Chamblee54

Oscar And Milo

Posted in History, Library of Congress, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 31, 2020

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Oscar Wilde was being cross examined by Edward Carson, the attorney for the Marquess of Queensberry. Mr. Wilde had filed a libel suit, because the Marquess said Mr. Wilde was a somodite. The Marquess was the father of Lord Alfred Douglas, the boyfriend of Mr. Wilde. The cross examination saw many witty comments by Mr. Wilde. It was going well, until it wasn’t.

C– Do you know Walter Grainger? W–Yes. C– How old is he? W– He was about sixteen when I knew him. He was a servant at a certain house in High Street, Oxford, where Lord Alfred Douglas had rooms. I have stayed there several times. Grainger waited at table. I never dined with him. If it is one’s duty to serve, it is one’s duty to serve; and if it is one’s pleasure to dine, it is one’s pleasure to dine. C– Did you ever kiss him? W– Oh, dear no. He was a peculiarly plain boy. He was, unfortunately, extremely ugly. I pitied him for it. C– Was that the reason why you did not kiss him? W– Oh, Mr. Carson, you are pertinently insolent.

Milo Yiannopoulos is no Oscar Wilde. There was no gasp in the courtroom when he made his comments about “Father Michael.” The interview went on youtube September 30, 2015, and has been waiting for its time. In an ironic touch, one of the ads preceding the three hour video starred Leslie Jones, or someone who looked like her.

Bill Maher said, before introducing Mr. Yiannopoulos, “Stop looking at the distractions and the clown show and look at what matters.” There was a panel discussion, with Milo and four other men. The distraction, and the clown show, made comments that seem ironic a few days later.

The discussion began with an audience question about a trans Berkley student. Mr. Maher said she, and Mr. Yiannopoulos said he, with the intention of misgendering the individual. “I make no apology from protecting women and children from men who are confused about their sexual identity.” Maybe Father Michael was confused. “I think that women, and girls, should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities in their bathrooms.” Mr. Maher looked down at the desk, and said “that’s not unreasonable.” Less than a minute of the video had elapsed.

Larry Wilmore said “I think its sad, because the same arguments that we use against gay people, treating them like aliens who want to fuck anything that moves, and that we should avoid them at all costs.” Mr. Yiannopoulos tried to say something, and Mr. Wilmore asked to be allowed to finish his thought. …..”You can always find the extreme person that becomes the object of your attack, that you assign that to everybody.” Given the prevalence of people using paedophilia as an all purpose argument against gays, it seems like Mr. Yiannopoulos went sashaying into a trap. Just let the idiot speak long enough, and he will hang himself. Whether this will have any negative effect on the overall LGBT population is not known.

At 2:33, Mr. Yiannopoulos starts to talk fast, and amateur transcribers (cis-scriber?) might make mistakes. “Your saying that (unintelligible) the victim is some sort of discrimination… this is a psychiatric disorder.” Some might say that a 14 year old. fooling around with a priest, is a victim, and a psychiatric disorder. Mr. Yiannopoulos is an entertainer, and likes to make flippant comments.

In his libel suit, “Wilde did his best to turn the proceedings into a joke with flippant answers. Always the artist, he seemed to be reaching for creative, witty answers, even if they contradicted earlier ones.” One sees the same pattern of behavior in Milo Yiannopoulos.

At 5:39: Mr. Maher said to Mr. Yiannopoulos “This is the beginning of your career, people are just starting to hate you.” “I’ve got so many more years.” This was less than a week before a fox news headline, JUST IN: Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns From Breitbart News.

“You have the potential to morph. You remind me of a young, gay, alive Christopher Hitchens.” Or maybe just young and alive. As an obituary of Mr. Hitchens notes, ” He was almost expelled from school for homosexuality and later boasted that at Oxford he slept with two future (male) Tory cabinet ministers. … he eventually became a dedicated heterosexual because, he said, his looks deteriorated to the point where no man would have him.”

Malcolm Nance got into the act, with the comment “You’ll take Russian spies over Saudis. OK.” Our knowledge of the role of Russians played in the 2016 election is evolving. Much better known is the fact that of the 19 hijackers on 911, 15 were Saudi.

