Before we get started on this episode of “The real candidates of Atlanta”, a bit of disclosure is in order. PG lives two and a half miles east of the Atlanta city limits. He will not be voting Tuesday. There is enough sleazy politics in PG land to make him consider that one way ticket to Pago Pago. The goings on across the border (singular) is best viewed as a tacky reality show. At least NeNe and Kim are not involved.
In the latest episode, a postcard has gone out to voters in Atlanta. The postcard shows a scrawny elephant in a cave, sitting on the word “Norwood”. A picture of Mary Norwood is on the wall of the cave, tilted to the left. The text reads “Mary Norwood’s Republican Record/ It’s the elephant in the room she’s trying to hide”.
The reverse side shows a return address of The Democratic Party of Georgia, 1100 Spring Street, Suite 408. The text urges voters to vote for Kasim Reed, Lisa Borders, and Reuben McDaniel. Mr. McDaniel is running unopposed for the Board of Education. The postcard was printed by a union shop.
The postcard states that the Norwood campaign was “Bankrolled by John McCain’s money men – Norwood’s campaign is financed by the same Republican money men who funded John McCain’s hate-filled campaign against Barack Obama, and who have given to George Bush, the Republican National Committee, Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Republican Party.” And on and on and so forth.
The elephant in the room metaphor is frequently used to describe race relations in America. Mary Norwood is white, and wants to be the first white mayor of Atlanta since 1973. A few weeks ago, a tawdry memo was circulated, urging voters to make race the issue in this non partisan election.
A comment thread at Peach Pundit sheds a bit of light into the cave. Andre, who claims to be privy to State Democratic poop, says “The rest of the story is that the highest authority of the state Democratic Party, the state committee, did not approve the expenditure or the mail piece. There are several state Democratic committee members unhappy with what appears to be a unilateral decision by Party leader Jane Kidd to inject partisanship into a nonpartisan election.” Just for the record, Jane Vandiver Kidd is white. Governor Ernest is rolling in his grave.
A bit down in the thread is this comment from Spacey G. “Those DPG people are rather icky and uncouth.”
Mark Twain wrote a lot during the American Genocide in the Phillipines. Many of his words could apply today. War has gotten more high tech…for our side…, but the bottom line is the same. No matter how fancy the weapons get, the casualties are just as dead. And the investors make money.
Mine eyes have seen the orgy of the launching of the Sword;
He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger’s wealth is stored;
He hath loosed his fateful lightnings, and with woe and death has scored;
His lust is marching on.
I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded him an altar in the Eastern dews and damps;
I have read his doomful mission by the dim and flaring lamps –
His night is marching on.
I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal;
Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel;
Lo, Greed is marching on!”
We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat;
Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat;
O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! be jubilant my feet!
Our g-d is marching on!
In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom — and for others’ goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich –
Our g-d is marching on.
PG had heard that Angel was on the cover of Creative Loafing, and had to see it for himself. The Book Nook has a dependable supply of the tabloid weekly, and was on the way to Cici’s pizza. At the store, the gray haired man with horn rim glasses was talking. He does that a lot. Today, the subject was a man who escaped the Castro’s concentration camps, only to move to New York and catch AIDS. Gray haired man said it was a sad story.
So, there on the table at Book Nook was the current Creative Loafing, with a headline, “The Straight Guide To Pride”. Angel was in a group of five, at the far right. And over his cut off jeans (the green dress looks better), was a sticker for Lisa Borders.
Miss Borders is under the illusion that she is the next mayor of Atlanta. Paying to place stickers on the cover of a tabloid is part of her strategy. The fact that this tabloid has endorsed her opponent is either a blunder, crass marketing, brilliant strategy, or all of the above.
A closer look at the Borders add-on reveals a hidden message. The words say “Mayor on a Mission”, in sans serif boldface. The word MISSION has two balloons behind it, in just the right alignment to suggest a testicular driver. Mayor on a mission, indeed.
It should be noted that Angel would make an excellent candidate for mayor. He does, however, have an honest job at this time. Also, Angel, aka Caboose, is a friend, and hiking buddy, of PG.
Getting back to the Borders sticker, there is a picture of the candidate holding a microphone. Her eyes half closed, her mouth open, it does not take much imagination to see a hint of fellatio. The mayor is on a mission.
Miss Borders also adds a touch of political correctness. The five people in the picture are all light skinned. With Miss Borders paying to be on the cover, an African American is part of the scene.
PG just finished part two of the David Crosby autobiography, “Since Then“. This book is evidence that truth is stranger than fiction. For those who just tuned in, David Crosby was one of the Byrds, and is the Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash and (sometimes) Young.
