Damnatio Memoriae by Nitay Arbel

Damnatio Memoriae by Nitay Arbel

The slippery slopes of “damnation of memory”

[See also this earlier PJMedia article by the blogmistress, https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/08/20/remembering-the-past/ ]

Ancient Rome had a practice called “damnatio memoriae”  in which emperors or public figures that had fallen into disgrace were literally erased from view: not only were any monuments to them torn down, but their name was erased from things they had built.

In the wake of the recent push to demolish statues to military leaders from 150 years ago — respected on both sides of the war they fought in — the POTUS facetiously asked whether the Founding Fathers would be next. [Sure enough, some regressive leftist soon answered, “hold my beer!”.]

But seriously: as long as we’re engaging in “damnatio memoriae” by tearing down statues of historical figures who owned slaves etc. — why stop there? Let’s have a look at the sciences.

Karl Pearson held views on eugenics, race, etc. that can only be characterized as vile. He is also one of the founding fathers of statistics, and indeed coined such concepts as the correlation coefficient, standard deviation, and regression coefficients. Are we going to discard these statistical concepts as tainted by Pearson’s odious views? Or are we going to excise just him in favor of Ronald Fisher, who invented or popularized (Student’s t-distribution, ANOVA,…) several more statistical concepts? Oops, Fisher too was big on eugenics and racial stuff.  And if you start digging into Charles Spearman: with all his work on intelligence testing, “if you’re looking to beat a dog, a stick is easily found” (Dutch idiom). So are we, in the name of political correctness, going to have to ascribe the fundamentals of statistics to “an unknown author”? At the risk of Godwinizing, the way Heinrich Heine’s song “Lorelei” and several popular compositions by Mendelssohn were credited “to an unknown author/composer” during the Third Reich because of their creators’ Jewish origins?

Let’s go from statistics to physics. Johannes Stark was awarded the 1919 Nobel Prize in Physics for experimental spectroscopic work that in part inspired the development of quantum mechanics. The splitting up of atomic and molecular spectra in an electric field is known to this day as the Stark Effect.

Yet Stark was also a stark (ahem) raving antisemite, and this wasn’t just a privately held prejudice. During the Third Reich was actively involved in purging Jewish scientists from German academia and attempting to establish an “Aryan physics” purged of such subversive “Jewish” notions as Einstein’s theory of relativity. He was helped in these endeavors by another Nobel laureate, Philipp Lenard, already in his dotage.

So are atomic and molecular spectral lines now no longer allowed to split up in an electric field? Or do we need to rename the Stark effect after some mythical philosopher-peasant of [insert favored minority du jour], the way this happened in the former Soviet Bloc?

William Shockley led the research group at Bell Labs where the transistor was discovered: he shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics with his subordinates John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. He was later said to “have put the silicon in Silicon Valley”. The always eccentric Shockley became an  outspoken racialist in his later years. Does that mean he is no longer the co-inventor of the transistor? Or, worse, are transistors and the microchips based on them now racist? Does that mean that SJWs now only get to use computers based on vacuum tubes or relays? Or do we simply edit Shockley out and ascribe the transistor entirely to his co-inventors?

And since so many readers here are space and sci-fi enthusiasts, I probably won’t need to rehash the story of Werner von Braun and his involvement with the V1 and V2 missiles — suffice to say that he must have been aware of the inhumane conditions prevailing at the Dora-Mittelbau underground factory (a satellite camp of Buchenwald) where the missiles were mass-produced.

In chemistry, I will just cite Fritz Haber as an example. Haber, with chemical engineer Carl Bosch, developed the Bosch-Haber process  for the fixation of aerial nitrogen, which freed agriculture and chemical industry from dependence on guano deposits as sources of ammonia and nitrates. It is hard to imagine how today’s world population could ever be fed without a sustainable source of artificial fertilizer. (Among other honors, this work earned Haber the 1918 Nobel Prize.)

Yet on the other side of the ledger, Haber was instrumental in introducing poison gas on the battlefield. WW I would probably have ended two years earlier (probably with Germany starved into surrender) without Haber.

Does this mean we no longer can use the Bosch-Haber Process, speak of the Born-Haber cycle, … Or that the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin needs to change its name?

I can go on like this for quite a while longer. Academics are probably second only to artists and politicians in their propensity for virtue signaling and moral preening. Yet in these matters, they let common sense prevail.  A person can be a genius in one area of human endeavor, and at the same time an imbecile or a scoundrel in another. One can acknowledge the latter without gainsaying the former.

Allow me to end on a personal note. Last year, during a side trip from a work assignment, we visited the city of Toledo (Spain, not OH). The famous “El Transito” medieval synagogue was actually on Mrs. Arbel’s bucket list to visit. As we walked toward it, we passed through the Calle de los Reyes Catolicos [“Street of the Catholic Kings”, idiomatically and in context: Ferdinand and Isabella Street]. It was only to be expected that streets would be named in honor of the dual monarchs who finally unified Spain (and who, by the way, also sponsored Columbus’s voyage). However, we could not help being reminded that these were also the very same monarchs who issued the infamous Expulsion Decree, which gave the Jews of Spain the choice between exile, conversion, or death.

But did the thought of being “offended” that the Spanish named the street after Ferdinand and Isabella (and probably another street in most major Spanish towns, plus umpteen monuments) even occur to us? The very concept would strike us —both proud and unapologetic Jews — as bizarre. Ferdinand and Isabella are inextricably part of the fabric of Spanish history — for good and bad.


258 thoughts on “Damnatio Memoriae by Nitay Arbel

  1. More. The Ontario public teachers union voted to request that all schools named after Sir John A. MacDonald be renamed because of his geoncidal treatment of Native Americans. Ignoring that he was the father of Canadian Confederation, or the architect of the Canadian railway from coast to coast.
    Bad thought, bad deeds in the past judged by the present is enough to damn even the greatest statesman no matter the issue.

    Thank god the majority of Canadians (barely) think ideas like this is nuts.

    1. When lynching parties form up they’ve little concern over whom they target. Their purpose is not to redress wrongs but to stoke their self-righteous anger.

    2. Canada is funny. You think its all super Liberal, and that everybody is down with whatever snake-oil the government is peddling. But then years later you find out that wow, nobody really registered their guns when the gun registry came in. They all flat-out didn’t bother, and everything on the news about the registry was propaganda.

      Are people really going to give up the Fathers of Confederation because some malcontents in the teacher’s union said so? No way. There will be all kinds of noise, and Maclean’s Mag will have a three page article, which we will laugh at in the doctor’s office years from now.

  2. Likely in the sciences they’ll find a woman to credit. Lots of new lady scientists (many of whom, I suspect, were secretaries or wives, though this is not mentioned) are being discovered whose work was Stolen! By White Men!

    …As opposed to the idea that science is, you know, collaborative, and that multiple people can work on a theory at once.

        1. Our son did a presentation on her last year for “noteworthy American.” She wasn’t on the suggested list, but since we knew he’s very into computers, the lady who invented the compiler was a great idea.

        2. I have twice spoken at major events as the speaker following Commodore Grace and her microseconds. I had the honor of being an invited guest aboard the maiden voyage of the USS Grace Hopper, which sort of made up for it. The Hopper has a special dispensation to fly a unique banner from the windward mid stay. It reads “Amazing!”

          1. My late husband took a class from Admiral Grace Hopper, so I know about her microseconds. I have a soft spot for her because of the stories my husband told about her.

            1. It’s nanoseconds of wire, not microseconds. I know because I attended a lecture she gave while at university. She was also a guest at a Navy event, so as a E5 at that time I had to salute her. Then got in trouble for talking to her too much. 😀

        3. She developed a lot of the theory that defined those fields. Not just a “lowly engineer.” (Although without those engineers…)

          I’m not sure whether her effective non-personhood is due to her being an – Ick! – military officer, or that she was an two-star Admiral long before the Wall of the Patriarchy was taken down by the modern “feminists.” (The latter theory matches well with the “no women in science fiction before…” meme.)

