Antietam as the core lesson. I have a group of artists, scholars, historians, re-enactors, musicians & authors who have been documenting and reflecting on the annual Antietam Illumination for 10 years. I just floated this new concept to my key collaborator yesterday...and this forum this morning has convinced me to move forward.

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Mike, the thing that breaks my heart about Antietam is that McClellan let Lee cross back into Virginia, and the war continued for almost three more years. As did Meade at Gettysburg. Not until Grant did Lee meet someone who would not slack up, and who fought to win (except at The Crater, which was a racially motivated disgrace). Grant also fought and defeated the first iteration of the KKK. Where is a Grant for today? 😔

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Don't forget that the South lost its Grant equivalent--Stonewall Jackson--at Chancellorsville, May 1863. Jackson was a much more highly skilled general than Lee.

"Us boys in the field knew no one could have stopped Stonewall," Rufus Harnden wrote to his parents after that battle. "And he had sure outsmarted us at the battle, marching all his boys through the wilderness night and day and coming at us sneaky like he done. Throwing us off by giving the appearance of withdrawal..."

All that notwithstanding, Harnden and apparently many of his fellow Northern soldiers admired their opponent. "He was truly the most honorable and best general they had, certainly even that we had," Harnden wrote to his parents. Harnden appears to have mourned his death, despite his belief in the Northern cause.

On the evening of the second day of the battle, an odd incident resulted in the killing of Stonewall Jackson. Harnden recounted that amidst the rout, "just as we broke through the bushes alongside the road, I saw and heard a group of horsemen... coming our way... I judged for sure they were rebel cavalry..."

"...the tension and terrors of the night burst inside me and must have addled my wits. Barely knowing myself why I done it, I raised my rifle to my shoulder, took aim at the horsemen in the road, and let off a shot. I knew all the while it was strictly against General Knipe's orders."

More than a year later, Harnden was now a pill boy in a union hospital in Vicksburg, which had been retaken by the Union. One evening, he was eavesdropping on a table of southern doctors. "I clearly heard one of them exclaim bitterly that Robert E. Lee had said plain as day that he would have beat the Army of the Potomac [at Gettysburg] if he still had Stonewall by his side..."

Then the conversation turned to Stonewall's death. "...Then," continues on the speaker, "they say some fool yank boys come poppin' up out of a thicket. Just stumbles out the bushes alongside the road, lost behind our lines. One of them damn fools up and fires a shot at the general's party."

"His words froze the very air inside my chest into shards of ice," Harnden wrote. "My heart felt like it stopped it's beating in a terrible cramp... For I knew in an instant the identity of the damn fool he was talking about! I was that very same man. It had to have been me." It's not an exaggeration to say that Harnden was mortified by his belief that he had killed the general.

After the war, Harnden met an aide who had been alongside Jackson when he was shot, who told him that he'd killed him. But it's not clear from the book whether this is accurate or not. What seems clear, however, is that if Harnden's shot didn't hit the general, it catalyzed the friendly fire that killed Jackson.

From: Rufus: A Boy's Extraordinary Experiences in the Civil War, by Phoebe Sheldon. Sheldon is Harnden's great great granddaughter, and wrote the book from Harnden's letters home.

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As to Jackson being the "Grant" of the south. Jackson was a VERY talented and audacious Division and then Corps commander. Lee knew how to best use his talents and the biggest "what if" among CW history buffs is Jackson at G-burg. There's no doubt he would have been more aggressive than Early or Dick Ewell. But he was not an Army commander and never would have been the ANV commander as long as Lee survived...even then, Longstreet would have been next in command. Corps level command was perfect for Jackson...like Patton. It takes a different set of talents to be Lee, Grant or Ike.

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Proof of a God? :)

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Well done - I’d never heard the possibility that a Union soldier had killed Jackson. Thanks for the lesson!

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Interesting story, but it's an absolute historical fact that Jackson was killed by friendly fire. I've never read an account of a Federal unit near that location. When they made the feature film "Gods & Generals" we were documenting the behind the scenes filming and recorded the wounding of Jackson scene, also shooting interviews with Stephen Lang who played Jackson, several other actors in the scene, the stunt co-ordinator and the director. There was NO mention of any yankees in the area. Just FYI, the VMI museum has Jackson's slicker he was wearing that night with the bullet holes.

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Thanks, just ordered it.

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Good question...Grant was incredible and Mark Twain knew it. I don't believe Little Mac wanted to crush Lee...that's a long story and I need to get on the road. we will chat later

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I agree about McClellan; he had "other priorities" beyond crushing Lee. Two leading historians of the Maryland, campaign, Stephen Sears and Richard Slotkin, each have harsh critiques of McClellan's minimal commitment to decisive victory.

As for today's Repugs, I cannot accept that they have anyone remotely equal in stature or ability to the North's great Civil War leaders. They do approximate the Confederacy's most heinous slavers and traitors.

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Yeah, McClellan was an extreme narcissist and useless as a leader. His letters to his wife are eye-popping in their self praise and denigration of everyone else, especially Lincoln.

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So true. I think he referred to Lincoln as “the original gorilla.” I always think of him as “Never-Ready” McClellan.

