Chamblee54

Bachmann Product

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 30, 2011







There was a headline at JoemyG-d…”Tom Petty To Crazy Eyes: Stop Using My Song At Your Campaign Stops.” Apparently a certain shameless politician was using a TP tune as a theme song.

Before reading the article, PG had to guess which song it was. The first guess was “Refugee”. Michele Marie Bachmann as a refugee, hounded out of her home by the liberal media. Youtube has a list of TP tunes…”Free Fallin'”, “Mary Jane’s last dance”, “You got lucky”, “American Girl”… these would all be good theme songs for this ambitious lady. Maybe she likes the fact that Tom Petty, and Tea Party, have the same initials as toilet paper. (The winner is “American Girl”)

Maybe it is time for a true confession. PG has never really liked the corporate pablum of Tom Petty. Those MTV videos from thirty years ago,(with the cocaine enhanced performer stumbling to the microphone to gargle lyrics about getting lucky) made an impression. Years of classic rock radio has not made things any better. Maybe being the darling of the Tea Party would be a good career move.

PG has limited experience with campaign rallies. In February of 1992, he saw Bill Clinton at the CNN center. The space used to be empty air over the railroad tracks, and resembled it on that cold morning. The theme song of the campaign, at that time, was “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles. In hindsight, that would be a good song for his administration.

Last summer, Sarah Palin made Karen Handel look charisma challenged. The theme song of the Handel campaign was “We’re not going to take it” by Twisted Sister. The chamblee54 report was titled “The twisted sisters”. There was no word from the band about a Georgia political campaign. They did, however, want to know what kind of hairspray Sarah Palin recommends.

Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.




Dorothy Parker

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 29, 2011








PG first heard of Dorothy Parker in tenth grade. His friend Bob Gibson cut the poem Resume out of the literature text book, and carried it in his wallet. Mrs. Parker had been dead for two years at the time, with her ashes resting in her attorney’s filing cabinet. As the years rolled on, there were stories about the round table at the Algonquin hotel, and a poem about W.R. Hearst….Upon my honor, I saw the madonna, by the door, in a niche, of a well known whore, and a prominent son of a bitch. There was a movie, and more stories. One day there was a comment, to a post called Raw, Uncooked, Protesting . The comment went: Re “The Cardinal’s Mistress” by Benito Mussolini, Dorothy Parker wrote one of my favorite bon mots: “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” PG decided it was time for a Dorothy Parker tribute . The google search for “Michele Bachman Weird” can wait a day or so, and will probably have a million more results. These quotes are from the quotations page. There is a header ad for the Sorento, from KIA motors. There is another ad for Amazon, featuring “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, E…, New $11.97 Best $7.98. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. /// A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika. /// Brevity is the soul of lingerie. /// I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true. /// I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound – if I can remember any of the damn things. /// I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know I’d be darling at it./// If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. ///If wild my breast and sore my pride, I bask in dreams of suicide, If cool my heart and high my head I think “How lucky are the dead. /// If you want to know what G-d thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. /// Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. /// The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant–and let the air out of the tires. /// This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. /// That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment. /// They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm. /// The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. /// I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do any thing. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more. /// Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song, A medley of extemporanea; And love is a thing that can never go wrong;And I am Marie of Romania. ///Men seldom make passes At girls who wear glasses. /// She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B. RE: Katharine Hepburn /// I require three things in a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid. /// Scratch an actor – and you’ll find an actress. /// I went to a convent in New York and was fired finally for my insistence that the Immaculate Conception was spontaneous combustion. /// Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair. /// Ducking for apples – change one letter and it’s the story of my life. /// My land is bare of chattering folk; the clouds are low along the ridges, and sweet’s the air with curly smoke from all my burning bridges. /// The affair between Margot Asquith and Margot Asquith will live as one of the prettiest love stories in all literature. /// The only “ism” Hollywood believes in is plagiarism. /// That woman speaks eighteen languages and can’t say “No” in any of them. /// Four be the things I’d have been better without: love, curiosity, freckles and doubt. /// “I really can’t come to your party Mrs. Parker, I can’t bear fools.” “That’s strange; your mother could.” /// “Coolidge is dead” “How could they tell? /// You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks. /// You can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think. ///





Water Wars

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 29, 2011






A Federal appeals court has ruled in favor of Georgia in the lawsuits over the water of Lake Lanier. Peach Pundit has more information about this. If you are not afraid of brain damage, here is the ruling.

