Daddy’s girl.

Dr. Laura is resigning, to spend time in a place where she can speak “what’s on my mind, and in my heart,” and use the N-word whenever she wants, and otherwise live in a land free of criticism of any sort, where all the eyes are smiling and every pair of hands applauds every word that comes out of her empty skull. Which is to say, Santa Barbara.

I wish I could feel happier about this. I would have been over the moon if this had happened a decade ago, but face it — this lady is at least that long past her sell-by date, and this exit is sort of pathetic. She must be grateful to at least get to go out via Larry King (of course) and not in a press release that would run in the back pages of a trade magazine, picked up by the AP for a “where are they now” feature.

I first tuned her in after reading a respectful profile of her in Newsweek magazine. Kate was a baby then, and Laura Schlessinger was getting a little positive ink out of being a radio therapist who didn’t hold your virtual hand and say there, there — she would kick your ass and tell you to take some responsibility. This was a new thing at the time. I was working partly from home, trying to maximize my time with my wee one, so I thought, OK, let’s see what this lady’s about.

The respectful profile must have gone to her head, because she was already screechy and insufferable, and getting more so, seemingly by the day, a by-the-book fame monster and narcissist. This was during…what was her thing at the time? Oh, right: Orthodox Judaism. No more of that secular wishy-washy shit for her, she was going to stay kosher, and be more observant than any Jew in the world. Another Jewish woman called in: She had three kids under 5; would it be OK to dispense with the leave-your-oven-on-all-day thing for Shabbos, just until the children were old enough to leave the oven alone? No! No, you may not! You either get with Judaism all the way, or you get out! The world has enough compromisers! God says no work on Saturday, and if the rabbi says turning the oven on is work, then you learn to submit!

I listened to this, and thought, “I’d bet a thousand bucks this crazy bitch drives to the synagogue.”

You might wonder why I kept listening. I have a weakness for insane people who live their insanity publicly, and try to dress it up as something else. True (and doubtless retold) story: I first heard Rush Limbaugh months before he broke out nationally; our local talk station was run by the two cheapest people in the world, and they were among the very first to take a chance on this new talker. I listened for five minutes and said, “This is a fat guy who cannot score with chicks.” For Dr. Laura, I said, “Sounds like someone is still chasing daddy’s approval, and the fact daddy is dead and buried isn’t going to stop her.”

Some time later, I read another profile, in which Ms. Laura revealed her father once said she was nothing special to look at, that her sister was the lucky recipient of her mother’s great-beauty genes, and she’d never turn a man’s head. Imagine my smug satisfaction at learning Laura was estranged from both her mother and her sister, and that she had gotten her big break in radio by sleeping with a man decades older than her, the one who took those nude photos of her. Although I shouldn’t have been smug. It’s no great talent to read an open book.

I mentioned the male who spawned this creature was already dead by then. With her utter lack of self-knowledge (which is not the same thing as self-obsession), that means our Miss Laura will always be chasing the next thing. She shed Judaism sometime after she discovered yacht racing, which often happen on Saturdays, and G-d considers trimming sails work. She gave up hectoring working mothers after her own kid grew up, and started hectoring wives. (If your husband is unhappy, it is YOUR fault. Etc.) And when her kid turned into a monster, she… Well, I don’t know what she did. I had long since stopped listening, and as I said before, she now runs in the wee hours, and ultimately, who gives a shit? She has her millions, her sailboats, and if she hasn’t much of an audience anymore, it isn’t for lack of trying.

Now she can sliiiiide into full retirement and comfortable obscurity, there to await the death of her much-older (ha ha!) husband, and god-knows-what from her horrible son, and then, finally, the rancid breath of the Reaper himself. “It’s time, Laura,” he’ll whisper, as he will to us all. What will she say in reply?

“Daddy? Is that you?”

Bonus, as we move into the bloggage: Note how weird her lower face looks in this clip from the King interview. Is that fillers, Botox, or both?

