Column on the Nazis and South Carolina


Thanks to the flag,
we’ve got Nazis on our steps

Editorial Page Editor
HERE IS HOW one decent, earnest, sensible South Carolinian responded when I asked what he thought should be done about the Confederate flag flying on the State House grounds:
    “On the flag, it’s such a tough issue. I do think there’s some wisdom in the old adage: ‘The best thing about a compromise is that nobody’s happy.’ …. I’d hate to have a renewed flag debate suck all the political oxygen out of the state. I’m afraid that could happen, and there are many issues that need/require attention. So… my instinct would be not to revisit the issue at this time.”
    To which I impatiently reply, What political oxygen?
    What exactly are we getting accomplished in South Carolina these days? What are we doing to catch up to the rest of the country? We compromise on compromises until we accomplish nothing — witness the DOT “reform” staggering its pitiful way through the General Assembly. If we can’t even reform that, what can we do in this state?
    I’m sick of compromises. You know what the compromise on the flag brought us? Nazis, who believe, because of that flag, that we’re their kind of people.
    I have video on my blog (the address is below; please go check it out) of American Nazis standing on our State House steps and congratulating white South Carolinians for having the “guts” to fly that flag and tell anybody who doesn’t like it, especially those whiny black people, to go to hell. They are very happy with the compromise. Before, the flag was a little hard to see up on the dome. Now, as one speaker says in the video, it’s “in your face,” and the Nazis are loving it.
    One thing you have to hand to those pathetic losers who paraded around in silly costumes “Sieg Heiling” to beat the band on our state’s front porch Saturday: They just go ahead and say things that most South Carolinians won’t say out loud.
    Personally — and I hope you won’t think less of me for saying this — I’ve always kind of hated Nazis. Until this past weekend, that seemed like a fairly pointless emotion, sort of like hating Phoenicians. But it was sincerely felt. Neo-Confederates have their way of living in the past; this was mine. I felt that I had been born too late to fight the one thing that got my blood boiling more than anything.
    And yet there I was Saturday, surrounded by marching, shouting, racist, Jew-hating, uniformed jackbooted Brownshirts — and I had not the slightest urge to shoot any of them, except with my little Canon digital camera. I had a new urge, a powerful need to share what I was seeing with the world — particularly with my fellow South Carolinians, whose insistence upon flying that flag is what brought these guys out of their sad little holes of rejection all over this vast nation. They thought they were finally at home.
    “Look at the flag, guys!” said one as they marched under it, thrilled at having his fantasy come true. He had never expected to see such a thing on public, government-mandated display. He was like a pimple-faced guy who’d never had a date, suddenly presented with the most gorgeous woman he’d every dreamed of, naked and willing. The situation was positively pornographic.
    He had evidently never felt so welcome before. This was obviously a place that loved and valued white people. Oh, springtime for Hitler!
    He was pathetic. They were all pathetic. Needy, too. Their messages of racial hatred and division were interspersed with plaintive entreaties to onlookers (the white gentiles, of course) to join them, accept them, see them as brave and praiseworthy.
    I guess Hitler was sort of pathetic, too, seen in isolation — all those silly, over-the-top gestures at the podium. It was when you saw the thousands of perfect, ordered rows of mad followers willing to do anything he said that he succeeded in terrifying beyond imagination.
    John Taylor Bowles, the Nazi “presidential candidate” who spoke at the rally Saturday, is no Hitler. No oratorical panache at all. He looked like what he was — a pudgy, middle-aged, mild-voiced notary public who just happened to have a few extreme ideas about people who didn’t look like the kind of Master Race that he wanted to see himself as part of. (His Web site describes him as “a devoted fun loving father of three daughters” and claims membership in the AARP.)
    Sure, he’s one little whacko surrounded by two or three dozen “re-enactors” who like to play dress-up. But is he really that alone, that aberrant? How unusual is it today to hear indignant native whites talk about illegal immigrants the way he did?
    Bowles was so ordinary, so banal, so nonthreatening. He had no army of storm troopers before him that I could see. But as far as he was concerned, he did have an army. He was there because he thought he could see two or three million white South Carolinians who were very receptive to a message like his. What else was he to gather from the presence of that flag?
    One of the speakers said they would be back next year, and the year after that. They liked it here. Maybe we could do something to make them feel a little less welcome. Can you think of anything? I can.

See and hear Nazis praise South Carolina for flying the Confederate flag at


88 thoughts on “Column on the Nazis and South Carolina

  1. Wallace

    Your constant fixation with the flag and those guys in the brown shirts is telling. You rail away at those people (and that silly flag) as if they were important to the average citizen of our state. Both are nothing but side shows, and are designed as theatre to keep the masses occupied as the real show is behind closed doors.
    To your credit, the State has “addressed” some of the pertinent issues of our time, but usually in a detached and topical manner. Many of the “scandals” your papers has covered have benefited from the topical manner in which they were covered…by glossing over the people and money that were actually driving the scandal your paper distracts the public from what is really happening and drones endlessly on a more minor facet of the issue.
    At lunch the other day we discussed several of the issues that are important to SC, but that are not being adequately covered. We (all successful businessmen and lawyer types) agreed that a competent newspaper in Columbia would result in jail time for no less than 10 local officials within one year of a commitment to true and accurate coverage. When we turned the subject to state government, we just laughed and no one…not even the one former legislature at the table, would hazard a guess at what true hardworking and unbiased reporting would uncover. The point being, we suffer from the loss of the 4th estate. We need a press that will focus on the REAL and IMPORTANT issues of our time. Instead, we get brown shirts and mini vans and that Scoppe Person droning on about who knows what as no one has ever finished one of her slab like editorials.
    Brad, surely you will disagree with my comments. But anyone remotely “connected” to the power structure in SC will agree with me…the real power in this state is unfettered by your coverage, and their games continue…and the citizens of SC suffer for their activities.

  2. Wallace

    So, after I posted my comments about the State missing the large and important affairs of our time…about how the State regularly misses the big things that are important to SC…I then see the editorial about the proposed driver for the Lt. Governor.
    It seems my point is made, as during budget week, during the week of a 7.3 billion dollar budget. During the week when hundreds of millions of dollars are herded into quiet little corners for the benefit of a few, we get the State droning on about a governmental function that EVERY OTHER Lt. Governor in the country has…a security detail. It is nickels and dimes, unimportant and petty…and obscures the larger and more important issues.
    So, Brad…thanks for making my point. Thanks for missing the big issues. Thanks for helping the few loot the many. Thanks a lot…for keeping the status quo.

  3. GGantt

    When scanning one of today’s editorials, I was reminded of certain “leaders” and their rants of hatred and divisiveness to a crowd. Pathetically shouting, waving, gesticulating, wildly speaking, screaming, raving until someone actually listens to them.
    Nobody’s listening.

  4. bud

    Wallace, you’re right. The State editorial page does devote far too much time to petty issues like the flag and the Lt. Governor’s driver. They have focussed some effort on the epidemic traffic safety problem in our state. I’d like to see much more on that subject and way less on this silly flag thing.

  5. Bill B.

    Brad… one question. Is the Confederate horse dead yet? After a couple weeks of you beating it, I certainly hope so.
    Also, at this point… is anyone listening to your ranting and raving besides the choir?

  6. bud

    Perhaps we can get the ball rolling on the traffic safety issue. This is important because people don’t understand how serious this is. Traffic crashes claim more lost years of life than any other cause in the U.S. (Lost years of life is based on the number of years before a persons 70th birthday. Cancer and heart disease claim more lives but these tend to be older people.) This is especially true in South Carolina. The economic cost of traffic crashes represents, conservatively, about 1/3 of the state’s entire budget each year. South Carolina now ranks third worst in the nation in the number of traffic deaths per hundred million miles of travel. Only two western states, Montana and South Dakota, had worse rates in 2005. After many years as worst in the nation, Mississippi has dropped to fourth. This is due in part to an aggressive and effective campaign to reduce traffic crashes in that poor state. The gap between the SC death rate and the US rate has increased from 28% higher to 52% over the last 35 years. Clearly we are losing ground and people are paying with their lives – over 1,000 in each year since 2003. (2005 was the second worst year in history with 1,093 traffic deaths. 1972, the last year before the oil embargo, was the worst – 1,099).
    This is one serious problem that gets scant attention from the press. The State has had some good stories on this but little follow up. It’s time to focus on this extremely serious issue. If Mississippi can make their roads safer, so can we.

  7. JM

    If the confederate flag is not a big issue for South Carolinians why not removed? Why not replaced it with the American flag? Maybe that way you get the economy moving, instead of inviting Nazis mid life losers to the state.

  8. kc

    Sorry, Wallace, I’m with The State on the Bauer issue.
    The lt. governor of South Carolina does not need a flippin’ “security detail.” Please.

