Abraham Lincoln

Abe Lincoln's Visit to Richmond, Va. Caused Controversy, Back in 2002

Monuments do not merely signify the existence of historical facts; they pass judgment upon them.


When people ask what makes central Virginia a good place to live and raise a family, several answers come to mind.

For starters: The cost of living is reasonable, and the weather is seasonable.

The location is excellent: two hours from the ocean, two hours from the mountains, and two hours from the nation's capital.

And the metro area is big enough to have good restaurants—but not so big that you can't get a table.

Yet perhaps the biggest draw is the world-class entertainment you can get by watching people fight over the Civil War.

Fighting over the Civil War—a.k.a the Late Unpleasantness, a.k.a The War of Northern Aggression—has been the unofficial pastime around here since… well, pretty much since the Civil War. And statues have remained the ball everyone likes to bat around most.

That was true from the outset. As plans for a monument to Robert E. Lee progressed, contention broke out over its location (too far from the city center), its artist (a Frenchman!) and even the marble for the base. Confederate Gen. Jubal Early objected to the use of damned-Yankee stone from Maine, rather than meet-and-proper Southern stone.

That debate probably paled in comparison to the controversy over the Arthur Ashe statue in 1995, which lasted for months.

People thought it was inappropriate to put a tennis player on an avenue renowned for monuments to war heroes. (Oh, and Matthew Fontaine Maury, the world-famous oceanographer. Don't forget him.)

Some abhorred the statue on purely aesthetic grounds. Others suggested putting up a statue to black Confederates instead. Some argued that erecting an Ashe statue so close to monuments honoring Confederates would insult Ashe. Some thought it was a great idea: Doing so would "bring racial justice to Monument Avenue," in the view of City Councilman Chuck Richardson.

Then there was the time Lincoln came to town. Again.

The 16th president's first visit took place in early April1865, shortly after the Union captured Richmond. He traveled on a gunboat up a James River so clogged with dead horses, floating mines, and sunken ships that eventually he had to climb into a rowboat before disembarking at Rocketts Landing.

Lincoln was immediately surrounded by African-Americans recently released from bondage, who exulted at his arrival. "Such wild, indescribable ecstatic joy I never witnessed," wrote an observer of the scene. (Strange, isn't it, that slaves should be so happy to be freed, when—according to some—they were treated so wonderfully by their masters? It's almost as if those accounts of slavery's benevolence are not entirely accurate.)

Lincoln made the long hike uphill to the White House of the Confederacy, lately abandoned by Jefferson Davis, and took a chair to catch his breath. Later he rode through the ruined city with Union Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, who asked how he ought to treat the locals. "Let 'em up easy," Lincoln advised.

He didn't live long enough to ensure that would happen. Ten days after his visit, John Wilkes Boothe killed him.

In 2002, a private group raised the money for a statue of Lincoln to commemorate his visit. Not everyone immediately clasped the idea in a warm embrace. "Putting a statue of Lincoln in Richmond, Virginia is the same as putting a statue of Adolf Hitler in Washington D.C. or Israel. GET REAL!!!!" read one email to former Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Steve Clark. Others called it a "slap in the face."

As plans for the statue advanced, a conference was organized to expose the "real" Lincoln—the one who arrested political opponents, shut down newspapers, created a "centralized bureaucratic state," and so on. Why, sometimes Lincoln even told—cover your eyes for this part, ladies—"bawdy stories." Who could even think of erecting a monument to such a monster?

The statue of Lincoln seated next to his son Tad eventually was unveiled at Tredegar. Oliver Hill, the legendary civil rights lawyer, was present for the occasion; he called it "the finest thing that has happened in years." Meanwhile, anti-Lincoln protesters from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans let it be known that they were none to happy about the testament to a "war criminal."

Which is an interesting position to take, in light of the current debate over Confederate statues. Those who favor leaving the statues up and unaltered contend that they simply represent history—and people who take offense at the statues fail to understand that history is something you just can't erase.

One could say exactly the same about the Lincoln statue and the Ashe statue on Monument Avenue as well: They denote history, just like a textbook or roadside historical marker.

So why all the big fuss?

The answer is obvious: Monuments do not merely signify the existence of historical facts; they pass judgment upon them.

So if you tire of the current dispute over the Civil War, don't worry: It will pass in due time—to return again later for yet another round.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

NEXT: Genocide in Burma, Trump to End DACA, Mnuchin Wants Debt Ceiling Hike for Harvey: A.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Monuments do not merely signify the existence of historical facts; they pass judgment upon them.