He did build the army that Grant eventually used to win the war. He just never wanted to send them into action. I do love this quote, “But as 1861 became 1862 with no sign of action, the President’s patience wore thin: ‘If General McClellan is not going to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time,’ he acidly remarked.” https://the-past.com/feature/firing-the-generals-lincoln-v-mcclellan/

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Unfortunately, Republicans have their "Lincoln" (the Federalist Society), their "Grant" (Trump), and their "Sherman" (McConnell). Democrats only have equivalents of Meade and McClellan.

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I think Biden is far superior to Meade and McClellan. If both the infrastructure and the voting rights act get passed he'll be lumped with FDR.

There are a few immensely capable Dems. Jamie Raskin, Congressman from Bethesda (or maybe it's Montgomery County) did an incredible job as Impeachment Manager for the second impeachment--just weeks after his son committed suicide. Biden greatly impresses me, but I think Raskin is even more capable.

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I see Trump more as Custer or Napoleon. He wishes he was a Lincoln or Grant but not even close to either as an effective leader in a crisis. Custer was full of audacity like Trump and was fortunate and a rising self made star, until he ran into Crazy Horse & Sitting Bull. Trump will meet his fate, the story just hasn't played all the way out yet

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Not we have HCR.

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This documentary concept is fantastic! Our nation is disgorging fodder for your documentary in a steady stream these days. Do you have a website or Instagram we can follow for progress? I would love to see your documentary on fracking as well.

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Thank you Sally. This is very fresh. You heard it here first. I'll let you know. I'm going to post the Fracking doc and will come back here to inform you all. My current website is www.theWickleinGroup.com and there are FB, YT & Flickr links on the home page

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Sally I posted the "Fracking Western Maryland ?" documentary on my Electric Moose TV you tube page. It has some good lessons about how citizen groups can fight well funded organizations and win. It takes research and a lot of commitment. Here's the link: https://youtu.be/q2YPVxyD9k4

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Onward. Great project. Keep us posted as it develops.

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Sophia I posted the full length "Fracking Western Maryland ?" documentary on my Electric Moose TV you tube channel. I believe there are lessons to be learned in it about citizen groups working together to fight and beat well funded and powerful entities. It's at https://youtu.be/q2YPVxyD9k4

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And yet we are witnessing a phenomenon where video of rebels trying to take the capitol and smash what/ whomever stands in their way is interpreted as a patriotic effort. Pictures must stand up to accurate interpretation. So many people refuse to see what they are being shown. We perceive with our mind, not our eyes.

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Joan, many of these people really believe they are "patriots" and true to the Constitution...just as RE Lee who was a career US Army officer felt it was his "duty" to turn down command of the US Army when offered by President Lincoln...but then accepted a commission from Jefferson Davis a short time latter to become an officer in the fledgling Confederate Army. Most of the other career US Army officers from slave states followed suit and resigned, only to take up command of Southern units a short time later. Most of these men were West Point educated, they swore an oath to the US...and they resigned. The Confederate flags seem at J6 were historically accurate of the thought process. Michael Flynn believes in his heart that he is right. These people have been programed by Fox to believe the left is immoral and wrong and dangerous. In 1860-61 southern leadership sold their preservation of slavery as the 2nd revolution and true to George Washington...does any of that sound familiar?

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Michael Flynn doesn't have a heart. He has a billfold at another part of his anatomy that Putin keeps filled.

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Why Flynn has not been recalled and court-martialed is beyond me.

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Those who did take up arms against the US were traitors, rebels and insurrectionists. I grew up a mile from Brandy Station and imbibed the Lost Cause with my mother’s milk. Now in my 60s I’m working hard to overcome those beliefs. It does my heart good to know that there were others besides George Thomas, a Virginian, who remained loyal to their oath and defended the Constitution.

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Some other Southern officers who ably served the Union: David Farragut (TN), Robert Anderson and John Buford (both KY).

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I wonder how the course of the Civil War would have changed if Robert E. Lee and other Southerners, including cadets at West Point, had been arrested and jailed for seeking to desert the American army to go fight against the United States. Couldn’t their desired action be deemed treasonable?

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I agree - they were traitors. This book helps to understand a great deal about Lee:

“Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters” by Elizabeth Brown Pryor.

“Pryor’s biography helps part with a lot of stupid out there about Lee – chiefly, that he was, somehow, ‘anti-slavery.’” – Ta-Nehisi Coates, theatlantic.com

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Love how Ta-Nehisi Coates writes! If you just read his "forewards" about these books alone, you'll be less stupid! https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2017/11/five-books-to-make-you-less-stupid-about-the-civil-war/544628/

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Thank you for the link - I’ve filed it with the article about Southerners who did not take up arms against their country.

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It was treason...but who was going to arrest them ? The southern states had already seceded...they were heroes at home

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Free speech and all that. There isn't any crime to resign a commission

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The split in the Army officer corps predated secession in 1860. In 1855 (I believe) Southern cadets at West Point refused to serve in mixed units, demanding to be placed in Southern-only units -- an ominous precedent.

It was a crime to join and fight for the Confederacy. Union officials could have done more to prevent the quitter officers from reaching seceded states, but in 1860-61 many people thought that secession would be temporary.

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That isn’t the treason part, William.

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I know That is the problem During the Inquisition they burned Jews at the stake ...To save their immortal souls

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Wait. The south still celebrates their fight for the right of enslaving humans?

"On April 1, seven states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia – will begin their celebration of Confederate Heritage Month."

