Another Foray Into Publishing

As some of the long time readers are aware, last year, I had a story, Polk’s Prophetic Property, published in the Freedom’s Light Anthology.

A new year, a new anthology.

Or Two. (Maybe more).

Tomorrow see the publication of Planetary: Venus. This is the second of Superversive Press’s anthologies based upon the planets. Planetary: Mercury is on sale now.

So, what is Venus about? Well, let’s look at the book flap:

Venus, the second planet from the sun, a world of sulfurous gas and tremendous temperatures where the landscape features—mountains and valleys—are all named for love goddesses. Venus herself is the goddess most known for allure and romance.

Here are twenty stories featuring Venus, the planet, the goddess, or just plain love—both romantic and otherwise. Planetary Fiction explores the themes associated with these heavenly bodies as well as their astronomical, mythological, and in some cases even alchemical significance.

Besides my story, “Venus Felix”, there are stories from:

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Lou Antonelli

JD Beckwith

Dana Bell

Bokerah Brumley

Misha Burnett

Amy Sterling Casil

Declan Finn

A. M. Freeman

Julie Frost

David Hallquist

Frederic Himebaugh

L. Jagi Lamplighter

Jane Lebek

Margot St Aubin

Edward Willett

Dawn Witzke

Joshua Young

So, tune in tomorrow when I post the link.

And then probably I will discuss a little about the story.

Consider it the beginning of of a Lent free of political posts.

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The 1917 Halifax Explosion and Boston’s Response

