Chamblee54

The Death Of Jimi Hendrix

Posted in History, Music by chamblee54 on June 11, 2021

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The current episode of WTF podcast features Marshall Crenshaw, a Jimi Hendrix fan. He discusses reports that Mr. Hendrix was murdered by Michael Jeffrey, his manager. This is a repost.

“The rock legend Jimi Hendrix was murdered by his manager, who stood to collect millions of dollars on the star’s life insurance policy, a former roadie has claimed in a new book. James “Tappy” Wright says that Hendrix’s manager, Michael Jeffrey, drunkenly confessed to killing him by stuffing pills into his mouth and washing them down with several bottles of red wine because he feared Hendrix intended to dump him for a new manager, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday. In his book, Rock Roadie, Mr Wright says Jeffrey told him in 1971 that Hendrix had been “worth more to him dead than alive” as he had taken out a life insurance policy on the musician worth $2m (about £1.2m at the time), with himself as the beneficiary. Two years later, Jeffrey was killed in a plane crash.

These rumors have been around for years. Whenever someone famous dies under mysterious circumstances, people wonder why. If you google the phrase “was Jimi Hendrix…” the suggested searches are left handed, a hippie, black, and murdered.

Mr. Wright’s story is denied by Bob Levine, the United States manager of Mr. Hendrix. He says Mr. Wright waited until 2009 to tell this tale, and he did it to increase book sales. Mr. Levine is legally blind after suffering a stroke. Bob Levine and Tappy Wright are not friends.

“The Orlando-based Wright says the ex-manager (Levine) “wanted me to baby-sit him” because Levine’s alienated his family and staff. “Levine used to say, ‘If you don’t come through, I’m going to slag your book,'” claims Wright, who adds that he has a “signed and notarized” statement from Levine saying that “it’s about time somebody wrote the truth about Jimi’s death. He also did a video interview.” Levine denies Wright’s claims. Levine says he is legally blind from his stroke but has “people taking care of me.” Levine adds that he didn’t discuss Hendrix’s death in the video and has no recollection of signing the notarized statement. Asked why he chose to speak out about the book now, Levine says: “Tappy dared me. He said, ‘There’s no one left to challenge me.'” Adds Wright, “I’m just correcting the story.”

There is a story from an physician who was at the hospital when Jimi Hendrix was brought in.

“John Bannister the on-call registrar at the now closed St Mary Abbots Hospital in Kensington, said in an interview that the patient seemed to have “drowned” in a large amount of red wine.”
The last paragraph of the Telegraph story is an amusing post script. “Bannister now lives in Sydney and worked as a doctor until 1992 when he was deregistered for fraudulent conduct.”
Everyone in this story is either dead or sketchy. Michael Jeffrey seems to have been a nasty piece of work. He was a former intelligence agent for Britain’s MI6 agency. There are reports of stolen money, numbered bank accounts, and gangster business tactics. Reportedly, Mr. Hendrix was busy getting new management. The last paragraph of the blog critics story is perhaps the most intriguing.

“Michael Jeffery reportedly perished in a plane crash over France in 1973. But his remains were never found. Eric Burdon, Noel Redding, and others believe he may have checked luggage but slipped away during the boarding process. Jeffery was due in London court the very next day to defend himself in several huge lawsuits relating to his embezzlement, money laundering, and fraud.”

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Jane Fonda And J. Edgar Hoover

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics, War by chamblee54 on June 5, 2021

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This repost is a work of speculation, and has no basis in proven fact.The thesis cannot be proved nor disproved. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Listening to talk radio while you drive is a dangerous activity. You might start to think, and look at the man behind the screen. Neal Boortz was on a rant today about Jane Fonda. It it the same story you have heard many times…she gave aid and comfort to the enemy, she is a traitor, American troops died because of her, she should have been executed.

Sometimes when you hear something too many times, you begin to have doubts about what you heard. A light bulb went off in PG’s head when he heard the Fonda Rant again..
.What if Jane Fonda was working for the US government when she went to Hanoi?
What was in it for the government? This trip gave our government a discredited leader of the antiwar movement to denounce. When the government was trashing Jane Fonda, they did not have to defend the disastrous policies of that war.

Miss Fonda has been an icon of right wing hatred ever since, as well as of military training. One story has Miss Fonda giving the North Vietnamese information about activities by American forces. How would she get this information?

The infamous trip to Hanoi took place in the Summer of 1972. American troops were being withdrawn, and anti war protests lost most of their passion. (It was also soon after the death of F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover, and the Watergate burglary) The war in Vietnam was essentially over for America. We were no longer trying to win, but to negotiate a face saving treaty. President Nixon called it “Peace with Honor”. Miss Fonda’s actions had little impact on these negotiations.

Miss Fonda made some radio broadcasts from Hanoi. Is it possible that coded messages to our troops were included in these broadcasts? Is it also possible that she gave the North Vietnamese misinformation on purpose?

Why would a women known for her left wing activism do such a thing? Maybe, the FBI had some dirt on her, and blackmailed her.