          1. Yup, those who did succeed upset the narrative — the purpose of which is not what it says it is. [The real agenda is so people with no real talents other than politicking and backstabbing can get themselves anointed as almighty dispensers of “justice” that everybody needs to pay tribute/Danegeld to. Women/minorities/… are only pawns on the chessboard in this game.]

            1. The likes of Hopper upset the Narrative. They probably hate her worse than any of the cismale hetero patriarch oppressors.

      1. Or (per my textbook) those who succeeded and were recognized at the time are ignored in favor of those who were set aside by “the patriarchy” (in this case the University of Berlin in the late 1800s.) Blargh.

      2. When there was that thing about changing the face of the $10 bill (I think it was) I suggested to $HOUSEMATE that Grace Hopper would be an ideal choice. There was agreement. Of course that indicated “That ain’t gonna happen.” and we both knew it. Ox slow. Ox not damnfool.

          1. Aye, ‘twould have been a Greatness. Heck, if it were MY face there (I know, the general requirements disqualify me MANY ways) I’d happily step aside for her.

      3. Of course, even Grace Hopper has had her own roles in atrocities afflicted onto humankind. She was, after all, the one who created COBOL, which is now the bane of many banks….

        1. Grace Hopper did not create COBOL, however her B-0 language (FLOW-MATIC) was the first “English-like” business programming language, and was very influential in the design of COBOL.

          1. It depends on the definition of “compiler” and “high-level language” whether Hopper’s A0 was the first or John Backus’s Fortran (“formula translator”) was. The latter, at any rate, was the first to see widespread adoption (I still can program in it fairly well).

            1. I first learned ALGOL, then Fortran, then some other stuff, but I ended up teaching BASIC and COBOL, so during the first year I was literally one chapter ahead of the students.

              Favorite tee-shirt on campus in the Seventies:
              Fortran jock: I speak in GO TOs.

              Favorite story from sophomore year, first computer class of the fall: the professor began the class by announcing that the computer on which we learned Algol had been replaced over the summer with an IBM 360/370, and we would be writing in PL/1.
              “I don’t know PL/1,” he continued. “Your labbies don’t know PL/1. Your first assignment is due tomorrow.”

    1. They’ve already attempted that with Einstein, saying it was actually his wife who did all the hard work, with him stealing credit. it makes sense – who could believe a mere patent clerk could achieve such conceptual breakthroughs?

      1. Oy. Now the bit about Crick & Watson, or Hahn & Strassman… perhaps. But Albert? Pull the other one, it’s got non-inertial reference frames on.

      2. Those tools overlook that special relativity had many other fathers, including Henri Poincaré (who even invented the word), Hermann Minkowski, and Hendrik Lorentz (whose Lorentz-transformation was the foundation stone of special relativity). Einstein himself paid much tribute to Lorentz.

        As for general relativity, *that* can be seen as more or less an Einstein one-man show.

        Many people are unaware that Einstein did *not* get the Nobel for relativity of either kind, BTW — that theory was still a bit controversial at the time, while his unrelated work on the photo-electric effect was itself judged Nobel-worthy.

    2. The case of Rosalind Franklin is probably he biggest now. Many people want to take credit for the double helix away from Crick and Watson and give it to Franklin, though Franklin acknowledged that their model was the correct model for DNA.

      1. That story is a bit more complex. The main reason Franklin didn’t share the Nobel with Watson & Crick was the Grim Reaper — she tragically died of cancer at a young age, and the Nobel is not given posthumously. Franklin and W&C went at the problem from very different angles — no need to gainsay them to acknowledge her contribution.

  3. It all becomes a bit clearer when you realize that to the leftists, their “politics” is functionally their religion. Their positions aren’t rationally arrived at, but are taken as articles of faith. And like many religions, they must see unbelievers as evil, and refuse to see any historical figures as imperfect people like any others, with both good and bad aspects to them. Instead, such people (unbelievers and historical figures) fairly literally take the place of demons in their religious philosophy.

    This is why you can’t reason with them–when you try, you are impugning their religion, and trying to tempt them into damnation.

    1. And yet, as was pointed out in the PJ Media article, the Catholics of Spain and Portugal had no problem with statues of and streets named after the presumably pagan Romans and Celts. They were willing to just accept that Christianity wasn’t an option in those times.

      If Leftism is a religion, it’s a particularly jealous one, comparable only to the Taliban or ISIS.

      1. “If Leftism is a religion, it’s a particularly jealous one, comparable only to the Taliban or ISIS.”

        Well yeah. Not just the Taliban or ISIS, but pretty much Islam generally. Tolerant of other religions, leftism is not. Of course, they’re trying to redefine “tolerant” to mean “agrees with leftist religious dogma,” so by their standards of non-English they’re “tolerant.”

        1. Feeble foundations foster zealous defenses. Lacking any articulable bases for their faiths they must instead engage in subjugation and suppression (which are why those are now undergraduate majors at Progressive universities.)

      2. That’s a good comparison, demonstrated by the fact that the Left shares the Taliban’s iconoclastic ideology.

        1. Wrecking the past and cutting yourself off from it is a feature, not a bug.

          Once again, 1984 as a how-to manual.

          They are leveraging their control of the present to rewrite the past (obliteration is a form of rewrite) in order to help shape the future.

          1. And if they end up erasing all memory of just how bad a civil war can be, and how you put one in your collective past behind you such that the country comes back together, they will likely get the Santayana Sentence.

            Unfortunately for us all, if they do we will have to be here while they serve it.

    2. Worse, it’s not a very robust faith– has a lot more resemblance to what they accuse Christians of than what Christians are, which is freaking strange given the religious background for most.

      1. So it (their conception of Christianity) is also YALP (Yet Another Leftist Projection) of their religious beliefs upon others whom they fundamentally misunderstand (what else is new?).

      2. In fairness, their own personal practice of faith, and their conception of Christianity, may have been shaped by some really lousy practitioners of Christianity. Which you will get in situations where Christianity has been so successful that the way to worldly power involves mimicking it.

        1. Plus flat ignorance and not realizing they’re ignorant– malice is easy to project on to others, but the empathy to figure out that someone did something that hurt you because they didn’t know and in fact had no reasonable way to know…..

          That’s hard.

      3. And what they borrow from Christianity (the idea of penance, confession, and repenting of the sin, as well as trying to redress the wrong you the individual have done) they warp. So all carry the blood guilt of [thing in the past that is now bad] and must flaggelate themselves in public and proclaim their eternal guilt. But there’s never any forgiveness and redemption.

        1. They borrow some of the nastier doctrines that have appeared in Christianity, as well.

          Never any forgiveness and redemption *for anyone else*.

          Being a predestined Elect is just the tip of the iceberg.

          1. I have noticed their tendency to sell Indulgences, either in the form of “off-setting” carbon sinks or fealty to their worship of Baal goddess of abortion.

              1. Thank-you. I readily confess a lack of familiarity with the entities in question, a lack of familiarity which I hope to maintain in perpetuity.

        2. I have often been told I am at blame for slavery. That 3/4 or my relatives were not in North America let alone none in the USA until after the ACW is of no relevance.

            1. It is, I have been told multiple time ALL my fault.
              As i have told others, so I relate now….
              I am sorry. I apologize. Really, sorry for the terrible inconvenience.
              See, I just wanted a little light. I had NO IDEA whole freaking Universe would show up.

              Well, if it’s ALL my fault, then it’s ALL my fault.

              But, no, I do not truly wield such power as that. For if I did, I’d be spending some time debugging things.

