A few words about Columbus.

All these years later, I can still hear the piano in my head, the simple melody, the music teacher at the keyboard leading us in song at Barrington Road Elementary:

In fourteen-hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue
His ship was small, but he was brave
He dared the wind, he dared the waves

He kept on sailing toward the west
And never thought of taking rest
To our great land at last he came
And so we sing his famous name

I have the feeling there was a third verse; for the life of me I can’t remember a word of it. But the rest of it lingers, the way you can remember your phone number from when you were 8 years old, but not your husband’s phone number today. (Why memorize? I just touch his name on the screen.)

As most of you know, I’m a daughter of Columbus, Ohio. I’m also old, so it’s fair to say I received the Full Columbus, education-wise. My school was all-white, and even the city itself was hardly diverse in the way we think about it today. There were white people and black people, and a few Asians sprinkled in here and there. A few years ago I was paging through my yearbook and realized we had one or two Hispanic people – or LatinX, in the contemporary parlance – in my class, although I didn’t know them, and their roots in South America were so well camouflaged I only recognized them as brunette.

Native Americans? Get outta town. The closest anyone came to that was the random kid who’d say, “You know, my grandmother says our family has some Cherokee blood.” Years later, I would work with a card-carrying Nez Perce, transplanted from Montana to Indiana, who said he was always told the same thing. “Man, those Cherokees sure got around,” he said.

But in the mid-’60s, in the largest city named for him, it’s safe to say Christopher Columbus was not a controversial figure. There were statues of him everywhere. The biggest one was in front of City Hall, which Google Street View indicates was still there as of September 2019…

…but also random ones scattered here and there, mostly in parks.

We were not taught that Columbus was anything other than visionary and brave, the man who discovered America by refusing to believe maps that showed the world was flat. He’d watched ships leave the harbor, they told us, and kept watching until they couldn’t be seen anymore. They didn’t suddenly disappear; they gradually sank from sight, the masts the last visible detail. I’m not sure I believe that, thinking back. Could one man’s eyesight be good enough to watch a ship follow the curvature of the earth? I can see across Lake St. Clair, but only at the narrow part and even then it has to be a very clear day. Well, whatever. The point is, he had a Big Idea, and he found a patron, and the rest is literal history. The turning point of so many great forces. A collision, actually.

Later the story was filled in, not as much as you’d hope. No teacher in my education even connected Columbus with the Conquistadors, the indisputably bad guys who followed him. We learned that he didn’t actually discover America so much as some islands on western fringes of the Atlantic. Certainly by high school we were being briefed on what a disaster Columbus’ arrival was for North America’s native populations, but this was never explained as anything other than Sad and Regrettable, but also Inevitable, chalked up to viruses as much as human blood thirst. And so I drifted on a cloud of Columbus ignorance for many years.

(Lest you think there was something uniquely evil about this, a miseducation done to indoctrinate children, be advised that Kate learned about Henry Ford at about the same age and his anti-Semitism wasn’t part of the lesson, either.)

Here’s something else we were taught in fourth grade: That in 1992, Columbus would probably host the Olympic Games, that the 500-year celebration of his arrival would demand nothing less than this sort of worldwide celebration.


I left Columbus in 1984, when the quincentennial was still a few years off. There was a commission planning something, and as the date grew closer it became clear the Olympics were off the table – Barcelona got that burden – and more important, something else had changed. The rise of the American Indian Movement, and the attention paid to the royal screwing natives of all lands had gotten at the hands of the first explorers, everything from whooping cough to chattel slavery, made the old guy problematic.

Suddenly, other cities that had statues of Columbus were taking them down. These weren’t violent events for the most part, and rather than drop them into the nearest body of water, city managers called up their colleagues in Columbus: “Hey, want a free statue of your namesake? We’ll pay shipping!”

This was an early warning that 1992 wouldn’t be a lovefest, and it wasn’t. There were teach-ins and seminars and all sorts of consciousness-raising. The commemorations were a mix of solemnity and celebration. I think there was a new park or parks built, maybe some other stuff. I went to the National Society of Newspaper Columnists convention in Columbus that year. I think my paper was even flush enough to pay for a hotel, when I could have just crashed at my parents’ or sister’s place. One of the events was a Native American who did his own teach-in, and painted the explorer as an unrepentant rapist, slaver and shitty-ass navigator who basically ran aground in the Caribbean. He was very full of himself, and I poked at him during the Q&A, because he got on my nerves.

