Chamblee54

Sixty Five Years Twelve Presidents

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on May 31, 2020


This is a repost from 2012. It is about the twelve Presidents, one fourth of the total, who have helped themselves served over the last sixty five years. Barack Obama got re-elected, and killed lots of people. The less said about Donald J. Trump, the better.

Every four years, someone will say this is the worst choice ever. Every four years, someone will say this is the most important election ever. They are always correct. The choice in 2016 was between Donald John Trump and Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. Choosing between those two idiots was challenging. The good news is that most people live in states where the electoral votes are conceded to one of the duopoly parties. These voters can focus on local elections.

Listening to the news shows that came on before the cartoons, PG heard the phrase “President Eisenhower”. As a friends explained to him, G-d made everything, but the President is Eisenhower.

When he was six, PG moved to a new house, and started first grade. There was an election that fall, and someone named Kennedy became President. PG wasn’t old enough to pay attention to the news yet, except when it looked like the Russians were going to kill us all in 1962.

The first news story that PG clearly remembers was the day when his fourth grade teacher, Miss McKenzie, told the class that President Kennedy had been shot. One of the worst moments that weekend was the moment when a plane landed in Washington, and the new President spoke on television. THAT was the new President? Yuck.

Lyndon Johnson was a larger than life figure, and was hated by millions of Amuricuns. While there was some good done by LBJ, it was overshadowed by the War in Vietnam. When he left office in 1968, the voters had a horrible choice …Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, or George Wallace.

Tricky Dick Nixon is another larger than life figure, with millions of Americans screaming for his impeachment. For some reason, there were others who passionately admired the man.

In 1973, the oil companies tried to say there was an oil shortage. Later that year, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan attacked Israel, and the Arab oil producers cut oil to the USA. After this embargo, OPEC was in charge of the oil supply, and the price of gasoline increased 200%. The era of big money oil was on. What a convenient war.

After the ethical shortcomings of Mr. Nixon became too obnoxious to ignore, Gerald Ford became President. On a policy level, Ford was like all the other Presidents…some things he got right, some things he got wrong. On a personality level…the show business part…Ford excelled. His family provided harmless fodder for the gossipmongers. He was a likable man, a welcome break from the meanness of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.

When PG was a kid at Ashford Park School, there had never been a President from Georgia. It seemed impossible. When Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter announced he was running, it seemed like another ego tripper running for President. The funny thing is, he won. It still seems a bit unreal, like having the Olympics in Atlanta.

Jimmy was a Democrat, with attack Republicans fighting him every step of the way. This is a problem later Democrats in the Oval Office will have. On the policy level, he did better than many realize. Many of his achievements only bore fruit after he left office. On the show biz front, his down home Georgia routine did not appeal to many Yankees. In 1980, he was defeated by an actor.

PG was worried when Ronald Reagan took office. With America’s nuclear arsenal, and the Soviet Union wheezing it’s threat, many thought that Ronnie would start the war to kill us all. The good news is, this war never happened. Whatever tough talk came out of Washington was not matched by military adventurism abroad.

Reagan was the master of show business. He was an actor, playing the greatest role of his career. It was said that if America had a figure head monarch, Reagan would have been terrific. On the policy front, taxes were cut, and the budget increased. The national debt went over a trillion dollars, which was seen as a horrible moment. (The annual budget deficit is now over a trillion dollars.)

When Mr. Reagan’s two terms were over, George H.W. Bush took over. This was an era where the Democrats could not do anything right on a national level. Bush presided over a war, and brought the troops home when the mission was over. His image never appealed, and the whiners were not pleased. A computer salesman named Ross Perot decided to run as a third party candidate.

In the winter of 1992, PG had a little job downtown. One day, there was a rally at the CNN center for a little known Presidential candidate. PG went, and said to a friend, If this guy gets elected, you are going to regret not going to see him. At the time, War Winner Bush seemed unbeatable, and PG said that with high sarcasm.

When he got to CNN center, it was obvious that a big money event was unfolding. The place was packed, with school children bused in to fill all the seats. Finally, the speakers blared “Twist and Shout” at top volume, and Bill Clinton walked on the stage. PG was not especially impressed.

Clinton inspired toxic hatred, but managed to keep the boat floating. He won reelection, with the Republicans seeming to self destruct. The economy was going good, the budget was balanced, and the haters went wild. After a entertaining sex scandal, the Clinton years were over.

A couple of weeks before the 2000 election, PG liked neither candidate, and did not think it made much difference. (With Georgia’s electoral votes certain to go Republican, PG did not have a vote.) He listened to someone talking, who thought that it was important that Gore won. PG remembered that conversation often during the next eight years.

George W. Bush was a disaster. It is possible that 911 was a personal vendetta against the Bush family, and would not have happened if Gore was President. The reaction of Bush to this tragedy was to start two wars that we have not been able to finish. In 2016, we are still in Afghanistan.

Next was Barack Obama, the first dark skinned President. He continued the war happy ways of the Bush regime. BHO was reelected in 2012, and given four more years to wage war. He managed to avoid the second term scandals that crippled Mr. Nixon and Mr. Clinton.

In the next election, the democrats decided that calling people racist was a good campaign strategy. As a result, Donald J. Trump was elected. America is more racially divided than ever, which the election of Mr. Obama was supposed to remedy. With the nation distracted by screaming racism, the congress has cut taxes, and produced a multi-trillion dollar budget deficit. America might survive. Pictures for this feature are from the The Library of Congress.

NFL Kneelers

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 30, 2020


The football players who won’t stand for the national anthem is the story that won’t go away. Few people have said exactly how this is going to prevent police from killing people. This slack blogger has said little about Kaepernickgate, but has had a thirty part series, Killed By Police. This series, like most factual reporting on police killings, is mostly ignored by the same people who are hysterical about NFL kneelers. It is a strange country we live in.

A theme in the modern meme mania is the notion that the protest is about police brutality, and not about the flag. Or something like that. While the original intent of the kneelers is to protest police killings, the result is to disrespect a display of patriotism. It should not be a surprise that many people feel the NFL protests are an insult to the United States. To say that the protests are about racism, and not the flag, is not right. The result of this well meaning gesture is to insult millions of patriotic Americans. Facebook rubs it in by saying it is your fault.

Blackface used to be a popular form of entertainment. If you were to ask the performers, they probably would have said that this was not intended to insult anybody, but just a way of having fun. That would have been the intent. The minstrels would have to be dumb not to have known that their performances were insulting to black people. Sometimes, your intention is not all that counts. You should consider how other people feel about your entertainment.

