Friday, December 10, 2010

Fox News showcasing bigots....

Over at Fox, there's an article titled Civil War's 150th anniversary stirs debate on race.

The article includes several ludicrous quotes, one from Benard Simelton, some functionary for the Alabama NAACP, which is the kind of kneejerk response you might expect from an officer of an organization that's all about expressing grievances.

But the cake-topper quotes come from a National Park Service lackey identifed as Bob Sutton.

If you can stomach it, go and read the article here:

I left a comment that at this writing is awaiting "moderation" at Fox In case it doesn't get approved, I've decided to post it here:

Bob Sutton has it exactly backward. Slavery was important to the cause of secession because it was tied to the really important things he mentions -- politics, economics and culture -- not the other way around. Who in their right mind thinks a war would have been fought over slavery if these other issues had not existed?

Slavery's importance was also artificially inflated, as prominent abolitionist (and Lincoln's Secretary of State) well knew. Ten years before the war, in the midst of sectionalism -- the regional squabble between north and South, which lasted from 1812 (some historians say 1800) to the start of the war -- William H. Seward said,

"Every question, political, civil, or ecclesiastical, however foreign to the subject of slavery, brings up slavery as an incident, and the incident supplants the principal question."

In other words, slavery was the excuse given by northern states for victimizing the Southern states over many other issues completely unrelated to slavery.

You think you'll hear that from "court historians" like Sutton?

He also has it exactly backwards that the victors did not control the story of the war. The Union has always controlled information about the war's history and still does -- through the heavy hand of government (who do you think "owns" Sutton's employer, the National Park Service?), academia (which is firmly under the federal thumb), business and industry (regulated by the feds), and popular culture, especially the news and entertainment media.

Sutton also shows his bigotry toward Southerners with this quote, "Southerners saw ... [the centennial] as a real opportunity to dull the civil rights movement." Southerners? ALL Southerners? I was a preteen then and I marched in a centennial celebration parade in Anniston, Alabama --and had no thoughts of the civil rights movement whatsofrickin'ever. Moreover, NOBODY I knew in central Alabama saw the centennial that way.

Benard Simelton needs to realize that not everything revolves around him, his organization, or his views. The sesquicentennial celebrations aren't for the purpose of celebrating the taking away of anyone's rights, and it is certainly not like celebrating the Holocaust. If he wants to see it that way, that's his prerogative -- but he needs to not project his unfortunate misconceptions onto others.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Planned lies about history? We'll see....

In her article, "One State Takes a New Look at Causes of War" in a recent issue of the New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye says, a new historical marker at the old capital in Milledgeville, will cite "Georgia's secession ordinance" and will say that "the state seceded in response to the election of Abraham Lincoln, who was 'anti-slavery.'"

Ah, sorry, no. This is not true. Here is Georgia's Ordinance of Secession:

"We the people of the State of Georgia in Convention assembled do declare and ordain and it is hereby declared and ordained that the ordinance adopted by the State of Georgia in convention on the 2nd day of Jany. in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the constitution of the United States of America was assented to, ratified and adopted, and also all acts and parts of acts of the general assembly of this State, ratifying and adopting amendments to said constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded and abrogated.

We do further declare and ordain that the union now existing between the State of Georgia and other States under the name of the United States of America is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Georgia is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.

Passed January 19, 1861.

Nothing about Aby-baby's election there. Obviously, the preeminent journalist Katharine Q. Seelye does not know the difference between an Ordinance of Secession and the Declaration of Causes of Secession. Only four states issued declarations, although all of them issued ordinances, simple legal documents dissolving the states' ties to the United States.

Georgia's declaration of causes begins with the issue of slavery, but goes on and on and on and on mentioning many other grievances the state had with the non-slaveholding states who were victimizing Georgia in numerous ways.

The declarations of Mississippi, Texas and South Carolina do the same. They are proof that while slavery was an important issue, also important were all the many, many ways the non-slaveholding states were victimizing the slave-holding states using slavery as the excuse.