Something a little different. I think this is one of those historical moments that should get more publicity as it shows that contrary to general depressing news we see every day, the human race can occasional rise above itself and do some good.
100 years ago today, December 6, 1917, at approximately 8:45 a.m. AST (7:45 am EST), the French vessel, SS Mont-Blanc, collided with the Norwegian vessel, SS Imo the Narrows, in the Narrow, a strait that joined a portion Halifax, Nova Scotia’s harbor to Bedford Basin. The Mont-Blanc was laden with high explosives destined for the war in Europe. The impact caused a fire on board the ship. The Halifax fire department was rushing to pier 6 to assist in putting out the fire.
Others, including Patrick Coleman, an Intercolonial Railway dispatcher, and a colleague, began to flee when they learned of the collision and saw the smoldering Mont-Blanc approaching. However, Coleman apparently realized as bad as things would be, they would be worse if the trains scheduled to arrive at Halifax’s North Station did so if the ship exploded. So he returned to his post and sent an urgent telegram to stations down the line: “Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbor making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys.”
About 20 minutes after the collision, the Mont-Blanc exploded. The explosion released energy equivalent to approximately 2.9 kilotons of TNT, the largest man-made explosion prior the Trinity bomb. In 1/15th of a second, the ship ceased to exist. Almost all everything within a half-mile radius was destroyed. Railroads tracks were destroyed by the explosion’s pressure wave as were almost all of the City’s windows. Then came the tsunami. Large portions of Halifax and and surroundings communities simply ceased to exist.  The USS Tacoma, which was out at sea, was struck by the pressure wave. The impact was severe enough to send its crew went to General Quarters.
(To put more fully into perspective how powerful the explosion was, the shaft of the Mont-Blanc‘s anchor was found almost 2 miles away. One of the ship’s stern cannons was thrown more than 2 miles. Additionally, as of 2017, trees that were alive when the Mont-Blanc exploded have been found to have glass and other debris buried in their trunks. New England sawmills still do not accept trees from the Halifax region for fear of damaging their equipment.)
Over 1600 people died in the explosion (including Patrick Coleman). Most of them instantly. Among the dead were Patrick Coleman and 9 members of the Halifax Fire Department standing on pier six, laying down hoses to help fight the fire on the Mont-Blanc.  Most of the dead died instantly. Another 9,000 badly injured, including many with eye injuries from the exploding glass windows. Hundreds of Thousands were rendered homeless instantly.
It’s not clear how far away from Halifax people still felt the explosion. But it was far enough away that a lot of people very quickly knew something very bad had happened. Shortly after the explosion, a telegram reached Boston:
Organize a relief train and send word to Wolfville and Windsor (towns near Halifax) to round up all doctors, nurses, and Red Cross supplies possible to obtain. Not time to explain details but list of casualties is enormous.
When these first reports reached Boston, the Governor of Massachusetts, Samuel McCall, almost immediately organized a relief effort. The governor used his Committee for Public Safety, created in response to America’s entrance into World War I, to begin to organize a relief effort. McCall sent a telegram to the Mayor of Halifax, letting him know Massachusetts was prepared to send relief and wanted to know what was needed:
Understand that your city in danger from explosion and conflagration. Reports only fragmentary. Massachusetts ready to go the limit in rendering every assistance you may be in need of. Wire me back immediately.
No answer was ever received. What McCall did not know, nor could know, was the telegraph wires around Halifax had been obliterated by the blast.
And this is one of those amazing moments in history. Instead of waiting for a response, instead of waiting for clarification as to what exactly had happened in Halifax, McCall decided to act. He sent out the word to the hospitals in Boston seeking every doctor and nurse who could lend a hand. A train was requisitioned and the doctors, Red Cross nurses and medical supplies, were sent northward. McCall sent a second telegram alerting Halifax that a medical relief train was on its way and more relief would be sent when Boston knew what else Halifax needed.
The fact the train made the 700 mile journey to Halifax is a testament to the doctors and other medicos, as well as the train crew. A blizzard struck the region. Despite the hardship, the train did not turn around, but fought to continue to the stricken City.
The City must have looked like Hell on earth. But the aid workers from Boston went right to work, setting up hospitals and searching rubble for survivors. (The last body wasn’t discovered until 1919). Advances in modern pediatric surgery can be traced to those doctors who answered the call in 1917
Once the medical system had triaged the survivors, longer term issues were considered. As noted above, everything within 1/2 mile of the explosion had been destroyed. Homelessness was a common condition. (Property Damage was estimated to be $35 million. That works out to over $630 million in 2017 dollars). The aid workers began building temporary housing.  (Later, some of the temporary housing, which had housed 2000 people or 320 families, was rebuilt as permanent housing. Those apartments became known as the McCall Apartments on Massachusetts Avenue. I was unable to locate the exact location. Looking at Google Maps, Massachusetts Ave looks to be a highway. While there appears to be apartment/condo complex backed up to the road, it’s not clear if any of them are the successors to the McCall Apartments.).
In addition, with Christmas approaching and 1000s of children orphaned and either living in tent hospitals or homeless, the aid workers put Christmas trees up in the hospitals and acted as Santa’s helpers to collect and give out gifts to the children.
Meanwhile, back in Boston, the Committee of Public Safety was raising funds and organizing the collection additional supplies. Anything and everything Halifax might need to rebuild was collected by Bostonians in preparation of forwarding it northward. Within a week, the first cargo ship was sent.
As a token of thanks for all that Boston did to help Halifax, in 1918 the people of Nova Scotia sent the City of Boston a Christmas Tree. In 1971, the tradition was revived and every year since, Boston’s Christmas Tree has come from Nova Scotia.
So, if you are in Boston, or will be there during the holiday season, stop by the Boston Common and see the tree. It is said to be beautiful.

I also understand there is a new book on the explosion and it’s aftermath by John Bacon,The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism. I have no yet had the opportunity to read the book as I just learned of it. I also missed Bacon’s appearance and book signing recently, so I cannot comment directly on the book, but everything I have seen, it is getting rave reviews.

Both the Boston Globe and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation have recently done stories on the 100th Anniversary. The New England Historical Society also has a web page discussing the Explosion and Boston’s response.

(The cover photo is from W.G. MacLaughlan/Halifax Relief Commission/Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1976-166 no. 36 taken from the McClean’s article cited above)

 

An Open Plea to Nicholas Sarwark and the Libertarian Party

Dear Mr. Sarwark and the Libertarian Party:

Let’s face it, the 2016 election could have gone better for the Libertarian Party (LP). While the Party had, at one point, hoped to receive a double-digit share of the Presidential vote only to revise it down to getting 5%, the final tally of 3.28% of the popular vote was rather disappointing.

As has been 2017. The Democrats and GOP have spent most of the year bickering and pointing fingers at one another while the deficits increase unchecked and the Constitution is something that people merely pay lip service to.

