It’s Not Enough to Move the Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust

Appearing on the Nashville Scene website under the “From the Archives” section today is the article, “It’s Not Enough to Move the Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust” by Steven Hale:

State Sen. Jeff Yarbro put the bust in context [] last month, following a protest at the Capitol.

The people that are here today aren’t trying to erase history, they’re trying to deal with it honestly. This statue wasn’t put here in the 1870s after the Civil War, it was put here in the 1970s after civil rights.

The Forrest bust is not only a disgrace because it honors a disgraceful man. Even the most charitable interpretation of the motives behind its placement in 1977 betrays a stunning indifference to the humanity of black Tennesseans. At worst it represents a show of white defiance following important steps toward equality for African Americans. Indeed, many Confederate monuments and other shows of Southern white nostalgia at the time were exactly that.

Hear, hear.

Of course, I’d make two changes, for clarification purposes, to the final sentenece: I’d change the “many” to “most” and delete the pharase “at the time,” as in, “Indeed, most Confederate monuments and other shows of Southern white nostalgia were exactly that.”

In fact, about eighty percent (~80%) of all Confederate statuary and other monuments weren’t erected within, say, a generation of the Civil War (when you would expect such monuments to be erected), but were in fact erected primarily during two periods in U.S. history: the early 1900s, when states (primarilly, but not only, Southern states) were enacting “Jim Crow” laws to disenfranchise black Americans, and the post-WWII through Civil Rights era, when black Americans were asserting their equal rights like never before. That inconvenient fact speaks volumes as to the motivations behind the vast majority of Confederate monuments…

Friday 8th of February 2019

R.I.P. Albert Finney. Albert Finney, five-time Oscar nominee, dead at 82


Trump’s Work Days Are Mostly Empty

Dan Friedman at Mother Jones:

President Donald Trump claims he is working hard as president. His private schedules suggest otherwise.

On Sunday, Axios published Trump’s private schedules for almost every working day since the midterm elections of November 2018. The documents show the president has spent a whooping 60 percent of his work days during that period in “Executive Time.” The term, according to Axios, was first pushed by former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to refer to the private, unscheduled time that Trump reportedly spends watching television, tweeting, and making phone calls.

No surprise.

Wednesday 30th of January 2019

“Alright, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”


Trump’s behavior regarding Russia has always presented a serious security concern

Longtime conservative Republican Tom Nichols in USA Today, “All signs point the same way: Vladimir Putin has compromising information on Donald Trump”:

Trump’s behavior regarding Russia has always presented a serious security concern. But when Trump fires the director of the FBI, and then brags about it to actual Russians, only the most stupid or craven law enforcement agency would decline to investigate what to any counterintelligence officer would be the brightest of dozens of flashing red lights.
(emphasis added)

This is not normal, in any way. As things stand, more people in the Kremlin than in Washington know what Trump said to Putin. It is almost certain that there are readouts and analyses of Trump’s discussions with Putin — but that for now, they are in Russian.

Finally, it is exhausting but nonetheless necessary to point out again the titanic hypocrisy of the Republican Party and of Trump’s apologists in the conservative media. If President Barack Obama had shredded his notes of a meeting with the Iranian president, or if Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager were sitting in jail for lying about meeting a Chinese business associate — and alleged intelligence officer — to share polling data, that alone would have been enough for the GOP to impeach everyone from the president to the White House chef.

Every time I think the President’s actions can’t get any more shocking or disturbing…

Monday 7th of January 2019

“I’m Penn Jillette, and along with all the Moxie Games event organizers, hosts and commentators, we thank you for watching. This has been a Moxie Games production: the worldwide leader in… this type of stuff.” The Moxie Games on ESPN


Thursday 3rd of January 2019

Disney•Pixar: Meet Ducky (voice of Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (voice of Jordan Peele) in this new teaser trailer for Toy Story 4. See the film in theatres June 21, 2019.

Can’t wait!!!


Even the Apprentice Producers had to Struggle to Make Trump–and His Decisions–Seem Coherent

Daniel Politi writing at Slate:

“[Trump] had just gone through I don’t know how many bankruptcies. But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king.” Bill Pruitt, a producer on the show, said, “We walked through the offices and saw chipped furniture. We saw a crumbling empire at every turn. Our job was to make it seem otherwise.”

As I’ve always said, the President isn’t a particularly smart man, nor is he a particularly better-than-average businessman, but he played both on TV.

Thursday 27th of December 2018

Ok, so 3 days in and I can see that I’ll soon be acclimated to the Touch Bar, I love—LOVE—being able to unlock my MacBook Pro with Touch ID or my Apple Watch, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the butterfly keyboard…Ugh!


Merry Christmas, indeed.