Dirty Harry Does Dragoncon

Posted in Politics, Religion by chamblee54 on August 31, 2012

As you may know, Clinton Eastwood Jr. gave a speech at the Republican National Convention last night. What you hear about it depends on who you listen to. Some think he was great. The Tampa crowd was highly entertained. Others think it was a joke.

Of all the many twitterwits to comment today, Chris Rock came closest to the truth. ‏@chrisrockoz Clint Eastwood on the phone with Obama now: “It all went according to plan,sir.” The truth is, you have to wonder what people were thinking.

The last night of the convention is supposed to be a showcase for the candidate. You want people talking about the candidate Friday morning. Instead, you have people talking about the “artistic” performance by Dirty Harry.

For a party that claims to be Conservative Christian, it was a strange event. You have to wonder just how smart some of those cheering masses were. Much has been made of the multiple marriages, and illegitimate children, that CE has sponsored. (There is no middle name.) “Eastwood entered a relationship with actress Sondra Locke in 1975. They lived together for fourteen years, despite the fact that Locke remained married (in name only) to her gay husband, Gordon Anderson. Locke had two abortions and a tubal ligation within the first four years of the relationship.”

The first few minutes of the speech were pretty normal. The people making rude comments about his hair were going to vote democratic anyway. At about the 3:28 mark, he started talking to an empty bar stool. We were supposed to pretend that BHO was sitting in that stool.

At the 4:46 mark, it got a little bit weird. Transcript courtesy of Fox News. “I know you were against the war in Iraq, and that’s okay. But you thought the war in Afghanistan was OK. You know, I mean — you thought that was something worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how did it — they did there for 10 years.”

It is true that BHO has escalated the war in Afghanistan. It is true that BHO has escalated the drone strikes into neutral countries. It is true that BHO is killing women and children, at the funerals of the women and children he killed in yesterday’s roboplane strike. It is also true that George W. Bush started the war in Afghanistan. It is highly unlikely that W asked the Russians for advice before he invaded Afghanistan. Considering the number of heroin addicts in Russia today, it is possible that the Russians would have urged caution.

“But we did it, and it is something to be thought about, and I think that, when we get to maybe — I think you’ve mentioned something about having a target date for bringing everybody home. You gave that target date, and I think Mr. Romney asked the only sensible question, you know, he says, “Why are you giving the date out now? Why don’t you just bring them home tomorrow morning?'”

During his big speech Thursday night, WMR did not mention the war in Afghanistan. A site called 2012 Republican Candidates has this to say about WMR and Afghanistan.

While Gov. Romney believes that the continued presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan should ultimately be decided by the military’s top brass, he cautions that the country should not be making similar commitments in the future. He also stressed that the bulk of the security obligation must lie with the Afghanis themselves. Gov. Romney indicated in an interview with ABC on July 29, 2012, that while he is supportive of President Barack Obama’s Sept 2014 troops withdrawal deadline, he disagrees with the plan to order 23,000 troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 30. However, he admits that his position could change depending on the counsel of military commanders, while leaving open the possibility of keeping combat troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 should conditions change.

The next bit was just a wee bit obscene. CE was talking to the bar stool. “So anyway, we’re going to have — we’re going to have to have a little chat about that. And then, I just wondered, all these promises — I wondered about when the — what do you want me to tell Romney? I can’t tell him to do that. I can’t tell him to do that to himself.”

The crowd roaring it’s approval thinks they are Christian conservatives. They want to improve the moral standards of America. To further this end, they laughed at an elderly actor making a reference to telling someone to f*** himself. There were thousands of children explaining that joke to their parents.

With the spectacle of a tough guy actor performing an absurdist skit on national tv, the jokes write themselves. Twitter nation has responded, it all its 140 character glory.

@ConanOBrien I know what it was like for Clint Eastwood. In my career, I’ve talked to more than a few “empty chairs.”
@WendellPierce Clint Eastwood’s presentation not funny to me today. The image of the empty chair with the President being talked down to was offensive.
@kirstiealley I just saw Clint Eastwood’s speech and I LOVED it!! Funny as hell & on point!!..& I’m a Democrat..US media is SO biased in favor of Dems
@BorowitzReport: A new poll reveals that Romney trails Clint Eastwood’s empty chair.
@Its_Death Clint Eastwood is used to talking to inanimate objects. He’s acted with Kevin Costner.
@NolteNC Hey media – do you think mocking Clint Eastwood will make America hate you less?
@DCdebbiev Lay off of Clint Eastwood, why dontcha! Talkin to an empty chair was how Cheney ruled the White House.
@BarackObama This seat’s taken. http://OFA.BO/c2gbfi ,
@MrWordsWorth RNC brings out Clint Eastwood. DNC makes frantic call to Betty White.
‏@bobcesca_go Last night an awkward Republican delivered a weird speech filled with bizarre, fantastical remarks. He was preceded by Clint Eastwood.
@jtLOL Clint Eastwood is awesome. Liberals have no sense of humor about themselves, or about Obama. Even the ones who say they’re comedians.

The pictures for this expose were taken at last year’s dragoncon parade. This was the last time PG will ever attend that event. The sidewalks were five times too crowded for comfort. The pictures taken last year, and in 2009, are of the standard fantasy character costumes. They did not change much from 2009 to 2011. If you are a total masochist who likes science fiction costumes. be on Peachtree Street tomorrow morning. When you are done, you can go to black gay pride, the Chik fil A college football party, a NASCAR race, the Dickhater book festival, or a traffic jam. All of those events display a firmer grip on reality than that displayed in Tampa FL thursday night.

Yossarian Part Five

Posted in Book Reports by chamblee54 on August 31, 2012

This is part five of an appreciation of Catch 22. Parts one, two, three, four, six, and seven precede it.

XXV The Chaplain This is another existential quandary chapter. There is not a lot of action. The saving grace is that it makes fun of religion.