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Yes, yes they do. To their shame. At one point, the Commonwealth of Virginia, my beloved home, celebrated Lee-Jackson-King Day. How many people can you offend at one time? Thankfully it was changed in 2020 to Election Day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_History_Month

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Virginia once had a state holiday for Jefferson Davis. My father joked to my mother shortly before I was born that I would be born on a state holiday if my mother held on a few days longer. Unfortunately (for me), it was no longer a school holiday by the time I began first grade (1950).

My mother told me that when she visited her maternal uncle (3rd generation Richmond) in Virginia from her home in Massachusetts in the early 1940s, Dixie was played in movie theaters before the film started; everyone in the audience was expected to stand! I suspect that, also, ended soon after the end of WW II when, as in San Diego, many who came to Norfolk from many parts of the U.S. for war work decided to stay.

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Thank you very much Mary for the Link.

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Thanks for link. Several nominees for new statues to replace those recently removed in their respective states. Heros to replace traitors me thinks.

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This is an excellent, uplifting article, Suzanne. Thanks.

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Thank you for this.

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Very useful. Thank you, Suzanne.

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Thanks, Lynell - I always enjoy your comments on Dr. Richardson’s Letters.

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Glad you enjoy my comments! But this article by angry staff officer was so illuminating for me. I had assumed all southerners left the Union to join the CSA. I'm now better informed thanks to you!

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How about Pompeo? He’s a West Point grad.

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Although those same videos and photos have been studied by groups like Sedition Hunters to identify the insurrectionists. The FBI has mentioned Sedition Hunters as sources in some charging documents. Another type of citizen journalism

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Is there a place where one can read the filings and status of the J6 defendants? Thanks.

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Marcy Wheeler has been providing very detailed info on her blog https://www.emptywheel.net/

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TY

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In politics today, perception is reality.

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perception SUBSTITUTES for reality. This is why I love magicians

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we UNDERSTAND with not only our thinking brain, but our culture and identity. Our brains are designed to "make meaning" when there is dissonance, so we rely on what we already "know" and the cultural biases of which we are (mostly) unaware.

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So true.

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They are closed to one side of the issue, but very open to another side. During the Civil War preachers on both sides of the Mason Dixon were using the same bibles, to preach VERY different sermons concerning the value of slavery. One mans terrorist is another mans patriot. In 1859 John Brown was hung for treason and was arrested by US Army officer RE Lee. Who is the hero now ?

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John Brown over Robert E Lee any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

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I've been working on a couple of projects involving John Brown and his hide away near Harpers Ferry. Watch for more...but check out the book "From John Brown to James Brown" by Ed Maliskis.

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Mike, so sad but so true.

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really Sophia, it's thick...both sides, believe they are right...or have been persuaded...folks need the ability to step back to actually see and hear the propaganda or agenda. Pro fracking people did not want to do interviews with me when I was making that documentary...so I found ways to get them on the record. I was working a conservative event a few days ago as a hired camera op. They espoused Liberty & Freedom...ok, I'm good with that...but they distrust Liberals...and believe that free business people will do "the right thing", the "best thing". They like to talk about the Constitution, but slavery is not on the talking points.

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No doubt you could make several documentaries about the failure of free business to do the right thing or the best thing.

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Exactly ...

And one other important biblical warning:

WHERE THERE IS NO VISION, THE PEOPLE PERISH

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Absolutely Perfect quote. Thank you!

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I don't know how I missed this hours earlier. Thank you and I will send it to family and friends who are in doubt.

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Perfectly stated, Carole. Thank you.

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Thank you, Lynell.

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Carole - what you say encapsulates what many of us feel. Beautifully and powerfully put. But we must all also learn ways of communicating our stories and presenting our photographs, so that they effectively counter the lies, dissembling and fantasies of those who seek to undermine or destroy what is good and worthwhile in our society and whose distorted view of the world dominates social media far too much.

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Yes, yes and yes again, Richard. This is the challenge.

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A girl with a smart phone...

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+1

And motivation should be about posterity, not profit.

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Yes, MaryPat. We should never forget.

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Carole, what a fantastic link you wove between Gardner and Dr. Richardson, expressed beautifully. Brava.

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Thank you, Kathy.

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... and what have Americans, especially their politicians and military "leadership" LEARNED from this and EVERY ADDITIONAL war, police action, regime change, COIN, and nation-building effort the U.S

has engaged in outside our boarders?

All the "Army Lessons Learned," the curricula at the War Colleges, the oversight investigations of the Inspectors General, GAO, even the internal publications of each of the branches of service document lesson after lesson of the errors regarding CULTURE, IDENTITY, LEGITIMACY, ACCOUNTABILITY, STRATEGIC PLANNING that have ALWAYS BEEN MISSING from ALL of the idealistically arrogant military "estimates" that drive the political process to go to war. These grossly inaccurate "estimates" are then spun by the politicians to instill fear and win public support for whichever side of the argument they are on.

In today's HCR piece she described Alexander Gardner's critical role - as a proxy of the 4th Estate - in revealing The Truth to the public. Yet "we" have NEVER LEARNED from any of the "Lessons Learned" documented after the fact. Americans have grown apathetic to the realities of the consequences of the political rhetoric that continues to divide (and conquer) Americans along the lines of "simple" issues - abortion, immigration, etc...- when we live in a time of WICKEDLY COMPLEX issues that are intricately interconnected in this globalized economy we have created.

We have created a global economy that benefits those who own assets who continue to enslave working class and poor Americans AND the added the rest of the world - citizens of third world nations, lesser developed nations - as our new iteration of slavery. Where is the 4th estate to the rescue here?

