Is Global Warming Made By G-d?

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 31, 2010

PG was shooting from the hip the other day, and said that G-d was causing global warming. At first it seemed a bit goofy,,but the more PG thinks, the more sense it makes.

A lot has to do with your idea of who G-d is. ( maybe the four other w’s, what, when, where, and why should also apply. Former POTUS are best left out of discussions about G-d). Although PG would not put global warming past Jehovah or Mary’sbabydaddy, those conceptions of G-d are  obsolete. The idea of G-d that PG uses is the fifth element, to go with earth, air, fire and water.

The moonies have another view…that G-d is the difference between a human being and five dollars worth of chemicals. There seems to be an overall body of knowledge that makes the earth function. A DNA, or software. This framework of knowledge is how PG views G-d.

Right now, man is living in a paradise. A planet with earth, air, water and fire that is uniquely fabricated to support intelligent life. The role that G-d played in facilitating this planet is a mystery. There is a balance of life here…the right amount of gravity, the right ph balance in the oceans, the proper mix of gases in the atmosphere.

Man has been granted this paradise…it was not earned, it was given out of the bounty of G-d. And man has done his best to destroy the environment. Promiscuously burning fossil fuels is just part of the damage.

Now, there does seem to be a plan to deal with this. If the level of CO2 in the air goes above a certain level, then the temperatures will start to rise. This has been proven time and time again. There are nay sayers…some of whom are not on fossil fuel industry payrolls… who say this is a natural process, and has nothing to do with the actions of man. These people are similar to the upstanding citizens who ridiculed Noah when he built his ark.

It should be noted that the story of Noah and the ark may be a myth. That is, it is full of symbols and allegory, and is not to be taken literally. It could be that in an ancient time, G-d got fed up with the evil deeds of man, and decided to teach a lesson. This could be what is happening today.

Talking Heads

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 30, 2010

There are two live shows available for download by Talking Heads. (If you want these, you should hurry up and get them. Download sites take stuff down after a few days) They are from 1977 and 1983.

The 1977 show was when punk rock/new age was a rumor to much of America. David Byrne teamed up with straight couple Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz to start the band. (They thought they were very modern to have a woman play bass, instead of being featured for her voice or breasts). Many say that the three piece band was the best line up of the band, but they added Jerry Harrison to play guitar at some point or another. The phrase Talking Heads was a tv slang, meaning a face on camera that does nothing but talk.

The first time T Heads played Atlanta was a “New Age Spectacular” at the Capri Theater in Buckhead. They were the headliners, with Elvis Costello as the opener. The house was full of people with free passes, and the majority of the house left after Mr. Costello played.

In the fall of 1978, PG heard a radio station giving away passes to see Talking Heads at the Agora Ballroom. He called the station, asked to be put on the guest list, and got his passes. Six friends of PG were called, and all were either busy or not interested. The seventh person called, “Bradley”, agreed to ride the 23 Oglethorpe bus downtown.

The Agora was only about a third full that night. No one really knew much to expect, other than the bass player was pretty. A security team stood in front of the stage, and had almost nothing to do. (At one point, PG raised his hand to a ceiling tile, and pushed it half an inch above its frame. A security guard came over, and told him to leave the ceiling alone.) The band was impressive to those who were into the music, which PG really wasn’t.

About a year later, the Talking Heads returned to the Agora. This time the place was packed with a paying crowd. The Fans opened, and were horrible. (Their keyboard player was at the ’78 show, grooving with his eyes closed to the sound) The T Heads played a tight set, with PG observing that none of the players was an instrumental virtuoso. They did play very well together, and created some compelling grooves. It was written somewhere that, where most bands created a release, the Talking Heads created tension, then more tension, then more.

As the eighties got going, PG got a job and didn’t go to many rock and roll shows. The Talking Heads got bigger and bigger. They hung out with an artsy New York crowd, made movies and videos, and got just a bit pretentious. The band expanded, with up to nine musicians on stage at one time. The second download set is of the 1983 version of the band. It is not as much fun as the early days.

A Book About Woodstock

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 30, 2010

PG has read “The Road To Woodstock” by Micheal Lang, ghostwritten by Holly George-Warren. Mr. Lang was one the the producers of the Woodstock music and arts festival in 1969. It is quite a story.

