Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/22/17

Good Morning!

1. You cannot imagine how long it takes to prepare a post on WordPress when the internet connection is going out repeatedly, requiring a trip down a flight of stairs, re-booting the modem, scanning for a channel back up the stairs in my office, and furiously searching, reading and linking until Verizon kicks out again after three to ten minutes.

Since none of my 40 phone calls to the Verizon tech who promised that the three-months’ long problem was fixed and that he would sprint like a bunny back to our home to trouble shoot if the malady returned had received the courtesy of a response, I snapped, and got into my car to visit a Verizon wireless store about five minutes away that I didn’t know existed. For some reason the world, though sun-lit, was bathed in a weird light, and my neighbors were lying on the ground wearing what looked like 3-D glasses, but never mind: I had someone to yell at.

There were two young men about the age of my son manning the store, and I told one of them, through gritted teeth, the whole infuriating saga of how much Verizon DSL sucks and what useless customer service his employer provides, rendering both my business and my communications chaotic and unbearable. I didn’t expect anything, really. I just wanted to give hell to someone face to face.

To my shock and amazement, the young man actually did something. He got on the phone—I told him that I took sadistic pleasure in watching Verizon personnel go through the infuriating phone tree, get put on hold, get disconnected, end up in the wrong department, for all of this happened to him as I watched and listened—but he finally reached a supervisor, and told him that the story he had just heard from the gentleman in his office made him ashamed to work for Verizon, and he wanted to know how my problems could be addressed immediately. Yes, he knew that I had a tech visit already scheduled, “but since the same tech has been out there three times, each time assuring him that the problem was successfully addressed, why would he trust us to fix the problem now?”

“If I were him, I would have dumped Verizon and found another provider.”

After about 45 minutes, here was what he accomplished. He got them to agree to send a different and higher level tech this time. He set in motion the process of getting me fee rebates for the three months of intermittent service. And he gave me his card, with instructions to call him immediately if the problem wasn’t fixed. “If I have to, I’ll come to your house and personally see that you have functioning internet service from a new provider,” he said. “one way or the other, I will fix this problem.”

Now THAT’S customer service.

Stay tuned!

2. From President Trump’s speech yesterday:

The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose. They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed and color to serve together and sacrifice together in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They’re all part of the same family. It’s called the American family. They take the same oath, fight for the same flag and live according to the same law. They’re bound together by common purpose, mutual trust and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other.

The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt. And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people.

When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate. The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.

As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas — and we will always win — let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Let us make a simple promise to the men and women we ask to fight in our name, that when they return home from battle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one.

But as my Trump-deranged Facebook friends say, we know he doesn’t believe any of this. We know in his heart that he’s a racist Nazi. Besides, they don’t want to heal those divisions. They want to exploit them, and why would they want to be undivided from deplorable citizens they hate anyway?

Boy, what a stupid speech.

3. A former Facebook friend and decades-long real friend from and currently living in Texas, who decided to exile me from the glow of  her favor sent me this out of the blue, indicating that she had been following the posts here on the The Confederate Statuary Ethics Train Wreck:

Early 60s. Midland schools were resisting, in every way possible, desegregation. We had two high schools. Midland High and George Washington Carver. I was in San Jacinto junior high and my mom was a teacher at Midland HS, my dad was the assistant superintendent of the school district. John Birch society was at its height and controlled the school board. When it was obvious that desegregation was going to be mandated, the school board knew how to make their feelings known and how to make the students from Carver as humiliated as possible.

They built a new high school. Named it Robert E Lee HS. The school fight song was “Dixie” and the school mascot was the “Rebel” a cartoon confederate soldier waving a confederate flag. They put a confederate flag on everything that they could. Our letter jackets, our sports uniforms. And yes, a statue of Lee in front of our new HS. And then they closed Carver and the black students were forced to submit to attending school in an environment that reminded them every minute that they were in school or playing sports that they were inferior.

That’s what “Southern Culture” means. It has absolutely nothing to do with pride in the history of the south. Texas had very little to do with the actual war between the states, the confederate flag at my school was the first confederate flag I ever saw in Midland. There are no Lee or Davis statues or schools in Texas that were not put in place in the 60s to protest granting civil rights to black Americans. It’s shameful. They can’t change the name of my high school soon enough for me.

This isn’t an invitation to argue. Just want to add to your understanding of what exactly the people who protest the removal of statues or flags or school names are not supporting a treasured historical tradition, on the contrary. The issue is anger over the granting of civil rights to black Americans. They don’t give a hoot about Robert E Lee.

Well all righty then! That settles it!

This is increasingly the kind of post I am seeing in social media, usually from people a lot less intelligent and informed as my erstwhile friend in Texas. This is the way it is, and I don’t want any arguments, because my mind’s made up, I’m right, and shut up.

It is not a fair, ethical, or responsible form of discourse.

As far as the story goes, I don’t doubt it. However, a single example of the John Birchers using Confederate symbols to further their racist agenda does not demonstrate that nobody regarded Robert E. Lee as a worthy historical figure for honors and memorials like prominent military leaders have been honored across all all countries, times, and societies. Funny, my junior high and high school history teachers in Boston suburb Arlington Mass. seemed to “give a hoot” about General Lee. We were taught about how he epitomized the dilemma faced by those who saw their states as their first loyalty, and how even those who were ambivalent about slavery ended up fighting to preserve it. We were taught about how much the opposing combatants respected each other as human beings—you know, unlike in the current civil war—and how statues of Lee and other Confederate figures reflected that ethical attitude.

If nobody gave a hoot about honoring one of the greatest generals and leaders of the Civil War—we’re talking about skill, not causes now—I wonder why there are statues honoring complete failures like twice-fired Union army commander General George B. McClellan, including one a few miles from me in Washington, D.C.? You will recall that he ran against Lincoln on a platform of ending the war and allowing the South to secede, thus continuing slavery for at least a few more decades.

Well, never mind. My friend must be right that racism and Jim Crow are the only reasons anyone erected memorials to Confederate war heroes. After all, she says so.

