Morning Report: Retail sales come in strong 8/15/17

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Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.09
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30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.88

Stocks are higher this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down.

Retail Sales came in stronger than expected, with the headline number increasing 0.6% and the control group increasing the same amount. The Street was looking for a 0.3% increase. On a year-over-year basis, sales rose 4.2%. The Atlanta Fed is predicting a big uptick in growth from Q2 to Q3, and retail sales will be a big driver. We are entering the back-to-school shopping season, which is second only to the holiday season in importance for the retail sector. Consumption is about 70% of GDP, so as retail sales go, so goes the economy.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey shot ahead again last month, hitting the highest level in 2 years. Meanwhile, inflation remains under control as import prices rose 0.1% last month and are up 1.5% YOY. Business inventories also rose .05%.

The NAHB Housing Market Index rebounded in August to 68, which is getting close to its highs. The NAHB says that labor shortages are worse in July than they were a year ago. In some trades, 3/4 of all builders surveyed report either “serious” or “some sort” of shortage of labor. The last time we saw these sorts of levels was in late 2000, just as the real estate market was heating up. This will limit building and keep home prices well-supported.

The Despot reported better than expected earnings as homeowners continue to invest in their appreciating homes. They are looking for comparable store sales to increase 5.5% and took up earnings guidance. Note that contractors are using Amazon more and more, so be careful with the stock.

Down payments are at the lowest levels in 7 years, with the growth mainly occurring in the high single digits are, not at the 3.5% area. It looks like the growth is coming from Fannie and Fred’s low downpayment programs, which are wresting share from FHA. Performance on these loans will probably be determined by the continued price appreciation in the US housing markets. While general riskiness is higher than it was 5 years ago, it is nowhere near the risk we had during the go-go years.

The Trump Administration is trying to pivot to tax reform after the debt ceiling is handled. Both NAR and NAHB have come out against any sort of plan to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction. Trump’s plan is to eliminate the deductions for state / local taxes as well as the mortgage interest deduction in exchange for doubling the standard deduction. NAR is warning that this will hit housing prices, however with inventory so tight, I cannot see that happening. FWIW, if you were ever going to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, now would be the time to do it, since rates are so low. Mortgage interest is around 70% of the first year’s mortgage payment today. 30 – 35 years ago, it was above 90%. NAR sees about half the people currently taking a deduction to stop. Of course their tax bill isn’t necessarily going up – they will find that taking the standard deduction will be more advantageous than indexing.

Home sales and prices are slipping in Canada, which has a real estate bubble bigger than the one we had in 2006. Fallout from the Canadian bubble bursting will probably affect pricing in places like Seattle, which has been red-hot for the past couple of years.

137 Responses

  1. Retail sales come in strong

    … and the Democrats cringe.

    Also, I don’t think WaPo understands (or does, and is intentionally dissembling) what the “War on Whites” is to the people who feel there is one, and just in general as a conflict of identity groups.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/08/14/the-war-on-whites-is-a-myth-and-an-ugly-one/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_3_na&utm_term=.908431a41752

    Like

    • What WaPo doesn’t get is that most people aren’t looking at aggregate statistics, etc. All they know is that they are being hectored 24/7 by the left and the media, and that they have to walk on eggshells not to offend people who are looking for an excuse to take offense, while everyone else is free to say whatever they want without fear of reprecussion. If they point out the double standard, they are told they are whining..

      The left can shout that minorities cannot be racist until they are blue in the face, but people simply aren’t buying it.

      Like

      • “All they know is that they are being hectored 24/7 by the left and the media, and that they have to walk on eggshells not to offend people who are looking for an excuse to take offense, while everyone else is free to say whatever they want without fear of repercussion.”

        Bingo. It’s not about aggregate statistics (where whites and Asians will continue to win, statistically, for the foreseeable future). This pot is being stirred by the PC, check-your-privilege crowd. Exactly as you say.

        *sigh* We’re such an echo chamber.

        … An echo chamber of TRUTH! 😉

        Like

  2. I think this is the year that health insurance blows up from a combination of factors.

    Our employer plan is up for renewal and we face the choice of a 19% premium increase to keep what we have now or 11% with double the deductibles and co-pays.

    Meanwhile, Anthem is exiting the individual market entirely in Virginia in 2018.

    https://www.anthem.com/blog/member-news/anthem-to-discontinue-many-virginia-individual-aca-health-plans-in-2018/

    http://wtvr.com/2017/08/11/anthem-becomes-third-insurer-to-exit-virginias-health-care-exchange/

    Meeting with our broker, he said that this isn’t just for the exchanges, but they are also discontinuing non-ACA individual plans as well. Between the Medical loss ratio, coverage mandates and the overall health of the population that they are enrolling, it’s not sustainable for them. I think the final straw is that it appears less likely that the Trump administration and the Republican Congress will continue to find creative band-aids to keep shoveling money at the insurers so they actually ran the numbers without the Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments and the math doesn’t work. They already stopped the risk corridor payments previously.

    http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2017/05/01/funding-bill-prohibits-full-risk-corridor-payments-omits-cost-sharing-reduction-payments-hhs-takes-over-ct-reinsurance-program/

    The other thing he noted is that with the Medical Loss Ratio requirements, insurers have an incentive to both increase premiums and increase the amount that they pay on claims so that the remaining 20% or less that is left is higher in nominal terms.

    http://www.kff.org/health-reform/fact-sheet/explaining-health-care-reform-medical-loss-ratio-mlr/

    I.e. there’s even less incentive to control provider costs now. Increasing the payouts to providers means their money goes up too if they can continue to increase premiums. Welcome to perverse government incentives, part 200,073.

    Obama timed this perfectly to let the Republicans take the blame for all of it, and they are playing right along.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve noticed the left’s new narrative that Trump isn’t selling obamacare enough (outreach!!!) so that if it fails it is because DJT “sabotaged” obamacare by not selling it enough…

      This is just fodder for the chattering classes. Nobody that leans right is going to blame Trump (or even give a shit) if obamacare collapses..

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will if it collapses, but they don’t actually repeal it so it drags down the employer market too like being chained to a dead body and tossed overboard into the ocean.

        They can and are making it worse.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Meeting with our broker, he said that this isn’t just for the exchanges, but they are also discontinuing non-ACA individual plans as well. Between the Medical loss ratio, coverage mandates and the overall health of the population that they are enrolling, it’s not sustainable for them.

