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Eclipse Review

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I watched from a beautiful nature reserve in central Missouri, and it was--without exaggeration--the coolest thing I've ever seen.
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sandge
13 hours ago
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Atlanta, GA, USA
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Tear Them Down

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It's long past time America rid itself of its monuments to Southern white supremacy. Nearly all were erected long after the war was over; few were intended purely as memorials for the band of terrorists that sought to split this nation in two over the right not only to buy, sell, breed, and kill fellow human beings as cash crop, but over the insistence that all the rest of the nation pass and maintain laws to help them do it. The rest arose as symbols of white dominance and power during the Jim Crow era. Monuments were erected in response to black Americans casting their rightful vote; monuments were erected in response to black Americans seeking to use the same doorways, and stairways, and fountains, and diners, and public places that they were barred from by southern law during the times when the rest of America found those laws, too, contemptible.

The statues of Confederate generals and monuments to Confederate "causes" arose as monuments to white rage as black American children entered the same schoolhouse doors that white American children took for granted. The Confederate flags waving in northern states or in western towns that did not exist when the battles they were supposedly honoring did not come about in a quest to reclaim a "heritage", but to invent one; a common cause of dividing the races, a universal symbol warning black Americans that regardless of what laws had been written down, the laws in this town, or neighborhood, or street were something different.

It is long past time to tear the statues down. Not remove them. Not warehouse them, or sell them to willing bidders. It is long past time to tear them down in chunks. To take sledgehammers to them where they stand, as the residents of Berlin did to their contemptible Wall. To tie chains around them and topple them into the pavement, as the liberated has long done to the symbols of their tyrants. Break the chunks into smaller chunks; break the smaller chunks into gravel; melt down the metal and grind the stone into dust. Make sure there is nothing left to be kept as heirlooms for the shelves of racists; make sure not a scrap is left as artifact for some future murderous loser to rub and cherish as a symbol of what might have been.

As long as the monuments remain, they will exist as rallying points for the worst of society's ills. We have seen it, over and over and over. They will be honored by greasy men whose own forefathers may have fought and died; they will bring torches, time and time again. The pasty would-be revolutionaries had no interest in the Confederacy, past or present: They rallied in service of declaring a new racist order. They chanted the slogans and wore the symbols of the perpetrators of the Holocaust. They chanted the slogans of genocide, of murder, of authoritarian purges. It was not historical societies marching to preserve a statue of the Civil War's losing side, but white supremacists—and only white supremacists. They marched not to bring attention to a long-settled war, but alongside the flag of Nazi Germany and dozens of other symbols of would-be violent revolution.

Tear the statues down. Give the racists no quarter, no rallying point, and no hope. Tear them down with distain and contempt, without ceremony and without speeches. Simply shatter them, and salt the ground beneath if need be. Give the next aspiring church bomber or would-be race warrior nothing, not even a spot of shade.

It is not historical societies or men with pictures of their Southern ancestors rallying around the traitors' statues. It was organized by white nationalists. It was protected by white nationalist militias. They marched with Nazis, and shouted praise for Hitler.

So tear them down.

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sandge
9 days ago
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Atlanta, GA, USA
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The Moral Shambles That is Our President

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Denouncing Nazis and the KKK and violent white supremacists by those names should not be a difficult thing for a president to do, particularly when those groups are the instigators and proximate cause of violence in an American city, and one of their number has rammed his car through a group of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring dozens more. This is a moral gimme — something so obvious and clear and easy that a president should almost not get credit for it, any more than he should get credit for putting on pants before he goes to have a press conference.

And yet this president — our president, the current President of the United States — couldn’t manage it. The best he could manage was to fumble through a condemnation of “many sides,” as if those protesting the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists had equal culpability for the events of the day. He couldn’t manage this moral gimme, and when his apparatchiks were given an opportunity to take a mulligan on it, they doubled down instead.

This was a spectacular failure of leadership, the moral equivalent not only of missing a putt with the ball on the lip of the cup, but of taking out your favorite driver and whacking that ball far into the woods. Our president literally could not bring himself to say that Nazis and the KKK and violent white supremacists are bad. He sorely wants you to believe he implied it. But he couldn’t say it.

To be clear, when it was announced the president would address the press about Charlottesville, I wasn’t expecting much from him. He’s not a man to expect much from, in terms of presidential gravitas. But the moral bar here was so low it was on the ground, and he tripped over it anyway.

And because he did, no one — and certainly not the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists, who were hoping for the wink and nod that they got here — believes the president actually thinks there’s a problem with the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists. If he finally does get around to admitting that they are bad, he’ll do it in the same truculent, forced way that he used when he was forced to admit that yeah, sure, maybe Obama was born in the United States after all. An admission that makes it clear it’s being compelled rather than volunteered. The Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists will understand what that means, too.

Our president, simply put, is a profound moral shambles. He’s a racist and sexist himself, he’s populated his administration with Nazi sympathizers and white supremacists, and is pursuing policies, from immigration to voting rights, that make white nationalists really very happy. We shouldn’t be surprised someone like him can’t pass from his lips the names of the hate groups that visited Charlottesville, but we can still be disappointed, and very very angry about it. I hate that my baseline expectation for the moral behavior of the President of the United States is “failure,” but here we are, and yesterday, as with previous 200-some days of this administration, gives no indication that this baseline expectation is unfounded.