The ruling that was overturned said Atlanta could only take as much water as it was using in 1970. The metro area has grown a bit since then. This approval of this growth did not take into account a need for a  dependable supply of water.

Efforts should continue to build more reservoirs in North Georgia. There has been bountiful rain in the last few days, and if these reservoirs had been built, then this water would be waiting for future use. All those lakefront houses can give developers something to do, other than grow a conscience.

Saving water is not like saving money. With currency, you can loan out your savings, draw interest, and have more money. With water, it just sits in a lake, and loses the top part to evaporation. The longer water sits in reserve, the less you have. In 2007, there was a drought during August. The temperatures were over 100 degrees every day. The water was evaporating, and being pulled out for air conditioners and power generation. The well almost went dry.

There is talk about using the water of the Tennessee River. Many say the state line was poorly drawn, and that this river should already flow through the state. If this river…which is many times the size of the Chattahoochee…were to be used for Atlanta use, a pipeline would need to be built. Even using the I 75 right of way, this is an expensive proposition. The state of Georgia is broke. People are screaming for lower taxes, while supporting thousands of people in prison. Maybe we can raise the money by lowering taxes, the same as we are paying for three wars.

The Atlanta economy is largely based on developing cheap land. The real estate depression has hit the metro area hard. With more expensive gasoline, living thirty miles from your job is no longer  fun.

Maybe, we should require developers to have a source for their water, before they get a permit to build. Another solution might be a regional system for building permits. As it stands now, if one community has a conscience about water, the developer just goes down the road to the next town.

When you have acreage of woods, there is almost no water used to support it. If a tree doesn’t get enough to drink, it falls over, as it would have a million years ago. When you cut down those trees, and build houses, you need to supply water for lawns, hot tubs, washing machines, commodes, and water filtration devices. You go from using no water, from the system, to using a great deal. When you multiply this by a factor of ten thousand times a year, you can see why Atlanta has a water crisis.

Even with unlimited access to the Chattahoochee, Atlanta is still just one drought away from becoming a ghost town. It almost happened in 2007. There is a nuclear power plant in Eufaula AL that requires a lot of water to operate. The ecosystem of the Apalachicola River needs a steady supply of water, even if the radio whiners think their golf courses are more important. Drip, drip, drip.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.




The Falcons Want A New Stadium

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 29, 2011






There is a story in the fishwrapper today about renovating the Georgia Dome. The Falcons want to have a “state of the art” facility. (They are far away from a “state of the art” team.) PG does not know where to begin with this.

In the late eighties, the Falcons were tired of Atlanta Fulton County stadium. This was understandable, but at the same time, the Falcons were the joke of the NFL. A scheme was proposed where a domed stadium would be built, connected to the world congress center, a state of Georgia facility. The governor at the time, Joe Frank Harris, ran on a campaign pledge of “NO TAX INCREASES”.

As the project moved ahead, it became obvious that tax money would be needed. A hotel motel tax was put in place. Since the residents of the state do not see this on their tax bills, many don’t notice it. This hotel motel tax was supposed to end in 2020, but will possibly be extended to pay for either renovations to the dome, or a new facility for the Falcons.

The Falcons recently had back to back winning seasons, for the first time since 1966. They have played better since Arthur Blank bought the team from the estate of Rankin Smith. There is hope for the future, but there are still signs that, yes, this is still the Falcons. A few years ago, they had the top draft pick in the NFL. They got the most exciting athlete in recent memory. He played a few years, until HE WENT TO PRISON FOR DOG FIGHTING. This is how the Falcons operate.

The needs of the State of Georgia, and City/Metro Area of Atlanta, are immense. There is a real possibility of Atlanta becoming a ghost town because of a water shortage. The schools and transportation systems are crying poor. With the Gulf Coast poisoned by BP, we can expect an influx of refugees. So what is the plan…build a new stadium for the Falcons.

When it comes to schools and infrastructure, the governments never seem to have enough money. The “conservatives” want to have a smaller government, and lower taxes. However, when a privately owned football team needs a new facility, the money is there. Why can’t we use this hotel motel tax to build a pipeline that brings water into metro Atlanta?

