Page Fifty Two

Posted in Book Reports, Georgia History, The Internet by chamblee54 on September 20, 2012

As citizens of facebook nation know, it is International Book Week. There is a ritual for observation of this event. “It’s international book week. The rules: grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence as your status. Don’t mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your status.”

PG had been resisting. For one thing, text from dead tree books cannot be copypasted. Posting the fifth sentence would involve typing the words by hand, which is too much work.

And so it is thursday morning of IBW, and 144 fbf have posted the meme. PG looks to his right, and sees no books in the first glance. A turn to the left shows a map book. The meme doesn’t say what kind of book, or how you can determine the fifth sentence of a diagram of residential roads, interstate highways, railroads, and industrial areas. Still, the post for today is on. Most people skip ahead to the pictures anyway. These pictures were not altered. L5P is on page 59.

One thing about map books is a refusal to use conventional page numbering. This is not a romance novel, nor is it going to change your life. The goal of a map book is to help you find your destination, and make money for the map book printer. (There are stories of map publishers inventing roads as a way of protecting their copyright.) This book is the 6th edition of Metro Atlanta, Georgia. It is printed by ADC maps. Their slogan is “The map people”. That inspires appalling visuals involving halloween parties, and the dragon con parade.

Some say that map books are obsolete. To hear these digital fascists, GPS and google have rendered dead tree street guides useless. Such words are heresy to those who have found their way with maps for years. There is a page to page flow with a book that is not available on the tiny backlit screen. You don’t have to plug in a book. If you are stuck in a car with nothing else to read, you can peruse a map, and always make a discovery.

To determine page 52, PG counted the pages by hand. The odds are on top, the evens on the bottom, just like in real life. The magic sheet is page 788. By amazing coincidence, PG lives on sheet 787. He is abundantly familiar with the contents of page 787. What is even more fun is the top of pp. 787-788 being roughly 144 yards north of where PG is typing this feature. While it is not sitting on top of the world, the top of the page can be a lively place.

The NW corner of page 788 is 33°52′30″N 84°18′45″W. This is a wooded area, owned by DeKalb County. The map shows it to be part of Peachtree DeKalb Airport. The woods used to be a part of the airport. There are abandoned light poles, and a section of red clay bulldozed into flatland submission.

This area is fun to look at on maps, because there usually a mistake. Edition 6 is no different. There is a small park, with a former little league ballpark, on Georgian Drive. The map shows this park going all the way to Tobey Road. In reality there is a strip of condos on Tobey, at the Clairmont conjunction. Before the condos were there, a used car lot was on the corner. Next to the used car lot was a house, with a goat in the back yard. The goat would chew kudzu leaves, and leave green stained vines behind.

The SE corner of page 788 is 33°48′45″N 84°15′00″W This is just a whit outside I285, a bit south of the Stone Mountain Freeway. There is a fine view of the highrises downtown on that part of the perimeter. Yes, this is OTP. The NE corner is somebody’s back yard on Henderson Mill Road, just next to I285.

The SW corner is Toco Hill shopping center. This was built in the black and white television era. It is the home of the Department of Labor. Many people have done time in that space. Here is the story of the name. “. It seems like a man was in Brazil, doing construction projects during World War Two. He had a housekeeper, who was a Brazilian Indian. Whenever he would put in a bid on a job, the housekeeper would say “toco”. It seems that toco is a Brazilian Indian word for “more luck than you can imagine.”

The 52 page bit was a bit of work, but easy to figure out. How do you determine the fifth sentence of a page from a map book? The page has letters on the top, and numbers running down the side. The idea is that you look up something in the index, and it gives you a pair of coordinates. An example is “Hardee Ave. W 788 A1 DC. That translates into page 788, coordinates A1, in Dekalb County. This is a lovely little road, with no side streets, that goes up a hill behind the airport. On the north side is the County Health Department. On the south side lie the remains of a neighborhood. It was bought out, and eliminated, due to airport noise.

The best way to determine the fifth sentence is to look for the E5 section of page 788. Technically that is fifth squared. In a biography of W.C. Fields, the fifth sentence of any page is likely to involve a fifth of whiskey. It will probably be empty.

The E5 section of page 788 is the setting of Lakeside HS. PG had a curious relationship with this facility, having gone to neighboring Cross Keys. At the time, Lakeside had the best football team in the state, and Cross Keys one of the worst. It didn’t help that the PG family went to Briarcliff Baptist Church, which was a hotbed of Lakeside attendees. In another bit of mapbook synchronicity, it seems that Briarcliff Baptist is on the right edge of page 787, which makes it due south of the house of PG.

Page 788 is a splendid little chunk of America. Between A1, and K10, dwell two interstate highways, Peachtree DeKalb Airport, Northlake Mall, and the Cecil B. Day campus of Mercer University. The latter facility is located on Mercer University Drive, which yields a terrific set of initials. Across from the mall is the transmitter tower for a 50,000 watt clear channel radio station, whose signal used to seep into neighborhood pay phones. When Simon and Garfunkel went looking for America, they could have gone to the fifty second page, the fifth sentence, of the sixth edition, of ADC (The map people) and their guide to Metro Atlanta Georgia.