            2. I got it on high authority from low brainpower folks that is not enough to scrub the blame.
              Oh, and pointing out that actual and for true slavery in the modern age is mostly done by Black Africans and Arabs of the Islamic persuasion is racist, because shut up.

              1. If any of them were to call me racist, I’d just have to say, “Could you explain that to my black wife please?” 😀

                1. Black wife? Easily explained. A compensatory mechanism. One more instance of the White man thinking he can own the Black woman. She isn’t really Black, she just looks that way.

                  For people who cannot distinguish culture from race and who presume all African peoples share the same (socialist) culture, such explanation is a trifle.

                  1. Understood. The comment wouldn’t be to try and change the beliefs of the leftist, as they’re pretty much immune to consideration of, well, anything; it would be for the benefit of any spectators listening, to understand the utter irrationality of the leftist position.

                2. You’re just using her as a shield…. which was an actual line the Puppy-Kickers used.

                  1. As I said above, you don’t try to convince the leftists with any rebuttals you make, as they are inherently unable to process anything antithetic to their religious dogma. You make the rebuttals so any onlookers will realize the utter irrationality of the leftist position.

                  1. Doesn’t matter. You wouldn’t be doing it to stop them but to demonstrate to onlookers just how insane their claims are.

    3. Amazing the number of Progressive Leftists that are atheists, and supposedly very intelligent.

        1. Eh. Having been an atheist, the loudest and easiest recognized ones are not. They are *anti* theists. Specifically, they dislike one religion, and one deity. This is clouded by the fact that they retreat to “I disbelieve in one more god than the monotheist, so there!” feint when pushed. Because hating on one in particular whose believers they *know* will not toss them off buildings or behead them without forswearing themselves to salvation is a lot safer than hating the ones who will certainly do so at the first opportunity.

          The true atheist, with no belief within him and no malice towards the believer, is rather thinner on the ground. They tend towards agnosticism as much as atheism. It’s not so much that they have to actively disbelieve, it is that belief is not within them. Often, when looked for, nay, ardently sought for, that belief is found. Or so *I* believe.

          1. Well of course I have faith in the existence of God.
            But a few hard proofs would be welcome.

  4. It’s pretty easy to do this with the Left’s patron saints as well. For example, Margaret Sanger publicly talking about her plans to exterminate the black race and sending fan letters to Hitler. Or Harvey Milk’s fondness for young boys (even while they pretend to be outraged at Yiannopolus for mentioning that that’s a thing in some circles). But we’ll never hear much of anything about things like that from the outrage generators, since they’re not useful to the narrative.

      1. Doesn’t that indicate that MLK knew there were many of his race who were “unworthy of life”?

          1. It’s a pity that MLK never used anti-congealing oils on his pistol. Such things *can* be prevented with a little forethought!

              1. As typos go, though, I really appreciated that one! It’s sometimes funny how one little character can make the world of a difference…and how I can see a word used over and over again, and it never occurs to me to change that one little character…

                1. and with that, it’s characters and “Gee, I might aught get some stronger reading glasses” but mostly it was fecking autocorrupt and not seeing it as the phone often hides the posts from me . . .when it isn’t reversing the word order, which it did on that, but I managed to catch it before posting.

  5. More broadly offensively, should we be tearing down the John Kennedy memorial at Arlington?

    1. It’s just another example of the collectivist left’s perpetual penchant for adopting labels for themselves that connote admirable traits. When they’ve befouled a label, they just trade it for another one. They started as “progressives,” then when they screwed that up they proclaimed themselves “liberals” (even though they were essentially the exact opposite of “classic liberals”). After they’d poisoned that label, they tried to go back to “progressive,” evidently thinking that its besmirching had been forgotten in the 60-70 years since they used it. Unfortunately for them, we actually remember history (which it isn’t at all clear that they do).

      1. My usual retort to people who correct me and say they’re “progressive” is “So’s cancer.”

      2. They know history just fine. Many of them even have college degrees in it.

        Modern, progressive, inclusive, diverse history. All sanitized and approved by Authority, wrapped in Narrativium and seasoned with self-hatred.

        Not like that old-school badthink history *you* probably had…

        1. Yes, I know, they’ve redefined “history” to mean, “the received narrative of the holy leftist scriptures.”

  6. Isn’t it odd how those who try to erase or deny the past, are those who most often seek to repeat parts of it?

    I cannot help but note that some of the folks most loudly demanding the removal of Secessionist statuary are those most loudly calling for a Secesssion of California and other areas.

    Odd indeed.

    1. You know, if they allow the referenda on secession to be on a county by county basis with only those counties voting to secede leaving the union, I’d lobby for their right to go. I’d maybe make my support conditional on their extending the referenda to Oregon and Washington counties too, though.

            1. I know I am not living in Sin. I’ve heard that it at least seems to be fun if only for a while, and well… evidence points elsewhere. Note that I do NOT claim to be living in Virtue. Irritation is, alas, a possibility.

              1. I reside in the state of Perpetual Disgruntlement ever since I dislocated my gruntle some years back.

      1. I completely agree with this notion (and would request a similar process for New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey — heck, we might even throw in a couple of cities in Texas), although I confess that when I feel particularly mean, I want to throw in the condition that Hillary has to be their first President…

        1. Nah, no conditions that might queer the deal…you want to make it as easy as possible for them to leave. Just make darned sure the door is one-way.

          1. Yes, we need to remember to keep our emotions in check when negotiating the separation…

            On the other hand, the scary thing is that this might be a condition that actually seals the deal…

    2. Woefully (or wonderfully) OT: What’s the difference between an 11B and a 204B (assuming 204B still exists – it’s a been a while since I dealt with such things)?

        1. Once upon a time, that was how the fellow who normally was a “clerk” doing regular work at night, but was the “can’t do any real work – supervisor” on Sundays/Holidays/Supervisor’s Vacation was referred to. For all i know it was an obsolete yet still used term 20-odd years ago.

          There was a time that snippet helped. I had sent something someplace for an event and checked the wrong box or such so it was being held – until Monday… AFTER the event it was for. Was told that picking it up was “impossible.” I asked if the party go ’round back to the dock and ring the Caller Service bell or such. Still no go. “Nobody would be there.” “What, not even some 204B?” And the World Changed and things suddenly became possible.

          1. OOPsss. I went for humor instead of comprehending your question. Sorry.

            Once upon a time, I was a soldier, a highly motivated, newly trained Infantryman (MOS 11B). SOooo.. naturally the unit to which I was assigned drafted me to be the Battalion Mailclerk, for which I had zero training.

            It worked out well, actually. But via another -long- story, I wound up an IT Geek.

        2. Don’t know about 204B, but 205A-1 was my room number while chasing forest fires one summer. Bell Hotel room 205A-1 (civilian Huey helicopter).


          The very bird.

    3. I used to be of the opinion that while amobarbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, and secobarbital, amongst others, existed and have abuse potential, that the most abused was cenosensital. I have sadly had to conclude that as bad as that would be, it not even that good. Far too many seem addicted to a shockingly high dose of dumbassamine HCl. Or maybe the sulfate. I really do NOT care to get close enough to begin to consider the possibility of analysis.

      One thing is sure, there are not many (if any) mind-expanding drugs around now. Contraction is king. And contra-indicated, yes.

    4. Or that the ones calling for succession due to the intolerable nature of the Clinton loss like to pretend that they wouldn’t have supported succession due to the intolerable nature of the Breckinridge loss.

        1. Did you know that Lincoln got less than forty percent of the popular vote? The rest being split by Breckinridge, Douglas, and Bell? And look at that approval rating.

    5. I think the difference is that the Federal government will favor a California secession, while they did not favor that of the Southern states. Though I would hope it would be only of those California counties that support secession — which will rid us of SF, LA, and a few other big cities while retaining the nice parts of CA.

