Waving His Arm

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 30, 2008

AtlMalcontent links to a feature at the Daily Kos about JSM( He called the diarist a cretin). It is a picture of him waving at reporters on his return from ‘Nam. The problem here is that Bill “You Bet” Bennett says JSM can’t raise his arms above his shoulders.
As in many algorenet adventures, the goodies are in the comment thread. We see the unedited picture, which has Carol McCain smiling behind him. She is the first wife, who stayed married to him while he was in captivity. You are going to hear that story again, even though she is supportive of JSM today.
There is lots of back and forth in this thread. The consensus is that there are many reasons to fuss at JSM, but whining about his war record is below the belt.
I tend to agree, with one caveat. Vietnam Vet John Kerry was swiftboated, while Alabama National Guard Vet George Bush won a second term. What goes around comes around. Max Cleland might have something to say about this.
There was one comment in the thread I would like to see some backup on. It comes from David Kroning, and it goes like this:
“I don’t think this is fair… He’s a lot older now than in that picture. And, McCain has already said he is not a war “hero.” In fact, he said very clearly in an interview with 60-Minutes in the 1980s that he considered himself to be a war “criminal” for “having dropped napalm an innocent women and children.”Why?”
This is a problem I have had with JSM for a while. On Super Tuesday, my choices were JSM and BHO, and I got to thinking about whether JSM was a hero. The thought occurred to me that he had dropped napalm on North Vietnam. While his record as a POW is admirable, those women and children are not going to come back.
So, I copied that quote, and entered it in Google. The only thing the G beast came up with was the same Daily Kos comment thread.

Collateral Damage

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on June 29, 2008

Back a war or two ago, a phrase entered the vocabulary. The expression was collateral damage. This referred to civilians killed in a combat action. It sounds a lot nicer than dead women and children.
To hear the war supporters tell it, the enemy was causing this. The terrorists would move women and children into areas they knew were going to be attacked, so they could be killed. The terrorists would get sympathy for their cause when this happened. To the war supporters, it was a cost of doing business.
The past few days, there has been discussion at this facility about speaking out when you hear something you don’t like. People say it is bigotry and hate, which sounds a lot worse than something you don’t like. Just like collateral damage sounds nicer than dead children.
When people put on their warpaint about to fight bigotry, there is frequently collateral damage.

There was an incident that illustrates my point. This was when I was at Redo Blue, working with the Bully for Jesus. I will use the initials BFJ.
One day BFJ heard someone make a comment using the phrase “your daddy said”. This comment was made by a white person, referring to another white person. BFJ is a black person, and the comment offended him.
BFJ decided to vent his feelings about this comment. Since he was working on a rush job across the room from the white person, he made his comments in a loud voice. This way the white person across the room could hear what he said, and BFJ could work on his rush job.
Towards the end of his speech, BFJ made the comment
“when your mother and your father forsake you, you still have your father in heaven” This is supposed to be in the Bible.
BFJ was staring at me and shouting when he said this. Later, he said he had not been talking to me.
This comment pushed me past my limits. BFJ conducted a ministry on company time, and he had a nasty temper. I don’t know if this was a bigoted comment or not, but I had to say something. Sometimes, you need to stand up to a bully. And you best be prepared for a fight, which is exactly what the bully wants.
Someone said once that you should never wrestle with a pig. You will only get dirty, and the pig will enjoy it.
I left a note on his desk saying that
” My mother and father have not forsaken me” We proceeded to have a closed door meeting. He argued with everything I said, admitted no wrongdoing, and chewed me out repeatedly for what the other white person had said. When I was at the point where I thought he was the lowest scum on the planet, BFJ said “Jesus made me what I am today” .
We continued to work closely together for another three years or so. I witnessed a few hundred more hours of his ministry. One day the manager called me into the office, and told me not to come back.
The point of this story is, when you “Stand Up” against “bigoted comments”, you might need to be prepared to mud wrestle with someone who thinks he is building his faith. You should learn the difference between bigotry and being too sensitive. It is best to keep things between you and the person who offended you, and not cause collateral damage.

