Golf schedules

White House staff drafted Niger sympathy statement for Trump that was never released

The statement was circulated among NSC officials as well as Defense Department officials. But it was never released, and it was not immediately clear why.

Oh, c'mon, Donnie! It was right there under your golf schedule all along!

Check's in the mail!

Trump offered a grieving military father $25,000 in a phone call

But in a statement Wednesday afternoon, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said: “The check has been sent. It’s disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the President, and using it to advance the media’s biased agenda.”

A classic 'The check's in the mail, honest!'

Not until WaPo called him on it.

Like the rest of Ol' Heel Spurs' "generosity," it turns out to be so much BS.

But we all know what we signed up for ...

But we wander ... remember when Ol' Heel Spurs was on 'The Apprentice,' and he made all those promises to contribute to fave charities?

He didn't.

It was someone else's money, through the Trump Foundation. The man really is a Democrat at heart.

The only cash donations were from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the family charity that Trump established in 1988. But the Post also pointed out that Trump hadn’t given any of his own money to the Trump Foundation since 2008—almost all of its funding came from other people, including some of his business associates.


Most of the money in the Trump Foundation from 2001-2014 did not originally come from Donald Trump. Between 2001 and 2008, the president donated a total of $2.8 million, or 0.08% of his $3.7 billion fortune, to his own foundation. From 2009-2014, Trump gave $0 to the group. He remained its president but financed its activities with money from outsiders, including Comedy Central and NBCUniversal.

Trump the Magnificent

Karen Meredith, the Gold Star and Military Families coordinator for VoteVets, who lost her son, First Lt. Ken Ballard, in Iraq, said Trump's "actions and words on this entire matter of the fallen in Niger is disgraceful, and unbecoming of a President of the United States and commander in chief."
"This is not about you, it is about them. It is about all of us who lost our loved ones, in war," Meredith added. "For once in your life, please stop making everything about you. For once in your life, at least pretend to know what empathy is."
Even pretending would require that he put someone else before himself.
He just can't do that.
He can't.
She's right about one thing. The man is disgraceful.
But then ... we all knew what we were signing up for.
I'm wondering where are all the Outraged!™ NFL fans. Too busy drinking cheap beer, eating cheaper weenies, and looking for flag capes and other such crap to wear, all the while proclaiming what great patriots they all are?
Speaking of 'patriots,' someone tell me why this is disrespectful:

While this is not:

and why this posturing loudmouth twit in his flag shirt:

is more of a 'patriot' than someone who actually has the balls - or a knee - to protest against social and cultural wrongs.

Or is it just as SteveO says: "Because they're white Americans, they can do whatever they please with the flag as long as they aren't burning it or kneeling during the anthem. At least that's how I see it."


Self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing

Lying, self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing scumbag. 

Using dead GI's to make himself look good. What a sorry sack of fecal matter.

Trump claims Obama, other past presidents didn't call families of fallen soldiers

"So the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls, a lot of them didn't make calls. I like to call when it's appropriate, when I think I'm able to do it."

Liar. A damned liar. He had to make it about himself, and he had to take a cheap, lying shot at Obama.

This is the self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing asshole that whines about the NFL's kneeling.

What a pathetic, lying, cheap, fake excuse for a President of the United States.

The four Green Berets were killed last week, actually, nearly two weeks ago. Trump said nothing. 

Then ... people asked questions ... 'why has Trump said nothing ...'. 

And then, the light came on in the Oval Office. Now he claims to have written letters to the families. "They're going out in the mail today. Maybe tomorrow." Right. "The check's in the mail. I swear." 

But then ... he just had to use it as an opportunity to take a cheap shot at Obama, and make himself look good. "Look at me, everybody! See what a good boy am I!" The man is disgusting. He keeps finding new lows. I suppose in that sense, we might see him as 'innovative.'

In 2012, when four Americans were killed in Benghazi, then-President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton received those caskets and addressed families at Joint Base Andrews.

Trump's been out golfing as the caskets of the Green Berets have been returned.

And Bannon? Bannon was shooting off his face to 'values voters', claiming that anyone who criticizes Trump is 'disrespecting' the armed forces. That's quite a reach, but the 'values voters' are lapping it up like Reverend Johnson's Kool-Aid.

“Nobody can run and hide on this one,” Bannon told values voters Saturday, referring to Republicans who dared criticise the president while U.S. troops are serving abroad. Bannon did not mention why the president himself would remain silent about soldiers killed in action.

Meanwhile, Trump himself addressed so-called 'values voters:'

"President Donald Trump dove into America's culture wars on Friday, touting his administration for "returning moral clarity to our view of the world" and ending "attacks on Judeo-Christian values."

What would Trump the pussy-grabbing, philandering, lying Twitbully know about 'Judeo-Christian values.'

"We're saying Merry Christmas again."

Who ever said we couldn't, other than in the fevered imaginations of 'persecuted' evangelicals.

"Values voters." What a farce.


"... a last resort ..."

Top recruiter: Just 136,000 out of 33 million young Americans would join the Army

“In recruiting command, our soldiers who come out and recruit, we tell them to be giving guests. They show the community itself what the Army is all about,” he said. “We dispel a lot of the rumors, a lot of the stigma that is involved with the military.”

That stigma comes from several places. One is that “Generation Z,” as it‘s been dubbed, is much less likely to want to leave home and see the world than others, Bowers said.
“Many of today’s youth are not inclined to want to leave their family and friends,” he said. “Family and friends, they oppose them joining the military service.”

And according to a study, many young Americans see the Army as a last resort, not a top choice for their future.


“Family and friends, they oppose them joining the military service.”

"...many young Americans see the Army as a last resort..."

Yep. Really. And that's my perception of many young Americans and their families and friends as well, as I paddle about in the sea of life.

Kind of makes that 'thank you for your service' and all the Outrage!™ over the NFL just so much bullshit. Which is exactly what it is. Bullshit.

Who do all those Outrage!™ mongers think they're fooling?


Closet Muslims and Pastoral Pimps

“The Trump administration isn’t obligated to continue this council, but it is obligated to ensure that’s it’s not preferring some faiths over others or seeming to do so,” said Rogers, who currently serves as a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “And the continuance of this Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, even unofficially, and the apparent failure to have any comparable entity that is open to non-evangelicals, sends a troubling message that the administration prefers evangelicals over other people of faith.”

Trump is dismantling Obama’s religion initiatives

Obama didn't do too badly in taking care of various religions, despite being a radical closet Muslim bent on destroying the nation. Trump, on the other hand, has his band of political whores and pastoral pimps, and the hell with everyone else.