118 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Education, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Race, The Internet, War and the Military

118 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/22/17

  1. “This is the way it is, and I don’t want any arguments, because my mind’s made up, I’m right, and shut up.”

    Leo Tolstoy had folks like that in mind when he posited:

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he already knows, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.”

  2. JP

    Would it be unethical for the Verison employee to help you find another provider? Wouldn’t he essentially be doing harm to his employer?

  3. Arthur in Maine

    Jack, it astonishes me that you attempt to write your posts directly into WordPress. I use it too, periodicially, and some other online tools for emailing newsletters.

    I don’t trust the platforms – or myself – enough to put my faith in the platform. Write in Word. Proof. Copy and paste into the platform. If formatting didn’t copy over – sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t – reformat. Proof again. Clicky-savey.

    This adds about five minutes to total time to compose and publish. And saves a LOT of aggravation.

    • I may try that method again. When I did it before, the annoyance of having to reformat bullet points and numerating—they don’t transfer right, plus having to go back and find all the links, drove me nuts.

      • I never use default bullet points and numeration unless it is a technical or marketing document that requires such things, I think the automatic indention is usually a just big waste of space. I find other ways of accomplishing what I want to do.

        Put the actual links in the Word text right next to the text you want to link and then delete the link in WordPress after you’ve linked the text properly.

  4. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Sounds like a variation on Rationalization #58. I would call it “The Parent’s Catchall” after the common parental reasoning “Because I said so, that’s why.” I know it’s a bit of a stereotype, but it’s a stereotype because there is a kernel of truth behind it. All of us have heard parents tell kids who ask questions or challenge a directive “do it because I said so, that’s why.” With young kids it’s one thing, frequently their questions are those of young kids and don’t mean a thing, and pure authority will do because the parent is presumed to know best, or at least know better (usually, more than a few have failed that one with flying colors lately). With teens or adolescents it doesn’t work as well, and with adult children not at all, because sometimes, and increasingly often the older they get, the questioners have a point. Yet all too often the parents slip back into the habit of ignoring what their kids have and tell them this is how it’s going to be, because they know better.

    That mentality has carried over into the left, who have thought, oh since the days of LBJ, that they know best. They aren’t interested in what the other side has to say, they are going to do what they know is best. Sometimes they might listen for a while, as a parent might with a child if there’s time and they want to prevent tears and tantrums, but other times there just isn’t time, and that’s when they’ll just shout down or steamroll the other side, just as a parent might scream at an unruly child “not another word out of you and don’t move a muscle till I say so.”

    To their shame, the right is allowing this crap to go on, when instead they should be acting like adults, not chastened kids, and telling the other side, no, goddammit, I have something to say and you are going to listen, or there’s going to be a problem, no, I won’t do what you want just because you raised your voice, no I’m not letting you push me around, and if you try to, expect me to push back.

  5. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Sorry to be dense, Jack, but I think point #2 requires a bit of clarification. Do you actually think the President gave a stupid speech, or were you being sarcastic, saying that’s what your friends suffering from TDS would have said? I hope it’s the latter, because if you really believe the President gave a stupid speech, then my question becomes “what would you prefer he had said?” The alternative to the somewhat boilerplate unification language would be something along the lines of “at this point I am moving forward with my agenda as the duly elected chief executive of this nation. Those who do not like this agenda in whole or in part, or who do not like the principles I stand for, or who do not like me personally can go screw themselves. This nation works on a cycle set by a document called the Constitution which a lot of you seem to have forgotten about when it doesn’t help you forward your own agenda. I’ll see you at the ballot box in 2020, and until then, I really don’t want to hear from you. In the business of governing you either lead, follow, or get out of the way, and guess which you need to do when you are firmly in the minority?”

  6. 3. There is a bizarre vengeance that’s sought by some against the South. If the people who were making the late segregationist decisions were as young as thirty, they would be 85 years old now. Essentially all of them are dead. In addition, the South as a whole has added more people since 1960 than the entire populations of the UK, France, or Italy. It’s grown much faster than the US as a whole, because a lot of people have moved there. I think we’re past the point where the current inhabitants are presumed to be bigots because it was that way 50 or more years ago.

    • Other Bill

      Tough deal being an African American cop. The Charlottesville Chief of Police is black. He said essentially what Trump said (from a press conference he held):

      When a reporter asked: “Do you believe that one side was more responsible than the other for instigating the violence?” Thomas replied: “This was an alt-right rally.”

      The reporter pressed further: “Do you believe that they’re the ones who instigated the fighting?”

      Thomas answered: “We did have mutually combating individuals in the crowd.”

      Makes me wonder when the “Not my police chief” rallies are scheduled to begin. Certainly, the guy should be removed from office.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        The mayor and the police chief of Norfolk are both black, and, what’s more, the mayor has previously said he isn’t interested in disturbing a Confederate memorial in the downtown area. I wonder if he’s going to back water now.

        • Other Bill

          Well, Charlottesville has to be essentially a university town. I suspect Norfolk is essentially a Navy town.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            Norfolk and neighboring Virginia Beach are HUGE Navy towns, in fact Naval Station Norfolk is the biggest naval base anywhere in the world. That said, in Norfolk once you get away from the waterfront and the touristy area, it goes south (and black) pretty quick. There is also a hipster vibe to some of the waterfront. Mayor Kenny now acknowledges that in 2015 the council voted not to touch the memorial, and five of the councilmen are still there who voted that way, but he also has now intimated that times have changed and it might be better moved to a cemetery. This in the only city in the US that still has the colonial era governor-general’s mace and parades it before the police when they march.

            • Other Bill

              Agreed Steve. I just thought maybe the huge Navy presence might moderate things a little, certainly compared to the huge leftward push in a university town/UVA.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                A bit, which is why I am glad I don’t live in a college town.