No Drive Saturday

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 28, 2008

PG looked at the clock, and saw that afternoon was about to convert into evening. It had been a no drive day.
Through the magic of the algorenet, PG had traveled far and wide. The server for many of his sputterings was in California, and all that pixelage rambled thousands of miles. Once, PG chatted with a neighbor across the street, and the typoids went to silicone valley and back before going fifty yards east.
PG also copped some lovely music. An MP3 site was going to post 24 items in 24 hours. While PG had not gotten any of these yet today, last night he got some lovely material from David Bowie and the Replacements.
The picture he had worked on the last few weeks was finally coming into shape. The last of the changes was hopefully made to the model, and as many bugs as possible were erased from the design. The final assembly will probably be next weekend, along with the fourth.
There was a comment to his last post, and PG made a reply. There is a long and unhappy story that PG could use to illustrate how he feels, but does not need the negativity tonight. The memories that would fuel the story are not going to go anywhere, even though PG would be happier if they did.
The bottom line is, there is a difference between standing up for what is right, and engaging in a playground quarrel. It can be tough to tell the difference sometimes. Even if you are right to stand up against evil, there is a chance that innocent people will get caught in the crossfire. There is even a cliché prayer for this:
Lord, give me the strength to change the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to tell the difference One of the offices that PG visits has another version of this. Lord, grant me the fortune to not see the people that I do not like, the kindness to greet those that I do like, and the eyesight to tell the difference” That might not be exactly how it goes, but verbatim memory is not PG’s best quality.
After a while, the laundry was done, the coffee drank, the chatters offended, and the picture still not finished. It was time to go look for yard sales. PG found one next to a McMansion under construction. There was a NY Yankees baseball hat for one dollar. The world series’ of 96 and 99 are a bitter memory, and PG is a Georgia native. Despite this, he paid the lady a dollar for the hat. He does not know where he will wear it. Maybe at night no one will know the difference.
In a little while, PG will clean up and walk a few blocks to a potluck. It will be a no driving day. These are rare, and are appreciated. The devils deal our culture made with oil is not going to go anywhere. One day of not driving will not make much of a difference, except to make PG feel better.

It is said you cannot write the perfect country and western song without something about trains. This perfect song also needs to have something about rain. Snow should be a good substitute, especially for the modern country and western singer. The perfect blog post does not exist. This post in particular does not mention trucks, mama, prison, or getting drunk.

Last they came

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on June 25, 2008

In an early morning discourse, I said that Martin Niemoller was rolling in his grave looking for the royalties from his poem, “First they came…“. A little research later, I don’t think he ever wrote it down.
For those of you with very short memories, here is the work…

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

-Martin Niemoller

Martin Niemoller was the son of a Lutheran minister. In World War 1, he served on a U boat crew. Harold Marcuse tells this story: “Niemöller was a commander of a German U-boat in World War I. A seminal incident in his moral outlook, as he related in many public speeches later in his life, occurred when he commanded his submarine crew not to rescue the sailors of a boat he torpedoed, but let them drown instead. “ After the war he became a Lutheran Minister. He was originally a supporter of Mr. Hitler, but became an opponent. He was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945.
After the war, he began to speak out. The famous poem was derived from these speeches.
It was never written down in typical poet fashion. There are several versions of it from him, and many more as the years rolled by. It has been quoted, updated, and quoted again.
In addition to the four groups mentioned above, the Nazis also came for mentally ill, incurably ill, or people in occupied countries. The legend is that when asked if he included Catholics, he said
“I never said it. They can take care of themselves.” When the McCarthy fever hit America, he declined to mention Communists.
With regard to the royalties, I could not see that it was ever copywrited. I do not know who “owns the rights”. Some have even speculated that the poem was not composed by Mr. Niemoller.
In the past week, I have seen the poem twice in blogs that I read. One was in reference to gay marriage. The other was because a teacher heard students say things he did not like. I don’t think either of these issues has anywhere near the power of the holocaust.
There is the Rebel looking for a cause syndrome. Many people just want to fight about something, and the cause is secondary to the lust for battle. When a poem like this is used to fire up people for a shaky cause, it brings discredit to the poem.
There is the matter of the “Next Hitler” argument. During the run up to the first war against Iraq, Saddam Hussein was routinely called the next Hitler. While this may be a valid argument at times, it is like the boy who cried wolf if used too much.
Maybe a general moratorium is needed on the use of “First they Came…”

