Chamblee54

War On Christmas

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Politics by chamblee54 on December 20, 2020

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Merry Christmas used to be a greeting of good will. It meant, I am happy that you survived the year, have a nice holiday. It was not an in your face gesture, designed to express a religious opinion.
Christmas used to be a time of peace on earth and good will towards men. There were parties, gift giving, and holiday time from school and work. The religious part has always been there, but if you wanted to ignore it you could.

Jesus Worshipers want it all. The fact that our culture is dominated by Jesus worship is not good enough, they want it all. And they don’t care if it offends you. Peace on earth, and good will towards men, is an obsolete concept.

We don’t know when Jesus was born. Some scholars say he was born in the spring, but it was a long, long time ago. When the early Christians were trying to convert the Romans, they decided to have a birthday celebration for Jesus at the time of a pagan holiday. It is the winter solstice, the time of renewal at the end of the year. It is an ideal time for a religious feast.

Many people, PG included, have been hurt by Jesus. Christianism is an aggressive religion, and if you don’t agree, you can expect to be insulted and humiliated. As society becomes more and more secular, the Jesus worshipers get more aggressive. Many people have come to see the birth of Jesus as something to be mourned, rather than celebrated.

PG used to enjoy saying Merry Christmas. To him, it was a greeting of good will. Now, it is taking sides in a nasty fight. Maybe the proper thing to say is have a nice day.

And now for something completely different. PG found this recently, and it is not original to him. If you really need a link to the original, we will look harder.

When I was young and impressionable, I heard the Co-Adjutor Archbishop of Bombay preach on the subject of Christmas. He made the point that the adjective “merry” actually means “to be showing the influence of alcohol”, that is to be at least partially drunk. So to wish someone a Merry Christmas is really to wish them a Drunken Christmas. Moreover, drunkenness is a sin, and it is illegal to ply an infant with alcohol. A “merry Christmas” not only treats the birth of Christ as an occasion for sin, it also excludes the guest of honour Himself from the celebration.

That is a perversion of the meaning of Christmas — yet how often do we hear “true Christians” insist on saying “merry Christmas”? Why don’t they just wish the world happiness and joy?

This holiday feature is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Thy Chief Release

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on December 19, 2020

Flannery O’Connor

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, The English Language by chamblee54 on December 18, 2020

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With one day before it was due, PG finished reading Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor , by Brad Gooch. The author is a professor of English at William Patterson University in New Jersey. He spares no citations. You can see where he gets his information. This is a repost.

Chamblee54 has written before about Miss O’Connor , and repeated the post a year later. There is a radio broadcast of a Flannery O’Connor lecture. (The Georgia accent of Miss O’Connor is much commented on in the book. To PG, it is just another lady speaking.)

Mary Flannery O’Connor was born March 25, 1925 in Savannah GA. The local legend is that she was conceived in the shadow of St. John the Baptist Cathedral, a massive facility on Lafayette Square. Her family did leave nearby, and her first school was just a few steps away. This is also a metaphor for the role of the Catholic Church in her life. Mary Flannery was intensely Catholic, and immersed in the scholarship of the church. This learning was a large part of her life. How she got from daily mass, to writing stories about Southern Grotesque, is one mystery at the heart of Flannery O’Connor.

Ed O’Connor doted on his daughter, but had to take a job in Atlanta to earn a living. His wife Regina and daughter Mary Flannery moved with him, to a house behind Christ The King Cathedral. Mr. O’Connor’s health was already fading, and Mother and Daughter moved in with family in Milledgeville. Ed O’Connor died, of Lupus Erythematosus, on February 1, 1941.

Mary Flannery went to college in Milledgeville, and on to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She dealt with cold weather, went to Mass every day, and wrote. She was invited to live at an artists colony called Yaddo, in upstate New York. She lived for a while with Robert and Sally Fitzgerald in Connecticut, all while working on her first novel, “Wise Blood”. In 1950, she was going home to Milledgeville for Christmas, and had been feeling poorly. She went to the hometown doctor, who thought at first that the problem was rheumatoid arthritis. The illness of Flannery O’Connor was Lupus Erythematosus.

