Chamblee54

Drinking From A Firehose

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 31, 2020

“You’re drinking from a firehose of bullshit.” It is a familiar situation. Someone is talking. They are full of confidence. The speech gets faster, and faster. They have lots of data points that support their point of view. You suspect there is something wrong with what they are saying. The logic just follows too quickly. If you stop to think about point one, you will miss points two through eleven. It is persuasion, by intellectual bullying.
Sometimes, a good phrase used to support a not-so-good cause. The FOB quote is from Sam Harris. He was on the Joe Rogan Experience, talking about Abby Martin. (The opening clip is from this compilation.) Mr. Harris says the Iraqi casualties, after Operation Iraqi Freedom, were around 200,000. Ms. Martin says the casualties are closer to 2,000,000. Either figure is too high. Mr. Harris displays a certain heartlessness in his argument.

JRE #1419 – Daryl Davis washed up on the digital shore yesterday. Mr. Davis is a black man, who somehow befriended KKK members, and showed them the error of their ways. Here is an npr segment, How One Man Convinced 200 Ku Klux Klan Members To Give Up Their Robes.

Yesterday’s appearance came at an synchronistic time for Mr. Rogan. Last week, Bernie Sanders tweeted a clip from Mr. Rogan, along with a comment. “I think I’ll probably vote for Bernie…” Joe Rogan There was a reaction. @CNN “Bernie Sanders is facing a backlash from some Democrats after his campaign trumpeted an endorsement from comedian Joe Rogan, a popular podcast and YouTube talk show host with a history of making racist, homophobic and transphobic comments”

As Rogan listeners know, Joe is all over the place. The Sanders quote is from JRE #1415 – Bari Weiss. During that show, Ms. Weiss unleashed an FOB in support of Israel. This contrasts with Abby Martin, and other JRE guests, who severely criticize Israel.

The Davis show was an FOB. There were history lectures, that leave discerning heads shaking. (The term white supremacist was first used in 1896.) The firehose kept gushing, until there was one comment that could be easily checked out. “President Warren G. Harding was sworn into the ku klux klan in the green room of the White House”

Warren Gamaliel Harding is known, with some justification, as one of our worst Presidents. “One aspect of the Harding administration that is not well known is his attitude about race. In the years after World War I, America was engulfed in race hatred. The Ku Klux Klan had a revival. “In a speech on October 26, 1921, given in segregated Birmingham, Alabama Harding advocated civil rights for African Americans; the first President to openly advocate black political, educational, and economic equality during the 20th century.” Mr. Harding supported an anti lynching bill, which a Democratic filibuster kept from passing.” (This 2012 quote is based on a wikipedia article, that has been edited.)

“Not only was Harding’s alleged membership in the KKK never mentioned in the contemporary records of anybody who knew him, his public opposition to anti-Catholic agitation and his vehement support for anti-lynching laws, make him seem like an unlikely recruit. In fact, the only evidence that Harding was a Klansman comes from the deathbed confession of a former Grand Wizard, who may have made the whole thing up to get even with Harding for the late President’s anti-racist public stance.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Does Not Lie Part Two

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on January 30, 2020

KKK Klickbait

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 29, 2020





The Washington Post enjoys KKK Klickbait. A recent example is Yesterday’s Ku Klux Klan members are today’s police officers, councilwoman says. Under the headline is a picture of some very fine folks wearing squeaky clean bedsheets. The caption for the picture reads “A member of the Ku Klux Klan adjusts his hood during a 1998 rally in Texas. (David J. Phillip/AP)” Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Google images has 4.6 bn results for this image. The top result is 2 men arrested for putting KKK hoods on Confederate statues. “Enzo Niebuhr and Jody Anderson … are charged with defacing a public monument and disorderly conduct. … “Smash Racism Raleigh” group … holding a peaceful protest to provide context about the history of the statues. The group says Niebuhr and Anderson shouldn’t have been arrested.” Mr. Niebuhr appears to be wearing lipstick in his mug shot.

KKK carnival costumes ‘not racism’ “The 12 people who dressed in Ku Klux Klan costumes during carnival celebrations in canton Schwyz are not guilty of racial discrimination, local justice officials say. The central Schwyz public prosecutor’s office said on Friday that the men had overstepped the mark on what was allowed at carnival celebrations and that common decency had been grossly violated. But the men’s behavior did not constitute the offence of racial discrimination, because they did not intend to convert people to the KKK, judicial officials added.” Video zeigt, wie Ku-Klux-Klan in Schwyz marschiert Wir benutzen Cookies und andere Technologien.