      1. Nope. Sorry. One cannot disenfranchise one’s neighbors, cannot remove them from the protections of the Constitution, by seceding.

        What supposed good one hopes to achieve is irrelevant. The rights of the US Citizen are guaranteed, including the right not to be de-patriated.

        1. Interesting argument, but I think it fails. Let’s say California decided to secede. The US citizens living in California would then simply become US citizens living in a foreign country. Those who wanted to become citizens of the newly-formed People’s Republic of California could do so, but those who did not want to become PRC citizens and wanted to remain US citizens… well, the US would still consider them citizens.

          Granted, that’s how it should work, and how it would actually work is unknown. But there’s nothing inherent in “the state I was living in decided to secede, against my wishes” that would remove your US citizenship, and your rights under the Constitution. (Whether the newly-formed country would start violating your rights… well, that’s a different question entirely.)

          1. I would also like to see a window where anyone who wishes to become a citizen of the new Republic of California, who is currently a United States citizen outside of the boundaries of secession, to be able to do so, regardless of current residency. Perhaps even have dual citizenship, even if it’s temporary, so that individuals could have the chance to move within the next few years….

            1. And a checkbox on the form, “In addition to becoming a California citizen, I wish to renounce my U.S. citizenship, effective (pick one): [ ] immediately, [ ] starting on ______ (choose a date no later than six months from today)”. Nobody would have to sign that, but I bet a lot of them would, without thinking about the future effects of that choice.

          2. Such a situation as secession removes US Citizens from the protections of the Constitution, by depatriating them. Effectively, they were forcibly deported by a hostile force.

            You -cannot- remove someone from the protections of the constitution by simple legalistic fiat. We setttled that previously, and definitively. Due process of individuals, for crimes committed? Yes. Mass disenfranchisement because “someone else says”? -No way-.

            Americans have -rights- that have been -guaranteed-. You -cannot- deny folks life, liberty, or property simply because “we said so, and we are many.”

            We went through this once before. We will -not- do it again. -I- will not stand by and watch my fellow Americans stripped of their Liberty. And a whole bunch of other folks will also act to say and -enforce- that most essential word of Liberty:


            1. If I agreed with your first paragraph, the rest of your argument would follow naturally. But I just cannot agree that a voted-on secession qualifies as deporting someone by force. If it took effect immediately, sure. But if it takes effect one or two years from now, plenty of time to plan to move elsewhere? No, that doesn’t persuade me. If you want to persuade me that that is tantamount to forcible deportation, I’m open to hearing the argument. But my gut says that the two are very different, and that nobody would be deprived of their Constitutional rights by being informed “This territory will no longer be part of the United States as of two years from now.”

              And one thing you argument has not yet addressed is the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Nowhere in the Constitution does it prohibit the states from voting to leave the Union. Therefore, that power is reserved to the states or to the people. Now, I haven’t heard many people discuss secession from a Tenth Amendment standpoint: maybe there’s a good argument against that point of view, which I don’t yet know about. If you know of one, I’d like to hear it.

              1. Article Four, Section Four

                Article 4, Section 4
                The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on
                Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

                That is pretty explicitly powers granted to the Federal government, and denied to the state government, and would seem to implicitly cover leaving the union without first amending the constitution to explicitly allow it.

                1. Yeah, there’s a lot of things supposedly implied in the Constitution, like the right to butcher babies. Amazing how fast originalism goes away when it gets in the way…..

                2. If the duly-elected representatives of the state vote to leave the union, how does Article 4, Section 4 apply then? It will no longer be a “State in this Union” at that point. That is not invasion, nor domestic violence (as long as the elections were held fairly and peacefully). I don’t see how you conclude that this “implicitly cover[s] leaving the union”; that’s just not in the text at all. How do you reach that conclusion?

                  1. Article 1 is Legislature, Article 2 is Executive, Article 3 is Judicial.

                    Article 4, Section 1 specifies that states can be held to account for US debts. Section 2 relates to citizenship, debt, and movement between states. Section 3 tells us that two states cannot simply on their own create a third.

                    Article 5 is amendment, Article 6 looks kinda misc at the moment, Article 7 is ratification.

                    First is my usual contention about the distinction between democracies and republics. I think this was recognized in the period in question, and that the current degree of conflation is mainly an artifact both of Democrats being Democrats and of Democrats being democrats.

                    If a simple majority is for something, it is always democratic, but whether it is republican depends on the terms of any pre-existing deal.

                    A Republican form of government meets certain procedural criteria it has agreed to, and has to pass a stringent test to repudiate them. If it repudiates them without passing the test, it might be no longer considered Republican, and thus eligible for intervention.

                    (In the specific case of the ACW, one could also argue that there were sufficient irregularities in the vote to justify intervention to restore a ‘Republican Form of Government’.)

                    Original intent seems to suggest that article 4, section 4 was a response to the rebellions that the US had already experienced.

                    Does the rebellion count or not depending on whether the legislature backs it? The text doesn’t explicitly say, so there is ambiguity, which in practice would probably have to be settled in litigation.

                    What would be the proper Republican procedure for withdrawal from the union? Article 4, Section 4’s mention of legislative consent perhaps implies that the democratic test is sufficient. Article 4, section 1, Article 4, section 3, and the preamble to the articles of confederation perhaps imply that a stronger test is necessary. The text doesn’t explicitly say, so there is ambiguity, which in practice would probably have to be settled in litigation.

                    As far as republicans were concerned, they would have needed to first settle the question of the test. Which means years of litigation. The escalation to violence nicely resolved the ambiguity for republicans.

                    As far as democrats were concerned, they had a local majority, and that was sufficient. So the violence wasn’t the issue.

                    tl;dr That level of political backing for succession was rare enough that clear procedures for succession had not been established. There were open questions, and the different sentimental (republican/democrat) factions saw them differently.

                    P.S. If a smaller portion fully and completely succeeds, what’s to stop declaring war, exterminating the population, recovering the territory and recolonizing? If a simple majority of the state legislature is sufficient, does that not significantly undermine protections of US citizen rights?

              2. If ANYONE on the Union side had been paying attention to the 10th Amendment, there would have been no Civil War to begin with.

                Which is why there’s a good argument that Lincoln was the father of Federal Government overreach.

          3. I have to agree with the Infantry mail guy– we can’t vote people off the island, so to speak, or take their property without recompense, and that’s what California becoming a foreign country would require.

            They’d have to make sure there was absolutely nobody who wouldn’t renounce their US citizenship first, and then see about cutting legal ties, otherwise you make it so a simple majority can take away anybody’s land by leaving the US and becoming a simple democracy.

            1. Didn’t see your comment until just now, as I’ve been rather busy. I didn’t think of the argument about that effectively taking away someone’s land, which is an argument that persuades me far more than the “depatriating you removes you from the protection of the Constitution”. The position I’m taking says “No it doesn’t, you’re still a U.S. citizen, even if you’re now living on foreign soil: you still have the protection of the Constitution, though you might have to move in order to exercise it depending on the laws the new country passes”. But I hadn’t realize that “you have to move” effectively deprives you of your property, without the just compensation provided for in the Fifth Amendment. That’s far more persuasive to me.

              I can see one way to make it work Constitutionally, if the seceding government provides truly just compensation (as provided for in the Fifth Amendment) for the property that they’re depriving someone of by essentially forcing them to move. Which, of course, means that they’d essentially have to buy almost all the land that they consider to be part of “their” country, and they’d never do it.

              So in practice, the only way a state could secede is if an exit clause was written into the Constitution by a Constitutional Amendment. Because while I still believe the Tenth Amendment does reserve all rights to the States that aren’t explicitly granted to the Federal Government (and the absence of any mention of secession would make that fit under the Tenth’s broad umbrella)… in practice, the absence of any mention of secession raises large practical questions about how it would work. Hence why an amendment (or the convention that drloss is so fond of calling for) would be necessary.

