It won’t go quietly.

I don’t know if it’s the pollen forecast or not, but today was a big improvement. It might have been the Claritin, too. But it was just all-around better, so yay me. Early-morning swim, midday productivity, lovely blue skies, a big fatty ribeye for dinner. Now the neighbors are having a drunken get-together in their back yard, just loud enough to be entertaining, not so loud to be annoying. It’s summer. Can’t complain. About anything.

Late in yesterday’s thread, Sue said something about the Confederate battle flat thing, to wit, how interesting that in less than a week, we’re no longer talking about guns and instead talking about a stupid flag. Not that it’s not a worthy issue, but there’s a certain squirrel! component to it. So quickly, we’re not talking about nine dead people, although I guess it makes sense — it’s easy to feel like you’re making a difference with a flat, whereas before, it’s all just despair.

Neil Steinberg brings up another point:

“Winds shifting on rebel flag” the Tribune headlined Tuesday.

Pretty to think so. They’re reacting to news that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the flag to be removed from its prominent place across from the State House in Columbia. Apparently the photos of Roof preening by Confederate flags prior to his alleged crime was too much in the wake of the slaughter at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

But anyone who thinks the matter is settled hasn’t been paying attention.

Yep. This is too easy. It won’t go away.

However, along the way, we might have some fun laughing at these intellectual knots some wingnuts are tying themselves into. Fortunately, Roy handles that stuff.

A Neil Sternberg two-bagger today: A long, great read about the nature of facial disfigurement, and the people who try to mitigate it.

And you need to read Ta’Nehisi Coates’ piece on what, exactly, the Confederate cause entailed.

So we climb to the crest of the week, and look forward to the downside.

Posted at 12:03 am in Current events |

41 responses to “It won’t go quietly.”

  1. Deborah said on June 24, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Nancy, your auto-correct changed flag to flat a couple of times, or I misunderstood what you were saying.

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  2. susan said on June 24, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Funny, the Neil Steinberg piece on facial discrimination uses collage-type art for illustrations, and not photographs of actual people with facial disfigurement. Thereby proving the point about people’s fear of seeing such condiitons? Strange.

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  3. Deborah said on June 24, 2015 at 1:41 am

    I don’t seem to be sleepy enough to go to bed. Here’s someone with a pretty severe facial disfigurement, he has the same condition as my daughter, Neurofibromatosis (NF). He has an amazing attitude about it and appeared in the film, Under the Skin, with Scarlett Johanssen.

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  4. Dexter said on June 24, 2015 at 3:13 am

    Lindsey Graham’s declaration on how he has changed his views on the stars & bars was laughingly irritating. These bastards weigh everything to see which side to side with that will be better for them in the polls. Virginia and Tennessee are not giving up the fight and will try to keep that flag on auto license plates.
    I once took a horse carriage tour of Charleston’s Rainbow Row and the perky tour guide called the war “the war of northern aggression” about five times.
    For years I thought anybody sporting that flag was a racist , happy of the history of the slave trade and against Abe Lincoln 150 years after his death. I’ll just say this: I spent a lot of time in Mississippi, Georgia, Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky over the years, and for some, it really represents the sacrifices the rebs made in that gruesome war. A whole helluva lot of dirt-poor non-slave owners struggled in those times as well, resenting advancing union troops trashing their land, and they embraced their flag as a rallying point against the blue jackets. That flag means so much to so many folks for different reasons, I certainly can’t take a side except to say let them sort it out, and they will. I have only had two Black close friends, ever, who would tell me stuff like what that symbol means to them: hatred, slave ownership, horrible violence including frequent rape and surges of lynchings. I get it, I understand it totally. My point is just this: We are not going to change the pride many white folks have for that flag. I can understand their feelings too, as they disassociate what they do not believe the flag means and talk about the gallant fighting their ancestors put up.
    I’ve always been a union man in more ways than one. My great great uncle died from a volley at Chickamauga. If the men in this photo can mend the fence, I say live and let live and respect the past, and move on.

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  5. Dexter said on June 24, 2015 at 3:17 am

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  6. alex said on June 24, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I have a friend who lost much of his face to cancer. It’s a hereditary type of cancer that cost his sister her life. He hasn’t been in a clinic where they make facial prosthetics because he’s been too busy having surgeries and chemo to treat new eruptions of cancer elsewhere, and that’s likely how he’ll spend the remainder of his days. For him it has been quite an adjustment to go from normal to having to wear a surgical mask in public and speak through an iPad and eat through a funnel directly into a tube in the stomach.

