American Morning

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April 8th, 2010
05:45 AM ET

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Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each and every day. Join the live chat during the program by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*).

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama landed in the Czech Republic on Thursday for a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to sign a major nuclear arms control agreement."]

Obama, Medvedev to sign 'comprehensive' arms treaty

(CNN) – President Obama landed in the Czech Republic on Thursday for a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to sign a major nuclear arms control agreement that reduces the nuclear stockpiles of both nations.

The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) builds on a previous agreement that expired in December.

Obama has called the treaty the "the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades" and said it would cut the nuclear weapons of the United States and Russia by about a third.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he hopes Congress will ratify the treaty with a large bipartisan majority, as it has with previous arms control treaties. FULL STORY

McDonnell: Not mentioning slavery was 'a mistake'

New anger is being aimed at Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. He's declared April "Confederate History Month," but in his initial remarks there was no mention of the word "slavery." The governor has apologized, but as our Kate Bolduan reports this morning, that hasn't stopped the controversy. FULL STORY

Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.

Filed under: LIVE Blog • Top Stories
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. American Morning

    Thanks for the comments everyone and we'll see you again tomorrow!

    April 8, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  2. Melon

    To attempt to equate plantations where people were forced to work for their "masters" to cities where people were free to live and work as they wanted is as ludicrous as failing to realize that without slavery there would have never been a Confederacy.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  3. Chet Powell

    How many experts, parents, politicians and school officials have we heard from on school bullying over the past few years? Mr. Gelenis (?), the parent that you interviewed this morning was probably the most articulate speaker that I've heard on the issue.

    I agree that mediation should take place at some point, but first the parents and school officials should stop the bullying immediately. Schools should have a "Zero Tolerance" policy on bullying as strong as they do on drugs and weapons. After all, we've seen more deaths, including suicides and mass killings, that began with bullying and esculated to violent behavior. We were all kids once right? They'll learn very quickly if parents and school systems establish strict limits and appropraite punishment for violations. That interview should be used for training purposes.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  4. Josh

    I agree with the governor 110%.. The confederate flag doesnt stand for racism it stands for heritage and free states standing up for independent state rights read your history books and oh by the way slavery ended 200 yrs ago let it go!!..

    April 8, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  5. Harrison

    Good gesture by Pres. Obama to get America and Russia to reduce nuclear weapons. If you are going to mandate countries like North Korea and Iran to refrain from getting these weapons, you have to show sincerety in these discussions. "what's good for the goose is also good for the gander."

    April 8, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  6. john

    no people, Leaving the union is not being a traitor. When the government no longer serves the people you have a right to alter or abolish the government. If Texas could leave Mexico the they should be allowed to leave The United State Of America. If the Soviet Union can change so can America. Think about it just because some fool put in the pledge of allegiance does not make it so. Either Thomas Jefferson was right or wrong

    April 8, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  7. Ellen

    Karen, Good ol boy and rebel cry- do you think you could rewrite your comments in some form of the English language?
    If you want people to take what you say seriously, you might wnat to try to at least attempt to make it intelligible.
    and...Mark T-it is not Confederate History, it is history of the Civil War. Citizens that live in northern states have not tried to declare "Union History Month". I am not a member of the NAACP...I am a white, 60 yr old female South Carolinian and am ashamed that my state had the pivitol role in the act of treason against MY COUNTRY-the United States of America. No wonder people think we southerners are a bunch of illiterate racists.
    Go ahead and raise your flag celebrating traitors...I would expect nothing less from you!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  8. good ol boy

    Melon you should take it easy and maybe go try to do something productive for society today. I would love to stay and chat but i have to go to work now, pay them taxes, right guys! anyway, yall have a blessed day.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  9. Jason

    Whatever happened to being allowed to honor your ancestors? You must only be allowed to do that if your African American now. The NAACP has thrown a fit over the no mention of slavery yet atevery year Black History month which is nationwide has no mention about who was selling their ancestors into slavery. Their own people were selling their ancestors into slavery to white europeans but I've never seen it mentioned during black history month......why not?
    slavery existed under the American flag 89 years before the Confederacy existed. We all know that slavery was evil, anybody who has any kind of compassion for other people knows that.
    At the beginning of the war only 8% of the southern population were slave owners we're told the southern soldier went to war to keep slaves, The southern soldier was in most cases a farmer that struggled to feed his family & couldn't afford to own a slave. The diaries of most confederate soldiers clearly state that as individuals they weren't fighting for slavery one way or the other, they were fighting for their homes. Confederate history month is about that man....the common everyday soldier that fought for his country like anyother soldier. I'm sick of hearing the double standard of treason, The united states was created from treason, the colonies went to war with england over taxation without representation & 89 years later the south made up 32% of the nation's population but was paying more than 70% of the nation's taxes & the average confederate soldier went to war for the very same reasons as the colonies did. We all know governments have a way of clouding the true cause with it's own agenda by the rich running it & the confederate government was the same. At the outbreak of the war slavery was one of the reasons for the war but not the cause & main reason, it didn't become the main reason until Lincoln used it as a re-election tool in 1862 & btw one of Lincoln's most famous quotes came just before the start of the war where he stated if he could "preserve the union without freeing a single slave then he would" While many government officials were slave owners you had Officers like Robert E. Lee who had freed the 17 slaves his wife owned when they got married, Stonewall Jackson, who set up & taught the 1st ever black sunday school in the country.Right after the war in Richmond when nobody else would move on the church it was Robert E. Lee who kneeled down next to former slave & took communion, It's men like that, that confederate history month honors.
    I had ancestors on both sides of the war & I honor them all & make no apologies about it. I see things that offend me & symbold that offend me but It's a person's right to honor whatever they want & whatever their heritage might be & if somebody doesn't like it....too bad. It's time to worry issues regarding the nation's poor, jobs, health, etc. instead of looking for something to be offended about!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  10. michael armstrong sr.

