Chamblee54

Town Hall Meeting

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 18, 2017


There were two events PG could go to. Come Meet A Black Person Event was 23 miles away, at rush hour. The Brookhaven Town Hall Meeting was a mile away. PG walked to City Hall.

The meeting started on time. PG counted fourteen people in the room, with a few more coming in later. At least six of these people were employees of the city. Hari Karikaran, the Public Works Director, was the only person of color attending.

A few people had complaints about gunfire near Briarwood Park. Someone said that Blackburn Park is not well maintained. There is a plan to plant a different variety of grass in Blackburn Park, in a test section. After a while, someone will see if this test section works.

The Public Safety department said that it is difficult to maintain a full strength force. There is a program to monitor the license plates of cars entering the city, and some criminals have been caught. There is a problem with car break-ins, and someone has been stealing apartment mailboxes. One of the mailbox thieves was caught with the license plate detection program.

Facebook broadcast the meeting, with mixed results. People kept going back to the device, hoping to make it work. Finally, the broadcast went on line. You can see it using the link. The white haired man in the second row did not have much to say.

The event in Lawrenceville happened. Group of white people attends ‘Come Meet a Black Person’ mixer in Atlanta “Even with a police car parked across the street, the event went off without a hitch.” It was organized by Cheryle Moses, the founder of Urban Mediamakers.

Ms. Moses had this to say: “I’m not naive. I didn’t know what to expect. I had a 9 mm in my purse in case something happened. ’Cause I’m not going out like that,” … “I have a permit to conceal and carry. It’s important to know your rights. Racism, that’s white people’s problem. They created it. They need to fix it. We [black people] can only worry about ourselves,” …“White people are oblivious. We know them. We have to know them, you know. It’s not like that for them. They don’t know anything about us, they don’t have to.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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Politico Goes To Johnstown

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 9, 2017


A facebook friend kicked off today’s game with this comment: “CW: Blatant explicit racist language to the end. I don’t know how many stories we need to write about deplorables who know trump is and always has been lying but follow him anyway because they are RACIST. But at least we SHOWED them this week!” There is a link to a story, Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help.

PG read the story after he saw another story about it, The Politico Goes On A Cletus Safari, Finds Two Angry NFL Fans Willing To Say What They Mean The second story, like the fbf, is concerned about the last paragraph of the Politico story. The preceding 90% is passed over, in the rush to racism at the end. This might have been the intention of Politico.

The story shows a reporter, Michael Kruse, going to Johnstown PA, to talk to the small town people. Many of the people voted for Donald Trump in 2016. They believed his promise to MAGA, and are now finding ways to rationalize the fact that it is not happening. One of the things that angers people is NFL players not standing for the National Anthem. It is a handy distraction.

Pennsylvania is seeing tough times. The steel mill towns are hit hard. A demagogue running for President said he was going to make everything right again. The people believed the loudmouth. The tough times continue, and the people are trying to figure things out.

This is what the article purports to be about. The first mention of race comes 871 words into the 3890 word article. “For them, it’s evidently not what he’s doing so much as it is the people he’s fighting. Trump is simply and unceasingly angry on their behalf, battling the people who vex them the worst—“obstructionist” Democrats, uncooperative establishment Republicans, the media, Black Lives Matter protesters and NFL players (boy oh boy do they hate kneeling NFL players) whom they see as ungrateful, disrespectful millionaires.”

The article cruises along, with a lot of talk about economic anxiety… the real thing, not a privilege code word for racism. Before the money quote at the end, there is this: “Next to Bala was a gray-haired man who told me he voted for Trump and was happy so far because “he’s kept his promises.” … I asked for his name. “Bill K.,” he said. He wouldn’t give me his last name. “I don’t trust you,” he said.”