“Wasn’t the meeting of the old and new worlds inevitable?” I asked. “You act as though the guy who would have come the following year would have somehow been different.” He went off on a tangent about the Vikings, and I don’t remember how it went after that. I’m sure he thought of me as a disciple of Charles Krauthammer or something. Then the seminar ended and we were taken by bus to Select Sires in Plain City, to hear about artificial insemination in dairy cattle, which was actually interesting and of course, a giggle for a bunch of dirty-minded journalists.

Anyway. The biggest international event Columbus got that year was Ameriflora, an “international horticultural exhibition,” i.e., a flower show.

There was one other thing I want to mention: As part of the commemoration, and another stop on the columnists’ tour, we visited the Santa Maria Columbus, a replica of the explorer’s flagship. I can’t recall enough of the details – how faithful a replica it was of the actual ship, what the design was based on, etc. It looked boxy to me, like it was built more to accommodate tourists than cross the ocean blue. Three masts, 90 feet length overall. It looked like a movie set. I have no idea how it got to this city far from any coast; I suspect it was trucked in pieces and assembled at its mooring on the Scioto River, the city’s brown, slow-moving waterway.

But in its own way, it impressed me. Ninety feet sounds big until you think what it would be like to cross an ocean on it, and an ocean some believed drained into an abyss, at that. During hurricane season. And this was the biggest of the three in the expedition; the Nina and Pinta were even smaller.

I see Columbus more fully now, certainly. He was a man of his times, and the times were very different. But his ship was indeed small and he was brave to take command and sail off into the unknown. As the Mercury astronauts would later say about themselves, he was spam in a can.

A final note: Last summer I took a walking tour of downtown Detroit, led by a local historian, an African-American man, who briefed us on the slave-holding roots of the city’s founders. We made a brief stop at the bust of Columbus, which this week was removed to storage until the city can have a conversation about it, the mayor said.

The guide said he didn’t consider Columbus any kind of hero, but he respected his presence on the Randolph Street median, because it had been erected by the local Italian-American community, who were confident enough to insist on their own depictions of their own history. And we walked on.

You don’t know the half of it, I thought, and played the song in my head again.

Posted at 6:13 pm in Current events |

82 responses to “A few words about Columbus.”

  1. Deborah said on June 17, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    LA Mary, I responded to your inquiries at the end of the last thread, probably seconds before Nancy’s new post.

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  2. alex said on June 17, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Can’t remember when I got my Columbus disillusionment. Might have been my freshman year of college. My big takeaway was that Columbus brought two things back to the old world: 1) The clap; and 2) Nicotine, which they learned from the natives to enjoy by taking it up the ass.

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  3. Suzanne said on June 17, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    I don’t remember either when I realized that Columbus was not the sainted explorer that I was taught he was. I went to school in the early 60s and graduated high school the year of the nation’s bicentennial, and went to parochial schools, so I only got the sanitized version of the great white savior helping the poor savages. Honestly, I think one of my first clues that the truth was something else was when I read Michener’s Hawaii and realized that the great white saviors were forcing those poor savages into subservience in order to pillage the land.

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  4. Peter said on June 17, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    It’s been hectic around here lately, so I’m late with the updates, but Dexter I’m very sorry for what you and your wife have gone through and I really hope for the best.

    On another subject matter – someone on another site had the best comment about John Bolton’s book – if you find ANYTHING shocking in the book you haven’t been paying attention for the last three years.

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  5. Bitter Scribe said on June 17, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    Is it true that Native Americans are called “Indians” because Columbus was so dumb he thought he’d reached India?

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  6. Julie Robinson said on June 17, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Exactly, Peter. It’s supposed to be a bombshell that every decision is made with an eye towards reelection. How does that make him any different from every other politician?

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  7. Dexter Friend said on June 17, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks Peter; surgery in Lima, Ohio at 10:00 AM. I have to be there at 8:45 to see her before she goes in for the procedure.

    Columbus was a big hero in my school books, all the way through. My grandmother taught me the first stanza when I was a toddler, about the 1492 bit. It’s sad to learn the truth, that our schools taught us lies. I bet the modern schoolbooks really whitewash the Vietnam (American) war.

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  8. Dave said on June 18, 2020 at 1:22 am

    I was there when that statue in Columbus was unveiled. I remember a big parade and a big crowd. 1955, so I was 5 years old. I was much older when I realized Columbus never got to continental North America.

    Some accounts speculate that the Vikings did make it to North America but the native people were even tougher than the Vikings and the Vikings left. I’ve also read when the Pilgrims came, there had been a epidemic less than five years before and had weakened the native population, decimating their numbers, leaving them in a far weaker position than centuries before when the Vikings came. I don’t know if that’s all true or wild speculation. Someone would have came, had it not been Chris.