Miss O’Connor spent much of that winter in hospitals, until drugs were found that could help. She moved, with her mother, to a family farm outside Milledgeville, which she renamed Andalusia. She entered a phase of her life, with the Lupus in relative remission, and the drugs firing her creative fires, where she wrote the short stories that made her famous.

Another thing happened when she was recuperating. Flannery was reading the Florida “Market Bulletin”, and saw an ad for “peafowl”, at sixty five dollars a pair. She ordered a pair, and they soon arrived via Railway Express. This was the start of the peacocks at Andalusia, a part of the legend.

During this period of farm life and writing, Flannery had several friends and correspondents. There was the “Bible Salesmen”, Erik Langkjaer, who was probably the closest thing Flannery had to a boyfriend. Another was Betty Hester, who exchanged hundreds of letters with Miss O’Connor. This took place under the stern eye of Regina O’Connor, the no nonsense mother-caregiver of Flannery. (Mr. Gooch says that Betty Hester committed suicide in 1998. That would be consistent with PG stumbling onto an estate sale of Miss Hester in that time frame.)

The book of short stories came out, and Flannery O’Connor became famous. She was also dependent on crutches, and living with a stern mother. There were lectures out of town, and a few diverse personalities who became her friends. She went to Mass every day, and collected books by Catholic scholars. Flannery was excited by the changes in the church started by Pope John XXIII, and in some ways could be considered a liberal. (She supported Civil Rights, in severe contrast to her mother.)

In 1958, Flannery O’Connor went to Europe, including a trip to the Springs at Lourdes. Her cousin Katie Semmes (the daughter of Captain John Flannery, CSA) pushed Flannery hard to go to the springs, to see if it would help the Lupus. Flannery was reluctant…” I am one of those people who could die for his religion sooner than take a bath for it“. When the day for the visit came, Flannery took a token dip in the waters. Her condition did improve, briefly. (It is worth speculating here about the nature of Flannery’s belief, which was apparently more intellectual than emotional. Could it be that, if she was more persuaded by the mystical, emotional side of the church, and taken the healing waters more seriously, that she might have been cured?)

At some point in this story, her second novel came out, and the illness blossomed. Much of 1964 was spent in hospitals, and she got worse and worse. On August 3, 1964, Mary Flannery O’Connor died.

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PG remembers the first time the name Flannery O’Connor sank in. He was visiting some friends, in a little house across from the federal prison.

Rick(?) was the buddy of a character known as Harry Bowers. PG was never sure what Harry’s real name was. One night, Rick was talking about Southern Gothic writers, and he said that Flannery O’Connor was just plain weird. ”Who else would have a bible salesman show up at a farm, take the girl up into a hayloft, unscrew her wooden leg and leave her there? Weird.”

Flannery O’Connor was recently the subject of a biography written by Brad Gooch. The book is getting a bit of publicity. Apparently, the Milledgeville resident was a piece of work.

PG read some reviews of this biography, and found a collection of short stories at the library. The book included ” Good Country People”, the tale about the bible salesman. Apparently, this story was inspired by a real life incident. (Miss O’Connor had lupus the last fifteen years of her life. She used crutches.) And yes, it is weird. Not like hollywood , but in the way of rural Georgia.

Some of the reviews try to deal with her attitudes about Black people. On a certain level, she is a racist. She uses the n word freely, and her black characters are not inspiring people. The thing is, the white characters are hardly any better, and in some cases much worse. In one story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” a black lady is the hero.

The stories are well crafted, with vivid descriptions of people and places. The reader floats along with the flow of the story, until he realizes that Grandma has made a mistake on a road trip. The house she got her son to look for is in Tennessee, not Georgia. She makes him drive the family car into a ditch. Some drifting killers come by. Grandma asks one if he prays, while his partner is shooting her grandchildren. Weird.

