Alternate reality.

I was out and about in the car today, and heard a Washington Post reporter on an NPR show, talking about the resurgent campaign of Mitt Romney. Tanned, rested and ready! What’s more, she said, he intends to run to the right of Jeb Bush, because he is so clearly, clearly a conservative.

I was reminded of last Monday, when I was on the radio, and one of the journalist panelists said Jeb would be a darling with conservatives, his credentials being totally solid.

“Really?” I asked, because every conservative website or blog I see delivers the usual litany of blah blah Common Core blah blah immigration blah blah BUSH complaints. And now we have Mitt Romney counting on the entire GOP having collective amnesia about the 2012 campaign.

As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own point of view, but not their own facts. Although “our own facts” is sort of our birthright these days, isn’t it? Otherwise Snopes would go out of business, and Birmingham would be a Sharia zone.

So, then.

One of the things that makes life interesting is how new technology is adapted in ways its developers never envisioned. I read somewhere that the inventor of the birth-control pill thought it would be used exclusively by women in their late 30s and 40s who had completed their families but were still fertile. Ha ha ha. I wonder what we thought cell-phone video would be used for. This might be the next video looped on the evening news: Two Grosse Pointe Park officers beating and kicking a handcuffed carjacking suspect in Detroit. The beatdown was captured by a woman shooting through her front door. As you can imagine, the commenting score is now 5 katrillion to 7 in favor of the cops. I won’t say more about it; just watch it and see what you think. The action is in the first two minutes.

Today, I get to visit Flint, city of light, city of magic. Many years ago, the city of Hamilton, Ohio, briefly added an exclamation point to its name, i.e. Hamilton! I think Flint might try that: Flint! Or maybe consider changing a consonant, too: Fling! Or add some vowels: Flaunt. Whatever. Tomorrow, it’s Flint, in the single-digit cold and under sunny skies. I’ll tell you all about it later.

Have a good Wednesday, all.

Posted at 9:19 pm in Current events |

73 responses to “Alternate reality.”

  1. alex said on January 13, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    If we thought Romney was out of touch the last time around, we didn’t know the half of it. Evidently he thinks all of America is profoundly stupid, not just the people to the right of Jeb Bush.

    Saw the American Experience piece on Bob Jones’ KKK and what struck me is how analogous it is/was to the Tea Party. It’s the same playbook: Dog-whistle the N-word instead of saying it and those who otherwise cannot be seen abiding you will give you an even bigger place at the table than you deserve.

    The Frontline on Putin is blaring in the other room but I’ve seen enough charred, writhing Chechnyans for one evening and need a respite from it.

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  2. Connie said on January 13, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I started visiting Flint during college when there was still name shopping on Saginaw Street. My now husband worked downtown for the county and spent the entire blizzard of 78 at the County administration bldg keeping it open.

    He lived in a horribly dilapidated central city neighborhood. Much changed today as that old house, still standing, is now across the street from the shiny new campus of Kettering University.

    I hope you get to visit the cultural area it is the loveliest spot in the city. Library, museums and more.

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  3. Dexter Friend said on January 14, 2015 at 2:28 am

    I have a story that reminds me of this cop-action in the video, it’s a re-hash; I posted it here a long time ago, but in a different context. It was when I was working second shift, returning home at midnight, and a man was punching a pregnant woman in the guts, and I intervened and the drunken abuser told me he was going to get his .357 Magnum (think Dirty Harry movies) . He ran away, I went inside my house and called the local cops and told them…the cop began a sneaky inspection of the ‘hood,and he saw the drunk leaving an old pickup truck. This cop was a former high school cross country runner and he was still in shape. The drunk was just gone. The cop searched some thick decorative brushy plants and found the bastard. He tried to escape, but the cop,it being freezing wintertime, was wearing heavy leather boots, and he knocked the man to the dirt and put one boot on his forehead and yelled at me to come ID this creep as the intimidator He had just been released from Jackson Prison that day. He had not had sex with his fiancee for way more than nine months. The cops left and sent him back to Jackson. I had no problems with a boot on that creep’s neck .