America may be entering a period of austerity. The triple whammy of War in Babylon, Massive Bank Fraud, and the Deepwater (spell check suggestion:Dishwater) Horizon is going to be tough to overcome. At some point, the idea of spending a billion dollars to build a football stadium is going to be seen for the atrocity that it is.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. . This is a repost. In the past year, the economy has shown little improvement, there is another war (that we know about), and the oil spill was capped. The Falcons had a good regular season last year, only to get wasted in the playoffs. The NFL is in a dispute with the players union, and may not play this year, or ever.





Andy Warhol Was Listening

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 28, 2011





“The returning path to my room was made comfortable by thoughts of flowers, America and Vida sleeping like a photograph”/// Photography woke up a long time ago, and can’t go back to sleep. Photography might benefit from a nap, even if chemical assistance is required. /// “It’s good to name creeks after people and then later to follow them for a while seeing what they have made of themselves.” /// Every time I see stuff like this, I can only think that the culture that has shoved tolerance down our throats for many years is winning everywhere. /// “You certainly look pretty this morning. You look like a dream I’ve never had before.” /// Dreams are reality. /// “So perfect and beautiful as not to be with us, as to be alone in some different contemplation of the spirit” /// So my dog jumps up on the bed and plops down right against my foot. needing my space, i move my foot. she then proceeds to look at me dead in the eye and then scooch to again be against my foot. /// “The awkward joy of trying to keep one lick ahead of an ice-cream cone on a hot summer day.” /// There used to be a law in some state, maybe Kentucky, that it was illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket. It doesn’t specify what type of cone is used. /// “Things are different at night. The houses and towns demand their beauty and get it in distant lights twinkling with incredible passion.” /// “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.” is a quote from Republic The following isn’t: “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” /// “I spend a lot of my life interested in little things, tiny portions of reality like a pinch of spice in a very complicated recipe” /// Trying to remember where you heard a tidbit of information is sometimes like pulling a coin out of a jar, and remembering what cash register it came out of. /// “This is a small detail right now but it could be very important a million years from now when archaeologists sift through our ruins” /// Post offices used to have change machines. It was illegal to use change from those machines for buying anything other than stamps. If you needed$1.01 worth of stamps you were in trouble. /// “When I am kissing you, I can look down on all things that are wonderful.”/// Sex is just an excuse for people to get together and kiss a lot. /// “Sand is crystal like the soul. The wind blows it away.”/// No artist I know would ever tolerate reality. /// “A woman told me that she once got so sick eating a hamburger that she fell off the front porch.”/// Christ died for nothing and the work of the cross is neutralized. We might as well eat, drink and party hard. /// “He was living the kind of hermit life kids dream about living. He was an ancient breathing statue of Huckleberry Finn.”/// He did not substitute “slave” for the n word. However, he did say fig when he meant fuck /// “I sometimes think that even our digestion is a soundtrack recorded in Hollywood by the television networks.” /// We encourage all users maintain secure and hard to guess passwords. /// “One must keep track of all the small victories.” /// Me and Annie went huckleberry hunting, she bent over and I saw something /// “In watermelon sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar.” /// Be afraid of someone who does not like watermelon. /// “I don’t care how God-damn smart these guys are: I’m bored. It’s been raining like hell all day long and there’s nothing to do.”/// Last night the deer came onto the front stoop and ate the potted plants there. Unfortunately the front door was unlocked so they let themselves in and drank all our beer, ate a whole package of Oreos and erased all the shows on the DVR. /// “It could grow dark in there instantly. Then you almost needed candles to fish by, and foxfire in your reflexes.”/// And you obviously don’t know what sarcasm means. Sarcasm would imply that you actually do approve of this. You really are not very smart. You’re just a big ball of fail. /// “I enjoy the sight of a woman’s body at play in the fields of intelligence.” /// ‘Trust is good, not to trust is better.'” /// “A lake flowed from the swan, answering for eternity that great question: Which came first the lake or the swan?”/// PG went to High School with a girl named Lake, and worked with a man named Swan. To his knowledge, the two have never met. /// “Let your soul have some room to get outside its marrow.” /// Marrow is a body part that produces blood cells. When blood gets outside of it’s facility, the results can be messy. The same might be true of the soul. While the previous thought might have poetic appeal, in the daylight world someone will need to clean up. /// “I am alone again. I’ve been there before in Japan, America, everywhere when you don’t understand what somebody is talking about.”/// It was a lovely place, had a great terrace, lots of space. It just happened to have a guest room with all that bondage equipment. ///





