Richmond Bids Adieu to General Robert E. Lee

September 9, 2021

By Karen

It’s a rare morning when you can wake up to GOOD news, but September 8, 2021, was one of those days.

After a legal battle that began last year during the Black Lives Matter protests in response to George Floyd’s murder, on September 2 the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the state-owned statue of Robert E. Lee could be taken off of Monument Avenue.

Majestic, moneyed Monument Avenue has been a shrine to the Civil War for over 100 years, featuring statues of several other Confederate “heroes”: namely, Stonewall Jackson, Matthew Fontaine Maury (Google him, I have no idea), and Jefferson Davis, who was the Confederacy’s Donald Trump. These three have already been removed.

Now, with Lee’s departure, the last man/statue standing on Monument Avenue is, fittingly enough, black tennis superstar Arthur Ashe.

Fun Facts about the Lee statue:

  • It was the largest Confederate monument in the U.S.
  • The pedestal, now covered with graffiti, is 40 feet tall.
  • The bronze statue of Lee and his horse was 21 feet tall.
  • The statue weighs 12 tons.
  • The horse isn’t Lee’s faithful steed Traveler, but some rando whose name I didn’t catch.
  • When it was erected in 1890, they hoisted it onto the pedestal in seven or nine pieces (I saw conflicting numbers) and welded them together.
  • The pedestal contains a time capsule that’s said to include a rare photo of Abraham Lincoln in his coffin. We shall soon find out, because that capsule is being removed and replaced with a 2021 capsule that the governor’s wife helped assemble. [UPDATE 5 MINUTES LATER: I just read that they didn’t find the capsule today where they thought it was and plan to keep looking.]

It seemed thousands of people turned out, including Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Governor Ralph Northam. Local TV stations had live coverage. The area around the statue and streets were blocked off. The crowd cheered and sang as Lee sailed majestically through the air…

Photo: John McDonnell, Washington Post

I didn’t see any hordes of Confederate sympathizers protesting. Maybe they were all too busy preparing to storm the Capitol in D.C. again on September 18.

Here it is on the ground…

General Lee’s face was apparently sculpted from a cast of his real face, so the likeness is genuine. He shows a Melania-like disregard for this final humiliation. All he’s missing is her squint…

I’m including this photo I took off the TV because it’s pretty funny. The equipment near his face looks like he’s smoking a cigarette in front of his own pedestal to face a fire squad…

Before transporting the statue to an unknown location for storage, workers carefully dissected Lee at mid-torso…

Trump said they cut the statue into three pieces, but I haven’t seen that. I just hope they didn’t hurt the horse. Here’s what else the orange clown spouted, just for the attention. The sentiments do reflect his idiocy, but he clearly didn’t write this because it’s coherent…

“Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the Radical Left and we can’t let that happen! If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago.”

Trump’s handlers obviously don’t realize that Lee ended the Civil War in “complete and total surrender” at Appomattox.

This was the front page of our local paper today. The Times-Dispatch must feel frantic as Civil War “developments” they’ve relied on for decades as a daily staple of their reporting dry up…

Accompanying Trump’s mental diarrhea was a page of public comments, mostly pro, some con. Some Southerners are still butt-hurt that owning human beings for profit is no longer a “thing.” It will probably take another generation or two for them to die off. The fewer reminders they have of the “good old days,” the better.

Some years ago, I was driving through the rolling Virginia mountains toward Charlottesville (probably going to visit Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful home, Monticello). It made me sad to think that after spending most of my life here, I still couldn’t consider myself a Virginian because Virginia refused to let go of the Civil War.

A writer in today’s paper, Robert Allen, arrived here in 1977, five years after me. His impression of Richmond matched mine…

“…a Lost Cause theme park; statues, streets, schools, bridges, buildings — the glory of the Confederacy was the only story Richmond was telling.”

Thank God, times are FINALLY changing here. A few years ago, nobody would have dreamed Richmond would sacrifice Monument Avenue’s perverted grandeur to get with the century.

There’s still one relatively modest Confederate statue in another part of town, of General A.P. Hill (I know, I have no idea either). It stands in a well-traveled intersection, and the general himself is buried under it — get this — standing up…

Those crazy Confederates, what will they think of next?


Delta Surges, Masks Disappear. WTF?

August 13, 2021

By Karen

During the one brief, shining moment COVID was on the decline, I still never went out frivolously or stopped wearing a mask — not even after July 1, when it once again became a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conceal your face in public. (Luckily, I haven’t heard of anybody going down on a mask rap.)

