Discussion Forum


VA responding to recent criticism:

VA will also install signs at all VA national cemeteries where foreign enemy prisoners of war are buried “in order to provide historical context about how non-U.S. service members from World War I and World War II were interred and buried on American soil.”

Then we have a National Park Service cemetery in Hampton Roads that includes not only Union and Confederate soldiers but also WWII POWs:

Also buried in the Phoebus Section are the remains of 55 Germans and 5 Italians captured as prisoners of war during World War II. Additionally, 28 German sailors who perished when the USS Roper sunk their U-boat off Cape Hatteras on April 14, 1942, lie in the national cemetery. In 2001, a German Enigma coding machine was recovered from the site of the wreck, and is currently held on loan from the German government at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, North Carolina.

I don’t care what they do or don’t do to the statues. But when I walk around or drive around Gettysburg I want the story to be told. If being more sensitive means removing any statues of Lee and Longstreet and replacing them with giant plaques, then so be it. Honestly, those are the only two statues of confederates depicting the actual person I recall seeing. There might be more that are just a plaque or marker, but I don’t recall them. Most I recall depict specific skirmishes within the battle. So I’m not sure what we’d lose by changing the presentation – as long as we don’t lose the story.

These are the only statues of Confederates that I am aware of with the year they were dedicated.

Confederate Soldiers & Sailors 1965
Alabama 1933
Louisiana 1971
Mississippi 1973
Maryland 1994 Union and Confederate soldier
North Carolina 1929
Virginia 1917 Lee with 7 other soldiers at base
11th Mississippi 2000
James Longstreet 1998

I’m pretty sure there are more “State” statues (or markers) than that. Maybe I’m wrong.

Okay, so I can’t read this but I’m sure the vast majority of German POW’s in the US were not war criminals. I can’t speak for the racial intolerance of some though. I’m sure there were some bad ones.

Wow, this was quite a list!

Okay, had never heard the story of interned German Americans but I was able to find that approximately 11,000 (“overwhelmingly, German nationals”) were held by the federal government. This is out of 1.2 million German-born immigrants in the US at that point, in addition to about another 30-35 million Americans of German descent. 114,000 Germans immigrated to the US in the 1930’s to escape Nazi Germany. No doubt there may have been a few spies in that group. I’m sure the vast majority of the 11,000 held were innocent.

As for Italian Americans, about 1,900 recent immigrants with no US citizenship were interned by the US government during the war. Another 600,000 Italian immigrants were not detained. And millions of Italian-American citizens were left alone.

As for the Japanese Americans, 120,000 of the 127,000 living in the continental US were sent to “concentration camps”. 62% of the Japanese who were interned were US citizens. Anyone with at least 1/16th Japanese blood was considered eligible for detention. It is considered a racist action and not a security action. A different standard for them versus those of German or Italian descent.

These are just the statues of people. There are several more state and regiment statues which are just blocks or obelisks. And a ton of markers.

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Something to brighten your day, maybe.

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.

Looks like Lee and Longstreet are the only actual people represented with a statue of their likeness. The other confederate statues appear to depict unidentified soldiers. (One Mississippi statue says it “portrays Color-Sergeant William O’Brien”, but I don’t know who he is, so he’s probably just random to most people. But I could be wrong.). The Longstreet statue is more of a depiction of him in battle. Only the Lee statue seems extreme. But again, I don’t care what they remove. If it’s offensive to the general population of African Americans, then remove them. Just don’t remove the story they tell along with the statue. At least replace them with some marker that keeps the story alive for future generations.

OK… This HAS to be staged:

  1. Why was this dude filming to begin with?
  2. No female that hot wearing a crop top is driving around in a minivan
  3. When have you been to a gas station with that many open pumps in the middle of the day?

As we used to say (jokingly) in the news biz, “too good to check.”

Props to your skepticism. I saw the bit earlier and forwarded it, but I didn’t think to check.

So I just looked it up now, and this guy claims it is staged:

Not sure where the proof is, but the source is a Facebook video show, so …

Other than the Longstreet statue and Lee on the Virginia state memorial, there are two other people memorialized.

Confederate Soldiers & Sailors was Walter Washington Williams who was thought to be the last living CSA soldier in 1959. Later it was thought another died after him in 1959.

The 11th Mississippi is Color Sgt William O’Brien. From the plaque on the statue.
“The 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, under the command of Col. Francis M. Green and Maj. Reuben O. Reynolds, formed west of the tree line on Seminary Ridge behind Maj. William Pegram’s Battalion of Artillery and immediately south of McMillan’s Woods on July 3, 1863. Shortly after 3:00 p.m., Color Sgt. William O’Brien of Company C, memorialized on this monument, raised the colors and the regiment stepped forward. Although clusters of men reached the stone wall near [Brian’s Barn], the attack was driven back with heavy loss, and the remnants of the regiment reformed in this vicinity.”

Flom is a really good magician who’s built up a pretty good internet following. His stuff is so good that he constantly gets accused of posting staged videos. As far as I’ve been able to determine, most, if not all, of the stuff that he does online is real, although he does regularly perform for a favorable audience of family and friends and sometimes takes some liberties with the editing to enhance the performance (but so does David Copperfield and pretty much every magician who does TV specials - does anyone actually believe that Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear? That was a made for TV moment, everyone in the on site live audience knew what was going on - the magic only happened for the TV viewing audience).

I think that Flom is credible enough in the magic community (Ellen Degeneres is a huge fan and regularly books him) that I don’t think he’d go to all the trouble necessary to stage a video like this one.

Here’s Brad DeLong and Noah Smith on my version of neoliberalism, with a dollop of Adam Smith on the expectation that capitalism should provide a living wage even to oil-change guys (and women):

I argued Noah into agreeing with me that “neoliberalism” is in fact a fine word for achieving-social-democratic-ends-through-market-means-where-those-are-effective, and that our principal task is to keep, over and over again, pointing out that we are not libertarians—and, indeed, that libertarians would not be recognized as children by the classical liberals. Overwhelmingly the goal of classical liberalism, from Hume through Smith to Bentham to John Stuart Mill, was not “plutocracy is fine if it is the outcome of a naturally-evolving catallaxy” but rather “the greatest good of the greatest number”. It was, after all, Adam Smith who wrote that:

Servants, labourers, and workmen… make up the far greater part [of every society]…. What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable…

And that any society that did not bend its will toward reducing and eliminating poverty was unjust and unfair, for:

It is but equity… that they who feed, clothe, and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed, and lodged…