Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Carpetbaggers and Their Luggage

When the sign showed up on our front lawn, my wife was deeply disturbed. It read “Ackerman Irvine Carpetbagger” and pointed out quite effectively that Linda Ackerman was “carpetbagging”. If you confuse “tea-bagging” and “douche-bagging”, you might think
carpetbagging is some gross and offensive adjective. The latter term, however, is much less innocuous than either of the former...if you are a carpetbagger.   For the rest of us, carpetbaggers are offensive.

“In United States history, carpetbagger(s) was a negative term Southerners (Americans living in the southern half of the United States also known as Rebels) adopted and gave to opportunistic and speculative Northerners (Americans living in the northern half of the United States also known as Yankees) who moved to the South during the Reconstruction era, between 1865 and 1877. They often formed alliances with freedmen (freed slaves), and scalawags (southern whites who were Republicans) in the Republican Party. Together they are said to politically manipulate and control former Confederate states for varying periods for their own financial and power gains, 1867–1877. In sum, Carpetbaggers were seen as insidious northern new comer outsiders with questionable objectives meddling in local politics, buying up plantations at fire sale prices, taking advantage of poor southerners and pushing their alien northern ways on southern politics. The term carpetbagger is not to be confused with the term copperhead which is a term given to person from the North who sympathizes with the Southern right to Secession, self-determination and independence.


The term carpetbaggers was also used to describe the white northern Republican politicians who came South, arriving with their travel carpetbags. Southerners considered them ready to loot and plunder the defeated South.[1]


In modern usage in the United States, the term is sometimes used derisively to refer to a politician who runs for public office in an area in which he or she is not originally from and/or has only lived for a very short time.”

Merriam-Webster’s online definition is quite simple:
“Main Entry: car•pet•bag•ger
Pronunciation: \-ˌba-gər\
Function: noun
Etymology: from their carrying all their belongings in carpetbags
Date: 1868
1 : a Northerner in the South after the American Civil War usually seeking private gain under the reconstruction governments
2 : outsider; especially : a nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics”

It is a simple term that is poignantly appropriate for Orange County politics. The 2009/2010 special election in California’s 72nd Assembly District had a candidate, Linda Ackerman, who registered in the 72nd AD within days of the early resignation of Mike Duval. The fact that she physically lived in a gated Irvine community but was “renting” a room in Fullerton from some old friends was made public and I believe was a significant factor in her loss of the election to long-time resident Chris Norby. At the time of the special election, Norby was an Orange County Supervisor. With his election to the State Assembly, a void was created in the 4th District office. To fill the void, a myriad of candidates have appeared, two with their carpetbags in hand.

What is it that happens in a person’s mind that causes them to think that it is acceptable to run for an office for which they shouldn’t? The practice of carpetbagging is wrong on many levels.

It is wrong and unethical for, as Merriam-Webster states, a non-resident or new resident to seek private gain from an area by meddling in its business or politics. It is not as though there are no qualified candidates, although some may argue my use of the word qualified. In the case of the 4th District election, there are at least four candidates who meet the voting requirements and two others who have changed their place of residency within days of announcing their intentions to run for office.

(Harry Sidhu, Carpetbagger)

(Lorri Galloway, Carpetbagger)

“But the candidate really understands our needs and local issues. Why shouldn’t I vote for them?” To understand why constituents should not get your vote and why it is unethical and wrong for you to give them your vote, let us look at history.

First, let’s dig into the Old Testament. Proverbs 22:28 states “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” What does that statement have to do with carpetbagging? Proverbs points out the sanctity and importance of boundaries. Deuteronomy re-states this in 19:14 with “Do not move your neighbor's boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess.” And just what can a trespasser expect? Deuteronomy 27:17, “‘Cursed is the man who moves his neighbor's boundary stone.’ Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” These are ancient precepts that are literally the bounds of a civilized society.

