Lee Camp: I Witnessed the Charlottesville Terror Attack, Here’s the Video

Yves here. Comedian Lee Camp, who sometimes publishes at Naked Capitalism, was close enough to the murder by car in Charlottesville that he was lucky not to be injured. His short video does not have images of the actual carnage, but does show the mayhem and panic in the crowd after people were hit. Camp is still very much shaken by what happened.

He also raises the question of what can we do to make a positive difference in our lives? And this may sound terribly mundane, but for those of you who have time and money for the fees: get emergency training. IMHO, everyone should know how do to the Heimlich maneuver, but I only know the idea of how to do it. Ditto with CPR, and that bothers me. If I had been at the scene with all the horrible injuries, the only principles I know are “Don’t move the injured since they may have a spinal break and you could increase the damage to nerves” and “If they are bleeding, put pressure on the wound”. But is that OK if all you have is not clean cloth? I assume yes if they are bleeding profusely, but still…

I assume there must be what amounts to first responder training (as in what to do before the medics get there). If readers can indicate what this type of training is usually called and where to go to find it, please pipe up in comments.

Separately, I’ve kept out of the discussions of Charlottesville in comments. I’m perplexed and disappointed on the fetishization of statues by both sides in this debate. I’m not enough of an anthropologist to get to the bottom of it, but the desire of some Southerners to preserve and elevate figures like Robert E. Lee isn’t just about the Civil War. It has to do with the fact that the South was late to industrialize and remained poor relative to the rest of the US and is not part of the power structure at the Federal level (to my knowledge, there are no tracks from Southern universities to important positions in the Acela corridor. That isn’t to say that people from the South don’t get there, but it’s not a well-greased path). And of course, people from the rest of the country tend to forget that Southerners are regarded as hicks and regularly treated as such in movies and on TV (remember My Cousin Vinny, for one of many examples?). Having a Southern accent = minus 10 attributed IQ points outside the South, with the possible exception being Texans. I had a Virginia client who used the “Southerns aren’t so sharp” prejudice brilliantly to their advantage in negotiations, but I am sure on another level the perception still bothered them.

Mind you, I’m not defending the Southern position. If I were to believe family lore, I have a Hungarian ancestor whose statue in Budapest was torn down by the Soviets. Do I care?

But my guess is that while for some Southerners, Civil War iconography is meant to intimidate blacks, for many others, the storied Civil War generals are the only local boys held up as having historical importance. LBJ and Jimmy Carter weren’t seen as great presidents. There must be important Southern scientists and inventors, but oddly I can’t think of any, which means they aren’t generally depicted as such.

By contrast, it’s easier to present the point of view of blacks and reformers: that losers in war pretty much never get to have memorials, so that on its face, having so many images touting loserdom is perverse, and not justified because it separately holds up aggressive defenders of slavery as role models.

And I know I’ve probably touched on too many disparate threads in this short post, but the other part about Charlottesville that has been mentioned, but cannot be said enough is that this was a huge policing fail, and the passivity was no accident. As Lambert and others have said, if you’d had black protestors show up similarly attired and armed, you can bet you’d have seen mass head-breaking and arrests. The Charlottesville police knew this was coming and appear not to have sought advice from police forces with lots of experience in crowd control (Washington DC and New York City), nor did they get reinforcements (state troopers). It’s one thing if they had tried to cordon off or break up the two sides and lost control of the situation. But there’s no evidence they attempted to intervene.

In addition to watching the Lee Camp video, I strongly urge you to read the article from The Root that goes with this photo (Lambert flagged it yesterday):

Perhaps most important, this fight over symbols is diverting energy from tackling the many areas where African Americans have been promised equal protection under the law but don’t get it. Let’s start with the War on Drugs, which Richard Nixon envisaged as a way to disenfranchise blacks. Consider this comment from Governing (hat tip UserFriendly):

[Richmond’s] Mayor Levar Stoney, who has rejected the idea of removing statues, spoke to reporters Monday about the controversy after a groundbreaking ceremony for the American Civil War Museum. He said he wanted the city to acknowledge “the complete truth” about its history as the Confederate capital.

“At the end of the day, those statues are offensive to me, very offensive to me,” said Stoney, who is black. “But you know what I’m going to focus my time on? Destroying vestiges of Jim Crow where they live in our city — public housing, public education, you name it.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


      1. RickM

        Yes, as a Southerner, I was hoping someone would mention Carver early on. But the larger point is valid. IIRC the first Southerner to win a Nobel Prize, Medicine/Physiology, was Earl Sutherland at Vanderbilt in about 1971. There have been a few since, I think. The reasons are historical, well covered by C. Vann Woodward (Johns Hopkins and Yale) in his Origins of the New South. Regarding E.O. Wilson, who is mentioned below, yes, he is a great scientist who knows more about ants than any other human being. And being of a certain age and a biologist-in-preparation when Sociobiology was published in 1975, I was well aware of him from that beginning. That book was a great synthetic triumph, until the last pages. Then came On Human Nature and the unfortunate collaboration with Lumsden. Still, Yves’ friend is correct about the anti-Southern “feelings” directed at Wilson. He was not alone. Even inconsequential scientists like yours truly felt it. I spent nearly 5 years at the best medical school in the United States in the late 1990s, a famous place in sight of Fort McHenry. Because I was from the South, more than one New England Yankee assumed that I had a Klan hood in my closet, mostly because of how we do things “down there,” the latter being a direct quote. You get used to it, but having a president from the South like Clinton LLC doesn’t help, much. As far as the statues go, my compatriots don’t believe me when I tell them most of these monuments appeared starting in the late-19th century, during the flourishing of the “Moonlight and Magnolias” glorification of the “Lost Cause” that accompanied the hardening of Jim Crow. Just a bunch of Bourbons jerking working class chains, but damn, it worked well. And continues to work with money largely from elsewhere.

        1. John Wright

          Probably in the 1980’s I had the task of demonstrating some expensive electronic equipment at a Bell Labs facility in New Jersey.

          The local sales engineer advised our visiting California group to be wary of Bell Labs people with southern accents as they were teased by the northern Bell-Labs people about their accents and education and the Southerners had reacted to this when dealing with outside visitors/vendors..

          As I remember, the advice was to be aware that a Bell-Labs Southerner might start with some basic questions and progressively ask more and more difficult questions simply to back the visitor into a corner.

          Strange advice to receive, considering that at this time, Bell-Labs was one of the top industrial research/development facilities in the world.

          I did not observe this behavior at all, but still remember the caution.

        2. Carolinian

          Thanks to Yves for the thoughtful intro.

          And I think southerners aren’t obsessed with the Civil War the way they used to be. When I was a kid the local radio station would sign off with a lovely choral version of Dixie rather than the national anthem. If Gone With the Wind played downtown the line would be around the block. Numerous houses in my town have the columned portico meant to evoke the exterior set for Tara.

          Now increasingly cosmopolitan cities are more likely to feature blocky post modern architecture and people are more into their smartphones than what happened at Chancellorsville. Black and white children can be seen walking home together from school and my town has had a black mayor and the state currently a black (albeit Republican) senator. These days it could be the north that is clinging to the past.

          As for scientists: Charles Townes, Nobel prize winner, inventor of the laser, fellow Carolinian.


          1. nowhere

            I grew up in Columbia (a largely mixed demographic area – though often very sharply racially divided), and while it is true that much of the veneer has changed, it is the seething beneath that doesn’t seem to have changed much since I left. This seems especially true once you get a few miles outside of those more cosmopolitan cities.

            On kids playing together – it has been one of my strangest experiences to go from elementary school where everyone was friends and played together, regardless of race. And then, after 3 months of summer, moving to middle school and the racial hell that ensued. But, maybe things have changed for the better since when I lived there.

            Another SC role model – Ronald McNair.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            I’ve seen a small data point supporting your theory of the Civil War being less important to most Southerners than it once was. When I first started visiting Alabama, every book store had a pretty significant section devoted to Civil War books. Even thought there aren’t anywhere near as many bookstores these days, the few I’ve visited don’t have proportionately as much space devoted to the Civil War, and some just have it as part of the History section.

        3. clinical wasteman

          Thanks Rick, especially for the perfect concluding summation, but also from the first-hand account and historical contextualization of this persistent sort of niche bigotry. From another continent it was hard to guess how prevalent that phenomenon still might still be, although harder to imagine that it could have disappeared altogether. It constantly disgusts me when the same sort of thing is extended to Americans at large by anglo/European bigots insufferably assured that their tiny colonist cultures are “superior”.

          As a long-term/tedious polemicist against sociobiology — mostly as casual normative framework today, but the academic origins do matter too (see: [http://www.theharrier.net/essays/kriminalaffe-sultan-at-the-dole-office-written-with-matthew-hyland/]; (I’m the other one, not JB/The Harrier)) — I’m aghast at the thought that any critic of E.O. Wilson would stoop to invoking his geographical/cultural background, especially when discussing the racist applications of the body of theory. Really, if they can’t do better than that they’re missing huge swathes of the obvious, mimicking the worst of their opponents and ultimately doing latter-day neo-socio-bio presumptions an unwarranted favour.

          Also, complete agreement with you, Yves, about the way excessive concern with statues and symbols generally can skew everything. Not that those things are meaningless, but the whole present-day world also bears witness to the past in the form of raging injustice — much but not all of it involving the malign invention of “race” — everywhere. Nohow is this a “bipartisan”/”everyone calm down”-type statement: I side unequivocally with the “grassroots” BLM, the direct-action anti-fascists and especially the IWW members, and would be delighted never to see one of those monuments (or its anglo/Euro equivalents) again, but if it had to be one or the other, I’d rather the statues were left standing while Lee, Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, Christopher Columbus and friends were made to spin in their graves by the abolition of racist “criminal justice”, housing and immigration policy and racialized top-down class warfare/imperial admin in general, if the alternative is just to take the statues down while leaving the policies in place and the Generals smirking in hell.

  1. dcsos

    What about an alternative method to these history rewrites. Every time A legislative body decides to remove one of these ancient tributes–instead of removing the offensive statue–the erection of a new and at least equal in size monument that points out the failure of the earlier tribute.
    That is, the new monument would be larger, more noticeable, and will be to point out the error of the earlier structure. In this way history is preserved–and a much more educational site is created–pointing out the reasons for the new interpretation of the site. Thus a site without a physical monument, for example, would be treated in the following manner. Jefferson Davis Boulevard would become Former Jefferson Davis Bvd,or Ex-Jefferson Boulvard or such. What do you think?