We had this discussion a few days ago; about the 15 billionaires... the consolidated messaging by six corporations that successfully maintain the divide between RHETORIC and REALITY- not only of war, but every other "simple" issue on which they divide the public. WAKE UP AMERICANS, stop relying on 140 character soundbites and FIND THE REALITY! ONLY then will We The People have a VOICE. Only THEN will We really have a political VOTE.

In the meantime VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS. Be mindful of how and where you spend your dollars so you KNOW into whose pockets your throwing your political support. Follow the MONEY.

Thank you HCR for another great lesson - one learned by at least This American.

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Follow the money is right. There are fortunes to be made in war. And those making their fortune do not put themselves in danger (or their families.)

In the 1960's the Viet Nam war entered our homes through television. That gruesome reality may have galvanized the anti-war movement, but somehow we forgot that lesson. In the 2000's we continued with our money-making war machine and put a young generation's lives on the line. Needlessly.

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Another useless war of which my husband is a veteran of!

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Well said. Citizen journalism indeed.

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Hear here!!

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Alas, 159 years later we now seem inured to the daily images reported daily of such carnage of war and violence in our communities.

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:’( we have seen so much … perhaps our hardness toward images like these is a form of self-defense, since the onslaught of such images today is constant, from all regions of the globe. Perhaps the question for the citizen journalist today is … how do I get past the locked and guarded door of jaded minds and hearts?

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Your question is mine as well. I sense we see so much that we no longer see, least of all, feel, empathize, register horror, and act. So much breaking news, hype, 24/7. I'm thinking I need to step away or ration my intake or be more selective as to what I attend and watch, seemingly, like on an unending loop. Is it healthy, productive, to spend 3 hours a day catching up with the news, LFAA, Steady, and the nightly news from NBC and CBS and PBS and NYT, etc? I found myself at peace last week binge-wathing the first season of All Things Great and Small, again, and tearfully satisfied.

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👏👏👏, well done, Fred! So encouraged to hear of your deliberate mental refreshing!! I too have back away from social media and the constant news, still keeping an eye on it but not reviewing or posting nearly as much these days. Just fallout from constant chaos & crisis overload since 2016, it seems.

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Myself, as well. I literally have had to take steps back from social media and the nightly news. Really, exhausted about being angry and hearing about people getting beaten up about presenting proofs of vaccinations. The utter selfishness of people who absorb every untruth that Fox & Friends tell them is a daily head shaker.

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I like old game shows, Classic Concentration comes to mind. Alex Trebek is alive and well while I watch! Also get a daily dose of Perry Mason.

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Carole, greetings.

That is the question in my frame of peace.

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Indeed.

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Because it is - or at least, those who would profit from it repeating are attempting just that.

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On Friday, September 17, 2021, the North Carolina, a Court issued a 101 page, FINAL JUDGMENT & ORDER in Jabari Holmes, et al. vs. Timothy K. Moore in his official capacity as Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives finding "persuasive evidence" of North Carolina's unconstitutional discriminatory intent "followed immediately after [by] racially Gerrymandered Districts. This ruling amounts to a permanent injunction in NC's "General Court of Justice" against North Carolina's flagrant attack on black voters in S.B 824. That law has been struck down.

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“ Injustice to one of us is injustice upon all of us . “ I was so relieved when I read about the Judges ruling yesterday. When, when are they going to grasp this concept ? That’s what I’m saving my picnic for.

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Good show!!

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Great news!! Thank you.

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Excellent news. Thank you for posting that.

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For a former North Carolinian, this is like music to my ears!!

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👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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Heather, a sobering post where images bring the reality of war to the home front. “Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing…When will we ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?”

Your words and these Letters From an American are a gift to us all. Thank you!

I posted this the other day but wanted to highlight it as a testament to your work:

Congratulations 🎉 Heather Cox Richardson on being recognized by the Massachusetts Governor’s Awards in the Humanities.

“The Massachusetts Governor’s Awards in the Humanities recognize individuals for their public actions, grounded in an appreciation of the humanities, to enhance civic life in the Commonwealth.”

As one of 4 individuals recognized, the announcement states:

“Heather Cox Richardson is professor of history at Boston College and the author of six acclaimed books about American politics, most recently How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America. Her books, West from Appomattox and To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party were Editor’s Choice selections of the New York Times Book Review. Richardson is a national commentator on American political history and the Republican Party. She is a leading #Twitterstorian, and the author of Letters from an American, a chronicle of modern political history that appears on Facebook and in newsletter format. With Professor Joanne Freeman, she is the co-host of the podcast Now & Then. Read more in the interview “What Was at Stake in Our History.””

Thank you for all you do. You have earned this award and more! Here! Here! ❤️😊🎉

https://masshumanities.org/events/governors-awards-in-the-humanities-dinner/?fbclid=IwAR1wNYFTfboWZwS-c99RG0NeX_ayr6pAE0brOH8gMKSH-ZSidLcf-oM9wHI_aem_AX_d0D-S51F9F2IsTiuy4xVxsxhyrlS1hua2qzJQ1pTMSHlpGClyeIixHzmcFVgpqtEn-CWo0psaG41UMQ3OLlKfuSAoYYx6guNcMHpCOABsYep4m_WBcbqfMWM_BoBuNt

*The link contains a video interview with HCR, worth watching!