It is not known what these protests are going to accomplish. They will probably achieve as much as shutting down a freeway. Others say that the police killings are a symptom, rather than the disease. With millions of weapons in circulation, the police know that anyone they meet might try to kill them. With all that is demanded of police, they are going to make mistakes.

UPDATE The various attorneys worked out a settlement. Money changed hands. One of the attorneys issued a statement: “… The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.” Facebook users are, unfortunately, not bound by this agreement. This is a repost. Pictures today are fromThe Library of Congress.

Calumus

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Poem by chamblee54 on May 29, 2020

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In Paths Untrodden

In paths untrodden,
In the growth by margins of pond-waters,
Escaped from the life that exhibits itself,
From all the standards hitherto publish’d, from the pleasures,
profits, conformities,
Which too long I was offering to feed my soul,
Clear to me now standards not yet publish’d, clear to me that my soul,
That the soul of the man I speak for rejoices in comrades,
Here by myself away from the clank of the world,
Tallying and talk’d to here by tongues aromatic,
No longer abash’d, (for in this secluded spot I can respond
as I would not dare elsewhere,)
Strong upon me the life that does not exhibit itself, yet contains all the rest,
Resolv’d to sing no songs to-day but those of manly attachment,
Projecting them along that substantial life,
Bequeathing hence types of athletic love,
Afternoon this delicious Ninth-month in my forty-first year,
I proceed for all who are or have been young men,
To tell the secret my nights and days,
To celebrate the need of comrades.

Scented Herbage of My Breast

Scented herbage of my breast,
Leaves from you I glean, I write, to be perused best afterwards,
Tomb-leaves, body-leaves growing up above me above death,
Perennial roots, tall leaves, O the winter shall not freeze you delicate leaves,
Every year shall you bloom again, out from where you retired
you shall emerge again;
O I do not know whether many passing by will discover you
or inhale your faint odor, but I believe a few will;
O slender leaves! O blossoms of my blood! I permit you to tell
in your own way of the heart that is under you,
O I do not know what you mean there underneath yourselves,
you are not happiness,
You are often more bitter than I can bear, you burn and sting me,
Yet you are beautiful to me you faint tinged roots, you make me think of death,
Death is beautiful from you, (what indeed is finally beautiful
except death and love?)
O I think it is not for life I am chanting here my chant of lovers,
I think it must be for death,
For how calm, how solemn it grows to ascend to the atmosphere of lovers,
Death or life I am then indifferent, my soul declines to prefer,
(I am not sure but the high soul of lovers welcomes death most,)
Indeed O death, I think now these leaves mean precisely the same as you mean,
Grow up taller sweet leaves that I may see! grow up out of my breast!
Spring away from the conceal’d heart there!
Do not fold yourself so in your pink-tinged roots timid leaves!
Do not remain down there so ashamed, herbage of my breast!
Come I am determin’d to unbare this broad breast of mine,
I have long enough stifled and choked;
Emblematic and capricious blades I leave you, now you serve me not,
I will say what I have to say by itself,
I will sound myself and comrades only,
I will never again utter a call only their call,
I will raise with it immortal reverberations through the States,
I will give an example to lovers
to take permanent shape and will through the States
Through me shall the words be said to make death exhilarating,
Give me your tone therefore O death, that I may accord with it,
Give me yourself, for I see that you belong to me now above all,
and are folded inseparably together, you love and death are,
Nor will I allow you to balk me any more with what I was calling life,
For now it is convey’d to me that you are the purports essential,
That you hide in these shifting forms of life, for reasons,
and that they are mainly for you,
That you beyond them come forth to remain, the real reality,
That behind the mask of materials you patiently wait, no matter how long,
That you will one day perhaps take control of all,
That you will perhaps dissipate this entire show of appearance,
That may-be you are what it is all for, but it does not last so very long,
But you will last very long.

Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand

Whoever you are holding me now in hand,
Without one thing all will be useless,
I give you fair warning before you attempt me further,
I am not what you supposed, but far different.
Who is he that would become my follower?
Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections?
The way is suspicious, the result uncertain, perhaps destructive,
You would have to give up all else, I alone would expect to be
your sole and exclusive standard,
Your novitiate would even then be long and exhausting,
The whole past theory of your life and all conformity to the lives around you
would have to be abandon’d,
Therefore release me now before troubling yourself any further,
let go your hand from my shoulders,
Put me down and depart on your way.
Or else by stealth in some wood for trial,
Or back of a rock in the open air,
(For in any roof’d room of a house I emerge not, nor in company,
And in libraries I lie as one dumb, a gawk, or unborn, or dead,)
But just possibly with you on a high hill, first watching lest any person
for miles around approach unawares,
Or possibly with you sailing at sea,
or on the beach of the sea or some quiet island,
Here to put your lips upon mine I permit you,
With the comrade’s long-dwelling kiss or the new husband’s kiss,
For I am the new husband and I am the comrade.
Or if you will, thrusting me beneath your clothing,
Where I may feel the throbs of your heart or rest upon your hip,
Carry me when you go forth over land or sea;
For thus merely touching you is enough, is best,
And thus touching you would I silently sleep and be carried eternally.
But these leaves conning you con at peril,
For these leaves and me you will not understand,
They will elude you at first and still more afterward, I will certainly elude you.
Even while you should think you had unquestionably caught me, behold!
Already you see I have escaped from you.
For it is not for what I have put into it that I have written this book,
Nor is it by reading it you will acquire it,
Nor do those know me best who admire me and vauntingly praise me,
Nor will the candidates for my love (unless at most a very few) prove victorious,
Nor will my poems do good only, they will do just as much evil, perhaps more,
For all is useless without that which you may guess at many times and not hit,
that which I hinted at;
Therefore release me and depart on your way.

For You, O Democracy

Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,
I will make divine magnetic lands,
With the love of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades.
I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,
and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,
By the love of comrades,
By the manly love of comrades.
For you these from me, O Democracy, to serve you ma femme!
For you, for you I am trilling these songs.

