Chamblee54

Joni Mitchell Product

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on February 15, 2020

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Joni Mitchell has product to promote. She gave an interview to New York magazine, where she smoked a few cigarettes and expressed a few opinions. There were enough attention getting comments to make the news.

When I see black men sitting, I have a tendency to go — like I nod like I’m a brother. I really feel an affinity because I have experienced being a black guy on several occasions.” She proceeds to tell a story about dressing like a down and out black man as a way of dealing with an obnoxious photographer. “I just stood there till they noticed me. I walked really showily, going, Heh heh heh. It was a great revenge. That was all to get his ass. To freak him out. I had to keep him on the defensive.”

Gay-mafia-made-man David Geffen was a target. “I ask her about a painting, visible in a vestibule, on the way to her laundry room, of a curly-haired man with a banana lodged vertically in his mouth; turns out it’s Geffen, and she painted it. “Before he came out. He’s never seen it,” she says, before explaining: “He was using me as a beard. We were living together, and he’d go cruising at night. He was very ambitious to be big and powerful, and he didn’t think he would be [if he was openly gay].” By 1994, the two had fallen out over her insistence that he didn’t pay her enough in royalties.”

The product is a four cd boxed set, Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced. There was a single one star comment about the joniproduct. Al Norman Seems like a collection of Joni’s forgettable tunes February 3, 2015 ~ “My wife loves Joni Mitchell, and never listens to this set. Seems like a collection of Joni’s forgettable tunes.” This comment was sponsored by Head and Shoulders. “100% flake free hair & A GREAT SCENT”

You just can’t get away from capitalism. Ms. Mitchell heard “… on the radio, a record executive “saying quite confidently, ‘We’re no longer looking for talent. We’re looking for a look and a willingness to cooperate.” As interviewer Carl Swanson notes, “For now, she’s hoping that people buy her boxed set, with her self-portrait on the cover. To that end, she gives me a Joni Mitchell tote bag with one of her paintings on it to carry my things home in. Get the word out.”

The pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost. The internet version had a lively exchange in the comments.

OneTonneTomatoe A better Eden is ahead to be established. One that cannot be corrupted is forward in time and place, not behind, not here. Be seated beyond the firmament. Romans 10:9
JamesSmith @OneTonneTomatoe Leave it to the christian arrogance to try t turn this into a proselyting effort. Your bable is a pack of myths and lies and you are a delusional fool.
cookie_mcgill @JamesSmith I don’t enjoy the poster above either, but smearing all Christians like that is offensive. Go easy there, tiger.
JamesSmith @cookie_mcgill @JamesSmith Prove anythng I posted is not true.
Theists, especially christians, are arrogant judgmental, unforgving, intolerant, deluional, irrational, and either fools, liars, or hypocrites. It’s all true and proven by the behavior of 99% of all theists, including christians. Go easy yourself and think about it. Face reality, not myths and lies.
cookie_mcgill @JamesSmith I wouldn’t take directions from either of you twits.
JamesSmith @cookie_mcgill @JamesSmith Prove anything I posted is not true. Especially tell me what I posted that makes you think I would even give a moron like you even the time of day. You’re as arrogant as the most fundamentalist theist.

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John S. McCain And Bernie Sanders

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on February 13, 2020

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The latest podcast addiction is a Slate production called Whistlestop. WS (whistlestop, not water sports) is about presidential elections. On top of the home page is a header ad. At first it had a picture of Hillary, with the message “I’m with her.” Now, it is a prescription medication, side effects scrolling slowly on the right. The side effects of Hillary are more obvious. (This repost was first published 02-13-2016) The side effect of the Hillary Clinton candidacy is the Donald Trump presidency.)

Episode 24 is When the Straight Talk Express Rolled Through New Hampshire. In the 2000 election, George W. Bush was the anointed candidate for the Republicans. Challenging him in New Hampshire was John S. McCain. The winner in New Hampshire was Senator McCain. The winner of the nomination, and ultimately the Presidency, was George W. Bush.

The WS story is about how JSM got the 2000 New Hampshire voters on his side. The 2008 story will, no doubt, be a future episode of WS. JSM did the whole Straight Talk routine, and won the nomination. JSM chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Whether JSM had a chance, after eight years of W, is a good question. BHO won the 2008 election. John McCain died August 25, 2018.

In Georgia, the electoral votes are all but conceded to the Republicans. The only time we get to choose is the primary. In 2008, PG saw the two choices were John McCain and Barack Obama. Both had flaws, but both offered alternatives to the nonsense of Mike Huckabee and John Edwards. After thinking about it, PG remembered that John McCain dropped napalm on women and children. So PG voted for Barack Obama. Once elected, BHO would fire hellfire missiles at women and children.

In the 2016 Georgia primary, there were five candidates: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. PG did not like any of them. He decided to vote for the best looking candidate, Marco Rubio. On February 13, 2020, we still do not know who will be a viable candidate during the Georgia primary. PG will make up his mind while walking to the school, to cast his vote. PG will probably hold his nose while doing so.

‘The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and the Shrub’ David Foster Wallace covered the McCain campaign for Rolling Stone. He was always good for a few thousand words, often in the first sentence. DFW had a few thoughts about why JSM was so popular.