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Good morning Kari and thank you for your ending note.

Today’s letter did not contain any links to referenced material or to notes or tweets etc. I wondered about this as I thought how her letter today was like a tale from a storyteller. A recollection of her own when she read of history for the first time.

I sought the link for the interview that Kari mentioned and found these words from HCR:

“ I was a very indifferent college student, resenting the courses I had to take and which seemed to my arrogant undergraduate mind largely to be a waste of time better spent reading in the library or doing actual physical work. But I was taking a course in Civil War history with Professor David H. Donald, and we had to write a research essay.

I had no idea what I would work on. So, one morning, probably around 10:00, I went down to Gov. Docs., as it was called, in the basement of Widener Library, and put a microfilm reel of the Chicago Tribune from 1861 into one of those old metal rocket ship-like microfilm readers where the image of the pages projected onto the floor of the machine. And, in the chill of that basement—it was kept cool for the film– I began to read through the war years.

I hadn’t eaten—I’m not a breakfast eater—and the hours rolled by. I read the entire four years of the war, living through each battle, jotting down notes on things I’d never heard of before. (Why was Island #10 such a big deal?). I got colder and more lightheaded as I read through lunch, and then dinner, in my own world with that newspaper and my microfilm reader, the only thing lit up at my table in the twilight of that basement.

Finally, agonizingly, Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia. It was an incredible moment. We had lived through that terrible war, and we had survived. I was as relieved as if I were reading the papers hot off the press.

And then I turned the crank and the paper was bordered in black.

They had killed Lincoln. A Confederate sympathizer had killed the president. It was like the hand coming out of the grave at the end of the movie Carrie. I knew the story, of course, but seeing it unfold over the course of the day had made it absolutely real to me.

And that was it. I knew I had to make what was at stake in our history real to the rest of the world.”

I had to chuckle at the story of her sitting in that basement through breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She’s created the same for me with her LFAA forum. There are days that a few hours will go by swiftly as I am absorbed in reading the letter and referenced material and then the amazing anecdotes and links from readers and adding my own. I guess that is the relevance and life of history.

There’s a lot at stake today. Whether it plays out in real time or in days to come. I am grateful for the understanding of the underpinnings of the conflict that has recycled back to us again. Whether that understanding that is brought to us from great historians like HCR can be the motivation to save us from ourselves….I hold the truth that being human in search of our Light makes that possible.

May we unite. Salud!

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Your beautifully written comment, Christine, was also a pleasure to read!

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Thank you , Rose of many places!

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A suggestion to better understand more of the underpinnings is to read "Battle Cry of Freedom" by Dr James McPherson, a Professor of American History @ Princeton. The book won a Pulitzer Prize in history. He covers the many factors that lead to the Civil War: politics, including slavery, (which helped create the Mexican-American War in 1848 and the Westward Expansion movement), economics, societal relationships. It's a weighty tome (986 pages in paperback) but well worth the read.

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W O W!!!! I LEARN SOOOOO MUCH HERE!!!

Thank You to Just About EVERYONE!!💖💖💖😊😊😊🤔🤔🤔

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Beautifully written, Christine. Thank you for sharing that excerpt! I can just see & feel that moment unfolding for HCR as she sat, a student in. Basement, face to face with history as if the moment was only waiting to be discovered and relived by a seeking mind and heart.

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Ah. I think that a motivation of Professor Richardson. Through her letters, many humans come together, many with a keen “seeking mind and heart”. I have spoken of it elsewhere on forum today. I find it essential in solving conflict by a means other than war.

I feel your understanding.

In Unity. Salud!

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Yes, Christine!! United we must stand, ALL of Us, this time!!

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Wow, Christine! Thank you for this and giving us a reminder that we are humans…always in search of our truths. HCR has certainly become a real motivator.

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I missed the news! We might have some more folks around here before, say, Thanksgiving?

Thanks, Kari, for thoughtfully reposting for us.

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Thank you for this information!

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Hear hear! So grateful for all the work you do Dr R, and grateful to see this award. Interview, too

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Congratulations for the Massachusetts Governor's Award in the Humanities. It is so well deserved! We appreciate your letters each day and find them to be essential reading as we try to navigate life during these difficult times.

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An artist's work in rallying public awareness is not always rewarded. During the war, Brady spent over $100,000 to create over 10,000 plates. He expected the U.S. government to buy the photographs when the war ended, but when the government refused to do so he was forced to sell his New York City studio and go into bankruptcy. Congress granted Brady $25,000 in 1875, but he remained deeply in debt. Depressed by his financial situation, loss of eyesight and devastated by the death of his wife in 1887, he became very lonely. He died penniless in the charity ward of Presbyterian Hospital in New York City on January 15, 1896, from complications following a streetcar accident. Brady's funeral was financed by veterans of the 7th New York Infantry. He was buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

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May he rest in peace. Then or now, how unsettled a mind must be after witnessing and documenting the atrocities of war.

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....as unsettled as those who fought on Jan 6 2021.