In 1967, Kurt Vonnegut published a book titled “Mother Night”. It tells the story of Howard W. Campbell Jr. Mr. Campbell made propaganda broadcasts for Germany in World War II, which were secretly used to pass coded messages to the Allies. He was condemned as a traitor after the war, but never prosecuted. He did not win an Academy Award.

The role of the government in this affair could have taken another role. Perhaps Miss Fonda was sincere in her actions, but aided by the government. Miss Fonda was under surveillance in 1972. The government would have known about her plans to go to North Vietnam, and perhaps could have stopped her. But, because her going to Hanoi was to their advantage, the government allowed the trip to take place.

The above is speculation, and could be horribly wrong. The fact that Miss Fonda has expressed regrets over her trip neither proves nor disproves this. She got great movie roles, and won two Academy Awards, during the seventies. This may be a coincidence, or maybe it was a reward for her service.

Clearly, the trip she made to Hanoi had propaganda value to the US government. It has been a Godsend over the years. You should always consider who benefits from an action.

During his rant today, Mr. Boortz said that US troops died because of Miss Fonda. (He does not discuss the man who went to Nam in his place, after his draft deferment.) By saying this, he can ignore the tens of thousands of troops who died because Richard Nixon chose to wait until 1973 to sign a “peace treaty”. He could have made the same deal in 1969. Peace with honor indeed.

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A few days ago, the possibility that the government allowed Jane Fonda to go to Hanoi was discussed. Ms. Fonda’s trip to North Vietnam had numerous propaganda/p.r. advantages to the American government. Direct government sponsorship cannot be ruled out. Another scenario would have the government knowing about the trip, having the ability to stop the trip, but allowing it to happen. For the purposes of today’s discussion, we will call this the “Hoover Option”(HO). It is named for John Edgar Hoover, the publicity savvy director of the FBI until his death in 1972.

HO is a favorite of conspiracy theorists. It is difficult to prove or disprove, and explains a lot of things. Another conspiracy rich event is the shooting of John Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The various hypotheses on this event are well known. Numerous people wanted JFK to retire…gangsters, teamsters, Republicans, Lyndon Johnson, Vietnamese… to the point to where it is tough to sort out all the possible candidates. The thinking goes here, that J. Edgar Hoover knew of the plot to kill JFK, could have stopped it, but chose to allow it to happen. Even conspiracy skeptics think this is plausible.

The concept of Lee Harvey Oswald working alone does not eliminate the possibility of HO. Here was a sketchy character, known to have traveled to the Soviet Union, and favor “fair play for Cuba”. He worked in a building on the parade route. As much as the FBI knew…especially about those with Soviet connections…is it possible that Mr. Hoover knew what Mr. Oswald was going to do that Friday? And decided to allow it to happen. And why did Jackie choose that photogenic pink outfit?

A few years later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis, TN. Mr. Hoover had a well known hatred of Dr. King. How did a sketchy character get a room, within gunshot range of the hotel Dr. King stayed in? How did he know when Dr. King would be stepping on the balcony? Did Mr. Hoover know all of this, and still allow the shooting to take place? Why was Jesse Jackson there?

J. Edgar Hoover died on May 2, 1972. This was 13 days before Arthur Bremer shot George Wallace, six weeks before the Watergate burglary, and eight weeks before Jane Fonda went to Hanoi. Mr. Hoover died at the height of the Nixon administrations “dirty tricks”, just a few weeks before they got caught. No doubt, Mr. Hoover knew what Tricky Dick was up to.

HO has probably been in existence throughout history. Most leaders have blood on their hands, and it is always better to get someone else to do the dirty work.

Pearl Harbor has long been the object of this speculation. There is little doubt that Mr. Roosevelt wanted the United States to join the war, but was having a tough time with an isolationist public. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Mr. Roosevelt got what he wanted. It has long been speculated that he knew in advance about the attack, and let it go down. There were obvious advantages to him.

Which brings us to the Pearl Harbor of the modern era, 911. The attacks that day were a political jackpot for George W. Bush. He was able to ram many restrictions on civil liberties through congress, and begin a war in Iraq, that had clearly been planned for some time. Did our government know about plans for the 911 attacks, and quietly let them happen?

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Gene Talmadge

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics by chamblee54 on May 29, 2021






Former Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge was famous for saying, to cheering crowds,
“Sure I stole, but I stole for you”. PG suspected an urban legend, and decided to see what Mr. Google had to say.
Eugene Talmadge was Agriculture Commissioner before he was Governor. He had some relatives on the state payroll. There was something funky going on with fertilizer. He bought a bunch of hogs, and sent them to Chicago, where he thought he could make more money. After a while, some people started to ask questions. His answer was
“If I stole, it was for farmers like yourselves”. (This is on page 59 of “The Wild Man from Sugar Creek.”)
This was in 1931. The depression hit Georgia hard. The wool hat boys were in a world of fertilizer. Mr. Talmadge set himself up as the champion of the dirt farmers, and the enemy of the lyin’ Atlanta newspapers. In 1932 he was elected Governor. He was re-elected three times, but died in 1946, before he could serve again. He was replaced by two Governors.

