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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday's Ride - 1979 Chrysler 300 - Gateway Classic Cars St. Louis - #6534

Better look in the mirror UCP

Anxiety was running high among oil and gas industry executives after a stunning court ruling in 1991.
In the June 12, 1991 decision, a panel of Court of Appeal of Alberta judges unanimously ruled that "abandonment of oil and gas wells is part of the general law of Alberta enacted to protect the environment and for the health and safety of all citizens."
The responsibility to properly abandon a well was binding on all who became licensees of oil and gas wells, even in bankruptcy.
The ruling came to be known as the Northern Badger case.
The anxiety it triggered was profound, but it was replaced with a newfound confidence after an unexpected boom in oilpatch activity and Ralph Klein's swearing in as Alberta premier in December 1992.
Under Klein, the Orphan Well Association was established. Wells are called “orphans” when there is no solvent entity to carry out abandonment and reclamation responsibilities. This industry-funded organization saw the already enormous problem of old wells multiply.
With Klein calling the shots, the oilpatch effectively escaped accountability for billions of dollars in reclamation obligations in exchange for merely plugging some wells after companies disappeared. In fact, the Orphan Well Association has only reclaimed about 700 sites in more than 15 years.
And today, Klein's environmental liabilities are about to blow up in the face of Albertans.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tuesday's Ride - Kitty Hawk Flyer in San Francisco Flight Two Takeoff to Landing

The Awakening of The GOP

If it wasn't before, it's about to be a full-scale war in the GOP. Mike Allen of Axios, always one of the best, has a look at what's really going on inside the beltway:
________________
"It started with Charlottesville. The pardon of Joe Arpaio sped it up.
"Until now, most Republicans on the Hill have either backed Trump, or mostly stayed silent about their differences.
"Now, he's being openly defied.
"Several of the best-known names in the Republican Party broke over the pardon, including Sen. John McCain, Jeb Bush and — most surprisingly and consequentially — Speaker Paul Ryan.
"Republicans have come out against Trump, but they have tended not to be leadership figures. And the critiques have rarely been on matters of policy and decision-making — more on rash tweets.
"Doug Andres, a Ryan spokesman, said in a statement on Arpaio: "The speaker does not agree with this decision. Law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon."

McCain, who represents Arpaio, tweeted: "@POTUS's pardon of Joe Arpaio, who illegally profiled Latinos, undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law."

Even in the early days of his presidency, when his leverage was at its peak, Trump never had more than a handful of loyalists on Capitol Hill, Axios' Jonathan Swan points out:
"Most Republicans kept quiet about their distaste for him, either out of fear that he'd go on a Twitter rampage against them, or that by attacking him they'd undermine a legislative agenda many have been waiting eight years to enact.

After the President has spent weeks seemingly divorcing himself from the GOP — openly blaming Mitch McConnell for healthcare's failure and pre-blaming McConnell and Ryan for debt-ceiling headaches — many feel liberated to speak their minds.

All that will hamper Trump's ability to help muscle tax reform through Congress. But the endgame is Special Counsel Bob Mueller:

Trump's attacks on McConnell are self-defeating for a lot of reasons. But if Mueller ever makes an impeachment referral (like the Watergate special counsel did), Trump needs McConnell more than anyone in the world.

Especially if it's 2019 and there's a Democratic House that could impeach through simple majority vote.
"While praised by the establishment, Ryan could pay a grassroots price for the brushback on Arpaio:

"A Republican lobbyist told me: "The base is gonna eat Ryan for breakfast."

Steve Bannon, already deeply engaged at Breitbart News, spent the past week in round-the-clock meetings with leaders of the conservative movement on how to pressure Ryan and McConnell to be more supportive of the president's agenda.

Breitbart has been gearing up to campaign to remove Ryan from the speakership. Bannon is activating.
"Why it matters: The president is isolating himself on Trump Island, in the comfy warmth of his base. But if the island is bombed by Mueller, the base won't be able to save him. The president will need Congress, which'll be in no mood to rescue its tormentor."