In another story, a drifter happens upon a pair of women in the country. The daughter is thirty years old, is deaf, and has never spoken a word. The drifter teaches her to say bird and sugarpie. The mother gives him fifteen dollars for a honeymoon, if he will marry her. He takes the fifteen dollars and leaves her asleep in a roadside diner.

There was a yard sale one Saturday afternoon. It was in a house off Lavista Road, between Briarcliff and Cheshire Bridge. The house had apparently not been painted in the last forty years. Thousands and thousands of paperback books were on the shelves. The lady taking the money said that the lady who lived there was the friend, and correspondent of, the “Milledgeville writer” Flannery O’Connor. This is apparently Betty Hester, who is mentioned in many of the biography reviews.

PG told the estate sale lady that she should be careful how she said that. There used to be a large mental hospital in Milledgeville, and the name is synonymous in Georgia with mental illness. The estate sale lady had never heard that.

UPDATE: PG sometimes reads poems at an open mic event. His stage name is Manly Pointer. This is the bible salesman in “Good Country People.” This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.” It was written like James Joyce. An earlier edition of this post had comments.

Fr. J. December 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm I am glad you take an interest in Flannery, but to say baldly that she is a racist is to very much misunderstand her. For another view on Flannery and race, you might want to read her short story, “Everything that Rises Must Converge.”
chamblee54 December 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm “On a certain level, she is a racist.” That is not the same as “baldly” labeling her a racist. (And I have a full head of hair, thank you). As a native Georgian, I am aware of the many layers of nuance in race relations. I feel that the paragraph on race in the above feature is accurate.

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CK7 Hot Dog

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 17, 2020

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Hot Dog “3 – verb to perform in a conspicuous or often ostentatious manner especially : to perform fancy stunts and maneuvers (as while surfing or skiing).” A hot dog is more than a sandwich. Show offs have been called hot dog for a long time. This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Which brings us to Colin Kaepernick. PG has thought there was something fishy about #7 since his protest began in 2016. What would happen if you google “Colin Kaepernick Hot Dog”?

In 2013, after the Niners beat the Falcons in the NFC championship game, a restaurant in Turlock, CA, held a contest to name a hot dog in honor of the Niners young quarterback. “Kaepernick Special: Hot dog wins competition in Turlock Colin Kaepernick is a hot dog. That’s not a critique of the quarterback’s playing style; that’s a fact. The Kaepernick Special made its first appearance on the menu at Main Street Footers Thursday. The restaurant, a mainstay in downtown Turlock for decades, held a contest to come up with a hot dog named for the former Pitman High football standout. … Football and hot dog aficionados submitted a variety of ideas … One suggestion: a hot dog topped with crab, shrimp and cocktail sauce. … Jim Yettman, 76, said he entered the contest “on a whim” … Yettman’s concoction: A hot dog with chili, cabbage, red and yellow bell peppers, jalapeños and a secret sauce consisting of mustard, horseradish, thousand island dressing, and cayenne pepper. … He beat out a pulled pork-topped hot dog and a pizza-themed version with pepperoni and olives.”

As you may have heard, Mr. Kaepernick sat down during the National Anthem, before a 2016 pre-season game. One of the first casualties, in the uproar that followed, was the CK7 hot dog. “A hot dog named in honor of Colin Kaepernick at a restaurant in his hometown of Turlock, Calif., no longer is available. The hot dog called CK7 — Kaepernick’s initials followed by his jersey number — has been pulled off the menu at Main Street Footers after the San Francisco 49ers quarterback refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday. The hot dog that was topped with chili, coleslaw, jalapenos and “Kaep Sauce’’ was a hot item for $6.05 when Kaepernick helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season but had become a “political football,’’ restaurant co-owner Glenn Newsum said.”