Virginia’s mask prohibition went back into effect when Governor Ralph Northam allowed the pandemic state of emergency to expire on June 30. Now, the Delta variant is rampaging through our red regions. But instead of again requiring masks in indoor settings, Northam’s wussing out and says just to follow CDC guidelines, which seem to change every five fucking minutes.

(I don’t blame the CDC, but keeping up with this shit is exhausting.)

Northam, a pediatric neurosurgeon in real life, just mandated masks for everyone in K-12 when schools open in the fall. Some parents are outraged, because they must want their kids sick or dead.

But many adults are NOT following CDC guidelines. As of this moment, the CDC says EVERYONE, vaccinated or not, should mask up indoors in “high” or “substantial” transmission areas. According to this map, that’s most of Virginia.

Many vaccinated people are apparently unaware they can inhale snootfuls of Delta from unvaxxed maskholes who walk among us. Even if the vaxxed themselves don’t get sick, they become walking COVID carriers.

This past week at Food Lion and Sam’s Club, I was gobsmacked to see predominantly barefaced customers, and some employees. The ones in masks mostly seemed to be older ladies like me who don’t want even a dab of COVID.

I blame this on the myriad stupid sources people consider “news.” I’m not just talking about Trumpy media outlets and Facebook.

With the proliferation of cable channels, streaming, social media, and even CNN’s sketchy coverage of most things, there’s no longer any main trusted source where everyone gets the same story. We used to get our news from competently staffed newspapers and career journalists like Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Huntley and Brinkley, and other professionals committed to reporting the facts without putting their own editorial spin on them.

Speaking of news, spare me any more tales of how COVID is ravaging states in the South and Midwest — a.k.a. Trump Country.

Last year, they were all oblivious while hundreds of thousands of their fellow Americans suffered and died. Today, they still refuse the vaccinations that could save their lives because their ignorance has become impenetrable after soaking in so many lies and conspiracy theories from God-knows-where.

So, now it’s their turn to get deathly ill and die, and in the immortal words of Melania’s jacket, “I really don’t care, do you?”

My sympathy goes to the selfless medical providers tasked with trying to save these morons from horrible, 100% preventable, self-inflicted deaths after they thoughtlessly sucked in a deadly virus through their maskless pieholes, mistaking it for “freedom.”

Now that it’s no longer blue states bearing the brunt of fatalities, some Republican leaders are admitting masks and vaccines aren’t so bad after all. It’s finally dawning on them that they’re screwed when they succeed in killing off much of their base in those sparsely populated, vast swaths of nowhere. They forgot to ram through any laws in those states giving livestock the right to vote.


Chapter 109: COVID Chronicles

July 15, 2020

By Karen

Day 126

Trump Threatens Suburb Extinction & Tries to Unplug the CDC

On lunch breaks, I check what’s going on with Twitter. Today, “Abolish Suburbs” was trending (for non-Twits, that means “very popular, lots of tweets”). Since I live in a ‘burb, I had to know why. Here it is…

It’s past time someone confiscated Trump’s phone. His tweets win over no one who isn’t already brainwashed. Instead, he shows us how an already-deranged person behaves when dementia sets in.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s governor tested positive. He was at Trump’s Tulsa rally, but doesn’t think that was it. Oklahoma has been breaking its daily records for new cases since then, so he could have caught it anywhere.

It’s also increasing in Virginia. Roughly half of new cases are on the coast, where people have been merrily romping at Virginia Beach.

But back to Trump. Yesterday afternoon, reporters roasted in the Rose Garden for a “press conference” I didn’t watch. It was supposedly about China (why?), but was actually a scripted anti-Biden rant.

Every time Trump opens his mouth, he blurts panic. His poll numbers are tanking everywhere — even Texas — and prison looms.

In addition to abolishing suburbs, Trump also says Biden will eliminate windows.

I’m not going to decipher this nonsense; here’s a good article debunking the bullshit.

The most important thing, which Trump apparently omitted, and which should scare the living shit out of everybody, is that Trump is trying to unplug the CDC from COVID. He’s ordered hospitals to report their case stats not to the CDC, but to some database he’s cooking up. Probably an Excel spreadsheet Jared created.

Trump has already muzzled Dr. Fauci. They don’t speak anymore and Fauci is forbidden to appear on national TV. Instead, Fauci does interviews with entities like Stanford University, which then allow the media to rebroadcast them.

As if anyone sane still needs it, Trump proves every day that he doesn’t care how many Americans this pandemic kills.

Mary Trump’s book describes Trump’s parents as self-absorbed in different ways. They wouldn’t bother to acknowledge their kids’ feelings. This led twisted little Donald to create a persona of not having feelings. It’s become a core inability to empathize or care about others’ suffering.