In the next paragraph, Mr. Kruse is talking to “catering company owner Joey Del Signore.”Shame on them,” Del Signore said over his alfredo. “These clowns are out there, making millions of dollars a year, and they’re using some stupid excuse that they want equality—so I’ll kneel against the flag and the national anthem?” “You’re not a fan of equality?” I asked. …”

Then we get the attention grabbing quote. Mr. Kruse, is talking to Pam Schilling, a key part of his story. We don’t know how Mr. Kruse brought up the kneeling NFL players. PG suspects that Mr. Kruse egged on Ms. Schilling, and her husband Dave McCabe. In the end, Mr. McCabe repeated a joke. It was what the NFL stood for. You can probably guess what the N stands for.

What Trump Voters Want Now was written by Mr. Kruse after the 2016 election. He speaks to many of the people that are featured in the current article. One of them, Pam Schilling, lost a son to heroin. He had sore knees from playing football, which led to pain killers, which lead to heroin. How many of the N-football players are living in pain today?

One quote from the November story stands out. “But for Kirsch, who’s 53, who’s lived in this area his whole life, who’s hauled coal for three decades, and who voted for Obama in ’08, for nobody in ’12 and for Trump last week, the comment from Clinton that irrevocably did her in wasn’t “deplorables.” It had come six months earlier, actually, during a town hall on CNN. The context was more complicated and less incriminating than the widespread takeaway, but the phrase Kirsch heard, and couldn’t and wouldn’t forget, was this: “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

“Havener, the retired union carpenter who met me at Missy’s, had said over the summer he would vote, albeit unenthusiastically, for Clinton. In the end, he did not. He voted for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate. “I wanted to see someone who wasn’t another one in the royal, so to speak, progression,” he explained. He saw things, he said, in Clinton’s character that didn’t “sit well” with him: “It’s like win at all costs. I feel like she’d do anything she could to get there.” Trump, though, he said, was even worse.”

The people who voted for Gary Johnson and Jill Stein helped Donald Trump win Pennsylvania. Many of these “racist” voters voted for Barack Obama. These are the people Chuck Schumer was talking about: “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The photographer was Dorothea Lange.

Listen Vote Have Faith

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 4, 2017


This feature was originally published November 4, 2008. PG had just returned from voting. According to Wikipedia, November 4 saw Presidential elections in 1924, 1952, 1980, and 2008. That is three Republicans, to one Democrat, in four elections on the fourth. Today’s birthdays include Will Rogers, 1879, Walter Cronkite, 1916, Art Carney, 1918, Freddy Heineken, 1923, Laura Bush, 1946, and Robert Mapplethorpe, 1946. Will Rogers never met Donald Trump. Pictures for this gratuitous waste of bandwidth are from The Library of Congress.

PG thinks about the three part advice…pray, vote, don’t worry. The second part is over. When PG walked out of the building at 7:42 am last Tuesday, the election was history. The wawuh is ovah. La Guerre Est Finie, or whatever the title was of that movie at the Film Forum thirty seven years ago. That was about the time of the first election for PG, when Tricky Dick whipped George the dummy. Tuesday was the ninth time PG has cast a presidential ballot, and, if the polls are correct, will be the third time he voted for the winning candidate.

Don’t worry is phrased with a negative, and might work better with a positive verb. The first thought is Have Faith. Or maybe Think Well, or Think Good Thoughts. Alfred E. Neuman made a good career out of the phrase “What me Worry?”, even though he was just a cartoon character. It is easy for cartoon characters not to worry. (The spell check suggestion for Neuman is Humane.)

Having faith for a living human being can be a bit tougher. PG has always tended to pessimism, and his default face look is sadness. This causes problems, especially with a certain former employer who would harp on PG’s “negative attitude”. When you tell a person often enough that he has a negative attitude, it is the lie that becomes the truth.