“Because we’ve been lied to and lied to, and it hurts to be lied to. It’s ultimately just about that complicated: it hurts. We learn this at like age four—it’s grownups’ first explanation to us of why it’s bad to lie (“How would you like it if … ?”). And we keep learning for years, from hard experience, that getting lied to sucks—that it diminishes you, denies you respect for yourself, for the liar, for the world. Especially if the lies are chronic, systemic, if experience seems to teach that everything you’re supposed to believe in’s really just a game based on lies. … It’s painful to believe that the would-be “public servants” you’re forced to choose between are all phonies whose only real concern is their own care and feeding and who will lie so outrageously and with such a straight face that you know they’ve just got to believe you’re an idiot.”

In 2016, the outlaw candidate was Bernie Sanders, who has no middle name. He won a big victory in New Hampshire. BS is lying through his teeth. He says he will make college tuition free, and install single payer socialized medicine. Everyone knows these are lies (BS²) and yet the Bernoids play along. (Earlier this week, BS won a slim victory over Amy Jean Klobuchar, and Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, in the New Hampshire primary.)

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These men never voted in a presidential primary.

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Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on February 12, 2020





Today is the 211th birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. This used to be a holiday in the US, along with Washington’s BD on February 22. The two were combined into President’s Day.

It is unlikely that the two met, or knew much about the other. “On the origin of species” was published in 1859, as the United States teetered on the brink of catastrophe. There is a certain “Darwinism” in the way the unpleasantness of the eighteen sixties went down. The northeast quadrant of the United States gained dominance over a large chunk of North America, at a horrible cost. The concept that a human being could literally own another human being was banished.

There are two other anniversaries of note today. On February 12, 1733, James Oglethorpe landed a boatload of debtors on the future site of Savannah. This was the start of the Colony/State of Georgia.

There is another that continues the symmetry of Darwin/Lincoln, and was exactly 100 years later. On February 12, 1909, the NAACP was founded. On February 12 1904, Ted Mack, host of the Original Amateur Hour, was born. To make room for all this talent, on February 12, 1942, Grant Wood (painter of “American Gothic”) went to that village in the sky. He left the pitchfork behind.

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




Gloomy Sunday

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on February 9, 2020

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Billie Holiday had a hit with Gloomy Sunday in 1941. The legend is that people would listen to the song, and kill themselves. As a result, the song was banned from the radio. Or was it?
Gloomy Sunday was written in 1933 by Rezső Seress. Additional lyrics were later written by László Jávor. It became known as the “Hungarian Suicide Song”, and was reportedly banned in Hungary. An English translation (which is said to not do justice to the original Hungarian) was rendered.

Gloomy Sunday has a melancholy sound, even as an instrumental. The story is about a person…it is not gender specific…who decides to join a loved one who has died. A third verse was added, to the english version, where the singer says it was all a dream.

Gloomy Sunday became popular in the United States. And the suicide stories started to spread, along with rumors that the song had been banned from the radio. (It was indeed banned by the BBC.) There are indications that these rumors were part of a publicity campaign.

The urban legend busters snopes. calls the story “undetermined”. Legends like this get a life of their own. A grieving person hearing this song on a dreary Sunday is not going to be uplifted. One thing is known for sure…the original composer did take his own life. Rezső Seress jumped off a tall building in Budapest in 1968. The legend is he had never had another hit song after writing “Gloomy Sunday”. This repost has pictures from The Library of Congress.

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William Lott Monroe, Sr.

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Race by chamblee54 on February 5, 2020

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“North Boulevard was renamed Monroe Drive in 1937 to honor noted Landscape Architect W.L. Monroe who built his house and a plant nursery on the road and was noted for his many landscape projects and public parks in Atlanta.” Faset (Bill) Seay, February 4, 2020, 3:48 pm This comment was made to Monroe Drive or Boulevard. MDOB looks at Atlanta roads that change names, and the reputed racial motivations for these changes. The Monroe story takes place in Piedmont Heights.

“In 1823 Benjamin Plaster was granted 3,000 acres of land along Peachtree Creek and Clear Creek in recognition of his military service during the War of 1812. This was two years before Archibald Holland acquired a similar tract several miles to the east where another village called Terminus was founded in 1837, later renamed Marthasville and eventually Atlanta. … Plaster built a bridge across Peachtree Creek and the trail to it became known as Plaster’s Bridge Road. The bridge’s stone abutments still remain on the creek banks and a short section of the old road, running along the northern boundary of today’s Piedmont Heights, is now called Plasters Avenue. As other settlers followed a township called Easton grew up around Walker’s Grist Mill on Clear Creek near the site of today’s Ansley Mall at Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive.”

“Around 1850 Captain Hezekiah Cheshire arrived from South Carolina. His sons, Napoleon and Jerome, settled on opposite sides of the south fork of Peachtree Creek. They built a bridge across the creek near to connect their farms and the road to it became Cheshire Bridge Road. … In 1864 General Sherman’s Union soldiers swept through Atlanta. General T. J. Wood’s troops built entrenchments along the eastern edge of Easton on the property of Benjamin Plaster’s son Edwin, putting the little community in the battle of Atlanta. These entrenchments remained until the 1950s when they were destroyed by the construction of a Holiday Inn. Today a few crumbling stone steps and historic marker on the site honor the Edwin Cheshire family’s handyman “Gold Tooth John” whose ghost is rumored to still wander the halls of the old hotel at night.