The Surge is Working

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 25, 2008

P.G. realized at midnight that he would not be sleeping through the night. Not for lack of trying.
The day before, his boss asked him to come in at nine instead of ten thirty. Just as he was beginning to enjoy staying up to midnight and sleeping until eight, another change had been thrown his way. Not wanting to do much, he decided to go to bed early, and tossed and half slept until 12. And he thought and thought. Thinking too much was always a problem. The comparison of who was uglier, Neil Young or Neal Boortz, would have to wait until another day.
The computer was still turned on, so that was a natural stop. There was a parodic post about how the drought in Atlanta was ruining gay pride, and by association the fabulicity of Rosie O’Donnell. Next, the story of a College Teacher in Nashville. The students said some bigoted and yucky things. The instructor quoted a poem by Martin Niemoller, who is rolling in his grave wondering about the royalties.
Next on the “agenda” was an ex straight writer in New Yuck ( This facility is
NSFW The user name is PAYOR, the password is PASSWORD, use all caps ) It seems as though some institute in Sweden did a study about the size of the different sections of the brain. The brains of gay men were like the brains of straight women, and the brains of straight men were like the brains of gay women. There was no report of the brain parts of dog lovers compared to people who drive S.U.V.’s.
Next stop on the midnight train under Georgia was Catharsis. Written by Iraqi Exile Abbas, this conduit has provided P.G. with much amusement, and proof that the surge is working. His comment today was brief…
Firebrand populist to some, childish jackass to others, and profusely ugly to all. What’s he doing here? When you follow the link, you see a portrait of Shia boytoy Muqtada al-Sadr. He is number 13 on the Time magazine list of 100 influential people.
P.G. likes to peruse lists of 100 influential people, and is disappointed to not be included. He does not have the patience to click 100 times and see a different page for each I.P. When he sees that number one is The Dalai Lama ( hagiography by Deepak Chopra), he realizes that he is hungry and goes to make a sandwich.
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
blogosphere- heliosphere, lithosphere, photosphere, troposphere, biosphere
neo- neon, no. leo, geo, net, neg, new, zee
Dalai- dalia, adlai.
Sadr- sad
Boortz- Boorish, abort
parodic- parodied, parody. procodic, periodic
fabulicity- fabulists, publicity, multiplicity, catholicity, felicity

Goodbye Mr. Carlin

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 23, 2008

A few months ago, I put a post up about George Carlin. I am going to repeat myself in a minutes, but not before I ponder a line in the original story.
“At this point, a look at wikipedia is in order. I was wondering if Mr. C was alive, or if I somehow missed something.”
I was only a marginal fan of Mr. Carlin, but I admire a man who succeeds. The fact that he was a success, and could hang on to his integrity, is sweet. With his lifestyle, making 71 is pretty good.
As for wondering if I missed something, I do that all the time. Through a bit of internet curiosity last night, I found the story of the arrest of Larry Sinclair. Mr. Sinclair made his clebrity with the dubious claim of an affair with BHO. He rented a room at the National Press Club to talk about himself, and left in handcuffs. A man with outstanding warrants should not be seeking publicity. Even if nature made his attorney wear a kilt.
George Carlin was a satirist, among other things. I doubt he could make up anything like the Larry Sinclair story.
Here is the original post.