With the revelation of the Congressional slush fund to pay off those who have been sexually harassed by the politicos, it is clear the abuse of power knows no bounds. In this year, which is rapidly becoming the year of #MeToo, the Democrats have been saddled with Al Franken who has been accused of sexual harassment by five women. And we also have John Conyers, the 81-year-old dotard from Michigan who has not only been accused of sexual impropriety, but has paid out money to settle claims. Have either of them been forced from office for abusing their offices? Of course not. Franken is issuing mealy-mouth apologies while Conyers’s actions have been given the official Democratic Party seal of approval by Nancy Pelosi’s pronouncement of Conyers as an “icon.” Though apparently determining the winds of political fortune have shifted, Pelosi has now suggested Conyer might step down now, as opposed to next year when he has decided to no seek re-election.  Of course, according to Conyers’s fellow Congressman James Clyburn, we shouldn’t really believe these allegations because all of the accusers are White Women.

And then there are the Republicans and Roy Moore.

JFC, where to begin.

Roy Moore, a man who, while in his 30s, thought it was appropriate to date teenagers. And who may or may not have been banned from going to the Gadsen (Alabama) Mall. Republicans are rallying around Moore like Democrats are rallying around Conyers. In fact, yesterday this rallying reached its acme:

JFC

It’s almost enough to make one want to emulate a convicted Bosnian War Criminal.

Everyone Drink
Lord, what did the Republicans and Democrats do today?

This is where the LP comes into play.

Mr. Sarwark,  in the aftermath of the 2016 elections you said, “Your tears are delicious and your parties will die.”

Well, it appears the parties are dying. 71% of Millennials want a third party. And who can blame them. Republicans and Democrats have now been shown to be nothing but two tribes who value nothing but the destruction of the other. They  have shown themselves to be out of any ideas and who will say and/or do anything simply to stay in power. And once in power, will do anything they can with that power. And it is not just the steady erosion of our liberties in the name of the “Common Good” and “Security”.

Which is to say to you, Mr. Sarwark and the LP: The time will never be better to capitalize on this institutional rot. Please do not screw this up.

There are 340 days until the mid-term elections. (As much it would be nice to have a viable LP candidate in the AL race, there is just not enough time). You must use this time to not to find candidates to run for the House and Senate, but viable candidates. This means candidates who can identity foreign policy hot-spots (<cough>Aleppo<cough>) and who have no skeletons in their closets. People who could actually win.

But that is not all. The LP and the State LP need to spend money on traditional forms of advertising for these candidates. While it is cool and hip to post political ads on Youtube or social media, it still remains that a large number of people do not go to those sites looking for political ads. Money needs to be spent on television and radio ads. Television remains the single most critical factor in gaining name recognition. Without name recognition, there can be no hope of people even being polled about whether they would vote for the candidate never mind any chance s/he could win.

A good example of this is the 2017 Virginia Gubernatorial election. Cliff Hyra might be a fine individual, but I seriously doubt Virginians who do not live, eat, and breathe politics (i.e. the vast majority of the Commonwealth’s population) knew Hyra was the libertarian candidate. But he was in none of the debates. Why? Because he had no name recognition. Why didn’t he have any name recognition? He had no presence on tv and radio. While the LP may want to focus on social media, people still pay more attention to the traditional media outlets. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you have to go with media you have, not the media you want.

I know I have banged this drum before, but it needs to banged again and again: if libertarians want to be a serious force for change they need to get serious. If the LP truly wants to be an actual third political party in the United States, then it needs to act like a political party and put ads on tv and radio.

So please LP, don’t screw this up.

Again With the Statues

If the folks who are defending the statues could just stick to a defense that would be great.

 Hey, I thought the next blog was supposed to be the open letter to the Nick Sawark?

It was, but this is just a brief interlude. Now back in the box.

What? No mrrrghh…

<Ahem>

When we last left the defenders of the Confederate Monument Hill, their argument was the statues of Bobby Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, etc. were necessary because without them, how could we possibly remember the Civil War?

After all, in 1945 this sort of thing happened all over Germany and now no one knows anything about Nazis or Swastikas …

g5g18t5sv38z[1].png

It’s a weak argument to justify keeping the monuments: That in order to be reminded of the evil and treasonous actions of the Confederacy, we need to have monuments dedicated to them. By that logic, in order to recall the evil that led to the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, we should have statues erected of their killers.

Yeah haven’t seen anyone prepare to make that argument….

Now, could statues be important as warnings of great evil and dangers associated with the figure? Let’s call it Statue-ology. Maybe we can look to see an example of it using a non-Confederate Image. Hmm…  someplace in the US that has a statue of say…. I dunno…. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Someplace like Seattle, Washington.