      I don’t understand. Government micromanagement works so well everywhere else. It must be because insurance companies are eeeevil.

      Like

      • The left was so hell-bent on taking control of 18% of the economy that that they made their move in hopes of fixing it later..

        Like

        • The Senate bill was never supposed to be the final say, it was the vehicle for a conference committe, written by Harry Reid. The Massachusetts’ Special Senate Election forced the D’s hand and the house had to accept the incomplete Senate bill.

          I’m not sure Obamacare was designed to fail, the bill that passed was never supposed to be the final bill.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Your umpteenth reminder that Fascism only became right-wing on June 22nd, 1941.

    http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2017/08/nazisms-marxist-roots.html?m=1

    Just don’t tell that douche, Shrink, over at the PL. it’ll freak him out.

    Like

    • Fake history!

      I don’t care how they want to characterize right-wing totalitarianism, but fascism seems to be more to be a governmental structure, than the product of a specific ideological bent towards the left or the right. Fascism is like small-r republicanism or small-d democracy. There are certainly strains of anti-immigration, patriotic, nationalistic, strong-military dictatorship that could credibly be characterized is right-wing, at least in various areas.

      But I view this as the ongoing tendency of human to casually associate things that may or may not be correlative, with no evidence of causality. When want to characterize things that we view as positive and enlightened as being things naturally associated with our core beliefs. Conversely, we want to view things we disagree with or don’t like as being naturally associated with almost every other conceivable form of evil.

      But I’ve known a number of lovely and generous liberals and nasty and vicious conservatives, and vice-versa. My observation is the negative qualities that I found distasteful had pretty much zero relationship with their ideology . . . or their taste in movies . . . or their sports franchise of choice.

      Similarly, while it’s hard to imagine a right-wing Communism, so fascism occupies that mental space for many, I tend to think as government structures only tangentially related to a particular political bent. Democracy or republicanism isn’t inherently right or left, neither is totalitarianism or fascism. Socialism is more of a philosophy that’s going to be overlayed on totalitarianism or fascism (a more Communist model) or a democracy or republic (the typical Western model). But its a semantic argument, and semantics (more and more) mean different things to different people, and of course semantics change.

      Like

  4. Worth noting. Also interesting that it’s the Nation & Salon doing the reporting here:

    “What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore
    A group of intelligence pros and forensic investigators tell The Nation there was no hack— the media ignores it
    Danielle Ryan
    Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017 08:00 AM EST”

    http://www.salon.com/2017/08/15/what-if-the-dnc-russian-hack-was-really-a-leak-after-all-a-new-report-raises-questions-media-and-democrats-would-rather-ignore/

    “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack
    Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.
    By Patrick LawrenceTwitter
    August 9, 2017”

    https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/

    Like

    • At the end of the day, “Russian interference” revealed that

      1. The DNC wanted Hillary and was willing to play dirty pool to get her
      2. The news media and the DNC coordinate messaging

      Both “revelations” were things people already pretty much knew…

      Like

      • False equivalence! Conservative cuck believes in the so-called “liberal” media!

        Also, your a bigot.

        And Donald tRUMP is a cheeto!

        … some days, I am astounded by the cogency and pith of my arguments.

        Like

    • “Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.”

      Of course it was. Even someone with just a passing familiarity with computer security (and how computers work) could apply Occam’s razor to the problem.

      Spoiler: The Sony hack was also an inside job, and in no way a revenge hack from an elite corps of hackers in North Korea. Because that’s the most convoluted and stupid explanation of the Sony hack possible.

      Like

    • “Also interesting that it’s the Nation & Salon doing the reporting here”

      Some news organs (not WaPo!) are apparently deciding long-term credibility is more important than letting Trump goad them into becoming worse than supermarket tabloids.

      Like

  5. Speaking of fake history . . .

    Love stuff like this. “How I Realized It Was Awful To Be a Hard-Core Conservative, Which I Totally Was, But Now Am Totally Not”. Can’t find the “used to be a liberal” article at Cracked, either, for some reason.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/what-helped-convince-me-to-stop-being-hardcore-republican/

    They’ve never seen someone go from saying “ALL LIVES MATTER BETA CUCK SNOWFLAKE” to suddenly saying, “Oh no, racism is systemic.”

    This is how this former hardcore conservative characterizes conservatism. “BETA CUCK SNOWFLAKE”. Mmmhmm.

    I ask this question: Does this accurate represent small c-conservative thinking, in a nutshell, to you? —

    I used to think poor people were poor because they were lazy. I used to think sexism and racism were over. I used to think Christianity was “under fire” in the U.S. I used to think corporations were so much more efficient than government and we needed those clever, no-nonsense businessmen in charge of our corrupt, bureaucratic government.

    Doesn’t to me. Well, except for Christianity being under fire, but it’s more than up to the task in the US, and it’s under fire in ways I’m sure this former hardcore conservative isn’t thinking about (and isn’t a specific group’s fault).

    Even though I totally had lots of opinions about how being gay was clearly a choice

    Because that’s a universal conservative belief, required to get into the club.

    That means people who are in the process of rethinking their bigotry

    Because being a conservative automatically means your a bigot.

    If the guy on my side is being so rude even I’m put off, and the godless liberal refuting him is being super polite and patient, it makes me rethink the good and evil narrative.

    Obviously, she never spent much time on PlumLine. I think a lot of ideological shifts are environmental: who is the biggest a$$hole around you? You don’t want to be part of the a$$holes, are at least a significant minority doesn’t. And each time someone “on your side” is a douchebag, it pushes you a little further in the other direction, ideologically.

    I still remember the time I heard a very respected church couple say, “You can be a good Christian and vote Democrat.” I think I had to sit down. My head was spinning. Up was down. Down was up.

    Even recent converts to liberalism equate conservatism with “being stupid”.

    And so on. Humanity forever continues to disappoint me.

    Like

  6. It’s always amusing to read the left’s interpretation of the right’s philosophy:

    “Let’s go back to Reagan. He was elected on an anti-government message — if you get the government out of the way, everything will go well. There’s no such thing as society. There are just individuals, families, church groups. Politics and government really have no dignity, and they’re the problem.

