Chamblee54

Always Take Sides

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Quotes by chamblee54 on May 8, 2020


“… always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” This meme, illustrated by the gnomic face of Elie Wiesel, turns up on facebook a lot. (Elie Wiesel is pronounced like Elly Mae Clampett) Some find it inspiring. Others think it is simplistic and manipulative.

There are two questions. Did Mr. Wiesel say that? What was the context? The quote appears in the acceptance speech for the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize. The next sentence is “Sometimes we must interfere.” We immediately go from the absolute always, to the conditional sometimes. That is progress, even if it does not fit on a bumper sticker.

“Elie Wiesel was born in Sighet, Romania, in 1928. … In May 1944, Wiesel was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp along with his parents and his sisters. Wiesel and his father were slave laborers at Auschwitz. His father died in January 1945 during a forced march to another camp, Buchenwald, and his mother and younger sister were murdered as well. After the war, Wiesel moved to France, where he worked as a journalist.”

The Israel-Palestine problem was just as vexing in 1986 as today. Here is what Mr. Wiesel said in his speech. “More people are oppressed than free. And then, too, there are the Palestinians to whose plight I am sensitive but whose methods I deplore. Violence and terrorism are not the answer. Something must be done about their suffering, and soon. I trust Israel, for I have faith in the Jewish people. Let Israel be given a chance, let hatred and danger be removed from her horizons, and there will be peace in and around the Holy Land.”

Who is the oppressor in the Middle East, and who is the victim? Many sides can make a case for their cause. Who is the better at persuasion? Who is better at playing the shady game of influence, and money. Often, more noise encourages the tormentor. The answer to age old conflicts is seldom found in bumper stickers, or facebook memes.

“… to whose plight I am sensitive but whose methods I deplore.” “Always take sides” means that you pick one side in a conflict, and use the tools of rhetoric to promote that cause. It can be tough to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Human suffering is human suffering. Simplistic rhetoric is *never* the answer.

In 1986, the Iran-Iraq war was raging. Hundreds of thousands of men died. Many said the war was allowed to go on intentionally. Allegedly, if Iran and Iraq were not fighting each other, they would be fighting Israel. The United States was allied with Iraq, while making arms deals with Iran. Israeli dealers participated in the United States-Iran arms trading. The profits from those deals went to supply terrorists in Central America. “Sometimes we must interfere.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

Did You Hear The One About?

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 23, 2020

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A man is staying in a hotel.
He walks up to the front desk and says,
“Sorry, I forgot what room I’m in, can you help me?”
The receptionist replies, “No problem, sir. This is the lobby.”

You know, I was looking at our ceiling the other day. It’s not the best … But it’s up there.
My nickname at work is Mr. Compromise. It wasn’t my first choice but I’m ok with it.
Where does a dog go when it loses it’s tail, and needs a new one? A retail store.

I don’t trust stairs. They’re always up to something.
How do you get a country girl’s attention? A tractor.
I was attacked by 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. The odds were against me.

When I caught my neighbor attaching a rocket engine to a deer,
I immediately reported him to the authorities.
Shame on him for trying to make a quick buck.

What did the green grape say to the purple grape. Breathe idiot, breathe.
We all know Albert Einstein was a genius … but his brother Frank was a monster.
“Officer, are you crying while writing me a ticket?” Policeman: “It’s a … moving violation.”

What do you call a helpful lemon? Lemonaid.
People say I’m a plagiarist … Their words, not mine.
I’ve just written a book about falling down a staircase. It’s a step by step guide.

I was on the phone with my wife. “I’m almost home, honey, please put the coffee maker on.”
After a twenty second pause, I asked, “You still there sweetheart?”
“Yes. But I don’t think the coffee maker wants to talk right now.”

I have a perfect memory. I can’t remember a single time I’ve ever forgotten anything.
Did you hear the one about the giant throwing up? It’s all over town.
Why shouldn’t blind people sky dive? It scares the dog.

I recently switched all the labels on my wife’s spice rack.
She hasn’t realised yet, but the thyme is cumin.
My friend keeps saying “cheer up man, it could be worse,
you could be stuck underground in a hole full of water.” I know he means well.

Apparently every country got coronavirus. But China got it right off the bat.
My son asked me what the opposite of “isolate” is. I told him “yousoearly”.
Due to the quarantine, I’ll only be telling inside jokes.

Instead of a swear jar, I have a negativity jar. Every time I have pessimistic thoughts,
I put a penny in. It’s currently half empty.
What did the cannibal’s wife say when he came home late for dinner?
I’m giving you the cold shoulder.

We’re going to need 144 rolls of toilet paper for the 14 day quarantine. 144? That’s gross.
How long do you microwave fish? Tuna half minutes!
CDC: “No handshakes” Cannibal: *shuts off blender* “Awwwwwww….”

If you get an email from the government warning not to eat canned meat,
because is contains Covid-19, just ignore it. It’s spam.
A cable TV installer walks into a bar and orders a beer.
The bartender says, “You’ll be served sometime between 7am and 2pm.”

Does anybody remember the joke I posted about my spine? It was about a weak back.
I asked my wife how to turn Alexa off. “How about walking through the room naked?”
Did you hear about the guy who’s left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

These true stories were borrowed from @Dadsaysjokes and @sodadjokes. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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Conversations I Am Tired Of Having

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Four Part Rules

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 22, 2019

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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, hoping that it 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.”

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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 Four Agreements. . HT to activecitizen54..

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.

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.

This is an edited repost. The original post has more information about the Rotary Club rules for living. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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Be Kind To Your Enemy

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, GSU photo archive, Religion by chamblee54 on August 9, 2019









Did Jesus say to “Love your enemy”? Some believe this, and do it. Some claim to believe this, and practice the opposite. There are others who claim to love their enemies, but you have to understand what they mean by it. It can be very confusing. This is a repost.