How's that '... protect and defend the Constitution ...' working for ya, America?

Robert P. Jones, author of “The End of White Christian America,” observes, “One of the most astounding shifts in modern politics has been the utter transformation of white evangelical Protestants from being confident self-described ‘values voters,’ who measured candidates for office against a high bar of moral character, to anxious and unwavering Trump supporters who have largely dropped these standards for a candidate they believe will deliver policies that benefit them.” He explains that “white evangelicals have exchanged an ethic of principle that might hold a political leader accountable to consistent standards for a consequentialist ends-justify-the-means posture that simply stops interrogating character, the quality of leadership, or the morality of actions when it’s beneficial.”

Evangelical conservatives are proving their harshest critics right

Protecting and Defending

"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem," said Goodell in letter sent to teams on Tuesday. "We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us." He said it is important that the league "move past this controversy."

The letter came the same day that Trump called for the elimination of unspecified tax breaks the league receives because of the National Anthem protests.
Uh huh. Goodell just knuckled under.

Of course, the NFL voluntarily gave up those tax breaks a couple of years ago, so what's Ol' Heel Spurs babbling about? Perhaps this:

Trump has one thing right about the NFL: It gets too much taxpayer funding

I wouldn't expect him to know the difference between taxes and subsidies. The real horselaugh here is that the TruePatriots™ are getting all bent out of shape over some players kneeling ... while the NFL is bending 'em - the TruePatriots™ - over. No problem, though. Pass the peanuts, and gimme one of those 8 dollar beers and a 6 dollar chicken weenie.

But here's the thing:

Now that the President of the United States is directly threatening people who are exercising their First Amendment rights ... good argument can be made that we have that 'state action' that triggers suppression of free speech within a Constitutional context. We have the chief executive of the United States threatening government action in order to suppress free speech. A reasonably decent lawyer should be able to do a pretty good run with that.

How's that '... protect and defend the Constitution ...' thingie workin' for ya, America?


"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem," said Goodell in letter sent to teams on Tuesday. "We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us." He said it is important that the league "move past this controversy."
The letter came the same day that Trump called for the elimination of unspecified tax breaks the league receives because of the National Anthem protests.
Uh huh. Goodell just knuckled under. But here's the thing:
Now that the President of the United States is directly threatening people who are exercising their First Amendment rights ... good argument can be made that we have that 'state action' that triggers suppression of free speech within a Constitutional context. We have the chief executive of the United States threatening government action in order to suppress free speech. A reasonably decent lawyer should be able to do a pretty good run with that. How's that '... protect and defend the Constitution ...' thingie workin' for ya, America?

Ignorance and apathy are often thought to be the greatest threats to our Constitutional values.

Under Trump, we can add fear to that.



The parts of the US Code that deal with the flag and the national anthem are advisory in nature. The word 'should' is used, not 'shall.' The code says that one 'should' stand, not that one 'shall' stand. Why do you think that is so?

As Commander Capen points out in his post over on the USNI site, specific acts are described that are considered improper. Kneeling is not one of them.

The code says nothing about kneeling being disrespectful.

It's almost laughable that in a nation founded through violent protest (that whole Revolutionary War thing, and all that preceded it), a peaceful protest would be considered 'un-American.' It *would* be laughable, were it not such an ignorant position to take, by so many who consider themselves to be experts at being "American."

There is much in copwork that requires fixing. I know this, because after I retired from the armed forces of these United States, I spent 18 years as a police officer, on the mean streets of Cowville, USA. We (I still consider myself a member of the Brotherhood of the Bacon) are far, far from being a Gestapo or FSB, but there is much that needs to be fixed. Despite the co-opting of organizations such as BLM by those with more 'impure' agendas than repairing social wrongs, that remains true. This is what drives the NFL players. They are criticized as being rich, pampered, fairly ignorant men. Some of them are. Many of them, however, are surprisingly articulate. I see nothing wrong with them using their position, their fame, to project this agenda of social change. Would anyone pay attention to Festus McGoober, who spends his days shoveling cow pies down at the local feedlot?

You don't get to choose the manner and method of protest. If, when Rosa Parks decided she'd had enough, and the local white meat had told her ... "Mizz Parks, we understand you all ain't happy, but really, this protest of yours is aggervatin' the power structure. Go on now, sit in the back a the bus, and write a letter to the editor" ... where would civil rights be today?

And consider this: kneeling is the gesture, the action, of a supplicant. "Please, America, look at what is going on and fix it." That's what I'm seeing. I'm not seeing disrespect. I'm seeing Americans who rightfully want change.

If kneeling is now disrespectful, a lot of self-righteous 'patriots' and 'Christians' are in deep kimchee with God ... because he sees right through the phony crap, the posturing and the pandering, and understands full well the falseness of the gesture on the part of such people.

On taking a knee

From Commander George Capen, USN (Ret), on Pence's Twit as he left the Colt's game:

Disrespecting Soldiers, Flag, or Anthem?

"Vice President Pence is entitled to his opinion and his right to protest is just as valid as any other American’s. But he doesn’t speak for all active duty or military veterans. At the USNI 2017 Naval History Conference “Military and Politics: Proper Participation or Perilous Partisanship?” Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said, “I wore the uniform so they could do that.”
"[Mullen] made it clear that this was their right and those that served, at least two of us, believe their right to protest is supported by our military service. It is not disrespecting either of us for the NFL players to use the performance of the national anthem as a time to protest. Taking a knee was, in fact, intended to be a respectful method of drawing attention to a national issue. Strike one.
and then:
"The National Flag Code, Chapter 1, Title 4 of the United States Code, provides the law and defines the actions that are disrespectful to the flag. Kneeling in its presence is not one of them. I have seen countless businesses flying excessively tattered American flags and I go out of my way to let them know that is disrespectful. Likewise, I am ever conscious to ensure no flag flies higher than ours. Desecration and mistreatment are also punishable as are a handful of less common circumstances. I encourage others to know what is and is not disrespectful and to take action when the flag is being disrespected. Strike two."
and then:
"Chapter 10 of Title 36 in the U.S. Code does provide specific customs (not punishable) such as standing with right hand saluting (military) or over the heart (civilian) during playing of the national anthem. Some may interpret anything other than the observing the custom as being disrespectful. I believe respectful protests are intended to buck customs. The anthem itself has nothing in the lyrics that defines disrespect. In general, protest is not customary and is protected by the First Amendment. The right to protest is protected (punishable if violated) and therefore has precedence over customs. Strike three."
and then:
"I don’t like watching the NFL protests, but I am proud to have served in a nation where they have the right to do so. I will continue to salute during the national anthem and freely express my opinion, too."
Effin' A-skippy on that last transmission.
God bless America. Wayda lay it out there, Commander.