    Yes, but they just remind the future how the past passed judgement

    they don’t “honor” or “celebrate” things in perpetuity, because people are free to see the shit however they please.

    they continue to instruct the present about how the past thought about their own past. the idea that anyone should be offended and oppressed by reminders of history is to deny the possibility of maturity

    1. If this weren’t simply a cynical wedge issue I’d be more willing to discuss it on the merits. Sometimes monuments get outdated or embarrassing and should perhaps be moved to a less conspicuous location. Eg, monuments valorizing an unsuccessful slavery-based rebellion.

      Unfortunately, as someone (Alinsky?) said, “the issue isn’t the issue, the issue is the revolution.” The goal isn’t to minimize embarrassing monuments, but to gin up a controversy where the Righteous get to beat on the racist alt-right fascist Nazi Trump supporters.

      And if the statue issue doesn’t work they’ll find something else.

      1. Mind you, I love me some symbolism and I think the symbolism of many of these statues is to honor some dubious people.

        But the reason they’re attacking the statues now isn’t because they’ve suddenly noticed the statues and gotten mad, it’s because they want the attacks on statues to be an excuse for attacking actual living people, people whom they already oppose on non-statue-related grounds.

        1. I think the symbolism of many of these statues is to honor some dubious people.

          i think my above point about how ‘honoring dubious people’ has historical merit needs to be further-chewed-upon

          the only way one can really believe that sort of thing has a socially-damaging-effect rather than an educational one is if you believe people are retarded, thoughtless, uneducated sheep who are mere products of their environment. See: any leftist, or Chemjeff.

          iow, as my very first comment put it: “denies the possibility of maturity”

          1. Well now, in a world of finite resources, your choice to honor dubious people, over someone less dubious, says something about your own priorities, doesn’t it?

            1. answering you pretends that your comment isn’t completely retarded, and wastes resources, yes.

              letting historical monuments be, isn’t/doesn’t.

              1. If you didn’t actually want to honor these figures you wouldn’t give a shit whether their statues stayed or not.

              2. Of course it is. The decision to erect a monument to THIS person and not THAT person says that the people at the time valued more the contributions of THIS person over THAT person.

                If the people change, and they subsequently decide that really THAT person deserves more honor over THIS person, then why not change who gets top billing in the monuments department?

                History doesn’t change, but how people perceive history does change, and how we choose to honor our history does change as well. There’s nothing wrong with changing one’s mind on this.

                1. you have this almost-cute way of never understanding the point initially made, and making arguments which the initial point actually pre-empted.

                  1. Heaven forfend that someone else might bring up a related point and want to discuss that instead.

                    1. and repeatedly pointing out your utter lack of intellectual-capability sometimes feels like child abuse.

                      (pats cj on head)

                    2. Look. You are wrong, but you would rather call me names. I think the audience can understand the real point here.

                      Building a statue reflects the values of the people building the statue. Whether a statue goes up or comes down reflects on US much more than it reflects on the history that it is supposed to honor.

                      Nothing you said refutes this. It just avoids it by pretending that statues are some objective certification of some historical event. That is absurd on many levels.

                    3. Nothing you said refutes this


                    4. From your comment:

                      they continue to instruct the present about how the past thought about their own past

                      That statement is wrong. Statues are how the statue-builders thought about the past, not about how the past thought about the past.

                    5. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong or terrible with people observing a statue and saying “if we had to do it all over again, would we really build a statue to THAT guy?”, answer “no”, and take it down.

                      We are not locked into the decisions of the past forever and ever.

                    6. All you’re doing is explaining your misunderstanding

                    7. people can remove statues for whatever reason they want. it still doesn’t validate the complaints made about them. You’re still an idiot who never understood the argument made in the first place.

                    8. And you’re an arrogant ass who judges all opinions contrary to your own as not just wrong but invalid.

                      “it still doesn’t validate the complaints made about them. ”

                      Translation: If Gilmore don’t agree with a complaint, that means the complaint is totally invalid. You heard it here, all complaints must be run by Gilmore first to decide if they are valid or not!

                      You say yourself that people are free to perceive monuments as they please. What if a bunch of people perceive monuments erected long ago as no longer representative of whom they wish to honor? Why is their opinion invalid, Gilmore? Your implicit argument in all this is that these statues are supposed to represent some objective history lesson. But they’re not. If you want a history lesson, read a history book. The statues are opinionated monuments pushing an explicit agenda of those who built them. If the people no longer wish to support that agenda, they are free to change the statues, and it in no way “erases history” or changes the past.

                    9. you’re an arrogant ass who judges all opinions contrary to your own as not just wrong but invalid

                      You have to understand what’s being discussed before what comes out of your mouth qualifies as an opinion. You keep falling short of that bare minimum.

                      You’ll notice that the person above you (“sports reporter…”) immediately understood what was being said, and was capable of responding in an intelligent way.

                      iow, its not me, darling. its you. If you want to say stupid things in public, please don’t be surprised when people keep pointing and laughing at you.

