With that design, which originally had been approved by a Veterans Memorial Park general committee, members of Southern Heritage groups began soliciting donations for the display, promising etched names on bricks. The group had raised about $6,000 and had begun work on creating the War Between the States display.
In mid-process, the lawsuit says, unidentified people at the park and the county nixed the design, which included a Maltese cross, a symbol associated with the Confederacy, and summarily tossed the four members off the War Between the States subcommittee and dissolved the committee.
The memorial design was unveiled in 2013. It was to be named the War Between the States Memorial instead of the Civil War Memorial. The concept included a ship sitting atop a concrete structure surrounded by concrete slabs, forming a pattern resembling the Maltese cross.
The memorial's concrete walls and red bricks were designed to hold engravings dedicated to Confederate veterans from Hillsborough County, said David McCallister, commander of a Tampa camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans and head of the defunct subcommittee for the original War Between the States Memorial. He and three other ousted subcommittee members are named as plaintiffs.
McCallister said the suit was filed to make sure the park and the county "keep the promises made to the public and the subscribers by building the monument with the original name and design - which will honor the Hillsborough veterans and be a credit to a world-class park - and keep faith with the volunteers who stepped up and did the work. "If it takes an objective judge to see this and order it to be done," he said, " so be it."
Phil Walters, also a member of the dissolved subcommittee also is a plaintiff.
"We feel politics has entered into this solemn effort to accurately and honestly memorialize these American veterans," he said. "This subcommittee was very diverse and knowledgeable and had worked diligently on this project, donating hundreds of hours of time, all to be abruptly 'dumped' without any plausible explanation. Very sad and not good for community relations."
Work on a War Between the States design began in 2009 and in 2013, the design was approved by the general committee of the Veterans Memorial Park and Museum Committee.
The subcommittee "began raising subscriptions from the public for the inclusion of certain bricks and benches to be included in the final design, which were to be inscribed as directed by the subscribers," the lawsuit says.
About $6,000 was raised, the suit said, and the money was accepted into the coffers of the Veterans Memorial Park and Museum.
In April 2013, a groundbreaking ceremony was held with some members of the general committee attending.
"No objection to the design, name or process was raised by any member of the general committee or by county officers, administration or staff, or the public," the lawsuit says. Fundraising continued and bricks with names etched into them began coming in, the lawsuit says.
Then in July 2014, questions arose about the Maltese cross, the lawsuit says, emanating from a highly placed county official who remained unidentified. Alternate designs were submitted, not by the subcommittee, but by the design group that builds exhibits within the park. The name was changed from the War Between the States Memorial to the Civil War Memorial.
And in April 2015, the subcommittee was dissolved and the design initially approved was abandoned.
The suit seeks to reinstate the subcommittee with the original members and order the original design of the memorial to be adopted and built.
Veterans Memorial Park and Museum committee co-chairman David Braun had not seen a copy of the lawsuit Monday and declined to address the complaint's specific points. "If there's going to be litigation," he said, "I can't comment much."
He said a subsequent design has been submitted and work is underway to complete the memorial by the end of this year.
A Jefferson County Circuit judge on Monday issued a restraining order to block removal of the controversial Confederate monument near the University of Louisville.
Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman issued the order Monday morning against Mayor Greg Fischer and metro government, barring them from moving, disassembling or otherwise tampering with the 70-foot-tall monument.
Congressional hopeful Everett Corley filed the restraining order in Jefferson Circuit Court to stop Fischer and U of L President James Ramsey from removing the monument from the school's campus. Also listed as plaintiffs are the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Kentucky Division, and its "Chief of Heritage Defense," and political activist Ed Springston.
"This restraining order is about respecting veterans," said Corley, a real estate agent, who argued it was the "equivalent of a book burning" and smacked of political correctness gone awry.
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell said he would fight the restraining order, which he said took him by surprise. He said no one from his office was at the hearing, and his office is seeking a continuance so that lawyers have more time to prepare for the hearing on the full injunction set for Tuesday morning. "We'll obviously comply with whatever those orders are ... but we will move to immediately set this aside," he said.
Thomas McAdam, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the suit is based on several arguments in hopes of turning the order into a permanent injunction to keep the monument in place.
He said the basis of the lawsuit is that the mayor violated several laws, including not going through proper local, state and federal laws including historic preservation procedures. Because of the monument's placement on the national register of historic places, he said, notifications and hearings are required. The suit argues the move also violates the Kentucky Military Heritage Act and other state laws.
"We expect our elected officials to follow the law. The mayor has not followed the law," he said. "All we want is a fair hearing, all we want is to let the people know that this is part of our heritage, and you can't just erase history by tearing down monuments. That's what the Taliban does, that's what ISIS does. We don't do that in America."