    Dexter, may all go well tomorrow, I should say after while. St. Rita’s? My two oldest children were born there, nothing to do with the current state. Best thoughts and wishes.

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  9. Sherri said on June 18, 2020 at 2:11 am

    The local labor council voted to expel the Seattle Police officers union.


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  10. beb said on June 18, 2020 at 3:15 am

    Howard Zinn’s History of the American People is what opened my eyes. Read it a few years ago (technically I couldn’t bare the depression it was inducing as history entered the Gilded Age.

    I’m a little surprised that a protest about Black Lives Matter have evolved to include Columbus. But I do see how they all sort of fit together.

    BitterScribe, that wasa my understanding, too. Columbus was looking for a short-cut to the East Indies and thought that if he went straight west he’d reach quicker. Didn’t count on a new continent being in his way. Not knowing any better he thought he had reached the Indies and there the natives had to Indians. The story of how the new world became America instead of Columbia is hazy mystery to me.

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  11. ROGirl said on June 18, 2020 at 5:07 am

    Another lesson about 1492 that they don’t teach little American kids is that was also the year that Jews and Muslims were forced to either convert to Christianity or leave Spain. Many who stayed converted publicly, but still practiced their original religions secretly.

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  12. Connie said on June 18, 2020 at 7:16 am

    Howard Zinn’s book opened my eyes as well, many years ago. As a history major I had discovered all the damage done by Christianity and particularly the Catholic Church.

    I used to say I grew up in an all white town. That was wrong, and it has sent me on a mental journey through a childhood filled with racism. I started with all the kids in grade school that we called “Mexicans.” They kind of came and went and might have been migrant worker children.

    The only time I ever spoke to an African American person face to face before college was when an African American youth choir came to our church and one of the girls stayed at our house. My grandmother was horrified.

    When I was a HS freshman there was one black guy in my high school who was a senior. I might not have known who he was, except he won the state heavyweight wrestling championship. Not so many years later we bought our first house and he was our next door neighbor.

    One of my grandmothers lived in central Grand Rapids. My time spent there led me to believe that only black kids could use the city parks and pool.

    Yet there were two Jordanian refugee families, (medical), several Japanese families, having something to do with chicken processing, and two Cuban refugee families. I went to school with all their kids and didn’t think anything about it. Why is that?

    I suspect many of you can tell similar stories.

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  13. JodiP said on June 18, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Good morning all! Dexter, continued good wishes for surgery this morning.

    I too had my eyes opened by the Howard Zinn’s in book around age 19 or 20. I also had women’s studies classes that were very inclusive of women of color. One of the books, Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology was mentioned in Tuesday’s podcast Make Me Smart. I was fortunate enough to have a class taught by the editor of that book.

    More recently, I read a book called Before 1491 by Charles C Mann. It was an astonishing look at the depth and breadth of Native American cultures prior to the European invasion.

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  14. nancy said on June 18, 2020 at 10:00 am

    I heard a Fresh Air, or one of those shows, about “1493,” a book about the enormous changes wrought on both sides of the Atlantic by the “Columbian exchange,” as it’s called. I should read that this summer.

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  15. LAMary said on June 18, 2020 at 10:09 am

    The Supreme Court just ruled that Trump can’t shut down DACA. Or at least in the way he tried to. He may try again but maybe he’ll realize it’s a popular program. Lots of healthcare people are in DACA status.

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  16. Connie said on June 18, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Another sort of unexpected ruling. Supreme court rules Trump can not end DACA.

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  17. LAMary said on June 18, 2020 at 10:21 am

    Now that I’m feeling giddy about DACA, I thought I’d mention that the conquistadores brought tomatoes to Europe from the new world. What would Italian cuisine be without tomatoes? Ok, it would Northern Italian, but what would Italian American cuisine be without tomatoes?

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  18. JodiP said on June 18, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Nancy, 1493 is by the same author and I also have read it and recommend it!

    I enjoyed the first one more because there was so much new information for me about pre-contact cultures. One of the most astonishing parts is his description of agricultural practices in the Amazon and in the northeastern part of the United States. Coincidentally, I just read a brief article in Natural History magazine about very early crop cultivation in the wet savanna of Bolivia. I couldn’t find that exact article, but here is another: https://cosmosmagazine.com/archaeology/ancient-amazon-agriculture-still-shapes-the-south-american-landscape/

    In the second book I learned some, but not as much because I knew a bit about the consequences.