Statue_of_Lenin_Seattle[1]

Lenin you may recall from such events as the Anti-Kulak Campaigns, the Red Terror, and the New Economic Policy. A man whose policies killed millions and oversaw complete government control over an economy. One of the 20th Century’s true monsters. (Lenin is, of course, overshadowed by his successor Joseph Stalin, in any list of the Worst Rulers of the 20th Century). So Seattle, having a statute warning of the evil of Leninism, would be a peaceful place, tolerant of everyone and would have no groups seeking to divide…

DontDateAWhite

..and would also be a City fully aware of the dangers of  government trying to control the economy…

Awkward.png

Well, that’s awkward….Maybe that’s why the mayor of Seattle this afternoon, is asking for Lenin’s statue to come down.

Statue-ology does not appear to be an effective deterrent to repeating the mistakes of history. This would of course, explain any number of racial and economic policies in New York City. The Big Apple, I have learned in the last 24 hours has monuments/ commemorations to:

  1. Robert E. Lee
  2. Stonewall Jackson
  3. Che Guevara
  4. Philippe Petain

Kinda explains a lot about the way the New York is run. As Thomas Sowell has noted, “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

But let’s look at the argument coming from the redoubt on Confederate Monument Hill from another angle. Maybe, like the arguments in defense of the utter collapse of Venezuela because of socialism, it is because we haven’t really tried Statue-ology.  Maybe the fault lies in the location of the statues. That could be the problem.  People might be mis-learning the history. The statues do tend to be situated in ways create a mistaken impression those whom the statues personify are meant to be idolized.

So we should change the location of the statues to give make sure people understand these statues are meant as warnings. I think this is where Radley Balko was going with his piece today about how Moscow and Budapest handled their surfeit of Leninist/Stalinist statues:

In Moscow’s Gorky Park, right next to the state art museum, there’s a stretch of green space called Fallen Monument Park. It’s populated with monuments to Stalinism and Leninism erected during the Soviet era. It’s pretty striking…

Each monument includes a plaque explaining when it was erected, how it was funded and that it has been preserved and installed in the park not to celebrate Stalin or Lenin or their ideas but because of its historical significance.

One statute of Stalin stands — minus its nose — in front of a harrowing sculpture depicting dozens of human heads stacked behind barbed wire. It’s a monument to the victims of totalitarianism. It isn’t difficult to imagine a similar park where a statute of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis or Nathan Bedford Forrest might stand in front of a monument to victims of lynching.

It seems like a great idea. The statues are preserved and the history of the evils of the civil war and its aftermath can be learned. It seems to be a win-win, So surely the folks up on Confederate Monument Hill will back this compromise? Let’s go live to social media and comments to Balko’s piece:

This is more left wing, politically correct b.s. The Confederate statues have been in their prominent positions in public places throughout the South for decades with nary a word of complaint or protest until the Far Left decided to try and make an issue out of them beginning in the 1990s and accelerating lately.

The Left and the globalists have a false narrative that basically blames all problems everywhere on the planet on the White race. This is their mantra and is shown not just by the Confederate memorials manufactured controversy but by their blatant attempt to overrun Western nations with millions of Third World proles so that Whites will be not only a worldwide minority but a minority in their own homelands.

 I am struck at the level of intellectual dishonesty that compares Lenin and Stalin to Lee and Davis. The latter are tied to a practice that is mostly extinct, the former to an ideology that draws followers even today.

Huh. They don’t seem pleased by it. They seem rather angry. Why, it’s almost as if they really don’t mean it when they say we can only learn from history by keeping the statues. It’s as if they want to honor the Leaders of the Confederacy. (Would also explain the anger many had at Balko for daring to put Lee and Lenin in the same paragraph)

Men who betrayed their own country.

Men who betrayed their own country and lost.

Who knew a vast  tiny (handed) segment of this country needed participation trophies to validate the actions of their forebears?

And speaking of forebears, for the folks around Brunswick, Maine, the sound you are hearing is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg and former governor of Maine, spinning like a lathe in his grave following this gem from the current governor, Paul LePage:

What

There are of course, much better ways to learn about history. As Jamil Smith noted

Nailed it

I also find it easier to learn history from books. You tend to be able to get a lot of information in a book. Plus, they’re much easy to carry around with you.

 

What is Wrong With People? Part II: Q&A on Progressive Failures

So why are we doing this?