  9. bud

    kc, I think you missed Wallace’s point. It’s not so much whether or not you believe there is a need for a security detail for the Lt. Gov but whether that’s a worthy issue for the editorial page of the state’s largest newspaper. On principal I agree that the flag should come down and the Lt. Gov. does not need a security detail. But these are trivial issues. Let’s focus on what’s killing our people and keeping our economy weak.

  10. bud

    Brad, check your post count for the last 17 threads. None have generated a huge amount of interest. Can we please move on from the Confederate flag issue. This will be my last post on this subject.

  11. JH MacDonald

    I have been observing and studying Columbia and South Carolina for the past 22 months. I am trying to ascertain how real and how well thought out the implementation of the Innovista vision actually is. I am very impressed with the leadership and participation of Dr. Sorensen and the University. I remain neutral at best regarding the abilities of your City and State governments to grasp the magnitude of the vision and the need for hard and forthright Work to bring it about. I am caused to remember the problems that President Carter encountered when he tried to bring his small time amateurs with him to Washington.
    I find it a bit more disturbing to read today that self proclaimed “successful businessmen and lawyer types” in the City fail to understand the significance of the continued presence of the Confederate Flag on your State House grounds. Everybody who chastises you, claims that the flag is irrelevant and you should be focused on more important problems.
    To them I respectfully suggest, Think Harder. Think Broader. In the language of internationally successful businessmen types, “you have not protected your brand”. It is abysmally polluted at this point.
    Let us assume that the Sons of Confederate Veterans are 100% correct as to the values and goals that their ancestors fought for. Let us assume that your friend ME Johnson is correct that “bare foot boys came out of the hills in their bib overalls and fought and died to protect their loved ones and their homes”.
    What would those virtuous young sons of the Confederacy say to their progeny who have allowed their flag and their symbol and their honor to be co opted first by the KKK and now, apparently, by a pudgy little fellow who plays Hitler dress up and is actually running for president as a proud citizen of your state.
    I speculate that the honorable fallen soldiers would want to know why their honorable successors have been sitting on their lazy asses and allowing their flag and symbol and brand to be usurped by not one, but two gangs of dress up boys, without mounting anything resembling an honorable counter offensive.
    If Columbia and South Carolina want to do better for the next generation, the time is long overdue to stop whining about the NAACP, the Football Coach and a newspaper columnist. It isn’t okay. It isn’t forgotten over there on the side. It does not stand for honor, glory and self determination.
    You may be well intentioned, virtuos, genteel, church going guys, but you took your eye off the ball and put your head in the sand for way too long. Now your symbol is known world wide as representing two groups of cowardly dress up boys.
    It is truly a tragedy. If you worked for us, we would kick you in the ass. If your honorable ancestors came back to life, I expect they would shoot you in the ass.
    Please take the flag down and put it in a museum so that once your lovely new buildings are completed, the entrepreneurs and businesses of the world can move into them without having to explain the flag and why it supposedly doesn’t stand for the dress up boys who the world sees waiving it on TV.
    You may, indeed, have other problems to solve in Columbia. This one won’t go away. All it takes is a little intestinal fortitude by your “successful businessmen and lawyer types”. Just do it.

  12. hal

    The proud southerners in this state never got the chance to vote for the removal of the flag from the dome.The reason is the vote wouldn’t have went the way the special interest groups wanted it.
    Compromise is a beautiful thing and any mature adult should know that. A compromise is a mutual acknowledgement to agree to disagree and to recognize both sides have a passionate reason for their views.
    To say our views are those of Nazis, Klansmen or any racist organization is short sighted and uninformed.
    Our ancestors died fighting to protect their familes and homes although most didnt own a single slave. We have a brave, proud and sad heritage….but it is our heritage.
    Remember the Hunley.

  13. Brad Warthen

    My God — where on Earth have you people been? You (Wallace and bud) are profoundly delusional.
    Do you EVER read the newspaper, or do you just go to it when you are told that one of your buttons is being pushed?
    Anybody with even the most elementary, passing acquaintance with our work knows the THE main theme of my writing over the past 16 years has been the profound, fundamental structural dysfunction of government in South Carolina, from the state to the most microscopic local level.
    Situational? SITUATIONAL? What you’re telling me is that you only pay ATTENTION when there’s some lurid immediate scandal which merely serves as a microcosm of what we’ve been writing about all along.
    I love Wallace’s bragging about the leading citizens who sit around and agree with him. What that tells you is that these font of wisdom are as cognitively challenged as he, which tells you a lot more about what’s wrong with South Carolina.
    The irony in his comments would be delicious, if I hadn’t had more than my share of this malevolent nonsense years and years My God — where on Earth have you people been? You (Wallace and bud) are profoundly delusional.
    continued in a moment…

  14. Brad Warthen

    … my PDA had reached capacity.
    Anyway, the wildest thing in Wallace’s rant was his complaint that we informed him, however briefly about the latest absurdity involving the least significant of the state’s constitutional officers — the part-time Gov Lite (and for you Andre fans out there, that’s what I’ve been calling it for about 20 years) — when the budget is being discussed in the Senate.
    Yeah, I know. That’s why our LEAD editorial today was about the budget — the Senate version of which spends even more one-time money on recurring needs than the House does.
    What is it with you people — why is it that after scores, hundreds of editorials, day after day, about spending, tax reform, government restructuring, traffic safety, DUI, education, and all the issues that WE deem to be of utmost importance in this state, if we DARE to mention something that irritates YOU, you announce to the world that that is all we write about, and we should try writing about something important for a change?
    As for you being tired of the stupid Confederate flag — SO AM I. And after only writing about it three or four times in the last seven years before 11 days ago, I’ve had it.
    I believe that only a state sane and mature enough to put that thing away has ANY chance of addressing all the other profound issues that WE care about, but that the folks at our State House blow off.
    You know what the easiest thing to do about the flag is — stop paying a state employee to raise it every damn’ morning. Just don’t do it tomorrow, or ever again. NOT flying it is a lot easier, and cheaper, than flying it. And once you do that, I won’t have to pause in all the other stuff I do to write about it.
    I didn’t bring the Nazis to the State House. The flag did. Figure it out.

  15. Trajan

    Relax, Mr. Warthen. Everything’s gonna be allright.
    Personally, I would have liked to have seen a bit more coverage of the protesters located outside of the march last Saturday. Not much, some, but not much, mention of the vile language and threats hurled by those societal castoffs.
    I guarantee you there’s more of a story in that group as there is in a bunch of mis-guided malcontents with little, if any, real audience or power to affect change.
    At least the story would have been interesting, as opposed to merely predictable.
    Perhaps you’re giving the NSM and their ilk a bit too much credit here.

  16. Brad Warthen

    Actually, I would say both groups can be described as having “little, if any, real audience or power to affect change.” (And the other group didn’t have a PA system, so I couldn’t hear them; more of a buzz in the background). But I suppose people do what they can to express themselves.
    One more little thing, while I have a few minutes’ access to a desktop in a waiting room in Savannah:
    bud, don’t worry about my traffic since I launched the latest flag effort. My page views have been running at near-record levels, slighttly exceeded only during the week of the state primaries last year.
    Your misperception, in this instance, arises from placing importance on numbers of comments. Remember, a couple of weeks back — just a day or two before the first of the flag posts — I banned Lee, our second UnPerson. His departure, and the real, final departure of the other one (after I stopped deleting them individually, and just barred the door) brought down the partisan frenzy here, and I believe caused some of the other less constructive posters to post less often. That’s a GOOD thing. I am much more pleased with fewer, more relevant posts.

  17. Moderate Guy

    You apparently prefer to stir up dust devils of racial and regional division rather than face the looting of the treasury by a corrupt legislature, which considers you crusading journalists to be impotent to challenge them.
    JH McDonald pointed some of that out, as have all the other posters here other than the one-timers on the flag and Nazis (two separate non-issues, despite your efforts to link them).
    Mr. McDonald has the mistaken impression that modern Southerners are to blame for “allowing KKK and Nazis” to misappropriate some symbols of our forefathers’ fight against the Nortern industrialists. Actually, it was liberal Yankee judges who ruled that we could not stop this misuse, because the KKK and Nazis are protected in their hijacking of culture.
    As for Innoventure, that would be a good thread topic, but I doubt Dr. Sorensen, Mayor Coble or any other supporters could answer any detailed questions on their nebulous vision. As long as lots of taxpayer money is being spread around to the usual suspects, the rest of us be damned.

  18. Doug Ross

    > I am much more pleased with fewer, more
    >relevant posts.
    Ban a few more and you’ll achieve nirvana… the comment-less blog.