    At that moment, liberals needed to offer a political vision that said, “We’re not just individuals. We’re actually a republic based on certain values. We stick together. That’s what Americans do, and we use government to help each other and to build something together.”

    https://www.vox.com/2017/8/15/16089286/identity-politics-liberalism-republicans-democrats-trump-clinton

    Much easier than actually engaging with the real points which were that government and society aren’t the same thing and that government isn’t how we “help each other and to build something together”, but rather how one group of people forces another group of people to do something that they don’t want to do.

    That’s it’s essential nature vs the other voluntary associations.

    Like

    • “It’s always amusing to read the left’s interpretation of the right’s philosophy:

      And their convenient redacting of history. Reagan’s more complete quote:

      In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

      It’s an anti-big-government (or, anti-huge-government) message. Not anti-government.

      I challenge anyone to find where, in his inaugural address, Reagan said: “There’s no such thing as society. There are just individuals, families, church groups. Politics and government really have no dignity, and they’re the problem”

      Right after he says, “in the present crisis, government is the problem”, he talks about society. He doesn’t say there is “no such thing”. He’s not saying there is no dignity in government. Seriously, are these people smoking crack?

      “We’re not just individuals. We’re actually a republic based on certain values. We stick together. That’s what Americans do, and we use government to help each other and to build something together.”

      I’m fine with this general position. I embrace it, actually.

      I’d like to see liberals and the left actually practice that philosophy. I rarely see an example of them doing so.

      Liked by 1 person

      • KW:

        I challenge anyone to find where, in his inaugural address, Reagan said: “There’s no such thing as society.”

        He’s being confused with his gal-pal Margaret Thatcher, who did say exactly that.

        They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.

        http://briandeer.com/social/thatcher-society.htm

        Like

        • Ah! I was not familiar with that quote.

          But, heck. How can you expect them to tell conservatives apart? They all look the same.

          Like

        • lol

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think that Thatcher’s full quote means that there’s no such thing as society that’s separate from the individual men and women and families.

          I.e. the idea that society/government is supposed to take care of problems and that doesn’t impose a burden on someone else at the same time is false.

          Liked by 1 person

        • jnc:

          I think that Thatcher’s full quote means that there’s no such thing as society that’s separate from the individual men and women and families.

          Yeah, I agree. The quote is often used to turn her thinking into a caricature.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Dude, society has absolutely no right to be concerned with what people do in the bedroom, but if you are a cis male who isn’t attracted to Chelsea Manning you are a bigot!

        Like

      • “Seriously, are these people smoking crack? ”

        No, they are just dishonest, don’t engage in good faith, and understand that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it, especially if they weren’t around at the time and there’s no push back.

        Like

        • No, they are just dishonest, don’t engage in good faith, and understand that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it, especially if they weren’t around at the time and there’s no push back.

          Maybe. I think we need to consider the possibility that they might be on crack more seriously, though.

          Like

        • I find the existence of the military generally helpful. Also the interstate. Not the only means of working together productively, of course, but theoretically could be one of them.

          But it’s an abstract point.

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      • “I’m fine with this general position. I embrace it, actually.”

        I’m not. I believe this is fundamentally false for the reasons I stated above:

        “we use government to help each other and to build something together”

        Americans use government to take from one group and give to another.

        Like

        • Exactly.. Modern liberalism is helping your fellow man with someone else’s money and then patting yourself on the back for doing it.

          Like

        • I just want to help myself to somebody else’s money. My goals are modest. Won’t you please help?

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        • I’m not. I believe this is fundamentally false for the reasons I stated above:

          “we use government to help each other and to build something together”

          Americans use government to take from one group and give to another.

          Theory versus practice.

          I’m also fine with me having superpowers and winning the lottery and being immortal, in principal. I embrace it, actually.

          Like

        • KW:

          Theory versus practice.

          Government by definition functions through the use of force. Whether in theory or in practice, I think it is wrong to view government as the means by which “we help each other”.

          Like

  7. NoVA, what’s your take on this?

    I can see premiums going up, but the deficit?

    Like

    • The deficit is always inching upward, generally, isn’t it? It’s a safe bet, any way. Irrespective of what happens to the ACA.

      Like

      • I actually read the CBO analysis. It’s complicated but apparently boils down to the idea that getting rid of the Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments would cause the prices of the silver plans to spike in a manner that would increase the subsidies to buy the plans more than would be offset by the savings from getting rid of the Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments.

        It has to do with how the Silver plan is set as a benchmark for the subsidies. If the subsidies were tied to the price of the bronze plan then it wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

        But I’m not sufficiently well versed in the law to know if it’s bullshit or not.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The benchmark plan under the ACA is a silver plan with an actuarial value of 70%

          so i haven’t looked into this too much, but concept is right. benes are on the hook for 30%. 30% of what is an open question.

          Like

  8. Good thread.

    Like

  9. Yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am seeing all sorts of IMPEACH!!! posts on facebook, even from lawyers I know. Salon and Nation basically admitted that Russia is a dead end, and so it must be over this.

    Are they basically saying that failure to condemn racism hard enough and any criticism of the left at all is now grounds for impeachment?

    These people…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, FFS…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/11/museum-natural-history-theodore-roosevelt-statue-protest

    If I were the Park Service I would be watching for protesters with dynamite heading towards Mount Rushmore…

    Like

  12. I argue that Antifa and neonazi’s are on the same moral plane, is there a rational counter argument to that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • they are more similar to each other than they are to me, that’s for sure…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Some people seem to think so. I honestly don’t give a shit. I’m not concerned about whose more morally repugnant, I’m concerned about whose cracking skulls and destroying property and driving cars into crowds of people. And the morons arguing that left wing violence is okay, because they are standing up to hate. And I call them morons because they don’t seem to understand that giving moral permission to one side to beat on the other is just going to make both sides more violent. The Nazis and alt-right and whoever is not going to just let one side beat on them, no matter how many editorials east coast liberals write explaining how they deserve it.

      Like

    • …is there a rational counter argument to that?

      I would think so, but I don’t know enough about “antifa” to make it, myself.

      I would want to know if “antifa” preached violence and totalitarianism and race hatred, first. I know what Nazis did and what neo-nazis preach, so I have a given on that side.

      Like

      • Mark:

        I would think so…

        Why?