Pictures today are by Chamblee54. This was written like David Foster Wallace

Being Spammy Or Unsafe

Posted in History, Politics, Religion by chamblee54 on September 19, 2012

PG found an amusing post Wednesday morning.
“Yesterday I posted a link to the New York Times article about what is being called “the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” and several friends commented on it. This morning my post has disappeared. I did not remove it, nor did I delete any of the comments, which I found interesting. When I tried to repost the article, I got this message from Facebook: “The content you’re trying to share includes a link that’s been blocked for being spammy or unsafe.” The New York Times is spammy or unsafe??? … As a theology geek, I find this new discovery fascinating. But as a Christian, my faith does not depend on Jesus’ celibacy. So if it were to be proven somehow that he was indeed married, it would not retroactively affect the relationship I’ve had with Jesus throughout my life. If anything, it would support the belief that Jesus was fully human as well as fully divine.”
Smithsonian magazine has a feature on this artifact. It is too long for a slack blogger. The NYT article is less than a page, and says enough to base this post on. The article has header ads, which rotate with the different page views. The two noted are for “Obama Victory Fund 2012” and Wells Fargo Bank. Which one is spammy, and which one is unsafe, is left for the reader to determine. Some times, you have to think for yourself.

Here is a money quote from the NYT.
“A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’ ” The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”
The specimen is written in Coptic. This is probably related to Coptic Christianity, which is still going on in Egypt. Reportedly, there is some connection between the Coptics and the recent controversy, about a movie offensive to Muslims.

The word prove is used several times in the article. Perhaps indicate would be a more accurate verb. It is tough to “prove” anything using a 1700 year old papyrus fragment. The last paragraph in the NYT says
“The notion that Jesus had a wife was the central conceit of the best seller and movie “The Da Vinci Code.” But Dr. King said she wants nothing to do with the code or its author: “At least, don’t say this proves Dan Brown was right.”
Of course, none of this means anything to most contemporary Jesus worshipers. They think the Bible is the word of G-d. This text is is inerrant, sufficient, spam free, and safe. Recent discoveries about Revelations are ignored. Like the bumper sticker says, “G-d said it, I believe it, that settles it.”

A person’s religion is a one of a kind experience. How you are introduced to a spiritual discipline is much more important than the mechanics of the church. The facebook commenter says that it won’t matter to him if Jesus has a wife. To PG, any new information would not block the memory of humiliation at the hands of aggressive Jesus worshipers.

There was another commentary published recently about the separation of G-d and spam. It was in New Yorker magazine, written by Hendrik Hertzberg. There was a post about Mr. Hertzberg at Chamblee54 once. PG sent an email to Mr. Hertzberg about the post, and got a very nice reply.

The feature in question is about the way politicians think it will help them get elected to talk about G-d. PG, on the other hand, thinks this is a grotesque violation of the third commandment. The New Yorker feature doesn’t really cover much ground, but has a bangup last paragraph.

“It was not hard to guess what idol, and what institution, the Cardinal had in mind. On the other hand, his reference to “nature and nature’s G-d” was not so clear. The phrase was there to echo the Declaration of Independence. But Dolan must know that it is pure Deism—Jeffersonian code words for a non-supernatural G-d, a G-d who creates the universe and its laws and leaves the rest up to us. Could it be that we were witnessing an unheard-of political phenomenon, a dog whistle to voters who, whether or not they believe in a rights-endowing Creator, have their doubts about the sort of deity who begets sons, writes books, performs miracles, and determines the outcome of football games? Probably not. That G-d won’t hunt.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This was written like Dan Brown.

Thurston Howell The Turd

Posted in Politics, Race, Uncategorized by chamblee54 on September 18, 2012

Chamblee54 tries to be a tasteful, family oriented publication. Ok, maybe if you are Gomez and Morticia. Sometimes, however, the use of profanity is too much fun to pass up. The title of this post is an example. It refers to Willard Mitt Romney. Apologies are extended to any unit of animal waste that is offended by the comparison.

Many of you have heard about the video. It was made at a fund raiser, and WMR says things that will get him in trouble. This is not surprising. Many of  us already know that WMR is a jerk.

What goes around comes around. Four years ago, BHO was secretly taped at a fundraiser. He said that bitter people were clinging to their guns and bibles, or something to that effect. A few said that it was tacky to secretly record a fundraising party like that. And it probably is. Especially when you know something like this could happen, and you fall into the trap.

Georgia is assumed to be sending it’s electoral votes to WMR. The white voters of Georgia must be so red that they glow. Lets take a look at the math.

For purposes of this discussion, lets make a few assumptions. PG is not a political scientist, (oxymoron alert) just a slack blogger that doesn’t know any better. Lets say one million votes will be cast in Georgia in November. Thirty percent, or 300k, of those voters are black. Lets go a step further and guess that ninety percent of those black votes will go to BHO.

That means that BHO has 270k votes. To get to 500k and win, BHO needs 230k out of the remaining 700k. This is 32 percent of the non-black vote. He probably won’t get it. If BHO wins Georgia, the election is over. Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The spell check suggestions for WMR are WAR and WM.