In 2016, the Carolina Panthers were coming off an NFC championship. Their star quarterback, Cam Newton, gave an interview with GQ, and said some controversial things. After the Niners played the Panthers, Mr. Kapernick and Mr. Newton were photographed together. Some twitter wits speculated about what was said. @TribalThrasher “Kaep: A hot dog isn’t a sandwhich.. Cam: SQUARE UP”

Don’t be surprised if a google search for “dog” yields a story featuring Mike Vick. “Colin Kaepernick tweets Stockholm Syndrome definition after Michael Vick advises him to get a haircut Recently retired NFL quarterback Michael Vick has some advice for Colin Kaepernick, who is still looking for a job after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March. “First thing we gotta get Colin to do is cut his hair,” Vick said Monday. … (photo comment) Kaepernick had short, neatly cut hair when he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl following the 2012 season. But before last season, he grew it all out, often sporting a large Afro or sometimes cornrows. … “Just go clean cut, you know? Why not?” said Vick, who sometimes wore his own hair in an Afro or cornrows in his younger days. … “The most important thing that he needs to do is just try to be presentable.” … it’s not the Colin Kaepernick that we’ve known since he entered the NFL. … I love the guy to death and I want him also to succeed on and off the field. … “He is a great kid and the reason he’s not playing has nothing to do with the national anthem, I think it’s more solely on his play.” … In what some are interpreting as a response to Vick’s comments, Kaepernick took to Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday morning and posted the definition of Stockhom Syndrome.”

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Georgia On My Mind

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on December 16, 2020

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Rock the Runoff: Broadway for Georgia performs “Georgia On My Mind” turned up of facebook this morning. This video got PG thinking about GOOM. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Youtube turned up the original “© Written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stuart Gorrell (lyrics) © Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy’s sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or to a woman named “Georgia”. Carmichael’s 1965 autobiography, “Sometimes I Wonder”, records the origin: a friend, saxophonist and bandleader Frankie Trumbauer, suggested: “Why don’t you write a song called ‘Georgia’? Nobody lost much writing about the South.” Thus, the song is universally believed to have been written about the state.”

National Anthems has a story about GOOM. (The 90’s website has a retro-illustration.) “STUART GRAHAM STEVEN GORRELL (1901-1963) and HOAGLAND HOWARD CARMICHAEL (1899-1981), wrote the song in 1930 almost as a lark … Hoagy Carmichael went to Indiana University, and one of his best college chums was Stuart Gorrell. Hoagy Carmichael was going to be a lawyer and Stuart Gorrell, when not hanging around the local “jazz joint” (called The Book Nook!) had promised someone that he would eventually be a success in the world of business.”

“The two of them were together at a party in New York and Hoagy Carmichael played what he had of the “Georgia” music line for Stuart Gorrell and some friends. After the party broke up, the two of them went back to a friend’s apartment and worked on the tune throughout the night. Stuart Gorrell wrote what he thought would be a good lyric line on the back of a post card, (now displayed in the Carmichael Room at Indiana University) and showed it to Hoagy Carmichael. One can still plainly see the few, but important, changes that Hoagy Carmichael made on that small piece of cardboard to Stuart Gorrell’s lyrical scratchings. The song was improved upon, and the lyrics written, in that boozy early morning, and recorded in September 1930 by a band that included Hoagy Carmichael’s great friend, Bix Beiderbecke – a recording session that proved to be Bix’s last.”

“Hoagy Carmichael went on to write many more songs, some of them hits, and Stuart Gorrell kept his promise and became a Vice President at Chase Bank. Stuart Gorrell never tried to write another song lyric, but ‘Georgia on my Mind’ became a hit after World War II and Hoagy Carmichael, true to his word – although Stuart Gorrell was not legally credited as the lyricist by the music publisher – always sent Stuart Gorrell a cheque for what would have been his share of royalty. The royalty income from that song is substantial and, after Stuart Gorrell died, the income put his daughter through college.”