    Our country is in a gridlock with people living in the past still wanting redemption for something that no living person had a thing to do with teach our American History the way it was made we learn from our mistakes .

    April 8, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  11. Harrison

    I am responding in reference to the topic on 47% of the population not paying any income tax. i think that is sensationlism. Eventhough people get refund, but they still get income tax taken from their paychecks. I have averaged about $30,000 per annum and do get refund, but that is always less than what i pay in Federal income taxes. That kind of unbalanced reporting is giving the republicans ammunitions to deny deserving American much needed services. People are pulling their fair share of the tax burden. There are programs in the tax code for deductions that solely favors the wealthy. Have you consider the majority of low income earners that pays into social security, medicare but don't get to reap these rewards because the lacked healthcare and therefore die before the retirement age? their contributions to these programs are left for the wealthy to reap

    April 8, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  12. Rebel Cry

    I thank Melon, Steven, and company for backing me up the conclusion that certainly, " black Confederate heritage, that has been blocked by political purpose through historical ignorance." It is the saddest thanks I can give today. If you may call a Southern plantation a concentration camp what would you call 2/3 of Boston or New York in the 19th century where over 4 million women and children were crammed into poverty that would make Juarez seem like Bel Air.
    I have committed my life to studying history not to debate with those who did not. I love history because it is experience. Experience of the past but experience all the same. If you do not study these experiences with an open mind then you are met with a thing called ignorance, that plague which is sick like sin.
    I have met nothing but opinion and unsorted statements regarding my ancestor's war and his decedent's history upon this blog. I have seen folks using classless, tasteless, and bigotry language calling my non aggressive information bigotry. It is normal for people to attack and fear what they do not know but it is however, not sane.

    My great great uncle was an African American Confederate soldier. He and his family were freemen of western Alabama. He wrote home in November of 1864 that he had been promoted from private above corporal and sergeant to become 1st sergeant of one of the Confederacy's thousands of integrated regiments. Carrying the Confederate battle flag at the battle of Nashville the next month he and my great great grandfather were captured. Doc Tims was executed when he arrived at Camp Douglas in Chicago for being a black in gray. Over 200 others of his color suffered the same quick fate there under the orders of the Camp Commandment, Colonel Sweet.

    What is a concentration camp? Is it Andersonville where Confederate guards died as the Union prisoners from lack of supplies or food? Or is a concentration Camp more like Camp Douglas in Chicago where the city and Union guards were well fed and supplied yet thousands of Confederates died of execution, torture, starvation, and exposure?
    In a country that was not blockaded or invaded more Confederate prisoners died in Union custody than their counterparts in the South. Accurately the most humane POW camp in the War against the States was a Confederate camp, Camp Ford in Tyler, Texas.

    I will continue this information as I have for 11 years and at dozens of schools and events across the country.
    It is important that the declining of historical understanding in the United States start coming together again and knowing not so much what is right but what was real.
    To you I introduce Mr. HK Edgerton of the NAACP.

    "Mr. Davis [President Jefferson Davis], said We are not fighting for slavery; we are fighting for independence.
    This is true; and is a truth that has not sufficiently been dwelt upon enough."
    -Richmond Examiner Aug 2, 1864 (Richmond Virginia)

    April 8, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  13. Connie

    What is the purpose of Governor McDonnell declaring April as Confederate History Month and adding a proclamation in regard to slavery? We are taught confederate history in school and it is a shameful and demeaning part of our history. It divided all families both white... fighting against each other in the war and black through slavery. There should be no Confederate History Month. There should be no proclamation acknowledging slavery. All of our nations soldiers are appropriately honored with Veterans Day, which in my opinion should be Veterans Month.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  14. Pauly

    Picking April for confederate history month seems appropriate since it begins w/ April Fool's Day!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  15. michael armstrong sr.

    This civil war thing is going over board with resentment black America needs to come to terms with History and grow up this was in the past and it will stay in the past unless black America rekindles the flame if it was not for the white man then the black man would not be living in this country this is an unflaverable fact just think about it if America did not have slaves where would you be living at this point in history .

    April 8, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  16. Judi

    You can't speak of the Civil War get the word Civil. This war was about States Rights. The Right of the State to enslave people!!!
    If the people in the South are proud of what they did they are still not over losing the WAR!!
    This is all part of the right extremist groups like the Militias, tea party that are threatening this government with open carry gun protest.
    They again are threatening Cession. That was the cry of the Civil WAR!
    The people should not be taken lightly when they threaten ready, aim, fire!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  17. Bob in Florida

    I suspect the Virginia Gov did not realize Slavery had been abolished. All indications are, that the GOP believes it to be live and well.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  18. joanne bell