                    10. “and was capable of responding in an intelligent way.”

                      And by “responding in an intelligent way”, Gilmore means “flattering him by agreeing with him”.

                      And by “say stupid things in public”, Gilmore means “disagreeing with him”.

                      Your ego is almost at Trumpian proportions.

                      And please describe for us all how a group of people deciding that they no longer wish to honor the individuals portrayed in monuments erected in the past have an “invalid” criticism or opinion in wanting to remove the statues.

                    11. And this is where Gilmore will respond with more belittling insults instead of actually addressing what I wrote.

                    12. I’ve already explained my point in ways anybody with half a brain could understand, but for your sake, i’ll do it again:

                      people can remove the statues for whatever reason. it doesn’t matter what their reason is. they simply either buy the property/elect an official who’ll do what they want/or take over the committee responsible for the plot of land in question.

                      no one is saying there is any reason that anything has to stay or go. you’re too stupid to understand the point. i can repeat it all day and you’d still be too-dense because all you’re capable of is “hurr-durr right-wing racists r the only ones who care”.

                      my point was that arguments about the socially-deleterious effects of mere exposure to history are nonsensical. statues don’t celebrate anything. they simply communicate the past. To pretend that people are victimized by being made aware of an unpleasant past is to treat people like bloody sheep. The idea that “history hurts” is completely idiotic, and if that’s your reason for removing monuments, you’re a disgrace to the human race and you’re a pussy-hair from book-burning. Claiming that images of R.E. Lee are “racist” is like saying Auschwitz is promoting genocide.

                      People can still go ahead and use idiotic reasons to remove statues if they want. Public and private property can be used in any variety of ways. But please don’t pretend the arguments are valid simply because they have that right.

                    13. So you’ve changed your argument. Good to see that you have moved in my direction at least a little bit. *I* am the one saying that people wanting to remove statues don’t have to have a “valid reason” or anything of the like. You were the one who said earlier that the complaints about the statues were “invalid” according to the Official Gilmore Complaint Validator. I don’t really GAF if you find them valid or not. But I am glad to see that you have come around. Good for you! There is some hope for you yet.

                      However this is where you continue to be wrong:

                      statues don’t celebrate anything. they simply communicate the past.

                      No. Statues represent the opinions and agendas of those erecting the statues, MOST NOTABLY, who they choose to venerate and who they choose *not* to venerate. They are not unbiased neutral recitations of history. Once again: if you want a history lesson, read a history book. Absolutely no one (around here anyway) is arguing that citizens shouldn’t get the full unvarnished truth when they study history. But statues don’t represent that.

                    14. Also:
                      all you’re capable of is “hurr-durr right-wing racists r the only ones who care”.

                      I said precisely zero about racists defending racist statues. This would be known as a “strawman argument” on your part, I believe. In fact my argument works exactly the same for those in former Soviet bloc countries who tore down all those Lenin/Marx/Stalin statues after the USSR fell. They were not “erasing history”, the statues weren’t mere “history lessons”, the people rightly decided that they no longer agreed with the choice of their forebears in who they wished to venerate.

                      my point was that arguments about the socially-deleterious effects of mere exposure to history are nonsensical.

                      If a person were to argue that he/she shouldn’t have to study Robert E. Lee in history class because racism, then yes I would agree with you. That is a silly argument.

                      However if a person were to argue that he/she no longer has to continue to accept the decision made by those long dead of having a statue in a public square that venerates a leader of a war fought to defend slavery – OR that venerates a conqueror from a neighboring country which imposed tyranny on them for decades – then I would agree that this person has a valid point.

                    15. So you’ve changed your argument.

                      You never understood it from the beginning, and i doubt you grasp it now.

                    16. e.g. i said in the first post

                      “”they continue to instruct the present about how the past (the people who made the statues) thought about their own past. “”

                      and you still apparently think lecturing me about the inherent bias of statues is something i hadn’t considered. that’s how fucking dumb you are. you literally can’t read 3 sentences without fucking it all up.

                    17. No you didn’t consider it, not in any substantive way. You continue to refer to statues as just history lessons. You refer to statues as “mere exposure to history”. It is far more than that. You seem to think that it’s all just some big giant fucking history lesson. It’s not.

                    18. You seem

                      yeah, that’s pretty much where everything goes wrong.