        I would want to know if “antifa” preached violence and totalitarianism and race hatred, first.

        They definitely preach violence. That is their raison d’etre…violence against anyone they declare to be a “fascist”. But considering the people they go after, it is clear that they aren’t using the word in a historical context. They understand it in a more modern, “anyone I don’t like for political reasons”, context.

        BTW, is hating anyone of a different political ideology a more benign form of hatred than hating anyone of a different race?

        Like

        • BTW, is hating anyone of a different political ideology a more benign form of hatred than hating anyone of a different race?

          I think a better question is: is doing violence, and going in prepared to do violence, benign? Is setting things on fire and breaking windows benign? Is clubbing people you don’t know because they seem to be Nazis, as far as you can tell, ever benign?

          Hating people because what you think you know about them makes the differences between racial hatred and ideological a matter of minor details. But when the ideology in one case is one of “hate” (or stupidity; I think anyone who approaches life as a declared Nazi or an obvious crypto-Nazi, ala Richard Spencer and his ilk, are idiots, personally), then it’s okay to hate them because you’re hating hate. That’s the logic.

          Although, so far, all I see is antifa and the cultural elite elevating neo-Nazism far above where it should be (thus empowering them more than they otherwise would be), and creating sympathy for them amongst members of the alt-Right or far-right who would normally eschew anything that smelled vaguely Nazi-like. Ergo, in addition to being uninformed, violent a$$holes, the antifa are helping to create more American Nazis.

          Which is something the American left is aware happens when it’s about terrorists, and American’s coming in and bombing them. But apparently those rules don’t apply here.

          Liked by 1 person

        • KW:

          I think a better question is: is doing violence, and going in prepared to do violence, benign?

          It’s a different question, for sure, but for the purpose of my inquiry it is definitely not a better one. Note that Mark explicitly identified three things he wanted to know more about. One of them was advocacy of violence, but an entirely different thing was “race hatred”. I wasn’t interested in his relative weighting of advocacy of violence versus advocacy of race hatred. I was interested in why he focused on race hatred to the exclusion of any other kind of hatred.

          Liked by 1 person

        • “BTW, is hating anyone of a different political ideology a more benign form of hatred than hating anyone of a different race?”

          Yes. Ideology is about ideas which can be changed and in some cases those ideas are worthy of hate.

          Race is an immutable characteristic (I don’t subscribe to the “social construct” premise on the left) that’s not determinate of how one turns out and shouldn’t be used as a basis for judgement on individual worth, moral or otherwise.

          On a more general note, it’s worth noting that while the left and progressives constantly engage in overly broad labeling of people that they disagree with as racists, fascists, and Nazi’s, in the case of David Duke & Richard Spencer and their ilk, they are the real deal.

          Just as you should take ISIS at their word about what they believe and what they want, so should you with Duke & Spencer.

          I’ll defend, as the ACLU does, their right to march peaceably even as I condemn their views, but I don’t see any need or value in trying to parse which is worse, Neo-Nazi’s and the modern KKK or the antifa. I don’t support either group.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not attempting to determine which is worse, only to assert the possibility (likelihood?) that they are on the same moral plane.

          Like

        • I’ll defend, as the ACLU does, their right to march peaceably even as I condemn their views, but I don’t see any need or value in trying to parse which is worse, Neo-Nazi’s and the modern KKK or the antifa. I don’t support either group.

          My default position, as well. So if “antifa” is not just a label to describe people who non-violently oppose actual tyranny, but a violent self-identified group, then from my view they are just more thugs, as well.

          Liked by 1 person

        • jnc:

          Yes. Ideology is about ideas which can be changed and in some cases those ideas are worthy of hate.

          I wasn’t talking about hating particular ideas. I was talking about hating people because they hold different ideas than oneself. And I don’t see why the mutability of ideas makes hating people because of their ideas any more benign than hating them for an immutable characteristic.

          To be honest, I am not a fan of framing things in terms of “hate” in the first place. I don’t really care what people hate or don’t hate. I care what people do. And so as for the relative malignancy of people who do “hate”, I think it depends entirely on what they do, not why they hate. For example, I think a person who hates Christians and as a result tries to destroy the livelihood of a Christian for expressing Christian values is far less benign than a person who hates white (or black) people and as a result tries to live without having any contact with white (or black) people.

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        • but I don’t see any need or value in trying to parse which is worse, Neo-Nazi’s and the modern KKK or the antifa.

          I think the general consensus is their both awful. It’s less parsing which is worse (at least here) than wondering: why is antifa getting such a pass from so many?

          I think the cultural elites’ spectrum of tolerance-to-embrace of antifa makes the antifa folks potentially represent a greater danger. I do think it would be a good idea to be critical of antifa, the KKK, and Nazis collectively, rather than give one immunity based on their supposedly noble intentions. Also, the antifa folks (and their cultural embrace) play entirely into the Nazi/crypto-Nazi/KKK/crypto-KKK narrative. They are practically recruiting material for disenfranchised white males.

          Like

        • I’ll defend, as the ACLU does, their right to march peaceably

          I think American Nazis have a great deal of difficulty marching peacably, or holding a peacable rally. If I were a city, I would not permit them. Or antifa, for that matter, and anybody who showed up non-permitted would get arrested. On any side.

          Might get sued by the ACLU, but, eh, the responsibility of leadership and all that.

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        • Charlottesville cancelled the march and the ACLU sued and got it reinstated. A lot of observers were noting that it appeared that the Virginia State Police called a State of Emergency prior to the start of the rally and cancelled it, I think that was the plan once the rally was reinstated. In their attempt to clear the square they forced the neonazi’s to run an Antifa gauntlet. I also think that was by design.

          Like

        • “I do think it would be a good idea to be critical of antifa, the KKK, and Nazis collectively, rather than give one immunity based on their supposedly noble intentions.”

          I don’t give the antifa immunity, and I think their tactics are both illegitimate and counterproductive.

          But I don’t see them as the moral equivalent of the KKK or the neo-Nazi’s either.

          Again, this sounds a little too similar to Islamist terrorism apologists on the left for me.

          Like

        • @markinaustin:

          My default position, as well. So if “antifa” is not just a label to describe people who non-violently oppose actual tyranny, but a violent self-identified group, then from my view they are just more thugs, as well.