                • Other Bill

                  Tucson is the largest city near where we live. It’s totally schizophrenic. Davis-Monthan AFB is a huge installation. The Air Force is thus the largest employer in the County, and the next largest employer is the University of Arizona. So you’ve got this crazy mix of academics and active and retired military and defense contractor people. Plus, the Army’s big spook base is in relatively nearby Fort Huachuca. So you’ve got Raul Grijalva (and his children) running the local democratic party. The paper, “The Tucson Daily Star” is not so affectionately known as “The Red Star.” Oh, and then there’s a huge Raytheon facility. Our neighbor’s daughter is an engineer there and she says their job is “to blow stuff up.” Plus lots of old hippies. A crazy place.

  7. dragin_dragon

    Jack’s friend said:
    “Texas had very little to do with the actual war between the states,”

    I would say that someone who is from and lives in Texas, and apparently teaches there would do well to learn the history of Texas’s involvement in the Civil War. Might want to start her off with Wahl’s Legion.

    • Sue Dunim

      Texas had what, 70,000 troops in the field? Against that, some were elite shock troops, Hood’s brigades for example. Wahl’s legion, from memory, stopped an early fall of Vicksburg? A 50 day delay?

      Economically, the Union blockade of Galveston made the 70,000 mostly conscripts the most significant contribution rather than the supply route for foreign trade that Texas could have been. In that regard, it had little to do with the war, a backwater. But not for want of trying, and the various raids on coastal areas by Union forces met with not so much mixed success as mixed failure, if memory serves. Not my specialty, so feel free to correct me.

      • dragin_dragon

        Pretty close, Sue. Except that Texas supplied most of the beef for the Confederacy, and the last battle of the war was fought in Texas, ten days after the surrender. The Union lost that one, too.

        • The Yankees took Galveston… for a while. They held Galveston 4 months before all the occupying ships were captured or destroyed and the town retaken. Federal blockade reduced the utility of the port city after that.

          Federals tried to reduce Fort Griffin on the Sabine. See, the CSA garrison soldiers were placed in that fort as a punishment detail. To relieve boredom, they practiced artillery (!) on range markers in the Sabine River. When the Federal gunboats came up river, the Rebels had 6 very accurate guns and broke the attack, capturing about 200 prisoners.

          The Feds also attempted to take the Rio Grande valley (after the war was over, as it happened) and were stopped by repeated attacks from ‘rebel’ forces, some of which may have been Mexican Imperial troops! Many stories of the Feds taking fire from the Mexican side of the river exist, and these troops are rumored to have crossed the river, perhaps alarmed at the presence of Federal Troops so close to Mexican territory. In any case, the battle had Hispanic, African, and Native American participants as well as Caucasians. The Feds were routed after a couple of days, taking 118 causalities. The CSA forces were disbanded so quickly afterward that it is not know how many casualties it took, or if all of them officially were even CSA.

          The Federals never attempted to take Texas inland for several reasons. There was little to be taken, other than to disrupt the herds of beef going overland to the rest of the CSA. Texas did not have a large population in those days, and those who lived there were adapted to the harsh environment. Federal troops could not have lived off the land like they could in the much more lush South, and supply lines would have been a nightmare. The Comanche Indians still contested much of Texas from the pan handle through the Hill Country all the way to San Antonio, and did not care WHO you were when they raided. Thus, Texas was an armed culture who depended on family and community to survive, and those who lived there were hardy, self reliant, and yes, stubborn folks.

  8. I agree that was a good speech. I suspect someone spoke with and found a way to articulate things that the president believes but is hidden by bombast and twitter flailings.Just because someone helped rearrange the words doesn’t mean they are lies. Just that the president should have learned a few other things than the Deal, like calm persuasion.

    This gives me a small hope things might improve. As someone who lean toward progressive ideals, their behavior has been so abysmal that I must move away on most things.

  9. Coming from a customer service person, I’m glad the Verizon employee was able to be that candid with you AND with the people on his chain of command. Not every company gives its peons that much clout.

    A common theme I see in your customer service stories, Jack, is you seem to think customer service reps are fair game when it comes to venting; I disagree. I hope you understand how frustrating it is for us when we are NOT able to satisfy our customers, and they carry on as if we ourselves are personally responsible for their issues. When we are at the true limit of what we’re able to do, yelling will not help matters; it only makes things worse for everyone involved.

  10. fattymoon

    Jack! People! Aliens! Watch the Phoenix rally live courtesy of Trumpet News. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G1HeFKejrI

  11. Trump said: “The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose. They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed and color to serve together and sacrifice together in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They’re all part of the same family. It’s called the American family. They take the same oath, fight for the same flag and live according to the same law. They’re bound together by common purpose, mutual trust and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other.

    The problem with this is a post-9/11 problem. As I have been carrying out my investigations over the last couple of years, and as I attempt to understand the breaking up of national solidarity, I have begun to propose to myself that 9/11 represents the brutal blow that fractured the nation. I assume, as many many people do now (though I do not think these ideas enter in to the media ‘conversation’ (i.e. control and channeling of opinion), that many people, perhaps at a level that lies under their immediate, conscious thought, understand that ‘the world’ is in the control of entities and groups which have, not so much overturned democracy but supervened it. If one would want to talk about ‘postmodern crises’ and such, the confusion and attack on faith proposed by 9/11 and the wars that have followed it, and the undermining of civil rights, demonstrate to any thinking person that though the institutions of democracy and civil society appear standing, they are in a sense shells.

    When it is understood that these concocted wars do not in any sense serve America or the American people, and when they are yet asked to uphold the lie that they ‘believe in’ a clear and meaningful patriotism — when the whole idea of patriotism has been shattered — they then understand that their flesh and blood which are sent to fight in these meanigless conflicts are serving, as it were, Moloch of various sorts. The awareness that they live in a world seeped in lies, drenched in distortions of facts, and a power-structure that seemed to have deceived them, to have manipulated then so ferociously, going beyond mere Machiavellianism into the domain of the demoniac, cannot but lead them toward an existential and political crisis.

    It will manifest as social sickness, maybe even as mental illness, or as depression and dispair. What is this place where I live and exist? What are the people running it capable of? At what would they stop? Not only will the ‘power structure’ stop at nothing to carry forward its will, it will reduce a man, a person, to a particle to be monitored with technological control mechanisms beyond the imagination of even science fiction. At every turn there is more visible evidence of what is kept invisible, of power and control that seethes under the surface.