    1. Lee

      Add adjacent statues of John Brown, Nat Turner, Sally Hemmings, southerners who fought for the union etc.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And add effigies of J. Edgar Hoover (let us debate whether he should appear “dressed” or not), and Strom Thurmond, and Jesse Helms, and Al Sharpton, etc. to improve the contextual mapping…

        1. Synoia

          Jesse Helms.

          Ah that brigs back a memory. I lived in Raleigh, NC when Jessie was in the Senate, and my children went to a local Episcopal School.

          The head of the Schools was Jessie Helms’ daughter, and I was asked, and an outside of my opinion in from of his daughter. My response is “He is very interesting,” was acceptable.

          Advice I was given when moving to the south was “Never say anything bad about one Southerner to another. They are all related.”

          The animus then, and possibly now, was strong, so much so that my view was “War of Independence, forgotten. Civil war, not at tall.”

          I was also told, by another Southern lady, that the difference between English Table Manners and the US’, was devised because the ladies never wanted to entertain the English in the homes again after the War of Independence.

          I’d also point out there is a significant difference between Spanish and English table manners. In some cases under the English rules you can eat with your fingers (chicken on the bone or unpeeled fruit, for example)t. Under the Spanish none I know of, its knives and forks for everything.

      2. cocomaan

        There seemed to be a consensus a few years ago after that kid shot up the black church that confederate flags would not be sold and that any debate about it was over. Looks like that didn’t take.

        Point being that one part of the nation can’t make another part of the nation erect certain statues or not carry certain colored pieces of cloth.

        I’ve always been a bit of an iconoclast, but maybe we should get out of symbolic thinking and communication through pieces of political artwork and try communicating directly instead. Battling over art and architecture seems wrongheaded. The fundamental message here should be “What are the ideas we are debating?” not “These people over here are animals, what should we do about it?”

        But as Yves said, this event really went down because of a failure of the local police. It was amateur hour over there.

        And shame on the media for making this event into some kind of referendum on America. How many people died in Chicago over the weekend? Baltimore? Nationwide? How is that any different or less political in nature?

    2. andyb

      The problem is that the statues and flags represent a part of American history, whether good or bad. I find it reprehensible that history must be rewritten, and the lessons learned discarded. What’s next? Book burning, the destruction of Monticello or the Jefferson Monument? There seems to be an attempt by an elite cabal to destroy this country through division and vilification of the Founding Fathers. Shame!!!

      1. anonymouse

        I liked this response on Twitter:


        1. Fiery Hunt

          Hitler was the leader of, and policy director, of a genocidal government.
          Southern Civil War generals were not.
          They were leaders of armies, of men… not policy makers of slavery.

          Subtle, I know. But DIFFERENT.

          1. Elizabeth Burton

            And the policy they were leading those men to fight for was the “peculiar institution.” Forget Hitler. Are there statues of, say, Rommel in Germany? Yet he, too, a leader of an army.

            It’s doubly ironic that all this furor over removal of statues of R. E. Lee, which seem to be the ones the media likes to focus on, likely because Lee is the only Southern general that bulk of the under-educated population can recognize, never mentions what the man himself said about commemorating the war:

            “I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.” — Robert E. Lee

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      What is really funny is that he was teaching the intro biology course at Harvard when I was there. I didn’t take it but one of my good friends did.

      She said that she was a hick from California (actually she’d gone to a very good school) but the point was she didn’t know that Stephen Jay Gould was the “hot” professor at the time, and that Wilson’s “Sociobiology” view was considered to be retrograde, as unduly deterministic. So she got into Wilson’s course when most people were pulling strings to make sure they got Gould, not him.

      I saw her recently and asked about the Wilson course. She volunteered that another reason she thought he got a bad rap at Harvard was that he was Southern.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’m deeply envious of anyone having the chance to attend classes from either Wilson or Gould. Both have their detractors (to put it mildly), but the are/were both wonderful writers, I think I’ve read pretty much everything both of them have written.

        The ‘Darwin Wars’ between the determinists and the Gouldites was my introduction to just how deep epistemological divisions can be in science, even between those who essentially agree on 99% of the data. Wilson, despite his association with Sociobiology, seems to have kept a wary distance from the Dawkins disciples, quite wisely IMO.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I have the impression she very much liked the Wilson class. Had I been at all clued in, I would have taken that class, but I oddly wasn’t into star professors.

    2. clinical wasteman

      We may actually be talking about different E.O. Wilsons then — entirely my mistake, and nothing to do with ‘greatness’ or otherwise, but surely the one who invented sociobiology, or at least coined the term, isn’t still alive? Quite possibly another mistake on my part there though.

      1. Vatch

        E.O. Wilson, entomologist, author of “Sociobiology”, “Biophilia”, and co-author of “The Theory of Island Biogeography”, was born in 1929 and is still alive.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Its just past the 50th Anniversary here in Ireland of one of the most spectacular examples of removing old outdated symbols, the blowing up of Nelsons Column in Dublin. Despite its origin as an overtly Unionist attempt to mark the Battle of the Nile, it was popular with Dubliners because you could climb to the top for a good view.

    In Ireland numerous monuments to Imperialism were removed over the years – some by public authorities, some by way of gelignite planted at night. But most people still accept the remains as part of history – there are still numerous ‘Victoria Roads’ around Ireland, plenty of old post boxes with crowns on them, as well as huge monuments to the the likes of the Duke of Wellington (who was Irish, although as O’Connell put it, ‘just because you are born in a stable doesn’t make you a horse’.) Hardly anyone notices that the beautiful arch in Stephens Green is a detailed monument to the Boer Wars and all that entailed.

    I think monuments that give active offence should be removed, but in most cases its better to accept that time changes and alters the meaning of all public symbols. Eventually, some sort of equilibrium comes about and people accept with a shrug.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Not all people, including quite a few Irish– but of course they nurse their grievances better than they nurse their drink… albeit with a lot of good historical basis, and with current hope of getting their own back, or at least some revenge. For some reason(s), some subset of every polity just won’t let bygones be bygone…

      1. Enquiring Mind

        Faulkner had much to say about the past. Will the Charlottesville events spark some resurgence on interest in his works? His quote “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” from Requiem for a Nun seems to be at once forgotten or disavowed by many in this modern world.

    2. Synoia

      When I went to South Africa, I was in a community of young ex-pats, from may parts of Great Britain and its far flung parts.

      One person was from Belfast, and one night after a few beers, and his round was next, he looked at me and rattled off a series of “efforts” the English had tried in Ireland, most of them bloody.

      And accused in a strong Irish accent “You English!” Not wishing for a fight, especially before his round I considered his litany on English misdeeds, and said “You’re right!” He looked utterly surprised, probably because he excreted a denial, and I wanted no fight, and it was his round.

      The I added, “and I personally did none of them.” Which after a thought he considered accurate, and bought his round.

      We were friends for years, but time and distance have severed that bond.

  3. Wade Riddick

    The South captured and dominated the federal government for much of the antebellum period thanks to special gimmicks like the 3/5ths rule. In many ways, Southern interests directed federal power to advance their economy. The flood of free-thinking Germans and the election of Lincoln shocked the South, leading to panic and, ultimately, a bitter resentment in defeat. In this sense, the 1970’s Southern strategy of harping on deficits while promoting tax cuts was just part of a long counterattack against federal power. The entire Republican policy edifice for a generation has been built around a segregationist backlash and you’re watching it all unravel – Obamacare, tax cuts, deficit-hawkery – even the war on pot. Even Republican Secretaries of State have refused to cooperation with the voter suppression commission. It’s not a coincidence they can’t get anything passed and impotent rage erupts in the street.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I think you need to read up on the origins of the groups that worked to move the county to the right. It was a very well funded, loosely coordinated corporate effort. The core group came out of the John Birch Society, which is based in Belmont, Mass and had people like William J. Buckley of Yale as prominent members. The Adolph Coors family out of Colorado were also big players. Fred Koch, the father of the Koch Brothers, was a founding member of the John Birch Society and a big early funder. The University of Chicago, and in particular Milton Friedman, played a huge role in promoting neoliberal ideology.

      As we flagged in a post yesterday, the reason the country moved to the right wasn’t due just to the Republicans. There were plenty of Democrats who were on board, starting in the 1970s.

      And although I don’t have data to support it, my perception is that Southerners have long been underrepresented in high profile Administration positions, like Cabinet members and as Supreme Court justices. I’d be curious as to whether any lawyers have a sense as to their participation levels on the Federal bench.

      1. PH

        Southern committee chairmen dominated Congress for decades last century. Of course, not sure many people remember.

        I do not think that Southern sense of victimhood is particularly special. More another example of a more general phenomena, often seen in many times and places.

        People are driven quite often by a sense of dignity or no dignity ( humiliation/rage). That is the emotional force behind many different sorts of notions of glory.

        I find it ironic that you are arguing the “identity” angle here, while I feel little sympathy for it. During election discussions, I argued the emotional angles, and I felt that you focused more on objective conditions. Today, I feel your approach was better.

        Anyway, in the end it is about finding a way forward that is fair to everyone. As you would probably agree, we have not seen much leadership from any group in that direction.

        1. Vatch

          Southern committee chairmen dominated Congress for decades last century

          Quite true. The Congressional seniority system worked very well for the “Solid South”.

      2. Wade Riddick

        You’re talking about the party funders – largely mining, fossil fuels, agribusiness and banking/insurance/real estate (mostly interests dominant in the South). I’m talking about the voters. They had real anger at the federal government over desegregation in the ’70s and the oligarchs channeled that into a deregulatory agenda which is now falling apart. Witness Trump’s pandering to regulate drug prices. He may be pushing deregulation but many popular parts of his agenda were reregulatory in some aspect – like giving everybody great health insurance – and he’s reneging on them. In this sense, he’s what Skowronek would call a Jimmy Carter – a bridge figure in a disintegrating political order.

        Second, the South maintained immense influence throughout the New Deal era and deep into the ’90s thanks to Democratic Party dominance in the region, seniority and the congressional committee system. No other region could match the clout of the John Stennises or Earl Longs. Of course, with the South flipping and the committee structure rearranged around fundraising instead of seniority, all that changed.

        But I look at the current Republicans in Congress and I recognize all the major leadership positions as belonging to the segregationists, regardless of their geographic origin. They nurse deep racial grievances. They speak Dixiecrat, sputtering about state sovereignty, states rights and nullification (quite shrilly during the Obamacare debate). They block black voting. They gerrymander. They race-bait (birtherism/Dred Scott-ism). They attack programs if black people get it too (Obamacare). They like privatized police, prisons (slave labor) and civil forfeiture. They love those gun rights (regulators/slave catchers). They all want to pass laws legalizing private discrimination – which was a pet cause of the defeated segregationists at the tale end of the ’60s. This agenda’s contradictions are going down in flames.