It's exactly like abolitionist William Henry Seward said, according to journalist Douglas Harper:

"Slavery became the symbol and character of all sectional differences. It was the emotional gasoline on the sectional fires. Its moral and social implications colored every issue in terms of right and rights. William Seward, the Republican leader whose party made so much of this, recognized the fact: 'Every question, political, civil, or ecclesiastical, however foreign to the subject of slavery, brings up slavery as an incident, and the incident supplants the principal question.'"
In other words, slavery was the excuse for victimizing the Southern states for virtually any other sectionalist difference. And this went on for decades before the war. Some historians date "sectionalism" back to the War of 1812, others back to 1800. That much animosity, building up for that long, over so many reasons, is bound to erupt sooner or later.

The NYT article goes on to say, "'This may be one of the first official recognitions in the state, at least in modern times, that slavery was the overarching reason for secession,' said Todd Groce, president of the historical society. While some pro-Confederate groups may disagree with this conclusion, he said, mainstream historians do not."

Well, if the "overarching" is correctly explained -- that slavery was the excuse for the rest of the country's victimizing the Southern states over issues that had nothing to do with slavery -- fine. If "overarching" is going to be used as a euphemism for "the only reason" -- then, no --and the state's effort to pull the wool over the public's eyes needs to be staunchly opposed.

Besides, "mainstream historians" are in the winners' back pocket -- still, after 150 years. They parrot what they're told by their "progressive" professors, who are themselves residing in the same pocket.

The article concludes: "The historical marker is one of 15 that are being installed for the sesquicentennial under a partnership between the historical society and the state. ... The markers tell their stories in about 100 words. 'After that,' Mr. Groce said, 'people lose interest.'"

If the markers are going to be an excuse to lie about the South's cause, it is well that people lose interest after 100 false words.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Connecticut yankee's mindset....

Recently, my novel, Southern Man (published under my pen name, Connie Chastain) was featured with an "Honorable Mention" review at Red Adept's e-book review blog, where it generated a couple of interesting comments, one of them from a certain "A. Sparrow," who wrote:
I agree that this one is well-written, the dialogue in particular. Sometimes the phrasing gets a little fluffy with long Latinate words, but it’s quite competent overall.
To me, the entertainment value lies in its humor. It reads so much like parody, I can’t be 100% certain the humor isn’t unintentional. The sheer mass of stereotyping in the prologue alone, is astounding and hilarious.
It sort of reminds me of a spoof of Ayn Rand crossed with Southern superhero comics. I found it fascinating as a piece of anthropology, opening a window into a mindset that seems completely alien to me. I’ll certainly be reading on beyond the first 15%.
Fascinated by the thinly veiled snideness of the comments, I attempted to find out more about "A. Sparrow," to confirm, if possible, some tentative conclusions I was drawing. First, that A. Sparrow is a woman (unable to confirm) and that s/he was likely a self-published writer, since Red reviews a lot of books by self-published writers.

Sooo, I searched "A. Sparrow" at and found s/he had an author's page that featured nothing about the author, but did include a link to Xenolith, a self-published fantasy novel that appears to be about travel between dimensions. I discovered that s/he has several novels on an alternate site that sells e-books. And, from an author-promotion site, I found that s/he lives in Connecticut.

Ah, the motive for the snideness begins to reveal itself....

I'm not really flattered by her compliment on the quality of my dialog. I have known for years that I have a gift for writing dialog. It's about the only part of writing I do have a gift for.

But the long, Latinate words? What could s/he mean? Indomitable? Latin in origin, but not particularly long. Discombobulation? It's long, but not Latinate -- it's an Americanism originating in the early 1800s. Indigenous? Again, Latin in orgin, but not long. Alumnus is definitely Latinate -- but long? Makes the phrasing fluffy? You tell me:
Striving for nonchalance, Brooke said, "He's a Bama fan."
"Oh, he's more than a fan," Dugan replied. "He's an alumnus and that's an understatement. In the early Seventies, he was the Crimson Tide's star halfback...."
I dunno. Maybe they have a different concept of "long" and "fluffy" in Connecticut.