Chaplain Tappman is seen as a pathetic source of ridicule. The other men do not think he is wonderful, which always makes professional Jesus worshipers uncomfortable. Chaplain T is also having weird ideas. He sees a naked Yossarian in a tree during the memorial service for Snowdon, and thinks it is a vision. This is sort of like that lady in Rockdale county who kept having the Virgin Mary visit her. However, no one is under the impression that Yossarian is a virgin, or that he is the mother of Jesus.

So the Chaplain mopes about his uselessness, and decides to go see Major Major, who never sees anyone. The Chaplain takes a sneaky route back to his tent. He finds a man living in the woods. Flume is there because he thinks his tentmate is going to kill him.

After another humiliating encounter with tentmate Whitcomb, whose rank keeps changing, the Chaplain goes to see Colonel Cathcart. The Colonel is in no mood to talk to the Chaplain, and says the flyers are going to go to Avignon again so they can get some casualties.

One of the online cheat sheets has a good quote. “Complex questions of ontology perplex him, but “they never [seem] nearly as crucial to him as the question of kindness and good manners.” PG had never encountered the phrase ontology before. It seems to have something to do with existential questions about the nature of G-d and man. If you change the t to a c, you get oncology. This is the branch of medicine dealing with the treatment of cancer. As one practitioner said, it is the branch of medicine that no one makes jokes about.

With a c, you get oncology. This is the war against runaway cell growth, where the treatment is often treacherous and debilitating. The treatment is said to be as bad as the disease, which is saying something for a fatal malady. With a t, you get ontology. This is where you ask questions that no one really knows the answer to, although many make the claim. Instead of runaway cell growth, you have runaway rhetoric. One chemotherapeutic protocol for ontology is substantial applications of alcohol, which can make the disease worse, can make you puke, but will usually not make your hair fall out. At least there are no insurance hassles.

XXVI Aarfy Aarfy is really named aardvark, although it is unlikely that is on his driver’s license. He should be first on any list of characters, except that the online cheat sheets don’t list the characters alphabetically. In a story like this, there are a lot of characters. It is tough for a simple minded southerner like PG to keep up, and tools are needed.

In this chapter, Dunbar plays a key role. PG seemed to remember good things about him, but could not be sure. The first list of characters does not mention him. This is frustrating, since it is not alphabetized, and you have to go through the entire thing to see that Dunbar is not there.

Another character list does show something:Dunbar – A friend of Yossarian and the only other person who seems to understand that there is a war going on. Dunbar has decided to live as long as possible by making time pass as slowly as possible, so he treasures boredom and discomfort.”

There is some action in this chapter, and Aarfy is a key player. In the first part, Aarfy, Nately, and Yossarian are in a building in Rome. Nately confesses his love for a whore, and is ridiculed by Aarfy. Later, there is a mission, where Aarfy’s incompetence leads the plane into enemy fire. Yossarian is hit in the leg by flak, and winds up in the hospital.

When Yossarian tries to get out of bed, Nurse Cramer asks if he wants to lose his leg. “It’s my leg””It’s certainly not your leg. That leg belongs to the U.S. Government. It’s no different than a gear or a bedpan. The army has invested a lot of money to make you an airplane pilot, and you’ve no right to disobey the doctor’s orders.”

XXVII Nurse Duckett Sometimes you have to stop dilly dallying and finish the job at hand. This series on Catch 22 has gone on since June, and has three more parts to go.

When PG decided to do a series on Yossarian, it was using two good eyes. A couple of weeks into July, there was an extra sensitivity to bright white light. When the right eye was covered, the left eye was a mass of blurred vision. Action needed to be taken. Research was done about ophthalmologists, insurance coverage was secured, and an appointment was made.

The first appointment revealed a broken blood vessel in the eye. The fancy name is branch retinal vein occlusion. The doctor lectured PG on the need for a medical exam, to determine the cause of this spillage. On the way home, PG made an appointment for a physical.

When the nurse takes your blood pressure, makes a face, and decides to take a reading from your other arm, that is not a good sign. Yes, the blood work came out fine, and hypertension is a less severe problem than diabetes or hiv. Clearly, some lifestyle changes were in order.

The second visit to the eye clinic was horrible. The nurse told PG that the dilation drops were going to be strong, and that his eyes would be dilated the next day when he woke up. Then, the retina specialist had to deal with an emergency, and PG had to wait, with compromised eyes, for what seemed like forever.

When PG got to see the retina specialist, there was a new name for the condition. Cystoid Macular Edema is not an improvement. The doctor said that she could not start treatment with the blood pressure as high as it was. The treatment she proposed was an intraocular injection of a cancer drug. An appointment was made for four weeks in the future.

On the way home from the eye clinic, PG stopped at the office of the other primary care dude. He was out of the office for two more days. PG sent an email explaining his situation, and the primary care dude called in a prescription for amlodipine.

PG had started to decipher the proposed diet, and made an effort to follow it. When you are skinny growing up, you get into the habit of trying to gain weight. Then you get older, and develop a pot belly. The concept of thinking about what to eat is new to PG, but he is trying.

The blood pressure readings began to improve. Better yet, the blurring in the left eye is improving. The next appointment at the eye clinic is the day after labor day. PG is hoping that an intraocular injection of a cancer drug will not be needed.

Ok, back to Yossarian. This chapter starts out with him in the hospital, taking liberties with a nurse. There is trouble, and a shrink is called in. The head doctor is crazier than Yossarian.

There is a tradition on english tests. You are given a quote, and you have to explain it. There are two wiki worthy quotes for chapter XXVII.

“Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that in your promiscuous pursuit of women you are merely trying to assuage your subconscious fears of sexual impotence?” “Yes, sir, it has.” “Then why do you do it?” “To assuage my fears of sexual impotence.” This is an exchange between the shrink and Yossarian.

BTW, not all therapists, or other rapists, appreciate being called shrink. One such person said to PG “I am not a shrinker, I am a grower”. He did not charge PG for that.