The Prodigal Son

Posted in Religion, Uncategorized by chamblee54 on September 18, 2012

Luke 15 1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of G-d over one sinner that repenteth. 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Text for today’s story is from Bible Gateway. Text formatting is by Chamblee54. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Here is a commentary on The Power of Parable . This is a repost.

Known Unknown Or Unknown Known

Posted in Georgia History, History, Religion by chamblee54 on September 18, 2012

The last thing PG needs is another podcast website. Yesterday, Back Story Radio walked through the door. BSR is a history project, facilitated by academics in Virginia. They have three talkers, the 18th century guy, the 19th century guy, and the 20th century guy. The 21st century guy is in the second grade, and will join them in a few years.

In January of 2011, BSR had a three part series, The Civil War, 150 Years Later. We are currently in the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States. Yesterday it was the Battle of Antietam, aka the bloodiest day in American history.

There is going to be relatively little original writing today. Instead, there is going to be a quote from the transcript. PO, EA, and BB (Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh) are the three announcers, and Blake called in a question. We will try to think of a phrase for EA to stand for.

The subject is religion in the south. It is often said that the Bible was used to justify slavery. PG has not seen this, but will take peoples word. If you ask Mr. Google, he will tell you about it. According to this quote, the preachers in the south thought that the north was a secular place. When you fought for the south, you were fighting for righteousness.

There was also the idea that having a society where one race dominated the other was morally superior to equality. The Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens, once gave a speech.

“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

Another side of this discussion is the role of the Jesus Worship church in the African American society. This church is a powerful, and loud, part of America. It is highly ironic that this European religion has been so fervently embraced by African America. It is even stranger when you consider that this religion was forced on this population as a part of being enslaved. It is even stranger when you consider that some white people considered this shotgun marriage… of an enslaved people to the religion of a Jew … as a moral justification for horrific war.

If you find yourself thinking too hard, just skip ahead to the pictures. They are from The Library of Congress. The men in these images are Union soldiers from the War Between The States. This was written like William Shakespeare.

PO: We’ve got another call and it’s a local call from right here in Charlottesville, Virginia. Blake— welcome to the show.

Caller (Blake): Hello.

PO: So, what’s on your mind?

Caller (Blake): Well, you know, I was brought up in Virginia and have lived I guess with the Civil War for my whole life and remember very vividly the Centennial in Richmond, but recently I have been trying to learn a little bit about the, for lack of a better word, the causes and have been reading particularly about the influence of the church, in this case, mostly Methodist and Presbyterian churches in the South and was wondering how you guys viewed that. Do you feel the preachers from their pulpits and their writings led the South to the Civil War and to secession?

PO: Well, Blake, that’s a great question. Blake wants to know whether the preachers are responsible for the Civil War. That’s the short version of it. Obviously, they didn’t do it all by themselves. I’d say this is a point of departure. Many Southerners believe there was a piety deficit between North and South, that the South was a more Christian place and the North was riven by heresy and socialism and secularism and so Southern preachers did a couple of important things, I think, and that is, on one hand, to tell Southerners that they had God on their side, that they were good Christians, and second, preachers played an absolutely crucial role in the emerging pro-slavery argument.

EA: That’s really well put, Peter. I think the preachers make a real point of saying, hey, hey, hey, the pulpit is no place to talk about politics.

PO: Right.

EA: All that we say is that slavery has God’s divine sanction. Other than that, we have no political position at all to make.

PO: That’s all.

EA: That’s right. So, Southern preachers do not lead the South into secession but as Peter says, as soon as providence seems to dictate that that’s the way to go, the ministers are some of the most vocal advocates of the Confederacy.

PO: But, Ed, it’s my impression from historians who’ve written on this subject that in fact Southerners had ample ground in scriptural reference for the support of slavery and they might even have had the edge over their Northerner counterparts, at least if you’re looking for literal readings of the Bible and what it tells us.

EA:Well, that’s the crucial point, Peter. The literal historic injunctions, especially in the Old Testament do accept slavery as a reality. Increasingly, what happens in the North is that people look at the spirit of the New Testament instead. It said how can you possibly love someone as your brother and hold them in perpetual bondage so there’s plenty of energy in the Bible—

PO: Yeah, yeah.

EA: For both pro- and anti-slavery.

PO: No question, but what is also going on and what’s important for white Southerners is that they believe that they have been successful in a great missionary campaign to Christianize the quarters and it’s one of the reasons why they’re comfortable with slavery is that they have taken an instrumental role in spreading Christianity in the slave population so the idea that the slaves were an internal enemy or dangerous subversives who would rise up and revolt, that had been mitigated if not altogether eliminated for many Southerners because they thought of Christianity as a profound bond of union between black and white, even if they worshipped separately.

Caller (Blake): But would that be a true belief, do you think, or more or less just an apology for the burdens that they’d put on African American through slavery.

PO: Hey, Blake, what is a true belief?