    Virginia's governor either deliberately or inadvertently did a very unfortunate thing by declaring April Confederate history month and omitting the very reason the Virginia Confederate war memorials came into existence. When one thinks about it in a serious manner, in his original declaration, he chose to glorify the fighting Virginia men and women who supported the enslavement of, at that time, almost half of the Virginia population, by recognizing their heroic and self-sacrificing efforts, during the bloodiest and most tragic of America's wars. Had his original proclamation been inclusive, validating the unjust and inhumane perspective of the South at that time toward human bondage, while pointing out the multiple events and efforts of the Virginia confederacy which supported such a view so often on Virginia soil, it would have brought the progress of the past 150 years to full circle. Instead, some can think that the entire effort may have a little more to do with rallying the very very white conservative base with a celebration of a time when they were apart from the union, much as the Tea Party participants and supporters wish now to distance themselves from what is happening in Washington.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  19. john

    Read your history books. State rights is what started the civil war. It was the expansion of slavery not the end of slavery was the issue. Lincoln only moved to free slaves in the Confederate State not union state or neutral states. The NAACP over states history, we would not have ended slavery in the slave states if the civil war was not lost by the slave states

    April 8, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  20. Melon

    Good ol boy ... for the sake of the country... Please do not ever breed and have any "offspring".

    Thank you.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  21. Matthew F.

    The difference between the confederate flag that we see being displayed all of the time and the Nazi flag, is that the confederate flag is a battle flag. It is not the flag of the government, that was the stars and bars; the Nazi flag was the flag of the government. The confederate battle flag is something men, Americans, fought and died under for something that they believed in. The Civil War is part of this country's history whether we like it or not and we should educate people about it, not be afraid of it. The great educator Horace Mann said it best, "Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by knowledge."

    April 8, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  22. Mike in TX

    Cristine is usually spot on but fell flat on the refund story. It may be that 50% pay no taxes but the reality is if these people get "refunds" it is from money that has been with held from thier income not by the govt writing a check from the people that do pay taxes. Tax refunds, regardless of the deductions that led to them, are not some welfare package coming from govt expenditures.

    Also why not that the folks earning larger incomes take advantage of huge deductions themsleves and there is a large number of them who don't pay taxes. Also, let's complete the story of the business's large and small that don't pay taxes.

    Your statement that Republicans are saying these folks are not paying their share is one I've not heard but what I have heard is that they want more tax breaks.

    Keep up your usual level of complete and accurate reporting that we have gotten used to . This one missed the mark well beyond the numbers you claim don't pay taxes.

    Thanksy for your usual good stuff,


    April 8, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  23. Wade Griffin

    The Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. The Southern states didnt leave the union to protect slavery. Slavery was perfectly legal by National law at the time. Harriet Tubman, John Brown, the underground rail road, were ALL breaking the Law. The Gov. of Virginia not mentioning slavery? So what! I'm sure over the next 4 years of the 150th anniversary of the the conflict....and oh yea....slavery will be discussed and not left out of the story.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  24. Barb

    I think Christine Romans is wrong when she said the money 40% of filers get from federal income tax refunds come from taxes paid by the 10% WHO PAY 73% of federal income taxes. Refund money is money the taxpayer already paid and is getting back.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  25. Austin

    It's nice to think the Union was doing the morally right action by fighting the Civil War to free the slaves. Slavery was an evil part of our history, but the war was fought because of economic and political reasons, just like every single war in history, not with the sole purpose of freeing slaves. Slavery did contribute to those economic and political reasons, and I am glad that Lincoln righted the wrong of slavery. Still, for the governor to complete omit slavery from Confederate history month is ridiculous.

    Also, to those who call the Confederacy treason, I would like to hear you call the American Revolution treason. The only difference is the Confederacy failed. Both, rebelled against a government they though was misrepresenting and oppressing them economically and politically.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  26. socialblingz

    This is amazing to me that people can be so ignorant of there history an so petty this many years later. The civil war was not about slavery it was about states rights slavery was only an issue of their rights that the states wanted but it was only one of them to many people are uninformed about history. Yes slavery was an unimaginable start in our countries history an it has been thankfully abolished an we as a people have moved on in life. People want to be treated as they should be equally we they need to stop hanging up on every little detail from the past an move on. Yet there are times when people need to step in an say hey this person is wrong an what they have done or said is inappropriate because sadly there are still bigots an raciest in the world but stop jumping up an screaming about every little thing that you think you need to just put your 2 cents worth in about trying to keep the issues stirred up it was wrong it was honorable but it is over an unless there is true malice in what is being done let it be. NOT EVERY THING THAT PEOPLE DO THESE DAYS IS RACE RELATED

    April 8, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  27. Bob Richards

    I was stunned to hear your "financial" commentator say the "Refunds" on taxes came from the 10% why pay 72% of the individual income taxes. A refund is just that a refund of excess withholding during the year.

    Granted some refunds are the result of tax credits for environmental purchases or earned income credit, but the majority of refunds are refunds.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  28. Pauly

    To honor the confederacy, the Gov should accept his salary in confederate currency!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  29. Meg

    I think the majority of U.S. citizens agree that slavery was a horrible thing. However, why shouldn't there be a Confederate History month? We celebrate MLK, we have Black History month, and we have those who continue to use the "racist, slavery" cry every time someone "white" dares to omit them. Give me a break! How about we have a Native American Day or Native American History month??? How about having a Women in History month, or a Rock n Roll History month?? Maybe we could have a day where everything closes for those things also. No one wants to "whitewash" history, but that's the beauty of this country. We at least have the freedom to debate it.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  30. Marsha Boddie

    Good Morning CNN,
    In my role as the family historian, I have traced my maternal ancesters to 1821-1823 when my great great grandparents were born slaves. I looked for one of my great great grandfathers for 5 years because I thought that all were born in Georgia. Imagine my surprise and horror to discover that My great grandfather Fox McElmurray was born in Virginia and sold like a used car to a slave owner in Georgia.