PG went to a source for documentation. Oh, the blessed conjunction of copy paste with public domain. When PG entered enemy (singular) in the search engine, 100 verses came up. When the request was made plural (enemies), 237 entries popped up. The last mention of enemies is Revelation 11:12 “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Loving your enemies does not include bringing them to heaven with you.
There is also the star of the show.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

There is scholarly debate about what Jesus did, or did not, say. The words available to modern man have been copied by hand, edited, translated, and interpreted. PG does not know Aramaic from Alabama. Like anyone else, PG can only read and listen, and think for himself.

In a sense it does not matter what Jesus “really” said. The cult of Jesus Worship is going to believe what it wants. More important, it is going to practice what it wants. As far as the difference between what Jesus “really” said, and what his believers say and do…they can explain.

What follows is a humble suggestion. Maybe the translators and scribes got it wrong. Maybe Jesus did not say to love your enemy. Maybe what Jesus said was to show kindness to everyone. This is a practice thing, rather than a belief thing.

It is not as much fun to be nice to someone, as it is to scream about life after death. Kindness does not need to be justified by a quote from a magic book. You just need to do it.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.








Dr. Jordan Peterson Triple Feature

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 27, 2019


Dr Jordan B Peterson is a smidgin less popular now than a year ago. He chose to stay on the road, and make the mo$t out of his fifteen minutes. There was a pay-per-view smackdown with Slavoj Žižek, with Dr. displayed prominently in front of JP, in case anyone forgot about the PhD. The republic survived, a year older and a trillion dollars deeper in debt. This saturday morning features a Dr. P triple feature. The posts are Jordan Peterson, Prager University AKA PU, and Dr. McWhorter Vs Dr. Peterson. Pictures, as noted elsewhere, are from The Library of Congress.
Jordan Bernt Peterson has become quite the public nuisance recently. He performed at a theater downtown Tuesday night. I did not attend. YouTube has a video of a show he did Saturday night, in San Francisco. (The video is no longer available.) It is probably similar to the Atlanta show. The performance is loosely based on the book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

This report is starting at forty minutes in. JBP is 3 rules into his show, out of 12. JBP says that you should only be around people who support you as a human being. This does not account for instances where you have to be around jerks to keep your job, or because they are in your family. Some of these rules for living are going to be easy to pay lip service to, but tough to actually follow. But, if you are attending the JBP show because you want to make a better person out of yourself… as JBP flatters his followers by saying … then a few inconsistencies are going to be easy to explain away. If nothing else, you just make jokes about the left, which also helps make you a better person.

JBP was talking about the advantages of having a regular sleep schedule, which has never been an issue for me. Meanwhile, I was googling to see what the B stood for. When you type in Jordan Peterson to google, the first thing to come up is sophistry. This is a word a lot of people use to describe this act. Another is “the stupid person’s smart person.” JBP is an example of what Marshall McLuhan meant when he said the medium is the message. A painfully learned man, speaking to you, in polysyllabic bursts, is teaching you how to be a better person. The specific things that he says are beside the point. BTW, the B stands for Bernt, like toast. JBP was born in 1962, in Edmonton, Ontario. He is as Canadian as Hockey, and driving to Florida on I75. June 12 is his birthday.

At 57 minutes, JBP is talking about sleeping, and eating. “What stupid things am I doing that is making my life wretched?” I am tempted to say it is listening to this video, and to motivational speakers in general. However, if I did this, I could not complete this report. I would have to talk about how DJT is screwing up the world, with the profitable assistance of the Democratic party. I could blather about racism. I could look at facebook, and see why my neighbor’s knickers are in a twist. Maybe JBP isn’t so bad after all.

@ggreenwald “Beyond the fact that she treats her audience like 8-year-olds – repeating the same banal points 5 times in increasingly dramatic fashion to make sure they retain it & believe it’s earth-shattering – she’s now the most militaristic, and the most conspiratorial, commentator on TV:” Does it really matter which blow dried talking head this is? The medium is the message. One rule of public speaking is to treat children as though they were adults, and adults as though they were children. It doesn’t matter what the suit on the stage is saying. He is talking, you are sitting quietly in your chair, hopefully your phone is in your pocket, maybe having naughty fun with the vibrate mode, and this is all going to make you a better person.

The next rule is to not let your children do anything that will make other people not like them. This is very, very important, and must be done by the age of four. JBP does not offer many specific tactics for this battle, but spends a lot of time talking about the overall strategy. It should be noted at this point that some people will say that I don’t understand what JBP is saying. This may be true. Or, it could be that I understand it too well. This is true of all criticism. If you say something negative about a leader, to a follower, the follower will say that you don’t understand the message. Maybe the medium is the problem. If the medium were well done, things would taste better.

Rule six is to put your house in order before you criticize the world. Physician heal thyself. On the surface, this is a good rule. Hypocrisy is always a handy argument when someone is generous with their opinions. In a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do world, rule six will get a lot of praise. What blather will JBP illustrate this point with? One might be to save your document, before going back to listening. The redo post is never as good as the one that was lost because you forgot to save your work.

Save is a curious word to use at this point. As you quickly learn, JBP gives you a rule, and then says *stuff*… lots and lots of it … that has little to do with that rule. When the message was paused at 1:22, JBP was talking about creating heaven, and avoiding hell. If you don’t believe hell is real, then you are not paying attention. This is very different from the Christian message about hell, and how Jesus died on the cross… Maybe, hell is sitting in an uncomfortable chair, in a crowded tabernacle, listening to a well paid performer make a better person out of you. At least with YouTube you can pause whenever you need more coffee, or to excrete the coffee already consumed.