Caller (Blake): [laughter]

PO: It’s a known unknown or unknown known. Do they believe it? I think absolutely. One of the things that we learn as historians is to take our subject seriously. They may be by our standards deluded and self-serving, but that Southerners believe they were good Christians, I believe that’s absolutely true.

EA: As a matter of fact, the South says we are in the process of creating the most Christian nation on the face of the earth, but your question, I think, Blake is right. It doesn’t take long for the end of the war for white Southerners to begin to worry, hmmm, were we fooling ourselves?

PO: Yeah.

EA: Yeah, do they really love us? [laughter] The fact that they’re moving away at the very first moment of freedom really is a confrontation with a kind of truth that the white South is really not ready to embrace.

BB: Hey, Blake, may I add an addendum to your good question?

Caller (Blake): Yes, please.

BB: Guys, I’d like to know— I do know, actually, that the church played such a crucial role in the lives of African Americans after the Civil War. Can you tell me something about religion and slaves during the Civil War?

EA: Well, one of the first thing that happens is the churches which had been the really only inter-racial space in the slave South begins separating. At the very first moment, African Americans seize the opportunity to have their own churches. You know, they’ve always gone off on their private worship ceremonies out in the woods or whatever, but in the Civil War itself, as things begin to fall apart, you find that black ministers step forward and begin leading the African American church, so you find that there’s a kind of freedom that comes maybe first in the religious realm and African Americans are quick to seize it.

PO: Well, Blake, thank you for calling “BackStory.”

Caller (Blake): Thank you very much


Posted in Book Reports by chamblee54 on September 17, 2012

PG was riding his bike one day, and found a trash pile. Being a certified member of the DeKalb Dumpster Divers, this was an opportunity. There was a collection of paperback books. The one on top had a comment on the cover… “Debra Galant does for the Mcmansions of New Jersey what Carl Hiassen did for the swamps of Florida.” You can even pronounce her last name.

Rattled is not a true story. You don’t go into court, without a lawyer, and get serious charges dismissed just by telling the truth. Especially not when the lies were told on national TV. But this is truthiness culture, where it doesn’t matter what really happened, as long as we are entertained. The spell check suggestions for truthiness are earthiness, mouthiness, and trashiness.

The acknowledgements page is usually skipped over. There are rumors of the CIA sending coded messages on this page. In Rattled, we find this on page vii: “Special thanks go to herpetologist Robert Zappalorti, who actually showed me a live timber rattlesnake and provoked it to rattle…”

Heather Peters is a tacky housewife. Her husband, Kevin, is a lawyer. He probably won’t make partner in his firm, at which point he can’t afford Heather. They are looking for a paradise in the woods, and think they found it. It is a monument to bad taste, in somewhere called Hebron Township, New Jersey. The book says this is Burlington County, and google says it is Essex County.

Two key characters are introduced early. Heather goes into the general store, where sushi has replaced fishing worms. Some old coot is sitting on a bench in front. Heather asks him for directions, and he spits tobacco juice at her. The designer footwear is not the only thing Harlan White misses.

As they are leaving the site of the new palace, some old hippie lady is leading a parade of animals across the route 381. Kevin is dreaming of a sexual reward for buying a big house, and almost runs over a duck. Clytemnestra is the favorite domestic animal of Agnes, who curses the SUV.

According to Google, NJ route 381 is between Princeton and New York City. This is the other end of the state from Burlington County. There is also Avenue New Jersey, 381, Complexo Industrial, Arujá – São Paulo, 07400-000, Brazil.

The fun starts when Harlan White is hired by Heather as a handyman. They are on the back patio when a timber rattler appears. Harlan knows snakes, and tries to get Heather to be calm. Of course, she screams bloody murder. The snake starts to rattle. Harlan throws a Ming Vase at the snake, and finishes it off with a croquet mallet.

The housing project, officially known as Galapagos Estates, was built in a wooded area that timber rattlers enjoy. The developer, Jack Barstad, got a crooked herpetologist to contribute to an enviornmental impact statement. The statement said there were no endangered species on the land. This is just one of the things Jack Barstad will have to answer for on judgement day, which might be shortly after his wife finds out about the multiple infidelities. The spell check suggestion for Barstad is Bastard. This anagram might be the origin of the name.

Agnes is a big shot at the Rolling Hills Nature Center. They have implanted tracking devices in the rattlesnakes. Agnes follows the beeping to the Peters house, and the party starts to swing. Before the night is over, both Kevin and Heather are in jail.

The fun continues for 243 pages. There are a few flaws. The girlfriend of Jack Barstad who goes to a wildlife society meeting, gets Harlan White in trouble, and disappears. Mr. Barstad hires a new companion, who plays a key role in the *climax* of the story.

PG is not an english teacher, just a slack blogger who enjoys a good story. Rattled was easy to read, and a lot of fun. The players may be cartoon characters, but they are familiar to observers of modern life. In the end, love, justice, and rehabilitation conquer all.

The book before this was Catch 22. It is praised as a classic, and does have it’s value. The problem is, sometimes the literary wonderfulness can be intimidating. PG just wants something to look at while he is eating at the pizza buffet.