        I would also remind you that the Nuremberg laws were inspired by Southern anti-miscegenation legislation. Nazis came to Southern law schools to study them (though they weren’t limited to the South). Fascism is the idea that private business should own and operate the government for private profit. That’s where the party funders and the street racists come together.

        Though the formal racist state institutions and ideology were never limited to the South, they did reach their fullest, most overt expression here. You’re talking about a group that has supported the Articles of Confederation for going on two centuries after they fell apart. It’s what the Koch brothers hope to bring back by negating congressional commerce regulation with a constitutional amendment.

        Consider what props this up and you’ll understand why their coalition is coming apart at the seems. New energy sources are slowly eviscerating the petrodollar complex and the money it pours into politics.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, I’ve studied this in depth and you haven’t. I have an entire chapter in ECONNED on this, with extensive footnotes, from contemporaneous sources. All you have is your opinion and on this it is incorrect.

          The “free market” messaging was all about corporate and business interests. It had nothing to do with narrowcasting on identity politics issues. That came later with the rise of Karl Rove as a Republican party strategist.

          And I’m sorry, Susan Collins just blocked Obamacare repeal and she’s not a racist. I don’t like sweeping inaccurate generalizations. We care about accuracy of information and argumentation. We make that explicit in our written site Policies. If you are not prepared to comment in line with our Policies, your comments will not be approved.

  4. Mrs Smith

    As someone who used to be a group fitness instructor, I had to take both CPR (adult and child) and First Aid training to retain my ability to teach. Both are generally available in the US with the Red Cross (and others), and once you are certified, you can renew the certificates every 1 or 2 years with a quick multiple choice test and demonstration of CPR and AED techniques on the test dummy.

    CPR standard practices have changed over the years, so it is important to keep up the certifications if you want to be genuinely prepared to assist. The First Aid cert is mostly common sense, but some of it seems counter-intuitive, until you know why it’s done that way. The most important thing to know is to make sure someone calls for EMTs/Ambulance if there’s any doubt about the severity of the injury/illness/unconsciousness of a victim. Don’t wait.

    Also: I LOVE George Washington Carver. I did my first stand-up school presentation on his amazing work with peanuts when I was in elementary school, and I’ve never forgotten what an impressive person he was.

    1. a different chris

      >The most important thing to know is to make sure someone calls for EMTs/Ambulance if there’s any doubt about the severity of the injury/illness/unconsciousness of a victim. Don’t wait.

      Of course here in America you’ve probably kicked off a series of bills just starting at $800 for said ambulance… making the victim feel like a victim twice over.

      1. UserFriendly

        As someone who teaches CPR/AED first aid, O2 administration, and lifeguarding for red cross, yes call them as soon as there is anything serious. If the person is conscious they can refuse care and not pay anything.

        As basic first response; care for severe bleeding by applying constant pressure with gauze (any cloth will do).

        If someone is unconscious check for a pulse and breathing, if they have either they don’t need CPR. If they do need cpr two hands interlocking at the center of the chest push straight down, hard, and fast (you might break ribs) to the beat of Another One Bites the Dust or Stayin Alive. Just keep going with that till EMS comes.

        That is basic community level training. 1. level up and I’d teach more about giving rescue breaths but that should do in most cases.

        1. HotFlash

          I live in Canada, that horrible bastion of socialized medicine, and if you have to call 911 for an ambulance here, you will never, ever see a bill. No-one will. B/c there isn’t one.

          Note to USA: socialized medicine, you can do this!

        2. Conrad

          I view my limited First Aid Training as hopefully making me slightly less likely to be totally useless in an emergency situation. I think I’m less likely to just freeze or flap my arms in panic when confronted by a serious injury than I was before training.

  5. russell1200

    The mainstream Republican have gotten the racist tag thrown at them so much that it doesn’t seem to carry much weight anymore. That this is giving truly virulent racist groups a pass is a huge problem. Calling everyone a Nazi seems to be working in an unintended fashion.

    The Social Darwinian ideology is a very powerful one, and a natural one for the groups vilified by identity politics to make. You are empowered because you were mean and took things from other people, your empowered because you are the sociological group that acts and thinks the right (Western) way. Your dominance is justified.

    Of course given that same dominance, I can sympathize with folks who choose to push back physically against the storm troopers. But as it stands today, both sides start dressing themselves up in passive victimhood rather than as fallen warriors. Horst Wessel would be turning in his grave.

    1. JBird

      “Social Darwin Ideology”

      It seems to me that the ideas of a meritocracy and racism, rather than the circumstances they put in, to explain why some groups/individuals do great and others do not are very similar. Yet, somehow the neoliberal democrats use the former for poor people especially whites and the republicans use the latter for poor blacks. Although in the past few years they have been blending the ideas together into a modern version of Social Darwinism.

  6. TheCatSaid

    See also the Fabius Maximus article about this incident here.
    He addresses the propaganda elements and other aspects not addressed here.

    1. Livius Drusus

      That was a good piece, thank you. I think the author hit on the main issue which is that people now make up their owns facts and often live in their own ideological worlds. It started with talk radio and cable news but the Internet has made the situation much worse.

      How would the Civil Rights movement get ahead in today’s climate? Would the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner be declared false flag attacks orchestrated by George Soros and the Deep State? How about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, would that also be a false flag attack?

      It is not just the Right that engages in this sort of thinking but some people on the Left too. How can you successfully promote reform when you cannot even get people to agree on basic facts or to engage in rational debate? Perhaps the most dangerous outcome of this state of affairs will be that the political and business elites will decide that the population is too feral for democratic, constitutional governance and decide to increase the assault on civil liberties. Many Americans, frightened by more incidents like Charlottesville, will agree to go along with such a project.

      1. kurtismayfield

        Plus Livius, there is an incredible lack of trust in this country. I don’t trust many public figures nor do I trust that certain public servants will do the right thing. In an emergency I do think that strangers will help a person in need, but if it isn’t considered an emergency good luck (see opiid crisis, the reactions of many that I thought to be decent human beings has been ghastly).

      2. Jonny Canuck

        I agree. I think the Internet has altered news for the worse. Real factual news is hard work and expensive to produce. Opinion on the other hand is cheap and plentiful. And the more outrageous the opinion, the more clicks. So now opinion is the news.

        Politics has gone the same route. I worry about societal problems like opioid addiction, a rise in alcoholism, and affordable healthcare. Dealing with these issues would require hard work and hard choices. It is a lot easier to shout and insult. So now insults have displaced policy.

        I see no answer.

      3. Art Eclectic

        There is no rational debate possible with people who believe that one human being enslaving another is a right and just thing. There is also no rational debate possible with people who believe in any form of racial superiority.

        Tribalism is one thing, belief in racial superiority leads to dehumanization of others and that ends in genocide, slavery, and host of other vile behaviors that decent people have moved beyond. My support for free speech ends at dehumanizing others.

        1. witters

          “There is no rational debate possible with people who believe that one human being enslaving another is a right and just thing. ”

          Here’s the 13th Amendment: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

          So there’s no rational debate with anyone who swears alllegiance to the US Constitution; and, it follows, no possibility of rational debate between such adherents.

          Seems about right.

          1. Brian M

            Boy, you are really really reaching to claim that the point of the 13th Amendment you quoted was to permit slavery. Think what one may about the punitive nature of our criminal justice system (a completely different topic), this language was explicitly aimed at permitting that system to continue. Not chattel slavery.

      4. sierra7

        How much authoritarianism will middle Americans tolerate for a continuance of their materialistic lives????

        1. jrs

          Well most of them go to work in highly authoritarian cultures called corporations so … they actually tolerate a great deal of authoritarianism for that paycheck.

          But regardless their materialistic lives are merely their lives, or at any rate the number of people that can actually share in much materialism is ever shrinking (yea I know they have smart phones or some such horror but by and large). While rampant materialism may have been at least a temptation to many baby boomers at one time, wages just haven’t kept up. But with no carrot there are always sticks, if not one’s physical life or anything, everything else one needs (needs not wants).

    2. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website

      The Catsaid,

      Thanks for the pointer to my article! Note that it is intended at as first cut look at what happened, putting together the news stories of the first 24 hours to forms a coherent picture of the event.

      It got 10,000+ hits in the first day, which is a lot for us – without any mention in a major website (the usual way a post goes viral). I assume that results from people who want to know what happened, and are dissatisfied with the major media’s coverage — which has been, imo, high school journalism level.

      Two aspects are covered. First, the amazing — even delusional — statements by civilian and police officials about the policing of the event. Let’s hope we get some accountability for the incompetent policing (e.g., not taking standard simple measures).

      Second, how each side lies. “OUR side were innocent angels attacked by THOSE devils.” That such nonsense is taken seriously by the tribes of Left and Right is very Weimar. Large numbers on both sides came armed and eager to fight, and they did fight.

      The post linked to by Yves in The Root is typical. These are lies. Doesn’t that bother you?

      Reform of America is impossible so long as we prefer lies to truth.

      1. Vatch

        The post linked to by Yves in The Root is typical. These are lies.

        Could you please identify the specific lies?

        1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website


          Good request! How is The Root article an example of “how each side lies. “OUR side were innocent angels attacked by THOSE devils.’” The article is exactly about that theme: good vs. evil, innocent vs. aggressors. Let’s rewind the opening vignette:

          “At first it was peaceful protest,” Long said softly as he spoke. “Until someone pointed a gun at my head. Then the same person pointed it at my foot and shot the ground.” Long said the only weapon he had was a can of spray paint that a white supremacist threw at him earlier, so he took a lighter to the spray paint and turned it into a flame thrower. And a photographer snapped the photo.

          But inside every photograph is an untold story. If you look closely at Long’s picture, there’s an elderly white man standing in between Long and his friend. The unknown man was part of the counterprotests, too, but was afraid, and Long and his friends were trying to protect him. Even though, Long says, those who were paid to protect the residents of Charlottesville were doing just the opposite. “The cops were protecting the Nazis, instead of the people who live in the city,” Long said. “The cops basically just stood in their line and looked at the chaos. The cops were not protecting the people of Charlottesville. They were protecting the outsiders.”

          This makes two assertions. First, that the alt-Right were the aggressors, the Left the victims. Videos and eyewitness accounts show otherwise. They show two sides, elements on both of which show up armed to fight, and do fight. See this in yesterday’s LAT.

