Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
 
Doublethink

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak, "doublethink."
I have a memory problem. My memory is too good. When a few years ago I became interested in the history of the American Civil War and read a lot of books, saw a lot of documentary films and the like, the culture wars hadn't reached that area of history yet. And so my memory tells me that in those unpolitical history books Robert E. Lee was depicted as a decent person. Yeah, sure, he was fighting for the losing side, and the losing side was obviously pro-slavery and thus on the wrong side of history. But history, before it got redacted by "the Party", said that Lee wasn't a political firebrand. He only entered the war reluctantly, out of a sense of duty to his state. He was a slaveholder in a state where everybody who had any social status was a slaveholder. At the time history still judged him on his actions as a general in the war. And on that count he wasn't doing all that badly, being both competent and humane. If you took history documents from a decade ago and judged by them who the more decent human being was, Robert E. Lee would probably win over William T. Sherman, who was fighting on the winning side, but with far more brutal methods.

Of course that was a decade ago, and I really need to reformat my memory. Today the party line is that the statue of William T. Sherman in New York Central Park is honoring a hero, while the statues of Robert E. Lee are being torn down everywhere for being too offensive. An Asian American ESPN sports commentator, who unfortunately has the name Robert Lee, was pulled from a game because his name was considered too toxic to be on TV.

Now statues of the losers being torn down is quite a usual occurrence after a war, don't we all remember the pictures of people tearing down statues of Saddam Hussein? What is somewhat weird is doing it 150 years after the war ended. Hey guys, we just discovered that Robert E. Lee was fighting for the slave-holding South, so we need to remove his statues now! Sorry we didn't notice that earlier! What on earth has Robert E. Lee done in the past years to deserve such a fate now that he didn't deserve a decade ago?

Although blaming "both sides" apparently isn't politically correct any more either (or maybe it is if the other side is the "right" one?), I would say that the extreme right rallying around confederate symbols is of course a major trigger to those symbols suddenly becoming politically incorrect. That makes Robert E. Lee a victim, being caught in the middle of a culture war. It might have some rather hilarious results if the extreme right would chose symbols that more difficult to tear down, like the American flag. To some extent the Constitution of the United States of America is already a symbol of the extreme right, if you find somebody with a copy of it in his pocket he probably is a Trump voter. Or an immigrant in the process of learning it by heart as part of the naturalization process. Or a supreme court judge. So fortunately we don't have to burn it yet in order to be politically correct.

Nevertheless, as a student of history I find the efforts to change or re-interpret history 150 years later somewhat worrying. Imagine we would tear down the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, because Napoleon lost his wars 200 years ago, and for some reason we now find his symbols offensive. When the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan, we lamented the loss of history. Isn't the preservation of history a bigger value for humanity than the need to remove anything that could be deemed offensive? If the culture wars rage back and forth, with both sides being in power at some point, aren't we in danger of losing all our history, because it doesn't fit with some party line? If history is offensive, which it certainly sometimes is, aren't we still losing more by erasing it than by preserving it as a reminder to do better next time around?

Comments:
The problem is that the statues of Lee and other Confederate soldiers were not erected after the civil war, but sometime between the 1910s and the 1920s. A number of states were enacting Jim Crow laws designed to continue oppressing blacks as the Civil Rights movement was just getting started.

Normally I'd take the same view, that sites of historical interest should be maintained. But they're not really historical monuments in this case, more of a slap down to the African American people living in these communities. Is this a history that should be preserved in the face of the oppression that black people have faced for decades?

I'll also note that Europe where you live has a policy of erasure for certain elements of its past. Many Nazi monuments have been completely destroyed (recently I read that Hitlers birth-house was demolished) in order to prevent them being used as rallying points for extremists.

Perhaps the same should apply to these monuments to racial oppression?
 
The real issue with the statues is that they are mostly not 150 years old. Most of them were built much later as a counterresponse to the growth of the Civil Rights movement - first in the Jim Crow 1930s, and later during the time of the Freedom Riders. They were directly built, not for the purpose of honoring, but for the purpose of oppressing.

For example, here's a quote from the deed of land in which Paul McIntire - the donor who funded the park and the statue in 1922 at the height of the KKK movement - expresses its purpose:

"Said property shall be held and used in perpetuity by the said City for a public park and play ground for the white people of the City of Charlottesville but the authorities of the said City shall at all times have the right and power to control, regulate and restrict the use of said property."

And then you put up a statue of a well-known slaver in the middle of it.

 
But why were those statues still okay under an Obama Administration, not so long ago, and are torn down in haste now? I believe that even a symbol of evil can have historical value. Europe preserved Auschwitz with its famous "Arbeit macht frei" gate, because keeping it as a reminder is better than removing it because it could be offensive to somebody.
 
In my opinion, they were never okay, and so it's good that we're recognizing that now. Better late than never!
 
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I don't think this is something that's happened overnight, though - a lot of town and cities in the South have been reconsidering public memorials since the Confederate flag came down from the South Carolina statehouse two years ago. And in a lot of cases, the call is not for the statues to knocked down, but moved to somewhere less official / more appropriate - like a museum.

But yes, as noted, many of them are not reconstruction-era artifacts, they are from later era - I understand there's a significant chunk from the 1960s as well, put up as a reminder that even after the Civil Rights Movement, don't forget who's in charge. The South has been in a culture war for a long time.
 
Also, I'm much more sympathetic to preservation of actual monuments and historical artifacts from the actual Civil War. The Appomattox Courthouse, the battlefields in Manassas, the Jefferson Davis estate in Mississippi. All of those are legit historical places and the right analogues to your (good) Auschwitz example. The monuments are not that - they were not part of the war or the history - they were created to oppress black residents in Southern cities long afterwards.
 
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Let's ask how Robert E Lee felt about monuments:

"I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered."

As for why the Obama administration didn't take them down... can you imagine the news coverage? The entire Republican electorate was already convinced he was going to personally take away their guns. A black man knocking down white monuments would have revitalized white nationalist like nothing before. I honestly believe Obama refrained from descheduling marijuana for a similar reason: to not give people the ammunition of "of course a black president did that."