“Students be careful, there’s someone walking around in KKK gear with a whip’: Indiana University student triggers scare after mistaking priest for KKK man. Dominican friar was spotted waiting for frozen yogurt at Indiana University. Students thought his long white robe meant he was a member of the KKK. Residential officer issued a warning telling students to be careful on campus. But it was later withdrawn when it transpired the man was in fact a priest.”




Does Not Lie Part One

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on January 28, 2020

Keith Tharpe Dies

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, The Death Penalty by chamblee54 on January 27, 2020


Inmate who appealed death sentence over juror’s racist views dies “Keith “Bo” Tharpe … died late Friday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Butts County. His death likely was due to complications from cancer, according to a news release from the Georgia Resource Center, which represented him in recent years as he attempted to appeal his death sentence. He was 61.”

Keith Tharpe was convicted of killing Jaquelin Freeman. There was little doubt of his guilt. A death sentence was handed down, and came close to being carried out. There were complications, and the sentence was postponed.

A few years after the trial, an attorney interviewed one of the jurors, Barnie Gattie. Unfortunate things were allegedly said, including the magic word. A transcript can be found here.

A media outcry ensued. Typical was this headline: The Stench of Prejudice in Keith Tharpe’s Death Sentence. Corporate media does not miss opportunities to say Georgia is racist.

A few things were not mentioned. “Gattie testified … that he had been drinking alcohol on the Saturday he first spoke with representatives from the Georgia Resource Center. When they returned on Memorial Day with the affidavit for him to sign, he had again been drinking. He testified that he had consumed a twelve pack of beer and a few drinks of whiskey before signing the affidavit. Gattie stated he was not told what the affidavit was going to be used for, he did not read the affidavit, and when the affidavit was read to him, he did not pay attention. … In addition to Gattie, the other ten jurors” (“two of whom were black”) “who were deposed testified that Tharpe’s race was not discussed during deliberations, race played no part in their deliberations, no one used racial slurs during deliberations, and racial animus or bias was not a part of the deliberations.”

During the appeals after a death sentence, attorneys try to find any reason they can to stop the execution. This is what happened when that attorney interviewed Bernie Gattie. “Why would the attorney’s continue with the interview if they knew Mr. Gattie was intoxicated? Did the attorneys lead on Mr. Gattie, and put words in his mouth? How was the affadavit presented to Mr. Gattie for his approval? Mr. Gattie later claimed he “… didn’t pay much attention when the affidavit was read to him. … He signed the defense affidavit because he “just wanted to get rid of them.” Were these attorneys looking for the truth, or trying to get a drunken old man to say something inappropriate, so they could get Mr. Tharpe’s sentence commuted?”

The Tharpe/Gattie appeals led chamblee54 to the uncomfortable experience of agreeing with Justice Clarence Thomas. “SCOTUS sent the death penalty case of Keith Tharpe back to the lower courts today. This is the Pontius Pilate approach, which might not save Mr. Tharpe from eventual execution. Here is the opinion, and the dissent by Justice Clarence Thomas.” … “Justice Thomas goes full Scalia in this closing paragraph. “Today’s decision can be explained only by the “unusual fact” of Gattie’s first affidavit. The Court must be disturbed by the racist rhetoric in that affidavit, and must want to do something about it. But the Court’s decision is no profile in moral courage. By remanding this case to the Court of Appeals for a useless do-over, the Court is not doing Tharpe any favors. And its unusual disposition of his case callously delays justice for Jaquelin Freeman, the black woman who was brutally murdered by Tharpe 27 years ago. Because this Court should not be in the busi­ness of ceremonial handwringing, I respectfully dissent.”

“The ethics of interviewing an intoxicated man, to try to save your client from execution, are questionable. One might also ask what this says about the death penalty process. The state bends over backwards to give the illusion of fairness, and due process. An attorney goes out, interviewing jurors seven years after the trial, trying to find dirt. Getting a criminal off on a technicality is a regrettable consequence of our judicial system. Maybe in this case justice would have been served with a life sentence, without fishing trip juror interviews.”