          Second, it says that the police preferentially sided with the alt-Right. Not only is there no evidence of that, the alt-right believe the police deliberately flushed them out of their safe space in the park into the left’s mob. See Rob Sterling’s detailed account.

          That does appear to be roughly what happened. The police cancelled the permit and forced the alt-right protesters out of the park. That decision led the the widespread fighting because the police had also not set up the standard transit routes for each group to their designated protest area — along streets both patrolled and blocked off from vehicular traffic.

          Now we can only guess at why the police did this. Panic, or incompetence, or a confused chain of command with so many officials present? Only after intensive analysis of the witnesses testimony and the videos (esp the Guard’s video from the rooftop) can we say more.

          1. Outis Philalithopoulos

            E. of the F. M. w. s., I feel like you can make a straightforward case that the Root article presents a picture of how one side was “innocent” and was attacked by bad “others.” That isn’t the same as saying that the first person testimony it provides is “lies.” You can argue that an overall narrative is misleading and partial, and that a particular first person account plays into that misleading or partial narrative. But moving from this to calling the account itself a lie is also an oversimplified narrative, of the sort that you often zero in on for criticism. So I would suggest – given in particular that you set as your objective to try to avoid slipping into mass-produced narratives that are imperfectly grounded in evidence but easily propagated – that you choose your characterizations with a little more precision.

            It’s extremely common for eyewitness testimony to reflect a narrative that one side was the good guys and the others attacked them without provocation. This is true – on both sides – even when subsequent evidence shows substantial asymmetry in how tensions flared. It doesn’t make those individual accounts baseless, or consciously lying (although of course out and out lying does sometimes occur in eyewitness accounts). It does mean that it can be quite difficult, in particular cases, to evaluate and synthesize eyewitness testimony into a big picture account that is fair and accurate.

            1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website


              (A) “That isn’t the same as saying that the first person testimony it provides is “lies.”

              That’s a valid point of wordsmithing. It would be a powerful rebuttal if …

              (1) I could point to no material factual error. But there is little or no evidence for the Root’s claim about police aiding the Right.

              (2) I just said it was “a lie” and did not explain in what sense I meant that — leaving ambiguity in my description. But my sentence was explicit in its description:

              Second, how each side lies. “OUR side were innocent angels attacked by THOSE devils.” That such nonsense is taken seriously by …

              (B) “It’s extremely common for eyewitness testimony to reflect a narrative …”

              It’s common for people to throw down hot butts and start forest fires. But it’s a bad thing. DItto for writing a one-sided article that throws kerosene on a burning conflict.

              (C) “It doesn’t make those individual accounts baseless, or consciously lying”

              Here we have different perspectives. I understand what you are saying, and have no basis to say you are wrong. But I see the situation differently.
              * I believe the Founders were right about factionalism as one of the great dangers to the Republic.
              * I believe these Weimerica-like street battles between extremists, cheered by masses on Left and Right, make us weak. They make rule by the 1% stronger.
              * I believe our love for propaganda makes us weak.

              (D) ” It does mean that it can be quite difficult, in particular cases, to evaluate and synthesize eyewitness testimony into a big picture account that is fair and accurate.”

              That is exactly the basis of my dislike for the Root article. It does not even try for accuracy, just tribal cheering. It is just propaganda.

              1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                Editor of the F. M. w. s.,

                On (1), I think my explanation on this point still holds. The Root itself (i.e. the article when it is not quoting Long) does not say the police was aiding the “Unite the Right” people – only Long does. It’s true that Long’s statement, if propagated without context, would spread the idea that the police was literally intervening on behalf of the white nationalists. I argued in one of my responses to your comments that this is clearly not what Long meant. Long actually states clearly that the police did not get involved. However, Long believed the police should have intervened against the white nationalists, and in fact should not have even allowed them to march. From this point of view, he says that the police “were protecting the Nazis.”

                This is the sort of way of talking that is very easy to imagine in a participant or a bystander. For example, imagine if someone were mugged in broad daylight right in front of the police. Since in this case, we all expect the police to intervene on behalf of the victims, we might say the police were “obviously protecting the muggers.” That doesn’t mean the police were actually helping to beat anyone up, and it’s an imprecise form of speech. But it’s an understandable one.

                (2) I’m willing to grant that you didn’t say in what sense it was a lie and have since clarified the matter. By a strict standard of the sort we mentioned above, what you said was potentially misleading (i.e. it was easy to interpret it in another way). The same might be said of Long’s statement about the police protecting the Nazis. In neither case is it impossible to understand, just a reason to try to be more careful.

                (B) True, it would be better if eyewitnesses could strive to be very precise in how they report what they see. In practice, eyewitnesses come from all walks of life and involve all sorts of people. We are better off banking on their accounts being partial for the foreseeable future. I think the onus for completeness and fairness is considerably greater on journalists, analysts, and others whose putative role is to provide reliable summaries.

                (C) I don’t disagree with any of this, except that for “factionalism” I would say “tribalism” – but maybe we mostly mean the same thing.

                (D) I think it’s fair to criticize news outlets that only provide eyewitness testimony that fits with one particular frame. It doesn’t mean that an outlet should never publish an article centered around one person’s account – but if it does, it should presumably balance it elsewhere with other information giving a more complete picture.

                (E) [not from your reply, but I was curious] As Yves says, the news has mentioned several cases of serious injuries suffered by counterprotesters (not to mention the deaths), and if there were serious injuries suffered by the “Unite the Right” side, I at least haven’t run into any reliable accounts of such. Do you know of any?

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        It passed fact checking by the New Yorker, which reported basically the same information. And you would have had to have sources who saw that incident, which seems awfully unlikely given how few there were in that photo (as in it seems to have taken place away from the main crowds).

        The other part is I disagree with the equivalence. The antifa types (and this occurred with the Black Bloc in Occupy) weren’t “our side” in that most of the people who came who were against the white supremacist types aren’t pro violence. By contrast, it appears that the smaller group of “Unite the Right” types were heavily armed and they consciously and deliberately used symbols of violence against black people and minorities from the very outset.

        So it would be possible for people in the anti-bigotry group to have marched and not seen what the anitfa types were up to, while I don’t think you can credibly say anyone on the white supremacist side didn’t see all of the intimidating weaponry and violent encounters.

        1. TheCatSaid

          “It passed fact checking by the New Yorker” is indeed tempting, isn’t it?!
          However in addition to Fabius Maximus I’ve come across additional reports with first-person accounts describing how both sides came prepared to do battle. At this point I’m of the opinion that there was not one “bad side” and other “poor victim” side. I have come across lots of info linking the Neo-Nazi side having connections to the Ukranian “revolutionaries” (funded by CIA among others, thank you very much) and of left-side groups having links to Soros-funded groups. It looks like the whole situation was a confrontation that was set up. I’m not suggesting all participants were part of this, but nonetheless there is enough evidence strewn around that at the minimum one should think twice before accepting any major media spin on the event.

          Jason Goodman and Crowdsource the Truth on YouTube had lots of videos documenting the neo-Nazi links to Ukrainian groups (“Blood and Soil”), flags in evidence, starting the night before the “big event”. IIRC Lee Stranahan had info documenting the links to Soros-controlled organizations.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I disagree with your contention:

            1. That violent antifa types were representative of most of the marchers on the left side. You are implying that both sides were raring for a fight. The white supremacists were. Only a minority of the marchers on the left were, and I further question how many would have approved of their tactics. I know from Occupy that pretty much everyone were not at all happy about Black Bloc tactics and regarded them as anarchist interlopers trying to take advantage of Occupy without having the consent of Occupy (Occupy was big on super-democratic processes). Black Lives Matter has consistently rejected violent tactics. I know Lee Camp would reject the antifa types as being part of “our side” or representing his values.

            More generally, left-wing protests, particularly anti-globalization protests, have agitators show up who had nothing to do with the organizers of the protest. They are plants to make the protestors look bad. Here, I am sure the antifa types were genuinely motivated. But the bigger point is peaceful leftist marchers often have a violent minority show up that does not represent the approach of the majority. Hence it is not correct at all to say that they are representative of that side.

            2. #1 above means it is possible for eyewitnesses on the left side not to have seen antifa provocations and to be truthful in saying and believing that that the fights were instigated by both sides.

            3. The police THEMSELVES said the reason they didn’t intervene was that the right wing protestors were heavily armed! Who are you kidding here?

            4. You are ignoring the message that the white supremacists were sending. They made heavy and deliberate use of symbols of violence against blacks and minorities. The only thing that was missing was KKK robes. They were visibly carrying guns and bludgeons. Bludgeons are illegal in NYC because they are more effective in close combat than a gun. They were not signaling an intent to have a peaceful rally. They were signaling an intent to have a fight and the antifa types were all too happy to pick one.

            And please explain the black schoolteacher who was nearly beaten to death? Pray tell how does that fit your theory?

            All of the deaths and serious injuries were suffered by members of the leftist side and none by the white supremacists, even though they were much smaller in number. That’s because the antifa types weren’t using anything that would do more than bruise someone or make them filthy. All I have read is that they threw cans, bottles with urine in them, and I saw one account saying feces. So the implements used by each side were not remotely equivalent, contrary to what you imply.

            1. TheCatSaid

              I’m not sure you understood my contention. I didn’t say all left-wing side people were out for a fight, but there is evidence that some were and yes these may have been infiltrators as you suggest. Numerous protests are infiltrated by troublemakers.

              The fact that one side may indeed have felt more pain than another doesn’t affect the point I’m making. What I’m suggesting is to pay attention to the entire “conflict” set up. It’s predictable. There’s a degree of scripting. It serves many functions–to make people insecure, feel convinced that others are out to get them (on either side), to feel that conflict is inevitable, to want the police/military to take a more active role.

              It’s not that any of these points necessarily lack merit on their own (e.g., in some situations law enforcement should play a constructive role), but rather that this is one tiny event within a larger picture of social engineering that has been taking place over an extended period of time (decades). Foment conflict artificially (e.g. CIA-funded insurrections such as Ukraine and many countries in South/Central America and currently Venezuela; create or increase a feeling of insecurity; get the people to give up rights in order to have “security” and “protection”; increase military/law enforcement budgets and sales to interested parties.

              Focusing only on a single situation (xxx group was hurt “more” in yyy situation/event) can lead one to overlook the larger societal pattern, by not recognizing that there was manipulation occurring that affects both sides.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                This is the first time I have had the software do this. I was replying to the editor of Fabius Maximus’ comment and it wound up misplaced. It might be that it didn’t go through the first time and what I did on the retry wound up relocating it.