These I Singing in Spring

These I singing in spring collect for lovers,
(For who but I should understand lovers and all their sorrow and joy?
And who but I should be the poet of comrades?)
Collecting I traverse the garden the world, but soon I pass the gates,
Now along the pond-side, now wading in a little, fearing not the wet,
Now by the post-and-rail fences where the old stones thrown there,
pick’d from the fields, have accumulated,
(Wild-flowers and vines and weeds come up through the stones and partly cover them,beyond these I pass,)
Far, far in the forest, or sauntering later in summer,
before I think where I go,
Solitary, smelling the earthy smell, stopping now and then in the silence,
Alone I had thought, yet soon a troop gathers around me,
Some walk by my side and some behind, and some embrace my arms or neck,
They the spirits of dear friends dead or alive, thicker they come,
a great crowd, and I in the middle,
Collecting, dispensing, singing, there I wander with them,
Plucking something for tokens, tossing toward whoever is near me,
Here, lilac, with a branch of pine,
Here, out of my pocket, some moss which I pull’d off a live-oak
in Florida as it hung trailing down,
Here, some pinks and laurel leaves, and a handful of sage,
And here what I now draw from the water, wading in the pondside,
(O here I last saw him that tenderly loves me,
and returns again never to separate from me,
And this, O this shall henceforth be the token of comrades, this
calamus-root shall,
Interchange it youths with each other! let none render it back!)
And twigs of maple and a bunch of wild orange and chestnut,
And stems of currants and plum-blows, and the aromatic cedar,
These I compass’d around by a thick cloud of spirits,
Wandering, point to or touch as I pass, or throw them loosely from me,
Indicating to each one what he shall have, giving something to each;
But what I drew from the water by the pond-side, that I reserve,
I will give of it, but only to them that love as I myself am capable of loving.

Not Heaving from My Ribb’d Breast Only

Not heaving from my ribb’d breast only,
Not in sighs at night in rage dissatisfied with myself,
Not in those long-drawn, ill-supprest sighs,
Not in many an oath and promise broken,
Not in my wilful and savage soul’s volition,
Not in the subtle nourishment of the air,
Not in this beating and pounding at my temples and wrists,
Not in the curious systole and diastole within which will one day cease,
Not in many a hungry wish told to the skies only,
Not in cries, laughter, defiancies,
thrown from me when alone far in the wilds,
Not in husky pantings through clinch’d teeth,
Not in sounded and resounded words, chattering words, echoes, dead words,
Not in the murmurs of my dreams while I sleep,
Nor the other murmurs of these incredible dreams of every day,
Nor in the limbs and senses of my body that take you
and dismiss you continually—not there,
Not in any or all of them O adhesiveness! O pulse of my life!
Need I that you exist and show yourself any more than in these songs.

Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances

Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills,
shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms,
may-be these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions,
and the real something has yet to be known,
(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me and mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, aught of them,)
May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they indeed but seem)
as from my present point of view, and might prove (as of course they would)
nought of what they appear, or nought anyhow,
from entirely changed points of view;
To me these and the like of these are curiously answer’d by my lovers,
my dear friends,
When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while holding me by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and reason hold not,
surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am silent,
I require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances
or that of identity beyond the grave,
But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied,
He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.

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The Base of All Metaphysics

And now gentlemen,
A word I give to remain in your memories and minds,
As base and finale too for all metaphysics.
(So to the students the old professor,
At the close of his crowded course.)
Having studied the new and antique, the Greek and Germanic systems,
Kant having studied and stated, Fichte and Schelling and Hegel,
Stated the lore of Plato, and Socrates greater than Plato,
And greater than Socrates sought and stated, Christ divine having studied long,
I see reminiscent to-day those Greek and Germanic systems,
See the philosophies all, Christian churches and tenets see,
Yet underneath Socrates clearly see, and underneath Christ the divine I see,
The dear love of man for his comrade, the attraction of friend to friend,
Of the well-married husband and wife, of children and parents,
Of city for city and land for land.

Recorders Ages Hence

Recorders ages hence,
Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior,
I will tell you what to say of me,
Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
The friend the lover’s portrait, of whom his friend his lover was fondest,
Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean of love within him,
and freely pour’d it forth,
Who often walk’d lonesome walks thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,
Who pensive away from one he lov’d often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he lov’d might
secretly be indifferent to him,
Whose happiest days were far away through fields, in woods, on hills,
he and another wandering hand in hand, they twain apart from other men,
Who oft as he saunter’d the streets curv’d with his arm the shoulder of his friend,
while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.

When I Heard at the Close of the Day

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d
with plaudits in the capitol,
still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d,
And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d,
still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health,
refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed,
laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming,
O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more,
and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly
continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me
whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.

Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me?

Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this facade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
Have you no thought O dreamer that it may be all maya, illusion?

Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone

Roots and leaves themselves alone are these,
Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods and pond-side,
Breast-sorrel and pinks of love,
fingers that wind around tighter than vines,
Gushes from the throats of birds hid in the foliage of trees as the sun is risen,
Breezes of land and love set from living shores to you on the living sea,
to you O sailors!
Frost-mellow’d berries and Third-month twigs offer’d fresh to young
persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up,
Love-buds put before you and within you whoever you are,
Buds to be unfolded on the old terms,
If you bring the warmth of the sun to them they will open and bring form,
color, perfume, to you,
If you become the aliment and the wet they will become flowers,
fruits, tall branches and trees.

Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes

Not heat flames up and consumes,
Not sea-waves hurry in and out,
Not the air delicious and dry, the air of ripe summer,
bears lightly along white down-balls of myriads of seeds,
Waited, sailing gracefully, to drop where they may;
Not these, O none of these more than the flames of me, consuming,
burning for his love whom I love,
O none more than I hurrying in and out;
Does the tide hurry, seeking something, and never give up? O I the same,
O nor down-balls nor perfumes, nor the high rain-emitting clouds,
are borne through the open air,
Any more than my soul is borne through the open air,
Wafted in all directions O love, for friendship, for you.

Trickle Drops

Trickle drops! my blue veins leaving!
O drops of me! trickle, slow drops,
Candid from me falling, drip, bleeding drops,
From wounds made to free you whence you were prison’d,
From my face, from my forehead and lips,
From my breast, from within where I was conceal’d,
press forth red drops, confession drops,
Stain every page, stain every song I sing, every word I say, bloody drops,
Let them know your scarlet heat, let them glisten,
Saturate them with yourself all ashamed and wet,
Glow upon all I have written or shall write, bleeding drops,
Let it all be seen in your light, blushing drops.

City of Orgies

City of orgies, walks and joys,
City whom that I have lived and sung in your midst will one day make
Not the pageants of you, not your shifting tableaus,
your spectacles, repay me,
Not the interminable rows of your houses, nor the ships at the wharves,
Nor the processions in the streets,
nor the bright windows with goods in them,
Nor to converse with learn’d persons, or bear my share in the soiree or feast;
Not those, but as I pass O Manhattan,
your frequent and swift flash of eyes offering me love,
Offering response to my own—these repay me,
Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.
Behold This Swarthy Face
Behold this swarthy face, these gray eyes,
This beard, the white wool unclipt upon my neck,
My brown hands and the silent manner of me without charm;
Yet comes one a Manhattanese and ever at parting kisses me lightly
on the lips with robust love,
And I on the crossing of the street or on the ship’s deck
give a kiss in return,
We observe that salute of American comrades land and sea,
We are those two natural and nonchalant persons.