Rattled,was good, dirty fun. It has a plot, and an assortment of characters. A few of the sex scenes are explicit enough to make D.H. Lawrence look like a wooden horse. It is mostly white, and any gay actors are invisibly in the closet.

Like the broadband bard said: Me? I’m a different kind of smart: I’m like an idiot savant… minus the savant part. . . Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This was written like Chuck Palahniuk.

The Tweet Goes On

Posted in Politics, Religion by chamblee54 on September 16, 2012

Part of the fun of a free press is checking in on those you disagree with. When a man posts his twitterfeed on a blog, anyone can see what he thinks. When it is a Jesus worship blog, with a taste for drooling right wing politics, the tweet can’t be beat.

The big story is the movie, and the rioting among the faithful. In a logical world, this would be a problem for BHO. This is not a logical world. Both tweets discuss this matter. And so, here are the twoubbling tweets.

@BibChr Absolutely infuriating: If only it were parody… but these are the lofty watchdogs of liberty. (No offense, dogs)
@Frank_Turk @theanchoress: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Donated Million Dollars To Obama Campaign via @sharethis”

The first one links to a feature written by Mark Steyn. PG heard him on the radio once. Mr. Steyn said, referring to the war in Iraq, “They have their ribbons and banners ordered for the defeat celebration.” This was before the surge. Part of the surge strategy was for the press to declare victory. When this was said, the talking points included the term defeatocrat.

“If, like me, you’ve been wondering why the US media has all but totally failed to cover the real issues in the Benghazi murders and the embassy seizures, wonder no more. … (JOE SCARBOROUGH:) If Mitt Romney had kept his mouth shut, if he had not acted like a rank amateur, if he had not embarrassed himself–and by the way internally the campaign understands they screwed up, he’s moved on, they know that… But Romney got in the way of the media looking at the president, going, wha-, wha-, what happened here? How did this happen? Now, those questions are going to be asked in the coming weeks. But they weren’t asked in the first 24 hours because Romney was holding this horrific, irresponsible, press conference.”

Sometimes, it is tough to tell who is complaining about what. Since this is a wingnut, it is safe to assume he was whining about the media. That is what they do. When the message does not please you, you whine about the messenger.

The truth is, WMR should have muttered some platitudes about sympathy for the families. Instead, he said that a wretched movie is “American Values”. This did take attention away from questions about why the embassies are not secured better.

This seems to be a pattern with WMR. During the GOP convention, he was supposed to have a national audience for his speech. Instead, Clint Eastwood had a conversation with a empty chair. When you provide a lunatic sideshow, the main news item gets pushed aside.

Tweet number two has a great title: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Donated Million Dollars To Obama Campaign. When you go there, you note that it is You start to hear an auto start video before long. Auto start may be the single most annoying thing on the internet.

When PG went to the link, the first thought was the *person* who created the video. The producer is a bit of a mysterious character, which should be fun for conspiracy fans. However, “Sam Bacile” was not the “Anti Islam Filmmaker”. (Spell check suggestion for Bacile: Bacilli)

“Bill Maher made a comedy/documentary called “Religulous” that’s most famous for mercilessly mocking Christianity. But what people forget is that the last twenty-minutes or so of the film make a damning case against Islam. Bill Maher made a film that mocked Islam. Oh, yes, he did. Bill Maher also contributed $1 million to a pro-Obama super PAC.”

Pictues today are from The Library of Congress.

Founding Babydaddies

Posted in History by chamblee54 on September 15, 2012

People often try to justify their opinions by saying that the “founding fathers” agree with them. They often are guilty of selective use of history. A good place to start would be to define what we mean by the phrase founding fathers.

The FF word was not used before 1916. A senator from Ohio named Warren Harding used the phrase in the keynote address of the 1916 Republican convention. Mr. Harding was elected President in 1920, and is regarded as perhaps the most corrupt man to ever hold the office.

There are two groups of men who could be considered the founding fathers. (The fathers part is correct. Both groups are 100% white male.) The Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence, which cut the ties to England. Eleven years later, the Constitutional Convention wrote the Constitution that governs America today. While the Continental Congress was braver, the Constitution is the document that tells our government how to function. For the purposes of this feature, the men of the Constitutional Convention are the founding fathers.

Before moving on, we should remember eight men who signed the Declaration of Independence, and later attended the Constitutional Convention. Both documents were signed by George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, George Read, Roger Sherman, and James Wilson. George Wythe left the Convention without signing the new document. Elbridge Gerry (the namesake of gerrymandering) refused to sign the Constitution because it did not have a Bill of Rights.

The original topic of this discussion was about whether the founding fathers owned slaves. Many people wonder about this. If you go to google, and type in “did the founding fathers”, the first four answers are owned slaves, believed in G-d, have a death wish, and smoke weed.