“I have been awake all night. I will sleep all day. The streets are blankets, the dawn is my bed. I’m on my way to dreams.” /// The correct use of a semicolon is a big red flag for me. /// “I have emotions that are like newspapers that read themselves. I go for days at a time trapped in the want ads.” /// This worked very well, until he got to the craigs list ads that are written in ALL CAPS /// “I guess it’s all right,” I said, feeling a sudden wave of vacancy go over me, like a hotel being abandoned by its guests” /// liek i said i had to finish cleaning m y old mans pipes out. buddy buddy all over u daddys face. big daddy israel home boys. i dew want yall to remember soem things. woody wood to. isiah 50 home boys not even an extra drop of steroids or a good door man until they got there packages out of heere. i guess no one will ever fisn out if it was covered up gulp. and the little birdy goes gulp. there were so many lightning bolts for thse jacob and israel./// “When dreams wake life ends. Then dreams are gone. Life is gone.” /// The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of all contributors. Each individual is responsible for the facts and opinions contained in his posts. Generally, we agree. But not always. /// “I lie here in a strange girl’s apartment. She moves about the place like distant gestures of solemn glass.” /// Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle /// “He just stood there staring at her. All thoughts had fled his mind like robbers running out of a bank in the Depression.” /// You mustn’t force sex to do the work of love or love to do the work of sex. /// “We were the eleven o’clock news because while the rest of the world was going to hell we made love.” /// All writing is autobiographical, in my view, including scientific papers. He was a major alcoholic, and he always struggled for money. In other words, your basic serious novelist. But g-d yes, writing is still difficult and always will be. I’m suspicious of writers who go whistling cheerfully to the computer. /// “After a while Vida and I were so relaxed that we both could have been rented out as fields of daisies.” /// The only problem is finding a violet to collect the rent. /// “I failed all my courses and they blew up the college the day I left. They felt the place couldn’t be used for anything again.”/// The more I read this—which I can’t stop doing, for some reason—the more sense it’s starting to make. /// “There are trout that die of old age and their white beards flow to the sea.”/// When they reach the Gulf of Mexico, the beards will be smothered in the crude oil. The death certificate will say natural causes. /// “There is no worse hell than to remember vividly a kiss that never occurred.” /// “Details are the Life of Prose.” –Jack Kerouac—Maximum information, minimum number of syllables. –A.G.- – Which letter did you steal that from? – – Neal Cassidy /// “Her voice had a door in it. When you opened that door you found another door, and that door opened yet another door.” /// PG saw a door once with a sign on it that said “No Exit”. Six inches behind the door was a sheetrock wall. /// “Your alligator looks like a handbag filled with harmonicas.” /// A beeping kitchen timer is ignored at your peril. /// “He’s howling in the pines at the edge of your fingerprints” /// Some say that fingerprints are a myth. Some say that pine trees are too good at reproducing. You should not believe everything that you hear. /// “So now, instead of yelling some boring obscenity, he yelled, ‘Campbell’s Soup!’ at the top of his voice” /// Andy Warhol was listening. /// “It is difficult to keep the past and the present going on at the same time because they cannot be trusted to act out their proper roles.” /// Eff you has the same relationship to the future, that the past has to a pasture. The taxes should be paid on both. /// /// “I wonder if 84-year-old Colonel Sanders ever gets tired of traveling all around America talking about fried chicken.” /// The dialog above is a visit with The ghost of Richard Brautigan. Comments in green are by PG, or copied from various places. Pictures are Union soldiers from the War Between the States, from The Library of Congress Selah.///




You Talk Too Much

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 28, 2011






This diavlog on religion and science was fun to listen to. I was (of course) multi (spell check suggestions:mulch,mufti) tasking, and suspect that I missed a good bit of the show by not seeing the expressions on the two faces. Mr. Martin especially seemed to be chewing on a plug of tobacco. In a case like this, I wonder what we could learn from the body language, the way they conduct themselves out of the sight of the camera.

This was between two proponents of the Catholic path. As a recovering Baptist living in the south, this is not the viewpoint I am familiar with. The type of Jesus that gets shoved in your face in Georgia, on a daily basis, is more emotional, less intellectual, and with even less appreciation of silence.

Yes, the modern Jesus Worship church is in dire need of silence. Many of these people are, imo,(spell check suggestion:imp,limo, moi ) afraid of silence. They keep shouting, as if they were afraid of what will happen when they no longer have the floor. It is good to remember that prayer is talking to G-d, and meditation is listening. This has a chicken and egg relationship with our society as a whole…people love to talk, but don’t like to listen.