Rule eight is not to lie. This is similar to the ninth commandment, and just as liberally interpreted. When the wonder box was paused in self defense at 1:34:01, JBP was railing about the arrogance of using the language to deceive people. There are lots of pithy sentences strewn throughout this monologue, which, as we speak, are already appearing in facebook memes.

At 1:40, JBP says “thats all I have to say about that,” and leaves the stage. The emcee, possibly Dave Rubin, comes on, and tells people to think about what they have heard for the last TWO HOURS. This is after 100 minutes, the first ten minutes being the introduction. Maybe the truth telling rule does not apply here. “And think about what was on CNN for the last two hours… aplause and laughter … Wolf Blitzer talking about porn stars. We’re winning. ” The Atlanta show was less than a quarter mile away from CNN headquarters.

The next part of the show is Q&A. @RubinReport sits in one comfy chair, @jordanbpeterson sits in the other. We interrupt our regularly scheduled snark to bring you a pro JBP comment David Joshua Rubin, the sidekick of the Atlanta and San Francisco shows, tweeted this today: @RubinReport Hi, I’m Dave. I’m married to a dude and I eat chicken sandwiches whenever I want.” DJR is a gay Jew, and is matter of fact about both. We are into another level of gay assimilation, where an Intellectual Dark Web® member can be casually queer. The JBP show, whatever its shortcomings, seems to be free of anti-gay nonsense. Some radicals will not approve of the CFA eating assimilation. We now return to your regularly scheduled snark.

During the Q&A, JBP got onto Bill Maher, and the gratuitous, over the top, Trump bashing that went on back stage. JBP thought it was boring and stupid, and, for once, I agree. People are getting tired of the non-stop Trump hating, and it is creating a backlash. Actually, a lot of what JBP says is worthwhile, but you have to wonder how many of his followers actually do tell the truth. Maybe, with 10 minutes to go in the video, this is a good time to wrap up this report. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Russell Lee was the photographer. The location was Texas, in February 1939. The spell check suggestions for JBP are JAP and BP.


It was a peaceful sunday morning. Being home churched has advantages. PG made the choice to listen to a video by Uncle Hotep. The video was about an article at the root, 10 Things I Already Know About You if You’re Listening to Nas’ New Album Nasir. Item 3: “You believe that interracial relationships produce a better grade of black hair.” PG had never heard of Nas’, and asked Mr. Google to direct him to a video. After 16 seconds, the artist used the n-word. Good times.

Dangerous People Are Teaching Your Kids is a video by Prager University, starring Jordan B. Peterson. The pregame video for UH promotes this product. PG called on Mr. Google to direct him to the PU site. One of the results was an article, Free speech champion Jordan Peterson threatens to sue professor over Twitter name calling. This is not satire. While the offending tweet is deleted, the apology is up. @THEWRENCHLEFT AS PER THREAT TO SUE FOR LIBEL, I HEREBY APOLOGIZE TO JORDAN PETERSON FOR REFERRING TO HIM AS AN INVOLUNTARY CELIBATE (INCEL), A MISOGYNIST, A COMMITTED WHITE NATIONALIST, AND SOMEONE WHO HAS DESCENDED INTO RANK BIGOTRY. The Daily Caller presents the other side of the story, Pro-Flag-Burning Prof Calls Child-Having Jordan Peterson A ‘White Nationalist’ ‘Incel’.

Incel (a portmanteau of “involuntary celibates”) is a word that has become popular recently. Popular is not a word frequently associated with incels. The Urban Dictionary defines incel as “A sexist sack of shit who thinks all women owe him sex.” The spell check suggestion for incel is Celine.

Whatever his other shortcomings, JBP has 2 grown children. He had sex twenty something years ago, so he is not an incel. Unfortunately, JBP made a video for PU. Since this show has a transcript, it will be easy to criticize. The lecture style of JBP involves throwing lots of big words at you in rapid fire succession, so you don’t have time to think. With a tranny transcript, you have the luxury of hitting pause, and spreading snark.

PG has been out of the classroom for a while, so there may be trends in higher education that he missed out on. However, is it really true that “It’s now possible to complete an English degree and never encounter Shakespeare—one of those dead white males whose works underlie our “society of oppression.””? JBP does not say which institution offers such a degree. A google search turns this up, Yale ‘decolonizes’ English dept. “Previous requirements for the major included two courses in “Major English Poets,” including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton and Eliot, among others. But that two-course series petitioners had deemed actively harmful due to its focus on white male poets. The series is no longer a graduation requirement for Yale’s English majors.” No longer a graduation requirement” is not the same as “never encounter.

“You’re underwriting this gang of nihilists. You’re supporting ideologues who claim that all truth is subjective …” There is a difference between not requiring a course in a subject, and saying that a graduate will “never encounter” that subject. JBP was lying when he made that statement. This is an example of truth being relative.

“Their world is instead a Hobbesian nightmare of identity groups warring for power.” You should give JBP (or his ghostwriter) credit for knowing how to turn a phrase. It should be noted that JBP is not completely wrong. “They don’t see ideas that run contrary to their ideology as simply incorrect. They see them as integral to the oppressive system they wish to supplant, and consider it a moral obligation to stifle and constrain their expression.” Social Justice Jihad does have a collateral damage problem. It is a handy target for strawman jousting jerkoffs.

“Second is rejection of the free market … Meanwhile, in once-prosperous Venezuela—until recently the poster-child of the campus radicals—the middle class lines up for toilet paper.” Holy strawman, Batman. While some “campus radicals” may be Marxist, that is far from a requirement for Social Justice Jihad. This *free market* rhetoric will play well with the conservatives who make up the bulk of PU listeners. Also, has anyone seen any posters praising the revolution in Venezuela? Maybe they are kept in the same library as the Shakespeare shredders.