    As for the Coates piece, I’m going to recommend it to a few people of my dad’s era who maintain with straight faces that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, and these aren’t your garden variety ignoramuses but well educated people. What on earth were they teaching in high school and college history classes before the Civil Rights movement? And why are otherwise unbigoted people so heavily invested in this farce?

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  7. coozledad said on June 24, 2015 at 8:37 am

    And why are otherwise unbigoted people so heavily invested in this farce?

    Because white Americans are. All whites have benefited from that privilege, and a couple of hundred years has been plenty of time to etch the slaver’s code into everything from law and business to the minutiae of social interaction.

    Humans aren’t the self-conscious animals they believe themselves to be. They’re basically hormone sniffers ruled by a couple of rudimentary chemical pathways, and they don’t do subtlety, as a rule.

    This country wasn’t just built on the backs of slaves, it was built on the principle of slavery. During the Civil War, the antagonists couldn’t even economically disengage because the whole country was bound in the sale, manufacture and distribution of cotton and sugar. New York almost drafted articles of secession because they were the logistical center of the slave support industries that stretched from the Ohio valley to the sugar plantations of the Caribbean.

    The whole attitude that condones racism and slavery is in the American DNA.

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  8. beb said on June 24, 2015 at 8:45 am

    There’s certainly a squirrel component to the switch from Racist murder to the Confederate Flag but I think there’s a pragmatic component as well. There’s not much we can do to prevent another rage-filled racist from committing murder when his moronic father gives him the murder weapon, but we can do something about the flag, hovering at full mast when the state and national flags were lowered to half-mast.

    I am amazed at the number of nation-wide merchants who have vowed to remove Confederate themes items from their stores: eBay, Amazon, Sears, Etsy, Walmart. There’s probably more I haven’t heard of. That’s forgoing a lot of revenue. This won’t stop the sale of such items but it will be limited to small shops, underground operations which in itself tells people that the Stars-and-Bars is tainted symbolism in just the same way as collecting Nazi regalia.

    My wife’s uncle had the facial cancer. I met him only once or twice. He was a nice man but his face was hard to look at. I’m glad people are working harder at facial reconstruction, for which 3D printing has come to play an important role.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on June 24, 2015 at 9:17 am

    As Malcom X says in one of his speeches from 1964, “We didn’t land on Plymouth rock. That rock landed on us.” I show this speech as a counterpoint to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Malcolm’s assessments remain pretty damned valid all these years later.

    I mentioned here the other day that my part-time teaching gig gives me optimism for the future. My students have been exposed to more races, religions, cultural backgrounds, etc. by the time they are 19 than I did a generation earlier. I’ve had a homeschooled Hassidic kid sitting next to a Palestinian kid in one class and they not only worked well together, but became friendly. That the wannabe rebel avenger in Charleston was just 21 really scares the shit out of me because it derails my theory that the upcoming generation is going to be a lot better than mine in issues of race, gender, etc.

    As a species, are we hopeless on this topic?

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  10. Suzanne said on June 24, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Interesting piece in today’s NYTimes about home-grown terrorism:

    (Obviously, I don’t know how to embed links)

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  11. Sammy said on June 24, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Another topic: seen this? Yikes.

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  12. ROGirl said on June 24, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Another article in the Atlantic link, the one about ISIS, was really good. It did a pretty thorough job of explaining the difference between Al Qaida and ISIS.

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  13. A. Riley said on June 24, 2015 at 10:23 am

    A few years ago, I was visiting Galena, Illinois, where Ulysses S. Grant’s home is. (Pretty little river town & pretty country — go see it!) There’s a t-shirt & souvenir store on the main drag, Galena being popular with tourists, and right there in the store window, next to the usual bric-a-brac, is a t-shirt with the Stars & Bars on it. ?!?!? In freakin’ Galena (home of General Grant), Illinois (home of President Lincoln)?

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  14. brian stouder said on June 24, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Ms Maddow focused on the event which occurs today – wherein the assassinated State Senator Clementa Pinckney will lie in state, at the Capitol Building. When the mourners carry his remains into the building, and when others come for the public viewing, they will all have to pass beneath that flag…

    unless they take the damned thing down, for maintenance and cleaning, which is allowed

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  15. Connie said on June 24, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Breitbart. Why am I not surprised? Take Down the Fascist, Anti-Christian Gay-Pride Flag

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  16. MarkH said on June 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

    beb @8 — To be fair, and this won’t change anyone’s mind, but Roof wasn’t given the murder weapon by his ‘moronic father’. Roof bought the gun himself with cash given to him by his parents as a birthday gift. It’s unclear whether the family knew about the purchase.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on June 24, 2015 at 11:19 am

    It’s certainly not worth the lives of nine good people, but there are unintended consequences as a result of this waste of skin, who identified with the rebel flag and sought to trigger a race war. The rebel flag is now the equivalent of painful rectal itch to all but the most atavistic and is being removed while demonstrations and marches in Charleston were notable for the mix of races participating. The fuckup fucked up.