Boundaries are an ancient concept in deed. As many land surveyors know, the Greeks had a goddess, Terminus, for overseeing boundaries. The Roman poet, Ovid, wrote the following in Fasti (Book 2), translated by James G. Frazer:

"When the night had passed, see to it that the god who marks the boundaries of the tilled lands receives his wonted honour. O Terminus, whether thou art a stone or stump buried in the field, thou too hast been deified from days of yore. Thou art crowned by two owners on opposite sides; they bring thee two garlands and two cakes. An altar is built. Hither the husbandman’s rustic wife brings with her own hands on a potsherd the fire which she has taken from the warm hearth. The old man chops wood, and deftly piles up the billets, and strives to fix the branches in the solid earth: then he nurses the kindling flames with dry bark, the boy stands by and holds the broad basket in his hands. When from the basket he had thrice thrown corn into the midst of the fire, the little daughter presents the cut honeycombs. Others hold vessels of wine. A portion of each is cast into the flames. The company dressed in white look on and hold their peace. Terminus himself, at the meeting of the bounds, is sprinkled with the blood of a slaughtered lamb, and grumbles not when a suckling pig is given him. The simple neighbours meet and hold a feast, and sing thy praises, holy Terminus: “Thou dost set bounds to peoples and cities and vast kingdoms; without thee every field would be a root of wrangling. Thou courtest no favour thou art bribed by no gold: the lands entrusted to thee thou dost guard in loyal good faith. If thou of old hadst marked the bounds of the Thyrean land, three hundred men had not been done to death, nor had the name of Othryades been read on the piled arms. O how he made his fatherland to bleed! What happened when the new Capitol was being built? Why, the whole company of gods withdrew before Jupiter and made room for him; but Terminus, as the ancients relate, remained where he was found in the shrine, and shares the temple with great Jupiter. Even to this day there is a small hole in the roof of the temple, that he may see naught above him but the stars. From that abide in that station in which thou hast been placed. Yield not an inch to a neighbour, though he ask thee, lest thou shouldst seem to value man above Jupiter. And whether they beat thee with ploughshares or with rakes, cry out, ‘This is thy land, and that is his.’” There is a way that leads folk to the Laurentine fields, the kingdom once sought by the Dardanian chief: on that way the sixth milestone from the City witnesses the sacrifice of the woolly sheep’s guts to thee, Terminus. The land of other nations has a fixed boundary: the circuit of Rome is the circuit of the world."

In Medieval England (and even currently in some regions) a “beating of the bounds” was performed wherein a young person, often a child, was held upside down and their head hit against the boundary markers. (Brown’s Boundary Control and Legal Principles, fourth edition, John-Wiley & Sons, Inc.) The idea being that the child would never forget what happened and where the boundary marker was located. The event was carried out throughout England almost as a holiday festival.

So, why is it so hard for those with political ambitions to realize the physical limitations of their ambitions? If I were to walk into my neighbor’s home and tell him or her how to run their home and then hold my hand out for a paycheck, I wouldn’t be greeted with open arms. Isn’t that what these carpetbaggers of late are doing?

(Former U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, Carpetbagger)

Hillary Clinton’s ambition for a senate seat took her to New York where she was somehow able to win election. It may have been the novelty of having this former First Lady representing them, the fact that she would be the first female senator to represent New York, or just a general lack of understanding by the constituents. Either way, they got what they elected. She was first elected in 2000 and was re-elected in 2006. In 2008, she quit being a senator four years early to run for President (ok, she might not have resigned but she wasn’t exactly representing New York at that point).

A carpetbagger’s interests are never for the people whose vote they seek. Carpetbaggers are after power and pleasuring their ego. For that matter, all elected people seek power and acceptance. If they just wanted to help people in their community, they could be vastly more effective actually working, volunteering in the trenches of humanity, rather than sitting in office exercising governance for the sake of governance. But this is the nature of the politician. Most of us can admit honestly that we have egos and might enjoy having the power to change inequities around us. For the select few of us that have the gift of oratory gab and a sense of civic duty, elected office doesn’t seem so strange. Of those few who have the ambition, many will consider the limits of their ability to achieve their ambitions. Those limits might include time commitments, financial/fiscal considerations, and the availability of a vacant seat.

So who are these select few that will choose to ignore the lack of an available seat in their respective jurisdiction and run for an office for which they are not qualified (legally, ethically, morally) to seek? These are the worst of politicians. These are power-hungry egocentric individuals who will as quickly take money from a lobbyist as they will cross a district boundary for they have no scruples!  With their moral compass in desperate need of calibration, if not repair, why would anyone give a vote to a carpetbagger?

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Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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