                As to the bigger issue, you are ignoring my contention that the two “sides” were equally cohesive. If you go to a soccer game, and hooligans who favor your team beat up on fans of the other side, are you responsible for their actions merely by virtue of having gone to the game to cheer on your team? That seems to be the basis of your and the editor of FM’s comment. In fact, Black Lives Matter, which is opposed to violence, was represented there and I am highly confident other marchers opposed to the white supremacists were unarmed and has not interest in perpetrating or participating in violence.

                By contrast, the organizers of Unite the Right called on the participants to come armed and not only did they come “armed,” they brought implements that are designed to maim and kill. If their aims were defensive, to preserve their right to make a public statement, pepper spray would have sufficed. How can you depict that as equivalent?

                1. TheCatSaid

                  I didn’t say anything at all about blaming one side or another. To the contrary, I suggested it was more important to look at the overall pattern of such conflicts and the overall societal impact (division! fear! giving up rights! agreeing to surveillance! increased law enforcement/military power and spending!).

          2. Brian M

            Boy, that Soros dude sure gets around. He is responsible for more mischief than the Kochs, Russian oligarchs, and Peter Thiel put together.

            I apologize, but when people start talking about Soros, I sort of put them in the same category as UFO abductees and Antivaxers.

        2. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website


          First, the assertion about the police favoring the Alt-Right appears baseless. Both sides report — supported by videos — that the police watched everybody fighting. Where are the accounts of the police intervening on just one side? The New Yorker fact checkers missed that.

          Second, let’s rewind to see what I said — The Root article an example of “how each side lies. ‘OUR side were innocent angels attacked by THOSE devils.’” The Root’s article clearly paints that kind of incorrect picture due to its misrepresentations and omissions. See my reply to Vatch above for details.

          1. Outis Philalithopoulos

            The Root article is at all times reporting the perspective of a single person, the 23-year-old Corey Long. Even when the article is not directly quoting Long, it is plainly summarizing his testimony.

            In my opinion, you overstated your case by terming the Root article “lies.” As you know, it’s very common for eyewitness testimony to diverge dramatically. In the midst of big, chaotic situations, each particular person sees only a part of what is going on. They can be entirely sincere and the picture that they paint might still be a partial one.

            Similarly, if you read what Long actually said, he agrees that the police “basically stood in their line and looked at the chaos.” Long felt that the police should have intervened actively against “the Nazis,” and relative to this baseline, interprets the police of having favored the white nationalists. He makes this quite clear when he says that a rapper was earlier not allowed to march and so why were white supremacists allowed to?

            I don’t see any evidence for Long lying in the article. When the article, near the end, says “we are in a Trump presidency, this is the world we live in,” this is editorializing – maybe something Long said at one point, maybe something the article put in his mouth. But it still isn’t distorted testimony about the events on the ground.

            It might muddy the waters less if you stick to criticizing MSM accounts that are straightforwardly presenting themselves as unbiased general accounts of what happened.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            You have shifted the grounds of your argument. You made a sweeping attack against The Roots article: “These are lies.”

            Despite Outis having patiently picked apart your argument, you in fact have not engaged with him but are broken recording. Your “let’s rewind” is effectively an admission that you are not about to acknowledge what Outis described, that The Root article is a first person account, and you have not provided one iota of evidence to suggest that Long misrepresented what he saw. You are therefore unable to support your original claim and are thus trying to shout Outis down.

            This is a violation of our site’s written Policies. We don’t make exceptions for anyone. You either need to engage with him in a good faith manner or stand down.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Thank you for that. I was of two minds about posting the Lee Camp video because this horrible affair has gotten people very upset, we only have pieces of what happened, and many people are drawing inferences that go beyond the information. I think we all agree strongly with one of your big points, that this was a massive failure on the part of the police.

  7. Moocao

    I recommend the BLS class from the American Heart Association. It is the class that most nurses and doctors use for their training.

  8. Sound of the Suburbs

    The history of the neo-liberal revolution is starting to come clear.

    James Buchanan first became motivated by the US Government insisting that segregation between white and black children should end. He saw private schools as a way of maintaining this segregation outside the control of Government.

    He started in Virginia, near Charlottesville, where racism festered not far below the surface and they still resented the Northern Government telling them what to do; removing the freedom of the wealthy to do what they liked and taxing them to look after others.

    The Government shouldn’t have the power to end school segregation in Virginia.

    The beginnings of neo-liberalism / economic liberalism.

    It is ironic the new liberals should now be so aghast at the goings on in a region where their own beliefs first started to take shape.

    “Democracy in Chains” Nancy Maclean

    How a right wing ideology was developed in the US to roll back the “New Deal” and give economic freedom back to the wealthy to do pretty much as they pleased.

  9. Damson

    Fields was a diagnosed schizophrenic, who had been discharged from military training) :unsuitable ‘ – the standard euphemism for psychiatric).

    He had been on anti – psychotics, though whether still on them at time of attack is unknown.

    The car he was driving had been hit by someone with a bat, just before he drove into the woman blocking the street, and subsequently the crowd.

    So it looks like a type of ‘Road rage’ episode, made worse due to driver’s mental instability, violent context, aggravating factors.

    To characterise it as a ‘terror attack’ is in my view misleading.

    ‘Terrifying’ for sure, but ‘terror’ implies a premeditation and tactical goals.

    Words matter – never more so than in this Orwellian era.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Our Brian C and Sluggeaux, a former state prosecutor, disagree. He disabled the airbag. An airbag deploying 1. could have injured him and 2. would have made it impossible to drive the car, as in exit. This is a strong tell that he planned to use the car as a weapon and was primed to find an excuse.

      Both the way he drove into the crowd (hands steady on the wheel and well positioned when he started( and his impressive exit weren’t consistent with road rage.

      1. Damson

        He was mentally unstable, a diagnosed schizophrenic.

        His intention to kill is therefore problematic – insanity has always been a defence against intent.

        He could have flipped anytime, anywhere.
        Hence the ‘Road rage’ comparison.

        Not to diminish the victims experience, just pointing out the dangers of imputing political /ideological rationales to people with mental illness.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          You fail to mention his disabling of the airbag; was that also part of his “insanity?”

          1. Damson

            I wouldn’t know.

            Perhaps his psychiatrist could answer your very specific question?

            If you think this is evidence of a planned attack, you could be right.

            But mentally unstable people are perfectly capable of a greater or lesser degree of ‘planning’ a murder – even if it means only a walk to the woodshed to pick up an axe.

            Arguably, only the ‘crime passionel’ is free from any prior decision – making.

            So I still maintain my original point – that the question of culpability is complex when the perpetrator is known to be mentally unstable, and, in this case, professionally diagnosed.

            As is the issue of motivation.

            That means you cannot characterise his crime as a ‘terror attack’, as that assumes he was fully compos mentis, using the car in the same way as, for example, the takfiri attack in Cannes earlier this year.

            1. nowhere


              Since this seems to be conjecture, what if the driver of the attack was not fully compos mentis and he was used and manipulated by a group of disaffected radicals?

              Why do white men seem to get the pass (with Dylan Roof, also) that they are mentally unstable and therefore not guilty of acts of terror? Maybe if the jihadists had access to psychological screening we would find that they are unstable, possibly due to decades of war and economic privation.

            2. Brian M

              You seem to be quibbling over irrelevancies here. How many members of many terrorist groups might be diagnosed by the (questionable) standards of the brain babblers? We are all “insane” according to one section or other. So maybe nobody is to “blame’ for anything?

              To claim he was not motivated by politics seems insane in itself, given his history of interest in far right politics and racist ideologies.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                There is a specific legal definition of insanity in murder cases, which is not understanding the difference between right and wrong. The fact that he disabled the airbag to facilitate a speedy exit and attempted to make one says he knew full well.

      2. David

        There is more here than merely a guy who was “disturbed”.

        Driving in reverse – totally straight for extended period under duress is quite a feat. This guy was not an amateur. He was a Pro! Ask any of the posters here, if they can do that – no one I have asked said they could.

        The Cops management of the event was deliberate. This was a permitted event so the authorities knew what the response would be, there should be no doubt about it. Yet they put the two groups together on a narrow street.

        The typical establishment mime is to say the cops made a mistake and the guy was crazy. Always giving the benefit of the doubt to the committed narrative. Makes no sense.

        New narrative play book to substitute for the dying Russia, Russia, Russia?

        1. Damson

          You can verify the claim yourself online.

          He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hadbeen discharged from military training – that doesn’t sound like ‘whitewash ‘to me.

          True, it could be’ fake news ‘, so it’s a question of personal choice to accept it or not.

        2. SubjectivObject

          It is relevant whether he had occasion in the past to back up at speed. If so, he would quickly learn how sensitive steering with the now rear wheels is. The trick is to brace one arm on the door (or door-leg-arm) and make the finest of steering adjustments using the braced fingers; start relative slow, establish direction, and then speed up. Young bodies with coordination talent can easily do this.

          1. David

            so its is easy is your promote – at high speed on a narrow street with people chasing you – any young guy can do that – nerves of steel for any amateur who is emotionally diagnosed with ??? …Baloney

            it gets worse:

            “the discovery of a craigslist ad posted last Monday, almost a full week before the Charlottesville protests, is raising new questions over whether paid protesters were sourced by a Los Angeles based “public relations firm specializing in innovative events” to serve as agitators in counterprotests.

            The ad was posted by a company called “Crowds on Demand” and offered $25 per hour to “actors and photographers” to participate in events in the “Charlotte, NC area.” While the ad didn’t explicitly define a role to be filled by its crowd of “actors and photographers” it did ask applicants to comment on whether they were “ok with participating in peaceful protests.” Here is the text from the ad:

            Actors and Photographers Wanted in Charlotte
            Crowds on Demand, a Los Angeles-based Public Relations firm specializing in innovative events, is looking for enthusiastic actors and photographers in the Charlotte, NC area to participate in our events. Our events include everything from rallies to protests to corporate PR stunts to celebrity scenes. The biggest qualification is enthusiasm, a “can-do” spirit. Pay will vary by event but typically is $25+ per hour plus reimbursements for gas/parking/Uber/public transit.”

            1. relstprof

              What a magnanimous public relations firm, offering gas reimbursements for hires to drive 5 hours from Charlotte, NC to Charlottesville, VA.

              Uber prices, no less!

        3. flora

          “New narrative play book to substitute for the dying Russia, Russia, Russia?”

