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Columnist Calls for removal of NC's Confederate Monument
Raleigh (NC) News and Observer ^ | 8 February 2008 | J. Peder Zane

Posted on 02/23/2009 10:18:10 AM PST by Rebeleye

Yet it remains Raleigh's most prominent piece of public art, a signature symbol with an ugly past representing values and ambitions that no longer reflect who we are.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsobserver.com ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans; Society
KEYWORDS: confederate; dixie; godsgravesglyphs; monument; northcarolina; purge; raleigh; soldier
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A Public Monument to an Ugly History

Raleigh seems poised to write a new chapter of its history as the City Council considers creating a dedicated funding stream for public art.

The proposal would require that one half of one percent of the capital construction cost of new projects fund public art. It would be a bold step in remaking the look and feel of the city. This may be a baby step -- many comparable cities fund at one or two percent. But I have no doubt that one day soon we will be walking, running and, in the process, taking flight.

Public art is not a luxury. It is a mirror that reflects a community's values and ambitions, its sense of itself. The grand monuments of Washington, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, the Eiffel Tower in Paris -- all capture the best spirit of those special places.

Here in Raleigh, we can take pride in the beautiful Cree Shimmer Wall that adorns the new convention center. Depicting a spreading tree that moves and gleams in the roiling winds, the Shimmer Wall captures the exuberant energy that is transforming our community while paying homage to its tradition as the City of Oaks.

As we create the future of public art, we should also look to its past. The time is ripe to reconsider the most prominent piece of public art in Raleigh: the Confederate monument that guards the State Capitol.

Since it was erected in 1895, the 75-foot-high statue has been the city's signature symbol. Like the best works of public art, it long reflected the values and attitudes of the community -- of most white citizens, that is, who ruled the city through laws that disenfranchised African-Americans.

In 2009, this monument honoring the Lost Cause no longer reflects the feelings of North Carolinians. If we held a statewide referendum, I believe a majority of residents would vote to remove it from its singular place of privilege.

The common argument defending Confederate symbols is that they celebrate heritage, not hate. Even if this were the case, we should ask: Is this the heritage Tar Heels want to trumpet most loudly? Of all the things we can be proud of, does our Rebel past still top the list?

Conceived in toxic times

History shows that the monument was never just a tribute to fallen husbands, brothers and sons. It was conceived, erected and sustained by the poisonous racial politics of white supremacy.

After the Civil War, many Southerners dedicated cemeteries to their dead. In Raleigh, the Ladies Memorial Association spearheaded the push for a Confederate burial ground in 1866-67, racing against the arrival of federal troops dispatched to occupy the South after the defeated states refused to pass the 14th Amendment guaranteeing black male suffrage.

When this period of Reconstruction ended in 1876 and the racist Democratic machine regained power, Confederate memorials across the South took on a more aggressive and public tone. Local and state funds supplemented private donations, and the monuments became potent symbols of the new/old order.

While paying homage to the dead, they reflected the relentless effort to justify the Confederate cause and the brutal push to suppress black rights that ushered in the long era of Jim Crow.

The call for Raleigh's public monument was sounded in the 1880s and became a drumbeat in the early 1890s. Then it hit a snag. Economic troubles led to the ouster of the Democratic party in the 1894 elections by a coalition of white Populists and mostly black Republicans. Initially, leaders of this new "fusion" government balked at providing the money needed to complete it.

In response, historian Catherine Bishir reports, its supporters used "race-baiting techniques," criticizing the legislature for passing a resolution honoring the recently deceased black leader Frederick Douglass "while delaying the promised $10,000 loan for the monument."

Cowed fusionists quickly provided the funds.

Two weeks before the monument was dedicated, Raleigh voters, spurred on by white surpemacist cartoons in the Democratic party's main organ, The News & Observer, rejected fusionist legislation that would have permitted the direct election of officials. The triumphant N&O headline proclaimed: "The City Still Ours … No Negro Rule in Raleigh."

That was the backdrop for the ceremony on May 20, 1895. A crowd of perhaps 30,000 people that included Stonewall Jackson's widow listened as the day's featured speaker, Alfred Moore Waddell, cast the Confederate dead as American patriots.

Waddell would soon turn those words into action. In 1898, he was a leader of the statewide campaign that used the explicit language of white supremacy, violence and vote-stealing to defeat the fusionists. Waddell became the mayor of Wilmington after the incumbent was forced to resign in the only coup in American history.

A simple symbol

Blacks across North Carolina and the South would not enjoy even the semblance of equality until the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. During those bleak decades, the Confederate monument was a towering symbol of the state's oppressive power structure.

Born in hate, the time has come for the monument to die.

