Here’s an idea

In all the discussion about removing statues of Confederate generals, politicians and soldiers the question comes up: “It’s history. You can’t just eliminate it.” I don’t disagree, but we don’t have to leave the statues in places of honor in our cities like Monument Avenue in Richmond. Why can’t we remove them and put them all in one place for those who want to see them in all their copper verdigris?

This is a bas-relief carved into a huge dome of quartz monzonite (like granite) named Stone Mountain. It’s in north Georgia. It shows Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on horseback.

I suggest we hollow this sucker out and create a Museum of Treason inside. We place all the now-removed Confederate statues inside, and we let the state of Georgia charge admission, since it’s located in a state park. We require the state to use a portion of the revenue for public education, from elementary schools to the historically black colleges and universities in the state.

It’s a win-win! State gets money, schools get money, other municipalities get rid of their divisive statues!

Charlottesville — VICE Documentary

On Saturday hundreds of white nationalists, alt-righters, and neo-Nazis traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia to participate in the “Unite the Right” rally. By Saturday evening three people were dead – one protester, and two police officers – and many more injured.

“VICE News Tonight” correspondent Elle Reeve went behind the scenes with white nationalist leaders, including Christopher Cantwell, Robert Ray, David Duke, and Matthew Heimbach — as well as counter-protesters. VICE News Tonight also spoke with residents of Charlottesville, members of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Charlottesville Police.

This episode of VICE News Tonight aired August 14, 2017 on HBO.

It’s 22 minutes long and it’s awful. What kind of country have we become?

A song for the unmasked alt-right

I suspect the Chad Mitchell Trio would be stunned to know this song of theirs would be newly applicable in 2017 in the United States of America.

This one’s for all those whiners who showed up unhooded and unmasked in Charlottesville this weekend only to discover their employers and college classmates didn’t share their enthusiasm for their cause.

Contest everything

After Saturday’s events in Charlottesville, VA, where a mob of white supremacists and Klansmen felt so enabled by the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency and the elevation of Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to the highest levels of power in the Trump Administration that they could march unmasked and shamelessly through the streets of that city to protest the removal of a statue of a traitor, there are still members of the Republican Party who will say “they didn’t do that in my name.”

That’s true enough, but what is also true is that Trump’s flaws and his reliance on the likes of Bannon were very apparent throughout the campaign of 2016. Trump’s behavior was evident from his announcement of his candidacy when he said “Mexicans are rapists” to his final screeches of “lock her up.” Republican voters knew who and what they were voting for and were good with it.

Trump and his followers’ behavior must be hung around the necks of every Republican candidate for office from now through 2018. Daily. His executive orders should be contested in court, his agencies’ rules must be fought, and the people in Federal Government who are resisting must be supported.

Unite the Right LIVE UPDATES – Daily Stormer

The Daily Stormer is a neo-Nazi website which calls itself part of the alt-right.

Here’s its slogan: Preparing for the race war since 2013.

Here’s what one of its publishers wrote on its website at 3:46pm EDT today:

3:46 PM:Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.

He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides!

So he implied the antifa are haters.

There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.

He said he loves us all.

Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.

No condemnation at all.When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good.

God bless him.

Source: #UniteTheRight: Charlottesville LIVE UPDATES – Daily Stormer

When Congress serves industry

Table saw users, take note. There’s a way to keep your fingers from sudden amputation. It was invented 14 years ago.

There was a big need for this invention. Every year more than 4,000 Americans suffer amputations — get their hands mangled using table saws. Upwards of 30,000 people wind up in emergency rooms with lesser injuries. And Gass had figured out a safety brake that could prevent those accidents.

So why hasn’t industry bought it? Why hasn’t the Federal Government instituted a rule requiring it?

Because it adds a couple of hundred bucks to the cost of a table saw, and according to one industry spokesman, “Safety doesn’t sell.”

The inventor started his own saw company and proved it worked. He’s about to introduce a new saw that costs $400, about double that of the ones industry sells now. Somehow the Consumer Product Safety Commission is still uncertain about issuing a rule, worrying about the inventor getting a monopoly, which is not in its purview, and listening to the industry trade association whining that the proposed rule “needs more study.” Proponents point out that the financial cost and the pain and harm from those 30,000 injuries and 4,000 amputations (estimated at $4 billion) is a helluva lot more than the cost of the new system.

Now comes Congress, some one or more of which has been bought and paid for by the industry.

“None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be used to finalize any rule by the Consumer Product Safety Commission relating to blade-contact injuries on table saws,” the rider on the budget bill reads.

Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia, who chairs the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee where the rider originated, was unavailable for an interview.”

Of course.

Next paragraph: “The Power Tool Institute has already invested tens of thousands of dollars this year to lobby Congress against the CPSC rule.”

You clowns. Have you done a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the money you spent lobbying might have been better spent saving the hands and fingers of your customers? You know, the ones who might remain your customers if they’re not disabled by your product?

This is why people are susceptible to the con men like Trump when they say the swamp needs to be drained.

Life in the Age of Trump

Note: I really don’t think we need to do this. At least, I hope not.

Build a bomb shelter.

You need to find the most optimal location. In doing so, you need to consider the terrain, water levels, and distance from other structures. This includes location of sewer and electrical lines.

Essentially, you want to have as much mass between your bomb shelter and the attack. After identifying potential nuclear bomb targets and where a likely blast wind will come from, determine a bomb shelter position that will serve the greatest protection.

[snip]

…no hill or mountain would reduce the amount of fallout since it falls straight to the ground like snow. So, you just need to make sure you put your underground bomb shelter deep enough – 36 inches or more below the surface.

Put 30 days worth of food into your shelter (this article says three days worth, which seems awfully optimistic to me).

Along with your weather and satellite radio (in case anyone’s still broadcasting after the bombs) you should have books, writing materials and a portable DVD player with at least one copy of Dr. Strangelove.

A different version

Everybody knows Ray Charles’s version of this song. Here’s Becky Kilgore’s and Dave Frishberg’s cover, from their “Not a Care in the World” album.

I think I first heard these two together on Fresh Air about fifteen years ago, and it was a revelation to hear her sing and hear Frishberg (who wrote “I’m Just a Bill” for Schoolhouse Rock a long time ago) play. I’ve been hunting up albums by the two of them ever since, and there aren’t many. Here’s a list of Kilgore’s records, and here’s a list of Frishberg’s discography. These two are old-timers: Frishberg is 84 years old and Becky is 67.