The Fix is In On Some Things Just From Our Language or How the 19th Century Frank Luntzes Already Twisted How We Think About the Civil War

It’s language stupid!  Of course the language we use about something shapes how we feel about it, how it’s viewed, confers legtimacy, etc. and this article from the Smithsonian, by a Director of the African American History Program at the Smithsinian is like a smack in the forehead.  Of course!!

We Legitimize the So-Called Confederacy With Our Vocabulary, and That’s a Problem

To begin with why do we call it the Confederacy? That’s what they wanted to be called. They were a rebel  insurgency unrecognized as legitimate by any other country in the world.

“General” Robert E. Lee only achieved the rank of colonel in the United States Army.  He was a general only for an illegitmate insurgent force.

Historian Michael Landis suggests professional scholars should seek to change the language we use in interpreting and teaching history. He agrees with people like legal scholar Paul Finkelman and historian Edward Baptist when they suggest the Compromise of 1850 be more accurately referred to as an Appeasement. The latter word precisely reflects the sway that Southern slaveholders held in the bargain. Landis goes on to suggest that we call plantations what they really were—slave labor camps; and drop the use of the term, “the Union.” A common usage in the 19th century to be sure, but now one we only use “the Union” in reference to the Civil War and on the day of the State of the Union address. A better way to speak of the nation during the war, he argues, is to use its name, the United States.

Think about that.  We call the United States of that era “the Union” in a way that can separate the reality of our own country in our minds.  It wasn’t the Union that the rebels broke away from it was the United States of America.

we set up a parallel dichotomy in which the United States is cast as equal to the Confederate States of America. But was the Confederacy really a nation and should we refer to it as such?

And plantation is certainly a lovely bucolic name for what were slave labor camps.  The Nazis called their nightmare death camps “work camps” but we’ve never accepted their coloring of that genocide.  Why have we accepted so much of the South’s lipstick on the pig of slavery and rebellion?

Where else do we use language that actually gives breath to a false narrative?


Trump Dealing With Chuck and Nancy Because Following His Caucus Makes People Hate Him

I still say don’t listen to what he says, only follow what he does.  Which goes for the GOP controlled Congress as well.  So all “deals” or “agreements” reached on legislation have to be taken with a grain of salt until actual bills are written, voted on and signed.  That said, there’s quite a tumult over the new Donald, Chuck and Nancy triumverate.

Last week they got together and “blindsided” the GOP “brain trust” by making a deal on a 3 month budget extension to forestall a looming fight over hitting the debt ceiling.

This was bad enough because obviously any deals with Democrats leaving out his own party makes Republicans go nuts.  They had all these big plans to hold the full faith and credit of the country hostage for a host of conservative fave raves.  Trump negotiated that away to Nancy Pelosi, the communist witch from San Gaycisco who eats babies.  This alone turns GOP election plans for 2018 upside down because their big argument to get out their base and save their majorities is to say “sure, your GOP representative is an idiot, but voting for the Dem gives you Speaker Pelosi, evil baby eater even worse than Hillary!!!

This post by a Dem. candidate for a local seat in Virginia on Daily Kos details the high hurdle Dems have to leap in large swaths of this country because voting for them means supporting Nancy Pelosi, which they can…not…do.

But Trump needs love and the ideas that come out of the Democratic caucus are the most popularly supported ones.  People may hate Nancy Pelosi because of the horror tales Fox News has told about her for a decade, but what she fights for is pretty damn popular. Trump wants to be popular more than he wants oxygen.

So since the budget deal was “so well received” in Trump-speak, he had a dinner with Chuck and Nancy to talk DACA.  90% of the country likes DACA.  Only the people who elected Trump don’t. And damn if they didn’t come up with another “deal” or “agreement” or something that absolutely roiled Trump’s base like an unwanted prostate exam.  These people call a DACA agreement amnesty.  That’s how far gone they are.  And maybe, just maybe Trump is realizing that doing their bidding, like when he defended racists in Charlottesville, means he’s going to be popularly lambasted.  So he has no choice but to run into Chuck and Nancy’s arms.

Still, Bartletta and other conservative Republicans defended Trump’s actions, saying their own ineffective Republican leaders were to blame for driving the president into “Chuck and Nancy’s” arms.

“This president doesn’t have any choice but to turn and listen to the Democrats to try to get something done. He came here to get something done, and if the Republicans aren’t going to get things done, he has no choice,” he insisted. “Let’s not criticize that.”

Whatever actually comes out of the dinner, if anything, is important, but the upending of the GOP’s talking points about Nancy Pelosi (and to a lesser extent dealing with Dems in general), is absolutely shattering for the GOP.

Alex Jones and Roger Stone already floated the idea that somebody is drugging Trump. What now?

Hey Climate Denier – Put Down that Snickers!

As blinkered thinking goes there’s no issue more inexplicably muddleheaded and just plain weird than those defiant souls who just won’t accept the scientific (and empirical ) reality of climate change.  It’s not like angels or spaghetti monsters, go ahead and believe or not believe in mythical creatures.  But 98% of climate scientists see a problem, the Pentagon sees a problem, hell even Exxon Mobile recognizes climate change, they put their best scientists on it and then covered it up for 40 years.