Speaking of women who cannot get enough attention, finally, the Taiwanese animators meet a subject worthy of their art — $P. An absolute, can’t-miss classic.

A harsher look at James Kilpatrick, from one of Ta-Nahesi Coates’ stable.

And now the coffee is kicking in, and I feel — damn! — pretty good. Have a great Wednesday.

Posted at 10:53 am in Media |

46 responses to “Daddy’s girl.”

  1. coozledad said on August 18, 2010 at 11:03 am

    What will she say in reply?

    “Daddy? Is that you?”
    Take a bow, Nancy.

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  2. LAMary said on August 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Love the $P video. The Taiwanese animators capture her essence.

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  3. JMG said on August 18, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Dear Ms. Nall: Remind me not to get on your bad side.

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  4. Sue said on August 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

    90 years ago today women in the US won the right to vote. Men around the country jumped for joy as they realized they just got a second vote – all they had to do was tell the little woman who to vote for.
    Yay for us, even the mama grizzlies.

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  5. ROgirl said on August 18, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Dr. Laura’s entire face is immobile. Her mouth is moving up and down but appears to be unable to widen (at one point I noticed a slight movement of the skin near the jaw line, but her mouth still remained an O). Her eyes pop wide open and closed animatronically.

    Was it botox or superglue?

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  6. LAMary said on August 18, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I think Dr. Laura has a combination of things making the lower half of her face look bad.
    1. A nose job years ago that left a big space between her upper lip and her nose, and now that skin is drooping.
    2. That drooping skin has been botoxed into immobility.
    3.Filler in the lines (nasolabial I think?) from the sides of her nostrils to the corners of her mouth.
    4.A peel on her skin, making the texture of her cheeks look unnatural.
    5. A funky makeup job on the lower half, putting bronzer or at least darker makeup from the cheekbones down in an effort to give her cheekbones. It just makes her cheeks look like they are sort of shrinking.
    6. A chin/neck lift that gives her hard edge to her lower jaw.

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  7. MichaelG said on August 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Jesus Christ, Prospero! What was with that attack on JCBurns (@58 yesterday) all about? If you were serious it was appalling. If it was meant as some kind of joke it was also appalling. Your absolutism, your anger and your bitterness can be interesting to read but can also wear awfully thin awfully quickly when not controlled. Get a grip. You owe JC an apology.

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  8. Jeff Borden said on August 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I was a little startled when I saw what Ms. Schlesinger looks like now. No, more like shocked. Grotesque is the proper word, I think, for that visage. I guess the photos of her that I’ve seen recently were taken many moons ago.

    No one should feel any sympathy for her. She made millions being a judgmental jerk who could not live up to her own alleged standards. But she was aided and abetted by an audience of dolts, many of whom were perfectly happy to call in and be eviscerated. There must be some weird kind of masochism mixed with narcissism to make yourself part of a radio freak show for the entertainment of others.

    As far as radio irritants, she’s not even in the same league as El Rushbo, Glennda, Hackitty and the other organ-grinder monkeys of the right. Those creeps actually move public policy, generally for the worst, while all she moved was merchandise.

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 18, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Re: open books — Mark Twain said “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”

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  10. John C. said on August 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I was having a pretty good day until I found out Dr. Laura was a sailor, or rather, a yacht racer. Ah well.
    My guess is she wasn’t among the legions of excellent folk who retire to the bar – or the cooler in the cockpit – after each race to generally have very relaxed and lively fun. No, she was probably one of the ones who raced home all pissed off about losing and went online to order as much new expensive gear as she could find.

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  11. Sue said on August 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    MichaelG, although Prospero has been drifting into Dwight territory lately, I think the unspoken understanding here is that he’s on a parallel track and we challenge his statements at our peril. Nancy will slap him into line if/when she decides it’s time.
    So just sit back with the rest of us dumbasses and either go with the flow or stop reading whenever you see his name.
    Besides, after the comment jc made at TrowelTart a couple of days ago, he deserves to have scorn heaped on his head like a spadeful of compost.