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Pam, I've given your reply a lot of thought. I agree, those who defended the lawmakers and staff inside the Capitol were taxed to the limit. They defended the Capitol without the benefit of arms, but with clubs, sheilds. They had been placed in a no win position by their leadership and members of the administration...knowing that fact is indeed horrible. But no matter how horrified we are by what we witnessed on January 6th it in no way compares to the carnage that men and women have witnessed, still witness, after during and combat. The sights, sounds and smells of bodies rotting, of burnt flesh, of the carrion eating birds and other creatures feasting on the bodies of the dead is a far cry from what we witnessed on January 6th. Brady, Gardner, and other documentarians of war, have tried to convey the horror in hopes that we'd understand the human cost and horror of war and its aftermath. The photos made available to us in the last 2 centuries have done little to deter us from war. We, the viewer, do not participate in the gruesome facts of death. We have a seat well away and after the fact. Those of us who are repulsed by the glimpses provided to us may work hard to prevent those things happening again, but we are not participants. We are not engaged, at a visceral level, with the awful sights, sounds, and smells of war and death.

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Well said Daria.

I have often thought that poster sized, color, crime scene photos of the dead from gun violence should be placed in from of Congress, in both houses, every single time they argue that common sense gun laws are a violation of their freedoms. Including the horrors of Sandy Hook. Especially those. Congress should be forced to look at what they are spewing propaganda for.

**Obviously, this would be with the family's permission only.

My younger sibling was murdered at age 23 by being shot and I would allow the crime scene photo to be used to advocate for better laws.

To those who will ask, yes, I have seen it. When I registered a complaint about the detective assigned to the case for attempting to close the case just 48 hours after the murder occurred ("I'm really busy" he whined), he sent it to me in the mail as retaliation. I opened the 8 x 11" envelope thinking it was paperwork and the color photo slide out onto my kitchen table.

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Oh my God, Kasumii. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm also sorry you were faced with a detective who had no interest in working to see justice served for your sibling.

I agree with your idea of life sized photos of shooting victims being displayed in both chambers. I'm sure there are some who would say the gory, graphic nature of those photos is inappropriate. At some, point though, our representatives need to be given a strong and loud wake-up call. And really, posters are far more appropriate than death itself.

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It might be easier to get parents and legislators to accept showing photos of the murdered by blacking out enough of the victim's face in the photo to make the person unrecognizable. Hence, the horror of the event is demonstrated while still protecting the victim's (and family's) anonymity.

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I am all for working with parents & loved ones of the victims but I don't give a rat's ass what legislators want. Not anymore. (Except for a very, very few.)

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Kasumii, that's horrible! Talk about "the cruel instincts of men". I hope you were able to get some answers, and some peace. And I agree, legislators should be required to see the real impact of their decisions

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Such unconscionable abuse by a police officer. I’m so sorry that happened, Kasumii.

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Thank you SLWeston. It was such a shock I collapsed on the floor. Didn't pass out, my legs just gave out. He was my baby brother, even at 23. Once the shock passed I did study the photo, trying to imagine his last moments and hoping they were quick and as painless and fearless as possible. My reaction is why I wish Congress was required to look at the victim's crime scenes photos, especially when they whine about 'but my personal freedom' when all we need are common sense laws on gun ownership. Of course, seeing such photos would only affect the non-sociopaths but maybe that would be enough.

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Daria, of course you are right, that the men and women who are witness to the atrocities of war have, at the least, "unsettled minds", and at the worst traumas that live with them for the rest of their lives. I, by no means, meant to diminish the travesty of wars, but I believe those who defended the Capitol on Jan 6 were fighting a different kind of war. During their testimonies before the Jan 6 commission, even those who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq admitted their defense of the Capitol was more frightening than what they had experienced in those wars. Sgt Aquilino Gonell could not believe he was fighting fellow Americans. This war left a few bodies, but also left many with unsettled minds and/or PTSD. I guess the videos I've seen of that day have given me a seat a tiny bit to "war". But, the visceral level you speak of is real for those with front row seats. And the rest of us will never know that.

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And now, today, we allow people who defend these traitors' attempts to overthrow the government on 1/6 to congregate again in and around the Capitol. I still wonder about the increasingly blurred lines between rights of free speech and downright treason. Isn't it remarkable how the GOP is doing everything in its power now to distance themselves from this little gathering? Remember the vote in the house on the very evening of 1/6?? To my mind, Republican representatives, every one of them, because of their votes, are inextricably linked to this insurrection. No amount of backtracking and attempts of distancing from then and from the demonstration today will erase their connection. We can't let them simply walk away unscathed, IMO. BUT...what will happen???...most likely, nothing...

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I agree, we can't let them walk away without being held accountable for their actions on 1/6. And some, will be made to pay, but it won't be the deep pockets and organizers, it will be the people on the bottom of the pecking order who did the will of Trump, et al. Those who voted against certifying the electral college votes, those who refused to impeach Trump the second time knew what they were doing. They chose Trump and insurrection, not the Country or the Constitution

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For what it is worth - I think every single person who took part in the insurrection should be at Gitmo, awaiting trial, charged with, at the least, sedition. Those who paid for it, organized it and fomented it should be there as well, charged with sedition and treason with the strictest consequence being sought in court. As a veteran I have zero give for people who commit sedition and treason. Not one should have been released on bond or their own recognizance, let alone allowed to go on vacation (can't recall her name). When I say "every single person" I mean every single person, including the older woman that a Capitol Police Officer helped down the steps at the end.

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I’ve thought about what you say, Daria, when I talk to veterans of many wars…some of those veterans I have counted as friends. They shield conversations and keep much inside…not wanting to harm or scare people that they took an oath to protect. It is little wonder that so many of them suffer with PTSD.

