This is how bad it is

We have to elect Clinton and down-ballot Democrats. They we’ll have to deal with violent ignoramuses who will think Trump’s loss is due to rigging and are dreaming about a civil war.

Reporter tweets from Trump rally:

Jared Yates Sexton @JYSexton

I’ve covered the Trump campaign for over a year now and have seen this worsen. The anger changes, grows. It’s going to boil over.

It started with Muslims and moved to BLM. Then it was Clinton and calling for her death. Now it’s media. It won’t stop spreading.

Trump wasn’t Trump tonight. He was a megaphone spouting off Breitbart copy. It was organized and structured. Nuanced. That’s terrible news.

He kept crowd’s attention, which he’s never been able to do. He crafted a very dangerous narrative and they swallowed it whole.

See more: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/trump-rally-tweets-jared-yates-sexton/

Black Lives and Blue Lives

There’s a meme going around complaining that while mothers of “Young Men” (sarcastically printed in quotation marks) who were killed by police spoke at the Democratic National Convention, there were no family members of fallen heroes who were killed by “Thugs” (quotes mine).

Image described in paragraph above

But there were no family members of fallen heroes at the Republican National Convention, either. Family members of fallen heroes didn’t speak at either convention because we already agree that the deaths of police officers are tragic. That’s why we have severe penalties for violence against the police and compensation packages for family members of fallen heroes.

Those compensation packages would be more generous if Republicans didn’t fight against police unions. It’s only Republican lies that suggest Democrats are against the police. Democrats do more to support the police than Republicans do, but we all agree that the police deserve our support.

What we don’t all agree on is that something should be done about the few rogue cops who murder or brutalize the citizens they’re supposed to protect. Republicans seem to feel that the lives affected by dangerous or murderous acts committed by police don’t matter, as long as it’s not happening in their own neighborhoods. They claim that it’s best to just shut up about it, and that even mentioning the fact that sometimes people are murdered by police is the same as calling for the deaths of good cops.

Except for a few bad actors, nobody is calling for attacks on the police. That’s why Hillary Clinton praised the 500 applicants who wanted to become police officers in the aftermath of the Dallas murders, and why she said of the police, after Baton Rouge “They represent the rule of law itself. If you take aim at that and at them, you take aim at all of us. There can be no justification, no looking the other way.”

In my city, where “Police hugs make Sydnee smile”, community leaders and the police are working together. For those in Suffolk, there will be a Unity Parade, during National Night Out, and community leaders and police departments across the nation are working together in similar outreach efforts.

Dead cops isn’t the answer, but neither is ignoring the problem. It’s too bad that the phrase “All Lives Matter” was born as an attack on the Black Lives Matter movement. Indeed, all lives do matter, Black lives and blue lives included.

We’ve Never Seen Lying Like This Before

Via Think Progress

Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. -Donald Trump July 27 To be clear, Mr. Trump did not call on, or invite, Russia or anyone else to hack Hillary Clinton’s e-mails today. -Trump senior communications advisor Jason Miller July 27

Photo By Sgt. Gabriela Garcia/Marines Corp
via Wikimedia Commons

when was the last time Goldberg and I agreed about something?

“when was the last time Goldberg and I agreed about something?”

That’s Keven Drum, and the Goldberg he’s writing about is Jonah Goldberg. What they agree on is this, from Drum:

Trump repeatedly said “I disavow, I disavow, I disavow,” without ever mentioning who he was disavowing. …

… I don’t think this was a mistake. Trump has done it too many times. On Facebook, on Twitter, on Good Morning America, and then again last night. …

… there’s no video of him clearly and unequivocally condemning the Duke or the KKK—and they understand perfectly well what this means. They’re old hands at the wink and the nod.

and from Goldberg:

It is obvious to me that Trump didn’t want to denounce David Duke and the Klan in the Jake Tapper interview. The “bad earpiece” explanation is a transparent lie…

… But even when Trump disavowed Duke in the Friday press, this is how he did it:

“David Duke endorsed me? OK, all right. I disavow, OK?”

It’s clear he’s simply paying lip service, and reluctantly at that.

Trump’s racist supporters expect Trump to disavow them even if wants their vote, but they must be pleased about how he avoided specifically saying anything bad about them.

What was true about voting Republican is twice as true about voting for Trump.  In order to cut support for the poor, to close the borders to people fleeing for their lives, to keep government from interfering with the economic status quo of a nation who’s strength was bolstered by slavery, exploitation, and war, you have to side with White supremacists.  You may he a decent person with reasons that you feel are valid, but your positions are so unpopular that if it wasn’t for the worst people in the nation voting with you, your candidates wouldn’t win any elections.