Obama's bump stocks

Ignorance continues to dominate the right-wingers/'Christian' Right/Silent Majority.

They're still going on about Obama and bump stocks. Memes abound. Apparently, Obama himself approved bump stocks. It's not true, of course. What is true is that some low level official in the ATF, back during the Obama administration, did in fact approve bump stocks as legal. The entire story on that is not difficult to find, though clearly it is beyond the research capabilities of the right-wingers/'Christian' Right/Silent Majority.

It was a dumb decision. No doubt about it. The reasoning of the official, along with the concurrence of the ATF command, is sketchy at best. It makes on wonder if anyone in the ATF knows anything about guns. But it's been that way a long time, since well before Obama. The NRA has been going nuts over ATF for decades.

Trailering onto the bump stock thing, we have ... Fast and Furious ... the ATF's gunwalking scheme that appears to have been authored by a slow-witted 6th grader. Fast and Furious was in fact poorly conceived and poorly executed, and it was in fact during the Obama administration that this fiasco occurred. But it has nothing to do with bump stocks, or the Las Vegas massacre, or the price of yellow cake in Tehran.

The point that the right-wingers/'Christian' Right/Silent Majority are missing completely, either out of total ignorance (quite believeable) or by choice, since it doesn't fit their agenda (equally quite believeable) is that incompetent gunwalking was taking place well before The Big O and Eric Holder arrived on the scene.

Operation Wide Receiver is the first known ATF gunwalking plot involving Mexican drug cartels. It began in 2006 (when was it that Obama was elected?) and ran into late 2007 (when was it that Obama was elected?). The ATF's gun-selling stooge in Tucson eventually sold 450 guns - AR15's, semi-auto AK type rifles, and Colt .38's (whether those are Colt 1911A1's chambered for .38 Super, or .38 Spl revolvers, is not clear), almost all of which went 'walking.'

Incompetence is not a unique attribute of 'libtards.' Clearly it applies across the board to Republicans and other far right ideologues.

Episode 8: "The History of the World"

Those who think that the 'issues' dividing the nation today are something new, something unheard of, something that exceeds anything in the past, really should watch this one.
It helps put into perspective the childish, petulant whining of today's 'Christian' Right, and the so-called 'Silent Majority'.
The 'Silent Majority,' which became the 'Moral Majority' ( a real oxymoron there), and includes the 'Christian' Right ... brought us to the point we see in Episode 8, 'The History of the World.'
In the fifty years since, their thinking and world view has not changed.
In the next episode, we'll see Lam Son 719, a total fiasco, a military abomination that Nixon and his sycophants declared a 'great victory, a testimonial to the success of Vietnamization.'
In the last episode, we saw how the treasonous Nixon - aided and abetted by the patriotic 'Silent Majority' - committed treason by sabotaging the Paris peace talks. Nixon, and his 'PeacePlan with Honor™', dragged the war on for nearly four more years, and killed another 19,000 GI's.
The 'Silent Majority.' The unthinking, unquestioning Majority.
Same people who gave us Trump.

'Disrespecting' the flag

Mike Pence's flagrant waste of tax dollars

Very patriotic.
What a horse's ass.
A very patriotic horse's ass.
"On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence made a big show of leaving an NFL game early. He declared himself upset that some players knelt during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. “I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag, or our national anthem," he declared, as if attacking those things was the intent of the athletes."
No ... they are not 'disrespecting' the flag, the country, the anthem, the military, or veterans.
How many times do they have to say it.
“This is not about the military, this is not about the flag, this is not about the anthem,” 49ers Safety Eric Reid later told reporters. “My mother served in the armed forces. Three of my uncles served … I have the utmost respect for the military, for the anthem, for the flag … This is about systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country … I will keep doing what I feel is necessary, to use the platform that I have, to make changes. It's really disheartening when everything you were raised on, everything I was raised on, was to be the best person I can be, to help people who need help, and the vice president of the United States is trying to confuse the message that we're trying to put out there. I don't know what to say about it.”
I do.
Pence is a tight-ass horse's ass.
"The flight to Indianapolis alone cost an estimated $100,000. The total price tag will also include ground transportation and security. It’s more than most Americans earn in a year.
An aide to the VP told CNN that the trip to Indianapolis “was planned for weeks because former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was being honored.” Spending six figures to send an official to honor a multimillionaire athlete epitomizes the swamp. That is the best way that Pence can find to spend our money and his time? And that’s assuming the trip really was meant to honor a player. According to President Trump, the two men discussed the possibility of players protesting during the national anthem and planned on Pence leaving if that happened. In other words, the president and the vice-president made a premeditated plan to spend six figures traveling to an event knowing it was very likely Pence would not even attend."
Swamp rat.
Very patriotic. I am ... inspired.

For the general fund of information ... this is showing disrespect for the flag:


Trade schools for the elite

College Is Trade School for the Elite

“I’m worried that the idea of vocational education has become so popular,” wrote David Leonhardt of the New York Times . “We shouldn’t be promoting vocational education at the expense of general education.” Instead, “expanding the number of four-year college graduates also deserves to be a national priority.”

Maybe. Mr. Leonhardt is pitting vocational education against the ideals of higher education—independence of thought, breadth of knowledge and understanding. It’s not hard to see how important these ideals are to a democracy, in which political sovereignty lies with the people at large. If the people are ignorant or fixed only on grubbing for a living, they may make awful—and irreversible—mistakes.

The problem is that so little of those ideals really operate in most of American higher education."

What does he mean by that last? That America's colleges are the refuge of the elite and effete? The intellectual snobs who know so much better what we little people need, than we do ourselves? The refuge of the privileged? Ivory towers peopled by liberal, God-hating, America-hating professors who in another time might have been card-carrying Commies? Everything the right-wingers would have us believe?

Noooooo ... not quite.

"Judged by the catalogs, curricula and websites of American colleges and universities, American higher education already is vocational. The number of degrees in nursing, social work, education and the holy quartet of STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—vastly outweighs those awarded in the humanities, which is where we’re supposed to find the pure arts of thinking. One out of every five bachelor-level degrees is in business—which is to say, accounting, marketing, management and real estate—while one in 10 is in a health-related field.