At 10:50, Mr. Nance, a former Intelligence officer, said “Wikileaks… is a laundromat for Russian Intelligence.” The troubles of Mr. Yiannopoulos were noted in a tweet from @JulianAssange “US ‘liberals’ today celebrate the censorship of right-wing UK provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos over teen sex quote.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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Ben And Jerry Social Justice Warfare

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 30, 2020

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Uncle Hotep recently made a video, Ben & Jerry’s support for #BlackLivesMatter – Uncle Hotep chimes in. It seems like the fudge ice cream packers have a new flavor, Empower Mint™.

PG heard that, and remembered something he heard in church. The youth minister was preaching. America was in rebellion. Did you know that there is a car now, and one of the colors is anti establish mint? PG quit going to church soon after this.

As people familiar with AAVE (African American Vernacular English) know, white people and black people have different ways of pronouncing words. Take harassment. A white person might say huh RAS ment. A black person might say ha ras MINT. Arguably, naming a ice cream flavor Empower Mint™ is making fun of the way black people talk.

Ben and Jerry recently went on the social justice warpath. There was a tweet, and a website post, 7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real. Quotes were cited, statistics were regurgitated, and B&J boldly stated that america is not post racial. The frozen dessert consumer is encouraged to watch a video, take an implicit bias test, and talk to your kooky uncle.

The makers of Empower Mint™ are famously located in Vermont. According to the census bureau, the estimated population of Vermont is 626,042. This population is White 94.8%, Black 1.3%, Native American 0.4%, Asian 1.6%, mixed 1.9%.

Pictures for this repost are from The Library of Congress. The pictures taken in Daytona Beach, FL, were taken, in February, 1943, by Gordon Parks.

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Who Elects The Dog Catcher?

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 29, 2020


@realDonaldTrump Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts…. Our ever tweetable POTUS sent this message out today. It raises an important question: what municipality elects the animal control associate? Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

What an elected dogcatcher reveals about small-town America is the result from The Economist. “You’ve reached your article limit Sign up to keep reading or subscribe now to get the complete experience.” For $12, USD, you can get twelve weeks of this publication. There is no guarantee that you will learn anything about dog catcher politics.

Is dogcatcher actually an elective office? Slate wrote an article about this, when all they had to say was no. The author: “Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.” This is a place where dog catchers are an important part of the restaurant supply chain.

A brief history of people who have actually been elected dog catcher The Washington Post tried a bit harder. They found newspaper clippings referring to elected dog catchers. Col. Tom Parker, the manager of Elvis Presley, was said to have been elected dog catcher in Tampa FL. There is also the story of Bob White. He assured voters that even though he lost both legs, he would be able to perform the duties of dog catcher.

Duxbury VT keeps coming up in this search party. They have a town meeting every year, and the dog catcher is chosen by citizen vote. In the most recent town meeting, “dog catcher Zeb Towne, who was nominated almost unanimously for re-election, despite a “no” vote from his wife that cause laughter to erupt in the room. “She’s mad about the late nights I have to go out on those calls,” Towne said. “It’s because you’re out there rounding up them bitches,” This is a repost.

Four Way Rules

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 28, 2020

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This is a double repost. Historic pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This was written like David Foster Wallace

When PG was a kid, his grandmother lived in a side apartment, in a house on Virginia Avenue. The owner of the house was Mrs. Stuckey. (PG never learned her “real” name, and assumed that checks were made out to Mrs.) There was a framed piece of paper in Mrs. Stuckey’s hall. The top said “The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do” , and featured the logo of the Rotary Club. The four rules were simple, on the surface.
Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all Concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
The Four Way Test was written by Herbert J. Taylor. In 1932, Mr.Taylor took over the bankrupt Club Aluminum Company of Chicago. Trying to revive the company during the depression, Mr. Taylor wrote a code of ethics, that would be the basis for the company’s actions.

Many said that the four way test was not practical for the business world. The balancing of integrity and ambition can be daunting. It was said that
“This emphasis on truth, fairness and consideration provide a moral diet so rich that it gives some people “ethical indigestion.”
PG maintains that fair is a baseball hit between first and third base. Sometimes, the umpire makes the wrong call. In the “real world”, the different points of view in a dispute make rendering a fair judgment a difficult task, if not an impossible one.