    The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt. And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people.

    Who wrote this speech?

    The patriotic gargling begins to be seen as a sort of comical sadism. Yet while the machinations of the military-industrial machine go forward to inflict a hell of literal sadism. How many millions died in Iraq? The Noble American War. War for what and for who/whom? The war concocted as a result of manipulation of trust at a near unfathomable level.

    In the greater scheme of things, as America was subverted and as concentrations of para-democratic power tightened the tentacles not only in America but in a larger world-system, the polity that was America was deliberately modified through social-engineering schemes. When industry and government decide how society will be organized, and given American pragmatism, it does not matter what you do to achieve the ends you visualize. Destroy inner-city ethnic neighborhoods, no problem. Uproot the poor Black from the South and dump him off in the Northern cities, no problem. Foment wars, who cares! (Reflections on E Michael Jones here). One has to begin to focus on the oligarchic and intelligence class and to begin to understand that they really care for no one. How could they? These are games of power & empire!

    When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate. The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.

    In fact that is an absurd claim because no one really believes it. They might like to believe it, it is replete with romantic sentiment, but in fact what is happening in America, what will continue to happen, is the breaking up of social solidarity. Because if you propose that the ‘bond’ in that America — the perversely corrupt America of the present with all its insidious machinations & operations & psycholgical manipulations — as it happens it cannot hold a people together anymore. The facade becomes a shell, and the shell turns into an oppressive structure with power in its hands that no world state has ever had. The true nature of social control is seem and the happy facade of the present reveals darker machinations.

    As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas — and we will always win — let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Let us make a simple promise to the men and women we ask to fight in our name, that when they return home from battle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one.

    Good luck with that one! This is the old Foment-a-War gambit, isn’t it? It was stated that ‘the enemy’ is anyone who opposes us, anyone who does not take our side. A rather broad term for an ‘enemy’. I am repeating here what Bush-the-Younger said in one of his chilling New World Order speeches. Is that war-aim still operative?

    It is a very very false statement to say ‘we will always win’. My understanding — please someone correct me if I am wrong — is that this blow of 9/11 fractured the country. Was it intended as such? I do not know. But it seems to have been producing a cascade of effects that do not bode well for the Republic. We are not ‘winning’. You can’t just say ‘We will win!’ and magically produce victory from out of the Nothing. The Republic unravels and there is, in fact, nothing that can be done within the present dispensation to stop it. All false efforts will only make matters worse in the sense of more obvious. False patriotism, a fabricated war, some terror-event — these will bring a momentary unity, but like all falsely-founded unity it will quickly dissolve.

    At the civic level, of course, very strange things are going on. Two generations of astoundingly directed and violent undermining of the identity of those who made and composed the nation. The false-project and the absurd dream of a ‘fabricated multiethnic nation’. Social engineering at its most Marxian. It is unravelling. It is a sort of confusion of a multiplicity of chaoses.

    Or am I being just a touch pessimistic? 🙂 I blame it on ‘Spenglerian gloom’! (Actually Francis Parker Yockey).

    This line from this very cool movie I watched recently stuck in my head: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yKHUGvde7KUhttps://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yKHUGvde7KU

  12. Chris

    I think your friend from Texas, while being a bit too absolutist at the end, really is bringing up the best possible argument against the monuments to the Confederacy. .

    The argument for keeping them is that doing so preserves history. Some go as far as saying that getting rid of them “rewrites history.” But as your friend’s story shows, at least some (not all) of the monuments to the Confederacy were erected for the purpose of rewriting history to favor the Confederacy. And this is hardly the only story of that happening. And as we have seen, this attempt to rewrite history has been fairly successful: even here, intelligent, informed people have argued that slavery was not the central motivating factor for the Civil War. But it absolutely was, and the notion that it was not is exactly what those behind the “Lost Cause” narrative intended to gaslight the nation into accepting.

    The increasing attempts to remove such monuments demonstrates that the “Lost Cause” narrative is losing its purchase on this country. Good.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Soooo, answer me this: why wasn’t there more of an effort to do this when Obama was God and the Democrats controlled Congress and the GOP was at its nadir? Most likely because the left didn’t need to manufacture outrage to stay relevant. Now they are reduced to tilting at statues. and yanking them down like Bolsheviks. A man was just arrested in Texas for attempting to blow one up.

      It’s not going to end here, either, everyone with a pet cause is going to jump on the bandwagon. There’s already talk of yanking down the statue at Columbus Circle. It’s been there for 125 years, a gift to the City on the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, and DeBlasio has marched in every Columbus Day parade since he took office, but suddenly it’s a problem, because a few people shrieked “I’m offended!” and made a lot of noise. There’s also talk of toppling Washington’s statue here, since he was a slave owner, never mind that it’s been in Washington Park since at least before 1936 (when the sculptor died, so it would have had to have been before that).

      Iconoclasm is occasionally a popular movement, it was used by the Hebrews to justify destroying the idols the pagan Canaanites worshiped, by the Muslims to justify smashing Hindu idols, by the Protestants to justify breaking Catholic statues and icons, and many other times. Perhaps later I will do a whole post on iconoclasm, but there isn’t time right now. The bottom line is it’s a physical, tangible way of one group telling another “you are less, you don’t count, and your thoughts, beliefs and opinions don’t matter.” The thing is, if you ignite destructive passions, don’t be surprised if you get burned by the fire later.

      • “There’s already talk of yanking down the statue at Columbus Circle”

        That’s textbook LaLaLoonyLeftyLand historical-record-bereft imbecilic manufactured outrage; Columbus never set foot in what is now the United State of America.

        What next, yanking an Asian-American announcer from a college FB broadcast because of his freakin’ name?