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  19. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2020 at 11:29 am

    It’s open season on statues of Columbus in Chicago. One monument in Little Italy was trashed during the protests and riots, then cleaned back to perfection. It was vandalized the next day and is now wrapped in blue tarpaulin. Italians here will brook no discussion of his villainy. They remain proud of him. . .or at least all the Italian-American groups with which I’m familiar do. These are some of the same folks who seethe at Al Capone and his cronies of gangland Chicago, of course, as a smear on all Italians.

    After just finishing Walter Isaacson’s great biography of Leonardo da Vinci, my next non-fiction book will be “The Splendid and the Vile,” Erik Larson’s examination of Churchill’s leadership during the Blitz. Now there’s a guy who was on both sides of history: imperial colonialist in the Boer Wars; savior of Great Britain in World War II; racist impediment to the independence of India; early warrior in the Cold War. And, of course, a functioning alcoholic and sexist to the bone.

    History is complicated. Not many figures –if any– are completely pure.

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  20. LAMary said on June 18, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    The Knights of Columbus back in my northern NJ home town would go nuts if you messed with Columbus.

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  21. Suzanne said on June 18, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    When I was in high school, there was a Pakistani student whose family had moved to the US from Uganda, And I found out later that this was when Idi Amin took power and kicked all the foreigners out. Was it ever discussed in any of my classes? No.
    I also had several classes with a young woman whose parents had been missionaries in Zaire but were on furlough for a year. This had to have been at the time the country changed its name from Republic of Congo to Zaire. Again, none of this was ever mentioned in my classes.
    Living history and we didn’t even know.

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  22. LAMary said on June 18, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Trump is now saying that he made Juneteenth famous. No one had ever heard of it until he scheduled a rally for that day. It’s a holiday in 43 states.

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  23. Deborah said on June 18, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    I first heard of Junteenth in 1973. I was living in a predominantly black part of town in Dallas called Oak Cliff. It was a big deal there. That part of Dallas has turned Hispanic, at least it was that way maybe 20 years ago when I last happened to be there. There’s a Main Street in Oak Cliff called Jefferson Ave, it’s where they captured Lee Harvey Oswald in a theater there. That street was completely full of Hispanic restaurants and shops the last time I went through there. It was on its last legs when I lived in Oak Cliff in the 70s.

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  24. Deborah said on June 18, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Rep Matt Gaetz of FL, reveals that he has a secret adopted adult son from Cuba that he’s raised for the last 6 years. Odd.

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  25. Suzanne said on June 18, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Deborah, have you seen the photos of Gaetz’s “son”? They look about the same age. Methinks their relationship is not one of father and son.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Regarding Matt Gaetz, a FB commentator noted his official biography page does NOT include a reference to him having an adopted Cuban child. What politician doesn’t reference his family to win votes?

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  27. Jakash said on June 18, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Trump moving the rally back a day marks a rare instance of him actually doing the right thing. While I give him a grudging amount of credit for that (not for crowing about it, of course), I surely hope that the fire-breathing Cult 45 members who are appalled by political correctness find this to be an unacceptable concession on his part. Here’s hoping they conclude that he’s now part of the deep state and that they can no longer support him! ; )

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  28. Deborah said on June 18, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Dream on Jakash. They’ll never quit him. It’s amazing how much they look the other way when he obviously doesn’t meet his promises or screws up. They can’t admit they’ve been wrong all this

    I remember reading about Simone de Bouvier and Sarte, they each “adopted” adult daughters, which obviously provided other services. Somewhere on the internet they claim Gaetz’s son is 19 now and that they’ve lived together for 6 years. This seems very suspicious to me and Miss Lindsey is probably kicking himself for not thinking of that himself.

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  29. Suzanne said on June 18, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    My daughter told me that before same sex marriage was legal, it wasn’t all that uncommon for one partner to adopt the other, thus making the union legal. She knew a French couple like this.
    Matt Gaetz? I am pretty sure that there is no way he adopted a kid from the goodness of his heart and then didn’t bother to mention him to anyone for years and years. Something is weird there.

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  30. Icarus said on June 18, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    I don’t remember too much about my Columbus education but I did take AP History in high school and I think they did delve into some of the atrocities he committed. Not deep dive but he wasn’t canonized. Perhaps this was the beginning of the effort to move away from the white-washing.

    I do recall that they emphasized he did reach the Americas, albeit not what we call the USA.

    I also recall bogus test questions about the difference between Middle and Central America. Geez, pick one and retire the other.

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  31. Deborah said on June 18, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    My husband returned from his road trip and he brought a Fundraising mailing uncle J got from Matt Gaetz, coincidentally. Uncle J has given lots of money to Republicans through the years so he’s on their lists. This letter was a stitch, actually hilarious, my husband knew I’d get a kick out of it. The things Gaetz was patting himself on the back for and bragging about was silly, it even mentioned the enemy Hillary Clinton a couple of times. It was mean and vicious but hilarious in its ridiculousness. The sad thing is people fall for it.

