The Statue Donald Trump Has Overturned

I apologize for my scarcity over the last week. I’ve got a bunch of personal things going on — I expect to be fairly scarce for the next week or so yet.

Thanks to Rayne, bmaz, and Ed for picking up the slack.

I’m having a particularly hard time with our nation’s celebration this year. It’s not just the things Trump is doing. It’s not just the many visible signs of where we’ve fallen short of the ideals our nation aspires to (though I double down on the idea that a Trump Effect, in which he makes things that have long been a problem visible, may serve us if and when we recover from his presidency).

This year, I’m wondering, myself, if I could have done anything more to serve the ideals of this country.

The same things that have kept me from writing saved me from watching yet another race-baiting speech from the President last night.

That said, I couldn’t help but observe, amid the coverage of his claim to be protecting the nation’s statues honoring dead racists rather than human beings facing a deadly disease, that there actually is a,

better place to celebrate America’s independence than beneath this magnificent, incredible majestic mountain and monument to the greatest Americans who have ever lived.

Sure, Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln are key (and flawed) figures who have guided our country.

But the more obvious statue symbolizing our nation is the one sitting in New York harbor, the female figuring inviting your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free to be part of the great experiment that is our country, the one that welcomed so many immigrants who became key contributors to our nation.

It is that idea, the idea that any person, no matter how humble, can join this nation that has been so powerful an idea, when when he have fallen short from delivering on that dream.

And yet there was zero chance that Trump would have given a speech with that great female figure behind him, in the city he has fled (in part to hide his financial state). There’s no chance Trump would pay tribute to the abstract idea of freedom. There’s no chance Trump would risk a speech in a Blue State.

There’s sure as hell no chance that Trump would do anything to recognize how immigrants are the strength of this country.

Long before protestors started overturning statues honoring traitors to the United States, Trump overturned an ideal. He might well have held the Statue of Liberty underwater, shaking her violently as she drowned.

Donald Trump wants to run against those who’ve dared overturn those statues to traitors.

And yet he has betrayed the statue that better symbolizes what this country might be.

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76 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Before the Statue of Liberty became, in effect, the patron saint of immigrants – c. 1903, in the midst of a great wave of them – she stood for the end of American slavery. She stands on broken chains, along with the whip and the brand, the mark of slavery.

    Not that Donald Trump, who grew up in NYC, a son of immigrants, would know that. Lady Liberty is about the freedoms Donald Trump would throw away for all but himself. Fortunately, he’s one man; Stephen Miller is one man; and Trump’s GOP are a shrinking minority of women and men, who prefer power more than liberty. We can tolerate them, but it is ourselves we should empower.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/to-the-world-were-now-america-the-racist-and-pitiful

      Robin Wright did a piece about the abolitionist history of the Statue of Liberty in the New Yorker yesterday. It expands on what E of H mentioned in his post and is worth a read most definitely.

      This has been a strange Fourth of July for sure.

      On reflection, I have been of two opposing minds for a while, but especially today. My disgust with a third of this country who are un-redeemed racists shamelessly supporting the most despicable president ever, is in stark contrast to the hope and inspiration raised in me by the increasing participation of citizens in supporting BLM , however late to the party that joining may be.

      I have to believe we are going to make it to the other side of this fiasco if for no other reason than the hope I find here among intelligent, caring and brave patriots who truly love their country in spite of her shortcomings. I take comfort in the fight for the ‘more perfect Union’ that I see here every day.

      Thank you to all. Here ‘s to a better Fourth next year.

      122 days till the election.

    • elevator says:

      Well there’s one statistic you can’t argue with. Under Donald Trump we have not lost one statue to Covid 19 because of his swift action to insure their safety.

      • Fenix says:

        ..” we have not lost one statue to Covid 19”..

        Trump’s logic: ‘If you don’t test for COVID, you don’t find COVID’

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

      Son of an IMMIGRANT. Only mother Mary was an immigrant. FredericKKK Drumpf’s father was kicked out of Germany. FredericKKK is also the son of an immigrant (possibly son of immigrants).

