christopher

Person #3716: 337 Posts

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  1. I haven't followed closely... (0 Replies)

    …and it’s possible some of it flies under the radar since climate policy doesn’t seem to generate a lot of news. What I do remember is that a key reason I supported him when he first ran for Senate is that his record suggested that he would take on Big Oil in much the same way Warren takes on Big Finance. I was looking forward to MA boasting the ultimate Senate power couple against the most powerful special interests of our time.

  2. Taken to its logical extreme... (0 Replies)

    …the Congress cannot provide for an Air Force since the Constitution only mentions the army and navy; what we write on this blog is not protected by the 1st Amendment which refers only to “speech” and “press”; wiretapping electronic communications is fine because the 4th Amendment refers only to “papers”. (There are probably other examples.)

  3. Same reason... (0 Replies)

    …we can’t get some reasonable gun controls despite that polling even higher:(

  4. Regarding the platform... (0 Replies)

    …it is my understanding that reaction to Russian action in Ukraine is the ONLY plank regarding which the Trump campaign directly intervened during the drafting process.

  5. And to be clear... (0 Replies)

    …I don’t doubt for a second that one’s own background might inform their reactions, but it’s not as if I’m Jewish either. Flags only go so far and I’m not for banning either of them outright, but the historical episodes they represent ARE very different and NOT equivalent.

  6. It's more than that. (0 Replies)

    I really do think I’m on firm ground regarding the relative horrors and that most people agree hence the heretofore commonly different reactions. For the Holocaust there was a singular instance of an order being given from the top – Kill Them All! – and carry it out in the least humane way imaginable. It was also comfortably enough in the modern era that everyone should have known better. Slavery, OTOH, has existed throughout human history and a deliberate campaign of unmitigated slaughter only serves to reduce the number of available slaves, and thus actually counterproductive. Neither my history background nor my humanity will allow me to back down from this distinction (and before you pop off with one of your snide “don’t confuse me with the facts” lines as you’ve been known to do, let me be abundantly clear that I am confident that the facts ARE on my side).

  7. Problem is... (0 Replies)

    …even if Matthews did not want to be quite so dismissive, there’s the issue of news divisions treating viewers as consumers for the sake of ratings. Time was the broadcast networks assumed that the news side would post losses and they were fine with that.

  8. Of course I know what side I'd be on in both cases. (0 Replies)

    Here’s what I also know, and I feel it to my very bone. I have an extremely difficult time handling so much as discussing the Holocaust in a way that is not true of slavery. Maybe I’m having trouble explaining it because it is too painfully obvious to put into words. I cannot read or discuss aloud the Holocaust without choking up in reaction to such unspeakable evil. This has led to a couple of instances in my teaching where it is obvious enough to students that I’m struggling to keep it together that I have been asked if I were crying. (I try to pass it off as allergies.) Even when the words I am reading do not describe the horrors directly, my knowing the background is enough to trigger a physical response. I once was reading a story to a second grade class (written at a second grade level so any of them could have read it themselves) about a family in a concentration camp trying to secretly celebrate Hanakkuh and this was one of those times my eyes welled up and the kids noticed. I decided at that point I’d rather try to explain to that age where babies come from than the enormity that was the Holocaust. This INVOLUNTARY physical and emotional response has never happened to me in the context of slavery. I literally cannot help it!

  9. I'm not sorting people. (2 Replies)

    Sure, black people weren’t Nazi targets as much, though probably not enough of them to count in 1940s central Europe either. I’m just saying that ovens and gas chambers are a lot worse than slavery.

  10. On the merits... (0 Replies)

    …you’ve already covered it, but the first amendment requires that we permit it even if we don’t like it.

  11. It is absolutely a double standard. (0 Replies)

    Nazis did worse and thus they get judged worse.

  12. I'm separating the flag from the nation. (2 Replies)

    The CSA was born of treason. It was treason for as long as it existed, (though maybe that attitude would have subsided if they won; after all we committed treason against the British Empire in the 1770s and now we and the UK are the closest of allies). I do not believe that every person displaying the Confederate ensign is automatically a would-be traitor, and yes I do believe I can hold both views simultaneously. Many also claim to be patriots, and yes, that has struck me as a bit cognitively dissonant at times. I recall laughing out loud during the 2008 campaign once when I noticed a pickup truck with two bumper stickers; one read “McCain-Palin, Country First” and the other was an image of the Confederate ensign. It was only after the flag became a lightening rod again following Dylann Roof that I learned how much a one-fingered salute it was to the Civil Rights movement and thus solidified my view that it has no place in any modern official context.

  13. That's fine. (1 Reply)

    I have never claimed that the CSA was virtuous (though I CAN think of a couple of non-racial/slavery clauses I prefer to ours in their Constitution). I just absolutely cannot go as far as equating it with the Third Reich. Nazi Germany was worse – full stop!

  14. OK (0 Replies)

    I’ve ALWAYS heard devil’s advocate to mean arguing against the side one actually believes in order to strengthen the real argument. Besides, while knowing history is valuable (and God knows I wish more people did), if he is a judge deciding a case he should be worrying about the justice and legality of the case before him without being weighed down by historical baggage.

  15. No piece of cloth... (1 Reply)

    …made Dylann Roof shoot up that Bible study, nor will erasing all images magically eliminate racial hatred. His actions are on him alone, though I do agree that the Confederate flag is so divisive it has no place at state capitols which should signify unity.

  16. Because not every instance of displaying the flag... (2 Replies)

    …is evidence of defending slavery or secession. We need to ALL (Lost Causers and the rest of us) get away from an emotional attachment to history, but remember it in a way that is accessible. Too much emotion leads to the Troubles in Ireland, the ongoing Israel/Palestine issue, the upheavel of the former Yugoslavia, to name a few. For me it comes down to free expression and honestly remembering our history. I’m not Jewish either. In fact I’m probably of the perfect racial background as far as Hitler would be concerned, but the fact remains that the Holocaust was a singular event in global history that has no comparison. Slavery is evil in its own ways, but hardly singular and until relatively recently (and even then not absolutely eradicated) common in human history.

  17. That's not the issue. (2 Replies)

    The National Park Service does in fact preserve sites of great civil rights struggles as it should. My experience is as someone with a historical background, but who usually focuses on what I call “great people, great events” which is what war battles generally involve. There is certainly a valid field of study in the regular folks of any race and those stories need to be told as well. I resent any implication that my own race has anything to do with it, or that I am at all privileged in this regard. There are multiple perspectives and those of one race should not be held as more valid than another.

  18. Are you sure he is ignorant? (1 Reply)

    You said they were playing devil’s advocate.

  19. We're just going to have to disagree on that one I guess. (1 Reply)

    The historian in me requires a bit more nuance, and as I believe I said elsewhere, taken to it’s logical extreme flying the US flag presumes support for some pretty ugly things too.