                    19. GILMORE, stop auditing for John’s replacement. You got the job.

      2. The goal isn’t to minimize embarrassing monuments, but to gin up a controversy

        yes, you’re right.

        the same can be said about climate change and other forms of modern ‘environmentalism’ (which have nothing to do with the environment, and everything to do with money)

        or the min-wage, which has nothing to do with the lowest-income earners, and everything to do with min-wage-benchmarked union contracts.

        or a host of other left wing causes which are wrapped in some faux-moral advertising.

        its just that this one is particularly stupid, and particularly insulting to anyone who thinks exposure to relics of the past actually forces people into a greater awareness of how the present is different

        1. At least ideas about environmental policy can be debated directly – is the problem what they say it is, will the solutions they propose be as trouble-free and effective as they suggest?

          But “let’s use these statues to segue into how we still live under white supremacy just like in the times those statues were erected” – the moral fervor of the cause can’t be explained except with reference to the modern ideologies they link to these inanimate objects, and the real-world people whom they imagine to be lurking behind these statues.

          It’s a perfect “the issue is not the issue” crusade – it’s framed so the other side can’t win, either they defend the awesomeness of some Confederate general or they move or destroy the statue and thereby Start An (interminable) Conversation.

          1. And the opponents are either half-hearted types worried about law and order or vaguely uncomfortable with the protesters’ agenda, but not willing to expend too much political capital on a stone carving, or enthusiastic supporters of the cause the statue represents, who are bound to say fun things when in front of a camera, prolonging the coverage.

            1. The most trollish response I can think of:

              “Yes, it’s embarrassing that these guys who fought for a slave republic have such a conspicuous place in the public square – let’s move them to a cemetery on the edge of town, and the Koch Brothers have generously offered to fund the relocation and replace the Confederate statue with an antislavery monument honoring the free exchange of goods and services in a capitalist marketplace.”

              1. responding to your own comment once is excusable because of the character limit.

                doing so twice is an unpardonable sin which even Ken Schultz would shake his head at.

                1. Hey, sometimes your thoughts are just so brilliant that they cannot be contained. Don’t you “other” him. Celebrate his diversity!

          2. It’s a perfect “the issue is not the issue” crusade – it’s framed so the other side can’t win,

            gee, this sounds familiar. Is that sort of like when you say, “here are some nazis, and here are some other people i don’t like” and hope that your audience takes the intended implication?

            any defense of speech means defending terrible speech. Robby (for all his faults, and his bouffant coiffure) even once said as much (paraphrase) = “you can’t have free speech without Nazis, and defending Nazis is an unpleasant necessity” Of course he fucked that basic message all up because he’s Robby, but still, he scored a rare point.

            and then the standard reply becomes, “look at these people who defend Nazis! GET EM”

            Its actually little different than Zach’s M.O. for attacking the “alt light” characters who don’t think alt-righties are the source of the problem. hence my first sentence.

            I understand how its just a wedge issue. I still think someone needs to clearly articulate why even unpleasant history is valuable even if (especially because?) it is ‘offensive’.

      3. “The goal isn’t to minimize embarrassing monuments, but to gin up a controversy ”

        Hey I know, let’s ascribe the worst possible motives to our adversaries, therefore we can avoid discussing the merits of the issue!

        1. lol

          shut the fuck up donny

          1. Hey, I understand fakelibertarians.com has run out of important discussion material. Don’t you have to upload some more boob pics or something?

            1. you provide wonderful evidence of what i mean by “denying the possibility of maturity”

  2. From the comments in the original publication;

    “You can argue history this, and history that, but until you can explain to present day black children why the white southern generals are owed monuments in the town square, while any mention of their own ancestors is relegated to less prominent spaces, you don’t have a leg to stand on. That’s not history, it’s right now, and only the intentionally blind can’t see it. ”

    It’s arrogance like this that makes me sympathize with the KKK, who I loath.

    How about; It was stupid to put up statues to Confederates. It is stupid to talk about tearing them down. The people who put them up were racist Democrat swine. The people who want to tear them down are racist Democrat swine. Every time the Left proposes to tear down a statue, eliminate a team mascot, alter a State flag, or close down a speaking event, they should be told – LOUDLY – “Sit down, the grownups are talking.”

    1. It’s arrogance like this that makes me sympathize with the KKK,

      Yes, exactly. Only i’d call it “aggressive ignorance” rather than arrogance

      one can be aware of the past without being oppressed by it.

    2. The grownups being people who can find reasons to sympathize with the KKK?

    3. Every time one of you pimple-faced morons starts ranting incoherently about how the Democratic party is some unchanging cosmic entity–the real enemy–you render your points unworthy of being listened to for the sheer stupidity that has muddled all your thinking. It’s not people who beat and murdered untold numbers of black Americans who are the villains–it’s the Democrats. Even though you acknowledge that they now take a diametrically opposed position to the Southern racists who in the distant past used to call themselves Democrats. Did your history classes end before the 20th century? Did you drop out before you got past that?