David Crosby (no relation to Bing Crosby) is a part of the counterculture. The hair, the fringe jacket, the drugs, the sex, these are the surface parts of the puzzle. The man has been described as a complex bottle of red wine, that takes a long time to mature. The hair is still there, he is in love with his wife ( and probably would be dead without her), and smokes the occasional doobie. With any luck at all, the fringe jacket is in a landfill, and not reproducing.
The book has three fonts. The primary one is the voice of Crosby. Comments from third parties are indented, and the co author, Carl Gottlieb, speaks in italics. The story moves in more or less chronological fashion, although there is a bit of cutting back and forth between scenes.
At the start of the book, LA is hit by a major earthquake. This destroys a house Crosby has. If the earthquake doesn’t get the house, the IRS will. An accountant has not done his job, and Crosby owes major bucks to Uncle Sam.
Moving along, a son given up for adoption finds Crosby, and winds up playing guitar in a band called CPR. Crosby wrecks his motorcycle and nearly croaks. Crosby’s liver goes haywire, and he almost croaks. Ditto heart attack, and arrest for felony gun possession.
One of the last visitors before the liver transplant was Graham Nash. As he is leaving, Nash tells Crosby ” If you leave me alone with Stills, I’ll f***ing kill you”. For all the pretty music in CSN, there are some strong personalities. Stephen Stills is renowned for his attitude. David Crosby is known to have an opinion or two.
Getting back to the David Crosby story…there is just too much to sum up here. At the end of the story, he is still going. He stopped at two artificially inseminated babies, to go with four (at least) kids produced the old fashioned way. The opinions have not stopped coming out. Crosby likes World War W as much as PG does. Crosby has always held doomsday views about the American experiment, and has not been proven wrong…yet.
Georgia executes prisoners. The death penalty is politically popular, and not going anywhere. The endless appeals are a jobs program for the legal industry. The morality and effectiveness of capital punishment are sources of endless debate.
According to a report from the GDC, “The first person believed legally executed in Colonial Georgia was a woman. In 1735, Alice Ryley, a white female who arrived in America on an Irish transport, was hung for the murder of her master Will Wise.” Hanging was the method used until 1924, when an electric chair was installed at the Georgia State Prison in Milledgeville. Executions were moved to Reidsville in 1938.
417 men and 1 woman were electrocuted between 1924 and 1964. A black female, Lena Baker was executed for murder on March 5, 1945. On 02/09/1932, Eddie March, age 16, was executed for a Dougherty County murder. 9 men were electrocuted at age 17 in this time period, all black.
In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court suspended executions. Georgia did not electrocute another man until 1983. By this time, an electric chair had been installed in the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison (GDCP) in Jackson, Georgia. In 2000, the method of execution was changed to lethal injection.
PG compiled a list of people under death sentence (UDS). There are two sources for this list. One is a report from the GDC, “Inmates Under Death Sentence, January 1, 2008“. The second is a GDC database, GDC Inmate Query. (To consult the inmate query, agree to the disclaimer and go to the second page. Under Sentence Status, choose “under Death Sentence”.) The two sources do not always agree. Using the combined list, 119 names are shown. 5 men on the list have been executed. Brandon Astor Jones, born 02/43, is the oldest man UDS. Wilbur Wiley Dobbs was sentenced 12/73, and has been on death row the longest.
The report from the GDC adds ” Of the 109 currently under death sentence, 108 were convicted of murder and one was convicted of kidnapping. There are currently 59 (64%) white men and 49 (36%) black men under death sentence. There is one white female on death row at Metro State Prison. … When looking at prior incarcerations, 66% of the active UDS inmates have no prior incarcerations. Cobb County is the county with the highest number of convictions on death row, followed by Chatham, Baldwin, Fulton and Muscogee counties”
The one female UDS is Kelly Brookshire. She was convicted of persuading her boyfriend,Gregory Owen, to kill her husband, Doug Gissendaner. A book was written about the affair, “First We’ll Kill My Husband“.
The man UDS for kidnapping is Demarcus Ali Sears. The woman kidnapped was murdered in Kentucky.
The Augusta Chronicle published a feature about UDS inmates in 1997. Many of the current population is discussed in this feature. Google has details of many of the other crimes. Many of the murders are horrific.
One hundred and four years ago, the United States was involved in a war, that did not want to end. This conflict was in the Philippines. Although there had been an official end to the war, guerrillas continued to fight the Americans. The war was a nasty affair, with many atrocities.