There is a story about the revival of Club Aluminum.
” One day, the sales manager announced a possible order for 50,000 utensils. Sales were low and the company was still struggling at the bankruptcy level. The senior managers certainly needed and wanted that sale, but there was a hitch. The sales manager learned that the potential customer intended to sell the products at cut-rate prices. “That wouldn’t be fair to our regular dealers who have been advertising and promoting our product consistently,” he said. In one of the toughest decisions the company made that year, the order was turned down. There was no question this transaction would have made a mockery out of The Four-Way Test the company professed to live by.”
How did the sales manager learn of the intentions of this buyer? Was he tipped off by one of the “regular customers” who feared competition? Was this “regular customer” lying? Many inspirational stories leave out crucial details.

As it turns out, Club Aluminum did sell enough product to emerge from bankruptcy.
“By 1937, Club Aluminum’s indebtedness was paid off and during the next 15 years, the firm distributed more than $1 million in dividends to its stockholders. Its net worth climbed to more than $2 million.”
Club Aluminum cookware was cast, not spun. It is heavy, and is a prized collectors item today. As for the Club Aluminum company
“Standard International Corporation bought it in 1968. Regalware made and marketed Club Aluminum for a while, but went out of business in the mid-1980s. The brand name was eventually obtained by the Mirro Company.”
This is a repost. Philosophy and rules for living is always a crowd pleaser. Whether or not you practice what you preach is beside the point.

There is a story above. A company, facing bankruptcy, turned down a huge order because of concerns about how the product would be resold. Today, this seems quaint. Today, the moral thing to do would be to take the order, keep your factory busy, and not worry how it was going to be resold. While some pretend that moral rules are unchanging, the truth is that they do change with the times.

This reminds PG of a story from his days as a blueprinter. With ammonia developed prints, every print is fed by hand, and you have the option to adjust the speed of the machine. Slower prints mean less background, which to some is a higher quality print. (This is not an issue with digital printing. Some change is indeed progress.)

The company PG worked for was affiliated with a small, family run company in a neighboring city. This company was run by an old fashioned lady, who insisted on adjusting every print to get the perfect background. This was different from the company PG worked for, which ran large jobs for the big city market. To his customers, quality meant getting an acceptable print, DELIVERED ON TIME. Who had the higher standards? Maybe that is a question for the customer to judge.

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These thoughts are for you to use. They were articulated by a man named Don Miguel Ruiz. They are called the The Four Agreements .

PG does not claim to live up to these ideals. Number two is especially tough for him. The main thing is to try, and to always do your best. This is not about what you believe or think, it is about what you do. This is about you. If you fall short in some way, work on improving yourself, instead of looking at someone else. This is about you.

agreement 1–Be impeccable with your word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

agreement 2–Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

agreement 3–Don’t make assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

agreement 4–Always do your best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

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Haiku D’Etat

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on October 27, 2020

Nuts And Bolts

Posted in GSU photo archive, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on October 26, 2020

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Cemetery Blues

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 25, 2020









PG and Uzi had their usual Sunday phone call, and agreed to go to “Sunday in the Park”. It is a festival in Oakland Cemetery. with live music, people in costumes, open mausoleums, and lots of good clean fun. It wasn’t until that evening that PG learned that today is Dead Poets Remembrance Day. Edgar Allan Poe met his maker on this day in 1849.

There was a Chamblee54 post about DPRD two years ago. The idea is to go to a cemetery and read a poem. An effort will be made to do that tonight, although promises about dead poets are notoriously unreliable. The 2010 post is included as part two of this feature.

The first poem read that afternoon was “Looking for the Buckhead Boys” by James Dickey. In the intervening two years, PG listened to a podcast with Christopher Dickey, the son of the writer. Sometimes bard is short for bastard. Chris Dickey died July 16, 2020.