Business and education lead the parade among master’s-level degrees; the bulk of doctoral degrees are in medicine, law, biology and engineering. The highest-growth fields since 2008 have been homeland security, law enforcement, firefighting, parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies."

Guelzo's claim is that America's colleges and universities are alread 'vocationalized,' just not for the grubby and greasy welders, electricians, mechanics.

It isn't too shabby an article, taken on the whole. One might even say it's a real STEM-winder.


Puerto Rican teamsters on strike

Far-right media make up Puerto Rican truck strike to absolve Trump over Hurricane Maria response

Well, proving once again that rational thought and the ability to do simple research are well beyond the capabilities of the Trumpsters ... we have the latest bit of 'fake news' from the far right:
The Puerto Rican teamsters - the truck drivers - have gone on strike, and that is why they are unable to distribute the Trumpian largesse.

It is, of course, so much bullshit.

"Far-right and fringe media are baselessly claiming that truck drivers in Puerto Rico have gone on strike in order to benefit themselves and sabotage President Donald Trump’s relief efforts after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. The Teamsters Union issued a press release on October 2 denouncing the hoax."

"Baselessly." How about adding "mindlessly" to that.

And much of this is coming from the "Christian" Right. The evangelicals, who claim to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

Nonsensical 'conservative' bullshit.

From the Teamsters. The International Teamsters. Not the Puerto Rican teamsters:

Teamsters Denounce False Reports of Work Stoppage by Union Drivers in Puerto Rico

The truth is that members from Teamsters Local Union 901 in San Juan have been working or volunteering since the day after the hurricane passed, helping with disaster relief and recovery.

“Let me be clear – Teamsters in Puerto Rico have been working on the relief efforts since day one,” said Alexis Rodriguez, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 901. “Anyone that has reported anything different is lying. Our only agenda is to help bring Puerto Rico back better and stronger.”
“These viral stories spreading across the internet are nothing but lies perpetrated by anti-union entities to further their destructive agenda,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “The fact that they are attempting to capitalize on the suffering of millions of citizens in Puerto Rico that are dire need of our help by pushing these false stories, just exposes their true nature.”

Lies. Gossip. Falsehoods. It's what the 'Christian' Right does best. It's the hallmark of the 81% of 'Christian' evangelicals who voted for Ol' Heel Spurs. It's all you can expect from them.
Puerto Rico's teamsters have been working since the day after the hurricane, though many of their homes have been destroyed and their families are in shelters.

It's a cheap, low-rent, godless shot to accuse them of going on strike for more money or anything else. It's shameful. But if that serves the evangelicals' Great God Trump, it must be OK.

How about that Proverbs 13:5. I can smell a self-righteous evangelical prick a mile away.


"No, no, no! It's spelled 'r.e.s.i.g.n. not r.i.s.i.g.n ...".

An unloved child ...

Years later, America pays the price of an unloved child being farmed out to boarding school ...

Defense perimeter

Here's an interesting one ...

North Korea accuses US of declaring war

Trump twits what could easily be taken as a threat. True, it was presented in much the same manner as an exchange between two low-rent dweebs who have been shortchanged in the brains department ... but ... what the hey, that's what they are.

"North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Monday accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country by tweeting over the weekend that North Korea "won't be around much longer.""

Here's the thing. Back in January 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a speech before the National Press Club. In that speech, he defined the 'defense perimeter' of the United States as extending from the Aleutians, through Japan and the Ryukyus (that would be Okinawa for the geographically challenged) and on down to the Philippines.

He did not mention Taiwan (that's another interesting ball of wax; I've been long surprised we have not gone to war over that one. Anyone remember Matsu and Quemoy? I thought not ...).
Nor did he mention ... wait for it ... wait for it ... yep. Korea. He did not include Korea in the list of countries over which the US was willing to go to war.

That was in January 1950. Six months later, much to the shock, dismay, and total surprise of the United States, the NORKs invaded South Korea.

Things said, and things unsaid. No one said 'rational thought processes' were part of the 'let's go to war' business.

Dean Acheson, speech on the Far East, 12 January 1950

Flag code

The Twit-in-Chief once again demonstrates his ignorance:
The president tweeted, "Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!"
No ... not quite, Donnie. Kneeling violates the part of the federal code pertaining to the national anthem. So does locking arms. The code is quite specific. It also violates the flag code
Both sections of the federal code are also totally unenforceable, but that's another story.
Both sections of the federal code are frequently violated by red-blooded all-American patriots. But it's OK for them to violate the flag code, because ... they are red-blooded all-American patriots.
Or is this simply another 'executive order,' in which Ol' Heel Spurs modifies federal law to fit his own Twitness.

The hypocrisy of the flag-waving super-patriots when it comes to the national anthem and the flag is nowhere more apparent than in the dustup involving Michelle Manhart. Remember when the flag was being walked upon by students at Valdosta U in Georgia? And the flag was rescued by stalwart USAF veteran Michelle Manhart? God bless her! A TruePatriot™! Todd Starnes, that paragon of American patriotism and All-American Christianity, nearly had a patriotic orgasm in reporting the story. Manhart was a TrueAmericanHero™! God bless her! Yet ... Manhart had gotten the boot from USAF, after 13 years. Why? Why would a stalwart, heroic USAF vet (God bless her!) have gotten the boot? Well ... since you ask, here is why:

Yes, that is the stalwart, heroic, USAF vet (God bless her!) posing for Playboy. That might work for a civilian, but it doesn't work for a serving member of the armed forces of the United States. But wait! There's more!

And more!

It's kind of hard to become exercised over what is essentially a civil rights protest on the part of NFL players and others ... while the Christian Right ignores shit like this ... because it plays to their agenda to ignore it.


"He cut your heart out ..."

"Some close to him even say his expressions of anger are a sign that he is engaged.
"I would much rather have him yell at me than be dismissive," said a source familiar with his management style. "If he doesn't get mad, it means he doesn't care."
Well, God help us if he doesn't display his 'caring' with an insane, raging temper tantrum. I feel so ... alone ... without a president who screams and throws things and rips doors off the furniture, insulting and belittling people the entire time.
Nice choice there, all you who voted for this asshole.
"He enjoys swearing, one source said, especially when he is around people he is comfortable with like his longtime aides and family. But he tries to avoid it with people who don't know him well.
His preferred curse word, multiple people say: The tried-and-true F-bomb."
I wonder if he is 'comfortable' around his Pastoral Pimps.
"He has a temper, yes, and it doesn't take much to set him off, but at the same time, it is always overblown and he will be fine five minutes later," said one person who had worked with Trump. "He can be volcanic and then he will be fine five minutes later."
But ... when this 'volcanic' asshole has launched the missiles ... they can't be called back, and things won't 'be fine five minutes later.'
Sessions is an idiot, for putting up with the abuse from the Idiot-in-Chief.
Meanwhile, Ol' Heel Spurs is fixated on ESPN.
Great leadership.
Nice choice there, all you who voted for this asshole.