              1. I didn’t comment until rather recently. 🙂

                I wouldn’t put it to the states, but rather to the people, just as a matter of practicality!

      1. Sadly, from what I hear, you do NOT want to do that.

        You might want to send out some feelers and see if they’ve been taken over by the psychos– but you’ve got to be careful.

        1. MZ Williamson goes to Pennsic, so that may be a good person to approach on which groups to avoid. I know he’s on facebook so if you follow him or drop him an e-mail from his blogs…. Just saying.

          1. From what I’ve caught of the el paso area, it’s…um… well, Ms. Lackey would really, really like it.

            Which means it’s toxic to crazy folks who want FUN, not lectures about how evilbad the Christians who actually made the time we’re supposedly playing in possible were….

    6. AND the ones who insisted that Sarah Palin was contaminated because her husband used to belong to the Alaskan Indepence Party. Secessionist! Abomination! And apparently sexually transmitted

  7. [D]id the thought of being “offended” that the Spanish named the street after Ferdinand and Isabella … even occur to us?

    I am reminded of an adage one of my brothers is fond of: The essence of all Jewish holidays is “they tried to eliminate us, they failed, they’re gone, we’re still here. Let’s eat!”

    Happily, we’ve now got good kosher wines!

        1. I’m skeptical about any *good* kosher wine, unless your standards are “it’s not too bad by itself and you don’t have high expectations”.

          A few years ago I spent a few weeks working at my then-employers engineering facility in Haifa. The company had an agreement with the hotel we stayed at, so stayed on a business floor that had a late-night lounge with locally produced snacks (excellent) and local wines (the best about on par with Trader Joe’s 2 Buck Chuck). I wasn’t terribly impressed – everything was free and unlimited, but most nights I drank water or tea rather than the wine – and I like wine.

          To be fair, their local varietals *were* a lot better than Manischewitz or Mogen David. But so, I suspect, is Drano.

          1. I recall some bit on the Tonight Show of the Carson era where some guest talked of some peculiar dietary habits (details forgotten – which might be for the best) and Ed McMahon joking asking, “What do you gargle with, Sani-Flush?”

            I also recall some TV character joking that “Mogen David” was MD, so “Mad Dog” fit… and that sort of wine (the stuff listed on bumwines.com) is something I have generally avoided. There was one Very Strange room party at the late, lamented RCFM that had a selection of the “bum” wine brands (“To relive misspent youth”) where I did sample what was effectively a trace amount. As misspent as my youth might have been, at least I did not misspend it that way.

            1. Mogen David sells a fortified wine called MD 20/20 (12% alcohol; actually, now an entire line of MD 20/20 flavors), which was known to generations of low-budget drunkards as “Mad Dog 20/20.

              1. Aye, the MD 20/20 is listed on bumwines.com.
                As low as my standards might sometimes appear, they are above that.
                I seem to have developed this affliction, “taste” which tends to get expensive at times. Or at least not cheap. I do appreciate inexpensive, but I loathe cheap.

          2. I think those are the kinds of wine you want to cut 50/50 with water, as a water purifier.

  8. Since everything is racist and problematic, may I suggest a modest proposal: rewrite history. I’m not just talking changing a few things here and there. I mean completely banning all real history, language and religion and replacing it with synthetic, made-up stuff. Instead of teaching about how Europeans colonized the New World and defeated the native peoples, you can teach this:

    “In the Year of the Rainbow Goddess 1334, the lands of Fhol were settled by the Pan-Cultural Justice Collective who peacefully coexisted with the Xungata aboriginal peoples, leading to the Five Hundred Year Tolerance.”

    Because there’s no connection to reality, there’s no reason to be offended anymore.

    1. Oh my, the Wars that will start! Dragons irked at being left out (or irked at being included). The unicorns… The Fae. Oh my.

      Alright, in a tale of Eternal Peace and Universal Tolerance, we understand that there is really no place for minotaurs (except perhaps if one might be known as Ferdinand) but that means we’ll be Left Alone – and THAT is a huge win. Sure, we’ll only be remembered by a few gamers and crypto-historians… but there’ve been lean times before. If Asterion could survive 9 years between alleged meals, well, this a minor thing. Go for it. But let us dig some nice, deep, shelte- uh, labyrinths and mazes first, please?

      1. The Minotaurs were peacefully absorbed into the Pan-Cultural Justice Collective in 967, following the Ten-Year Mild Disagreement.

            1. If it was truly microagression, it would have been given microattention – ignored. What it was, was a Straight Line. And “Never give Straight Line an Even Break” applied.

              As for beef, you seem to be hamming it up.

      2. Saint George slew the last of the dracosaurs after St. Patrick had driven them from the Emerald Isle and into England. This was the origin of the saying that the Irish are only good at severely irritating people, while the English are the only ones able to finish things.

        1. So, what did St. Patrick say, as he was about to drive the snakes out of Ireland?”

          “All right, ye in the back – hev you fastened yer seatbelts?”

    2. Oh! Who around here wants to tackle that writing project? It could be fun to write in a lot of snark to that.

    3. I’m not just talking changing a few things here and there. I mean completely banning all real history

      Already been done. They called it Teh Renaissance, aka Age of Enlightenment.

      Given the ascendance of Silicon Valley thinking supporting this new social consciousness, perhaps we could call this new era The Dork Ages.

      1. The ways things are going, perhaps we missed something by having bypassed Germanium Valley or such. But then I still occasionally think in thoriated tungsten… ancient creature that I am.

        1. Trying to get through the skulls of Progressive Liberals in Silicon Valley is like trying to drive a wet noodle through 3 feet of solid neutronium.

  9. Somewhat related, especially as those parties demanding destruction of monuments are also demanding fealty to the State:

    Masterpiece Cakeshop: Can the State Force Us to Agree with Its Views?
    By Jonathan Scruggs — August 28, 2017

    “There’s nothing new beneath the sun,” King Solomon famously said — and very little new before the U.S. Supreme Court. Though every generation likes to believe it’s grappling with unprecedented legal challenges, the precedents are usually there, with history holding up its mirror to help us reflect on how those gone before came to grips with surprisingly similar threats to our national — and personal — convictions.

    During the coming term, for instance, the High Court will hear the case of a Colorado cake artist, Jack Phillips, who has declined to use his artistic talents to design a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex wedding ceremony. It’s a faith-based position that puts him distinctly at odds with the full-court press of current social trends (at least those preferred by the media and Hollywood).

    Phillips is by no means alone and by no means the first to find himself at cross-purposes with popular culture and the prevailing judicial winds. Indeed, those seeking a preview of this fall’s coming legal attractions need look no further back than 1943 and the enduring questions raised in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette.

    As Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Barnett family discouraged their children from saluting the American flag at school. For them, the flag represented a “graven image” of the kind God pointedly disavowed in Exodus 20:4-5. They could not participate in what they viewed as a religious ceremony, nor promote a religious message with which they disagreed.


    In spite of the severe penalties imposed by the government, the Barnetts would not compromise their beliefs. They raised the question again with the Court, the Court reheard the case, and this time Justice Robert H. Jackson led a 6-3 majority to refute the Gobitis decision and restore to the Jehovah’s Witnesses the benefits of free speech. Jackson’s arguments have more than a passing bearing on the issues at the root of the cake artist’s case.

    It would be great, Jackson suggested, if the government could ensure that a given symbol meant the same thing to everybody. Unfortunately, that’s not possible, and government efforts to make people agree on the proper meaning of a given symbol or idea (be it a flag, a wedding cake, or anything else) have always been unsuccessful. As Jackson wrote, “Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country” are not new to man but are foreign to our system of government.