The answer, to the obvious question, is an obvious answer. Yes, many of the founding fathers owned slaves. A name by name rundown of the 39 signatories of the Constitution was not done for this blogpost. There is this revealing comment at wiki answers about the prevalence of slave ownership.
“John Adams, his second cousin Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Paine were the only men who are traditionally known as founding fathers who did not own slaves.
Benjamin Franklin was indeed a founder of the Abolitionist Society, but he owned two slaves, named King and George. Franklin’s newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette routinely ran ads for sale or purchase of slaves.
Patrick Henry is another founding father who owned slaves, although his speeches would make one think otherwise. Despite his “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, he had up to 70 slaves at a time. He did apologize from time to time. He knew it was wrong, he was accountable to his God, and bemoaned the “general inconvenience of living without them.”

Patrick Henry was a star of the Revolution, but not present at the Constitutional Convention. The author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, was in Europe during the convention. Mr. Jefferson not only owned slaves, he took one to be his mistress, and kidsmama.

One of the more controversial features of the Constitution is the 3/5 rule. Here are the original words
“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.” In other words, a slave was only considered to be 60% of a person.
That seems rather harsh. The truth is, it was a compromise. The agricultural southern states did not want to give up their slaves. The northern states did not want to give up Congressional representation. This was the first of many compromises made about slavery, ending with the War between the States. This webpage goes into more detail about the nature of slavery.

The research for this feature turned up a rather cynical document called The myth of the “Founding Fathers” . It is written by Adolph Nixon. He asks :
“most rational persons realize that such political mythology is sheer nonsense, but it begs the question, who were the Founding Fathers and what makes them so great that they’re wiser than you are?”
Mr. Nixon reviews the 39 white men who signed the Constitution. He does not follow the rule, if you can’t say anything nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all. Of the 39, 12 were specified as slave owners, with many tagged as “slave breeders”.

The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, have served America well. However it was intended, it was written so that it could be amended, and to grow with the young republic. It has on occasion been ignored (when was the last time Congress declared war?). However fine a document it is, it was created by men. These were men of their time, who could not have foreseen the changes that America has gone through. Those who talk the most about the founding fathers know the least about them.

A big thank you goes to wikipedia This is a repost.

This Green Thing

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Uncategorized, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 14, 2012

There is an amusing monolog on the innertubes these days. It is a grumpy old person talking about the old days. It starts out like this:

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.” The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

Plastic bags ARE bad for the earth. There is a spot in the Pacific Ocean where non degradable junk collects. This saltwater trashpile is the size of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and, like the ACC, gets bigger all the time. It dribbles and shoots year round.

In a perfect world, people might bring their own bags, and those bags would be made of environmentally friendly materials. However, a lot of us are not that organized. A lot of those tote bags are made of materials that degrade the environment. And then there is the paper versus plastic dilemma. Yes, paper is a renewable resource, and is buddies with that part of the environment that is not downwind from a paper mill. The problem is that paper bags weigh a lot more than plastic bags. When you ship these bags from the factory to the store, you use more fuel to ship the paper bags.

Getting back to the battle of the generations, PG finds himself caught in the middle. He remembers black and white television, jim crow, and cigarettes smoked everywhere. There are a few things things the oldtimers seem to forget. It wasn’t that long ago that PG was a kid, and hearing people say they feel sorry for your generation. Now, PG is the old fogie, and can see the points made by both the old lady and the young clerk.

The first earth day was in 1970. The concern over the ecology was something that hippies did when the war in Vietnam started to wind down. A lot of these people … i.e. the ones who cared about the earth … are the old generation that the young clerk is fussing about.

“Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.”

In the fifties, gas powered lawn mowers were everywhere. Electric mixers were in a lot of kitchens. Just how old is this lady?

Black and white TV was not all that great. There were frequent breaks in the transmission due to technical problems. The sets had something called fine tuning. If that knob went a cat’s hair too far to the right, the picture tube would have a bunch of bars, followed by the picture, followed by a bunch of bars, followed by the picture. This kinetic parade would roll down the viewing area, until someone walked over to the tv and moved the fine tuning a cat’s hair to the left.

Meanwhile, someone in the living room was either lighting, smoking, or putting out a cigarette. Back in those days, people smoked whenever and whereever they wanted to. The idea of second hand smoke had not been invented. Even if it had, few would have cared. There were reports about lung cancer, but they were laughed off.

The lady in the photograph is white. This probably helps her memories of how good the old days were. In the pre civil rights era, people that were not white did not have it so good.

Here again, PG finds himself in the middle. In the early sixties, PG was horrified by the anti-black racism in Georgia. If you said that maybe negroes are not all that bad, you would hear about it for the next hour. These days, if PG does not vigorously condemn the racial attitudes of certain people, he considered racist. Sometimes you just can’t win. Bullies will be bullies.

It is easy to make fun of political correctness. Sometimes people get carried away, and forget to look in the mirror. The thing is, all people are G-d’s children. Sometimes, what you thoughtlessly say can hurt someone. Which generation gets the credit, and the debit, for caring about their neighbors?

In a sense, the fifties were the test tube generation. Nuclear bombs were tested in the desert, with little regard for the radiation. Powerful drugs were coming on the market, and doctors were eager to prescribe them. The side effects became known later, after the damage was done. The gas guzzling cars spewed poison into the air, and no one cared. Maybe it was because the drivers were bombed. Drunk driving was not seen as a problem.