Is George Carlin really that funny?
I saw a link to a routine about euphemisms at AtlMalcontent. I suspect that Malcontent is a euphemism, but who knows.
So, I have too much time, and I click on the link. Mr. C makes a bunch of obvious jokes about the evasion procedures we conduct with the King’s english. There is a link here somewhere, and maybe an embedded screen if I can get that gizmo to work.
One night, Lenny Bruce was performing in Chicago, when the police decided to review the show. Mr. Bruce was taken prisoner by the fuzz. The authorities decided to make the audience members show ID to get out, and one man loudly objected, and was arrested. The man was George Carlin.
Mr. C began to be popular about the time I was about to graduate from High School. I heard the album about the Seven Words you cannot say on television once, which is enough. They all refer to body parts and body functions, and it does say something about our culture that these words are demonized like they are.
At this point, a look at wikipedia is in order. I was wondering if Mr. C was alive, or if I somehow missed something.
He is from New York.
His real name is Carlin.
He was the first guest host on Saturday Night Live.
In 1961, he married Brenda Hosbrook. The couple was together until her death in 1997.



Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 22, 2008

this test uses a slogan, that is a copyrighted trademark….this speaker i heard once used to call his routine the same thing, and i have a post i want to write about him
that is strange
and what are you going to write
well, the slogan is c**** u* f*** t** n*** u*//// just about his speech, it was 95 percent bs but there were a couple of good comments
he was a right wing a.h., and that turned me off to him big

time…made a snide comment about ted kennedy and mary jo kopechne that i thought was way out of bounds
yea…he was a neighbor of one of the shops at a company i worked for…we traded some printing for his speech
i can’t stand narrowminded people
some people see motivational speakers as being entertaining, but it sets off my bs detector
lol i feel the same way

Back when I was at redo blue, we traded some printing for a motivational speech.
The man was D. J. Harrington. He came on stage with a telephone handset, which he used to show how to answer the telephone. There were a lot of statistics, like you get 50 percent more information when you use your left ear. ( This is a made up example, not a quote. I don’t remember any of his examples) It reminded me of something a teacher said once…:
” The best way to win an argument is to use statistics. The best way to get statistics is to make them up”
On the all important issue of what to say when you answer the squawk box, he suggested
“How may I direct your call?” Now, I like to identify the company and myself as briefly as possible, and quit wasting the customer’s time. The customer knows why he called. HMIDYC is seven unnecessary syllables that do your customer no good.
As some of you know, I have a sensitive BS detector. This gets in the way of being “motivated”. When confronted with a entertainer motivational speaker, I try to glean one or two worthwhile tidbits. I give D.J.H. credit, he did make one comment I remembered.
“You must sell yourself first, your company second, and your product third” There are some idea mongers who feel that I owe them my trust. I beg to differ.
Mr. Harrington used to call his dog and pony show “C*** U* F*** T** N*** U*.That phrase is currently a registered trademark of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario and may be used with permission only.
Redo Blue was a diverse company. I suspect D.J.H. toned down some of the good ole boy touches from his presentation. Towards the end, he described a speech he gave in a medium town in Oklahoma.
“The only Catholics they have ever seen are Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne” He proceeded to tell a tasteless story about the Catholic Church. I was almost motivated to walk out.

W.M.D. made in the U.S.A.

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 21, 2008

In March of 1988, Iraq used poison gas to kill a lot of people in Halabja (ha lahb jah). A largely Kurdish town near the Iranian border, Halabja was the scene of much resistance to the War that Iraq and Iran were waging.
The United States was “tilting” towards Iraq in this conflict. When Iraq invaded Iran ( probably with the encouragement of the United States), Iran was holding Americans hostage at the embassy in Tehran. This was a source of much anger towards Iran, and would be reason for America to support Iraq.
The support for Iraq took the form of financial aid, shared intelligence, and a blind eye to Iraqi use of weapons of mass destruction. After the massacre in Halabja, The United States blamed Iran.
There is also the question of where Iraq got the poison gas. Saddam was executed before he could go to trial on charges related to Halabja.
There is also evidence that Iran was involved. According to
“On 13 March 1988 chemical bombs were dropped on Halabja. No Pasdaran nor Peshmargan were killed. The Iranian soldiers had left on the day before or on the morning of the massacre. The Peshmargan continued to surround the city. Some had gas masks.”