The truth is, the future has always looked bad, and turned out to be good. PG 63 now, in good health below the neck, and has a few things going for him. As for America and the world … the national debt is greater than ever, a war rages on eight time zones away, and we are no closer to energy independence than we were when Tricky Dick was POTUS. This was the time of the OPEC embargo, when America began to realize it’s addiction. We have done nothing since. PG remains optimistic about the future health of the planet, but wonders what it is based on. UPDATE We still have multiple wars, energy chaos, an enormous national debt, and ass backward leadership. In the 2016, the Republicans blamed Islam and Mexico. The Democrats blamed racism. Neither blame game is likely make America great, either in the past, the future, or the pasture.

Which brings us to the third leg of the stool. Prayer is an essential part of many religions, and works for many people. PG has a problem with prayer. It is connected to Jesus Worship. PG does not get along with Jesus.

Prayer is talking to G-d. Meditation is listening. Prayer is active, meditation is passive. Prayer appeals to type A americans, who tend to do what they want, and fight those who get in the way. Most of these people are Jesus Worshipers. This is what PG sees of when he thinks of prayer. Not only are they loud and selfish, but they are proud of it. They are loud and selfish for Jesus.

The first commandment says to have no other G-d before thee. This does not make an exception for books about G-d, or for the so called son of G-d. When you get away from this common sense rule, you are going to have problems. Maybe if you pray to G-d, and leave Jesus and the bible out of it, you will be ok. As long as you shut up, and listen to what she has to say.

Privilege

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 26, 2017







PG had heard the phrase “white privilege” a few times, and decided to ask Mr.Google about it. The top choice was White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. “This article is now considered a ‘classic’ by anti-racist educators.” It is four pages long, which might not break the attention span.

A document like this is almost impossible to read with an open mind. You are a member of a group, such as a white male like PG. There are a lot of things here which PG agrees with, a few his disagrees with, and a few that are dependent on the reader’s point of view.
The sentence that PG felt obliged to copy was ” I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitudes”. It is as if the attitudes of black people did not matter.
There are more headshakers in this article. In a list of privileges white folks take for granted, number 18 was
” I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to “the person in charge,” I will be facing a person of my race.”. That might have true once, but is not today.
Getting back to White Privilege (and ignoring the White Privilege Conference results), there are lots of people thinking about this subject. The University of Dayton contributes Defining “White Privilege”. In the text, the author mentions starting a site, Whiteprivilege.com. This site is currently under construction. It does give you the opportunity to buy “Privilege Car Insurance”.

A feature, What is white privilege?, compares every person with pale skin to the Palin family.
“White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.” This runs counter to line 21 of the Invisible Knapsack list, ” I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group. “
PG went looking for answers, and got more questions. He does not deny that being caucasian has advantages in our society. These advantages do not mean that one should lay down quietly and let black people get their revenge. We are all G-d’s children. You should be proud of who you are, without taking advantage of your neighbor.





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After publishing a feature about white privilege , PG thought it would be fair to look into black privilege. When you visit Mr. Google, some of his suggestions are black privilege checklist, black privilege furniture, and black privilege fact or fiction. The top result is a feature in American Thinker.
“Personally, I have never had a moment of white guilt in my life. Now this is a significant statement given that I am Jewish and from New York. I feel guilty about pretty much everything!”.
NPR has an audio file called Black Male Privilege? . It is downright fascinating.