Mr. Gorrell wrote a letter to the Bremen (Indiana) Enquirer, August 3, 1961. “This accompanied his response to his home town’s Teen Hop patrons choosing the song as their theme song. … “Georgia on my mind” was composed more than a quarter of a century ago on a cold and stormy evening in 1930 in New York City. Hoagy Carmichael and I, in a third floor apartment overlooking 52nd street, with cold feet and warm hearts, looked out the window and, not liking what we saw, turned our thoughts to the pleasant southland. Thus was born a hauntingly sweet song. My mother, who died in Bremen in 1942, once asked a very penetrating question about the song. I had sent her a copy of the sheet music and, after reading the words over several times, she wondered aloud: “What is Georgia? A girl—or state? What do you think? Hoagy and I just love every one of you Bremen Teen Hoppers for honoring out tune by making it your theme song. Sincerely, Stuart Gorrell”

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The Civil War On PBS

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on December 16, 2020


I have binge listened to a public television series, The Civil War. This youtube edition has subtitles in Portuguese, adding a Brazilian touch. I feel obligated to make a blog post. When writing about a topic of this size, I typically start by finding as many sources as possible. I have written about “the recent unpleasantness” several times, and will link to these when it is appropriate. The only way to start this project is to open a word document. This is a repost.

What did I learn? There was widespread opposition to emancipation in the north. I had never thought about this. The popular narrative is that the war was fought to free the slaves. While I knew that there were other reasons for the conflict, I assumed that the north wanted to free the slaves. As it turns out, the decision to free the slaves was controversial in the north. I will leave speculation about the reason for this to other armchair historians.

The show made me cry twice. The first time was after the Gettysburg Address. The address was made at the dedication of a cemetery, on the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. After two and a half years of horrendous carnage, the war was going good for the Union. However, 1864 was to have an election. Mr. Lincoln’s chances did not look good. If he lost, the Democrats would probably negotiate a peace, and the Confederacy would endure.

The Gettysburg Address is one of the most moving two minutes in our history. It was printed in newspapers across the land, which is the reason it is known today. “We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.”

The second tearjerker moment was also set at Gettysburg. It was the fiftieth anniversary of the battle. War veterans, from both sides, came to celebrate the occasion. There was a reenactment of Pickett’s charge. When the Rebels got to the fortifications, the Union soldiers came out and hugged them. They were greeted as brothers in arms, who had somehow survived a horrible conflict.

The fighting ended, and life in the, unquestionably, United States continued. There came to be what Shelby Foote calls “a great compromise … It consists of Southerners admitting freely that it’s probably best that the Union wasn’t divided, and the North admits rather freely that the South fought bravely for a cause in which it believed. That is a great compromise and we live with that …”

In recent years, this arrangement seems to be breaking down. It is now the fashion to view anything short of total vilification of the Confederacy as treasonous. There is sneering talk of the “Cult of the Lost Cause.” This is a lamentable way to look at this transformative part of our history. Maybe this too shall pass, and we will see the Confederacy in a different light in a few years.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The men before the text are Confederate soldiers, and after the text we have Union soldiers. These pictures are from Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs.

Rudolph

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on December 15, 2020


Someone posted a bit of revisionism about a holiday classic. As he sees it, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is about racism.

In a bit of yuletime synchronicity, the urban mythbusters at Snopes posted a piece about Rudolph the same day. It seems as though the Rudolph story was originally written for the Montgomery Ward Stores. The idea was to print a Christmas booklet to give to customers. A staff writer named Robert L. May was picked for the job.

Originally, there were concerns about the red nose, and the connection to heavy drinking. At the time, the original meaning of “merry christmas” had been forgotten. Merry meant intoxicated, and a merry christmas was a drunken one. The booklet was released. It was a big hit with shoppers.

Mr. May had a brother in law named Johnny Marks, who was musically gifted. Mr. Marks wrote the song, and somehow or another Gene Autry came to sing it. A story (which PG heard once, but cannot find a source for) had Mr. Autry doing a recording session. The session went very smoothly, and the sides scheduled to be recorded were finished early. There was a half hour of studio time paid for. Someone produced copies of “Rudolph”, gave them to the musicians, and the recording was knocked out. It became a very big hit.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” has become a beloved standard, without the troubling religious implications of many holiday songs. It is the second biggest selling record of all time. The only song to sell more is “White Christmas”.

The story above is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. There is an appearance by Gerald Rudolph Ford, and his women. Betty was a merry soul.