    Immediately after he spoke to the sons of the Confederacy, perhaps Governor McDonald shoud have spoken the the daughters of Slavery. I would have been happy to enlighten him.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  31. Amy

    I'm not surprised that Gov. McDonnell omitted slavery from his speech. I move to VA nearly 5 years ago from New England and was stunned that even in the DC metro area of NoVA where I live there are still people with confederate beliefs. I have been introduced to people as "the Yankee" numerous times. The sad part is that party politics has played to fears of constituants so much more of late that either intentionally or subliminally the Gov and his staff failed to mention slavery as part of confederate history month. I don't have an issue with the history of that time being studied, it should be. But when plenty of people here still act as if the south won or still hopes to win it's dangerous to omit the main reason that time in history even exists.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  32. Louise

    I hear all this about slavery in Virginia but nothing has been said about the injustice that was done to the Indian people of that state who have been waiting for years for Federal Reconigition.
    Mr.Rolan Martin was talking last night about the Injustice to people that looked like him . I think we all need to stop and think about the Injustice to all people .Face it that is what History is we are supposed to learn from it and teach our children to grow up and do better and hopefully we get good people in our Goverment that want to make the right decisions for us all .

    April 8, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  33. Jane - WI

    Why should Virginia not have a Confederate History month? There already is a Black History month. The Confederacy is part of the history of VIrginia, and there is nothing wrong with people remembering and learning the full history of it. So what if the proclamation omitted the mention of slavery. Does anyone not know the slavery issue was a part (not all) of the reason for the Civil War? It seems certain people are way too sensitive, not about the issue, but about a few words not being explicitly included in a proclamation.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  34. Frank

    Apparently most Virginian's have forgotten their schooling days. I'm pretty sure my history class informed me that slavery was not the original cause during the civil war. Rather, the war began, and was fought, over the cotton industry. Northern Textile factories needed cotton and Southerners grew it, and while I don't remember the specifics, somewhere along the line disagreements arose and demands were placed that some thought inappropriate. Likely Cotton Industry prices, I wager.

    But slavery was an integral part of the cotton industry, so as the war dragged on the North began to use the goal of freeing southern slaves as a moral booster for Americans and soldiers alike. It was never the original purpose behind the war, but a backdrop to continue fighting, so that people wouldn't suddenly come to their senses and say "ya'll started fightin' over a plant?!" Virginia's Governor ought to know that much.

    Confederate History is important to recognize, I understand that, but those who pledge to the confederacy by using the flags and all that are just in denial in my opinion, and defying their country. However, the Confederacy is an important part of America and Southern culture, so it is indeed important for people to understand and learn about their roots. Besides, ignorance is the best way for history to repeat itself; they have to know the mistakes of the past to correct them.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  35. Pauly

    Celebrate the confederacy by going to VA. See if anyone there accepts confederate currency!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  36. Stonsalina Nerea Insinna

    As a Virginia resident, I was embarrassed by Gov. McDonnell's proclamation. This is not the first incident/event at his hand that has NOT REPRESENTED ALL THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA, i.e., rescinding the executive order protecting against firing gay persons working in govenrbment jobs.

    I wish to apologize for Gov. McDonnell's insensitivity and implore you to recognize HE DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ALL VIRGINIAN'S.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  37. Wycliffe Morton

    The omission/oversight of 400 years of history is symptomatic of the undercurrent of hostility against and disregard of minorities in the United States and extending into its foreign policy towards minority dominated countries around the world. These are the things which create the situation where foreigners are reluctant to fully participate in the political process of the U.S. when and where they can. Do not lose the fact that this is one of only 50+ governors, making him one of the most important people in the country, what he says and does not say carries weight with people not only in his state, and is a temperature indicator for the place which the minorities are considered in the U.S.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  38. brandon

    The confederate flag has been made a symbol of racism by the KKK. Are we just supposed forget about this time in our history? Why not crucify a politician that wants to make a proclamation about WW2?

    April 8, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  39. Sharon

    I'm sure there were many German nationals who were fighting for their doesn't make Nazism right or anything to comemmorate. The South should be ashamed of what their ancestors fought for. Grow up and get over it.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  40. Jane - WI

    There was an anti-war protest in Washington on March 20, where extremists from Code Pink, ANSWER, and other groups congregated. At that rally there were nasty things said about President Bush, Dick Cheney, and Barack Obama as well as flag burning occurring.

    I don't recall the media showing us video of that rally. I do recall the media focusing intensely on tea party rallies, and a few signs in the crowd that didn't portray Barack Obama in a good light. We have been told that the tea partiers are "racist" and "violent".

    However, I saw far worse conduct on YouTube video from this anti-war demonstration on March 20. Just curious why CNN did not discuss that rally and what occurred at it, but does find the time to go on and on about tea party rallies. I recall that when George Bush was President, the media was only too happy to show us these rallies and how much the fringe left didn't like him. They showed us those rallies with little to no condemnation of how the fringe left was displaying their displeasure.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  41. Ellen

    Why are they "Celebrating" the traitors war against a soverign country? It is 150 years ago!!!! Can the "Sons of the Confederacy" move on? Th confederate flag is a sign of racism, traitors, and herefore stupidity. Study the Civil War as a whole and the tragedy it was. Gov. McDonell says he wants to show the contribution that the Confederate soldiers made to the war...their contribution was they were traitors to their country

    April 8, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  42. Stone

    Enough of the Confederate coverage; the Governor reacted quickly to an obvious lack of judgment. It is our history as Americans, slavery is a very unfortunate component of our past . . . . the Confederate soldiers rose up for a cause they believed in at the time. Thank God for the Union under President Lincoln's leadership that prevailed. There are many issues facing our country today . . this is microscopic compared to the current world and national climate.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  43. good ol boy

    Melon I would never put any kids with my extraordinary blood line in this sickening society!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  44. lloyd smith

    If Va. Govenor want to celebrate tha Civil War, (which by the way) was over opposition to slavery ie:Genocide then he is trying to cash in on the unjustified death of millions of innocent American!!. Last time I checked Genocide was not something to promote or cash in on.............