The War against the Philippine people was a souvenir of the Spanish American War. There had been a rebellion against Spanish rule in the islands. After the American forces routed the Spanish, the rebellion shifted to the American occupiers. It was a war stumbled into, and difficult to end.
Mark Twain was horrified. He wrote a story, The War Prayer. As Lew Rockwell tells the tale
“Twain wrote The War Prayer during the US war on the Philippines. It was submitted for publication, but on March 22, 1905, Harper’s Bazaar rejected it as “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine.” Eight days later, Twain wrote to his friend Dan Beard, to whom he had read the story, “I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.” Because he had an exclusive contract with Harper & Brothers, Mark Twain could not publish “The War Prayer” elsewhere and it remained unpublished until 1923.”
HT to David Crosby and his autobiography, “Since Then“. A book report is forthcoming.
Getting back to “A War Prayer“, the story starts in a church. A war has started, and is popular. The troops leave for glory the next day. The preacher has an emotional prayer to send them on their way. Unknown to the minister, there is a visitor. “An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there, waiting.
With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,” Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”
The stranger motioned to the preacher to step aside. The stranger stepped into the pulpit, and claimed to have a message for the worshipers, sent directly from G-d. The preacher’s message was for support in time of war, and implied that G-d and the preacher support the same side in this conflict. There is an unspoken part to a prayer like this. This unspoken part was what the stranger was going to put into words.
“”O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-
for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.”
The New American Foundation has a report on the drone attacks on Pakistan. These attacks have increases dramatically under BHO, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize. HT to Andrew Sullivan, Atlantic Magazine, and The New Yorker.
Drones are unmanned aircraft operated by remote control. There is no human at risk (to us) in these operations. These reports do not mention how many drones have been shot down. These attacks are going on in Pakistan (which theoretically is not at war with the United States), and in secret operations around the world.
Drone attacks are like abortions. In a typical procedure, the doctor and mother are at little risk, and the baby dies. Abortion is safer than childbirth, just like drones are safer than aircraft with human crews. Safer, that is, for the human crew. Drones are just as deadly for the women and children on the ground as manned aircraft.
The issue of civilian casualties continues. Estimates range from 6% to 85 % of the deaths are civilians. This is going to be impossible to verify, with militants exaggerating and Americans denying. The lowest estimates are from the long war journal. It should be noted that if these operations were happening in America, and white citizens were being killed, a 6% rate of civilian death would be an outrage. However, when you are talking about dark skinned Muslims eight time zones away, a human life if worth less, compared to the military advantage gained.
One thing from the NAF report caught the eye here. “As a result of the unprecedented 41 drone strikes into Pakistan …about a half-dozen leaders of militant organizations have been killed–including two heads of Uzbek terrorist groups allied with al Qaeda.” What are Uzbek terrorist groups doing in Pakistan? Are we making attacks in Uzbekistan now?
Another eye popper is in the appendix. This is from a list of drone attacks.
24. June 23
Location: Makeen, South Waziristan (funeral of militants killed in earlier strike)
Al Qaeda/Taliban leaders killed: Unknown
Al Qaeda/Taliban killed: At least 45
Others killed: 45-83 (including militants)
We are attacking funerals. This is what gets POTUS the Nobel Peace Prize.
In addition to the moral disaster of killing women and children with unmanned aircraft, there are some strategic issues. The fighters have been staying in the mountainous frontier of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is the area being attacked. There are indications that the fighters are moving into more populated areas of Pakistan. They will be more difficult to fight there, and can radicalize the population.
When you drop a bomb on an outpost, you destroy cell phones, computers, and paperwork. These items can be of value for determining the future plans of the fighters. Also, dead men tell no tales. Remember the ticking time bomb in the torture debates? What is someone knows where that ticking bomb is, but we kill him? He is not going to be able to tell us where that bomb is, torture or no torture.
If the goal of the war in Stan Land is to destroy the terrorists, then we should question whether killing leaders is going to do the trick. Drone attacks are a tactic, not a strategy. The anger that fuels these terrorists is not going to go away, and the leaders that are killed are going to be replaced. These attacks may slow down the resistance, but they will not destroy it.
There is a site called “The smoking gun” which can provide hours of fun. PG stumbled onto a section, devoted to mug shots of celebrities. Before jumping to any conclusions, take a look at Rush Limbaugh and Paris Hilton. They look just as presentable as ever, give or take a prescription or two. On the other hand, look at Glen Campbell, and try not to remember what he used to look like.
Mug shots are a part of history. We have all heard the story of Rosa Parks, and how she started a revolution by keeping her seat. The mug shot taken that day is a part of the story.