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  32. beb said on June 18, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    LAMary @15 – First of all Trump will never admit that he was wrong. Secondly the people he’s courting, the white supremist right, is adamantly opposed to Dreamers.

    Did specifically Columbus bring tomatoes back to Europe or was it some later explorer. I don’t know. The potato is another South American vegetable brought to Europe and which it’s hard to imagine living without. Also corn, pumpkins, other squashes, etc.

    I was thinking yesterday that the quest for gold and silver from the New World might have been to pay off all the debts from European wars. The Tea Tax was to pay for England’s war with France. American colonist surely asked why they were paying for a war they had no interest in. One reason the potato became a staple in Europe was because it grew underground. Unlike wheat it couldn’t be trampled by armies moving across its fields.

    Matt Gaetz (R-scum) got into a shouting match with a black Democrat today over who was or wasn’t thinking about the welfare of their families. Gaetz isn’t married and until this adopted son was brought up (today?) was not known to have a family. But what um-married man adopts an “adult” son? Do you think he goes to the same church as Lindsay Graham? Or that f Jerry Falwell, Jr.? It would be wrong not to ask these questions…. (lol)

    Jakask @27 — Trump moved the date of his rally to avoid a huge and highly visible confrontation with protestors. He wanted to stick it to the Blacks (Juneteenth and Tulsa) but wiser heads prevailed.

    I was going to ask how people feel about Aunt Jemmina, Mrs. Butterworth, Uncle Ben and the chef on Cream of Wheat being retired and rebranded because the origins of all these were racist. I kind of feel like these brands have out-grown their racist stereotypes and changing them now would actually remove positive images of minorities. What say you?

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  33. susan said on June 18, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    beb @32 – I kind of feel like these brands have out-grown their racist stereotypes and changing them now would actually remove positive images of minorities. What say you?

    I say, ask a black person.

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  34. David C said on June 18, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    I don’t remember Columbus being talked about that much in school beyond “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”. We didn’t even get the song. If I remember right, the history of America we were taught started with Jamestown and they jumped pretty quickly to the Mayflower. They spent a little more time there and went right to the Revolution. The indigenous people were pretty much asterisks. I paid a lot of attention to history and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t until later the I found out were were being taught the history of white people in America without Martin Mull and for damned sure not funny.

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  35. LAMary said on June 18, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    I’m so not defending Matt Gaetz. He’s awful. But, I have a gay friend who adopted a 13 year old boy who was in foster care. This gay friend has been an advocate in court for kids who don’t have legal representation. He’s done that for years. He had a long term partner and they were raising the boy together. They broke up and my friend has primary custody of the boy. While I can’t swear to it, I would be astonished if this boy was not being treated only as a son, not anything else. I’ve known this guy since I was in the ninth grade and I know the work he’s done with kids in juvenile detention and other bad situations and he’s a dad, not a victimizer.

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  36. LAMary said on June 18, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    beb, I’m a white person and I think those stereotypes on the food packaging need to go. Even though they’ve been a little updated, they need to go.

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  37. Dexter Friend said on June 18, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Too many consultations with the surgery and management teams to get to surgery, so now it’s scheduled for 11AM Friday. She’s on pain meds, the docs she saw today are very thorough and I left the place with confidence when as I went in I was scared. Best case, a spacer replaces her knee joint, which is her second artificial knee already. Two months in a wheelchair and hopefully another surgery and a new knee joint.

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  38. Scout said on June 18, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    My personal opinion is that those logos are racist af. But when I really want to know what is or isn’t racist, I ask a person of color.

    Trump has been on a roll today with the ‘shotgun blast to the face’ insensitivity and the ‘people are wearing masks to embarrass me’ stupidity. “You’rrrre so vain, you probly think this mask is about you, don’t you, don’t you, don’t you?” He’s likely unraveling all over the place after a Fox poll shows him down 12% to Biden.

    The Tulsa rally is a total shitshow. Hard to believe there are that many belligerently stupid people willing to risk death for Shuffles the Clown, but Americans have really shocked me over the past 4 years. This twitter thread is a things that make you go hmmmm moment. https://twitter.com/MashingTheGas/status/1273399031390187520

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  39. Bitter Scribe said on June 18, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    ROGirl @ #11: And the Jews and Moslems who stayed and got caught practicing their religion were burned at the stake. Fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Spain was a mean place.