The zeitgeist is different now. It's certainly possible that the pendulum swings too far the other way, but that's no reason to keep it unmoving.
 
You may be a student of history but you clearly aren't a student of historians. No-one makes progress in academia by restating the opinions of previous academics so the orthodoxy is in perpetual turmoil. Most history books should rightly be shelved in "Fiction".
 
History is about the truth of what actually happened. You can't rewrite history every time cultural attitudes change. There is a worrying trend in America where people get served "historical" movies that have been designed to be politically correct to the attitudes of today, instead of historically correct. How can we learn from history if we falsify it?
 
"I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered."

Shouldn't he get a statue for saying things like that?
 
They are turning on statues because these are the only things they can defeat. They've lost. They've lost the election, they lost the internet (the new media) and above all, they lost the future, the young people. For generations the young were progressive and got conservative as got older. Now the high-school generation is conservative, thanks to the endless wars (someone who was born when Afghanistan was attacked is eligible to go there and die) and the economic recession and horrible recovery. The liberal talking points (immigration, transgender rights) are horribly unpopular, even among their own voters.

They are done. Liberalism will be a fringe movement like anarchism or eco-socialism. You can get 5% with them. Of course it doesn't mean conservatives won forever, they will have a NEW opposition, but it won't be liberal. The 2024 election will be between someone carrying the Trump torch (probably Ivanka) and maybe a libertarian or a neocon or an openly socialist. But no one will carry the identity politics - civil rights - minority rights flag.

This is like the Red Army Faction in Germany. They are not a political factor, so they turn to violence to be at least a criminal factor.
 
Well, there also were monuments desecrated that had nothing to do with Civil War, like Christopher Columbus one...
 
Uh oh, Tobold. Gevlon agrees with you again, so you can be pretty sure you're wrong.

Wow Gevlon, I think just about every sentence you wrote was the exact opposite of the truth. What's it like in Trumpistan where Trump isn't the most unpopular president in history and public opinion isn't slowly moving in favor of impeachment, even in the most conservative polls? Why are so many Republicans distancing themselves from Trump now? Are they "tired of winning?"
 
History is never certain, and it's always, always open to interpretation. Historians are trained to and know how to evaluate the different sources, to see how we can be certain of some stuff, pretty sure of others and that somethings are quite open.

Pop-history doesn't work like that, so you get certainty changed for another certainty quite regularly. Other times you simply add to the knowledge, like this: "The Civil War was about States' Rights" - "...to allow slavery"

Look at the runup to the Civil War (Lincoln, Bleeding Kansas, "Our Peculiar Institution" etc etc) and it's abundantly clear that the Civil War was about slavery first, last and only. Robert Lee can, at best, be compared to Rommel. How many statues of Erwin Rommel are there in Germany?
 
To second -- and maybe add to -- the comments made by "Unknown" above, the key difference between preserving Confederate statues (which, as has already been said, are really Jim Crow statues erected long after, to spike the football in the face of black people during the 1890s through the 1920s, so to speak) and commemorating places like Auschwitz is that no one mistakes the preservation of Auschwitz for a _celebration_ of the Holocaust. By contrast, Confederate statues, along with the flag, are clearly meant to celebrate a misguided vision of what the American South should be. No one is erasing history by taking the statues down; for one thing, that's what history classes, history books, museums, and battlefield sites like Gettysburg are for. Beyond that, what's being erased is the public _validation_ of a mythic version of history (an "honorable" South fighting for "states' rights") that has been proven to be not just factually blinkered but rankly offensive to large numbers of citizens. Imagine a statue of an SS-Waffen officer being erected in a formerly Jewish neighborhood in Prague or Krakow about 35 or 40 years after WWII ended. Would anyone support that? But that's roughly equivalent to the origin story of most of the statues we're talking about.
 
@Samus: yes, he is very unpopular by the polls that gave Hillary +10% a week before the election. (Which she lost)

Republicans distancing themselves is normal. He is NOT a Republican. It's very possible that the party will split and the 2024 election will be Ivanka vs Paul Ryan.
 
@Gevlon

Okay, what are the "right" polls? Because as far as I know, he is losing popularity according to even the most conservative sources.
 
Uh oh, Tobold. Gevlon agrees with you again, so you can be pretty sure you're wrong.

@Samus: That is a cheap shot which is unworthy of you. Gevlon are in 99% disagreement, and the 1% we agree upon, that statues shouldn't be pulled down, we have completely different motivations for. Gevlon's vision of the right having "won" is a complete fantasy. If there was an election today of Bernie Sanders vs. Trump, the Democrats would win by a landslide. They just need a candidate that is addressing America's economic problems, which Hilary obviously wasn't. There isn't going to be another Hilary as candidate.

You don't need poll data to predict that the midterm elections will be horrible for the Republicans, and that 2020 will see a Democratic president. You just need to read the National Review, or even Breitbart. Democrats don't need to do anything, the Republican party is fighting itself to death. We might well see a government shutdown in spite of the Republicans holding the presidency and both houses. There won't be a beautiful wall coast to coast, there won't be an Obamacare repeal, there won't be a tax reform. Not even his base is going to re-elect a president who can't get anything done. And "Ivanka vs. Paul Ryan" will see each one of them getting 20% of the votes, with the rest of the votes going to the Democratic candidate. In a two-party system a split party is dead.
 
@Tobold, given that the consensus is that these statues don't reflect a history of the civil war but a history of the Jim Crow laws in action, would you still consider them to be worth saving?

I suspect the reason that we didn't see more forward motion in Obama's run to remove the statues (the impetus was there but the focus wasn't on it) was because people hadn't been slapped by the wake-up call called Trump. Too many people were lulled into a false sense of complacency. Trump's been a splash of cold water on the nation, a realization that we're in the middle of a real culture war and didn't realize it. These statues are endemic of the situation at hand.
 
"@Samus: That is a cheap shot which is unworthy of you."

It was mostly a joke, but I'll admit it was a pretty low blow.

I actually don't feel especially strongly about this. I think there are appropriate places for these monuments, but many of these monuments are in states that weren't even a part of the Confederacy. It is tough to argue that a statue in Montana is just celebrating "heritage." Most of them (but not all) should probably come down, but I don't consider them the worst thing our nation is facing.