Jesus himself ...

"Immigration policy is “not about doctrine,” [Bannon] said. “It’s about the sovereignty of a nation. And in that regard, [the bishops are] just another guy with an opinion.”
“It is preposterous to claim that justice for immigrants isn’t central to Catholic teaching,” wrote Rogers. “It comes directly from Jesus Himself in Matthew 25, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food … a stranger and you welcomed me.’ "
Jesus himself.
But ... when it comes to matters of state, Jesus is 'just another guy with an opinion.'


Robert E. Lee and the 'communing' Negroe

Meanwhile, we are seeing yet another attempt by 'Lost Cause' apologists to sanctify Robert E. Lee as some sort of civil rights pioneer.

The tale has been posted, and reposted, in several variants, all of which claim to show that Lee essentially embraced the idea of allowing 'Negroes' into his church, and taking communion with them. Lee is even alleged to have stated, "At the foot of the cross the ground is always level". A fine Christian sentiment, I am sure you will agree ... but there is no verifiable source for that comment by Lee.

In fact, an account in the Confederate Veteran magazine in 1905, and earlier published in the Richmond-Times, by a person who was actually at the service, tells quite a different story:


"Col. T. L. Broun, of Charleston, W. Va., writes of having been present at St. Paul's Church, Richmond, Va., just after the war when a negro marched to the communion table ahead of the congregation. His account of the event is as follows:‘Two months after the evacuation of Richmond business called me to Richmond for a few days, and on a Sunday morning in June, 1865, I attended St. Paul's Church. Dr. Minnegerode [sic] preached. It was communion day; and when the minister was ready to administer the holy communion, a negro in the church arose and advanced to the communion table. He was tall, well-dressed, and black. This was a great surprise and shock to the communicants and others present. Its effect upon the communicants was startling, and for several moments they retained their seats in solemn silence and did not move, being deeply chagrined at this attempt to inaugurate the 'new regime' to offend and humiliate them during their most devoted Church services. Dr. Minnegerode [sic., Minnigerode] was evidently embarrassed.
General Robert E. Lee was present, and, ignoring the action and presence of the negro, arose in his usual dignified and self-possessed manner, walked up the aisle to the chancel rail, and reverently knelt down to partake of the communion, and not far from the negro. This lofty conception of duty by Gen. Lee under such provoking and irritating circumstances had a magic effect upon the other communicants (including the writer), who went forward to the communion table. By this action of Gen. Lee the services were conducted as if the negro had not been present. It was a grand exhibition of superiority shown by a true Christian and great soldier under the most trying and offensive circumstances."
I can just picture it. The white elite of Richmond, at their 'Christian' service ... and there's this uppity 'Nigra' creating a 'most trying and offensive circumstance. Lee didn't embrace him; he ignored him. As should have any 'true Christian' and 'great soldier.'

So just who is it, who is trying re-write history?

What's next? Custer was actually just trying to deliver some hand-knitted mittens to Sioux children, for the coming winter?

Here's the Confederate Veteran magazine archive, specifically the article cited.

Dreamers and taxes

'Dreamers' and taxes.
'Conservatives' piss and moan and post endless memes about working hard, paying taxes, being law abiding, contributing to society ... all that sort of thing.
Then why do they have such an intense dislike for DACAnians?
Yep. They are illegal. No doubt about it. But why would you want to deport hard workers, tax payers, people who are in school, and trying hard to make the American Dream come true?
Yep. They are illegal. No doubt about it. But ... these people were brought here as children by their parents. It isn't like they snuck in on their own, scoffing at Trump's Wall.
How about we take a swing through various neighborhoods, pick up those who do nothing but lay around all day collecting welfare and food stamps, and deport them, on a one-for-one basis with DACAnians. One worthless, lazy, doper US citizen gets tossed out; one hard working, tax paying DACAnian gets to stay.

Illegal 'immigrants' and taxes

Illegal 'immigrants' and taxes ... we hear a lot about how the Evil Illegals do not pay taxes, yet suck up untold amounts of money in benefits. Welfare and other freebies, for example.
But ... they *do* pay taxes, as any number of sources show. Here is but one such source. It even includes info from the Heritage Foundation, one of the furthest right of such outfits.

Every year, the Social Security Administration collects billions of dollars in taxes that it doesn’t know who paid. Whenever employers send in W-2 forms that have Social Security numbers that don’t match with anyone on record, the agency routes the paperwork to what’s called the Earnings Suspense File, where it sits until people can prove the wages were theirs, allowing them to one day collect retirement benefits.

But they aren't going to collect those taxes. Those retirement bennies. They can't. They are paying into accounts based on a fake SS card.

Screw 'em, you say?


But here's the deal. When it comes time for you to start collecting your social security bennies ... and social security should be going broke ... you'll be collecting the money paid in by those 'undocumented immigrants.'


But there are still about 340 million unclaimed tax forms recorded in the file, compared to 270 million nearly a decade ago. A good portion of those forms were filed by employers on behalf of some of the most unlikely funders of Social Security: undocumented immigrants. In fact, illegal immigration is considered largely responsible for the mushrooming of the file, with undocumented workers paying billions in taxes for retirement benefits they will likely never receive.

It works like this: Many immigrants who aren’t authorized to work in the United States buy fake Social Security cards and present them to their employers, who either don’t know they are fake or don’t look too closely. When the employer submits a W-2 form and a tax payment on those workers’ behalf to the Social Security Administration, the federal government holds onto those payroll taxes, even if the Social Security number isn’t linked to anyone on file. And then, a large chunk of that money ends up in the Social Security trust funds, from which retirement benefits are doled out to aging Americans.

So what. They're illegals. Screw 'em. 

It's the American Way.


The Silent Majority

Ken Burns' "The Vietnam War" is coming up on PBS; it will be on this Sunday evening.

John McCain watched the advance screening last evening. He had this to say:

"The 81-year-old, who is undergoing chemotherapy as he battles an aggressive form of brain cancer, said that watching “the magnificent work” reminded him of just how young so many of the Americans were who died. With sorrow in his voice, he talked about “the 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids who had no idea what they were getting into.”