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday's Ride - Rob John's 1941 Cadillac Convertible

America's Darkest Hours have just begun

Donald Trump GLOATS On Twitter About Pardoning Joe Arpaio, Immediately Gets A BRUTAL Response

Donald Trump has pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and just sent a gloating tweet announcing his decision.

Donald Trump GLOATS On Twitter About Pardoning Joe Arpaio, Immediately Gets A BRUTAL Response

Donald Trump has pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and just sent a gloating tweet announcing his decision.
Trump hinted at a campaign rally in Phoenix on Tuesday that he would pardon the former sheriff, though not at the rally. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this week that he would make a decision at “the appropriate time.”
The White House announced the pardon on Friday evening as most media turned to cover Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm expected to bring large amounts of rain and wind to Texas and Louisiana.
Trump tweeted, “I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe!”

The scum floats on the swamp

The Self-Degradations of Jerry Falwell, Jr.


How far–how low–do religious leaders end up going when they decide that, in public life, the end justifies any means? Consider the case of Jerry Falwell, Jr. For the Liberty University president, the end was the advancement of social conservatism. The means: Donald Trump.
Falwell endorsed Trump for the GOP nomination ahead of the Iowa Caucuses last year, and soon he emerged as one of the New Yorker’s most ardent evangelical backers. Trump’s dissolute personal life didn’t make him an ideal avatar for the evangelical cause. Nor did his transparently opportunistic change of heart on social issues such as abortion. But Falwell reminded his flock that Trump was running for president, not “pastor-in-chief.”
In a March 2016 interview with a Liberty campus newspaper, he even compared the Donald with David. Hadn’t David, though an adulterer and a murderer, found favor with God? (Yes, who can forget that marvelous Psalm, in which the king cries out to the Lord, “I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness. I’ve had great relationships and developed even greater relationships with ministers”?)
Judging by his Twitter and TV blitz in recent days, Falwell has kept the Trumpian faith through the first eight months of the Trump administration. Trump’s response to Charlottesville, Falwell tweeted, had been “bold” and “truthful.” He added: “So proud of @realdonaldtrump.” Note that Falwell’s praise came after the president suggested that there had been “very fine people” among the Nazis, Klansmen, and neo-Confederates who marched in Charlottesville.

Sad


Cute Baby Goats - A Cute And Funny Baby Goats Compilation || NEW HD

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday's Ride - 1956 Mercedes Benz 300SL

Canada's decade of darkness under Stephen harper

To my American friends who like Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. It wasn't very long ago that we wanted your guy! This is one of the best photos of our former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

Harper was behind our Decade of Darkness, during which he decimated environment protections, women's and worker's rights, moved tribunals from the judiciary to the Cabinet, and basically deconstructed the government in favour of corporations. Know where Harper went and you'll know where Trump is going.


He's dangerous folks

The United States has had some turbulent and scandal-plagued Presidencies during its two-hundred-and-forty-one-year history—those of Richard Nixon, Warren Harding, and Ulysses S. Grant come to mind—yet there has never been one like Donald Trump’s. On Monday morning, I sat down to write a post about the swearing-in of John Kelly as the new White House chief of staff, and the beginning of Act II of Trump’s Presidency. By the time I had finished writing, not one but two news cycles had turned. In the afternoon, news broke that Anthony Scaramucci, the New York financier who was named Trump’s director of communications just a week and a half ago, had been fired. And on Monday night, the Washington Post revealed that President Trump had dictated a misleading statement that was given to the press about his son Donald Trump, Jr.,’s infamous meeting, last June, with a Russian lawyer.

In this Administration, the scoops and shockers and bloopers come so fast that it is hard to keep up, let alone figure out what is ephemeral and what really matters. But, at the risk of the next news cycle making me look silly, here are three points to remember about how we got here and where we are going.

First, conflict and chaos are chronic conditions for this White House. Kelly, a former four-star Marine general, may be an effective manager, but he is taking on a virtually impossible task. Within hours of being sworn in, Kelly got rid of Scaramucci, demonstrating that he intends to run a more disciplined West Wing—and that, for now, Trump has acceded to this wish. But for how long? Throughout his career, Trump has deliberately stirred conflict among his underlings, chafed at efforts to rein him in, and reserved the right to act in arbitrary and contradictory ways. The last military man who tried to impose some order on the chaos, H. R. McMaster, the national-security adviser, has been rewarded with a series of leaks about how Trump finds him annoying and is thinking of getting rid of him.