The last paragraph has a fun bit of wordplay. It has long been known that if you put a space three letters into therapist that you get the rapist. PG tried to make a joke about this, and said or other rapist. When he saw those letters on the screen, he realized that the, and or, is an anagram for other. Therapist spelled backwards is tsipareht. This will inhibit palindromic applications of this word.

“You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You’re dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!” Major Sanderson, the shrink, says this to Yossarian. This is another example of the satire in this book. It is not as heavy handed here as elsewhere, and consequently is more enjoyable. Satire can tire is applied without fire.

XXVIII Dobbs When PG was in sixth grade, a popular insult was Dob. Since it was a verbal insult, no one knew whether it had one bee or two. Hamlet said something about two bees or not two bees.

It turns out the special education teacher at Cross Keys was named Beatrice Dobbins. She was morbidly obese. The special ed students were called dobs. This tidbit of knowledge made its way to the sixth grade at Ashford Park.

The character Dobbs wants Yossarian to help him kill Colonel Cathcart. In this chapter, Yossarian agrees to help. Dobbs is now unwilling to kill the Colonel. Opportunity is a funny thing, as are most things with tuna in the middle.

This chapter is really about Orr, who is Yossarian’s tentmate. Orr is a tinkerer, which upsets Yossarian while it is going on. In later chapters, Yossarian will reap the benefits of Orr’s tinkering.

This is the last chapter that Orr appears in. He is flying a mission, and his plane goes into water. All the other men are in one lifeboat, and it is rescued. Somehow, the boat with Orr is never rescued.

There is a curious bit of cultural anthropology here. The life jackets the men carried were called Mae Wests. There was a movie star at that time who used that name. She had big boobs, which were probably real. There were rumors that Mae West was a man in drag. Miss West made a movie with W.C. Fields, where he was drunk all the time, and they had to shoot the movie around him.

There was a plane crash, and when the men tried to use the Mae Wests, they did not work. The MWs had a CO2 canister, which made them inflate. MiloHamilton Minderbinder borrowed these canisters to make whipped cream. There were no other comments about the syndicate in this chapter.

The Orr who perishes in this chapter had a double r last name. If you add Orr to the, you will get a nonsense word. Do not try this when on a Scrabble board.

There was a football player named Jimmy Orr. He caught passes from Johnny Unitas. Mr. Orr, with a double r, had a nightclub in the Peachtree Battle shopping center called “Jimmy Orr’s End Zone”.

In Super Bowl III, the Baltimore Colts tried a trick play called a flea flicker, The quarterback gives the ball to a running back, who tosses it back to the quarterback. Jimmy Orr was by himself in the end zone, and the quarterback threw an interception. This was the year Joe Namath, and the New York Jets, won the Super Bowl. They had no business winning, but they did. People who suspect that the Super Bowl is rigged point to this game as the first obvious example.

XXIX Peckum There is not much action in this chapter. Just of bunch of self important officers trying to impress each other. They all think they are succeeding, and that the others are failing. There is a synchronicity of stupidity.

When PG was at Redo Blue, he heard someone, named George, say “Frank thinks Phil is a fuckup”. The names have been changed to protect the guilty and the sensitive, even though it is unlikely that any of the three men involved will ever read this. It is not even certain that all three can read.

So, PG got to thinking about what George had said. You could take that statement, and insert blanks where the names are. _____ said that ____ thinks that ____ is a fuckup. You could take any of those three names, and insert it into any spot in the formula. All combinations of names would be true.

XXX Dunbar This chapter was made for the movies. There is a pilot named McWatt. He likes to fly low over people and scare them. At first, it is a harmless little habit. Then it annoys Yossarian so much that murder is contemplated.

Yossarian, it turns out, would rather make love than war. He starts to spend afternoons on the beach with Nurse Duckett. They both enjoy the company of the other.

While Yossarian and Nurse Duckett are making whoopee, the other men are swimming. One afternoon, McWatt decides to buzz the swimmers. Kid Sampson waves at him. For some reason, this distracts McWatt just enough to dip the plane a bit lower. Kid Sampson is cut in half. After McWatt sees what he has done, McWatt flies into a mountain.

Paywall capitalist bookrags has an interesting take: McWatt dips his wings in one final salute and flies into… (read more.)

Another facebooker contributes a bit of commodity wisdom: “Work isn’t to make money; you work to justify life.” ~ Marc Chagall

I think Chagall’s words speak to those who find passion in their work–or that their work sustains their passion. I am privileged to be in that class of folks, but on this labor day I am mindful of those who work to survive and in doing so often find themselves endangered by the exploitation and greed of others.

There is a little bit of… there is a great word that describes this phenomenon that PG cannot remember … commodity wisdom that usually annoys PG. It sounds so good, is a clever turn of words, but is totally without meaning when you think about it. The platitude is “I work to live, I don’t live to work.”

The word is sophistry.

Does your heart stop beating when you go to work? We all know people whose brain ceases to function on the clock, but they continue to breathe. Often, when they exhale, these people make obnoxious noise, which is also part of being alive. The thing is, when you are at work, you are alive.

Work is a part of life. When you are a living human critter, you are going to do things that you don’t enjoy. But you do them because you have to. When PG is editing this, he will try to think of a good analogy for this silly saying. But don’t bet on it. This has gone on too long, and part five is finally, mercifully, finished. Pictures are by The Library of Congress. This was written like Dan Brown.

Georgia Native Rant

Posted in Georgia History by chamblee54 on August 30, 2012

PG saw something on facebook that he has seen, and heard, before.
“I’ve had enough of the conservative bullshit of the South and a job that does not fit with my personality. I think it is time for some changes in my life. I’m seriously considering continuing my education and becoming certified to teach high school math.. but first moving away from the conservatism that treats me as a second-class citizen, not just politically but with all the internalized homophobia of Atlanta gays. I would love to hear your thoughts.”
Atlanta is a city of outsiders. People move here from all over the world, and possibly other galaxies. They move here for a variety of reasons. They also move out for a variety of reasons.

