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1888 - 8:15 a.m.: Newhall's luxurious Southern Hotel burns to the ground [story]

The Real Side | Commentary by Joe Messina
| Monday, Aug 12, 2013

joemessinamugDid you ever drive home from work or an event late at night, and when you pulled into your driveway, you really didn’t remember how you got there? This has been documented by many professionals, and it’s like sleep walking, only it’s sleep driving. Some people have even awakened to find themselves stuck on a median when they clearly thought they were driving straight on the road past that same median. They heard the noise but saw nothing until they woke up.

My contention is that many Americans are like those people. They are “sleep living.”

Every day they hear obvious facts that they ignore while continuing to move forward in some kind of dreamlike altered reality. Take Matt Damon. Seems like a nice guy. Everyone seems to love him. He flew and drove all night to help his mom to promote her “Save our Schools” rally. When he got to the stage, he said he had great teachers, a great education, and he wouldn’t be where he was today if it weren’t for public education. Everyone in the audience cheered and thanked him. But they were all “sleep living.” Either he blurred the truth – i.e., lied – or he hates his kids.

Put down your rocks. It’s simple. We, as parents, want what’s best for our kids. We want to give them or allow them to have the best chance to succeed at life. So if you, as a parent, went through a great education program, one that helped you achieve a high standard of living and great success, then why wouldn’t you want that for your children?

His words – not mine – said he went through a great system, but his kids go to private schools.

Either he lied and public schools aren’t good enough, or he is giving his kids a substandard education – in which case, he is either very confused or wants the worst for his children.

Or maybe he’s lying to help his mom save her school. But why lie? Why not just tell the truth? I guess you’ll just have to ask Matt and hope he tells you the truth.

Speaking of blurring the truth … I was floored by a quote about the history of Democrats on their national website. It said: “For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers’ rights and women’s rights.”

Is that how they really see history? If that doesn’t scare you, and cause you to question pretty much every statement out of their mouths, I’m not sure what will. Let’s just take a look at a few of those claims.

In the mid 1800s, the Democrat party controlled everything. Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner (a Whig Party member) blasted the Democrats for pushing slavery on the new state of Kansas – not asking them to leave the option open, but forcing them to do it. Sumner’s reaction so enraged the Democrats that Rep. Preston Brooks, D-South Carolina, walked up to Sumner from behind (coward!) and hit him with a heavy cane, hard enough to break it. His colleagues were so impressed, they bought him another heavy cane to replace his broken one. Very civilized, don’t you think? Sumner was confined to a wheelchair for three years for voicing his opposition to slavery. Doesn’t sound to me like the Democrats were fighting for civil rights.

In the late 1800s, those Republicans who supposedly hate blacks and, according to Joe Biden, want to put “y’all back in chains,” controlled Congress and passed the Northwest Ordinance that prohibited slavery in any federal territory. The Democrats were patient, waiting until 1820, when they again controlled the Congress, to pass the Missouri Compromise, which reversed the earlier policy. The Democrats’ effort expanded slavery into almost half of the federal territories. Who is it who cares about civil rights?

All through the mid-1800s, Democrats strengthened slavery laws, time and again. Democrats passed the Fugitive Slave Law, requiring northerners to return escaped slaves back into slavery or pay huge fines.

The Democrat platform took a position strongly defending slavery and warned: “All efforts of the abolitionists … are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences and all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people.” That would just be the happiness of white Democrats, correct?

Remember the controversial Dred Scott decision handed down by a Democrat-controlled Supreme Court? It declared that blacks were not persons or citizens, but instead were property and therefore had no rights. Not even civil ones.

The 13th Amendment to abolish slavery was voted for by 100 percent of the Republicans in Congress and by 23 percent of the Democrats in Congress.

Not a single one of the 56 Democrats in Congress voted for the 15th amendment, which granted explicit voting rights to black Americans.