Now that Trump’s losing what little ability he ever had to reason, he doesn’t care that his current behavior kills the voters he needs to stay out of prison until 2024. Every action is motivated by greed, revenge or self-preservation, no matter how many deaths he causes.

I’m reading about John Adams’ fight to free America from British rule, which ironically seemed sane and benign compared to Trump’s dystopian hellscape of a government.

It’s depressing to know that what was once considered the greatest democracy on Earth granted this ignorant, corrupt inhuman creature the power to literally destroy the entire country, economically and physically.

The other two-thirds of our government, supposedly in place to counteract a murderous despot, do nothing and leave it up to us to overcome all Trump’s schemes to cheat again and take him out in November.

I’ll admit, my heart rejoices every time I see a GOP voter or politician test positive. I wish the worst for all of them. They have to go, or be deprogrammed to rejoin decent society, before we’ll be able to scrub away the orange stain of Trump from the U.S.


Chapter 76: COVID Chronicles

June 12, 2020

By Karen

Day 93

Toilet Paper Review & A Confederate Symbol That REALLY Needs to Go

When I accepted 14 rolls of Scott toilet paper my parents rejected after my mother complained it was too thin, I thought she was just being picky…

Turns out she wasn’t. I started using a roll, and this is the same paper you find in public restrooms on those big industrial rolls, where you have to pull off 6 feet to keep from soaking your hand and dripping dry.

This paper is so thin, they could almost make contact lenses from it.

The upside is that every other toilet paper in the house will now feel luxurious. I got a 32-pack of Quilted Northern at Sam’s Club back in April that I haven’t tapped yet. It’s going to feel like I’m wiping with pillows.

No other Confederate statues got ravaged last night, but yesterday the Richmond Police Memorial statue commemorating officers killed in the line of duty was removed for its own safety from Byrd Park after protesters hit him with red spray paint…

Photo Richmond Free Press

I assume he’s now comparing notes somewhere with Jefferson Davis and Columbus.

I read today that Virginia has the second highest concentration of Confederate statues in the South. Only Georgia has more. The Richmond area alone has 13.

Well, 11, since Davis and Wickham came down. Columbus doesn’t count because he had no dog in the Civil War fight.

But this is not to say that Richmond has made no headway in honoring African Americans. We’ve got statues of tennis champion Arthur Ashe, dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Maggie Walker, a prominent black teacher businesswoman from the early 1900s, and the newest statue in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, “Rumors of War,” which depicts a black man wearing Nikes, posed like the statue of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart on Monument Avenue…

Photos Left: VMFA. Right: Richmond.com

What really should go is the Confederate flag. It causes far more mayhem than any statue because it’s portable and wearable. Amazingly, NASCAR just banned it, although that will be hard to enforce once NASCAR fans are allowed back in.

These are people who watch cars drive in circles for hours. Instead of expending any thought to design a flag depicting whatever it is they DO stand for — if not racism and white supremacy — they wave a symbol of the dead Confederacy as if the South has a prayer of rising again, populated by morons who still carry a grudge against black people 155 years later.

Moving on to cat news, this morning while I was reading the paper I could hear Tony being cute with the Chewy box. As soon as he realized I noticed, here’s what he did (watch the middle of the paper)…

A few minutes later, I tried again. This time he circled me like a shark…

After I gave up and went back to the newspaper, he settled in his perch and allowed me this shot of his adorable toes…


Chapter 68: COVID Chronicles

June 4, 2020

By Karen

Day 85

Egg Foo Yung for Breakfast & Robert E. Lee’s Going Down — AGAIN

Another sweltering day in the 90s. Roc and Tony are pissed I won’t open windows. Despite air conditioning and fans, this heat does funny things to cats. Max just gave me a scare.

You know how you get used to seeing a cat in his regular hangouts? Well, Roc was asleep in my office when I took my lunch dish down to the kitchen. Tony was in his living room perch by the window. But Max’s bed by the sliding door was empty. Max wasn’t on the kitchen table, either. Hmm…

Back upstairs, I double-checked the Man Cave. Empty. So, back downstairs. Max NEVER goes into my bedroom during the day, but I looked in anyway. No one on the the bed. Could he be under it? No. In my closet? No.

This is the last place I’d look because Max has NEVER been here before …

Under the TV. That little shag rug was a 1981 wedding present. After decades in the linen closet, now it’s a cat bed. The only one who ever goes there is Roc. Max is giving tit for tat to Roc for stealing the rocker.

