It hurt in a way that well exceeded the physical pain, though that too was an ever-mounting presence that he couldn't quite ignore. He felt a warm wetness seeping through the sleeve of his tunic and dripping down his arm by the time he collapsed in front of the stream, choking on his own shaky sobs.
It was bad, this time.
Which wasn't to say it wasn't always bad. For a practiced martial artist, his father showed little restraint in many stretches of his life, particularly in regards to matters involving his only child. It was something the boy had at one time pointed out to him; and got a back hand to the face as a response. But he'd never taken a real weapon to him before; only fists and reeds.
As carefully as he could with trembling hands and blurry eyes, the boy peeled back his sodden sleeve to try and assess the damage. It was always his left arm, now; father had made a ritual of his discipline that had thusly left the limb a chaotic mess of overlapping lashes, healed, reopened, healed again, and often until they bled. The bladed switch had been used with every intention of leaving him permanently marked; something to remind him of his failures and disgracefulness when the bruises on his ribs and limbs faded.
And it would remind him. Four perfectly spaced lines that gaped violently on skin they painted red, each hooked at the top where the barbed tips of the weapon had snagged in and pulled. They were still bleeding, and deeper than any wound he'd received in the past, but he knew well enough from his studies that no major blood vessels had burst. He'd have to try and stitch them up later perhaps, but right now wasn’t the time for that. He was much more concerned with trying to preserve the silken fabrics that his blood had left stained, as they were, after all, one of the only only remnants of his personal expression that he had left. Father had made certain of this, too. Creativity and the arts, they were not a luxury he’d been allotted. They were a distraction, and a distraction he’d been told time and time again that he hadn’t the time nor talent to pursue. It was best he focus on bettering himself in other ways, the ways he wanted.
He hated that man. He hated his stupid school, he hated that he was expected to follow in his footsteps, he hated all of his other students who so effortlessly surpassed him. He hated the other schools that left them financially drained, he hated the little izakaya down the way that happily took what little they did make so father could drown away any remnants of pleasantness he had left in him in a nightly wash of liquor. He hated the barkeep and he hated the other patrons, he hated that no matter what he did he could never find a place to hide his treasures(and himself) from his father’s frigid scrutiny, he hated his rules and he hated that no amount of discipline could ever erase his drive for something more. He’d tried his best to do what he was told. He hated himself more than anything else.
Stripping off the elegantly stitched florals as best he could without further ruining them, his knees slid in the mud to get closer to the edge of the stream and dip the fabric into it’s cool waters. He scrubbed and scrubbed at the splotched red in his sleeve until some of the stitching started to fray, but even then he could still see a tint of cherry blossom pink where his blood had sunk in, much more vibrant to his own eyes than it was to most. It was difficult to admit defeat, but it was something he would have to do eventually. His flesh still bled, and that in itself did more ill than good in the way of trying to clean the offending fluid from his tunic. He’d only caught sight of the stranger from the corner of his eye when he’d finally given up on saving the fanciful costume, sinking back against the bank with the garment clutched to him protectively to preserve some sort of modesty, even in his distress.
“GoawaypleasegoawaypleasegoawaypleasegoawayPLEASE.” the boy screamed.
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Historical Context, by Atun-Shei Films
(not mine, youtuber’s history lesson in the community tab, link at the bottom)
I will never make a video about this (I really should have included it in the black Confederates episode of Checkmate Lincolnites, but oh well) so a mini-essay will have to do.
I recently came across a pro-Confederate Facebook post featuring this quote from Confederate major general Patrick Cleburne, written on January 2, 1864:
"It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties."
Now, I'm not going to share the post itself, as that would inevitably lead to doxxing and bullying. However, this is a teachable moment, a classic example of the beloved Lost Causer past-time of divorcing quotes from their important contexts.
You need to keep a couple things in mind when considering a historical quote. Who is the speaker? Who are they talking to? Do they have an objective in mind? What events surrounding this person, if any, have inspired them to say this particular thing at this particular time?