Then, in the mid-1800s, Democrats formed the Ku Klux Klan. Some say it was for the Democrats to regain control in the elections. The Colored Citizens of Frankfort, Ky., wrote a letter to Congress, appealing that “our services to the government and our race have become the special object of hatred and persecution at the hands of the Democratic Party.”

It was the Democrats who prevented black Americans from going to public schools in the early 1900s. It was the Democrats who recently discontinued vouchers in the Washington, D.C., public school system – a district where, because of the voucher program, blacks were flourishing after being trapped in failing schools. In fact, Democrats voted against the voucher bill by 99 percent.

The twisted truth, force-fed to our young and ignorant, will do much more damage than any bomb or economic collapse in this country. The Democrat party has dealt with these inconvenient facts by pointing to the other side and shouting, “They did it.”

Unfortunately, it isn’t much more than background noise, and most Americans believe this blurred truth because they don’t know their history and are “sleep driving” through the present. God help us all.

Joe Messina is host of The Real Side (TheRealSide.com), a nationally syndicated talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS radio and SCVTV [here]. He is also an elected member of the Hart School Board. His commentary normally publishes Mondays.



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  1. Greyling says:

    As usual, rightwing fringe projection. Better headline:

    “Rightwing Fringe Rewrites Reality to Fit its Authoritarian Narrative for 2016”

    Joe Messina’s “truth” is rightwing-fringe bull puckey. Divisive and polarizing. Distracting from the real issues, and the real agenda.

    And of course the “inconvenient facts” Messina claims Democrats deflect to the rightwing are not facts at all.

    For example, Matt Damon is a scapegoat used to illustrate a flawed point. An easy target. An actor. A successful, wealthy liberal.

    The rightwing fringe appears to be claiming if someone has money, they can no longer be part of the democratic process, and if they try, they will be labeled hypocrites. Those libs!

    But it’s really because Damon supports teachers’ unions along with public education, and opposes the failed rightwing No Child Left Behind policy. After all, NCLB was created to fulfill the rightwing fringe agenda of eventually eliminating public education.

    Hardly surprising then, to see rightwing fringer Jeb Bush, a supporter of the voucher system flirting with a 2016 GOP presidential run, recently attack Damon for putting his children in private school after moving to Los Angeles.

    The effects of a decade of NCLB have created public schools that no longer educate, only test. That was the goal. The Koch brothers and Wall Street are heavily invested in privatizing schools, because it is highly profitable. Charter schools are private and subsidized by taxpayers and special tax breaks incentives, so investors will make a fortune. And union-bust at the same time! Those clever rightwing education policies from rightwing policymakers like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute.

    Voucher programs, like the one Messina cites in Washington D.C., privatize public schools, profitizing them for corporations. Part of the Democratic Party platform is public education, and Democrats will always vote against privatizing public education, regardless of which group will be affected because privatization eliminates public education. And teachers’ unions. Ding!

    But still it’s nice to see Messina care so much for black children’s education.

    Messina also conveniently leaves out the change in the parties over the years, and hopes his readers will, too.

    Southern Democrats were indeed pro-slavery. Then Northern Democrats like FDR began this whole safety-net equality thing, which the Dixiecrats and robber barons hated. When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, he correctly observed that the Democrats had lost the South for generations.

    Rightwingers Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater immediately created the Southern Strategy, to attract displaced racist Democrats to the Republican Party. The rightwing fringe denies this, but it is indeed a fact.

    And that is how the Republican Party of today became a racist, bigoted, obstructionist mess. Particularly as it’s been taken over by the rightwing fringe.

    It’s all connected. Vouchers, NCLB, charter schools, union busting, GOP, 2016, tea party, racism and bigotry. Divide and conquer. Distract.

    Never forget that one of Nixon’s top spin-meisters was Roger Ailes, now head of Fox “News.”

  2. Joe Messina says:

    Like I always say, feel free to call in and challenge.. But please bring facts!

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