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  4. Basset said on January 14, 2015 at 7:27 am

    The “loveliest spot” in Flint, that must really be something.

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  5. alex said on January 14, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Beating on people gratuitously after they’ve been subdued and handcuffed is just wrong, even if the example here is a relatively mild one and hardly the worst. I’m sure many of the 5 katrillion commenters are loving the supreme insult to the perp of having his head bashed around by a girl cop because racists are generally sexist too.

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  6. brian stouder said on January 14, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Last evening I did my once-a-year (give or take) call-in to the local rightwing radio crank yesterday evening, as he encouraged the rubes to actively fear Islam, and to be suspicious as to why our current president and his spokesman try and avoid specifically condemning that religion, and that culture.

    I was driving home, and took the long way – as the show’s receptionist quizzed me about what I wanted to say.

    Once past him and onto the air, I began by reminding our “Obama is an evil 5th columnist” lip-flapper that President Bush (who I voted for) his-own-self very commendably and very specifically refused to impugn the religion of 1.5 billion human beings, for the actions a few nihilistic lunatics, even as New York City was still burning.

    And, not for nothing, that so-called Christian fundies and gun-nuts and other crazy white people are ALWAYS doing this or that or the other thing (killing police in Nevada and Pennsylvania, or starting word wars so as to murder all the Jewish people, etc).

    Didn’t affect any change, but I felt better, and then popped the radio over to Rock 96.3 (the old 104) and headed for the old homestead

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  7. beb said on January 14, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Recently I read an essay that argued that the police were organized to keep the masses from rioting against their “betters,” ie, the factory owners. Thus laws against loitering, “vagrancy,” “disorderly conduct” (two terms that have no fixed and concrete definition), forming parades without permits and so exist solely to deny to the rabble the public spaces where they can meet, recreate, or organize protests against working conditions. So cops beating up the poors is part of the plan, getting filmed doing that isn’t, which is why cops have tended to arrest people filming them, or confiscating the phones of people filming them. Even people filming them from a public sidewalk or on their own land.

    While this sounds like a wildly leftist interpretation regarding the police, one has only to look to the Job Action in NYC where the police are only arresting or ticketing people when they really have to. Citations and arrests have plummeted to a third or a tenth of what they had been. And so far there doesn’t seem to be any outbreak of crime because of it.

    Romney wants to help the poor in this country. The easiest way to help the poor is with food stamps, free health care, universal pre-K, and a dole with no time limits. All things the Republican party actively opposes. And it would be easy to pay for all this if we taxed investments at 35%, the same as earned income instead of the current 15%. Also raise the death tax since when someone is dead they hardly need all that money any more. Besides we all know that giving people free money (whether welfare or an inheritance) is a moral hazard.

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  8. Charlotte said on January 14, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Beb — we used to joke at Lake Forest high school about being the best-defended rich suburb in the country. Fort Sheridan to the south, land donated by the Armours after the Haymarket Riots specifically to defend the Armours and Swifts against the ravening hordes dying in their meat packing plants –and Great Lakes to the north. Of course, we were also being poisoned by the toxic plume from Great Lakes and the leaky Zion nuclear power plant … but that’s a different story. LFHS is now all fancy and spiffy, but when I was in high school, it’s still where the children of the “servants and tradespeople” sent their kids — rich kids went to prep school (and brought the good drugs back with them at breaks). We actually got a pretty good social history education ….

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  9. Bitter Scribe said on January 14, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Romney probably has the same thing going for him now that he did in 2012: He’s the only one of the bunch who can be counted on not to say or do something idiotic, or have some hand grenade from his past go off, every single week. How do you think he got the nomination in 2012 when no one really liked him? (I still remember that Daily Show segment where John Oliver found some guy somewhere who was enthusiastic about Mitt as a person, just because he was Mitt. Oliver treated the guy like he was the last member of a lost tribe from the Amazon.)