Spell Check Suggestion

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on December 14, 2020


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repost ~ delta museum ~ roman mars ~ joe louis ~ the little black boy ~ urban freeways
possible progress ~ citizen kane ~ georgia code ~ Sharon Mashihi ~ Tecumseh
@chamblee54 “so many media executives and people with cushy jobs … pumping out an avalanche of think pieces and hot takes that are specifically meant to incite outrage.” I get so tired of having my chain pulled, or being the target of that outrage ~ “The night before I collapsed in New York, this woman, a white woman, called me on the phone and asked for $150 I owed her,” Louis discloses. “It was for a quarter of cocaine. A quarter—that’s how they measure it when they sell it to you. I paid her the $150. She said, ‘Joe, here’s another quarter for you. This is free. You just take it without paying me.’ I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. That night I didn’t sleep good, so I took some cocaine. ~ “I ‘guess I been around this stuff a long time, with all those show people who took it. I started when I was feeling bad, but I was never strung out on it. It just made me feel relaxed, like that time in New York, only it made me sick then. That woman gave me bad cocaine. She must be in with the Mafia. They took me to the hospital and I told them there about the cocaine, That’s how come they pumped my stomach. It saved my life. I don’t touch that stuff no more.” ~ His reference to the Mafia is important. He believes there is a plot to destroy him with poison gas. To thwart the plot, he once spread mayonnaise the cracks of a hotel‐room ceiling. In other hotels, he taped air ducts. In a room next to an elevator shaft, thought his tormentors were trying to blast him with dynamite. And when he slept, it often was with his clothes on in a makeshift tent in his bedroom. “Here he was with his shoes and everything laying under this tent,” his wife, Martha, says. “It was the most pathetic thing in the world.” ~ franklin abbott I hope this does not get lost in the birthday greetings. I am listening to the interview. Unfortunately, the interview has technical issues. At times, it will simply freeze, and need to be refreshed. At 1:09. You said “Feygele wore a dress to work and they fired him”, and the file froze. ~ Illegitimi non carborundum Illegitimi non carborundum is a mock-Latin aphorism possibly read as “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. The phrase is believed to have originated during World War II by British army intelligence agents very early in the war (using the ablative plural illegitimis). It was adopted by US Army General “Vinegar” Joe Stilwell as his motto during the war, in the form Illegitimati non carborundum, and was later further popularized in the US by 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. ~ Clinical Features of COVID-19 in Patients With Essential Hypertension and the Impacts of Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone System Inhibitors on the Prognosis of COVID-19 Patients ~ “this book either never saw a professional editor or, if it did, editor needs to find a new line of work. … As an editor myself, I never would have allowed my client to do this, and if he’d insisted, I would have quit and given him his money back.” one star reviews are fun ~ pictures for this pre solstice celebration inebriation are from The Library of Congress. ~ selah

Unarmed Black People

Posted in Killed By Police, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on December 13, 2020


Police killing unarmed black people continues to be a hot topic. Every once in a while, someone will quote some exact numbers. Finally , curiosity got the best of PG. He went to the Washington Post Police Shootings database. Click on a couple of filters, and you get some answers. As of December 8, 12 black people have been shot to death, by police, in the United States. Here are some more stats about unarmed people shot to death by police.

TotalUnarmed
Total93238 4.0%
White407163.9%
Black212125.6%
Hispanic145064.1%
Other022014.5%
Unknown146032.0%


The WaPo database only counts gunfire deaths. This means that George Floyd is not included here. Another thing to consider is the WaPo decision to count Hispanics as a separate category. In FBI statistics, Hispanic/Latino is considered an ethnicity, rather than a race. Many of the people listed as White/Black/Other are Hispanic/Latino, when using FBI statistics.