Reacting to the judge's decision, Mayor Fischer said the county attorney will handle the matter in the courts. "We believe we made the right decision," Fischer said.
Fischer has previously said the monument should be moved from its location between Second and Third streets because it represents a painful chapter in history.
Asked if his administration followed proper procedure to move the memorial, the mayor said it was "kind of a unique situation" and "We wanted to make sure that the state, the university and city were lined up on it and decided to make the decision," Fischer said. "We feel good about that."
Keith Runyon, co-chair of the mayor's panel, said Monday that unlike historic markers that remind residents about the horrors of the past, the Confederate memorial is one that honors those who wanted to maintain slavery. "The old South, and the antebellum shtick that Louisville has sometimes attached to is not constructive," he said.
The granite monument, completed in 1895, was built with funding from the Kentucky Women's Confederate Monument Association for $12,000, according to the suit.
Montana School Bans Battle Flag
Park High School recently banned Confederate flags from school property. Vice Principal Tom Gauthier said disciplinary action was taken against one student.
Kentucky School Expells Student with Battle Flag on Truck
Parents of a Shelby County teen are outraged after their son was asked to leave school for refusing to remove the Confederate flag from his truck.
Joseph Garrett claims he's driven to school over the last few months with both a Confederate Flag, and American flag flying in the back of his truck, and not had any issues.
However that changed on Tuesday, and his parents say they feel the tension created by the removal of the Confederate Memorial near the University of Louisville is to blame.
Joseph Garrett is a typical student at Collins High in Shelby County.
"I get A's and B's," Joseph Garrett said.
Like your average 16 year old, he loves driving his truck.
However on Tuesday he says administrators at Collins High took issue with the way he decorates it.
"I decided to put my Confederate flag with my American flag on my truck for my uncle," Garrett said. "The first day there were complaints and they told me to take it down. They told me to take it down, or they were going to have to."
After he refused, Garrett said he was sent home and told he couldn't drive his truck to school the rest of the year.
"It's my right to have it up, and for it to stay up," Garrett said.
A district spokesman said it is school policy not to comment on student disciplinary matters.
Joseph's mother Christal said she feels he's done no wrong.
As support pours in for her son, Christal said she feels as if school administrators looking at this situation out of context.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the monument coming down," Christal Garrett said. "I feel like before it wasn't an issue with him flying his flag."
After staying home from school on Wednesday Joseph was back in class on Thursday without any issues.
To be clear Shelby County School's do not have a policy directly banning the flag.
Warren, Michigan School Expells Student
A senior at Warren Mott High School was suspended Thursday morning after flying the Confederate flag on the back of his truck and parking on school property.
Ryan Delcato, 17, was sent home for the day.
The superintendent said this is the third time Delicato brought the flag to school. On Wednesday, Delicato was warned he would be suspended if he did it again.
"They said I was harming other kid's education and everything because it's a distraction," Delicato said.
Delicato said the Confederate flag is not racist, but a symbol of his family's history.
"It's for our southern heritage," Delicato said. "Not for race. Nothing like that."
Others disagree. The superintendent said a few students complained about the flag and staged a protest. At one point, someone even cut down Delicato's confederate flag.
Ryan Delicato's father Gary Delicato disagrees with his son's suspension.
The superintendent said that if Ryan Delicato brings the flag to school again he will be suspended again followed by a more progressive discipline.
Rapper Protests Confederate Heritage Month
A rapper draped herself in a Confederate Battle Flag and hung a noose around her neck during a performance to protest Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant's proclamation of April as Confederate Heritage Month.
Genesis Be grew up in Biloxi, Mississippi, and she said her April 26 performance was at a music venue called SOB's in New York.
The 27-year-old Be said Thursday that Bryant's proclamation, which did not mention slavery, was a "slap in the face not only to my ancestors but everyone's ancestors who fought against the Confederacy." "In my eyes, it is an anti-American heritage," Be said in a phone interview.
The governor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
When Governor Bryant issued the proclamation in February to name April as Confederate Heritage Month, his spokesman Clay Chandler said that previous Democratic and Republican governors of Mississippi had issued similar proclamations.
Be moved from Mississippi to New York several years ago to study music and politics at New York University, and she describes the songs she writes as "political satire, parody hip-hop." Be said she ordered the noose, as a prop, online.
Confederate Flags Stolen from Texas Cemetary
One hundred and sixty Confederate Flags were stolen from the Bryan City Cemetery in Texas. Now authorities are on the lookout for those responsible.
KBTX spoke with the commander of the local Sons of Confederate Veterans, William Boyd. He said the group placed 160 flags in April, but found them missing later that month.
Robert Holms at the Bryan City Cemetery said in his 33 years watching over the site, he has never seen something like this happen.