The county unit system was one reason Mr. Talmadge kept getting elected. Each of Georgia’s 159 counties got a certain number of votes. Three rural counties were the equivalent of winning Fulton County. Mr. Talmadge boasted that he never won a county with street cars.

Mr. Talmadge’s campaigns were legendary. He would speak at the county courthouse, and plants in the crowd would scream questions, like “what about those lyin Atlanta newspapers?”. One of his favorite lines was
“Yeah, it’s true. I stole, but I stole for you, the dirt farmer”.
PG’s aunt went to work at the Trust Company of Georgia in the early fifties. There was a story that the new employees were told. It seems as though Governor Talmadge was in the lobby of the Trust Company, after having a happy lunch. He had to use the restroom, and went to the corner of the lobby to relieve himself.

There is a statue of Gene Talmadge in front of the State Capitol. The plate at the base reads “I may surprise you, but I shall not deceive you.” This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.”






Why The War Between The States Was Fought

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on May 28, 2021


Recently, Mr. Trump said something stupid about the War Between the States. After his comments began to filter into the marketplace of ideas, people began to react. There was a good bit of self righteous talk about how bad the Confederacy was. Maybe it is time for another point of view. This feature will have minimal research. Mostly, PG is typing things he has heard and thought. It is possible that some items will be incorrect. The reader is encouraged to do their own research. Comments are welcome.

When the colonies declared independence in 1776, nobody knew how things would turn out. First, Great Britain needed to be defeated. After that, the Articles of Confederation went into effect. “Under these articles, the states remained sovereign and independent, with Congress serving as the last resort on appeal of disputes. Congress was also given the authority to make treaties and alliances, maintain armed forces and coin money. However, the central government lacked the ability to levy taxes and regulate commerce…”

This arrangement was not working, and the Constitutional Convention was called. Originally, the CC was going to revise the Articles of Confederation, but wound up throwing the whole thing out, and creating the Constitution. This document called for greater federal authority. The issue of what powers to give to the states, and what powers to give to the central government, was contentious. It remains controversial to this day.

Had any group of antonymous states formed a federal union before? Usually, such a union is the result of a conquest, with one of the states ruling the others. It is unclear whether such a union had been attempted before, or how successful it was. When the “founding fathers” created the constitution, they probably did not foresee how it would play out. The current system, with a massive central government cat-herding the 50 states, would have been laughed off as a dangerous fantasy.

So the states start to have disagreements. One of the things they disagreed over was slavery. Yes, this was an important factor in the unpleasantness to come. Slavery also influenced a lot of the economic conflicts. The North wanted high tariffs to protect industry. The South wanted low tariffs, so they could sell cotton to Europe. There were many other ways for the states to not get along.

Finally, in 1861, the disagreements became too big to ignore. The south seceded, and the War Between The States began. The Confederate States of America was a looser union than the United States. The thought was that the states were more important than the federal union. Mr. Lincoln disagreed. (One popular name for the conflict was Mr. Lincoln’s war.) Many people say that Mr. Lincoln was not especially concerned about the slaves, but wanted to keep the union together.

How does slavery enter into this? Imagine the conflict over states rights vs federalism to be an open tank of gasoline. The lit match that was thrown into that tank was slavery. When the winners wrote the war history, it sounded better to say that the war was fought to free the slaves. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This was a repost.

The Covid Debt

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 27, 2021


“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.” Herbert Hoover said this, at the Nebraska Republican Conference, January 16,1936. In 1936, the national debt was $33.7 billion. This was during the depression, when the government was trying to revive the economy. When Mr. Hoover was President, in 1932, the debt was $19.4 billion.

The national debt today is $28.2 trillion. This is 855 times the debt in 1932. The government likes to spend more money than it has.

2020 was a big year for the national debt. When covid hit, the economy shut down. The government went on a spending spree. The resulting budget deficit (the amount added onto the national debt) for fiscal year 2020 is estimated to be $3.7 trillion. The fiscal year is October 1 through September.

$3.7 trillion is larger than the total national debt in 1991, $3.666 trillion. $3.7 trillion works out to $71.1 billion per week, $10.1 billion per day, $422.3 million per hour. This does not include government spending covered by tax revenue.

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” This gem is credited to the late Everett Dirkson, Republican Senator from Illinois. In 1965, the photogenic Senator was losing sleep over raising the national debt to $328 billion.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend. A billion seconds ago, it was 1989. A billion minutes ago, the Roman empire flourished. (There are 24 hours/1440 minutes in a day. There are 525,600 minutes in a non-leap year.) Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These men were soldiers in the War Between the States. In 1865, the national debt was $2.6 billion.

POTUS Jokes

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on May 25, 2021

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After a ADHD WHCD, the Washington Post published The single best joke told by every president, from Obama to Washington. It was easier than finding anything funny said by Larry Wilmore Michelle Wolf. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

The pickins are surprisingly slim, especially for the modern era. When everything you do is recorded, something has to be funny. Three recent Republicans show a liberal capacity for humor.
George H.W. Bush, 1989 Gridiron Club: “People say I’m indecisive, but I don’t know about that.”
Richard Nixon, in Ms. magazine, 1971: “Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I wouldn’t want to wake up next to a lady pipefitter.”
Herbert Hoover “Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.”