The thin veil over the snideness slips a little with his/her comments about humor. Yes, the stereotypes of the "progressives" in the prologue are intentional. That doesn't make them untrue. Stereotyping has developed negative associations in our culture, but in fact, it is not the process of stereotyping but the stereotype itself that is negative (for example, the ignorant, violent Southern redneck). They can also be positive (the educated, caring yankee liberal). And they can largely untrue, as both of these are.
Yes, the humor is intentional:
At fifty-six, Ruth [Adamsky] was a handsome woman who fancied that she bore a physical resemblance to the indomitable Bella Abzug. She fostered the resemblance with her demeanor and wardrobe, complete with widebrimmed hats and reading glasses halfway down her nose.
Five of her guests were women and the two males might as well have been.
...a pudgy, middle-aged woman with improbably black hair reported the start up of a small weekly newspaper for the area’s progressive community...
[Ruth said,] “This town is awash in testosterone. White Christian men rule here, as they have ruled the West for nearly two thousand years. They’re the authors of everything that’s wrong with western civilization.”
It apparently doesn't set well with A. Sparrow to have the commonly accepted negative/positive stereotypes turned on their heads...

Moving on, I was particularly struck by her reference to a cross between a spoof of Ayn Rand, ( (Rand herself, i.e., her philosophy, or her novels?) and Southern superhero comics. Since I haven't read Rand (though I've read about her, and her novels), and didn't know there was such a thing as Southern superhero comics, I did a little googling.

Perhaps A. Sparrow sees a spoofy connection between Adamsky's "The Conspiracy" and Rand's "The Collective" -- quite a stretch, if that's her connection. Adamsky is not a philosopher. She's a liberal, feminist activist -- a community organizer, as it were....

As for the Southern superhero comics, I was suprised to learn there was such a series published back in the Eighties. (I haven't read comics since my Betty-and-Veronica days as a pre-teen.) The Southern Knights ( No similarities there, except the term "hero" -- which, in my case simply means the lead male role in a novel.

Southern Man's protagonist, Troy Stevenson, is no superhero (except, perhaps to his wife). He's a decent, ordinary man with strengths, none of them superhuman, and flaws that are all too human.
Given this lack of actual connection between my novel and A. Sparrow's description, I can only conclude that it is totally wishful thinking on his/her part.

It's when we get to the next sentence that we get down to the nitty-gritty:
I found it fascinating as a piece of anthropology, opening a window into a mindset that seems completely alien to me.
I don't doubt it. There is an attitude in ... certain ... circles (yankees, as opposed to northerners, and neo-scalawags) that if you are a Southern novelist, you have an obligation to portray white Southerners as inbred, moronic, scum-sucking racist monsters. Perhaps if I had written a book that did so, A. Sparrow wouldn't have seen my mindset as completely alien.

Perhaps A. Sparrow can identify with the mindset that created the movie, Wrong Turn:
Six people find themselves trapped in the woods of West Virginia, hunted down by "cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding."
Perhaps s/he would identify with the mindset that created the video game, Redneck Rampage:
The plot revolves around two brothers, Leonard and Bubba, fighting through the fictional town of Hickston, USA, to rescue their prized pig Bessie and thwart an alien invasion. ... Like most first-person-shooters, it offered a variety of ways for the character to regenerate health or hit points. These power-ups consisted of the allegedly redneck related moon pies, pork rinds, beer and liquor.
If these are a bit too crude for his/her Connecticut yankee sensibilities, maybe s/he could better relate to the mindset Joshilyn Jackson exhibits in her novels. Jackson is a Southern writer (from the Florida panhandle, where I reside) who apparently takes very seriously her obligation to portray Southerner as negative stereotypes (and thus please New York editors):
Gods in Alabama:
Arlene Fleet, the refreshingly imperfect heroine of Jackson's frank, appealing debut, launches her story with a list of the title's deities: "high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus." The first god, also a date rapist by the name of Jim Beverly, (of course, he's a date rapist -- he's a Southern white boy, isn't he? ~Connie) she left dead in her hometown of Possett, Ala., but the last she embraces wholeheartedly when high school graduation allows her to flee the South, the murder and her slutty reputation for a new life in Chicago. Upon leaving home, Arlene makes a bargain with God, promising to forgo sex, lies and a return home if he keeps Jim's body hidden. After nine years in Chicago as a truth-telling celibate, an unexpected visitor from home (in search of Jim Beverly) leads her to believe that God is slipping on his end of the deal. As Arlene heads for the Deep South with her African-American boyfriend, Burr, in tow, her secrets unfold in unsurprising but satisfying flashbacks. Jackson brings levity to familiar themes with a spirited take on the clichés of redneck Southern living: the Wal-Mart culture, the subtle and overt racism and the indignant religion. (Of course. Can't portray Southern living realistically. Has to be "redneck." ~Connie) The novel concludes with a final, dramatic disclosure, though the payoff isn't the plot twist but rather Jackson's genuine affection for the people and places of Dixie. (Really. You coulda fooled me. ~Connie)