A lot of big businesses have been addressing climate change because nothing hurts business like flooded facilities, supply chain collapse or dead consumers.  Our idiot overlords in the GOP may try to ignore reality so that liberals will cry, and pump up (literally) finite energy sources but they’re just killing themselves and their own precious snowflakes.  See Texas, bitches!

“Big Chocolate”, represented by Mars, makers of failing M&Ms, loser Snickers and small handed Twix is trying to save their failing business by making a $1 Billion investment in renewable energy to run its facilities.  They’re building a huge windfarm in Texas, which will offset their operations elsewhere!

“Mars has been in business for four generations and intends to be for the next four generations,” Grant F. Reid, the food company’s chief, said on Wednesday.

“The only way that will happen is if we do things differently to ensure that the planet is healthy and all people in our extended supply chains have the opportunity to thrive,” he added.

If the supply of cocoa is threatened Mars is done.  Back in 2015 the Guardian noted how some of our favorite things like beer, coffee and chocolate are threatened by climate change.

The world is running out of chocolate. That’s because climate change and crippling poverty are driving Africa’s cocoa farmers to produce other crops. Which is a bit rubbish because your date’s chocolate mousse is set to get a lot pricier.

In four decades, the amount of land available for growing cocoa has dropped 40%. In the next 40 years, the temperature in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, where 70% of cocoa is grown, is set to rise by 2C. That’s going to make it too hot and dry for cocoa trees.

So put down the Snickers, the Coors and the Dunkin’ until you wake up and smell the mold.



Hey Amazon – How’s About Newark?

They want to build a second distribution center headquarters campus and have some requirements.

HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:

  • An urban or downtown campus
  • A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus
  • A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states/provinces and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline

Site Requirements:

  • Proximity to population center: 30 Miles
  • Proximity to International airport: Within approx. 45 Minutes
  • Proximity to major highways and arterial roads: Not more than 1-2 Miles
  • Close to major arterial roads to provide optimal access
  • Access to mass transit: At site
  • Direct access to rail, train, subway/metro, bus routes

Hm, sounds like Newark to me.  Airport, workers, easy access to all means of transport, highways, the entire Northeast, hell everywhere.




Repeat After Me: There is NO North Korea Crisis

North Korea does what it does, what it’s always done.  The Hermit Kingdom develops weapons to ensure it isn’t attacked by the outside world.  It’s RATIONAL!  They’re completely isolated in a shrinking world with no real friends – like a bi-polar, schizophrenic, street person they seem dangerous and scary but if you leave them the hell alone (which is what they want) they’re no danger to anybody but themselves.

In that context, like other nations that don’t want to be fucked with, their desire for nuclear weapons is completely rational.  They’re not attacking anybody themselves because that would mean complete annihilation for them, they get that.  China and Russia deal with them but wouldn’t actually go to war to save them if they did something offensive – what? China wants to sacrifice their future to side with a wacko country?  No. North Korea has but one hand to play, no bluffing or some other bullshit: leave us the hell alone or we’ll go crazy on you.

For decades the international community has worked to slow them down by making deals to give them goods they need.  The martial mutants among us call that appeasement and always want to take physical action against nascent threats the way Rudi Giuliani-types thought the best way to stop crime was by hassling young black and brown men.  It’s intervention for the sake of intervention that achieves more alienation and makes more enemies than it alleviates (for other examples, see Bush administration anti-terrorist policy for well meaning fat head fail).

So there’s no North Korea crisis here, except that which our equally crazy president and his excessively macho administration makes with the help of an alarmist media.

If we just went along our business and pooh poohed their tests we’d be no less safe, without the market rattling language.  Saying that “all options are on the table” (Trump) or threatening a “massive military response” (Mattis), or asserting that they’re “begging for war” (Haley) are ALL self-defeating rhetoric.  All of that talk gets to the North Koreans and puts their backs against the wall, which is why they want the nuclear weapons in the first place.

Like with our friend the wildly angry street psycho, the best policy is to say nothing directly to them, do not make eye contact, and stay far enough away that they can’t pee on you or swing at you.  They are not rational actors, except for that shiv they keep in their sweatpants waistband, and getting in their way is equally irrational and completely unnecessary.  Probably true for Trump too, just exchange shiv for Twitter.

Trump Makes Pivot to Heartless Political Schemer With a Gun Against Dreamer Heads

Not exactly the pivot the MSM was always looking for. However, there is savvy, albeit cruel, political game playing here: Republicans will not allow straight up DACA legislation (the Dream Act) to come to the floor, so Dems will be forced to vote on money for the wall and/or other odious immigration regs to keep these young people from getting churned through the ICE/Homeland Security/Sessions’ Justice Dept. meat grinder.

And make no mistake no matter what any Trump admin. puppet says for public consumption, ICE assholes will use DACA gathered information against the 800,000 Dreamers the minute after the six month clock tolls. They’ve lied all along about their deportation intentions. They’ve even targeted people who voted for them.

I’ve never seen Trump the optimist before, but he’s got to be the sunniest Magoo in the land if he thinks a Congress that already has more than it can handle on its plate can get this done.  They are in over their heads just keeping the doors open and not defaulting on the national credit card. That’s on top of Harvey aide, Irma aide (probably), the specter of North Korean brinksmanship…  If Trump thinks Congress can get this done too in a six month window he is even more deluded than we thought. More likely, Congress will fail, Dreamers will be deported and nothing even remotely positive for anybody will have been achieved.

It’s all chaos all the time.