Chamblee54

The Silly Remarks Of The President

Posted in GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on November 30, 2021

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November 19, 2013 was the 151st anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. This was seven score, and eleven years, ago. This is not as poetic as four score and seven. The famous speech was written on White House stationary, not the back of an envelope. The train ride to the battlefield was too bumpy to write on, so it was written elsewhere. No one is sure what happened to the original.

The text was published in newspapers, and became famous. Relatively few people heard the actual speech. Not everyone was impressed. The Harrisburg Patriot & Union said “We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of.” The descendent of this paper, The Patriot-News, printed a retraction in 2013. Better late than never.

Other contemporaries were critical. Presidents are politicians, with allies and enemies, and are not often beloved in their own time. The New York World accused Lincoln of “gross ignorance or willful misstatement” with his declaration of “four score and seven years ago.” The Democratic Chicago Times called the address “a perversion of history so flagrant that the extended charity cannot regard it as otherwise than willful.”

H.L. Mencken had a few unkind things to say about the affair. “But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination—”that government of the people, by the people, for the people,” should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. “

As the rest of the linked essay points out, one motivation for the Confederates desire for self determination is to maintain the ability to own other human beings. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.” This is a repost.

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Thanksgiving

Posted in History, Holidays by chamblee54 on November 25, 2021


PG does not want to bore you with talk about gratitude. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. There will be one story.
“I used to work for a company that produced annual reports. One year, I was sent on this huge cross country trip to art direct a series of shots for a food processing mega-company, and one of the stops involved a turkey farm. Okay, so you have to understand that turkeys are extremely skittish birds. The slightest thing will set them off, so the farmer kept them in a large, basically dark barn just to keep them under some semblance of control. So we go in, and the photographer sets up the lights, which he gradually turned on so the birds (and me, for that matter) could get used to it. Everything’s going fine. We have the farmer in front of his (literally) hundreds of free-range turkeys. The photographer clicks off the shot… and in doing so sets off a flash he forgot he had triggered. Immediate chaos: birds running everywhere.At least a dozen fainted and died right on the spot. Farmer was none too happy. Neither was the agency.”































Fifty Eight Years

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on November 22, 2021

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Fifty eight years ago, John Kennedy went to the oval office in the sky. The bullets hit Mr.Kennedy at 12:30 pm, CST. He arrived at the hospital at 12:37. He had a faint heartbeat on arrival, but quickly succumbed to his wounds.

In Georgia, PG was nine years old. He was in Miss Mckenzie’s fourth grade class. There was going to be an assembly soon, and the class was going to perform. There was a rehearsal in the cafetorium, and some of the kids were acting up. They went back to the class, and PG thought they were going to be chewed out about the misbehavior in the cafetorium. Instead, Miss Mckenzie came into the room, and told the kids that President Kennedy had been shot during a parade in Dallas Texas. She did not say anything about his condition. One kid cheered the news.

School let out at the regular time, and PG walked home. His mother and brother were crying. He was told that the president had died. The cub scouts meeting that afternoon was canceled.

Later that night, a plane arrived in Washington. The tv cameras showed a gruesome looking man walk up to a microphone. He was introduced as President Lyndon Johnson. This may have been the worst moment of that day. Photographs for this repost today are from “Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Seven Score And Eighteen Years Ago

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 19, 2021









A vicious battle had been fought near Gettysburg, PA. It is widely considered the turning point of “Mr. Lincoln”s War,” the moment when the Union took the upper hand. It came at a horrible price, and a cemetery was built to hold this price.

The ceremony to dedicate the cemetery was held November 19, 1863. The headline speaker was Senator Edward Everett. The President was an afterthought. After it was over, Mr. Everett reportedly told the President that he said more in two minutes than he did in two hours.

The speech by Mr. Lincoln is an American classic. Schoolchildren are forced to memorize it. There are a few legends, many of which are not true. According to The Lincoln Museum , the speech was written on White House stationary, not the back of an envelope. The train ride would have been too bumpy to write. There is also confusion about what happened to the original text that the President read from.

HT to Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Measured in pixels, the picture of George Custer is 720×666. This is a repost.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. 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. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.







Did Socrates Read And Write?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 17, 2021

This story starts with a facebook meme. A fbf posted a picture of a thoughtful statue. The text read ‘When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.’ -Socrates. PG thought that Socrates never wrote anything that survived. All of what we attribute to Socrates was written by Plato. People reading this blog should know what happened next. This is a repost
Did Socrates Say Slander Is ‘The Tool of the Losers”? is one of several results. They all said the same thing … the quote is bogus. A tweet from Eric Trump is not evidence of authenticity.

PG began to think, which is never a good sign. Was Socrates able to read and write? was on the screen a few minutes later. The speculation is mixed. Some say that that Socrates was stone illiterate.