“Their leaders didn’t lead, whether they were military or civilian,” said the Arizona Republican, who spent 5½ years as a prisoner of war after getting shot down on a bombing mission over Hanoi in 1967. “By telling the American people one thing, which was not true, about the progress in the war and the body counts, it caused a wave of pessimism to go across this country, which bolstered the antiwar movement. We can learn lessons today because the world is in such turmoil: Tell the American people the truth!”

McCain said he visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as often as he can to take in the names of the more than 58,000 Americans who died. “Depends on the weather,” he said. “Sometimes once a week. Sometimes once every couple of weeks. I try to go very early in the morning or when it’s near sunset. … It’s really an incredibly emotional experience. … These young men died because of inadequate or corrupt leadership.”

You can think whatever you want of John McCain, but the man paid his dues and then some. I think he hit it right on the head with those comments.

Note that he does not say it was because of Jane Fonda and pinko commie leftie liberals and doper hippies. "Inadequate or corrupt leadership," he said. Yep. And where was the Silent Majority during all that? Yep. Sitting there, silent. It was the Silent Majority that allowed the 'inadequate and corrupt leadership' to gain office; to remain in office; to send our armed services off to the meat grinder.

And where are we today? In Afghanistan? Our military genius in the Oval claimed to be ever so much smarter than the generals. He had this 'beautiful plan.' Anyone know what it is? Aside from getting more of our people killed?

“Vietnam has always stood out to me a stunning failure of leadership,” said [Kerry]. “We were operating without facts back then. In today’s world, it’s (also) really hard to figure out what the facts are. And people won’t honor facts. You know what they are, but you have your ‘alternative facts.’”

The 73-year-old spoke of feeling betrayed by “the best and the brightest” who he had looked up to in the American government. He singled out Robert McNamara, who was secretary of defense under John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

“I thought I had felt all the anger I could feel about the war, but I hadn’t until I read ‘A Bright Shining Lie’ by Neil Sheehan,” Kerry said, referring to the classic book that came out in 1988. “All the way up the chain of command, people were just putting in gobbledygook information, and lives were being lost based on those lies and those distortions.”

The RMPBS schedule shows it coming on at 7 PM MDT.

Here are the preview clips.


On not scaring

The 'conservatives' are running around today with patriotic stiffies, mostly over all the flag raising ceremonies yesterday, but particularly because of 'Mad Dog' Mattis' comment.

Yesterday, at the speechifying at the Pentagon, Ol' Heel Spurs was in attendance. Mattis was waxing eloquent ('eloquently?'), and turned to Ol' Heel Spurs, and looked him in the eye (hopefully, not in the same vein as Dubya looking soulfully into Putin's eyes) ... and said, "Mr. President, your military does not scare."

You can take that two ways.

I'm pretty sure that Mattis meant that our lads and lasses in the armed services do not frighten, or frighten easily. It's a nice bit of rhetoric, as in my observation and experience, only a fool does not suffer fear from time to time. It's all in what you do to overcome the fear that matters. I'm sure Mattis understands that completely. But the rhetoric, the minor hyperbole, could be taken two ways.

The second is this: Given the state of readiness of the armed services,our military (it is ours; it is not Trump's private Wermacht) doesn't generate the fear in the nation's enemies that it should.

The state of readiness of the surface navy has been a hot topic over in "Proceedings" for quite some time. These are not the talking heads, the shills so beloved of FauxNews and CNN, blathering on. The people writing for "Proceedings," and discussing the 'issue', are serving captains, serving officers, serving chiefs, in the modern navy. The common thread throughout is that the surface navy suffers from a lack of funding for training, and for maintenance.The ops tempo is too high for the ships we have. This is especially true, it seems, for the forward-deployed components of the 7th Fleet.

Back in February of this year, VCNO Bill Moran told the House Armed Services Committee on the State of the Military: "It has become clear to me that the Navy’s overall readiness has reached its lowest level in many years."

"Admiral Moran identified three main drivers of the Navy's readiness problems: 1) persistent, high operational demand for naval forces; 2) funding reductions; and 3) consistent uncertainty about when reduced budgets will be approved."

Back in April 2016, Marine Corps Times reported that only 87 of 276 USMC Hornets (FA-18) were flyable. Marine pilots were averaging just under 9 hours per month, which is 'well below the minimum time required to maintain safety and basic proficiency.'

It's not just the Hornets. This was a significant factor in the helicopter collision in Hawaii that killed 12 Marines.

This 'issue' extends to the Army and USAF.

Much of it has to do with the inability of the Congress and the Oval Office to pass a budget. All the armed services have to work with is a series of Continuing Resolutions.

It goes back over several administrations. Reagan, Bush(es), Clinton, Obama ... and now, Ol' Heel Spurs ... and Democrats and Republicans all have a share of this mess.

Mattis should spare us the rhetoric. Trump needs to get a grip on his buffoonish bluster and bombast.

The 'conservatives' pride themselves on being 'the silent majority.' We have them to thank for Vietnam. We have them to thank for Iraq. We have them to thank for the current mess in which the armed services find themselves. It's time for them to knock off the endless circulation of stupid memes on social media, and quit being silent.

All the flag-wavin' super-patriots, the 'conservatives' who get their panties in a wad over NFL 'kneelers,' need to get out their crayons and a sheet of newsprint paper and start lighting fires under CongressCreatures. You know. Make an effort, at least.

There's nothing at all wrong with the troops.

The problem is the American public.


Who's in charge

This is a good opinion piece:

I don't entirely agree with this closing statement:
"This isn't “the system working,” the cliché for how various other power centers have thwarted Trump in the early going. It's the system gone haywire and tottering on the brink of a more serious crisis.
Nothing good can come from top officials of the U.S. government making it obvious that they believe, to borrow Tillerson’s phrase, that the president speaks for himself—and no one else."
I'm hoping that the president *does* only speak for himself, and that there are some adults keeping things on as much as an even keel is possible.
We have Mattis dealing with South Korea, in talks with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-Moo, trying to keep that mess stabilized, while Ol' Heel Spurs is frothing at the mouth and displaying his complete incompetence for all to see.
We have Tillerson making the statement that we're all not a bunch of ignorant neo-Nazi turds in the social  and cultural punchbowls.
We need to know there are at least a few adults in the 'game.'


Lock and Load!