Growth has long been a staple of the local economy. The imports bring money with them, and create jobs. Creating roads for these people has been an afterthought. The recent T-SPLOST disaster was a result of trying to provide transportation for all the newcomers. What infrastructure we have was built by the people who were already here.

Some of the people who move here are grateful. Some do little but complain. They say that southerners talk funny. The food here isn’t as good as it is back home. The people here are backwards, and just not as smart as the folks back home.

Some of the imports move out. They hop over the fence to the next greener pasture. The people left behind take care of the city for the next batch of imports. Life goes on.

This city was running just fine before the imports came down here to help us. And this city will do just fine after they go somewhere else. The next batch of imports will be just as full of themselves. The natives are used to it.

When PG started at Redo Blue, the Digital Imaging Manager (DIM) was a man from Colorado. He moved to Georgia after the economy tanked in Colorado. The DIM found a job in Atlanta, bought some rental properties, and did rather well here. Atlanta was good to the DIM. And all he talked about was how he hated living here, and wanted to go back to Colorado.

There used to be a man named Lewis Grizzard, who wrote a column for the fishwrapper. PG would get hoppin mad at Lewis, whose attitudes embodied much of the “conservative bullshit”(and possibly “internalized homophobia”) that the facebook friend decries. Lewis, may he rest in peace, did have one comment that PG appreciates. It is about the folks that move to Georgia, make lots of money, and complain about the south. “Delta is ready when you are”.

Don”t Cry For Me Hyuro

Posted in Georgia History, Religion by chamblee54 on August 29, 2012

Hyuro is a street artist. She was born in Argentina, and lives now in Valencia, Spain. She painted a mural in Atlanta recently, as part of the Living Walls celebration. (Turn off HD when viewing this video.) 
All the artists at LW this year were women.
The people living near Hyuro’s mural are not celebrating. They are mad. The painting is of a woman, whose fur skin morphs into a wolf. It was painted on the remains of a GM plant, across the street from the federal prison.

The mural is also across the street from a mosque, and a church. “Tajiddin Muwwakkil, the imam at the neighboring Masjid Al-Quaran (housed in a former restaurant), led the charge against the painting, calling it “pornographic and offensive.” However, the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, which sits directly across from the mural on McDonough, never made a public statement against it”.

Eventually, the controversy got to be too much for the property owner. The mural is going to be painted over. When PG read that it had already been covered, he made an emergency trip to go photograph the mural.

According to Creative Loafing, the artist may be part of the problem. “When Living Walls submitted its applications about a week before the conference began, the proposal for Hyuro’s wall depicted a series of chairs, not nudes. Love promptly gave it OCA’s stamp of approval. An avid supporter of Living Walls, Love has bluntly called the switcheroo a “misrepresentation.” Monica Campana, Living Walls’ executive director, explains that Hyuro decided to rethink her approach after seeing the wall, which was much smaller than she had anticipated. According to Campana, this frequently happens with Living Walls’ artists, who come from all over the world. The street art conference is often their first interaction with the city, and they look to it to inform the pieces they put up here. Had an accurate sketch been submitted beforehand, or resubmitted once Hyuro had finalized her design, perhaps this conversation would have taken place before the fact. Perhaps we would have avoided some of the hypersexualized rhetoric, shaming, and fearmongering of the female form. Or perhaps we would’ve gotten a bunch of chairs. (No offense to chairs.)”

Pictures are by Chamblee54. This was written like Ursula K. Le Guin.

The Cost Of Hair Care

Posted in Race, Religion by chamblee54 on August 29, 2012

There was a statement in yesterday’s post . “Black Americans spend more on hair care products than the gross national product of many African countries.” This was tossed out in a careless moment, which is not a good thing to do. Today’s post is an investigation. For purposes of this report, America’s gross national product is the republican party.

Finding out how much African Americans spend on hair care is more google intensive than this slack reporter imagined. Madame Noire has a feature, Black Women Spend Half a Trillion Dollars on Haircare and Weaves! Why? “Black women spend half a trillion dollars to keep our hairstyles tight, our weaves looking good and our “kitchens” tamed. Why do we do this?” The $500 billion figure might include pain and suffering. Target Market News is more conservative, reporting “Personal Care Products and Services – $6.66 billion”.

In the chatter about a Chris Rock movie, Good Hair, the phrase “9 billion dollar hair trade industry” is used. The Magazine Publishers of America report that advertising spending on “Hair Products & Accessories” was $1,242,700 in 2007.

The short answers are “a lot”, and “we don’t know”. It is probably less that $500 Billion. For the purposes of this feature, we will go with a conservative estimate. This would be Target Market News. Since not all “Personal Care Products and Services” are hair related, we will call our number Five Billion. This is probably a conservative figure, but for our purposes it will do.

The second part of the statement was “Black Americans spend more on hair care products than the gross national product of many African countries.” The numbers come from Wikipedia and the International Money Fund. There are sixteen African countries with GNP less than $5 billion. They include: Mauritania, Swaziland, Togo, Eritrea, Lesotho, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Liberia, Seychelles, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Comoros, and São Tomé and Príncipe. The last seven have a GNP less than the amount spent advertising hair products and accessories for Black Americans.

This was written like H. P. Lovecraft. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

Dreadlocks And Mohawks

Posted in Race by chamblee54 on August 28, 2012

There is a tasteful feature on the innertubes now, A Few Good Reasons Why White People Should Not Wear “Mohawks” or Dreadlocks. Yes, this is another polemic about cultural appropriation. If you want to skip the text, and look at the pictures, no one will get mad. Or get even. If you read the text, you might get odd. It is your choice.

The gist of the tract is
“When white people wear “Mohawks” or dreadlocks it twists those hairstyles into symbols of privilege rather than symbols of survival and resistance.” Little is known about why the Natives of Upstate New York wore their hair the way they did. Isn’t calling this hair choice “symbols of survival and resistance” playing into the game of misunderstanding non European cultures?
The tract is not well written. Maybe the author feels like using good grammar is appropriating someone else’s culture.