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  10. Deborah said on January 14, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Beb, I think the main reason for the police only ticketing or arresting when they have to is to deny the city revenue that is made off of that. It probably won’t have any (or little) effect on crime. Their beef is with the mayor and they’re trying to hit him in the pocketbook. IMO anyway.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on January 14, 2015 at 11:34 am

    What kind of personality do you need to possess to run for a third time when the nation has yawned at you the previous two campaigns? I saw some crap one of Romney’s advisors was spouting, namely, that Mitt was simply “too much of a patriot” to allow his beloved America to continue on its current path. Luckily, Mitt wasn’t “too much of a patriot” to serve in Vietnam (he was doing his missionary work for the Mormon church in France). Nor have any of his five songs been “too much of a patriot” to serve in all the conflicts Daddy has supported.

    If there is an overused word in the U.S. these days, it’s patriot. When scum like Ted Nugent and Glenn Beck and the Quitta from Wasilla are referred to as patriots, the word has lost all meaning.

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  12. brian stouder said on January 14, 2015 at 11:36 am

    He’s the only one of the bunch who can be counted on not to say or do something idiotic, or have some hand grenade from his past go off,

    Bitter, I was all set to disagree – and then read your last phrase –

    every single week

    So I agree – Romney won’t slowly spiral into the ground, like Jeb will.

    He’s more prone to a spectacular “Oops” moment (like Governor Perry)…recall the tuxedo-clad write-off and dismissal of “the 47%” who aren’t worth two shits to even talk to.

    Mitt seems to want to be the GOP’s Adlai Stevenson

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  13. susan said on January 14, 2015 at 11:38 am

    BitterScribe @9…uhmmmm, what about that secretly recorded ‘47%’ talk rMoney gave at a meeting of his peers? And the family trip with the dog caged on top of the car? Oh and about that rMoney

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  14. brian stouder said on January 14, 2015 at 11:45 am

    What Susan said!! (and a great link, too)

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  15. Judybusy said on January 14, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Totally unrelated and much more banal, but we’ve have some conversations here about neighbors misusing lawncare equipment. We were awakened at 4:30 this morning to someone using a leaf blower to clear the 1/4″ of snow we received. I think it’s the non-live-in boyfriend of the neighbor. I talked to another neighbor, who said they’ve been awakened twice at 3:00 a.m. due to this. I actually called 911 at 4:30 to register a noise complaint, but they guy packed up and drove off before I could get cops on the scene. I tried calling the offending neighbor, but her phone # must have changed, so I’ll be trooping over there after work to have a wee chat. Of course, I didn’t get back to sleep.

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  16. crinoidgirl said on January 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Totally unrelated, my partner died Sunday morning at 1:30. She was not in pain, and calm (thanks to caregivers who don’t think that large amounts of morphine might be addictive or something).

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  17. Sherri said on January 14, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    The idea that if we just got to know the “real Mitt”, after the man has run for President twice before, we’d like him better, is laughable. But trying to reinvent yourself in the Internet age is very difficult:

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  18. adrianne said on January 14, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Crinoidgirl, very sorry to hear about your partner. Only saving grace is she seemed to pass peacefully and surrounded by loved ones.

    Run, Willard, run, I say, so I can append the phrase “three-time presidential loser” to your name. Please, I need some laughs these days.

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  19. Sherri said on January 14, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss, crinoidgirl.

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  20. Heather said on January 14, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Oh crinoidgirl, I’m so sorry.

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  21. Bitter Scribe said on January 14, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Mitt seems to want to be the GOP’s Adlai Stevenson

    Well, they do have certain things in common: A resume that looks great on paper, combined with utter political tone-deafness.

