Texas flags at half-staff today, remembering Fort Hood

November 6, 2009

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has ordered flags in Texas to be flown at half-staff through Sunday, November 8, in remembrance of the victims of the shootings at Fort Hood.  The statement from Perry’s office follows.

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the shootings at Fort Hood:

“The Texas family suffered a significant loss today with the tragedy at Fort Hood. Along with all Texans, Anita and I are keeping those affected by today’s incidents in our thoughts and prayers.

“We are deeply saddened by today’s events, but resolve to continue supporting our troops and protecting our citizens.

“To honor those who lost their lives today, I have ordered that all Texas flags be lowered to half-staff until Sunday, and ask all Texans to pray for the victims, their families and the extended Fort Hood community.”

The governor has been in contact with military and state law enforcement officials. To provide support at Fort Hood, Gov. Perry directed the deployment of a variety of state resources to the area, including Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Texas Rangers and helicopters, to assist in securing the perimeter of the base and provide other support as necessary.

The governor’s flag order applies to all U.S. and Texas flags under the control of the state. Flags will be lowered to half-staff on the State Capitol Building, flag displays in the Capitol Complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds and facilities beginning immediately until sunset on Sunday, November 8th.

Individuals, businesses, municipalities, counties and other political subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.

To view text of the governor’s remarks, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/13905/.

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Death of President William McKinley, September 14, 1901

September 15, 2009

On the Threshold, illustration from Harpers Weekly, September 14, 1901

"On the Threshold," illustration from Harper's Weekly, September 14, 1901

Teachers should be mining the “On This Day” feature at the New York Times, which usually features an historic cartoon or illustration from an antique Harper’s Weekly.  It is a favorite feature, to me.

Yesterday, it featured the illustration from Harper’s upon the death of President William McKinley, on September 14, 1901.

At the Threshold

Artist: William Allen Rogers

his post-dated cartoon was published as President William McKinley lay dying from an assassin’s bullet.  He had been shot on September 6, 1901, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz (pronounced chol-gosh) at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  The president died on September 14.  Here, McKinley is led to the Hall of Martyrs by grief-stricken personifications of the North and South.  Between pillars topped by busts of the two previously slain presidents, Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield, the angel of death prepares to place a laurel wreath of honor upon McKinley’s head.  (Images related to Garfield’s assassination also showed a reconciled North and South.)

There is much more at the Times site.

Robert Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln, was present when McKinley was shot.  Accounts I have read but not confirmed say that Robert Lincoln had been invited to attend Ford’s Theatre with his father and mother, the night his father was shot.  As a member of President James Garfield’s cabinet, Robert Lincoln had been awaiting Garfield’s arrival at Union Station in Washington, D.C., when Garfield was shot.

And as a visitor in Buffalo, Robert Lincoln had as a matter of respect lined up to shake President William McKinley’s hand.

Astounding if true.  Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated.  Robert Lincoln was present for two of them, and close to the first assassination.  Where can we confirm or deny that story?

McKinley’s death catapulted the do-gooder, Theodore Roosevelt, into the presidency, probably to the great chagrin of corrupt Republican politicians who had hoped that by getting him nominated to the vice presidency they could get him out of New York politics.

The rest is history.

Partisan says get a grip, stop religious violence; Rod Dreher disagrees (?!)

August 3, 2008

Context means a lot.

At a religious service on a state college campus, a congregant violated etiquette at communion. Some reports noted that sect members bullied the congregant on the spot. The congregant fled the service, according to some reports. An advocacy group for the religious sect demanded apologies, legal action, and ostracism for the congregant. Threats of violence against the congregant started rolling in. The congregent was told he will be murdered.

A professor at a good, small midwestern state college used his pen to urge calm among the sect’s members. Threats of violence are foolish, he says. Calm down, he said.

The professor tried to put things in perspective: Threatening murder for a violation of communion etiquette is beyond the pale, one of the dangers of violent religious sects. Such actions are the opposite of American tradition.

But then the prof took a step farther: This religious sect is functioning on superstition, he said. He said the superstition can be exposed, and he would use his skeptical powers to expose the superstition, to show everyone that threats of death on such issues are unwise, unnecessary, and to be avoided.

Rod Dreher, who last week complained in his column about the lasting damage that bullies can do to kids in schools, weighed in on the communion/death threats matter with a column this week in the Dallas Morning News.

How did Dreher weigh in?

A. He calls for an end to bullying, and urges calm.
B. He says religious wars started this way, and he urges calm.
C. He calls for an end to bullying, but urges the professor to lay off debunking the religion.
D. He calls the professor hateful, and supports the side that issued the death threats.

See below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

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