Another difference with these two men, and the Jesus mongers that poison our society, is the emphasis on G-d rather than Jesus. Up to a certain point in the diavlog it occurred to me that neither man had even mentioned Jesus, and in the next minute someone did mention J-boi. It should be noted that the first commandment says to have no other G-d before you. This does not say anything about a so called son of G-d. At the very least, the hysterical shouting about Jesus, and his death, takes attention away from G-d. It also creates ill will, both for G-d and Jesus.

I may recycle this comment on chamblee54, along with some historic pictures. ( More than once. ) The pictures from the last hour were taken in depression era California by Dorothea Lange .Since they were sponsored by the US government, they are public domain. Anyone who says big government is good for nothing should check out the pictures collection at the The Library of Congress. . Or just look at this blog, for a few tweaked shots a day.

Addendum As previously noted, the text here is a recycled comment from another blog. There was a charming bit of dialog posted later. AemJeff: Good grief, Florian. You’re about twice as bright as most people and one-tenth as good as you think you are. But you’re also a humorless prick, and you always look bad when you engage in this sort of back and forth exchange of online insults. Let’s see if you can find a way to say something with more actual semantic content than “Jeff is stupid,” this time; because, after you’ve exhausted your repertoire – asserting that your interlocutor is dumber than you, name-checking Kant, and complaining about the quality of your opponent’s grammar – you generally begin to sputter and repeat yourself. Florian : You said nothing. So what more can I say? I am always willing to engage in an intelligent discussion with an intelligent interlocutor. Alas, you do not qualify. AemJeff: Florian not think him smart. Jeff have a sad. Florian:Mildly but only mildly amusing, aemjeff, but you should be sad for littering this forum with your inanities.




Negative Attitude Of The Media

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 27, 2011






There is talk about Obama’s “surge” in Afghanistan, compared to Bush’s “surge” in Iraq. The talk that PG has heard does not consider a key portion of the Bush surge. It is focused on military results, which is not the entire story.

There was a home front angle to the surge strategy in Iraq. Before, reports from Babylon were grim. The country was in civil war, and the American effort seemed to be for naught. Many on the right blamed the Democrats for causing this defeat. One especially putrid whiner, Mark Steyn, said on the radio that the Democrats had their banners and ribbons already ordered for the defeat celebration.

When the surge started, the talk in the press changed. Suddenly, we were winning the war in Iraq. Whether this was true or not, or whether the extra troops had anything to do with it, there was less violence in Iraq. And the media told us we were winning the war in Iraq.(One pundit compared this to a house burning down. When the house is through burning, the fire stops. When the people who practiced the wrong kind of Islam left their neighborhoods, they were no longer being killed.)

PG maintains that this happy talk in the press was a deliberate part of the surge strategy. And, there has not been a similar effort for the Obama surge in Afghanistan. The press is continuing in their negative attitude of printing the truth. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.





How Sweet The Sound

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 26, 2011








The jury found James Arthur Ray guilty of manslaughter , or the ending of a life. He conducted a sweat lodge ritual in Arizona, and apparently had the room too hot and too crowded. People were not encouraged to leave before the end. Three people died as a result. (James Arthur Ray is a different person than James Earl Ray, the convicted killer of Martin Luther King. This is one time when the custom of referring to perps by all three names is valuable.)

PG used to attend sweat lodges hosted by Crazy Owl. These were much smaller, and gentler, than the fatal affair in Arizona. There was always plenty of water, and an onion tea was drank before entering the lodge. As you entered, you said “all my relations”, which did not mean you looked forward to being with them for eternity.

Friday night at Crazy Owl’s was an informal affair. Once inside, prayers were offered, and songs were sung. One of the favorites was “Amazing Grace”. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a life like me . That was the version that Crazy Owl favored. Some of the others rebelled, and sang the traditional version, which saved a wretch like me. One night, Crazy Owl said that he would preferred that we sing “Amazing Grace” with life instead of wretch. PG thought he was a crazy old man, and went on saying wretch.

A few years later, after Crazy Owl’s life had ended, PG understood what he meant. You are not a wretch, you are a life. You were made by G-d in her image. She does not make junk. Many religions do not give their flock for being worth very much. You are a wretch, bound for hell, and only marginally better if you adopt the correct opinions and go to heaven. To say that you are a LIFE, a sacred creation with G-d in your soul, is a much better way to see things.