    Of course Stevenson was also a decent, principled man who actually cared about those less fortunate than himself, but in today’s politics, that seems to be utterly irrelevant.

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  22. Suzanne said on January 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    crinoidgirl, sorry for your loss.

    Mitt Romney again? The thing with Mitt is that he is way too clueless to be president. I think in his mind, to solve the problems of the underclass in this country, you just lay them off like he did in his businesses. Bingo! No more problems!

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  23. Charlotte said on January 14, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    crinoidgirl — oh. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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  24. Jerri said on January 14, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Crinoidgirl, my heart goes out to you.

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  25. Maggie Jochild said on January 14, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Crinoidgirl, I cannot completely know the pain you must be feeling, but my heart is with you. Thanks for telling us.

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  26. beb said on January 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Deborah @10: I’ve heard that the amount of revenue raised from court fines and penalties is trivial compared to NYC’s overall budget. So if the police think they’re kicking deBlasio in the knees with their job action they’re mostly fooling themselves.

    Juudybusy @15: using a leafblower to scatter a 1/4″ of snow? And at 4AM? That is insane. Insane to worry about that little snow. Insane to start any gasoline engine at 4:30 am

    Like the others, I’m sorry to hear of Crinoidgirl’s loss.

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  27. alex said on January 14, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    So very sorry Crinoidgirl. Wish I could give you a big hug.

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  28. MichaelG said on January 14, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I’m sorry, Crinoidgirl. My condolences.

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  29. Andrea said on January 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    condolences to you, Crinoidgirl. I am glad she was able to have a peaceful passing and that you were able to ease her suffering.

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  30. Deborah said on January 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    So, so sorry Crinoidgirl.

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  31. brian stouder said on January 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Some naturally occurring beauty, thanks to our very very cold night last night

    Possibly this was a bow from Crinoidgirl’s partner

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  32. Dave said on January 14, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Crinoidgirl, my sympathies.

    Leafblower at 4:30 AM? Who does that?

    Watched the Klan show last night, my first thought was Bob Jones University but that was a false assumption. I, too, thought of teabaggers while watching the show.

    Brian, I imagine you didn’t convince Mr. Miller of the error of his ways, he has to play to his audience. I’ve got a Facebook friend, a man I’ve known for some twenty years now, who is posting increasingly whacky posts. He has become very Baptist in recent years, much as a result of a second marriage, and I think of Deborah’s rightwing sister, or my rightwing uncle, with some of the things he posts anymore. Hard to see, we were great friends once, and I don’t think he thought then what he seems to think now.

    Mrs. Romney allegedly said that if Mitt runs, he would be running as the first divorced Mormon presidential candidate.

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  33. Deborah said on January 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Sweet Brian. When we had our cat euthanized in home last month, the vet was very cool. She said to wait awhile with the body in the house, while she packed up her stuff etc because according to her research it takes about 15 or 20 mins for the soul to leave the body and it is more calming for the soul to leave the body at home than otherwise. I found that quite moving and helpful even if it might not be true

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  34. 4dbirds said on January 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I’m so sorry crinoidgirl. Once again, I wish I had that magic wand. You’re in shock now. I know that you saw it coming but getting to the edge of the cliff and then actually falling off of it is a profound difference. Death of our loved ones hits us in the gut. When my son died, I went to counseling and took a lot of Xanex. It helped a little but for me, life will never be as sweet as before. Please let people do things for you when they offer, don’t go back to work too soon, let yourself be miserable there is no need for bravery. Get some grief counseling, good counseling. Peace to you.

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  35. David C. said on January 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Only arresting someone when absolutely necessary doesn’t seem like a good way to keep prisons filled with dusky folk, but it seems like a pretty good way to run an allegedly free country. But that’s just me.

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  36. susan said on January 14, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    For those dealing with previously rational people, especially those in the family, who have fallen into the koolaid®©™ tank of right-wing propaganda in this country, there is a woman researching this phenomenon and making a documentary, “The Brainwashing of my Dad”. I am looking forward to watching it! But, the poor woman…. aiy yai yai yai.