So PG, Uzi, and Hazmat went to a festival in Oakland Cemetery. Like everything else, it is more popular and expensive. You had to pay to park, which Uzi generously took care of. The brick walls around the boneyard have been repaired, and no longer look like they are going to fall down. Those walls are important, because people are dying to get inside. This is the second time that PG and Uzi have attended the October festival in Oakland Cemetery.

There are always things that you need to see at Oakland. Margaret Mitchell, the Lion Statue, and the mausoleums are important stops. PG followed the signs to the grave of Bobby Jones. It had golf balls and a putter, which was not necessary.

Don LeVert was a member of the Atlanta Sky Hi Club for many, many years before his departure in 1997. PG and Uzi always seek him out, and it is usually a bit of an adventure finding him.

After visiting Don, PG found the marker for “Brother John Wade”. His time on earth was September 23, 1865 to January 15, 1916. This was from the autumn just after the War Between the States until 37 days before PG’s father was born in Rowland, North Carolina. There was a renewed sense of connection to the stone monuments.

On February 2, 2018, Hazmat, aka Tony Lingoes, had a fatal encounter with a hit-and-run driver.







The facebook friend said “Today is Dead Poets Remembrance Day, Oct. 7th, the day Edgar Allan Poe died. Be sure to visit a graveyard and read some poetry today”. PG didn’t have anything better to do.

The first obstacle was finding a book of poetry. PG is not a poetry person. A look at the shelf turned up a paperback, 125 Years of Atlantic. Poetry was to be found between those covers.

The book had two stickers, both saying 69 cents. At the old Book Nook, this meant that the book was half the price on the sticker. With tax, that would be 38 cents.

125 YOA had stayed in PG’s car for a few years. Whenever he was stuck somewhere with time to kill, this book was waiting. One afternoon in 1998, there was a slow day at work. PG read a remembrance by Gertrude Stein, about life in France at the start of World War II.

The cemetery of choice was connected to the Nancy Creek Primitive Baptist Church. PG has driven by this facility thousands of times. He walked past the graves until he found a fallen tree to sit down on.

The first poem was “Looking for the Buckhead Boys” by James Dickey. PG began to read out loud, and soon could smell the drug store air of Wender and Roberts. The author bought fifty cents worth of gas at a Gulf station. Today, fifty cents might buy a tablespoon of gas. Gulf was long ago bought out by BP. Wender and Roberts became a bar, which was torn down.

Buckhead is not what it used to be. When Mr. Dickey was the bravest man in Buckhead ( he took a shit in the toilet at Tyree’s pool hall), PG was not even thought of. The traffic jams on Peachtree Street are still there, as the blue haired ladies follow poets into the ground.

When PG finished reading Mr. Dickey, he put a teal postit in the book, where the poem stood. PG looked up, and the graveyard seemed different. Maybe the sun had sank a bit in the sky, and maybe the poem had changed PG in a way he could not put into words. Maybe another poem was the answer. Take the glasses off, open the book at random, and turn the pages until a poem shows up.

On page 404…the historic Atlanta area code…was “The Wartime Journey” by Jan Struther. The 1944 work was unknown territory. A group of people are traveling on a train. The wounded vet, the untried recruit, the salesmen shared the space with a lady, taking a baby for her soldier husband to meet. The theme of the rhymes was that America was totally at war, and that war is different from peacetime. Today’s war in Babylon is not like that.

Halfway through the reading, a freight train pulled by. Today, passenger trains are a novelty, and freight rules the rails. The shipment today was double decked containers, ready to pull off and slap on an eighteen wheeler.

Deaths are said to come in threes, and reading poetry in a graveyard should be the same. PG went on a random search for a Moe, to go with the Curley and Larry already digested. A page of poems by Emily Dickinson was the result. The page left PG unmoved. It was as if he was back in the sixth grade, with a horrible English teacher forcing him to memorize Hiawatha. It was time to go home.






Expensify

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, The Internet by chamblee54 on October 24, 2020

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The story was getting attention, not all of it good. “Expensify urges millions of users to vote for Biden in email blast” The company at the center of today’s developments “is the world’s leading application for expense management, receipt scanning, and business travel.”

@expensify “Yes, we emailed all users.” Apparently, the company has upwards of 10m email addresses on file. The message in question urged users, in very strong terms, to vote for Joe Biden.