Here are the 12 unarmed black people, killed by police this year.
William Howard Green, January 27, 2020, Temple Hills MD
Jaquyn Oneill Light, January 29, 2020, Graham NC
Barry Gedeus, March 6, 2020, F0rt Lauderdale FL
Breonna Taylor, March 12, 2020, Louisville KY
Donnie Sanders, March 12, 2020, Kansas City MO
Mycael Johnson, March 20, 2020, Tallahassee FL
Shaun Fuhr, May 1, 2020, Seattle WA
Maurice Gordon, May 23, 2020, Bass River NJ
Robert D’Lon Harris, June 25, 2020, Vinita OK
Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis, August 7, 2020, Sylvania GA
Anthony Jones, October 12, 2020, Bethel Springs TN
Marcellis Stinnette, October 20, 2020, Waukegan IL

Every case is different. It is tough to draw any overall conclusions. Some of the cases here involve domestic violence complaints, drug use, car chases, and violently resisting arrest. In one, a gf told 911 the victim had fired at her. In another case, police found a pistol in the victim’s car.

It comes down to who’s side of the story you choose. Both police, and family attorneys, have been known to lie. Chamblee54 ran a 29 week series in 2017-18, Killed By Police. Many of the same patterns turn up in these cases. Every case is different.

Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis is noteworthy for being killed in Georgia. In this case, the officer was later charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

“Jacob Gordon Thompson, 27, is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the Aug. 7 shooting death of 60-year-old Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis. … The former trooper wrote that he initially pulled behind Lewis on U.S. 301, also known as Statesboro Highway, when he noticed Lewis’ passing car had a darkened tail light. Lewis then sped up, at which point Thompson said he activated his emergency lights. Lewis turned on his hazard signals and motioned with his hand out the driver’s side window but did not stop.”

“I radioed dispatch that I was involved in a pursuit and activated my siren. As I pursued the violator, I observed him start to smoke a cigarette, As we approached the stop sign at the intersection of Simmons Branch Road, Cameron Road and Stoney Pond Road, the violator passed through the intersection and did not come to a complete stop.”

“The former trooper wrote that he decided to use a PIT maneuver to end the pursuit safely as they neared Stoney Pond Road. After Lewis’ car crashed into the ditch, Thompson wrote that he pulled his patrol car even with the stopped Nissan. “Being concerned for my safety, I drew my weapon as I got out of the vehicle, At some point, I heard the engine on the violator’s vehicle revving at a high rate of speed. I activated the light on my weapon and observed the violator with both hands on the steering wheel. I saw him wrenching the steering wheel in an aggressive back and forth manner towards me and my patrol vehicle. It appeared that the violator was trying to use his vehicle to injure me. Being in fear for my life and safety, I discharged my weapon once.”

“On Tuesday, a man who did not identify himself hand delivered two unmarked envelopes to Statesboro Herald reporters. He declined to disclose from where or whom they came. The envelopes contained toxicology reports for Julian Lewis on the night he was killed … (Thompson’s attorney Robert) Persse said he had received official toxicology reports and verified the report states Lewis tested positive for cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as fluoxetine, an antidepressant.”

Two victims were shot on March 12. Breonna Taylor is well known. The Taylor case has been discussed at great length elsewhere, and remains controversial. While Ms. Taylor was unarmed, the person standing next to her, in a dark apartment, fired at the police.

Donnie Sanders, Kansas City MO is the other case from March 12. Many of the factors that make easy judgment tricky are present in this case.

“… an officer attempted to stop a vehicle near 51st and Prospect for a traffic violation, but the driver didn’t immediately pull over. (KCPD Sgt. Jake) Becchina said the driver … 47-year-old Donnie Sanders, eventually came to a stop in an alley nearby, between Prospect and Wabash. Sanders got out and took off running. He was the only person in the vehicle.”

“Police said as Sanders approached 52nd Street just to the north, he turned toward the officer. Becchina said he allegedly raised his armed like he had a weapon. The officer immediately gave the man multiple verbal commands to drop his weapon and get down on the ground. Police said Sanders did not listen, and the officer eventually shot him. … KCPD has now confirmed after processing the scene, Sanders didn’t have a firearm or any other weapon during his encounter with the officer.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Quivering Redbody

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on December 12, 2020

Hypertension Industrial Complex

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 12, 2020







Prescription medication is a part of life. Most of mine deal with hypertension, aka high blood pressure. According to this website, hypertension is the number one co-morbidity for covid-19. It is helpful to take care of this.