  2. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    It’s hard to imagine that he understands the concept of ‘liberty’: ‘libertine’ is more his style.

    America is experiencing a bitter lesson in governance, but it appears that millions are taking notes.

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

      Wouldn’t a libertine be able to “hook up” rather than than need someone to procure their “strange”?

  3. madwand says:

    Ellis Island is a tour every American should take, especially the right, it might open their eyes some. You can take it by boat and walk the island, there are many exhibits about the process for arriving immigrants, holding areas etc, It certainly wasn’t straightforward, as in welcome to the USA and here you go. There were procedures to include medical and ideological screenings and no one was guaranteed acceptance, but more were accepted than were rejected. Even then those who could say they had a job waiting or a relative already here were given preference. The rail taking one into the hinterland started right behind the boat landing in Jersey City. There are also stories such as the woman who was rejected being given a jacket by a man who was accepted, the jacket having the right colored patch. The only conclusion you can have is that America is a patchwork of people from everywhere. Bigots and non bigots alike found their futures here. The hope was that the bigots would assimilate over time to the civilized and there was progress, but not enough. Today Trump and home grown bigots like Stephen Miller and the boogaloo boys threaten that history and we have to RESIST if we want a future.

    • P J Evans says:

      I found that my great-great-grandfather had family here – a cousin – when he came. Only found out because that’s where he was living in the 1850 census. I still don’t know *when* he came – but his wife and daughter got here in May 1850. (The cousin’s family became moderately prominent in NJ politics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.)

    • ThomasH says:

      There’s a complimentary museum to Ellis Island in Bremerhaven Germany; the Einwanderungs Museum or, The Emigration Museum. It’s a participatory experience that starts in a faithful recreation of the office to apply for a visa to emigrate, then on to the wharf to board the ship, then onto the shipboard journey to the Americas and finally ends up in the Ellis Island processing hall and the exit to New York. Visitors to the museum are given an identity of an actual emigrant who left Bremerhaven for the America’s to follow through the museum. It’s very well done, all the sections are very faithful to the real locations. Well worth a visit if you ever visit Bremerhaven.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, Madwand, this is very true. It is chilling to go there and think how it is we are around to even visit. Anybody who can, should go.

    • Geoguy says:

      Everybody should go if they are in the New York area. I’ve been a few times. I recommend leaving from the New Jersey side. The ferry terminal is in Liberty State Park at the Jersey Central train terminal, now a museum. The ferry also stops at the Statue of Liberty. As madwand said: “The rail taking one into the hinterland started right behind the boat landing in Jersey City.” The train sheds with signs for points west are still standing which is pretty impressive. Many arriving families went to the coal fields in PA (conveniently on Jersey Central trains) and worked their way back to the NYC-NJ area after a generation or so.

  4. BobCon says:

    The Liberty Bell would be another good option that would underline the spirit of the Commandment not to worship graven images (in spite of what the slavery apologists would do).

    It overlooked the signing of the Declaration, became a symbol for Abolition, later symbolized the Suffrage movement, and it openly displays its faults.

    • P J Evans says:

      The inscription on it is about proclaiming the 50th-year jubilee, where debts are supposed to be forgiven and contracts are supposed to end. Somehow that part has gotten lost.

    • Eureka says:

      I shared below (currently in moderation) a great quote from the Rev. W. Douglas Banks about those faults (and how they are represented in the Bell’s limited accessibility), from when he spoke in an interview ahead of today’s ceremony. I await his remarks from today (the National Park Service streamed at least part of the event on FB; hope the Rev. posts his remarks to his twitter or a different/non-FB platform).

  5. Yogarhythms says:

    Ew,
    “ There’s no chance Trump would pay tribute to the abstract idea of freedom.”
    The bully mouths epithets splashing droplets of spittle in the gutter.
    The statue in the harbor monumentalizes aspirations dreamt.
    The night mare confluence of Covid-19, White Supremacy, Voter Suppression will fade like any dream NOV 4 2020.