Quotes by themselves are useless in historical education and can often be misleading. I see y'all making this mistake with the Cornerstone Speech all the time – it's not the mic drop you think it is. You can't just shove it in someone's face and call it a day. If you really want to change minds, you need to present it in its proper context and alongside other evidence. Only then can you craft a complete and compelling argument.
Now as it happens, Alexander Stephens was totally sincere when he called late 18th century notions of racial equality "wrong," and he spoke for the overwhelming majority of Confederate true believers in the Spring of 1861 when he said that "our new government is founded on exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the [black man] is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition." But without context, how would I know that? When making an argument, the onus of proof is on you.
This particular pro-Confederate post presented the Cleburne quote by itself in meme format without any context whatsoever, so allow me to provide one. At first glance, it seems like Cleburne is espousing anti-authoritarian values. It seems like he is declaring, clearly and definitively, that the Southern states did not secede to preserve slavery, but rather to uphold their regional self-determination.
This quote is from a letter Cleburne wrote to Joseph E. Johnston, his commanding officer in the Army of Tennessee, proposing that the Confederate government emancipate and arm the South's enslaved men to bolster the thinning ranks of the army.  As you may remember from Checkmate Lincolnites, this proposal was met with shock and horror from the Confederate leadership, who quickly rejected it.
But Cleburne saw further than them. He believed – correctly – that unless something drastic was done, the Confederacy was doomed to destruction. As he writes in the proposal, "Instead of standing defiantly on the borders of our territory or harassing those of the enemy, we are hemmed in to-day into less than two-thirds of it, and still the enemy menacingly confronts us at every point with superior forces."
"If this state continues much longer we must be subjugated," he continues. Defeat would inevitably lead to "the loss of all we now hold most sacred — slaves and all other personal property, lands, homesteads, liberty, justice, safety, pride, manhood."
As Claiborne sat down to write this proposal, exactly one year had passed since the Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Though a huge risk, and deeply unpopular with many Northern whites, the edict proved to be a political masterstroke that crippled the Confederate States' ability to wage war.
Namely, it mobilized the growing abolitionist movement in the North, encouraged resistance among Southern blacks, and stoked the ever-present white Southern paranoia of servile insurrection. As Cleburne says of the planter class, "The fear of their slaves is continually haunting them."
It sparked the formation of the United States Colored Troops and the first mass military enlistment of black men in American history. Their contribution to the United States' war effort was already making a difference in 1863, and it would eventually prove invaluable to victory. Lincoln himself mused late the following year that "any different policy in regard to the colored man deprives us of his help, and this is more than we can bear . . . Keep it and you can save the Union. Throw it away, and the Union goes with it." 
Lincoln also damaged the Confederate government's relationship with the staunchly abolitionist British Empire. "Our country has already some friends in England," Cleburne writes, "but they cannot assist us without helping slavery, and to do this would be in conflict with their policy for the last quarter of a century."
Cleburne had come to believe that slavery, though "one of our chief sources of strength at the commencement of the war," had become a military "weakness" and a political liability.
He fretted in particular about the Confederate army's dim prospects for future recruitment as the war dragged on. "Our single source of supply is that portion of our white men fit for duty and not now in the ranks," whereas "the President of the United States announces that 'he has already in training an army of 100,000 [black men] as good as any troops,' and every fresh raid he makes and new slice of territory he wrests from us will add to this force."
He emphasizes twice that his issue with slavery was strictly from "a military point of view," to placate Johnston and his fellow officers, who were – like just about all Confederates – rabidly pro-slavery.
Anticipating fierce resistance from his colleagues, Cleburne addresses some common Confederate criticisms of his unusual and radical proposal. "It is said Republicanism cannot exist without the institution [of slavery]," but, he argues, emancipation is preferable to defeat. "We prefer any form of government of which the Southern people may have the molding, to one forced upon us by a conqueror."