“… the only way to ensure a peaceful transition of power is to ensure this election is an overwhelming, undeniable landslide in favor of Biden. Any excuse to question the election is an opportunity for Trump to refuse to leave the White House, plunging this country into a Constitutional crisis bordering on civil war. No matter how slight that risk might be, the consequences of it happening would be so catastrophic to society and the economy, we need to do all we can to prevent it.”

Not everyone is pleased with this email blast. PG felt alienated from the Biden campaign after hearing about this clumsiness. He feels that this message is going to have the effect of turning undecided voters to President Trump. PG has already voted, and is unlikely to be persuaded by this type of nonsense. Others might react differently.

@papawhit210 “Calling on all CEO’s to cancel their subscriptions to @expensify for a serious breach of business ethics by using secure business emails for a personal political agenda. #Expensify” Mixing business and politics has long been frowned upon. This email blast involves the use of email addresses used for business communications. Many see this message as being a violation of trust.

@CSteckroth “I guess the CEO is exempt from abiding by the guidelines set in Expensify’s EULA. This is not integrity, this is abuse of customer data.” This tweet has a photo selection from the Terms of Service. “As part of your use of the Expensify Service, you agree not to do any of the following: … Send any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, email, junk mail or junk messages, spam, chain letters or other form of solicitation …”

“A vote for Trump is to endorse voter suppression, it really is very basic. This isn’t about party politics: if Biden were advocating for half of the voter suppression that Trump is actively doing, then I’d be fighting against Biden, too. This is bigger than politics as usual: this is about the very foundation of our nation.” Voter suppression is presented as the number one reason to vote against President Trump. This tactic worked very well for Stacey Abrams.

The truth is that elections are locally governed. In Georgia, the majority of election administration is done by the counties. Other states may be different. The federal government has very little impact on the way elections are conducted. President Trump could not suppress the vote, even if he wanted to.

While the email did not mention race, we should note that racism is a key part of voter suppression culture. Calling President Trump a racist is a proud tradition with Democrats. Is warning about civil war a dog whistle, saying that President Trump is a racist?

@KathyGrosskurth “I deleted it without reading. Guess I need to read it to see what all the fuss is about! #Expensify” It is tough to say how much the #ExpensifyEmail will influence the election. Many people have already voted. Many, many more have their mind made up. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Early Voting

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on October 23, 2020


PG took his brother GP to early voting. Georgia/Dekalb county sent PG an absentee ballot in the mail, which he did not ask for. He considered trying to cancel it, but decided that was too much work. The AB was mailed in last week. It is a great relief to ignore the political noise, with a clear conscience.

Early voting is conducted at a gym, on Will Ross Court in Chamblee. WRC is the type of industrial side street you would never notice. By coincidence, PG used to go there. A company printed labels there. PG used to raid their dumpster, to get stickers for his pictures. Eventually, the label company got an enclosed dumpster, and PG had to go elsewhere.

A few years later, a duplex neighbor worked at the label company. Bob was a short guy, who always held a lit cigarette. Bob has a series of roommates, most of whom had been in prison. Bo, Bob’s bf, was one. One time I noticed that Bo was missing. Bob said that he was “out of town.”

Bob and Bo were always nice to PG. Eventually, they got evicted. The landlord said that they did not fight the eviction, but just said ok, and moved.

Dozens of yard signs marked the roads to the voting place. The label company building company now houses ZYCI. “CNC Machining with Urgency for the Aerospace, Defense, Robotic and Commercial Industries.” The building is painted bright colors.

The plan was to drop GP off at the front door, and go find a parking spot. There was an empty spot behind him. When you go early voting, and there are lots of empty parking spots, that is a good sign. There had been horror stories about the first day of early voting. PG questioned the wisdom of having much publicized early voting, without the capacity for election day. Perhaps the way early voting is conducted should be re-thought.

At 1:05, PG decided to record the time. He had been parked for about 10 minutes. At 1:06, GP walked up to the vehicle. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Can We Move On Part One

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on October 23, 2020

Why Did The 1956 Legislature Change The Flag?