“Post-modernists don’t believe in individuals. You’re an exemplar of your race, sex, or sexual preference. You’re also either a victim or an oppressor. No wrong can be done by anyone in the former group, and no good by the latter.” Here again, identity politics can be yucky, but good grief, does anyone really believe this?

The video only lasts 5:02. Staying within the attention span of your target audience is a good idea. In the last part of the message, the naughty professors are labeled as communists. The evils of this tacky ideology are fervently denounced. Does anyone notice what has happened in the Soviet Union? The former KGB dudes changed their colors. Russia is a post-Marxist kleptocracy today. Their leadership is buddy buddy with Donald J. Trump. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. .


“Jordan Peterson Questioned By Linguist John McWhorter on Pronoun Stance” is the video that started it all. Dr. Jordan Bernt Peterson, aka “The stupid person’s smart person,” was appearing at the Aspen Ideas Festival. During the Q&A, he was queried by Dr. John Hamilton McWhorter V, who is one of “the Black guys on Bloggingheads TV”. The moderator was Bari Weiss, the namer of the Intellectual Dark Web. PG posted the video link to a *radical community* facebook page, with the note “This is a thoughtful conversation about gender and pronouns.” Some were not amused.

In the video, JHM asks JBP “I teach trans students. And I’m asked often to call people singularly they. It started probably about four years ago. It struck me as very odd. I’m 52. And some of them you can tell that it’s coming from a very deep place. That’s how they feel, and they deeply need to be called they. Some of them, my horse sense says, that they’re kind of enjoying giving me a certain shock, and there’s a certain theatrical element. That’s my horse sense … my general feeling has been that whatever they ask I just go with it, and let’s change the usage of the pronouns because we have a lot to do. … You said that how you make the difference in deciding these cases is that you have psychological training, and you can tell. What I want to know is, for my own elucidation and also because many of us wondered but then it kind of went by: How do you know?”

JBP replied. “Well, first of all I wouldn’t know … I would be willing to do that despite the fact that I might be wrong. Having said that, in any reasonable situation I would err on the side of addressing the person in the manner in which they want to be addressed. But that’s not the issue for me. The issue is that now I’m compelled by law to do so. It’s like: No, not doing it. Not now, because it’s compelled by law, so that’s the end of the game so far as I’m concerned. There’s no excuse for compelling it by law. I don’t think it was an isolated legislative move. I think it was part and parcel of a whole series of legislative moves that have been made. I think it’s an attempt by a certain radical ideology to get the linguistic upper hand, which I think is a terrible thing to do…. ”

Bill C-16 was a proposal in the Canadien Parliament. It would, essentially, extend Civil Rights protection to Gender Identity issues. The bill was passed by Parliament, and is now law. JBP gained some fame, and notoriety, with his opposition to C16.

One issue in this video is whether, or not, the use of non-preferred pronouns is against the law. According to Brenda Cossman, a professor of law at the University of Toronto, Peterson is “fundamentally mischaracterizing” Bill C-16. “I don’t know if he’s misunderstanding it, but he’s mischaracterizing it,” Cossman says. … Cossman says it seems Peterson is trying to argue that the misuse of pronouns could constitute hate speech. “I don’t think there’s any legal expert that would say that [this] would meet the threshold for hate speech in Canada,” she says. Our courts have a very high threshold for what kind of comments actually constitutes hate speech, and the nature of speech would have to be much more extreme than simply pronoun misuse, according to Cossman.”

During the Facebook conversation, PG made this comment: ” I agree with Dr. McWhorter that, as a matter of respect, you should call someone by their preferred pronoun. I may have doubts about their sincerity, but I will call them what they want to be called. … I am not familiar with the C-16 struggle. Apparently, there was some Canadien legislation regarding these issues. While I don’t have a problem calling someone they, I really don’t see this as an appropriate issue for legal action. That may not be what the proposed law said, and I don’t want to research it now. However, if C-16 mandated singular they, then I would agree with Dr. Peterson…. which might be the only time I ever agree with him.” Now it appears that this notion … that the law requires the use of singular they … is a creation of JBP’s overheated imagination.

The video linked above does not include a section of the discussion preceding the question by JHM. This exchange changes the character of the conversation between JBP and JHM. PG did not know about this previous exchange when he posted his ill fated comment on facebook. Here is the exchange, between BW and JBP.

BW: “You are often characterized, at least in the mainstream press, as being transphobic. If you had a student come to you and say, I was born female, I now identify as male, I want you to call me by male pronouns. Would you say yes to that?” JBP: “Well, it would depend on the student and the context and why I thought they were asking me and what I believe their demand actually characterized, and all of that. Because that can be done in a way that is genuine and acceptable, and a way that is manipulative and unacceptable. And if it was genuine and acceptable then I would have no problem with it. And if it was manipulative and unacceptable then not a chance.”

JBP said one thing first…. that he would call a student *they* if it was “genuine and acceptable.” After the questions by JHM, the focus became whether, or not, the law was requiring the usage of non-binary pronouns. This is not the first time that JBP has been too slick for his own good.

Was the question by JHM sincere, or was he trolling JBP? JHM was clearly playing with JBP. “Are you saying that psychological theory has nothing to teach us about this? Because you’re talking around my question. You’re gorgeously articulate. You’re smarter than me. Does psychology have anything to teach us or not? Yes or no?

It is tough to say. It may have been a combination of sincerity and rhetoric. Whatever the motivation there, the question struck a nerve with PG. It is easier to just be careful, use the preferred pronouns, and keep your concerns to yourself. Trans issues are a part of modern life. You don’t have to understand everything.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The quotes are from a transcript published in this artice, Jordan Peterson Comes to Aspen.