          This morning’s NYTimes throws a curveball. This morning they report that a here-to-for unknown “witness” to the “hacking” has been found. Someone from Ukraine. (Ignores technical issues about the data download time-stamps and document meta-data).
          “… a fearful man who the Ukrainian police said turned himself in early this year, and has now become a witness for the F.B.I.”

          1. David

            check out Binney and the other former CIA / NSA employees analysis – they can prove not a hack with time stamps and ESP’s

  10. Miracle

    Considering the amount of armament the nazi militia brought plus Charlottesville’s knowledge of caches of more weapons hidden – it’s a miracle 3 souls were lost & not dozens.

    There was over 1,000 law enforcement members there.

    I fear, as I’m sure others do as well, the odds of of dozens dead happening Somewhere USA are high thanks to the ignorant facilitator in chief.

    1. Eureka Springs

      I for one am thankful police didn’t get into the fray sooner. Police always make things worse. Although I’m curious about reports saying they were waiting on orders to do so which never happened. Waiting on orders from whom? Who decided to hold back our police state, which so rarely happens?

      And never ever underestimate the possibility of agents provocateurs being all or part of this.

      Isn’t it funny how protests with armed citizens cause police to stay out of it.

      1. Damson

        There were provocateurs in action there – on both ‘sides’. Pepper spray being the preferred weapon.

        Not for the first time I get the impression of theatre.

        And somewhere, the backers of both ‘sides’ are sharing a mutually – congratulatory drink.

    2. Adar

      According to an article in The Guardian, the armed militia members present (from NY and PA) intended to help keep the protesters separated, asked the police for permission to attend, and vociferously deny being Nazis in any way. Seems they are just garden variety survivalists preparing for the day society collapses. That they seemed better armed than the authorities is a different matter.

  11. mk

    Great place for training for people in Los Angeles area:
    What is CERT?

    If a major earthquake (or any disaster) hits, do you …

    have enough supplies for a minimum of 72 hours up to an entire month for all family members, including pets?
    know how to turn off the gas?
    know how to safely turn off the power?
    know how to apply first aid?
    have enough water for all of your family and your pets?
    have provisions for living outside your home for a length of time if the structure is compromised?
    It is important to know, if a major disaster occurs, the LAFD, paramedics, police…WILL NOT COME! They will be deployed FIRST to major incidents such as collapsed buildings. That is why you constantly hear…You MUST be prepared to take care of yourself. In the CERT course they say…“The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of People.” When you are trained, you are far more equipped to deal with your circumstances without needing aid from outside sources.

    CERT members are trained in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. You will learn how to prepare for emergencies, what supplies you should NOW have in your house, how much food, how much water but most importantly, how to protect your family in an emergency!

    Sign-up for the FREE Training

    link to list of training events:

  12. craazyman

    How could you call the guys in “Deliverance” hicks? Especially the banjo player and the dude pumping gas in overalls. The white collar guy with the glasses was no match for the banjo player on the porch. He was befuddled and he fumbled like an amateur. I guess they can’t put up a statue of William Faulkner since not too many people have read his books. Maybe a statue of Janis Joplin who was from Texas and maybe Buddy Holly. I think Buddy Holly actually has a statue someplace. And Mississpi Muddy Waters too. And the guitar player to end all guitar players, the famous Robert Johnson from Mississippi. I’m not sure if he has a statue. He might! I’m not sure. But these could be southerners you could make statues of. How about Ted Turner?? We’d have to think about that one. As long as he’s alive he’s his own statue. That’s the way a man should be.

    No real southern hick would go to one of these race rallies — it takes waaay to much effort, they have to work the Wal-Mart shift, they’re too overweight, and it gets in the way of fishing. All those white guys are northerners, probably from the mid-west even.

    That pic says it all. Jousting as a form of self-expressionary theater. Look at the laid back lazy gestures by both actors. What truly amazes me is this — if it hadn’t been for a mentally ill psycho behind the wheel of a car and a helicopter accident almost nobody would have been seriously hurt. That really is incredible, given all the guns and presumably ammo. I’m not sure if the armed individuals there just carried guns and no ammo but I doubt it. I find that really really amazing — and that photo captures the underlying energetic structure of the whole phenomenon quite aptly.

    This is a form of theater of the kind suggested by the great wacko himself — Antonin Artaud. Who was a French guy. I suspect it will stay that way (I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.) To grasp and grapple with the phenomenon at hand requires a conceptual vocabulary that I have yet to see in the media coverage and “I was there” narratives.

    1. Brian M

      All those guns cost money. Trips to the protest cost money.

      Just like the false meme that Trump was elected by the working class. Nope. It was the gated community suburban megachurch religious nuts who elected him. Affluent small town and suburban nabobs

      1. Arizona Slim

        High-quality guns and good ammo cost serious money. This, in a nutshell, is why Yours Truly had to give up the shooting sports. I could no longer afford the cost of participation.

  13. David Miller

    Leaving aside all other issues I always thought: Confederate memorials/statues commemorate actual treason and people who tried to dismember the country. Solely for the purpose of keeping other human beings as slaves. Thus zero sympathy from me to the “Heritage not Hate” crowd.

    I am, however, unsympathetic to “applies 21st century standards of PC virtue-signalling to centuries-old figures” types, as they will inevitably be the authoritarian leftists that are as distasteful to me as the Confederafluffers.

    Pretty well impossible to deal with the imbeciles who immediately jump to “George Washington owned slaves so 100% of everything about him must be rubbished.” Unproductive on every level and outright destructive on most of them.

    1. rc

      Historically, those officers were taught that it was constitutional to secede from the Union. Constitutional law classes at West Point taught constitutional secession so when many of the southern states seceded those officers thought that these States were being denied what was their constitutional right. They lost the war so they were wrong. Most of these men’s primary reason for fighting was for honor. Sadly, they were defending slavery as an institution.

      1. Vatch

        Which article and section of the US Constitution provides justification for secession or the proper procedure for seceding?

        1. River

          Not the US Constitution but from the Declaration “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

          Good enough if you want a Casus belli bad enough.

          1. Vatch

            I think the Declaration of Independence seems more like a justification for slave revolts than for the secessions of 1861. The slaves experienced absolute despotism.

            1. Fiery Hunt

              Careful, Vatch.
              Justifying one interpretation and denying the other smacks of bias.

              My problem is it’s just so damned difficult to find my own response to being a hypothetical Southern farmer in 1860, without slaves, but facing a Northern pressure that puts my family and living at risk. I’m a …let’s say..Virginian. Neighbors (State) over strangers (Nation)? Practical over principle? What principle?

              I guess my point is the Declaration of Independence isn’t so much about economic models (although THAT is there) as it is about the ideals of freedom from political domination.

              And in that interpretation, both slave revolts and the War for Succession are totally valid.

        2. todde

          Well, the Northern states violated the Constitution when they (rightfully so) didn’t return fugitive slaves back to the South.

          Article 4, Section 2: No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

          We have the fugitive slave law passed by congress, the dread scott decision passed by the Supreme Court and a slew of other federal policies that (irony) the Northern states nullified.

          I wonder when we Americanized the word Labor?

          So if the North was in violation of the Constitution, at what point do you have the right to succeed? I don’t know to be honest.

      2. Brian M

        I think this is being far too kind. Most officers were from the landowning class, and the rationale for the secession was very clearly to preserve slavery. Saint Lee was not a kind master, he did little to stop the lynching and capturing or Northern freemen when his army invaded the north, nor did he actively oppose the rise of the neo-confederate terror groups during the postwar era.

        Sometimes both siderism is wrong.

      3. justanotherprogressive

        I’d like to see a link or something that states (or even implies) that instructors at a facility for training officers for the US Military would ever say that it was “constitutional to secede”…….sounds a bit treasonous to me…..

  14. davidly

    Re. statues: My first reaction is that it is easy to predict the mindset of someone quick to defend Confederate symbolism. On the other hand it seems wrongfooted to spend energy trying to expunge all of it from our public spaces. I nevertheless cannot help but find the en masse demonstration in favor of the statue to be super predominantly white supremacist in nature. I do not come to this uninformed. As a middle American born white male, I have been privy in my life to the kinds of things white people say to other white people, who they either assume are like them, or simply don’t care. As a one-term military enlistee, I found a similar saturation of racial bigotry in those ranks. It had already been abundantly clear to me from my upbringing that those who tend toward the police force likewise harbor racial animosity and wilful ignorance of the history that would inform the reasons behind some of the superficial observations made by those who don’t bother to get to know black or brown people if they can avoid it.

    In short, the military and police forces have a white supremacy problem, so institutionalized, it would explain how it is that even minority officers engage in brutal tactics against “their own”. I hasten to add to your bit about Nixon’s war on drugs the fact that someone in the Reagan/Bush realm also knowingly created the crack epidemic in South Central Los Angeles, something we now know is fact, thanks to the late Gary Webb. The culture that grew out of that era is paradigm shifting.

    So whenever we are tempted to say that law enforcement failed in such situations, we should quickly reassess and remind ourselves of the proverbial “feature not a flaw”. The authoritarian impulse in America has its own dynamic, but even here in Berlin, where there are plenty of ultra-right demonstrations, none of which exist without a counter demo that includes an antifa presence, the police don’t fail as demonstrably, but it’s pretty clear where their sympathies lie. The first such demo I attended was where I first heard the taunt out of the ranks of the right: “Sie schützen uns! Sie schützen uns!” (They [the police] ‘re protecting us! They’re protecting us!”) And they were in no way implying this meant they needed protection from the counter demonstrators; it was a taunt that clearly meant that the cops were on their side

  15. davidly

    One more thing: Trump has shown an ability to selectively and tactically tell truths otherwise unspoken in the political sphere. His comment on Washington and Jefferson memorials is totally legit. But it’s couched in the rest of his rhetoric, which is utterly bullsh**.