I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there
without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it
and twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana
solitary in a wide in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.

To a Stranger

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking,
(it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only
nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass,
you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone
or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful

This moment yearning and thoughtful sitting alone,
It seems to me there are other men in other lands yearning and thoughtful,
It seems to me I can look over and behold them in Germany, Italy, France, Spain,
Or far, far away, in China, or in Russia or talking other dialects,
And it seems to me if I could know those men I should become
attached to them as I do to men in my own lands,
O I know we should be brethren and lovers,
I know I should be happy with them.

I Hear It Was Charged Against Me

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions,
But really I am neither for nor against institutions,
(What indeed have I in common with them?
or what with the destruction of them?)
Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these
States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or large
that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.


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The Prairie-Grass Dividing

The prairie-grass dividing, its special odor breathing,
I demand of it the spiritual corresponding,
Demand the most copious and close companionship of men,
Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings,
Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious,
Those that go their own gait, erect, stepping with freedom and command,
leading not following,
Those with a never-quell’d audacity, those with sweet and lusty
flesh clear of taint,
Those that look carelessly in the faces of Presidents and governors,
as to say Who are you?
Those of earth-born passion, simple, never constrain’d, never obedient,
Those of inland America.

When I Peruse the Conquer’d Fame

When I peruse the conquer’d fame of heroes and the victories of mighty generals,
I do not envy the generals,
Nor the President in his Presidency, nor the rich in his great house,
But when I hear of the brotherhood of lovers, how it was with them,
How together through life, through dangers, odium, unchanging,
long and long,
Through youth and through middle and old age, how unfaltering,
how affectionate and faithful they were,
Then I am pensive—I hastily walk away fill’d with the bitterest envy.

We Two Boys Together Clinging

We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving.
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking,
on the turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.

A Promise to California

A promise to California,
Or inland to the great pastoral Plains, and on to Puget sound and Oregon;
Sojourning east a while longer, soon I travel toward you, to remain,
to teach robust American love,
For I know very well that I and robust love belong among you,
inland, and along the Western sea;
For these States tend inland and toward the Western sea, and I will also.

Here the Frailest Leaves of Me

Here the frailest leaves of me and yet my strongest lasting,
Here I shade and hide my thoughts, I myself do not expose them,
And yet they expose me more than all my other poems.
No Labor-Saving Machine
No labor-saving machine,
Nor discovery have I made,
Nor will I be able to leave behind me any wealthy bequest to found
hospital or library,
Nor reminiscence of any deed of courage for America,
Nor literary success nor intellect; nor book for the book-shelf,
But a few carols vibrating through the air I leave,
For comrades and lovers.

A Glimpse

A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room
around the stove late of a winter night,

and I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love,
silently approaching and seating himself near,

that he may hold me by the hand,
A long while amid the noises of coming and going,
of drinking and oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little,
perhaps not a word.

A Leaf for Hand in Hand

A leaf for hand in hand;
You natural persons old and young!
You on the Mississippi and on all the branches and bayous of the Mississippi!
You friendly boatmen and mechanics! you roughs!
You twain! and all processions moving along the streets!
I wish to infuse myself among you till I see it common for you to
walk hand in hand.

Earth, My Likeness

Earth, my likeness,
Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
I now suspect that is not all;
I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth,
For an athlete is enamour’d of me, and I of him,
But toward him there is something fierce
and terrible in me eligible to burst forth,
I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.
I Dream’d in a Dream
I dream’d in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks
of the whole of the rest of the earth,
I dream’d that was the new city of Friends,
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love, it led the rest,
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

What Think You I Take My Pen in Hand?

What think you I take my pen in hand to record?
The battle-ship, perfect-model’d, majestic,
that I saw pass the offing to-day under full sail?
The splendors of the past day? or the splendor of the night that envelops me?
Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city spread around me? —no;
But merely of two simple men I saw to-day on the pier in the midst of the crowd,
parting the parting of dear friends,
The one to remain hung on the other’s neck and passionately kiss’d him,
While the one to depart tightly prest the one to remain in his arms.

To the East and to the West

To the East and to the West,
To the man of the Seaside State and of Pennsylvania,
To the Kanadian of the north, to the Southerner I love,
These with perfect trust to depict you as myself, the germs are in all men,
I believe the main purport of these States is to found a superb friendship,
exalte, previously unknown,
Because I perceive it waits, and has been always waiting, latent in all men.
Sometimes with One I Love
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear
I effuse unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love,
the pay is certain one way or another,
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d,
Yet out of that I have written these songs.)

To a Western Boy

Many things to absorb I teach to help you become eleve of mine;
Yet if blood like mine circle not in your veins,
If you be not silently selected by lovers and do not silently select lovers,
Of what use is it that you seek to become eleve of mine?
Fast Anchor’d Eternal O Love!
Fast-anchor’d eternal O love! O woman I love!
O bride! O wife! more resistless than I can tell, the thought of you!
Then separate, as disembodied or another born,
Ethereal, the last athletic reality, my consolation,
I ascend, I float in the regions of your love O man,
O sharer of my roving life.

Among the Multitude

Among the men and women the multitude,
I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,
Acknowledging none else, not parent, wife, husband, brother, child,
any nearer than I am,
Some are baffled, but that one is not—that one knows me.
Ah lover and perfect equal,
I meant that you should discover me so by faint indirections,
And I when I meet you mean to discover you by the like in you.
O You Whom I Often and Silently Come
O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may be with you,
As I walk by your side or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,
Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is
playing within me.
That Shadow My Likeness
That shadow my likeness that goes to and fro seeking a livelihood,
chattering, chaffering,
How often I find myself standing and looking at it where it flits,
How often I question and doubt whether that is really me;
But among my lovers and caroling these songs,
O I never doubt whether that is really me.

Full of Life Now

Full of life now, compact, visible,
I, forty years old the eighty-third year of the States,
To one a century hence or any number of centuries hence,
To you yet unborn these, seeking you.
When you read these I that was visible am become invisible,
Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me,
Fancying how happy you were if I could be with you and become your comrade;
Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now with you.)

Poems are from Leaves of Grass, Book V: Calamus
By Walt Whitman, Born May 31, 1819

Text is courtesy of Project Gutenberg.
Formatting of text, and pictures, by Chamblee 54.
Pictures from The Library of Congress.