          I’m prone to agree, because all of these groups share a tragic flaw. As C.S. Lewis noted about most moralists:

          The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

          When the nobility of your intent justifies any action in your mind (be it bludgeoning Nazis, burning Starbucks, or torturing suspected terrorists), the nobility of your intent ceases to make any real difference. IMO.

          Like

        • @mcwing: “and the ACLU sued and got it reinstated”

          So what happened is on the judge (judges?) that allowed that to happen. The ACLU is what it is.

          Like

        • What happened is on the elected officials and the police leaders that are their subordinates. The violence that occurred could have been prevented but there was no will to do so. We can argue about the motives of the politicians and police, but not the outcome. The ACLU was, in this instance, preventing the heckler’s veto. The politicians and the police responded as Andrew Jackson responded to a SCOTUS decision he didn’t like, “John Marshall made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

          Finally getting states to nullify, good I guess.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Nazis “race hatred” was primarily in the form of a common eugenics arguments that was fashionable with the left at the time (and, with some of the new “It’s Science!” left, is becoming fashionable again, thus Iceland’s elimination of Downs syndrome via abortion). There was a decidedly non-scientific assumption that arianism was superior, and that being blonde and blue eyed granted genetic superiority. Somehow. Or was inherently Germanic.

        But the more evil argument was the anti-Jewish argument (which goes on to this (((day)))), which was racial, and perhaps religious, but was primarily using all jews as a proxy for the rich and powerful.

        Many of the same elements are ultimately there with antifa that were actually there with the actual Nazis, including a tacit acceptance and approval by much of the cultural establishment.

        I’m actually less concerned about the American Nazis, because they have, in truth, almost no hope of achieving anything, gaining any power, or accomplishing anything towards their goals of a whiter nation (or anything else they hope to see happen to benefit whitey). Nobody serious is going to defend them, nobody in the media is going to miss a chance to attack them, almost all media is condemning them, from right to left. Their greatest danger comes from loose cannons who naturally associate with such fringe groups going on lone-wolf murder sprees or violent attacks because they feel so angry and impotent (and because the left, god bless ’em, altered forever how this country approaches mental illness, for good and for bad).

        Antifa has the potential to grow powerful and dangerous in this country, in a way past leftwing groups have not. And young men between the ages of 18-and-25 who wants to be seen as cool and cosmopolitan and on the right side of history while doing lots of violence may potentially flock to it, among others. And any concerns will be waved away by the cultural elite and much of the media as overblown, or with the help of the Nazis (or other far fringe right group) who provided a helpful point of focus away from what the antifa folks are up to.

        Fortunately, structurally, I think they are incapable of getting their own version of Hitler elected. They can do a lot of damage, but they won’t ever take over the country.

        The primary difference between the antifa (and those like them) and the original Nazis I see is their utter lack of nationalism. Arguably, it’s what has defanged much of the totalitarian left from the days of Hitler and Stalin: they’ve utterly abandoned nationalism. It’s hard to completely take over a country and implement your utopian dictatorship when you are opposed to nationalism and patriotism ideologically.

        It’s not the only thing. The wealth of America, and the concentration of money in Washington, means that politicians have personal reasons for maintaining the status quo that was never true in post-WWI Germany.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “but I don’t know enough about “antifa” to make it, myself.”

        Good recent pieces on it:

        “The Rise of the Violent Left

        Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead?

        Peter Beinart
        September 2017 Issue”

        https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/the-rise-of-the-violent-left/534192/

        “What Trump Gets Wrong About Antifa

        If the president is concerned about violence on the left, he can start by fighting the white supremacist movements whose growth has fueled its rise.
        Peter Beinart ”

        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/what-trump-gets-wrong-about-antifa/537048/

        Like

        • Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they They are fueling it instead? !

          Fixed it!

          Like

        • If the president is concerned about violence on the left, he can start by fighting the white supremacist movements whose growth has fueled its rise.

          While true, Trump apparently thinks there are fine people on both sides, so I wouldn’t look to him for leadership on the issue.

          And ultimately it’s not up to Trump and shouldn’t be. The local government in Charlottesville is responsible, IMHO, for that particular debacle. Replicate everywhere there is antifa-on-Nazi violence. Or antifa on Starbucks violence.

          Like

        • Or antifa on Starbucks violence.

          Heh

          Like

        • “And ultimately it’s not up to Trump and shouldn’t be.”

          He can avoid making it worse though.

          The ideal thing for Trump to have said would have been as Americans, we believe in the First Amendment and that it protects speech that we disagree with. In fact, it’s biggest value is in protecting exactly the speech and ideas that are least popular at the moment. And then specifically cite the ACLU and Skokie precedent.

          But actions aren’t speech and violence from any quarter won’t be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Hence why he’s requested a DoJ task force to look into the events in Charlottesville, including the police response, and issue a report along with recommendations and if necessary, prosecution referrals should it be determined that any federal laws were broken.

          Like

        • “He can avoid making it worse though.”

          That’s like saying a guy with Tourette’s can avoid screaming out obscenities at inopportune moments. 😉

          Yes, he definitely could. Or, someone else in that office definitely could.

          I’m not entirely sure Trump is capable of not making it worse. Nor do I believe he has any particular desire to not make it worse.

          Like

    • “is there a rational counter argument to that?”

      Yes. The tactics may be the same, but the end goals are different.

      Like

      • What are the end goals of Antifa?

        I mean, aside from government control of most things?

        Like

        • Elimination of racism. I think it’s quixotic, but it’s not the same as the Neo-Nazis or the KKK.

          Like

        • Fair enough, we’ll agree to disagree.

          Like

        • “Elimination of racism.”

          They might as well want a unicorn (as you say), if true, which it may be their stated goal. But I don’t believe it. I don’t find them remotely credible as principled warriors for justice. Might as well say the American Nazis want a strong nation that rewards merit.

          [Edit] Which, I should clarify, given the nature of humanity and the Internet, that I do not believe is the actual American Nazi position. Not a clarification for anybody here so much as posterity. I think the American Nazis are very, very bad people.

          Like

        • “But I don’t believe it. I don’t find them remotely credible as principled warriors for justice.”

          I don’t know about the principled part, but they do believe their own BS. Take them at their word, unless their actions show differently.