There is one part of the tract that had PG shaking his buzz cut head.
This is a free country. Can’t I do whatever I want? This country has never been free for people of color/non-white people. Certainly, you can choose wear your hair however you want. Historically, however, people of color have not been able to make that choice. This is not why the Bronner Brothers are multi millionaires. Black Americans spend more on hair care products than the gross national product of many African countries.
Both mohawks and dreadlocks are high maintenance affairs. After his struggles with shoulder length redneck curls, PG is not about to shave the sides of a beaver tail every day. And dreadlocks have always seemed to be just a bit on the dirty side. The rastas are welcome to wear dreadlocks, as long as they pass the spliff.

One thing PG has wondered was answered as a result of this polemic. Did the Mohawk tribe really wear their hair that way? When you type “Did the Mohawk… ” into google, the rest of the phrase to pop up is “Did the Mohawk Indians have mohawks?” Someone else has wondered the same thing. Wikipedia has more information.

The mohawk (also referred to as a mohican in British English) is a hairstyle in which, in the most common variety, both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair in the center. Though mohawk is associated mostly with punk rock subculture, today it has entered mainstream fashion. The mohawk is also sometimes referred to as an iro in reference to the Iroquois, from whom the hairstyle is derived – though historically the hair was plucked out rather than shaved. … The Mohawk and the rest of the Iroquois confederacy (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Tuscarora and Oneida) in fact wore a square of hair on the back of the crown of the head. The Mohawk did not shave their heads when creating this square of hair, but rather pulled the hair out, small tufts at a time. … Therefore a true hairstyle of the Mohawks was one of plucked-out hair, leaving a three-inch square of hair on the back crown of the head with three short braids of hair decorated.

They didn’t shave the sides of the head, they plucked the hair out. That does eliminate the need to shave the sides of your head every day. This is not the way the fashion conscious hair people do the modern mohawk. The question arises if this non authentic hairstyle is really cultural appropriation.

Wikipedia goes on to add that this do might not be an Iroquois invention.
“The hairstyle has been in existence in many parts of the world for millennia. For instance, the Clonycavan Man, a 2000-year-old male bog body discovered near Dublin in 2003, was found to be wearing a mohawk styled with plant oil and pine resin. Artwork discovered at the Pazyryk burials dating back to 600 BCE depicts Scythian warriors sporting similar mohawks. The body of a warrior occupying one of the kurgans had been scalped earlier in life and wore a hair prosthesis in the form of a mohawk. Herodotus claimed that the Macai, a northern Libyan tribe, “shave their hair so as to leave tufts, letting the middle of their hair grow long, but round this on all sides shaving it close to the skin.” Amongst the Pawnee people, who historically lived along in present-day Nebraska and Kansas, a “mohawk” hair style was common.”
Part of the polemic took a question and answer format.
“But, I wear my hair this way as a statement against oppressive cultures and governments. How is that racist?” “You can take a stand against oppression and dominant cultures without appropriating the cultures of the people being hurt by them. Appropriation actually enforces oppression, it does not stand against it. Appropriation is part of the problem, not part of the solution”
To paraphrase this, you can be anti racist without proudly avoiding high maintenance hairdoos. Especially one that bears little resemblance to the actual article.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library.” This was written like James Fenimore Cooper.

Writer’s Tackle

Posted in Politics by chamblee54 on August 28, 2012

A facebook friend was fixing to break down and get a cell phone. Sometimes it seems like you are the last holdout, but there are plenty of folks without. There are still people renting a land line from the phone company, and that has been over for thirty plus years.

PG is still a smart phone holdout. He is happy with his stupid, twelve button device. When you can prepay for a smart phone by the month, then maybe it will happen. Until then, PG is a neo luddite.

For the sake of recycling text on a day with writers tackle, here is the reply: I am a tracfone fan. I got one at a yard sale, but they are cheap enough to buy new. I buy the time card at a store. The time lasts for three months, and then you get more. You don’t need that many minutes if it is just for emergency use. I might pay five dollars a month for my cell phone. If you are going to keep it, you can buy a card which gives you double minutes as long as you have a tracfone. For twenty dollars, this is a good investment. For people that never know what to get you for christmas, a time card is a great present. ~~~

The outdoor office thing is moving along. There were some paving stones in the back, which have been fashioned into a walkway to the office entrance. The good news/bad news is a hurricane going ashore south of here. This is supposed to bring a bunch of rain to Georgia. When you have a shaky source of drinking water, rain is always appreciated. Using the outdoor office can wait.

The other option was the front porch. After looking high and low through the house, PG was about to give up, until he looked in one more spot and found his mother’s old sewing table. It is now is use on the front parch, and the wifi reception is *good*. Wifi may trump feng shui after all.~~~

Which is the best phrase, writer’s block or writers tackle” The traditional saying is writer’s block, meaning that you are blocked from thinking of anything to say. However, if you take the football paradigm, then it has a different look. A tackle is something that stops you. A block is what prevents a tackler from stopping you. In that case, a block would be something that sets you free to get a first down, and a tackle stops you behind the line of scrimmage. ~~~

There is a dandy website, Musings On Iraq. The offering today is How Operation Desert Fox Finished Off Iraq’s WMD Programs.

ODF was a four day bombing procedure in December 1998. It was probably motivated, at least in part, by the desire of Bill Clinton to divert attention from the impeachment proceedings. Apparently, it did a lot of damage to the WMD program in Iraq, or what was left of it.