Mr. Lang was a Brooklyn kid, who got turned onto the counterculture in 1959. When he decided that college was not for him, he did what Jews do…he moved to Miami. Before long, he owned a head shop, and was promoting a rock festival. The Miami Pop Festival, in 1968, featuring Jimi Hendrix and a big rainstorm, was sort of a success. Micheal Lang was back in New York soon.

Mr. Lang met Artie Kornfield, who was in the recording business. They started to talk about ventures, and had an idea for a recording studio in Upstate New York. They met some guys with capital, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman. The four of them became Woodstock Ventures. Somewhere along the way, a music festival in the country got started.

Back to 2010, with PG waiting to talk to someone at the Department of Labor. A book is a handy companion in a waiting room. He brought a notepad along.

PG is reading a memoir about the Woodstock festival, and it is a gold mine of trivia. Did anyone know that Joan Baez was pregnant? Jim Morrison would not appear because he was afraid of an on stage assassination. The promoters kept Pete Tomnsend up until 8am to convince him to play. When it finally went off, the Who followed Sly and The Family Stone.

In Woodstock, the town of Walkill kicked out the festival, and, with a few weeks to go, they met Max Yasgur. Max rented the farm to 50k. This was the same price that David Selznick paid to Margaret Mitchell for GWTW.

Bethel approved the festival July 21, one day after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. The festival was August 15-17.

The Jeff Beck Group cancelled, when Rod Stewart quit the band to join Faces.

PG got his business done at the DOL, and the festival on Yasgur’s farm went off. There was a lot of chaos and ignorance, but good will saw the thing through. The first act to perform was Richie Havens. He was playing an acoustic set while the electric PA was set up, and was not allowed to leave the stage. Finally he ran out of material, and just started to say the word Freedom and jam. This is what appeared in the movie.

PG saw Richie Havens in 1974, at a nightclub in Atlanta called Richards. Havens played a Guild guitar, which he strummed, hard, across the front of the instrument. He would wear holes in the front of his guitar, which apparently did not last for more than a show or two. The crowd…this was the second show of the evening, starting at 2am…kept yelling for Freedom.

Back to the dairy farm. The story is familiar by now…it was a free concert, they ran out of food, and tie dye was perfected. Abbie Hoffman jumped on the stage during the Who, and Pete Townsend hit him upside the head with a guitar. Stephen Stills did not need a laxative.

After Jimi Hendrix played the final set, the crowds went home, and the workers wanted to get paid. A series of meetings took place to settle the business end of the festival. Lang and Kornfield were bought out, and Roberts and Rosenman owned the franchise.

The Woodstock festival was a milestone of sorts. Richard Nixon was new to the Presidency, and the war in Vietnam was going strong. The moratorium in the fall of 1969 was the high water mark of the anti war movement. Soon,the government started to withdraw troops, and look for “peace with honor”. And so on and so forth. The sixties were too beautiful to live, and too profitable to die.

Pictures are from “Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. They are from 1969 ( give or take a bit) in Atlanta, GA.

The Second Great Flood

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 28, 2010

Somewhere in his drifting around the internet, PG found a reference to the story of Noah and the Ark. A light bulb above his head switched on, and the answer was apparent: Global warming is the second great flood.

In the Biblical story, G-d was upset with the way man was doing things. She gave Noah a heads up, and he was ridiculed by the good citizens of the day. Finally, it rained forty days and forty nights, and everyone except Noah got wet.

In the modern version, G-d sees man making a wasteland of the bountiful planet. An amazing resource like oil is controlled by hateful tyrants, and burned to make cars run. The signs of dis ease are apparent to some, but they are ridiculed by the good citizens of the day.

This time, things are different. Instead of forty days and forty nights, it is two hundred years of burning fossil fuels. It is a time of war, and rumors of war.


Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 27, 2010

There is a story in a New York Times “blog” about a man, Yasser, who died in a bombing, in Baghdad, the other day. With all the talk about “the surge winning the war”, this is a sad story. It would be a sad story without the happy talk about victory.

Yasser_____ ( use of his last name would endanger his family) worked for a London news service. His Shiite family moved out of a mixed neighborhood during the civil war, only to move back after things calmed down a bit. The blog story tells a few things about him…he was brave, friendly, and useless in the kitchen… that underline the fact that this was another human being. And now he is a statistic.