  6. Maureen A Donnelly says:

    glad you are ok and i hope it all works out. i wondered what was up with you. i did not watch hate spew from his lying oral cavity. i can read about it later. he is the most vile thing to ever happen and why the MSM lets him get away with what he gets away with is astounding and it makes me exhausted. be well and good luck with whatever it is.

    • bmaz says:

      You thought Marcy might not be “ok” and that we would blithely conceal that? Really?

      • msmolly says:

        Haven’t commented here for awhile and may have forgotten my name on this site.

        It is possible that Marcy might not be entirely “ok” in some way but because it is personal it wouldn’t be discussed until she is ready to. Not particularly remarkable IMO.

        • bmaz says:

          No, Marcy is fine. She is moving and it is hectic. No worries.

          And I remember your screen name well, your are fine, and we wish you to participate more often again.

  7. Peterr says:

    Given Trump’s aversion to strong, outspoken, powerful women . . . yeah, he’s not giving a speech anywhere in sight of Lady Liberty.

    This may also account for Trump’s aversion to being held accountable in the halls of Lady Justice.

  8. Savage Librarian says:

    Another woman and sculpture that might be relevant now is Augusta Savage and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Savage links together many ideals we cherish about democracy.

    Some fun facts that link together the connections between liberty, Black Lives Matter, Mount Rushmore, and where we are today:

    Gutzon Borglum was the sculptor who designed and oversaw the construction of Mount Rushmore from 1927 – 1941, with the help of his son, Lincoln.

    Gutzon’s younger brother, Solon Borglum, was a lesser known sculptor and artist.

    Augusta Savage, born in 1892 in Green Cove Springs, near Jacksonville, FL, was a young sculptor who won a prize at a fair in West Palm Beach, FL. As a result, she received a letter of recommendation to study with Solon Borglum in NYC. But he referred her instead to Cooper Union where she immediately received a scholarship.

    Augusta Savage was commissioned to create a sculpture for the 1939 NYC World’s Fair. She chose as her inspiration the song written by James Weldon Johnson and his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson (from Jacksonville, FL.), “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Her stunning, elegant, powerful 16 ft. sculpture also came to be called “The Harp” because of its resemblance to one. The Johnson brothers’ song is now known as the Black National Anthem.

    Two decades ago, I made a concerted effort to try to persuade library and city officials to replicate Savage’s sculpture to place in front of a new Main library. It would face directly toward, and in contrast to, a Civil War monument in the park across the street (in front of City Hall.) There was ample “Art in Public Places” money to do this. But I was unsuccessful. More recently, after the Charleston and Charlottesville murders by white supremacists, I again tried to persuade city officials to replicate this sculpture. But, again I was unsuccessful.

    There is still hope, though. It’s being reported that the NFL may actually play the Black National Anthem before Week 1 games. Maybe one day the city of Jacksonville will also recognize the healing potential of Augusta Savage’s sculpture, as well. Maybe they can find a way to talk about this and come up with some preliminary ideas before the RNC convention at the end of August.

    “Jaguars’ Chris Conley Comments on NFL’s Reported Decision to Play Black National Anthem” – Sports Illustrated Jacksonville Jaguars News, Analysis and More, 7/3/20

    https://www.si.com/nfl/jaguars/news/chris-conley-comments-on-nfls-reported-decision-to-play-black-national-anthem

    NAACP | “NAACP History: Lift Every Voice and Sing”

    https://www.naacp.org/naacp-history-lift-evry-voice-and-sing/

    “Augusta Savage” – Wikipedia

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

    • Eureka says:

      I remember you telling us about your efforts, SL, and I believe — with every bit of the momentum that’s now going the right way — that you will be successful.

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

      Thank you for the info. I still expect regressives to equate lift EVERY voice w/ racism because something something something.

  9. Savage Librarian says:

    Another woman and sculpture that might be relevant now is Augusta Savage and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Savage links together many ideals we cherish about democracy.