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  37. nancy said on January 14, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I have heard some version of that story from so many people, I’m surprised 10 documentaries haven’t been made about it. A friend is dining with his parents tonight, and prepped in his usual way: A stiff drink and a quarter klonopin.

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  38. LAMary said on January 14, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I cannot talk politics, immigration, ACA or global warming with anyone in my family. At all.

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  39. David C. said on January 14, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Mostly my dad doesn’t say much because mom makes him shut up. But my dad does prattle on about “the raghead church”, and I ask if he means the Hindu Temple and does he know the difference between a Hindu and a Muslim and does he even know a Hindu or a Muslim. He just looks at me like I’m crazy. I don’t know how to deal with it.

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  40. coozledad said on January 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t know why Fox News viewers even bother to carry on. That’s a mighty damn grievous world they live in, threatening to swallow them up every day.

    I don’t even bother trying to talk to those people anymore. That kind of hopeless ugliness is infectuous.
    A goddamn foreigner got the Americans to turn on their future.

    Murdoch should have been put down like a rabid dog before he set foot outside of Australia.

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  41. Sherri said on January 14, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    The only subjects I can discuss with my family are sports, particularly women’s basketball, and relatives. Anything else, especially anything political or religious, is fraught with danger.

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  42. Jill said on January 14, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Crinoidgirl, I was wondering about your partner just today. I’m so sorry. There’s no way to be ready for that kind of loss.

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  43. Dexter Friend said on January 14, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    John Fugelsang , a real smart cookie, is launching a new satellite radio show soon.

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  44. alex said on January 14, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Some levity. How sausage is made:

    If only there were such a simple reality check for those people who watch Fox News.

    I count my blessings that no one in my family is a sucker for that bait, although I remember my dad taking sides with the opponents of the “Ground Zero” Mosque when the story first made the rounds. (I think he must have had a secret crush on Pamela Geller.)

    I remember the tipping point maybe eight years ago. Some old friends of my parents from back in the ’50s were in town visiting, both University of Michigan Law School grads and she was a graduate of Vassar or some such in addition to her U of M law degree which as a kept woman she never used. They lived in Rochester and had a summer stay-cation at my mom and dads and couldn’t shut up about the Muslim menace and how the Koran supposedly called for the destruction of Christianity and therefore the U.S. and blah blah blah. And my dad, very much the scholar and intellectual, was trying to point out to them that even Turkey, Muslim nation that occupied his native land of Hungary before the Nazis and the Soviets did the same thing, never tried to inflict its religion on the Hungarian people because they had the good sense to recognize that governance is impossible when you demoralize people to that extent. The Rochester couple still didn’t get it, still kept talking Fox News talking points, and about strained their friendship to the end because they were so zombified by it. Not stupid people, but gullible as all fuck.

    I’ve seen a lot of otherwise intelligent people fall for the Fox agitprop and it’s a phenomenon worthy of study. Dumb-asses who are disposed to talk Archie Bunkerish bullshit are one thing but upper-middle-class people who weren’t born yesterday, that’s not supposed to happen. It’s a testament to the success of the Roger Ailes strategy, and it should be cause for concern.

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  45. nancy said on January 14, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Alex, some friends of mine here had a nearly identical experience at nearly the same time — when Obama was running the first time. Again, it was highly educated people who had come to visit them, but their story was the birth certificate. They had swallowed the lunatic line lock, stock and barrel. Born in Kenya, blah to the blah to the blah. At the time I chalked it up to generalized anxiety over the fact Obama sort of came out of nowhere. Nowadays I think it’s much simpler: Racism.