Presidential Brat

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 29, 2020

Charcoal Grills In Oakland Parks

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on May 28, 2020


Woman Calls Police On Black Family For BBQing At A Lake In Oakland You have probably heard about this story. There is a series of *viral memes* featuring the caller, a well fed white woman. While the optics of the situation are unappealing, “BBQ Becky* might be right about one thing.

The City of Oakland has published a guide to barbecuing in the park. It clearly states “Non-Charcoal Portable Grilling: Allowed in designated areas only.” Find BBQ Locations in Parks goes into more detail. “Charcoal grilling is only allowed in designated areas where stationary grill pits have been installed. Please do not remove hot coals from pits. Non-charcoal grilling is only allowed in designated areas. You may bring in your own portable non-charcoal grill. Your grill can not be wider than 27 inches. Please note: Charcoal grills are not allowed in non-charcoal designated areas.” This prohibition is not race specific. Being black does not give your special charcoal burning privileges.

Is Oakland unique in regulating charcoal grills? A google search is inconclusive. DeKalb County does not appear to have any charcoal ordinances. Atlanta has “Rules Applicable to Piedmont Park Only: Grilling is allowed only in designated areas and only in grills provided. No portable grills or ground fires are allowed.” Massachusetts states “Only a few state parks allow you to bring in charcoal grills. … When using a charcoal grill, be sure to cool and dispose of your used charcoal in a fireproof container.” Burning charcoal is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Why would a government want to restrict use of portable charcoal grills? Sacramento enacted a barbecue ban once. ““The parks facilities continue to become drier and increase our fire risk,” said Sacramento County regional parks director Jeff Leatherman. “This would prevent people from walking to an open space and setting up a barbecue.”

“Why might charcoal grilling be limited? Here are some potential reasons. Charcoal is carbon based and can be a polluter. A recent American Lung Association report suggested that the combination of traffic, dry weather, and wildfires have led to more soot in California. In fact, SFgate.com writes, “The Bay Area was alongside parts of the Central Valley, which after years of improvement saw increases in the number of days with unhealthy levels of soot between 2012 and 2015, the report shows. The Bay Area ranked among the country’s 10 worst regions for what is known as particle pollution.”

“Particulate matter is typically designated by its size. Particle mass concentrations with a diameter less than 2.5 (10) micrometers is called PM2.5 (PM10). By the way, the average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates PM2.5 because smaller particles can penetrate deeper into our lungs causing respiratory and/or cardiovascular issues. Through the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), guidelines are set for levels of certain pollutants over a given period of time. Places that exceed these standards may be deemed nonattainment areas, which could have significant health, economic, or political ramifications.”

According to a Huffington Post article comparing charcoal and gas grills, “Charcoal is dirtier, but can come from renewable resources; gas has a smaller carbon footprint, but is derived from non-renewable fossil fuels. Most charcoal is a funky amalgamation of things like sawdust, corn starch and lighter fluid; when it’s burned, it can result in 105 times more carbon monoxide than burning propane and lots of harmful volatile organic compounds. But, “real” charcoal, also commonly known as “chunk charcoal,” doesn’t have the nasty additives, and burning it is carbon neutral.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Dorothea Lange took the pictures in California, in September 1939. The spell check suggestion for BBQing is Bobbing. This is a repost.

Duane Allman And The Coricidin Bottle

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on May 27, 2020





Gregg Allman appeared on Live Talks LA, selling a book, My Cross to Bear. Yes, he was coherent. Mr.Allman says something about going through rehab seventeen times. No one argues disputes that he has had an interesting life. This remarkable life ended May 27, 2017. RIP

The chat has a few parts left out. Dicky Betts and Cher are not mentioned. The title of “strangest dude I ever met” goes to Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, aka the black guy in the group. Gregg says he used to listen to stuff by Roland Kirk.

The story of Duane Allman learning to play slide guitar is good. Duane was sick. Gregg came to see his brother, who was playing the guitar in a new way. It seems the doctor had given him some pills called Coricidin. You take the pills out of the glass bottle, soak the label off, and you have a guitar slider.

When PG was a kid, his uncle was a representative for the company that sold Coriciden. There were boxes of samples in the house, which all came in the glass bottle. PG had not heard that name for forty eight years. The spell check suggestion is Coincidence.

Not everyone at amazon was impressed by the book. “the book was so damged the binding and jacket were ripped that a did not read the book and will not buy an more nick malick.”

This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress. There are two group shots, broken down into smaller images. One is a graduating class of a nursing school at Georgetown University. The photographer lists the date as between 1905 and 1945.

The other image is a line of people waiting to vote. The well dressed citizens are in Clarenden VA. The date is November 4, 1924. The democratic presidential candidate, John W. Davis, was nominated on the 103rd ballot of the democratic convention. He lost to Calvin Coolidge.





Mark Twain Double Feature

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on May 26, 2020


In honor of the National Day of Prayer , Chamblee54 presents two reruns, both based on the words of Mark Twain. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

One hundred and fifteen years ago, the United States was involved in a war, that did not want to end. This conflict was in the Philippines. Although there had been an official end to the war, guerrillas continued to fight the Americans. The war was a nasty affair, with many atrocities.

The War against the Philippine people was a souvenir of the Spanish American War. There had been a rebellion against Spanish rule in the islands. After the American forces routed the Spanish, the rebellion shifted to the American occupiers. It was a war stumbled into, and difficult to end.

Mark Twain was horrified. He wrote a story, The War Prayer. As Lew Rockwell tells the tale

“Twain wrote The War Prayer during the US war on the Philippines. It was submitted for publication, but on March 22, 1905, Harper’s Bazaar rejected it as “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine.” Eight days later, Twain wrote to his friend Dan Beard, to whom he had read the story,
“I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.” Because he had an exclusive contract with Harper & Brothers, Mark Twain could not publish “The War Prayer” elsewhere and it remained unpublished until 1923.”
HT to David Crosby and his autobiography, “Since Then“. A book report is forthcoming.

Getting back to “A War Prayer“, the story starts in a church. A war has started, and is popular. The troops leave for glory the next day. The preacher has an emotional prayer to send them on their way. Unknown to the minister, there is a visitor.
“An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there, waiting.
With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,” Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger motioned to the preacher to step aside. The stranger stepped into the pulpit, and claimed to have a message for the worshipers, sent directly from G-d. The preacher’s message was for support in time of war, and implied that G-d and the preacher support the same side in this conflict. There is an unspoken part to a prayer like this. This unspoken part was what the stranger was going to put into words.

“”O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-
for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.”