Yesterday we discussed the failure of Trump Conservatives to stand up forcefully and denounce the violence by White Supremacists. Now it is time to discuss the failures of liberals that led up to this past weekend’s violence.

But why a Q&A?

Because I’m trying something different to keep my sanity.

Ok. So now what?

Ask a question.

Right. How is discussing the failures of Liberals not “whataboutism”?

Good question. It is not whataboutism because we are not attempting to equate or justify our response to Charlottesville based on what someone else has or hasn’t done.

So why do Progressives deserve blame for Saturday?

Let’s be clear:

The Only Person Deserving Blame for the Death of Heather Heyer is James Field

The conditions which allowed Saturday to occur grew in the fertile fields of progressive/leftist hypocrisy.

Why are they hypocritical?

Who-boy, let’s count the ways. Let’s start with one of the refrains after Charlottesville was why weren’t there the police presences in Virginia that there was in Ferguson and elsewhere.

And what was the problem with that?

It implied there was some form of racism at work. And on a subtler level, that this was the fault of Donald Trump.

And that’s not true?

No. Let’s start with the implication that this was somehow Trump’s fault. Under the concept of Federalism which underpins governance in the United States, the Federal government’s involvement in local law enforcement is very limited and generally only comes about after there has been some form of insurrection or break down in civil order. Until that point, it is the duty and obligation of the local government and depending on the situation, the state government to ensure the peace. So, if you want answers, the people who should be held accountable are the Mayor of Charlottesville, Singer and the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe.

Ok, but isn’t there some form of racism involved?

If there is, then the Democratic Party needs to resolve this internally.

Huh?

McAuliffe and Singers are both Democratic officials. They had the authority and duty to ensure public safety and if they decided not to use force to against KKK and neo-Nazis, then they need to justify why. Democrats trying to slough this off on Trump is wrong. Trump, as I noted yesterday and other times (such as here ) has done wrong, but this one cannot be laid at his feet.

The implications that but for Donald Trump, there would have been enough cops on the street to stop this is complete BS. If you think there is a double standard as to why there was a massive police presence in Ferguson with a majority black population and there was not one in Charlottesville where a large number of white people were protesting, then the question must be directed to those elected Democratic Officials who are responsible and not open ended questions that allow people to presume this is the fault of Donald Trump or some other amorphous group of people who aren’t Democrats elected by and large by the people asking these questions.

So these politicians are not being held accountable?

Not really. McAuliffe tried to justify the lack of police presence as the result of militias being at the protest and counter-protest being more heavily armed than the state’s National Guard.

That’s not true?

Not unless somehow the militias have managed to successfully evade the National Firearms Act of 1968 and have also been able to purchase MRAPs through the Pentagon’s 1033 Program.

Wait. What’s the 1033 Program?

It is a program where the Pentagon sell surplus military equipment including heavy duty hardware to local police agencies.

Got it. You were saying?

McAuliffe’s claim the National Guard and police were outgunned is complete B.S. And think about this, how many police shootings have there been when the justification used was “the officer feared for his life”?

Quite a lot.

And yet, despite law enforcement in Charlottesville supposedly being out-gunned, there have been zero stories of cops opening fire or any indication any one of them feared for his/her life. In fact, one of the most shared photographs has been this one:

598f8b9b140000381aed0668[1].jpg

That officer looks like many things: pissed, annoyed, wishing he was somewhere else. But he doesn’t look scared that he is outgunned.

 

Got it in one.

 

We’ve talked about the hypocrisy, what was the other reason Progressives have responsibility for what’s happened?

Progressives have spent the better part of the last quarter century playing up identity politics.

Identity Politics? What’s that?

Identity Politics is the collectivization of society. Instead of being treated as an individual, you are lumped together with everyone who shares certain traits or characteristics.

Such As?

Such as race or gender or now, gender identity.

And this is bad because…?

Because the entire point of the United States is the protection of the individual. Equal protection under the law, free speech, self-incrimination, you name it. The person, the individual is the lynchpin of our society. By saying to a segment of the population that they are somehow more deserving of rights and freedoms than other groups is bastardizing the fundamentals of society.

You’re not suggesting this has never happened before?

Goodness no. It has happened any number of times. But up until the end of the 20th Century, we had made considerable progress in trying to remedy those wrongs. We still had a long way to go, but we were making progress.

So what happened?

