The military’s longstanding ban on service by gays and lesbians came to a historic and symbolic end on Wednesday, as President Obama signed legislation repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the contentious 17-year old Clinton-era law that sought to allow gays to serve under the terms of an uneasy compromise that required them to keep their sexuality a secret.
more at the NYTimes
But ignorance and bigotry never sleeps. There is a series going on at the Times about the Civil War and an article about Confederacy-lovers celebrating the 150th anniversary of South Carolina's secession:
Inside, the white gala attendees, nearly half of whom were dressed in period costume, belted out a rousing rendition of Dixie. The mood was festive and defiant. Slavery, many insisted, had nothing to do with their decision to buy the $100 ticket to attend the ball. “We’re not celebrating slavery,” maintained Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander-in-Chief Michael Givens. “We’re looking at the bravery and tenacity of the people who rose up.” When pressed, he and others admitted that the institution was an abomination. But they also took pains to emphasize that secession was about high tariffs or states’ rights. Anything but slavery.
Attendees at Monday’s ball would like to believe that the unanimity of slaveowners and non-slaveowners during the crisis proves that slavery wasn’t the driving issue behind secession. But a closer study of the contentious debate over secession in late 1860 shows how “fire-eaters” used fear of emancipation to coerce and persuade whites of all classes into ultimately supporting secession. (Needless to say, the state’s black majority likely didn’t support secession either—though no one bothered to ask them.)
To get a real taste of the mind-boggling ignorance and fantasy-land mentality of these people, you need to check out the Facebook page the Times set up about the series - it's full of comments from Confederacy lovers, like some guy named Wayne David Carlson. He left his FB profile totally open, so anybody who is on Facebook can get a load of his "Southern Heroes" page.
Like all celebrants of the South's "glorious" past, Carlson can barely hide his racism. He writes:
These are some of my Southern heroes. A great disservice is done to our children when they are ignorant of them because the schools are indoctrinating them with all sorts of multicultural drivel and depriving them of a knowledge of who they are and where they come from!
Only the most degraded, pathetic, deluded ignoramus could deny that the primary cause of South Carolina's secession was about slavery - they made an open declaration about it. From South Carolina's "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union":
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.
You'd have to have a SERIOUS reading-comprehension problem not to understand what this means. South Carolina is complaining that the North is "deciding upon the propriety" of slavery; that the North denies the right to make human beings property; that the North says slavery is sinful; the North allows abolitionists to speak out against slavery; Northerners help slaves escape AND Notherners "incited" slaves.
It really is astounding that there are people out there who actually want to be identified with the old evil South.
UPDATE - turns out that Wayne David Carlson is a gym teacher as well as "chairman of the Virginia League of the South" a crazed right-wing Christian Southern-separatist organization. Apparently only men are allowed to represent their organization.