We should not erase all evocations of our tortured history, removing every statue or street name honoring those who espoused abhorrent views.

One could argue that Gov. Charles Aycock, an architect of the white supremacist campaign, should not be seen simply through the lens of race. The same might be said for The N&O's editor at the time, Josephus Daniels.

The Confederate monument offers little such complexity.

Yet it remains Raleigh's most prominent piece of public art, a signature symbol with an ugly past representing values and ambitions that no longer reflect who we are.

Gov. Perdue, tear down this monument.

1 posted on 02/23/2009 10:18:10 AM PST by Rebeleye
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To: Rebeleye

The left is everywhere and they can’t be placated. We just have to defeat them in the ballot box and at the newstand. Don’t vote for lefties and don’t buy lefty newspapers.


2 posted on 02/23/2009 10:21:49 AM PST by Professor_Leonide (I said to the young man who showed me a photo, "Who can ever be sure what is behind a mask?")
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To: Rebeleye


The county courthouse in my home town. It stays!
3 posted on 02/23/2009 10:22:53 AM PST by Islander7 (If you want to anger conservatives, lie to them. If you want to anger liberals, tell them the truth.)
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To: Professor_Leonide
We just have to defeat them in the ballot box and at the newstand. Don’t vote for lefties and don’t buy lefty newspapers.

I'd rather face them on a battlefield.

4 posted on 02/23/2009 10:23:39 AM PST by pgkdan
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To: Rebeleye
If we held a statewide referendum, I believe a majority of residents would vote to remove it from its singular place of privilege.

Then hold the public referendum and agree ahead of time to abide by it. Rather than leave the matter in the hands of a newspaper columnist or arts committee.

5 posted on 02/23/2009 10:25:31 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Rebeleye

I cannot believe this!! This is part of history and should STAY. It is a monument to the soldiers who died for independence. I am a transplant from New Jersey and love NC and the people. If the author does not like the monument...move...and may I recommend NJ....you would be welcome there....


6 posted on 02/23/2009 10:28:47 AM PST by NC Angeleyes
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To: Rebeleye

I guess the Yankee to local ratio in Raleigh has finally been tipped by the snowbirds and halfbacks.


7 posted on 02/23/2009 10:30:07 AM PST by doodad
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To: Rebeleye

J. Peder Zane

8 posted on 02/23/2009 10:30:54 AM PST by kcvl
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To: Professor_Leonide

Some people (uneducated msm) still think the war was about slaves.


9 posted on 02/23/2009 10:32:24 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: NC Angeleyes

Why not replace the monument with very thing the states rights movement originally rose up to fight - a bloated statue dedicated to the Big Gummn’t in Washington. A sow laying on her side; suckling the various special interest lobby groups is my humble suggestion.


10 posted on 02/23/2009 10:33:39 AM PST by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
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To: Non-Sequitur

“Then hold the public referendum and agree ahead of time to abide by it. Rather than leave the matter in the hands of a newspaper columnist or arts committee.”

Makes sense, to a degree. But beware the tyranny of majority voice. In the instant case, it should be left up to the citizens, as the issue is a statue. My only concern is based on one of precedent. Again, we should beware the tyranny of majority voice lest it set an unintended precedent.


11 posted on 02/23/2009 10:34:03 AM PST by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: Rebeleye

We’ll need “Tar Heels” in the next revolution,


12 posted on 02/23/2009 10:35:02 AM PST by SwinneySwitch (ObommaNation - beyond your expectations.)
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To: Rebeleye

The local afternoon radio guy (Bill Lemay) had this moron on his talk show a few weeks ago. Nearly everyone called in and castigated the idiot for his views. One caller suggested, based on this idiot’s logic, that if we remove the memorial to civil war dead in Raleigh then we must surely tear down Mount Rushmore and Stone Mountian (in GA) as they were done by the same sculpture.

Of course, this moron had no answer to that and immediately began his deflect/back-peddaling.

The Blues & Disturber (N&O) has been a decades-long shrine for liberal views. It’s the only rag we got, though, unfortunately.


13 posted on 02/23/2009 10:35:23 AM PST by nesnah (Expression with an attitude - http://www.polistic.com)
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To: MitchellC; Lee'sGhost

NC ping please!


14 posted on 02/23/2009 10:36:09 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: Vaduz

Exactly.....


15 posted on 02/23/2009 10:36:29 AM PST by nesnah (Expression with an attitude - http://www.polistic.com)
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To: ought-six

Where does letting a minority decide that it should stay make any more sense than letting a minority decide it should go?


16 posted on 02/23/2009 10:37:59 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: ought-six

>> beware the tyranny of majority voice.