Prof. LEWIS: I think youve unfortunately identified one of the central issues of black male privilege. So often, black men are used to being under attacked that when it comes to being accountable for the actions we may have, we quickly say, well, I couldnt possibly be doing anything wrong. Look at all the ways in which Im oppressed. Look at all the ways in which Im at the bottom of the barrel. What that does is rob us of an opportunity to actually build stronger community and it robs black men of a chance to actually take hold of the actions that they have so that we can empower the community.
MARTIN: What reaction do you get when you talk to people about this?
Prof. LEWIS: Among black women, in particular, I get a lot of amens and saying, thank for actually exposing this. Among black men, one of the most common ones I get is, well, this seems ridiculous. Its an oxymoron. How could black men be privileged? Its like jumbo shrimp. It doesnt add up. … And they say, you know, what did my black male privilege get me? Im unemployed. … : Initially, my first exposure was actually around the Million Man March. I felt that I was transformed by the Million Man March, and I thought it was one of the most powerful events ever. And I was having a conversation in class with a professor, Dr. Beverly Guy Sheftall, and she said that she couldnt support the Million Man March because it was very patriarchal and it put black men at the center. And I said, well, it doesnt always have to patriarchal. You dont always have to put black men at the center. And if she said, isnt it an amazing privilege to tell someone else what they dont have to take seriously? And that paused me for a moment. And I said, wow. What is it in my past that makes me say I can define what someone else would think of as important? (Here are more thoughts on this subject by Dr. L’Heureux Dumi Lewis )

Times are tough in the US of A. To an unemployed white person it is easy to say, what good has this privilege done me? And isn’t it a form of privilege to label anything you don’t like about someone as being due to privilege? Has privilege become a catch22 for anything you don’t like about a person?

This feature is not a complete recap of the google results for black privilege. There were a couple of white racist sites that are best ignored. Two wrongs do not make a right. This is a double repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is written like H. P. Lovecraft.














There is a lot of chatter about privilege these days. Where people used to talk about racism, today the buzzword is privilege. Chamblee54 has tried to contribute to the dialog (polylog) with recent posts about black privilege and white privilege. This is a repost.
One day recently, PG was exercising his vehicular privilege. The thought occured to him about another form of privilege. This privilege is stronger than race based privilege. In fact, many of the people, who whine about white privilege, benefit from this privilege. The president of privilege in America is Christian Privilege. (CP)
If you ask Mr. Google about CP, you get 3.6 million results. The first few give us plenty of text for this feature. A report about CP from About.com Agnosticism / Atheism has the traditional list of examples. The last few paragraphs tell more about the story.

A nonconscious ideology is analogous to the water fish swim in: fish don’t think of the water as wet because this environment is all they know — it structures their experience of life itself. Water simply is. Members of privileged groups don’t have to think about their environment because, for them, that environment simply is. They don’t have to be concerned about others’ opinions because it’s safe to assume that most think like them.
Those who don’t benefit from such an environment do have to think about it all the time because they are so susceptible to being harmed by it. For members of less privileged groups, what others think matters a great deal because their opinions and actions control access to the larger benefits of society. Fish don’t have to think about the water; mammals must remain conscious of it at all times lest they drown.
In most of the examples here, we can replace Christian/religion with male/gender or white/race and come up with the same results: examples of how our social, political, and cultural environment reinforce the dominance of one group over others. Male privilege and white privilege are closely related to Christian privilege because they have all been undermined by modernity and have all become part of America’s Culture Wars.
Christians realize that many of the above privileges are in decline. They interpret this as persecution because privilege is all they have ever known. The same is true when men complain about the decline of male privilege and whites complain about the decline of white privilege. The defense of privilege is a defense of dominance and discrimination, but for those who benefit it’s a defense of their traditional way of life. They need to become conscious of their privileges and realize that in a free society, such privileges are inappropriate.

A blog called Shakesville weighs in with On “Real” Christians and Christian Privilege . It tells the story of being asked not to identify Ann Coulter as a Christian. PG totally understands being embarassed by Ms. Coulter. There was a radio show once, with Ann Coulter promoting a book and PG listening. Some famous person was mentioned, and Ms. Coulter started to make jokes about what would happen to this famous person when he died. The line was that when he gets to heaven, he is going to wish he had been a Christian. This assumption that your ideas about life after death are correct, and universally practiced, is one especially vile example of CP.
The feature at Shakesville (which is easier to pronounce than Shakespearessister) is about how many people deflect complaints about bad behavior by saying “He is not really a Christian”. This is unsatisfactory on a number of levels. Many of the “good” Christians support “bad” Christians in their evil work. This excuse is one reason why PG prefers to say Jesus Worshiper to describe the members of this tribe. Shakes addresses this issue:
“Frankly, it’s hurtful to me when Christians address what happened to me by saying, “Those aren’t real Christians,” expecting me to salve their discomfort about the baggage of privilege by not disagreeing. People who would never in a million years think to try to console a victim of a hate crime with “All [white/straight/cis/abled] people aren’t like that!” nonetheless responded that way to me when I was targeted and threatened by droves of self-identified Christians.”
Shakes is a good writer. She says things much better than this slack blogger. Maybe we should just let her explain a few things.