The efforts of the defense attorneys paid off. Keith Tharpe died in prison, of natural causes. There had been speculation in death penalty forums that the execution of Mr. Tharpe was going to happen soon. Does this mean that Jaquelin Freeman did not receive justice? Does death from cancer … which probably was more painful than an overdose of pentobarbital … not serve justice? These are issues for people who like to argue about the law. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Rattled A Small Southern Town

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on January 27, 2020


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As you’re about to enter the site, a newspaper boy jumps out at you:
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humiliation ~ jim goad ~ cnn_rogan ~ good rx ~ blink health
autistic bdsm ~ @PhilippeReines ~ eric roberts ~ carlos barboza
cakes ~ clyde shepherd ~ mr peanut ~ smith song 3
@OverheardOnDuty A local gangbanger just sent an unsolicited dick pic to one of my fake Instagram accounts. I know how you feel now, ladies.Unfortunately for him, he is a felon, and decided to leave a firearm within sight of the picture. Weirdest search warrant affidavit I’ve ever filled. ~ 1:58:30 I’m alarmed whenever … there’s an outward lack of compassion and when there’s an outward disdain for the other because essentially this country is all the other … that’s all we have is the other ~ @QuoteResearch Quotation circulating via twitter: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Attributed to Margaret Mead by 1982 ~ 37:38 if it’s explicit bias then we need outright enforcement right we also need to tap it’s enforcement removal from their jobs yeah yeah if you are racist if you’re a nakedly racist then you have no business being in charge of being in care of anybody but also we’ve got to ~ @chamblee54 I have long said that we need to quit saying terrorist. Other words (pun intended) I would like to see used less are racist, liberal, conservative. There are others, but those four are a good start. All have elastic definitions, and promote ill will against g-d’s children ~ six hundred sixty six words are in this post ~ pictures today are from The Library of Congress. ~ selah

Two Old Posts About Bernie

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on January 26, 2020

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What follows are two posts from January 2016. One of them features a video by Robert Reich, and Moveon.org. This past week saw this story: MoveOn calls on Sanders to renounce Joe Rogan endorsement. Chamblee54 does not know, or care, what Robert Reich thinks about Joe Rogan.
When you have a political contest based on what people say, it is not surprising that a lot of what they say is nonsense. Yesterday there was an video on facebook, Six responses to Bernie skeptics. Important person wannabe Robert Reich writes a bunch of stuff on a board. Mr. Reich is on the screen by himself, without any attempt at perspective. Many people do not know that Robert Reich is four foot eleven, just like many people did not know FDR was crippled. The video script is widely available, which will make this counter commentary a bit easier.

The video has comebacks to six things Bernie naysayers might offer. The first is that Bernie cannot beat Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in a general election. Mr. Reich has polls that say BS would beat the Donald, and control Cruz. The election is November 8, two days after the clocks are turned back. This is a long time from now. There will be time for Repub dirty tricksters to come up with dirt on Bernie.

As Hillary Clinton found out, the popular vote is meaningless. The election is decided by the Electoral College. Most states are written off as solid red or true blue. Only “swing state” voters get a vote. A national poll in January cannot predict what Ohio voters will do in November. (BS has been silent on the issue of electoral college reform.)

Reason number two is pure number two. The simple truth is that Republicans control congress, and will defeat the BS agenda. (Those are the initials of Bernard no-middle-name Sanders. Any similarity to bovine excrement is coincidence.) The Republican presence in government is reinforced with gerrymandering, money, lapdog press, money, lawyers, guns, money, Jesus exploiters, and more money. The Reich answer: “But there’s a higher likelihood of kicking Republicans out if Bernie’s “political revolution” continues to surge around America, bringing with it millions of young people and other voters, and keeping them politically engaged.”

Number three is semantic shade. “America would never elect a socialist.” “What we have now is socialism, and people don’t realize it.” Both statements are true. It is just that we don’t call Social Security communism. Just like people say they support small government, while sending half a million boots to a desert eight time zones away. There is a lot of “irony” in today’s political circus. That is how the game is played.

Number four is about the cost of single payer healthcare. The truth is that nobody knows. We have a broken system, and installed a compromise fix. When we finally go to single payer healthcare, there is no way to know how it will play out. Maybe the BS proposal will be cheaper, maybe it will be horribly expensive. The current system is too unfair to live, too profitable to die.

Number five is an argument that few have heard. ““His plan for paying for college with a tax on Wall Street trades would mean colleges would run by government rules.” When you make up an argument, it is easy to make up the reply. In this case, there is more rhetoric and semantics. The federal government has sent money into the education pipeline for years. The money comes with strings attached. This is no surprise to anyone except Sarah Palin.