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  12. Peter said on August 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I’m sorry I can’t share in the well deserved schadenfreude for “Dr.” Laura – I’m still depressed about the Blagojevich verdict.

    NPR – my God, NPR – stated that the verdict would be great news to “his many, many devotees”, and that when he arrived back at his home he was met by “his many supporters”.

    I know that four could qualify as many, but they make it sound like Rod’s got an army of acolytes. Yeesh. Here I thought all along that this guy has fewer fans and apologists than Cheney.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on August 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm


    I feel the same way. Watching Blago take a victory lap –dude, you were convicted of a felony and face up to five years in prison– thoroughly turned my stomach. And his attorneys? My God. I thought I was watching Broderick Crawford in “All the King’s Men” as they went on and on and on about the “persecution” of this man and his family and his “babies.”

    The prosecution was dealt a bad hand. They had to move on Blago before he did sell the Senate seat, so they did not have all the evidence they wanted. And from what I am reading, one woman on the jury was the issue. They had 11 votes for many other charges but could not budge her. I may be in the minority, but I admire Patrick Fitzgerald and think he is an honest man.

    So, we get to watch a retrial of this national embarrassment, which will be bad news for the Democratic Party in Illinois, while we wait for the trial of William Cellini, a Republican player, which will be bad news for the Republican Party in Illinois.

    This time, though, the taxpayers will be footing the bill for Blago’s defense. He’s broke for sure now. We won’t see the Adams’ at his defense table the next time.

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  14. beb said on August 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Wow! Nancy. I didn’t know you felt that way about Dr. Laura. So, is she more bitchworthy than Mitch Albom or less?

    I wonder at times when some with the years of experience as hers says something so obviously unacceptable on the radio if deep down they had been planning to retire all along but just hadn’t found an excuse yet.

    Speaking of the Sabbath and not working on same reminds me of the Rabbi mystery books from many years a go. I really enjoyed them and learned a lot about Judiasm. I haven’t seen the books in print for years. They should be reprinted.

    A lot of the arguments over what consitutes ‘work’ on the Sabbeth strikes me as nutty as many of the prohibitions among the Amish. Work is digging a ditch, or putting up a field of hay. Work is whatever leaves you hot and sweaty and bone tired. Turning on a light is not work. turning on an oven is not work. Cooking a large meal for friends and family — that I would call work. Driving a car to synagoge is not work the way taking a horse and buggy to church would be – for the horse.

    But then I’m an old-school atheist.

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  15. adrianne said on August 18, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Nance, stellar takedown of Dr. Laura. May she rot in radio peace. I hate her smug, I-told-you-so attitude with the white-hot hatred of a thousand suns.

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  16. Kim said on August 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    You should feel good – today’s post is flat-out brilliant!

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  17. Sue said on August 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I always wonder why no one points out that the biggest violator of the rule against working on Sunday/Sabbath is the minister, rabbi or whatever up there preaching and, well, working on Sunday/Sabbath.
    I’ll go with the Shakers who believed work was a gift to God: ‘hands to work and hearts to God and blessings will attend thee’.

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  18. Peter said on August 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Adrianne, don’t hold back and be polite. Tell us how you really feel about Dr. Laura.

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  19. LAMary said on August 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    They still had blue laws in the county in NJ where I grew up. Any Dutch Reform neighbors we had would call the cops if they saw you doing yard work or washing your car on a Sunday. No stores other than pharmacies and milk stores were open on Sunday.