"In 2010, then-retired Navy Vice Admiral Phil Balisle was asked to take a hard look at the state of the surface community. Admiral Balisle was uniquely qualified for this task. Not only had he succeeded brilliantly in multiple at-sea commands—including in a guided-missile destroyer, a cruiser, and a carrier strike group—but he also possessed expertise in combat management systems, ballistic missile defense, and shipboard engineering.

In fact, he served as the Navy’s chief engineer when he assumed command of Naval Seas Systems Command. Not only did Admiral Balisle know what he was looking at, but he also had the independence to speak truthfully and without fear of repercussions. 

Specifically, he was charged by then-Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughhead to constitute a “Fleet Review Panel to assess surface force readiness across the man, train, equip domain areas, and provide recommended corrective actions.”  

The report was an eye-opening dose of the unvarnished truth. The report was as celebrated as it was ultimately ignored. Nevertheless, Admiral Balisle’s conclusions should give a healthy clue as to what might still be troubling the Navy’s ships: training was drastically insufficient; ship maintenance had no constituency and was therefore persistently given the shortest of shrift; and the operational tempo for ships was crushing."

 - "Collisions: Part I—What Are the Root Causes?" Captain Kevin Eyer, USN (Ret), "Proceedings" Aug 2017

'Might' still be troubling the Navy? There's that pesky article in the WSJ about What The Investigators Found and Told The Navy. There is no 'might' about it.

And as the author mentions in an earlier section of his article, there's that Fat Leonard scandal, hanging around the Navy's neck like a rotting albatross. The admirals and other senior officers involved in that mess should be put up against a wall and shot. Pour encourager les autres. That is not hyperbole; I firmly and irrevocably believe that. Those people betrayed their oaths of commissioning; they betrayed the country; they betrayed the Navy. For money, for hookers, for 'favors.' They deserve to be shot. I wonder if Ol' Heel Spurs would pardon them. They operated well within his moral sphere, so why not?

Balisle revealed a rot that had been occurring since Saint Ronnie's days. It reaches across political party lines. It is as much the fault of the Bushes as it is the fault of Clinton and Obama. Congress bears no small share of the blame. And ... the American people have a considerable burden here as well. An informed and actively engaged patriotic citizen is not going to be wasting a lot of time stupidly focused on nonsense like Kaepernick's Kneeling; dead horses like flag-burning amendments, Obamanian chimp memes, and swooning over empty rhetoric such as we see pumped out from Ol' Heel Spurs and his sycophants like so much sewage overflow from Harvey rainwater.

Really. It's easy to froth and foam over empty, idiotic nonsense like that. It's feel good stuff. It accomplishes nothing whatsoever, but by God, it's RealPatriotism™! Afterwards, you can sit back and listen to Trace Adkins CW tearjerkers and bemoan the fading of the Good Ol' Days. Like, you know. Back when people like Obama knew their place.

Meanwhile, the Fat Little NORK isn't getting the memo, despite the fact that Ol' Heel Spurs is respecting the respect he thinks the Fat Little NORK might be showing.

The NORKs have the 4th largest army in the world. In place. Ready to go. It's one thing to crank off fifty cruise missiles at an empty airbase, knowing full well that not much is going to happen in return. It's quite another to load your testicles in a Red, White, and Blue wheelbarrow and do something stupid that gets millions of people killed, all because the Leader of the Free World (that noise in the background is the rest of the free world puking into the potted plants) is too stupid, too ill-informed, too abysmally ignorant, too incapable of abstract thinking, too incapable of stringing words of more than one syllable into coherent sentences ... to Just Not Do That. Lock and load! Thump the Bible! Wave the flag! Get Trace Adkins to write us a sawng!


Ol' 1Y returns

Oh sure. Just what we need. Another loser. Ol' 1Y Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo, upset about canceled white nationalist event, weighs another run for Colorado governor

“Not one Republican in this state, no one elected or running for office, has the guts to say, ‘What the hell is going on?’” [Tancredo] said. “What ever happened with the First Amendment? Have we totally annihilated it in our rush to appease the left?"

Apparently not. Tancredo is certainly exercising his First Amendment rights.

“The kind of hateful politics for decades on the right that fueled the political rise of Congressman Tancredo is exactly what gave us President Donald Trump,” said Ian Silverii, the group’s executive director. “A Tancredo candidacy could unite the Colorado Republican Party, but it would divide Colorado.”

If a Tancredo candidacy would 'unite the Colorado Republican Party,' that doesn't say much for the Colorado Republican Party. But then ... looking at the last few election cycles, what's new about that?

Tom '1Y' Tancredo

An excerpt:

"Among other things, Ol' 1Y is what we call a 'Chickenhawk.' He never served in the armed forces of these United States; he got himself classified as "1Y" during the Vietnam war. That happened because he claimed he was depressed. So far as I know, he has never said why he was depressed, or what it was that depressed him. Perhaps it was the thought of going to Vietnam? Huh. I'll bet a lot of other guys wish they had thought of that one.

So he never served. That in itself is not all that big a deal. There are lots of people who never served in uniform. But Tancredo, you see, is one of those guys who now claims "I wish I had had the opportunity to serve ..." and who now supports quite enthusiastically the Bush/Obama wars. He's glad to send your kids off to war ... but he was, like, you know ... too depressed himself. Tancredo is one of those saber-rattling, flag-waving, super-patriot Chickenhawks."

Of course, it's now a 'Trump war,' too.

What a buffoon. Ol' Heel Spurs and his Nazi pals sure do have 'em crawling out from under rocks these days.

Murrica! Makin' it Grate Again.


The Great Commission

Here's another one, about Ol' Grab 'Em By the Pussy's band of Pastoral Pimps.

All the President's Preachers

A point:

"It is important to understand that these leaders, despite their megachurches and presidential access, do not speak for all Christians in this country. My organization, the National Council of Churches, is made up of 30 million Christians in more than 100,000 local congregations of its member denominations — Orthodox, Anglican, mainline Protestant and historic peace churches — who have been quick to rally against the rise of white supremacists and neo-Nazis."


It's interesting that Ol' Grab 'Em By the Pussy's band of Pastoral Pimps is specifically made up of evangelicals.

So much for that 'Great Commission' thing, hmmm?

Matthew 28:18-20 -  "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

I suppose what we have here is a variation on the old 'Hearts and Minds' thing, back when we were concerned with 'winning hearts and minds' in Vietnam: "Grab 'em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow."