Bishop Talbert Swan

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Politics, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 7, 2019


Bishop Talbert Swan @TalbertSwan “Calling a Black POTUS married 25 yrs to 1 wife with 2 children, no mistresses, affairs or scandals, ‘the antichrist’ but a racist white POTUS married thrice, 5 kids by 3 women, mistresses, affairs & scandals, ‘God‘s anointed,’ proves your religion is white supremacy.” @chamblee54 “This tweet indicates that your religion is sophomore logic.” I posted a screenshot of this exchange on facebook, and got a reply. “Luther I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. Or maybe I just don’t want to know” Let the fun begin.

Bishop Talbert Swan is a professional Jesus worshiper, who uses the word “Bishop” as his title. BTS is the author of Closing the Closet: Testimonies of Deliverance from Homosexuality. Last year saw Bishop Talbert Swan permanently banned from Twitter for ‘hateful conduct’ “Although Twitter did not specify what Tweet got him banned, Swan believes it was a Tweet he sent out in May in response to someone asking him to follow Candace Owens … “I responded by writing ‘No thanks, I’m on the no coon diet’,” he said.” If you want to know more about BTS, google is your friend.

Lets break down the tweet that started this. I tried to find out who said both that BHO was the Anti-Christ, and then said that DJT was G-d anointed. This is a problem with twitter hypocrisy theater … there is seldom an actual person who said all these terrible things. If you google “Barack Obama Anti-Christ,” one of the results is from Snopes: Is Barack Obama the Anti-Christ?

“Calling a Black POTUS married 25 yrs to 1 wife with 2 children, no mistresses, affairs or scandals, ‘the antichrist’” The mixed race BHO is, indeed, married to his first wife. Either BHO did not fool around, or had the grace not to get caught. This neither proves, nor disproves, that BHO is the Anti-Christ. Nor is it the complete story. BHO did some good work. He also enabled America’s military to murder thousands of Muslims in Asia and Africa. Maybe any POTUS is the Anti-Christ.

“but a racist white POTUS married thrice, 5 kids by 3 women, mistresses, affairs & scandals, ‘God‘s anointed,’” BTS capitalizes Black, but says white in lower case, preceded by a value-added slur. Admittedly, DJT is a gnarly character, with an exuberant marital history. DJT is about as much God anointed as BHO is Anti-Christal. “Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

“proves your religion is white supremacy” The comments made by “you” about BHO and DJT indicate that “you” say foolish things. It does not prove anything. It certainly does not prove that “your religion is white supremacy.” Is WS a tax exempt organization? Does WS have ministers, a deity, rituals, prayers, and sunday morning traffic jams? Do you show your faithfulness to WS by saying stupid things about crooked politicians?

There is my response to consider. It is a satire of the preceding tweet. I said indicate, rather than prove, for obvious reasons. I said sophomore logic because fecal references are redundant. The word sophomore is derived from “Greek sophos (wise) + mōros (foolish.)” While the wisdom of the BTS tweet is obscure, the foolishness is obvious.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Critical Becky Studies

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 9, 2019

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Becky is a generic insult for *some* white women. If you don’t know what a Becky is, you might not understand the feature below. Chad is the equivalent expression for *some* white men. He is not important enough to be studied critically.

It started out with a tweet, about a symposium, Critical Becky Studies: Critical Explorations of Gender, Race, and the Pedagogies of Whiteness. Soon, PG was googling CBS. The paywall protected Wall Street Journal had an article on CBS. The seminal article was at City Journal, Racial Resentment As Pedagogy. The CBS flap originated at 2019 AERA Annual Meeting, sponsored by American Educational Research Association.

@chamblee54 @CityJournal @maxeden99 There was no link to this event in your article. I suspect this is a hoax. Please provide a link to the location on the event guide, for “critical becky studies.” The AERA conference guide is a confusing academic labyrinth. After a while, PG clicked on the correct link, and found a way to search for whiteness pedagogy.

CBS is real. “In the tradition of speculative fiction, parable, and counterstorytelling within critical race theory, this session aims to problematize the characterization of “Becky,” a term specific to white women who engage whiteness, often in gendered ways. This characterization is relevant to education by critically examining who is Becky and how she is characterized, her positionality in education, and how the hope for diversity, inclusion, equity, and racial justice within the P-20 educational pipeline is impacted by Becky. … tied to the gendered and raced mechanisms of whiteness enacted by Becky. ”

The symposium featured the presentation of several papers. If, after reading this feature, you want to learn more about these papers, you can follow the links.

This Ain’t No “Wizard of Oz,” Becky “The chapter is a parable in the spirit of speculative fiction, about the fictional (mis)adventures of Becky in the land of Ny as she faces obstacles that she can only overcome by grappling with her own whiteness.”

Two Woke Beckys? “Although both Sheila and Erika slip into different whiteness performances during their conversation, including passive aggressiveness and tone policing, white innocence, and white saviority, they check each other and delve into how they each have and are employing whiteness, despite their desires to rid themselves of whiteness, albeit through different means. …”
Love in the Time of Beckyism “… a particular white heterofeminine citizen-subject popularly known as “Becky,” … Despite “progressive” commitments such as equality, and social justice; and sentimental responses to historical atrocities and current social events, these (conditional) protestations made by Becky serve as a hedonistic mechanism for image management that hinges on the exploitation and social death of people of color. …” How can a teacher preparation program work to rethink the episteme and ethos that socializes Beckyism?”

Book Club Becky: White Racial Bonding in the Living Room “Many liberal white women gather monthly for book clubs … This paper reveals the more insidious workings of these spaces, as they are places where white women bond in order to maintain their place in white patriarchy, what Christine Sleeter named white racial bonding. The conversations that take place, the women who are included as “educated,” and the spaces where they meet are laced with white supremacy and surveillance.”