Thomas Musselman “Socrates served in the government on juries. Historians now know that legal proceedings were common over business matters of great sophistication and the the juries were well-educated concerning such matters. General literacy existed by the late 400s BC for the general pubic in primary school. Upper class males even in Socrates’ day would have been literate and there was an active book-seller market. To function in the world that Socrates functioned in required literacy.”

Google turned up a curious document. It is a passage written by Plato,“Phaedrus.” Pp. 551-552 in Compete Works. An Egyptian G-d is talking to a King, about an invention … writing.

“In fact, it (writing) will introduce forgetfulness into the soul of those who learn it: they will not practice using their memory because they will put their trust in writing, which is external and depends on signs that belong to others, instead of trying to remember from the inside, completely on their own. You have not discovered a potion for remembering, but for reminding; you provide your students with the appearance of wisdom, not with its reality. Your invention will enable them to hear many things without being properly taught, and they will imagine that they have come to know much while for the most part they will know nothing. And they will be difficult to get along with, since they will merely appear to be wise instead of really being so.”

SOCRATES: “But, my friend, the priests of the temple of Zeus at Dodona say that the first prophecies were the words of an oak. Everyone who lived at that time, not being as wise as you young ones are today, found it rewarding enough in their simplicity to listen to an oak or even a stone, so long as it was telling the truth, while it seems to make a difference to you, Phaedrus, who is speaking and where he comes from. Why, though, don’t you just consider whether what he says is right or wrong?”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Part two is after the break.


A facebook friend posted a meme. It had an picture of Bertrand Russell, quoted as saying “If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” PG consulted with Mr. Google, and had his answer in seconds.

“From the wikiquotes page of Anatole France Si 50 millions de personnes disent une bêtise, c’est quand même une bêtise. If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. As quoted in Listening and Speaking : A Guide to Effective Oral Communication (1954) by Ralph G. Nichols and Thomas R. Lewis, p. 74. Misattributed to Bertrand Russell, by Laurence J. Peter, in The Peter Prescription : How To Make Things Go Right (1976), but he subsequently attributed to France in Peter’s Quotations: Ideas for Our Time (1977).”

“As I’ve said on many occasions, I don’t care who a quote is (mis)attributed to. I share a meme because its message resonates for me.” PG “If a million facebook users post a misattributed quote, it is still a misattributed quote … I have this vague sense that it does make a difference, but I can’t find the words to say why. Maybe google will have a snappy quote, preferably in English, that will give me a reason why correct attribution matters.”

“With google available, it is so, so easy to verify a quote before you post it. Often, the context of the quote puts a different shade on the meaning. Like the quote above. I have no idea why Mr. France said that, or what he meant. Sometimes, the words come from a foolish character in a story, and the author is making fun of them. Since I do not read French, I do not know how accurate the translation is.” (Google translate says “If 50 million people say stupidity, it’s still a stupidity.”)

“There is a famous quote from Ben Franklin about security and liberty. The quote is totally legitimate. It is taken from an Editorial Mr. Franklin was paid to write. The editorial supported the colonial government, in their efforts to levy a tax on farmers.”

The Ben Franklin post linked above has a useful link. “‘Contextomy’ refers to the selective excerpting of words from their original linguistic context in a way that distorts the source’s intended meaning, also known as ‘quoting out of context’. Contextomy is employed in contemporary mass media to promote products, defame public figures and misappropriate rhetoric. A contextomized quotation not only prompts audiences to form a false impression of the source’s intentions, but can contaminate subsequent interpretation of the quote when it is restored to its original context.”

Another chamblee54 post, about a dubious quote, refers to the Four Principles of Quotation. Principle 1 Whenever you see a quotation given with an author but no source assume that it is probably bogus. Principle 2 Whenever you see a quotation given with a full source assume that it is probably being misused, unless you find good evidence that the quoter has read it in the source. Principle 3 Whenever you make a quotation, give the exact source. Principle 4 Only quote from works that you have read.

This does not answer the question… is it WRONG to put the incorrect name at the bottom of a quote? Sharing a meme on facebook is not the same as putting a goofy quote in a term paper. While this is something that PG is loath to do, is it really that bad for someone else? Certainly there are concerns about context. Memes often do not use the quote as the author would have intended.

After a few frustrating search terms, PG decided to google “I don’t care who a quote is (mis)attributed to. I share a meme because its message resonates for me.” Google replied “Did you mean: I don’t care who a quote is (mis)attributed to. I share a meme because it’s message resonates for me” Apparently, Google does not know that the possesive form of its does not have an apostrophe. It’s is short for it is.