And more than that. White supremacy is evil. Nazism is evil. The racism and hate we saw in Charlottesville yesterday is evil. The domestic terrorism that happened there yesterday — a man, motivated by racial hate, mowing down innocents — is evil. And none of what happened yesterday just happened. It happened because the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists felt emboldened. They felt emboldened because they believe that one of their own is in the White House, or at least, feel like he’s surrounded himself with enough of their own (or enough fellow travelers) that it’s all the same from a practical point of view. They believe their time has come round at last, and they believe no one is going to stop them, because one of their own has his hand on the levers of power.

When evil believes you are one of their own, and you have the opportunity to denounce it, and call it out by name, what should you do? And what should we believe of you, if you do not? What should we believe of you, if you do not, and you are President of the United States?

My president won’t call out evil by its given name. He can. But he won’t. I know what I think that means for him. I also know what I think it means for the United States. And I know what it means for me. My president won’t call out evil for what it is, but I can do better. And so can you. And so can everybody else. Our country can be better than it is now, and better than the president it has.


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sandge
10 days ago
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Atlanta, GA, USA
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3 public comments
LeMadChef
10 days ago
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The golf analogy was icing on the cake.
Denver, CO
jerkso
10 days ago
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You are making hoops for the president to jump through, he denounced all side for the violence. He has denounced the violence you know it, you're response is weak and without substance. Why don't you talk about the cause of this and their numbers growing? Hint it is not Trump.
Bangkok, Thailand
katster
10 days ago
“Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us….. There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He said he loves us all…. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.” ~The Daily Stormer
boredomfestival
10 days ago
There are not multiple sides to this.
jerkso
8 days ago
There aren't multiple sides, care to explain, that seems a refutation of reality as much a commonsense. Seems both of you perhaps are living in a bubble, Quit it with the might is right reasoning in such attitudes and ignorance. Recognize the poison there on both sides.Ignoring this collectivism of any sort is going to end poorly for everyone.
skorgu
10 days ago
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GOP. Delenda. Est.

When Authors Talk On Twitter: Slasher Movie Edition

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As I have noted in the past, Twitter is great for me as an author less because it connects me to my audience and sells books (which it does!) and more because it lets me hangout digitally, by-proxy, with a bunch of other penmonkeys doing their penmonkey thing. Sometimes those authors talk. Sometimes Sam Sykes is involved.

This is one of those times.

[law and order noise, CHUNG CHUNG]

 

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sandge
26 days ago
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Atlanta, GA, USA
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Eclipse Flights

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The captain has turned on the 'fasten seat belt' sign.
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sandge
28 days ago
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Atlanta, GA, USA
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Want to #Resist, Rich Liberals? Buy Some Fucking Newspapers

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This was rightly roasted all over the place this week: 

Bigger government handouts won’t win working-class voters back. This is the fallacy of the left, believing that voters just need to be shown how much they are getting in government benefits. In reality, these voters see themselves as being penalized for maintaining the basic values of hard work, religion and family.

And I made the point myself that “Democrats” like Penn have no idea where the center is in this country and no financial incentive to find out. If they can cash in without providing any kind of data, why would they do the work necessary to prove their (bullshit) hypothesis?

Move to the center, Democrats! Because if you nominate a war hero, he certainly won’t be characterized as a traitor! If you nominate a woman so hawkish she makes Angela Merkel look like a pacifist, she certainly won’t be derided as weak! If you run a biracial constitutional lawyer whose ideas would be right at home in the Eisenhower administration, he’s certainly not going to be called a secret Muslim terrorist sympathizer!

This idea that the appeal of the GOP to the average voter is about substance is just adorable. We could go back in time, nominate Bernie Sanders, he could talk nonstop about manufacturing jobs and Real Americans in the Rust Belt, and by the time wingnut media were done with him he’d be That Socialist Jew and he’d have had to denounce every single black friend he’d ever made.

If the future of the Democratic Party is conversion of Republican voters, nobody is ever going to be good enough.

My biggest problem with that Penn piece and this WTF nonsense is that what Democrats need isn’t another retooling by somebody’s fucking cousin who’s a brand ambassador. They don’t need to call abortion icky or abandon whatever the fuck these rich white tools think is “identity politics” this week. They don’t need a white man with a Southern accent and a picturesque farmer/coal miner background (though if we wanna run Jimmy again, I’m game if he is).

They need their own fucking printing press and they should go buy one. Plus a few dozen TV stations and some local radio networks. Maybe save some media execs from themselves.

Without those things, it doesn’t matter if Democrats move left, right or center if there’s a 24-7 media machine screaming that all Dems including YOUR SENATOR INSERT NAME HERE is a pinko commie babykilling fairy peacefreak who wants to give secret welfare to black people by raising your taxes.

It doesn’t matter how many “Rust Belt correspondent” anthropologists big papers parachute in to gawk at the rubes and come up with euphemisms for racsim. They’ll never be able to convince people that “the media” aren’t the bad guys when the only media people consume is anti-Democratic, anti-dissent, anti-media media.

It’s not like there aren’t properties for sale. Good, profitable properties (I will NEVER fucking understand shuttering a profitable business, never in my life) that are doing important work in places where Americans desperately need a voice for public education, organized labor, a living wage, alleviation of poverty, universal health care and all the things we claim are so important to us every four years.

So maybe some of the people who will shovel cash at Penn and this WTF bullshit can wheel their barrels full of money just a little farther down the street and buy themselves the message they know isn’t getting out. It didn’t matter in the last half-dozen elections, presidential and otherwise, that Democrats across the board DID have policies and priorities to fix health care, to retrain American workers, to raise the minimum wage, to provide public education. Nobody heard a word they were saying.

You let Republicans do all the talking and people are going to vote for Republicans every time.

A.




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sandge
45 days ago
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Atlanta, GA, USA
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