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  40. Deborah said on June 19, 2020 at 6:16 am

    Santa Fe is removing a number of monuments that glorified its violent past. The main one in the center of the plaza is a 150 year old obelisk with an inscription that used the word “savages” to describe indigenous people. In the 70s someone chiseled out that word and it remained that way until now. A statue of DeVargas a ruthless prominent figure in NM history was removed from in front of the cathedral in the plaza. Some of the Hispanic community here are upset by the removal of what they consider to be their legacy. It has all been peaceful though, thank goodness. Santa Fe is a fairly crunchy granola place, I like that about it.

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  41. Suzanne said on June 19, 2020 at 8:35 am

    “ Many I met at the rallies said they had been Democrats once, back when the Democratic Party stood for something besides open borders and child molesters. The Democratic Party, as far as this crowd is concerned, is dead, and the Republicans have a lifeline only so long as they hitch it to Trump. The joy of a Trump rally is not partisan; it’s the ecstasy of liberation. It’s the convert’s conviction that they have transcended compromise and coalition, that they have entered into the light, undiluted and pure.”

    “ “It’s a lot to take in,” I stammer. “I didn’t know Q had anything to do with God.”

    “It’s all about God!” Diane shouts. “All about spiritual warfare. Trump will tell you that. Over and over and over.”

    “But he didn’t talk a lot about God—”

    “You’re not listening.” The knowledge is waiting for me, she whispers, moved again nearly to tears: awaken.”


    You really must read this article.

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  42. Deborah said on June 19, 2020 at 10:12 am

    I want to believe that the cultists in that Vanity Fair link are the exception, extreme fanatics but it seems there are way more of them than I ever imagined. The word that comes to mind is devolution and it’s scary.

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  43. Icarus said on June 19, 2020 at 10:21 am

    I was going to ask how people feel about Aunt Jemmina, Mrs. Butterworth, Uncle Ben and the chef on Cream of Wheat being retired and rebranded because the origins of all these were racist

    I’m assuming this didn’t just pop up? that people have been calling for the retiring/removing of those brands for years and only now there is momentum and will to do it?

    The parent companies probably spent a not-insignificant amount of money on advertising, marketing, and PR. I’m guessing some focus groups provided data showing that it is time to move on from those brands for financial reasons more than right-thinking ones.

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  44. Mark P said on June 19, 2020 at 10:42 am

    I think the number of Trump supporters who used to be Democrats is the same as the number of unicorns in the world. I also think that’s the same as the number of people who didn’t like Trump but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary because she was such a terrible person. It’s all bullshit, a way to try to justify to themselves their support of a person they know to be an abomination.

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  45. LAMary said on June 19, 2020 at 11:08 am

    That Vanity Fair article will keep me weirded out for a while.
    Those are some scary people. Not threatening, most of them, but scary that they believe those convoluted interpretations of trumps rambling blather.

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  46. Suzanne said on June 19, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    I know a woman, have known her for years, a genealogist at the Allen Co Public Library, who is totally on board with the idea that the Clintons had people killed. I’ve mentioned here before my former college educated co-worker who believes the Miracle on the Hudson was staged and that the Sandy Hook shooting as well and the successful financial advisor I know who believes Obama is a plant of the Bilderbergers and that Bill Gates wants to microchip people. The more sane of the two IN senators linked to a story from OANN recently and our incredibly dense Rep, Jim Banks, links frequently to Breitbart & the Daily Caller.
    So, yeah. What the article points out is real.

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  47. Scout said on June 19, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    That article gave me the heebies. The cult is so DARK.

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  48. Sherri said on June 19, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    I’m not sure I’d characterize them as not threatening, especially with Trump calling for violence.


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  49. jcburns said on June 19, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Let me commend you to


    where Nancy recites the haunting lyrics to “Columbus (Columbus), we’re making it great.”

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  50. LAMary said on June 19, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    A song for Juneteenth by Rhiannon Gibbons and performed with Yo Yo Ma.


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  51. alex said on June 19, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Having now read the Vanity Fair article, I have to wonder what covfefe means to the initiated.

    Nutters gonna nut.

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  52. Mark P said on June 19, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    The really scary thing is that even if Trump is defeated this year, all of those nuts are still going to be around, saying the doing their nutty things. We have to face the fact that this country has a significant population of nuts. Where are all the monster squirrels when we need them?

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  53. basset said on June 19, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    A photo of Columbus in 1979: https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2020/06/18/columbus-ohio-1979-2

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  54. LAMary said on June 19, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Monster squirrels? Did someone ask for monster squirrels? How about rainbow colored monster squirrels.