There were some lively results, though few answered the key question. “Furthermore, and this does bear mentioning, Andy Rooney did not write this. He died in 2011 so the words in the post, “let’s make 2019/2020 the year the silent majority is heard,” is ridiculous.” “Ever since the quote’s real author emerged, there’s been a lively discussion on Facebook about whether it even matters who said it – as long as someone said it.”

One result typifies the entire commodity wisdom catalog. Best Inspirational Quotes For Killer Social Media Posts There is a pop-up ad that will not go away. “149 Inspirational Quotes: Free PDF! Want to inspire your friends and followers with uplifting words? Grab my collection of 149 short quotes that are just the right length for social media posts, PLUS tips on how to make and post them! Sign up now and you’ll have the free PDF in a flash” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Andy Warhol And Frank Zappa

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on November 16, 2021


Andy Warhol Hosts Frank Zappa on His Cable TV Show, and Later Recalls, “I Hated Him More Than Ever” After the Show” Andy had a public access cable tv show in New York. One of his guests was Frank Zappa. FZ talked a lot, while Andy was silently uncomfortable. A friend of Andy’s, Richard Berlin, did the interview. Mr. Berlin is possibly the brother of Warhol film actress Brigid Berlin.

The Andy Warhol Diaries has a few comments about the show. “… I hated Zappa even more than when it started. I remember when he was so mean to us when the Mothers of Invention played with the Velvet Underground—I think both at the trip, in L.A., and at the Fillmore in San Francisco. I hated him then and I still don’t like him.”

Jimmy Carl Black (The “Indian of the group” for the Mothers of Invention): “I don’t remember Zappa actually putting them down on stage, but he might have. He really disliked the band. For what reasons I really don’t know, except that they were junkies and Frank just couldn’t tolerate any kind of drugs. I know that I didn’t feel that way and neither did the rest of the Mothers. I thought that they were very good, especially Nico (whom I secretly fell in love with or was it lust?). I especially thought that Moe was a very good drummer, because in those days I don’t recall there being any other female drummers on the scene. The thinking of the audiences was completely different than those from New York City. They were lukewarmly received.”

“In 1965 The Trip opened at 8572 Sunset Boulevard right next to the towering Playboy Club building. The Trip was located in the former popular 60s jazz club called the Crescendo. There was a comedy club upstairs called the Interlude. … The Velvet Underground and Nico are the musical guests at a series of shows at The Trip nightclub on Sunset Strip in 1966, but it is their manager, Andy Warhol, who is the headliner with his outrageous, multi-media Exploding Plastic Inevitable Show.” …

“On May 3, 1966 I was serving drinks in the celebrity section at The Trip. Jane Fonda is seated and she orders a drink and I asked her for ID. She removes her sunglasses and says, Do you know who I am? … Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention are the opening act the first night. At the end of the set they receive a standing ovation and cheers from the audience.”

“The Exploding Plastic Inevitable Show started after The Velvet Underground played a couple of songs. … When your eyes adjusted to the manipulation of the light what you saw was an interaction between Nico and two men, one who carried a whip, the other chains. It was an illusion, I think, of sadism, not at all acceptable to peace loving hippies. … The EPI featured a mixed media orgy that included film loops, music by the Velvets, sadomasochistic dancing and an epileptic lightshow.”

“Before the first set was over people stared to walk out of the club. Cher said “It depressed me. It will replace nothing – except maybe suicide.” People were standing up at their tables, booing as they waited their turn to leave the club. The line for the second show circled the block but the customers leaving started warning people not to go in. They said the show was vulgar and violent. The line got smaller and smaller until only a handful of people remained.”

“The Buffalo Springfield is playing the Whisky A Go Go as the opening act and is free to leave at 12:45 am. They walk to The Trip in time to see the feature act. … The musicians are equally offended by the appearance of sexual violence and what they assumed was part of the Velvet Underground’s act. It was later that we realized that Andy is the creator of the act of violence. … There is more then one story about why on the third day of the New Yorker’s show, L.A. Sheriff’s officers closed The Trip.”

“The show was cancelled before the advertised end date of its run. According to Callie Angell “On May 12, the club was temporarily closed when Virgina Greenhouse, wife of one of the operators, sued to collect a $21,000 over-due promissory note, and a representative of the sheriff’s office delivered a writ of attachment to the club. Warhol and the Velvet Underground filed a claim for their fee with the local musicians’ union, and were forced to wait in Los Angeles for payment to arrive.” According to Bockris, the club was “closed down by the Sheriff’s office on their third day. The troupe stay in LA, hoping the club would re-open, and the musicians’ union said if they stayed in town for the (union rules) duration of their engagement they would have to be paid the complete fee. They used the time to continue recording the first album.”