          What they do show is that they have a myopic focus on that goal to the exclusion of anything else, including respecting the civil rights of others.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I think the true end goals are generally similar. Both want to marginalize certain groups. Both sides (arguably) want an excuse to do violence that at least satisfies themselves. Both think there is an ideal makeup of people to the country that needs to be pursued, and that elimination of or marginalization of undesirables is ultimately the path to that goal.

        Also, both are in pursuit of ego-stroking circle-jerks and nurturing their own inflated sense of self-worth.

        Like

        • “I think the true end goals are generally similar. Both want to marginalize certain groups.

          At the risk of sounding like a standard PL commentator, there’s a difference between trying to “marginalize” an entire race (and I think marginalize isn’t the right term for what the KKK and the Neo-Nazi’s want to do) and opposing the KKK & the neo-Nazi’s themselves and wanting to to see their ideology wiped out.

          I disagree with their tactics and their tendency towards authoritarianism, but the antifa (as currently constituted) isn’t the same as the neo-Nazi’s and the KKK.

          I’d suggest this piece:

          https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/what-trump-gets-wrong-about-antifa/537048/

          Liked by 1 person

        • there’s a difference between trying to “marginalize” an entire race (and I think marginalize isn’t the right term for what the KKK and the Neo-Nazi’s want to do) and opposing the KKK & the neo-Nazi’s themselves and wanting to to see their ideology wiped out

          Fair enough.

          However, have you ever known someone who just couldn’t stand some other person, yet that other person, to your eyes, shared all sorts of traits with the person, many of those traits being the explanation the person you knew gave as being why they hated/couldn’t stand the other person?

          Antifa has a lot of that, if you ask me.

          I agree there is both a qualitative and quantitative difference between antifa and the American Nazis and KKK, but I also think they are more similar than they are different. But I also think actions are more relevant than opinion, no matter how repugnant or noble a given opinion may be. I also tend to see opinions among activists of most stripes to be rationalizations and excuses for other things, so I’m biased in that sense.

          A relevant stat, IMO:

          The National Socialist Movement (NSM), with about 400 members in 32 states,[147] is currently the largest neo-Nazi organization in the United States.

          I imagine it will increase for the first time in a long time as antifa continues their recruitment campaign. Not sure how many people consider themselves antifa, but we seem devote a lot of discussion (as a nation, and in the media) to groups that, while noisy, seem to be a statistical 0 when it comes to percentage of population. Antifa might be a statistical .3% of pop? Or .03%?

          ….

          From the no-fascism website, the goals of antifa are:

          – Implementation of projects aimed at eliminating fascism, racism and xenophobia;
          – Coordination of social activities and contacts with the media to shape public opinion, tuned negatively to the manifestations of fascism, racism and xenophobia;
          – Organization of regular information exchange and joint activities of non-governmental anti-racist and anti-fascist organizations;
          – Organization of legal aid and support to achieve these goals.

          Which sounds a whole lot better than the American Nazi party’s goals of an all white America, obviously. However, I would argue that the goals don’t including anything about initiating violence, rioting, vandalism, etc, and that much of their behavior ultimately is militating against their stated goals. Which makes me question their stated goals, and suspect that members of antifa are perhaps less concerned with the achievement of those goals than they say. And that the definition of fascism, racism, and xenophobia can be molded to fit whatever they want. And justify anything they want to do.

          Which makes the distinctions between the KKK and the American Nazi party real, but more abstract than practical. In practical terms, they are very, very similar.

          If you’re an alien that knows nothing about race or human ideology, they both look fairly similar.

          Like

    • Actually Peter Beinart has the best response to this:

      “I argue that Antifa and neonazi’s are on the same moral plane, is there a rational counter argument to that?”

      which is

      “And antifa’s vision is not as noxious. Antifa activists do not celebrate regimes that committed genocide and enforced slavery. They’re mostly anarchists. Anarchism may not be a particularly practical ideology. But it’s not an ideology that depicts the members of a particular race or religion as subhuman.”

      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/what-trump-gets-wrong-about-antifa/537048/

      Like

      • And antifa’s vision is not as noxious.

        Which will be of great comfort to me, when they are cracking my skull with a baseball bat because I’m a white dude in a shirt and tie. 😉

        Antifa’s vision is surely not as odious as that of the 400 members of the American Nazi party, or the 3000 members of the KKK, or the larger allied crypto-versions of said groups. In truth, their vision, as espoused, is not noxious at all: it’s desirable.

        Thus, it is a rational counterargument.

        Ultimately, I do not believe the ends justify the means in this case, nor do I believe the ends are really the point: I believe (and I think their behavior supports this) that they want to hate people and do violence in a way that is socially acceptable to their peers.

        Thus, while one is dressed like a devil and the other an angel, they are, by and large, the same rotted meat inside very different sausage casings.

        If racism and Arianism were the cool hip things with their peers and associates, they’d be the first folks to be sporting Swastikas. In my opinion, and in my experience.

        Admittedly, they are not, and espouse noble and desirable goals while the American Nazi’s and the KKK are directly and obviously odious and awful, so there is a rational counterargument to putting them on the same moral plane. But it is also kind of an argument about branding more than it is practical outcomes.

        I think some of it has to be a disagreement about what is more important: what people think, or what people do. And then people are arguing about both the thinking and doing in the same argument, and it gets convoluted.

        Espoused philosophy: Nazis awful, KKK awful, antifa: awesome!

        Practical behaviors (contemporary, not historical): Nazis awful, KKK awful, antifa: also kind of awful. And in some ways arguably worse because they have more power (in a lot of ways).

        Or would could make the argument that they are all marginalized nuts, and all the trappings of antifa/hate-groupedness is an expression of their various psychoses.

        Like

      • Stalin didn’t practice genocide and forced slavery?

        Like

      • These aren’t anarchists of the libertarian stripe, this is the european anarchist, the vanguard of the communist party. Beinart’s romanticizing these murderous thugs. They frequently fly the hammer and sickle, if there’s a symbol that represents greater evil and murder, I can’t think of one.

        Like

  13. Shrugs shoulders.

    Like

  14. Hard to argue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The first two responses I saw were highly illustrative of how spoiled we are as a country:

      You’re unable to debate like adults so you lash out like children throwing temper tantrums. Pathetic.
      #miloatcali

      Dbate, with the GOP…LOL that is Funny have you seen thr last 8 years;to Get the ACA gutted no plan?