  19. Bill B.

    JH MacDonald… all that talk and drivel only to hide your main point of your post, which is your “take it down” opinion about the flag. You must draft bills for the SC legislature.

  20. Bill B.

    Brad… by “I’ve had it”, do you mean you’re quitting your job and moving to someplace with views like New Hampshire, Vermont or the Republic of Kalifornia? Maybe you’re committing to the fact that you will not bring this subject up for discussion again. I won’t hold my breath.
    Fine, stop paying a state employee to raise it. I’ll bet you a dollar that there will be people volunteering to raise it for free every morning. BTW – I don’t think it’s put up every morning… kinda the reason why the monument and flag have lights around them.
    Now go blow your nose, wipe those tears away and go find someone to give you a hug. You started it, now it’s time for you to take your ball and go home after finding out that everyone here doesn’t want to play by your rules.

  21. Richard M. Freeman

    In your perverted thoughts i am certain you feel my ancestors and their flag brought those nut cases here.
    You probably also feel that anything bad which happens to this state is derived from the flying of the battle flag.
    I dont mind saying I am certain you are no Nazi but your thinking is as demented as theirs.
    If I had a choice of either you or them leaving this State and never returning. I really don’t know which I would choose to leave.

  22. JH MacDonald

    Moderate Guy,
    I have no axe to grind with you. I do not know you. My analysis of this Columbia flag quagmire makes me sad over lost opportunity, rather than angry.
    I do not want to be condescending and I do not have all of the answers. I become more confused as I read more of the rhetoric. Exactly what culture and heritage are you trying to preserve? I have no interest or desire to denigrate the valor and courage of any person who fought for honorable reasons in the Civil War, especially those who exerted their best efforts under those tragic conditions to conduct themselves with some semblance of dignity and humanity.
    Do you really need to argue that the Confederate soldiers had some sort of monopoly on those virtues? The War is long over. No one really cares to tarnish the reputation of your ancestors. Why do we still see this silly insistence on referring to Northern Industrialists and Liberal Yankee Judges?
    We are one country and have been for a long time. We are all trying to do the best for ourselves and for our kids. The Civil War is over, Opy of Mayberry is over, Leave it to Beaver is over.
    Your ancestors fought valiantly, they lost. Their ancestors were confused or inattentive and they lost control of The Flag to not one, but two groups of dress up boys. Now you blame Liberal Yankee Judges for that loss.
    You not only lost the War, but because you are perpetually consumed by the blame game toward Northern Industrialists, Abraham Lincoln, General Sherman, the NAACP, Coach Spurrier and this blog host you continue to miss the forest for the trees.
    You are a great and genteel people with an honorable heritage. Your great and honorable ancestors are not inviting you to live in the 1860’s. They do not want you to relive their lives. They want you and your children to live new and honorable lives of your own.
    If the Confederate Veterans that you ask us to remember as honorable men were truly that, they deserved to see their ancestors smack those dress up boys in the chops and take their Flag back. All they saw from Heaven was a lot of blaming and a lack of intestinal fortitude.
    It’s time to create some better, prouder memories for the children of this generation of honorable southern men. Stop looking for scapegoats. Find a new flag and for God’s sake rally around it and protect it this time.

  23. Ready to Hurl

    To label conter-protesters to neo-NAZIs as “societal castoffs” and “mis-guided malcontents” surely says more about yourself than the protesters.
    While most people were either busy working or just didn’t want to witness the offensive trash that the rebel flag brings to the SC Statehouse, at least a few people personally attempted make the neo-NAZIs feel unwelcome.
    Would it have made you feel better if the Klan and the League of the South had staged a welcome party? Now, THERE you’d have a collection of societal castoffs and malcontents.
    Any epithets, scatalogical comments or insults communicated by the counter-protesters were certainly less vile than ideas that the neo-NAZIs represented and voiced.
    As much as you’d like to pretend otherwise, the neo-NAZI idiots recognize the modern symbolism of the rebel flag– and, it’s not a symbol of poor, brave dirt farmers protecting their homes.

  24. Doug Ross

    > THE main theme of my writing over the
    >past 16 years has been the profound,
    >fundamental structural dysfunction of
    >government in South Carolina, from the
    >state to the most microscopic local level.
    How much improvement have you seen in the dysfunction over the past 16 years? I’ve been here 17 years and don’t see any real improvement. The state and local government is still full of people with one primary agenda – using influence to gain power and money.
    As a product of the Watergate generation, I grew up thinking that newspapers had the power to influence real change. The State’s editorial position over the years has been tilted more toward supporting the status quo and championing government as the solution to all problems. The candidates for office that The State endorses never vary from the mainstream
    political types who have created the system you claim is so dysfunctional.
    The endorsement of Hugh Weathers for Ag. Commissioner over Emile DeFelice last fall was a perfect example of The State’s complicity in maintaining the status quo.
    The biggest claim to fame The State editorial board can claim is suppressing any type of voucher program from being enacted to possibly change the way education is delivered in a state that is typically viewed as at the bottom of any ranking… and then hiding in a cave when Jim Rex’s plan is announced and turns out to be nothing but another piece of political propaganda. Brad has yet to give us any analysis of the merits of Rex’s bold vision… and the silence speaks volumes.
    Wallace does make a very good point… The State has the means to influence the way politics works in South Carolina. But it would require getting off the soapbox and doing some real work on identifying solutions as well as exposing the people who make up the system you claim is so dysfunctional. Name names… use your sources to uncover the corruption… shine the light on the offenders, not the offense.
    Stop the petty jealousy you have of Andre Bauer – he ain’t the problem.

  25. Arnold

    Hey Brad,
    Which flag are you talking about?? I see more US flags in the photo than Confederate.
    Surely one can’t blame the US flag–but isn’t it convenient to blame the Confederate flag for all social ills and a coach’s failure to have winning season.

  26. JH MacDonald

    Bill B
    I apologize for boring you with my background remarks as to why I feel the Flag should be removed from the State House grounds and placed in a museum with an appropriate articulation of its originally intended symbolism.
    I believe that I did also make the point that somebody has allowed the cherished symbol of their venerable ancestors to be 100% usurped by not one, but two groups of dress up boys. I guess they were too busy blaming others to do anything effective about it.
    Is that straight forward enough for you?

  27. Marc Posner

    This whole flag debate is just another way of proving that a sizeable percentage of the South Carolina citizenry resides in a parallel universe. We live in in a state whose leadership appears to take pride in our being last, or near last, in so many items that would help improve the lives of our citizens. We debate about lowering the Confederate flag, something that most states find laughable, or perhaps pathetic. We have so many uninsured people, children at risk, people living below the poverty line, etc., etc., and on it goes. So what does our governor do–he pushes to lower income taxes while not even considering an increase of the cigarette tax! We have leadership that is focused on championing items that lack critical substance; we have a citizenry that is focused on a flag that lacks credibility. Why should we lower the flag? We are well on our way to having an economy that rivals a third world country. Come on folks get your head (and your other body parts) out of the past and consider that we are already 2/3rds of the way into the first decade of the 21st century. An unlawful insurrection that occurred in the middle of the 19th century is no longer pertinent to the pressing needs of our state today. None of the states of the Confederacy were part of a sovereign nation. A civil war by definition is a war fought between opposing groups within a single country. The people who supported the southern insurrection lost! Now let’s get on with it. Take the flag down and get concerned about education, poverty, bringing 21st century industry to our state and providing equal opportunities for all the citizens of South Carolina.