The Trip, engagement was supposed to be May 3 -18, 1966 , at least for EPI. The Mothers (not yet of Invention) headed north after the show. … “May 6-26, 1966 Frenchy’s House of BBQ, Hayward, CA (on the 21st they backed Neil Diamond who played a one night stand) … May 27-29, 1966 Fillmore Auditorium , San Francisco, CA (The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Supporting Velvet Underground & Nico) … June 3-4, 1966 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA (supporting Quicksilver Messenger Service & The Grateful Dead) … June 24-25, 1966 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA (supporting Lenny Bruce).” Lenny Bruce died August 3, 1966.

“The Exploding Plastic Inevitable arrived in San Francisco to play for two nights at BILL GRAHAM’s Fillmore Ball Room with the MOTHERS OF INVENTION and the early JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. The Warhol crowd hated the hippie culture of San Francisco. Bill Graham pulled the plug on the Velvets the second night when the band left the stage after leaning their instruments against the amplifiers creating a “barrage of sonic feedback”.

“John Cale: “In San Francisco, we played the Fillmore and no one liked us much. We put the guitars against the amps, turned up, played percussion and then split. Bill Graham came into the dressing room and said, “You owe me 20 more minutes.” I’d dropped a cymbal on Lou’s head and he was bleeding. “Is he hurt?” Graham said. “We’re not insured.””

“After the second night in San Francisco Gerard Malanga was arrested in an all night cafeteria in North Beach for carrying an offensive weapon (his whip) and spent the night in jail. … While In San Francisco, Lou Reed shot up some bad speed causing his joints to seize up and he was incorrectly diagnosed as having a terminal case of lupus. Upon their return to New York, Lou Reed checked into Beth Israel hospital with a serious case of hepatitis and had a six week course of treatment. Nico left for Ibiza while the rest of the Velvets started rehearsing for an upcoming June booking in Chicago – a one week stint at Poor Richard’s. ANGUS MACLISE returned as drummer and MAUREEN TUCKER switched to playing bass.”

The VU and The Mothers of Invention both recorded on the MGM/Verve label. According to some, this caused problems. “The band believed that Zappa used his clout to hold back their release in favor of his own album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out. “The problem [was] Frank Zappa and his manager, Herb Cohen,” said (Sterling) Morrison. “They sabotaged us in a number of ways, because they wanted to be the first with a freak release. And we were totally naive. We didn’t have a manager who would go to the record company every day and just drag the whole thing through production.” (John) Cale claimed that the band’s wealthy patron affected the label’s judgment. “Verve’s promotional department [took] the attitude, ‘Zero bucks for VU, because they’ve got Andy Warhol; let’s give all the bucks to Zappa.’”

“On October 23, 1967, in New York, singer Nico sang with The Velvet Underground. (This list of VU performances does not mention a show on that date) … Nico’s delivery of her material was very flat, deadpan, and expressionless, and she played as though all of her songs were dirges. She seemed as though she was trying to resurrect the ennui and decadence of Weimar, pre-Hitler Germany. Her icy, Nordic image also added to the detachment of her delivery. … In between sets, Frank Zappa got up from his seat and walked up on the stage and sat behind the keyboard of Nico’s B-3 organ. He proceeded to place his hands indiscriminately on the keyboard in a total, atonal fashion and screamed at the top of his lungs, doing a caricature of Nico’s set, the one he had just seen. The words to his impromptu song were the names of vegetables like broccolli, cabbage, asparagus… This “song” kept going for about a minute or so and then suddenly stopped. He walked off the stage and the show moved on. It was one of the greatest pieces of rock ‘n roll theater that I have ever seen.”

The Library of Congress furnished the pictures for this feature. This is a repost.

The Burning Of Atlanta

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 13, 2021

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Around this time 157 years ago, Atlanta was on fire. General Sherman was preparing for his March to the sea, and wanted to destroy anything of value in the city. The fire is reported as being on 11-15 of November, depending on what source you use.

The November fire was the second great fire in Atlanta that year. On September 2, the city was conquered by the Union Army. The fleeing Confederates blew up a munitions depot, and set a large part of the city on fire. This is the fire Scarlet O’Hara flees, in “Gone With The Wind”.

After a series of bloody battles, the city was shelled by Yankee forces for forty days. There were many civilian casualties. General Sherman was tired of the war, angry at Atlanta, and ready for action. This is despite the fact that many in Atlanta were opposed to secession.

Click here to hear a lecture by Marc Wortman at the Atlanta History Center. Mr Wortman is the author of “The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta”. The hour of talk is fascinating. This is a repost. The pictures are from The Library of Congress

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About this time every year, there is a post about the burning of Atlanta. One of the sources is a lecture by Marc Wortman. If you have an hour to spare, this talk is worth your time. One of the stories told is the tale of Mr. Luckie.