    Some fun facts that link together the connections between Liberty, Black Lives Matter, Mount Rushmore, and where we are today:

    Gutzon Borglum was the sculptor who designed and oversaw the construction of Mount Rushmore from 1927 – 1941, with the help of his son, Lincoln.

    Gutzon’s younger brother, Solon Borglum, was a lesser known sculptor and artist.

    Augusta Savage, born in 1892 in Green Cove Springs, near Jacksonville, FL, was a young sculptor who won a prize at a fair in West Palm Beach, FL. As a result, she received a letter of recommendation to study with Solon Borglum in NYC. But he referred her instead to Cooper Union where she immediately received a scholarship.

    Augusta Savage was commissioned to create a sculpture for the 1939 NYC World’s Fair. She chose as her inspiration the song written by James Weldon Johnson and his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson (from Jacksonville, FL.), “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Her stunning, elegant, powerful 16 ft. sculpture also came to be called “The Harp” because of its resemblance to one. The Johnson brothers’ song is now known as the Black National Anthem.

    Two decades ago, I made a concerted effort to try to persuade library and city officials to replicate Savage’s sculpture to place in front of a new Main library. It would face directly toward, and in contrast to, a Civil War monument in the park across the street (in front of City Hall.) There was ample “Art in Public Places” money to do this. But I was unsuccessful. More recently, after the Charleston and Charlottesville murders by white supremacists, I again tried to persuade city officials to replicate this sculpture. But, again I was unsuccessful.

    There is still hope, though. It’s being reported that the NFL may actually play the Black National Anthem before Week 1 games. Maybe one day the city of Jacksonville will also recognize the healing potential of Augusta Savage’s sculpture, as well. Maybe they can find a way to talk about this and come up with some preliminary ideas before the RNC convention at the end of August.

    “Jaguars’ Chris Conley Comments on NFL’s Reported Decision to Play Black National Anthem” – Sports Illustrated Jacksonville Jaguars News, Analysis and More, 7/3/20

    https://www.si.com/nfl/jaguars/news/chris-conley-comments-on-nfls-reported-decision-to-play-black-national-anthem

    • Peterr says:

      Here’s a link to an NPR story that shows the 16 foot tall sculpture, with singers as strings on a harp, supported not by wood but by the hand of God – wow!

      Of course, White Fragility played its role. From midway through that NPR piece:

      When the 1939 New York World’s Fair commissioned Savage to make a sculpture she produced a monumental work called Lift Every Voice and Sing. World’s Fair officials changed the name to The Harp.

      Of course they did. It didn’t “come to be called the Harp” – it was a deliberate decision to erase the meaning that the sculptor infused into the piece.

      And then there’s this: “it was destroyed — smashed by clean-up bulldozers — at the end of the fair.”

      Damn.

      More photos here.

      SL, I love your idea for this sculpture, and you need to keep pushing. Talk to every church choir director in town to get their support. Get it on the agenda of the city council, and bring a choir to their meeting. If it looks like it’s going down, sing the song as a statement of protest, with the singers seated/standing all around the council’s chambers. They don’t need microphones, so the council chair can’t shut it off to silence things. And from personal experience, I can tell you that security folks don’t like to mess with choir members who are singing. It’s like they worry that God will strike them down.

      This needs to happen.

      • Peterr says:

        And I have to ask: is Augusta Savage any relation, Savage Librarian? If so, you’ve have a distinguished heritage.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Thanks, Peterr,

          You may recall that I was demoted for protesting a city policy that routinely allowed a white supremacist group to bring a rifle bag into my branch library and prohibited staff and guards from checking the bag. Other bags at other branches could be checked, though.

          While I awaited my day in court I happened to come across a newspaper article about Augusta Savage. She became an inspiration for me. I did a considerable amount of research and collected some memorabilia. At the time, not too many people knew about or took much interest in Savage. So information was scattered and inconsistent. Today there is much more and many more people know about her.

          While decades ago, my experience with white supremacists and city officials was very similar to what is happening today across the country. There was flagrant disregard for ethics and the rule of law. I was a solitary person against feral, systemic, structural racism. It did not go well and it was very painful.

