New Orleans Mayor Landrieu Speaks Out On Confederate Monuments

Amplifying Jim, Foolish Literalist’s, posts. This is an important speech. Read the whole thing, but here is a sample.

You see: New Orleans is truly a city of many nations, a melting pot, a bubbling cauldron of many cultures.

There is no other place quite like it in the world that so eloquently exemplifies the uniquely American motto: e pluribus unum — out of many we are one.

But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were brought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor of misery of rape, of torture.

America was the place where nearly 4,000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp.

So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth.

And it immediately begs the questions: why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame … all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans.

There are good people in this country, politicians who understand they represent all the people. Remember that.


Caption Contest


This has been all over Twitter today. It’s for those of us who don’t know anything about CUPS in dogs.

I spent a good part of the afternoon at the New Mexico History Museum’s new exhibit on the 1960s counterculture in New Mexico. It was so-so.

But this does look like something out of an acid trip.

I Can’t Even

It looks like the reason Trump kept the American press out of the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week was he didn’t want them to hear this:

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

Trump just took off on his mission to unify the world’s religions. Nice timing, New York Times!

[The kittehs are expecting visitors, and then I’ll be knitting all afternoon. I’ll check in later. Have fun!]

Shall I Step On My Own Post?

Yes, why not.

Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came to White House

WASHINGTON — Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case.

Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser. The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies.

The cats are demanding that I go sit in the living room and read dead-tree magazines. I’ll be back later.

Wikileaks Jumps In

In an unexpected coincidence, Wikileaks releases something about FBI Director Mueller delivering highly enriched uranium to Russia. And it’s secret! Scary, right?

This is pretty standard procedure for sensitive material: Make sure the Russian Federation is ready for the flight; make sure US chain of custody is in order; check that the Russians will pick it up. Keep it secret to avoid alerting troublemakers. The only question is why the FBI director would be carrying it rather than a courier. One of my followers (a BJ-er?) supplied the answer.

The material was seized in a nuclear smuggling case in Georgia (the country), and the Russian Federation wanted to analyze the material to double-check where it may have come from. A law-enforcement matter, and it’s likely the US wanted to make a point to Russia that it’s serious. You don’t get more serious in law enforcement than the head of the FBI.

Many thanks to Stacy! I’m posting this now to head off the questions that will arise.


Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner.

Good Reading: The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus

The Anthropoliteia website describes itself as “critical perspectives on police, security, crime, law and punishment around the world.”

For the past 31 weeks, they have been running a series “@BlackLivesMatter Syllabus.” This series “mobilizes anthropological work as a pedagogical exercise addressing the confluence of race, policing and justice.” It is set up as a resource for college professors who teach courses that touch on such things. But it is also an outstanding resource for all of us on those subjects. Reading and other media are recommended by professors who use them in their courses, with explanation of why and how they use them. Some sample posts.

Week 30: Savannah Shange’s Key & Peele Mix Tape Because Laughter Keeps Us Honest

Week 29: Courtney Morris For Black Boys Who Look Blue

Week 26: Sameena Mulla on Missing Black Girls and Women

Week 22: Beatrice Jauregui on Humanity, Intersectionality, Inclusion

All the posts listed here.