“According to folklore, two stories abound as to how Luckie Street was named. The first is that its moniker came from one of Atlanta’s oldest families. The other, probably closer to the truth, regales the life of Solomon “Sam” Luckie. Luckie, as it turns out, wasn’t so lucky after all. When General William Tecumseh Sherman first came marching through Atlanta in 1864, Luckie, a free Black man who made his living as a barber, was leaning against a gas lamp post in downtown talking to a group of businessmen. A burst from a cannon shell wounded him; he survived, but later died from his injuries. Folklore suggests that he may have been one of the first casualties of the assault on Atlanta. Luckie Street, an extension of Auburn Avenue, was later named in his memory.”

Marc Wortman wrote a book, The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta. The one star review, and comments to that review, are unusually detailed. Here is a selection.

“…People forget – or were never taught in school – that most Confederate soldiers descended from Revolutionary War patriots or were up-country poor sons of farmers. Many Confederate soldiers were relatively recent new arrivals to the U.S., semi-literate dirt poor immigrants from Ireland and Scotland who’d never had the chance to own even an acre of their own land in Europe. In the mix were well-educated, elite merchant business owning French Huguenot refugees of the Catholic Bourbon genocide of Protestants. These immigrants had nowhere else to go, 9 times out of 10 never owned a slave, and fought for the CSA to keep what little they’d hardscrabble carved out over a decade of arrival into the U.S.”

The War Between The States continues to be a source of controversy. After the Charleston church killings, many comments were made about the Confederate battle flag. (If you can’t talk about gun control or mental health, you talk about a symbol.) This led to discussions about the war itself. There were ritual denunciations of slavery, assumed to be the sole cause of the conflict.

The notion of autonomous states in a federal union was novel when the United States Constitution was written. The debate over federalism versus states rights continues to this day. States that want to legalize marijuana may be the next battleground. (Few are expecting secession over bong rights.) Many in the CSA saw the Union as being a conquering army, and fought to defend their homes. While slavery was certainly a factor in the creation of the CSA, it was not the only Casus belli. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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November 11

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 11, 2021






Veterans day was originally Armistice Day. On November 11, 1918, at 11 am, Paris time (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) a cease fire went into effect for “The great war”. Officials of the major armies agreed to the ceasefire at 5 am (European time). There were an estimated 11,000 casualties in the last six hours of the war.

At 11:59 am, U.S. army private Henry Gunther became the last soldier to die in World War I.
“According to the Globe and Mail this is the story of the last soldier killed in WW1: On Nov.11, 1918, U.S. army private Henry Gunther stood up during a lull in the machine gun fire and charged the enemy. “The Germans stared in disbelief,” says the Daily Express. “They had been told that morning that the fighting was about to stop; in a few minutes they would stop firing and go home. So why was this American charging at them with his bayonet drawn? They shouted at him to stop and frantically tried to wave him back but… he hadn’t heard anything of the ceasefire.” A German gunner released a five-round burst and the soldier lay dead, at 10:59 a.m. In his recently published Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour, U.S. Military Historian Joseph Persico notes that Private Gunther had previously been a sergeant but was demoted after an Army censor read his letter to a friend back home, urging him to steer clear of the war at all costs. Gunther, who was in no-man’s land when the ceasefire news arrived, had been trying to prove himself worthy of his original rank.”
This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.






Veteran’s Day is a bad day for a cynic. I appreciate living in The United States. Even with all of her flaws, I have a good life here. The role that Veterans have played should be honored. On the other hand, those who profit from war often exploit Veterans, for political mojo. Many of these people did not serve. Those who profit from war, without serving, deserve our scorn.

Veterans are often not treated well after their service. It is estimated that a quarter of the homeless are veterans. The services offered to wounded veterans are shamefully lacking.

Hugh Pharr Quin CSA was my great grandfather. He served with the Georgia State Troops, in the War Between the States. I prefer the USA to the CSA, or whatever would have followed a Confederate victory. The Union army had to prevail, over the various Confederate Armies, for this to happen. Do I dishonor my great grandfather by saying, we are better off that the other side won?

Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day. This was the day, 103 years ago, when the War to End All Wars ended. World War I was a ghastly bloodbath, in which millions died. It affected many of the problems that plague us today. I would be willing to bet that not one person, in ten thousand, knows what World War I was about. And yet, the men who fought in that conflict (I don’t think they had women soldiers then) deserve the same gratitude as those who fought in any other conflict.

The soldier…many of whom are drafted…doesn’t get to choose which war to fight in. The sacrifice of the World War II soldier was just as great as the Vietnam fighter, but the appreciation given was much greater. I grew up during Vietnam, and saw the national mood go from patriotic fight, to dismayed resistance. By the time I was old enough to get drafted, the Paris accords had been signed. For better or worse, there went my chance.