Progressives realized if they pitted groups against one another, they could position themselves as the standard bearers for those groups. You must bake the cake! People in Appalachia are beneficiaries of white privilege and that is why they are so better off than people living in Watts.

Is that true?

Not even remotely.

But how does that get us to where we are today?

Two ways: First is the ever-increasing cult of victimhood. If you are not part of a particular group, you have no right to comment or object to their claims of injury.

Every sign of success is seen as a sign of failure. It is no longer enough to ensure people could marry who they want, now the refusal to date someone who is transgender is a sign of oppression.

Beyond that, it ignored a fundamental law of the universe.

What Law is that?

Newton’s Third Law.

Huh?

Newton’s Third Law states For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

You’ve lost me. That’s a law of physics.

It can apply to politics as well. If you tell Group A that folks in Group B are preventing them from being successful, Group A is going to agitate against Group B. Do it enough and Group B is going to push back. They will start claiming victimhood. And here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter whether either statement is true. It may not be Group B’s fault. Group A’s lack of success may the result of prior laws enacted to remedy past discrimination. Group B as a group may be the unintended beneficiary. But if politician vying for Group A’s votes blame the results and not cause, not only will Group A grow resentful of Group B, but Group B will start to think it is being blamed for things for which it has no control.

Is there a real world example of this?

U.S. Federal Housing Law is a prime example. Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America details how Federal policy created, not out of malice or intent, the red lining of neighborhoods and created many of the housing issues we face today. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his proposed solutions, but it is a good book on how the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

What’s the solution, then?

Ayn Rand once observed the smallest minority is the individual. And whatever you might think of Objectivism, she had point with that statement. We need to reorient ourselves along the trajectory that won the Cold War: focus on ensuring the rights of the individual, not just particular groups.

Seems easy. Too easy

It’s not easy. It will be difficult if it is done properly.

You’ve lost me again.

The easy way, the wrong way, is what we normally get. That’s the call for Peace. If everyone just calms down and is peaceful towards one another, everything will be as right as rain.

That’s not the solution?

No, peace only works when everyone believes things will get better through the normal channels. What is needed is a focus on justice. And the status quo doesn’t do justice. The status quo has convinced people they have one of two options. And if you don’t like either, than you simply must choose the lesser of the two evils. In 2016 Americans were told they had to choose between the congenital liar and the pathological liar. That was how Donald Trump won. He was deemed to be the lesser of two evils.

And that’s a problem because…?

Because as William F. Buckley, Jr. Buckley warned:

[T]he argument that one must vote for the lesser of two evils is very persuasive and within limits conclusive. The trouble is the dynamics of politics do not in fact allow us to go that far and no further. Before we know it, the lesser of two evils is transmuted into a positive good—and from that moment on, we are morally and philosophically adrift.

So you’re saying we’re screwed and should pull a Sylvia Plath?

No. There is still hope. But it requires breaking out of the duopoly.

How?

That’s another blog for another time.

Next Time: The Open Letter to Nick Sarwark.

What is Wrong With People? Part I: Conservatives and Trumpalos

The protest and counter-protest this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer shows some disturbing trends in this country. To wit, it shows folks across the political spectrum have spent too much time with their heads up their rectums.

(**Warning** While I normally try to make this a clean blog, i.e. no swear words, this will not be the case this time).

The reaction by conservatives to the protests & counter-protests in Charlottesville are instructive. Prior to the murder of Heyer, most conservatives were united in their view the Nazis had the right to protest, but were generally mocking in reaction to the photos of the white supremacists. Such as this:

A duck

Post murder is when things went in very opposite direction. A large group of conservatives, from the folks at National Review Washington Examiner to the Speaker of the House and countless Representatives and Senators properly and strongly condemned the white supremacists who had perpetrated this violence and urged the President to do the same.

Trump and his supporters reaction to the incident at Charlottesville were, muted at best. Trump gave what can be charitably described as an anodyne condemnation, deploring violence on both sides. The President, as the Examiner’s Sonny Bunch noted, was presented his Sister Souljah moment and blew it.

Trump, since becoming President, has shown more vitriol towards Jeff Sessions, Bob Mueller, Mitch McConnell, Vladimir Putin, and the little shit running North Korea than he did to the Charlottesville. He was angrier this morning about Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck, leaving the President’s Manufacturing Council, than he was about a neo-Nazi killing an American citizen.