  28. Michael Gass

    First, let me announce to the readers that I got to sit down with Mr. Haitz, Mr. Lett, and Mr. Warthen yesterday and actually have a face to face talk with them regarding my own concerns. I thank them for that opportunity. I also thank them for the accessibility they provide, because truly, they didn’t have to. Now, I’m going to respond to Mr. Warthen directly concerning a statement he made in his above reply:
    “What is it with you people — why is it that after scores, hundreds of editorials, day after day, about spending, tax reform, government restructuring, traffic safety, DUI, education, and all the issues that WE deem to be of utmost importance in this state, if we DARE to mention something that irritates YOU, you announce to the world that that is all we write about, and we should try writing about something important for a change?”
    Mr. Warthen… I tried to answer this very statement yesterday. Do you run editorials about the budget? Sure you do. I’ve read your budget editorial. Now, let me try to explain “what is wrong with us”, and, what is wrong (in MY unjournalistic opinion) with the editorial.
    Most of us have lived in SC for many many years. Nothing changes. EVER. The schools. The taxes. The low industry. Unemployment. Nothing. We get the same election after election, and frankly, we are fed up with the status quo.
    Now, yes, you did a budget editorial. In it, words like “our legislators”, “senators” and “lawmakers”. What you DON’T do is NAME THE NAMES. I believe THAT is what Wallace was trying to say in his above post.
    So what if “lawmakers” are getting the job done. So what. Come election time, it is the OTHER lawmakers who were the problem, not THEM. So what if senators won’t do the job; it was the OTHER senators. But, NAME THE NAMES of WHO is stalling, of WHO is not doing their jobs, gut them in print daily for being useless… and come election time, suddenly THEY were the problem, not that OTHER guy.
    Writing about how our budget process failed is but A step. Tell us WHO, Mr. Warthen. WHO is behind it. Not in general terms, because we SEE the results of GENERAL already… and we have seen it, for me, going on two decades. GENERAL doesn’t cut it. NAME senators who can’t get it done. NAME the representatives who are getting the big money. Point the finger and go YOU are the problem, don’t just say “well, schools are still bad”… because that leaves the politicians the “out” of “it wasn’t ME, it was the OTHER guys”, and they have used it year after year.
    Am I “delusional” Mr. Warthen? No. At no time in your budget editorial did you EVER, not ONCE, point a finger and say “YOU ARE THE PROBLEM Sen. so-and-so”. No. I am not delusional. I can read. I can see, as can the rest of SC, that simply stating “this is a problem” isn’t enough, hasn’t been enough, and will not be enough.
    In our meeting, the question was continually put, “what do you want”, and I have tried to answer that in distinct, precise, terms.
    1) Name the names instead of “generalities”
    2) Actively attack the lies, spin, and propaganda and state WHY it is a lie, spin or propaganda (see the DoJ editorial I mentioned vs this budget editorial)
    3) If you are going to focus on SC, then do so… but dig into the facts, the why, the how, and present that to us readers in clear terms.
    I cannot, I believe, get any more specific on answering “what do you want” any clearer, Mr. Warthen… and it seems I am not alone.

  29. Doug Ross

    You’ve just hit another nail on the head.
    The reality is that the The State is nothing more than a for-profit entity that must align its editorial output in a way that will (hopefully) maximize readership and ad revenue. They are not tasked with solving problems, only with pumping out enough boilerplate rhetoric to fill 1/2 a page of newsprint a day. I’m sure Brad knows plenty of “inside info” that would be helpful in exposing the miscreants in the local government… but go back and read his posts about Grady Patterson to see how long it took him to even hint that Grady’s better days may have been back in the 1990’s. Maybe Brad will fall back on his “civility” excuse to justify his lack of candor on that topic.
    But it’s not just Brad’s fault. The electorate of South Carolina is largely uninformed and votes mainly on name recognition alone. You think a state that would send Strom Thurmond to Washington for his last term is interested in progress?

  30. Michael Gass

    Mr. Posner,
    I agree 100% with your sentiments. The problem, as I see it, is that instead of trying to actually effect real change, whenever the citizenry gets restless, issues like abortion, gay marriage, the confederate flag, and the bible being taught in our public schools are trotted out by the state house.
    The Dept. of Transportation squandered $50 million dollars (and yes, I have repeatedly given Cindi Scoppe kudo’s for her work on it). The “reform” is all but dead. But hey, women may have to view a sonogram before getting an abortion!
    School vouchers so parents can get “assistance” to send their kids to private school? Sure, it sounds good. That is, until you realize that the vast majority of “private schools” in SC are religious schools. Of course, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is that this in no way fixes the PUBLIC schools! It just PAYS people to send their kids to a RELIGIOUS school. Good job in fixing the failing education system.
    The removal of the confederate flag is an issue I think needs to be addressed. But the stop-gap measures have to cease. This endless “debate” needs to be settled once and for all. Stop-gap measures that don’t even address the core problems in SC have to end. Legislators who think fixing the public schools by paying people to send their kids to a private religious school need to eviscerated in print daily until the public schools are fixed.
    I don’t like nazi’s, and I don’t like that they think SC is “the place for them”, or that because I live here, I am “like them”.
    But the “tip toeing” has to stop before anything changes. The “quick, get the next hot-button issue ready” mentality has to change.

  31. Hal

    The flag flies at a “memorial” to the confederate soldier.After a decades long battle between argument and debate this compromise was hammered out in detail all the way from the flag being behind and lower than the monument to the little fence that surrounds the bottom of the pole.
    Arguments like yours have been heard over and over through the years as have our heartfelt loyalty to our heritage and our hopes retain a token of dignity for our fallen ancestors. It’s not that hard to understand.
    The flag issue was settled but some people just can’t let go….and now that little flag is responsible for all the ills of SC?? That is amazing….go peddle that stuff somewhere else.

  32. Michael Gass

    I don’t believe the flag is “behind all the ills” in SC. No, the legislators are behind the ills.
    But, as I stated in another of Mr. Warthen’s blogs, the issue of slavery vs the flag in SC isn’t going to go away until the flag is removed “places of honor” in public and put into the museum where it belongs.
    The Republican from Virginia, Hargrove, told blacks to “get over slavery”. Yet, your own words: “as have our heartfelt loyalty to our heritage and our hopes retain a token of dignity for our fallen ancestors.” Don’t blacks have “heritage”? Shouldn’t they retain the “dignity” of their “ancestors”? People cannot have their cake and eat it too.
    I do agree with Mr. Posner that SC is mired in a mentality that is, at best, 19th century, and if many in SC had their way, the state would be back to the 18th century. This is PART of the reason that we have ills in our state, simply BECAUSE, as I state above, instead of working on our schools, taxes, budget reform, government reform, we get abortion, gay marriage, etc etc.
    I’m a straight man who is married to a wonderful woman. I don’t CARE if two men, or two women, get married. Let them. They too can go through divorce!
    But, the quality of education my child receives DOES affect me. Whether or not there will be a job in SC for me or her DOES affect us.
    We get wedge issues. Not change. We get ancient thinking, not forward-thinking. We get “hang onto the past” instead of “seize the future”.

  33. Marc Posner

    Your “ancestors” fought for a way of life that considered the then majority of the South Carolina population to be only 3/5th human. Their “noble cause” did not have legitimacy. The leadership of the old south owned their fellow human beings, held them against their will in indentured servitude. They did not want that way of life to change. Your fallen “ancestors” were part of an army that fought for the same ideals as the Third Reich. That cause has no dignity. It took over 100 years after our civil war for your ancestors to finally have to be forced into recognizing that all people living in South Carolina are equal.
    Go peddle the Confederate flag to its rightful place; to the dustbin of history.

  34. Michael Gass

    Mr. Posner,
    In fairness, it wasn’t “just” southerners who owned slaves; northerners owned slaves too. In fact, the Proclamation of Emancipation didn’t free ALL slaves, just the slaves in states that were in rebellion.
    Also, when the south began talking about succession, the reason was primarily that the northern government was trying to impose more taxation upon the southern states, as it was the south that had the booming economy (yes, on the backs of slaves).
    Was INTRODUCED as an issue between the northern government and southern states primarily to keep foreign powers (ie, France, Spain, England) from allying with the south. The slavery issue was trumpeted by the north so loudly that many today think that was the only reason for the civil war.

  35. Moderate Guy

    Mr. MacDonald,
    If you “don’t want to be condescending”, stop using terms like “Mayberry” and tell us that we lost, get over it, move on.
    The major issues of that war were far more expansive than slavery. Not only was the South defeated, but states rights and federalism were defeated. The war was about unbridled immigration being used to drive the Indians off their lands and create new states to outvote the South, especially the original colonies, in order to create an tariff system which protected Northern factory owners at the expense of Southern agriculture. When the South began to build its own textile mills and steel foundaries, especially some manned by slave labor, the North provoked a war.
    So this war is not over, because all real Americans, North and South, East and West, who want to see a the federal government reduced to its lawful size, are bound together in a struggle with the international socialists who took control with the non-majority election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

  36. Ronnie Abrams

    Mr. Warthen.. Mr. Posner, et. al.
    Please answer one question for me. If you succeed in taking down the battle flag, will you then ask that the soldiers monument be moved next? I mean it is offensive to some black people and to some white people or to anybody who wants us to “Get Over” this Confederacy thingy!
    After all it too has a battle flag engraved on it right there on one side.
    Inquiring minds want to know!
    PS Mr. Posner.
    Please check your history book on the 3/5 rule. It was done by the NORTH , not the South as a means of keeping the Southern population from outnumbering the North for Congressional representation based on population… NOT to demaean slaves as you suggest.
    PPS. Mr. Gass
    Things DO change in SC
    Loss of jobs to GLOBAL conspiracies.
    Increase in illegal immigration.
    Loss of buying power due to FEDERAL monetary
    Illegal wars fought with SC guard troops
    Last.. but not least.. lest we forget.
    NO more headlines on Andre Bauer’s bad behavior

  37. Hal

    Your last response to Mr.Posner is exactly why I look at this as not a slavery vs the flag issue from my view. I say it was taken from a place of honor (from the dome) and placed at a memorial that was already there as part as a compromise.A compromise acknowledging there is a substantial amount of South Carolinians who are not proud of the flag because they believe it stands for slavery, but recognize it as a symbol of their heritage knowing the complexities involved in the “Civil War” and what their ancestors did and didn’t fight for.
    The frustration i feel when this subject is batted around is the lack of real historical knowledge some people have about what the war was actually about.I see you do have a working knowledge of how this part of history took place and i appreciate your view.