Second, the Russia story will not go away. For weeks now, it has been clear that Trump would prefer to decommission Robert Mueller, the special counsel, and shut down his investigation. At one point it seemed possible that Trump might try to force out Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, and then, during the August congressional recess, appoint a successor who would agree to fire Mueller. But Sessions has made clear that he isn’t resigning. And some Republicans in Congress—most notably Chuck Grassley, the head of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee—have made clear that they won’t go along with such a blatantly self-dealing maneuver.

Behind the Crazy Headlines: Three Truths About the Trump Presidency

THE WALL

Vincente Fox, ancien président mexicain règle ses comptes avec Donald Trump...

Un vrai bijou que je conserverai à tout prix !

video
Thanks Norman

Hmmmm


Uhhh Thanks Pat????

LA Speed Check



Thanks Kerry

Groucho Marx Classic - "Gonzalez-Gonzalez" - You Bet Your Life

THIS IS FUNNY. It's innocently funny. Just watch how his head moves when asked if he was married READ BELOW WHO IS THIS GONZALES.

You may remember Gonzales Gonzales from John Wayne movies. He provided comedy in Rio Bravo, Hell-fighters, and several other Wayne movies.  


This video shows where he got his start. He innocently appeared as a contestant on 'You Bet Your Life' with Groucho Marx. As the questioning continued, it got funnier and funnier. Groucho took advantage of the situation based upon audience laughter. 


John Wayne happened to be watching the show and contacted him after the event. John Wayne insisted he play himself in the movies. Gonzales became a popular character in JW movies.  




Thanks Randy

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday's Ride - 2005 Chevrolet Corvette Anteros Gateway Classic Cars Chicago #999

Everybody needs to listen

Yesterday, in a long and ragged off-the-cuff address to the press corps, President Trump told us. During a moment that white supremacist godfather Steve Bannon has apparently described as a “defining” one for this Administration, the President expressed admiration and sympathy for a group of white supremacist demonstrators who marched through the streets of Charlottesville, flaunting Swastikas and openly chanting, along with vile racist slogans, “Jews will not replace us!” Among those demonstrators, according to Trump, were “a lot” of “innocent” and “very fine people.”
So, now you know. First he went after immigrants, the poor, Muslims, trans people and people of color, and you did nothing. You contributed to his campaign, you voted for him. You accepted positions on his staff and his councils. You entered into negotiations, cut deals, made contracts with him and his government.
Now he’s coming after you. The question is: what are you going to do about it? If you don’t feel, or can’t show, any concern, pain or understanding for the persecution and demonization of others, at least show a little self-interest. At least show a little sechel. At the very least, show a little self-respect.

AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR FELLOW JEWS


Mentalist Lior Suchard Bends Harry Connick Jr.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thursday's Ride - 1954 MG TF For Sale by Precious Metals Classic Cars San Diego, Ca www.PM...

These say it all



The White Justice Warrior

Mrs. Brown's Lesbian Dilemma - Mrs Brown's Boys - BBC One



Thanks Norman

Did I send this to you already?

NEW VIRUS
Just got this in from a reliable source. It seems there is a virus called the "Senile Virus" that even the mostadvanced programs of Norton and McAfee cannot take care of it so be warned. The virus appears to affect those of us who were born before 1960!


Symptoms of the Senile Virus:
1. Causes you to send the same e-mail twice.
2. Causes you to send blank e-mail.
3. Causes you to send e-mail to the wrong person.
4. Causes you to send e-mail back to the person who sent it to you.
5. Causes you to forget to attach attachments.
6. Causes you to hit "SEND" before you've finished the e-mail.
Remember???????????
I don't remember if I sent this one out.........

I don't think I did...or did you send it to me??

Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
Now that I'm 'older' (but refuse to grow up), here's what I've discovered:
1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
2. My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.
3. I finally got my head together; now my body is falling apart.
4. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
5. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
6. All reports are in; life is now officially unfair.
7. If all is not lost, where is it?
8. It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
9. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
10. Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.
11. I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few...
12. Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
13. Accidents in the back seat cause kids.
14. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
15. It's hard to make a come back when you haven't been anywhere.
16. The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you're in the bathroom.
17. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
18. When I'm finally holding all the cards, why does everyone decide to play chess?
19. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
20. It's not hard to meet expenses... they're everywhere.
21. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
22. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter... I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I'm here after.
23. I AM UNABLE TO REMEMBER IF I HAVE MAILED THIS TO YOU OR NOT!
24. Funny, I don't remember being . . . . . absent minded...
 oh, heck, just send it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are.

Thanks Randy

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday's Ride - 1959 Chevrolet Custom Corvette Replica for sale

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a blunt message for Nazis

My favorite was a hot chicken sandwich

Yesterday I read the article about 'memories of the Garden BBQ' on this blog.  This has brought a flood of memories back to me and my wife. when we were dating back in 1972 - 73, I would leave work at Hoskin Scientific on Victoria Street (below the pool hall), speed home to St.Lambert in my ultra-fast 1967 Camaro convertible, have supper and speed to Greenfield Park to pick her up in my - did I mention - in my ultra-fast 1967 Camaro. At the end of our date, we would always end up at the Garden BBQ at about 11:00 P.M. and I would have a second supper - a mouth-watering hot chicken sandwich and a large eye-popping piece of chocolate cake. Always the same meal, without fail.

Thanks Joe and Lesley

11Aug17 - FW: BOARDING PASS - (Thanks to BC) VERY INTERESTING TO KNOW

video
Thanks Randy

Paul Zerdin: Dummy Still Performs After Ventriloquist Walks Off Stage - ...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tuesday's Ride - Jet Boat startup and takeoff

