Re: Who Are You Going To Believe? Me Or Your Lying Eyes?

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I don't know that stamping out the revisionism wouldn't solve anything. I mean, I think that it could do some good. Its existence seems to fuel some of the loonier views out there today.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 5:14 AM
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From the article at your link:

any master narrative of the war seems elusive.

I guess that explains why the reporter couldn't be bothered to quote or link any of the actual declarations of secession.

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 5:23 AM
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One man killed is a murder; a million men killed are a statistic disingenuous mythologizing apparatus for a bunch of dumb rednecks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 5:36 AM
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Correction: They do quote the Mississippi secession at the very end of the article. Lame.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 5:37 AM
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And so, since the War was about slavery, once slavery ended, there was nothing left to get excited about. And so we got a century of Jim Crow.

You are all horribly wrong, and your Yankee ancestors were ever so much smarter and more moral than you. The Civil War was about "self-governance." Which is, as a general rule, a bad thing.

"Self-governance" will of course usually become an issue only under extreme circumstances, oh, like George Bush saying the world couldn't tell him not to invade another nation or that torture was indefensible. Or Iceland or Ireland choosing whether to default on debts. Or China or Brazil destroying the world environment.

But as an internationalist and "one-worlder", I wish the principles of liberalism had not been attacked and weakened by generations of weak-tea identity politics.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:10 AM
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The two sides had different motives. Secession was about slavery. For the North, the war was about secession.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:22 AM
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In my elementary school in Ohio, I was taught that the Radical Republicans of the Reconstruction era were, well, radicals - picking on poor ol' Andrew Johnson the way they did. Good thing they failed!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:24 AM
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Oh, that's good: the South was fighting for self-governance.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:25 AM
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6: No. The North was fighting about slavery, too. If the South hadn't wanted to preserve slavery, the North would have been willing to negotiate secession. It was the threat of an independent slave nation on its doorstep that impelled the North to oppose secession.


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:30 AM
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As usual, Ta-Nehisi Coates brings the knowledge. (I am very glad that in my DFH schools taught us that the Civil War as about treason in defense of slavery, though I can't recall if that exact phrase was ever used.)


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:31 AM
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5: I invite you to take a look at the per capita energy consumption rankings of China and Brazil. Why are Brazilians and Chinese people entitled to less of the world's resources than, say, Bob MacManus?

I know he needs a lot of fuel to keep helping us realize how wrong we are, but still.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:36 AM
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Also, if the South still wants to secede, I think that would be totally fine.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:38 AM
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11: A Brazilian is entitled to 34% of the resources used by a typical American and someone from China 26%. See here for the study.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:38 AM
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6 is thoroughly pwned by the article.

In Texas elementary school, I learned that Sam Houston had been against secession, and refusing to take the oath to the Confederacy, was pushed aside.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:41 AM
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14: As punishment, they named the city after him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:43 AM
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Oh, look, bob's shown up already to shit everywhere. The early troll catches the thread, after all.

I think the article linked in the OP's greatest fault and most valuable lesson might be its efforts to exemplify the current obsession with ultra-partisanship and divisiveness. The line from early on that most vigorously made me roll my eyes:

That some -- even now -- are honoring secession, with barely a nod to the role of slavery, underscores how divisive a topic the war remains

No, see, Ms. Seelye, it doesn't underscore what a divisive topic this one is; it underscores how divided we are on everything. It demonstrates how eager we all are to pick a fight over something, anything, whatever topic we can unearth as a proxy. Is the racism sincere? Oh, undoubtedly, and as a convenient sideline it encourages a culture of violence and revenge, but it isn't actually the point of a lot of the "celebrations" going on, I would imagine; rather, I should think the point is to get people like us riled up. It's a way to wet-willy the larger culture. The whole "heritage not hate" thing is nothing new, of course, but not a lot of people were throwing parties themed around that. I take all this as another symptom of the racism and desperation that's thrown the Tea Bag / John Birch / glibertarian ultra right into such a tizzy of mad activity ever since a black dude won the popular vote.

The other line that made me want to strangle the page was:

From Fort Sumter to Appomattox, historic sites across the South, and some in the North, plan to highlight various aspects of America's deadliest conflict -- and perhaps its least resolved.

Really? Its least resolved? Seems pretty clearly settled to me. I'm spending fives with Lincoln on them and happily paying taxes to the government in Washington as well as the subordinate one in Raleigh and my friends are in military branches that start with "US" and anyone who sits around and yammers a lot of blather about invasions and self-protection has a distinct and obvious financial interest in doing so. It is entirely possible that I have become numb to the idiotic rambling of a handful of insane hicks through overexposure, yes, but the thing the article most makes me think is, wow, people will use anything to spit in an opponent's eye and somewhere there is a reporter who will talk about it.

I of course think that whatever rich dumbasses attend a secession ball should have to walk inside past protesters. They are morons for participating and I applaud anyone who reminds them of that in public. I would love to see this sort of stupidity stamped out. I don't think that's likely to happen, though, because what assholes like this want is to have a fight on their hands so they have something to make them feel self-righteous. What I have observed in my own family, on the other hand, is that Uncle Bob with the similar talking points has been snubbed so many times that he's stopped bothering to talk at all at Christmas and everyone is glad to see him silenced.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 6:46 AM
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16: Indeed. "Least resolved"? Jesus. I'm pretty sure Afghanistan wins that race. Hell, Korea is less resolved.

Having lived in the South my entire life, the number of people I know who give a flying fuck about the Civil War--on any level--is minuscule. I'm sure you can find more of it as you drive deeper into the broketooth regions of the South, but really. I don't know where they find these people.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:03 AM
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I'm pretty sure Afghanistan wins that race. Hell, Korea is less resolved.

Hello, from the West Bank.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:08 AM
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I of course think that whatever rich dumbasses attend a secession ball should have to walk inside past protesters a two-hundred-voice choir singing "Marching Through Georgia", "John Brown's Body", "We Are Coming, Father Abraham" and all the verses of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:18 AM
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19: "John Brown's Body" and the Battle Hymn of the Republic are sung to the same tune. On the other hand, it is a really catchy tune.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:21 AM
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20: this is true. But I couldn't decide which one I preferred. And the more times that tune gets sung the better.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:22 AM
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20. Well they can be sung back to back, to make the point. Followed by a rousing rendition of "John Brown's baby has a cold upon his chest."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:23 AM
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Speaking of The South... is there awesome Christmasy stuff in the Charlottesville (VA) area?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:28 AM
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Personally I always preferred the "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school" lyrics.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:28 AM
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24: When we sang that on the last day before summer, our teacher chanted, "School's out, school's out. Teacher let the fools out."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:32 AM
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One of the historical facts that is constantly elided in these discussions is that there was a significant plurality of people in the Confederate states who opposed secession. And mostly, apparently, based on their class interests. But of course we can't talk about class in the New York Times, that would be ridiculous.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:34 AM
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24. Is that the version with the refrain that starts, "Glory, Glory, Alleluia/Teacher hit me with a ruler." - surely the dodgiest rhyme in all traditional music?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:34 AM
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I remember one line was "met her behind the door with a loaded .44 and teacher ain't teaching no more." I wonder what kind of a special test that would get a 3rd grader sent in for these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:34 AM
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27: Yes, that's it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:35 AM
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If one must lie a-molderin' in the grave, Lake Placid, NY* is a pretty fucking nice place to do it.

*It's technically in some tiny neighboring town, I think. But close enough.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:36 AM
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5: A man does a brave and humane deed, and at once, on all sides, we hear people and parties declaring, "I didn't do it, nor countenance him to do it, in any conceivable way. It can't be fairly inferred from my past career." I, for one, am not interested to hear you define your position. I don't know that I ever was, or ever shall be. I think it is mere egotism, or impertinent at this time. Ye needn't take so much pains to wash your skirts of him. No intelligent man will ever be convinced that he was any creature of yours.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:38 AM
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That's a lousy article. I was especially surprised to see James Loewen described as a "liberal sociologist". Given that his quote presented something like the scholarly consensus -- and a pretty boring consensus it is -- why identify him as liberal? Or, if the author felt such extraordinary concern about Loewen's politics, why not go to David Blight for the very same quote: "Yale historian David Blight says that the South fought to preserve the institution of slavery." Moreover, Apo's totally right: as much as I hate the South with every fiber of my being, the number of neo-Confederates, at least on a per capita basis, there is probably not very different than in any other region of this deeply confused country.