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  20. paddyo' said on August 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Been tied up a lot the past coupla weeks and unable to read here regularly, but today gets my vote for blogpost of the month, Nance — I, too, listened back in the day (early 1990s) to her, and El Rushbah, too. They were all I could get (along with the daily noontime benedictions of “Pauuuuuul Harvey . . . gooood DEY!”) on the rural radio stations of the Interior West as I criss-crossed several states doing regional news reporting for The Denver Post. You nailed her . . . and Jeff (TMMO) and Mark Twain are dead-on about your reading.

    Fave detail in the priceless $P short: Little Piper (or is that Willow?) blasting skyward with her assault rifle like a soccer-mad Baghdadi celebrating Iraq’s Asia Cup victory.

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  21. prospero said on August 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Dr. Laura’s doctorate is in physiology. I’d certainly go to her for marriage counseling based on that fact alone. But she never invented her own past and made a TV career out of pure bullshit the way Nancy Grace did. And she never drove an innocent, grieving mother to suicide the way Nancy Grace did. I mean, a couple of semesters at Northeast Missouri JC makes Rush an expert on things about which he has no intention of telling anything remotely connected to the truth. But there I go, being an elitist.

    These people are self-inflated egos, spewing bullshit and hatred for personal profit over airwaves putatively owned by all Americans. Is that remotely right? Rush just makes shit up and lies all the time. All the time. When was the last time he said anything that even approached the truth? Basically, they attack the Constitution in the name of raking in cash from racists. I might be a flaming old-school liberal, but these people are lower than Father Coughlin. Beck is insane and might believe every loony thing he says. Rest of them? Like George Wallace insisting “I was out-niggered, and I will never be out-niggered again.”

    And Nancy’s a talented writer, and nice enough to let me talk to y’all despite my frequent transgressions of good taste, common sense and sobriety. When I said “national monument” I meant an oasis of rational thinking and courtesy on the internet. Exceptionally rare. Sort of one of a kind. Ahem.

    Well anyway, write the book, keedo. The question is, Faye Weldon, Margaret Atwood, Brontes, Tom McGuane (who wrote the great Michigan novel and whose sense of sarcastic and absurd suits you well). Maybe Carl Hiassen. Devilishly good and it’s fake mystery to cover up acerbic social commentary. I know this is idiotic. Long may you run. You could write something about a child wizard.

    I’m a 59-year old guy. I used to read Erma Bombeck right after I found out what Molly Ivins shouldn’t have said. The deal is skill. For my money, Nancy Nall never wastes a word. A precise writer with a ready and extensive vocabulary (and internet morons will accuse you of using a Thesaurus because words baffle their ignorant asses). My working vocabulary, dumbaass, not yours.

    So, Nancy, DeLillo or I’m betting on 210 pp of Graham Greene style. Getting to Know the General? Probly not. Probly better. I’ve spent years and it isn’t right yet.

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  22. prospero said on August 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Know what? 9/11? Bullshit you assholes. W should have known it was gonna happen. He was warned. So how is this a GOP attack point? This a perfect example of the deep and abiding stupidity of American voters.

    The Mosque? Are you assholes braindead, and if you are, should you ever be allowed to vote? It’s difficult to come to the realization that so many Americans are flat-out stupid.

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    W.’s brother Neil was on top of Tower 2 with traffic cones guiding in the first plane, or maybe it was a cruise missile, and the passengers on the missing flight were sold into slavery in Abu Dhabi. Wait, no, that was the Pentagon plane, which is why Ted Olson married again so quickly. But Neil Bush clearly stage managed the whole thing, along with Karl Rove and Darth Cheney. Osama bin Laden is a CIA plant, kind of a kudzu that grew out of control in the Tora Bora ecosystem.

    Nah. Doesn’t work for me; it requires too many Bushes to be too brilliant by half. My opinion on the “mosque controversy” if anyone is interested.