Survivors said the gas smelled like sweet apples. Many thousands died at once, most of them women and children. Many more died in the years to come of the effects of the gas.
The International Herald Tribune has an excellent piece on the massacre. A key quote:
“Some of those who engineered the tilt today are back in power in the Bush administration. They have yet to account for their judgment that it was Iran, not Iraq, that posed the primary threat to the Gulf; for building up Iraq so that it thought it could invade Kuwait and get away with it; for encouraging Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs by giving the regime a de facto green light on chemical weapons use; and for turning a blind eye to Iraq’s worst atrocities, and then lying about it.
It is well known the the W.M.D. program was the excuse for the war in Iraq, not the reason. It is also known that Iraq DID use chemical weapons in the war with Iran. The questions of where these weapons came from, and where they went, have not been answered.
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
Halabja- Calabash, Alabama, Malabar, Salable, Halalled
Pasdaran- Paranoid, Adlefaran. Jacranda
Peshmergan- Freshman, margarine, Margaret, Englishman
de- ed , ode, ade, die, doe, due, den, dew

Two Quizzes

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on June 20, 2008

Your Language Arts Grade: 81%

You’re getting warmer. Remember, possessive pronouns don’t have apostrophes but contractions do. Oh, and word processing grammar checkers often lie.

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

When there is nothing else to write about, you can always take an online test.
There are two in this feature. The first is “Are you gooder at grammar?”
I am embarrassed to admit that I only got 81% on this. Maybe I should whine about trick questions.
This one is heavy on the words that sound alike, but are spelled different. Whose/who’s, your/you’re, and its/it’s are prominently featured. I should know that one is possessive and one is an contraction using a verb. One complaint is the lack of an answer page. This prevents one from learning from mistakes.

What Religion Would Accept You

Your Result: Buddhism

Enlightenment will be yours, devout Buddhist. You will achieve transcendence through meditation and Kung Fu. You have a deep and abiding respect and knowledge of the balance of nature and all living things. Cool.

You like a ninja…only magical. :O

Obscure Cult
Cristianity, Casual
Christianity, Firebrand
What Religion Would Accept You
See All Our Quizzes

The second half of this double feature is “What religion would accept you?” Some of the available options were better here. Like question 3: 3. What created the universe? a god /some gods /big bang/ beats me When did it become such a sin to admit that you don’t know?
As some of you know, I am a recovering Baptist. I have numerous issues with the business of Jesus Worship. However, I am too occidental to be a Buddhist.
So guess which religion this test assigns me? Yea, up there with half of Asia. Couldn’t I just settle for an occasional dim sum?
A problem with many online quizzes is the multiple choice format. You wind up making the least wrong choice, or the Lester of the four evils. I was amused by this option:
11. Do you live as you were raised? Of course, everyone else EATS their children/ Largely/ People do that?? There was a cartoon once. There was a meeting of the Adult Children of Normal People. There was one person in the auditorium. So I should be a Buddhist. What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything.
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
gooder- guider, golder, gooier, goober, go oder

Oil Shale

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 18, 2008

“Oil shale is the fuel of the future, and always will be,” goes a popular saying in Western Colorado.

There is a lot of talk these days about oil. Many blame the cost of oil on the reluctance of The United States to drill in certain parts of our territory. This view is especially popular on talk radio. Many suspect radio talkers of being on the oil industry payroll.
One of the sources of energy considered today is oil shale. This mineral is found in large quantities in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. It became well known in the energy boom of the seventies, but fell out of favor until recently.
Extraction of petroleum from the shale is a mess. Essentially, you heat the rock until the oil comes out. The process uses a lot of water, and leaves a great deal of nasty cooked rock behind.
There are some proposals to sink heating towers into the earth and cook the oil out in the ground. That sounds awfully complicated, expensive, and dangerous to this reporter.
The extraction of oil from the earth is a messy matter. It is not like when Jed Clampett fired his rifle at a rabbit and crude oil poured out . When you dig a hole several miles into the ground, lots of mud will come up and need to be disposed of. Apparently, the extraction of oil from shale is little better.
There is speculation that research into oil shale production was halted in the eighties at the request of the Saudis and the Bush Family.
Another concern is the water this production would use. As we found out in Georgia last year, water shortages are for real. The search for alternative energy must keep water usage in mind. This is also an issue with Nuclear Energy.