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on October 22, 2020

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What Stacey Abrams said about burning the Georgia flag in 1992 The New York Times decided to show a picture of a younger, slimmer Stacey Abrams burning the Georgia state flag. The year was 1992. The state flag had the Confederate battle flag embedded. People were asking the legislature to change that. Miss Abrams was a student activist. This is a repost.

The NYT article sparked a twitter dogpile, about the motives of the Georgia legislature in 1956. PG remembers 1993, when the initial proposal to change the flag was made. Changing The Flag is an account of those years. If you have a minute, you should read that post before going any further. The people who wanted to change the flag introduced an argument. They said that the legislature changed the flag, in 1956, as a protest against integration. PG never believed that. One afternoon in 1994, PG found a newspaper article that supported his point of view. After that, PG did not think much about the issue. The flag was changed in 2000 and 2003.

The issue has a few shades of gray. The reason given in 1956 was honoring the Confederacy. In 1993, the 1956 legislature was said to be protesting integration. The emotions of honoring the Confederacy, and denouncing integration, are not entirely separate. Many of the same people, who are proud of the Confederacy, are white supremacists. To an outsider, they can seem like the same thing. PG can understand how someone not familiar with Georgia could mistake the two.

The debate, over the motive of the 1956 legislature, was never necessary. The flag, featuring the Confederate battle flag, was seen as a symbol of racism. Many people were offended by this flag. Why not just say we should change the flag for this reason, and not worry what the legislature was thinking? However, this was not good enough. People needed some more ammunition for their fight. The notion that the flag was changed as a protest against desegregation was born. PG never heard, before 1993, that the flag was changed as a protest against integration. People believed this notion without any evidence, just because somebody said so. 1994 was 38 years after 1956. Very few people in 1994 were active in 1956. The argument in favor of the changed-to-protest-integration notion had two parts: (1) Because I said so, (2) if you disagree you are a racist idiot.

@KevinMKruse No, she burned the old *Georgia* flag, which had been designed specifically by white supremacists as a show of defiance to desegregation in 1956. Let’s dig in. @chamblee54 The Flag was not changed as a protest against desegregation. Changing The Flag @KevinMKruse I literally wrote a book on this, but congratulations on finding a blog post. @chamblee54 I wrote the blog post. If you read the post, you will see I did research. Did anyone say at the time that the new flag was a protest? Do you have a link to this?

@jdtitan Luther, would you say you’re a racist idiot, or more of a stupid racist? @whoopityscoot Hahahahahahah. I just read your blog post. Sir, you are a moron. @ashleystollar That’s like saying the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery. @Duranti “emotional pride for the traitors to America” @The_SquidProQuo You found one old newspaper article and felt compelled to argue the point huh? Stupid is a hell of a drug. @theDiff_Kenneth I read your blog post and I would like that 10 minutes of my life back. Your “evidence” was an announcement article that supported the flag change and omitted any overtly racist comments. Your writing style is close to unreadable and your investigative skills do not exist. @kingbuzz0 If you ever find yourself in the position of arguing of (insert subject) in the South had nothing to do with (insert stand in for outright racism), you have a bad argument. It’s all racism, always, every time.

@JoshCStephenso You found a single article? Maybe you would trust a paper written by the Deputy Director of the Georgia Senate Research Office – a chamber that is majority R? This tweet was helpful. The report was written in 2000, before the a new flag was driven through the legislature. If you have the time to read the complete report, it is worth your time. If not, a few quotes will be posted here, along with a few helpful comments.

The first Confederate flag looked a great deal like the Union flag. In early battles of the war, the two flags were often confused. “The commanding Confederate officer at the Battle of Bull Run, General P.T.G. Beauregard, determined that a single distinct battle flag was needed for the entire Confederate army. Confederate Congressman William Porcher Miles recommended a design incorporating St. Andrew’s Cross.”… “The St. Andrew’s Cross – the flag’s distinctive feature – had its origin in the flag of Scotland, which King James I of England combined with St. George’s Cross to form the Union Flag of Great Britain. It is believed that St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland since A.D. 750. and brother of the apostle Peter, was crucified by his persecutors upon a cross in the shape of an “X” in A.D. 60. White southerners, many of whom traced their ancestry to Scotland, very easily related to this Christian symbol.” “Other flags such as State regimental colors were used by the Confederacy on the battlefield, but the battle flag, although it was never officially recognized by the Confederate government, came to represent the Confederate army.”