Mark Twain wrote a lot during the American Genocide in the Philippines. Many of his words could apply today. War has gotten more high tech…for our side…, but the bottom line is the same. No matter how fancy the weapons get, the casualties are just as dead. And the investors make money.

Mine eyes have seen the orgy of the launching of the Sword;
He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger’s wealth is stored;
He hath loosed his fateful lightnings, and with woe and death has scored;
His lust is marching on.

I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded him an altar in the Eastern dews and damps;
I have read his doomful mission by the dim and flaring lamps —
His night is marching on.

I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal;
Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel;
Lo, Greed is marching on!”

We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat;
Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat;
O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! be jubilant my feet!
Our g-d is marching on!

In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom — and for others’ goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich —
Our g-d is marching on.

Inner Life Of Catastrophe

Posted in GSU photo archive, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on May 25, 2020

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“It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.” This is perhaps the most famous quote from Vietnam. It applies to today’s response to COVID-19. It was reported by Peter Arnett of AP. Some people dispute whether it is a genuine quote. ~ The unfollow feature on facebook is great. I find unfriending to be unnecessarily aggressive and hurtful. (which may be why many people are fond of it) If someone pisses me off more than a couple of times, I unfollow them. They don’t have to know. ~ Lizejane May 21, 2020 at 5:15 pm Deborah McCall played and Silverman with Ron Norris and Carl Cuzio. Deborah went on to play with Jimmy Buffett Coral reefer band.Ron played with at least one touring group, did studio work in Atlanta and I think he played with Ron Kimble at some point. I knew them from The Bistro days before the Music Hall opened ~ Silverman was a 3 piece group w Debra McColl, Ron Norris and Carl Cuzio. Debra played in Jimmy Buffet’ s Coral Reefer Band and Ron played. With at least one national touring band, did studio work and I think he played w Ron Kimble I knew them from the Bistro days ~ pictures today from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. ~ selah

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HBD Bob Dylan

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on May 24, 2020









This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Yesterday was Bob Dylan’s seventy ninth birthday. This chamblee 54 birthday tribute is composed primarily of three previously published pieces of work.

This compendium was assembled in 2016. On David Bowie’s in 2016, PG created a computer playlist, and assembled a few blog posts into a birthday celebration. Three days later, David Bowie was dead. PG decided to do the same thing to Bob Dylan on his birthday. Instead of dying, Bob Dylan won the Nobel prize. A similar effort on RuPaul’s birthday had no effect on the performer.

It was a late may morning in Atlanta GA, and a slack blogger was searching his archives. Yes, Issac Asinov never got writers block, and when he wasn’t going to the bathroom he was typing, but that is a lifestyle choice. Easy writing makes tough reading. So, anyway, in the may archive for 2011 there was a post about Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday. People were taking bets on whether he would make it to thirty, and here he is at seventy nine.

Hibbing MN is a cold place. At least it can claim to be the birthplace of Robert Allen Zimmerman. That’s Allen ,with an e, and double L, just like hell. The original initials were RAZ, which might be a good trivia question, or, with a silent W in front, radio station call letters. The problem is, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, with no known middle name. Those initial are BD.

On May 24, 1941, the curly haired wonder boi arrived. The world was a different place. Europe was in flames, and eyeing the young men of America as fresh cannon fodder. This was twelve years, eleven months, and eighteen days before PG graced the planet. A twelve year old in Hibbing MN would have no reason to think of a newborn baby in Atlanta GA.

These days, not everyone knows who Bob Dylan is. Auto tuned automated canned music is the next big thing. If auto tune had been around in 1963, we would never had known how badly Mr. Dylan sings. In an age where rappers pay ghost writers to compose their tweets, being able to write songs is not valued. There is just no telling. And so it goes.
A.J. Weberman has made a life out of going through Bob Dylan’s garbage. He wrote a book, “The Devil and Bob Dylan”.
“THIS BOOK CHALLENGES ALL PREVIOUS CONVENTIONAL THINKING ABOUT BOB DYLAN. DYLAN IS JUST THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE HIM TO BE. BUT WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE EXPOSING HIM AS A RACIST, HIV POSITIVE EX-JUNKIE AND HOLOCAUST DENIER? NONE EXCEPT THAT OF TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. $17 INCLUDING POSTAGE! THE BOOK IS 500 PAGES AND FULLY ILLUSTRATED.
There was a comment on the Bob Dylan webpage…
Everybody knows by now that there’s a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I’m encouraging anybody who’s ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them. PG doesn’t write books. He did grow up in America, and has a few opinions about Bob Dylan. It ought to be good for a few hundred words here. (HT to dangerous minds ) (Chamblee54 has posted about Mr. Dylan before.)
The first time PG heard of Bob Dylan was probably at the record rack of Zippy’s dime store in Cherokee Plaza. There was an album of his greatest hits, and it came with a poster. The poster had a drawing of the man, with psychedelic waves of hair cascading in multi colored glory to the edges. PG never did buy the LP.

The former Mr. Zimmerman was never big on top 40 am radio. Somebody somewhere was getting a headache over those lyrics, but Atlanta GA was not somewhere in those days. By this time, Mr. Dylan had crashed his motorcycle, and gone into hiding. As the counter culture exploded (if only someone had disinfected that counter) the curly haired poet was in hiding, the subject of much speculation. At one point, people were stealing his garbage, and claiming to find evidence of investment in munitions firms. The neoscience of Dylanology continues to this day.

As PG got older and stupider, he heard more and more Bob Dylan music. In the summer of 1972, there was a performance at the Concert for Bangladesh. A couple of albums released during this era sucked, and some people stopped caring about Bob Dylan.

At the start of 1974, a tour was announced. The Band was to be the backing group. The circus came to the Omni, and PG got some of the mail order tickets. He couldn’t find anyone to use the second ticket, and sold it to a stranger outside the arena.

The show was nothing special. Bob Dylan excels at writing, is ok in the studio, and blah on stage. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was at the show, and was said to look bored. Mr. Dylan was invited to the Governor’s mansion after the show, and talked to the Governor. A lot of people in Georgia were surprised that Jimmy would want to run for President.
As the Seventies went me me meing into sex and drugs oblivion, Bob Dylan regained both his writing touch, and love of the spotlight. The Rolling Thunder tour happened, he got back together with Joan Baez, divorced his wife, became born again, became more Jewish, counted money, and generally lived the life. PG did his own version of all that, without Joan Baez or being circumcised again.

In the winter of 1991, America was consumed by war fever. Saddam Hussein had been elevated to next Hitler status, and had to be taught a lesson. One night, Bob Dylan played on a music awards show, and performed “Masters of War”. He played a discordant version of that ditty, with the result that few understood what he had said. By this time, Mr. Dylan had assembled a band, and gone out on the “Never Ending Tour”. A Bob Dylan concert had gone from being a special event, to being another name on the festival roster. Overexposure will do that.