    April 8, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  45. Austin

    Good job President Obama on reducing the the number of nuclear arms. Too bad it doesn't change anything. Now we and the Russians just have to recalculate how to more efficiently blow us all to hell.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  46. Robert

    This is stupid, more issues were involved in starting the civil war. Plus you don't see me freaking out when they "omit" the slavery of gauls by the Roman Empire.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  47. Mark T

    I'm so tired of everyone making a big out of everything. Confederate History, whether it's good or bad, is a part of our cultural history. Sure, Slavery is a blight on our society, but to ignore such a huge part of our cultural identity that played a role in the history of our great nation would be a great disservice.

    I think these civil rights groups are too concerned with reminding everyone about slavery that they cannot get over it and move on into the future. This is why Racism still exists because the NAACP continues to dredge these issues up.

    If the NAACP is so concerned, then maybe they should learn to heal, like the rest of the nation has done, instead of trying to stir up more hate. They're just trying to gain attention when Virginia is trying to boost its income in the current economic mess that we're experiencing. It's not like they're erasing slavery or ignoring it, they've simply foound a way to celebrate Confedercy and educate tourists to their fair state on what the Confederacy was all about.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  48. Shonda

    I am a 6th grade history teacher in Virginia. The Civil War is an important and integral part of Virginia and American history. I think if Governor Mcdonald was really trying to recognize that and boost tourism then why not name April Civil War rememberance month or something. When you isolate confederacy you are celebrating a system that did not believe in our Nation and people who felt they were above the law. The confederacy is not all the Civil War should be remembered for. He is doing a poor job of celebrating and recognizing Virginia history

    April 8, 2010 at 8:24 am |
    • Amy

      Well put, shonda. I'm glad our students have someone with your logical way of thinking teaching them.

      April 8, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  49. Melon

    LEAVE TIGER ALONE *said in a whining Britany Spears utube voice*

    April 8, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  50. Mel

    I love the South, but events like this just open old wounds that need to heal. Why not "Civil War History Month" (and the same goes to Gov Riley of Alabama)?
    McDonnell sent a loud & clear message to his base. The only thing with that – America heard it as well.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  51. Carlettia Hayes

    You can not recognize the confederate war without recognizing slavery; since slavery was the cause of the war. People to need to recognize history in it's fullest not just parts of it, and whether people like it or not SLAVERY is a huge part of american history.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  52. good ol boy

    Everybody wants to keep talking about racism and slavery, my daddy told me that his paw paw told him that most slaves or ( nigers ) had it preddy good, long as they didnt get out of line and over step their bounderies, the white man tault them how to do a lot and they didnt even have to think much. At least they had some structure in their lives then, now all they want to do is peddel drugs and ruin young girls lives to get their free ride. Besides if they wasnt brought here as slaves they may have had to fight and die for their claim on this american soil like our ancestors did. they really should thank the white man and be happy and just stop talking about racism and slavery before things get out of hand in this country.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  53. Melon

    good ol boy ....aka.... typical uneducated backward racist. Good on you!

    Sad thing is .. you're probably raising your kids the same way.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  54. Pauly

    Let's all celebrate the confederacy. After all, isn't it American to celebrate losing? We should forget about wiinning things like the World Series, Super Bowl, etc. We should celebrate the losing team for coming in 2nd place!!! Much the same way the GOP thinks they somehow won the '08 elections!!! Let's all celebrate those who almost made it to the top but couldn't win the big one!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  55. Melon

    Every planation in the South that "owned" slaves was a concentration camp.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  56. Elizabeth

    I am a cousin of former longtime US Senator Jennings Randolph and have lived in West Virginia. You will not find a more hard working, sincere group of people. John Roberts' story about the young man who had a premonition and gave his life to God just before his death in the disaster really sums it up. These are God-fearing, good people who are not afraid of work. Where is the common sense provision to close a mine, immediately and forever if need be, once gas readings reach a certain level? They had been closing this mine for unsafe levels...why was it allowed to reopen? Once again, greed rules the day.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  57. Steven

    @Rebel Cry – you can comment in very fine language, selectively quote historical figures, and use what, on the surface, seems to be logical arguments for your fantasy version of history, but , what you are unable to do is cover up the stench of bigotry coming from your statements.
    As to the arguments others have put forth that the war was based more on economics and state rights than slavery, well that's true. The so called "economics" reason is just a cover for slavery because slaves were an integral and vital part of keeping the southern economy on solid footing. The "states rights" reason is also just a cover for slavery because the anti-slavery movement was gaining such political momentum in the north that southern states, fearing a federal statute banning slavery, wanted to have the right to reject federal law and either keep or impose their own laws, in violoation of the constitution, to keep slavery legal.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  58. Rebel Cry