Backseat Saints:
"Rose is now living under the thumb of her abusive husband and his domineering father." (Everybody knows Southern men are abusive and domineering. ~Connie)

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming:
What makes this novel shine are its revelations about the dark side of Southern society... (Of course! Nobody's interested in the uplifting, hopeful side of Southern society and New York editors evidently don't believe there is one. ~Connie)

Between, Georgia:
Growing up at the center of a Crabtree-Frett feud begun by her birth, Nonny is caught between her biological family and her adopted one, between contempt for her philandering husband and the comfort of marriage... (Ah, yes, the Southern family feud and the requisite philandering husband... sooooo Southern, huh? ~Connie)
Of course, I feel no obligation to trash the people of my region, and that really annoys some folks, as two of the comments at Red's blog -- and countless other internet comments, blogs, books, magazine articles, movies and TV shows -- attest. How dare Southern writers portray their people positively? How dare Southerners show the unmitigated temerity to be comfortable with who they are? How dare they not totally define themselves by their faults, as yankees and neo-scalawags think they should?

A. Sparrow says s/he's going to read beyond the first 15% of Southern Man. That may or may not mean s/he's intending to read the whole thing. It will be interesting to see if s/he rips the veil from his/her remarks and posts a scathing review at

Monday, November 15, 2010

Confessions of a Pro-Southerner


I have been a proSoutherner all my life, although for most of it, I didn't know that word. Politically, I'm a moderate conservative, religiously a Christian. A great many liberals and leftists I have encountered over the years think that means I hate black people, Jews and homosexuals. And women -- even though I are one.

In 1999, I discovered the Southern nationalist and Confederate heritage preservation movements, and eagerly took part in both. I grouped both movements under the heading proSouthernism.

Between 2000 and 2004, I periodically published an e-zine, 180 Degrees True South, that took a rollicking romp through the proSouthern movement each month -- or each month that I could put out an issue. The articles were usually my own commentary -- sometimes those of a guest writer. Usually, my targets were critics of the movement; sometimes those within the movement behaving like troublemakers.

As I've noted elsewhere in this blog, life’s inevitable responsibilities took me away from active involvement in the proSouthern movement, and 180 went offline. While I was away from the movement, two things happened: I began to write proSouthern novels (the first one is published and available at and the proSouthern movement lost momentum, for several reasons, not the least of which was the attacks of 9/11/01, our military adventures overseas, and the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.

But proSouthernerism did not die out completely. There are many who are convinced that secession from the corrupt, economically bankrupt and war-making U.S. government is the only way to preserve true Americanism. There are those who are committed to defending the South's Confederate heritage from increasingly vicious attack from the politically correct "court historians" out to push their view of the USA's sacred history, regardless of truth.

Inevitably, it seems, the subject of the Confederacy, secession and Southern culture are tied by some to slavery and race. In fact, there are those (usually those of a left-liberal persuasion) who wholly and solely define the South and its culture and history as racism, and nothing more. Not only that, they believe everyone should hold the same view they do -- and those who don't should be forced to by indoctrination. I have no patience for such people because, clearly, theirs is not the only way to view history.

Over the coming weeks and months, I will disclose my "confessions" -- that is, what I believe about the controversies that regularly crop up in the press and popular culture regarding the South. Those who think proSoutherners hold identical views and march in mental lockstep may be in for a surprise. Especially if I get comments from Southern nationalists or heritage preservationists who might be offended by my viewpoints.

Then there people who know better, like the folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center, but attempt to portray us as mental clones, anyway. They won't be surprised to know that proSoutherners do indeed hold different viewpoints, but I doubt my disclosure will matter much to the poverty-stricken lawyers. I'm too small potatoes for them to pay attention to.

Stay tune. My Confessions coming up soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Anti-Confederate bias on display

Vist the Washington Post, folks, and read the following, and then come back here for my piercing and decisive commentary:

The dodgy world of Southern history
by Peter Galuszka

Galuszka doesn't make his case any better than Masoff, the woman he's criticizing, does, and he inescapably exposes his biases.