I don't have a solid reason for why this is only just now an issue. I suspect part of it is that, like me, I think most people didn't realize there were so many of these monuments, and in such inappropriate places. I would have guessed there were some in the south, but not hundreds, and not in non-Confederate states, and not in front of official state buildings. Obviously a lot of this was triggered by the KKK/Nazi/white supremacist rally that killed any remaining claims that this wasn't about race. Part of it you can probably lay on Trump, both for stirring up white supremacists and because of the huge amount of hatred for him, there are a lot of pissed off people who want to do something.

Also, I am honestly concerned for what will happen in 2020. Not that Trump might win (he obviously won't), but because there are a LOT of people like Gevlon who have been living in fact-repellent bubbles. When Trump loses in a landslide, they will think the results were fake and it is yet another conspiracy against Trump, and who knows what violence or constitutional crisis we're going to have. To me, this is the biggest reason to start with the impeachment. I think he will just resign, claiming victory and saying he already fixed all of America's problems, or some other nonsense. I don't care, as long as he's gone.
 
I don't see the value in pulling down those statues because as means of oppression a bronze statue of a guy on a horse is rather inefficient. A piece of cardboard saying "whites only" is a lot cheaper and more effective.

I have a strong suspicion that the people shouting the most to pull these statues down are white and college educated. While the "targets of oppression" probably just ignore them and don't mind.

My main point is that nothing of this has anything to do with Robert E. Lee and that the left media engage in slander to justify a move that in reality targets Trump.
 
A statue at a battle site is a memorial, and perfectly appropriate to mark something significant in our history. A statue in front of a court house in Monatana is saying this leader of the slavery movement was a hero that we should celebrate. It isn't that different than a German town celebrating a Nazi general. At best, it is inappropriate, and I don't really see why we shouldn't remove them.
 
@Tobold

I have a strong suspicion that the people shouting the most to pull these statues down are white and college educated.

Take a look at the videos showing the people pulling these statues down, or defacing them, and take special notice of the racial composition of the crowds. You might be surprized at how accurate your quoted statement is. So is this actual outrage from the black descendants of slavery, or ideology to further a leftist agenda?
 
It is only right that history is constantly re-evaluated because society is constantly changing. Sometimes we need to look back at once feted people and declare that continuing to celebrate them is inappropriate. Move the statue to a less prominent location and rename the building, just don't whitewash history while doing that. Unlike 1984 we must remember the regard in which people were once held. People are a product of their time. Lee was generally decent person during a violent civil war who fought for a group that held views we today consider unacceptable. We remember a great man but cannot celebrate his actions in support of a group that runs counter to modern society. As such his place is in the side-halls not the main promenade.

There is the related issue extremist groups appropriating symbols and giving them meaning that wasn't implied in the original. Take Lee as an example. Extremists and race supremacists have latched onto him because he was a Confederate hero and some Confederate ideas align with their own. Extremists can go "Hurrah for Lee" when they mean "Hurrah for our ideas." They use Lee's legacy as a shield. Non-extremists that challenge the "Lee" protests are accused of attacking Lee-the-person and attempting to rewrite history. If they do nothing leaves it leaves a modern symbol of racism unchallenged in plain view. It raises the question of what to do when an acceptable symbol is adopted by an extremist group.
 
@Samus: you can see the ONLY right poll in they yellow field, right next to some unbiased reporters neutrally observing it: http://media.breitbart.com/media/2017/06/m2rt_eSJGa3sPTPMx9nr6ah9imV1Da1Z5-6_ywyLazw-640x480.jpg


@Tobold: you misunderstand or misrepresent me. I never said that the "right won". I am saying that "liberals are gone and done". Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders winning against Trump is the POINT: liberals aren't even in the race. They are a fringe party like Jill Stein's greens.

It IS possible that after the 2018 massacre the socialists claim the "democrat" brand and infrastructure and in 2020 Democrat Sanders-(clone) defeats Trump. After Trump's Syria and Afghanistan moves and Sanders being the only besides Rand Paul voting against the "sanction Russia for hacking we knew they didn't do", I would even mind if he won.

However it is unlikely. The Hillary-gang holds the money and the deep state power. They will prevent any grassroot democrat running and in 2020 they will run with like-Hillary-except-a-human-person and lose to Trump worse than Walter Mondale.

PS: fun fact: the Baltimore statues that are removed now were erected with the following speech, by local politician Thomas D’Alesandro Jr proving that they are indeed Jim Crow statues: “Today, with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving our sacred institutions.”

Where is the fun? Thomas D’Alesandro Jr was the father of Nancy Pelosi.


@Samus "some other conspiracy", like the Russian hoax which never had a single evidence, yet was on the news every day for a year and now just disappeared when the real leaker was found and arrested?

The sad thing is that I DO think that if Trump loses to a Hillary-democrat in 2020, the election is rigged.


 
Nicholas Bergquist: "a realization that we're in the middle of a real culture war and didn't realize it."

Or a realisation that you only thought you won it because you believed your own propaganda?
 
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Excellent - predictions made and noted.

Trump is sliding in popularity, that's true, but everyone else is dropping faster. That's the problem with negative campaigning: mudthrowing gets the thrower muddy, often more than their target. Trump is far more popular than most of the Republicans in Congress right now. He's targeting Congressmen and Senators in both parties that are obstacles to his agenda, and he'll be campaigning for their adversaries. 2018 will be an interesting year.
 
@Gevlon

I'm not sure a 60/40 Republican leaning district going 52/47 is the proof you think it is. You realize that's why they appointed someone from that district, because Republicans can't possibly lose there? Obama didn't lose a single special election from appointments, neither did Bush, neither did Clinton. For it to be a close election at all is extremely embarrassing and concerning for Republicans.

I don't even know of any Republicans that deny the Russian hacking at this point, there are only some denying that there was direct collusion with the Trump campaign. Even Fox News, which is practically pro-Trump state media now, has been arguing for a while now that "yeah, it happened, but it wasn't illegal, was it?" Basically every legal expert has stepped in and said, "yes, it was illegal," and the new Fox News line is "okay, but even if it is illegal, so what?"