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  24. Hattie said on August 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Horrid old bag. I say this as an old bag myself. That’s why I can say that and you can’t. That’s what you’ll look like if you spend your time trying to look young when you are actually an old bag with a rotten personality. Those chords in her neck! The white white teeth! GAAAAAh!
    Santa Barbara! Where the Taco Bell architecture and the stupid rich people prevail. Like that stupid movie with Meryl Streep acting like someone hit her over the head with a mallet and that Alec Baldwin acting cute, all 300 pounds of him.
    My mother grew up in Santa Barbara, and she has stories of “LINDY” Lindbergh parading around in white and high-hatting everyone. Lindbergh was said to be pretty dull and conceited. Just like….Oh.

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  25. moe99 said on August 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Nancy, a brilliant post and takedown of Dr. Laura. In my top ten faves of yours. Great work.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on August 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I saw this quote from Ms. Schlessinger over at Balloon-Juice. It’s a classic.

    “I want to regain my First Amendment rights,” she said. “I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I’m sort of done with that.”

    Yeah, you know, special interest groups like black people, who don’t generally dig it when old honky ladies start tossing around the N word.

    God, she is a twit.

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  27. basset said on August 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Not having bought a stove in quite a few years, we were surprised to find “Sabbath mode” on our new one. I need to read the manual.

    Nancy, cut Prospero off… or at least make him come back under yet another new name.

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  28. Sue said on August 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    The confusion seems to be that the first amendment guarantees freedom of speech but does not prohibit others from taking offense at your comments. Or considering you a twit or a fool or a horrid old bag. And it doesn’t prohibit others from taking the opportunity to exercise their own first amendment rights by pointing out, helpfully and usefully, that you might have a tendency toward thinking that could be considered racist. Maybe. Unless it’s just profound stupidity.
    Just sayin’. Because I can.

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  29. Jeff Borden said on August 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Right on, Sue.

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  30. prospero said on August 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Here’s Mitch. If you don’t think the Republican Party did’t decide on racism and obstructionist shit. Take a look. He only wished he hadn’t obstructed more. Seriously, people are allowed to vote for assholes like this? That’s America?

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  31. brian stouder said on August 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    My opinion on the “mosque controversy” if anyone is interested.

    Jeff, excellent piece. Your point about the Stars and Bars that festoon Gettysburg was precisely what I was thinking of, in reaction to this over-wrought Mosque controversy.

    Last time I was in Gettysburg, a re-enactor in a Confederate uniform leveled his weapon at me and asked me to stop. The memory of that STILL irritates me, and not just because of his reckless disregard for my family’s and my safety (that fellow could seriously injure or kill a person at such a close range, even if he only had “blanks” loaded…and don’t tell me ‘the gun wasn’t loaded’ – since that is a pretty much classic example “famous last words”) .

    By way of saying, Jeff, I agree with you completely. There is a sort of indefinite, undefineable sense of what is (and is not) appropriate; and that sense is fairly routinely trespassed against by other people with other ideas.

    Hell, go to Andersonville, Georgia (pardon the pun); not just the National Memorial Park there, where the massive Confederate States of America prison camp was (which has a genuinely heartbreaking visitor center with displays and remembrances of all of America’s prisoners of war, from all of America’s wars), but the actual town of Andersonville.

    In the center of town – and I mean the CENTER – right in the middle of their one main street – is a spire that stands a good 30 feet tall, and which memorializes and champions the “misunderstood hero”, Henry Wirz! Wirz is one of the very, very few leaders of Confederate forces that was actually tried and convicted for war crimes – crimes against other Americans – and then executed. But that American town, right now today, has an unapologetic, proudly sympathetic memorial to the man. Standing and staring at it, and reading it, I couldn’t believe my eyes – and another fellow (from California, as it turned out) was reading it, too – and we exchanged a few stunned remarks as we continued to gaze upon it. Honestly – no joke – Pam and I carefully refrained from referring to our son by name as we headed back for the car (with a name like “Grant”, being there when the sun goes down seemed like a bad idea).

    I suppose it is easier to be proud than ashamed, although I would think that a person (or a community) could (at least) choose to be neither.