  38. kc

    Actually, it was liberal Yankee judges who ruled that we could not stop this misuse, because the KKK and Nazis are protected in their hijacking of culture.
    LOL! Is “Moderate Guy” a parody troll?
    If so, kudos. If not, well . . . yikes.

  39. JH MacDonald

    Moderate Guy
    Sir, I now question the veracity of your handle.
    But, for purposes of this discussion I will accept your version of the causes and results of the Civil War.
    Now tell me in understandable verbiage what you mean by: “this war is not over” ; and, all real Americans are engaged in a struggle with the international socialists who took control in 1860.
    While I wait for your cogent reply, I will repeat my point. Assuming the very best of intentions on the part of the gentlemen who fought in the Confederate Army and assuming that the Battle Flag was the symbol of those best of intentions, It should still be removed from the State house and placed in a Museum.
    Perhaps not you, and perhaps not intentionally, but somebody failed to live up to the standards and memory of those fallen soldiers. Their flag has been usurped in the eyes of the country and in the eyes of the world. It started with the KKK and it was allowed to happen and now it continues with the little Nazi.
    The horse long ago left the barn and your real Americans have been utterly incapable of reclaiming ownership and control of that flag. I take no pleasure in that turn of events. It sickens me. I wish no ill will toward the SCV or toward the DAR or toward you, for that matter.
    You may be prepared to argue for another 10 years that Everyone misinterprets the symbolism of the battle flag and that real Americans need to continue the struggle against international socialism. You may actually think that that honors your ancestors. For the sake of your children and my children, I implore you to think harder.
    If you want to fight the honorable fight of the southern patriots, get the SCV and go to that that little store in Laurens and reclaim your honor and your flag from the freaks who stole it from you.
    In the mean time, unite and energize your City and move into the 21st Century. We need your help in Columbia.

  40. Michael Gass

    Believe me, I am the FIRST to correct people when they say that the civil war was all about slavery and how the war freed all slaves.
    That is why, to me, the issue isn’t about the flag vs slavery as much as the hypocrisy in the rhetoric and that it is a part of history that is over and done with.
    We (as whites, regardless of party – though, Republicans are the worst offenders) cannot tell blacks “get over slavery”, while southerners just refuse to get over “flying a flag”. Sorry, I’m not a hypocrite.
    The south (including Alabama, Georgia, etc), just cannot “come into the now”. Maybe it is religious beliefs, maybe it’s because the economy is so poor now whereas during slavery (pre-civil war) many white plantation owners were rich, who knows… but, we can’t stagnate in old history.

  41. Brad Warthen

    Once again, I missed a chance to make a few bucks — taking bets on how long it would that some flag defender to say “they had American flags, too,” as though that meant something.
    Let me point out the obvious to you, Arnold: — They were here because you can find American flags in any state in the union, but you have to come here for the Confederate one.
    — They were not “Sieg Heiling” toward the American flags, but toward the monument.
    — They didn’t talk about how great it was that South Carolina flies the U.S. flag in the face of critics; it was the Confederate flag that drew their warm admiration. And the reason they like it so much is BECAUSE THEY’RE NAZIS.
    I spoke disparagingly of the Nazis. I should say what’s good about them: It’s refreshing to have some flag worshipers state frankly why they love it so much — it bugs the hell out of black people. Would that more people were so honest.
    And what am I sick of? I’m sick of trying to have rational discussions about obvious problems, and too few people want to get to the “rational discussion” part. They’re too busy challenging reality. They’re either grossly misrepresenting what’s been written (Michael with his remark that we wrote “a” budget editorial; as I suggested yesterday, try reading the paper sometime); Wallace and bud’s completely distorted perceptions of the ratio of content in the state about the flag or Bauer compared to “serious” issues…
    It just gets absolutely ridiculous.
    But I’m rewarded with the eventual sensible observations. Marc, too, notices that “alternative reality” is our problem. Yep. Each and every person asserting his own personal version of reality. (Some have several versions each — “Wallace” has used no fewer than four aliases on the blog in the past month.)
    If we can’t even see the same facts, debating solutions is hopeless.

  42. Wallace

    It is easy to tell when a comment hits Brad a bit close to the heart…he trots out the straw men. Such as intimating I said the state never wrote about problems of the state, etc. Of course, it is a silly little straw man…and not worth debating, but nonetheless it is a “tell” that betrays Brad’s thinking, and one worth noting
    So instead of calling me names, perhaps you could speak to my points…like what changes in the system have been made pursuant to your “campaigns”. I can think of nothing currently, and only a few that are tangentially involved with your editorials or reporting. Mainly, the State is engaging in the after the fact writing of stories that are broken by others.
    My friends (the challenged ones Brad insulted seemingly just for sport) are knowledgeable and affable guys that float around town trying to scratch out a living and have a little fun. I suspect that these “challenged” men could easily outpace your complete reporting staff with VERIFABLE knowledge about the who and the what that are behind the latest outrages at city hall or the capital …and they would be happy to speak with your staff about these issues. But as we all agree, there is no TRUE interest above the occasional mini-van scandal that interest you folk. Just as you missed the “why DOT” was used to scam the budgetary system, and why the Governor vetoed the entire last budget, you would miss the stories current to this budget cycle. So as you report the “end” of the story…you miss the who and most importantly…they why.
    So for now the pubic is entertained by Nazi’s and flags and green bean museums…and the real scandals go untouched. The masses are occupied, the status quo goes unchanged…and the morally superior continue feeling….well, morally superior.
    Of course the true shame is that the 7.3 billion dollars spent during this cycle will do little to change the poor state of our affairs. But it will feed a widely inefficient and inept State government, and keep a lot of insiders in “green beans” for a long time to come.

  43. Wallace

    Did you even read my posting? If so, slow down big boy, and read them again…I think you will see that I referred to your editorials about state government several times…so chill, my buddy. All is gonna be ok.
    Don’t let these Nazi’s and Johnny Rebs get to you…

  44. Michael Gass

    Mr. Warthen,
    Grossly misrepresenting? I am? Well, then, maybe you can answer these simple questions:
    1) Did you, or did you not, name the name of ANY SC state legislator in your budget editorial as being part of the problem?
    2) Did you, or did you not, use “general” terms in that editorial laying the problem on everyone?
    Answer these two simple questions, sir, and then let us speak…

  45. Randy E

    Are we looking to have one thread posted for each Nazi that showed up at their “national rally”? If so, we don’t have far to go.
    What next, “anti-iceberg” threads posted by Yon Yonson?

  46. Michael Gass

    Randy E,
    Don’t worry, Mr. Bandy has already told us in his article `Democrat’s take stage in the reddest of red states` that SC is a red state, has been a red state, that Republicans run this state, and that the Democrat’s should just enjoy the scenery while they are here because SC hasn’t voted for a Democratic President for a long time.
    Of course, little things like only 40-50% of South Carolinian’s still supporting the war in Iraq would have little to do whether the state voted Democrat or Republican in 2008. Not like South Carolina isn’t a huge military state with lots of veterans or anything. Or that over the course of the next 21 months or so, hundreds, if not thousands more troops could be dead.

  47. Ronald Abrams

    Mr. Warthen
    I’m still waiting on your answer,sir.
    Do you think once this flag is down that the soldier’s monument should go , too?

  48. Karen McLeod

    I keep hearing (especially from a certain senator) that the confederate flag is all about heritage, about fighting for one’s homeland, about freedom, about state’s rights etc., yada, yada. If people believe this, where were they when the KKK was dragging that flag through the moral mud when they used it to rally their forces around. I did not see or hear of anyone insisting that they stop using that flag because it did not stand for racist, cowardly, vicious behavior, but rather for the above mentioned virtues. If anyone wants me to believe that those virtues are what that flag stands for, then I want some evidence that they tried to stop the racists from using it. If it must fly on state grounds, which I’d prefer it did not, let if fly next to Pitchfork Ben Tillman. It’s his ethics that are mostly associated with it.