So are you really arguing that even Fox News is "lying librul media fake news?" At what point do you admit that every last news outlet but the most extreme right wing ones, even the really right wing leaning ones, are all reporting reporting the same set of facts? And that maybe, just maybe, those are actually true, even though you don't like them?
 
@Samus: then why did Dems putting so much money into winning it? The result is exactly what it should be: Trump has the same base as a year ago, he isn't losing voters. So the only way to beat him is winning people who didn't vote or voted third party for Ds. Good luck for that with "YOU ARE ALL WHITE SUPREMACISTS!!!"

Care to link any Fox reporting any facts about Trump-Russia collusion?
Actually care to link ANY reporting about FACTS about Trump-Russia collusion? All I heard is "unnamed sources alleged". And when the IT aide of DWS was arrested, the whole Russia story just disappeared like it never existed. The Mueller team full of Clinton staffers found nothing. Not a single Trump staffer was arrested AFTER A WHOLE YEAR OF DIGGING. Nothing. It was a total hoax, exactly like the "Saddam has nukes", by the very same traitors. I hope Trump will lock them all up after 2020.
 
"Trump has the same base as a year ago, he isn't losing voters."

That is, obviously, false.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/?ex_cid=rrpromo

Why do Trump supporters cling to this lie? As you can see with some of the other presidents, a drop in approval is not uncommon at this point in a presidency. Why do you have to pretend more people love him than ever?

"Not a single Trump staffer was arrested AFTER A WHOLE YEAR OF DIGGING."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year

See, a year is actually 12 months. The Mueller investigation has been going on for 3 months. I don't know what they are reporting on Breitbart, maybe 3 months is a year there.

The investigation is more advanced than the Nixon Watergate investigation was at this point. I guess you can keep clinging to the technicality that because they haven't released the facts yet, "there are no facts!" We heard all that stuff from Nixon Republicans. But the investigation just keeps expanding, so they clearly think they are on to something. Where there is smoke, there is fire, and there is a LOT of smoke. But if you want to keep clinging to that technicality, you can be the only one actually surprised when a Republican prosecutor starts handing down warrants.

Of what we do know so far, there is Donald Trump Jr going to a meeting that emails HE RELEASED (after the NYT had them anyway) show was about collusion and no other reason. And now, after repeatedly being caught in lie after lie, he's telling you, "oh, we never talked about the one and only reason the meeting was about, I swear!" You believe that? How gullible can you be?

To be fair, I do think there is a decent possibility that Trump himself didn't do anything illegal. Because he is too clueless and incompetent, it is perfectly believable that he just didn't know what was going on (like most issues).
 
@Samus: so we are in agreement that there are no facts known to either of us about Trump or any of their aides doing anything illegal or even nasty. It is possible that ongoing investigations will come up with something later when we should revise our positions.

The same thing can be said about the Seth Rich conspiracy, the Pizza place conspiracy, the 9/11 inside job conspiracy and the Chemtrail. There are 2.4M Goolag hits for "Chemtrail" and that's a LOT of smoke, so there must be a fire. You, an intelligent person choose to believe in something you liked without a single piece of fact and now try to excuse yourself out of it. I'm sorry, you were just gullible.

Donald Jr met with a woman who happened to be Russian without any Russian authority who offered a nasty dossier about Clinton. (if I meet you, that doesn't mean I collude with Trump, despite Trump is your president). Fun fact: she wasn't supposed to be in the USA, she just got a special visa from Loretta Lynch https://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-the-obama-doj-let-russian-lawyer-natalia-veselnitskaya-into-the-u-s/ (which means she works for the CIA and sent to Trump by Clapper to incriminate him and failed because Trump Jr just thrown her out).

And ALL of it is offtopic, because the post is about statues and liberals.

 
It is insane to me that you mention those conspiracies, because none of the mainstream media picked those up. Guess who was reporting fake news about Seth Rich and "Pizzagate?" Brietbart and Fox News (and every other right wing outlet). Now, those same outlets are saying there's nothing to the Mueller investigation, while all those other media outlets that got the conspiracies you listed right are all saying there IS something here.

You tell me, Gevlon. What could this investigation release that would convince you (even if you think it won't)? Because you already called Mueller a traitor that Trump should imprison, even though you don't have ANY of the facts yet. It just seems like anything proving you wrong you will declare fake, even coming from a highly respected Republican prosecutor.

Seriously, Gevlon. What could persuade you? Be specific.
 
Tobold I'm sorry but you are flat out wrong. Not too mention even your little piece on the espn reporter is also based on a lie.

These statues were never ok and many people have had problems with them for YEARS.

For someone who claims to have studied American history you seem to have missed large sections of the 1900s...

In my town in central Florida we don't have a confederate statue but we do have a "monument" right outside the county courthouse. That "monument" is a giant oak tree that was used by lynch mobs to hang blacks. This town used to have a significant KKK presence. Guess when the tree was officially declared a monument by the city? When eventually people starting calling for the removal of tree due to its unsavory history. It stands there to this day.

This country never got past racism. Racists simply learned to bury it and earn small "victories" in more subtle ways. What we are experiencing now is simply the racism that has never gone away being less subtle.
 
@Bigeye: Are you calling the New York Times fake news here?

For me the problem isn't racism. The problem is "post-truth politics", where both sides deny stories even if they have been reported by several independent main-stream media outlets. Or claim that stories like "Mexico's southern border wall to Guatemala" are true, although the independent fact-checkers clearly proved them to be hoaxes.

If you want to pull down symbols of oppression, that is fine by me. But if you need to resort to a falsification of history, or slander, in order to justify pulling that symbol down, you are committing a crime against mankind. History's main purpose is to teach mankind to do better the next time around. Falsifying history takes that chance away from us. Truth is a higher value that political ideology.
 
@Samus: how about ANY piece of evidence?

