Friday, August 18, 2017

Traitors to our country should never have been honored in the first place

Stonewall Jackson, Virginia Military Institute

     Say I take up a hobby: drowning puppies in a bucket, then using a tennis racquet to serve their limp, dripping carcasses at neighborhood children who flee, shrieking, while I laugh and laugh.
     You object to this practice, citing cruelty to animals, to children.
     I reply, "What? You don't realize what a huge problem over-population is among pets? You don't care about animals? And obesity is a major problem among the young. How can you oppose exercise?"
     Welcome to what passes for discourse in America, 2017, where no moral lapse is so extreme that it can't be reframed and explained away.
     A mob of Nazis march, on the pretext of defending Civil War monuments. The marchers clash with counter-protesters, then return to the holes they came from. Decent Americans exhibit their displeasure by pulling down the same monuments the Nazis used as pretext, those honoring traitorous Civil War leaders who took up arm against their own country — our country — in open rebellion trying to preserve the grotesque institution of slavery, monuments often set up in the 20th century as a middle finger to Civil Rights protests.
     Our current leader, Donald Trump, can't bring himself to sincerely denounce racism, so instead expounds on the Nazis' excellence, so much that corporate CEOs, not a group famous for morality, draw away in visceral horror.

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18 comments:

  1. The United States of America are a country.
    -or-
    The United States of America is a country.

    The American Civil War, and President Lincoln, solved that 70-year-old question. (West Virginia and Nevada gained admission to the Union, despite the Illinois pol's promise against new states during wartime.)

    To say these ne'er-do-wells are "Nazis" is a bridge too far. But a good column.

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    1. To say that some of these folks shouldn't be called Nazis is like saying that I'm not a Beatles fan because I've never belonged to an official Beatles fan club. If you've got a tattoo of a swastika on your chest and are brandishing a Nazi flag while chanting "Jews will not replace us," -- uh, that bridge seems like it's in just the right place, IMHO...

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  2. Trump defends them because he's one of them. He's their Jefferson Davis.

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    1. Jeff Davis was offered a position in the Union army, as a West Point graduate, before leading the doomed slave states. The sitting president did not attend a U.S. military academy.

      Davis accepted defeat only after several southern cities were burned to the ground and New Orleans was economically destroyed by blockade. (The British sought to help the succession via trade; I guess burning down the White House in 1810 was not revenge enough.)

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    2. check, British set fire to White House in 1814.

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    3. The current president [a revolting thought that he is president], received five deferments during the Viet Nam War, because he supposedly had bone spurs in his foot, but now can't remember which foot.
      Obviously his extremely rich & racist father paid off some doctor[s] to say that.

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    4. Unknown, I think you're confusing Davis with Robert E Lee. Davis went to West Point but was a Mississippi senator when the war broke out. Lee was offered the command of the Union army by Lincoln but declined when his beloved Virginia seceded.

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    5. Hello Tony,
      Yes, The above is incorrect.
      History is changed in letters, ala 1984 newspeak.

      Nice catch, hive. Wonderful.


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    6. Just to pile on: New Orleans didn't surrender because it was "economically destroyed by blockade." It was captured in a naval/ amphibious operation in 1862. And even after Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Davis wanted to keep fighting. He fled south with the contents of the Confederate treasury and didn't give up until he was captured by Union cavalry near Irwinsville, Ga.

      Bitter Scribe

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    7. I doubt the citizens of New Orleans-1865 would think the parish was captured. But, I meant to illustrate that New Orleans was not set ablaze by Union forces in the 1860s. Not my decision.

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  3. While the reason for the civil war is more complex it does not negate any of your points or the premise of this piece.ln an attempt to demonstrate that I am not a person who can't admit they're wrong I would like to say you were right Neil from the very beginning, in your take on Trump and his administration. While I suggested patience and was completely wrong in imagining that it was possible 4 the new president to govern in an effective manner. I did not vote for mr. Trump But felt he should be supported by all Americans when he was elected. What was I thinking? He has demonstrated over and over again that he is not fit for office. The current circumstance demonstrates that all measures must be considered to resist. His removal from the presidency is absolutely necessary. I would hope for his resignation but fear that impeachment is the only option. His vocal support 4 Nazis and white supremacists cannot be tolerated. Keep beating that drum Neil. You couldn't have been more right

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  4. Thanks FME. Believe me, none of this is WANTING Trump to fail. I sincerely wish he would do something right, so I could dance around and wave it over my head, ululating in joy. But he doesn't. Each utterance, each policy initiative, is folly wrapped in ignorance. The Russians couldn't have hurt our country more if they nuked Toledo.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I copied this from a comment thread about an incompetent US Navy ship captain, as it describes Trump perfectly::
      "Toxic leaders leave the place worse than they found it. They put themselves ahead of the institution, and they deploy leadership and management tactics that advance their personal interests—even at the expense of colleagues or subordinates."

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    3. I believe I've used the quote before, but what U.S. Grant said about our greatest President illustrates a great contrast: "Mr. Lincoln gained influence over men by making them believe it was a pleasure to serve him." Anyone working in this administration must feel just a hair's breath away from running afoul of the personal interests or quixotic opinions of their dear leader.

      I notice the confederate monument controversy has revived interest in removing the remaining imprints of General Italo Balbo' visit to the 1933 Worlds Fair, Balbo Drive and the monument to him that stands on the lakefront south of Soldier Field. Probably a good idea, because he was indeed a prominent Fascist, but to his credit he opposed the Italian race laws and the alliance with Hitler, telling Mussolini that he would end up shining the German's shoes. Although he is still revered by some Italians for his contribution to aviation, he died in a demonstration of military incompetence when he was shot down by his own anti-aircraft artillery approaching Tobruk.

      Tom

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  5. Good column and shout out to Tina Fey last night on Weekend Update! You both nailed it.

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    1. Wasn't she great?! That episode was a real tonic.

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  6. Ole Rumpy kinda seems to think that the statues and monuments are there *because* Washington, Jefferson, Lee and Jackson were slave-owners, since they had that in common. Though he and many modern-day Confederates might prefer that were the case, it's not, of course. Washington fought a war for freedom and presided over a new nation dedicated to the rights of man. Lee fought a war *against* that nation which killed more Americans than any other enemy ever has. He fought on behalf of a government primarily established to perpetuate slavery. You don't have to be a historian to see that there is no legitimate comparison between honoring the two men, despite some similarities. Of course, it's pretty evident that Dolt 45 seems to have learned most of his history from looking at statues, not from (heaven help us!) reading books, perchance.

    But *if* "the history and culture of our great country (are) being ripped apart," it's because of him and his minions, not because of the removal of statues that honor traitors.

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