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  55. Dexter Friend said on June 19, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    Short time in surgery , next are consultations with a Columbus surgical team who specializes in these multiple replacements…today’s surgeon said he does not, will not put in another artificial knee. Immediately , she goes to a rehab center for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Tomorrow is a FaceTime day for us…I am not driving down there, as daughter Vanessa is there in a hotel for a couple days.

    Trump has unleashed threats of extreme violence against any and all protesters and demonstrators in Tulsa tomorrow. And the world is surging with an upsurge in Covid19 cases, while Cuomo claims victory over the virus and has ended his daily updates after (I think ) 131 days.

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  56. Suzanne said on June 19, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    And Geoffrey Berman, the federal judge who went after Jeffrey Epstein, in the Southern District of NY was just fired.


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  57. Sherri said on June 20, 2020 at 1:41 am

    Prediction time. I’ve generally been pretty pessimistic about things since the pandemic hit, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been wrong. I’ll start off with an optimistic prediction, though.

    Trump is going to lose, bigly, worse than any incumbent has ever lost, and he’s going to resign before his term is up so that Pence can pardon his ass. Dems will win both the Senate and the House.

    250K C19 deaths by Election Day.

    No MLB season, no NFL season, no NHL season. Slim chance of NBA and WNBA seasons, without fans. No major college athletics; too many logistical hurdles to overcome with public schools, private schools, difference states, no national uniform guidance.

    My sport? There are currently major meets scheduled in Arizona in early August and in Florida in mid August, and another in Texas in October. I have no plans to compete or ref in any meet in 2020, certainly not in any of those states. There would have to be substantial improvement before the state chair in Washington would consider scheduling a meet in Washington; I was just discussing that with her last weekend.

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  58. LAMary said on June 20, 2020 at 1:50 am

    Sherri, wouldn’t there have to be charges or pending charges or something specific for Trump to be pardoned? I can think of dozens of reasons why he should have to face legal or congressional charges but do you think there will be another impeachment started?

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  59. David C said on June 20, 2020 at 5:53 am

    It looks like Berman isn’t going down without a fight. I imagine he’s boxing up all he has on the tRumps and their co-conspirators and is dropping it all off at Letitia James’ office.


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  60. David C said on June 20, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Here’s a key question for the Rev. Derrick DeWitt, director of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home in West Baltimore, a 100-year-old nursing facility that has had no coronavirus infections: What was the moment you realized the threat was real and that you had to take action to protect your residents and staff?

    “Right after President Trump said we had 15 cases and it would soon be down to zero.”


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  61. Suzanne said on June 20, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Don’t forget the ties between Jeffrey Epstein & Bill Barr’s dad

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  62. Suzanne said on June 20, 2020 at 9:41 am

    And don’t forget that Bill Barr’s father wrote creepy fiction:

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  63. Sherri said on June 20, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    LA Mary, Ford’s pardon of Nixon was an unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed. You can’t be pardoned for impeachment, but Ford’s pardon ensured that Nixon wouldn’t be indicted for any criminal charges after he left office.

    That’s my understanding, anyway.

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  64. Deborah said on June 20, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Wow Billy Bob Barr is corrupt as hell. Amazing, it’s just one thing after the other.

    We just had quite a morning. First my husband cut my hair and it looks way better than I expected. Then I ran an errand and the car engine light came on. We are supposed to drive out to Abiquiu and my husband’s granddaughter is with her other grandparents and they’re supposed to meet us out there in their RV. So my husband is frantically trying to get a rental car. The car dealer where we got the car and get all our service done, is of course not answering. What a mess.

    We’re really excited about seeing the granddaughter, so that makes it all ok.

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  65. LAMary said on June 20, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for that, Sherri.

    On another completely random note, I was reading job listings on one of the many sites I follow and I saw a job in Felch, Michigan. I had to verify that there is actually a town in Michigan called Felch. Does anyone admit they live there? At football games do the cheerleaders yell, Go Felch?

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  66. beb said on June 20, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Besides Epstein and Bill Barr’s father, Berman was investigating Rudi Giuliani and that could prove to be a kettle of fish. Giuliani seems to have done a lot of corrupt things and blabs about them. Could be bad news for Trump. But the story is just strange with Barr saying he’s resigned. Berman saying ‘no, I haven’t’ and vowing to stay on…. forever? until the Senator confirms a new AG? or what? I’m pretty the House has the power to impeach Barr even there is no chance of the Senator convicting him. Still it seems like the thing to do. You unimpeach someone and bring impeached would certainly limit Barr’s future options.

    I had this crazy idea that the reason Barr brought in all those un-IDed cops from different agencies was to forestall Trump from calling out the Army. By flooding the streets with civilian stormtroopers Barr was showing that he could “dominate” the scene without the Army, thus avoiding but the Insurrection Ace and the Posse Commitatus (sp) act.