Arlo Guthrie

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on November 9, 2021

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This is a rerun post, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The original post was half about Arlo Guthrie, and half about Ralph Reed. Today, only the part about Arlo Guthrie will be shown. If you absolutely must read about Ralph Reed, you can follow the link above, or read Lisa Baron And Ralph Reed TMI.

The entertainment today is about Arlo Guthrie . Thanksgiving is intimately connected to Mr. Guthrie. Unlike the turkey, Mr. Guthrie has gone on to have a flourishing career. He probably will not come down with Huntington’s Disease, which killed his father Woody Guthrie.

The video that goes with this text was the first time PG saw Arlo Guthrie. This was broadcast January 21, 1970. PG was an unhip fifteen year old, who had not heard Alice’s Restaurant, seen the movie, or been to Woodstock. He did see the Johnny Cash show this night, or at least the part where Arlo Guthrie did the motorcycle song.

To quote the digital facility PG is borrowing from:
” Born Arlo Davy Guthrie on July 10, 1947, in New York, NY; son of Woody (a folksinger) and Marjorie Mazia (a dancer; maiden name, Greenblatt) Guthrie; married Jacklyn Hyde, October 9, 1969; children: Abraham, Cathyalicia, Annie Hays, Sarah Lee.” Abraham and Sarah Lee play in Arlo’s touring band.
The Alice’s Restaurant Masacree is a part of Americana now. There are two bits of knowledge, that are as true as anything told to a Persian king. When trying to dispose of some garbage, and finding the city dump closed, Arlo found some litter by the roadside, and made a value judgment…One big pile of garbage is better than two little piles.

The second is about the draft, and the business of choosing people to fight our wars. There is a regulation today that says that Gays and Lesbians are not supposed to be soldiers and sailors. In the tale of the thanksgiving dinner, it was litterbugs. (There was also a draft, and a different war. Lots of Americans were coming home in boxes.) The bottom line: Mr. Guthrie is confused about not being considered moral enough to kill people, because he was a litterbug.

A few years into his career, Arlo Guthrie had a hit record called “City of New Orleans”. It was about a train, and said “Good Morning America”. “City of New Orleans” was written by Steve Goodman, who is no longer with us. Mr. Goodman also wrote the perfect country and western song .

PG heard a story about Steve Goodman.
“The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ”I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd. PG is not sure if he believes this, but it is a good story.” ( A biographer of Mr. Goodman said said that the candidate was Edmund Muskie. He also says that David Allen Coe had nothing to do with the last verse of the perfect country and western song.)
As previously noted, this is a repost from a few years ago. In that time, the policy against gay people serving in the military has been dismantled. The Ralph Reeds of the world are more upset about the concept of gay marriage, than by gay people killing Muslims. Vietnam is a peaceful country, and is enjoying economic good times. The draft is something old fogies remember. The current fashion is to support war by demanding a tax cut.

Arlo Guthrie continues to make music. USA Today had a feature recently, Arlo Guthrie celebrates 50 years at ‘Alice’s Restaurant’. Arlo Davy Guthrie has a twitter account, @folkslinger, and a full head of white hair. His wife of 43 years, Jackie Guthrie, died Oct. 14, 2012. The Lenox Square theater was torn down to make way for a food court many years ago.

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Smedley Butler

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 2, 2021









There was a feature the other day on the innertube called War is a racket . It was about a man with the unlikely name of Smedley Butler . Pictures for today’s adventure are from The Library of Congress. The video features an actor named Graham Frye in the role of General Butler. The video is courtesy of Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter 9 Veterans For Peace. This is a repost.

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler was a star of the U.S. Marine Corps. He lied about his age to enlist during the Spanish American War. Mr. Butler served in Philippines, China, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and World War I. With the exception of World War I, most of these conflicts are forgotten today.

Smedley Butler received the Medal of Honor twice.
“His first Medal of Honor was presented following action at Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21-22 April 1914, where he commanded the Marines who landed and occupied the city. Maj Butler “was eminent and conspicuous in command of his Battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22nd and in the final occupation of the city…The following year, he was awarded the second Medal of Honor for bravery and forceful leadership as Commanding Officer of detachments of Marines and seamen of the USS Connecticut in repulsing Caco resistance on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915.”
After his retirement in 1931, Mr. Butler had a change of heart, and decided that killing for Uncle Sam was not such a great idea. He wrote a book, “War is a Racket”, and became a popular speaker. Here is a “money quote”…
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.”
Smedley Butler died June 21, 1940. Eighteen months later, America was at War again. How he would have reacted to that conflict is a mystery.