          In the end it cost me tens of thousands of dollars, isolated me from friends and coworkers, and somehow succeeded in making me feel like I was the guilty party. But I did prevail in regaining my position and in retaining my integrity. It also enabled me to be a more empathetic person.

          And, in a mysterious twist of fate, I also experienced some satisfying karma. Unexpectedly, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with President Obama. I gave him an “antique” postcard that had a photo of Augusta Savage’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” When he put it in his jacket pocket, right next to his heart, I totally choked up. But, somehow, it made up for all the crap that city officials put me through for years. And, although I am no relation to Augusta Savage, I try to honor her by speaking her name.

              • Ginevra diBenci says:

                Thank you, SL, for all you have done and this great story. Art contains a truer history than textbooks do, as Ari Melber demonstrated Friday. From the daughter of a radical historical artist, Godspeed with your quest.

            • John Lehman says:

              Was touched by the story of Augusta Savage and by the sacrifices you personally made keeping Augusta Savage’s flame burning.
              When touched in that way, my eyes well up and my heart sings “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” the most beloved truth of our “higher power”, justice, is marching on.

      • P J Evans says:

        They were intended to be temporary buildings – like the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, in San Francisco, where the Palace of Fine Arts was built with plaster over chicken-wire, and the fair on Treasure Island, before it became a Navy base.

    • Tobias Baskin says:

      SL, Thank you for sharing your work to honor Augusta Savage. Having a full size cast of Lift Every Voice and Sing would be fantastic. I believe that some small versions exist but I think no full size one anywhere. She was a powerful sculptor whose work deserves to be much better known. Good luck!!

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Thank you, everyone! These past few years have been like a trifecta of traumas revisited for me. I am very grateful to ew, moderators, and commenters for having provided the opportunity to both find a voice and to see things with a fresh perspective. It feels like I’ve had decades of valuable counseling concentrated into a couple of years. That probably would not have happened without having our current president. So, there is that, I guess. But the best thing is how people are stepping up to the “United” in our “States of America.”

      While I was learning about Augusta Savage, I also collected some memorabilia and learned about Selma Burke, another sculptor during that time who has relevance today. You might find that you know things about her that you didn’t know you knew. Here is an instructive story a journalist wrote this year that will show you what I mean:

      “Black History Month: Selma Burke”
      By Bria Felicien, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/6/2020
      …..
      “Selma Burke poses with a bronze plaque of the late U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which she completed shortly after his death on April 12, 1945. The plaque, showing the late president’s profile, with the four freedoms (freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of worship and freedom of speech) above it, was approved by the president’s widow.”
      …..
      “Nursing led Burke to Philadelphia and New York. She gained prominence during the Harlem Renaissance, and taught at the Harlem Community Arts Center, where she was mentored by sculptor Augusta Savage (1892-1962), who is considered one of the most influential African American artists of the 1930s. She also joined the Harlem Artists Guild and worked for the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project, which was a program that “permanently mainstreamed fine arts into American culture.”

      https://www.ajc.com/entertainment/arts–theater/selma-burke-sculptor-influence-seen-fdr-image-dime/OBvKKJqGeytPE1hyVmNoZJ/

  10. mospeck says:

    Marcy, your pic of the statue of liberty made me think she was sailing away to sea.
    This man had your exact same bad dream 45 years back

  11. Eureka says:

    Among others, the Rev. W. Douglas Banks — fifth-generation grandson of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings — with some of his family, tapped the Liberty Bell in a ceremony today.

    Here is what Rev. Banks said ahead of the ceremony, prefaced with some background:

    The bell was originally just called the “State House Bell,” and was renamed the “Liberty Bell” in the 1830s by an abolitionist group. Following the Civil War, the bell traveled around the country to “help reunite a divided nation” before settling in Philadelphia for good in 1915. It was also used as a symbol of religious freedom and a symbol of suffragists for the right of women to vote.