    I have particpated in over 200 national and state living history reenactments, encampments, and a slew of other events dedicated to the history of the Confederate and Union soldier for 11 years. I have met thousands of reenactors, historians, and hardcore history buffs across the line wearing every shade of blue or gray. And I first joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans 11 years ago. In all this time and in all the time I had spent in Virginia celebrating my heritage NOT ONCE was pro-slavery sediment ever expressed by anyone.
    The people that would celebrate a Confederate History Month in a Southern state KNOW THEIR HISTORY (unlike those who are against it). We feel close to the sufferings of our ancestors in extermination camps such as Elmira New York, Point Lookout Maryland, and the site of my own ancestor's death of starvation and exposure, Camp Douglas Illinois. We feel close to the over 1,000 African American Confederates that were executed for their color and the color of their gray uniforms at that notorious prison in Chicago (now the site of the University of Chicago).
    I feel no agresson towards the civil rights leaders and politicans that rebel against the my Southern ancestors. For they are only as ignorant as I was before I had decided to study with an open mind the WHOLE history of the most important revolution in our country since the original revolution.
    I am cynical and certain that the outcome of this recent proclamation will see a shameful fate in a nation where national history is all but respected.
    To all whom it may concern please visit the Confederate Monument in Arlington Cemetery and stare awhile at the bronzed and marble images of African Americans sholdering muskets in Confederate uniforms. Apperciate that this monument was the FIRST monument in the Washington area to honor African Americans.
    For my family and I in Texas and across Dixie's Land Confederate History is not white or black. It is not political. And it is not 1 month but rather 149 years.
    "The assertion that the South fought for slavery is Yankee propaganda and a monstrous distortion."
    -Confederate President Jefferson Davis
    (If the Southern cause was racist why would our Southern ancestors march to a Commander In Chief that expressed such?)

    History is not what we make but what we learn.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  59. good ol boy

    Hey melon, Im going to fly me CONFEDERATE flag just for you, god bless you and thanks for giving me motivation!

    April 8, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  60. Melon

    The Confederacy had no concentration camps?

    Ever hear of a place called Andersonville?

    You can call a pig a dog but it's still a pig.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  61. neal

    once again noone at cnn did thier homework the civil war was not about slavery until after the war started even then it was a non issue to most people involved.we have had a "black history"month for many years.when you talk about something you should be at least a little knowledgeable about the do the entire world a great disservice with your failure to reasearch,repeating myths and basic nontruths.most dissapointed in our gov for apoligizing.anyone that looks back and is offended wont get very far in life.think before you speak ,of course you wont, you have to talk and talk to fill your time slots.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  62. Rebel Cry

    Hurrah for the governor for declaring Confederate History Month in Virginia to celebrate the thousands of black and white Confederate veterans that served to defend their state against the army and navy of the Union. The first Federal officer (Maj. Winthrop of Massachusetts) killed during the War against the States happened at the first land battle Big Bethal Virginia. He had felled from a black Confederate sharpshooter of the 1st North Carolina infantry.
    Virginia's 2nd highest ranking field officer, Stonewall Jackson wrote that he "wished to see the shackles struck from every slave." Confederate president Jefferson Davis in Richmond wrote that the war was "over independence not slavery."
    One comment here spoke of Southern treason. What is treason? Defending your home against armies from other states or is treason joining the US military to invade your neighbors home?
    Shame to the governor of Virginia for apologizing for not including slavery in his proclamation. If he need do this then every state in the Union should apologize for not including slavery in their historical proclamations for it had existed everywhere here. So should Africa. Africa not only has the longest history of slavery but according to a CNN special report last week it still very much exists there and is worse now.
    YOU CAN NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT HISTORY!! The Confederacy did not have concentration camps. The MAJORITY, a very high majority in fact of the Confederate citizens and leaders and military expressed no pro-slavery cause and many went as far as General Robert E Lee to state, " There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race."
    I believe the greatest embarrassment and problem most needing fixed is our national ignorance towards the true history. We should never forget the true history of revolution in our country or the part of black heritage, black Confederate heritage, that has been blocked by political purpose through historical ignorance.
    -Zac Tims, Alpine Texas

    April 8, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  63. Nancy Newell

    I think it is time for us to remember why we have OSHA and regulatory agengies. These laws were put in place NOT to punish the business but to protect the common good and the people who they employ. As you can see, we still have businesses that refuse to protect the employees and the enviroment. as long as it's just the cost of doing business we will still have accidents and loss of life. Businesses look for the bottom dollar and unfortunately human life is not in their equation when it comes to their profit.

    I'm part of the construction industry, I am a union pipefitter. I have worked in refineries and chemical plants. Do we even know how to report a violation? If you are not an employee of... you are not an interested party to anything going on, on that job! They can pick up a truck load of asbestos, uncovered, drive all over the city, with it flying all over. Take it to a dump and get rid of it! EPA will not come out unless the complaining person is working for that employer and working that specific job. Who cares abestos is scattered all over the city, it's not your concern. We have asbestos removal proceedures in place because of the dangers of asbestos. We have regulations to protect us, the worker...from the domestic foes...when a company gets caught,,,it's lets make a deal with the regulatory agencies involved...the fines are almost always cut in half if not more...

    April 8, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  64. Boe Brown

    You have got to be kidding. This 'Old school' governor is trying to pass this crap off, as stimulation for the tourism industry? Will they showcase the African American conscripts that were forced to March against the Union troops towards the end of the conflict, with the same avidity as they showcase their so-called sons of the south. Where are the statues of those soldiers? Weren't they also Confederates?