Last night I finally got my China Taste takeout. Boneless spareribs, hot and spicy beef, hot and sour soup, and chicken egg foo yung. I’ll be living large on Chinese into next week.

China Taste is tiny. It had three bare-bones tables, a walk-up counter, and the kitchen. Now you can’t go past the front door. They’ve gone contactless.

The new door is plexiglass on top with a ledge and a little sliding drawer for passing payment through. They place your food in a big pullout drawer in the bottom. The lady who rang me out put on a fresh glove first so she wouldn’t touch my credit card. We were both wearing masks. The only thing I touched was the pen chained to the ledge to sign my slip and the pullout drawer handle. I was impressed.

So I started today with egg foo yung. It’s an omelet. With gravy. And rice. The breakfast of champions — because I didn’t have to cook it.

Governor Northam is taking down the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue and putting it in storage until they figure out what to do with it. Lee is the only statue the state has clear title to…

Four other Confederate statues on Monument Avenue aren’t state-owned and remain in limbo — Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart, Matthew Fontaine Maury (a naval officer I know zip about), and President Jefferson Davis.

I was born and educated up North, so I never got to marinate in the grudge some Southerners still nurse over losing the Civil War. I always thought erecting statues of losers was stupid, but watching for 48 years how Richmond simply could not, would not, let go of the Civil War, I get it. But it’s still sick.

Five years ago, after the Charleston church massacre, I advocated keeping the statues and banning the Confederate flag.

But now that Trump has made racism cool again, I agree it’s time for the statues to go to museums, where they can’t be any group’s centerpiece for hate.

I’m sorry Lee is going first. He was conflicted about fighting against the Union, so I’ll give him that. However, since he ultimately put misplaced loyalty to the South above his U.S. citizenship, he does deserve a downgrade.

Jefferson Davis is the one I can’t stand. A chicken-fried wannabe Lincoln, that incompetent prick was a Trump-like coward who abandoned Richmond when the Yankees showed up. He was found hiding in Danville. So Richmond proudly erected this huge statue to honor such a small, small man…

Today, if our military seriously pushes back on Trump’s intention to make it his personal guard who will keep him in the White House for life, it wouldn’t surprise me if  Trump lams out of D.C. to escape indictment and arrest as Biden is sworn in next January. The question is, who would take him?


Ken Cuccinelli Builds a New Cuckoo Nest

March 3, 2014

By Cole

Ken Cuccinelli was most recently Virginia’s attorney general, a misogynistic, backward-leaning Republican who was replaced last year by Democrat Mark Herring. Cuccinelli also ran for governor last year and lost to Terry McAuliffe, another Democrat.

You could say that Cuccinelli has done his fair share to turn this red state blue.

But in his newest job, he’s trying to correct that perception. With 3 fellow lawyers, he has opened a firm called Virginia Self Defense Law, whose tag line is…

Defending those who defend themselves.

By that, they mean defending people who aspire to be like George Zimmerman (who provoked a confrontation with and killed an unarmed black teen named Trayvon Martin in Florida) or Michael Dunn, another Floridian who recently dodged a first-degree murder rap after he provoked a confrontation with and killed an unarmed black teen named Jordan Davis by firing 10 bullets at the van Davis was riding in as it sped AWAY from Dunn.

These guys would be Cuccinelli’s dream clients.

For as little as $8.33 a month — “less than half the cost of a hunting license” — wack jobs with violent tendencies who think they might someday shoot inappropriately can have this firm on retainer to defend them at no extra charge when they follow through.

On one hand, you’ve got to admire Cuccinelli’s sheer brilliance at tapping in to the irrational paranoia of his conservative ilk, creating a stream of cushy, mostly-passive income for himself and his cronies while providing nothing in return to most of them (let’s hope).

He’s become the perfect parasite, sucking cash out of wannabe killers by giving them a sense of security while they pursue their dream of ridding the world of everybody who, in their eyes, deserves to be dead.

On the other hand, what kind of bottom-feeding scumbag builds a business on coming to the aid of limp-dicked bigots who use guns to make bad situations worse? When the facts come out, these guys usually deserve to spend the rest of their lives under the jail (as we say in the South).

To address this concern, Cuccinelli offers this caveat: He will only represent a client if the defense can be self-defense or a violation of the client’s second amendment right to bear arms. If any weapons charge is related to a crime like robbery or drug dealing, all bets are off.

Virginia is already famous as the premier supplier of deadly weapons on the East Coast. Now Virginia offers the services of Cuckoo Cuccinelli & Co. to get shooters off the hook for murder — for less than $10 a month.

Can it get any sicker than that?


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