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  46. alex said on January 14, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Nancy, I should add that this was about two years before anyone had any idea who Barack Obama was. (I did. I had lived in Chicago and voted for him.) They were talking about the next election and how Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich were the two Republicans who “looked presidential” out of the whole lot of them, and they seemed to think that Newt was their favorite because he was such a “scholar.” (My parents indulged them, not liking either. Both voted for Obama in 2008.)

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  47. Jolene said on January 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    There was a line in the PBS show on the Klan that Alex and I watched last night that really caught my attention. Broad strokes: The show focused on the rise of the KKK in North Carolina in the early 1960s. Of course, it had existed earlier, but had died out somewhat–perhaps more so in NC than in other Southern states. Its resurrection was, according to this report, largely due to the strenuous evangelizing of a couple of people who saw playing on racial hostility as a way to make themselves important and to pick up a bit of cash on the side by skimming from the collection plate. The KKK prospered as a organization, and it’s leaders along with it, until it was infiltrated by the FBI after the killing of the three civil rights workers in Mississippi. Partly as a result of that infiltration*, Klan leaders were called to testify before Congress, where they disgraced themselves, even in the eyes of their benighted followers.

    The line that caught my attention was a commentator remarking on the decline of the KKK after these events. Quoting loosely now, he said, referring to the Klan’s followers, “Their racial anxieties were channeled into other organizations–the Republican Party and also George Wallace’s American Independent Party.” Not exactly a novel observation, but I loved that the speaker was so forthright about the rise of the modern Republican Party in the South. If there were no black people to be afraid of or resentful toward, the Republican Party would have nothing to offer to anyone who isn’t a millionaire.

    *It was getting late, so I may not have gotten the connection between FBI infiltration and the subsequent Congressional hearings exactly right, but the show definitely presented both as contributing heavily to the decline of the Klan. Maybe Alex has something to add here.

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  48. alex said on January 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    And the Turkish ruling strategy was really quite a simple one. Let religion alone and let the Jews, protestants and Catholics continue to hate one another and everything maintained equilibrium and required a minimum of policing. The minority Jews and protestants much preferred this to the rule of the Hapsburgs who were forever trying to inflict Catholicism on their subjects.

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  49. Jolene said on January 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    A bit more re the KKK in NC in the 1969s: One of the narrators referred to the meetings as comparable to religious revival meetings of the 1930s. Indeed, one of the key leaders was a preacher, and, at every gathering, he gave talks that were, essentially, sermons. The gatherings shown were held outdoors at night, with bonfires and a collection, and they closed with people singing “The Old Rugged Cross.”

    Though I am no longer either a believer or a churchgoer, I still take some comfort in the hymns that I heard Sunday after Sunday as a child. Not too different, really, than still liking grilled cheese sandwiches the way my mother made them. So I was really annoyed to learn that one if my favorite hymns was favored by the KKK.

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  50. alex said on January 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    And Jolene, as regards the KKK, I took note of the comment that North Carolina was considered the most progressive of the southern states, trying to be a world-class place with its research triangle, yada yada. I found it notable and hadn’t given it any thought before, how the Andy Griffith show was playing to the idea that everyone was living peaceably as long as the blacks stuffed it and didn’t ask for too much change too quickly, and how this was disrupted by what was happening elsewhere.

    I think North Carolina is an interesting place just by itself. There had been a huge Quaker presence in the 19th century and this perhaps mitigated some of the ugliness found elsewhere in places like Alabama and Mississippi. It was a state that wanted to be perceived as progressive, and the people were torn between their prejudices and their aspirations. The Klan consisted mainly of white people who felt themselves in direct competition with blacks for the position immediately above the bottom rung of society, and Bob Jones knew exactly how to prey upon their fears and euchre them out of a buck while also selling their political clout to the establishment.

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  51. Jolene said on January 14, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    An organization, not a organization. Its leaders, not it’s leaders. Dang it.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 14, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Crinoidgirl, grace and peace to you from this quarter; I can only offer you my sincerest sorrow at your loss. Some of us religious folk talk about the painful gap of the “already” versus the “not yet,” and may your time of waiting be blessed with hope that all the promises of your lives together be still awaiting fulfillment.