Oscar And Milo

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on October 17, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pauline Kael, Gina James, And James Broughton

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 12, 2021

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Pauline Kael was the rockstar film critic. James Broughton was the radical faerie poet laureate. They were lovers, and had a daughter, Gina James. Pauline and James were not married, contrary to what some naysayers would tell you. This is a repost.

Much of the information in this feature is taken from online reviews of Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark, a 2012 biography written by Brian Kellow. Gina James, also known as Gina Broughton, was not interviewed for the book. Neither did she participate in the making of Big Joy, a movie about James Broughton. (A wig store, Gina Beauty Supply is located at 25 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401.)

Pauline Kael was born June 19, 1919, Petaluma, CA, died September 3, 2001, Great Barrington, MA, and stood 4 feet 9 inches tall. James Broughton was born November 10, 1913, Modesto, CA, and died May 17, 1999, Port Townsend, WA. Neither one had a middle name. Both used their birth name throughout life. Both had lives, before meeting in the late forties.

When she met James Broughton, Miss Kael was living what would later be called the bohemian life. After moving to New York, and being dumped for composer Samuel Barber, Miss Kael moved back to California. “Returning to the Bay Area with her tail between her legs in 1945, Pauline became involved with the incredibly effeminate avant-garde filmmaker James Broughton. He managed to impregnate Pauline but threw her out as soon as she told him, whereupon she moved to Santa Barbara to give birth to her daughter, Gina, in 1948″

“Like her early career, Kael’s personal life was also fraught with failures. Kellow says “she had a habit of falling for gay men” earlier in her life because “they tended to share her passions and enthusiasms.” She had a daughter … with one of them, experimental filmmaker James Broughton.”

“For a time, during the 1940s, he lived with future film critic Pauline Kael. She encouraged his filmmaking endeavors but their relationship ended after she got pregnant. … Pauline Kael thought that Broughton made the biggest mistake of his life when he turned down a studio film after winning the prize at Cannes.” (Apparently Mr. Broughton was from a wealthy family, and could afford this attitude. Regarding his movie The Bed, Mr. Broughton said “It was the only film I created that ever made any money.”)

“Which brings us to the strange tale of Pauline’s only child, Gina James. … In 1948, at age 29, Kael got pregnant after she “talked her way into moving in” with James Broughton, a bisexual poet living in Sausalito. By Kellow’s account, Broughton was furious at the news of Kael’s pregnancy; he felt trapped and tricked by her. One of Broughton’s friends reported that he kicked Kael out of his house. She moved to Santa Barbara to have the baby. The birth certificate listed the father as “Lionel James, a writer”. It is one of the disappointments of the book that Kellow shines little light on Kael’s passion — or whatever it was — for Broughton, on how she processed that cruel rejection and on whether Broughton ever recognized Gina as his daughter.”

James Broughton moved on with his life. He made experimental films, got married, and fathered two more children. At some point he met Joel Singer, and began the romance that would last the rest of his life. It is tough to say whether he was genuinely bisexual, or whether he was playing the role society expected of him.

This review of Big Joy continues: “But interviews with Singer, waxing poetic about his years with the artist, are balanced by reminiscences from Broughton’s ex-wife and his abandoned son. Rather than only celebrating silliness, I found it admirable that the directors didn’t gloss over the pain he caused his wife and children. After all, when you think about it, he spent all of his life unable to decide if he was gay or straight; leaving a lot of broken hearts in his wake.

We learn from Kael that he flirted with everyone he met. “He rode off into the sunset with some guy,” his wife, Suzanna Hart tells us. “That was very sad for me, but not for him, which was…very irritating.” In her segments, Hart keeps her emotions in check but you can clearly read the sadness and anger in her face. The son doesn’t have much good to say about his absent father and the two daughters (the first by Kael and the second by Hart) both refused to be interviewed for the film. Singer has a lot to say about their blissful decades together, but he also comes off a bit heartless when he shows no guilt over breaking up what he calls Broughton’s “loveless” marriage.”

The baby daddy leaves, and the struggling writer becomes a single mom. “… Kael’s relationship with her actual daughter was something out of a Tennessee Williams play, and not in a good way. Kael home-schooled Gina and, as the girl grew up, kept her close, as a typist, projectionist, driver and right-hand man, and she banished any friend who actively encouraged the young woman to break out on her own. Though she was in many ways a loving and committed mother, helping to raise Gina’s son and always living nearby, one senses a Gothic selfishness in her mothering.”

Gina James declined to talk with Kellow for his book, but the author says Kael and her daughter had a sort of symbiotic relationship. “Pauline did not type, Pauline did not drive — Gina performed both those functions for her. And Gina was a very good critic of Pauline. She got to see Pauline’s copy before anyone else did and she often had very, very important and influential things to say. But Pauline really wasn’t wild about the idea of Gina breaking away and having her own life apart from her, and she didn’t do anything really to encourage her in that direction as far as I can see.”