And now, if you'll forgive me, I'll return to my regularly scheduled pretending that the New York Times was trapped in amber in 1977.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:41 AM
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26: The Times recently did what at first appeared to be a good job reporting on Stauffer and Jennings's crap-ass new book on the Free State of Jones. But then it became clear that the coverage largely ignored class conflict in the South, preferring instead to focus on what asshats Stauffer and Jennings are -- which, you know, that's fine with me -- and how much their asshattery has annoyed the three academic historians who could be bothered to give a flying fuck.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:46 AM
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32.last: I do the same thing except with Ann Margaret instead of the NYT and jello instead of amber.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:46 AM
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32.1: Well, Kit Seelye. I'm surprised there wasn't a slam on Al Gore in it somewhere.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:46 AM
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I'm spending fives with Lincoln on the

I think what you meant to say was: "And then I found some paper currency with Lincoln's likeness on it."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:50 AM
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I'll return to my regularly scheduled pretending that the New York Times United States was trapped in amber in 1977. Surprisingly satisfying, although the beer sucks.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:52 AM
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the beer sucks

Yes, but the music is excellent.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:55 AM
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28: Where I'm from, they just whacked her on the butt with a rotten coconut.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:55 AM
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39: At Christmas, you didn't sing "Jingle Bell, shot guns shells. Santa Claus is dead. Tried to steal my teddy bear so I shot him in the head."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:59 AM
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Moby has moved from insects and animals to Santa. Nothing is sacred; nobody is safe from this killing machine.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:01 AM
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28, 39: I think we "bopped her on the bean with a rotten tangerine" and then either "her teeth came marching out" or "the blood came bubbling out."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:02 AM
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32, 33: As for the herd of newspapers and magazines, I do not chance to know an editor in the country who will deliberately print anything which he knows will ultimately and permanently reduce the number of his subscribers. They do not believe that it would be expedient. How then can they print truth? If we do not say pleasant things, they argue, nobody will attend to us. And so they do like some travelling auctioneers, who sing an obscene song, in order to draw a crowd around them


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:05 AM
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No, "least resolved" is exactly right, in that liberals still can't get past the conflicts between self-determination/self-governance and universal rights/international order.

I/P and Afghanistan are great examples. The laws to resolve those conflicts are on the books; the will and means to enforce the laws are lacking, because we won't cede authority to the UN and Hague.

The Civil War, only another battle in the Long War that roughly started with the Declaration of the Rights of Man, is still being fought. The good guys are losing. Identity politics cedes universalism to homo economicus.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:05 AM
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30: The entirety of the village of Lake Placid is located within the boundaries of North Elba, as is part of the village of Saranac Lake.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:11 AM
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44: Way to take the high level view and avoid getting bogged down in details.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:15 AM
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Anyone else think that this would make for a good Dem culture war issue if they had the metaphorical balls to use it? Get various Dems, particularly white Dems, to start issuing statements offering an aggressive TIDOS take on the celebrations, the naming etc with cites to the original documents, followed by by the TV shows. Then keep it up as a theme. Start offering congressional resolutions, e.g. 'we deplore the naming of the highway by the Pentagon for a man who betrayed his country and killed x. Americans in the name of slavery' or urging the renaming of places in the South in the name of Southerners, black and white, who fought on the Union side. Most of the states and CD's where this could hurt the Democrats are solidly red anyways, and swing suburban white voters may be just fine with mild racism, but they really don't like to think of themselves as on the side of full on old school southern racists (remember how that Atwater quote goes). You'd also peel off a good chunk of the sensible moderates (TM) in the press. You could also start forcing non-Southern Repubs to either back you or take a hit, creating more fun tensions in the Republican party. No need for a nuanced historical line about what the North was thinking and why it took action, just focus on the South.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:16 AM
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47: You'd also peel off a good chunk of the sensible moderates (TM) in the press.

I agree with all of the above, except for this sentence. It would be immediately condemned in the press.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:19 AM
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I do not chance to know an editor in the country who will deliberately print anything which he knows will ultimately and permanently reduce the number of his subscribers.

The NYT is first of all the local non-tabloid NYC metro paper, then secondly a paper for college educated liberal leaning news junkies in the big blue areas around the country, and finally a 'paper of record' getting subscriptions from those who feel they have to read it because of its importance. So loss of subscribers isn't likely to be a factor in the NYT's mealy-mouthed article.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:22 AM
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It would be immediately condemned in the press.

Who would accuse the Dems of "playing the race card" or some such and the narrative would become all about how hostile the world has become for good, middle-American white people.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:23 AM
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45: But they have their own LP-specific post office and zip code. (I know this only because my uncle was the post master.) And their own school district. And their own mayor. So I'm not sure what that means.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:24 AM
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It means that you write a different five numbers at the end of the address when you send a letter to them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:28 AM
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47 I really think that there's a large part of the sensible moderate contingent that recoils at the idea of defending nineteenth century style racism and slavery. It clashes with their own self-image.

50 That's how the conservative Repubs, their fellow travelers, and useful idiots would try to play it. But they already do use sotto voce racial appeals of this sort. Forcing them to make that argument on this terrain would be a net win for the Dems.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:32 AM
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you'll be unsurprised to know that at my montessori school in savannah, ga we were of the "met her at the door with a loaded .44" camp. I feel like there was some variant involving the .45 but I can't remember it.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:36 AM
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47 I really think that there's a large part of the sensible moderate contingent that recoils at the idea of defending nineteenth century style racism and slavery. It clashes with their own self-image.

If these sensible moderates were self-aware, they wouldn't be moderates.

50 That's how the conservative Repubs, their fellow travelers, and useful idiots would try to play it. But they already do use sotto voce racial appeals of this sort. Forcing them to make that argument on this terrain would be a net win for the Dems.

No, 50 pretty much had it right.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:37 AM
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and god, yes, the honest citizens of charleston ought to make these people enter their ballroom along a walk of shame while everyone sings go down moses etc.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:38 AM
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54: I don't remember it exactly, but I think it used the rhyme of "45" with "alive." But really, revolvers are better than automatics for threatening gestures and such.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:39 AM
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I mostly agree with 47.

In other news, wrote and complained that they hyperlinked two Conferederate organizations and 11 other words but couldn't be bothered to link the actual articles of secession. Got a response already that the reporter is not responsible for the links that the "web producers" insert.

Hm. I know they don't write their own headlines, but I totally did think a reporter could tell them what links would make sense to add.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:43 AM
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it's hard to work "sawed-off shotgun" into lyrics at times, though I think that's really where your maximum threatening gestures lie.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:45 AM
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"Glory, Glory, Alleluia/Teacher hit me with a ruler." - surely the dodgiest rhyme in all traditional music?

That's wicked hateful toward New Englanders.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:46 AM
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You know, I was just thinking about southerners the other day, there was a guy on the subway with a cap that had some organization's confederate logo on it. Germans and Russians both have coped with a national identity tied up with huge crimes, Russians often with patriotism intact.

Saying that southerners are disinterested in the civil war: I don't know, that flag is a pretty common sight. Displaying a hammer and sickle does not mark a person as well-adjusted anymore.

Where is there stigma for the stars and bars? In black neighborhoods, in most places that serve fabulous sandwiches, Manhattan, Berkeley, sure, but how much of the US does that cover? 15%? 30%? In a way it's just a symbol, but it helps get disgusting people elected.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:48 AM
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40: It goes "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg/The Batmobile lost a wheel, and the Joker got away". It's canonical.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:48 AM
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59: Agreed. Except do you have any idea how long it takes to get through the barrel with a regular hacksaw?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:50 AM
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60: Hallelujer does not rhyme with rula.
62 was me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:51 AM
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I really think that there's a large part of the sensible moderate contingent that recoils at the idea of defending nineteenth century style racism and slavery. It clashes with their own self-image.

In fact, the sensible moderate contingent resents being made to think about this stuff. There'd be a huge backlash against the Democrats.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:53 AM
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If these sensible moderates were self-aware, they wouldn't be moderates.

What do you mean? You're saying they're robots with no self-image? IMO it is their view of themselves as 'reasonable' and 'moderate' people that fuels their wankerdom. But defending 'soak the poor to help the rich' in the name of economic freedom and 'America can do no wrong cause its awesome' fit into that sense of themselves. The America of unreconstructed Southern ressentiment emphatically doesn't.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:54 AM
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Maybe the warnings on the flaps of shells are telling you, if you want to saw a shotgun barrel, you should get the kind of shotgun that they are warning you not to use because the barrel might explode as it is too thin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:55 AM
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Got a response already that the reporter is not responsible for the links that the "web producers" insert.

Did you ask who you can contact about it?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:56 AM
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68: She said she would "take it up the chain." But of course I already sent it as a letter to the editor.

If I'm going to be home sick, it's still going to be a productive day, darn it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 8:59 AM
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I note with something like amusement that when Rah and I were at the State Fair this year we walked past the booth of a (later failed) candidate running in a neighboring district that includes Raleigh and some of the rural areas north of it. As we did so, Rah turned to me and said, "Is it progress when the middle-aged white woman wearing an 'I Support Confederate Heritage' sticker is staffing the booth of an African-American Republican candidate?" I replied that, IMO, it was not.

I did see a surprising number of those stickers at the fair - by which I mean I saw maybe 20 on the thousands of people we saw that day, still more than the maybe ten for either major party, a trend I like to watch in election years as a predictor of how the state will go overall - but it strikes me as being a shit-kicking fad, a way to give the finger to everyone else and say, "Woe are we, the white, conservative, Christian, victimhood-addicted heterosexuals, for it is possible that our death grip on the steering wheel of culture is not unchallenged and we take that as an assault on our very existence." Yes, yes, the tiny violinsfiddles are ready to go at a moment's notice. Maybe next year their expression of that sentiment will approach creativity.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:00 AM
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61 Russian historical revisionism is at least as popularly widespread as it is among white Southerners, probably more so.

AG and Di, is there any area in which you think that Dems can successfully fight a debate? Because the way I see it this is about as favorable a terrain as you're going to get among the US media elites. Far more so than Social Security or taxation.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:02 AM
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They're professional moderates because they want to be on the winning side, whichever that turns out to be. In other words, they basically worship strength and success above all things.
So downplay the whole "righteous war" aspect. Don't quote Truth and Douglass and Stowe about how slavery was a terrible evil. Quote Sherman and Grant and Chamberlain about how the Union totally crushed the Confederacy. Especially Sherman. Call the next big warship to be launched after Farragut. Call everything within reach after Sherman. Really rub their noses in it.
Motto: With Malice Towards Some.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:03 AM
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yay witt! 67: pshaw, warnings on shotgun shells. it's kind of funny that you get these ludicrous "do not fold up stroller with baby inside" warnings on things but then guns...what are they going to tell you besides "don't kill people for no reason?"