      You subsist on a diet of freakish right-wing horseshit propaganda, and that is your problem.

      1. Tony|9.4.17 @ 3:06PM|#
        “Every time one of you pimple-faced morons starts ranting incoherently about how the Democratic party is some unchanging cosmic entity–the real enemy–you render your points unworthy of being listened to for the sheer stupidity that has muddled all your thinking.”

        So very similar to every post you’ve ever made, you slimy lefty ignoramus?

        1. Is your incessant habit of deploying the “I know you are but what am I” argument a product of unfathomable stupidity, or are you just trying to be annoying?

          1. Tony|9.4.17 @ 6:10PM|#
            Is your incessant habit of deploying the “I know you are but what am I” argument a product of unfathomable stupidity, or are you just trying to be annoying?”

            You apathetic excuse for humanity, is your constant inability to read what I posted a result of years of practice to become a lefty imbecile, or were you born that way?
            Fuck off, slime bag.

            1. All you ever say is “You’re a doodiehead!” and I’m being generous on that paraphrase with respect to your mastery of vocabulary.

              1. The Democratic Party that brought us slavery past 1808, Jim Crowe laws, KKK, failed public schools, racist rants into the 21st Century, welfare state USA, ManBearPig, Hillary, Robert Byrd, and War Presidents LBJ and Obama.

                SIT DOWN, adults are talking Democrats.

      2. that they now take a diametrically opposed position to the Southern racists who in the distant past used to call themselves Democrats.

        Bullshit. The democrats are still the brand of the Ruling Party that demands racial discrimination as a sacrosanct public policy. Ever since LBJ figured out how to turn blacks into sharecroppers for votes, they’ve been back on the plantation. Just look at how vicious the democrats get towards any black person who doesn’t toe the line.


        1. demands racial discrimination as a sacrosanct public policy.

          Even if you were to agree that affirmative action constitutes racial discrimination against whites, I still think it’s fair to call that the “diametrically opposed position” to the Democrats’ previous position of racial discrimination against blacks.

      3. Demographically speaking, the “pimple-faced” (eg youthful) people are the Democrats. Way to punch down at your own voting bloc.

    4. “The people who put them up were racist Democrat swine. The people who want to tear them down are racist Democrat swine. ”

      Who cares whether the monuments were erected by Democrats or Republicans?

      Would the monuments be less or more justified if they were erected by Republicans?

      1. Who cares whether the monuments were erected by Democrats or Republicans?

        Er…. every single person involved in this silly “debate”?

        If you can’t see that this is a think-tank derived initiative to gin up racial animus for partisan political purposes, you are massively myopic. They’ve taken about 30 swings at this pinata, and they finally managed to get some candy to spill out with the “tear down confederate monuments” idea. But you really, really had to have your head in the sand to have missed the prior 29 swing-and-miss attempts.

        1. I guess I missed the breaking news bulletin from conspiracytheory.com which outlined the grand conspiracy to use Confederate statues as a tool in the ongoing campaign to… do what, exactly?

          Fun fact: Did you know that conspiracytheory.com is a real website that points to… Warner Brothers? Uhoh guess they are in on the conspiracy too.

          Do you even know what “think tanks” do? They put out boring white papers. Lol.

          1. Apparently you don’t know what think tanks do. They not only publish white papers that nobody reads, they also come up with political strategies. Strategies for the Save the Whales people to employ to stop evil corporations from polluting the oceans. Strategies for the wealthy who want to cut income taxes to move public opinion in favor of rich people paying less taxes. Strategies for mitigating the threat that climate change science poses to the oil and coal industries….

            In this case we have a group that has been trying to get people all riled up about race issues for as long as you have been alive. But since the 90’s, they’ve been less and less successful. Al Sharpton was their “over the top” moment that signaled the beginning of the slide away from race-baiting as a winner.

            But that hasn’t stopped them from trying. In 2000 the NAACP and the SPLC sent a huge stack of expensive mailers to my house invoking lynchings and the Klan in an effort to scare me into voting against the noted racist, George Bush.

            But Obama was the final nail in the coffin. Even so, they continued to try. Look at all of the police brutality cases they chose to push… every one a loser, but designed to ensure that whitey would oppose the minority take. They finally managed to gin up the #BLM crew and hijack an important issue. But no real wedge surfaced.

            Enter Trump. Still not working. But they kept trying with the AltRight. And finally they got them to show up and protest.

    5. So…if you have similar feelings as the KKK.
      What exactly DO you loathe then, the carpets or the sheets?

  3. I’m more and more liking my idea of some rich dude replacing the Confederate monuments with antislavery monuments.

    One side of the monument could show chattel slavery, socialism, the welfare state, etc. The other side could be labelled “CAPITALISM” and show the fruits of a voluntary labor system.