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          They already did that. And of course it’s manufactured outrage, BUT, it’s a chance to score political points. The only question here is, would the political points scored with the loopy left be enough to offset the political points lost with the Italian-Americans in the outer boroughs and the chance they would mount a concerted opposition? The mayor of Newark could probably get away with yanking down the statue of Columbus in Washington Park, the blacks in the South Ward who will make him mayor for life don’t care, same with Washington. However, he probably won’t, because it’s not necessary that he score political points to remain in office, and spending money on pulling down statues to virtue signal, leaving blank spaces he can’t afford to fill with statues of Nat Turner or Obama, might lose him points for poor use of scarce taxpayer money.

        • There going to soon come after you for badger appropriation. To anthropomorphize the undefended badger! It hurts them don’t you see?

      • Still Spartan

        The talks for doing this have been going on for a long time Steve. Alexandria has been discussing renaming Jefferson Davis Highway for years. Whether or not to remove the Confederate Flag from State flags and courthouses has been going on for decades. The outrage started long ago, perhaps you just weren’t aware of it.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          And then some loony lone wolf decided to commit mass race-based murder and a previously subacute situation became acute, and then Trump was elected and it exploded into Stage 4 – with a lot of help from totalitarian Democrats and their black-masked allies.

          • Still Spartan

            If the antifa represents the black-masked allies of Democrats, then the alt-right represents the allies of Republicans. You can’t have it both ways.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Did I say I was trying to? The alt-right represents disturbing attitudes and beliefs. Antifa represents thuggery and Bolshevism. I can deal with people with lousy beliefs, I do it every day. I don’t want, and I submit most people don’t want, to deal with people who openly want to and do punch, pepper-spray, and use blunt instruments on those who they don’t agree with. That’s gangsterism with a new coat of paint.

            • The point is, as far as I’m concerned, that both were on opposite “sides” in Charlotteville, but the President was condemned as being a racist bbecause he condemned the violence of BOTH SIDES. Get it? The point is, again, that the Left’s thugs are not using BETTER violence because they beat up crypto-Nazis. Democrats and the news media seem to have a problem with that. Do you? Because you are sure spinning for them.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                The latest, from Jim Wright of stonekettle, apparently a career military person and also lefty:

                I keep trying to get to a point in this insanity where I can write a piece, but it’s all going sideways
                So, instead, some observations:

                – Fuck racist terrorists. This isn’t free speech. You don’t bring guns, clubs, torches, and shields to peaceful demonstration. This is terrorism. These people are terrorists. A car just plowed into a crowd of anti-racist protesters. I’ve watched the video. It was deliberate. It was attempted murder. This is terrorism and should be called such. So far as a I know, the terrorists have not been caught yet. Fuck those cowards.

                – Fuck the Confederacy. Every symbol of the Confederacy, every monument, every flag, every statue, should be pulled down, uprooted, smashed into rubble, and burned. Fuck Robert E. Lee, he was a traitor, pull down his statue, melt it down, recast it into urinals. Piss on the Confederacy.

                – Fuck Nazis. I don’t want to hear any social justice warrior bullshit about not confronting these racist shitbags with violence if necessary. They get punched in the head, they take a lead pipe over the skull, well it just plain sucks to be a Nazi. I’m not going to sugar coat that for you. Nazis are Nazis, they deserve nothing but a boot in their yellow teeth and punch in the throat. They’re getting off easy. Our grandfathers hunted Nazis down and EXTERMINATED them and it’s to our everlasting shame that we let this cancer regrow in our midst. Fuck Nazis.

                – Fuck Trump. Trump owns this. Republicans own this. This isn’t the Alt-Right, this IS the right. These sons of bitches are literally shouting “Sieg Trump” in the streets of Charlottesville right now. Fuck Trump.
                These people are the vile residue, the foul distillation, of every failed hateful rotten-tooth inbred ideology in history. Don’t let them hide. Don’t make excuses for them. Get them out in the open. Make them own it. They have jobs — some of them. They have parents and kids and neighbors. They have churches. The Constitution gives them a right to their hate, but not a right to be free of the consequences. Publish their pictures. Publish their license plates. Get them out in the open. Pull their hoods off. They’re standing out there shouting hate, flying the flag of treason, their arms upraised in the Hitler salute. Make them own it. Make them infamous. Don’t let them hide.

                THESE are the kind of assholes you are spinning for. Come ahead and try to punch me out or hit me over the head with a lead pipe if you dare. Come ahead and try to attack the president. You’ll be lying in a pool of your own blood, and the world will be a brighter place for it. You want to come out frothing with hatred, expect to pay the price for it. Maybe next time it’s one of your baseball games that gets targeted or your statues that gets yanked down.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  P.S. I could turn this around, and if I said fuck Islam, or fuck Black Lives Matter, or fuck Obama and his legacy, and putting a bullet through the next guy in a mask I see, you lefty types would go into conniptions, but I bet you’re perfectly ok with this. Said it before and I say it again, if not for double standards, you would have none at all.

                  • fattymoon

                    My beliefs… ignore the racists. If they hold a rally in your town, stay away. Do not counter protest. I saw it work in Pulaski, TN, birthplace of the Klan.

                    As for the Nazis… there are no good Nazis. (Jack, still waiting for you to direct me to your post wherein there dwell some good Nazis.) They have no place here. It should be made illegal for Nazis to hold a public rally. No flags. No swastikas, no Nazi salutes, no Seig Heil. Period.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      There are no good Nazis, and no good jihadists, and no good black separatists, and no good totalitarians and no good in a lot of twisted beliefs. There is no place in a free country for any of them. So let’s outlaw the lot. No black, green and red flags, no crescents, no shouting of any slogan that’s not deemed ok.

                    • fattymoon

                      Uh, of course what, Jack. I want to read the post you wrote about some good Nazis. Then I can get back to you.

                      Forgot to mention the statue insanity. That’s what it is. I’m gonna dynamite the Shoney’s Big Boy one day.

                    • The problem with this is that many people do not accept the universal condemnation of the National Socialist movement and, also, they are researching the ideas that stand behind it. I could name a number of different philosophers and titles.