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:04 AM
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the best part of the times article was this:

"I can only imagine what kind of celebration they would have if they had won," said Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina N.A.A.P.C.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:07 AM
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|| A story that seems almost too perfect an allegory to be true -- Brooklyn bees gorge on maraschino cherry syrup.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/nyregion/30bigcity.html?src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB

||


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:09 AM
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The best use of the Battle Hymn/John Brown's Body/Solidarity Forever tune is The Valiant Soldiers lyrics Sojourner Truth wrote* as a marching song for black regiments.

Sweet Honey in the Rock's recording is great.

WE are the valiant soldiers who've 'listed for the war;
We are fighting for the Union, we are fighting for the law;
We can shoot a rebel farther than a white man ever saw,
As we go marching on.

*Yeah, so it turns out that she may not have written the lyrics, but I like to imagine she did.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:10 AM
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Straight outta Compton rhymes sawed off with called off.

I dunno, I get the feeling that revisionists are retirees or morons and seen as such. Of course, almost all of the Russians I talk to are educated and now urban.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:11 AM
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but then guns...what are they going to tell you besides "don't kill people for no reason?"

The warnings are how not to kill somebody on accident. They don't really want to get into "reasons."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:11 AM
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In context, given that both the South and the North were allowed to pretend that the civil war was not about slavery for well over 100 years, I think it's actually remarkable how non-mainstream apologetics for the Confederacy are these days. As cultural data points, GWTW remains one of the most popular movies ever, and I recall that John F. Kennedy's profiles in courage had a section arguing in favor of Andrew Johnson and against the radical republicans.

Even 20-25 years ago one used to see confederate flags all over Southern California -- I think the intended message was "I'm a redneck rebel.". Now displaying the flag means "I am an unreconstructed hardcore racist" and I was mildly shocked to see one flying on a recent trip to the desert, having not seen one for years.

So, you know, we're not there yet, but big progress is being made on this front -- even since 1977.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:12 AM
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If I'm going to be home sick, it's still going to be a productive day, darn it.

This is what makes Witt a better person than me.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:12 AM
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I recall that John F. Kennedy's profiles in courage had a section arguing in favor of Andrew Johnson and against the radical republicans.

I'd forgotten that, but it did.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:13 AM
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Is there any data on percentages of southerners with different attitudes about the Civil War? I think my guess for the number of people with some form of pro-Confederate sentiment would be a lot higher than most of you seem to think. Real numbers would be interesting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:18 AM
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I agree with 82. It depends on how one defines "some form of pro-Confederate sentiment", but I'd bet it's about 50%.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:22 AM
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I agree with 65.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:24 AM
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I don't know if I mentioned this here or not, but while driving a few weeks ago out in one of the redder bits of Long Island, I saw a pick-up with one of those "Calvin pissing" stickers on the back. Yawn, right? Except this Calvin was pissing on a Confederate flag.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:24 AM
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82, 83: You wouldn't get anything near 50% of the whole population, but the numbers among older whites descended from at least 2 or 3 generations of Southerners could be quite high. I fear the differences among age groups wouldn't be as big as I'd like to hope.

85 is excellent, though seeing that in rural Georgia or west Texas would really be something.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:35 AM
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I dunno, I get the feeling that revisionists are retirees or morons and seen as such. Of course, almost all of the Russians I talk to are educated and now urban.

And, AFAIK, you're not Polish. My experience talking with urban, educated Russians since the late nineties on, say, the 1939-41 occupation (when the Soviets were killing ethnic Poles at a faster pace than their allies across the Bug) or the brutal imposition of Stalinism after the war tends to be about as fun as I imagine conversations by a black person with urban, educated white Southerners on the Civil War or Reconstruction would have been forty years ago. Whether the recent about face by Putin and Medvedev on these issues will have a lasting effect remains to be seen.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:39 AM
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81: My high school history class, in a public school in NY, went through Johnson's impeachment without addressing the fact that Reconstruction was the underlying issue (really, I don't remember much discussion of Reconstruction at all. I remember reading some foundational KKK document, but not so much discussion of what was successfully happening in the South that the KKK was trying to roll back.)

We also learned that it was hopelessly naive to think that the Civil War was about slavery much at all; really, it was about tariffs.

I'm not sure what was going on there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:39 AM
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I don't know, that flag is a pretty common sight

Not in this part of the South, at least, it isn't. It was when I was a kid, but I almost never see it any more.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:40 AM
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My experience also aligns with 82 and 83, and (at least superficially) against apo's 17.2.

But it should also be said that I have talked to a number of knowledgeable, sensitive, sensible Southerners who agree with apo and not me. I have a feeling that urple's 83 nails what is essentially a definitional issue - that Southern residents who are liberals want to talk about knowledge and interest of Southerners in Confederate stuff, and urple and essear and I are inclined to talk about "some form of pro-Confederate sentiment."

I'd add that indifference to the Confederacy, in the context of the modern South, tends to play to the advantage of the "Confederate Heritage" types, the same way that indifference to racism in general plays in favor of racists. So from my point of view, tolerance of the Confederacy is the real issue, and I believe there's a lot of it in the South.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:42 AM
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NB: I do realize that the Raleigh-Durham area may be a poor stand-in for the rest of the South.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:42 AM
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It depends on how one defines "some form of pro-Confederate sentiment", but I'd bet it's about 50%.

I would guess that even some pretty extreme statements would get a significant percentage. Like, I suspect that somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% of southern whites would, if they thought they were in a safe space, say that they think blacks were better off as slaves than free in Africa. I say this based on having heard it a lot in a place that wasn't even a Confederate state.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:43 AM
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91: Really, Chapel Hill is probably the most typical place in the whole South.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:44 AM
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I think I've mentioned here before that I saw a Confederate flag on a car in Karlsruhe.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:44 AM
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Right, my very non-Southern high school history class also did the "it's naive to think it's all about slavery . . . The real reason for the civil war was tarriffs" thing. Presented in a kind of Slate magazine contrarian "aha!" way. This was in the early 1990s. So, so stupid.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:45 AM
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in a place that wasn't even a Confederate state.

But that's just it. I suspect that number doesn't really vary all that much no matter what part of the country you poll. America is a deeply racist country.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:46 AM
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We also learned that it was hopelessly naive to think that the Civil War was about slavery much at all; really, it was about tariffs.

Part of it, at least in the north, was probably your standard academic contrarianism gone extreme. I have no specific proof of this, but I'd bet that economists have been misapplying models for longer than I've been alive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:46 AM
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pwned by 95.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:47 AM
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95, 97: Yeah, there was probably some of that, and probably a laudable impulse to undercut an image of the North as abolitionist saints; just because the war was about slavery from the South's perspective didn't make it about abolition from the North's. But in a high school class, you should really be teaching the oversimplified true stuff before you get to the contrarian subtleties -- the subtleties don't make sense except as adjustments to the basic, oversimplified picture.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:50 AM
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Okay, but I mean, for example, to allude to a recent thread, suppose the question is asked: "Which do you think is a better description of Robert E. Lee: (a) admirable Civil War hero, or (b) traitor to his country?" If choosing (a) is what's considered "some form of pro-Confederate sentiment", I wouldn't be surprised if we're at two-thirds or more of southern whites.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:51 AM
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Please, this is just an excuse to dress up in costumes. Would you insist on a gantlet of sans cullottes singing "La Marseillaise" at a Versailles themed party?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:52 AM
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100: I spent years trying to change opinions about the General Lee and I failed. Most people considered me the bad guy.


Posted by: Boss Hogg | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:53 AM
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88, 95, 97: I suspect part of it was a poorly designed attempt to head off a smug Northern white belief that racism abides solely in the South because "we" rode to the rescue of slaves.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:53 AM
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LB pwned.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:54 AM
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Having lived in the South my entire life, the number of people I know who give a flying fuck about the Civil War--on any level--is minuscule.

Maybe things are different across that state line--I know your highways always look cleaner--but this isn't my experience. I walk past that stupid flag every day. The last Democratic governor we elected, we elected largely because the Republican candidate pissed off too many confederate flag supporters. I've ended friendships over support for the League of the South; and sometimes it seems to me like a knowledge of and interest in the Civil War (either of the Coatesian variety or of the dress-up-and-play-soldier kind) is every gentleman's necessary accoutrement. I don't know any real Neo-Confederates, but I've seen them around. You don't need to drive too far out of the cities to see confederate flags flying in yards.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:54 AM
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99: Agreed. In high school, we learned that slavery caused the Civil War. The football coach taught history and he wasn't one for revisionism or bad blocking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:55 AM
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I think I've mentioned here before that I saw a Confederate flag on a car in Karlsruhe.

Yeah, you occasionally see them on clothing in Britain, but I think once you've traveled that far you're mostly dealing with people who might not even be aware that there was a Civil War (the teaching of history in British schools is not a source of national pride, let alone history in which Britain England wasn't directly involved). I think Europeans just see stuff on line and think it looks cool.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:57 AM
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I'd add that indifference to the Confederacy, in the context of the modern South, tends to play to the advantage of the "Confederate Heritage" types, the same way that indifference to racism in general plays in favor of racists. So from my point of view, tolerance of the Confederacy is the real issue, and I believe there's a lot of it in the South.