Amazon one star comment: And her poor daughter – what a fate – TYPING all that. Poor Gina, — I can see her – Kellow described sitting silently in some coffee shop while her mother raved on and ON with her pet directors.

An affair with the experimental filmmaker James Broughton produced a child, Gina, whom Kael raised by herself, Mildred Pierce–like, heroically supporting them with a number of odd jobs, including running a laundry. Gina’s heart condition required expensive surgery, and Kael ended up enticing Edward Landberg, the owner of a local art-house theater, Berkeley Cinema Guild. They had begun as co-programmers. As Landberg tells it: “One day, when I was over at her place, I happened to graze her breast with my hand, and she kind of looked up and said, ‘What have you got to lose?’” Their marriage proved a fiasco, but Landberg agreed to pay for Gina’s operation, which Kellow suspects had been Kael’s motive all along…. Kellow shows more independence in assessing Kael’s treatment of her daughter Gina, whose ambitions to become a dancer or a painter she did little to encourage, preferring to keep her on “a silver cord . . . she had also grown accustomed to the steady, dependable role that Gina played—as secretary, driver, reader, sounding board—and she was loath to give her up.” Gina, for her part, was mistrustful of the dynamic she witnessed between Kael and her acolytes.“

“The closest and longest-lasting partnership of her life was with her daughter, Gina James … James considered speaking to Kellow, but finally declined, leaving a blank space at the center of this otherwise vividly detailed biography. Gina lived with her mother till she was over 30, typed up her reviews after Pauline stayed up all night writing them in longhand, and gave up both college and a shot at a dance career to serve as her mother’s caretaker, companion, and driver….

Kellow cites the text of the breathtakingly passive-aggressive eulogy that Gina delivered at her mother’s funeral in 2001: “My mother had tremendous empathy and compassion, though how to comfort, soothe or console was a mystery that eluded her … . Pauline’s greatest weakness, her failure as a person, became her great strength, her liberation as a writer and critic . … she turned her lack of self-awareness into a triumph.”

One more chapter remains. “Gina lived with Kael well into her thirties … That she married and had a child, Will, seemed to catch Kael by surprise, though she ended up adoring her only grandchild, someone with whom she could watch action movies with.

Kael died in 2001, when Will was about 19. Unfortunately, and Kellow made no mention of this in his book whatsoever, there’s a horrible postscript, one that may well have been the reason for why Gina declined to be interviewed for the book. On October 6, 2007, Will, then 25, went hiking in the East Mountain State Forest in the Berkshires. He was an avid hiker, not to mention a devoted martial artist. He had a girlfriend. He never came back. Gina reported him missing, but his body wasn’t found for more than week, on October 15. … “authorities found camping equipment nearby and while cause of death has not been determined, foul play is not suspected.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. UPDATE These two comments were made to the original post. Anonymous said, on June 16, 2017 at 9:18 pm Your piece on Kael and Broughton is rife with misinformation and judgements galore and unbelievably badly written. Get a life and stop spreading falsehoods. And next time you put your fingers to a keyboard do your due diligence! James’ son was NOT ABANDONED! He lived happily with the two of us after the divorce. You fail to recognize that James’ ex-wife was a classic fag hag who had been married to another gay man before her relationship with James. She had been in psychotherapy for years before they got together and for many years after they split up. James certainly did not spend the rest of his life uncertain about his sexuality. Read his autobiography COMING UNBUTTONED and you’ll discover how misinformed your take on him is. You have done a great disservice to your readers by publishing such homophobic nonsense. Joel Singer ~ Sterling Wilson said, on August 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm Curious about this autobiography, I found the following from a Publishers Weekly review “Broughton forsakes introspection for literary gossip and name-dropping: Kenneth Rexroth, Pauline Kael, Dylan Thomas, Anais Nin. The birth of a daughter is dispensed with in two sentences. Broughton’s insistence on making himself the center of attention increasingly intrudes.”

UPDATE A journey down an internet rabbit hole uncovered this item. It is from “Remembering Harry and John”, by Mark Thompson on the occasion of Harry’s 100th anniversary “I remember the night we were socializing at the San Francisco Art Institute at a gala tribute for James Broughton. Harry (Hay) and James had sparked briefly as Stanford University undergraduates, but didn’t meet again until fifty years later at a faerie gathering. Few people knew that James had fathered a daughter with esteemed film critic Pauline Kael during their bohemian Berkeley days, but Harry was alert to the fact. Kael and Broughton were having their own reunion at the moment when, with typical impudence, Harry interrupted the conversation by loudly asking, “So, who was the mother and who was the father?” The stunned silence was punctured only by the whoosh of Kael’s furious departure.”

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