Strike that. How about ANY explicit accusation? I mean "On 05.08.16 a Russian agent stole a dossier from the DNC office in Phoenix AZ and transported it to Trump tower". This is false (I made it up) but at least it can be investigated. Currently I not only didn't see evidence but I didn't even see any claim that can be investigated, just blurry "Russians influenced elections" and "Trump colluded".

Despite you agree that we don't have ANY facts yet, you don't find it odd that the mainstream media extensively covered the nothing. For months it was Russia, Russia, Russia! How is it different from crazy websites extensively covering Chemtrail?

Please point out any difference between the Chemtrail conspiracy and the "Trump colluded conspiracy". Actually I can point out a difference: the crazy websites are crazy and believe in Chemtrail. The mainstream media was fully aware that the collusion story is a "Nothing burger" but they did it anyway.

@Bigeye: do you really call a TREE a symbol of racism? Are you out of your mind?
 
Tobold did you read the article you linked. ESPN denied the fox story about pulling the broadcaster because of his name. The guy himself made that decision. They even offered to let him broadcast another game the same day and he turned it down.

What history is being lost by taking down a statue that was placed a hundred years after the fact? Is Robert E Lees name going to disappear from textbooks and the internet just because a statue is moved from outdoors to a museum? We are not talking about the gates of Auswitz which we're actually there at the time. We are talking about statues that were erected after the fact and in many cases were erected knowing they would be symbols of the south rising once more.

Gevlon is not even worth answering so I won't bother.
 
@Gevlon

The point is, what are you willing to admit once the investigation is over and they release the findings.

"you don't find it odd that the mainstream media extensively covered the nothing."

No, it's not odd. This is what they do, regardless of the subject. For instance, they did it with the Michael Jackson trial, nothing but that for months and months. Even when court wasn't even in session that day and there was nothing to report, it was still nothing but the Michael Jackson trial.

It is not notable that they picked one subject and report nothing but that. Your question should be why they picked the Russia investigation. The answer is all the reasons that make it incredibly obvious what happened that I know you won't accept as "proof." There are endless leaks, but I know you will claim those are fake (although if the leaks aren't real, why would the White House need to crack down on leaks that aren't really happening?). The investigation is expanding, a grand jury has been convened, subpoenas are being handed down. To everyone aside from right wing extremists, it is incredibly obvious how this is going to go.

I know you will deny all of that. But, the thing is, eventually the investigation will conclude and undeniable facts will be released. THIS is what I am asking. What undeniable facts could be released that you wouldn't just blow off as fake?

"Please point out any difference between the Chemtrail conspiracy and the "Trump colluded conspiracy"."

None of the mainstream media reported the Chemtrail conspiracy. Or any other conspiracy that turned out to be false. Despite what you want to believe about all media that isn't Fox News or Breitbart, there are a lot of journalists out there who are quite good at finding out the truth. Fox News and Breitbart are not trying to report the truth, their purpose is very clearly to spread misinformation that will benefit the side they explicitly support.

Can you even name a neutral, unbiased news source that you think reliably reports the truth without supporting one side or the other? There are thousands of news outlets, hundreds of thousands of journalists. They can't all be fake news.
 
@Samus: so your logic:
- You have zero facts
- But the mainstream media, that FORMALLY ENDORSED Clinton and ADMITTED colluding with the Clinton campaign, is reporting it
- So it must be true

My logic:
- I have zero facts
- The claim is outlandish (no US president ever was found guilty in treason)
- So it must be idiocy

Don't you find it weird that all the leaks leaked ... nothing? None of them leaked a piece of evidence like Snowden or Manning or the guy who found that IRS targeted Conservatives. I mean all the reports were "anonymous sources said Trump colluded" instead of "our source said that on 12/5/2015 Trump met with Kisylak to discuss running on a pro-Russia platform offering spy help"

Even if you assume that all these journalists are not purposeful fake news (hahaha) you have to realize that they are horrible journalists who posted opinions as news no better than "I believe Chemtrail is real so I report Chemtrail as real without any evidence"

I'm sorry Samus, but your thinking is "lots of people believe in X, so X must be true, even if none of them knows of any evidence". This is a religion at best. A dumb conspiracy theory likely. At worst an actual conspiracy to remove the democratically elected president.

Finally: may you explain why all the coverage disappeared overnight about 2 weeks ago from ALL CHANNELS when Imran Awan, the IT guy of Deborah Wasserman Schultz was arrested?

I'm sorry Samus, when it all ends, you'll find yourself no better than the Chemtrail believing nut. And I already saved a post for 2018 August 1 with the title, "Samus, believer of Chemtrail"
 
The guy himself made that decision.

You seem to have misunderstood my problem with that event. Who exactly decided that somebody named "Robert Lee" on TV is likely to offend somebody doesn't concern me at all. If anything it is even worse if the guy himself didn't feel safe to do his job just because of his name.

The problem is that there is a witch hunt going on, in which "symbols" are attacked. Symbols like statues, trees, or people with a similar name to a guy who is dead for over a century. It looks very much like a mob with torches and pitchforks being for some reason unwilling to attack the real source of their anger, Trump and white supremacists, and instead letting out their anger on those "symbols". Even if that symbol, like that sports commentator, are completely innocent in the matter at hand.
 
Tobold,

Welcome to the millennial age of politically correct, knee-jerk reaction-ism.

It's a thing now.
 
@Gevlon

My logic:
-Every time conservatives have claimed a widely reported story was false, it turned out they were lying and the story was true.
-Oh look, another widely reported story only conservatives say is false.
-Anyone with a brain knows they are lying again and the story is true.

Give me one example of a story that Breitbart and Fox News said was fake that didn't turn out to be true? They are ALWAYS the liars.

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me 573 times, I must be Gevlon.

And again, we will get the results of the investigation. What would those results have to be to persuade you? You keep dodging this question.
 
Symbols are important. It's why Americans value things like our flag so highly.

It's why racists are so upset about the statues being removed in the first place. It's why they cheer when Trump says things like how "we are going to take our country back". For decades symbols is all that kept the KKK alive.

To say that we shouldn't be worried about a statue of southern heroes is to be ignorant of what they mean to the KKK and how even those small "victories" has helped sustain them over the years.