I'm not quite sure what that means, though. Indifference toward something that hasn't existed for nearly 150 years isn't the same thing as tolerating it. Or maybe it is, but do the French tolerate Napoleon?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:57 AM
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76: I've linked this before, but this is the Sweet Honey song I've heard the most.

80: If it makes you feel better, this is really a recovery day. Whem I'm really sick the concept of getting a glass of water from the kitchen seems almost too much to contemplate.

But that's just it. I suspect that number doesn't really vary all that much no matter what part of the country you poll. America is a deeply racist country.

I agree with this entirely, and at the same time my experience of racism in the South is just qualitiatively different from the North. I would not be surprised to hear that PA had more publicly displayed Confederate flags than any other US state, but IME racism is expressed in some genuinely different ways (and some that are the same, of course).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:57 AM
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I would not be surprised to hear that PA had more publicly displayed Confederate flags than any other US state

I would be surprised, but then I'm at the classy end of the state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:00 AM
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America is a deeply racist country.

By comparison to where, exactly?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:01 AM
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I've only lived here, chris, so I can't do comparative analysis.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:03 AM
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Would you insist on a gantlet of sans cullottes singing "La Marseillaise" at a Versailles themed party?

Would it be any fun if there wasn't one?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:03 AM
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I just drove the N-S length of Alabama this very Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and was somewhat astonished by the number of Confederate flags I saw. (I don't know why--I've made the drive before--but they just stood out more to me this time.) On lots of cars (as bumper stickers, as window decals, as actual flags), available for sale in every gas station (usually a big rack of confederate-themed t-shirts in the middle of the floor right by the cashier), etc.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:04 AM
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110: Don't forget, we have 12 million people. We're a big state. I didn't say more per capita -- I don't actually think we do, by that measure.

Re this: I really think that there's a large part of the sensible moderate contingent that recoils at the idea of defending nineteenth century style racism and slavery. It clashes with their own self-image.

and this:

In fact, the sensible moderate contingent resents being made to think about this stuff. There'd be a huge backlash against the Democrats.

Both are right. People absolutely hate being forced to think about this stuff, but that's mostly because it makes them feel uncomfortable and guilty. When it is presented in the appropriate way, with enough vocal momentum behind it that supporting it feels like being a winner, then it becomes a self-congratulatory, fairly shallow but not meaningless way of affirming tribal membership.

And I'd a heck of a lot rather have people pay lip service and affirm tribal membership in the Slavery Was Bad group than the other folks.

The question is whether the Dems could pull this off effectively, and I think that as a party, they couldn't. But a splinter group might be able to launch it and peer-pressure others along. A dangerous gamble but potentially winnable.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:05 AM
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Whoops, pretend I italicized the third paragraph of 109.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:07 AM
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108: I don't really know a thing about the current South, so I'm not sure how this plays out. But of course indifference can play out as a supportive kind of toleration: if only a small percentage of white Southerners are really wacky Confederate heritage types, but most of the rest of white Southerners think of Confederacy-veneration as a harmless, maybe charming, eccentricity that there's no reason to care much about, that marginalizes people who are disturbed by the Confederacy-veneration.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:07 AM
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One place was selling some pretty classy confederate-flag men's neckties. I'd have probably bought one, if not for the racism.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:09 AM
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118: Urple's right to the classy tie of his choice was violated by the anti-racism movement!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:12 AM
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the rest of white Southerners think of Confederacy-veneration as a harmless, maybe charming, eccentricity that there's no reason to care much about

Again, I realize my experience probably generalizes poorly, but most people I know think of Confederacy-veneration as a class/intelligence marker somewhere between snake-handling and methamphetamine production. More respectable than wife-beating, perhaps.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:16 AM
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118: Leaving aside symbols of a racist past, if something with a pattern that striking seems classy, you might want to ask for help when shopping for dress clothes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:19 AM
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somewhere between snake-handling and methamphetamine production

I like thinking of this as a position on the shelves of a grocery store.

But substantively, yeah, there's a real difference between (even mildly) contemptuous indifference and vaguely affectionate indifference. To the extent that the first is the standard white Southern attitude toward Butternut-fondling, that as much as can be hoped for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:19 AM
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121: I think he showed admirable restraint in admiring only the tie, and not the matching patterned sport-coat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:20 AM
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Indifference toward something that hasn't existed for nearly 150 years isn't the same thing as tolerating it.

"Confederate Heritage," the Stars and Bars, and similar stuff are still live issues in the South. The passion of the minority perpetuates these things, and the indifference of whites generally has the effect of supporting the passionate minority.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:21 AM
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the indifference of whites generally has the effect of supporting the passionate minority

What responses are you suggesting?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:23 AM
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So is snake-handling more or less respectable than methamphetamine production? I'm guessing less.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:24 AM
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somewhere between snake-handling and methamphetamine production

It's "Peculiar Institution," the new scent from Calvin Klein.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:25 AM
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America is a deeply racist country.

Race dominates our politics to an extent it doesn't elsewhere, and that's not a good thing, but I think the United States is among the least racist countries in the world. I think Brazil may have us beat, but most nations either have an ethnicity so dominant as to effectively deny political representation to the minority or have maintained a traditional stratified social structure.

On preview, 127 is funny.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:30 AM
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What responses are you suggesting?

Pogrom.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:30 AM
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126: Are we talking eastern NC or western NC?

I know your highways always look cleaner

I have a childhood memory of my grandfather (career military so not really of any region, but retired in Florida) driving my brother and I back up to NC and remarking that you could always tell when you entered the Carolinas because of the sharp and sudden increase in the number of dead dogs on the sides of the roads.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:33 AM
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What responses are you suggesting?

Well, of course, I'm not suggesting anything. Just describing.

But if I were suggesting responses, I'd suggest contempt. The middle-of-the-road Southern whites of my acquaintance are, as a rule, entirely comfortable with people who say things like, "The Stars and Bars is not a symbol of racism." That statement is, however, a contemptible whitewashing of history.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:38 AM
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121: Oh, there are certainly less-classy confederate-themed neckties, as an internet search will easily confirm. But some are appropriately subtle for business (apart from the racism).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:39 AM
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I think the United States is among the least racist countries in the world. I think Brazil may have us beat

I think you should take a quick look at the average melanin level in the Brazilian Cabinet and then reappraise that. Lula is a great guy, one of the most competent world leaders out there, but Brazil still very definitely has an ethnically stratified social system.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:43 AM
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That statement is, however, a contemptible whitewashing of history.

That's even more a whitewashing of contemporary attitudes. If you're displaying a Confederate battle flag in 2010 outside of a battle re-enactment, then I'll bet I can goad an actively racist statement out of you in under five beers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:43 AM
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134: That's why I want candidate debates to have a 'dodge a question, do a shot' rule. Eventually, we'll see what they really think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:45 AM
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people I know think of Confederacy-veneration as a class/intelligence marker

This gets back to an earlier question, but what are you considering "veneration"? Because for most sensible definitions of that word, you're probably right. But there are an awful lot of Southerners who aren't really anti-Confederacy (meaning: they think both sides had their merits, even if, sure, slavery was wrong).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:46 AM
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75:

Red Hook embodies so much of Brooklyn culture -- an infatuation with the borough's old ways, just so long as those do not actually impinge on the modish design and values.

"Brooklyn culture" construed narrowly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:46 AM
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Rethinking 136: I'm guessing you meant display of Confederate flags. I'd actually agree that probably generalizes pretty well as a class/intelligence marker, frowned upon in any respectable company.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:49 AM
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138 was me.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:49 AM
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135 would at least preclude President Romney. It would also have precluded President Bush.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:57 AM
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lot of Southerners who aren't really anti-Confederacy

Sure. The vast majority of people all over the country aren't really anti-Confederacy, just like they aren't anti-federalist or anti-gold-standard. Most of them hold much, much stronger opinions about Dancing with the Stars, Britney Spears' parenting skills, and professional wrestling than they do about any historical argument that predates WWII.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:02 AM
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I'll bet I can goad an actively racist statement out of you in under five beers.

I'll bet you could get a trustafarian in a Che Guevara T shirt to say something racist with one beer. Of course, s/he would be maligning the "white" race.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:02 AM
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Brett Bellmore? Is that you?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:02 AM
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There's one Confederate flag (that I know of) flying in our town, though I'm sure there are more on bumper stickers. The next town over is poorer and whiter than ours has what seems to me like a lot of Confederate flags. We would probably never go there if the gelato there didn't taste so delicious.

Being from the same non-Confederate state essear mentioned, I always assumed coopting the flag was some sort of wishful thinking or false consciousness thing by white boys who wished they had a connection to something they considered badass. I never had the kind of racist conversations essear mentions, but that may be because even before I became an obvious race traitor I was a judgmental little weirdo and people just wouldn't have confided in me.