“In 1871 the Atlanta and Richmond Air Line Railway opened a line between Atlanta and Toccoa, Georgia with a depot at Easton. Its “Air Line Belle” train, said to be the finest on the line, allowed Easton residents to commute to Atlanta without having to ford Clear Creek which still had no bridge. Train service spurred growth of the township to 100 residents by 1888 but the surrounding area remained rural and mostly devoted to farming and dairying. The rail line serving Easton was called the “Southern Railway Belt Line” and in 1883 the “Georgia Pacific Belt Line Railroad” connected with it just north of Easton at Belt Junction, an area which later became known as … Armour/Ottley. … In 1895 North Boulevard was built, running through Easton parallel to the railroad, as a main route into Atlanta. … In 1912 Fulton County annexed Easton and renamed it Piedmont Heights. Plaster’s Bridge Road was paved in 1917 and its name changed to Piedmont Road.” (According to this narrative, the Boulevard-Monroe thoroughfare was originally called North Boulevard. This is not the same road as North Avenue. Confusing road names is not limited to multiple Peachtrees.)

“In 1925 Landscape Architect W. L. Monroe bought 15 acres on North Boulevard at Wimbledon Road where he operated a popular nursery and landscaping business for many years, … Remnants of two small stone structures that Monroe built … remain on the grounds of today’s Ansley-Monroe Villas Condominiums. In 1927 a portion of North Boulevard was renamed Monroe Drive in honor of Monroe’s many landscape projects in the city.” … “In 1928 the City of Atlanta began annexing Piedmont Heights by taking in the lots along North Boulevard. In the 1930s a new home could be bought for $4,700 on North Boulevard or Wimbledon Road.”

There is a bit of confusion here. One source says the Monroe renaming was in 1927, while another source says 1937. Then there is the story told by maps, found in the original post.

An 1892 “Bird’s eye view” shows Boulevard sailing off into the horizon, past a racetrack in today’s Piedmont Park. A 1911 map shows Boulevard starting near “L.P. Grant Park,” and sailing past Ponce up to Piedmont Park. A 1940 map shows Boulevard going past Park Drive, only to turn into Monroe Drive at Montgomery Ferry Road. Finally, a 1969 map of “Negro Residential Areas” shows Monroe Drive changing into Boulevard at Ponce De Leon Avenue, like it is today.

Two things are worth noting. None of these maps have a “North Boulevard.” The street name is a stand-alone Boulevard. Second, the 1940 map shows the street as Boulevard at Eighth Street, and Elmwood Drive. The first mention of Monroe is at Montgomery Fairy, near the Monroe Nursery. This might contradict the racial narrative.

The information about Mr. Monroe neither proves, nor disproves, the story that black Boulevard was changed to white Monroe. City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America’s Urban Future states “In 1925 landscape architect W. L. Monroe bought fifteen acres on what was then called North Boulevard, establishing a plant nursery that thrived for many years. In 1937, the street north of Ponce de Leon was renamed Monroe Drive in his honor (and to distinguish it as a white area as opposed to Boulevard to the south of Ponce).” The book offers no evidence for this, and its “woke” tone is cause for skepticism. While there is circumstantial evidence to support the legend, verifiable facts are hard to come by. A similar story might be the 1956 change of the state flag.

“William Lott Monroe, Sr. (1891-1965), landscape designer and nurseryman, is recognized in newspaper articles as the “landscape artist” during the development of North Fulton Park (later renamed Chastain Memorial Park) in the late 1930s and early 1940s. This work was financed partially through WPA (Works Progress Administration) funds and supported with local prison labor. … There are three main areas in Chastain Park with Monroe’s signature style as a landscape designer: (1) the master grill area; (2) the picnic grounds area; and (3) the amphitheater. … Monroe’s Landscape & Nursery Co. is removed from Fulton County’s payroll: “… Drawn more than $17,000 from the county in the last year and one-half… The company was drawing $500 a month for supervising landscaping of county parks, which was in addition to flowers, shrubs and blueprints sold by it to the county.” (“Nursery Company Is Cut Off Pay Roll.” Atlanta Constitution, Jan. 25, 1941)” … “1941 Amphitheater still under construction, originally planned as an outdoor venue for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.” … “It is unknown if Monroe oversaw the completion of construction at the amphitheater.” … “October 22, 1965 William Lott Monroe, Sr. dies in Atlanta.” Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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KKK Klickbait

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 29, 2020





The Washington Post enjoys KKK Klickbait. A recent example is Yesterday’s Ku Klux Klan members are today’s police officers, councilwoman says. Under the headline is a picture of some very fine folks wearing squeaky clean bedsheets. The caption for the picture reads “A member of the Ku Klux Klan adjusts his hood during a 1998 rally in Texas. (David J. Phillip/AP)” Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Google images has 4.6 bn results for this image. The top result is 2 men arrested for putting KKK hoods on Confederate statues. “Enzo Niebuhr and Jody Anderson … are charged with defacing a public monument and disorderly conduct. … “Smash Racism Raleigh” group … holding a peaceful protest to provide context about the history of the statues. The group says Niebuhr and Anderson shouldn’t have been arrested.” Mr. Niebuhr appears to be wearing lipstick in his mug shot.