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  67. Sherri said on June 20, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    As I understand it, Sessions names Berman as interim, but never sent his nomination to the Senate. Eventually, the Federal district judges appointed him. So, there’s a unanswered legal question as to whether the President can fire him. The President can replace him with a Senate-confirmed appointee.

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  68. Sherri said on June 20, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    We’ve finally moved into Phase 2 here! My husband is very happy, because that means he can play squash again. I had to go to Home Depot today, and thought maybe there I’d see fewer masks, but no, almost everyone was masked, and there was an employee at the entrance counting the number of people entering the store, and one at the exit counting the number exiting, to keep the store from being too crowded.

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  69. jcburns said on June 20, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    As goes Felch (Michigan), so goes Hell (Michigan) and Atlanta (Michigan.)

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  70. David C said on June 20, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    It looks like the eleventy bazillion people who asked for tix to tRump’s Nuremberg on the Plains rally were busy washing their grandmother’s hair.


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  71. Heather said on June 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Yes, the really, really yuge Trump rally in Tulsa is a bit less yuge than expected. The space (which holds 20K) is only half full and they canceled an “overflow event” since the overflow crowd is nonexistent. They are blaming protesters preventing ticketholders from getting inside, which…sure, Jan.

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  72. Sherri said on June 20, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    Who knew cognitive dissonance was a potentially fatal disease?


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  73. basset said on June 20, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    Fathers’ Day, second most depressing holiday of the year behind Christmas. I have asked Mrs. B and B Jr. not to mention it.

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  74. Sherri said on June 21, 2020 at 1:42 am

    I really hope it’s true that Parscale and the Trump campaign got punked by a bunch of K-pop stans on TikTok. Really basic data integrity practices would have prevented this, but I guess they’d rather believe that a million people really did want to come to Tulsa to see a deeply unpopular President demonstrate his ability to drink water.

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  75. David C said on June 21, 2020 at 8:54 am

    Do go look at the video of tRump returning to the White House this morning. It looks like he’s coming home from a three day bender. It’s completely delightful.

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  76. Deborah said on June 21, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I’m late to the party since we have company in Abiquiu. When I read about the Trump rally late last night I was giddy and had trouble sleeping. This morning they’re saying only about 6,600 attended. What a debacle. On the other hand this means that far fewer people have contracted Covid before returning to the various place they came from.

    Of course Trump hasn’t learned his lesson he’ll have more rallies. The teens will have to come up with new troll strategies for the next one.

    Anyone want to put money on how soon Parscale gets dumped? I say before the end of this week.

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  77. LAMary said on June 21, 2020 at 10:38 am

    I was happy to see all those empty seats in Tulsa but I worry that trump is going to go on an anti China rant because Tik Tok is a Chinese social media company.

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  78. Deborah said on June 21, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Is today the solstice too?

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  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 21, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Yesterday (Sat.) was solstice proper. But this weekend are the longest days of the year; sunset will keep creeping later another couple weeks.

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  80. Dexter Friend said on June 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qC2b6ibOK0 …and so it was….

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  81. Brian stouder said on June 21, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    It’s been a fun day; we’re shopping about for a new shed, and our 15 year old increasingly confident and competent Beginner-Driver and I drove across town and back, and just generally enjoyed the day*. Our apartment-dwelling son (who works in Huntington) is actively shopping for a house, and has looked at several interesting (positively and negatively) homes in that neck of the woods. I don’t really envy that task, but between his mom and him, this will ultimately be a successful endeavor.
    *we drove across Fort Wayne, from where we live (in the shadow of WANE-TV’s tower) down through Waynedale and back around through southeast Ft Wayne (where I grew up, And where no end of memories are) and back north and west through town (gotta love all the beautiful homes along the length of Fairfield and then Taylor) and back home again. A lot like time-travel for me, really

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  82. beb said on June 21, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    I’m sort of incensed that Jerry Nadler, chairperson of House Judiciary committee has said that it would be a waste of time to try to impeach Bill Barr. It’s true that there’s only five months before the election but six months before a change of Administration and it would probably that at least that long to call up witnesses, draw up articles of impeachment and have a house vote. That the senate would not vote to convict is beside the point. Barr would still be an impeached AG just like Trump will always be an impeached president. And Barr’s behavior on a number of issues, most recently this firing of AUSA Berman deserves Congressional response.

    I’m sorry that Basset considers Father’s Day the second worst holiday in the country. My wife feels the same way about Mother’s Day. I just try to ignore it all.

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