After the flags went missing over a weekend late last month, Holms said those responsible may be in more trouble than they originally expected.
"I'm sure that these individuals in their mind didn't think they were committing a crime, looks like they did," said Holmes.
While the flags cost $300, which is technically a misdemeanor, the charge has been upgraded to a felony, because the flags were taken from graves at the cemetery.
Bryan police say this is an ongoing investigation.
To Fund - or Not to Fund? Confederate Monument
In making his determination on whether or not to vote in favor of giving public funds to support a veterans memorial in Georgetown that would feature, among others, the names of Confederate soldiers, Mayor Jack Scoville asked for the public's input.
Dozens of people turned out at City Hall last night for a meeting concerning the allocation of $15,000 worth of public funds to be donated to American Legion Post 114 for the construction of the memorial, which is slated for construction between the Legion post, 715 Church St., and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6444, 711 Church St. Among those in attendance were City Council members Brendon Barber, Sheldon Butts, Carol Jayroe, Al Joseph and Ed Kimbrough, along with several officers from the Low Country Veterans Group.
The proposed memorial would feature the names of any and all Georgetown County veterans who died in military service. What has proven to be controversial, Scoville said, is that some of those veterans fought against the U.S. under the banner of the Confederacy.
"I don't want to vote against providing funds to honor everybody who died in all these other wars," Scoville said. "At the same time, I think there are very serious, realistic and valid concerns."
At Scoville's request, American Legion Adjutant Martin Alfonsi spoke to the gathering to introduce the ideas behind the monument. In addition to educating people on the effects the wars had on the county, Alfonsi said the Legion and VFW also wanted to salute every Georgetown County veteran who died in military service.
"One (purpose) is to recognize those people who lived in Georgetown County and answered the call - for whatever reason - served their country and they died," Alfonsi said. "We have memorials for each individual war in different places, but nowhere is everything brought all together. We wanted to bring it together."
Black people at the meeting, however, objected to the idea of including Confederate soldiers' names on the monument. Councilman Barber was the first to speak out against the proposed monument. Barber, said he objected to the notion based on the practice and defense of slavery by the Confederacy.
"I have no objection to honoring any U.S. veteran that fought in any conflict, any war, that died for the U.S.," Barber said. "But I, personally, along with some other folks, have a problem with the Confederates. Barber added he was offended the Legion and VFW were proposing to erect a dedication to Confederate soldiers.
In addition to those concerns, some at the meeting questioned whether Confederate veterans should be considered in the same category as veterans from other wars. In an address to the assembly, LCVG Public Relations Chair Ernest Cole asked Alfonsi why Confederate soldiers, who fought against the U.S., should be memorialized.
"The Confederate States of America fought a war against the U.S. and lost," Cole said. "... A person that is in the Confederate States of America (military) ... was considered a veteran of the Confederate states, which is a separate entity from the United States of America."
Alfonsi argued that point, saying that Congress declared Confederate veterans were to be treated as U.S. veterans. Public Law 85-425.
Additionally, there was some confusion as to whether or not a veteran's branch of service would be featured on the memorial wall. Alfonsi told the gathering that only the veterans' names would be listed under the corresponding conflict, a claim that was later corroborated by Joseph. But information on the memorial website lists all the submitted honorees' names, as well as the branches in which they served.
After the meeting, Scoville said he hoped to clarify that topic before making his decision.
The Supreme Court website updated the status of Montgomery Blair Sibley, Applicant v. United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
This means that the high Court will not intervene to allow release of phone records from the late "D.C. madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey, despite one of her former attorneys claiming the records are "very relevant" to the presidential election.
No explanation was given as to why Attorney Sibley's petition was denied.
~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mar 28 2016
Application (15A1016) for a stay, submitted to The Chief Justice.
Apr 4 2016
Application (15A1016) denied by The Chief Justice.
Apr 6 2016
Application (15A1016) refiled and submitted to Justice Thomas.
Apr 13 2016
DISTRIBUTED for Conference of April 29, 2016.
Apr 13 2016
Application (15A1016) referred to the Court.
May 2 2016
Application (15A1016) denied by the Court.
Sibley, who had promised to release the documents regardless of the outcome has now decided that he will NOT release the documents because he fears that if he does so that he will be jailed for contempt. The reason, he claims, that he fears the contempt charge, is because Sibley has filed a suit in Federal Court against House Speaker Ryan for failure to execute his duties as outlined in the Constitution.
While everyone was salivating over the potential scandal, I guess we will never know if Lyin' Ted was also Cheatin' Ted? But I do not know that it matters since Senator Cruz suspended his campaign on Tuesday shortly before the announcement of Donald Trump's landslide victory in the Indiana primary.
John Kasich dropped out on Wednesday.
Donald Trump is now the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.