Border Becky “… why white women still invest in whiteness. Using the term “Becky” establishes an academic backing that can be applied and analyzed when researching the pathology of whiteness. … whiteness manifests in classrooms riddled with white women seeking to prove how they are not like other racist white people. Becky in the counterstories demonstrates the character-like roles white women play in a white supremacist folklore.”

It was a busy weekend for whiteness pedagogy. Ekemini Uwan shocked a Christian conference with her remarks about whiteness. “So then when we talk about white identity, then we have to talk about what whiteness is. Well, the reality is that whiteness is rooted in plunder, in theft, in slavery, in enslavement of Africans, genocide of Native Americans, … It’s a power structure, that is what whiteness is, and so that the thing for white women to do is you have to divest from whiteness because what happened was that your ancestors actually made a deliberate choice to rid themselves of their ethnic identity and by doing so they actually stripped Africans in America of their ethnic identity. … Because we have to understand something – whiteness is wicked. It is wicked. It’s rooted in violence, it’s rooted in theft, it’s rooted in plunder, it’s rooted in power, in privilege … ”

“Inter city beauties, Atlantic City Pageant, 1925” illustrate this feature. These images are from The Library of Congress. We do not know if any were named Becky. UPDATE @chamblee54 I found the link. My apologies for doubting you. @maxeden99 No worries. I couldn’t have made it up if I tried :)

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Truman Capote

Posted in Book Reports, Commodity Wisdom, Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 30, 2019


Truman Capote was a phenomenon of the TV talk show era. If he hadn’t existed, someone would have had to invent him. He was known as much for his sissy voice as his writing. Becoming famous in the late forties for “Other Voices, Other Rooms”, he worked on a screenplay for “Beat the Devil”. When he met the men accused of killing the Clutter family in Kansas, he impressed one by telling him he worked on a movie with Humphrey Bogart. These chats led to the book “In Cold Blood”, which was probably his biggest triumph. “Breakfast at Tiffanys” became a movie starring Audrey Hepburn.

He was on the Dick Cavett Show the same night as Georgia Governor Lester Maddox. After Maddox got offended and walked off the show, Mr.Capote remembered the time he ate at Maddox’s Pickrick restaurant.
“All I can say is that it wasn’t finger licking good”.
Mr. Capote was the darling of certain New York socialites. They unwisely told him some stories about their lives. In 1975 Esquire magazine published “La Côte Basque 1965”. It was a chapter from “Answered Prayers”, the book he received a large advance for and took his time writing. (It was finally published three years after his death) .The chapter published told some sordid tales about his jet set friends, who immediately ostracized him. It was a stepping stone on his road to ruin.

One chapter of “Answered Prayers” involves a dinner party in New York. Three of the guests were Dorothy Parker, Tallulah Bankhead, and Montgomery Clift. The evening never got past the cocktail hour, much to the distress of the hostess. At one point, Miss Parker was tenderly touching the face of Mr. Clift. She purred “He’s so beautiful,sensitive. So finely made. The most beautiful young man I have ever seen. What a pity he’s a cocksucker. Oh Oh, dear, have I said something wrong. I mean, he is a cocksucker, isn’t he Tallulah? Miss Bankhead replied ” Well d-d-darling, I r-r-really wouldn’t know. He’s never sucked my cock.”

In the spring of 1976, Mr. Capote gave a speech at the University of Georgia. At the time, there was a comic strip called “Don Q”, which has long been forgotten. It showed people in medieval clothes making comments on current affairs. On the day of the speech, the comic featured two characters. One was Richard Nixon. The other was as lisping little man, apparently based on Truman Capote.

The scene that evening was magic. The lecture was given on the steps of Memorial Hall, with the audience in the quadrangle in front of Reed Hall. Mr. Capote’s contract specified a pink spotlight, and a wicker chair behind the podium. Mr. Capote spoke for a while, and read a section out of “A Christmas Memory”. After a break, he returned to answer questions. The questions were written on file cards, and read by a student. The last one, and the one the reader said best typified the attitude of the evening, was “What does Johnny Carson look like in person?”

After this, Mr. Capote asked for questions from the crowd. PG raised my hand, and Mr. Capote pointed to him.
“Mr. Capote, did you see the comic strip Don Q this morning?” “No, what was it about?” ” It was about you, and Richard Nixon” “I don’t know who Don Q is, and I am beginning to not know who Richard Nixon is.”
Mr. Capote went downhill from this point on. He did a series of profiles for “Interview” magazine, which formed the basis of his last book ” Music for Chameleons”. His drinking and drug taking, always a problem, got worse. He became an embarrassment to those who once flocked to his side.

Truman Capote died in 1984. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress


PG wasn’t really doing anything, and was in the mood for a google wild goose chase. This led to an amazing article, Sweet as Sugar, Rude as Hell, My Lost Interview with Truman Capote’s Aunt. A writer for the fishwrapper went to a mobile home in Hudson, FL. He talked to Marie Rudisill, who was best known as Truman Capote’s “Aunt Tiny.” The meeting took place in 1997, and was not what the writer expected. A family friendly version of the meeting was published The journalist received a slice of fruitcake in the mail. Everyone concerned went on with their lives.

Marie Rudisill died November 3, 2006, after becoming famous as the Fruitcake Lady. As for the journalist: “When I left The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2009, I stashed 27 years of old newspapers, tapes and ephemera in my garage. Nothing is more depressing to me than those boxes of old newspapers. It’s my own private morgue — replete with the sickening scent of dust and roach pills…. When I finally mustered the courage to dig around, I found the Lewis interviews — as well as a cache of other recordings. Three of the tapes had Rudisill’s name scribbled on them. I was not quite ready to listen, though. I put them in a box and labeled it.”