KKK carnival costumes ‘not racism’ “The 12 people who dressed in Ku Klux Klan costumes during carnival celebrations in canton Schwyz are not guilty of racial discrimination, local justice officials say. The central Schwyz public prosecutor’s office said on Friday that the men had overstepped the mark on what was allowed at carnival celebrations and that common decency had been grossly violated. But the men’s behavior did not constitute the offence of racial discrimination, because they did not intend to convert people to the KKK, judicial officials added.” Video zeigt, wie Ku-Klux-Klan in Schwyz marschiert Wir benutzen Cookies und andere Technologien.

“Students be careful, there’s someone walking around in KKK gear with a whip’: Indiana University student triggers scare after mistaking priest for KKK man. Dominican friar was spotted waiting for frozen yogurt at Indiana University. Students thought his long white robe meant he was a member of the KKK. Residential officer issued a warning telling students to be careful on campus. But it was later withdrawn when it transpired the man was in fact a priest.”




Two Old Posts About Bernie

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on January 26, 2020

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What follows are two posts from January 2016. One of them features a video by Robert Reich, and Moveon.org. This past week saw this story: MoveOn calls on Sanders to renounce Joe Rogan endorsement. Chamblee54 does not know, or care, what Robert Reich thinks about Joe Rogan.
When you have a political contest based on what people say, it is not surprising that a lot of what they say is nonsense. Yesterday there was an video on facebook, Six responses to Bernie skeptics. Important person wannabe Robert Reich writes a bunch of stuff on a board. Mr. Reich is on the screen by himself, without any attempt at perspective. Many people do not know that Robert Reich is four foot eleven, just like many people did not know FDR was crippled. The video script is widely available, which will make this counter commentary a bit easier.

The video has comebacks to six things Bernie naysayers might offer. The first is that Bernie cannot beat Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in a general election. Mr. Reich has polls that say BS would beat the Donald, and control Cruz. The election is November 8, two days after the clocks are turned back. This is a long time from now. There will be time for Repub dirty tricksters to come up with dirt on Bernie.

As Hillary Clinton found out, the popular vote is meaningless. The election is decided by the Electoral College. Most states are written off as solid red or true blue. Only “swing state” voters get a vote. A national poll in January cannot predict what Ohio voters will do in November. (BS has been silent on the issue of electoral college reform.)

Reason number two is pure number two. The simple truth is that Republicans control congress, and will defeat the BS agenda. (Those are the initials of Bernard no-middle-name Sanders. Any similarity to bovine excrement is coincidence.) The Republican presence in government is reinforced with gerrymandering, money, lapdog press, money, lawyers, guns, money, Jesus exploiters, and more money. The Reich answer: “But there’s a higher likelihood of kicking Republicans out if Bernie’s “political revolution” continues to surge around America, bringing with it millions of young people and other voters, and keeping them politically engaged.”

Number three is semantic shade. “America would never elect a socialist.” “What we have now is socialism, and people don’t realize it.” Both statements are true. It is just that we don’t call Social Security communism. Just like people say they support small government, while sending half a million boots to a desert eight time zones away. There is a lot of “irony” in today’s political circus. That is how the game is played.

Number four is about the cost of single payer healthcare. The truth is that nobody knows. We have a broken system, and installed a compromise fix. When we finally go to single payer healthcare, there is no way to know how it will play out. Maybe the BS proposal will be cheaper, maybe it will be horribly expensive. The current system is too unfair to live, too profitable to die.

Number five is an argument that few have heard. ““His plan for paying for college with a tax on Wall Street trades would mean colleges would run by government rules.” When you make up an argument, it is easy to make up the reply. In this case, there is more rhetoric and semantics. The federal government has sent money into the education pipeline for years. The money comes with strings attached. This is no surprise to anyone except Sarah Palin.

Number six is a doozy. Yes, BS is in his seventies. No, we don’t see him huffing on an oxygen tank after he gives a speech. We just have to take the word of his supporters that he is the picture of vigorous health. Why would Robert Reich ever want to lie to you?

“In any event, the issue isn’t age; it’s having the right values. FDR was paralyzed, and JFK had both Addison’s and Crohn’s diseases, but they were great presidents because they fought adamantly for social and economic justice.” FDR and JFK were known by their initials. FDR helped get us involved in World War Two. JFK, who served less than three years, was presented as being full of vi-gah, when in truth he was seriously ill. Both FDR and JFK had extramarital affairs, which only the staunchest BS groupie wants to know about.

Pictures for your politically incorrect repost are from The Library of Congress. These pictures are soldiers from the War Between the States. They did not post food pictures on facebook.

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@BernieSanders “I got into politics not to figure out how to become President. I got into politics because I give a damn.” The old tweeter sent this message December 11, 2015, at 4:42 pm Sanders Standard Time. At last glance, it was retweeted 25,901 times, and liked 44,263 times.

What exactly is a damn? When you give one, do you gift wrap it? The dictionary says that damn is a verb, meaning “condemn to a punishment or fate; especially : to condemn to hell.” Giving a verb is not good grammar. Damn is considered a mild profanity, which adds polemic punch.

