Moral Clarity and Vanilla ISIS

Heather Heyer’s mom isn’t interested in talking to Trump:

Ms. Bro says she received “frantic messages” from Trump’s press secretaries during her daughter’s funeral (these fucking people!) and later that day; she was willing to speak to Trump at that point but simply missed his calls since she was occupied with burying her child, who was murdered by a Trump-supporting Nazi. But after seeing a clip of Trump drawing equivalence between her daughter and other counterprotesters and the white supremacist mob, Bro is no longer willing to speak to Trump. Good for her.

On the lighter side, Tina Fey has a suggestion for how sane people might respond to heavily armed white supremacist goons descending on their towns — eat cake:

And speaking of heavily armed white supremacist goons:

I am not a lawyer, and I realize the NRA has its bloody fingers wrapped around the throat of legislatures at the state and federal level. But doesn’t Omidyar have a point here? Wasn’t it a public safety issue when these militia goons swarmed through the center of Charlottesville?

Governor McAuliffe said the local cops were outgunned by the militia goons. Sounds like a public safety issue to me.

We may not be able to roll back these bugfuck-crazy open carry laws any time soon, but can’t cities and towns require unarmed participants as a condition of issuing permits for marches and demonstrations? I know when the RNC held its 2012 convention in Tampa, people were not allowed to bring concealed weapons into the convention zone, even though an NRA representative personally writes every piece of legislation that affects firearms, which our governor then rubber-stamps.

If gun-free zones are good enough for Republican Party delegates, by God, they should be good enough for city centers when homegrown Nazis assemble to spew hate speech. It won’t solve our Nazi problem, obviously — Vanilla ISIS can run people down in the street, as one of their number did in Charlottesville. But it’s a start.



Thirteen Names

The only extended time I lived outside of Florida was a few years I spent in Massachusetts in the late 80s. I moved there right after college (yes, I’m old — Mr. Catch-22 himself, Emmitt Smith, was a classmate — Go Gators!).

One lovely summer day during my Beantown sojourn, some friends and I took a ferry boat to Georges Island in Boston Harbor for a picnic. I knew nothing about the place. But a nice Park Services lady told us the island had once housed Confederate prisoners of war.

There was a small, modest monument to said Confederates who had died on the island. Just 13 names. I was startled to see that one of them was from Florida, like me, and he had MY last name.

Thanks to a great-uncle who set store by such things, I was well aware at that time of my ancestry on my mom’s side of the family, which included several Confederates as well as some virtuous Revolutionary War heroes. But seeing my father’s last name on a Confederate monument — in Massachusetts, of all places — was my first inkling of Confederates in my paternal line.

I was curious enough to check it out — not easy in those pre-internet days — and it turns out, yeah, the coal-shoveller on a Confederate steamboat who died on Georges Island was a relative. I suspect his short life sucked. I further suspect the Massachusetts winter rattled his bones, maybe even killed the poor sumbitch, more than 120 years before that same chill drove his descendant, me, back home to Florida.

But should Massachusetts maintain a memorial to the likes of my unlucky relative? To be fair, it is about as inoffensive a Confederate memorial as you’ll find on the planet, comprising mostly the names of the dead, like a tombstone. But whether to remove the monument or not is apparently a controversy in Massachusetts right now.

Well, if the input of a descendant of one of the 13 Confederate dead has any weight, Massachusetts, I say take it down. Why? For starters, it was put up under the auspices of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and the less you have to do with those myth-making coots, the better.

But more importantly, the monument is injected with the same poison that blights our fate as a country — the conceit that God had any part in the foul business of the Confederacy, and the insinuation that there was anything remotely honorable or noble about “the cause” it represented.

So take it down, Massachusetts. You have the blessing and encouragement of this descendant of the dead. But more importantly, you have the moral imperative of the living, and a responsibility to those yet to be born.



Tripling Down

Twitler’s on a tear this morning. He began by attacking two fellow Republicans (Senators Flake and Graham) and urging their constituents to boot them out of office. Then he moved on to decrying the removal of monuments to white supremacists and again compared founding fathers to the traitors who attempted to destroy the country:

You know Kelly & Co. are itching to Gorilla Glue oven mitts onto Trump’s teeny-tiny hands. But I’m glad he’s letting his freak flag fly for another news cycle.

This is the unstable, vindictive, racist goon the Republican Party rallied around as their standard bearer. They should marinate in his indefensible awfulness.

He’s right about one thing — you can’t change history, but you can learn from it. I hope the lesson of the Trump Error is clear: Electing an unhinged demagogue is a catastrophic mistake, even if his opponent once used a private email server and was seen as too friendly with Wall Street types.



#NotAllNazis* (Updated)

I must say, Team Trump has really tightened up their messaging strategy now that John Kelly is running the show:

He not only both-sides NAZIS, he equates removal of Confederate monuments to taking down statues of George Washington.

Good lord, what a staggeringly destructive buffoon.

ETA: Here’s the whole thing:

I just don’t know what to say.

*H/T to valued commenter Major Major Major Major



Welcome to Florida (Open Thread)

My daughter has a temporary job at an apartment complex, cleaning shit up for incoming university students. Today was move-in day. It didn’t go universally well:

Exactly. It’s DEAD, lady. FFS. That’s the sign of a full-service student housing unit. 🙄

Open thread!



Doubling Down (Open Thread)

This fucking guy:

I suspect Trump’s handlers are trying desperately to convince him to do today what he couldn’t bring himself to do this weekend: unequivocally denounce Nazis, klansmen and white supremacists. I hope he ignores them.

The fact is, we have a white supremacist president. Millions of us figured that shit out long before the election — including the white supremacists. The sooner the rest of America figures that shit out, the better.



Trump’s deafening silence (Updated x2)

The governor of Virginia has called a state of emergency, and cops are trying to clear the streets of Charlottesville of violent Nazi troublemakers. Senators are speaking up, some specifically calling out Trump, who is quick to react to acts of terrorism in other countries, for remaining silent during this shameful crisis in America.

Melania Trump issued a mealy-mouthed, both-sidesy statement via Twitter:

Racist shitbag David Duke calls the hate rally what is is:

Still nothing from Trump.

He’ll make a statement eventually — he has no choice. It’s possible his pea-brain is even now processing that this incident is too big for Twitter and he has to make a public statement on camera.

But it will either be as perfunctory and non-specific as the third Mrs. Trump’s in identifying the perpetrators, or maybe he’ll acknowledge the racism angle and remind us that he is “the least racist person you’ve ever met.”

He won’t say the only two words that would be truly meaningful under the circumstances: I’m sorry. (As valued commenter Brachiator noted, “I resign” would work just as well.)

UPDATE: So, he went with option #1 outlined above:

Shameful and wholly inadequate.

UPDATE 2: The shitgibbon tweets again:

“Sad.” Yeah. Sounds like the press conference will be about praising the cops, as someone predicted in an earlier thread (“all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better”), and possibly Trump sucking his own dick about any federal assistance made available to Virginia.

Trump will almost certainly utter another vague “can’t we all just get along” statement. But nobody hold your breath waiting for him to name-check Nazis, racists, bigots and white supremacists.

I was thinking of my grandfather earlier, watching that footage of Nazis waving their flags. My grandfather waded ashore on D-Day at Utah Beach, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and made it all the way to Berlin without a scratch, kicking fascist ass every step of the way.

And now, thanks to the votes of 62 million flaming assholes, many of whom are the children of WWII vets, Nazis are marching through the streets of an American city, newly emboldened. Fucking hell.