And the White House claim that he didn’t take a more forceful tone because he didn’t want to give strength to the white supremacist cause is completely at odds with his (correct) forceful denunciation of the Radical Islamists responsible for the bombing of the Grande concert in Manchester, England. If he could call those terrorists losers, he could have found the time to apply the same label to the domestic version on display in Virginia

And the President’s statement was the launching point for a thousand “whataboutisms” by his supporters, the Trumpalos. You know the kind of statements I mean,

  • “Yeah, the mowing down of someone is bad, but what about the rocks thrown by the Antifa?”
  • “Why should the President denounce White Supremacists when the Obama [/Schumer/Pelosi] wouldn’t denounce BLM?”
  • “Well the KKK was originally founded by Democrats, so why should Republicans be the ones having to denounce White Supremacists?”
  • “Well what about the 39 people killed in Rahm Emmanuel’s Chicago over the same period of time?”
  • “Well, how do we know the media isn’t lying to us?”
  • “Well we really shouldn’t rush to judgment.”

Are you effing kidding me? All of this simply because James Field is one “your side” of keeping statues of traitors to the Republic in the town square? That’s why we shouldn’t “rush to judgment”?

(We’ll just pass over the media lies commentary. Apparently having contemporary confirmation of the events in Charlottesville by people there on social media is insufficient when it is inconvenient)

These are, mind you, the same people who were quite gleeful when it was discovered the domestic terrorist who attacked the Republican Congressional Baseball practice was a Bernie Bro and couldn’t wait to spread the news. When Isaaiyl Brinsely murdered NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, these same conservatives were quick to connect Brinsley to Black Lives Matters. But somehow, now that the person who perpetrated this atrocity was part of a neo-Nazi protest, we shouldn’t be too quick to pass judgment.

I have made it clear before, I do not grasp this need by a sizable segment of conservatives, especially those whose undying loyalty to Trump, to die on the political hills in defense of the Confederacy.

Even this morning, Ben Domenech, editor of the Federalist.org, is still trying to peddle the idea that removing the statues of people who fought against the United States and in support of slavery is somehow “eradicating history”.

I have great respect for Domenech and the Federalist, even when I disagree with them. But this view is just wrong. It’s not eradicating history. It’s eradicating a mythology that glorifies racists. We don’t need a Stonewall Jackson standing in the middle of a town to remind us there was once a time people took up arms to fight for the right to enslave other human beings.

As one wag on Twitter noted Sunday, Confederate Statues were the original participation trophies.

If this is really about preventing history from being eradicated, than those conservatives who are arguing that should be the ones loudest in their condemnation of not just Fields, but of Richard Spenser, the neo-Nazis and White Supremacists who are “hijacking” history. If the Civil War wasn’t really about slavery and racism, these conservatives should be doing everything they can to denounce the bigots walking down the streets of Charlottesville, carrying Nazi flags, not carping about where’s the denunciation on the left about people waving the Hammer & Sickle flag of the USSR

But they are not. They have instead decided to make common cause.

Michael Goodwin, he of Goodwin’s Law has made it clear that those who have made common cause are no better than Nazis

Goodwin Speaks

Of course, the great irony of all this is the process of removing the statues will probably increase after this weekend. Just like in response to the shootings in South Carolina saw a dramatic uptick in the de-Confederazation of the South, expect to see the number of places with monuments to the losers of the Civil War decrease.

I had hoped the nine-people killed in Charleston, South Carolina in 2014 would be known as the last casualties of the Civil War.

Here’s hoping Heather Heyer death in the Battle of Charlottesville 2017 is the last.

 

(Hey liberals, what are you smiling about? We’ll discuss your issues tomorrow).

Trump Derangement Syndrome

DJ Trump is definitely his father’s son. He has managed, like dear old dad,  to once again make seemingly normal people to take amazingly stupid positions. What Trump the Younger did in meeting with someone claiming to work with the Russian government was not treasonous. Nor was it a brilliant move. And his decision to disclose the emails hours before the New York Times disclosed is as much proof of a “transparent administration” as dumping illegal drugs down the toilet with DEA sledgehammering down the door is proof of someone being anti-drug.

People, including yours truly, have marveled at Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Much like it’s early incarnation, Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), it has caused folks on the left to become completely unhinged, finding conspiracies everywhere. What makes TDS worse is that it has metastasize and caused folks on the right to become equally unhinged.