Last night, PG went to a celebration of life. (Pictures are from the Midsummer Night’s Dream.) While riding down Buford Hiway, he saw a huge rainbow. Ryans steak house was the pot of gold at the end. The summer solstice had been a few days earlier, the longest day, the height of the growth cycle. How sweet the sound, that saved a life like me.






Raw, Uncooked, Protesting

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 25, 2011






These author insults were borrowed from flavorwire. HT to Andrew Sullivan The pictures are from The Library of Congress 25. Gertrude Stein on Ezra Pound “A village explainer. Excellent if you were a village, but if you were not, not.” 24. Virginia Woolf on Aldous Huxley “All raw, uncooked, protesting.” 23. H. G. Wells on George Bernard Shaw “An idiot child screaming in a hospital.” 22. Joseph Conrad on D.H. Lawrence “Filth. Nothing but obscenities.”
21. Lord Byron on John Keats (1820) “Here are Johnny Keats’ piss-a-bed poetry, and three novels by God knows whom… No more Keats, I entreat: flay him alive; if some of you don’t I must skin him myself: there is no bearing the drivelling idiotism of the Mankin.” 20. Vladimir Nabokov on Joseph Conrad “I cannot abide Conrad’s souvenir shop style and bottled ships and shell necklaces of romanticist cliches.” 19. Dylan Thomas on Rudyard Kipling “Mr Kipling … stands for everything in this cankered world which I would wish were otherwise.” 18. Ralph Waldo Emerson on Jane Austen “Miss Austen’s novels . . . seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer . . . is marriageableness.” 17. Martin Amis on Miguel Cervantes “Reading Don Quixote can be compared to an indefinite visit from your most impossible senior relative, with all his pranks, dirty habits, unstoppable reminiscences, and terrible cronies. When the experience is over, and the old boy checks out at last (on page 846 — the prose wedged tight, with no breaks for dialogue), you will shed tears all right; not tears of relief or regret but tears of pride. You made it, despite all that ‘Don Quixote’ could do.” 16. Charles Baudelaire on Voltaire (1864) “I grow bored in France — and the main reason is that everybody here resembles Voltaire…the king of nincompoops, the prince of the superficial, the anti-artist, the spokesman of janitresses, the Father Gigone of the editors of Siecle.” 15. William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” 14. Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?” 13. Gore Vidal on Truman Capote “He’s a full-fledged housewife from Kansas with all the prejudices.” 12. Oscar Wilde on Alexander Pope “There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.” 11. Vladimir Nabokov on Ernest Hemingway (1972) “As to Hemingway, I read him for the first time in the early ‘forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it.” 10. Henry James on Edgar Allan Poe (1876) “An enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection.” 09. Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac “That’s not writing, that’s typing.” 08. Elizabeth Bishop on J.D. Salinger “I HATED [Catcher in the Rye]. It took me days to go through it, gingerly, a page at a time, and blushing with embarrassment for him every ridiculous sentence of the way. How can they let him do it?” 07. D.H. Lawrence on Herman Melville (1923) “Nobody can be more clownish, more clumsy and sententiously in bad taste, than Herman Melville, even in a great book like ‘Moby Dick’….One wearies of the grand serieux. There’s something false about it. And that’s Melville. Oh dear, when the solemn ass brays! brays! brays!” 06. W. H. Auden on Robert Browning “I don’t think Robert Browning was very good in bed. His wife probably didn’t care for him very much. He snored and had fantasies about twelve-year-old girls.” 05. Evelyn Waugh on Marcel Proust (1948) “I am reading Proust for the first time. Very poor stuff. I think he was mentally defective.” 04. Mark Twain on Jane Austen (1898) “I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” 03. Virginia Woolf on James Joyce “[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.” 02. William Faulkner on Mark Twain (1922) “A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.” 01. D.H. Lawrence on James Joyce (1928) “My God, what a clumsy olla putrida James Joyce is! Nothing but old fags and cabbage stumps of quotations from the Bible and the rest stewed in the juice of deliberate, journalistic dirty-mindedness.” Bonus. Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman “Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the.”




The Heart Of Liberalism

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 25, 2011








Last week, there was a golf tournament. Before the telecast of the final round, there was a film of children reciting the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag. For some reason, the words “under G-d” were left out. This sparked a controversy.