Warren Harding was a dog. … “referring to his penis, which he named Jerry, in a 1915 love letter to his mistress Carrie Fulton Phillips: “Jerry — you recall Jerry, whose cards I once sent you to Europe — came in while I was pondering your notes in glad reflection, and we talked about it.”

You have to go back over a hundred fifty years to get a serious laugh.
Andrew Johnson “Washington, D.C., is twelve square miles bordered by reality.”
Abraham Lincoln “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”
Franklin Pierce about duties after leaving office: “There’s nothing left. . . but to get drunk.”
Zachary Taylor when suggested that he run: “Stop your nonsense and drink your whiskey!”
John Tyler on his death bed: “Doctor, I am going. Perhaps it is best.”
James Madison on his death bed: “I always talk better lying down.”

PG found a quote once about Alexander Hamilton, by John Adams. “His ambition, his restlessness and all his grandiose schemes come, I’m convinced, from a superabundance of secretions, which he couldn’t find enough whores to absorb!” A google search for verification led to a reddit page, Fake Founder Quotes, starring John Adams. Apparently, Mr. Adams said something similar to that in a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, sent January 25, 1806. According to this source, the letter was a satire of Jonathan Swift’s Tale of a Tub

George Washington in a 1788 letter congratulating the Marquis de Chastellux on his recent marriage: “Now you are well served for coming to fight in favour of the American Rebels, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, by catching that terrible Contagion — domestic felicity — which like the small pox or the plague, a man can have only once in his life: because it commonly lasts him (at least with us in America — I don’t know how you manage these matters in France) for his whole life time.”

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Bob Dylan Is 80

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on May 24, 2021









This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Today is Bob Dylan’s eightieth birthday. This chamblee 54 birthday tribute is composed primarily of three previously published pieces of work.

This compendium was assembled in 2016. On David Bowie’s in 2016, PG created a computer playlist, and assembled a few blog posts into a birthday celebration. Three days later, David Bowie was dead. PG decided to do the same thing to Bob Dylan on his birthday. Instead of dying, Bob Dylan won the Nobel prize. A similar effort on RuPaul’s birthday had no effect on the performer.

It was a late may morning in Atlanta GA, and a slack blogger was searching his archives. Yes, Issac Asinov never got writers block, and when he wasn’t going to the bathroom he was typing, but that is a lifestyle choice. Easy writing makes tough reading. So, anyway, in the may archive for 2011 there was a post about Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday. People were taking bets on whether he would make it to thirty, and here he is at seventy nine.

Hibbing MN is a cold place. At least it can claim to be the birthplace of Robert Allen Zimmerman. That’s Allen, with an e, and double L, just like hell. The original initials were RAZ, which might be a good trivia question, or, with a silent W in front, radio station call letters. The problem is, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, with no known middle name. Those initial are BD.

On May 24, 1941, the curly haired wonder boi arrived. The world was a different place. Europe was in flames, and eyeing the young men of America as fresh cannon fodder. This was twelve years, eleven months, and eighteen days before PG graced the planet. A twelve year old in Hibbing MN would have no reason to think of a newborn baby in Atlanta GA.

The first time PG heard of Bob Dylan was probably at the record rack of Zippy’s dime store in Cherokee Plaza. There was an album of his greatest hits, and it came with a poster. The poster had a drawing of the man, with psychedelic waves of hair cascading in multi colored glory to the edges. PG never did buy the LP.

The former Mr. Zimmerman was never big on top 40 am radio. Somebody somewhere was getting a headache over those lyrics, but Atlanta GA was not somewhere in those days. By this time, Mr. Dylan had crashed his motorcycle, and gone into hiding. As the counter culture exploded (if only someone had disinfected that counter) the curly haired poet was in hiding, the subject of much speculation. At one point, people were stealing his garbage, and claiming to find evidence of investment in munitions firms. The neoscience of Dylanology continues to this day.

As PG got older and stupider, he heard more and more Bob Dylan music. In the summer of 1972, there was a performance at the Concert for Bangladesh. A couple of albums released during this era sucked, and some people stopped caring about Bob Dylan.

At the start of 1974, a tour was announced. The Band was to be the backing group. The circus came to the Omni, and PG got some of the mail order tickets. He couldn’t find anyone to use the second ticket, and sold it to a stranger outside the arena.

The show was nothing special. Bob Dylan excels at writing, is ok in the studio, and blah on stage. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was at the show, and was said to look bored. Mr. Dylan was invited to the Governor’s mansion after the show, and talked to the Governor. A lot of people in Georgia were surprised that Jimmy would want to run for President.
As the Seventies went me me meing into sex and drugs oblivion, Bob Dylan regained both his writing touch, and love of the spotlight. The Rolling Thunder tour happened, he got back together with Joan Baez, divorced his wife, became born again, became more Jewish, counted money, and generally lived the life. PG did his own version of all that, without Joan Baez or being circumcised again.