Perhaps grabbin' 'em by the pussy will cause their souls to follow? What do Falwell, Graham, and the rest of the Pastoral Pimps have to say about that, as they bend their knees before their Great God Trump? Some deep scriptural interpretation? I mean, c'mon. God's on their side. S'plain it to we benighted heathens.

Pastoral Pimps and the Great God Trump

"For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires."

- 2 Timothy 4:3

... and the Pastoral Pimps continue to bend their knees before their Great God Trump ... given to us by God (the other one) himself.

Pastor explains why he left Trump's evangelical council

Guest comments:

Here's a quote from the article: “Can we talk this truthful in church?” he asked at the noon service. “Speaking in absolute terms, I would love to be a Christian first. But America has created an environment that forces me to be first aware of the color of my skin, then, the content of my character, and my Christian conscription.”

Since when did being a Christian not mean standing against hatred and bigotry? This guy is out of his mind if he is saying that standing up for Christ and the people He loves is not equal with being a Christian.

"I have to go with my race first" ... he's messed up.

Good thing James Reeb didn't see it that way, hey wot. Him and a lot like him.

More Dixie recollections ...

Actually, we had been exposed to the 'Suthren lifestyle' before that New Bern episode. Before his Iwakuni tour, the old man had been an instructor (he was involved in the Marines' development and use of helicopters almost since the beginning, back right after the war, when HMX-1 really was all about experimental helicopters rather than carting the president around ... but that's another story) at NAS Millington (Naval Air Station), just north of Memphis. Millington was a huge naval air training base back then.

We lived in the town of Millington for awhile, and then we moved to Munford, a tiny village that was exactly like Sparta in the original Heat of the Night (which, if you have not seen, you should consider doing so). It was complete to the rich white meat's house on the hill, just like in Sparta in the flick. This was our 'pigs and chickens and crop development' period. It was actually quite a bit of fun. We had a huge garden, a pig pen for 'the livestock' and a coop full of laying hens and a truly demonic rooster. No 4H involvement though. Not sure why. In any case, this Munford was still in the 1860's in many respects. There was a working cotton gin - no shit, we kids would crawl into the pile of cotton husks the same way other kids played in leaf piles. There was a huge cotton field out behind the house we were renting. Huge. In the harvest season there were black folk out there dragging those long bags and filling them up. Not slaves, of course, but still treated about the same, less the whippings. Out in the middle of the field, there was an unpainted house, not much more than a shack. In fact, if you have ever seen Deliverance ... there it is. Complete with white trash family, down to the mewling inbred 'thing.' Seriously. A sharecropper family. They loved the black folk, but not because they were filled with the love of Jesus. Nope. White trash sharecroppers were down at the bottom of the social scale. Scum. But ... they were still white. And so they got to take out all their pent up resentments on the black folk, who were ... not white. You really had to be there.

When Selma blew up, and the bus boycott, and all the rest, I didn't have a bit of trouble in understanding the why of that. Even back then, as a callow and socially unconcious ute, I wondered, "What took you so long?"

There were no black kids in our schools. None. In fact, there were no black kids in my high school until some point after I graduated. But at that time, it didn't even register, because that was just the way it was. Talk about being 'culturally obtuse.'

USAF had been desegrated along with the other branches of the armed forces back in the late forties. But ... in my AFSC (MOS), automatic tracking radar systems, there were very few black folk. There were none during my tech schooling at Keesler AFB. I remember but one, when I went out to my first duty station, and he had cross-trained in from somewhere else. They used him not for radar work, but for 'area maintenance.' The reason for this? "Blacks don't have the intellectual acumen to handle the training materials or the complexity of the systems." I remember when the first black troop came in from tech school. That would have been about 1970-ish. 'They' didn't know what to do about it. How to 'handle' him. He was actually quite good at the job, which really blew 'them' away. The only other time I remember 'them' vapor-locking so heavily was when the first female showed up in the field, about mid-1977. The command crisis there was 'what about latrine facilities? What will we do?!!!' and other command hand-wringing ... but that's another one of those 'that's another story' things.

There's a lot more to this than a bunch of snowflakes wetting their pants over a bunch of statues covered in pigeon shit.

"The night they drove ol' Dixie down ..."

Southern racism and Civil War statues

"I will never forget the time when I gathered with a bunch of Jewish Southerners to watch the movie “The Help,” which is about the experience of black domestics in the South in the 1960s.

At first, there was a lot of denial about the truths portrayed in that film.
That domestics could not use the bathrooms inside the houses: many in the audience refused to believe it.

Until someone stood up and asked: “Haven’t y’all ever wondered why so many of our houses have bathrooms in the garage?”

Which got me wondering: The first Atlanta house that I lived in had a bathroom in the garage. I always figured that it was because when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Apparently not."

 I remember that we had returned to MCAS Cherry Point. This would have been late 1958, early 1959. The old man had just finished an unaccompanied tour at Iwakuni. (That's a Marine air station in Japan, near Hiroshima). We were in New Bern, NC. New Bern, among other things, is famous for being the home of Pepsi Cola - you can get a Pepsi today in the original Pepsi soda fountain, which is right across the street from Christ Church. Christ Church is a magnificent old thing, harking back to the days of George Whitfield. Whitfield actually preached there Christmas Day, 1739. This was all part of The Great Awakening.

New Bern is in Craven County. Back then, it was a dusty, sleepy little burg with more than a few overtones of 'The Heat of the Night' (the original movie, with Sidney Poitier). The civil rights movement was sorta kinda heating up. There were no convenience stores, no places to drop in for a quick selection from the soda machine like we have today. I was looking for a water fountain, so I went across the street to the bus station. And there, I found a water fountain. It was pretty crappy looking. Mineral stains and so on. This was before the days of RO and soft water. I drank deeply.

And then ... I was grabbed by the neck, spun around, and I found myself staring into the porcine eyes of a pus-gutted Craven County deputy. "Whatchew doin', boy, drankin' from the nigger fountain!"

We had been living in Buffalo whilst the old man was overseas. Before that, we lived on Marine and Navy bases. They didn't have separate water fountains. I was baffled. I had no idea.

The signs were there. Hard to see from the dirt and rust, but there they were.

I was, at that young age, apparently a Nawthin Ajitater. Come to stir up the darkies or somesuch.

I got frog-marched back across the street to the bosum of my family. There was some kind of an exchange between the old man and the pus-gutted deputy. Probably to the effect that 'it won't happen again.'

Southern culture. It ain't all sweet tea and pecan pies. It isn't hard to see why some people get their undies in a wad over statues of such as Nathan Bedford Forrest and his ilk.