"Masoff, who is not a trained historian..." (i.e., doesn't toe the court-historian line), "says she got the information from a Web site. It can be traced to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a Tennessee-based group open exclusively to males who can show that their ancestors fought for the Confederacy."

Nothing in that "tracing" of the source proves the information untrue.

"It can be traced", incidently, is a journalistic lapse into the passive voice, which usually signals a reluctance to be forthcoming with concrete information, likely because the information doesn't exist. If Galuszka was a journalist worth his salt, he'd have used the active voice (as he did later in the article) and said, "I traced the information to a web site,, which is owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and I confirmed that's what the website claims that Jackson..." That he didn't say it this way leaves me suspicious.

Article continues, "Disputes like this used to be fairly common some years ago, and it is surprising that they continue to crop up."

Surprising to who?

"Many serious historians note...."

Court historians toeing the PC line, no doubt. And unnamed, you'll notice. "Many historians note" doesn't establish untruth, proof or disproof. It just informs us what the "many" (unidentified) historians (trained ones, unlike Masoff? Why, he doesn't say!) "note."

Presumably, in this case, note means "believe" or "think" or "write" or "teach" or something. It's another one of those squishy, mamby-pamby terms some "journalists" use to keep from having to be held to what they say. Presumably, because they "note" something, we're supposed to swallow it as gospel.

Speaking of court historians, anybody recall who is the respected historian who said he BECAME a historian out of a personal desire to make the South look bad? I can't remember his name right now, I'll try to look him up if I have time, but I don't have a lot of respect for court historians who display that kind of biased attitude.

"...very few African Americans fought for the Confederacy, although some slaves were used as forced labor to build fortifications or as valets to Southern officers."

Whether blacks fought for the Confederacy, and in what numbers, is a nonissue to me. I don't know or care whether Jackson had a couple of black battalions. If he didn't, it shouldn't be in history books that he did. On the other hand, if blacks fought for the Confederacy, in whatever numbers, for whatever reasons, their service should be acknowledged and honored.

There is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence in the letters, diaries, journals and reports of officers and soldiers on both sides that report witnessing themselves, or receiving reports from others, that blacks were fighting for the South. There is also the evidence that blacks were treated as veterans by Confederate vets at their anniversary gatherings, and were given residence in old folks homes provided for Confederate vets. It is just as wrong for court historians to ignore this evidence, or attempt to downplay or neutralize it, as it is to claim Confederate black battalions existed if they didn't.

Since the civil rights movement and the advent of political correctness, an attitude has developed in this country that black folks all think alike about everything. They're mental clones. During the Confederate flag flaps of the last decade, newspaper writers (I won't call them journalists) wrote over and over and over and over, "Blacks think the flag is offensive" and "To blacks the flag symbolizes slavery" etc. They all think alike about slavery, about the war, about Jim Crow, about the civil rights movement, about the Great Society...

I don't believe it. Most blacks who were *identified* as offended by the flag were activist types, like local NAACP leaders wanting to keep their organization relevant, or leftist Hollywood/music biz types (think Spike Lee-types or Ludicris) who play to a PC audience. The black population in the South had lived with flag displays, Confederate monuments, streets, and other memorials, for years, decades...gen-er-a-tions...without a peep.

During the flag flaps, white liberals (white-guilty liberals wanting to force the whole Southern white population to share their guilt feelings) did as much bellyaching as black activists. They were the "journalists" who reported flag flaps with descriptions like this: "...the Confederate flag, a red flag with a blue X and white stars in the X, which is an offensive and painful reminder of slavery to blacks..."

It was like they were giving lessons... "See, folks? Expecially black folks? This is what you're supposed to be offended by; here's what it looks like, and here's why you should be offended...."

(Some learned their lessons a little too well. During the outbreak of flag-flaps and the war against all kinds of Confederate memorials and symbology, I came across a news report of some black lady in Georgia who was "offended" by her BANK. She said it had a RACIST name. It was "Heritage Bank." I'm not making this up.)

The outrage and offendedness today still seems more a function of white liberals (like this "journalist" Galuszka) than ordinary blacks.