I did have a brief freak-out moment when a man in one of our foster parent training classes piped up that he prefers to parent "colored" children "because they mind better." (This has not been my experience with headstrong little Mara, for the record.) My partner Lee wasn't at that session and I wonder whether he'd have said it in front of her; we suspect he might have because he sure said a lot of stupid and off-topic things. And then Lee insisted we drop the class and we found five weeks when we didn't have to take parenting classes, I suppose.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:03 AM
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One of the more interesting parts of Confederates in the Attic (recommended) is the part when he visits Guthrie, Kentucky on the Tennessee border where there was a racial killing/Confederate flag controversy (and local high school was the Rebels). Historically, the area had not been a strong supporter of the Confederacy. Likewise, I suspect neo-confederacy is strong in NE Alabama and the parts of eastern Tennessee that toyed with becoming the unlikely-named state of Nickajack rather than join the Confederacy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:04 AM
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144.1: Redneck Italians?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:04 AM
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Snakes are more respectable than meth production. In both pursuits, accidents happen; in only one of them does the whole house burn down.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:04 AM
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140: The candidates that refuse the alcohol get groped instead.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:08 AM
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146: To be clear, there's no Confederate flag at the gelateria itself, but we do have to pass a few on the way there.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:13 AM
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148: That's what we get for not having the League of Women Voters sponsoring the debates any more.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:13 AM
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To be clear, there's no Confederate flag at the gelateria itself

But they still serve vanilla and chocolate in different glasses.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:18 AM
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149: Understood. I was more remarking that gelato had spread more widely than I imagined.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:19 AM
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Separate but equal glasses, ajay.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:19 AM
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Following Witt's fine example, I sent an email to the reporter in which I said, re: the Civil War's status as our least settled conflict, that I would have expected the end of the Afghan war and our complete withdrawal from Iraq and South Korea to generate something of a larger headline on today's front page and that, further, I was disappointed to see the idiotic racism of my fellow Southerners covered so poorly by a newspaper with such high regard for itself.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:21 AM
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As for firearms safety: " 'I didn't know the gun was loaded' is not a good excuse. 'I was never there' and 'I never met those people' are better excuses."

OT: The other day I remarked, innocently, that Kate Middleton has very nice hair. Before the "r" had sounded, That Girl snapped "She has thin lips." Because I prize the attachment of my softer parts, I did not make a meow sound but, you know, come on.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:25 AM
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She does have nice hair.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:28 AM
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I could have nice hair, if I just applied myself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:29 AM
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Kate Middleton has very nice hair

I encountered this phenomenon last time. An entire generation of young girls, especially Americans of a certain class, held some bizarre fantasy hope that life is like that movies and that they would marry a real prince. Intellectually they knew it not to be true, but in a dark space in their heart, it was there. Same place in my heart where resides my becoming an astronaut.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:31 AM
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155: "She chose a nice heir."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:32 AM
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Want to wear something that says, "I may have bad taste, but I'm a profoundly confused bigot."?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:33 AM
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I could have nice hair, if I just applied myself.

There's nice hair in the cupboard, if you want some.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:34 AM
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155: Also, Flippanter, does Phil Donahue know that you are spending so much time with Marlo?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:35 AM
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She has great hair, but she also has thin lips.

Prince William aged very rapidly, didn't he?

158: I'm not getting the connection between the comment and the phenomenon.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:35 AM
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160: Notice that tastelessness was priced in sterling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:36 AM
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160: I believe that refers to Jimmy Dean sausage, a source of rebel pride.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:48 AM
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Turns out he did have one, it was just lost.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 11:56 AM
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Oh, KM is super pretty. I've already read places pushing her toward lip injections to rectify her unendurably thin lips. BAH. If she does go the restylane route, then everyone will mock her for that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:00 PM
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133: I think you're talking at cross purposes. The contention in 128 was, I believe, that Brazil is more racist than the U.S.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:03 PM
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That's why I want candidate debates to have a 'dodge a question, do a shot' rule. Eventually, we'll see what they really think.

I really don't know why Moby isn't in charge of everything.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:04 PM
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We should make a wikipedia page listing countries in order of racism and another listing royal consorts in order of lip-plumpness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:04 PM
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170 was before I saw 169. It didn't send me on a power trip that quickly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:05 PM
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See? That's pure gold.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:05 PM
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KM is very pretty indeed, but I'm kind of mad that William is marrying a commoner. If you're going to have the damn institution, do it right and marry your third cousin the Archduchess of Mecklenberg-Strelitz or whatever.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:07 PM
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Eventually, we'll see what they really think.

"You know what really grinds my gears? Lindsay Lohan, with all those little outfits, jumping around there on stage, half-naked with your little outfits. You're out there jumping around and I'm just sitting here with my beer. So, what am I supposed to do? What you want? You know, are we gonna go out? Is that what you're trying to - why why are you leaping around there, throwing those things all up in my, over there in my face? What do you want, Lindsay? Tell me what you want? You, America. Fuck. You."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:08 PM
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168: No, ajay had me right. Among the least racist countries in the world = still pretty racist.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:10 PM
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174: That gets my vote.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:11 PM
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||

Gates Urges Congress To Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Immediately

You go, Bobby G.!

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:12 PM
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She does have nice hair.

If there were any doubt about this, Slate provides irrefutable proof.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:20 PM
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Ah, Slate Magazine. "The Real Truth About Black: It's White."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:25 PM
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179: But that's Simon Doonan! Actually, I rather like him.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:26 PM
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Contrarian!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:27 PM
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178: I skimmed it. Why are the furries chasing Kate?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:28 PM
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179: "Could Dogs and Cats Living Together Be the New Mommy Wars, Thanks to Sarah Palin? Steve Jobs Doesn't Think So, But Here's Why a Semi-Employable Freelance Writer Disagrees."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:31 PM
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you're not Polish

The topic of greatest interest, indeed of any interest, to most Russians, to most Chinese, and to most Americans is their own country. I talk with Chinese about China, with Russians about Russia, and with Americans about the US. I don't know any Russians optimistic about the near-term future for Russia, and none who hold up the past as an ideal to emulate. I doubt that I would find out anything about their thoughts if I brought up foreign policy.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:34 PM
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I confess that, though 183 was extempore, I spent 15 minutes a few months ago assembling a Slate bingo card, which enterprise fizzled only because I am really, really lazy I couldn't decide whether "Mad Men," "working mother," "Israel" and "Google" ought to be positioned at the corners or close to the center.*

* The center square being, of course, "the real story."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:35 PM
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||

I just had the elevator doors shut on my nose. That fucking hurt.

|>


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:35 PM
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?! how long is your nose?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:35 PM
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I was standing too close to the door.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:37 PM
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Or too far from the door, since it doesn't hurt much if the doors hit your shoulders.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:38 PM
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Using the office wall for a test, I don't see how I could get my nose hit by the door of an elevator without trying. Unless I was bowing, my gut would take the hit before my nose. So, what Neb said.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:39 PM
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I don't have much of a gut.

What is the proper dimension along which to measure a nose? I just tried with a ruler and got about 2.5 inches, but I'm not sure I did it right.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:43 PM
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Speaking of utterly pointless articles comparing things for the sake of filling up space, this "analysis" of Beyoncé's & Taylor Swift's TV specials is just the stupid thing ever. This just in: Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have different personas!

(Because my 12-year-old niece is a Taylor Swift fanatic, that's why.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:47 PM
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The fruit in 191.2 hangs so low I'd throw my back out if I tried to reach down for it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:48 PM
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I do not believe that this actually happened, or at least that it happened accidentally. Even if one were positioned -- and one would have to be positioned very carefully -- such that a door could hit one's nose without hitting another part of the body and thus keeping the door open, there is still the possibility of easy ducking once it becomes apparent where the door is heading.

Maybe if it was an extremely crowded elevator and you were shoved up against a closing door without room to move, while also being highly distracted. But even then I'm saying extremely unlikely.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:49 PM
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Maybe I have a more-than-usually-racist extended family and thus overestimate the extent of pro-Confederate sentiment. There's my mom's cousin who has a big house in the country with a giant Confederate flag draped over the roof so as to be visible from the nearby highway, for instance.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:50 PM
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194: I kind of think it's plausible from urple, and only from urple.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:51 PM
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190 It would take serious effort to get my gut to hit a wall before my nose did. But 189 is right, you'd need precise positioning to get elevator doors to shut right on the nose, unless we're talking one of those swinging elevator doors, in which case, eh, been there, done that, not a big deal.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:53 PM
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Urple generally appears to be posting through some form of a dimensional rift, from an alternate universe with slightly altered laws of nature (such as, e.g., those governing what's edible.) At this point, I believe everything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:53 PM
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It would take serious effort to get my gut to hit a wall before my nose did.

It's a few days after Thanksgiving. I made the effort.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:55 PM
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This has not been my experience with headstrong little Mara, for the record.

For the record, I'm not at all convinced that it's desirable to have a child who minds well.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:55 PM
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Wait, did urple have a previous pseud?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:56 PM
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He's famous in these circles for his mad cooking skillz


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:57 PM
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Okay, I just tried and I have little difficulty recreating the scene using my office wall. So I'm not sure I understand the skepticism.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:58 PM
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201: It took me a while to piece this together. urple was a commenter long ago (possibly before I was even lurking), who had to disappear because of a compromised pseud. In this thread, as urple was leaving, a mysteriously voluble new delurker with extensive knowledge of Unfogged folkways appeared. More recently, that person disappeared and urple reappeared.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:58 PM
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Great, now I'm going to have to reread the last year's archives.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 12:59 PM
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What is the proper dimension along which to measure a nose?

Flaccid or hand-stretched?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:00 PM
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I tend to slouch a bit, especially when I'm tired (I'm tired), and I probably wasn't fully erect at the time.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:02 PM
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204: I am more intrigued by that enormous "bite chatte cul jouir" comment.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:03 PM
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203 Because if you're walking into the wall you can't walk beyond it. So either you kick it or you smash your face into the plaster. With an elevator if you're just an inch closer to the space where the door will be, it hits your body.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:05 PM
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I'm not at all convinced that it's desirable to have a child who minds well.