    Standardization of ideas about any subject — marriage included — “either by legislature, courts, or dominant political or community groups” is fundamentally undemocratic, as a later Supreme Court decision in Terminiello v. City of Chicago explained. The right to speak freely and differ on issues that matter, without fear of government punishment, is what “sets us apart from totalitarian regimes.”

    While the Gobitis decision suggested that the right-or-wrong of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ case should be decided by the state legislature – and, ultimately, by vote — Jackson contended that some issues are simply too important to be decided by popular opinion:

    The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.

    What’s more, Jackson said, neither the strength nor the rightness of an idea (e.g., the greatness of America, same-sex marriage) is enhanced by the government’s ability to force someone to accept it. A social or political movement that can’t withstand some conscientious objections is built on weak ideas, indeed.


    1. The oral argument should consist of one question: Why is it acceptable for Google and Paypal to refuse service based on political and religious beliefs, and not allow the baker to do the same, under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment?

      1. Paypal has a whole list of things they prohibit you to use them for. And they have legions of people defending that, “they’re private companies they should be able to refuse service to anyone.”

        Odd, how those same people see the exact opposte in the Cake War…

      2. The standard reply will be that some people have special protection under the law because of their class identity. Do not associate with a protected group and without great harm and you may be punished by withdrawal of the papers required by government to do business in public. But do not associate with some other group, even out of bigotry, and it’s good because not under law.

        It’s bs but it’s the argument.

  10. Far more worrisome is the potential to reject freedoms because some of the founders owned slaves. I honestly look for such concepts as limiting the power of central government condemned as an attempt by slave owners to maintain their power.

    Absurd, you say? Is it any more absurd than NFL players who protest the national anthem of the country who emancipated their ancestors?

    1. Well, you do remember that the 13th amendment didn’t actually outlaw slavery. Congress reserved the right to impose slavery as a punishment for various future offenses still not enumerated. Frankly, I’d suggest slavery might not be a bad idea for the crime of illegal immigration.

      1. Not only does it not specify offenses, it simply says “duly convicted,” which leaves open the whole question of “by whom?” Any traffic court judge? Congress? The DOJ’s tax court? Any private contractor authorized to operate on the behalf of some random court-like authority?

        “Asps. Very dangerous. You go first.”

      2. Actually, that phrase, “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,” has been widely used in US history. It’s why chain gangs were legal, after all.

      3. Also a work-around to the ‘no involuntary servitude’ objection to conscription. Caught jaywalking? Greetings . . .

      4. That is, in essence, what the “under the table” employers have done with their illegal laborers, who dare not complain or leave the “protection racket”.

  11. This tearing down of memory has already happened in the medical field. For instance the chronic illness I have was originally called Wegener’s Granulomatosis. Suddenly the issue became that Wegener who discovered the disease was a Nazi. Suddenly the disease had to have a new name “Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.” Here is the issue. All the doctors knew the name Wegener’s Granulomatosis… very few except a the doctors that are coming out of school know the new name.

    All the work we did to get the name out into the public became useless. This disease was lost in the noise. We could say WG and others would know that it was the initial of the disease. Now we say GPA… and most people think “grade point average.”

    We believe in the WG community that this change was deliberate … to setback treatment opportunities for the Vasculitis community. So one thing (losing the memory of who discovered the disease) has affected several people– who have this chronic disease. The idea of taking a known Nazi’s name off the disease may have been benign… but it had unintended consequences that affected present and future patients with the disease.

    1. They (but assuredly not I) likely consider you a lot of useless eaters, anyway, whose therapy represents a loss of funds that could be spent on more worthwhile illnesses (e.g., those likely to afflict them.)

    2. There were some nutters who wanted Mengele’s research records burned, “because evil Nazi”.

      Undoubtedly true, but then all the people he tortured to death would have died for absolutely nothing. They’d just be erased from memory because someone might have some badfeelz.

      How long until the Holocaust is erased for the same reason?

      The city of Vienna could power its electrical grid from Simon Weisenthal’s spinning body, but nobody would know why…

      1. Oh yes– I saw the breast-beating of some doctors who thought we should get rid of all the drawings of the human body that came from Mengele… etc. So in the name of PC… they were going to set medicine back before WWII. IMHO it is as offensive as the original act. *sigh

        I agree– with you TRX

      2. ISTR that they found some of the data from the Nazi experiments to be not quite as useful. Since the Nazis weren’t trying to keep their test subjects alive or something like that.

    3. We believe in the WG community that this change was deliberate … to setback treatment opportunities for the Vasculitis community.

      Serious question: Why would anyone want that?

      1. It is a very expensive disease because it has to be treated until death. There is no cure. Part of the treatment may include getting new organs… like a kidney. It would be easier and less expensive to let us die.

    4. Hmm… (1) I know there’s a general tendency to rename diseases from proper names to descriptive (for an MD ;)) names. I grew up hearing of Pfeiffer’s Disease rather than infectious mononucleosis, for example, and Emil Pfeiffer died well before the Nazis (y”sh) came to power.

      (2) in the case of Wegener, there were allegations that he wasn’t a mere party member or activist but engaged in lethal air emboly experiments on camp inmates. No conclusive evidence either way was ever found. More at https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Wegener (in German).

      1. — I’m sure he did. The point is… this has been the name of the disease for a very long time. Many of the treatments for the disease have been around for a long time. AND then a sudden change and the doctor has to go and research it again…??? Then we get the name out… and now the disease is obscure again? Making it DESCRIPTIVE just made a bunch of doctors with no special training think they can treat the disease… and with Obamacare… it makes it even more difficult to get the right treatment and the right doctors. So wrongthink patients should die because they have the wrongnamed disease… sorry for the rant… but this is like putting your finger into a wound. It has been a few years now… and we are still fighting for researchers and new treatments.

      2. For example… one of the problems of this disease is that it damages organs– any organ… A lot of people with this disease have problems with the esophagus (it closes). The approved treatment is dilation … as many times as the patient needs. It can be many times for months, years, or lifetime. NOW a surgeon decides that he knows how to deal with this symptom of the disease. He tells the patients that they need to have the esophagus resectioned. Oh yea… that means the patient will have to use help to speak. So dilation or resection??? which is hardest on the patient. I tell you now… it is resection… because when there is more problems with the esophagus… what will they do then? You think the doctors are not experimenting on rare disease patients? (Does that make them any worse than Wegener?) If you don’t believe that .. then I have one word… ha.

        What I am seeing with this new group of doctors is that they WANT no NEED to use surgery on us. Surgery is only a short term solution if the disease is not stabilized… i.e. the immune system reduced to almost nothing. They still don’t know what triggers our immune systems to attack us. When the treatment isn’t aggressive the disease is lethal.

  12. In Sacramento, park of the American River Parkway (26 miles of natural parks and trails, usually referred to off-handedly as “the bike trail” by the locals, causing visitors to entirely miss the biggest natural park area of the region) was named Goethe Park after a man named Charles Goethe (pronounced Gay-Tee). Several years back, somebody threw a fuss over the part where he was an unrepentant racist (like Henry Ford), so his name was taken off the park. (Not off a street in the area, though.)

    When the city asked the locals who they wanted the park named after instead, the locals very wisely said Nobody, so now it’s River Bend Park. So how do you pronounce Goethe around here? It used to be Gay-Tee. Now you pronounce it River Bend.

    1. Funny. My automatic pronunciation was (more or less) “Ger-tah” after the poet, scientist, and politician. Shows you where my mind’s been recently. (“Wer reitet so spät durch Storm und Wind?”)

      1. That *is* the usual pronunciation. I have no idea where that guy’s pronunciation came from—probably some immigration craziness.