Operation Desert Fox was widely derided for years, but turned out to have a far larger impact upon Iraq than most critics believed. Only lasting four days, many analysts doubted that it could have much affect upon Saddam Hussein. After all, he was still in power, and many thought that with inspectors no longer in the country, Iraq would restart its weapons programs. As it turned out, Iraq had destroyed most of its WMD stockpiles, and was largely trying to hide the extent of its programs from the outside world by 1998. Desert Fox convinced the regime that the U.S. was intent on maintaining sanctions to contain the government, and there was no way for it to rebuild its WMD effort as a result. Those operations ended, with only some small-scale work on toxins for assassinations left. This was not known until after 2003 however when Saddam was overthrown, and outside experts were able to go through all of Iraq’s documents, and interview its personnel. Even though Desert Fox was very limited in scope, it came at just the right time in the history of the Saddam regime to put an end to its weapons of mass destruction.

In 1998, Saddam Hussein was playing both ends against the middle. He wanted Iran to think that there were WMD, and for the rest of the world to think otherwise. This strategy played into the hands of those who wanted to invade Iraq.

The truth is that WMD were the excuse for the war, not the reason. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was quoted as saying
“The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason.” When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, there was no search for issues to satisfy U.S. government bureaucracy.
Today, the talk is of an attack on Iran, to prevent it from getting a nuclear weapon. The situation with the Palestinians is the need for distraction. What does Operation Desert Fox say about the wisdom of an attack on Iran?
“General Anthony Zinni (commander of Desert Fox) was much more positive about the campaign he had just commanded. The General knew that any military strike could only have limited impact upon the WMD program. Since some precursors, agents, and weapons could be made in small rooms, there was no way to eliminate those elements.”


Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 27, 2012

PG stumbled onto over a tweet while waiting for a phone call. He knew that nothing good would come of this, but took the plunge anyway. The tweet was: ‏@tejucole Want to be depressed by humanity? In the Google search box, type “is,” followed by a space bar.

When you type a phrase into google, four suggested searches appear. For “is”, the suggested searches are is lil wayne gay, is anderson cooper gay, is john travolta gay, is frank ocean gay. There are “About 25,270,000,000 results (0.18 seconds.) Yes, that is trillions, like the national debt.

The top result at google is typically paid for. For “is”, the top spot belongs to “Shortening 675,999,170 URLs, That have been accessed 33,400,546,003 times. is an ethical URL shortener supported by MEMSET.®”

.gd does not stand for G-d damn, but represents the internet the domain for Grenada. This was the site of an American military intervention in 1983. Operation Urgent Fury was the war Ronald Reagan won. For all his love of recreational saber rattling, Nancy’s husband was not so foolish to start anything he could not finish.

The second result typically goes to wikipedia. “Is” powers a number of abbreviations, and at least two towns: “Is or Hit, an Iraqi town on the Euphrates River,” and “Is or Ys (also Ker-Ys or Ville d’Issy), a mythical city in the 5th-century Britain in France.” features a header ad for, ho ho ho, Green Giant frozen vegetables. The google teaser says “3rd person singular present indicative of be. Relevant Questions. Is Santa Claus Real? Is Miley Cyrus Pregnant? Definition of Is? Is Ciara a Man? Idiom. 2. as is.”

To those of a certain age, discussions of “is” bring us back to Bill Clinton. 1998 was a simpler, gentler time. There were no American wars, except for a few distraction bombings of Iraq. The economy was in good shape. The only thing for the media to worry about was the sexual activity in the oval office. Bill Clinton and the Meaning of “Is”, was written September 13, 1998, three years before 911.

Years from now, when we look back on Bill Clinton’s presidency, its defining moment may well be Clinton’s rationalization to the grand jury about why he wasn’t lying when he said to his top aides that with respect to Monica Lewinsky, “there’s nothing going on between us.” How can this be? Here’s what Clinton told the grand jury (according to footnote 1,128 in Starr’s report):
“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”
The distinction between “is” and “was” was seized on by the commentariat when Clinton told Jim Lehrer of PBS right after the Lewinsky story broke, “There is no improper relationship.” Chatterbox confesses that at the time he thought all these beltway domes were hyperanalyzing, and in need of a little fresh air. But it turns out they were right: Bill Clinton really is a guy who’s willing to think carefully about “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” This is way beyond slick. Perhaps we should start calling him, “Existential Willie.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Cory Doctorow. writes like this.
The shortlink for this post is The ethics of this link are not known.

Shade Festival

Posted in Georgia History by chamblee54 on August 26, 2012

It was almost two pm, on the last sunday before labor day. This is the sunday of the shade festival in Grant Park. It is also the time to go see the living walls . To pass the time before leaving,  PG was twisting through the tweets of Teju Cole. He saw a double feature. It had trouble written all over it.

‏@tejucole 1. None of your business. 2. None of your business. 3. None of your business.
4. No. 5. None of your business.
‏@tejucole Want to be depressed by humanity? In Google search box, type “is,” followed by a space bar.

Sure enough, PG opened a new tab, and typed “is” in the google spot. Instead of hitting the space bar, he hit enter, which may or may not affect the results. Just as he was about to sink into the nerdosphere, the phone rang. It was Uzi, saying that he would be over in a few minutes. This limits the time that PG can devote to this hopeless endeavor. When he gets back this evening, there will probably be something else to occupy his attention.

Teju Cole is known for telling little stories in 140 characters. They are like a Chinese drawing, where the blank spaces are an opportunity for your imagination to take over. Even if the riders were to show up in the next minute, these little stories will be waiting.