I have one that minds extremely well and another that very much does not* and while I love them both, I can say for the record that Di is lying insane.

*The third is still too early to tell, what with being asshole-aged and all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:05 PM
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I don't think I would have to slouch very much for an elevator door to get the top of my head before my nose.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:05 PM
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And if you're ever given the choice between asshole-aged and barrel-aged wine, definitely go with the latter.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:07 PM
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207.last: and I probably wasn't fully erect at the time.

Hopefully not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:09 PM
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Right, you'd have to be slouching forward, sticking your neck out (so that the elevator doesn't hit your feet), but with your head up, not down (so that the elevator doesn't hit your head), but not putting yuor head too far up (so that the elevator hits your chin). Pretty hard to pull off, unless Urple is the second coming of Cyrano.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:09 PM
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+ (and thankfully)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:09 PM
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209: oh, I see the misunderstanding. I was standing inside the elevator, not walking towards it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:09 PM
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Urple is Agent 86.

Look, it's a Confederate five dollar bill!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:09 PM
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The elevator doors just shut on my cock, and now everybody has to take the stairs until the repair crew gets here with new doors.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:09 PM
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213 As bad as it is getting your nose stuck in the door...


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:10 PM
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Maybe urple has a detachable nose that he holds out in front of him to sniff out danger.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:12 PM
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Maybe urple has a detachable nose that he holds out in front of him to sniff out danger.

I bet his removable nose is not as elegant as mine!


Posted by: Tycho Brahe | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:19 PM
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The point of this story is that my nose fucking hurts.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:22 PM
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nose fucking hurts

I imagine so.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:23 PM
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Maybe urple has a detachable nose that he holds out in front of him to sniff out danger is the Collegiate Assessor Kovalev.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:27 PM
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222: A good writer doesn't need to hit people over the head with the moral of the story.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:28 PM
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Maybe urple has a detachable nose that he holds out in front of him to sniff out danger   is the Collegiate Assessor Kovalev moonlights for the sheriff's department.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:37 PM
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I believe you, urple. I feel your pain.

IF I could I'd bring you an ice pack.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:38 PM
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225: Even bad writers deserve sympathy when in pain. Maybe even more so.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:38 PM
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I'm leaving work now. I will test in the elevator and report back (although I have the belly problem).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:41 PM
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229: Be careful, JP! Don't martyr yourself for science!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:44 PM
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1. The Confederate flag in Karlsruhe more likely than not belonged to some US military personage stationed at one of the umptibillion bases scattered along that area.

2. I absolutely agree with 173 and in fact believe that it would do the British Monarchy a world of good to marry into, say, the Nepalese royal family or the Moroccans or something.

3. The thread linked in 204 is making me sad.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:49 PM
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231.3 -- Nostalgia for Ogged and Tia and FL,etc. ? Or sadness related to the topic of the thread?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 1:58 PM
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Di, don't worry! I occasionaly wish she would be a tad more obedient, especially on days like today when it takes for-fucking-ever to get her in her car seat while I hunch in the pouring rain, but I love that she's got such strong preferences! This is exactly what we wanted and better than we ever hoped for. She's awesome.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:02 PM
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She sounds great, Thorn!

Just ignore Apo!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:18 PM
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I have the belly problem taken the precaution of preparing for famine.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:18 PM
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232.3 both.


Posted by: JM | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:18 PM
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235 was me. Damn you, Chrome.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:19 PM
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Just ignore Apo!

Ignoring Apo makes the baby Jesus cry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:23 PM
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230: No worries, I found I could not maneuver myself into any normal position where the doors would close and my nose was in danger.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:39 PM
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Ignoring Apo makes the baby Jesus cry out in delight.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:40 PM
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||
Apparently, it now costs more to hit a quarterback than it does to pistol whip and shoot the wrong guy. Please adjust your budgets accordingly.

|>


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:45 PM
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To the OP, this batshit crazy legislative proposal from Virginia seems apropos.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:45 PM
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Re: urple,

I am occasionally amazed by how much information about other commenters people retain. I feel like I do pretty well at keeping track of people, but if somebody's gone for a couple of months or changes names I am likely to lose track of them.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:46 PM
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With my build and posture, it isn't impossible that my nose could be caught, but I would have to be looking straight ahead and yet not react to the doors.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:48 PM
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Y'all are urple-haters. The rubber in the elevator door is genuinely enticing.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:50 PM
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244: More and more employers are requiring blinders for all employees.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:52 PM
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The rubber in the elevator door is genuinely enticing.

Minivet is Tyrone Slothrop?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:54 PM
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*The third is still too early to tell, what with being asshole-aged and all.

Heh, that reminds me of the bit that starts at 6:20.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u2ZsoYWwJA


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:57 PM
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Also, 192 & 193 were me. Ixnay on omechray.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 2:58 PM
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Why do you have to drag Irving Romech into all this? Hasn't he suffered enough?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 3:05 PM
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Pittsburgh Police Officer Paul G. Abel Jr. is responsible for $4,500 of the settlement, said James E. DePasquale, attorney for Kaleb Miller, 23, who sued the city and officer last year. He said Officer Abel's homeowner's insurer agreed to the payment.

Mr. Miller had said in his U.S. District Court complaint that an off-duty Officer Abel grabbed him by the shirt, ordered him to the ground, put a pistol to his head, struck him with the gun, and shot him in the hand. Officer Abel had been drinking, and someone struck him earlier, and he apparently believed that Mr. Miller was his erstwhile assailant.

If the south woulda won we woulda had it made.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 3:07 PM
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Oops. 242 was me, and I can't blame Chrome.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 3:18 PM
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82

Is there any data on percentages of southerners with different attitudes about the Civil War? I think my guess for the number of people with some form of pro-Confederate sentiment would be a lot higher than most of you seem to think. Real numbers would be interesting.

Mississippi voted 65%-35% in 2001 to retain a state flag which contains the Confederate flag.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 7:52 PM
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I have previously warned about the risk of stepping into a carless elevator shaft, but I have never feared for my nose and do not intend to start. Also, 38 gets it exactly right about 1977.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 9:36 PM
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38, 254: God damn right about that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:10 PM
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http://ia700201.us.archive.org/16/items/gd77-03-19.sbd.chinacat.255.sbeok.shnf/GD77-03-19D3T7_vbr.mp3


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:52 PM
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(I've probably told the story of going to that concert somewhere on the internet: gf fainted in the press of the crowd, when revived quite confused about reality, whether it was the afterlife etc.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-10 10:56 PM
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Dont forget this, and also this (one of my favorite songs ever), and also this. Not that hypothetical 30-something in 1977 me would have been listening to any of that, nor that actual 3 year old in 1977 me was actually listening to any of it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:05 AM
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Also: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning." But, unfortunately, not burning enough for the right team to have won that series.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:09 AM
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And, just to make my namesake happy, this quite awesome song, one of the better in the Priest oeuvre.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:20 AM
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I can't believe I'm going cross-bench here, because I agree with LB in the OP in every particular, and my tolerance for TIDOS is such that I wouldn't have considered it an unjust outcome if Jeff Davis and Bobby Lee had spent their last living moments suspended from a noose, but...

I have a tiny bit of sympathy for the "my ancestors weren't fighting for slavery" sentiment. This might well be true of a large number of Confederate soldiers, possibly even a majority, in the same sense that most American soldiers in Iraq had no consciousness of fighting for neo-con domination fantasies or control of oil resources.

My father's great uncle fought for the South. His family owned no slaves. Almost no one in their region did, even though it was their legal right to do so, probably because they were subsistence farmers who couldn't afford that kind of capital investment with dubious economic returns. When the trumpet call came, my great great uncle enlisted with the CSA, as did every known combattant from his county (border region of a slave state). I can't imagine he had any consciousness of committing treason; his instinctive loyalties lay with the state rather than the Union, for complex sociological reasons that are admittedly ultimately rooted in the institution of slavery.

I guess what I'm saying is that a weak form of "it wasn't about slavery" is not without merit. The weak form speaks to the individual motivations of CSA soldiers. The strong form of the statement, the one that seeks to deny the true origins of the sectional conflict, deserves nothing but scorn and ridicule.

That the weak form contains some truth does not justify, in my view, celebration of Confederate heritage -- my great great uncle might well have been pure of heart, but he was sadly deluded and complicit in a great evil all the same.

BTW, I never knew the real words to "John Brown's Body" before this thread. The only version I heard growing up (in a good New Deal liberal household!) began "We hung John Brown from a sour apple tree."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:34 AM
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261 is true, of course, but the reasoning would justify celebrating, e.g., a celebration of Wehrmacht heritage in WWII (which I think might even be justified if it were limited to "ordinary soldiers had a horrible time fighting a shitty and unjust war" but going even a baby step beyond that gets pretty horrible pretty quickly).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:50 AM
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262: No disagreement with me. The Wehrmacht analogy is apt. I know a guy in Germany who is active in an organization that supports the upkeep of Wehrmacht graves in foreign countries (one of which holds the remains of his father). The fine balance that he has to strike, and the would-be allies he has to screen out...


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 1:15 AM
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it would do the British Monarchy a world of good to marry into, say, the Nepalese royal family

There aren't actually many of them left since the Crown Prince went bonkers about five years ago and shot most of his family dead with an automatic weapon, before shooting himself. And maybe that's not the sort of genes they'd feel happy introducing into the Windsor pool.

I don't believe that even Prince Charles could have an elevator door close on his nose unless he was doing it deliberately.