Number six is a doozy. Yes, BS is in his seventies. No, we don’t see him huffing on an oxygen tank after he gives a speech. We just have to take the word of his supporters that he is the picture of vigorous health. Why would Robert Reich ever want to lie to you?

“In any event, the issue isn’t age; it’s having the right values. FDR was paralyzed, and JFK had both Addison’s and Crohn’s diseases, but they were great presidents because they fought adamantly for social and economic justice.” FDR and JFK were known by their initials. FDR helped get us involved in World War Two. JFK, who served less than three years, was presented as being full of vi-gah, when in truth he was seriously ill. Both FDR and JFK had extramarital affairs, which only the staunchest BS groupie wants to know about.

Pictures for your politically incorrect repost are from The Library of Congress. These pictures are soldiers from the War Between the States. They did not post food pictures on facebook.

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@BernieSanders “I got into politics not to figure out how to become President. I got into politics because I give a damn.” The old tweeter sent this message December 11, 2015, at 4:42 pm Sanders Standard Time. At last glance, it was retweeted 25,901 times, and liked 44,263 times.

What exactly is a damn? When you give one, do you gift wrap it? The dictionary says that damn is a verb, meaning “condemn to a punishment or fate; especially : to condemn to hell.” Giving a verb is not good grammar. Damn is considered a mild profanity, which adds polemic punch.

History gives us a second opinion. “In 1665, Aurangzeb, or Abul Muzaffar Muhi-ud-Din Mohammad Aurangzeb. (A real mouthful of a name!) was the emperor of the Mughal empire. He ruled from 1658 until his death in 1707. Aurangzeb had coins minted in precious metals as well as copper. The copper denominations were one Dam and one half Dam.”

At some point after the invention of the copper dam, Great Britain conquered the Mughal empire. By this time, the dam was worth twice as much as a half dam. According to some unverified sources, British soldiers would say that something was not worth a dam. Some said they would not give a dam. The profaning n was added, and a saying for apathy entered the english language.

How much is a dam/damn worth? To people living downhill from the lake, a dam is valuable. As for the numismatic value of an ancient copper coin: “By looking at both catalog values for copper Dams minted in the Mughal calendar year of 1075 (Western date 1665) … we can provide the following very approximate values for copper half-Dams and Dams minted in the name of Aurangzeb: worn: $4, average circulated: $7, well preserved: $30.”

Getting back to BS, he probably used the conventional meaning of GAD, which is that he cares. Or maybe, he meant that he gives a dollar. If current economic trends hold up, the dollar might not be worth a dam. The welfare state proposals of BS, according to the admittedly biased Wall Street Journal, would cost $18 Trillion. This would effectively double the national debt. If we get mixed up in another war, or if a nuclear power plant blows up, another few trillion might go down the tubes.

Only the most deluded Bernoids expect college tuition to be free in 2018. BS is talking a good game, but most people know his pants are on fire. One person who is offended because BS won’t step up the lies is Ta-Nehisi Coates. If reparations are added onto free college tuition, then the value of the dollar might go below a half dam. Pictures for snowstorm Saturday are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Fool You Twice

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on January 25, 2020

Donnie Lance, Joy Lance, and Butch Wood

Posted in Library of Congress, The Death Penalty by chamblee54 on January 24, 2020


The state of Georgia plans to execute Donnie Cleveland Lance. He was convicted of killing his ex-wife Sabrina “Joy” Lance, and her boyfriend Dwight “Butch” G. Wood, Jr. Mr. Wood was shot with a shotgun, and Mrs. Lance was beaten to death with the handle of that weapon. This is the short version of the story. If you want to know more, read more.

“Shortly before midnight on November 8, 1997, Lance called Joy Lance’s father, asked to speak to her, and learned that she was not at home. Shortly afterward, a passing police officer noticed Lance’s automobile leaving his driveway. Lance arrived at Butch Wood’s home, kicked in the front door, shot Butch Wood on the front and the back of his body with a shotgun, and then beat Joy Lance to death by repeatedly striking her in the face with the butt of the shotgun, which broke into pieces during the attack. Joy Lance’s face was rendered utterly unrecognizable. … The door to Wood’s home had imprints consistent with size 7 1/2 EE Sears “Diehard” work shoes. When questioned by an investigating officer, Lance denied owning Diehard work shoes; however, a search of Lance’s shop revealed an empty shoe box that had markings showing it formerly contained shoes of the same type and size as those that made the imprints on Wood’s door … Officers also retrieved from a grease pit in Lance’s shop an unspent shotgun shell that matched the ammunition used in Wood’s murder.”