‏@tejucole Going up Monte Salvatore in the Swiss Alps, C. M. Chandler, of New York, did not put a foot wrong, but coming down, he did.
‏@tejucole Hilarious lads in Williamsburg placed bullets on the tracks. A train set them off and Browhall, real estate agent, was shot in the leg.
‏@tejucole Unable to pay for his mother’s funeral, Zindel, 17, of Broome Street, had to rob a grocery store. Bullshit. His mother is alive and well.
‏@tejucole Miss Curran, newly arrived from Ireland, is the fourth fatality in as many years at Room 21 of the Broadway Raines Hotel. Hoodoo?
‏@tejucole Earth must look peaceful from space. In Chicago, Mr Brand underestimated his wife and got a black eye, a torn ear, and two missing teeth.
‏@tejucole Deaf-mute Max Katz crossed Canal Street. Peddler Selig Katz (no relation) hurried down the Bowery. “Look where you’re going!” Blows ensued.
‏@tejucole Alas, Mrs Mary Thomas, of Pittsburgh, neglected to remove her false teeth last night and did not live till morning.
‏@tejucole Nobody’s perfect. The artiste on East 22nd Street who shoots at high heels from a distance got Rebecca Sussman in the foot.
‏@tejucole In addition to heading a 4th Avenue firm, Rosa Zindel also wrote fiction: $5,795 in fake checks, to be exact. She was arrested for forgery.

Before PG ran out of tweets, Uzi arrived, along with his nephew Hazmatt. The trip down Clairmont Road, into, town began. The plan was to see a few of the walls, and then go to the festival.

The first wall was an underpass, and it was not worth stopping for. The second was on Hosea L. Williams Boulevard, in Kirkwood. Last year, this location took a bit of looking, but this time it popped right up. It was a black and white drawing, and looked like the artist had a good time painting it.

The next stop was painfully trendy East Atlanta. There were two walls on Flat Shoals, but PG was not sure where to turn. He found a risky place to park, and walked over to where the murals should have been. One was on the side of a nightclub that had changed names at least twice recently. There was a parking lot between two buildings, with a padlocked gate blocking the entrance. The murals were inside, on facing sides of the two buildings. PG took pictures between the barbed wire.

A picture of George W. Bush with a Barack Obama mask led PG to tell a story. Once, PG was in a group of people taking phone calls during a public television fundraiser. Once, when the cameras were rolling. PG held a picture of Ronald Reagan in front of his face. Some people were horrified. The fundraising was not affected.

The next stop was Grant Park. Parking karma was with PG, who found a place a block off Boulevard. The portopotties had been moved, and were next to the entrance. (The spell check suggestion for portopotties: opportunities) This was a welcome sight for all three travelers.

The shade festival is the last summer festival in Atlanta, and usually comes at a time when people are tired of festivals. It has fairly light attendance, which may account for the parking karma. The festival crowd was a diverse bunch, with everybody friendly and enjoying the afternoon.

PG walked a few steps behind Uzi and Hazmatt. Even before PG tore up his knee, he was a slow walker. The lesson today was that lots of food venders were giving samples, and the slower you walk, the more samples you get.

There were no funnel cake samples given away. The funnel cake truck had bright new banners to welcome the cake funnelers. PG remembered something he read earlier this week… the guy working in the funnel cake truck has never cooked anything before except meth.

After a while, PG decided that the photographic theme of the day was going to be fat women. This was a racially diverse observation.

On the way back north, PG found the Krog Street tunnel. (The spell check suggestions for Krog: Grog, Frog, Grok, Kroger) The plan was to hit a few murals on the way home, but the only one they found was on Irwin Street, and it was not that special. There is always next sunday.

Going into the Piccadilly on North Druid Hills, PG thought of an incident there, but decided not to mention it. Uzi read PG’s mind, and felt obligated to talk about it out loud. Once, PG and Uzi went into the men’s room at this facility. A serving line employee was in there, in the finishing stages of taking a dump. He went back to work without washing his hands.

The Life After Death Post

Posted in Religion, The Death Penalty by chamblee54 on August 26, 2012

This post has been in the works for a long time. It is about life after death. This is a big deal to Jesus worshipers. It is fair to say that the entire religion has devolved into a scheme for life after death. Either you agree, and go to heaven, or disagree, and go to hell. PG has thought long and hard about this, and has a few thoughts.

One problem with this concept is human nature. When you have a religion based on broadcasting a message, some of the believers go overboard. Some will let their pride get in the way. They enjoy the power that seems to come with spreading this message. When a person hears this “good news,” shouted by people who are bad news, then it is natural to doubt the message.

A facebook friend supplied this quote
“More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world, and more people have been driven from the church by the hardness and ugliness of so-called Christianity than by all the doubts in the world. ” The $64 question becomes: Do people who have been repelled from Jesus go to hell?
There is also the matter of people who simply do not agree with the scheme for life after death. Of all the standards to use, why would G-d use the doctrine of one branch, of one religion? Does G-d even exist? Are the billions of people who never even heard of Jesus destined for hell? Many good people ask a lot of good questions. They are not happy with the answers, no matter how much others may believe.

PG was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition. For various reasons, he resisted the pressure put on children to “make a profession of faith”, and be baptised. When he was 17, he quit going to church. In 1979, there was a week in a Moonie camp in California. There have been many books read, a bit of thinking and talking, and a few odd meetings attended. There were 7 years working closely with an abusive professional Jesus worshiper. After a while, PG got tired of worrying about it all, and just wanted to enjoy the time he has on this planet.

Which brings us to today’s post. In no particular order, here is the product.

1- G-d does not write books. The Bible was compiled by the Council of Nicea from a variety of texts. These texts were written in a multitude of languages, and copied by hand. It is possible that the scribes copying them made mistakes. It is possible that errors in translation were made. It is probable that texts were not included in the Bible, for various reasons. The Bible is the product of man’s labor, with possible inspiration by G-d.

The first commandment says Thou shalt have no other gods before me. When you call the Bible the word of G-d, you are, in effect, making a G-d out of a book. When you violate this common sense commandment, you are going to have problems.

2- The first commandment… Thou shalt have no other gods before me. .. does not make an exception for the so called son of G-d.

3- Jesus was killed because he was a trouble maker. His death, and reputed resurrection, have nothing to do with what happens when you die.

4- What happens to people after they die is none of your business. Living people should be concerned with life, and not worry about what will happen when you die.

5- You should have faith in G-d to take care of you when you die. Period. Don’t scream about Jesus. Don’t kill the infidel. Don’t worry about your soul. G-d took care of you before you were born, and she will take care of you after you die.