  49. Moderate Guy

    Mr. MacDonald, if you agree that the flags of the Confederacy, and the United States, have been usurped by the KKK and neo-Nazis, then why do you want to cave into them?
    The ones clamoring to tear up the compromise consist of:
    * black racists stirring up their followers and donors to distract from the corruption of their leaders and the fact that they do nothing to advance blacks. Prosperous blacks realize they made by hard work, and don’t need to live in the past as an excuse for failure.
    * whites who want to make themselves important, but lack the courage to face real issues of crime, government waste, illegal aliens, bankrupt pension plans, bankrupt Social Security and state retirement systems, etc.
    * white who want to be perceived as liberals and feel good about themselves
    * consumers and merchants who don’t care about anything but the Almighty Dollar.
    This isn’t just Southern culture that is being attacked. This is a part of a planned destruction of Western culture that predates the Bolsheviks, but lives after them in the Marxism of academia. Most people are just too ignorant of history to have a clue what is at stake, and what dupes they are.

  50. Moderate Guy

    Miss McLeod, how would you like real Americans to stop the Nazis and KKK from abusing the flags of the Confederacy and USA?
    Progressive judges have declared it is their right, although it involves no speech, only “expression”, which is not found in the Constitution.
    When you create protection for misbehavior by anti-American socialists like (selective) war protestors and radical “environmentalists”, expect other National Socialists to take advantage of it.
    So what would you suggest? Attack the Nazis with an armed mob? Civilized Americans have to put up with all these hate groups, but we don’t have to be ignorant about their history and their enablers.

  51. Michael Gass

    Moderate Guy,
    I guess you would put me into the * white who want to be perceived as liberals and feel good about themselves * category as none other apply?
    I voted Reagan twice, Bush Sr. his first term, and Bush Jr. his first term (I’m sorry for that vote). I’m NOW a “liberal”???? Talk about spin, smear, and slime.
    How about another category:
    – Those who just acknowledge right from wrong

  52. kc

    Believe me, I am the FIRST to correct people when they say that the civil war was all about slavery
    It was the secession that was all about slavery. Or mostly about it, as no one but the most dedicated revisionists can deny.

  53. Michael Gass

    The secession papers INCLUDED slavery, because by the time they were drafted, that was the “drumbeat” coming from the north (see my above post).
    I am not saying that slavery was not a PART of it, but it didn’t START about slavery.

  54. kc

    My friends (the challenged ones Brad insulted seemingly just for sport) are knowledgeable and affable guys that float around town trying to scratch out a living and have a little fun.
    The floaters, if you will.

  55. jc

    “How unusual is it today to hear indignant native whites talk about illegal immigrants the way he did?”
    What about indignant native blacks? What about indignant native Hispanics?
    I guess Mr. Warthen only gets offended when white people say stupid things.

  56. kc

    The secession papers INCLUDED slavery,
    To say the least. Let’s look at Mississippi, shall we:
    A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.
    In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.
    Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.
    I think that’s pretty clear.

  57. Michael Gass

    oh come now…
    The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade. Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects. Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public Treasury under the name of postal deficiency. The manufacturing interests entered into the same struggle early, and has clamored steadily for Government bounties and special favors. This interest was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle non-slave-holding States. Wielding these great States it held great power and influence, and its demands were in full proportion to its power. The manufacturers and miners wisely based their demands upon special facts and reasons rather than upon general principles, and thereby mollified much of the opposition of the opposing interest. They pleaded in their favor the infancy of their business in this country, the scarcity of labor and capital, the hostile legislation of other countries toward them, the great necessity of their fabrics in the time of war, and the necessity of high duties to pay the debt incurred in our war for independence. These reasons prevailed, and they received for many years enormous bounties by the general acquiescence of the whole country.
    I conceded that slavery was a PART… but… do not dismiss the obvious evidence…

  58. Ready to Hurl

    kc, our distinguished neo-confeds are much too sophisticated scholars to believe the words of the people who started the war about their reasons.

  59. JH MacDonald

    Moderate Guy
    I note that you have once again responded to me and to Karen McLeod on a related thread. The Internet and the Blog world are great for the exchange of ideas and criticisms. We get to weigh the thoughts of Brad, Wallace, kc and others. We agree, we disagree and hopefully, we think.
    Part of this deal is that YOU get to say whatever YOU want to. BUT that does not mean that you get to MISSTATE what I say.
    My premise is very simple and it has absolutely nothing to do with Bolsheviks or the alleged Marxism of academia.
    I respectfully suggest that the heirs of the Confederacy lost control of their flag, long ago and irremedially to the KKK and the Nazis. I am not pleased about that in the least.
    I do not find anything in any of my posts that could logically lead to you saying that I include the US flag in that usurpation, nor do I see anything that could be interpretted as favoring a caving in to either group, as you suggest in your reply posting to me.
    The City and the State are being hindered in their economic advancement by the Perception of people and businesses and finacial investors who look at your State House memorial and look at the KKK and look at the pictures of the little Nazi last weekend and connect the dots.
    Are we deficient in our history of the Civil War, of Bolsheviks, of the Marxism of academia, of the ill motives of some NAACP members, of liberal whites, of liberal Yankee judges and the various others that you blame? Maybe we are. The seriousness with which we take our finacial investments would certainly militate to the contrary, but that is not the point.
    The flag advocates lost control of their branding symbol, they tried a half assed compromise and your City and your State are on the outside looking in as a result. Harsh but true. You can Blog from here to kingdom come, but you will not change that reality.
    If you want to maintain this stupid “us against the world mentality”, that is your choice as free and proud citizens of South Carolina. Continue to blame the yankees and the Bolsheviks and the academics and Coach Spurrier and the NAACP because EVERYBODY ELSE is being duped and EVERYBODY ELSE is too ignorant to understand the wisdom of flying a misunderstood historic symbol on your Stae House grounds that causes the outside world to STOP and question the wisdom of bringing their Brands into your arena.
    Lastly, Moderate Guy, I am not “clamoring to tear up the compromise”. I am telling you flat out that the compromise is tearing you up. The history of the South is replete with great orators. Find one (or two) go to the Legislature and convince them that THEY should champion putting the Confederate Flag in its own newly funded special wing of your Museum. Entice the Hunley guy, who everyone is afraid of, to back the deal. Put him in charge of the Museum and the Falg.
    The money spent on the Museum will be a drop in the bucket compared to the money that flows into Columbia if Innovista works and the world stops looking at SC like a class of special children.
    Money is by no means everything, but trust me, Moderate Guy, if it starts to flow in, your public schools will benefit and future residents will not be thinking that the Bolsheviks and the Marxists and academics are determining where investment flows and how ideas flow in this century.
    Stop talking like a victim of history and make some history.

  60. Randy

    Ok now…..who paid those Nazi guys to show up? They looked kind of silly saluting a flag that has nothing to do with them. Nice try guys but i’m not falling for it.
    People in the south are some of the best people in the world. We are different and stereotyped all over this great country as dumb and uneducated.
    We are a proud people and we don’t take our heritage lightly. We who know the history don’t think we should simply bow our heads in disgrace just because some people are ignorant and intentionally mislead on the facts.
    Lets just have a statewide vote. Nobody even talks about that anymore. why? If the vote came in favor of allowing this memorial to stay does that mean all that voted for are racists?
    Go to Charleston, the jewel of the south. Charleston is rich with history and just plain rich. Tourism all year long these days … people love Charleston…Charleston SC.

  61. Moderate Guy

    Mr. MacDonald –
    I don’t know where to start with people like you, well meaning folk who just don’t seem to know much history, and don’t want to be bothered with resisting the ruffians, whether they be Nazis, neo-Nazis, Bosheviks, Marxists on campus with big 401-k accounts, or Al Qaeda.
    Whether you are aware or not, or care or not, these folks are out there, dedicated to destroying you and your comfortable life right along with Southern heritage and the rest of Western civilization.
    The same bad court rulings which permit anti-Americans to desecrate the American flag also permit the neo-Nazis to desecrate the Confederate flags, and even the Gamecock flag.
    It is certainly a diversion from more serious issues, but I happen to believe in not yielding one inch to the barbarians.
    You have a steep hill to climb, to undo the misinformation, disinformation, and lack of information you received in school and every day since from the establishment media.

  62. bud

    Randy, Charleston is not what it used to be. It’s become overrun with too many tourists and it’s lost much of it’s charm. Too bad. I remember when it had a much more laid-back local ambiance. Those days are largely gone.

  63. Randy

    Hi Bud,
    I know what you’s still my hometown and I still like to go to the Battery and look over the harbor and “breathe” but it is swamped with tourists.
    Sometimes I see people running around all excited and posing by every sign in town and it makes me feel good they are enjoying it so much.. but you are right. The charm is still there although some, as you mentioned, has been lost. The sad thing is as people buy up summer homes in the Historic City itself less and less of the true Charlestonians are actually left and the city eventually could become an empty shell type tourist attraction even moreso than it already has.
    There is still an abundance of beauty down there though and plenty of life.