  16. The Rev Kev

    I fear that I may have to make issue with Yves’s characterization of statues as fetishism. Do statues contain an element of ancestor-worship? Maybe…likely. Are most of them poorly designed and thought out? Definitely. In any case in our culture, it is usually the leaders that get the statues, not the engineers and scientists who actually got it all done. But remember that they are actually symbols and people live by symbols and incorporate them into their lives. The pert Manhatten woman who totes a Gucci handbag and the San Fransisco hipster who takes pride in his artisanal cheese may look dissimilar but they are both using symbology to establish their identities. To threaten people’s symbols is to threaten their identity and people will resist that to the hilt. That is why the resistance to the removal of those statues.
    I think that we are going to have to go back to the old stick-and-stones attitude. That is, if you come to me and say that you see a statue in another state that causes bad feelings in you and makes you feel angry or that you find it wrong that the candidate that you voted for did not win, I would say build a bridge and get over it. But if you come to me and say that people are trying to restrict your voting rights, the courts charge you constantly so that that can fill their coffers with your fines, your churches are burnt and so on then brother, that is something that is actually worth fighting against. This is real damage versus emotional damage and I think may be the only workable way to go.
    One last thing that came to mind. There were all sorts of rat-bag groups in Charlottesville and I am wondering just where the hell they came from. But then a disturbing thought occurred to me. Could it be that the identity politics that has been used for the past couple of decades in America for political gain has led to the unintentional formation of these sub-groupings? The politicians may have played it too clever by half in their angling for power and this may be the result. Movements like this from the left and the right do not come about spontaneously but must have a lineage somewhere. The only one that I recognize that has a lineage is the KKK but they just look ridiculous.

    1. Lynne

      What makes you think the sub-groupings are unintentional? It’s a classic divide and conquer strategy. Without it, after all, the great unwashed might have noticed that tea party and occupy sympathizer had more in common with each other than with the establishment, and started talking to each other instead of heaping ridicule on the other.

  17. PKMKII

    I know we’re not big on smartphones around here, and it should be treated as a supplement rather than a replacement for training, but there is a Resucitate! app that gives a guide to assisting someone in a CPR, AED, or choking situation.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, just because I don’t use them is completely independent of what is useful advice for the overwhelming majority of readers who do. Thanks a lot!

  18. EoH

    Josh Marshall, a historian by training, has a nice piece about this over at TPM. In brief, the elevation of the generals from the South after the War of Northern Aggression was one of the pacts that formed the post-reconstruction South. It whitewashed, hrm, their personal treason and allowed the South to rewrite its history, exonerating its leadership. It gave the planter class icons around which to form a revised culture, one that reconstituted slavery in all but name. Jim Crow lasted a hundred years; the culture that built it survives its demise.

    Jim Crow kept a reconstituted planter class and its courtiers in power, It built on earlier culture and characterized former slaves as an extravagant threat, sexually, economically, politically. A variation on the British empire’s divide and conquer. African Americans became the focus of poor whites angst rather than the southern elite. That, too, survives Jim Crow. It’s part of the white supremacy that informs Trump.

    The Charlottesville driver/killer, for example, is a minimum wage 20 year-old outcast, rejected by the US Army, and apparently with untreated mental health problems. (Not that he – or anyone similarly situated – would have had access to health care.) He’s a textbook example of one personality type for whom white supremacy and the victimhood and promises of neonazism hold the most attraction.

    1. Carolinian

      Without a doubt the southern aristocracy fought the war over slavery but what doesn’t get mentioned as often is that the north, by and large, fought the war over union, not slavery. As for “treason,” this was not a term that got bandied about so much back when people were closer to a Revolutionary War that was also called treason. Gore Vidal for one said that the south had a right to secede and perhaps the US would have been better off if they had done so. The premise of Vidal’s book Lincoln was that Lincoln suffered under the great moral weight of almost single handedly keeping the Union together at the cost of 500,000 lives.

      Of course few southerners now (certainly speaking for myself!) think the south would have been better off if they had won. An enduring south is the be the premise of an upcoming HBO series by the Game of Thrones creators–a very bad idea, especially in light of recent events.

    2. Arizona Slim

      He sounds a lot like Jared Lee Loughner, who was the killer of six people at then-Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ Congress on Your Corner event. The guy needed help, didn’t get it, and the rest, they say, is history.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Interesting graph that. Only comment is that that second blimp in the 1960s was only marked down as the era of the civil rights movement. What should be noted is that it was also the centennial of the civil war so you would expect more memorials to be dedicated then.

  19. rc

    This was murder not ‘terrorism’.

    By propagating this word you are playing into the hands of the security establishment who want to turn the tools of war against the American people. Terrorism is a tactic used by smaller, less powerful groups to effect a response in what is generally a war.

    By falling into the trap of misusing this word people are setting trap for themselves when law enforcement is given blanket authority to violate civil liberties.

    1. davidly

      I agree. And it’s good you post that and it bears repeating, perhaps ad naseum. I doubt most people clamoring for equal inclusion in the terminology have given it any consideration.

      1. Damson


        Terror is a violent political tactic conducted in full awareness and as part of the terrorists arsenal to reach specific goals.

        State-sponsored terror is the real scourge of our times. Where’s the outrage? Or is the killing of countless Brown people only ‘racist’ on US soil?

        As Fields only known political affiliation was his registration as a Republican, we would have the to logically designate that party a terrorist organisation, if he is categorised as a terrorist.

        While many would agree with that (Iraq) it is hardly practical, given the Democratic Party’s equal enthusiasm for state – sponsored terror (just look at who is supplying arms to the numerous takfiris in Syria,or the destruction of Libya.)

        So branding Fields a terrorist instead of a mentally disturbed killer opens up a real can of worms.

        Are we to also allege ‘religious motivation’ for the ‘God/Satan – told – me – to – kill’ contingent too?

  20. hemeantwell

    if you’d had black protestors show up similarly attired and armed, you can bet you’d have seen mass head-breaking and arrests

    If the question of fascism is at all relevant here, it’s not in the mouthing of phrases and the medieval accoutrements of the neo-fascists. It’s in the inaction of the police. Mcauliffe’s recourse to saying the cops were outgunned to explain why the police didn’t stop the neo-fascists, his hesitation to say this was a profound screwup, is a replay of the history of fascism in Germany and Italy. Tolerance and support from the cops were essential in its success. Demonstrators should be going after Mcauliffe, not Robert E Lee. The next move on the part of the neos, if they’re smart, will be to see how much state support they can get if they more tightly focus on the left. Support/tolerance on the part of the state should be attacked in whatever form it takes, from Trump on down.

    1. JTFaraday

      Agree. The inaction of the police, the “both sider-ism” of Trump and the Trumpertantrums which normalizes white supremacist extremism on all of the right, and in its use by libertarians and neoliberals to advance the cause of the rich because that’s the way to oppose the liberals, the left, and socialist antifa.

      I can’t pull a link right now but recommend the Vice documentary on Charlottesville. Bit chilling.

        1. JTFaraday

          And honestly, it’s not just the excluded who are being radicalized, as the MRA phenomenon shows, the openly superior attitudes of silicon valley tech bros, etc.

  21. Brian

    Yves, the point you make about the perceived lack of greased tracks from Southern universities to the Acela corridor’s hall’s of power got me thinking about C. Wright Mills and where else the power elite create leverage points…

    NOTE: This is a reprint of a journal article with the following citation:
    Domhoff, G. William. 2006. “Mills’s The Power Elite 50 Years Later.” Contemporary Sociology 35:547-550.


    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Thank you for pointing to Domhoff’s site. I too find his books and writings insightful.

      Regarding C. Wright Mills — the crafting of his demise is a scary reminder of the ways our state can undo those who speak against it.

      1. EoH

        Mills’s career (and that of Sloane Coffin at Yale) certainly engendered a response of “Never again” among the Ivy League and its patrons. The likes of Alfred McCoy at Wisconsin and G. William Domhoff at UCSC were confined to the state ivies. Later nonconformist critics of the establishment were lucky to be hired at mid-rank state schools. It was essential to deprive them of formal inclusion among the nation’s intellectual elite. Stanford, under its longtime patron, arch-conservative Herbert Hoover was especially vigilant in excluding nonconformists. UC San Diego spent a long time in purgatory for hiring Herbert Marcuse.

        Among many other achievements, Mills made a mockery of the McCarthy era demand for conformity and bland acceptance of the status quo.

  22. Rhondda

    I found Mark Lilla’s criticism of identity politics to be very worthwhile.

    It saddens me that the shrill media echo chamber (including that ridiculous Jacobin article) has me — a lifelong ‘liberal’ — reading TAC.

    I reject identity politics. I am an American citizen. But I have no political home. I had hopes for the DSA, but now I see they were a proud part and parcel of the thuggery in Charlottesville.

    Yes, I have a very tight tinfoil hat but I smell the fire and brimstone of Soros, provocations and color revolutions. “Heightening the differences” is I believe what this violent street theater was intended to do.

    1. Brian M

      TAC is my go to source for foreign policy analysis. Daniel Larison is amazing, no matter what your purported left or right status.

      1. Rhondda

        Yes, they do have really good foreign policy analysis. Reality-based. But you have to wade through quite a bit of Christian-values-under-attack and Culture War yaya to get there. IMHO.

        1. Brian M

          I only have Daniel bookmarked, and my browser takes me right to his exposes of the Peace Prize President’s support of the horrors in Yemen, the bipartisan war crime disaster which is Syria, and the insanities of Trump’s ignorant babbles. :)

    2. Damson

      Actually, the fire and brimstone could be coming from more institutional direction :


      The video of Fields attack broadcast on corporate media was mainly the one filmed by one Brennan Gilmore.

      The only description I found in an MSM report said he was a Charlotte resident, involved in start – ups, and had been present with friends at the scene.

      He had tweeted extensively, characterising the incident as a :terrorist attack ‘ by’ Nazis ‘.

      He also claims that Nazis are running the White House.

      Definitely not a’ neutral’ observer.

      Now turns out he is a former State Dept employee, whose work smacks not a little of CIA regime – changing.

      This is definitely looking more and more like a psyops.

      But what’s the goal?

      1. TheCatSaid

        “This is definitely looking more and more like a psyops.

        But what’s the goal?”

        I think the goals are clear. (Just look at the effects.)

        What’s less clear to me is what people/groups are orchestrating this. The aftermath–creating division and opinion regarding even the facts of what happened–is part of the goal. Look at this website and the data being generated by commenters. Who defends themself? Who attacks? Who retreats? What is the nature of the language used?

        Quinn Michaels has analyzed that stirring things up in this way provides opportunities for Smart AI to create more data regarding how individuals and groups respond emotionally, thus further enabling future manipulation of society with even greater precision. Michaels’ extensive analysis of advanced bot networks is chilling. But even so he sees beneficial opportunities. It’s pretty intriguing, these games and deliberate disruption. His YouTube discussions (many of which include extensive screenshots to document what he has observed) are interesting stuff.

        1. Damson

          Thanks for the info – I can well believe that is a motive for some.

          But I am focusing more on the political aims of what is looking more and more like an orchestrated event.

          Trump’s condemnation of both ‘sides’ was greeted with predictable outrage from much of the MSM.