                      National Socialism, ideologically, has precedents in the world of ideas. It is NOT possible, and it is not fair or reasonable, to condemn universally the theorists of the Interwar period. Some were religious figures, some were simply conservative philosophers who did not accept the tenets of liberalism and they proposed differet bases for establishing society. This is just a fact.

                      The way that most all of you here use the term ‘Nazi’ is basically the same. Chris of course is the most blatant. No one of you could defend any particular National Socialist. Were you to do so shock waves would go out. Assembled together in a sort of torch-rally, when called upon to say ‘I hate the Nazis!’ you all must chant your condemnation together.

                      There is something very false in all this. It is a good thing, during wartime, to hate your enemy and to rally together against him. But for someone who wants to understand reality, and history, in more depth that propaganda-anger must be put aside.

                      The problem here is that there is a culture-wide use of the term ‘Nazi’ which has become an abstraction. It is similar to a Christian noticing ‘Satan’ in someone or something. But too the emblem of the Nazi is used to support something similar to the ‘Five Minute Hate’. The Five Minute Hate is the use of provoked anger and hatred to direct animus against a ‘universal enemy’. It could be a ‘Nazi’ or it could be almost anyone. It could be someone who kicks your dog or eats beef.

                      Many people are deeply suspicious of the function of this Five Minute Hate, and in America (which they refer sardonically to ‘Weimerica’) the emblem of the Nazi is used so ridiculously unfairly and generally that they feel compelled to do their own research to understand why so much lying goes on in respect to National Socialism and all the background to those conflicts. This is historical re-examination, historical revision, and historical re-consideration. There is a large historical literature which is coming out of this. Mark Weber and David Irving seem the most visible.

                      What *you* seem unwilling — in fact you seem incapable of considering — is that there are Millions of people — many millions perhaps — in all the nations of Europe who are going through a process of reconsideration. This is quite big especially in Germany. But it is going one everywhere. With a touch of a mouse they can get right to the historical analysis and circumvent the ‘idea controlling powers’. They are unmoved by your silly, simplistic ‘I Hate Nazis!’ declarations so tied up in national blindness and lack of introspection, and so ties to the war department and its propaganda films. Make no mistake, few if any European New Rightists admire or seek to emulate or duplicate nazism. But they do not accept the simplistic condemnation of them, or the ideas with which many of their theorists worked. To understand that theory one has to dedicate time to researching it.

                      And today, on dozens and dozens of American websites, in YouTube talks, in podcasts, in books and pamphlets, in meetings and conferences, the review and the revision-material is being discussed, and the level of conversation is 1000 times more sophisticated, thoughtful, and interesting than what amounts to the rehearsal of the Five Minute Hate.

                    • Still Spartan

                      Alizia defines “many people” as those who hang out with her in her basement on Saturday nights.

                  • Chris

                    Do you really see “fuck Islam” as equivalent to “fuck racist terrorists?”

                    If so, what is wrong with you?

                • The military should ensure those who take an oath to support and defend the Constitution actually know what the Constitution says.

                  • fattymoon

                    Sorry, Steve. Just the Nazis. Sure, there are many grades of evil in the world, but Nazism is the blackest of the black.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      That’s debatable, at the very least Communism can give Nazism a run for its money, and jihadism has done a lot more damage over the centuries, but my main point it that once you outlaw one set of views you open the door to outlawing them all. I’m not sold on carving out that exception to the First Amendment yet.

                    • Chris

                      No one here is advocating outlawing Nazism, or any other belief.

                  • Chris

                    The military should ensure those who take an oath to support and defend the Constitution actually know what the Constitution says.

                    You really think the military can afford to be that selective?

                    • fattymoon

                      I’m advocating exactly that. Outlaw Nazis.

                    • Chris

                      Ah. Sorry I missed that.

                      In the future when I say “Nobody is advocating [extremist argument], let’s all just agree to translate that to “Nobody except fattymoon is advocating [extremist argument].”

                    • The military needs to be selective prior to ensuring its members know what the oath entails and what the Constitution says?

                • He claims to want the insanity to die down I guess before he writes his piece? Then he goes off on an unhinged rant of his own.

                  Slow clap Jim Wright. Slow clap.

                  Like I said before: there can be no rational objective discussion about some of the statues that may be worthy of some level of modification until the hyperventilating Left calms down and its violent mob stops taking action into its own hands.

                  • Steve-O-in-NJ

                    Apparently so. If I were the president I would definitely tell the AG to get an “alphabet soup” task force together, specifically tasked with breaking antifa. Two agents would be knocking on this idiot’s door tomorrow.

                  • Chris

                    You could have also written this, tex:

                    There can be no rational objective discussion about some of the statues that may be worthy of some level of modification until white supremacists calms down and their violent mob stops taking action into its own hands.

                    But you didn’t. Why didn’t you?

                    • Probably because at the time of my writing that, and as far as I can tell until now, the *vast and undeniable* majority of violence has been and is being *initiated* by ‘antifa’ and its allies. Where the ‘alt-right’ has become violent, seems only to be reactionary to ‘antifa’.

                      So, whatever you are insinuating, you can stop.

                      Again, this all files under the heading of the Left refuses to take accountability of itself and recognize how problematic it has become within the framework of the American Republic.

              • “Democrats and the news media seem to hav ea problem with that. Do you? Because you are sure spinning for them.”

                Should there be a “not” somewhere in that?

                • No, but I should have been clearer. The full statement was The point is, again, that the Left’s thugs are not using BETTER violence because they beat up crypto-Nazis. Democrats and the news media seem to have a problem with that.

                  That is, Democrats and the news media have a problem with the idea that “the Left’s thugs are not using BETTER violence because they beat up crypto-Nazis” , hence their indignation that the President condemned “both sides.”

                  But since I leave out “not” a ridiculous amount of the time, your question is reasonable.

                  • Still Spartan

                    Also, if you recall, I don’t believe in counter-protesting, but I don’t believe so for two reasons: 1) I believe you fight free speech with more free speech at a separate event; and 2) because crazy people (and yes, I am including you) would assume I’m antifa because I am anti-neo-nazi. The counter-protestors there were mostly peaceful, yet are being labeled antifa simply because there were antifa people there. Stop trying to equate the two sides.

