Monday, August 25, 2008

I LOVE Virginia....

As soon as you cross over the Mason-Dixon Line, leaving Maryland for Virginia, you’re greeted with the Stars and Bars (see above) and a BIG sign that reads, “Dixie Starts Here.”

Two of my brothers and my wife don’t much care for that specter, but I’m fine with it.

My Dad’s family came over from Ireland and many of them fought in the Civil War (over 80% of the Union’s troops were of Irish descent), but I tend to agree with the great abolitionist and Liberty-lover, Lysander Spooner, on both the hypocrisy of that war and the reasons for it, when he said, “On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union."
"The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.
"No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave.
"And there is no difference, in principle - but only in degree - between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man's ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.”

To the extent that the South fought for the original Constitution, I agree with what the great Confederate General Longstreet said, “We should’ve freed the slaves and then fired on Fort Sumpter.” It certainly would've made the rationale for the war far clearer.

At any rate, I love natural beauty of much of the South, the more genteel and well-mannered people of the South and the ideological Conservatism of the South.

I also LOVE all those “Ham, Tobacco and Fireworks” shops all along the highways of the South! Even though I’m not a huge ham fan, I don’t smoke and I rarely have much use for fireworks, I’m glad such shops are around, if only to keep alive the spirit emboldened on those tee shirts that read, “Alcohol, Tabacco and Firearms Should Be a Convenience Store, NOT a Government Agency!”

I couldn’t agree more!

I also love the history of the South, from Jamestowne (the first lasting English settlement in America), to Yorktown, where General Cornwallis surrendered to then General George Washington, successfully (at least for America) ending the American Revolution, to the various battlefields and military museums.

And of course, I LOVE the Southern coastline, especially the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach - See the sunset over Sandbridge above.


ZACK said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog! They actually made things worse for Cullen Jones! :) I'm kidding, but it was a very strong argument that you presented.

I like this post as well. I want to move to the South one day- just not today.

JMK said...

I really like your blog Zack.

You write really well and you have a good perspective on things.

I like Cullen Jones alot and his accomplishments are indeed noteworthy.

It's just that what Phelps did was historic....and the relay that Jones and Lezak swam in earned them all (including Phelps) gold medals. One of the things I like about the Olympics is that it focuses on sports that you don't see highlighted very often, like swimming, gymanstics and diving, etc. Phelps and Bolt were the two BIG stories out of this Olympics because of the overwhelming way they won their individual contests - Usain Bolt set TWO World Records and won 3 Golds and Phelps set 7 WRs on his 8 Golds. Those two athletes were absolutely AWESOME!

As to the South, I worked with a firefighter in the South Bronx (now retired)...a great guy and a great fireman, who took a job with a paid Fire Dept outside of Orlando, Florida and he and his family moved back to NY within a year.

His family couldn't adjust and even Mike (one of the nicest and easiest going guys I've ever met) said it was just too redneck for him....and he was only thirty miles or so from a fairly large city!

He was hired on as a Captain (in charge of three or four firehouses down there) and he'd try and show them how we did things in NYC and they'd spit on the ground and drawl, "We don't give a shit how they do things in Neeeew Yaaawk." Of course, you could find a very similar attitude and cultural adjustment in many rural areas up north, so that's not just a southern thing.

I've mostly stayed in the larger cities, which are a little more cosmopolitan and along the coastline.

I especially LOVE the Virginia Beach area (especially Sandbridge, just south of VB) and some of the lake regions - like Lake Murray in South Carolina, although Sandbridge (VB) is a little more hospitable to northerners.

You could do well down there in that the pace isn't as crazy as it is in places like NYC....and the cost of living is somewhat lower.

Of course, the entire South is changing, 46% of the new arrivals to the South are of Hispanic descent....down the road that'll mean big changes for the culture down there.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for commenting.....I'll be checking your blog out regularly.

Roadhouse said...

As a trucker, I get to Virginia almost every day. You should see some of the vineyard and horse country that's more centrally located in the state. It's some of the most picturesque countryside I've ever seen...and I live in the country.

Unfortunately, the lib-dominated northern part of Virginia tends to spoil the view.

For your next vacation, you should add Lake Anna and Scenic View Drive to your trip.

Bring Zack along too.

JMK said...

I've seen some of that country Roady, but I want to see a lot more and your endorsement is more incentive to do so. I will definitely add Lake Anna and Scenic View Drive to my next trip.

I tend to agree about the northern sector of that state, although that's a function of it being a suburb of D.C. and filled with governemnt bureaucrats who see their bread as being buttered by more government bureaucracy.

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