History gives us a second opinion. “In 1665, Aurangzeb, or Abul Muzaffar Muhi-ud-Din Mohammad Aurangzeb. (A real mouthful of a name!) was the emperor of the Mughal empire. He ruled from 1658 until his death in 1707. Aurangzeb had coins minted in precious metals as well as copper. The copper denominations were one Dam and one half Dam.”

At some point after the invention of the copper dam, Great Britain conquered the Mughal empire. By this time, the dam was worth twice as much as a half dam. According to some unverified sources, British soldiers would say that something was not worth a dam. Some said they would not give a dam. The profaning n was added, and a saying for apathy entered the english language.

How much is a dam/damn worth? To people living downhill from the lake, a dam is valuable. As for the numismatic value of an ancient copper coin: “By looking at both catalog values for copper Dams minted in the Mughal calendar year of 1075 (Western date 1665) … we can provide the following very approximate values for copper half-Dams and Dams minted in the name of Aurangzeb: worn: $4, average circulated: $7, well preserved: $30.”

Getting back to BS, he probably used the conventional meaning of GAD, which is that he cares. Or maybe, he meant that he gives a dollar. If current economic trends hold up, the dollar might not be worth a dam. The welfare state proposals of BS, according to the admittedly biased Wall Street Journal, would cost $18 Trillion. This would effectively double the national debt. If we get mixed up in another war, or if a nuclear power plant blows up, another few trillion might go down the tubes.

Only the most deluded Bernoids expect college tuition to be free in 2018. BS is talking a good game, but most people know his pants are on fire. One person who is offended because BS won’t step up the lies is Ta-Nehisi Coates. If reparations are added onto free college tuition, then the value of the dollar might go below a half dam. Pictures for snowstorm Saturday are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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The Sausage Vat Murder

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 21, 2020


The case of Adolph Luetgert is mostly forgotten today. In its day, the story was a sensation. “Adolph Louis Luetgert (December 27, 1845-July 7, 1899) was a German-American charged with murdering his wife and dissolving her body in acid in one of his sausage vats at the A.L. Luetgert Sausage & Packing Company in 1897. … After the news of the trial became public, rumors spread that Luetgert had actually turned his wife into sausage and sold the “sausage” to unknowing consumers.”

Is it possible to explain what is in sausages without making it erotic? A twitter thread got PG thinking about a sausage story he read in 1989. The Fairy was in Gaily, Gaily, by Ben Hecht. The story originally appeared in Playboy. “In a 1962 article for Playboy collected in his rollicking 1963 memoir Gaily, Gaily — the legendary Chicago reporter Ben Hecht recalls a murder case that sounds suspiciously similar to the Adolph Luetgert case. Hecht describes an story that apparently occurred sometime during the five years after he began working as a reporter in Chicago in 1910. He writes: “Fred Ludwig, a popular North Shore butcher, went on trial before Judge Sabath for the murder of his wife. The wedding band with its romantic inscription had turned up in one of the sausages manufactured by Ludwig and sold to one of his customers, Claude Charlus, a well-known financier and epicure.” In the Hecht story, Mr. Charlus was the bf of Mr. Ludwig. When it was time to execute Mr. Ludwig, young Mr. Hecht went to a whorehouse, to borrow a makeup kit. Mr. Ludwig painted his face before he went to the gallows.

“Adolph Luetgert (originally Adolph Ludwig Lütgert ) came to New York in around 1865 or 1866 when he was about twenty years old.” … “He married his first wife, Caroline Roepke, sometime between 1870 and 1872. She died on November 17, 1877. He married his second wife Louise Bicknese, two months after Caroline’s death, on January 18, 1878. Luetgert had six children—two with Caroline and four with Louise. Only three of his children survived past the age of 2.”

“Louisa Bicknese was an attractive young woman who was ten years younger than her husband. She was a former servant from the Fox River Valley who met her new husband by chance. He was immediately taken with her, entranced by her diminutive stature and tiny frame. She was less than five feet tall and looked almost child-like next to her burly husband. … As a wedding gift, he gave her a unique, heavy gold ring. Inside of it, he had gotten her new initials inscribed, reading “L.L.”. Little did he know at the time that this ring would prove to be his undoing.”

After a while , the couple started to bicker. “Despite his coarse appearance (one writer vividly describes him as a “Falstaffian” figure with “a face of suet, pig eyes, and a large untidy moustache that was a perfect host for beer foam”), Adolph was something of an womanizer. … Claiming that he needed to keep a round-the-clock eye on his factory, he had taken to spending his nights in a little room beside his office, equipped with a bed that he frequently shared with his twenty-two-year-old housemaid, Mary Siemering, Louisa’s own cousin. … He was also conducting a surreptitious courtship of a wealthy widow, Mrs. Christina Feld, sending her amorous letters in which he rhapsodized about their rosy future.” (During the murder trial, “Mrs. Christina Feldt, … testified that Luetgert often expressed his hatred for his wife and intimated that he would get rid of her.”)

“At around 10:15 on the evening of Saturday, May 1, Louisa was seated in the kitchen, chatting with her twelve-year-old son Louis, who had attended the circus that evening. The boy was excitedly describing some of the wonders he had seen—a giant named “Monsieur Goliath” and a strongman who juggled cannon balls—when Luetgert appeared and told his son to go bed. Precisely what happened between the two adults after Louis retired to his room is unclear. Only one fact is beyond dispute. After the boy bid goodnight to his mother at about 10:30 P.M., she was left alone in the company of her husband.” … “Mrs. Luetgert wore only a light house wrapper and slippers, although the night was cold and rainy. It never was shown that she had taken with her any of her belongings.”