                    • I have no idea what you are saying. If both sides were violent, and both sides were, then they are equivalent.

                      If I join up with a group that includes hooded black-clad thugs carrying sticks, I’ve made my choice, and am accountable, and exactly as accountable as I am if I join up with a group that is carrying torches.

                    • Still Spartan

                      If a few crazies join a group of peaceful protestors, is the group obligated to disband? I don’t think so. But ALL the “Jew Will Not Replace US” people marching with guns were there looking to stir up violence — and, in fact, killed at least one person.

              • Still Spartan

                Jack — you are starting to lose credibility in my group. While a percentage of the counter-protestors in Charlottesville were antifa, not all of them were. Conversely, ALL of the protestors were there as part of a white power/alt right march.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  …and being part of a white power/alt-right march is within the bounds of the First Amendment. Going to confront such a march with clubs and body armor, intending to use force to stop it, isn’t. Fuck antifa. They are a bunch of thugs hopped up on anger and hate looking for those who disagree with them so they can beat them or kill them. Fuck the left that enables them. And fuck the rest of the left for not standing up and saying “this is wrong and we don’t want to be associated with this.” You mark my words, the next time something like this happens, the right is going to be a lot more prepared, and we’ll see how those black-masked thugs do when faced with a brace of assault rifles in the hands of those who know how to use them.

                • That is not true. What authority do you have to say that? Was the group polled? Here is a BU student, a Hispanic American, who was there, and who said he isn’t a white nationalist and that many who attended were not. HE WAS THERE. he says that people like him opposed the statue going down as well as enforced multi-culturalism. He compared his views to Pat Buchanan. What is your authority to the contrary? If “your group” is like you, and had made up its mind without even knowing about the antifa thugs, they are hardly open minded or truth-seekers.

                  From the NY Post:

                  “The picture the media keeps using is of one person with a Nazi flag, there were more one thousand there who didn’t have Nazi flags,” Fuentes said. “The vast majority of people there were regular, decent people. I didn’t meet a single violent person. Our side is just preservationist.”

                  Fuentes noted that the Charlottesville rally had been in the works for about three months, and that people joined the fray not only from all over the U.S., but from Canada and various countries in Europe. But after posting on social media about going to the event – which turned tragic after a driver rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman – Fuentes’ own firestorm began.

                  “I suddenly got dozens of messages on Twitter and Facebook telling me to go and kill myself and that if they see me they will beat the sh– out of me. Stuff of that nature,” he said. “At least 10 to 20 of them were death threats.”

                  Fuentes said Boston University had given him opportunities to express his political views — and his support of Donald Trump — leading up to the November presidential election last year.

                  “I made a short video presentation about my support for Trump before the election and that caused a major uproar. People wanted to organize a debate between myself and a big Hillary supporter,” Fuentes recalled. “We went to the Dean and they gave us an auditorium, a police officer for security detail, they really made it happen.”

                  He is now taking a semester off and then intends to start at Auburn University in Alabama in the spring.

                  • Still Spartan

                    I would not march with people who have Nazi tattoos or shirts proclaiming white power. As a Fox contributor noted over the weekend, even if they were marching for lower taxes, she wouldn’t do it. Duh. And, even if I did think that perhaps they weren’t ALL bad, the second my fellow marchers started chanting, “Whose Streets? OUR Streets,” “Blood and Soil,” or “Jews Will Not Replace Us,” I would have left immediately. Similarly, I would leave parties in my youth once the drugs came out.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      Sooo, do you have a similar problem with shirts that proclaim “Black Power” or “Fuck the Police?” And what exactly is wrong with “Whose streets? OUR Streets?” which has been an anti-police chant the left for years?

                    • Still Spartan

                      Well, I don’t think Black Power is inherently evil given their marginalized history, in the same way that I don’t think there is anything wrong with Girl Power. Both those chants are asking for equality, nothing more. But yes, if my fellow marchers started shouting “Fuck the Police,” I would leave immediately.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      Zzzzzt, wrong! Either all groups get to say “…. power” or no groups do. If black identity politics, and yellow identity politics, and brown identity politics, and pink identity politics, and rainbow identity politics are all ok, then it should come as no surprise that white identity politics become part of the picture also. If there is to be true equality then the rules can’t be asymmetrical.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ wrote, “Either all groups get to say “…. power” or no groups do. If black identity politics, and yellow identity politics, and brown identity politics, and pink identity politics, and rainbow identity politics are all ok, then it should come as no surprise that white identity politics become part of the picture also. If there is to be true equality then the rules can’t be asymmetrical.”

                      This is a solid on-point argument!!

                      I can’t wait to read a rebuttal.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      I can’t wait to read one that doesn’t say that the rules are different because historically the black, the yellow, the brown, the pink, the rainbow, and the green (Islamic) have all been oppressed, so now when they say power they are just looking to be equal to the white. That’s clearly not the case, but they will keep making the argument, and, as pointed out elsewhere, tell you to be quiet because they have made up their minds. If Spartan can come up with one that ISN’T this one, I will be very interested.

                    • Still Spartan

                      The shout “White Power” translates to “We don’t want anyone else to have power either.” I guess that’s not as pithy, so they shortened it. Just like, “We are Black and we want to be treated equally under the law,” is kind of hard to sing in unison, so it has been shortened to “Black Power.”

                      Everyone knows this Steve-O, including the White Power people.

                      Phrases have meanings that are not necessary literal. Black and Girl Power = equality. White Power = only whites allowed. White Knight = someone coming to rescue (not an actual white dude on horseback).

                    • What do you think is a reasonable emotional response to various professors and activist saying that whites are a disease and need to be killed and irradiated? You argue that White Nationalist slogans can be justifiably addressed by violence—how about whites who hear about colleges hiring professors who advocate their deaths based on color?