A reasonable first question is, who watches the introduction to the telecast of a golf tournament? With all the things you can do on a sunday afternoon, why would you want to waste this time on something this trivial? This is aside from spending your emotions, getting upset because a “pledge of allegiance” did not have a reference to your favorite sacred name.

One of the players in this bilefest is a Republican congressman named Todd Akin. He saw a chance to make political hay out of this incident. The money quote :
“NBC has a long record of being very liberal and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for G-d and a belief that government should replace G-d.”
The third commandment says “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy G-d in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” This is a bit of a contradiction. The word Lord ( with or without all caps) is reportedly a term for an English nobleman, that does not accurately represent the phrase in the original Hebrew text. The key word here is G-d, and this is the sacred name at the heart of this controversy.

This commandment is about the proper use of a sacred name. In a perfect world (which does not include PG), this word would only be used for respectful discussion and worship. It would not be part of the dozens of sayings, many hurtful, that currently involve the G word. And the word G-d would not be part of a “pledge of allegiance”, to a symbol of a political entity.

Mr. Akin is using a sacred name to trash those who disagree with him. He combines use of this sacred name with name calling. He forgets that “Liberals” are G-d’s children just as much as “Conservatives”. This is not the proper use of a sacred name.

Update There is a proposal in Georgia to add In G-d We Trust, without the hyphen, to automobile license tags. This is not an appropriate use of a sacred name.





Roy Blankenship And Sarah Bowen

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 24, 2011






The state of Georgia poisoned Roy Williard Blankenship last night. He was accused of causing the death of 78 year old Sarah Mims Bowen on March 2, 1978. There is little doubt that Mr. Blankenship was in her residence, after a night of drinking, and taking quaaludes. Ms. Bowen died of heart failure, which is said to be caused by an assault.
In addition to being the first execution for Nathan Deal, the Blankenship poisoning was the first time the state used Pentobarbital in the lethal injection process. Sodium Thiopental had been used before. The first drug in this cocktail is a sedative, to relax the prisoner before the more deadly second and third drugs are injected. The manufactorer of Sodium Thiopental no longer produces the drug, in part because of concerns about use for capital punishment.

There are reports that Pentobarbital did not work in the execution of Mr. Blankenship.
“Reports suggest that the first execution carried out in Georgia using pentobarbital may have been botched, with the prisoner experiencing severe pain as a result of a failure to properly anaesthetise him.
According to the Associated Press, Roy Willard Blakenship grimaced during the process, and kept his eyes open throughout. These indications that he may have remained conscious – and therefore would have suffered severe pain as the process continued – have recently been seen in botched executions using other anaesthetics which have not been properly assessed or tested.”

Pentobarbital is produced by the Lundbeck corporation. They have issued a statement expressing their opposition to the use of Pentobarbital for executions. It is also known as Nembutal.

Dr. Carlo Anthony Musso participates in Georgia executions. He is accused of buying Sodium Thiopental from a shady source, and illegally shippping the substance to authorities in Tennessee and Kentucky. If an unconnected citizen was accused of this, there would be serious legal consequences. Dr. Musso made a statement about these allegations:
“Musso said in a statement released to The Associated Press late Thursday that he is being singled out for “political purposes” and urged critics of the death penalty not to specifically target him. The statement did not directly address the allegations.”
As with most capital cases, there is a flood of information available. Here is the the court opinion of the latest attempt at clemency. Much of this information is available here as well.
Mr. Blankenship was an alcoholic, and he was high when he broke into Ms. Bowen’s residence. When arrested, he waived his right to silence, and gave several contradictory statements to the authorities. There are doubts as to his ability to become erect, as well as reports of other people in the apartment. Making statements like this did not help his case:
“When I put her on the bed and took her clothes off, I was drunk, I guess. I said I may as well go ahead and get some pleasure. That’s when I had the relationship with her. As far as I know, I thought I was in the right hole. After that I got up and was afraid that I might have hurt her. I thought I’d better get out of there. I left as soon as I did that shit.”
There was physical evidence linking Mr. Blankenship to the crime scene.
“Semen was found in her vagina, which tests demonstrated came from a blood type-O individual. Both Blankenship and Bowen were type-O…A fingerprint lifted from glass broken in from the balcony and found inside the apartment matched Blankenship. On March 11, an arrest warrant for Blankenship was prepared, as well as search warrants for his apartment. Inside the apartment, police found shoes belonging to Blankenship whose tracks matched those found in and around Bowen’s apartment.”
Pictures today are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”





Counterinsurgency Or Counterterrorism

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 24, 2011









The phrases counterinsurgency and counterterrorism are tossed around a good bit these days. (Some use the abbreviations Coter and COIN.) Some people know what they are talking about. PG is not one of them, but he does know how to get to google city.