( According to wikipedia, Mrs. Parks was arrested December 1, 1955 in the original incident. She was later arrested February 22, 1956 as part of the bus boycott. PG is uncertain which arrest led to the photograph in this post.)
There are 18 people displayed in this post. Bernie Madoff earned his money the old fashioned way, by stealing it. James Earl Ray and Lee Harvey Oswald were accused of killing someone famous, although the guilt, or innocence, of Oswald will never be known. Martin Luther King Jr. was involved in the bus boycott, sparked by Rosa Parks. A prophet is not without honor, except in his own land.
Janis Joplin cussed out some police during a concert in Tampa, Florida. Soon, it was determined that free speech enabled her to behave in that manner, and the charges were dropped.
Deion Sanders was warned not to fish at a lake owned by SW Florida International Airport. That did not stop him, and he was taken into custody. Deion gets points for having a great smile during this moment of glory.
Most of the rest got in trouble because of sex or drugs. Frank Sinatra had an affair with a married woman, which could get you locked up in 1938. Jim Morrison, Pee Wee Herman, and Larry Craig gave public exhibitions. Mr. Craig gets points for wearing a flag lapel pin.
The USA is losing in Afghanistan. We cannot leave, for fear of chaos left behind. We are losing if we stay, with the vast amounts of blood and treasure we are paying. The invasion of Afghanistan was a knee jerk affair, a reaction to 911. A post at Obsidian Wings speculates that this may have been the design of the 911 attack.
The post is “Wanna grow up to be a debaser“, written by Eric Martin, and published October 6, 2009. The first part is a history of al-Qaeda, it’s roots in Egypt, and adolescence in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet Union. After that conflict was over, bin Ladin and company were looking for another battle. At first they went after moderate Muslim regimes, but that did not work. Then the concept of focusing on the United States came into play.
” The linchpin to this strategy was to provoke the US into invading a Muslim country (Afghanistan) and thus tie it down for several years of futile – and excessively costly – warfare, while Muslims from throughout the world poured in to join the cause. Then, with the US weakened, bankrupt, fatigued and unable/unwilling to project power and provide resources to its Middle Eastern allies, a reinvigorated al-Qaeda would launch its “near” campaign anew, with its army of new recruits already mobilized.”
The conventional wisdom is that we had the bad guys on the run in Afghanistan, but let up on them to focus on Iraq. PG has his doubts on this. The Afghans fought the Soviet Union off, and they were next door. Even if we were to conquer their armies, the challenge to establish a stable government would remain. Meanwhile, we are stuck, broke, and hurting.
In the 1996 Olympics, the men’s marathon went a mile from PG’s residence. He walked up to Peachtree Road, and stood in front of Oglethorpe University as the runners went by. All but one of the racers was in a pack. The exception was from Afghanistan.
The runner from Afghanistan had been injured, and was running fifteen minutes behind the pack. He had a large bandage on one leg, but continued to run. The marathon runner from Afghanistan finished the race that day, despite his injuries.
The state of Georgia is fixin’ to poison another killer. Unless Governor Sonny stops things, Mark Howard McClain will be strapped onto a gurney at 7 pm Tuesday, October 20. As always, the distribution will be made at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.
The story took place in Richmond County. This quote is from the court ruling denying clemency.
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 20, 1994, McClain left the house of his girlfriend, Tina Butler, drove to a nearby Domino’s Pizza store on Washington Road, and parked his blue Buick automobile beside the store. When Philip Martin Weeks Jr., a delivery man, returned to the store before 2:00 a.m., McClain approached Weeks and asked to purchase a pizza. Weeks explained that the store had stopped selling carry-out pizza at 10:00 p.m. the previous evening.
McClain protested and refused to leave. To appease McClain, Weeks said that he would ask the manager, Kevin Scott Brown, to make an exception for McClain.
McClain began yelling outside the store that he wanted a pizza. Brown released the lock of the door to the store, and Weeks opened the door.
McClain attempted to force his way into the store. Weeks initially struggled with McClain, but when McClain produced a small caliber revolver, Weeks fled through the store and out the back door. Brown, who weighed approximately 450 pounds, remained behind the counter of the store, unable to move quickly. As Weeks left the store, he heard McClain demand that Brown give him money.
Weeks ran to a pay telephone to call the police. After he realized the phone was broken, Weeks ran toward another pay telephone at a gas station across Washington Road. As he began to cross the street, Weeks saw a car leave the Domino’s parking lot at a high rate of speed and turn onto Washington Road. The driver, McClain, made eye contact with Weeks and an obscene gesture toward him.