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  53. alex said on January 14, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Interesting how popular media were trying to create this idyllic picture of the old/new south with North Carolina as the model when Andy Griffith came into existence. Maybe not so different than this essay on the Golden Globes which I caught tonight:

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  54. Dexter Friend said on January 14, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    That PBS show about the klan…I missed most of it but caught a seg as I was surfing the cable. The KKK was forgotten , but D.W. Griffith made sure it was re-kindled instantly with his horribly racist “great” film.

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  55. Dorothy said on January 15, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Crinoidgirl – much sympathy and love to you this week. I hope you have other loved ones around to support you and help you through this difficult time.

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  56. brian stouder said on January 15, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Andy Griffith, the literally incredible southern small-town sherriff – a ‘sheriff without a gun’; a very pleasing myth, indeed.

    I remember one episode that was specifically centered on the ‘sheriff without a gun’ theme, playing on the fact that contemporaneous people in 1965 (or whenever) found idea of an unarmed sheriff unbelievable.

    They didn’t mention it, but the polar opposite would presumably be Bull Conner, with fire hoses and attack dogs (and guns), going all radical in the streets of the south (or big city Chicago cops starting a police riot in Chicago in 1968)

    ‘Course, Ernest T Bass was sort of a minstrel show – minus the black-face…but that’s as close as I can remember to any sort of ‘dog-whistle’

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  57. Kirk said on January 15, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I wouldn’t be any tougher on the Andy Griffith Show than on any other sitcom of those days. Most if not all of them depicted their own worlds that didn’t necessarily mesh with reality. “Father Knows Best,” anyone?

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  58. brian stouder said on January 15, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Kirk, agreed.

    CNN has an interesting series on the ’60’s, and the show on TV/pop-culch from the ’60’s is pretty funny.

    A commentator says something like – how the hell did the pitch-meeting go, when they were selling the TV folks on a sit-com revolving around a Nazi POW camp…when the Holocaust and the death camps were only as distant as the 1990’s are from us?

    (And they also went on about the male fantasy shows, such as the suburban Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeannie. Come to think of it, no wonder the ’60’s were as fouled up as they were!)

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  59. Deborah said on January 15, 2015 at 10:56 am

    The urban planner and writer, Jeff Speck has said that the sitcoms we grow up with shape us regarding where we will want to live as adults. if you grew up with sitcoms where the characters lived in suburban circumstances, like the Brady Bunch, you see that as normal and expect to live your life in places like that. But he says that the young people going out into the world now grew up on sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld, which were set in urban environments and those are the kinds of places they want to live nowadays. He wrote the book “Walkable City”, a good read he also has a couple of good Ted talks online.

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  60. Judybusy said on January 15, 2015 at 11:29 am

    CrinoidGirl, I am so sorry to hear about your partner. I am glad she was treated well as she left this world.

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  61. coozledad said on January 15, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Chillin’ with the mouse is the new sleeping with the fishes.


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  62. Deborah said on January 15, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Off topic but I thought very interesting. I read the list of Academy Award nominees and I noticed that one of my favorite directors, Wim Wenders, has a documentary on the list about the photographer Sebastiao Salgado. I had never heard of this guy before today, but wow! The name of the movie is Salt of the Earth, I really want to see it now after watching this Ted talk by Salgado

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  63. beb said on January 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Read that the pope made a speech on free speech. He condemned anyone who kills in the name of god, of course, then went on to say that people also needed to be nore respectful of other people’s opinions. Thaty seems a tad weaselly. Then the pope went on and said if someone were to say something profane about his mother he should expect a fist in the mouth. That seems terrible unchristian of him. Then again, he’s like the first pope with balls.