“When questioned by his sons, Luetgert told them that their mother had gone out the previous evening to visit her sister. After several days though, she did not come back. Finally, Diedrich Bicknese, Louisa’s brother, went to the police. The investigation fell on Captain Herman Schuettler, … “an honest but occasionally brutal detective”.

“Frank Bialk, a night watchman at the plant … saw both Luetgert and Louisa at the plant together. Apparently, Luetgert sent him out on an errand that evening and gave him the rest of the night off.” There is another version of the Bialk story. “Frank Bialk … testified … Luetgert instructed him to bring down two barrels of caustic potash and place them in the boiler room, and that Luetgert then poured the contents of both barrels in one of the vats. The watchman was instructed to keep up steam all night and at 10 p. m. he was sent by Luetgert to the drug store after some nerve medicine.”

“The police also made a shocking discovery; they came across bills that stated that Luetgert bought arsenic and potash the day before the murder. … the detective was convinced that Luetgert had killed his wife, boiled her in acid and then disposed of her in a factory furnace.”

“… Luetgert’s night watchman, Frank Bialk, approached the police and told them that, on the night Mrs. Luetgert disappeared, his boss had been acting suspiciously, busying himself with one of the large steam-vats down in the factory basement. Following up on this tip, investigators checked out the vat, which—despite having been cleaned two weeks earlier—still contained a residue of a thick, greasy fluid, reddish-brown in color and giving off a nauseous stink. When the fetid slime was drained from the vat, the detectives discovered tiny pieces of bone along with two gold rings, one of them a wedding band engraved with the initials “L. L.” More bone fragments, as well as a false tooth, a hairpin, a charred corset stay, and various scraps of cloth turned up in a nearby ash heap.”

Luetgert was arrested, and charged with the crime. “On October 18, the case was submitted to the jury and after deliberating for sixty-six hours they failed to agree, nine favoring a conviction and three voting in favor of an acquittal. On November 29, 1897, the second trial began. … The trial resulted in a conviction and on May 5 Luetgert was sent to the Joliet State prison for life.”

“July 27, 1899, Luetgert left his cell and returned shortly afterward with his breakfast in a pail, but just as he was about to eat it, he dropped dead from heart disease.”

“… Frank Pratt … asked Luetgert if he wanted his “hand read.” The latter consented and Pratt told Luetgert that he possessed a violent temper and at times was not responsible for his actions. Pratt stated that Luetgert then virtually admitted that he killed his wife when he was possessed of the devil. … It is said that Luetgert also made similar admissions to a fellow prisoner.” Pictures for this true crime story are from The Library of Congress.

Dolly Parton And Paula Deen

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on January 19, 2020

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Dolly Parton celebrates a birthday today. The internet is a love fest for her, and deservedly so. Miss Parton has given joy to millions, with her singing and acting.

Paula Deen was born on the same day, one year later. While her star did not shine quite as bright as Miss Parton, Mrs. Deen made her contribution to american life. The only problem was a bad boss lawsuit against a company Mrs. Deen invested in. A lawyer got Mrs. Deen to admit, under oath, the she had said the n-word. Paula Deen became a pariah.

Dolly Parton and Paula Deen have a few things in common. Miss Parton is married to Carl Thomas Dean, and her legal name is Mrs. Dean. Both ladies are from the south, the hills of East Tennessee, and the flatland of Albany, Georgia. Both grew up in an era where the n-word was what white people called black people.

What if the story had been different. What if it was a restaurant at Dollywood where the manager was not happy? What if this white woman, who was treated better because she was a white woman, decided to claim racial discrimination in her bad boss lawsuit? (Page 153 of deposition.) What if the disgruntled employee’s lawyer was smarter than Dolly Parton’s lawyer? We might have had tabloids screaming nonstop that Dolly Parton said the n-word.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress, taken at “Annual “Bathing Girl Parade”, Balboa Beach, CA, June 20, 1920.” No one asked these ladies if they ever said the n-word. This is a repost. Other celebrities born on January 19: Robert E. Lee (1807), Edgar Allan Poe (1809), Jean Stapleton (1923), Janis Joplin (1943), and Desi Arnaz Jr.(1953.)

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Tallulah Bankhead And Billie Holiday

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on January 18, 2020

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Tallulah Bankhead was born January 31, 1902 in Huntsville AL. She had a year-older sister, Eugenia. Their mother died February 23, 1902. Legend has it her last words were
“Take care of baby Eugenia. Tallulah can take care of herself.” This is a repost.
The father of the actress was Will Bankhead
. He was a prominent politician, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington. Mr. Bankhead was on the short list of Vice Presidential candidates for Franklin Roosevelt, but was passed over. The Bankhead national forest and the Bankhead Highway are both named for Will Bankhead.
Tallulah Bankhead was an actress, radio show hostess, and personality. She went to London in the early twenties and became a stage sensation. Returning home, she became a Broadway star with “The Little Foxes.” She made movies, but saved her best public performances for the stage.