6- What you say does not become more true the louder you say it. The way you say something is more important than the words you say. It is more important to show kindness to your neighbor, than to scream the so called truth.

7- The decision to end a life is G-d’s job. You are better off when you let her make this call. This applies to war, abortion, captal punishment, and euthanasia, and other forms of humans ending life.

8- G-d should be enjoyed. G-d should bring nourishment to life. G-d should NOT be fought or argued over. The third commandment…Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. … is another common sense rule that is shamelessly violated by those who claim to be “saved”. When you forget this rule, you cause trouble.

9- When copying some commandments for use in this post, PG found this. 23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. PG has heard about the ten commandments all his life, and yet has never heard this line. It is just 6 verses after the tenth commandment, which is about coveting. The tenth commandment is obsolete in this era of wealthy churches.

10- Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These men were Union soldiers in the War Between the States. This was written like Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe This is a repost.

One Million Moms Versus Skittles

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on August 25, 2012

It has been a bad year for Skittles . First, a young man, armed with a package of Skittles, was killed by a neighborhood watch dude. Now, One Million Moms is calling for a boycott.

It seems like there is a commercial that OMM and Catholic Vote don’t like. Arguably, anyone with an I.Q.over room temperature doesn’t like the ad either.

It opens with a young lady making out with someone in a walrus suit. Another young lady comes in the room. The first young lady looks up, and says “This isn’t what it looks like” “Good, because it looks like you’re making out with my boyfriend” “No this isn’t Bobby, he just looks like Bobby.” Somebody has very, very strange taste in boyfriends.

This is where the sales pitch comes in. The young lady is feeding Skittles to the walrus suit. The candy has a new style out, where the color on the outside is different from the flavor on the inside. They get back to smooching, and the logo comes on the screen.

When you see this on youtube, there is a footer ad, and a sidebar ad, for a Christian dating service, Christian Mingle. It is not known if the actor playing the walrus is saved.

Catholic Vote denouces the ad, in no uncertain terms, with a hardhitting expose, No Ragu or Skittles for me — Two horrendous new commercials.
“And Skittles? Who would want to taste the Rainbow (interesting logo choice), if it involves kissing animals? Can’t imagine more corporations are going to jump on the bestiality bandwagon…”
The CV comments are fun.
Tim I believe commercials are on to get people to buy the product.Talking about how stupid the commercials are.Does not help the marketing firms.when you don`t buy the product. Joshua Mercer So you think readers of CatholicVote will be more willing to buy Ragu and Skittles because of what I wrote? A peculiar allegation.
One Million Moms is a division of American Family Association. It is highly unlikely that there are a million members. Some of the other actions include:
Oreo – No Longer Favorite Cookie Send your email letter to Oreo (Kraft Foods) now! Ask that they remain neutral in the culture war versus promoting the homosexual agenda. DC Comics and Marvel Gay Superheroes Please send DC Comics (Warner Bros. Entertainment Company) and Marvel (Disney) an email urging them to change and cancel all plans of homosexual superhero characters immediately. Ask them to do the right thing and reverse their decision to have sexual orientation displayed to readers. Mattel Considering Kardashian Barbie Urge Mattel to reverse their decision to partner with the Kardashian brand by sending them an email now.
HT to Dangerous Minds. Pictures are by The Library of Congress.

Bless His Heart

Posted in Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 25, 2012

Willard Mitt Romney has gone too far this time. The American Thinker tells the story.

“Speaking at LeClaire Manufacturing in Bettendorf, Iowa yesterday, Governor Romney delivered the ultimate Southernese insult to his opponent. (Video link here.) “It is free men and women that drive our economy. Freedom is what makes America work. And President Obama, bless his heart, has tried to substitute government for free people-and it has not worked, and it will never work.”

American Thinker is impressed by the use of BHH by WMR. It is probably written by a clueless yankee. Which is what WMR is, in addition to being an amoral chameleon. For a yankee politician to say bless his heart is simply not appropriate.

The sad truth is that so many southerners despise BHO that it will get little attention. This election is going to be dirty, dirty, dirty. When it comes to gutter politics, there is nothing like a republican. WMR has shown that he will say absolutely anything to get elected. Still, if you are going to use an unfamiliar phrase, you should do it properly.

Bless his heart is derived from bless her heart. It is a genteel expression. The proper use is to refer to the target, say BHH, and then make an unflattering comment about this person. This is best done in a civilized conversation. An example would be “Aunt Martha, bless her heart, thinks she is losing weight, but is still big as a cow”. The spoken commas are important.

By contrast, WMR was making an arm waving stump speech. He spit out the words as though they were rotten meat. This is how a yankee politician uses a genteel southern expression.

Southerners are used to it. It is like people who use y’all in the singular form. As any southerner knows, y’all is the only acceptable second person plural in the english language. It is superior to youse guys, or whatever abomination they employ in New Jersey.

Since he was in Iowa, it is unlikely that WMR had the southern vote in mind when he made that speech. Indeed, the south is solidly red state, as well as red neck. WMR is assured of the electoral votes in Georgia. The electoral college has stolen the vote from the people of Georgia again.

Politicians have been pandering to voters since the photo op was invented. If poorly done, it can have a devastating effect. Here is one story.

A story from McGovern’s campaign for presidency: in an effort to attract Jewish vote in a part of NY city with a large percentage of observant Jews among the “registered voters”, he apparently went to a kosher eatery where, in presence of a crowd of regular patrons, reporters & photographers (don’t know whether there were TV cameras or not) he asked for a “kosher hot-dog and a glass of milk”. His handlers probably told him that observant Jews eat kosher meat; I am sure that he was hoping to impress the target audience with his “wholesome” habits. Unfortunately, little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

This was a comment to another story.
“I’m sort of staring at the meat display, lots of salamis and sausages, and then various hams. And the hams’ price signs have all been tagged with festive PERFECT FOR CHANUKAH banners.”
Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.