There is a sense in America that the wars are a game, that the lower price of gas, and spreading democracy to Babylon, make it all worthwhile. The Arabs and Persians are seen as somehow less than human, as towelheads and terrorists. These people are human, and have paid a fierce price for our experiment.

HT to Iraqimojo for the story. Pictures are from “Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library“.

Tallulah Bankhead

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 26, 2010

The wordpress homepage had an eyecatching story about “Sex and Bristol Palin“. It seems as though the young lady has taken a vow of chastity until marriage. This is a bit like locking the barn door after the horses run off…and Levi is long gone anyway. It was the comments to this that got PG’s attention. Someone has named their blog “Tallulah Bankhead“. The concept of using a famous dead person as an online identity is not original, but Tallulah Bankhead has a big personality to live up/down to.

Miss Bankhead was born January 31, 1902 in Huntsville AL. She had a year-older sister, Eugenia. Their mother died February 23, 1902. Legend has it her last words were
“Take care of baby Eugenia. Tallulah can take care of herself.”
The father of the actress was Will Bankhead
. He was a prominent politician, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington. Mr. Bankhead was on the short list of Vice Presidential candidates for Franklin Roosevelt, but was passed over. The Bankhead national forest and the Bankhead Highway are both named for Will Bankhead.
Tallulah Bankhead was an actress, radio show hostess, and personality. She went to London in the early twenties and became a stage sensation. Returning to the United States, she became a Broadway star with “The Little Foxes”. She made a few movies, but saved her best public performances for the stage.

Miss Bankhead was known for being sexually active, with both men and women. Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammie in Gone With The Wind, was rumored to be one of her “friends”. Her introduction to Chico Marx went like this
“Miss Bankhead.” “Mr. Marx.” “You know, I really want to fuck you.”. “And so you shall, you old-fashioned boy.”
Her most famous movie role was in “Lifeboat”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Her co stars complained that she was not wearing panties under her dress. Mr. Hitchcock posed the question, is this a matter for wardrobe or for hairdressing?

In the fading days of radio, Tallulah was the host of “The Big Show”. She became known for her deep voice, and for saying “Dah-ling”. More than one guest got big laughs by calling her Mister Bankhead. After “The Big Show” ended, Miss Bankhead remained active on stage and television. She died December 12, 1968.

Miss Bankhead was a staunch Democrat, as is fitting for the political family she was raised in. During the McCarthy era, an actress friend of hers was accused of being a communist. Miss Bankhead made a statement of support for the actress on the radio, and then asked her, are you a communist? The actress said that her daddy was a republican, and so she guessed that was what she was. Miss Bankhead was horrified.
“A republican! That’s worse than being a G-ddamn communist.”

Was The Game Rigged?

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 25, 2010

Was the Vikings-Saints game rigged?

It seems suspicious to some that the Vikings had so many fumbles and interceptions in the NFC championship yesterday. The Saints never did seem to stop the Vikings offense, but they stopped themselves. To this, you can add a couple of questionable calls by the officials.

There are several ways to see this. One is that the NFL would want a Favre fest super bowl, that the talking heads could blather about Saint Brett for two endless weeks. A Favre vs Manning showdown would take attention away from what Michelle Obama is wearing. The flip side is that someone, somewhere, is tired of crybaby antics, and wanted to spare America the spectacle of tmi Brett Favre.

Eleven years ago, the Falcons played the Vikings for the NFC championship. For the Vikings, a field goal kicker who had missed all season, missed. The Falcons won a game they had no business winning, and got clobbered by Denver in the Super Bowl. The Falcons once employed Brett Favre.

The NFL is terrified of a gambling scandal. There is no way to know who bet what on whom yesterday. It is theoretically possible that some big money players told Mr. Favre to throw that insane pass at the end of regulation. Or, maybe some TV folks thought the ratings would be better for New Orleans. Or, maybe some cajun voodoomeister cooked the books.

Pictures are from a beltline walk last July. The place where the beltline goes under I-75 on the south end is a contender for best graffiti in the city.

Is Fiction Dead?

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 24, 2010

Andrew Sullivan printed a comment, about a comment, about the death of fiction. The prime piece is in mother jones, and discusses the shaky future of University literary magazines. With a couple of yard sale based exceptions, PG does not recall reading any of these.

Lots of schools have masters programs in creative writing now. These institutions take money from students who have no chance of earning back the money to pay for these programs. Whether anything ever written in these programs is fun to read is not known.