Beyond the issue with DJ Trump and his journey to gain dirt on Clinton from the Russians is the reaction from both pro and anti Trump forces. On the pro-Trump side, the defenses of young Mister Trump boil down to Kennedy did it and if it’s not illegal, it’s no biggie.

The first argument, if you are not aware of it, concerns a report found in the KGB archives that indicates Ted Kennedy sought the assistance of the Soviet Union to defeat Ronald Reagan’s campaign. Republicans and conservatives have wielded this accusation in the past as proof of the perfidy of the Democratic Party.

So why the eff would you know use it to justify what DJ Trump did? Just because someone on the opposing side did something horrible does not justify your side doing something similar. If it was wrong for them to do it, it is wrong for you to do it.

Since Glen Beck started his own brand, The Blaze, I have gotten the impression he has been selling his old blackboard to right wing crazies. You know the blackboard that he used to show linkages between various left wing causes as proof of an attempt to overthrow the US government and impose Sharia law and install Obama as Imperator. I mean I assume Alex Jones wandered down to Wal-Mart and picked one up and uses it to warn of the dangers of Pig/Human Hybrids and NASA’s Martian Slave Colonies.

(This by the way shows Jones’s disconnect. I’m supposed to believe a government agency is actually running a program efficiently and secretly? Please)

Showing some sort of connection between Ted Kennedy and Yuri Andropov does not justify a DJ Trump-Vlad Putin connection. Whataboutism is not a valid counterpoint to claims of DJ Trump’s inappropriate behavior.

This segues nicely to point two: just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it’s ok. There are any number of things that are perfectly legal, but still douchey. Jacking up the price on epi-pens after the government gives you a de facto monopoly isn’t criminal, just evidence of your ass-hattery. The fact that the FBI determined that Hillary Clinton broke no laws by storing classified materials on an unsecured server didn’t make it right. Indeed, if you look at Comey’s news conference, he bent over backwards to point out what Clinton did was wrong while not being illegal.

As I noted yesterday, the approach used by DJ Trump & co was mind-bogglingly stupid. But that in and of itself is not evidence of criminal activity or intent. It is perfectly acceptable to note what DJ Trump did wasn’t treason or criminal while still noting what an idiot he was for doing it.

The biggest danger the right has in its knee-jerk defense of Trump is going to be that moment in the future when he does something that is completely inexcusable and indefensible you will be forced to either excuse and justify it or explain why this one thing was what pushed you over the edge. You will go from being political supporters to cult members.

And that is not where you want to be going into the midterm elections or in 2020.

Meanwhile the left continues its inexorable slog towards Tinfoil Hat-landia. Apparently Glen Beck has decided to market his conspiracy blackboards and sell them at Target (pronounced by the left as Tar-Jay). There is not a single accusation against Trump that doesn’t go up on the board with a piece of string connecting it to something else. And it doesn’t matter if it is connected to something that has been disproven. Because to the left, anything anti-Trump is true. Even when it isn’t.

What constantly surprises me about the left (though it shouldn’t) is how historically illiterate they are. I understand Karl Marx is out of favor (he is after all, just another dead white male), so perhaps they forget his comment  “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Now see if they had bothered to learn that, they would realize they already made the same mistake with Trump that they did with George W Bush: you cannot be an evil genius while simultaneously having such a low IQ you can’t bend over to tie your shoes. And yet the left insists that he is an idiot while at the same time the center of a vast conspiracy on three continents to overthrow the US government and install Vladimir Putin as Supreme Leader.

Just because two events occurred near one another does not a conspiracy make.Remember Correlation Is Not Causation. A spike in internet traffic on a Russian bank server days after DJ Trump’s meeting with an alleged member of the Russian government does not show evidence of collusion anymore than you can blame people who eat cheese of being at fault for dying while tangled in their bed sheets.

chart
This chart has no relevance to the blog. Much like many of the connections the left is trying to make between Trump and Russia.

Not everything that happens around Trump is proof that Putin is Fearless Leader and the end of the Republic is nigh or evidence of Trump Treason. (Though if it was Trump Treason, it would be the richest, most luxurious treason ever. But I digress) The constant pearl clutching isn’t going to help you win the midterms or the 2020 campaign.

When DJ Trump first released his emails, Twitter’s own Iowahawk tweeted:

self inflicted

Right now, I have the media leading on points.