Tag Archives: GOP

Got History?

There is a restaurant I just keep going back to.  Sweetwater Tavern in Sterling, Virginia.  I don’t know why I keep going back, exactly because it was the scene of one of my most embarrassing moments evah.

Still, I return. Went there just a few days ago, as a matter of fact.  They have terrific food and good beer. So I guess that explains it.  Plus, it keeps me humble.  Humbler.  Yeah.  Humble-est.  Or at least quiet.

Nevertheless, if you go with me, I’ll tell you the story. Unless John’s with us. Because last time, when I tried to tell Jacob the story, John hushed me up. Imagine! Now why would he do that?  He looked around the room and kept saying “keep your voice down!”

Actually, if it weren’t for my husband, it would never have happened. Not at all.  So it’s his fault.

And, if it weren’t for our friend Rob, who was visiting us from Geneva, well, it absolutely wouldn’t have happened.  So it’s Rob’s fault, too.

Me?  I’m innocent.

You see, both John and Rob are Civil War buffs. When Rob was visiting a couple of years back on Martin Luther King Day and it was a beautiful, warm, sunny winter day, well, what else was there for us to do but visit a Civil War battlefield?

Luckily for us, we live in Virginia. Civil War battlefields are a dime a dozen, ’round here. [Fortunately, the fears I wrote about in Great Balls of Fire have not materialized. Yet.]

Anyway, the three of us decided that we would head off to visit the Manassas Battlefield. For those not living in Dixie (Civil War – Land for the non-initiated) I’ll just let you know that Manassas was the very first battle of the Civil War, on July 16, 1861. Folks from Washington made a day of it – they packed picnics and took carriage rides out there from the Capitol to see the Yankees whup the Rebs. They called it the Battle of Bull Run.*

Only it didn’t happen quite that way.

The Rebs won. And when they had a do-over  the next year  on August 28–30, 1862, well, the Rebs whupped us again.

Of course, that’s not how the whole war went, though, was it.  Nope.  The NORTH won the Civil War!

Actually, Google Wins

Actually, Google Wins

But when you wander around Virginia, and probably other parts of the Old South, well, you don’t really get that impression.  Nope. Not at all.

As it was, John, Rob and I should have been prepared for what we found when we arrived at the Manassas Battlefield that morning. Cars with Confederate Flags were everywhere. Mostly pickups and cars that were auditioning for the Dukes of Hazard.

 

There are more cars around here like this than you can shake a stick at. Google Image, Natch.

There are more cars around here like this than you can shake a stick at.
Google Image, Natch.

 

Because, unbeknownst to us at the time, here in Virginia, the weekend of Martin Luther King Day also includes a Virginia State Holiday:  Lee-Jackson Day. Yup. Nothing says “We Lost” more than having a holiday to honor the vanquished generals.  And one that just happens to coincides with the National Holiday honoring slain black civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr!  Folks can get up to all kinds of merriment!

All morning long, there were whoops all around us of “The South Shall Rise Again!”  Men sporting Confederate Flags on their jackets, their cars.  And they were there to honor Stonewall Jackson whose birthday (January 21, 1824) was nearing.  Oh boy!

You see, it was at the First Battle of Manassas, that General Thomas Jonathan Jackson became “Stonewall.” It’s where he earned his famous nickname when as put by Wikipedia:

[Confederate] Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., exhorted his own troops to re-form by shouting, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!”

John, Rob and I had a nice time touring the battlefield. I’ve often said that we Americans do great battlefields. There are maps and audio buttons, knowledgeable park officials wandering around to answer your questions. Demonstrations of the firearms used, the uniforms. The works.  But it was clear from their words (and their bumperstickers) that folks around us, well, they didn’t really know their history.

 

My Picture. Take that, Google Images!

The answer, based on what we were hearing around us was: NOPE. My Picture.
Take that, Google Images!

 

As we wandered, and as we left, the three of us shook our heads constantly. Because you see evidence everywhere, not just at the battlefield, that Virginians haven’t heard the news yet — that that they’d lost the war.