Weeks memorized the license tag number of McClain’s car. Weeks then flagged down a passing motorist, who drove Weeks back to the store.
Weeks entered the store and found Brown lying on the floor behind the counter and bleeding from a bullet wound to his chest. The keys to the money till of the store, which Brown ordinarily kept in his pocket, were in the till and approximately $100 was missing. Weeks called 911, but Brown bled to death before paramedics arrived.
Before long, McClain was in custody. He called his gf, and told her to get rid of his stuff. Miss Butler gave the murder weapon to her nephew, Diego Davis. The gun was recovered less than a month later when Mr. Davis was involved in a shooting.
Miss Butler testified against Mr. McClain at his trial. The story was that he only intended to rob the store. Mr. McClain shot when he heard a noise, and thought Mr. Brown was chasing him. Remember, Mr. Brown weighed 450 pounds.
Mark McClain was found guilty of a bunch of charges. He was sentenced to die. Three statutory aggravating circumstances were found: the murder was committed during the commission of a burglary; the murder was committed during the commission of an armed robbery; “and the murder was committed for the purpose of receiving money or things of monetary value.” Mr. McClain later said his attorney did an inadequate job of defending him during the sentencing phase of the trial.
Tina Butler is a central character in this drama. It seems as though she told Mr. McClain that she needed money, and he went out to get it for her. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Tina Deresa Butler was convicted of forgery in Richmond county, for a crime committed August 1, 1996. Tina D. Butler is black, and six years older than Mark McClain.
The nephew that Tina Butler gave the murder weapon to was Diego Davis. On November 10, 2001, Diego Arturo Davis was arrested in Richmond County for possession of cocaine.
Andrew Sullivan links to a feature at cracked.com about commonly accepted ideas about psychology. Yes, the imitation Mad Magazine is still in business. The tagline at this facility is “America’s only humor & video site, since 1958″. Cracked has a nifty ad for Diet Coke at the top of the page. More than a few cocola fans consider diet coke to be an abomination.
The post in question has 6 tidbits of conventional wisdom. Cracked uses a vulgar term to describe them…think of Ted Roosevelt and “bully”. PG suspects the tough part of a post like this is narrowing it down to six items. They are:
#1.”Carl is Such a Homophobe! I Bet He’s Secretly Gay!”
#2.”We’ll Find Out if He’s Lying! Give Him a Lie Detector Test!”
#3.”Be Careful! Advertisers Use Subliminal Messages to Make Us Do Things!”
#4.”Cult Members are Stupid, Gullible Sheep!”
#5.”Just Believe in Yourself, and You’ll Succeed!”
#6.”If You Let Your Anger Out, You’ll Feel Better!
Another find at Cracked is a photo series titled “One Queen and Eleven Presidents“. Diana’s mother in law is seen with a football team of POTUS. Her majesty seems embarrassed by Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and BHO. LBJ was missing, and the Eisenhower and Truman pictures have not been colorized. .
At no time are her hands shown without gloves, and does not wave. The empty purse is in five shots, and she wears hats in two. She has dreadful taste in hats.
George H.W. Bush makes a crude gesture with his right hand, which her highness ignores. Bill Clinton is smirking, Ronald Reagan is laughing, and Harry Truman seems to be up past his bedtime. As for which Presidents slept with the Queen, PG would vote for Clinton, Ford, Kennedy, and Eisenhower.
The current dead tree edition of Creative Loafing has endorsements for upcoming elections. It also has a sticker on the front, advertising one of the mayoral candidates, Lisa Borders.
The only problem is the picture under the sticker. This image is Kasim Reed, who CL has endorsed for Mayor. The sticker is just under the left ear of Mr. Reed, as though he has a large earring advertising his opponent.
This is mildly ironic at worst. A publication can sell ads to whomever has the money. The stickers on the cover are a cute gimmick, and no doubt a welcome profit center for the publication. Still, many picking up the paper are getting a good laugh at this.
Mrs. Borders and Mr. Reed are black. It seems like CL took seriously the memo, recently circulated, about the importance of the next mayor being black.
The next mayor will have to deal with a city going broke. Crucial decisions on how to allocate funds will be made. One of the people running for this office paid big money to put a sticker, advertising her, on the left ear of her opponent. This sticker, and the photo, were on the cover of a publication endorsing the man in the photo. This does not make Lisa Borders look very smart.
The red brick building in the pictures is 939 Piedmont. At one time, PG’s mother, grandmother, and aunt had an apartment there.