Galuszka inserts bias into this "report" like this: "Critics say that assertions such as Masoff's ought be strongly opposed because they are designed to give the Southern cause -- maintaining slavery -- credibility. Groups that tend to romanticize the traditional white Southerners' view of the conflict counter that a lot of honest history gets lost in politically correct versions that have been taught in schools for decades."

How do critics know what such assertions are "designed" to do? That's just their opinion. You'd have to ask the person doing the asserting, and Galuszka evidently didn't. He just assumes. Then, there's this phrase, "Groups that tend to romanticize the traditional white Southerners' view of the conflict..." Unnamed groups, I, um, note. And who determines that they "tend to romantacize" anything? Galuszka? LOL.

And does he prove this assertion of his? Why, no. Look what he says next, "I am not a Southern by background but have lived a good part of my life in the South. One still cannot escape what some whites wish could have been."

What whites? How does he know what they wish?

Hey, a lot of honest history DOES get lost in politically correct versions taught in schools -- and not just the South's history. Does he not know this? Or does it just not matter to somebody whose purpose is the PC put-down?

His contempt for the South and Southerners (one assumes only white Southerners) is threaded throught this short piece of writing (I won't call it journalism) and serves to give readers a biased view of them. (...Groups that tend to romanticize the traditional white Southerners' view of the conflict counter ... One still cannot escape what some whites wish could have been ... a pleasant little town with the usual characters waxing eloquent about moonlight and magnolia ... a self-styled historian who would fit right in with the Sons of Confederate Veterans ...)

He ends with, "You would think that anyone with a hand in the contents of a grade-school textbook would understand that. Cribbing material off a Web site posted by a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is suspect at best."

But he didn't bother to provide proof that Masoff's account is untrue, regardless of where she cribbed it from.

This Wapo "journalist" deserves completely indifference or mild contempt --and that's precisely what he gets from me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Intelligence and Poverty (-stricken lawyers)

Deconstructing SPLC "Intelligence" Reports

I see from a Facebook post that the poverty-stricken lawyers in their multi-story Airstream in the Cradle of the Confederacy have the Museum of the Confederacy in their, um, figurative gun sights.

I haven't read but a paragraph or two of the hit piece (which goes on and on and on for pages and pages and pages -- this article below explains why I don't read their crap) and I'm not putting a link to it. If you wanna read it, find it yourself.

In September 2005, I did some research on the SPLC's website for a post in a discussion group. I found two very interesting passages.

The first is about the publication, the Intelligence Report, and it sed, "Each year, Intelligence Project staff sift through hate groups' publications, citizens' reports, news reports and information from law enforcement agencies and field sources to develop the most up-to-date data on American hate groups. That data is then passed on to law enforcement, journalists, academics and the general public."

Something similar was found in a paragraph about the list of "hate groups" the SPLC tracks: "This list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports."

I found these sources of information very interesting. (It's also interesting that the last time I looked, these passages had been removed or almost unrecognizably altered. cw, July 2010)

One of the sources is identified as "law enforcement reports." Out of curiosity, since SPLC's hate group map plasters West Florida with hate group symbols, I decided to find out what kind of reports local law enforcement agencies give to the SPLC about these groups. I talked to three people at the Escambia County Sheriff's Department --one of them Sheriff McNesby himself, with whom I am nominally acquainted.

Well, they don't give reports to the SPLC, so the "watchdogs" at the poverty palace in Montgomery have to get whatever "law enforcement reports" they want from West Florida from somewhere else. More than likely, the only law enforcement agencies that provide information to the SPLC are federal agencies -- the FBI, the BATF, etc. -- the jackbooted thugs of NRA fame.

Then, there is the source "hate groups' publications." I freely admit I don't study hate group literature, so I don't know how accurately the SPLC reports what they find there. However, I do know that they frequently misreport and misconstrue material from proSouthern publications.

Next we have "news reports". I have read only a fraction of the articles in the Intelligence Report -- mostly only those about proSouthernism -- but I find the citing of a news source (or any other source, frankly) to be as rare as hens' teeth. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't remember a single one.

That leaves "citizens' reports" and "field sources." That's mostly where the "intelligence reports" come from. They are anonymous accounts and as such, wholly unreliable. We aren't told who is supplying the information, how reliable they are, whether they have an agenda, and if so, what it is. We don't know the circumstances under which they gather the information. Did they interview people? Did they identify themselves right up front? If not, how was the information gathered?