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  64. coozledad said on January 15, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I’ll give him not criticizing other’s faiths, if he’ll acknowledge the sphere of religion should be strictly circumscribed to those who choose it. It’s like fucking: get a room.

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  65. alex said on January 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Jolene at 47–

    From the show, my understanding of what turned the rank and file North Carolina Klan against Bob Jones was that he was exposed as a con man who had lined his pockets with their money, and it didn’t help him that on the national stage his organization was being associated with much more virulent hate groups in the deeper south. Jones’ initial success was that he had made his upstart Klan of the 1960s a “respectable” group that practiced nonviolent protest and, as you mentioned elsewhere, echoed the religious revivals of the 1930s. The GOP and George Wallace’s third party became the new “respectable” alternatives after Jones fell from grace.

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  66. ROGirl said on January 15, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    “Respectable” racism has such a ring of, oh I don’t know, deep and abiding denial. It’s still racism, no matter that it doesn’t involve beatings or lynchings, but I guess it allows marginalized, uneducated poor white trash to feel superior to blacks in the southern social hierarchy.

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  67. Dexter Friend said on January 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    CrinoidGirl, your post reflected courage, and you’ve shown us how to stay strong when everything gets turned upside down and reality bites so very damn hard. Best wishes, my sympathies to you and everyone there. Most of have lost parents but to lose a partner? Uncharted waters…thanks for sharing.

    For years…decades…I have known my cousin as well as my elderly uncle are gay, but neither came out, ever.
    It was refreshing when my niece and her partner were married last month. They have small twin daughters and they are just the best parents.
    It’s a good age to live in. Gays and lesbians can exist now without so much persecution…still a long way to go, just better today. Trangender? Still horribly repressed.

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  68. brian stouder said on January 15, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Well, I have no dog in the Academy Awards fight, having seen none (or not more than a very few) of the movies, but I had noticed an odd rebuff of the movie “Selma” a few weeks ago. The rap was that the movie is unfairly harsh toward President Johnson, and it made me say “huh”, and then move on.

    But then last week Shelby (our 16 year old) went to the movies with friends, and caught Selma, and the first thing she said to me, out of the blue, was that she thought the movie was unfair to President Johnson! Now indeed, she may have heard the same stuff I did (maybe even from the same sources, if not at the same time) – but her comment still caught my attention…and then today’s nominations (and non-nominations) came along, and made me say “Hmmmm”

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  69. brian stouder said on January 15, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    forgot the link

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  70. David in Cincinnati said on January 15, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    (one of those days when I am compelled to delurk…)

    CrinoidGirl, my deepest condolences to you at the loss of your partner. Be gentle with yourself. Listen to sweet music, and remember her.

    Dexter Friend at 67: one of the greatest things about gay life in the 21st century is having straight friends who – how to put this? – dig us, and enjoy our friendship, and who feel honest compassion for the struggles we still face, without getting maudlin about it.

    That being said: the transgender teen who recently committed suicide here in Cincinnati was a student at the high school I graduated from in the 1980s. I did not know her, but I grieve for her deeply. Thank you for your sympathy and compassion; the world needs more straight people like you (in all senses of the word ‘straight’) and the other commenters here at NN.c.

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  71. MarkH said on January 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Prayers and condolences to you on the loss of your partner, CrinoidGirl.

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  72. MarkH said on January 15, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    The Selma Oscar diss is, like, “wait…whaa?”. If you’re going to put a film in the mix for best picture, surely there has to be one or two of the other categories that stick out as evidence it deserves the best pic nomination. And Best Song does not qualify. David Oyelowo was a major reason this film got made, pushing it along when it faltered, leading to Oprah’s backing. Most every review I’ve read agrees his performance deserves a best actor nod.

    As to the LBJ dust-up, I’ll ytust Joseph Califano’s remembrance. He was there, at Johnson’s side.

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  73. MarkH said on January 15, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    “TRUST”. Sheesh…

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