    Maybe they'll sell pieces of the metal used to make chains that the Americans so conveniently not mentioned, were forced to wear.
    This supreme embarrassment, is only an attempt to force Americans down memory lane. To a time when 'White' dominance was the ONLY game in town. WAKE UP! America must not devolve to 'Dixie'.

    Boe (That's right!)

    April 8, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  65. Sue

    I agree about slavery being's done. It was a stain but then so was so many other things from our past that we learn from and move on. I am a woman and I don't feel the need to have men apologize to me for all the years I couldn't vote or where women were considered a second class citizen to men. By the way CNN where is all the righteous anger at the people burning the American flag yesterday...I don't see any press on that...that must be ok because they weren't tea party members? Or is it ok to have the free speech now?

    April 8, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  66. G Patterson

    States Rights, Slavery, Political and Economic considerations are the casues for the Civil War. Slavery was an important aspect and not one we Virginians forget about but it was not THE cause for the Civil War, it wasn't that simple.

    Governor McDonnell should have mentioned slavery but the focus on slavery is a distraction to the purpose of his Declaration for the Confederate History Month. As a Virginian that lives among the ancesters of the first slaves and near Ruthville, VA – an original free slave community – the Civil War is our history and the Confederacy is part of Virginia's history.

    I think it says a great deal that the decendents of Confederate Soldiers and families now live and work with the decendents of slaves. Virginia is the true melting pot. 2011 is the Sesquicentennial -150th anniversary of the Civil War and – like it or not it is our history.

    "To forget our history is to be endanger of repeating it".

    April 8, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  67. Steven

    @Mackie, I don't see how a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons is cast as disarming America, we will still have and for the foreseeable future , always have the worlds largest number and the most technically advanced arsenal of nuclear weapons. As to the reporting on the Va. governors recently issued statement and subsequent restatement of the proclamation, it is a very relevant story. Racism and bigotry has returned to the American political landscape in a way not seen in over 40 years. To deny that racism has become more open and condoned in political discourse today is just ignorance of what is going on, or condoning racism by denying it's presence.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  68. Charlene Dixon

    @ Andrew...In case you don't know your history Black were slaves in this country for 247 years which is longer than they have been free. In fact Blacks were not guaranteed their full rights of citizens in most states until 1965 which was only 45 years ago. Apologies for slavery did not occur until the 80s and 90s. As result of the lack of literacy in slaves, the story remains highly untold. Yet the disparaties caused by this institution that was said to end 150 years ago still exist.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:34 am |
  69. Pauly

    Massey was cited & fined for inadquate ventilation, among many other things. I guess he felt paying the fines were cheaper than bringing the mine up to standards. Now he is forced to ventilate the mine to protect the rescuers. If the air quality was too dangerous for the rescuers, it was too dangerous for the miners.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:27 am |
  70. M Linver

    What is the Gov. thinking? I love Virginia and was an active voting residet for over 12 years. I found it filled with multi cultural tradition, along with the American historical value that taught us about thebattles fought to end slavery. The idea that we should now celebrate a tradition and war that caused the death of over a million Americans is not just preposterous, but totally ignorant.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:27 am |
  71. Ron

    I think that Virginia's Governor is just adding fuel to the fire that is slowly burning in America now! With so many of these Sons The Confederate Army and Tea Party follower already upset this was just another way to say that we don't aprrove of having an African American as President!!! This is a fact we can't deny we just had a President in Bush that had very low a approval rating, but there was less Militias and more people calling for people to stand up and be proud Americans. No matter how much the news may want to spin it this is still a country that was founded and built on hate so I am not suprised that a Governor would want to honor those would want to keep some oppressed! God Bless America

    April 8, 2010 at 7:26 am |
  72. Andrew

    Slavery...Please folks, let it go. Nobody alive today was a slave. Not even their Grandparents were slaves. The idea that somehow, someone alive today, suffered because of what happened 150 years ago is perposterious. The fact that a Governor omitted the word from a political speech is a sign that we are finally moving-on.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:26 am |
  73. Charlene Dixon

    @ Mackie If you were paying attention, the treaty has been on since 6 am. I don't think it take me being in the Army to understand that we are not being disarmed. We till have the largest percentage of nuclear weapons in the world....weapons that could still destroy the world as we know it.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:26 am |
  74. Amy B.

    We need to remember that slavery was not the only reason we had the Civil War. It was actually one of three main reasons our country fought. One of the main quarrels was about taxes paid on goods brought into this country from foreign countries, and State's Rights, when the South wanted state laws to have more weight than federal laws. I agree that we need to remember the horror that was slavery but American history needs to be acurrately remembered.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:22 am |
  75. Konrad Kuczak

    The governor of Virginia is simply acting as a point man for those, like the tea party anarchists, who falsely claim the authority to reject the primacy of the federal government. That he would glorify the "sacrifices" of those who were bent on secession and perpetuating slaery makes it obvious that he, and all of the stars and bars crowd are racists who simply cannot accept the fact that our nation has moved way beyond the days when they kept African Americans penned in chains on the Capitol lawn and has now lawfully elected an African American as our president and head of state. He may as well have issued a proclamation glorifying the exploits of the Ku Klux Klan. It's all the same sick mentalitity that glorifies a society which depended upon a campaign of terror to repress basic human rights. He is unfit to hold elected office in the 21st Century.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:22 am |
  76. Charlene Dixon