Here's where our quote shows up: in the litany of anticipated criticisms. "It is said" – not by Yankee propagandists, but by Confederates themselves – "slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all."
But Cleburne denies that slavery is his entire reason for fighting, as well he might. Political beliefs in the 1860s were as complex, intricate, and multifaceted as they are today. The moral issue of slavery was tied into legislative issues like state's rights and economic issues like free trade. Confederate soldiers fought for all of those causes, and for more lofty ideals like independence and resistance to invasion. But make no mistake: slavery was the lynchpin of the entire Confederate philosophy.
And Cleburne knew it. He was not a native Southerner, but an Irish immigrant, and sometimes outsiders have the clearest perspectives. He saw what his colleagues could not – the Confederacy was about to crash and burn, and arming slaves was perhaps the only way to avert total annihilation. He knew that it was not what the Confederate leadership wanted to hear, but nonetheless, "no objection ought to outweigh it which is not weightier than independence."
And yet – they rejected it anyway. They even suppressed the knowledge of it. 
Cleburne is not speaking for the Confederacy in this quote. He's demonstrating his uniqueness within that system, his break from the party line. So ironically, this quote does far more to reinforce the Confederacy's bone-deep commitment to slavery than to dispel it.
~REFERENCES~  "Patrick Cleburne's Proposal to Arm Slaves," American Battlefield Trust https://www.battlefields.org/learn/pr...
 G. S. Borritt. Why the Confederacy Lost (1993). Oxford University Press, Page 137
 Kevin Levin. Searching for Black Confederates (2019). UNC Press, Page 57-60
Coast Guard SPARS ~ 1943 US Coast Guard
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more at http://quickfound.net/
Originally a public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Wikipedia license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Women's Reserve, known as the SPARS, was the World War II women's branch of the USCG Reserve. It was established by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 23 November 1942. This authorized the acceptance of women into the reserve as commissioned officers and at the enlisted level, for the duration of the war plus six months. Its purpose was to release officers and men for sea duty and to replace them with women at shore stations. Dorothy C. Stratton was appointed director of the SPARS, with the rank of lieutenant commander and later promoted to captain. She had been the Dean of Women on leave from Purdue University, and an officer in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Stratton is credited with creating the nautical name of SPARS.
The qualifying age for officer candidates was between 20 and 50, and required to have a college degree, or two years' of college and two years' of professional or business experience. For enlisted, the age was between 20 and 36, and required to have completed at least two years' of high school. Initially only white women were recruited; later five African-American women were accepted and served. The agreement reached between the U.S. Navy and the USCG required officer candidates receive their indoctrination at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. In June 1943, the USCG withdrew from the agreement, and the indoctrination of officer candidates was transferred to the USCG Academy at New London, Connecticut.
According to that same agreement, enlisted personnel would receive their training on college campuses operated for such by the Navy. In March 1943, the USCG decided to also establish its own training center for the training of recruits. The site selected was the Palm Beach Biltmore Hotel, Palm Beach, Florida. Beginning in June, all enlisted personnel would receive their recruit training and specialized training there. Some 70 percent of the enlisted women who received recruit training also received some specialized training. In January 1945, the training of enlisted personnel was transferred from Palm Beach to Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York.
The SPARS were assigned to every USCG district except Puerto Rico, and served in Hawaii and Alaska as well. Most officers were general duty officers, although some served as communication, supply and recruiting officers. Most of the enlisted women performed clerical duties, but they also rigged parachutes and drove jeeps. A select few officers and enlisted personnel were assigned to work with the Long Range Aid to Navigation at monitoring stations in the Continental United States. Better known as LORAN, it was a top-secret radio navigation system developed for ships at sea and long-range aircraft. The SPARS peak strength was approximately 11,000 officers and enlisted personnel. Commodore J. A. Hirschfield, USCG said that the SPARS volunteered for duty when their country needed them, and they did their jobs with enthusiasm, efficiency, and with a minimum of fanfare. Two United States Coast Guard Cutters were named in honor of the SPARS...