Thank the Lord we live in a Republic. Otherwise, we would all be ruled by a big city socialist valedocracy. (Oh, yeah - I forgot - never mind; we already are.)


17 posted on 02/23/2009 10:40:11 AM PST by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
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To: kcvl

Yankee knobgobbler


18 posted on 02/23/2009 10:42:22 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Rebeleye

We need to work on revoking a holiday based upon a philanderer that enjoyed beating up white prostitutes and was a Communist.


19 posted on 02/23/2009 10:51:17 AM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: Islander7

Good.

Its a monument to patriotic State Residents who fought and died for what they believed was right.

It should stay.


20 posted on 02/23/2009 10:51:33 AM PST by ZULU (The Obamanation of Desolation stands here. Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.)
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To: Rebeleye

Someone needs to zap this to these fine ladies. (Used to be a member in another state) :)

http://www.scudc.info/


21 posted on 02/23/2009 10:51:54 AM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Obama dozed.....people froze.)
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To: Rebeleye

Don’t be fooled here, this is just an attempt by a doomed lib paper to gin up controversy & appear relevant. No chance the statue will go.


22 posted on 02/23/2009 10:52:34 AM PST by Battle of Tours
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To: Rebeleye; Constitution Day
Gov. Perdue, tear down this monument.

Pathetic attempt to be Reagan. These jerks recycle the same story every 9 months - rinse and repeat.

23 posted on 02/23/2009 10:54:04 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: Rebeleye
The construction of Thomas Jefferson's estate, Monticello, was carried out mostly by black slaves:

[A sizable labor force was devoted to construction. According to McLaughlin, “The white carpenter was supported by at least two or three slaves. Cutting and hauling lumber was slave work; sawyers were slaves...The master carpenter James Dinsmore was given as helpers a slave apprentice, Lewis and John Hemings, Jefferson's slave carpenter, who was to become the equal to Dinsmore as a joiner. Hemings was one of a number of slaves who learned the building trades and were put to work along side of white craftsmen, or in place of them, at Monticello.”]

Jefferson's slaves also mined, washed, molded and fired the red clay for the half-million bricks used in Monticello.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monticello

Political correctness is philosophical totalitarianism.

24 posted on 02/23/2009 11:15:34 AM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: Non-Sequitur

“Where does letting a minority decide that it should stay make any more sense than letting a minority decide it should go?”

Our nation’s laws were established to protect the interests of the minority from the tyranny of the majority. What you seem to be advocating, by majority rule, is a pure democracy; and we all know what the wolves and the lamb had to say about what to eat for dinner based on the pure democracy of majority vote. No thanks. Give me a Constitutional Republic over a pure democracy any time.


25 posted on 02/23/2009 11:17:31 AM PST by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: pgkdan

Ditto’s!


26 posted on 02/23/2009 11:19:26 AM PST by devistate one four (Impatiently waiting for the next tea party! Tet '68)
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To: kcvl

This Yankee thinks that guy is 100% ‘grade A’ dickhead.


27 posted on 02/23/2009 11:20:17 AM PST by Travis T. OJustice (Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy. FUBO!)
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To: ought-six
Give me a Constitutional Republic over a pure democracy any time.

The will of the majority is anything you agree with while the tyranny of the majority is anything you do not. A bit selective, IMHO.

28 posted on 02/23/2009 11:21:52 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: SwinneySwitch
We’ll need “Tar Heels” in the next revolution.

As opposed to s***heels like the author.

29 posted on 02/23/2009 11:22:38 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.)
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To: pgkdan
I'd rather face them on a battlefield.

If it comes to that you won't be lacking for company.

30 posted on 02/23/2009 11:32:09 AM PST by central_va (Co. C, 15th Va., Patrick Henry Rifles-The boys of Hanover Co.)
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To: Non-Sequitur

“The will of the majority is anything you agree with while the tyranny of the majority is anything you do not. A bit selective, IMHO.”

The will of the majority is restrained by laws that protect the interests of the minority, as we have in a Constitutional Republic. Those laws protect the minority who may very well be at risk by that majority will.

Your apparent support for a pure democracy would leave 49% of the people at the mercy of 51%. Hardly a comforting thought.


31 posted on 02/23/2009 11:41:54 AM PST by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: ought-six
Your apparent support for a pure democracy would leave 49% of the people at the mercy of 51%. Hardly a comforting thought.

And in this case if 51% of the people say the statue should go then I think it should go. If 49% say it should go then I think it should stay. Can't get much simple than that. This isn't some burning Constitutional issue here, it's a statue from a cause lost 140 years ago.

32 posted on 02/23/2009 11:47:37 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: kcvl

My guess is that his ancestors avoided military service on either side of the Civil War.