Nor do I feel that a proper vestige of honor and care are bestowed upon their return. So many veterans suffer with their demons. And are expected to “deal”.

I feel a visceral emotion about war and about the conflict at the Capitol on January 6th. Violence against another human to support a motive for defending freedom or liberty whatever the context may be?

I hate the war room. The cruel instincts of men.

There is another way. May we discover it to preserve our species.

Salud, Daria! I think of you often.

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Christine, it seems there is doubt about my anger and anxiety with regards to January 6th. I have no illusions about what I saw on that day. It was the culmination of hate and rancor against our democracy, shattering our peace and leaving us with no doubts as to what those on the right are aiming for. There will doubtless be more to come.

Those I know who saw combat, too, have always been circumspect about discussing what they did and what they saw. As you say, it's part of their oath to protect us. Most do till their last breath even as they suffer.

Be well, Christine.

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"The cruel instincts of men" says it all, Christine.

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Brady tried to get the US Government to document the war and they would not approve the funds...so he "did self". His efforts were ground breaking and the beginning of US photo journalism at Antietam. I'm not a "grave visitor" normally. But you've convinced me to look him up the next time I'm in DC...and now I'm going to need to find out where Gardner lies.

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Thanks for sharing this history….how sad.

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What an unsung Hero. Certainly shows how people need to "see" what war really looks like, what prejudice/discrimination looks and feels like, what misogyny looks and feels like, and what religious persecution or prosecution of others looks and feels like. All of these wars against people are not "theatre," they are battlegrounds of real human lives.

We need more visuals of the atrocious numbers of people dying daily from COVID and its' mutations. Show the unvaccinated the morgue trucks and the people on ventilators. Show the costs to all of us due to ignorance--because we are all paying the price for their healthcare from our workers to our paychecks. And just think of the amount of PPE our caregivers are going through every time they check in on another patient. We pay for that PPE, and our earth pays whilst we fill up more dumps with this excessive and unnecessary trash. Republicans ought to pay for their ignorant or intentional destruction of humanity and earth.

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No good deed goes unpunished.

Most days, Heather writes her guts, heart and soul out, and, according to this December 30, 2020 article, https://medium.com/illumination/how-to-make-money-online-heather-cox-richardson-substack-6b4018324d17, is making $1,000,000 from her letters. Most days, I write my heart and guts out and make zero dollars. I envy Heather's financial success, and I respect it. This letter from her on the American Civil War is, well, freaking stupendeous.

A Birmingham, Alabama native, I have heard many times that the Civil War was not about slavery, but was about states rights, and rich merchants in northern states controlling America. Well, didn't southern cotton make a lot of rich merchants in northern states even richer? And, how was that southern cotton grown and harvested? By black slaves, that's how. The end to slavery meant the end to the South's CASH CROP. It meant a lot of northern merchants would have to look elsewhere for cotton.

So, yeah, the Civil War really was about slavery.

I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten,

Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land.

In Dixie Land where I was born in, early on a frosty mornin',

Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land.

Then I wish I was in Dixie, hooray! hooray!

In Dixie Land I'll take my stand to live and die in Dixie,

Away, away, away down South in Dixie,

Away, away, away down South in Dixie.

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Your writing is very good, but you buried this phrase:

"controlling America"

That's what the Civil War was over.

That's what we're dealing with now.

And somebody better start taking it seriously on our side.

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Looks to me what we're dealing with now is White Supremacists are trying to control America, and the Republican Party and all but a few of its members in Congress and State Governments, and in the general population, are okay with White Supremacists controlling America - otherwise, they would be shrieking for the white January 6 mob and their leader Donald Trump to be hanged. Heather goes at it differently, but her message looks to me to be the same: White Supremacists still are trying to control America, and Donald Trump is their messiah.

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White Supremacists are in the mix, but only part of it.

There are financial powers, Jew Haters, and every resentment fueled 'citizen'.

Fascism is a strange brew, and we got it bad.

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The January 6 mob was white, their leader is white. They are proxies for the American White Supremacists, who number in the 10s of millions, which anyone living in Southern states knows, and that there are many White Supremacists in other states, as well. the Republican Party in and outside of Congress has given them all a free pass. Certainly, there are other factors in play. But Heather's letter today is about White Supremacy in America, and that's where I went with my comment.

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Even the January 6 Insurrection was NOT ALL WHITE.

Yesterday I commented on a frightening incident which occurred in my diverse, community oriented, pretty tolerant neighborhood. I'll recap here:

Three female tourists from Texas were arrested Thursday at around 5 p.m. for allegedly attacking a hostess at Carmine’s restaurant on 91st and Broadway, because she asked to see their vaccination cards, an NYPD spokesperson said.

These were Black folks.

I understand that you have a point of view which you promote on Sloan's Newsletter, but if you do want to get rewarded for your witing, you're going to have to expand that point of view.

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Look away, look away, nothing objectionable to see here.

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the song is about the land of cotton, which depended on African slaves

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Not everything you read on the publishing platform Medium.com is verifiable or corroboratable (if that’s a word) information, Sloan. Whatever could it possibly matter how much HCR makes with her newsletter? And why would you dump it here?

Besides that, WTF?!!?? The words to “Dixie”?! Here?

One word, respect.