To be fair, many of the old ladies points are valid. The same is true of the young clerk. One day, if she is lucky, the young clerk will be the old lady.

The I Word

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Race, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 13, 2012

During a recent facebook deterioration, on social issues, someone posted a 410 word statement. PG noted the promiscuous use of first person singular. A study ensued.

1- I, or verb contractions using I, occurs 27 times in this statement.
2- I was used in the first seven sentences. The eighth sentence did not have I, but did contain me.
3- The tenth sentence does not have I, but does contain my. These are the only two sentences without I.
4- The last sentence has I five times. The first two have I three times each. Six sentences use I two times.
5- There are 410 words in this statement. There are 15 sentences. Six percent of these words are I.
6- I is the shortest word in the English language. It is also possibly the least important.

Many people use the word I too often. The use of this word implies that the listener is interested in what the speaker thinks or does. When someone says I, the lips are usually moving. I is the central letter in both lie and believe. (As another FBF noted, I statements can be useful.)

This does not take away the controversy over what word, in the language, is the shortest. A British facility, the Daily Mail, ran a story,The shortest word in English? Depends on how you measure it

Q. We all know that the longest word in the English language is Floccinaucinihili-pilification,(Spell check suggestion:Oversimplification) meaning inconsiderable or trifling. But what is the shortest word in the English language?
A. This is a controversy that has divided the English-speaking community for more than a century. One faction, headed by Dr Robert Beauchamp from the Oxford English Dictionary, believes that the shortest word in the English language is ‘a’, while another faction, headed by Professor Melanie Kurtz from Chicago University, contends that it is ‘I’.
In his most recent book on the subject, Further Arguments In Favour Of A (OUP, £19.99), Dr Beauchamp claims that, though ‘I’ is arguably the thinnest word in the English language, ‘a’ is the shortest, in the sense that it is not as high.
Professor Kurtz, on the other hand, has argued in a number of pamphlets that, if one unravels the various loops and curls that form a single ‘a’, and stretch it into a single horizontal or perpendicular line, then the letter in question is undoubtedly longer than ‘I’.
Meanwhile, dissident scholars continue to argue the case for ‘o’ and for small ‘i’, though in broader academic circles the first is generally dismissed as not really a word and the second is felt to be questionable: they maintain that the gap between the little dot and the main body of the word/letter is a constituent part of the whole and cannot be discounted when it comes to the full measurement.

One of the comments is highly repeatable.
“is it true…..the shortest sentence is ..I am. and the longest sentence…I do.?” – Tommy Atkins Blighty, 02/10/2009 18:45
In the digital age, capital letters are used less and less. If the lower case i is used as a first person singular, then it is both the shortest and the skinniest. The dot on the lower case i is known as the tittle. It is not known what the tittle thinks of the jot, or whether they believe each other.

For those not suffering platitude fatigue, here are the 21 Most Important Words in the English Language.
The most important word: We ~ The two most important words: Thank You ~ The three most important words: All is forgiven ~ The four most important words: What is your opinion ~ The Five most important words: You did a good job ~ The six most important words: I want to understand you better ~ The least important word: I.”
A site called vocabula has a feature on the worst words in english. There are two phrases using I.

I mean Meaningless formula (a verbal tic, if you will) used habitually by many to begin nearly every sentence, especially those that are not intended to clarify anything preceding them. I need you to … A completely unacceptable replacement for “please.”

Since we cannot say, for certain, that I is the shortest word in the language, the uncertainty about the longest word should not be surprising. The longest word in German would be a short story by itself. According to Los Angeles Trade-Technical College
“The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis. The only other word with the same amount of letters ispneumonoultra-microscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.” (Spell check suggestion:ultramontane-microscopicsilicovolcanoconioses)
Part two of this feature is a repost. It is about a popular contender for the longest word, which is known here as The S Word. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

There is a feature today on NPR discussing ” “What’s The Longest Word In The English Language?”. The old crowd pleaser antidisestablishmentarianism was dismissed as “Just a bundle of suffixes and prefixes piled up into a little attention-grabbing hummock.” It also has 28 letters, which won’t even get it into the playoffs.

When it comes to big words, there is nothing like science. In 1964, a book called “Chemical Abstracts” published a 1,185 letter word, referring to a protein found in the tobacco mosaic virus. It starts with glu and ends with sine. This word is 8.44 tweets long.

Words like glu…sine are not used often, which brings us to the obvious winner, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It is the theme song for a dance routine in a movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke , and a few dozen animated characters.

According to the urban dictionary, Miss Andrews was not fond of Rob Petrie.
“It’s reported that Ms. Andrews replied, “Fuck you! I hate you!! You’re a ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidouchebag’!!!! And get away from my door!! Why don’t you go eat “A Spoonful of Feces “!!!” (This problem might have been caused by SupercalifragilisticexpiHalitosis )
At 34 letters, the s word is the longest english word that most of us have heard of. While it probably was made up by over-imaginative songwriters, it is defined by a reputed dictionary. It translates as superkalifragilistikexpialigetisch (German), supercalifragilistichespiralidoso(Italian) and supercalifragilisticoespialidoso (Spanish). The French are too cool to use it.