Afterwards went for a late lunch at the Sweetwater Tavern. It’s a big, fun restaurant and bar, with great food and a terrific atmosphere.   We drove to the restaurant, crossing Lee Highway, John Mosby Highway. We passed the Sully Plantation, and took a wrong turn leading us towards Leesburg. The names of the Confederate heroes of the Civil War were everywhere. There is no Lincoln Highway as far as I’ve seen.  No Grantsburg.  No Sherman Boulevard.  Nope.

“Whoever said ‘History is told by the victors,’ has never been to Virginia,” John quipped.  You’d really never know that they lost, that they surrendered right there in Virginia, at Appomattox.  Because, really, they haven’t given up.

So how did that lead to my most embarrassing restaurant experience ever?

Well, we continued our conversation after we got to our table. We asked for a round of beers, placed our lunch orders, and continued commenting on all of the things in Virginia that, well, that you’d expect would be named differently. To be named by the Victors – The Yankees. Named by ME in fact.  Well, my ancestors.  Who were still in Ireland during the war.  But still …

Anyway, we talked about how, even today, folks in the states of the former Confederacy, don’t accept that they lost and are still fighting the Civil War. I mean, the War Between the States.

Our beers arrived, and, shaking my head at the bizarre attitude of folks in my adopted state, I raised my glass in irony:

“The South Shall Rise Again!” I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm.  With Irony.  With my superior knowledge of history.

And I said it, just as our African-American waiter placed a basket of bread on the table right next to me.

I stammered, shuddered, tried to evaporate.  I wished a cannon ball would fall on me – from either side, it didn’t matter.  I sincerely hoped that someone, anyone would run at me with their bayonet at the ready.  I wanted a quick death, not to be left dangling in my humiliation.

Because, really, what could I do?  I considered explaining myself to the poor waiter, but I knew it wouldn’t matter. That really, even a Connecticut Yankee like me couldn’t make reparations.

I stayed pretty quiet for the remainder of the meal.

We did leave a ridiculously large tip, though.

 

*     *     *

* For some reason nobody seems to know, streams and creeks in Virginia are called runs. I presume that’s because they run to the rivers and then to the sea. But still, if anybody knows why they are called that, I’d love to know. Because nobody I’ve ever known knows. It’s a mystery.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Diet tips, Disgustology, History, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mysteries, Politics, Stupidity, Wild Beasts

Where’s MY ‘Panic Button’?

Wednesday, the Texas legislature’s House voted to allow their members to install “Panic” buttons in their office.  Isn’t that special?

The reason they might just need these panic buttons is because some folks are just getting out of hand.  And in their hands, they want deadly weapons.  Just about wherever they go.

The Texas Lege is voting on whether to allow “Open Carry” of guns.  Texas would join 22 states where Open Carry is already legal.  [For the record, I am astonished that that bastion of gun rights, Texas, does not currently allow folks to carry guns wherever they choose.  Shocked, in fact.]

The vote to allow House members to install “Panic Buttons” all came about because of a group of folks, ummmm, lobbying for open carry rights.  This group went to the office of a House member, Pancho Nevarez, who had the audacity to plan to vote “No” on open carry.  And while these “lobbyists” believe strongly in the Second Amendment, they apparently haven’t read about the FIRST Amendment.   They were aggressive.  They were intimidating.  They were, in a word, assholes.

But the thing is, rather than doing anything to prevent assholes and crazy folks from carrying guns, intimidating people and killing them, the Texas House voted to allow their members to install “Panic Buttons” to alert security.

You will be surprised to know this action just doesn’t sit well with me.

Perhaps I should be used to it.  After all, there have been security measures in Congress and most Executive Branch departments for nearly 30 years.

Folks cannot bring their weapons into the State or Defense or Homeland Security Department.  You can’t even bring it into the Air and Space Museum.

And, really, that’s OK by me.  I don’t want government officials to be shot at their desks.  It’s so messy.

But you know what?  I don’t think anybody should be shot at a Walmart.  Or at a movie theater.  Or at an elementary school.

So why should we provide an extra level of protection for the very same folks who vote to put the rest of us at risk?