There is no history lesson in a statue of Robert E Lee sitting on a courthouse lawn with nothing but a plaque. Move him inside a museum. Into a civil war exhibit where the war is actually explained.
 
I'm all for moving statues instead of pulling them down.

But can we agree that it is not okay if a guy can't do his job just because he happens to be called Robert Lee?
 
@Samus: so your logic "we good tell truth, they bad tell lies"

ANY evidence would do to convince me. You know someone testifying that he seen actual collusion. Documents coming to light. SOMETHING.
 
@Tobold,

Mr. Lee was scheduled to cover the Virginia game long before the events in Charlottesville unfolded. ESPN made the call to switch him to another game, and he agreed. He was still able to do his job and get paid. The fear on ESPN's part was that they might be seen as insensitive bastards by allowing him to announce that game after what happened. The spin here is that it was reportedly done for his safety, when in reality ESPN didn't want to be seen as putting yet another "football spike" in the faces of blacks after what happened. Corporate America is on the PC bandwagon, make no mistakes about it.

Also, the back and forth banter between Gevlon and Samus makes me want to curl up into a ball somewhere in a corner until a truly unbiased news agency arises. It illustrates just how biased people can become when they become infected with "party line" beliefs and attitudes. Media outlets are no longer concerned with the truth moreso than they are with what ethos supports their narrative.
 
until a truly unbiased news agency arises

I think we are so far "post truth" these days, that the best you could possibly hope for would be a news agency that is in equal measure accused of being "fake news" from the left and the right. Somebody probably thinks the reporting on the solar eclipse is fake news, because he believes that the earth it at the center of the universe.
 
@Gevlon

Excellent. We agree on the terms, and we shall see what the investigation releases. Obviously, we are both very confident about what the investigation will conclude.

@NoGuff

"Media outlets are no longer concerned with the truth moreso than they are with what ethos supports their narrative."

Stop with this ridiculous false equivalency. Fox News and Breitbart report literal lies, such as Pizzagate or the Seth Rich conspiracy. They reported that Trump had a larger inauguration crowd than Obama and that millions of illegals voted in California. They even reported that a warrant had been issued for Hillary right before the election. The list goes on and on. If Breitbart or Fox News reports something, you have no assurance it is the truth.

Meanwhile, even Gevlon links CBS News and a photo from CNN. While he might mock their facial expressions, he doesn't seriously question that the facts they are reporting are correct. When they report something, you can be sure it IS the truth.
 
@Samus: while I'm open to change my position of any evidence comes to light about the Russia collusion, right now the fact content of it is equal to the Pizzagate. So the equivalency isn't false at all. The mainstream media is ready to push any lie that they hope can hurt Trump.

Remember when NYT pushed the lie that Trump groped 12 women? Still none of these women sued Trump. Actually - just like the Russia conspiracy - this story disappeared from the media overnight.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
I have no idea why you would assume that I believe, let alone embrace, anything that comes from Breitbart or Fox News. Is this an assumption born of supposition? My statement about news media was quite clear and is an accurate statement concerning the current state of things. I don't want to hear someone's opinion about "why" something happened, or "who" might be behind whatever occurred.

These days news media is more about engagement and entertainment than it is about actual journalistic integrity and what is presented to the public. They want you to feel a certain way about a topic, or believe that their version of the truth is the only one that matters because they want to steer people towards their particular political orthodoxy. It's blatantly obvious to anyone paying attention what is being done. Fox brings on Ted Nugent to talk about gun control efforts, I cringe and dismiss it immediately. CNN brings on(insert favorite liberal Hollywood star) to discuss Trump and his policies, I cringe and dismiss it immediately.
 
@Gevlon

"Remember when NYT pushed the lie that Trump groped 12 women?"

I eagerly await your proof that this was a lie. Point me to the story from a news source that isn't Fox News or Breitbart saying that we now know this is a lie. There are TONS of stories about how we know Pizzagate is a lie.

"Actually - just like the Russia conspiracy - this story disappeared from the media overnight."

I honestly don't understand what you are arguing here. Your whole argument until now was the the liberal media won't stop reporting the Russia story, even though "there is nothing to report." And frankly, while I think there is something to the Russia story, I agreed that the media does that in general, particularly CNN. But they didn't do it in that case? Are you praising the NYT for their restraint?
 
@Samus: innocence cannot be proven, this is why guilt needs to be. Without Trump being proven guilty, he is innocent, therefore the accusations were lies.

My argument was "we need facts and they kept reporting the nothing".
You replied with "we don't need facts, liberal journalists always report truth"
My reply: "they stopped reporting it"

So today:
- we know of no facts that would verify the Russia conspiracy
- we see no journalists report about the Russia conspiracy
- ergo, it's in no better shape than the Chemtrail and the Seth Rich conspiracies

Do you finally admit that you were just gullible, or you move to "liberal journalists once reporting it without any facts makes it forever true"
 
@Gevlon

The whole "news outlets only report one story non-stop" argument was your thing, I just didn't argue because I think it is a fair criticism of most media. It doesn't matter to me either way, it has no impact on whether the story itself is true.

And I'm not arguing in favor of just the "liberal" news outlets. I am arguing in favor of all the other news outlets aside from Breitbart and Fox News. There are thousands of them. You and I both know you could name 20 "liberal media" sources that you say are liars, and I would have no trouble finding 20 more that all say the same things. I name just 2 conservative news sources that are obvious garbage, and you can't come up with another reliable news source that will agree with you. It isn't just CNN or the NYT reporting on the Russia scandal, it's everyone. Nobody picked up the Seth Rich or Pizzagate or Chemtrails, except perhaps to point out they were fake news.

And there is not "nothing to report" about the Russia scandal, and the media has not stopped reporting it (although Trump siding with literal Nazis obviously took over the main focus). There is a ton of stuff reported and verified, like the Trump Dossier or that he owes millions to Russian interests. When Mueller verifies all of this, it will surprise no one except Trump supporters. It is like a murder suspect that had said he would murder the victim, was spotted at the victim's house at the time of the murder, owned the gun that was used in the murder, and was caught trying to escape police. But because the DNA analysis isn't back yet, you are claiming "there is no evidence! This is a conspiracy by the police! Why are they holding him when we know he is innocent!?"