“Joe Moore testified he visited Lance at his shop during the morning of November 9, 1997, before the victims’ bodies were discovered. Referring to Joy, Lance told Moore that “the bitch” would not be coming to clean his house that day. Lance stated regarding Butch Wood that “his daddy could buy him out of a bunch of places, but he can’t buy him out of Hell.” Lance also informed Moore that Joy and Butch were dead. Moore disposed of several shotgun shells for Lance, but he later assisted law enforcement officers in retrieving them. The State also presented the testimony of two of appellant’s jail mates who stated appellant had discussed his commission of the murders. … . Lance later told a fellow inmate that he “felt stupid” that he had called Joy Lance’s father before the murders, and Lance bragged to the inmate that “he hit Joy so hard that one of her eyeballs stuck to the wall.”” (“… Lance’s new lawyers say one of those informants later recanted his testimony in a subsequent hearing.”)

“The State also presented evidence that Lance had a long history of abuse against Joy, including kidnapping, beatings with his fist, a belt, and a handgun, strangulation, electrocution or the threat of electrocution, the threat of burning with a flammable liquid and of death by a handgun and with a chainsaw, the firing of a handgun at or near her, and other forms of physical abuse. Several witnesses testified that appellant had repeatedly threatened to kill Joy if she divorced him or was romantically involved with Butch, and that Lance had also beaten and threatened to kill Butch’s wife and several other persons related to Joy. A relative of Joy testified that Lance once inquired how much it would cost to “do away with” Joy and Butch.”

“Lance was indicted in the Superior Court of Jackson County, Georgia for two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of burglary, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Lance was convicted as charged in the indictment and sentenced to death on June 23, 1999.”

During the appeals, Lance claimed ineffective counsel during his trial. “Lance hired J. Richardson Brannon to represent him at trial. … Lance and his family initially paid Brannon $50,000 to represent him, but after the exhaustion of that initial sum, the court declared Lance indigent and retained Brannon as court-appointed counsel.”

“The defense theory of the case was innocence. Brannon attempted to establish an alibi defense based on the time of death and Lance’s whereabouts on November 8–9. Lance’s uncle testified that he was with Lance into the late evening of November 8 and then after midnight on November 9 until 5:00 a.m. Other witnesses corroborated this timeline and testified that Lance behaved normally immediately before and after the time when the murder occurred. Two children who were neighbors of Butch Wood also testified that they heard gunshots and a scream sometime after lunch on November 9, more than twelve hours later than when the crime allegedly occurred.”

“The state presented the testimony of Dr. Daniel A. Martell, a neuropsychologist, who testified that Lance had an IQ of 79 and suffered from dementia. … Dr. Martell summarized his opinion by stating, “In my opinion, [Lance’s diagnosis is] not significant to the crime.” … “The court explained that the evidence established only mild mental impairments, and “against this somewhat mitigating evidence, the jury would have weighed Lance’s long history of horrific abuse against Joy Lance,” the horrific nature of the crime, and evidence about Lance’s statements and demeanor after the crime, such as his declaration that Butch Wood was in “Hell” and “his boast to an inmate that ‘he hit Joy so hard that one of her eyeballs stuck to the wall.””

Twenty plus years after the crime, an appeal reached SCOTUS. “Today, in the case of Donnie Cleveland Lance v. Eric Sellers, Warden, … Justice Sotomayor expressed dismay over the Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari to Mr. Lance who was given the death penalty without his lawyer having put up any evidence of mitigation on his behalf.” The Sotomayor dissent makes two key points regarding this issue.

“Lance was represented during both the guilt and penalty phases of his trial by a solo practitioner who became convinced of Lance’s innocence—and his own ability to prove it—early in the representation. He thus prepared exclusively for the guilt-or-innocence phase of the trial. Counsel did not even broach the subject of possible penalty-phase evidence with Lance or his family, because he did not want them “thinking that [he] might be thinking in terms of losing the case.” … So when the jury found Lance guilty and the question became whether Lance should be put to death, Lance’s counsel had no evidence whatsoever to present.”