263: no, the Wehrmacht analogy isn't quite apt because the Wehrmacht were conscripts. The appropriate analogy for the Confederate army would be a volunteer force, like the SS. After all, there were a lot of SS soldiers - the majority - who didn't commit atrocities, and didn't join up in order to murder Jews, but because they honestly believed they were defending Germany's independence against (eg) international Communism.

most American soldiers in Iraq had no consciousness of fighting for neo-con domination fantasies or control of oil resources.

This is not the impression one gets from (eg) "Generation Kill"; the marines in that seemed quite aware of what they were fighting for.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 2:20 AM
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There's plenty of African Commonwealth princesses knocking about, who would be very appropriate, but I question whether people who spent their youth going to parties in Nazi regalia will be in the market.

Ajay, how's the weather down there? We've got pver a foot and still coming hard.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 2:32 AM
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Cold, but not actually very much snow falling today. Though it's worse to the south, most of the trains are blocked coming into Waterloo and Victoria apparently.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 2:50 AM
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the Wehrmacht were conscripts

A substantial fraction of CSA soldiers were conscripts, too, after 1862.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 3:01 AM
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I hate it when northerners are all "the south is racist" because I think all of america is racist. that said, apo lives in some weird bubble, because damn but white southern people are racist. some of them say they like black folks just fine, but not niggers, and protest that there are white niggers too, with the meth lab in the double-wide and all, so it's not racist to hate niggers! they will say some shoddy kludge is "nigger-rigged" and even lefty types I have known have protested when someone else "nigger-lipped" the joint, i.e. got saliva all over it.

south carolina flies the damn confederate battle flag all the time, even at the statehouse. and that shit is the battle flag, it's not even the flag of the fucking confederacy! there are plenty of businesses in my home town of bluffton s.c. that are effectively segregated, like the one restaurant/juke joint where no white people are allowed. vs the country club with golf where no black people are allowed; black people get automatically turned away at the gates of the many gated communities unless some white resident chaperones them through, and they couldn't even visit their family's graves on hilton head until they won a court fight. and those gated communities are called shit like "moss creek plantation."

my family split in the civil war, with one branch advocating abolition, and the women and children had to stay upstairs hidden in the house in savannah throughout the whole war, with a cow in their garden. but all the rest of them, the most of them, fought to preserve their right to have slaves toil on their vast rice plantations, where they were terrifyingly outnumbered by the slaves, who were treated with the utmost brutality.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 3:30 AM
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267: so were quite a few SS soldiers after 1942. Volksdeutsche from the conquered territories, for example.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 3:44 AM
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re: 266

Yeah, west London and Oxford chilly, and a bit of black ice and fine snow, but mostly clear. I've never quite understood why snow disrupts rail services as much as it does, other than a vague sense it must involve some level of venality or incompetence on the part of the train operators and/or railtrack.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:12 AM
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270. Yes, I gather my BiL tried to get out of Dover by car yesterday, got 6 miles in an hour and packed it in. I think London's usually warmer than the rest of the country by reason of being a huge city generating its own heat.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:20 AM
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1. You don't need very much snow/ice to make steel wheels slip on steel rails, or to freeze points.
2. A small amount of snow will do this while still being too shallow to be effectively cleared by ploughs.
3. Particularly powdery snow can also block up engine air vents and get into electrics, where it melts and causes short circuits.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:23 AM
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So how do the rail operators address these apparently well defined and understood issues in countries that don't grind to a halt at the first breath of winter?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:27 AM
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As far as I know, they spend more money on it, and/or use diesel rather than electric to deal with point 3.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:31 AM
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re: 272/273/274

The point re: other countries seems to be an apposite one. I can see that, because the UK doesn't get the levels of snowfall of much of continental Europe, that it might not make economic sense to completely 'winterize' the system (versus just having a few days a year when services are disrupted), but it seems like things here are at the opposite extreme: where little if any effort is made to cope with snow or other adverse weather conditions.

FWIW, nowhere round where I live or where I work has been gritted/salted. Which seems surprising given that snow/ice has been forecast all week, and local news has been full of stories about council foresight in stockpiling salt.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:35 AM
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Having been in Stockholm for the first snowfall of November, you would be surprised how small the set "countries that don't grind to a halt at the first breath of winter" is.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:39 AM
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re: 276

I've travelled around the Czech Republic [well, the western bit of it] during a particularly bad cold snap, with snow and temperatures we basically never get in the UK. It seemed to work better than we do here in much milder weather, although I suppose because I'm not travelling there that regularly I couldn't tell if the service was worse or more disrupted than usual.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:43 AM
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"Little if any" needs a cite, I think.

a vague sense it must involve some level of venality or incompetence on the part of the train operators and/or railtrack.

Railtrack hasn't existed since 2002. Also, the original "the wrong kind of snow" was a whine about British Rail. One may indeed speculate that the amount of publicity it got from the rightwing papers had something to do with the roll-out of privatisation...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:43 AM
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Pull my finger! Pleeeeease? Come on.

You guys are the best.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:48 AM
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re: 278

Yeah, I do actually know that Railtrack no longer exists, but NetworkRail performs a similar role. I just used railtrack as a short hand for 'the track operator'.

278.1

You might be right, perhaps there's loads of work being done, and we'd have more disruption than we do. That'd need a cite, too, I think. It certainly seems, qua user of public transport, that it takes surprisingly little for things to fall apart, and I'm not especially inclined to take it on faith that that's all despite the very best efforts of the operators/track-operator.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:50 AM
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I'm also aware [smiley-face, etc] that moaning about public transport easily slides into Daily Mail territory.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:55 AM
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I don't think it's likely that Network Rail is any more venal and incompetent than any other large public utility - that is, a bit, but within the bounds of scandal. And I accept that other places must spend more money. But it must be either a shit ton more money, or extremely well targeted, because other countries may have higher taxes, but not that much, so what are they not doing instead?

But it's not just rail. Sheffield nearly ran out of road salt last winter and will certainly do so by Christmas if the long range forecast is anything close to right. Does Stockholm run out of road salt? Seems unlikely. So how do they re-arrange their priorities? Should we be learning?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 5:12 AM
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Also worth noting that there are not very many places in the world that have to handle anything very like the task of shifting commuters in and out of London. If TfL only had to handle the daily load of the Stockholm commute, I daresay they'd be in clover.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 5:49 AM
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re: 283

Good point, tbh.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 5:53 AM
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270: Be glad you don't have to deal with true 'black ice': At low temperatures (below 0°F/-18°C), black ice can form on roadways when the moisture from automobile exhaust condenses on the road surface.[2] Such conditions caused multiple accidents in Minnesota when the temperatures dipped below 0°F for a prolonged period of time in mid-December 2008.[3] Salt's ineffectiveness at melting ice at these temperatures compounds the problem.[4] (from Wikipedia) Doesn't matter how much salt you have down at that point.

It is a little weird that the UK can't take better winter precautions. Besides Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, there's all that Swiss, Italian and German investment in winter technology right there for the buying.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 5:55 AM
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re: 285

I suspect the true answer is probably some combination of economics (if you only really have truly bad weather a week or two out of 52 it doesn't make sense to spend huge amounts), scale (as per dsquared's point re: London), and profit margins (in some cases), plus a bit of common or garden incompetence (which seems to be the case with some local authorities).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 5:57 AM
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London sounds like the District of Columbia.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 5:59 AM
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My brother in law spend some of his Bundeswehr service tending graves of German soldiers in France. Around Verdun, so probably WWI soldiers.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:01 AM
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||
This post by Emerson hasn't been linked here, has it?

All economics is undead, and mere anarchy is unloosed upon the world
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:01 AM
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283. But the comparable ones in frigid latitudes (Moscow, New York) are well known, and seem to manage better.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:03 AM
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The two metro areas that leap to mind that are somewhat close (both within a couple million) to London in terms of population that also get a lot of snow are Chicago and Moscow; how do they do it? Chicago probably relies less on rail, but it definitely does have regional commuter rail. It's also possibly less centralized than London is. Moscow certainly relies heavily on rail, and is probably relatively centralized. So it seems doable, you just need the firm hand of a leader who isn't afraid to assassinate people with radiation and/or cuddle with little animals. Both of those cities also get a lot more snow than London, but of course that's likely to equalize significantly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:20 AM
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I guess I can see the argument that it is not cost-effective to plan for heavy snow car commutes in London, as getting a plow onto every little thoroughfare in the Greater London area would be pretty nightmarish. But on the rail side, it seems like you could just start investing in snow-capable engines and that sort of thing (or could have awhile ago) and then you'd have solved a big chunk of the problem. Here in MPLS, we've got one commuter rail line and one light rail line and a mediocre bus system, so a huge chunk of our winter road budget has to go straight into salt, sand and plows. Cities with a bigger proportion of public transit commuters should have a much easier time of it, you would think.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:32 AM
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We had a dusting of snow this morning, but not enough to affect traffic. However, we apparently got enough to make people nervous. I saw a guy reverse out of his (angle) parking spot and into a line of cars waiting for the light to change. He pulled out just enough so that the bumper of his Lexus blocked the car in front of him, but there wasn't enough room for him to get out of his spot. There was no way for the woman whose bumper he was against to give him more room and she honked. The light had changed and he didn't move. Either in an attempt to get around him or because he was a huge asshole with a nice car, she (fairly gently) rammed his bumper.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:36 AM
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Chicago probably relies less on rail, but it definitely does have regional commuter rail.