In the winter of 1991, America was consumed by war fever. Saddam Hussein had been elevated to next Hitler status, and had to be taught a lesson. One night, Bob Dylan played on a music awards show, and performed “Masters of War”. He played a discordant version of that ditty, with the result that few understood what he had said. By this time, Mr. Dylan had assembled a band, and gone out on the “Never Ending Tour”. A Bob Dylan concert had gone from being a special event, to being another name on the festival roster. Overexposure will do that.

On the last night of the Olympics in 1996, Bob Dylan played the House of Blues downtown. PG won a pair of the $80 tickets in a radio station contest. It was his only trip downtown during the games, and had to wait in a security line to get into Centennial Olympic Park.

The only celebrity, other than Mr. Dylan, seen at the House of Blues that night was Bill Walton. The band was competent…they impressed PG as being like a bar band that did a lot of Dylan songs, with a strangely authentic lead vocalist. The sound in the room was not good, at least in the spot where PG stood. The only song he recognized was “All along the Watchtower”, the Jimi Hendrix classic. Mr. Dylan got a cheer when he put his harmonica appliance on.









The aptly named dangerousminds has a link to a story about the recording of Blonde on Blonde, by Bob Dylan. It only happened once.

Bob Dylan was 24 years old, newly married, and had “sold out” i.e. started to play electric guitar. A bunch of Canadians known as The Hawks (later The Band) was touring with him. Barely a month after the release of “Highway 61 Revisited”, sessions started at a New York studio.

The New York sessions did not work, so a decision was made to go to Nashville. Al Kooper played organ, and served as a music director. A crew of Nashville players was recruited. A bass player named Joseph Souter, Jr. would become famous a few years later using the name Joe South. Kris Kristofferson was the janitor at the studio.

Most studios have bafflers, or sound proof room dividers, splitting the studio into cubicles. For these sessions, the bafflers were taken down, and the band played together as a unit.

The second session in Nashville started at 6pm and lasted until 530 the next morning. Mr. Dylan was working on the lyrics to “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands”, and the recording could not start until he was ready. The musicians played ping pong and waited. At 4am, the song was ready, and the record was finished in two takes.

PG had marginal encounters with two of the players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One of the customers was Joe South. His driving record file was an inch thick.

Al Kooper had a prosperous career after his association with Bob Dylan. The former Alan Peter Kuperschmidt produced the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums, sold that contract for a nice piece of change, and lived happily ever after.

One night, Mr. Kooper was playing a show at the Great Southeast Music Hall, and PG sat in front of the stage. During a break between songs, PG asked his friend “what time is it?”. Mr. Kooper heard him on stage, and said it was 11:30.










If it ever quits raining, PG is going to walk to the Chamblee library and return a book, and a cd. The cd is by Bob Dylan, and is a work of genius. The book is about the former Mr. Zimmerman, and is a piece of garbage. (BTW, Dylan is not the only Zimmerman to hit the big time. Ethel Merman was born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman.The Zimmerman telegram got us into World War I. The less said about George Zimmerman, the better)

When returning cd’s to a library, you need to get a check in receipt. Once, PG returned a stack of cd’s to the Brookhaven library. When checking them in, one was missed by the scanner. A few days later, there was a note in the mail about an overdue cd.

The good news was, the cd was on the shelf when PG went back to investigate, and the matter was quickly settled. It did not help that the cd was a collection of disco music called “Shake your booty”.

“The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was released in the early sixties, when the man was barely old enough to buy a drink. There is not a bad song on it, and several are classic rock staples. At a time when mindless pop dominated pop music, here were thoughtful, moving lyrics.

In 1991, with America in a war frenzy, Mr. Dylan appeared on a music awards show. He performed “Masters of War”, at a time when the majority would be appalled if they could understand what he was singing. Mr. Dylan has been reinvented many times, and often the lyrics get gargled.

Five years later, PG won tickets to a Bob Dylan concert. It was the last night of the Olympics, and the man was appearing at the House of Blues. (Tickets were $80, so the radio contest is the only reason PG went). It was like hearing a good bar band, that did nothing but Dylan songs, with the man as the vocalist. Due to the mix of the sound, PG could not recognize many of the songs.

The book is Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet by Seth Rogovoy. It tells the Dylan tale as a story of Jewish prophecy. PG got to page 16, where the author claims that “Like a Rolling Stone” “almost single handedly revolutionized rock’n roll music”. Huh?

PG was eating dinner, and did not have anything else to read. He got to page 38. Nothing in the next 22 pages changed his mind away from ditching the book. How does nonsense like this get published?








Sixty Seven Years Thirteen Presidents

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on May 15, 2021


Every four years, someone will say this is the worst choice ever. Every four years, someone will say this is the most important election ever. They are always correct. The choice in 2020 was between Donald John Trump and Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. Choosing between those two idiots was challenging. The good news is that most people live in states where the electoral votes are conceded to one of the duopoly parties. These voters can focus on local elections.