On the last night of the Olympics in 1996, Bob Dylan played the House of Blues downtown. PG won a pair of the $80 tickets in a radio station contest. It was his only trip downtown during the games, and had to wait in a security line to get into Centennial Olympic Park.

The only celebrity, other than Mr. Dylan, seen at the House of Blues that night was Bill Walton. The band was competent…they impressed PG as being like a bar band that did a lot of Dylan songs, with a strangely authentic lead vocalist. The sound in the room was not good, at least in the spot where PG stood. The only song he recognized was “All along the Watchtower”, the Jimi Hendrix classic. Mr. Dylan got a cheer when he put his harmonica appliance on.










The aptly named dangerousminds has a link to a story about the recording of Blonde on Blonde, by Bob Dylan. It only happened once.

Bob Dylan was 24 years old, newly married, and had “sold out” i.e. started to play electric guitar. A bunch of Canadians known as The Hawks (later The Band) was touring with him. Barely a month after the release of “Highway 61 Revisited”, sessions started at a New York studio.

The New York sessions did not work, so a decision was made to go to Nashville. Al Kooper played organ, and served as a music director. A crew of Nashville players was recruited. A bass player named Joseph Souter, Jr. would become famous a few years later using the name Joe South. Kris Kristofferson was the janitor at the studio.

Most studios have bafflers, or sound proof room dividers, splitting the studio into cubicles. For these sessions, the bafflers were taken down, and the band played together as a unit.

The second session in Nashville started at 6pm and lasted until 530 the next morning. Mr. Dylan was working on the lyrics to “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands”, and the recording could not start until he was ready. The musicians played ping pong and waited. At 4am, the song was ready, and the record was finished in two takes.

PG had marginal encounters with two of the players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One of the customers was Joe South. His driving record file was an inch thick.

Al Kooper had a prosperous career after his association with Bob Dylan. The former Alan Peter Kuperschmidt produced the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums, sold that contract for a nice piece of change, and lived happily ever after.

One night, Mr. Kooper was playing a show at the Great Southeast Music Hall, and PG sat in front of the stage. During a break between songs, PG asked his friend “what time is it?”. Mr. Kooper heard him on stage, and said it was 11:30.










If it ever quits raining, PG is going to walk to the Chamblee library and return a book, and a cd. The cd is by Bob Dylan, and is a work of genius. The book is about the former Mr. Zimmerman, and is a piece of garbage. (BTW, Dylan is not the only Zimmerman to hit the big time. Ethel Merman was born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman.The Zimmerman telegram got us into World War I. The less said about George Zimmerman, the better)

When returning cd’s to a library, you need to get a check in receipt. Once, PG returned a stack of cd’s to the Brookhaven library. When checking them in, one was missed by the scanner. A few days later, there was a note in the mail about an overdue cd.

The good news was, the cd was on the shelf when PG went back to investigate, and the matter was quickly settled. It did not help that the cd was a collection of disco music called “Shake your booty”.

“The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was released in the early sixties, when the man was barely old enough to buy a drink. There is not a bad song on it, and several are classic rock staples. At a time when mindless pop dominated pop music, here were thoughtful, moving lyrics.

In 1991, with America in a war frenzy, Mr. Dylan appeared on a music awards show. He performed “Masters of War”, at a time when the majority would be appalled if they could understand what he was singing. Mr. Dylan has been reinvented many times, and often the lyrics get gargled.

Five years later, PG won tickets to a Bob Dylan concert. It was the last night of the Olympics, and the man was appearing at the House of Blues. (Tickets were $80, so the radio contest is the only reason PG went). It was like hearing a good bar band, that did nothing but Dylan songs, with the man as the vocalist. Due to the mix of the sound, PG could not recognize many of the songs.

The book is Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet by Seth Rogovoy. It tells the Dylan tale as a story of Jewish prophecy. PG got to page 16, where the author claims that “Like a Rolling Stone” “almost single handedly revolutionized rock’n roll music”. Huh?

PG was eating dinner, and did not have anything else to read. He got to page 38. Nothing in the next 22 pages changed his mind away from ditching the book. How does nonsense like this get published?








Broken Control Part Two

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 24, 2020

Methods Of Capital Punishment

Posted in Library of Congress, The Death Penalty, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 23, 2020


This chamblee54 feature discusses various methods used to put condemned criminals to death. This report gets a bit gross at times. If you want to skip over the text, you will be excused. Chamblee54 has written about lethal injection problems one, two, three, four, five, six, seven times. In 2007, the New York Times published The Needle and the Damage Done, which discusses these issues in detail. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

One of the odder parts of tonight’s scheduled execution is the request of J.W. Ledford to be shot, instead of poisoned. Al Jazeera is one of many to report the story. JW Ledford Jr lawyers want firing squad, not injection “J.W. Ledford, 45, suffers from chronic nerve pain that has been treated with increasing doses of the prescription drug gabapentin for more than a decade, his lawyers said in a federal case filed on Thursday. They cited experts who said long-term exposure to gabapentin alters brain chemistry, making pentobarbital unreliable to render him unconscious and devoid of sensation or feeling. “Accordingly, there is a substantial risk that Mr Ledford will be aware and in agony as the pentobarbital attacks his respiratory system, depriving his brain, heart, and lungs of oxygen as he drowns in his own saliva,” the legal case said. That would violate the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment in the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution, Ledford’s lawyers argued.”

Is the firing squad more humane than lethal injection? One is certainly messier than the other. The appearance to the observer is important. People want executions to be neat and tidy, with the executee in minimal pain. This is one reason for chemical agent number two in the three drug lethal cocktail. A paralytic is used, so that people won’t see the soon-to-be-deceased thrashing about as the heart is chemically shut down.

The firing squad is fast. Ammunition does not need to be purchased from a compounding pharmacy. Any pain will be over very quickly. In his book “In his book ‘Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments’, Alex Boese states that in the 1938 execution of John Deering, the prison physician monitoring the inmate’s heartbeat reported that the time between the shots and complete cessation of rhythm was a mere 15 seconds.” The idea is for the marksmen to shoot the prisoner in the heart.

Hanging is another time honored method of execution. If done properly, it is very efficient. Of course this is the government at work, so things do not always go smoothly. Hanging has unfortunate visuals, and is associated with lynching. It is not well thought of today.