    1. by the way, the link in your handle made me laugh for about 2mins straight

      1. Really? I guess the credit belongs to Rep. Lee.

        OMG, Lee!

        1. Yeah, “Jackson Lee” is like being named Racist McRacist.

          1. She is literally being oppressed by the identity which white supremacy imposed on her.

  4. “The answer is obvious: Monuments do not merely signify the existence of historical facts; they pass judgment upon them.”

    Well, I would argue that the existence of monuments are a judgment of both that which the monument is supposed to honor, but also on the era in which the monument was erected. It demonstrates the priorities for the monument-builders about which events they considered most worthy of honoring in that form. There are precious few monuments of scientists, engineers, writers, etc., compared to military generals and national leaders. That says something about what the people at the time value and what they don’t.

    And besides, is anyone really arguing that taking down the monuments is equivalent to “erasing history”?

    1. “And besides, is anyone really arguing that taking down the monuments is equivalent to “erasing history”?”
      Yeah. Loads of ’em. And in the South, they really do talk about the Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression”, claim the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, carefully avoid talking about Confederate slave raids on northern blacks, oppose “Black History Month” while unironically wondering when “White History Month” is, and so-on.

      Face it, in the American South you have something like a hundred and fifty years of them trying to selectively edit the Civil War to make them the “good guys”. And part of that is “who do we publicly honor”.

  5. monuments to war heroes. (Oh, and Matthew Fontaine Maury, the world-famous oceanographer. Don’t forget him.)

    So do Maury’s (great) scientific accomplishments save his statue from the neo-reconstructionists?

    Or does his responsibility for sinking more Yankee warships than the rest of the Confederate Navy combined doom him?

    Good luck trying to erase all the monuments to Maury, especially that Moon crater that bears his name


    1. Ya see, this is what I’m talking about. Even the partisan trollbots know that it is all about ginning up fake controversies to try to energize a base to take into the next election. Or the next fundraiser.

      They had gotten a little creative, adding things like global warming and transgender bathroom use to the rotation. … But losing racism for the last 15-20 years has been really, really tough. That used to be their number one go-to divisive issue. And it had pretty much died.

      Well, that and abortion. And that was kinda cycling down too.

      So two big holes in the lineup was just too much to bear. So they have been working overtime to get racism back as a front-burner issue. Gotta rile up those core voters!

      And joy of joys, we should be looking at a revitalization of the abortion debate if Trump gets to appoint another supreme court justice.

      1. If you want to call it a debate – people either know what they believe or they’ve mastered the art of ducking under their desks when the subject comes up.

      2. I’m not one to try to assign bad motives on those with whom I disagree. (Except if it’s Gilmore. I make an exception for him.)

        I think the people worried about transgendered people in the “wrong” bathrooms have wildly overblown their fear about it, but I don’t think their concern at its root is unjustified. They have a legitimate fear of girls being assaulted in bathrooms by male perverts pretending to be women. I don’t think transgendered are perverts, and I think the fear plays too much into the “gays are pedophiles” type of crap from a while ago, but at its root I think they are concerned about the safety of their daughters, which is totally understandable.

        Likewise I think the people who are now protesting against statues I think have overplayed how terrible they think they are, but I do think they genuinely think the statues shouldn’t be there, irrespective of other controversies. As this article itself demonstrates, controversies over statues have been going on a long time.

        1. On these issues, look at who the aggressor is.

          If we had unisex bathrooms and one day a few months ago some Republicans decided, “let’s segregate the bathrooms by biological sex and refuse to recognize transgenderism!” then maybe you could say it was The Right which decided to exploit the issue. But that’s not how it happened, is it?

          1. No. What happened is that for decades trans* folk have largely been going about their business without much issue. Democrats/liberals have slowly been pushing trans*-friendly legislation for years and years.

            Republicans only started really caring in the last few years, as folks increasingly realized that gay marriage wasn’t the civilization-ender that Republicans had been claiming it was. With that culture-war sail thoroughly burned, they needed another to give momentum to their electorate, and so they suddenly discovered that all these localities, including in red states, had passed trans*-friendly legislation.

            So yeah, it’s a manufactured issue all right. But not by Democrats, who are on the same trajectory they’ve been on for years. It’s the Republicans who suddenly pivoted on the issue and decided to drag out all their old scare-stories about gays and swap “gay” for “trans”.

        2. I’m not one to try to assign bad motives on those with whom I disagree. (Except if it’s Gilmore. I make an exception for him.)

          I’m not being hateful when i call you stupid. Its just the only sensible explanation.

          1. Hey look Gilmore, someone at fakelibertarians.com just said something mean about Trump. Better get over there quick and ban him before the contagion spreads!