    The in-person tapping will be administered by several descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence — donning masks and gloves and maintaining six feet apart — including Lucy Duke Tonacci, a descendant of Richard Henry Lee, and the Rev. W. Douglas Banks, fifth-generation grandson of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

    Banks said he wanted to speak at the event to acknowledge the complicated nature of his heritage.

    “Freedom was not at all a part of our reality on July 4, 1776,” he said. “Even in this time of uprising, with people acknowledging things that they may not have acknowledged before, it gives opportunity to bring clarity to some of those issues and speak to them in a different way.”

    He noted that although the bell might not have an overtly racist connection, it still has connotations to race and power, and the dichotomy between those who are free and those who are not.

    “I think it is a great representation of what freedom really is in this country,” he said of the bell. “It’s cracked, it’s fragile, everybody cannot handle it, it’s only for a select few. That crack means a whole lot symbolically.”

    Banks will be accompanied by his wife and three of his children. “They’re looking forward to it, and we will have our Black Lives Matter shirts on. The statement we’re making will be clear,” he said.

    Also in attendance will be 100-year-old Lt. John Edward James Jr., a longtime member of the society who, after being denied his promotion in World War II due to his race, is celebrating his second year as a U.S. Army officer.

    (emphasis added, internal links removed)

    They did wear their Black Lives Matters shirts, photo here.

    • BobCon says:

      That’s a nice piece, and it suggests how to approach historical items with an imperfect past.

      Denial and whitewashing don’t work. The only thing that does work in the decision to remove, retain or modify is avoiding purely top down decisions. Unfortunately, a lot of government leaders, local and national, aren’t good at listening.

      • Eureka says:

        The whole story’s interesting for the imperfect present as well. I see the Pastor has some Jesus-took-the-gay-away testimonial reposted on his social media (though ‘older’, from the spring); several recent demonstrations have addressed Black LGBTQ+ Lives Matter, and specifically Black Trans Lives Matter — especially in the wake of a Black trans woman’s murder.

        And the circle (of asterisked or contingent acceptance) goes round and round…

  12. Bay State Librul says:

    It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people.
    —Felix Frankfurter

    The Liberty Bell has been knocked on its head, or maybe hit in the noggin by a screaming line drive of the bat of Mookie Betts.

    “Those not very fine people” amount to about 38% of our deranged populace.

    May God save the commonwealth.

  13. Rugger9 says:

    OT, but it seems to me that the GRU revelations about their accounts isn’t accidental. They’re too good at their tradecraft to be caught in a rookie mistake like having their money traced.

    Is it possible that Putin’s asset DJT is getting his burn notice?

    • BobCon says:

      It is certainly possible, since Putin has the basic foresight to read polls and think about options six months ahead, unlike a lot of Republicans. He definitely sends messages with info releases, like any smart bureaucrat.

      I’m always a bit skeptical about overvaluing the competency of any intelligence service, though, whether it is Russian or American. I don’t think the CIA’s operational mess in the Abu Omar abduction was intentional, and the Russians have their share of screwups. Sometimes it’s just a reflection of having too many jobs for the A team and leaving things to the scrubs.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I agree with our resident scrum half on this one. Mistakes and screw-ups happen. But making money transfers hard to trace would seem to be an essential talent, something you learned how to do early or were never allowed to touch. Getting it wrong can blow an op and the people running it. The alternative is where you want to send a message.

      I see Trump as a marvelous convenience for Putin. He is too dumb, unreliable and open-mouthed to be a good agent. But he’s an excellent agent of chaos: he can be counted on to screw up everything, naturally or on command. What I marvel at is what Putin must have on him, because Putin is the only person on the planet Trump has not dissed, ever.

  14. Jay says:

    Teddy Roosevelt may not be on the short list for greatest presidents these days but can’t we all agree compared to Trump he was a saint.

    • Jenny says:

      Yes plus Teddy protected the land establishing National Parks.
      Do you think Trump has ever been to a National Park?

      • mass interest says:

        Trump was at Mt. Rushmore just the other night. For his own nefarious purposes, of course, inviting thousands to join in Covid-19 joy and subjecting the park to the real threat of wildfires, to say nothing of the garbage he spewed in his re-election “speech.”