As long as people can write, they are going to tell stories. With the explosion of processors and outlets, more people are telling stories than ever before. The pleasure of writing insures that millions are going to tell stories, whether anyone reads them or not.

This explosion of outlets for written stories means more and more competition to reading. Movies, videos, and games are all fighting for the attention of the population. When you consider that many people never get the book habit, this means a shrinking demand for an expanding supply.

Pictures are from the “Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. In the best Atlanta fashion, most of the buildings are history. One is from the Fox Theater…and it stars a dead President.

Beltline Saturday

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 23, 2010

PG started the day by driving to the Bankhead Marta Station. The idea was to leave a car there, and take people back to the starting point at Ansley Mall. Eventually, other people showed.

The walk started at the bridge, over the rail lines, on Piedmont Road. A few steps down a steep, muddy hill, and you were on the beltline. One man said the bridge over Piedmont had the highest concentration of quality graffiti in the city. PG listened to a few minutes of talk about graffiti, and learned a few things. The question remains unanswered, where is the best quality graffiti in Atlanta ?

PG had been on these tracks last July, when it was an impassible mess of kudzu. Today, it was piles of railroad ties, line, and paraphernalia. The ground around this material was chopped up and muddy, and not at all pleasant to walk on.

The 25 hikers ( 24 humans and one dog) went past the Ansley Golf Club, and took a right at a Y in the tracks. An old bridge, in good condition, went over the old I 85. The newer I 85 was next to that, and a tunnel took the hikers beneath it. The path soon turned right onto an active Norfolk Southern line. The hikers walked on the granite shoulder of this line, between a Marta line and an industrial district.

Before long, Peachtree Creek was in front of the crew, along with an abandoned CSX line fifty feet below. This is the next stage of the beltline. One of the problems facing the beltline is how to connect sections, like the one beside the Ansley Golf Club, to the old CSX line beside Peachtree creek.

The next stage of the walk was a pleasant change from the concrete plants on the NS line. On the south side was a swamp, and on the north side was the back of upscale houses. Before long, Peachtree Road was overhead, and the crew took a break. The day was dry and overcast, with a wind keeping the temperatures down. PG took gloves, scarf, hat and layers, and used all of them.

The next excellent adventure came at the Tanyard creek overpass. The trestle is roughly 100 feet over the creek below. Several hikers, with more energy than PG, climbed down the hill, found a way across the creek, and climbed back up the hill.

On a previous hike on this territory, the route had gone through a very long tunnel. The group leader was informed that this territory was still the property of the railroads, and they did not appreciate the presence of hikers. A different route was used for the last part of the walk today.

After going under Huff Road, the rail line ran into a major rail artery…the one the tunnel had gone under. Today, the hike went across this artery, up a hill, and through a broken fence. The fence was in back of a parking lot for an adult video store. The hikers resisted the temptation to go inside, and went down sidewalks for about a mile.

Soon, a branch of rail line crossed the sidewalk, and the hikers turned right onto this line. There was a delay at the end of the first line, as a very slow freight train moved by. One time conscious hiker said that if we had been on schedule, we would have crossed that line before the slow moving freight train…which was headed for the tunnel.

PG was getting weary, and his knees and ankles were protesting every step. A path went through a wooded area, spotted with homeless shelters. One of the residents talked about how he used to live in the village…PG assumes this was a New York thing. The parking lot behind the Marta station came into site, and PG saw his car, with no broken glass. It was what he wanted to see.

Bobby Bragan

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 23, 2010

The first manager of the Atlanta Braves, Bobby Bragan, died thursday. He was 92 years old, and was in Fort Worth, Texas.

The 1966 Braves had Hank Aaron and Eddie Matthews, who have the most combined home runs of any teammates in baseball. The catcher was Joe Torre. The problem was the pitching, which is a big problem. The pitcher on that team that lasted the longest was Phil Niekro. The problem in 1966 was catching a knuckleball with a mitt instead of a backstop.

At any rate, the Braves lost more games than they won that first season in Georgia. In baseball, the manager is hired to be fired, and sometime that summer, Bobby Bragan was looking for a job. He became the President of the Texas League, and worked with the Texas Rangers. Maybe Mr. Bush is his fault.