The top result is from yahoo , and features an ad for Dollywood. They say counterterrorism is when you kill the enemies, and counterinsurgency is when you try to win over the native population. If you shoot someone and pitch the remains in a holler, that is counterterrorism; if you take his neighbors to Dollywood, that is counterinsurgency.

If you want to get confused, read What is the difference between counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism?. There seems to be confusion as to exactly what terrorism and insurgency are. Since our government is conducting a Global War on Terrorism, (aka the long war, or world war w) this might be problem.
“The question ‘What is the difference between counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism’ may be interpreted as suggesting that the two are dichotomous, but as a closer look demonstrates, they are in fact closely linked. Terrorism, as an ideological strategy of psychological warfare by political violence, falls under the aegis of insurgency, which is a situation of violent political activism directed against a government by a rebellious minority.” There is no advertising on this page.
Global Counter Terror (GCT) Magazine advertises shoes and warfighter tools. The article is poorly written nonsense.
“Insurgency is an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict. The definition of terrorism is much more convoluted as terrorism has been used by every insurgency throughout history to topple a government by coercing the ruling government to increase controls of its citizenry, thus creating increased popular disaffection, in an ever-increasing cycle that leads to major uprising by the majority against the ruling government. The best definition for terrorism I’ve been able to find is the one by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”







Demcracy Arsenal does not like counterinsurgency. They go on at great length, mostly about how the USA is unwilling to make the commitment to see counterinsurgency through. A comment here makes a good point:
“First, the US invaded Iraq and overthrew the government, and so the US forces were (and are) the insurgents. Iraqis resisted the invasion and the ensuing military occupation, so they are the counter-insurgents. COIN strategy is really building a new government to replace the one the US insurgents overthrew and defending it against the counter-insurgents. And so on, with any discussion on the subject making a whole lot more sense if proper English rather than incorrect military jargon were used.”
The American Prospect has a nifty piece about “The cult of counterinsurgency”. It focuses on a man named John Nagl, which rhymes with boggle. Mr. Nagl is one of the salesmen for COIN theory to the military establishment, and he has succeeded in his sales job. He uses as an example for COIN strategy the conduct of our army in Vietnam. Mr. Nagl was two years old during the tet offensive.

“Counterinsurgency means, more or less, an attempt to defeat guerilla fighters who hide among a civilian population over an extended period of time (the word “guerilla” comes from the Spanish term for “small war”). These types of “low-intensity conflicts,” as they are known, were fought by the French in Algeria, the British in Malaysia, and the Soviets in Afghanistan. “
It should be noted that, for the French and the Soviets, these conflicts ended in disastrous defeats.
A critic of the COIN approach is Edward Luttwak, a senior associate at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“And, yes, it is possible for counterinsurgency to succeed, says Luttwak of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. It depends on how much “blood and treasure” you put into it. Few people know as much about irregular warfare as Luttwak does—and he is not impressed by what he has seen in the Middle East. Luttwak, 65, who is the author of Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, says U.S. troops should pull out of Afghanistan. “What the fuck are we doing there?” he asks. “Much better to abandon it and do occasional punitive expeditions as opposed to counterinsurgency and its enormous costs. I’ve been to Afghanistan. Basically, you’d have to kill every single Afghan and take all the children and put them in boarding school, preferably in England.”
The last result on the first google page is an academic report, Counterterrorism vs counterinsurgency: understanding Obama’s Afghanistan decision. This document does not shed much light on this murky debate. Perhaps a reader can follow the link, and explain this to PG in the comments.
To Sum up, the correct answer to the question, should we use counterinsurgency or counterterrorism in Afghanistan, is I don’t know . After reading the reports cited above, as well as this report, PG is suspicious of anyone who claims to know the difference. The two strategies seem to work together … COIN is a part of Coter, to the extent that it helps provide intelligence to the forces trying to kill the terrorists. It is a big, murky, expensive mess, and one of the reasons our country is in the economic mess it is in. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.






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