J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “February, 2016”

On the Bright Side…

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I know I’ve been posting a lot lately about anti-Confederate sentiment, or Confederate cleansing as I like to call it. However, there are a few bright spots here and there around the country where people are getting tired of all the political correctness and have chosen to keep the Confederate battle flag and other symbols. After receiving criticism, the police department in Gettysburg, South Dakota, chose to keep its symbol, which pictures the American flag and the Confederate battle flag together. The small town was founded by Civil War veterans who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, and that is how the design originated.

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In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the Sons of Confederate Veterans will sponsor a Confederate Flag Day to honor Southern history. The gathering will be held at the Farnsworth House Inn off Baltimore Street on March 5, from 2-4 p.m.

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“We as the sons revere the history of our families of the South and of America, and with that we wish to keep our history alive and our heritage along with that,” said Gary Casteel of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Critics of the flag, including Greater Harrisburg NAACP president Stanley Lawson, say our history of slavery is nothing to celebrate. “The Confederate flag does not unite the country, it divides the country,” Lawson said. “I think this time in our history we need to be together.”

“The Confederate flag may have done some nasty things, so did the American Flag, so why don’t we take them both down? Why don’t we destroy both of them and turn our backs on them?” Casteel said. “It’s simple. We are Americans. We have the right to choose to like or dislike. The right way is to accept and move and learn by it.”

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Dishonoring the Honorable

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It seems every day of the year has been designated for something. Today is Play Tennis Day, Banana Bread Day, Curling is Cool Day, and International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. But now, a day that has been designated as Confederate Memorial Day, which has been celebrated in the South for centuries, is under attack. Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort has authored a bill that aims to erase all Confederate holidays. Senator Fort is all for impeding the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, and now he is attacking a day that has been set aside to honor Confederate veterans.

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Lest I remind Senator Fort that Confederate vets are American vets. Eradicating a memorial day in their honor is nothing less that disrespectful and despicable. State Senate Bill 294 in the Georgia State Legislature should be opposed at all costs. The Bill reads:

To amend Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to holidays and observances, so as to revise the public and legal holidays recognized by the State of Georgia; to prohibit the recognition of public and legal holidays honoring, recognizing, observing, or celebrating the Confederate States of America, its history, or the military or political leaders thereof of the Civil War; to repeal the observing of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

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It amazes me that an observance like Confederate Memorial Day should be under attack, when other ridiculous days are okay. Do we really need to honor banana bread and dog biscuits? Really? I think it is our responsibility as U.S. citizens to not allow such attacks on sacred entities like our veterans, and when they occur, to do something about it. My father was a veteran (Marine), and I would be livid if someone wanted to do away with a plaque, monument, or holiday that was set aside to celebrate him. Senator Fort should be ashamed of himself.

http://gascv.org/bill-introduced-to-erase-confederate-memorial-day/

Georgia Under Fire

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Not surprisingly to me, all things Confederate have fallen under attack. This was prompted by the shootings at a black church last year by a racist lunatic who posed in a picture with the Confederate battle flag. It seems this was all it took to spark a wildfire of attacks on Southern heritage and history, using the excuse of racism as a cloak to destroy these treasures and force a hateful message of cultural cleansing on everyone. In Georgia, the following has been targeted:

The Chattooga County Commissioner has the flag display removed from the Confederate Monument on the County Courthouse grounds.

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The Georgia Department of Revenue pulls the Georgia Division, SCV specialty tags for all tag offices and halts the sale of the tags.
NAACP attempts to have the Bullock County Confederate Monument removed from the Courthouse grounds.
NAACP attempts to have the Jasper County Confederate Monument removed from the Courthouse grounds in Monticello.
NAACP and past City of Macon mayor calls for the removal of the Bibb County Confederate Monument in Macon to be removed.
Governor Nathan Deal has Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memorial Day removed from the State Calendar.

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The NAACP and the SCLC call for the removal of the Confederate Memorial carvings from Stone Mountain.
Liberal Activist in Rabun County attempts to remove the flag display from the Confederate Monument in Clayton, Georgia.
Representative DaLawn Jones of district 62, files House Bill 760 that would change Stone Mountain from being a memorial to the Confederacy and give the authority to state agencies to define and change monuments if they deem them inappropriate.
State Senator Vincent Fort of Atlanta files Senate Bill 294 that prohibits the recognition of public and legal holidays honoring, recognizing, observing, or celebrating the Confederate States of America, its history, or the military or political leaders thereof or the Civil War; to repeal the observing of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

All these attacks are nothing less than alarming and disrespectful. Lest I remind these politically correct activists that the items listed above are in honor of American veterans. Regardless of what side of the Civil War they fought for, they were designated as U.S. veterans decades ago. To try and take away the honor they earned and deserve is nothing less than shameful and selfish.

