Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Flagging Down the Confederacy

We arrived in Israel last week.  The trip to airport was uneventful.  The flight, while constituting what surely will be ranked as one of the top ten events of our lives, was itself mostly uneventful.  The only thing noteworthy was some kids whose parents lacked the skills of instilling discipline in their children, and it showed in their interactions with the brats.  But one of the stewardesses (to use the outmoded politically-incorrect terminology for a female flight attendant), a bit on the old side for an El Al stewardess, did bring the situation under control at some point over the North Atlantic. 

This woman, while friendly and cheerful enough, was definitely not big on bullshit; turns out that she is an Israeli Air Force Reserve officer with the rank of Rav Seren (or, in military jargon, "Rasan"), equivalent to an American O-4 (Major or Lieutenant Commander).    In any event, when the kids impeded passage of the service cart through the aisle one time too many, the stewardess called herself up for reserve duty, firmly grabbed the kids by their arms, sat them down in their seats and, with the parents impotently dropping their jaws, gave the kids a scary lecture (which, while physically addressed to the kids, was actually directed to the parents).  The parents, not desiring a full-blown confrontation with the woman (and mindful of the fact that she would exercise some control over the service they would receive until deplaning), took the hint and the flight was thereafter mostly free of outbursts from the brats.

Our son picked us up with his pick-up at the airport, and drove us to the apartment he had gotten for us.  We got settled in, and are still completing various arrangements for utility bills, parking permits, and everything else.  Our internet service was connected this morning, and I am now back online.  We still await delivery of our stuff from the USA; should come through in about a week or two.

We have already begun to make connections with other Americans in our new community.  Also some Brits, Aussies, South Africans, Canadians, and other Anglophones (or, as we call ourselves here, "Anglos").  One topic of discussion was about this Confederate Flag controversy in South Carolina; the issue came up in a discussion with a couple who lived in South Carolina for a few years.

I have no strong feelings about the Confederate Flag; I'm not yelling outrage to remove it from the South Carolina State House grounds, but neither can you expect to see it flying from my halyard or emblazoned upon my jacket, or on a bumper sticker attached to my vehicle.  I do, however, understand why some people would be quite upset about such a piece of cloth, and I can appreciate the comparison between the Confederate Flag and a flag with a swastika from Nazi Germany.

Never mind the discussions over whether the flag represents hate and slavery, or whether it is a testament to the bravery and valor of the soldiers who died in the Civil War.  And I shall not now split hairs over the many flags of the Confederacy, and whether, say, the Bonnie Blue Flag is or is not any more offensive than the battle flag most commonly associated with the Confederacy.  And neither will I delve into the plusses and minuses of the institution of slavery, other than to state most definitively that, try as I may, I have been utterly unable to find any plusses or advantages to it; slavery is a root cause of a long list of political, social, and economic problems that persist years after slavery is abolished.   And neither shall I write a brief for the Confederacy itself (though on the Union side, General Grant did attach his name to Order Number 11, a piece of paper that shall live in infamy in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people).

What I will do, however, is address those who stand and demand the removal of the Confederate Flag from displays, official and otherwise.  You certainly have reason to despise the Confederate Flag and the regime it represents.  You have reason to see that piece of cloth as a glorification of slavery, an institution that ought not be glorified.

But if indeed you find the Confederate States of America to be such a reprehensible entity, then you should be grateful to those who brought it down and made it a defunct entity.  And this includes the hundreds of thousands of white soldiers who served in the Union Army, who fought and died to put an end to slavery in America.  If, when you are not standing outside the South Carolina State House, you are spreading your anti-white vitriol, or are applauding those who spew such garbage, then you are an ingrate who is no better than the Confederacy.

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