The folks who decide on the gun laws are voting to keep themselves safe.  If they’re going to do that, they should damn well vote to make me safe.  And you.  And our kids.

What is wrong with this picture?

 

 

 

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Pretty Please?

Until this morning, I’ve been dreading 2016.

Politics, to me, is a spectator sport.  And so the idea of Hilary (ho hum) v. Jeb (ho ho ho) sounded like it was going to be about as much fun as cribbage.  Watching cribbage.

But this morning, I read that we may have some entertainment value to our next presidential race after all.  Whooeeeee!!!

Mitt Wants to Run Again!!!

And you know what idea he plans to run on?

POVERTY!

Yup.  According to this article in the Huffington Post, Mitt is going to tackle poverty:

Romney, who made a fortune in the financial sector and was cast by Democrats in 2012 as a heartless businessman, wants to make tackling poverty — a key issue for his 2012 vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan — one of the three pillars of his campaign.

Tell us another one! (Google image)

Tell us another one!
(Google image)

I wonder if Ann Romney knows she might have to eat tuna and pasta again.

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Filed under 2016, Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Climate Change, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Dogs, Driving, Elections, Farts, GOP, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Politics, Stupidity, Voting

Longing for Dick

It was while commenting on Doobster’s post, Art Imitating Life or Life Imitating Art, that I realized that the unthinkable had happened.   It’s true.

Doobster made me look back, and I thought of the men in my past.

George.

And George.

And Ronnie.

Now I find myself looking back fondly. Longing for Dick.*

I'm gonna be sick.  Google, why'd you do this to me?

I’m gonna be sick. Google, why’d you do this to me?

 

I wish I were kidding.

Often, I’ve realized that if the GOP hadn’t gone completely over the edge into fanaticism, that I’d be a Republican.

Google Me This

Google Me This

Because, you see, I remember when Republicans were not crazy. When they were a valuable part of the strong government that built our country into the envy of the world.

When they were not out only to protect their rich buddies. When they knew how to govern.

When they could compromise. More importantly, when compromise was the goal, because they knew that THAT is how government works. And good government works for everybody.

I remember the wonderful things that were done in the 1970s — Environmental laws, highways funded, bridges built.  Government FUCKING WORKED.

But starting with Reagan, the image makers changed the face of government – remember:

Reagan put folks into Cabinet positions who didn’t believe in government.  The Energy and Education Departments were led by folks whose job was to destroy the agencies.  The Environmental Protection Administration was led by Anne Gorsuch who didn’t promulgate the regulations that she had to — by law — promulgate.  People were put into levels of responsibility to thwart the laws they were supposed to administer.

So yes, I am sitting here looking back through history and realizing that the GOP has, in leaps and bounds, ensured that government doesn’t work. [I’ve said for years, why do people want to elect folks to government who don’t’ believe in government? What is the fucking point of that?]

It was compounded by George H.W. and then by George W. who put more and more jokers in positions of power.

And what a surprise, the government doesn’t work any more.

 

So now I find myself looking back fondly to Richard Nixon.  My, ummm, hero.

Google, natch.

Google, natch.

Is there no limit to what these Republican will do to me?

 

 

 

 

* Yeah, I know I skipped Jerry. But he served on a naval ship with my Dad in WWII during a typhoon and Gerald Ford saved the ship. So I cut Jerry some serious slack. Sue me.

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Worth Dying For. Worth Actually Doing

You may have noticed that I’ve been unusually quiet lately.

In fact, I’ve hardly told you to get your but out to vote at all.

It’s not that I don’t care; I do.  Deeply.  Elections Matter.

So here I am.  I’m not too late, am I?

In trying to figure out what to say, I did a little research, and found a wonderful article (thanks, Google) entitled:

Voting Rights History
Two Centuries of Struggle  
By Bruce Hartford

It summarizes the struggles that different groups went through to get the right that so many people foolishly throw away.  The right that many people died for.