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      Beeeeeep! (presses Spartan’s nose) Sorry, Sparty, your interpretation leaves too much up to the ear of the hearer. Phrases need to be given their plain meaning. Black power can just as easily mean “we’re taking over” as “equality.” White power can just as easily mean “pride in being European” as “power only for whites.” It isn’t fair to judge white people always by the worst interpretation and non-whites always by the best possible interpretation.

                      While we’re on the topic “white knight” can also have the derisive meaning of “someone not involved in a dispute who gets involved in the hopes of getting into the favor of the person he defends,” or “to get involved in a dispute you are not involved in in the hopes of getting into the good graces of the person you defend.”

                    • Still Spartan

                      “You argue that White Nationalist slogans can be justifiably addressed by violence—how about whites who hear about colleges hiring professors who advocate their deaths based on color?”

                      I never argued for that.

                    • Chris

                      I can’t wait to read one that doesn’t say that the rules are different because historically the black, the yellow, the brown, the pink, the rainbow, and the green (Islamic) have all been oppressed, so now when they say power they are just looking to be equal to the white.

                      “Context? I don’t wanna hear about no stinking context! All words always mean the same thing, and connotation is not a thing that exists. While I’m at it, why isn’t there a White History Month or a Straight Pride Day?”

                  • The shout “White Power” translates to “We don’t want anyone else to have power either.” I guess that’s not as pithy, so they shortened it. Just like, “We are Black and we want to be treated equally under the law,” is kind of hard to sing in unison, so it has been shortened to “Black Power.”

                    Ever been around one of these rallies where such was being shouted? Boy are YOU delusional. Gee, Spartan, get out and see what is going on. Your bias simply boils down to ‘white is bad, any other is good.’

                    • Still Spartan

                      I’ll admit it. I tend to not attend white power rallies. But, I do watch all the coverage on TV.

                    • Nice combination of a straw man and a smear, Spartan. My reference was to the BLM or La Raza rallies.

                      And who, exactly, do you trust in this media environment, to present you with that coverage? The same ones who freeze pictures of Trump to start a lying meme? Why would you trust those who have made it plain they will lie to follow their agenda?

                  • Chris

                    He compared his views to Pat Buchanan.

                    And you take this as evidence that the guy is not a white supremacist? Do you know what Buchanan has said about Hitler?

              • Chris

                The point is, again, that the Left’s thugs are not using BETTER violence because they beat up crypto-Nazis.

                Actually, pepper spray and rocks are better violence than running someone over with a car.

                Still not good. But better.

                  • Chris

                    If it hadn’t been for the last two sentences, it would be. But it’s not.

                    • Still is. It’s like saying that hitting a Nazi in the face is better than shooting him. The point is that it is unequivocally wrong. “But it’s not AS wrong” is just a way of trying to mitigate misconduct.

                    • Chris

                      We were discussing a moral equivalence. The argument I was responding to was, in sum, “Both antifa and the Nazis were equally violent in Charlottesville.” They were not. Murder is more violent than hitting and pushing, period. Pointing out that fact doesn’t make antifa’s violence any less unethical than what it is. But I am very comfortable saying that assault, while deeply unethical, is less unethical than murder.

  13. Sue Dunim

    Why are there no statues of Longstreet in the South, Jack?

    • Jeff

      I don’t have an exhaustive list of every statue in America, so you may or may not be right about whether there are any statues of him in the South. But the point you’re trying to make is undercut a bit by the existence of two museums dedicated to the General (in Tennessee and Georgia), and there are numerous things named in honor of him in Georgia (I know there’s a bridge in Gainesville for sure, as I’ve been across it), at the very least. Perhaps Southerners aren’t as ashamed of him as you would like them to be?

    • Why are there no statues of Longstreet in the South, Jack?

      Another left coast progressive projecting on those eevul southerners… Did it ever occur to you that the ones who blocked civil rights in the south are at least 85 years old now, and mostly dead? That the South has more than doubled in population in that time, and the new comers are NOT from the South (duh)?

      There is a monument in the small Texas town of Comfort to the Union troops called Treue der Union (“True to the Union.”) This is a family story on my wife’s side involving the 1862 Nueces massacre. Central Texas Hill Country German immigrants did not want to fight for the CSA, and attempted to flee to Mexico to eventually join up with Federal forces. They were too vocal about their plans, and Confederate Irregulars ambushed and killed 34 of them, some being captured and extra-judicially executed (read: ‘lynched’)

      Passions ran high even withing the CSA about succession, and some of those attitudes still impact communities today.

      • I didn’t see Sue’s question, but I know my Longstreeet:

        1. He is scapegoated for losing the Battle of Gettysburg, with some justification.
        2. He was critical of Lee’s leadership after the war.
        3. He became a Republican, and was seen as an ally of what many in the South regarded as an occupying army.
        4. So, in sum, he was seen as disloyal, a loser, and a turncoat. Hence no statues.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          How about to Joe Wheeler, who – horrors – actually put on the blue and led Federal troops again? Not only that, but he was cursed out by Longstreet for doing it, who told him he wanted to be in hell to hear Jubal Early curse him out too.

        • Chris

          So, in sum, he was seen as disloyal, a loser, and a turncoat. Hence no statues

          So we shouldn’t have statues to disloyal turncoats or losers! Glad we agree.

  14. Sue Dunim

    ” The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose. They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed and color to serve together and sacrifice together in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They’re all part of the same family. ”

    Except for Transgender servicepeople, of course. They’re excluded by Presidential whim.

    Such speeches rub salt into particularly painful wounds.

    • Sue Dunim

      I should take my own advice and just ignore him of course. He says a lot of stuff.

      Force of habit, I guess. It used to be that the words of someone occupying the office of President of the USA mattered.

  15. Chris

    Trump: The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose. They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed and color to serve together and sacrifice together in absolutely perfect cohesion.

    Jack: But as my Trump-deranged Facebook friends say, we know he doesn’t believe any of this.

    It doesn’t take “derangement” to know that Trump doesn’t believe this. It literally just takes remembering the fact that he just banned transgender soldiers from serving.

    How have you forgotten this already? And if you have not forgotten, how can you not see Trump’s statement here as immensely hypocritical?

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