A website called Straightdope has a highly entertaining feature called Is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” a real word referring to Irish hookers? .
“Our research first took us to a lawsuit that was filed after the movie came out by Life Music, Inc., against Wonderland Music, the publisher of the Mary Poppins song. It was a copyright infringement suit brought by Barney Young and Gloria Parker, who had written a song in 1949 entitled “Supercalafajaistickespeealadojus” and shown it to Disney in 1951. They asked for twelve million dollars in damages. The suit was decided in the Shermans’ favor because, among other reasons, affidavits were produced from two New Yorkers, Stanley Eichenbaum and Clara Colclaster, who claimed that “variants of the word were known to and used by them many years prior to 1949.”
The decision makes for fairly humorous reading. Apparently the judge got tired of writing out the whole word, so every time it had to be mentioned it was replaced by the phrase “the word” as if it were some loathsome artifact that had to be held at arm’s length. “

There is another story that has the s word appearing in a humor magazine at Syracuse University. An archivist named Mary O’Brien says that rumor surfaces every ten years or so, and is not true. Another old husbands tale has children in summer camps taught a song super-cadja-flawjalistic-espealedojus. This cannot be confirmed or denied.

As for the tale about Irish entrepreneurs , there is a story in Maxim magazine. It says
“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, the word supposedly coined by Mary Poppins to make kids sound “precocious,” was actually invented by turn-of-the-century Scottish coal miners. It was used to request “the works” from prostitutes by men too shy to recite specific acts.” The link supplied by StraightDope does not work.

Innocence Of Mormons

Posted in Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 12, 2012

There has been violence in Egypt and Libya recently. The purported cause of this violence is a movie about Islam. The trailer for this film is embedded. PG could not watch more than two minutes of this dreadful excuse for entertainment.

It is doubtful than many people in the attacking mobs have seen the film. Their religious leaders were told about the flick, and then fired up the masses to fight. There is no telling what those mobs were told. It is probably more inflammatory in Arabic than English.

Before the attacks, there were reports of unrest in Cairo. The embassy tried to do what diplomats do, and calm things down. They issued a statement “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. … Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

POTUS wannabe Mitt Romney is eager to score political points with this mess. “It’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values,” Romney told reporters. “It’s never too early for the U.S. government to condemn attacks on Americans and defend our values. … “

This blog will leave the debates over religion to Jesus and Mo. The debate over foreign policy and politics is handed over to the vidiocracy, both mainstream and shallow creek. This post is about values.

The movie in question is made by “52-year-old Israeli-American Islamophobe in Southern California named Sam Bacile. It is being promoted by Florida preacher Terry Jones, who enjoyed his fifteen minutes for threatening to burn a Quaran. This post is not about their religion, or politics, but about entertainment values, or lack of same.

To put it as charitably as possible, the trailer is terrible. The part that PG saw would be laughed out of any cineplex in America. This is not what people watch to enjoy themselves.

Americans make noise about politics and religion, but what people really believe in is being entertained. That is the where the values of America lie. The POTUS wannabe said “Innocence of Muslims” is typical of American values. This sends a clear message that Willard Mitt Romney is a pandering idiot, with no idea of the entertainment values of mainstream America.

Pictures are by The Library of Congress.

Sound And Face

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 12, 2012

PG recently participated in a Heart weaving workshop. The leader of the production asked for written instructions for the games that were invented. PG saw this as an opportunity to write something to go between the pictures. These pictures are from The Library of Congress.

These instructions should be easy to follow. This was invented for a type of group where physical contact is welcomed. Other groups using this game might not be comfortable with this. Instructions 2 & 4 are optional. It is also a good idea to mention, before you start, that any person not comfortable with this game is encouraged to not participate.

1- For purposes of this explanation, the person starting the game is person one. The person on the left is person two. The next person to be involved will be person three.
2- Arrange the group in a circle. This is done sitting down, although standing up might work.
3- There should be physical contact between neighbors. Put your left hand somewhere on your next neighbor, and your right hand on your right neighbor. This should only be done with consent.

4- Person one turns to the person two.
5- Person one makes eye contact with person two.
6- Person one makes a sound, and a face. It should not be a “real” word or words. Person two will repeat this sound, and imitate the face.

7- Eye contact should be maintained throughout this exchange.
8- Person two will make the same sound, and face as person one.
9- Person two will turn to person three.

10- Person two will turn to person three. Person two will make eye contact with person three. Person two and make a sound, and a face. It can be a variation on the first sound and face, or it can be something new. Person three will imitate the sound, and face, made by person two.
11- Person three will turn to person four, and repeat steps 5 – 9.

12- If this is done in a circle of more than twenty people, then a second round of exchanges can take place. When the exchanges are at the opposite end of the circle from person one, it is time to start a new exchange. This is optional.
13- The touching and eye contact are optional. If the group is not comfortable with these elements, then they don’t have to be used.
14- Laughter is encouraged. If you think the sound and face is funny, laugh first, then repeat the sound and face to your neighbor. Whenever possible, eye contact should be maintained.