In 1924, Truman Streckfus Persons was born in New Orleans LA. His mother, Lillie Mae (Aunt Tiny’s older sister) left here husband behind, and took the boy to Monroeville AL. They lived in a wild household. A neighbor was Harper Lee, who wrote “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Miss Lee was a close friend, as was Sook. This is Truman’s cousin, the fruitcake chef herone of “A Christmas Memory.”

After a while, Lillie Mae married Joe Capote, who adopted the boy. They moved to New York, where Aunt Tiny joined them. Truman was sent to military school. Everyone, except Lillie Mae, thought this was a terrible idea. The effort to butch up young Truman did not work.

Aunt Tiny wrote a book, Truman Capote: The Story of His Bizarre and Exotic Boyhood by an Aunt Who Helped Raise Him. It was published in 1983, a year before Truman died. “The book scandalized Monroeville — and Capote. He told The Washington Post: “If there are 20 words of truth in it, I will go up on a cross to save humanity.” Said Harper Lee: “I have never seen so many misstatements of fact per sentence as in that book.”

There is one story that sticks out…. “Rudisill breaks down just once during our interview. It’s when she recalls “the first time Truman ever had a sexual encounter with a priest.” She was living in Greenwich Village, having followed Lillie Mae and Truman to New York. “He was sitting on my doorstep when I came home from work, and he had blood all in his pants, and then he told me about this priest. And nobody, I don’t think anybody in the world ever knew that but me.”

There is more to the story. If you have the time, you might enjoy reading the full article. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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It is 3:15 am in a midtown office building. PG is spending his dinner break in an unused cubicle, almost out of speaker range for the break room tv. A flourescent light fixture is hard at work, playing an essential role in the drama to follow.

Thirty seven years ago, Truman Capote spoke in Athens GA. Before taking questions, he read “A Christmas Memory.” There was a line, with the words oh, and carnage, that got a big laugh.

Wednesday afternoon had been the first time to turn on the window AC unit. Outside, it was over ninety, with the Georgia humidity doubling the effect. The next two months will be miserable.

During this early morning dinner, after the first day of summer megaheat, PG is reading “A Christmas Memory”. An old lady, and the seven year old cousin she calls Buddy, are going to make fruitcakes. They need to buy supplies.

The previous summer, someone gave Buddy a penny for every 25 flies he killed. “Oh, the carnage of August: the flies that flew to heaven”. It is now 3:28. In two minutes, it will be time to go back to work. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The fruitcake lady was the aunt of Truman Capote. This is a repost.

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More Talk About Racism

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Politics, Quotes, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on February 8, 2019

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It is a cliche among certain pundits that this is not “Post Racial America.” No one seems to know what PRA would look like. PRA might be less noisy, with fewer odors, than the current model. The opinion that we do not live in PRA seems unanimous. After PG heard the denial of PRA one too many times, he began to wonder something. Who said America is Post Racial?

Mr. Google has 119 million answers to the question “who said america is post racial?” The short answer is nobody. The closest thing on the front Google page is an NPR commentary from January 2008. This was the early stages of the BHO run for the White House. The commenter said that the election of a dark skinned POTUS might usher in a post racial era in America.

This piece will not have any fresh opinions about race relations in America. That subject has been worn out elsewhere. If someone finds it to their advantage to denounce “racism”, there will be an audience. The truth is, very few people have ever said that America is Post Racial.

This is a double repost, on the subject that people can’t get enough of. If you can’t say anything good, you can always talk about racism. Pictures for this friday morning are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Some times you see something, and realize that you are being pushed over a line. Today’s straw, landing on the camel’s back, was a meme. It has pictures of a statesman-like BHO, and a goat smiling BS. The text was white comic sans letters, on a black background. “Regarding those who call Obama an illegitimate president because his father was born in Kenya, Bernie Sanders replied: “No one asked me if I was a citizen or not, and my dad came from Poland. Gee, what’s the difference? Maybe the color of my skin.” The comment was from a Las Vegas town hall meeting. Some things that are said in Vegas need to stay in Vegas.

No one denies that white people and black people often do not get along. Few deny that there is systemic inequality. The connection of “birther” speculation to systemic inequality is tough to see. Of course, the definition of racism is elastic, and can fit whatever situation the observer wants to critique.

Are we helping the cause of racial tranquility by making comments like that? Yes, it is foolish for “birthers” to whine about a birth certificate. But entertaining followers in a town hall debate does not mean you are going to be able to govern. Maybe BS should focus on his economic fantasies, and quit scoring cheap shots about racism.

The Color Of My Skin was originally published in February, 2016, when BS was taken seriously. As we all know, HRC eventually got the Democratic nomination, only to lose to DJT in November.

Mr. Trump was one of the original “birthers,” or people disputing the Hawaiian birth of BHO. In the general election campaign, Democrats liked to say that DJT was a racist, with birtherism frequently given as an example. The many other unappealing parts of DJT, like crookedness and mental instability, were brushed aside, in the mad rush to scream racist. Some even went so far as to say that anyone voting for DJT was a racist. When the electoral votes were counted, DJT won.

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Dorothy Parker and Thomas Jefferson

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 8, 2018

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BigO is a site with mp3 downloads. Most of them are concerts. PG found one exception. It was a 1960 interview, STUDS TERKEL WITH DOROTHY PARKER/BOB NEWHART – CHICAGO 1959/1960. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

Dorothy Parker is somewhat of a legend. There were the funny sayings, a few poems and stories, and her life. Mrs. Parker was well known as a witty person during the twenties. She drank, a lot, and talked often of suicide. It was surprising to find a 1960 interview.