  64. JH MacDonald

    Moderate Guy
    I do, indeed, have a steep hill to climb. I have many many steep hills to climb. Please rest assured that the steepness of my climb is not related to a lack of information or reliance on the establishment media, whatever that is. I am a careful and skeptical reader.
    If you would like to provide me with a bibliography of what I should read and absorb in order to better understand the folks who are out there who are dedicated to destroying me, my comfortable life, Southern Heritage and the rest of Western civilization, please do so. I assume that the connection to this flag debate will be readily apparent.
    In the mean time, focus on this simple real American (as you like to say) capitalist pig premise:
    You have a potentially great City in a potentially great State. [We are not interested in investing in Charleston as Randy suggests]
    Average Americans who have no direct emotional ties to the Civil War, nor direct ancestral ties to slavery, look at the Confederate Flag on the grounds of your State House and they have a confused and troubled reaction. All Americans? No. A great many Americans who have no continuing position on the Civil War? Without question. Are they right or wrong? I don’t know. Are they Bolsheviks or Marxists or influenced by them? I sincerely doubt it. Are they cow towing to barbarians or ruffians? They have no idea what the hell that has to do with it.
    Do you think that your beautiful downtown hotel is aware of this? They read the same studies I do. Do you think the Innovista people are aware of this? They read the same studies I do. Do you think the University admissions people are aware of this? They read the same studies I do. Do you think your football coach is aware of this? He and his guys sit in living rooms all over the country hearing it first hand.
    It is not the barbarians, as you call them, that you should be focused on. They are thrilled to death to have “their” coopted Battle Flag flown on your State House grounds. The KKK and the little Nazi have less decorating to do when they hold a rally at your State House. That’s bad for your heritage and that’s bad for business.
    Again I ask you to think harder and stop being a victim of history. Put the flag in a museum and let all of the people of SC reap the benefit of carefully planned progress. Stop punishing yourselves. This can not possibly be part of the heritage that you should be trying to preserve.

  65. Randy

    Randy didn’t suggest anything about investing in Charleston Mac. The point is Charleston is not suffering at all. This is a State issue not just a Columbia issue.Columbia is our capitol.

  66. zzazzeefrazzee

    Why it is so frightfully imperative to fly a flag at that monument? In contrast, exactly how is a display if the battle flag in a museum “dishonorable”? If it’s on display somewhere, that surely seems to be a form of honor to me!
    Is it because the state was once a part of the Confederacy? Well, once upon a time, we all were part of an ENGLISH colony. If we are to fly a Confederate flag on the state house grounds by reason of historical precedent, then by all accounts, we should raise a monument to King Charles and fly the English Union Jack next to it as well.
    After all, the plight of the confederates and the loyalists is REMARKABLY similar, should you care to look into it. On top of that, our state is named for that King. Supporters of flying the confederate flag should have utterly no problem honoring the memory of the fallen loyalist sons who bravely fought for “king and country” against the “terrorism” of the patriot “renegades”.
    Extended families were torn apart by such major conflicts. The result was that sons, fathers, uncles, and nephews fought each other on BOTH sides. Would it not be fitting and proper to honor ALL of those who died? Would it not behoove flag supporters to concede that there was a great tragedy and suffering on all accounts? Or is only one side worthy? Could you, by any chance, have a union ancestor?
    Should we submit to selective memory recall and focus only on ONE side? Or is it more dignified to honor ALL the dead, ALL those who have fallen, and ALL those who have sacrificed? If you think there is something wrong with that, then offer a reasonable explanation as to why.
    My family traces their ancestry to both revolutionary and loyalist soldiers during the war for independence (what the Loyalist and English called “War of the Insurrection”), as well as confederate and union soldiers during the CW. It doesn’t stop there either. In the early 20th c., a part of my family were whom were of German origin, supported the Kaiser in “the Great War”, while other members of my family were gassed at the front fighting on “our side”. When I was young, I thought that was awfully strange, but it turns out that much of Lexington county was supportive of the Germans at that time, while Richland was firmly in the other camp.

  67. Brett Witt

    “They just go ahead and say things that most South Carolinians won’t say out loud.”
    Mr. Warthen – you can’t be serious. So by your reasoning most South Carolinians are Nazis or at least Nazi sympathizers?
    I’m the first in line to diss this state. Lord knows it’s easy to do. Perhaps you might want to revisit that revolting line.

  68. JH MacDonald

    I agree that Charleston is doing fine and I hope that it continues to do so. I hope that it continues to attract residents, tourists and investors in a healthy mix.
    I agree that the flag is a State issue and that Columbia is your capitol. I am impressed by the city’s past and hopeful for its future. However, I also agree as Brad suggests in today’s editorial, it remains unproductive to approach this problem as protectors of white heritage versus the NAACP outside agitators.
    Moderate Guys’ barbarians stole your flag. But, they didn’t steal your brains or your gentility or your desire to make things better for the next generation. You did not lose those virtues, so you must use them.
    I do not think that people in general have any desire to denigrate southern heritage. Other than we bloggers, people in general are consumed with their own children, jobs, successes, failures and dreams. No disrespect intended, but they just do not care that much about the soldiers who fought in the Civil War, as honorable as they may have been.
    People in general are just trying to take care of their own and tip toe around everybody else.
    When they watch TV and when they read Time magazine and they see the Confederate Flag paraded about by the KKK and the American Nazis, they are confused when they see that same symbol being flown at the SC State House. That may frustrate certain bloggers and certain bloggers may say they are ignorant for not studying history more carefully. That is a position, but that is not a solution. Certain bloggers may say, “If people don’t like it, then don’t come to our proud State”. That too is a position, but that is not a solution that favors your future and your children’s future.
    Some scriveners may argue that it is a trivial issue and some may argue that “we shouldn’t be pushed around by uninformed outsiders”. Those are positions, too.
    My research leads me to conclude that many South Carolinians are not being pushed around by outsiders at all. They are being pushed around, confused, ignored and abused by insiders. The KKK and the Nazis may have stolen your flag while you were, or were not, watching, but your future and that of your children is being stolen right now while you are, or are not, watching and its not the NAACP and other assorted outsiders that are doing it.
    Your ancestors had the intestinal fortitude to make a bold move. Right or wrong they did it. Their progeny lost their flag to dishonorable hoodlums and now they want to blame others for that blunder. It’s time for some more bold, intelligent and honorable action. To all of you, I say, Lead your State into the 21st Century and maybe they will plant a flag for you in Columbia someday.
    Oh, and while you’re at it as a favor my pal, Moderate Guy, please get rid of those Bolsheviks and Marxists who are busy steeling the entirety of Western Culture.

  69. Moderate Guy

    So your sales pitch is that because our Southern heritage has been distorted by junk history in schools, neo-Nazis, the KKK, NAACP, Hollywood, and yellow journalists…. that we need to knuckle under and stop resisting because it makes our state look bad to the ignorant consumers of this propaganda?
    Mr. MacDonald never did say exactly what we need to do to accomplish all these vague feel-good slogans, such as, “lead your State into the 21st Century..”
    Anytime I encounter someone laughing off political philosophies which consider themselves to be enemies of Americanism, liberty and free enterprise, I figure that person is simply untutored in the history of ideas. They don’t know the original source of what they see today.

  70. JH MacDonald

    Moderate Guy
    Let’s summarize.
    Paragraph 1. You claim your Southern heritage has been distorted by …..
    You claim I am suggesting that you knuckle under and stop resisting
    You seem to claim that those who are confused by the juxtaposition of the Confederate flag on KKK pictures and on American Nazi pictures with its presence at the SC State House are “ignorant consumers of propaganda”
    Paragraph 2 You are chagrined because I have not told you exactly what to do
    Paragraph 3 You are concerned that my levity toward the current threat of Bolsheviks and Marxists is evidence that I am simply “untutored in the history of ideas”.
    Help me answer you.
    Please articulate in however many words you want what you define to be “your Southern heritage” that has been distorted.
    Who do you interpret me to be asking you to knuckle under to? Who have you been resisting and how have you been doing that?
    Do you really feel that people who have grown up with the KKK and the Nazis brandishing the Confederate flag are ignorant consumers of propaganda because they are confused and concerned when they see that same flag flying at the State House?
    As to paragraph 2. I believe in asking or telling people to do things that they are prepared and capable of doing. I believe in giving them increasing assignments to stretch their capacities. I am unable to tell you exactly what to do to lead your City into the 21st Century because I have no clue from your entries what you are prepared to do or what you are capable of doing.
    As to paragraph 3 and me being “untutored in the history of ideas”, please allow me to remind you that I have previously requested your suggested bibliography to allow me to clarify whether I am familiar with the Ideas to which you refer and if not, to become familiar with them. You have failed to respond.
    Let me conclude with one of my simplistic ideas, while I wait for your list of those that I am apparently ignorant of: In order to move toward a better future in Columbia, you, Moderate Guy, don’t have to get it Right, at the start, you just have to get it Going. And unless you surprise me with your response to this, I speculate that you have not gotten it going. You have sat on your ass and spewed some simplistic bull crap that every first year history and philiosphy student learns or crams out of Cliffs Notes.
    Put me in my place, Mod Guy.
    Define your Southern Heritage. Tell me what you have been doing to resist its erosion (other than writing vitriolic blog entries.) And tell me what seminal ideas in the history of modern thought that I am untutored in.
    If you can’t, then take a closer look at those other three fingers, as you continue to point at everybody else as the ignorant ones and the problem causers.
    Feel free to consult with some of your enlightened and non ignorant colleagues.

