Tuesday, August 15, 2017

So anyways, Trump just compared George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to Robert E. Lee

How far gone do you have to be both mentally and morally to compare the father of our great nation and one of the Founding Fathers to a man who was no less a traitor and fought his damnedest to tear the nation in two, all for the cause of preserving the vilest institution ever created by man - slavery?

That is a rhetorical question, because that's what Donald Trump did today during a speech in New York. Trump being Trump, he went off track and in the course of which, completely backtracked on his barely lukewarm "denunciation" of the far-right that he gave yesterday. Instead, he returned to the theme of his first response to the far-right rally and terror attack in Charlottesville, namely blaming "all sides" while making it crystal clear that he was really only blaming one side and the wrong side - the counter-protesters. It was also when he compared two great Americans to one bad one by asking if statues of Washington and Jefferson would be taken down next.

Great men who created and led a great nation.
Portraits by Gilbert Stuart and Rembrandt Peale, respectively.
No, they won't, Mr. President. You see, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both great men, worthy of praise and acclaim. Unlike Donald Trump. They were problematic to be sure, let's not beat around the bush on that matter. They owned slaves and Jefferson sexually exploited at least one. Yet, despite their reprehensible actions, they were both vital our independence and the founding of our nation, and while there are some people today who wish it, they cannot be ignored or marginalized in American history.
Traitor McTraitorface, also known as Robert E. Lee.
Photograph by Julian Vannerson.

Robert Edward Lee and his cohorts of the abortive Confederate States of America, on the other hand, do not enjoy that luxury and never should. They were not heroes, not a one of them deserving any praise of accolades. They were traitors. They took up arms against not just the lawful authority of the United States government, but against their fellow Americans who stood with the Union in her darkest hour. They made the decision that the maintenance of slavery was more important than the nation. They were the ones who resigned their commissions in the Army of the United States only to don the uniform of the rebelling states. And they were the ones who led troops into battle and shed the blood of their fellow countrymen.

And these men deserve monuments erected in their honor? I think not.

It's also well worth mentioning that the Ku Klux Klan was founded by ex-Confederates after the Civil War as a blatant terrorist organization. In addition to its racism, it was also antisemitic, anti-Catholic, and anti-immigration. These are the people Donald Trump calls "nice people".

These are not good people, nice people. These are, combined with the neo-Nazis and other white nationalists, people who would gladly force this country into something the world hasn't seen in over seventy years. These are people who abhor everything this country stands for and should not be endorsed, defended, or otherwise supported by the person who calls himself the President of the United States.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thought on the Charlottesville clusterfuck

Clearly we didn't do enough to grind fascism and Nazism into the dirt back in WWII. Probably shouldn't have supported right-wing regimes overseas during the Cold War and turn a blind eye to the ones at home. Hmm.

Take heart, though, in the knowledge that the forces of hate will ultimately fail. Humanity is growing too close together to allow to remain forever. It's not going to happen overnight and it might not even happen in our lifetimes, but it'll happen and our descendants will look back at what's happening now and wonder why it was ever allowed to happen to begin with.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

No, we're not going to war with North Korea

Alternate title: Trump is blowing smoke up your ass and the media is lending a hand.

Possibly a more accurate title too, because all of this saber rattling Trump is doing right now is all smokescreen. Just like the airstrike on that base in Syria or dropping the MOAB on a cave in Afghanistan, the president's threats of "fire and fury" against North Korea is little more than an attempt at distracting the public from all of the negative attention his administration has been getting lately, ranging from Bob Mueller impaneling a grand jury to the six wild days of The Mooch to the FBI raiding Paul Manafort's house the other day as part of an investigation. Every time the attention gets to be too much, Trump tries to draw attention away via military action or as with North Korea, the threat of action.

But what of all these articles the news media is publishing about the escalation between America and North Korea? It's called collusion. These outlets are all keenly aware that those articles will get instant clicks like any other clickbait and that means a very welcome uptick in revenue. The media is more than happy to slap a sensationalist headline on to an assembly-line article and watch all those hits and ad money come pouring in. Saber rattling is good for the bottom line and the news media is more than happy reap the benefits.

But the reason why we're not going to fight North Korea is for the very simple fact that China will not allow it to happen. NK may talk big about hitting Guam or punishing America for the new sanctions, but at the end of the day, there's no way in high holy hell that Beijing is going to let them start a fight against the U.S.. They are keenly aware that such a conflict would inevitably draw them into it and one thing we can all agree on is that two nuclear equipped countries ought never to fight because of the potential for a Big Boom.

My two cents is that China undoubtedly has people in the North Korean government in their pocket and the instant they catch wind of Kim Jong-un tries to order any kind of attack, Beijing is going to nip it in the bud, either by warning him off, doing the world a favor and putting a bullet in his head, or by removing his ability to launch missiles of any kind via airstrikes. There's even a slim possibility that China decides that having a unified Korea is preferable to living in the Fallout games.