    I assume this douchebag will get the death penalty, but if not, he likely would spend the rest of his days cowering in a prison filled with strong, angry black men who will know exactly who he is and what he did. A fitting punishment for a cowardly racist if ever there was one.

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  18. brian stouder said on June 24, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Todd Starnes is a Fox News radio guy, and he gets a few minutes on Fort Wayne radio every day, and has even popped into town a time or two, much to the delight of the local flying monkeys of the rightwing airwaves.

    This bit is what he’s saying today, and it’s so willfully stupid that it doesn’t even make me mad:

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  19. Julie Robinson said on June 24, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    My schadenfreude for the day, $ Palin has been let from Fox:

    They no longer consider her relevant. Bam!

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  20. beb said on June 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    MarkH, thanks for the updated information about Roof. The early reports I’d read implied it was a direct gift from his father. Thanks for the correction.

    So Starnes thinks that politcial correctness in the South means painting the gay flag on the Dukes of Hazzard’s car and renaming it the General Sherman. Is Starnes implying that General Sherman was gay? Or has he forgotten that Union soldiers had their own flag — The Stars and Stripes! This is like Ann Coulter thinking that Nikki Haley was an immigrant when she was born in South Carolina. Coulter is obviously listening to the voices in her head again.

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  21. Sue said on June 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Maybe Mr. Starnes doesn’t want to use the word ‘cleansing’ here, unless he wants comparisons to that other southern cleansing activity that was documented so well in The Warmth of Other Suns.

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  22. alex said on June 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I’d like to do a colon cleansing right on top of Mr. Starnes’ damn fool head.

    You know, one of the other pernicious things that I hear old white people saying very matter-of-factly is how grateful black people should be that their ancestors were brought to this country so that they could be born here today instead of in Africa, what with its lower quality of life, Rwandan genocides and Ebola and whatnot, and why don’t they understand that they’re so much better off?

    Do these people believe in some sort of predestination or something? Do they really think that if their own ancestors hadn’t migrated here that they’d be living somewhere in western Europe with the same parents, spouses and children? And that they’d be pining for the better life they might have had in the U.S.? These people should be grateful that this country allows them to live a middle-class life despite being so stupid that they’d be relegated to wiping up other people’s shit in a just and meritocratic world.

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  23. brian stouder said on June 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Sue – Isabel Wilkerson was on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last evening – which was sublime.

    (I normally don’t make it past Ms Maddow’s show, but for Ms Wilkerson, I’ll certainly stay up)

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  24. Deborah said on June 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I know some of you read Gin and Tacos, I thought this was a particularly good (and funny) post. My ex always thought people couldn’t wait to steal his crap. It’s interesting what makes people so fearful like that.

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  25. Suzanne said on June 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Wow, Deborah, there is so much truth in that Gin & Tacos post. I have a close relative who has guns. He hunts so I understand. But you mention gun control and he always ends up with the “I need my guns because I have to be able to defend myself when the government comes” argument. He’s a responsible adult, hard working, raised in a decent family, etc., so I have no idea where that fear comes from.

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  26. brian stouder said on June 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    When we were in (or near) Haswell, Colorado (aka – the Middle of Nowhere), we found the correct lane, and noted that another nearby lane sported a plywood, spray-painted sign that said something like “No Trespassing; we don’t call 911” and had a spray-painted stencil of a pistol on it….and onward we went

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  27. Icarus said on June 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    @Alex, anyone who makes a statement like your first paragraph doesn’t have the mental flexibility to comprehend the temporal mechanics of your last paragraph.

    I just saw the Gin & Tacos post…i wonder if i found that site through someone linking here.

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  28. Deborah said on June 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Little Bird sent me this and as a graphic designer I found this hilarious, why all state flags are terrible

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  29. Deborah said on June 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    One of our friends in Abiquiu told us that she saw a mountain lion on her property yesterday. This is extremely rare but it has changed my willingness to camp out on our building foundation for awhile.

    I’m in the waiting room of the Santa Fe Imaging Center for Little Bird to get her first mammogram. These always remind me of Moe’s hilarious comment about getting ready for a mammogram by squeezing your boob in the refrigerator door etc. I always get a chuckle over that. I miss Moe.

    Obviously I’m killing time while commenting here.