  71. Moderate Guy

    I don’t care to “put you in your place”, but I would like to see you and some of the others who are so worried about being perceived as “backwards”, articulate some concrete changes you think South Carolina needs to make so you don’t have to live in shame.
    Then tell us how a few monuments and flags honoring those fought against the invading Northern armies is preventing those important changes from taking place.
    PS: Those of us who are familiar with the details of subjects can communicate by just naming the complex idea. If you are unfamiliar with it, that may seem like “simplistic crap” to you, but that is not our fault.

  72. JH MacDonald

    Moderate Guy
    It has now gotten to the point where it would be just plain mean for me to continue this dialog with you.
    The concrete change is place the flag in a museum with an historically accurate statement of its history and symbolism.
    The flag is preventing important change because the symbol has been irreversibly co opted by dishonorable organizations and you are flat out unable to correct that situation or even make a bit of progress toward that end.
    I asked you to give me the benefit of the books expressing your complex ideas, I asked you to merely list the complex ideas to which you refer and I asked you to articulate what you mean by Southern Culture. You have elected to decline to do any of these.
    I am looking for fresh and intelligent ideas. You have produced none. I must move on. I wish you well.

  73. Moderate Guy

    We already have historical flags in our museums.
    These flags and monuments are not historical artifacts, but memorials to honor the dead.
    I am asking for changes which you think would improve South Carolina, and “move it into the 21st century”. I have my own list, and nothing on it is blocked by the presense of monuments or flags.
    And speaking of museums of The Confederacy, we had one on the USC campus, but some people thought it was “inappropriate”, so it was closed and its exhibits stashed in the back room of the State Museum. The museum in Charleston destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 has still not been rebuilt, while tens of millions of dollars have been spent on an aquarium and other generic me-too copycat tourist frivolities.

  74. JH MacDonald

    Uhh…we need this space and uhhmm we’re gonna have to move your desk to the basement.
    Sooo thanks a lot and leave the stapler.

  75. zzazzeefrazzee

    Moderate Guy,
    I didn’t know that the musem on the USC cmapus was closed. It was open a few years ago when i stepped inside. however you overlook the Confederate relic room, which is located in the State Museum on Gervais St. Perhaps you think that is insufficient, but that’s a pretty big museum, and given the slim state budget for museums, It seems to work out just fine.
    Also, isn’t there a museum devoted to a certain famous submarine down in Charleston? You know, the one for which we had a nice little public Confederate state funeral for the remains of those found inside of it?
    I’m sorry if some of your neighbors aren’t so enamored of WORSHIPING the confederacy as you think we need to be. It doesn’t represent all of South Carolina and the people who have resided in it, and it never will. Aside from slave descendants, there were plenty of descendants of white families who were not all that thrilled with secession, but what voice do they have today?
    South Carolina writer William Gilmore Simms was one such anachronism. He was pro-slavery, but very much against the break-up. So please don’t portray that pro-confederate sympathies are somehow universal here. In his diary, Simms related how Governor Hammond’s servants all bore his likeness, as he committed “miscegeny”(raped his female slaves), and treated his own progeny as property. Hammond was not of any old Carolina family either. He was almost fresh off a boat from Scotland, but so enamored of plantation life that he became the most virulent of Secessionists.
    If you want to teach history, then teach all of it. This is not historical “revisionism”, it’s unvarnished, objective, complex, and highly nuanced. I’m sorry if it offends you, but heck, what i just described was pretty darn offensive. If you don’t believe me, then go spend a day down at the Caroliniana library and read Simm’s writings for yourself. It takes a degree of civility to think and behave in that manner, and quite frankly, it is those who jump to take offense on all sides that do more to obscure these issues than anyone else. The fact that the flag only went up on the dome in the 60’s, as a flagrant symbol of opposition to Civil Rights, is not lost on many of your fellow Americans, and Carolinian neighbors.
    Once again I’ll say it; if you think we need to publicly fly the confederate flag by reason of historical precedent, then by extension, let’s put up the English Flag next to a statue of King Charles while we’re at it, so we can honor those loyalists who died “honorably defending King and Crown” as well. After all, they were South Carolinians as well.

  76. Moderate Guy

    I hope you enjoyed tilting at the straw windmill constructed in your mind.
    I don’t favor spending public funds on the Hunley Museum, much less an aquarium or other manufactured tourist attractions which have no relation to the state.

  77. Moderate Guy

    Mr. MacDonald,
    There’s no rush on that list of improvement you would like South Carolina to make. Take your time and think about it. Then we’ll discuss.
    Here’s one of mine: get rid of the 19th century property tax, a relic of the slave era.

  78. JH MacDonald

    Sorry, Mod Guy, not good enough.
    You already got moved to the basement with the other remedial reading students. We’ll check back with you next semester. We can’t hold the rest of the class back for the slower boys.
    We’re still waiting for your definition of Southern Culture and your list of seminal ideas of western thought which according to you, I have forgotten since my doctoral.
    You have also forgotten to respond to the simple query regarding the fact that you, as a “real American”, have irretrievably lost your ancestors’ flag of honor to the KKK and the Nazis and you have not made one inch of progress toward getting it back. Perhaps you think blaming the Bolshevicks and the Marxists will help. If so, you get yet another F.
    And by the way stop calling me Mr. MacDonald. It confuses my husband and my grandchildren.

  79. Moderate Guy

    JH, I said if you can’t think of any improvement to make to South Carolina, especially those being held up by that one little flag on Gervais Street, to take your time and think about it. Don’t just get wound up and fire off some uncivil retort.
    Do you know anything about Marxism? Do you know anything about socialism, communist socialism, national socialism (Nazism), democratic socialism, and the socialist settlers brought into America after their failed revolutions in Europe?

  80. Moderate Guy

    It was not the Confederate flag or monuments which attracted the neo-Nazis from Minnesota.
    It was the media spotlight awaiting and inviting anyone who wants to protest, misuse and dishonor the South. Brad Warthen and Mike Fitts want to imitate the national media, hook up with the big city media, which hates the economic boom and much better race relations in the South.

  81. zzazzeefrazzee

    Oh sure, the existence of local newspapers and TV stations was reason enough, if not equivalent to eagerly inviting Neo-nazis to come to town. Yeah, that surely makes a whole lot of sense.
    By all means, MG, you’re welcome to PROVE that’s why the neo-nazis came here!! However, if you care to read those speeches made on the state house steps, I think it’s pretty obvious what drew them here. The media or an antiquated piece of fabric flapping in the breeze?
    Hurling incivilities at your neighbors does not constitute a very good argument for keeping that piece of fabric flying, no matter how popular the practice may be. I’m all for the economic boom (what’s left of it) and better race relations (better, but hardly perfect) but that’s hardly very good evidence to support your argument either. It’s high time that some easily offended, angry white men grew up a just a little bit.

  82. Moderate Guy

    Do you really think the neo-Nazis would come here to demonstrate if they knew the media would not give them lots of free publicity? Why do you think such a silly thing?

  83. nudnik

    I’m more concerned with Jack Bauer (of 24 fame) than with Andre Bauer right now, thank you very much.

  84. Born and Raised in SC

    I was born and raised a southern babptist in SC and served 4 years in the Marine Corps out of high school. While stationed in california I married a Jewish girl from Huntiington beach. This past week end her brothers son an Iraqi War vetran married a Black girl. This is more and more how the racial lines will be overcome by people who meet and love out side of their races and cultures and the walls that seperate us come down little by little.
    I’ve never kidded myself that I am anything more than a biased individual and a racist by exposure. Or more pointedly it’s easy to hate on people you don’t actually know. But to be honest I had a great time with my new black relatives and to be honest I’m a little less racist and little better off from the experience. This current or next generation my nephew represents will be the one that begins breaking down the walls of seperation.


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