      A piece of legislation that didn’t exist, what, 5 years ago? Six? It’s being “gutted”, so that justifies taking to the street, burning things, and cracking skulls of people you think are Nazis. Or Republicans. Or old white guys. Because what’s the difference, ultimately?

      Like

  15. oops

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Point number 4 million on why it’s a waste of time
    In defending against the charge.

    Embrace it and move on to real issue.

    Like

    • “Point number 4 million on why it’s a waste of time
      In defending against the charge.”

      Yup. But people get emotionally engaged, because they believe it’s a false charge, and feel obligated to defend against the false charge, and are offended that anyone would make it, and thus let their buttons get pushes.

      The far-left is going to continue their push for violence against everyone who doesn’t conform. And that becomes dangerous because they have positions of power, in many cases, but they are still constrained. This whole “make every white person a Nazi” thing is fraught with problems, as all the young, angry white males in antifa are not going to appreciate being lumped in with Nazis. Whom they are fighting. Because they are heroic and noble.

      Like

  17. I’m still trying to figure out what Trump said that got the NeverTrumper Right so butthurt. I heard most of the presser.

    Did he embrace nazi ideology during the part I missed? Did he say Seig Nathan Bedford Forest?

    Like

    • http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-lashes-alt-left-charlottesville-fine-people-sides/story?id=49235032

      It’s the “fine people on both sides, blame on both sides” thing. Lack of typical presidential clarity in condemning Nazis, or driving cars into crowds.

      It’s not fair to Trump. He’s not capable of normal human emotion, and lacks a genuine politicians’ ability to emulate them convincingly.

      Like

      • It seems logical to say that at the rally, there were in attendance some people who are not Nazi’s that don’t want the statue removed. Maybe even people that were unclear that the organizers were nazis. It also seems clear that not all of the opposition there were murderous, Antifa thugs. That seems like a benign, obvious thing to say then, that not all attendees on either side were there with murderous intent. This outrage seems manufactured.

        That Trump didn’t call out nazis with enough enthusiasm seems pretty shallow as well, unless one assumes that he does support nazis and was only saying that he didn’t begrudgingly.

        I haven’t heard or read anything he has said since Saturday that is objectionable.

        If anybody has a particular example of an objectionable statement can y’all share it? I just haven’t heard/read it yet but I’ll acknowledge I haven’t heard/read everything.

        Like

        • McWing:

          I haven’t heard or read anything he has said since Saturday that is objectionable.

          I agree. I read the outraged reaction to his Saturday remarks before I actually saw the remarks, and when I finally did see them I searched in vain for anything worthy of such outrage. As you say, manufactured outrage.

          The one thing that he has said that did make me cringe was his remarks about the girl who got killed. Making it about himself and highlighting all the nice things her mother said about him was both horrible and totally Trumpian. His narcissism is quite something to behold.

          Like

        • Not a defense, but I don’t see Trump’s narcissism as any different than any other President’s. Obama seemed to enjoy the cult of personality surrounding him, how many times did he praise various people in terms of his reaction to them and/or their deeds?

          Like

        • McWing:

          Not a defense, but I don’t see Trump’s narcissism as any different than any other President’s. Obama seemed to enjoy the cult of personality surrounding him, how many times did he praise various people in terms of his reaction to them and/or their deeds?

          Oh, I agree. I think a pretty large degree of narcissism is a prerequisite for the job.

          Like

        • Anything in his presser yesterday that was Beyond the Pale that I might have missed?

          I’m honestly at a loss as to what’s causing the current MSM, NeverTrumper, Establishment Republican meltdown.

          Like

        • McWing;

          Anything in his presser yesterday that was Beyond the Pale that I might have missed?

          I actually missed it. I was in a meeting, and when I came out everyone was abuzz. But from what I read, he basically was just chastising the press for its typical tactic of trying to put the right on the defensive by demanding it comment on “white supremacy” violence as if it is a natural outgrowth of the right which needs to be denounced, while giving a pass to leftist violence.

          Like

        • It’s why it seems so manufactured.

          Like

        • I get the disappointment that Trump seems a little soft on Nazis, especially amongst the left. Or not the disappointment, but the outrage. I’m disappointed he can’t make clearer points, or lacks them. The left is outraged that he didn’t pass an executive order to do a direct nuclear strike on the Charlottesville Nazis.

          But I see it. Certainly, not the kind of speech Obama would have given after such a thing.

          But I am amazed at the ongoing belief on the part of the left and Democrats and the media that: this time, this time this manufactured outrage will accomplish our goals! Impeachment is nigh!

          Like

  18. Here is a link to the presser yesterday. The Q and A starts at 6:12 and gets ramped up st 13:30

    What I’m guessing is that the media cannot accept anything other than a belief that the 100% of the violence is perpetrated and instigated by neonazi’s and that Trump knows this but says otherwise. Also, the Antifa thugs are heroic freedom fighters and Trump knows this as well and is saying otherwise. Finally, the media is saying it’s impossible for there to be anybody other than neonazi’s at the rally who did not want the statue torn down and the park renamed. Trump knows this and is saying otherwise.

    Republicans are reacting to what the media is reporting happened and what was said.

    After seeing the whole presser, I now understand why I’m confused about the reporting of the presser vs actually watching the presser.

    Like

    • Republicans in DC are considering their position, and whether they want to have tape defending Trump or that can be bent to seemed to defend Nazis in their political future, and they don’t want it. There’s not a lot of win for them to rush to Trump’s defense.

      Like

    • You mean they looked at the clear and spreading documentation and decided they were obligated to tell it or look like shills.

      Like

    • I think the bottom line take from that hotair summary is fair, after having finally become convinced that I have seen enough news to have a view of what the facts were on the ground.

      There was violence on both sides as Trump suggested. Also, Nazis are not good people.

      This is where DJT went off the rails – in his equating anyone in the group chanting “blood and soil” and the anti-Jewish stuff as “good” people.

      As to the whole icons of the Confederacy statuary issue – my own view is that if the statues date from the immediate post Civil War as memorials to those who died they are historical and should be respected. As for the statues that were erected in the 50s and 60s to express segregationist resistance to integration, they are dispensable; and as for the many that date to the heyday of the Daughters of the Confederacy, 1910-1925, well, I don’t see much to get excited about. Maybe I would if I were black and had ancestors who were slaves, of course. I can see that. In short, I would defend any near contemporary battlefield memorial as a potential national monument.