            1. lol

              you’re not really even trying to alter my impression at all, are you.

              fwiw, if you’re talking about the Glib site, there’s only been 1 person banned to my knowledge, and it was because they droned on about racist shit to the point it got annoying. (oh, and Amsoc was banned, because obvious reasons)

              eddie got angry and stormed off in a huff over some disagreement w/ mods, but i don’t know what it was about about. no one really talks about trump all that much, tho there is a good + funny series of articles/cartoons called “The Super Awesome Adventures of Secret Nazi President” (courtesy of Baked Penguin) which you should check out.

              i think its cute that you think its somehow more ‘pro-trump’ over there. if anything its ‘indifferent’ and 99% of the content is about shit other than presidential politics, which are frankly boring.

      3. You’re right, but it is conservatives that thrive on wedge issues to exploit ignorant centrist voters.

        Gay marriage, tranny bathrooms, abortion/contraception, gay cakes, scary Muslims, Ebola, Mexican rapists, Willie Horton, and so on.

        You have to give credit where credit is due. Conservatives + Stupid = Electoral Victory.

        1. What a funhouse-mirror world you inhabit.

          1. I’m just a classic liberal atheist capitalist.

            FUNHOUSE MIRRA!

            1. Gay marriage – Gay marriage was recognized for millennia until those Republicans decided to exploit a wedge issue and make marriage into an opposite-sex institution

              abortion/contraception – These things used to be human rights from time immemorial until the Republicans attacked them!

              gay cakes – We had compulsory gay cakes for centuries ever since King Alfred baked cakes for Ye Gaye Olde Saxon Fair. Then Republicans tried to make these cakes voluntary!


              1. Why are conservatives constantly threatened by other peaceable people?

                Hollywood values, atheists, Muslims, immigrants, Negroes, Jews, intellectuals, scientists, rock and roll music, etc?

                1. Because the primary motivational emotion for conservatives is disgust. Disgust triggered by the Other.

                  1. No I don’t think so. I think it is fear.

                    1. Also this:

                      Meanwhile examining the contents of 76 college students’ bedrooms, as one group did in a 2008 study, revealed that conservatives possessed more cleaning and organizational items, such as ironing boards and calendars, confirmation that they are orderly and self-disciplined. Liberals owned more books and travel-related memorabilia, which conforms with previous research suggesting that they are open and novelty-seeking.

                    2. Also, also….

                      A systematic review of publications purporting to examine the nature of political schisms shows that they are wonderful exercises in demonstrating confirmation bias and the exploitation of researcher degrees of freedom for P-hacking.

                2. Conservatives like Tipper Gore (rock music), Woodrow Wilson (black people), etc?

                  1. You heard of a Democrat with flaws, therefore rightwing bigotry is unpossible!

                    1. Has anyone ever told you that you’re not particularly bright?

                      Haven’t several people told you?

                  2. Conservative such as the Populist Party (Jews), California labor unions (Chinese immigrants)…oh, heck, what’s the use?

            2. Palin’s Buttplug|9.4.17 @ 7:05PM|#
              I’m just a classic liberal atheist capitalist.
              FUNHOUSE MIRRA!

              You are NOT a classic liberal nor pro-capitalist. You’re a socialist and pro Nanny-State.

              You don’t value freedom, the Constitution, or free market.

        2. The transgender bathroom issue was a democrat wedge issue, pushed by progressives on city councils specifically with the intention of forcing a larger issue.

          The gay wedding cake thing was also a democrat initiative, putting the government in the business of enforcing the right to have someone work for you at your wedding, and then sending out trolls with the specific intention of finding conservative christian businesses to entrap into violating the newly created “right”. Not just bakers, but even pizza parlors had to take public stances on their gay wedding policy.

          Ebola? No idea what you are on about there. I didn’t know that was a wedge issue.

          Willie Horton was the result of a democrat initiative to give convicted criminals serving life sentences vacations from being in jail. So one guy out on release rapes an old lady. That’s a stone cold lock as a legitimate policy issue. It was the democrats who tried to twist it into a race issue by noting that Horton is black. Apparently it is only bad if a white murderer serving a life sentence is let out for the weekend and robs and rapes some old lady.

          Abortion is pretty much equally a troll issue for both parties. Both will create a fake issue if no real issues are bubbling and they need to do a quick fundraiser.

          So the only real “republican” wedge issue on your list is illegal immigration. And that is a legitimate policy debate carried out through illegitimate hyperbole (immigrant criminals).

          1. So you’re taking the conservative side on these issues and not the libertarian side.

            Personally, I don’t care if gays diddle each other on Main St at noon.