Miss Bankhead was known for being sexually active, with both men and women. Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammie in Gone With The Wind, was rumored to be one of her “friends”. Her introduction to Chico Marx went like this
“Miss Bankhead.” “Mr. Marx.” “You know, I really want to fuck you.”. “And so you shall, you old-fashioned boy.”
One legend has Miss Bankhead at a dinner party with Dorothy Parker and Montgomery Clift. As might have been expected, the cocktail hour went on most of the evening. At one point, Mister Clift had his head in Miss Parker’s lap. “oh you sweet man, it’s too bad that you’re a cocksucker. He is a cocksucker, isn’t he?” Miss Bankhead replied “I don’t know, he never sucked my cock.”

Her most famous movie role was in “Lifeboat”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Her co stars complained that she was not wearing panties under her dress. Mr. Hitchcock posed the question, is this a matter for wardrobe or for hairdressing?

In the fading days of radio, Tallulah was the host of “The Big Show”. She became known for her deep voice, and for saying “Dah-ling”. More than one guest got big laughs by calling her Mister Bankhead. After “The Big Show” ended, Miss Bankhead remained active on stage and television. She died December 12, 1968.

Miss Bankhead was a staunch Democrat, as is fitting for the political family she was raised in. During the McCarthy era, an actress friend of hers was accused of being a communist. Miss Bankhead made a statement of support for the actress on the radio, and then asked her, are you a communist? The actress said that her daddy was a republican, and so she guessed that was what she was. Miss Bankhead was horrified.
“A republican! That’s worse than being a goddamn communist.”

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One of Miss Bankhead’s more explosive friendships was with Billie Holliday. “The truth of the matter is that the evidence strongly suggests they probably first met in the early 1930’s during Bankhead’s Harlem rent party and nightclub-slumming days, well before Holiday ever became famous. What is known is that by 1948 they were bosom buddies. A year earlier, Holiday entered the Alderson Federal Reformatory for Women to serve her famous “one day and a year” sentence after being found guilty on dope charges. Four months after her release in 1948, Holiday was appearing at New York’s Strand Theater with Count Basie on the first leg of a cross-country tour. At the same time, Tallulah Bankhead was nearby on Broadway starring in her hit play, Private Lives. Bankhead caused quite a commotion every night thundering late down the ailse during Billie’s show to sit in her special seat to stare in amazement at the gifted & stunningly beautiful Lady Day. Because Holiday’s license to perform in nightclubs where liquor was being served had been revoked (and not renewed) she was forced to earn her living in gruelling tours on the road. For months after the Strand performance, Bankhead traveled with her whenever she could. Also on the tour was dancer/comedian James “Stump Daddy” Cross – nicknamed after his wooden leg, who joined the two famous ladies to make a treacherous threesome.”

“…it appears that during the late 1940s she and Holiday were also lovers. Perhaps they had been all along. Holiday later told William Dufty, who ghostwrote her autobiography, that when Tallulah visited backstage at the Strand Theatre, the thrill she took in exhibitionistic sex made her insist on keeping Holiday’s dressing room door open. Holiday later claimed that Tallulah’s brazen show of affection almost cost her her job at the Strand.”

Before long, Miss Holiday got busted again. Apparently, Miss Bankhead made a phone call to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, asking for leniency. There is a remarkable thank you – you’re welcome correspondence between Miss Bankhead and Mr. Hoover. “As my Negro Mammy used to say ‘When you pray, you pray to God don’t you……I had only met Billie Holiday twice in my life….and feel the most profound compassion for her…she is essentially a child at heart whose troubles have made her psychologically unable to cope with the world in which she finds herself…poor thing, you know I did everything within the law to lighten her burden”. “A giddy and twitterpated Hoover wrote back , “Your comments are greatly appreciated, and I trust that you will no hesitate to call on me at any time you think I might be of assistance to you.”

At some point, the two became less intimate. Miss Bankhead had her own legal headaches, and put some distance between her and Miss Holiday. (Eleanora Fagan was the birth name of the chanteuse. Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was the real name of the thespian.) When “Lady Sings the Blues” was being prepared, Miss Bankhead got an advance copy, and was horrified by what she saw. A fierce note was sent to the book’s publisher, and scenes were edited out. Miss Holiday was outraged. The letter that resulted is a poison pen classic. “My maid who was with me at the Strand isn’t dead either. There are plenty of others around who remember how you carried on so you almost got me fired out of the place. And if you want to get shitty, we can make it a big shitty party. We can all get funky together!”

The first part of this story is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. “Members of the Atlanta Woman’s Club, during a luncheon for retiring president W.F. Milton, in the AWC banquet hall, in Atlanta, Georgia, March 5, 1937.” Picture of Billie Holiday from The Library of Congress.

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War Letters

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Politics, War by chamblee54 on January 15, 2020

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In the winter of 2003, it was obvious that America was going to war. Congress had voted approval, the modern version of a declaration of war. The troops. and supplies, were on the borders of Iraq, waiting for the order to go in.

PG felt the need to make a statement. There was no illusion that it would affect the overall decision to invade Iraq. However, PG wanted to go on record as being opposed to the folly to come.

It was a low risk act. In America, we have freedom of expression. This does not mean that the powers that be listen to the people. The only expression that matters is by people who pay the authorities. The people can say anything, but nobody in charge listens.