      2. There’s a Goethe Street in Chicago. How can you tell a Chicago intellectual: even when it’s raining, he has the taxi drop him off on Schiller Street (a block north), rather than tell the driver “Goh-thee”.

  13. I hardly think it’s a coincidence that the core of the monument removing impulse concerns people who stand as examples of the degree to which the Democrat Party was founded by people who considered people with dark skin to be livestock.

    My oh my! if THAT got into the heads of some of the Left’s rank and file, they might begin to notice how much today’s racial policies resemble the policies of the ante-bellum South.

    1. Actually, at least one legal code, that of the State of Georgia, circa 1860, defines murder as “… the unlawful killing of a human being, whether a freeman or slave …” The thing about slavery wasn’t considering a class of people as livestock; it was considering a class of people as property, to be owned, bought, and sold. It’s accurate to say owned like livestock, and slaves were often sold at livestock auctions, and yet it’s clear they were considered people.

      It’s also perhaps accurate to say that the Democrats are a bit ashamed of their roots, and will do the most marvelous contortions about it. Yet, when we consider that they considered slavery the buying and selling of those they recognized as people, and enacted restrictive laws on the same, perhaps it explains why they have no problem wanting restrictive laws on all Americans. Their desire to pass the old slave code laws on firearm ownership onto everyone says a great deal of how they view their fellow citizens.

    2. Nah, they just wave their hands about how the parties switched sides back in the 1960’s and yell “SOUTHERN STRATEGY”.

      1. One of the many problems with that is that the “Southern Strategy” doesn’t seem to have actually worked for the GOP until the ’90s. (Yes, the South voted for Reagan and HW Bush, but so did almost the entire rest of the country) at the earliest–and, for that matter, the Democratic Party often still dominated local politics until the early 2000s.
        Of course, hardcore Democrats refuse to admit that this might have been the result of the national party turning further and further left on, well, everything. Nope, it’s those racist Republicans.

        1. The thing about political movements in the US is that they make supertankers look nimble. For all the talk about the Solid South, it was honored far more in the breach than the observance. If you set aside landslide victories like FDR’s, the GOP had started peeling off former Confederate states by 1920.

          1. There are structural impediments to change. Here in NC, as late as the Seventies the standard denunciation of any Republican in the state legislature was “He’s ineffective, he hasn’t gotten any bills passed.”

            Given Democrat control of the legislature and committee processes, there was only one way for a Republican to get a bill passed: take his name off of it and let a Democrat claim credit. Thanks to the powers of incumbency and majority control (and rewards of patronage) it can be a long, hard haul to establish legislative majorities.

            But once power is transferred it can be a long time before it rolls back, although the Dems tend to enjoy a media advantage because all the reporters’ contacts are on that side of the aisle.

          2. Not really. Republicans cracked the Solid South at the Presidential level in 1920 and 1928, The Upper South (Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia) was always a little mushy, having areas that were Unionist in the War). But the seven Deep South states were Solid. From 1900 through 1952, those seven states elected only one Republican US Representive (Harry Wurzbach, TX, 1920-1932). The other 1,794 terms were won by Democrats.

            There were a few GOP sprouts in the South in in the 1900s, but the lid came down again in 1932, and didn’t crack until after WW II. At the local level, the cracks started in the 1950s, with more breaks in the 1960s, but the change wasn’t completed until the 2000s. (Texas sent a majority of Democrat Representatives until 2004,)

        1. With that awful grinding screech of metal-upon-metal? You’d think they’d put wheels on the goalposts at some point…

  14. “Ancient Rome had a practice called “damnatio memoriae” in which emperors or public figures that had fallen into disgrace were literally erased from view: not only were any monuments to them torn down, but their name was erased from things they had built.”

    That is the notion I’ve been thinking of since this statue thing started. The Lefties are trying to erase people and things from history as part of an ideological purity crusade.

    Very handy, as a statue is something that lots of people can fight over and get lots of juicy video of, at very low cost to the city government. Much cheaper than having the stores of a national food chain burned down. National food chains have herds of big burly lawyers, that gets expensive.

    1. It’s called “Year Zero”.
      And it’s been done in every totalitarian kingdom that has ever existed.

    2. All statues should be left in place and replacarded “Guess Who” and “No, No, No, You’re not even CLOSE!”

  15. It is important to remeber that the label does not always reflect the contents. Antifa does not mean pro-democracy.

    Why you should never use the term ‘anti-fascist’
    by David Freddoso
    “No Trump! No wall! No U.S.A. at all.”

    This was the chant of the violent, black-masked thugs who descended on an otherwise peaceful protest in Berkeley over the weekend. And it gives you a window into the tactics of the violent fringes of the Left. They attempt to lure in normal, reasonable people — which they most certainly are not — by showcasing a common enemy, such as racism or fascism. But that’s just a sweetener for their real agenda item.

    Lots of normal, reasonable people oppose Donald Trump. Many of them oppose the border wall, too. But the third item on this agenda is the (usually) unstated aim of the so-called “antifa,” from which the other two items are supposed to draw your attention — except when they get over-excited and spell it out with a silly chant.

    This is the whole point of the label “anti-fascist,” and it has been for roughly 85 years now. Everyone — especially journalists — needs to stop using that label, because it’s part of their propaganda, an effort by people unworthy of polite company to fish for mainstream endorsements from dumb and naive fellow-travelers.

    The term “anti-fascist” is of Soviet origin, and it was used before and during World War II to make the aggressive, murderous, war-criminal regime of Joseph Stalin seem more palatable.


    The historian Norman Davies has this to say about the term “anti-fascist” in his history of the Second World War, which is titled “No Simple Victory”:

    “Anti-Fascism” did not offer a coherent political ideology. In terms of ideas, it was an empty vessel, a mere political dance….It gave the false impression that principled democrats believing in the rule of law and freedom of speech could rub along fine with the dictators of the proletariat, or that democratic socialists had only minor differences with Communism.

    What is more, it opened up a wonderful arena for the activities of disciplined activists, whose training in the Leninist techniques of splitting and dividing adversaries would run rings round wooly intellectuals….If you were a French trade unionist, tired of the wrangles of the Left, or a British Empire loyalist baffled by the complexities of modern politics or a Christian peace worker hoping to avoid another war, anti-Fascism was for you! Only in the background was the unspoken dialect that, if Fascism was to be Bad, the Good had to lie with the originator of anti-Fascism — Joseph Stalin’s USSR.

    Stalin is dead and the U.S.S.R. is just a historical lesson of what happens every time an actual socialist state is formed in real life. But the term “anti-fascist” is being used for the same ends today as it was then. Violent leftists want to make their assaults on others’ life and property — almost identical to the sort of thing neo-Nazis engage in, only for different reasons — seem justifiable.


    So always with these little would-be tyrants. When you use the label “antifa” or “anti-fascist,” you are helping and enabling a resurgence of terrorist liars in the exact same tradition, who are indistinguishable from neo-Nazis except in the specific motivations for and targets of their authoritarian impulses and irrational violence.


    1. What’s the difference between NAZIs and “antifa”?
      National vs International socialists.

    1. I confess I’ve never quite been able to tell “Armani” from “dumpster behind Goodwill” as far as clothing…

  16. Thank you Cyn Bagley for sharing the comments on your Wagener’s disease. You may have enabled us to help find diagnosis and treatment for a serious kidney problem which my husband has with no known origin. He’s seriously ill at this time. I don’t believe in coincidences. Bless you!

    And I hope that yours goes into remission. It sounds pretty rough from all the research I did on it after reading your comments.

    1. Thank you– I always hope that my experiences will help someone else. Please go to the Vasculitis Foundation (they are online) for more information. They can give you information on how to get him tested for the disease… and treatment options. Good luck.
      I’m stable at this time… after having the disease since 2003.