Thank you MAYOR LANDRIEU’S

TRANSCRIPT OF NEW ORLEANS MAYOR LANDRIEU’S ADDRESS ON CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS


Here’s a full transcript of Landrieu’s remarks:
Thank you for coming.
The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way – for both good and for ill.
It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans: the Choctaw, Houma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando de Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from Senegambia, Free People of Color, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of Francexii and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and central Americans, the Vietnamese and so many more.
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.
So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission.
There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth.
As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”
So today I want to speak about why we chose to remove these four monuments to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, but also how and why this process can move us towards healing and understanding of each other.
So, let’s start with the facts.
The historic record is clear: the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.
First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy.
It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots.
These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.
After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.
Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy.
He said in his now famous ‘Cornerstone speech’ that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
Now, with these shocking words still ringing in your ears, I want to try to gently peel from your hands the grip on a false narrative of our history that I think weakens us and make straight a wrong turn we made many years ago so we can more closely connect with integrity to the founding principles of our nation and forge a clearer and straighter path toward a better city and more perfect union.
Last year, President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments about the need to contextualize and remember all of our history. He recalled a piece of stone, a slave auction block engraved with a marker commemorating a single moment in 1830 when Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay stood and spoke from it.
President Obama said, “Consider what this artifact tells us about history … on a stone where day after day for years, men and women … bound and bought and sold and bid like cattle on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet. For a long time the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as history with a plaque were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.”
A piece of stone – one stone. Both stories were history. One story told. One story forgotten or maybe even purposefully ignored.
As clear as it is for me today … for a long time, even though I grew up in one of New Orleans’ most diverse neighborhoods, even with my family’s long proud history of fighting for civil rights … I must have passed by those monuments a million times without giving them a second thought.
So I am not judging anybody, I am not judging people. We all take our own journey on race. I just hope people listen like I did when my dear friend Wynton Marsalis helped me see the truth. He asked me to think about all the people who have left New Orleans because of our exclusionary attitudes.
Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it?
Can you look into that young girl’s eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too?
We all know the answer to these very simple questions.
When you look into this child’s eyes is the moment when the searing truth comes into focus for us. This is the moment when we know what is right and what we must do. We can’t walk away from this truth.
And I knew that taking down the monuments was going to be tough, but you elected me to do the right thing, not the easy thing and this is what that looks like. So relocating these Confederate monuments is not about taking something away from someone else. This is not about politics, this is not about blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once.
This is, however, about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile and, most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves, making straight what has been crooked and making right what was wrong.
Otherwise, we will continue to pay a price with discord, with division, and yes, with violence.
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.
So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission.
There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth.
As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”
So today I want to speak about why we chose to remove these four monuments to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, but also how and why this process can move us towards healing and understanding of each other.
So, let’s start with the facts.
The historic record is clear: the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.
First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy.
It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots.
These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.
After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.
Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy.
He said in his now famous ‘Cornerstone speech’ that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
Now, with these shocking words still ringing in your ears, I want to try to gently peel from your hands the grip on a false narrative of our history that I think weakens us and make straight a wrong turn we made many years ago so we can more closely connect with integrity to the founding principles of our nation and forge a clearer and straighter path toward a better city and more perfect union.
Last year, President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments about the need to contextualize and remember all of our history. He recalled a piece of stone, a slave auction block engraved with a marker commemorating a single moment in 1830 when Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay stood and spoke from it.
President Obama said, “Consider what this artifact tells us about history … on a stone where day after day for years, men and women … bound and bought and sold and bid like cattle on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet. For a long time the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as history with a plaque were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.”
A piece of stone – one stone. Both stories were history. One story told. One story forgotten or maybe even purposefully ignored.
As clear as it is for me today … for a long time, even though I grew up in one of New Orleans’ most diverse neighborhoods, even with my family’s long proud history of fighting for civil rights … I must have passed by those monuments a million times without giving them a second thought.
So I am not judging anybody, I am not judging people. We all take our own journey on race. I just hope people listen like I did when my dear friend Wynton Marsalis helped me see the truth. He asked me to think about all the people who have left New Orleans because of our exclusionary attitudes.
Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it?
Can you look into that young girl’s eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too?
We all know the answer to these very simple questions.
When you look into this child’s eyes is the moment when the searing truth comes into focus for us. This is the moment when we know what is right and what we must do. We can’t walk away from this truth.
And I knew that taking down the monuments was going to be tough, but you elected me to do the right thing, not the easy thing and this is what that looks like. So relocating these Confederate monuments is not about taking something away from someone else. This is not about politics, this is not about blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once.