      All the questions about police conduct here seem unanswered. My first take is that they were relatively incompetent and afraid for themselves. That’s not very charitable on my part. I apologize for my uncharitable assumption to the C’ville PD rank and file contingent upon the possibility they didn’t handle it because they were ordered to stand down.

      Also I will continue to use the “OK” hand sign, to mean “OK”.

      Like

      • This is where DJT went off the rails – in his equating anyone in the group chanting “blood and soil” and the anti-Jewish stuff as “good” people.

        Is it impossible to believe that there were non-neonazi’s there, particularly the night before, wanting to show their support for keeping the statue?

        He made very specific distinctions between the neonazi’s and non-neonazi’s. Why isn’t that a good thing. Even appropriate?

        Edit: people seems to be falling all over themselves, when they’re not glorifying the wonderful freedom fighting Antifa things, to make sure the murdered terror victim was a peaceable demonstrator. Why are they granted that luxury instead of being tarred as memebers of the murderous antifa?

        Like

        • “Is it impossible to believe that there were non-neonazi’s there, particularly the night before, wanting to show their support for keeping the statue?”

          I’d watch the Vice documentary on this to hear it in the protesters own words.

          From what I’ve gathered, any of the “heritage” people weren’t there to begin with because they don’t want to be associated with actual Nazi’s flying the swastika.

          I can’t think of a better way to discredit themselves than associating their cause with the Nazis.

          Again, the progressives love to cry racism and Nazi about everything, but sometimes it’s the real thing.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t disagree though have a so-what attitude to it.

          I did watch the Vice piece but still am of the opinion there was a less than trivial number of non-neonazi’s there. We’re going to have to agree to disagree.

          Like

      • “Also, Nazis are not good people.”

        Not loud enough, and not enough exclamation points. That’s a secret crypt-pro-Nazi message! 😉

        I’ve always been of two minds regarding confederate memorials and the confederate flags. Many of them (memorials, statues) are very well done as objects of art, and they are interesting. Flags and memorials both are just items of information, basically. The meaning one takes from them is primarily self-assigned. The offense one takes or does not take is self-inflicted (or not).

        At the same time, buildings get torn down and replaced all the time. Environments change. I’m personally more incensed about favorite Disney World rides being torn down (there was no frickin’ justification for getting rid of Horizons at Epcot!) … but change happens.

        At the same time, they represent not just slavery but a direct attack on the United States. In some ways, I think the confederate flag has evolved (for many) as a symbol of generic southern pride. But you have white nationalists appropriating it, and many are never going to believe there has been an evolution there. And it was the flag of a hostile nation, ultimately.

        So, I dunno. I’d like to see the statues and whatnot at least preserved in some context. Perhaps eventually in a museum of confederate monuments and memorials removed for various reasons, that place them in a fair historical context. Maybe mix in some Union memorials or statuary.

        I’ve never really used the “OK” hand sign. Don’t know why, it’s just always been awkward for me. I don’t know what I’ll do if Al Qaeda appropriates the thumb’s up gesture as meaning “death to America”. That will be hard on me.

        Like

        • I’ll guess that much of the sculpture has art value. I know that is why a few on the UT campus were moved to the UT Museum years ago, but kept on display. “Famous” artists had been commissioned for forming them. I’m for preservation of art, too.

          Another offensive equation of DJT’s was Confederate statuary to memorials to Jefferson and Washington.

          Knowing history has to beat knee jerk reactions, I think. Fort Davis, Texas, was named for Jefferson Davis when he left the post of Secretary of War [for the U.S.A.],in 1854. And, yes, there have been knee jerk reactions to the name “Fort Davis” from the left.

          The PTA of the former Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Austin formed a study committee to find out why the school had been so named – and decided it had been done to express sympathy for segregation. It is now named “Russell Lee” and was almost named “Harper Lee”. The online voting for the name change actually had a slight plurality for “Donald Trump’, but maintaining the “Lee” name seems to have been the majority sentiment. The two Lees were second and third in the voting.

          Sidney Lanier was a pretty famous poet after the Civil War, and a Texan. Fought as an enlisted man for the Confederacy. To me, his accomplishments and actual ties to Texas make his name one to remember, not erase. Austin has kept its Sidney Lanier HS, but Houston renamed its to “Bob Lanier”, the former Mayor, not the basketball player. That strikes me as a mistake.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Another offensive equation of DJT’s was Confederate statuary to memorials to Jefferson and Washington.

          Did you watch the press conference? I’m suspecting you didn’t otherwise you’d know he was describing a slippery slope argument. I had not seen the whole presser so I made a point of watching it and realized that the reporting of what he said is very different from what he actually said. We agree that the media writ large is not interested in truth but in maintaining narratives.

          Like

        • Mark:

          Another offensive equation of DJT’s was Confederate statuary to memorials to Jefferson and Washington.

          Why do you find that offensive?

          Like

        • Mark:

          The PTA of the former Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Austin formed a study committee to find out why the school had been so named – and decided it had been done to express sympathy for segregation. It is now named “Russell Lee”

          If only originalism held such power when it came to things that really matter, like the Constitution.

          Like

        • “he was describing a slippery slope”

          Which is an argument I generally am skeptical of, but in this case I think it’s correct. There are already people trying to excise Washington and Jefferson at the university level. From DC itself can happen. The fact that Jefferson and Washington were slave owners is not going to go away.

          Like

        • Don’t forget Theodore Roosevelt and especially Andrew Jackson.

          Trump and the far left feed off of each other.

          Liked by 1 person

        • “Trump and the far left feed off of each other.”

          And the Nazis and the white nationalists also feed the left.

          They are making it impossible to mount any credible defense for preserving confederate memorials . . . or anything else they nobly decide to “defend”.

          Like

        • Well intentioned people have to do it anyway. To not do so is to cede the battlefield to all exeteemists on all sides.

          Like

      • mark:

        There was violence on both sides as Trump suggested. Also, Nazis are not good people.

        I would be more inclined to say that Nazism is not a good ideology. But if we are going to establish the “goodness” of people based on their ideological affiliations, I would add…Also, antifa are not good people.

        Like

  19. Heroes.

    Like

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