House Bill 50 has been filed in support of “protecting government statues, monuments, plaques, banners, and other commemorative symbols; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.” To read House Bill 50, check out:

http://files.ctctcdn.com/c6653e36501/948f936e-0920-40cb-9484-4458ec40fe3a.pdf

 

 

Blog Tour: Last Vacation by Sarah Elle Emm

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LAST VACATION

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Blurb:

Seven days have passed since Naples real estate agent Megan MacKenna has heard from her twin sister, Madeline, who was vacationing on the beautiful, Caribbean island of St. Croix. Though authorities are not convinced there is a case to solve, Megan knows with all of her heart something happened to Maddy. When Megan receives a direct warning to leave the island or end up like her sister, she turns to the only person who has taken her seriously since she arrived, Gabe, a breakfast cook at a local diner.

Undercover DEA agent, Gabriel Walker has been building his cover for months, waiting for the opportunity to work his way into the infamous Torrez crime ring. When Megan shows up asking questions and Gabe realizes her twin’s disappearance might be linked to the Torrez men, he has to convince her to go back to Florida before she becomes their next victim.

The closer Megan gets to the truth, the more Gabe begins to suspect he is missing a huge piece of the puzzle. And someone is closing in on Megan…

Buy Links:

Amazon USA:

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Vacation-Sarah-Elle-Emm/dp/0692627715/

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Vacation-Sarah-Elle-Emm-ebook/dp/B01BB1ZRSQ/

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Vacation-Sarah-Elle-Emm-ebook/dp/B01BB1ZRSQ/ref=la_B0063X57K6_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454592252&sr=1-5

Amazon Canada:

http://www.amazon.ca/Last-Vacation-Sarah-Elle-Emm-ebook/dp/B01BB1ZRSQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454592304&sr=8-1&keywords=Sarah+Elle+Emm

Amazon India:

http://www.amazon.in/Last-Vacation-Sarah-Elle-Emm-ebook/dp/B01BB1ZRSQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1454592360&sr=8-3&keywords=Sarah+Elle+Emm

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/last-vacation

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/612389

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Fun Fact:

I grew up visiting the island of St. Croix with my family. As an adult, I lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands, on both St. Croix and St. Thomas. I always wanted to write a fiction story that took place there, but I never took the time to write it until recently.

Excerpt:

Megan peered out at the vast expanse of ocean gleaming in the bright morning sunshine before her. The turquoise waters seemed to go on forever. From the Caribbean Airways in flight map, she had noted the islands of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. John were in the far off distance. She had been told a faint view of the densely populated St. Thomas could sometimes be seen on a perfectly clear day, but no matter how she strained her eyes, she couldn’t quite see it today.

Had Maddy hopped on a sailboat and continued her travels to another island as the police officer had suggested? It wasn’t like Maddy not to check in. Her cell phone had been going straight to voice mail since the last photo Maddy had sent, and according to the cell company, the cell phone was out of service range. Something had happened to her sibling. The last communication with Maddy had been an unexplained picture of an iguana. No message, no text, nothing. Just an enormous, slimy, dragon-resembling lizard. Megan sunk her head to her chest. Where in the world was her sister?

“Everything okay, Miss?”

Startled from her hopeless thoughts, Megan sat upright at the sound of the low voice. Her eyes scanned the length of the man standing before her, and she pursed her lips together. She guessed he was probably about six-foot-two.

As she sat silently, observing him, the man repeated his question, “Are you okay?” His tone bordered on cautious, but concerned.

“Everything’s fine,” she finally managed with a tight voice.

With a smile, his concern faded away, and he reached behind his back to untie a grease-spotted apron. He folded the apron up, pulled out a chair at the table right next to Megan’s, about a foot and a half from her, and sat down.

An internal alarm went off, making Megan feel extremely uncomfortable with his proximity, and she fidgeted with her hands as he stared at her, finally forcing them into her lap. How could a voice so soothing go with a gruff-looking character like him? And what in the world was he doing sitting down so close to her?

Author Bio:

Fiction author, Sarah Elle Emm, is a native of Evansville, Indiana and graduate of The University of Evansville. She has lived in Germany, England, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and traveled extensively beyond. Sarah is the author of LAST VACATION (suspense), and the teen fantasy Harmony Run Series, which includes PRISMATIC, OPALESCENT, CHATOYANT, and NACREOUS. She is also the author of MARRYING MISSY, (women’s fiction), a #1 Amazon Best Seller. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship, she is writing.

 

Kansas’ Connection to the Confederacy

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As in most states, soldiers fought for both sides of the Civil War. This was especially apparent in the border states of Kansas, Missouri, Maryland, and Kentucky, as well as the Indian territories of New Mexico and Oklahoma. It seems unfathomable that these states are now debating the relevance of the Confederacy. For Kansas, one particular Confederate soldier stands out.

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General Richard Montgomery Gano was a devout Christian who served as a pastor, congressman, medical doctor, and brigadier general for the Confederate Army. Kirby Smith, the commander of the Army of Trans-Mississippi, said that Gano was “the most brilliant and effective” general in the Western Theatre. After the war ended, Gano planted churches in Kansas and Texas. He also preached throughout the U.S. and baptized nearly 5,000 converts.