Much like the murder suspect, we already know with a high amount of certainty that Trump is guilty. We are just waiting for the confirmation so people like you will stop with your crazy conspiracy talk.
 
@Samus: I start to see your problem (besides wishful thinking). You believe in mythical "accurate news". There is no such. A journalist is always someone's bitch. Some belongs to Trump (Fox, Breitbart), a few to Ryan/McConell, another bunch to Bernie, the rest is Hillary's bitch and post whatever she wants.

Not like they make a secret of it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_endorsements_in_the_United_States_presidential_election,_2016

This is why it's important for thinking people to believe in no opinions, just provable facts. Something that they didn't provide about the Russia-Trump conspiracy. I'd also like to repeat that they didn't only failed to prove the allegations, but also made no factual allegations. In your example you made the allegation that there is a named victim, the accused was in his house and owned the gun that was used. No such claims were made about Trump-Russia. They just said "murderer, murderer" without even naming a victim.

Again, hopefully last time: "Trump met with Russian guy at 5/6/16 to plot and accepted a file from him" is a factual claim that is true or false. "Trump colluded with Russians" is not even a claim.
 
@Gevlon

This is the whole point, and why the murder comparison works. None of this will matter in the end. You are friends with the murder suspect, and so you believe him. The cops are rolling their eyes at you, and everyone else believes he is obviously guilty. But it doesn't matter, because the DNA evidence will come back and either exonerate him or prove him guilty beyond doubt.

To answer my own question from earlier, what would convince me?

The investigation could find that Trump himself was not related to any wrongdoing. I don't think either of us really doubts the guilt of some guys like Michael Flynn, but it is possible (although I think unlikely) the Trump knew nothing about it. If Trump released his recent tax returns and it turns out he does not owe millions to Russian banks, that would also go a long way.

Also, it is important that Trump DOES NOT pardon these people before they can testify against him. This is an admission of guilt by Trump. He just has to say, "I didn't know anything about it, it had nothing to do with me." And if Trump fires Mueller, that is a 100% admission of guilt and he must be impeached immediately. Firing Comey to try and stop the investigation was already a pretty big admission of guilt, if he fires Mueller too he isn't even pretending to be innocent anymore.
 
@Samus: I doubt Flynn did anything wrong by "colluding" with Russia over the sanctions. "Let's be friends with Russia" is a political position that you can disagree with, but it's no worse than "Let's be friends with Saudi-Arabia and Israel"

I don't believe the murder suspect because we are friends. I believe him because no evidence was presented against him.

Comey was an all out Hillary supporter and that's why he was fired. The FBI director should be non-partisan instead of shilling for one candidate. Trump would have been insane to let him keep doing what he was doing. The only thing I condemn Trump for is that instead of firing him on Feb 20, he invited him and practically told him "Hillary is down, be smart and be my bitch from now on". That is indeed bad because it implies that Trump wants a bitch instead of an unbiased FBI, JUST LIKE HILLARY.

"Trump owes millions to Russian banks" is a retarded joke. He can pay "millions" with the cash laying around stuck into the sofa. That guy has the net worth of 5-10 Billions.

I have to disappoint you but the latest subpoenas show that Mueller isn't even trying to catch Trump on Russia. He runs a taxpayer-fund opposition research firm to undermine Trump at 2020. He WILL find bad stuff about Trump University and Trump Airlines and all the failures and fishy bankruptcies of Trump. None of them will be illegal, but many will be immoral. This is the same as the Kenneth Star report: it wasn't even intended to impeach Clinton, it was intended to damage his image, presidency and the Democratic party with graphic description of his politics-neutral affair.
 
"Comey was an all out Hillary supporter and that's why he was fired."

It was pretty funny when the White House said that, and everyone aside from Breitbart and Fox News knew that was obviously a lie. And then Trump explicitly said he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation, humiliating them all. I guess I can't blame you for calling Trump a liar, everyone else does.

""Trump owes millions to Russian banks" is a retarded joke. He can pay "millions" with the cash laying around stuck into the sofa"

This is an impressive amount of ignorance of how large scale business works. Even Warren Buffet gets financing for his business ventures, it is what you do to limit exposure to your personal wealth. Trump is well known for screwing everyone in his business ventures, so he can't get domestic financing anymore.

There is actually a story Ivanka told that her dad pointed to a homeless person and said, "that man has more money than me," because he was so far in debt. A lot of people think that happened to him again, and he's buried under Russian debt with a negative net worth. Like I said, he could answer a lot of questions if he released his tax returns, as every other modern presidential candidate has done.

I note you are suddenly attacking the Mueller investigation, even though they haven't released their findings yet. Shouldn't you be confident Mueller will totally vindicate you and Trump? Despite what you keep pretending, deep down you know how this is going to go just as well as I am, and so you're already concocting yet another conspiracy.

Honestly, I can't wait to be rid of this total buffoon, whether he resigns, gets impeached, or loses in a humiliating landslide in 2020. You'll have to find something else to make up ludicrous lies and conspiracies about.
 
@Samus: "because of the Russia investigation" and "being an all-out Hillary supporter" are the same things, since the Russia collusion is a hoax and unlike us who must wait until it end to be sure, Trump knows that it's a hoax, since he knows that he didn't collude. From his perspective it's a witch hunt and anyone participating is an enemy (granted, this is dumb, even I realize that it's just dime a dozen politics, instead of being mad, he should have just retaliate by investigating the Clinton Foundation).

Even if he is totally underwater, he would have no reason to care. He could just go bankrupt - again - and laugh off the losses. He is president. He doesn't need money anymore. Also, your hopes on the tax returns are GUARANTEED to be in vain: if there would be anything in the tax returns, the Obama IRS would have leaked it during the campaign.

I am confident that Mueller won't find anything ABOUT RUSSIA. Unfortunately, he will find SOMETHING, as no 70 years old billionaire is a saint. Maybe he defrauded someone 20 years ago at the Trump Univ. Maybe there is a handwritten note: "no black tenants" from 40 years ago. Maybe he bragged about grabbing pussies to other people too. And - unlike private investigators - Mueller has nearly infinite resources and the ability to subpoena witnesses and make them testify under oath.
 