They've got that whole elevated rail system in Chicago. Why doesn't that freeze?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:39 AM
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This is the time of year where I start really wishing it would snow. This time of year is followed by the time of year that begins four days after the first big snowstorm, when I start thinking it's about time for it to quit snowing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:39 AM
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294: Because snow falls through the tracks unto the ground?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:41 AM
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You never did finish that PhD, did you, Moby?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:43 AM
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No, but I watched a great deal of Thomas the Tank Engine and the snow didn't seem to pile on the bridges.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:44 AM
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I'm not finding very much on how you winterize train tracks (I keep wanting to link to those giant rail plows in Donner Pass but that doesn't seem relevant), but I did find this!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:47 AM
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We got an inch or so last night. I think it's snowed every day for a week, at least a little, but only a couple of days more that 3 or 4 inches. They don't plow the bike lanes very well, so the cyclists are out in the street. Seems to work ok.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:49 AM
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Relevant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:50 AM
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18 inches and counting here. Ain't going nowhere.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:50 AM
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They don't plow the bike lanes very well, so the cyclists are out in the street. Seems to work ok.

You warm my heart, Carp.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:50 AM
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302: Laydeez.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:52 AM
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Hey, I don't mind following them down hill. And somehow they're going home on a different schedule -- or maybe they're taking the bus -- so I don't have to follow them up.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:53 AM
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The Girl is promising us a whole lot of snow this year. Everyone is excited.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 6:55 AM
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"the wrong kind of snow"

This must mean snow from South Asia?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:00 AM
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Sort of topical: You can now carry a gun on Amtrak. Next step: Cow hunting by rail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:00 AM
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Cow hunting by rail.
I guess if were out of bison.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:06 AM
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308: Now we just need vast herds of buffalo. Add in the TeaRepublican Party's desired economic policy, and we're going Back to the Future (III).


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:06 AM
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309: At least on the Acela's line we are.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:07 AM
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289:
Starting around 1968 the majority of Americans, at least, moved from being grudgingly willing to make small sacrifices in order to improve the lives of others, to a more enthusiastic willingness to make small sacrifices in order to make sure that others get hurt.
and
[T]here are many conservatives who oppose social spending for the same reasons that they set cats on fire when they were young.
Miss.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:10 AM
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312 was me. Also 309+'.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:11 AM
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The picture of the robin in the snow in Manchester on the BBC website is very cute though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:16 AM
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I want Tweety to admit he wrote 291 solely as an excuse to use that link.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:21 AM
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I shot a cow in Glasgow, just to watch it die.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:21 AM
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312: Well, obviously there's some hyperbole in that particular sentence, but Emerson makes his larger point pretty effectively: one of the roots of our current mess is that there are a great many conservatives who truly believe that suffering is the lot of the poor and unfit, and that trying to undo that suffering is going against God's plan for people. It's not a canard, it's how those people actually think -- they don't really believe abortion is murder, but they do think that "loose women" deserve to suffer for being promiscuous. They don't hate poor people, they just figure poverty is a necessary prod to working harder. We've got 2.2 million people imprisoned in this country: they're there because the foundation of conservative activism is the desire for punishment above all else.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:25 AM
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Oh, I wasn't disagreeing with either of those sentences (hyperbole corrected).


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:29 AM
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289: Lots of great stuff there. This is dead-on:

Starting around 1968 the majority of Americans, at least, moved from being grudgingly willing to make small sacrifices in order to improve the lives of others, to a more enthusiastic willingness to make small sacrifices in order to make sure that others get hurt.

One key problem of the whole "What's the Matter With Kansas" liberal lament is that it fails to acknowledge the real agency of voters. "Kansas" is getting what it wants.

Say what you will about Joe the Plumber, but he's an altruist. He's prepared to sacrifice so that the oligarchs don't have to.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:30 AM
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316: As long as the train wasn't in the station, I think that should be fine. Like with the toilets that flush on the tracks, you do need to wait until you get away from the station.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:33 AM
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317

... We've got 2.2 million people imprisoned in this country: they're there because the foundation of conservative activism is the desire for punishment above all else.

Mostly they are there because they committed serious crimes and if they weren't there they would be committing additional serious crimes.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:34 AM
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the wrong kind of snow


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:39 AM
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321: I don't believe any part of that statement is correct. For one thing, many people convicted of serious crimes are not actually guilty of the crime for which they are convicted. Unfortunately, the court system is set up such that a criminal defendant's best choice is to take a plea bargain rather than face trial and have the book thrown at them when they are railroaded by the DA and the lying police.
Then, furthermore, most people in prison receive little or no rehabilitative care. If we had a criminal justice system which privileged rehabilitation over punishment, we would not have such high rates of recidivism.
Finally, many of the "serious crimes" for which people are convicted should not be crimes at all. A huge chunk of the prison population is there either directly or indirectly because of the failed drug war. The actual convictions for possession and distribution of illegal drugs account for only a fraction of the people who are in prison because working-class communities have been turned into a war zone for the past 40 years. Take away the profits, paranoia and police privilege that comes with the drug war and we could empty out the prisons with few ill-effects.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 7:48 AM
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109: I agree with this entirely, and at the same time my experience of racism in the South is just qualitiatively different from the North.

268: I hate it when northerners are all "the south is racist" because I think all of america is racist.

Racism is so pervasive and various in the U.S. that I propose that we need about 30 words for it (as with the apocryphal Eskimos and their snow.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 8:47 AM
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Say what you will about Joe the Plumber, but he's an altruist. He's prepared to sacrifice so that the oligarchs don't have to.

For most of their country's history, Americans have been notable for their ability to put their own selfish advantage aside in favour of larger moral concerns.

Unfortunately, sometimes these have been evil moral concerns, but still.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 8:49 AM
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Winterizing rail includes fun things like gas-flame switch heaters: keep the metal hot and nothing freezes to it! Locally, I think the real fun is the trackless-trolley winterization, which includes keeping them on overnight at their storage yard (near where I live), and having a diesel bus with fake trolley poles that drives around to scrape ice off the wires.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 10:04 AM
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This train manages to carry a load of rocks all around a backyard in heavy snow, and London is crippled by a dusting. You weak bastards. I blame Boris Johnson.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 10:13 AM
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Besides Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, there's all that Swiss, Italian and German investment in winter technology right there for the buying.

The Genevan government sold all its snow plows to Algeria back in the early eighties. Made for a lot of fun when the inevitable once a decade serious snow fall came. Geneva gets surprisingly little snow, less than DC is my impression. An hour away by car you can find places that have snow cover from late October/early November to early May not counting glaciers which are year round.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 11:26 AM
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291. Vladimir Putin is many things, few of them good. But he's not Mayor of Moscow (apparently an appointed job), so I doubt he micromanages at that level. The new guy cires transport as one of his priorities, which is interesting - maybe it's one of the few areas he's allowed any discretion.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:04 PM
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r t


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:05 PM
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323: Oy. The word "many" is doing an awful lot of work in that diatribe. Most criminal defense attorneys I know (including public defenders) would largely agree with 321.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:12 PM
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And yes, I realize that "most" and "largely" are doing quite a bit of work in 331. *shrug* What can I say, qualifiers are sometimes irresistible.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 12:23 PM
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Well, London wasn't crippled by it. Some bits of the outer-suburban rail network that run into an area of Kent that tends to get a lot of snow (being relatively high in the middle of a peninsula between the North Sea and the Channel) were disrupted, traffic was a bit worse than usual, and Gatwick Airport closed for some time (Heathrow and Stansted were ops-normal).

As far as rail winterisation goes, the big problem is that the southern electrics are third-rail, so if you get enough ice on the third rail, a train can crap out literally anywhere at any moment. On the up side, that electrification system (it's a system - English Electric originally built the grid equipment, the trackside stuff, the controls, and the motors on the trains) has been providing the world's shortest head-times between trains since 1937, so there's quite a strong argument for not spitting in the soup.

It's now snowing rather well...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 3:24 PM
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333.2: BBC article on the south London third-rail issue.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:03 PM
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The Genevan government sold all its snow plows to Algeria

When you say Algeria, do you mean Algeria in North Africa? What did they want snowplows for, exactly?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 4:06 PM
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335: Clear up after a sandstorm?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 5:50 PM
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It's what made it so funny. But to be fair to the Algerians, there are plenty of places in Algeria that get more snow than Geneva.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 8:25 PM
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But to be fair to the Algerians

Why?


Posted by: Opinionated Colon | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 8:30 PM
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Ah, c'mon, the food isn't that spicy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 8:31 PM
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Judging by my Facebook feed, Geneva's public transit ground to a halt with this snowfall.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 8:32 PM
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According to my Facebook feed, the Big 12 championship game will attract a great deal of interest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 8:36 PM
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I didn't even realize there was a snow storm back in Geneva just the other day. They got a foot of snow, the most since the 45cm they got in the 1985 storm I was thinking about.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 1-10 10:11 PM
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Opinionated Colon is talking out of his arse.

333. My sources say that Kent is pretty much at a standstill, but it's clearer north of the river. Also, there is a little bit of the country that still aren't Greater Wen, if you remember. Still coming nicely here - getting on for 50cm.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:26 AM
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We've got, I dunno, a few cm here. I can't tell, because it's been all cleared away. Woo!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:21 AM
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We only have a couple of cms at most, in West London, but the roads immediately round my flat aren't gritted, so I had a bit of a sideways out-of-control moment leaving for work earlier. Half-thought I wasn't going to stop as I slid towards parked cars.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:47 AM
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