Women

Blacks

Asians

Hispanics

Folks 18-21 (who could fight, but couldn’t vote)

“Language Minorities”

If you pay any attention to the news, you know that the GOP has been very successful in limiting voting, in cutting the access to the polls.  How?  By requiring a government-issued photo ID (my favorite — in Texas a permit to carry a concealed weapon is acceptable but a student ID is not; by preventing early voting; by culling voter lists; by sending out confusing information on voting.  All sorts of ways.

Go Vote!  People died for that right.  

vote11

Elections Matter 

[Thanks to Father Kane at The Last of the Millennials for both the video and the image.]

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Filed under Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, GOP, History, Mental Health, Politics, Science, Stupidity, Virginia, Voting

The Wrong Mascot

One of the drawbacks of living in the DC area is elephants. As you probably know, the elephant is the symbol of the GOP.

Frankly, that makes me really blue.  OK, bluerI am a Democrat and I love Elephants.

Republicans are nothing like elephants.  Elephants work together for the good of the herd.  They are sweet unless you piss them off.  They are gentle.  They help each other. They understand climate change.

I could give you a million other reasons why the elephant should not be the symbol of today’s GOP, but let me just show you this video to prove my point:

 

You’ll notice not one adult elephant, NOT ONE telling that little baby elephant to pull itself up by its bootstraps.

I rest my case.

 

*     *     *

Frank, of AFrankAngle is celebrating his 1500th post with a party this weekend.  Go on over and join him if you can.  And if you don’t know Frank’s blog, check it out.

AND IF you’d like to make my puppy Duncan a pinup star, please vote/donate to the Arlington (VA) Animal Welfare League.  Here’s my post with info:  http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2014/10/01/vote-early-for-duncan/  I was going to do a widget on my sidebar, but UMMMMMM, I can’t remember how.  OK, so I am not technically minded.  Or minded technically.  Or able to do widgets.  Sigh.

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Did I Miss a Contest?

It’s John’s fault.  Not long after we started dating, John got me hooked on contests when he won one.  A free, all expenses paid trip for two to the UK in 1986!  Seriously!  It was right after the Lockerby bombing, and nobody was going to England.  So British Airways held a contest to give away all tickets to London on one day in June.  And John won.

I didn’t win.

I never win.

I always enter, though. No matter what the contest. As soon as I find out about a raffle, a sweepstakes, a lottery, I’m in.  Take my money.  Please.

So I must admit that I was a little bit miffed when I logged on to one of my favorite news websites — Talking Points Memo today.  Because apparently there is a contest I missed.

A contest to see who can be the biggest asshole.

Did you see some of the things that were done to “celebrate” Independence Day?

There was the editorial in the WestView News — a New York newspaper (WTF? — New York?)

Charming.  Even if it was meant ironically.  Photo credit, West View News.  Assholes

Charming. Even if it was meant ironically. Photo credit, West View News. Assholes

 

Then, there was that parade in Nebraska.  Now tell me, what parade is complete without honoring our president:

Nope.  No racism here.  No disrespect meant, I'm sure.  Assholes.

Nope. No racism here. No disrespect meant, I’m sure. Assholes.

 

But to me, at least for today, the folks who win the contest for the biggest asshole in the country are these guys:  the “Coal Rollers.”  Assholes who modify the emission controls on their diesel vehicles to spew huge clouds of exhaust — ON PURPOSE!  As it says in one of the articles I read on TPM,

Truckers essentially trick their vehicles into thinking they need to use more gas than it actually needs. The more fuel that’s used up, the more exhaust comes out thus the big plumes of dark emissions from a “rolling coal truck.”  According to Daily Digest News, turning a truck into a rolling coal truck can cost as much as $5,000.

Just how much money would you be willing to spend to show just how big an asshole you can be?

They direct their exhaust towards Prius drivers, bicyclists, well, really towards anybody who might not be burning quite as much fossil fuel and/or emitting quite so much CO2 as they are.  They’re doing it because they hate Obama and want to demonstrate just how much.

Yup.  Today, Coal Rollers win the prize.  They are the biggest assholes.

And they’ve cured me of my fascination with contests.  Because I’m never going to top these assholes.

 

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