Microbes that Produce Oil

Posted in Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 17, 2008

This morning, I was driving into work and listening to radio whiners. This was the first day of going in at 1030, and the whine tasting was in full bloom.
Laura Ingraham has been out of action for a while. Her replacement was more annoying, which I did not think possible. The lady was talking about gay marriage, and made chicken little look like an optimist.
Neal Boortz laughs at those who are apoplectic about California Marriage. He was talking about a genetically engineered microbe. This faux bug will eat waste matter, and excrete petroleum. The thought occurred that a whiner screeching about gay marriage is very similar to a microbe that produces crude oil….though not as useful

Now comes word the the Eat More Chikin cow will be leading fans in the tomahawk chop. This brings back memories of the Braves’s first mascot in Atlanta.
In 1966, the carpetbaggers Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee. They built a teepee in the outfield, and installed a man in it ( he may or may not have been a native American). Chief Knock a Homa would come out of the teepee and dance when the home team hit a home run.
After the novelty wore off, and the Braves settled into last place, rumors spread that the Chief was enjoying firewater in the teepee during the games. When the home team is losing 100 games a year, this is to be expected.
In 1982, the Braves put a good team together and made it to first place. In August, the teepee was taken down. There were football bleachers in the outfield, and a teepee got in the way. After the Knockahoma palace was taken down for the season, the Braves lost 19 of 21 games. They still finished the year in first place, only to get clobbered in the N.C.L.S.

The other day I published a feature titled ” Painted Like Cows”. The search engines sent me a lot of traffic that day.
Atlanta is hometown to a fast food chain. Their ad mascot is a cow, which does not know how to spell.
So, on the Judge’s website , there were pictures of naked women painted to look like cows. Were they holding up signs that said “Eat more Chikin”?

Yahoo and CNN put together a list of ways to increase gas mileage. Most are common sense, like don’t drive too fast or tailgate. But then, horse sense went out of fashion with the buggies.
CNN has a lot of cell phone companies that advertise, and they did delete one item from the list. A study has shown that cell phone usage while driving lowers your gas mileage. It has something to do with the satellite signals going into the cell phone interfering with the electronic devices in your vehicle.

There is a blog called twentytwo words that I read. The concept of saying things with few words is to be admired. The trouble with saying things every day, though, is that sooner or later you will say something that I don’t agree with.
I have an issue with the emphasis on life after death in Jesus Worship. What happens to you after death is simply not a good focus for a spiritual discipline.
And so we find this post:

“5 observations about hell from Revelation 14:9-11—1. It’s eternal…2. It involves the suffering of those who are there…3. It is conscious suffering..4. It is God-inflicted suffering…5. It is righteous.”
And in the comment thread, there is this: ”I think this is what makes the Gospel and salvation so sweet.” So, lets understand what is being said here. A “kind and Loving” G-d is going to inflict eternal suffering on his children, because they don’t agree with the ideas of one religion. And this eternal suffering (for others) is what makes this one religion so sweet.
That does not work for me.

Tough Act to Follow

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 17, 2008

The Governor was speaking to a group of reporters. He was announcing the appointment of a Black man to the Selective Service Board in some Georgia town. The reporter said it was the first Black man to serve on a draft board since reconstruction. What did the Governor think about this?
The Governor said
“Gee” The screen returned to the Channel Five newsroom. The men at the desks were all laughing. The weatherman looked up at the camera and said ” Thats a tough act to follow”
Whatever you might say about Lester Maddox…and there is no shortage of bad things to say…there has never been a public official that entertaining.
As for being a tough act to follow, the next Governor was Jimmy Carter.
As for the weatherman, this reporter saw him in a parking lot once. It was raining heavily. The “Gray Ghost” looked at me with an ironic smile, as if to say
“I am sorry”.