  17. You cannot tear down or deny monuments to men because of their faults. If you do that you’ll only be able to build monuments to Perfect Men. My study of history tells me that Perfect Men are rather thin on the ground. While there are several groups who claim that one or more of them exist, they never seem to be able to agree on who.

    We build monuments to the virtues of men, not their failings.

    1. Pfft. All the people (not men, you sexist!) of adequate virtue and progressivism are Perfect People! Until we say otherwise! Because… shut up!

      1. it’s jarring at times to discover that I am, somehow, the normal sane one. And that’s by going by what *others* opine. I know self-diagnosis of sanity is dubious at the best times – and these ain’t.

    2. You can (and should) if they’re bad enough. Should former Communist countries be required to preserve monuments to Lenin or Stalin? Was it wrong for Iraqis to pull down statues of Saddam Hussein?

      And what if the villain is in power? Would it have be improper for North Koreans to resist the building of a monument to Kim Jong Un?

      1. Yeah, but these are hundred year monuments NOT erected to celebrate “fighting for slavery” and which are being pulled down by a small, vocal minority in the name of “muh feelings” and Soros money.

        1. Apparently the in thing now is to use [search-engine of doom] and fine any and every plaque, statue, and memorial anything, create an official or scary sounding group name, and demand that the offending item be removed or there will be “protests.”

          1. I gather that the Southern Poverty Law And Offshore Money Laundering Center has identified Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, and Fort Benning as monuments to the Confederacy.

            SPLC Says Army Bases Are Confederate Monuments That Need To Come Down
            The Southern Poverty Law Center has declared three of America’s largest Army bases Confederate monuments “with the potential to unleash more turmoil and bloodshed” if activists don’t “take down” the Army bases.

            The SPLC included Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Benning in Georgia on a list of 1,500 “Confederate monuments” that the SPLC claims could inspire more violence like what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last month. All three bases are named after Confederate military leaders.

            The list makes no mention of renaming namesakes of Confederate monuments; taking the monuments down is presented as the only option.

            [END EXCERPT]

            No word on the need for destruction of Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park, a state park along the shores of Stonewall Jackson Lake, an impoundment on the West Fork River in the U.S. state of West Virginia.

            See next post for other areas requiring name changes.

            1. List of U.S. counties named after prominent Confederate historical figures
              Arlington County, Virginia: Named in honor of General Robert E. Lee, after his property in that county.

              Bacon County, Georgia: Augustus Octavius Bacon a Confederate soldier, speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, U.S. Senator.

              Baker County, Florida: James McNair Baker, lawyer, politician, and Senator from Florida in the Confederate Congress during the American Civil War.

              Beauregard Parish, Louisiana: P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate general and one of the designers of the Confederate Battle Flag

              Benton County, Mississippi: Brigadier General Samuel Benton, from nearby Holly Springs, who commanded the 34th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, which was from the same counties which Benton County was formed from in 1870

              Bradford County, Florida: Captain Richard Bradford, who fought in the American Civil War and was killed in the Battle of Santa Rosa Island, becoming the first Confederate officer from Florida to die in the War Between the States


              Hendry County, Florida: Francis Asbury Hendry, cattle rancher, politician, and officer in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

              Hoke County, North Carolina: Robert Hoke, a Confederate general during the American Civil War.

              Hood County, Texas: John Bell Hood, a Confederate lieutenant general and the commander of Hood’s Texas Brigade.

              Jackson County, Oklahoma: Stonewall Jackson, Confederate general

              Jeff Davis County, Georgia, Jeff Davis County, Texas, Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana: Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy

              Lee County, Alabama, Lee County, Arkansas, Lee County, Florida, Lee County, Kentucky, Lee County, Mississippi, Lee County, North Carolina, Lee County, South Carolina, Lee County, Texas: Confederate general Robert E. Lee

              Levy County, Florida: David Levy Yulee, born David Levy (June 12, 1810 – October 10, 1886) was an American politician and attorney from Florida, a territorial delegate to Congress, the first Jewish member of the United States Senate, and a member of the Confederate Congress during the American Civil War.


              Terry County, Texas: Benjamin Franklin Terry, Terry’s Texas Rangers
              Tom Green County, Texas: Thomas Green, a Confederate brigadier general

              Toombs County, Georgia: Robert Toombs, Confederate Secretary of State and general

              Upton County, Texas: John C. and William E. Upton, Confederate Generals
              Vance County, North Carolina: Zebulon Baird Vance a Confederate military officer in the American Civil War, twice governor of North Carolina, and United States Senator.

              Winkler County, Texas: Clinton M. Winkler, Colonel

              [END LIST]

              Maybe, to be on the safe side (after all, areas named for Catholic saints or with “squaw” in the name have been deemed triggering) we should simply eliminate all boundaries and identify communities by such descriptive names as the latitude and longitude coordinates for their population center, or perhaps the first three numbers in their zip codes?

              Of course, that might be triggering for the Cartessianphobic or the mailphobic.

          2. Declare M. King, Jr. a fascist. Protest any and all things named after him. Attempt to talk Trump into abolishing MLK day and Labor, and declaring a couple of Trump themed Federal holidays.

            Actually, the fact that he hasn’t done that is probably evidence of stability, decency, and good will.

      2. Fallacy of equivocation– if you can’t tell the difference between monuments put up when a murderous SOB was in power, often under his orders, and the stuff put up to folks on the losing side years AFTER they lost, you’re screwed up.

        I’m sorry, I really wish there was a better way to put it, but that is just FREAKING SCREWED UP.

        Doing something with an even implied knife at your throat vs doing it after you’re lost and it’s over, and the guy who has won has declared that you had virtues are worlds apart.

        Or is it now cool to condemn Lincoln as a racist for recognizing the honor in his opposition?

        1. C’mon now — you know the real reasons they are protesting and it has nothing to do with the Civil War nor slavery. It is about contemporary power plays.

  18. I did not go into the fascinating case of Peter Debye (1936 Nobel in Chemistry) in the main article. This renowned chemical physicist of Dutch origin had many institutes and prizes named after him in his native Netherlands. In 2006, a popular science writer claimed that Debye (director of the Physics section of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin before the war) had been an active Nazi and enthusiastically purged his Jewish subordinates and that Einstein had tried to block his admission to the USA for good reason. In response, Utrecht University announced a renaming of the Debye Institute, and the University of Maastricht announced the same concerning the Debye Prize. At least two official investigations followed, one by Cornell University, another by the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (commissioned by the Education Ministry). Both revealed that Debye was apolitical, something of an opportunist, and tried to “have his cake and eat it too”: he announced his continued willingness to return to his Berlin position “when circumstances permit” (which permitted his daughter to live in his staff apartment) while he at the same time retained his Dutch citizenship so he would not be entirely beholden to NSDAP diktats. However, rather than displaying racial animus, he had in fact helped Jewish colleagues (Lise Meitner among them) escape, at some risk to himself. In the end, the renaming decisions were reversed. At no point was anybody (in their right mind) thinking of renaming the Debye-Hueckel theory or the unit of dipole moment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Debye

  19. And then there is Edward Teller. As despised as he is among some left-wing physicists because of the (US) H-bomb and his open anticommunism, he made so many contributions to physics and physical chemistry that it would be a project in itself to rename every law, formula, or effect associated with his name.

  20. > Karl Pearson held views on eugenics, race, etc. that can only be characterized as vile.
    So do most socialists. They can just look the other way.
    > Yet Stark was also a stark (ahem) raving antisemite
    Probably okay with that, too. :]

    1. As highlighted by this article:

      Only some black lives matter. They only matter when the BLM can exploit black lives for political gain.

      Notably, a number of the black lives given as an example in that article were black children killed by black criminals. All in the US. Yet, in the comments there are people excusing the exclusion, the ‘why’ those lives ‘didn’t matter to Blacks Lives Matter.’

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