At first, use of the battle flag was restricted to historic events. It wasn’t until the fifties that the flag began to be used by those who fought integration. In 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education was handed down by the Supreme Court, ordering the integration of schools. The Georgia legislature went into resistance mode, and spent a lot of time denouncing integration. The senate research office devotes page after page to these efforts. Finally, “In early 1955, John Sammons Bell, chairman of the State Democratic Party … suggested a new state flag for Georgia that would incorporate the Confederate Battle Flag. At the 1956 session of the General Assembly, state senators Jefferson Lee Davis and Willis Harden introduced Senate Bill 98 to change the state flag. Signed into law on February 13, 1956, the bill became effective the following July 1.”

“Little information exists as to why the flag was changed, there is no written record of what was said on the Senate and House floors or in committee and Georgia does not include a statement of legislative intent when a bill is introduced – SB 98 simply makes reference to the “Battle Flag of the Confederacy.” … “Many defenders of the flag, including former governor Ernest Vandiver, who served as the Lieutenant Governor in 1956, have attempted to refute the belief that the battle flag was added in defiance of the Supreme Court rulings. Vandiver, in a letter to the Atlanta Constitution, insisted that the discussion on the bill centered around the coming centennial of the Civil War and that the flag was meant to be a memorial to the bravery, fortitude and courage of the men who fought and died on the battlefield for the Confederacy.”

This is where it gets murky. It is apparent that the legislature was obsessed with integration. The circumstantial evidence, of the flag being changed as a protest of integration, is there. However, there is no smoking gun. There are no apparent statements, from 1956, saying that this change was made to protest integration. This detail seems to have sprung up in 1993, without having been widely mentioned in the 37 years since 1956. The newspaper article PG found does not mention a protest against integration, and does mention a desire to honor the Confederacy.

“The argument that the flag was changed in 1956 in preparation for the approaching Civil War centennial appears to be a retrospective or after-the-fact argument. In other words, no one in 1956, including the flag’s sponsors, claimed that the change was in anticipation of the coming anniversary. Those who subscribe to this argument have adopted it long after the flag had been changed.” This is contradicted by the newspaper article, and statements by “Governor Griffin’s floor leader, Representative Denmark Groover … “anything we in Georgia can do to preserve the memory of the Confederacy is a step forward.” As for the after-the-fact argument, you could say the same thing about the notion that the flag was changed as a protest against integration.

“There was also some opposition to the change from the state’s many newspapers. The North Georgia Tribune argued that: “….There is little wisdom in a state taking an official action which would incite its people to lose patriotism in the U.S.A. or cast a doubt on that part of the Pledge of Allegiance which says ‘one nation, unto God, indivisible…’ So far as we are concerned, the old flag is good enough. We dislike the spirit which hatched out the new flag, and we don’t believe Robert E. Lee…would like it either” “The Atlanta Constitution also thought that the flag change was unnecessary for the simple fact that “there has been no recorded dissatisfaction with the present flag.” The newspaper article PG found in 1994 was from the Constitution. Even though they were opposed to the change, they did not attribute this change to a desire to protest integration.

“When the flag change was first proposed, it received resistance from groups that one would think would have highly favored the change – various Confederate organizations including the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). “They made the change strictly against the wishes of UDC chapters from all the states that form our organization,” said Ms. Forrest E. Kibler, legislative chairwoman of the Georgia UDC. … The Executive Board of the Georgia Division of UDC had passed a resolution on January 11, 1956 opposing the proposed changes to the flag, citing that the Confederate battle flag belonged to all the Confederate States – not merely to Georgia – and placing it on the Georgia flag would cause strife. … Also opposing the new flag was the John B. Gordon Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This group protested against all uses of the battle flag except in commemoration of the Confederacy, or by the official use of the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Sons of the Confederacy, and the Children of the Confederacy.” This opposition was touched on in the newspaper article. This is one of the more confusing aspects of this affair.