Listening to the news shows that came on before the cartoons, PG heard the phrase “President Eisenhower”. As a friends explained to him, G-d made everything, but the President is Eisenhower.

When he was six, PG moved to a new house, and started first grade. There was an election that fall, and someone named Kennedy became President. PG wasn’t old enough to pay attention to the news yet, except when it looked like the Russians were going to kill us all in 1962.

The first news story that PG clearly remembers was the day when his fourth grade teacher, Miss McKenzie, told the class that President Kennedy had been shot. One of the worst moments that weekend was the moment when a plane landed in Washington, and the new President spoke on television. THAT was the new President? Yuck.

Lyndon Johnson was a larger than life figure, and was hated by millions of Amuricuns. While there was some good done by LBJ, it was overshadowed by the War in Vietnam. When he left office in 1968, the voters had a horrible choice …Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, or George Wallace.

Tricky Dick Nixon is another larger than life figure, with millions of Americans screaming for his impeachment. For some reason, there were others who passionately admired the man.

In 1973, the oil companies tried to say there was an oil shortage. Later that year, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan attacked Israel, and the Arab oil producers cut oil to the USA. After this embargo, OPEC was in charge of the oil supply, and the price of gasoline increased 200%. The era of big money oil was on. What a convenient war.

After the ethical shortcomings of Mr. Nixon became too obnoxious to ignore, Gerald Ford became President. On a policy level, Mr. Ford was like all the other Presidents…some things he got right, some things he got wrong. On a personality level…the show business part … Mr. Ford excelled. His family provided harmless fodder for the gossipmongers. He was a likable man, a welcome break from the meanness of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.

When PG was a kid, there had never been a President from Georgia. It seemed impossible. When Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter announced he was running, it seemed like another ego tripper running for President. The funny thing is, Jimmy won. It still seems a bit unreal.

Jimmy was a Democrat, with attack Republicans fighting him every step of the way. This is a problem later Democrats in the Oval Office will have. On the policy level, Jimmy did better than many realize. Many of his achievements only bore fruit after he left office. On the show biz front, his down home Georgia routine did not appeal to many Yankees. In 1980, Jimmy was defeated by an actor.

PG was worried when Ronald Reagan took office. With America’s nuclear arsenal, and the Soviet Union wheezing it’s threat, many thought that Ronnie would start the war to kill us all. The good news is, this war never happened. Whatever tough talk came out of Washington was not matched by military adventurism abroad.

Mr. Reagan was the master of show business. He was an actor, playing the greatest role of his career. It was said that if America had a figure head monarch, Mr. Reagan would have been terrific. On the policy front, taxes were cut, and the budget increased. The national debt went over a trillion dollars. This was seen as a historic moment.

When Mr. Reagan’s two terms were over, George H.W. Bush took over. This was an era where the Democrats could not do anything right on a national level. Mr. Bush presided over a war, and brought the troops home when the mission was over. His image never appealed, and the whiners were not pleased. A computer salesman named Ross Perot decided to run as a third party candidate.

In the winter of 1992, PG had a little job downtown. One day, there was a rally at the CNN center for a little known Presidential candidate. PG went, and said to a friend, If this guy gets elected, you are going to regret not going to see him. At the time, War Winner Bush seemed unbeatable, and PG said that with high sarcasm.

When he got to CNN center, it was obvious that a big money event was unfolding. The place was packed, with school children bused in to fill all the seats. Finally, the speakers blared “Twist and Shout” at top volume, and Bill Clinton walked on the stage. PG was not especially impressed.

Mr. Clinton inspired toxic hatred, but managed to keep the boat floating. He won reelection, with the Republicans seeming to self destruct. The economy was going good, the budget was balanced, and the haters went wild. After a entertaining sex scandal, the Clinton years were over.

A couple of weeks before the 2000 election, PG liked neither candidate, and did not think it made much difference. (With Georgia’s electoral votes certain to go Republican, PG did not have a vote.) He listened to someone talking, who thought that it was important that Mr. Gore won. PG remembered that conversation often during the next eight years.

George W. Bush was a disaster. It is possible that 911 was a personal vendetta against the Bush family, and would not have happened if Mr. Gore was President. The reaction of Mr. Bush to this tragedy was to start two wars that we have not been able to finish. In 2021, we are still in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama was next, the first dark skinned President. He continued the war happy ways of the Bush regime. BHO was reelected in 2012, and given four more years to wage war. He managed to avoid the second term scandals that crippled Mr. Nixon and Mr. Clinton.

In the next election, the democrats decided that calling people racist was a good campaign strategy. As a result, Donald J. Trump was elected. America is more racially divided than ever, something the election of Mr. Obama was supposed to remedy. With the nation distracted by screaming racism, the congress has cut taxes, and produced a multi-trillion dollar budget deficit.

Joe Biden is now in the oval orifice. Mr. Trump, while not as bad as anticipated, was awful. Covid-19 hit, and Mr. Trump did not stop it. The national debt went through the roof. OTOH, Mr. Trump did not start any new major wars. Mr. Biden will struggle to keep his cognitive decline within Presidential levels. America might survive. Pictures for this feature are from the The Library of Congress.