Hugo Reyes joins SDC at Peanut Fest (and takes a selfie)

Hugo Reyes, Virginia’s candidate for the State Senate’s Third District, and his partner Mary Meyers will be joining the Suffolk Democratic Committee’s tent at the Suffolk Peanut Festival this weekend.

Hugo Reyes Selfie at SDC Tent

SDC volunteers have been manning the tent since Thursday, and turnout should be good this weekend since the usual Peanut Fest storm hit us early this year.

Peanut Fest Tent

Hugo Reyes Campaign Kickoff July 23rd

Hugo Reyes, our Candidate for State Senate District 3, will kickoff his campaign at the Corner Pocket, 4805 Courthouse St in Williamsburg, on July 23rd at 5:30.

Reyes for Virginia Banner

Join Lt. Governor Ralph Northam and Mr. Reyes as they officially kick off the Reyes for Virginia campaign for Virginia State Senate.

Your 2nd Amendment Rights are Protected in Waller County, Texas

It’s good to know that your Second Amendment rights are protected in Waller County, according to the home page of the Waller County Sheriff’s Department. But if Sandra Bland was removed from her vehicle for a minor traffic violation, beaten for speaking out, held in jail for 3 days over trumped up charges, and finally executed in her cell, then Waller County would seem weak on protecting some of those other rights.

I did a Google news search on Waller County, restricting the date range to before July 2015. Waller seems to have more than it’s share of corruption and misconduct. It’s not a scientific study, of course, but it seems a little high. I don’t know what the results will be of the investigation into Sandra Bland’s suspicious death. I suppose it’s possible that the seemingly normal, educated, and well loved woman who was in town to start a new career was inexplicably belligerent enough during a routine traffic stop to justify her arrest, then killed herself in her cell without leaving a note while nobody noticed. But whatever the results, it might be a good idea for the Sheriff to emphasize more than just the 2nd Amendment. Maybe if the website said, “All of your rights are protected in Waller County”, it would help foster a better attitude of public service.

The Internet and the Civil War

Imagine if 30 years ago someone were to tell you that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, and to prove it showed you a quote like this one from General Robert E. Lee, here taken from Confederate American Pride:

There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery is an institution of a moral and political evil

Assuming that you believed the quote to be accurate, you might be left scratching your head and wondering why this seems so contradictory to what you’ve always heard. You’re probably not going to run to the library to research Robert E. Lee quotes to see the context from which that quote was taken. Which is, by the way, via Wikipedia and Rad Geek,

In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise God.

Of course, 30 years ago, few people would have heard the misleading out-of-context quote to begin with, so the Internet helps spread lies along with the truths that debunk them. Which is why there are still so many Confederate battle flag lovers who think the flag isn’t a symbol of racism.

I know that such true believers exist, but if they honestly do their research, they should have a change of heart.

People with busy lives who don’t think much about the flag and what it has stood for may be forgiven for not knowing the truth. But for anyone willing to make a stand, the Internet leaves little excuse for such ignorance. By the time someone is yelling “baaa, baaa” into a bullhorn at counter-protesters to a Confederate rally to drown out the truth, or has compiled a website full of out-of-context quotes and misleading facts, that person is not a true believer. That person is a liar.

To Confederates Who Don’t Hate

I’ve come across a lot of folks who display the Confederate flag but claim not to be racists, and claim that the Confederate flag is not a symbol of racism. I think most of them are full of shit.

This post is for the rest of you.

I’ve seen Confederates described as Dirt Ignorant, Flag Waving Bigots, but I know it doesn’t apply to all of you. I’ve also seen a Black Confederates’ website, I’ve read the Five IMPORTANT Facts I Did Not Know About That Flag. I saw a Confederate sticker next to an Obama sticker on a pick-up truck and an Obama sign in front of a Confederate statue in a neighbor’s yard. I see “Heritage not Hate” all over the place, and I’ve met people with Confederate tattoos who were among the kindest people in the world.

But I still say the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism.

Do I still need a history lesson? Fine. Send me some more links and I’ll take a look at them too. But only if you look at a couple of mine. Because I have read from Confederate apologist websites and spoken to people who claim that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, but I can’t imagine anything anyone can say or write that would carry more weight than the words of the secessionists themselves.

Texas Declaration of Causes of Secession

So read The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States or the excerpts included in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s article in The Atlantic. Note such statements as

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery..

, and

The people of the slave holding States are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery.

To get an idea of how dedicated the South was to slavery, read how it managed to continue the practice even after reconstruction, in this Wikepedia article and this excerpt from Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon.

… Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.” … The next day … Cottenham was sold. … Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, gave the county $12 a month to pay off Cottenham’s fine and fees … Cottenham was subject to the whip for failure to dig the requisite amount, at risk of physical torture for disobedience, and vulnerable to the sexual predations of other miners— many of whom already had passed years or decades in their own chthonian confinement. …

Read how the Confederate Flag that you’re displaying was never really a symbol of Southern Heritage until the opponents of civil rights made it so.

But as a political symbol, the flag was revived when northern Democrats began to press for an end to the South’s system of racial oppression. In 1948, the Dixiecrats revolted against President Harry Truman—who had desegregated the armed forces and supported anti-lynching bills. The movement began in Mississippi in February of 1948, with thousands of activists “shouting rebel yells and waving the Confederate flag,” as the Associated Press reported at the time. Some actually removed old, mothballed flags from the trunks where they had until then been gathering dust.

The Southern Cross was created as a battle flag in a rebellion to defend slavery. It wasn’t even the original design.

Sure, the Civil War was about states rights, and it was also about economics, as so many wars are. But to say it wasn’t about slavery is ignorant or dishonest. The declarations made it absolutely clear.

Illustration Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Unlike the swastika, which had been used for various purposes by diverse peoples for thousands of years, the Confederate battle flag was born for no other reason than to be used in the war to preserve slavery in America.

Another difference between a swastika and a Confederate flag is, thanks to those who claim “heritage not hate”, bigots can display the flag as a signal to others while avoiding the consequences of openly declaring their perverted views. A Confederate bigot may occasionally bump into a Confederate who doesn’t hate, but he doesn’t have to worry as much as other bigots about outing himself to anyone who might cause him grief for doing so.

I know that “Heritage not Hate” exists. I know there are people who fly the flag and don’t mean any ill will by it. You are not a racist, and maybe you feel that being from the South provides you with a heritage that is separate from the rest of the United States but also separate from Slavery. But the evidence says otherwise.

The flag of the United States of America is yours as much as it is mine. I know that it too is stained with the mark of slavery. We have enslaved Africans, slaughtered Native Americans, threw Japanese Americans into concentration camps, and committed multitudes of other atrocities. But despite horrific setbacks, we progressed toward the ideal of equality under the law. That progress toward A More Perfect Union is what the American Flag stands for. The Confederate flag symbolizes resistance to that progress.

You still have your First Amendment right to fly whatever flag you want, but it’s time to stop lying to yourself and others about what the Confederate flag stood for, and acknowledge the hate you’re helping to spread by supporting its use.

If you don’t hate, then take down the flag.

Global Cooling is a Hoax

I had a post in draft for a long time about how “they used to call it Global Cooling”. My post would have explained that in my opinion, just because scientists currently have a different opinion than the one they had over 30 years ago about how all the gasses and particles that we’re spewing into our atmosphere are affecting our climate, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to them now. If scientists once felt that pollution would more likely block out the sun like a beach umbrella than trap the heat like a greenhouse, they were still a lot smarter than anyone who felt that pollution would have no effect at all.

But apparently, that point is moot because the whole idea that scientists once warned us about pollution causing the next ice age is a myth that deniers have perpetuated to discredit science.

As DarkSyde points out in the the article that I linked to above, those of us who remember the 70’s remember alarming articles about a coming ice age, so it’s easy for deniers to use those memories to perpetuate the lie that scientists have reversed their opinion. But the truth is, while some scientists did indeed worry about the chilling effects of “man-made dust” which may have actually contributed to colder weather in the late 70’s, there was never a scientific consensus about what would be the aggregate effect of all the different kinds of poison that we’re pumping into our atmosphere. As reported in a March 1976 article by Richard Wolkomir in the Saturday Evening Post:

Meteorologists worry that man-made dust in the atmosphere— which has doubled in the past fifty years, according to some studies—will block some of the sun’s radiation from reaching the earth, chilling the climate. Conversely, other scientists have predicted that carbon dioxide, pumped into the atmosphere in massive quantities by civilization’s fires and engines, might have a greenhouse effect: it would allow the sun’s energy to penetrate the atmosphere, but would block the resulting heat firom radiating back into space, so that the earth would steadily heat up.

Emphasis mine

There’s another article on Daily Kos, also by DarkSyde, titled “Huckabee falls for the global cooling myth”. But I have to admit that I fell for it too.

The truth is, while some scientists expressed concern about the cooling effects of man-made pollution, and some magazines and newspapers ran alarmist articles about the possibility of an upcoming ice age, scientists never came to the conclusion that if we didn’t do something quickly, “we’d be popsicles”.

10994216_4988032076548_5101261233383811342_o

Photo:Rebekah Goldberg

Once again, the right has lied to us and the so-called “liberal media” has done little to set the record straight.

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