"since the Russia collusion is a hoax and unlike us who must wait until it end to be sure, Trump knows that it's a hoax, since he knows that he didn't collude."

Unless he IS guilty. Which he had to know people would assume when he tried to kill the investigation. We have no reason to think Comey was doing anything inappropriate, and if the scandal was a hoax, he would have concluded so. At the very least, firing Comey was a huge PR mistake.

"he should have just retaliate by investigating the Clinton Foundation"

I actually have no objection to this. I think the Benghazi investigation cost Republicans huge in those related elections because it turned up nothing and Republicans wouldn't let it go. If Trump is innocent, Mueller is doing him a huge favor.

And of course, if it turns out there is illegal activity in the Clinton Foundation, they should prosecute those people without hesitation. We need more investigations, not fewer.

"if there would be anything in the tax returns, the Obama IRS would have leaked it during the campaign."

I am honestly curious why you believe he won't release them, even though he said he would. Like I said, if it is as clean as you say, it would make a big difference to me and a lot of voters.
 
Statutes are always political, not historical. Why do you think Saddam was putting them up all over the place? To subsidize the arts? What lesson does a passerby learn from a Lee statute? That a dude once rode a horse? It's not really educational.

Perhaps if rogue Bonapartists were trying to overthrow French democracy to install Napoleon's descendant as King the Arc might need to come down. If White Supremacy was as dead as Napoleonism then maybe the Lee statutes stay up, but it isn't.
 
@Samus: not investigating Clinton after she deleted the E-mails is way beyond "obstruction of justice", it's "open contempt for the law". Comey is a simple Clinton bitch.

The Benghazi investigation focused on Benghazi. Mueller isn't focusing on anything, he will keep dig until he finds something that he can use against Trump, even if it's not illegal, just politically damaging, like a testimony from 1975 when he made a nasty comment about blacks. Mueller is a simple PI sent by the Clinton campaign, paid by taxpayers.

Trumps tax returns are not clean, even if fully legal. Show me a billionaire and I show you someone who didn't pay his fair share of tax. I don't think Trump is a saint. I do think he is no worse than those who are investigating him, but he gets the scrutiny and they don't. For example no one wanted to figure out how did the Clintons got $500M net worth despite never having anything but government salaries.
 
There is a strong hypocrisy in politics, and even more so in US politics, where politicians are required to be saints. Obviously none of them are. So any investigation always turns up at least something where we would be okay if our neighbor did it, but object if our politicians do it.

Personally I think it is okay if a president gets a blowjob from an intern under the desk in the oval office, like Bill Clinton. Or is sexist and racist, like Trump. As long as they were elected in clear knowledge of their character, I don't consider all those mud-slinging character assassination attempts to be relevant at all. Everybody knew Bill Clinton was a cad before he was elected. Everybody knew Trump was sexist and racist, he actually ran on a anti-foreigner platform. Nobody can claim he was misled into voting for these men.

I think we should look less at the character of our leaders, and more at their competence. For me there is a much stronger case to get rid of Trump for proven incompetence and borderline dementia than for whatever he says about white supremacists, or what business connections he has to Russia, or how much taxes he pays. Observing the rate at which the mental faculties of Trump to even speak a correct sentence without a script decrease over time, I don't even think he will run again in 2020.
 
@Gevlon

"Comey is a simple Clinton bitch."

A guy that literally handed Trump the election, without whom there is zero question Trump loses, is a "Clinton bitch?" Comey is a highly respect Republican, so respected Obama didn't replace him. He was just doing his job, until Trump inappropriately told him to close an ongoing investigation. Just because he refused to be corrupt for Trump doesn't mean he is corrupt for the other side. Anyone with integrity would have done the same, and Trump would have fired them, because Trump doesn't want people with integrity.

And he did investigate Clinton's emails, thoroughly. Breitbart readers just didn't like the conclusions because they have been sold so many lies that the truth is hard to accept. She did something that probably does demonstrate bad judgement, but didn't warrant criminal charges.

"Mueller is a simple PI sent by the Clinton campaign, paid by taxpayers."

Are there any Republicans who aren't secretly in Clinton's pocket? Your logic is circular. You assume there is nothing to find in the investigation, therefore you assume Mueller (another highly respected Republican) must be doing a witch hunt, therefore that proves he is corrupt and just out to get Trump?

Is there anything you can point to outside of the investigation that indicates Mueller is at all corrupt? Because we have pretty well agreed that the investigation hasn't released anything yet, so any complaint you have about that so far is just your own made up fantasies.

I think maybe you should consider another possibility. Perhaps the reason every respectable Republican seems to be against Trump is actually because Trump is the most incompetent, and most corrupt president perhaps in history, and no self-respecting person would support him.
 
@Samus: I rest my case: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/pundits-and-politicians-are-tacitly-admitting-that-they-lied-about-russia-4b1db7c8c63d

Remember the post on Aug 1, 2018 "Samus the Chemtrail believer"
 
I'm not sure how a link to a website I don't know, and which could have all sorts of bias, constitutes proof of anything. I'm sure I can find a link to a post saying that the earth is flat.
 
@Gevlon

Medium is not a news site. Their writers are responsible for their own content, Medium does no screening or fact checking. You can sign up and write your own article right now. You have essentially linked to a blogger for your "proof." It is telling that you could not find an actual news source to agree with you.

"Not only could Russian hackers not have obtained the DNC emails in the way they are alleged to have obtained them, but metadata was in fact manipulated to implicate Russia in the leak."

This idiot is worse than Breitbart. All 17 US intelligence agencies agreed on Russian hacking. Republicans in congress voted for more Russia sanctions because of Russian hacking. Only the craziest of the crazy still deny that Russia hacked the DNC. That part isn't even in question. Mueller is investigating if anyone from the Trump campaign is involved in collusion related to this.

I didn't read further into this idiot's incoherent rant, but if you can't tell the difference between this amateur and real news, I guess that explains a lot about you and your beliefs.
 
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