Jean D. McKinnon

Posted in Georgia History, History, Holidays by chamblee54 on May 9, 2021

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The first picture in this episode is a family portrait of the Quin family in Washington Georgia. The nine surviving children of Hugh Pharr Quin are sitting for the camera. Mr. Quin had joined the Georgia State Troops of the Army of the Confederacy at the age of 16, and after the war went to Washington to live with his sister. Mr. Quin was in the church choir of the First Methodist Church when he met the organist, Betty Lou DuBose. They were married January 22, 1879.
The original name of Mrs. Quin was Louisa Toombs DuBose. She was the daughter of James Rembert DuBose. His brother in law was Robert Toombs, the Secretary of State of the Confederacy, and a man of whom many stories are told.
In this picture, Mrs. Quin is holding the hand of her second youngest daughter so she will not run away. This is Martha (Mattie) Vance Quin. She is my grandmother.
After the Great War, Mattie Quin was living in Memphis Tennessee, where she met Arthur Dunaway. Mr. Dunaway was a veteran of the war, and was from Paragould, Arkansas. On July 23, 1922 her first Daughter, Jean, was born. This is my mother.
Mr. Dunaway died in 1930, shortly after the birth of his son Arthur. There were hard times and upheaval after this, with the family settling in Atlanta. There her third child Helen Ann Moffat was born on December 12, 1933. This is my Aunt Helen and my mother’s best friend.

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Jean lived for many years with her mother and sister at 939 Piedmont, among other locations. She joined the First Baptist Church and sang in the choir. She got a job with the C&S bank, and was working at the Tenth Street Branch when she met Luther McKinnon. He was a native of Rowland, North Carolina. They were married October 6, 1951.
They moved into the Skyland Apartments, which in those days was out in the country. Mom told a story about Dad taking her home from Choir practice, and going home on the two lane Buford Hiway. There was a man who went to the restaurants to get scraps to feed his pigs, and his truck was always in front of them. This was a serious matter in the summer without air conditioning.
Soon, they moved into a house, and Luther junior was born on May 6, 1954. This is me. Malcolm was born May 10, 1956, which did it for the children.
The fifties were spent on Wimberly Road, a street of always pregnant women just outside Brookhaven. It was a great place to be a little kid.
In 1960, we moved to Parkridge Drive, to the house where my brother and I stay today. The note payment was $88 a month. Ashford Park School is a short walk away…the lady who sold us the house said “you slap you kid on the fanny and he is at school”.
In 1962, our family followed the choir director from First Baptist to Briarcliff Baptist, which is where my parents remained.
In 1964, Mom went back to work. She ran the drive in window at Lenox Square for the Trust Company of Georgia until it was time to retire. She became a talk radio fan when RING radio started, and was a friend of her customer Ludlow Porch. She gave dog biscuits to customers with dogs.
During this era of change, Mom taught me that all people were good people, be they black or white. This was rare in the south. She later became disgusted with the War in Vietnam, and liked to quote a man she heard on the radio. “How will we get out of Vietnam?””By ship and by plane”.
Eventually, it was time to retire. Her and Dad did the requisite traveling, until Dad got sick and passed away February 7, 1992. Mom stuck around for a few more years, until her time came December 18, 1998. This is a repost.

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Winston Churchill Said What

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes, War by chamblee54 on May 8, 2021


Another ghastly meme has surfaced on facebook. It has a large fuchsia quote mark for illustration. There is a quote from a famous man. The left side has a quote mark. The right side has a question mark, but no quote mark. The margins are much larger on the top, and left side, than on the right side, and the bottom. That this visual atrocity supports funding for the arts is a cruel irony.

Perhaps instead of the arts, the government funding should go for fact checking. The quote is generally considered to be bogus. For the record, here is the quote. “When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply replied, “then what are we fighting for?” The quote is not in the Churchill archive, which is either fifteen million documents, or fifteen million words. The authorities use the figures interchangeably.

The Telegraph has an article debunking the meme. It has a splendid sentence: “But that anecdote does not so easily play into the screeching rhetoric of today’s 140-character political ding-dongs.” There are also some lovely quotes from Mr. Churchill.

pink quote marks01 In 1937, Mr. Churchill spoke before the Peel Commission It was discussing “partitioning British mandated Palestine into Arab and Jewish states.” At the time, Mr. Churchill was a minor figure in British politics, disgraced by his blundering in the Great War. The quote: “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”

Winston Churchill is quite the quote magnet. This is somehow fitting for a man whose most famous speech was read, on the radio, by an actor. There is a page on the internet devoted to times when he was falsely accused of saying something inspiring.

One of these stories is notable. “The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, sodomy and the lash… Churchill’s assistant, Anthony Montague-Browne said that although Churchill had not uttered these words, he wished he had.” This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.

