Marshall in the Middle

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Endangered Dixie Relic

By Chuck Marshall

   There has been much talk recently regarding relics of the Civil War.  State capitals and cities and towns all over the south are discussing the removal of the confederate flag from government buildings.   The state of SC is considering removing it from its capital and some towns here in Florida have already removed the flag.   To  southerners the confederate flag is often said to represent the "spirit" of the south and I've been told it should not be taken as a negative.  It's "southern pride" I've heard all my life.    White people from up north seem to see it as a quaint relic of Civil War history- nothing to be taken seriously.   African Americans usually see it as offensive and believe it represents a hate and/or disrespect for their race.   This  issue and the conversation around it is a good one and allows something positive for us to do in honor of the 9 people murdered in Charleston last month.   I can fully understand that African Americans are often offended by the symbol of the confederacy.  A symbol says a lot.   The Swastika of the Nazis is a good example of a symbol that creates instant disgust in most good people.  It is a good conversation to have for all American citizens, and especially southern citizens. 

     As is often the case, however, the issue is getting blown out of proportion.  What was a good conversation regarding a symbol perceived as hateful has turned into an exaggeration of other  Civil War relics that we’re told we should all be removing from our lives lest we be seen as defenders of slavery.   Case in point is confederate memorials.  There is a Confederate Memorial in a park in downtown Orlando that has been the focus of much more attention than it has probably had since it was erected.    There is a petition to have it removed.   But this is a memorial to the soldiers that fought in the Civil War, not the Confederacy itself.   Those were individuals who - in their mind- were defending their homeland.   All young men were and are expected to march into battle under such circumstances.   The dead  were 300,000 southern brothers, and fathers and uncles and sons.  It  dishonors the individual,  his family, and his descendants to suggest all he was doing was fighting for slavery and so all confederate memorials must come down. 

       Some memorials were erected to celebrate men who turned out to be bad men  like Nathan Bedord Forrest- the founder of the KKK.  These are the memorials which I agree should be removed and rolled over to the nearest museum.  But it's important that we uphold the soldiers who fought bravely and died in defense of their people even if it goes against our contemporary sensibilities about the "right" or "wrong" of what it was the fight was about.   Let's not dismiss these young men as we look down from our high horse in the 21st century.    Slaves were owned by the large plantations of the south and I seriously doubt these  young men marched forward with such gusto to defend the rich man’s right to own slaves even if we se e the connection today.      

In My Humble Opinion.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Guns and Race in America

By Chuck Marshall

Since the murders of 9 innocent people in South Carolina I feel compelled to write on the topic.  It also coincides with my previous blog in my twin blog, "Journal of an American Malcontent", which elaborated on the absurdity of the lady that "identifies herself as black".   Her name escapes me., but she's a great example of how silly race issues can get.

The loss of lives is the biggest tragedy of the South Carolina mass killings., and I think 99.99% of all Americans are disgusted and saddened.   I guess this must be the 10th mass killing in the last 5 years and  it's getting tragically common.  The tragedy of the South Carolina mass killings - the avoidable tragedy- is that  the story itself turns into another opportunity for our political parties to start debating each other.  Now should be a time to come together and establish some real solutions regarding mass killings;    Gun Control,  Mental Illness, Crime Control and ways to prevent things like this from coming up again.  Our so-called leaders will no doubt get into another pissing match, pointing their fingers at each other and coming to absolutely NO solution but to continue arguing "unwinnable" arguments.  There is no compromise in DC so nothing gets done.  We are essentially a leader-less country with a group of  political extremists that are out for the following things;   themselves, their lobbyist buddies on K-Street (where the real money and power comes from), and of course their "team" the idiotic Republican and Democratic parties.  Notice the glaring absence of the American people on that list.

There is one other culprit in all of this,  the network news media.  And  I do mean the left-leaning networks especially (which are synonymous with the Democratic party).    The networks show no restraint in taking this opportunity to draw their own conclusions with dim-witted comments funneling all of this into the fault of southern white people.  Their narrative is that the confederate flag and the hate of southern white people is a never ending plague upon the black folk of the south.  They also took the opportunity in several cases to blame  Fox Network for "stirring the pot" of racism... .  or words to that effect.   The reality is the guy that killed those people is a lunatic and a psychopath- who is also a bigot.  The problem is with the lunatic part., the bigotry is an ugly aspect of all societies in the world and comes from all races not just the white race.

They-the network media - see themselves as morally superior to the majority of the country.  The reality is they are condescending, arrogant,  self righteous egomaniacs and most of them are better suited to cover Hollywood and all it's superficial happenings., not a real story like this.   This is the reason I stick to reasonably intelligent written media, newspapers and I encourage all my readers to pick up a paper or subscribe to an electronic version of your city's newspapers.  The newspapers usually have thought behind their opinions.

 I am as angered by these murders as anyone but I want solutions not rhetoric.   Our leaders are bending over backwards to use this as another self-congratulatory oration of why they are so superior to the rest of the country and the other side.   President Obama won everybody over by explaining that this never  happens in any other civilized country besides the United States.  Wow, comments like that will sure help things a lot.  Once again, he has shown what an excellent "left leaning" college professor he would be but what a terrible leader he actually is.

In my humble opinion.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I Identify as a Rich White Man

Image result for rachel dolezal

Dear Marshall in the Middle Readers !