Bobby Bragan was the second string catcher in Brooklyn when Jackie Robinson came to play there. At the time, Mr. Robinson was the only African American in the major leagues, and many people did not like it. Mr. Bragan was one, until he talked to Mr. Robinson on a train trip one night. After they got to know each other, they got along fine.

That first summer of major league baseball in the south, PG was a 12 year old, always ready to go to the game. On the last night of school, the Braves played the Cardinals, and lost. PG got his patient dad to go to the tunnel at the south end of the stadium, to get autographs of the players as they came out. When the last player left, PG saw Bobby Bragan leaning against a car, talking to someone.

PG went over and joined the conversation. Mr. Bragan ( who was known to talk) compared taking a pitcher out of a game to selling stock. PG asked Mr. Bragan about an incident where the manager was fired. He had walked onto the field to talk to an umpire, while carrying an orange drink. Mr. Bragan pulled his hat off, and acted for a minute like he was going to swat PG. Maybe he should have.


Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 22, 2010

The Supreme Court ruled thursday that corporations can buys ads influencing an election. Direct contributions to a campaign from a corporation remain prohibited. The ruling was in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 08-205.

There is much hand wringing about this decision. PG does not see how the system could be any more corrupt than it already is, but maybe it can be. There is not much talk about campaign financing reform at the moment.

The business of influencing is slick in our country. Where dictators jail and kill, in America we put out ads and write stuff. The corporations can establish subsidiaries with happy names, and no one will be any the wiser.

The link happy obsidian wings points us to a quote about the implications of this ruling. Bear in mind that most large corporations are, to some degree, multi national.

“The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United is probably a greater catastrophe than the Mass. Senate election. In effect, it allows corporations to put unlimited amounts of cash into influencing elections.

One aspect of the ruling that hasn’t gathered much attention: as far as I can tell, the analysis doesn’t distinguish between domestic and foreign corporations. Not that it would matter much, since a foreign corporation can always establish a domestic subsidiary, or buy an American company: Cities Service, for example, is a unit of PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company. So the ruling allows Hugo Chavez to spend as much money as he wants to helping and harming American politicians. If the Russian, Saudi, and Chinese governments don’t currently have appropriate vehicles for doing so, you can count on it: they soon will.

Nor is this a problem that can be handled by “disclosure.” The ad on TV praising the opponent of the congressman who did something to annoy Hugo Chavez won’t say “Paid for by Hugo Chavez.” It will say “Paid for by Citizens for Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” which in turn will have gotten a contribution from “Americans for Niceness,” which in turn will have gotten a contribution from a lobbyist for a subsidiary of Cities Service that no one has ever heard of.

The United States has a $13 trillion GDP, and total annual campaign spending is on the order of $2 billion. Buying influence on the American government has to be the highest-leverage activity ever invented, and Justice Kennedy and his four accomplices just invited every oligarch and tyrant in the world to play. This is not just a threat to democracy; it’s a threat to sovereignty.”

Hot Times In Georgia

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 22, 2010

PG spent another evening listening to bloggingheads and perusing the photographs in the “Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University”. Can we say get a life?

The two dialogs ( the preferred spelling is diavlog)( The spell check suggestions for diavlog are diagonal, diastole and diagnose) broke down on gender lines. Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus yell at each other the entire time. At one point, Mr. Kaus was ranting about health care reform, while Mr. Wright kept pleading for him to quiet down, Mickey Mickey Mickey. ( Some groupie in “Gimme Shelter” kept squealing Mickey Mickey Mickey. Mick Jagger is a better performer than Mickey Kaus. Which one is uglier is impossible to fathom)

After about ten minutes of the screaming sausages, PG got a phone call, asking him to get his brother at the train station. When he got back, he could not stomach any more Wright and Kaus. The other conversation was Emily Bazelon and Ann Althouse. They were much more agreeable to listen to, and were able to shut up when the other spoke.

This was two days after the special election in Massachusetts, where some repub beat a demo for the senate seat. Much of the media is in an uproar about this, which is puzzling to PG. It seems like the demo didn’t really want the seat, and the people chose to elect the repub. The ladies were discussing the sex appeal and pickup truck as Mr. Brown.

The ladies were also chatting up the evolution of the political spouse. It was agreed that Hillary played the game better than Elizabeth Edwards. They both seem to have an *admiration* for Todd Palin. At one point, one of the ladies (maybe Althouse, but PG is not sure) got an IM from her husband, telling her to cool it.