            1. Eh… in a word, no.

              I didn’t take any side on any of the “issues”. It isn’t even implied a little bit. The only “issue” my post addresses is a list of phony controversies cooked up by the political parties in order to get people all riled up about their team instead of digging deep into a philosophy of how to run the country.

              As a libertarian I’m inclined to believe that were people to actually undertake that exercise absent the constant press of team-based wedge issues, there’s a good likelihood they’d come to see that neither of the major parties represents their views and they’d latch on somewhere else. Like the Libertarian Party. Or, should they be insecure and not that bright, the Greens. (see, us minor parties can be snipey and partisan too.)

          2. The transgender bathroom issue was a democrat wedge issue, pushed by progressives on city councils specifically with the intention of forcing a larger issue.

            Huh. That’s not how I remember it.

            What I remember is, more like, certain city councils pushing the issue, and Republicans wildly overreacting to it with hysterical fears of perverts raping girls in bathrooms.

            1. Right. In other words, progressives decided they had a winning wedge issue in the non-existent controversy of transgender bathrooms. The successfully baited Republicans at higher levels into making public douches of themselves.

              You basically restated what I said, immediately after saying “that’s not how I remember it.” I left off the “republicans are douches” part because it wasn’t germane, and because you don’t have to mention that water is wet every time you discuss the ocean.

              1. Which ones were on the side of decency and humanity and which ones were exploiting very at-risk minorities for political gain is not germaine?

                Those silly Republicans! They’re so fucking retarded, it’s practically everyone else’s fault when they do horrible things.

              2. Except that Democrats have been slowly pushing this local victories for years and years without Republicans really caring at the state and national level. Democrats haven’t really changed trajectory on this topic.

                Republicans have. Until a few years ago, they were content to let locals fight local battles on these issue. But then they suddenly pivoted and started making local ordinances about public accommodation into state/national issues.

                Democrats stayed the course. Republicans are the ones that changed direction.



  7. We could really use some PM links. Sad face.

  8. Theocratic scumbag and Wahhabi Christian Roy Moore endorsed by silly wench:


    1. So Roy Moore wants to prohibit women from driving and keep them veiled, subsidize violent Christian extremism in other countries, ban non-Christian religions, etc?

      Or is “wahhabi” simply a term you use to mean “something not desirable”?

      1. We’re not as bad as Wahhabis! Go Murica!

        Pop quiz hotshot: “White people need to conquer or be conquered. Hail Trump!”

        Agree or disagree?

        1. How could I answer this with anything but “agree”?

          Answering “disagree” would be like telling a 5-year-old that Santa Claus isn’t real.

        2. “We’re not as bad as Wahhabis! Go Murica!”

          Yeah, why was I even bringing up the Wahhabis when it wasn’t relevant?

        3. “Pop quiz hotshot: “White people need to conquer or be conquered. Hail Trump!”

          “Agree or disagree?”

          Disagree on both sentiments. Also disagree with your race-baiting and misdirection.

    2. Turd, your fixation with Palin is nearly as pathetic as your fixation with fucking your daddy.
      Get lost.

  9. OT: The Daily Caller runs an op-ed on the battered/kidnapped Salt Lake City nurse: she had it coming.

    1. there seem to be a number of lawyers in the comments there ripping the dude a new asshole. he gets his entire analysis wrong. Utah state law is what’s relevant, and its clear that they don’t have any right to even ask, much less claim ‘exigent circumstances’. There was also no PC and the guy wasn’t even under arrest, so his rationale about how ‘evidence’ could have been lost is meaningless because there was no crime being investigated.

      1. He starts by saying that the U. S. allows warrantless blood draws in certain exigent circumstances, then doesn’t clarify what the exigent circumstances are in this case. Then he admits that Utah courts are more strict than the US Supremes – and states are entitled to be *more* protective of civil liberties than the feds.

        So he just admitted that his analysis was irrelevant and had no demonstrable connection to this particular incident.

        Which doesn’t stop him from comparing the nurse to a homeowner trying to shelter a drug dealer who is flushing drugs down the toilet.

        1. So a nurse protects one of her patients – an unconscious burn victim – from cops attempting a warrantless search – and the nurse is the bad guy?

          Police-search cases often involve unsympathetic people – “yeah, it was a warrantless search, but look, they found a bunch of dope! and the guy had a criminal record! and an informant said he was a drug dealer!”

          The cop apologists are mad that the victims are a nurse and one of her unconscious patients (so far no evidence the patient was a criminal), so it really looks bad.

          It looks bad because it *is* bad.

          1. They are upset she did not submit to police. Even if the police are wrong, the must be obeyed by their lights.

            1. Generally, yeah.

              You have very limited rights to resist the police, even when the police are acting unlawfully. The legal reasoning behind this is stuff I expect most libertarians would largely reject, but alas, it is what it is.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.