I have posted to  my other Blog "Journal of an American Malcontent".  I am posting a link below so you can easily click over to it.   I can't tell you exactly what it is but  I've come to terms with who I really am just like Rachel Dolezal and I want the world to know about it !   I can't hide these feelings anymore !

Journal of an American Malcontent- I Identify as a Rich White Man

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Republican Herd

Dear loyal readers,

Many apologies for not adding to this blog in several weeks.  Sometimes I do get a little burned out on the politics of our country and its crushing monotony and unparalleled ability to bring new meaning to the word "inane".  So much mediocrity, avarice, and greed.  It can get depressing.  But now that the new election season is heating up (only one and a half years until the next election) things are getting humorous -if nothing else.   Case in point, there are now 10 official candidates for the Republican nomination and 5 "probably" running.    A lot of them are familiar names  from the last election;  Rick Santorum (who has a disabled daughter that he brings up in most of his speeches),  Rick Perry, governor of Texas who famously said "oops" because he didn't know one of the branches of government or something equally stupid.   I read somewhere that he has "improved dramatically" this time around so I guess he's able to add single digit numbers now and maybe knows things like that France is in Europe.  Then there's Perry's fellow Texan -Ted Cruz- who is light years ahead of Rick Perry in intelligence but he's also a slimy politician who plays games with all the small minded people to the right wing of the Republican party like... well, like Rick Perry. I've never seem someone on the national spotlight who so obviously manipulates the political process.  In our parallel "intelligent" universe Ted Cruz is running for mayor of New Orleans not a viable candidate for president of the United States.   Lindsey Graham of SC wants to be President so he can take us to war as far as I can tell but I really haven't heard much else from or about him, he just seems so boring to me.

There are some that are likeable --Mike Huckabee seems like a nice guy and he plays a great saxophone but I just can't picture it.   Marco Rubio who really does have a lot going for him but his lack of fiscal responsibility is concerning;  we need someone good at controlling spending IF NOTHING ELSE and Marco's personal  finances are not inspiring to that end.   Jeb Bush (who is still not officially running), I know well from his being governor of our fair state of Florida and I will say he was a very good and effective governor.  Boy do we miss him here !  Anyway, assuming he can polish his speaking skills and stay on track with his more moderate philosophy of governing, I plan on supporting Jeb.  By the way, he's nothing like his brother or father.    In My Humble Opinion......

Next blog;  Hillary and the Democrats.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Politics Will Prevent 800,000 From Getting Health Insurance.......

 Of course, none of them are Congressmen.

By Chuck Marshall

My state representative;  Larry Metz 

     With a heavy heart I must write a scathing critique of our leaders here in Florida.  You  see,  I had high hopes about a month ago regarding our Congressmen.   I had written and left a phone message with my representative Larry Metz from District 32 here in Florida and he actually called me back !  We had a great conversation and I must say I was impressed with his composure and willingness to discuss the biggest issue our state faces today;  the reluctance of the Florida House of Representatives to take money from the federal government to expand medicaid and issue health insurance to  800,000 "working poor" Floridians.   I submitted to him that this was all about Obamacare and their rabid hatred of the health care program that President Obama rammed down the throat of the US  Congress back in 2010.  He protested that, "No, this is about the way the Federal government was poised to take more control of the medicaid program in Florida and that it would become a very expensive problem for Florida if the Feds ever walk away."  I was willing to accept that argument and even wrote a letter to the Orlando Sentinel (they they printed !) commenting that an excited columnist was being overly critical and hysterical regarding this issue.  

    Congressmen Metz seemed very sympathetic to my outrage over the partisan politics that has been playing out in Washington but he assured me that in Tallahassee there is no such brinkmanship and that both parties often socialize and even eat together (gasp!).   He was well spoken and seemed intelligent and I was willing to consider his argument contrary to my assumptions.   Lately, it has occurred to me though that  the Feds have never walked away  from Social Security.  There is no reason to think they'll walk away from this program.  They will squander money and run this program poorly, but that goes without saying.  When is that not true of a federal program?  The state of Florida cannot fix that fact.  The approach they are taking will effectively take federal tax money (that  Floridians pay!)  and send it to other states.  How is that helping the citizens of Florida?

      So,  after hearing both sides  I have come to the conclusion that this IS--at the end of the day-- all about politics and --as I had originally suspected-- it IS because of their hatred for Obamacare and perhaps even President Obama himself.   Religious leaders, local leaders, business leaders, newspapers, hospitals, doctors have all pleaded with our House of Representatives to join the Senate and form an agreement  to take the money and live with the strings attached so 800,000 of our fellow citizens can stay at work and still afford health insurance.  They have absolutely refused.  It makes no sense.

    I would venture to say that these Congressmen see themselves as stalwarts to "free enterprise" but our medical care system is not based on free enterprise.  It is an oligopoly of pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies,  and medical conglomerates.   They  have a platoon of lobbyists in Washington, DC manipulating the prices and markets of our medical system.   The economics of supply and demand for products and services is non-existent in the medical field and it is farcical to pretend that it is.   That being said,  I plead with any citizen of Florida that reads this blog;  call your congressman and insist they see reason by coming together with the senate (which already has a plan- written by Republicans !) to pass the legislation necessary to see this through.   The Affordable Care Act (with all its flaws)  is the law of the land now, and there is no reason to refuse help from Washington, DC other than to inflate the egos of bombastic,  right wing, fully insured Republican Congressmen.