“The evidence showed that counsel could have found possible cognitive problems had he looked into Lance’s personal history. That history included repeated serious head traumas caused by multiple car crashes, alcoholism, and—most seriously—Lance’s once being shot in the head by unknown assailants while lying on his couch. … In addition to the history discussed by the court, Lance also ingested gasoline as a small child, was trampled by a horse as a teenager, and once was overcome by fumes while working to clean the interior of an oil tanker truck.””

“The Georgia Department of Corrections announced Lance’s final meal on Thursday – he’ll be having two chili steak burgers, french fries, onion rings, mustard, ketchup and a soda.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Donnie Lance died at 9:05 pm, January 29, 2020.

Conversations I Am Tired Of Having

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Quotes, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on January 23, 2020

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There was a post a while back, 10 Conversations On Racism I’m Sick Of Having With White People The original started at The Chronicle, but LiveJournal is kind of weird, so a mirror image will have to do. There are comments, at the sourced post, that illustrate some of the points covered today.

I got to thinking about “10 Conversations”, and a reply began to take shape. I started a list of conversations the I am tired of having, and before you could say affirmative action, there were a dozen items. Many of these incidents have involved people of color, or POC. Many others have not. Often, the ethnicity of the other person has little importance to the discussion. Therefore, the title of this feature will not be racially specific. This monolog will probably not go viral, or even bacterial. Washing your hands might be a good idea when you are finished reading.

Meetings where one person does all the talking The word conversation implies that more than one person says something. Often, this does not happen. One person will talk for a while. Before person two finishes a sentence, person one will interrupt them.

This does not work. When the other person is talking, shut up and listen. Don’t be thinking of your clever comeback, but pay attention to what the other person is saying. What the other person says is just as important as what you say.

Listening is not valued in our culture. It is seen as a loss of control, a sign of weakness. It is really a sign of strength. If you are weak, you don’t want to allow the other person to say anything. Have you ever heard anyone boast about the clever things that they say to someone? Of course you have, just like you never hear anyone talk highly about himself because he is a good listener.

My question is not an excuse to make a speech. Some people have an agenda. Whatever you say is an obstacle to the message they want to broadcast. When you ask a question, some people think you are handing them the talking stick, to do whatever they want. When your eyes glaze over, they plow on, in total disregard to your discomfort, and lack of comprehension. It is almost as if they are talking to hear the sound of their own voice.

I’m not talking to you. If you are screaming something, anyone with earshot can hear you. Do not get offended if there is a reaction to your words, especially if it is subtly directed at the person you are not talking to. This applies to the internet as well, where all of humanity is *privy* to your innermost thoughts. Keep the farmyard meaning of *privy* in mind when sharing your innermost product.

Conversations should be with people. If you are a business, and you want to tell me something, send me a written message. Please refrain from using robocall machines. I feel very foolish talking to a machine, especially one that doesn’t understand southern english.

You don’t have to shout. The amount of truth in a statement is not increased by the volume of expression. If you are standing next to me, the odds are I can hear you in a normal tone of voice. If you are across the room, come stand next to me, rather than shout across the room. If your normal tone of voice is shouting, then you have a problem.

The same principal goes to controlling your temper. When you choose not to control your temper, you show disrespect to yourself, and the person you are talking to. There is no situation that cannot be made worse by angry speech.

Privilege Racial polemic is getting more subtle these days. We are not quite post racial, although there are rumors of a PostRacial apartment complex. The phrase that pays these days is Privilege. This is always something owned by the group you do not belong to. Last summer, I heard this quote in a discussion, and nearly fell out of my chair.

This is getting longer than the attention span of many readers. It might be continued at a later date. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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Shopping Centers And Abortions

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on January 22, 2020





Back to empathy for a minute. The word always takes PG back to an auditorium in Clarkston GA in 1971. PG was in his first quarter at Dekalb College. Today, the institution is known as Georgia Perimeter College. One of the selling points of college has always been the outside speakers that were brought to campus. This day, the subject was abortion.

A note on set and setting is appropriate. In 1971, New York state had legalized the abortion procedure. Roe vs. Wade was in the pipeline that would lead to the Supreme Court. That ruling would not be issued for another fifteen months. In the meantime, abortion was illegal in 49 states, including Georgia. The debate about abortions was not as politicized as today. The nomenclature of pro-choice, and pro-life, had not entered the vocabulary.

The Vietnam war was still being fought, although with fewer Americans in combat. The withdrawal of US forces took most of the steam out of the anti war movement. The modern spectacle of a person supporting a war, while claiming to be pro life, did not happen.