I’m Here To Help

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes by chamblee54 on May 1, 2021


Two popular quotes have surprising back stories. One is by President Ronald W. Reagan: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” The other is from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

@HayesBrown “the funny thing about this quote: Reagan said it during a press conference where he was calling for more federal funding to help out struggling farmers” @HayesBrown “Reagan giving that quote was literally him going “okay, yeah, i’m for smaller govt, but until we get my ideas passed, we are gonna spend SO MUCH MONEY helping out farmers” and now it gets trotted out… to argue against federal aid, period”

“Some sectors of our farm economy are hurting … Our ultimate goal, of course, is economic independence for agriculture and, through steps like the tax-reform bill, we seek to return farming to real farmers. But until we make that transition, the government must act compassionately and responsibly. … In order to see farmers through these tough times, our administration has committed record amounts of assistance, spending more in this year alone than any previous administration spent during its entire tenure. … The message in all this is very simple: America’s farmers should know that our commitment to helping them is unshakable. As long as I’m in Washington, their concerns are going to be heard and acted upon.”

The rest of the prepared statement features a fun quote. “One other brief point: tomorrow, the Senate will cast a crucial vote. The question is that of assistance to the freedom fighters, who are trying to bring democracy to Nicaragua where a communist regime, a client state of the Soviet Union, has taken over. The question before the Senate is: Will it vote for democracy in Central America and the security of our own borders, or will it vote to passively sit by while the Soviets make permanent their military beachhead on the mainland of North America?”

The press conference took place August 12, 1986, in Chicago IL. On November 3, 1986, “the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa … reported that the United States had been secretly selling arms to Iran … in a bid to secure the release of seven American hostages being held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.” On November 25, 1986, “Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that, on White House orders, the proceeds of secret arms sales to Iran were illegally diverted to fund the Contras — Nicaraguan rebels waging a guerrilla war to overthrow that country’s elected leftist regime.” The resulting Iran-Contra scandal dominated the Reagan administration for the next few months.

@ggreenwald The pro-censorship cliché “can’t yell fire in a crowded theater” comes from a now-discredited 1919 SupCt case upholding Woodrow Wilson prosecution of socialists under *The Espionage Act* for the “crime” of opposing a US role WW1. Why would you want to attach yourself to that? @ggreenwald The set of cases from which that cliché emerged is one of the most shameful in US Supreme Court history, designed to criminalize dissent. For that reason, it’s embarrassing but revealing when censors invoke it because that’s their real mentality.

SCHENCK v. UNITED STATES was the case. “During World War I, socialists Charles Schenck and Elizabeth Baer distributed leaflets declaring that the draft violated the Thirteenth Amendment prohibition against involuntary servitude. The leaflets urged the public to disobey the draft, but advised only peaceful action. Schenck was charged with conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act of 1917 by attempting to cause insubordination in the military and to obstruct recruitment. Schenck and Baer were convicted of violating this law and appealed …

The Court held that the Espionage Act did not violate the First Amendment and was an appropriate exercise of Congress’ wartime authority. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes concluded that courts owed greater deference to the government during wartime, even when constitutional rights were at stake. … Holmes reasoned that the widespread dissemination of the leaflets was sufficiently likely to disrupt the conscription process. Famously, he compared the leaflets to falsely shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, which is not permitted under the First Amendment.”

There were a couple of other cases. If you have a lot of free time, you can read about it here. Included is one charming quote: “Famed socialist Eugene V. Debs was sentenced to ten years in prison for a speech that Holmes summarized at length (are there any short socialist speeches?) in support of the basis for Debs’ conviction.”

Pictures, of soldiers in the War Between the States, are from The Library of Congress. On April 2, 2021, Radiolab presented What Up Holmes, about free speech opinions written by Justice Holmes. The show did not mention “falsely shouting fire in a theatre.”

The First One Hundred Days

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on April 29, 2021


Chamblee54 started in 2005, about halfway through the reign of W. 2009 saw The First Hundred Days, a tasteful piece about the start of the Obama drama.

The first hundred days of a presidency is a landmark. At this point, POTUS gets a report card. JRB is approaching this point. The grades he gets at this point depend on the scorekeeper. A look at the last few presidents is instructive.
John Kennedy tried to invade Cuba in his first hundred days, with disastrous results. Lyndon Johnson watched The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. Richard Nixon moved into the White House. Gerald Ford gave a pardon to Mr. Nixon. Jimmy Carter was portrayed by Dan Aykroyd .

Moving into the eighties, Ronald Reagan got shot in his first hundred days. George HW Bush talked to a rehab center about his son. Bill Clinton tried to get gay people accepted for military duty. George W Bush ignored reports about Saudi students in pilot schools.

PG did not have an opinion about BHO, at this point in 2009. The first dog, Bo, made an impressive debut, as did wife Michelle. BHO arguably has worse problems than any of the eight prezzes listed above. He, and the country, survived. Nobody seems to know what happened to Bo.

Pundits were puzzled by the first hundred days of Donald J. Trump. There was talk about draining a swamp. Outside the rhetoric, and the nervous nellie opposition, there was relatively little action.

April 29, 2021, is day 99 of the Biden presidency. Sleepy Joe is a welcome change, after four years of toxic resistance. With the covid vaccinations, Mr. Biden continues the presidential tradition of getting credit for his predecessor’s work. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.