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General Gano’s grandson was Howard Hughes, the eccentric business tycoon, investor, aviator, filmmaker and philanthropist. It’s no surprise that Gano’s former ranch and home became the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport. Ironically, the Forth Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is inappropriately banning the display of the Confederate battle flag. Is it because Texas doesn’t know it’s history? Or merely because certain activities planners are trying to jump on the politically correct bandwagon? If more of these states would take pride and understand their Confederate heritage, this controversy wouldn’t exist.

 

 KANSAS SCHOOL CONTINUES TO BATTLE OVER FLAG

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Recently, a high school student in Kansas who was banned from flying the Confederate battle flag on his pickup truck. An AP report shows the battle has gotten hotter. When the student removed his flag, the administration was going to drop the matter, but his fellow students turned on him. They are calling on the school to impose an actual punishment.
The student body president was quoted as saying, “It’s kind of at the point where we have to start doing things on our own to see the change.”
He is one of four students leading a petition drive. He and the other petition organizers – another white student and two black students – have gathered hundreds of signatures. The student council had a closed-to-the-public meeting focusing on matters of race and the battle flag.

One student council member told reporters: “I understand in other places that (the Confederate flag) is culture, but it’s not an example of Kansas culture.”

Apparently, they do not do a very good job of teaching state history in Kansas’ public schools because the Confederate Battle Flag is very much a part of Kansas’ culture. After the War Between the States, the border of Kansas was moved. During and before the war some 1/3 or more of what is now Kansas was actually Oklahoma Indian Territory and part of the Confederacy. After the war, the border of Kansas and Oklahoma was moved, taking away land from the Indians who had fought for the Southern side in the recently ended conflict. So the Confederate Battle Flag is very much a part of the culture of Kansas.

(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, 2-5-2016 ed.)

And the Hits Keep Coming

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I know I keep ranting about all the recent actions made against everything related to the Confederacy, but I just can’t believe this keeps happening! Georgia’s Stone Mountain is being targeted, in that the NAACP wants to sand blast the images of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson off the face of the mountain. It seems to me that this is destroying an historic treasure, which was created by Gutzon Borglum, the same man who created Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota.

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Nothing is sacred, as the politically correct are now targeting Confederate Memorial Day. I find this nothing less than repulsive. For those of you who don’t know, the first Memorial Day was observed in the South after the Civil War. Several Southern women began the tradition by placing flowers on the graves of their fallen, beloved soldiers. Eventually, Confederate Memorial Day moved to April.

Senator Vincent Fort of Atlanta, Georgia, recently filed State Senate Bill 294 in the Georgia State Legislature:

A Bill to be Entitled an Act

To amend Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to holidays and observances, so as to revise the public and legal holidays recognized by the State of Georgia; to prohibit the recognition of public and legal holidays honoring, recognizing, observing, or celebrating the Confederate States of America, its history, or the military or political leaders thereof or the Civil War; to repeal the observing of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

Unbelievable! Obviously, he is not taking into account  how this offends the descendants of thousands of Confederate soldiers, including blacks, whites, Native Americans, Latinos, and various other nationalities who fought and died to protect their homeland (not slavery).

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The Sons of Confederate Veterans are asking for support to fight this bogus legislation. For more information, check out:

http://gascv.org/bill-introduced-to-erase-confederate-memorial-day/

 

A Sad Day in NOLA

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A federal judge ruled last week that four monuments related to the Confederacy will be removed in New Orleans. The mayor, Mitch Landrieu, said he was “pleased” with the ruling. No time frame was given as to when the monuments would be removed, but Landrieu said they would be stored in a city-owned facility until they find a permanent home: most likely a privately-owned park. The monuments targeted are of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, and Liberty Place. The mayor refused to send the monuments to Beauvoir, the post-Civil War home of Jefferson Davis, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

US District Judge Carl Barbier denied to issue an injunction that would have prevented the mayor from removing the monuments. After the New Orleans City Council vote, with only one council member voting to keep the monuments in place, the city received a federal lawsuit from several preservationist groups: the Monumental Task Committee (MTC), Louisiana Landmarks Society, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana and Beauregard Camp No. 130. These four groups all cited that because the MTC has kept up the monument spaces for decades with no charge to taxpayers, they should have a say in the monuments’ fate.

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Landrieu has been the biggest instigator in removing the monuments after receiving funds from an anonymous donor. Last year, he worked to insure that the monuments would be removed no matter what, and the reason given was because, all of a sudden, they have become a “public nuisance.”

Walter Isaacson, Wynton Marsalis, Flozell Daniels and Carol Bebelle have all be vocal about their support for removing monuments in the city and have all been appointed to serve on the Tricentennial Commission.

Now that this has happened, I have to wonder how much longer other landmarks in NOLA will be safe. How long before they destroy General Beauregard’s home? Or the house where Jefferson Davis died? Or the Confederate Museum? I suppose they’ll re-name them all, along with Confederacy-related street names, just to avoid offending someone. What about the scores of people offended by their actions? Doesn’t that count for anything? You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but trying to eradicate history is nothing less than shameful.

http://thehayride.com/2016/01/breaking-lee-circle-and-other-new-orleans-monuments-will-officially-be-removed-federal-judge-rules/

(Special thanks to Jim Huffman.)

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