33 posted on 02/23/2009 11:51:45 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: mainepatsfan; indcons; Pharmboy

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


34 posted on 02/23/2009 12:14:30 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Non-Sequitur

“This isn’t some burning Constitutional issue here....”

If you ever took time to read others’ posts instead of waxing pedantic you’d see that my comment WAS that since it only involved a statue, the plebiscite should determine its future. BUT, that once such a precedent is set, it could lead to other plebiscites of majority will that could be fatal to other interests. Hence my comment to beware of unitended precedent, and my strong support of a Constitutional Republic over a pure democracy, the latter of which you seem to favor.


35 posted on 02/23/2009 12:25:32 PM PST by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: Rebeleye
There's a monument to Confederate soldiers right in the middle of Washington Street in Alexandria, Virginia. I'm surprised it's still there, given how left-wing the area has gotten.


36 posted on 02/23/2009 12:34:12 PM PST by Pyro7480 (This Papist asks everyone to continue to pray the Rosary for our country!)
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To: 100%FEDUP; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; ~Vor~; a4drvr; Adder; Aegedius; Afronaut; alethia; ...

NC *Ping*

Please FRmail MitchellC if you want to be added to or removed from this North Carolina ping list.
37 posted on 02/23/2009 1:32:50 PM PST by MitchellC
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To: Non-Sequitur

“And in this case if 51% of the people say the statue should go then I think it should go. “

Let’s take a vote. If 51% of the posters on this forum agree that you are a jackass and demand you leave, will you abide?


38 posted on 02/23/2009 1:44:08 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Rebelbase
Let’s take a vote. If 51% of the posters on this forum agree that you are a jackass and demand you leave, will you abide?

Only if that covers all jackasses, yourself included.

39 posted on 02/23/2009 1:46:14 PM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur

I’ll put my screen name up against yours and let the forum vote who stays and who goes. It will be an exercise in democracy using your quote as the thread premise.

Game on?


40 posted on 02/23/2009 1:52:45 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Rebelbase
Nah, I think I'll stick around.
41 posted on 02/23/2009 1:56:40 PM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Rebeleye
A crowd of perhaps 30,000 people that included Stonewall Jackson's widow listened as the day's featured speaker, Alfred Moore Waddell, cast the Confederate dead as American patriots.

They were American patriots. They just had a vision of a different America than I do. Their bravery and tenacity should be honored. (Not their cause.)

42 posted on 02/23/2009 2:03:33 PM PST by Sherman Logan (Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.)
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To: Sherman Logan
The reb cause was certainly rotten, but a lot of the soldiers, especially in the Upper South, found themselves between a couple of unpleasant options. I imagine there were quite a number of ordinary Confederate soldiers who went into the war like Robert E. Lee with no regard for the concept of secession and no personal respect for the Deep South idiot politicians who led the South into destruction. But such acknowledgment that all confederate soldiers were not racist monsters to be tarred with eternal guilt does not agree with the agenda of the rabid divisive element of the left.
43 posted on 02/23/2009 2:23:11 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Rebeleye

Hey, J. Peder Zane, STFU.


44 posted on 02/23/2009 2:46:15 PM PST by swmobuffalo ("We didn't seek the approval of Code Pink and MoveOn.org before deciding what to do")
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To: Rebeleye
of most white citizens, that is, who ruled the city through laws that disenfranchised African-Americans

All of which were democrats.

45 posted on 02/23/2009 3:32:09 PM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: QBFimi

I suggest a letter to the editor to that effect.


46 posted on 02/23/2009 3:39:32 PM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: Travis T. OJustice

His father should have pulled out.


47 posted on 02/24/2009 4:42:56 AM PST by FearlessFreep (Never bring a fart to a sh#t fight.)
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To: central_va

Amen.


48 posted on 02/24/2009 4:43:34 AM PST by FearlessFreep (Never bring a fart to a sh#t fight.)
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To: Rebeleye

Pretentious writing from a pretentious writer.


49 posted on 02/24/2009 9:40:16 AM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Be prepared for tough times. FReepmail me to learn about our survival thread!)
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To: nesnah; Battle of Tours; abb

“The Blues & Disturber (N&O) has been a decades-long shrine for liberal views. It’s the only rag we got, though, unfortunately.”

not much longer I hope...the N&O’s parent company McClatchey(MNI)is swirling the bowl...they also publish the Charlotte N&O.....here’s what Wall Street thinks of their chances for survival....I always feel better when I see this chart.
http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/quickchart/quickchart.asp?symb=MNI&sid=0&o_symb=MNI&x=50&y=18


50 posted on 02/25/2009 9:53:25 AM PST by STONEWALLS
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