In fact, Dorothy Parker died in 1967, at the age of 73. By 1960, she was in decline, living at the Manhattan’s Volney Hotel. “Edmund Wilson … paid occasional painful visits to her at the Volney. (“She lives with a small and nervous bad-smelling poodle bitch, drinks a lot, and does not care to go out.”) … She was still revered, a legend, but she had also become a pathetic relic. Yes, “you might as well live,” but for what? And on what? Not only was she running out of old friends, she was running out of money, though uncashed checks, some quite large, were strewn around her apartment (along with the empty bottles), not helping with unpaid bills.”

There were some zesty quotes in the interview with Mr. Terkel. “I can’t call myself a critic. Honestly. I can only put down what I think and pray there isn’t a libel suit.” “I’m not a poet, you know, I just write verse” “The beat boys aren’t saying anything except look at us aren’t we great … I don’t think the beat generation is much worth worrying about. Very soon, in the very near future, they will be as forgotten as mah jongg.”

Towards the end of the interview, Mr. Terkel said “i know some people would want me to ask, did she really say all those things that she was quoted as saying” “… no, no, and it was a curse on me, it was simply awful the things that were attributed to me. I wouldn’t have minded if they had been good. I was, in effect, the shaggy dog of my time.”

Another quote magnet for the meme generation is Thomas Jefferson. PG saw yet another inspiring quote on facebook today. Mr. Google was consulted. It turns out the quote is real.

Thomas Jefferson to William Hamilton, 22 April 1800 is the source. Vice President Jefferson was going to be elected President later that year. It is not known what effect that had on the quote in the meme. “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” It is not known whether a twenty first century Jefferson would unfriends anyone who says anything unappealing.

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Sunday Motivation

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on June 24, 2018


This is a repost double feature. It is on the general subject of motivation, inspiration, and manipulation. Such things are like perfume…nice to sniff at, but dangerous to swallow.

Back when I was at redo blue, we traded some printing for a motivational speech. The speaker was D. J. Harrington. He came on stage with a telephone handset, demonstrating how to answer the telephone. There were a lot of statistics, like you get 50 percent more information when you use your left ear. (This is a made up example, not a quote. I don’t remember any of his examples.) It reminded me of something a teacher said once…:
” The best way to win an argument is to use statistics. The best way to get statistics is to make them up”
On the all important issue of what to say when you answer the squawk box, he suggested
“How may I direct your call?” Now, I like to identify the company and myself as briefly as possible, and quit wasting the customer’s time. Mister customer knows why he called. HMIDYC is seven unnecessary syllables that do your customer no good.
As some of you know, I have a sensitive BS detector. This gets in the way of being “motivated”. When confronted with a entertainer motivational speaker, I try to glean one or two worthwhile tidbits. I give D.J.H. credit, he did make one good comment.
“You must sell yourself first, your company second, and your product third” There are some idea mongers who feel I owe them my trust. I beg to differ.
Mr. Harrington used to call his dog and pony show “C*** U* F*** T** N*** U*.That phrase is currently a registered trademark of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario and may be used with permission only. The link no longer works.

Redo Blue was a diverse company. I suspect D.J.H. toned down some of the good ole boy touches from his presentation. Towards the end, he described a speech he gave in Oklahoma.
“The only Catholics they have ever seen are Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne” He proceeded to tell a tasteless story about the Catholic Church. I was almost motivated to walk out.

In an early morning discourse, I said that Martin Niemoller was rolling in his grave looking for the royalties from his poem, “First they came…“. For those of you with very short memories, here it is.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller was the son of a Lutheran minister. In World War 1, he served on a U boat crew. Harold Marcuse tells this story:
“Niemöller was a commander of a German U-boat in World War I. A seminal incident in his moral outlook, … occurred when he commanded his submarine crew not to rescue the sailors of a boat he torpedoed, but let them drown instead. “
After the war Mr. Niemöller became a Lutheran Minister. Mr. Niemöller was originally a supporter of Mr. Hitler, but became an opponent. Mr. Niemöller was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945.

After the war, Mr. Niemöller began to speak out. The famous poem was derived from these speeches. It was never written down in typical poet fashion. There are several versions of it from him, and many more as the years rolled by. It has been quoted, updated, and quoted again.

In addition to the four groups mentioned above, the Nazis also came for mentally ill, incurably ill, or people in occupied countries. The legend is that when asked if he included Catholics, Mr. Niemöller said
“I never said it. They can take care of themselves.” (If you have a few minutes to spare, the page that quote came from is worth looking at.) When the McCarthy fever hit America, he declined to mention Communists. Maybe Mr. Niemöller was a pre-mature anti-facist.
With regard to the royalties, I could not see that it was ever copyrighted. I do not know who “owns the rights”. Some have even speculated that the poem was not composed by Mr. Niemöller.

Recently, there was a blog post that quoted “First they came…” The post was about gay marriage. With all due respect, to the people affected by this, the ability to marry someone of the same gender does not come close to a government killing six million Jews.

There is the Rebel looking for a cause syndrome. Many people just want to fight about something, and the cause is secondary to the lust for battle. When a poem like this is used to fire up people for a shaky cause, it brings discredit to the poem.

There is the matter of the “Next Hitler” argument. During the run up to the first war against Iraq, Saddam Hussein was routinely called the next Hitler. While this may be a valid argument at times, it often sounds like the boy who cried wolf. The “Next Hitler” argument is covered by Godwin’s Law. On August 13, 2017, Mike Godwin updated his law. @sfmnemonic “By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I’m with you.” Whatever dude.

Maybe a general moratorium is needed on the use of “First they Came…” This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.