    Anyway, unless the mosque has a memorial to the ‘brave martyrs’ who brought down the WTC, it doesn’t bug me; and if it DOES ever have such a memorial, it won’t be any more troubling than what you can see, today, in the middle of Andersonville, Georgia.

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  32. prospero said on August 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Sorry. Taking offense is a totally moronic talking point, and you don’t accomplish anything but acting like Beck. There is no way to deal with morons.

    He only wished he hadn’t obstructed more. Mitch, you kidding me? Mitch, are you that fucking stupid? Cheat, lie, get elected, make cash. What Republicans do.

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  33. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm


    Just browsing the Henry Wirz page on Wikipedia and there’s a picture of his grave marker. It refers to him as a “martyr.” Interesting word choice.

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  34. basset said on August 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Totally with you on the re-enactor, Brian – “always treat it like it’s loaded” is the first rule of gun safety, historic replica or not.

    Speaking, of course, as the only armed liberal in my social orbit…

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  35. brian stouder said on August 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Bob (NG); interesting photo. You got me to Googling, and the first site I came to was this –

    and interestingly enough, a photo of the Wirz memorial is nowhere to be found, although it DOES get mentioned as one of the “any interesting things” to see there! So, I re-Googled, and then came up with this –

    which shows it, but says it was built on the prison site. BZZZZZT! The POW camp is about 2 miles out of town (as we found), and this thing is in the center of town….not that truth and accuracy can be expected.

    The site is a “Sons of Confederate Veterans” site (so take it with a grain of salt) and they offer this summation of what the memorial says:

    The Front of the Monument

    “In memory of Captain Henry Wirz, C.S.A. Born Zurich, Switzerland, 1822. Sentenced to death and executed at Washington, D.C., Nov. 10, 1865.

    To rescue his name from the stigma attached to it by embittered prejudice, this shaft is erected by the Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy.”

    On the Second Side

    “Discharging his duty with such humanity as the harsh circumstances of the times, and the policy of the foe permitted, Captain Wirz became at last the victim of a misdirected popular clamor. He was arrested in time of peace, while under protection of a parole, tried by a military commission of a service to which he did not belong and condemned to ignominious death on charges of excessive cruelty to Federal prisoners. He indignantly spurned a pardon, proffered on condition that he would incriminate President Davis and thus exonerate himself from charges of which both were…

    and their recap simply ends there. In any case, you get the picture

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  36. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Hey, I like that, the Sons of Confederate Veterans gave us the “shaft”. Well, I guess he should have built the actual buildings to house the prisoners as planned instead of keeping them in open pens. Those are the guys who really got the shaft. Of course, Camp Douglas in Chicago was no prize either, and no one was executed for that. Doesn’t excuse Mr. Wirz, however.

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  37. prospero said on August 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Newscorp contributed $1mil. Justice Scalia doesn’t think he’s done enough by stealing an election and appointing a few war criminals. Let’s just rig elections with cash.

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  38. Jeff Borden said on August 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Bob N.G.,

    The most interesting thing about Camp Douglas is that is located in what is now Bronzeville, which was pretty much Chicago’s Harlem. I attended a service at a black funeral home on the site a few years ago and was astonished to see the Stars and Bars flying over the parking lot. The funeral home is either closing, or already has, which prompted a story in the Sun-Times. The older gentleman at the home mentioned that more than once, a Son of the Confederacy had come calling, taken aback that the historical records of the camp were available in his mortuary serving almost entirely a black clientele.

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  39. 4dbirds said on August 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Great post Nancy.

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  40. MaryRC said on August 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Speaking of narcissism, Dr. Laura’s farewell speech to Orthodox Judaism was pretty self-serving, do you remember it? She said on her radio show that email and letters sent to her from Christians were “very loving, very supportive. From my own religion, I have either gotten nothing, which is 99% of it, or two of the nastiest letters I have gotten in a long time. I guess that’s my point. I don’t get much back. Not much warmth coming back.”