PG walked into the auditorium and found a seat. The lady began her presentation. After a few minutes of talk, she said something about a woman who was artificially inseminated, with masturbated semen. The house lights were dimmed. A black and white film of an abortion was shown. It was noted when the fetus went into the vacuum cleaner attachment. The house lights were brought back up. They should have remained dim, as the woman was not kind on the eyes.

The closing part of her presentation was a song she wrote. She sang acapella. The song was written out of empathy with the not to be born baby. The song was titled “My mother My grave”.

PG left the auditorium, and went to world history class.





It started when PG found a picture of Toco Hill shopping center in 1961. He sent a copy to a friend who lives near there, and she replied “Amazing photo. North Druid Hills Rd. looks like the outer reaches of suburbia. Times sure have changed.”

PG (who has too much free time) re-replied “Toco Hills was suburbia, though maybe not the outer reaches. Mom and Dad got married in 1951. They got an apartment on Skyland Drive, near Buford hiway and Clairmont road. At the time, Buford hiway was a two lane road. (The widening took place in the early seventies, after I got my license and got to suffer.) Mom had choir practice at her church on Peachtree and Fourth. (The phrase Midtown was not heard until the eighties.) Dad would go get her, and bring her home. Their was a farmer who would go to the restaurants, and pick up leftovers to feed to his pigs. Dad’s car was usually stuck behind him. In the summer this was not pleasant.”

This got PG to wondering about Toco Hills, specifically, why do they call that area “Toco Hills”. (The shopping center uses the singular.) A visit to Google City showed something called Toco Hills NORC . It says, regarding the area, “Toco Hills is what we call a NORC, an acronym for Naturally Occurring Retirement Community. Toco Hills is a community where the majority of older adults have decided to remain in their homes as long as possible”. The link has retired.

PG then found a neighborhood organization called the Toco Hills Alliance , located in a church. He made a phone call, and talked to a lady working there. She did not know the origin of the name Toco Hills. She did know that her children had gone to elementary school across the street from shopping center. The neighbors had fought the plans to build a shopping center across the street from a school.

The lady at the THA recommended a construction company, and PG gave them a call. It turns out an old timer at the company knew the story. 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.”

This is a repost
Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.




The Sausage Vat Murder

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 21, 2020


The case of Adolph Luetgert is mostly forgotten today. In its day, the story was a sensation. “Adolph Louis Luetgert (December 27, 1845-July 7, 1899) was a German-American charged with murdering his wife and dissolving her body in acid in one of his sausage vats at the A.L. Luetgert Sausage & Packing Company in 1897. … After the news of the trial became public, rumors spread that Luetgert had actually turned his wife into sausage and sold the “sausage” to unknowing consumers.”

Is it possible to explain what is in sausages without making it erotic? A twitter thread got PG thinking about a sausage story he read in 1989. The Fairy was in Gaily, Gaily, by Ben Hecht. The story originally appeared in Playboy. “In a 1962 article for Playboy collected in his rollicking 1963 memoir Gaily, Gaily — the legendary Chicago reporter Ben Hecht recalls a murder case that sounds suspiciously similar to the Adolph Luetgert case. Hecht describes an story that apparently occurred sometime during the five years after he began working as a reporter in Chicago in 1910. He writes: “Fred Ludwig, a popular North Shore butcher, went on trial before Judge Sabath for the murder of his wife. The wedding band with its romantic inscription had turned up in one of the sausages manufactured by Ludwig and sold to one of his customers, Claude Charlus, a well-known financier and epicure.” In the Hecht story, Mr. Charlus was the bf of Mr. Ludwig. When it was time to execute Mr. Ludwig, young Mr. Hecht went to a whorehouse, to borrow a makeup kit. Mr. Ludwig painted his face before he went to the gallows.

“Adolph Luetgert (originally Adolph Ludwig Lütgert ) came to New York in around 1865 or 1866 when he was about twenty years old.” … “He married his first wife, Caroline Roepke, sometime between 1870 and 1872. She died on November 17, 1877. He married his second wife Louise Bicknese, two months after Caroline’s death, on January 18, 1878. Luetgert had six children—two with Caroline and four with Louise. Only three of his children survived past the age of 2.”