There were three representatives in Congress to contact. The two Senators were Saxby Chambliss and Zell Miller. The 4th district was represented in the House of Representatives by Denise Majette. She was new to Congress, having defeated Cynthia McKinney in the 2002 election.

The area that PG lives in is gerrymandered into different districts every ten years by the Georgia legislature. Today, PG is in the 6th district, represented by Democrat Lucy McBath.

The letters are lost in hard drive crash fog. It started out with the phrase “you were elected to represent me.” Apparently, this left Zell Miller out. He has been appointed to finish the term of Paul Coverdell. Democrat Zell Miller was appointed by Democrat Governor Roy Barnes to complete the term of Republican Paul Coverdell. After this, Zell Miller gave the keynote address at the 2004 Republican Convention. This is what Georgia has come to expect from Zig Zag Zell.

The anti war letter was not great writing. It basically said that the invasion of Iraq was not a good idea. The letter did not address the tax cut. In a bizarre move, Congress approved a tax cut, with an economically ruinous war on the horizon.

The responses to the letter are attached here. Denise Majette gave a thoughtful reply. She did not say “I agree with you” in so many words, but it is clear she is not gung ho about killing Iraqis. Miss Majette said, and PG agrees, that once the war begins, the debate should cease.

Saxby Chambliss sent two replies. Both talked about how well the war was going, and how wonderful it was to be killing people in Iraq. It is a good question whether his staff read the original letter from PG, which opposed the war.

In the 2004 election, Denise Majette ran for the Senate. Zell Miller chose to retire, and his seat was up for grabs. Republican Johnny Isakson won the Senate seat. Cynthia McKinney made a comeback, and won the fourth district House seat.

Saxby Chambliss was re-elected in 2008, and retired in 2014. The conflict in Iraq continues to this day. It is a disaster. The withdrawal of American combat troops did not end the civil war. Currently, Iraq is the scene for combat operations from the Islamic State military force.

The financial burden of the war has been immense. The military depends on contractors for many basic services, at increased cost to the Asian war financiers. The National debt has been increasing by a trillion dollars a year. Revenge for nine eleven, directed at a marginally responsible country, has been horribly expensive. Pictures for today’s entertainment message are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

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I’ll Furnish The War

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes, Undogegorized, War by chamblee54 on January 9, 2020


“You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” – WR Hearst, January 25, 1898 It is part of the Hearst legend. “Frederic Sackrider Remington, the famous artist who brought to life American images of the west, was hired by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst to illustrate the revolution erupting in Cuba. He wrote back to Hearst one day in January 1897: “Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return.” Hearst sent back a note: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Chamblee54 readers should know where this is going to go.

Mr. Remington was sent to Cuba, along with correspondent Richard Harding Davis, to cover the rebellion against the Spanish colonial government. At the time of this purported exchange, the conflict between Spain, and the Cuban rebels, was rather lively. This is at odds with the initial comment by Mr. Remington. One item which modern observers will find odd is the fact that Mr. Remington drew pictures. He was not a photographer. Apparently, in 1897 journalism, a hand drawing was acceptable evidence of a conflict.

Not likely sent: The Remington-Hearst “telegrams” is a thorough debunking of this legend. The source of the legend is “James Creelman, On the Great Highway: The Wanderings and Adventures of a Special Correspondent. (Boston: Lothrop Publishing, 1901), 177-178.” “Creelman does not … describe how or when he learned about the supposed Remington-Hearst exchange. In any case, it had to have been second-hand because Creelman was in Europe in early 1897, as the Journal’s “special commissioner” on the Continent.”

“It is improbable that such an exchange of telegrams would have been cleared by Spanish censors in Havana. So strict were the censors that dispatches from American correspondents reporting the war in Cuba often were taken by ship to Florida and transmitted from there.”

… correspondence of Richard Harding Davis — the war correspondent with whom Remington traveled on the assignment to Cuba — contains no reference to Remington’s wanting to leave because “there will be no war.” Rather, Davis in his letters gave several other reasons for Remington’s departure, including the artist’s reluctance to travel through Spanish lines to reach the Cuban insurgents. … Davis’ letters show that he had little regard for the rotund, slow-moving Remington, whom he called “a large blundering bear.”

The purported Remington-Hearst exchange, moreover, appears not to have been particularly important or newsworthy at the time … the anecdote seems to have provoked almost no discussion or controversy until a correspondent for the Times of London mentioned it in a dispatch from New York in 1907. He wrote: “Is the Press of the United States going insane? . . . A letter from William Randolph Hearst is in existence and was printed in a magazine not long ago. It was to an artist he had sent to Cuba, and who reported no likelihood of war. —You provide the pictures, I’ll provide the war.'”

“Hearst, indignant about the report, replied in a letter to the Times. He described as “frankly false” and “ingeniously idiotic” the claim “that there was a letter in existence from Mr. W. R. Hearst in which Mr. Hearst said to a correspondent in Cuba: —You provide the pictures and I will provide the war,’ and the intimation that Mr. Hearst was chiefly responsible for the Spanish war. … “This kind of clotted nonsense could only be generally circulated and generally believed in England, where newspapers claiming to be conservative and reliable are the most utterly untrustworthy of any on earth. In apology for these newspapers it may be said that their untrustworthiness is not always to intention but more frequently to ignorance and prejudice.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.