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  30. Bitter Scribe said on June 24, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Alex @22: A long time ago, Life magazine published an article (or maybe it was a series) about the problems of Africa. I no longer remember anything about them, but I vividly remember the massively sarcastic letter they got from an African in response. It opened: “Your coverage of Africa seems designed to make your American Negro readers thank their lucky stars that their ancestors were transported, however unwillingly, to these green shores.”

    It will be interesting to see whether, and how, Trevor Noah takes on this sort of thing when he replaces Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.”

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  31. brian stouder said on June 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I nominate Deborah’s flag post for Thread Win!

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  32. alex said on June 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I nominate Indiana’s and New Mexico’s flags as least hideous.

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  33. brian stouder said on June 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm


    And the Virginia’s, with the homicide victim on it, is PG-13

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  34. brian stouder said on June 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    And here’s another palate cleanser (of a sort) – what really happens when a guy gets a colonoscopy:

    The lead –

    Sitting in his surgical gown inside a large medical suite in Reston, Va., a Vienna man prepared for his colonoscopy by pressing record on his smartphone, to capture the instructions his doctor would give him after the procedure. But as soon as he pressed play on his way home, he was shocked out of his anesthesia-induced stupor: He found that he had recorded the entire examination and that the surgical team had mocked and insulted him as soon as he drifted off to sleep. In addition to their vicious commentary, the doctors discussed avoiding the man after the colonoscopy, instructing an assistant to lie to him, and then placed a false diagnosis on his chart.

    “After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op,” the anesthesiologist told the sedated patient, “I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit,” she was recorded saying. When a medical assistant noted the man had a rash, the anesthesiologist warned her not to touch it, saying she might get “some syphilis on your arm or something,” then added, “It’s probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you’ll be all right.”

    And this guy won $500,000 in in his lawsuit! (I’d say the jury must have pulled that number out of their asses, but that would be unprofessional)

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  35. Deborah said on June 24, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Oh geez, I’m due for another colonoscopy after I turn 65 this fall. It’s been 10 years since my first one and I’ll be eligible again after I qualify for Medicare. How embarrassing to think that the administrators of the procedure are making those kind of remarks about you while it’s happening. Creepy.

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  36. LAMary said on June 24, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    According to Mother Jones the Westboro Baptist Church plans to attend the funerals in Charleston.

    One another note, last time I got a colonoscopy I was not completely knocked out and when the doctor started doing what he was there to do I swung my right arm around and hit him, obviously having a flashback about riding on the NY subway.

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  37. alex said on June 24, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I haven’t had my first colonoscopy yet, just a lot of people bugging me to do it who claim theirs was a breeze but obviously don’t remember it. Bet they don’t let you take recording devices into the OR after this incident.

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  38. beb said on June 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    The flag article says it would say why each state’s flag is wrong but it doesn’t. It just mocks them. Obviously the author of the article doesn’t know pit from shinola.We should be mocking him!

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  39. brian stouder said on June 24, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Colonoscopies are a piece of cake (so to speak); very strange in some ways. My lovely wife was there of course, because although you’re up and talking and all the rest when it’s over, you are not really “there”. Pam was going on about how we stopped at Best Buy on the way home, and I was fascinated by the fans that have no blades. When she said that, I had a flash-memory of just a snippet of that stop at Best Buy, and looking at that fan…I was up, awake, interacting – and most of that experience is simply not in my brain.

    If my doctors had talked trash like that about me, my lovely wife would have agreed whole-heartedly, and my lawsuit would have been dismissed with alacrity!

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  40. Deborah said on June 24, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Beb, it’s satire, chill.

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  41. MarkH said on June 25, 2015 at 12:49 am

    I’m with beb @38. The headline does say “here is why”, and all it does is mock, not critique. OK, it does start out funny, but it got old by the time I got to Colorado. And, they’re not all terrible.

    Relatively speaking, colonoscopies are ‘piece of cake’. I have had two, my first ten years ago, the second last year. Passed both with nary a pollop. I took the whole day off for both and am glad I did.

    Deborah, we have lived for 16 years in a subdivision that backs up to a steep canyon on the Bridger-Teton National Forest south of Jackson. That canyon is known to harbor cougar families at least every other year. You are correct that sightings are extremely rare (we have had only two in our time at this house), but I got curious about the Abiquiu are and found the two sites linked below. Maybe you know a lot of this already, but your new home will be in a cougar high density population area, either core or minimum patch according to the map in the first link. Cougars avoid human contact as a rule, of course, but they’ll go where there’s food so you’re right to be cautious. I assume you and your neighbors are spread out, low density, less population to intimidate these guys. The Mountain Lion Foundation site has a lot of interesting info including the charge that cat numbers in NM are being politically manipulated in order to beef up hunting quotas. There is talk of that here in Wyoming, but our numbers are known to be lower than yours in NM.

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