          Yet having watched an hour long video filmed by a non – partisan, who positioned himself between the :warring parties, it is clear he is correct : the police were ordered to stand down while both sides – one of which did not have a permit for a rally – went at it hammer and tongs.

          That casualties were greater for one ‘side'(though I take such reports with a large dose of salt given media disdain for facts, including’ WMD: NYT) does not reduce culpability.

          Interesting that Richard Spencer (the humanities graduate from an upper middle class background who supposedly represents the grievances of much of the Deplorable class – really?) was in Hungary months ago. Meeting with the ‘far right’ there. He sure gets around.
          With no visible means of support, I can only assume he’s being bankrolled by some very shy folk….

          Hungary also happens to be run by Soros nemesis, Victor Orban.

          A little digging might turn some ‘unexpected’ connections.

          ‘Unexpected ‘to those who are unfamiliar with events in the Ukraine that is.

  23. Estragon77

    Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training is great… you get everything you would in the above-mentioned Red Cross courses but with a wilderness overlay, the upshot being there is a focus on helping injured people for a longer period of time than just waiting for an ambulance. So longer term patient stabilization, splint making, assessment, etc. Strikes me as useful in a situation where professional medical help is not going to be immediately available for whatever reason. The Wilderness Medical Institute (WMI) runs courses all across the country but there are other outfits that teach the course as well.

  24. Robert E. Lee

    I have a unique perspective of sorts on this as I used to be “Robert E. Lee” on the Radio. Other than being kidded about the name, I never, ever saw any push back or any negativity from anyone. And my show was top-rated. Of course this was back in the 70’s and things change. But seems to me some of these people protesting over confederate statues are missing the point and should read a book on the Civil war, which was mostly about oppression from the Northern states and really not that much about slavery.

    1. nowhere

      There are plenty of books that completely invalidate “the Civil war, which was mostly about oppression from the Northern states and really not that much about slavery.” Not that any post here is going to change your mind.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      What about the theory that the economic interests of the North in opposition to those of the South motivated the Civil War? The North wanted to compel the South to sell its cotton to Northern Mills at a lower price than the South could sell its cotton to English Mills. I thought I read about that in a Post here at NakedCapitalism — ? I have trouble believing the Civil War was about slavery. If slavery were the driver then why did Lincoln wait until 1863 to make his emancipation proclamation? After the Civil War why did the North do so little to help the slaves they emancipated and protect their freedom? It took 100 years and considerable political and social pressure to compel the North to enforce even the most basic civil rights in the South.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Every single version of the secession articles issued by the Southern states says they were doing so to preserve their “peculiar institution.” It’s not about “belief.” It’s about demonstrable facts. That the North didn’t really give a [family blog] about the actual slaves, and that anti-black racism was as bad north of the Mason-Dixon is irrelevant to this discussion.

        Likewise, the reason why none of the freed slaves got their “40 acres and a mule” is available in any number of reliable historical sources, and just as has always been the case is the result of a combination of rich people and politics.

  25. philnc

    Read some diaries by Northerners who fought in that war. Whether they liked it or not, they knew the war was about ending slavery. An awful lot of them volunteered based on that understanding (except the mobs in NYC that attacked an orphanage for black children). In his memoirs Grant, writing much later in a time when the myth of “it was only about union” by then had a firm hold, was clear about the role abolitionism played. Those in the South at the time didn’t pretend otherwise either.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Many of those fighting in the Civil War were motivated by their feelings about slavery. However I am extremely skeptical that either a strong desire to abolish slavery or a commitment to maintain the union motivated the Elite of the North to war with the South. Their concern for the human condition didn’t extend very far in time or space. Emancipated slaves were left to suffer under Jim Crow. Northern Mills and factories operated in conditions not greatly different than outright slavery.

      1. HotFlash

        Disclaimer: I am totally not a historian. Evidence *wholly* anecdotal, *wholly* oral and simply a family story. My father had two great-uncles who died in Andersonville Prison, I have seen the letters and the little carved Bibles send back to their family in Ohio/ Pennsylvania but not otherwise verified anything. The story in the family is that they went for the substitute money, $100 (a whole lot of money back then). The draft was only for landowners, ie voters, but they could and very often did pay to have non-landowners, such as my greatuncles, take their duty for them. Irony: the family was awarded land, in Michigan.

    1. dimmsdale

      Yves, here in NYC, I took a good basic first aid course at the American Red Cross (it included CPR, dealing with burns, broken bones, seizures, etc.); someone upthread mentioned the American Heart Association and their offerings look intriguing too. And NYC does indeed have an active CERT chapter; which fields teams of trained volunteer first-responders for all sorts of disasters. (I had looked into all this stuff just post-9/11; picked up a good manual on disaster prep from the ARC and still carry their first-aid kit and a pair of construction gloves in my backpack, just in case.)

  26. Jeremy Grimm

    I’m not sure what to make of the events in Charlottesville. They hold a dark foreboding I can’t decipher.

    Lee Camp’s portrayal of how fleetingly brief is our moment of life and consciousness and his admonition to use that moment is what most moved me in his brief video.

  27. RRH

    While Red Cross and other organization offer courses, you might try to find a good edition of the Boy Scout’s First Aid Merit Badge booklet. It has probably been updated over the years, but was a good read and taught me enough to help several injured people since earning my Eagle rank. Not sure I could revive the dead, but I’ve kept a heart attack victim alive until help arrived, as well as many bleeding people.

  28. anonymous

    The South has long dominated key sectors of the US power structure, if not the ones where Yves has spent her time/ drawn her acquaintances.

    Just look at those who have had prominent roles in Congressional leadership and committee chairmanships over the last century. What about Mitch McConnell? Jeff Sessions (before he became AG)? Russell Long? Jamie Whitten? Herman Talmadge? George Smathers? Lindsay Graham? John McCain (Mississippian by birth)? Strom Thurmond? Theodore Bilbo? Just to name a few.

    Southerners are also over-represented in the military. http://www.ozy.com/acumen/why-the-us-military-is-so-southern/72100 NB, as Yves has mentioned, the retired general and flag officers often end up running defense contractors when they leave active duty– so Southern influence is also strong there.

    The South continues to dominate our political life and our military industrial complex. Guilt tripping non Southerners about anti Southern prejudice continues to enforce such dominance. While that prejudice certainly exists, it’s no reason to give the white South a pass, or the affirmative action program Trump wants to grant by re-orienting DoJ’s Civil Rights Division.

    1. Matthew Kopka

      McCain was born in Panama, there was a birther issue with his candidacy. I see nothing in his bio about MS, though he moved a great deal as a military brat.

      The fact that southern pols attain such positions does not necessarily reflect dominance. And while Yves’s’ characterization elides some issues, it has the virtue of pointing up the obvious: there is prejudice toward white southerners and, like most prejudice, tends to prevent us from seeing the region clearly.

      1. anonymous

        On his mother’s side McCain comes from very wealthy Mississippi plantation owners with large slave holdings. http://www.salon.com/2000/02/15/mccain_90/ And while he has played this down (his bio being one example), he certainly knew of it. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2008/sep/23/john-mccains-mississippi-roots/

        Furthermore, McCain makes no bones about his Southern heritage. He has also, among other things, defended the Confederate flag and spoken highly of his treasonous ancestors who fought for the Confederacy (as noted in Salon link above).

        Regarding your disputation of Southern dominance on Capitol Hill — I worked at CBO and got to see it first hand back in the 70s. With all due respect, your statement about the prevalence of southern pols in high positions on the Hill not “necessarily” reflecting dominance, is clueless. It may be a little different now but given the continued power of Southern Republicans on the Hill I tend to doubt that.

        Of course there’s prejudice towards just about everyone who isn’t in one’s own group. Unfortunately, that is the way humans are. The real issue is, has that group been victimized? Not all that much in the case of white Southerners, who run a great deal of the country.

        I would also say: the prejudice against Southerners actually works in many ways to their advantage. Both in terms of outsiders underestimating them, and in terms of outsiders’ being clueless about how powerful the South really is.

        1. Matthew Kopka

          Simply saying that Southerners dominate the America power structure doesn’t make it the case. Put that case together and I am interested. Calling me “clueless” looks to me like a sign that you are either operating out of your own prejudice rather than solid fact or just disputatious. I would gladly accept that Southerners are a disproportionate part of the power structure; that they dominate? Pony up.

  29. Wellstone's Ghost

    Out here in Seattle we seem to be more and more segregated. The city is basically cut in half, with the north side of downtown/ship canal being primarily white and the south side of downtown being the last vestige of minority home ownership in the city. Gentrification is alive and well in the Pacific Northwest. We call it the “San Francisco-zation” of Seattle. Everyone is being priced out and the City of Seattle Government seems perfectly ok with it. Perhaps the era of the City-State is here?

  30. Matthew Kopka

    Yes, policing fail. But there were some reasons for that. This “From a member of UVA staff,” which appeared on a trusted friend’s FB page, which has a ring of authenticity:

    ‘A few specifics that I learned from a very somber staff meeting with our Dean of Libraries just now. Some of these details may have been available in news reports but they were new to me. (1) Apparently on Friday night there was a ‘very low level’ request for permission for a group of 20 people to read a speech at the Rotunda. This overture to the University was then bait-and-switched to the march with torches that circled Central Grounds. (2) During the white nationalists’ intimidating march around Grounds, many UVA police officers were actually located downtown, where they had been seconded to support Charlottesville City police. (3) On Saturday, there were “several deliberate attempts to spread police thin” through tactics such as fake bomb scares in parts of town away from the main action. (4) By UVA policy, students and employees are prohibited from carrying firearms on Grounds, but by state law, because this is a public property, people with no University affiliation are allowed open carry without a permit and concealed carry with a permit. UVA can make policy enforceable on its own students and employees but not on the general public….
    “I am sharing all of this because I think there were several specific, calculated tactics by the white nationalists to leverage our laws and policies against us and to maximize the terrorizing effect of their activities in Charlottesville over the weekend. I believe the white nationalists are not done with us here in Charlottesville and I believe they will target other universities, university towns, and communities with progressive political reputations for similar attacks. I hope that forewarned is forearmed and that by disseminating information about the white nationalists’ tactics we can be better prepared in the future.’ (thanks to Gregory N Blevins)”

  31. K

    Nature. Skilled Labor. Community Bank credit creation. Shorting nature into a battery with debt expertise always ends the same way, a black hole of symptoms chasing their own tail, until all the financial and operational leverage is stranded.

    An elevator eliminates the arbitrary clock in the compiler, allowing an increasing diversity of events to time themselves.

Comments are closed.