This is, however, about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile and, most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves, making straight what has been crooked and making right what was wrong.
Otherwise, we will continue to pay a price with discord, with division, and yes, with violence.
o literally put the confederacy on a pedestal in our most prominent places of honor is an inaccurate recitation of our full past, it is an affront to our present, and it is a bad prescription for our future.
History cannot be changed. It cannot be moved like a statue. What is done is done. The Civil War is over, and the Confederacy lost and we are better for it. Surely we are far enough removed from this dark time to acknowledge that the cause of the Confederacy was wrong.
And in the second decade of the 21st century, asking African Americans — or anyone else — to drive by property that they own; occupied by reverential statues of men who fought to destroy the country and deny that person’s humanity seems perverse and absurd.
Centuries-old wounds are still raw because they never healed right in the first place.
Here is the essential truth: we are better together than we are apart. Indivisibility is our essence. Isn’t this the gift that the people of New Orleans have given to the world?
We radiate beauty and grace in our food, in our music, in our architecture, in our joy of life, in our celebration of death; in everything that we do. We gave the world this funky thing called jazz; the most uniquely American art form that is developed across the ages from different cultures.
Think about second lines, think about Mardi Gras, think about muffaletta, think about the Saints, gumbo, red beans and rice. By God, just think. All we hold dear is created by throwing everything in the pot; creating, producing something better; everything a product of our historic diversity.
We are proof that out of many we are one — and better for it! Out of many we are one — and we really do love it!
And yet, we still seem to find so many excuses for not doing the right thing. Again, remember President Bush’s words, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”
We forget, we deny how much we really depend on each other, how much we need each other. We justify our silence and inaction by manufacturing noble causes that marinate in historical denial. We still find a way to say “wait, not so fast.”
But like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “wait has almost always meant never.”
We can’t wait any longer. We need to change. And we need to change now. No more waiting. This is not just about statues, this is about our attitudes and behavior as well. If we take these statues down and don’t change to become a more open and inclusive society this would have all been in vain.
While some have driven by these monuments every day and either revered their beauty or failed to see them at all, many of our neighbors and fellow Americans see them very clearly. Many are painfully aware of the long shadows their presence casts, not only literally but figuratively. And they clearly receive the message that the Confederacy and the cult of the lost cause intended to deliver.
Earlier this week, as the cult of the lost cause statue of P.G.T Beauregard came down, world renowned musician Terence Blanchard stood watch, his wife Robin and their two beautiful daughters at their side.
Terence went to a high school on the edge of City Park named after one of America’s greatest heroes and patriots, John F. Kennedy. But to get there he had to pass by this monument to a man who fought to deny him his humanity.
He said, “I’ve never looked at them as a source of pride … it’s always made me feel as if they were put there by people who don’t respect us. This is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. It’s a sign that the world is changing.”
Yes, Terence, it is, and it is long overdue.
Now is the time to send a new message to the next generation of New Orleanians who can follow in Terence and Robin’s remarkable footsteps.
A message about the future, about the next 300 years and beyond; let us not miss this opportunity New Orleans and let us help the rest of the country do the same. Because now is the time for choosing. Now is the time to actually make this the City we always should have been, had we gotten it right in the first place.
We should stop for a moment and ask ourselves — at this point in our history, after Katrina, after Rita, after Ike, after Gustav, after the national recession, after the BP oil catastrophe and after the tornado — if presented with the opportunity to build monuments that told our story or to curate these particular spaces … would these monuments be what we want the world to see? Is this really our story?
We have not erased history; we are becoming part of the city’s history by righting the wrong image these monuments represent and crafting a better, more complete future for all our children and for future generations.
And unlike when these Confederate monuments were first erected as symbols of white supremacy, we now have a chance to create not only new symbols, but to do it together, as one people.
In our blessed land we all come to the table of democracy as equals.
We have to reaffirm our commitment to a future where each citizen is guaranteed the uniquely American gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That is what really makes America great and today it is more important than ever to hold fast to these values and together say a self-evident truth that out of many we are one. That is why today we reclaim these spaces for the United States of America.
Because we are one nation, not two; indivisible with liberty and justice for all, not some. We all are part of one nation, all pledging allegiance to one flag, the flag of the United States of America. And New Orleanians are in, all of the way.
It is in this union and in this truth that real patriotism is rooted and flourishes.
Instead of revering a 4-year brief historical aberration that was called the Confederacy we can celebrate all 300 years of our rich, diverse history as a place named New Orleans and set the tone for the next 300 years.
After decades of public debate, of anger, of anxiety, of anticipation, of humiliation and of frustration. After public hearings and approvals from three separate community led commissions. After two robust public hearings and a 6-1 vote by the duly elected New Orleans City Council. After review by 13 different federal and state judges. The full weight of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government has been brought to bear and the monuments in accordance with the law have been removed.
So now is the time to come together and heal and focus on our larger task. Not only building new symbols, but making this city a beautiful manifestation of what is possible and what we as a people can become.
Let us remember what the once exiled, imprisoned and now universally loved  Nelson Mandela and what he said after the fall of apartheid. “If the pain has often been unbearable and the revelations shocking to all of us, it  is because they indeed bring us the beginnings of a common understanding of what happened and a steady restoration of the nation’s humanity.”
So before we part let us again state the truth clearly.
The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered.
As a community, we must recognize the significance of removing New Orleans’ Confederate monuments. It is our acknowledgment that now is the time to take stock of, and then move past, a painful part of our history. Anything less would render generations of courageous struggle and soul-searching a truly lost cause.
Anything less would fall short of the immortal words of our greatest President Abraham Lincoln, who with an open heart and clarity of purpose calls on us today to unite as one people when he said:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to do all which may achieve and cherish: a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”