“The modern method of judicial hanging is called the long drop. … In the long drop, those planning the execution calculate the drop distance required to break the subject’s neck based on his or her weight, height and build. They typically aim to get the body moving quickly enough after the trap door opens to produce between 1,000 and 1,250 foot-pounds of torque on the neck when the noose jerks tight. This distance can be anywhere from 5 to 9 feet. With the knot of the noose placed at the left side of the subject’s neck, under the jaw, the jolt to the neck at the end of the drop is enough to break or dislocate a neck bone called the axis, which in turn should sever the spinal cord.”

“Unfortunately, history shows that hanging is relatively easy to botch, particularly if the executioners make a mistake in their calculations. A rope that is too long can result in decapitation, whilst one that is too short can cut off breathing and blood flow through the carotid arteries in the neck. In these circumstances loss of consciousness is not always as quick, and the condemned can end up struggling for nearly 30 minutes.”

Hanging is still used in Iran. In Iran, prisoners are usually pulled up by their necks with the use of cranes. “It takes them many minutes to die, it’s a way of torturing them along with the execution,” Amiry-Moghaddam said. “Two years ago, a man had survived 14 minutes of hanging before dying. So hanging is not intended as the standard way of momentary pain. It’s not that they just die, it is a slow strangulation.” Many death penalty advocates approve of the added suffering.

The twentieth century gave us two modern methods of offing the condemned, the gas chamber, and the electric chair. “Lethal gas takes too long; the 1992 lethal-gas execution of Donald Harding in Arizona was so long — 11 minutes — and so grotesque that the attorney general threw up and the warden threatened to quit if he were required to execute someone by gas again. The electric chair often results in horrible odors and burns; in Florida, in the 1990s, at least two inmates heads’ caught fire, and the chair routinely left the body so thoroughly cooked that officials had to let the corpse cool before it could be removed.”

“First used to execute axe-murderer William Kemmler in 1890, a high voltage alternating current is applied to the body of the criminal, typically starting at 2,000 volts and 5 amps with the voltage varying periodically. This causes instant contraction and rigidity of the muscles, leading to a cessation of heart and lung activity.

The practice figured prominently in a dispute between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse regarding the relative merits of direct vs. alternating current. Edison sought to prove that the latter was too dangerous and so decided to equip the new Electric Chair at America’s ‘Sing Sing’ prison with one of the his competitor’s AC generators. Unfortunately the inexperienced executioners drastically underestimated the amount of electricity required to effectively kill Kemmler. At first they only succeeded in burning him for 17 seconds, at the end of which he was still twitching. It took a second jolt for a further 70 seconds before he was finally pronounced dead. Westinghouse was later heard to comment, “they could have done better with an axe”.”

The Guillotine was popular in France for many years. At first glance, it would seem to be efficient, though messy. Closer examination reveals some problems. “Often the blade didn’t do its job and the victim was only injured. He would then either bleed to death or the blade would have to be cranked up and dropped again. … But even when the blade was quick and efficient, many witnesses said the victim’s head didn’t die instantly. Reports of grimacing, facial twitches, blinking eyes, mouth movements, and even speech from the severed head are numerous.” (A commenter to the linked post disputes this. Rumors that Robespierre was executed face up are probably false.)

“In 1905, Dr. Beaurieux reported on his close examination of Henri Languille’s guillotine execution. While he watched, the blade did its thing and Languille’s head dropped into the basket. Beaurieux had luck on his side when the head landed on its severed neck in an upright position. This allowed him to observe Languille’s face without having to touch the head or set it up right.

“The eyelids and lips of the guillotined man worked in irregularly rhythmic contractions for about five or six seconds” “I called in a strong, sharp voice: “Languille!” I saw the eyelids slowly lift up, without any spasmodic contractions……but with an even movement, quite distinct and normal, such as happens in everyday life, with people awakened or torn from their thoughts.” “Next Languille’s eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves.”

Is Prayer That Great?

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 22, 2020


Prayer is not always a good idea.
That is up there with G-d and Motherhood, but somebody has to say it.
Many of my objections are in the phrase,
“Prayer is talking to G-d, and Meditation is Listening.”. In our culture, we love to talk, and don’t have time to listen. Talking is yang, active, power. Listening is ying,receptive, passive, and indicates respect for the person you are paying attention to. This is difficult for many.
Of course, no one ever says
“I am going to meditate for you”. Although maybe you should.
Prayer is used as an aggressive weapon.
“I am going to pray for you” is the condescending conclusion of many a religious argument. I have had it shouted at me like a curse.
There is the matter of prayer as entertainment. While this may be cool to those who are on the program, it can be repulsive to others. Once I volunteered to lead the prayer before a dinner. The story is repeated below.

Now, prayer is not a completely bad thing. One of the cherished memories of my father is the brief, commonsense blessings he would give before meals. In the context of a church service, prayer plays a useful function. Some famous prayers are beautiful poetry. In Islam, the daily prayers are an important part of the observance. Who am I to say it is wrong?( A note to the Muslim haters, and opportunistic republicans …We are all G-d’s children.)

When someone is in a bad way, people want to think they can help. Arguably it does not hurt to pray for someone, but it is nothing to boast about.
My problem is when people are proud of their prayers. There are few as prideful as a “humble servant”. While it may mean something to you, not everyone is impressed. And in a religion obsessed with converting others, you should care what man thinks.


So much for world affairs. It is time to tell a story, with no moral and no redeeming social value.

In 1980, I was staying at a place called the Sea Haven Hostel, affectionately known as Sleaze Haven. This was in Seattle WA, as far as you can get from Atlanta, and still be in the lower 48. I was working through Manpower, and staying in a semi private room for $68 a month.

There was a Christian group that met in the basement on Sunday Night. Now, as some of you may know, I am a recovering baptist, who hasn’t been to church since 1971. However, the lure of a free meal was hard to resist, so I went to a few meetings.

One night, after doing quality control work on the local beer supply, I cheerfully joined in the discussion. This was the night when I realized that the Bible is not the Word of G-d. This concept has been very handy in dealing with the clumsy efforts of our Jesus-mad culture to convert me.

They seemed to like me, though, and welcomed me back. Maybe it was the southern accent.

One Sunday, after the dinner was finished , it was time to have a prayer to begin the meeting. I raised my hand.Now, Jesus Worshipers enjoy prayer as entertainment. When they bow their heads, you see them stretching and deep breathing, in anticipation of a good, lengthy, message to G-d.

My message was a bit of a disappointment. Instead of a long winded lecture about Jesus and the magic book, I said what was on my mind. “Lord, thank you for letting us be here today.” What else do you need to say? This double repost has pictures from The Library of Congress.