    Governor McDonald clearly underestimated the intelligence of his constituents. He made the proclamation with a clear disregard for slavery because he and other Confederate sympathizers are still under the impression that slavery is not as vile as "Northerners" have made it out to be. When southerners began to chant about their heritage, I wander back to the public and vehement speeches against segregation. It was Virginia along with Mississippi that denied a generation of children education because they refused to integrate. History must be true, whole, and reconciled before we can begin to celebrate it. As a member of the military, I understand the desire to honor patriots of the American experience, but in that same moment , the Governor should be looking to reconcile the divided heritage of this southern state. At this moment in our history, Governor McDonald should seize the oppurtunity to bring both sides to the table to record a true and accurate description of the Civil War Era for both sides.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:21 am |
  77. Bob Pomeroy

    Given the violations, this mining disaster amounts, at least, to multiple counts of negligent homicide. Assuming it's owned by a corporation, and given that corporations have the rights of 'persons' under the Constitution, it's time to figure out how they can serve the sentences for criminal conduct to which 'natural persons' are subject to. I don't want to hear about fairness to innocent people, they're lying dead in the ground. The directors, officers, and shareholders should not be able to use their corporation to shield themselves from responsibility for their corporation's criminal conduct. Maybe the corporate assets can be seized under a racketeering statute. The way this mine was being operated was certainly a racket!

    April 8, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  78. karen

    im tired of all this political correctness...SICK AND TIRED. my relative died in the confederate libbys prison, and starved to death. i applaud the gov of virginia, for keeping the civil war, active. though it was about slavery, it was a war that should not be forgotton, so people need to get off their high hourse.....go to civil war5 battlegrounds...learn about history, and don't hide from it. i went to gettysbury, and have been to a lot of hollowed ground. just because the confederates were on the losing side, we cannot learn history from them ??? i am talking history, not slavery. if i wanted to read about slavery, there are plenty of books. but the hx, of the war, even ww2, hx we can all learn from. i laughed my ass off with roland martin last night, and anderson cooper. iu say go ahead april is conferderet month. why do people have to be afraid, and ashamed about their upbringing. shame on you. i as born a ytankee, but i think just for april, i will fly both flags together. by the way where can i join a militia ???

    April 8, 2010 at 7:19 am |
  79. Taylor

    Slavery is an awful stain on the history of humanity, including the United States. However, it is false to create heroes of the North in the Civil War. Their motivations for abolishing slavery were for their own economic gain (and in turn the demise of the Southern economy that flourished on the backbones of slaves). The war was not about morality or ethics; the Civil War was about economics.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:19 am |
  80. Amanda

    Living in Richmond, VA anyone knows the pride the city has in its rich abundance of black history and that RIC was/is home to many great African-Americans that contributed to our heritage and culture: Maggie Walker, Arthur Ashe, Douglas Wilder and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Jackson Ward, which was known as as the hub of "Black Capitalism" and the cultural mecca of black society in the South, is only a few blocks from the VA State Capitol Building. Any intelligent person knows the sensitivity to the issue and would have included slavery in such a declaration as making April Confederate History Month. McDonnell is NOT ignorant of any of this. He knew what he was doing!

    April 8, 2010 at 7:17 am |
  81. Carl Dean

    Virginia, what a bad idea honoring confederate month. I equate this to the Nazi celebrating the holocast. What kind of tourism are they trying to gain white supremacist?

    April 8, 2010 at 7:15 am |
  82. seedyh

    Let them southern folks study all they want , if thar's a chance to bring in much needed funds , I'm all for em ! After all , it's still a free country isn't it ?

    April 8, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  83. Trudy

    This was a most interesting story. How does the governor in Virgina forget that slavery was the main reason for the Civil War? That's like forgetting why we fought in WWII.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  84. Melon

    Apparently Governor Bob lacks a basic understanding of the Civil War, the Confederacy, the practice of slavery.

    The Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and treason. Every time I see one being displayed on a vehicle I am greatly offended as an American.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  85. Mackie

    Disappointed in CNN for focusing on VA Governor's "omission" (that he quickly corrected) more than Obama disarming America. Hello? Anybody at the helm?

    April 8, 2010 at 7:11 am |
  86. Melon

    Maybe the passenager was trying to smoke his shoe? *shrugs*

    April 8, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  87. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    @Rocco, I have been wondering about the very same thing. John, could you ask someone in W. Virginia who can answer?

    April 8, 2010 at 7:01 am |
  88. Alex

    The signing of the START treaty today signals another of mankind's steps away from nuclear annihilation and towards a future where Nuclear energy is used for peace and not war.

    Congratulations Presidents Obama and Medvedev, Russia, the United States, and the World as a whole as we've all become a little bit safer.

    April 8, 2010 at 6:38 am |
  89. Rocco

    Why don't mines "pre-drill" some exhaust holes in mines BEFORE they have an help exhaust dangerous methane build up?

    April 8, 2010 at 6:35 am |
  90. Joseph Daniel brian Lawlor

    Nuclear Treaty wise move. Global body like a dis-functional porcupine pointing its quills in at it self thinking it is its own worse enemy. Now it is becoming wiser pointing its quills out as it should do in order prevent attacks from outside the body and not from those within.

    April 8, 2010 at 6:24 am |
  91. Dana

    Are you serious? Pay to use the restroom?! How much would they charge me if I brought my own "cup"?

    April 8, 2010 at 6:20 am |
  92. Melon

    Good Morning CNN!

    Confederate History Month? Governor Bob wants to "celebrate and honor" treason?


    April 8, 2010 at 6:04 am |