These "citizens' and field source reports" are written in the language of persuasion and propaganda, not the language of factual and dispassionate reporting. They are not vetted by an impartial editor for fairness and objectivity. They are manufactured, beginning to end, by people with an agenda, for the purpose of pushing that agenda. They are written and edited by people whose (very substantial) incomes depend on convincing contributors that there's a huge and growing, dangerous, violent "hate" menace stalking the country.

I believe these reports from citizens and field sources to be considerably embellished, and in part actually fabricated.

Here's an interesting "report" about a meeting of the Constitution Party several years ago, representatiave of what I'm talking about.

None of it came from "news reports" -- at least, not legitimate ones -- or, if it did, Moser didn't properly cite them. No ABC-NBC-CBS-Fox News stories cited, nothing from the Oregonian in Portland, no radio or magazine reports cited...

(The article does cite "Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger," but only for generic information about the average percentage of the third-party vote, not information about the Constitution Party meeting being reported on. All the "analysis" of third-party history isn't intelligence reporting -- anybody can look that info up on the web.)

Also, there are no facts identified as being supplied by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department, the Portland Police Bureau or the Oregon State Police or any other law enforcement agency, either (so much for "law enforcement" sources...)

That leaves totally anonymous, totally unverifiable -- in other words, wholly specious -- "citizens' reports" and "field sources."

Of course, the citizens and field sources themselves are not identified....

The SPLC claims that the Intelligence Report is journalism, but there's not a particle of journalistic objectivity to it. Its paragraphs are littered with manipulative language. For example, from the Constitution Party article:

"CLACKAMAS, Ore. -- They've journeyed west from as far as Pennsylvania and Maryland, this band of true believers, 100 strong. Some of them decked out in their Sunday finest, others casual in plaid work shirts and jeans, they have huddled together on a rainy April Saturday in a low-lit hotel conference room in this blue-collar Portland suburb that gave the world Tanya Harding, figure skater gone bad."

What tripe! A truly journalistic account would sound more like....

"CLACKAMAS, Ore. -- About 100 people from as far away as Pennsylvania and Maryland have arrived in Clackamas for the 2003 convention of the Constitution Party."

"decked out in their Sunday finest" "band of true believers" "huddled together" "blue-collar Portland suburb" "Tonya Harding, figure skater gone bad" are all word-picture irrelevancies designed to manipulate and bias the reader.

This kind of manipulative language liberally sprinkles the whole article.

And the passages about the meeting in Oregon were clearly written by someone who was there ... but the source isn't named. What a surprise....

If you are so anxious to believe crap like this, go right ahead. And if you want to give your money to a bunch of avaricious "fundraisers," who am I to try to dissuade you? It's your money. Send 'em lots. They need it. The POVERTY law center has only got $120 million, and I just know they've sacrificed and sent some of it for Katrina relief... Although, I haven't been able to find confirmation of it in the media, yet.... But they're so generous and caring, surely they've sent a big donation....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A trip down memory lane (yes, I know how clichéd that is)

Folks in the proSouthern community may remember the e-zine, 180 Degrees True South, written, edited, illustrated, published and webmastered (we called it "reb-mastering" back then) by moi, which appeared more-or-less monthly between 2000 and 2004.

It was rollicking fun for me — and evidently for folks in the movement, judging by the feedback I got.

Ah, those were the days! Some of life’s inevitable responsibilities took me away from active involvement in the proSouthern movement, and 180 went offline. While I was away, two things happened: I began to write proSouthern novels (the first one is published and available at and the proSouthern movement went kablooey.

But a look at Facebook and other communities online tells me that the passion so many Southerners have for their home region still burns fierce in their hearts; that the gratuitous and mendacious attacks on Southern history and culture are as offensive to us as they’ve always been; that Americans in other regions of the country are beginning to exhibit the same misgivings about out-of-control federal government that Southerners have always had; and that it may be time for renewal of our dedication to our region’s history and heritage.

Toward that end, I’ve begun this blog. And while Southern issues will be at the core of it, I may blog about any subject I think will interest readers. And, as in the old days, it will be updated "whenever I feel like it and have the time."

Stay tune as the purpose and form of the blog take shape — and be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Connie Ward, Ed.