“Louisa Bicknese was an attractive young woman who was ten years younger than her husband. She was a former servant from the Fox River Valley who met her new husband by chance. He was immediately taken with her, entranced by her diminutive stature and tiny frame. She was less than five feet tall and looked almost child-like next to her burly husband. … As a wedding gift, he gave her a unique, heavy gold ring. Inside of it, he had gotten her new initials inscribed, reading “L.L.”. Little did he know at the time that this ring would prove to be his undoing.”

After a while , the couple started to bicker. “Despite his coarse appearance (one writer vividly describes him as a “Falstaffian” figure with “a face of suet, pig eyes, and a large untidy moustache that was a perfect host for beer foam”), Adolph was something of an womanizer. … Claiming that he needed to keep a round-the-clock eye on his factory, he had taken to spending his nights in a little room beside his office, equipped with a bed that he frequently shared with his twenty-two-year-old housemaid, Mary Siemering, Louisa’s own cousin. … He was also conducting a surreptitious courtship of a wealthy widow, Mrs. Christina Feld, sending her amorous letters in which he rhapsodized about their rosy future.” (During the murder trial, “Mrs. Christina Feldt, … testified that Luetgert often expressed his hatred for his wife and intimated that he would get rid of her.”)

“At around 10:15 on the evening of Saturday, May 1, Louisa was seated in the kitchen, chatting with her twelve-year-old son Louis, who had attended the circus that evening. The boy was excitedly describing some of the wonders he had seen—a giant named “Monsieur Goliath” and a strongman who juggled cannon balls—when Luetgert appeared and told his son to go bed. Precisely what happened between the two adults after Louis retired to his room is unclear. Only one fact is beyond dispute. After the boy bid goodnight to his mother at about 10:30 P.M., she was left alone in the company of her husband.” … “Mrs. Luetgert wore only a light house wrapper and slippers, although the night was cold and rainy. It never was shown that she had taken with her any of her belongings.”

“When questioned by his sons, Luetgert told them that their mother had gone out the previous evening to visit her sister. After several days though, she did not come back. Finally, Diedrich Bicknese, Louisa’s brother, went to the police. The investigation fell on Captain Herman Schuettler, … “an honest but occasionally brutal detective”.

“Frank Bialk, a night watchman at the plant … saw both Luetgert and Louisa at the plant together. Apparently, Luetgert sent him out on an errand that evening and gave him the rest of the night off.” There is another version of the Bialk story. “Frank Bialk … testified … Luetgert instructed him to bring down two barrels of caustic potash and place them in the boiler room, and that Luetgert then poured the contents of both barrels in one of the vats. The watchman was instructed to keep up steam all night and at 10 p. m. he was sent by Luetgert to the drug store after some nerve medicine.”

“The police also made a shocking discovery; they came across bills that stated that Luetgert bought arsenic and potash the day before the murder. … the detective was convinced that Luetgert had killed his wife, boiled her in acid and then disposed of her in a factory furnace.”

“… Luetgert’s night watchman, Frank Bialk, approached the police and told them that, on the night Mrs. Luetgert disappeared, his boss had been acting suspiciously, busying himself with one of the large steam-vats down in the factory basement. Following up on this tip, investigators checked out the vat, which—despite having been cleaned two weeks earlier—still contained a residue of a thick, greasy fluid, reddish-brown in color and giving off a nauseous stink. When the fetid slime was drained from the vat, the detectives discovered tiny pieces of bone along with two gold rings, one of them a wedding band engraved with the initials “L. L.” More bone fragments, as well as a false tooth, a hairpin, a charred corset stay, and various scraps of cloth turned up in a nearby ash heap.”

Luetgert was arrested, and charged with the crime. “On October 18, the case was submitted to the jury and after deliberating for sixty-six hours they failed to agree, nine favoring a conviction and three voting in favor of an acquittal. On November 29, 1897, the second trial began. … The trial resulted in a conviction and on May 5 Luetgert was sent to the Joliet State prison for life.”

“July 27, 1899, Luetgert left his cell and returned shortly afterward with his breakfast in a pail, but just as he was about to eat it, he dropped dead from heart disease.”

“… Frank Pratt … asked Luetgert if he wanted his “hand read.” The latter consented and Pratt told Luetgert that he possessed a violent temper and at times was not responsible for his actions. Pratt stated that Luetgert then virtually admitted that he killed his wife when he was possessed of the devil. … It is said that Luetgert also made similar admissions to a fellow prisoner.” Pictures for this true crime story are from The Library of Congress.