    So basically, fellow Orthodox Jews didn’t appreciate her enough. Especially after her infamous speech to the women of the Jewish Federation of Dallas when she had the gall to criticize them for how they practiced their own religion.

    A friend of mine who lives in Ottawa knows Rabbi Bulka, the rabbi who converted Dr. Laura, through an inter-faith studies program he attends. He says that she completely blind-sided the Rabbi with her reversion announcement and he had no inkling that she was going to do this. He has since stopped converting people to Orthodox Judaism but this has nothing to do with Dr. Laura — it was because the religious authorities in Israel were becoming stricter and were challenging many conversions outside of Israel.

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  41. Jolene said on August 18, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    The last (or maybe next to last) combat troops are being withdrawn from Iraq tonight, and MSNBC has been broadcasting it. Rachel and Richard Engel are in Iraq; others, including military commentators and civilian pundits asking and answering questions from here. Some interesting interviews w/ various military personnel, both those staying and those leaving. Formal handover to take place at the end of this month. Going to be very interesting to see whether the competing parties can pull themselves together to form a government. Yesterday’s bombing isn’t exactly a hopeful sign. Tonight, one of the commentators said that one reason Maliki is hanging onto power is not so much that he wants to be in charge, although he likely does, but that he is afraid of being charged with all sorts of corruption if Allawi takes over. As human social achievements go, the orderly transfer of power and control of corruption have to be pretty high on the list.

    Still, orderly transfer of power doesn’t prevent people who have power at any one time from making really bad decisions. Hence, seven and a half years of combat in Iraq, followed by who knows how many years of a mere 50,000 soldiers on the ground.

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  42. Dexter said on August 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Dr. Laura was on the radio a lot, so I do recall listening sometimes when I was part of a captive audience, a waiting room, riding in a car. I never tuned her in. Today I heard she was working out of the McGraw Hill building; she had hooked up with satellite radio in New York. I listen to satellite radio every day and didn’t even know that.
    She was just boring, and I have a broad appreciation of radio shows. I sort of lump her in with that irritating, obnoxious Judge Judy, who assaults my eardrums if I don’t switch stations after the evening news quickly enough.
    So who needs her? If you like radio, get a Sirius-XM subscription and have at it, it takes just one spin of the dial to find whatever you like.
    Like cable tv, you can’t just order ala carte, and likely will find just a few stations you’ll listen to. I listen to XM 202 , Jazz 70, Bruce Springsteen channel 58, Grateful Dead channel , even Hillbilly Country with Fred Imus. They have a “left” channel to hear Stephanie Miller, too. Best $16 a month you could spend for the whole damn thing.

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  43. Denice B. said on August 19, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Stephen Colbert said it best! Dr. Laura is retiring from her radio show to spend more time making racist remarks with her family.

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  44. Dexter said on August 19, 2010 at 1:32 am

    christalmighty! I just opened an email that had a few pics of Dr. Laura .
    In one she was wearing jeans, and in the others, well, as Marilyn said one time,she might have had the radio on. I will say this: these pics were taken before the usage of grooming tools was implemented.

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  45. basset said on August 19, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Sirius? Deep Tracks, 60s rock, Blue Collar and Raw Dog comedy, Willie country and BBC news for me. Thought when we first got it that we’d listen to the leftie talk channel more, it’s just as tiresome as the right though.

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  46. Dexter said on August 19, 2010 at 9:24 am

    So what the hell am I doing up, and have been up since 6:00 AM? I decided to arrive early at the farmers’ market to get the best stuff for once. Right. On Thursdays they don’t even open until 3:30 PM. So I went to the Mennonites’ tent on the big drugstore’s parking lot…at 9:00 AM they were still stocking their wares, closed.
    This is the end of getting up at dawn’s crack for me.

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