I grew up in the late 70's and came of age during the 1980's. The first president to have truly made an impression upon me was of course Ronald Reagan.In the 1980's there was a conservatism in social, economic and political life, characterized by the policies of President Ronald Reagan that I grew up thinking were the way life was supposed to be. Bacon and eggs, peanut butter and jelly, cheese and macaroni, pancakes and maple syrup... some things just go together. And so it was, with America and the 1980s.
America was dominant. Big and Bold and strong. Positive and proud. Confident and a force of nature. The President was superb and reassuring. Cultural walls fell down - Americans were united. The movies were terrific. The patriotism unquestioned. It was a simpler time. Rambo was kicking butt (while Reagan watched on in the White House). Rocky was defying odds. John McLane was killing terrorists. Maverick and Goose were buzzing the tower in Top Gun.
America was at her zenith.
So it is only fitting and logical the man that we prominently associate with that decade wants to make America great again.
The Donald Trump campaign has a distinctly 80s feel to it. Not to mention the very 1980 sentiment of the electorate. Dissatisfied with a feeble and feckless President, and liberal, Democratic big government, voters feel down on their luck and deeply concerned about the future. It was in this climate that while many people considered Reagan too extreme and simplistic, opposition to the status quo ran so deep that the American people decided to give him a chance.
In an era remembered for its movies, the 2016 election is playing out as a 1980s movie, with Donald Trump starring as the ultimate action hero, against several 'villains.'
The script is clear: America is struggling. Stuck in a downward slide, teetering on the precipice of debt-riddled mediocrity, things look glim. Suddenly, the last action hero remaining of an earlier era has heard his siren call. He's all alone, and can't rely on anyone else. But he's arrived on the scene and is coming for all enemies - foreign and domestic - the system, political correctness, the 'villains', and any authority providing them refuge - to save America, all just in the nick of time.
USA! USA! USA!
Trump is in many ways the 1980's retro-renaissance man who has come back to save America and restore it to its greatness, by killing political correctness and resurrecting 1980s sentiments and values. Might is right, and America is always right.
And he's bringing out all of the 1980's hotshots out of hibernation to Make America Great Again with their last breath. Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, Kirstie Alley, Jean Claude Van Damme, Gary Busey, and countless others. It seems they are all coming out of their collective hibernation to support the man who can make America what it once was: great again, just like it was in the 80's.
But the 80s references don't end there...
Trump is bringing in the Al Bundy vote. The A-Team love him. Alf thinks he's great. As Long As We've Got Each Other is playing...
OK, I'll stop now.
But it is undeniable. Trump appears to live by the action hero script. That script is clear. The stage is set. A diverse assortment of Americans are watching the movie, once more awaiting a new populist conservative movement, similar to the one of the 1980s.
Come November, I look forward to hearing The Donald tell Obama and Hillary, "You're Fired!"
While my ultimate desire would be to roll back the calendar to say 1865 - with the Confederacy winning her independence this time - we all know that is not possible. But if Donald Trump can take us back to the 1980's Reagan America - well, that would be the next best thing.
Jack is a Dixie Heritage subscriber who sent me a manuscript last year of an autobiography that he had written. He wanted my opinion of it. As I read the typed manuscript I couldn't put it down.
Some books tell war stories. Others, tell sex stories. Still others tell of rags to riches, overcoming great obstacles, or beating the odds. While others still are filled with the misadventures of drunken or drug inspired "carryings on." Christian books give testimonies of how men went from "deep sin" to finding new lives through God's grace. This book does all of those things and then some. It is not a typical biography - or even the typical autobiography!
A few weeks ago I was privileged to help Jack in having the book published. He would like to offer our readers the opportunity to purchase a copy, direct from the publisher, at COST plus postage.
To check out Jack's book - and maybe even order a copy - click this link:
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
DIXIE HERITAGE is now on Facebook. The page literally launched today. So the videos and other goodies have not yet been uploaded.
Those of you who know me know that my opinion of Facebook is about the same as John Boehner's opinion of Ted Cruz. Lucifer incarnate! I have avoided Facebook like the plague. I am still not using it personally. But the reality is that if we are going to reach people and impact our culture for what we know is right then we need to be putting our message out there where the people are.
Jesus said that it was the sick who needed the physician. Sinners who needed to hear his message. So where did he go to preach it? Why he went to the places where the sinner hung out. One particular story, in John 4, stands out in my mind as I type.
So Dixie Heritage is going to the place where people hang out (Facebook) hoping to encounter some Samaritans to whom we can impact with our message!
Use this link to go to the Facebook page:
VISIT OUR WEBSITE:
YES, we are still giving a FREE eBook (PDF) copy of the book The Truth About the Confederate Flag to everyone who visits the website - so tell your friends - and your enemies!
Until next week,