  15. Mary Beth says:

    Statues to me are not as important as Putin using Americans for paid target practice. Symbols have no feelings even though they evoke feelings in others. Loss of young lives scar families for generations. Though I am in my 80’s I can remember my mother in law’s pain describing the loss of her 3 year old son. He was born and died before my husband was born (my husband would be 88) and the pain never left her.

    [Pretty sure you meant statues, not statutes, so fixed that – bmaz] And Mary Beth, welcome and join in more often!

  16. klynn says:

    In related liberty crushing news…
    The NYT’s is a disappointment.

    Using catch phrases like “leaning into the culture wars,” to describe Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech is weak as water, lazy and irresponsible.

    Bet Putin loved the speech.

    The President should be asked who wrote it? He should be asked why he fails to use language to unify the country? He should be asked how such divisive language helps the economy when it hurts our image and trust with allies.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The NYT is leaning into journalism, but it often misses its stop and gets off at propaganda. “Leans” into the culture wars is nonsensical. Appearing to be a description, it hides what it claims to describe: Trump’s agency and his viciousness. It normalizes him as it tills the ground for its crop of bothsidesism.

      Trump, of course, isn’t leaning. He’s rushing at fantasy “culture war” windmills of his own invention. In an already strife riven world, he invents more of it so that he can point fingers and distract from his stunning incompetence.

      • John Lehman says:

        “Trump, of course, isn’t leaning. He’s rushing at fantasy “culture war” windmills of his own invention. In an already strife riven world, he invents more of it so that he can point fingers and distract from his stunning incompetence.”

        Yes…very well put.

  17. Tom says:

    President Trump seems remarkably keen on the Confederacy, its flag, its generals, its views on race relations. I wonder if someone has told him that, under the Confederate constitution, the Presidential term was six years, not four.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Speaking of Stephen Miller, scuttlebutt has it that Trump’s determination to throw out foreign students – whose schools provide only distance learning and not f2f instruction (which includes Harvard for 2020-2021) – is part of his election strategy. He’s using the students as pawns to get their schools, colleges, and universities to open up and provide in-class tuition. He hopes that a brief appearance of normality will help his forlorn bid for re-election. The likely sickness and death of thousands? Meh.

    The US hosts tens of thousands of foreign students each year. Many are among the best and brightest their home countries have to offer. They usually pay full tuition to their schools, colleges, and universities, which is recycled through local economies. (They pay more for their travel and living expenses.) Some are wealthy or have government subsidies, but many depend on the sacrifices their extended families make for that education.

    That’s a lot of people and money on the line, and Trump wants to use it as a weapon. He is willing to upend the lives and futures of thousands, and put many more thousands at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s happy to threaten the finances of colleges and universities, which rely on those full-tuition students to pay their bills. All as a minor aid to help his re-election. Who else would he happily put at risk to stay in the Oval Office and to avoid accountability for his crimes?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Donald Trump laid out part of his election strategy: making the school year appear normal this Fall, at least until November 3rd. Consequently, he thinks the CDC should have no role to play in making rules about community health during a pandemic. Not if its guidelines are “very tough & expensive.” That would be asking schools – which, naturally, follow a standard for-profit business model – “to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”

      Comments from Mike Pence, who has never knowingly disagreed with Donald Trump, predictably followed the same script. “We don’t want the guidance from the CDC to be the reason schools don’t open up.” By Labor Day, I’m expecting Mikey will have a two-for-one sale on the price of school kids’ health. Mike Pence for School Board President.

      https://crooksandliars.com/2020/07/pence-says-cdcs-guidance-not-necessary

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      At UC Berkeley, in state students pay $39,550 for tuition, foreign students pay $67,293. In a major research institute which is barely supported by the state any longer, the foreign students are a necessity to keep the tuition down for the in state students and to keep the research going forward.

      There is no other way to maintain the position of the top public University in the world. Other than the State Legislature funding at the level they used to. With Covid and the hit the economy in California has taken, that is not happening.

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