I go to a doctor, who sends a script to the pharmacy. The doctor is part of a hospital/medical company. All the stages of this procedure are regulated, and financed, by an insurance company. Since I am over 65, this means medicare, or another layer of nonsense. I will use nick names today. The doctor/hospital is Curly. The pharmacy is Larry. The insurance company is Moe.

Once a year, I go see Curly. He takes a blood sample, and a few instrument readings. Curly sees that I have not died yet, and approves my medications for another year. I did this a few weeks ago.

Friday afternoon, I called Moe. The idea is to get a 90 day supply of the meds. After wading through Moe’s telephone system, and waiting on hold, I am directed to a telephone operator. I tell Moe what scripts I want to order.

I say carefully, and repeatedly, that I want these medications shipped mail order. It is cheaper, and easier, than going to see Larry in person. For some reason, this point often gets lost when medical machines try to work together. I say, over and over, send the meds by mail order. Unfortunately, this is prescription renewal time. Moe needs to call Curly, to confirm that the prescription is valid. Between Curly, Larry, and Moe, something is going to get screwed up.

The call to Moe takes place on friday afternoon. All goes well until 7:41 pm, when a text arrives from Larry. The prescriptions are ready for pickup. The script was sent to the pharmacy, not the mail order house. Buying hypertension medication can make your blood pressure go up.

Larry has an especially stupid phone system. I finally get to talk to a pharmacist. She explains that Curly sent them the prescription, and there is nothing that can be done about it.

This is blood pressure medication. This is not something that people take to have fun. This is boring old amlodipine and benezapril. If something this basic can get screwed up, I can only imagine what would happen with a complicated illness like cancer, or HIV. The idea that Larry is going to distribute the covid vaccine is cause for great concern.

The next step is to call Moe. The phone menu is having a bad day, and asks me to repeat my account number twice. Finally, I get through to a lady, who speaks with a serious accent. The lady asks me to repeat the account number one more time. The lady says that Curly sent the script to Larry, and there is nothing Moe can do about it. I am beyond angry.

It is now friday night. Curly has quit doing business. I will have to wait until Monday morning. Curly has an obnoxious phone system of his own. Curly is a giant bureaucracy. I have no idea who to talk to about this. I just have to wait until Monday morning, call the phone number, and hope for the best. Sometimes, if the first attempt does not work, then the second try will turn out better.

Eventually, this is going to work out. It has so far every time in the past. It can be frustrating, though, and scary. This is a non emergency situation. What would happen if I had to deal with the institutional shadiness of Curly/Larry/Moe, when every second counts? Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. .





Judy Roasting On An Open Fire

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on December 11, 2020

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SFFILK (Not his real name) passes along a story about Mel Tormé. It seems like Mr.Tormé was eating a leisurely breakfast at a food court in Los Angeles, and a quartet appeared singing Christmas songs. They wound up performing “The Christmas Song” for co- author Tormé … and the singers had no idea who he was. It is a good story, better told in the link. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

According to the inerrant Wikipedia, Mr. Tormé collaborated with Robert Wells, until they had a falling out. One afternoon, on the hottest day of July in 1945, Mr.Tormé went to visit Mr.Wells, and saw the first four lines of “The Christmas Song” (including “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose”). The lines were on a note pad, and the two agreed to beat the heat of summer by completing the song. Supposedly, Mr. Tormé did not like the song very much. After three divorces, he probably didn’t see many of the royalties.

Mel Tormé was the music director of the ill fated “Judy Garland Show” in the early sixties. He wrote a book about it… The Other Side of the Rainbow: With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol . The story is that Miss Garland would get blasted, call Mr.Tormé in the middle of the night, and pour out her troubles. (This review is much less sympathetic towards Mr. Tormé.) While the show did not last longer, there are some great youtube clips left over.

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