“While many questioned the political and philosophical motives of the flag change, there were others who considered the change to be an unnecessary expense that would burden taxpayers, since Georgia law required every public school, and all public institutions to fly the state flag. In voting “no,” Representative Mackay said that the present flag was “a symbol of sacred memory” and that “the change puts every flag owner in Georgia to unnecessary expense.” Alleviating the financial concerns of many, sponsors of the bill pointed out that those institutions required to fly the new flag will replace the old flag with the new one only as present flags wear out. Questions were also raised on whether anyone had a copyright on the flag design which would entitle them to royalties – a charge denied by John Sammons Bell and Representative Groover.”

John Sammons Bell is a name that keeps coming up. From 1954 to 1960, Mr. Bell was Chairman of the State’s Democratic Party. He was, by all accounts, an enthusiastic segregationist. One of the jaw dropping moments in the senate report was this: “Bell, a one-time supporter of Governor Ellis Arnall, once had the reputation of being a “liberal” on race issues.”

When the state senate report was issued, in 2000 (6 years after PG found the newspaper article, and dropped out of the argument,) Mr. Bell had a few comments. “He wanted to forever perpetuate the memory of the Confederate soldier who fought and died for his state and that the purpose of the change was “to honor our ancestors who fought and died and who have been so much maligned.” He has also argued that the flag was not redesigned in reaction to and in defiance of the 1954 Brown decision… “Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth … every bit of it is untrue. ”

“On March 9, 1993, (Denmark) Groover moved many Georgians when he stood in the House well to address his colleagues on the subject of the state flag. In an emotional speech, he acknowledged that the flag is offensive to some and conceded that, “I cannot say to you that I personally was in no way motivated by a desire to defy. I can say in all honesty that my willingness was in large part because … that flag symbolized a willingness of a people to sacrifice their all for their beliefs.” Mr. Groover offered a compromise, which included a smaller version of the battle flag. A flag similar to that was adopted in 2000, only to be changed again in 2003.

To sum up, the Georgia state flag was changed in 1956. The new flag contained the Confederate battle flag. Many people were offended by the 1956 flag. PG thought it was ugly. Many others saw it, with some justification, as a symbol of racism. For some reason, speculation about the motives of the 1956 legislature. 18 years after the passage of a new flag, people are still arguing over the motives of the 1956 legislature. Pictures for this gratuitous waste of bandwidth are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. .
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Rainbows

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 21, 2020


Lately, I have been walking to the gym. It is about 1.4 miles one way. I go there, do my workout, and walk home. One consequence is not riding the stationary bike, and listening to podcasts. When it is a good story, this can be transformative. It is an magical escape from one place, into another.

Today, I chose to listen to a story while walking home. The story was Rainbows, by @JosephONeillx. It was one of the good ones. By the time I went through the railroad underpass off Peachtree Road, my pace had grown even more glacial than normal. I did not want to miss a single detail. It did help that I was off the busy main road, whose loud traffic drowned out the action.

Listening to a story, as opposed to reading it, is a different path for the information. The author’s voice telling the tale is a more intimate connection that reading dead tree text. In this story, the reading author is a man. I assumed the lead character, Clodagh, was also male. When a Aoife, the daughter, appeared, and a husband named Ian, I just thought this was just the trendy New Yorker. It wasn’t until much later in the story, that it dawned on me that Clodagh might be female. The gender is never confirmed one way, or the other.

The story is rather disturbing. (Spoiler to follow) Aoife is being sexually harassed at school, and files a complaint. The boy who gets metooed is the son of a laundry owner. Clodagh Nolastname is a VIP customer. (This all happens in New York. Clodagh is not poor.) The Chinese laundry lady tells Clodagh to take her business elsewhere. Clodagh is mortified that it was not handled family-to-family, but through the authorities.

I continue to walk through a glorious October afternoon. The leaves are still mostly green. The election is in two weeks, and we will see what becomes of the anti-christ POTUS. The story ends when I get into the house, and I listen to the credits. Theme music is by North American Plastics, which somehow sounds as New Yorkeresque as not knowing whether mom is a man, or a woman.