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The words to Dixie say what the Old South was about, cotton, thus African slaves. Living in Alabama other southern states taught me that many Confederacy buffs today deny the Civil war had anything to do with slavery. Why don't you write to Heather and ask her what, if anything, she makes from her truly splendid newsletter, and if she has a problem with her readers knowing

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There is an interesting biography on Brady by Robert Wilson, "Matthew Brady: Portraits of a Nation", Bloomsbury Press, 2013, for those interested. It has quite a few illustrations of Brady's work outside the war years. In my mom's large collection of books centering on American history (which I have to get rid of, sadly) we have it and another book of Brady photographs (from 1970) from the war period.

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In some respects, how is Brady any different than the folks livestreaming their attack on the Capitol January 6th with the expectation their videos would be profitable?

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There is a distinctive difference. Brady was initiating a revolution in visual communication, and financed it with his entire net worth. The videos from the Jan. 6th attack were done with a gadget almost all of us carry with us, like a wristwatch. Most of them were, in fact, narcissistic "selfies."

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If they were just "selfies" as you state, then J6 was not a "Siege" but a tourist event? I hardly think so.

The images from the Capitol insurrection will resonate a century from now, too and we shouldn't be saddened that those who preserved these moments were not able to profit.

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Brady was a career photographer, he made a significant investment in his business and provided a service. I guess you are asking if he was an opportunist? Then all news people are "opportunist" to a degree because they need to make a living. The biggest difference I see in Brady and folks with a cell phone, is his man Gardner was the only one on the field with the technology and skills and brave & visionary enough to bring back a "product". Today anyone is capable...and the results when put together skillfully, can be very profound and educational. Would we be better off without the documentation? I think not.

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The documentation of the Capitol siege is also highly valuable, legally and sociologically.

Brady didn't invent photography, he merely used it to hopefully make a profit.

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What a tragedy. Thank you for sharing.

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It is terrible that we need to be reminded of the tragedy of Civil War, but we live in a time when many Americans seem to have fallen once again for the idea of national division and separation, as though that could be achieved bloodlessly. Perhaps as Tom Nichols suggests, we have had it so good in this country for so long that we have lost the capacity to believe that real national bloodletting and tragedy could ever really occur again in our time. Thank God that there are people like you, Heather, who have the interest and concern and ability to write clearly about history and remind us of the reason it has to be studied. As a people we seem to have forgotten that we are part of history and, in this world, cannot remove ourselves from the rhythm of its flow. Now, perhaps more than ever in our national history, we need to remember the lessons our forebears had to learn-- before it is too late.

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What Heather is doing is a daily treasure.

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We are looking now at the prospect of becoming the citizens of a resurrected Confederate States of America rather than the citizens of the America we grew up in. Today, wealthy corporate oligarchs appear to have replaced the plantation owners.

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Ed, I've been calling it the new CSA for awhile...the Corporate States of America. The flag looks like the side of a NASCAR racer...logos of WalMart, Exxon, Amazon and more

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I agree with your comment 1000% and have thought the same. How stunningly vicious that all of corporate America has risen to its heights based on many of the same oppressive attributes as the Confederate South.

And that, in a sense, rather than feel ownership in our participation, there exists an increasingly thin veil that covers our enslavement to the corporate entity.

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It is easy for the right to talk with bluster about inflicting violence. They do love their guns, the more destructive the better. But using them and have the guns of their perceived enemies turned on them is an altogether different matter, once the disfigured bodies begin to accumulate.

But they are frothing for a fight. They've convinced themselves, with ample help from their manipulators, that the election was stolen and that protections against the spread of Covid are tyranny. (A restaurant worker in NYC was beaten Thursday by three women from Texas for asking to see proof of their vaccinations.)

I hope September 18th won't become a day of infamy. It's unlikely. Republicans at the state level are content to dismantle democracy brick by brick by suppressing voting and undermining confidence in elections with their faux audits. They don't appreciate the backlash that's headed their way.

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Michael, The fact that 3 women would beat another woman simply for doing her job shows just how far people on the right are willing to go to get their point across.

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And to spew their hatred and intention of violence to come.

For six years I have had a front row seat to watching a neighbor's progression from being a basic Republican to a Q-Anon follower, all through the flags they fly. In the beginning these flags flew from a 6' porch flag pole and began with a "trump/pence 2016" flag. Two years later they added a 30' flag pole to their yard and began flying a variety of trump flags, leaving their American flag on the lower flag pole. These flags became more and more outlandish as time went by - trump on a tank, trump as Rambo, you get the idea. Several months ago they changed their "Jesus is my savior, trump is my president" flag to one that simply said "we will take America back" (homemade I think) and then two weeks ago a large, mass produced, vivid Q flag, complete with another violent saying, replaced that one.

It seems, as Michael Bales says, they are indeed "frothing for a fight".

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We have had a similar display at the entrance to my street. Started with lawn signs (and a huge smiley face after 2016 election) and graduated to two lines strung from the corner of the house above the fence, each filled with 6 flags, which remained well into January. Nothing says "welcome to our neighborhood" like hate flags.

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I'm sorry you have to look at that. It is draining to be surrounded by so much hate.

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Hello Michael, I have appreciated your comments in the past few weeks. The 22nd of this month stuck in my mind. Unfortunately, my mind can also get stuck, when it comes to dates. I hope all goes well and that you may even sleep in you own bed that very same night. Salud! Fern

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Thank you, Fern. Still on schedule. Will report back once lucid.

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I have no memes, but please see a wide happy smile facing you.

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Maybe 400-450 who showed up. Lasted maybe 90 minutes. No violence.

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