Christianity has a 2,000-year history that has seen countless iterations of the religion based on countless interpretation of the text and shaped to fit countless times and spaces and needs in disparate cultures all around the world. Christians have done great things, and not-so-great things—and anyone who makes the personal choice to carry the Christian mantle associates themselves with a history that includes all the good stuff and all the shitty stuff, too. One can’t say, “I only associate with the good Christianity—not the inquisitions and the genocides and the warmongering and the colonialism and the institutional misogyny … racism, anti-Semitism…”
That’s all part of Christianity’s legacy, too—and it just isn’t intellectually honest to say, “Well, those weren’t real Christians.” Yes, they were. And so are the Christians who do shitty stuff today. They might not be the same kind of Christian as you are, but they are nonetheless Christians.
Christianity, at least (and especially) in America, is a privilege—and, like any privilege, it can be uncomfortable to face the ugly reality of what other members of a privileged class can do to non-privileged folks, even if you don’t do it yourself. I’m white, I’m straight, I’m cisgender: I understand the impulse to distance oneself. But as a white person, I am obliged to acknowledge that the history of white supremacy in America is one of slavery, of lynchings, of segregation, of sundown towns, of internment camps, of genocide, and of all manner of institutionalized racism. I don’t get to say (nor do I want to) that the KKK aren’t “real” white people. They sure as hell are.
That Christianity is a chosen privilege does not mean its members can claim a lower standard of rigorous self-examination. And it doesn’t mean that less privileged Christians, i.e. progressive Christians, can claim a lower standard, either, just because the more privileged Christians marginalize them. Poor whites don’t get to disclaim their white privilege just because they are further marginalized by their lack of wealth.
In fact, chosen privileges demand, if anything, a higher standard of self-examination, because one has a choice whether to participate in the privilege. But so often, the fact that Christianity is a choice is instead used to deny the effects of that privilege altogether—”I’m not one of those Christians; I’m one of the good ones!”






Who Elects The Dog Catcher?

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 24, 2017


@realDonaldTrump Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts…. Our ever tweetable POTUS sent this message out today. It raises an important question: what municipality elects the animal control associate? Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

What an elected dogcatcher reveals about small-town America is the result from The Economist. “You’ve reached your article limit Sign up to keep reading or subscribe now to get the complete experience.” For $12, USD, you can get twelve weeks of this publication. There is no guarantee that you will learn anything about dog catcher politics.

Is dogcatcher actually an elective office? Slate wrote an article about this, when all they had to say was no. The author: “Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.” This is a place where dog catchers are an important part of the restaurant supply chain.

A brief history of people who have actually been elected dog catcher The Washington Post tried a bit harder. They found newspaper clippings referring to elected dog catchers. Col. Tom Parker, the manager of Elvis Presley, was said to have been elected dog catcher in Tampa FL. There is also the story of Bob White. He assured voters that even though he lost both legs, he would be able to perform the duties of dog catcher.

Duxbury VT keeps coming up in this search party. They have a town meeting every year, and the dog catcher is chosen by citizen vote. In the most recent town meeting, “dog catcher Zeb Towne, who was nominated almost unanimously for re-election, despite a “no” vote from his wife that cause laughter to erupt in the room.”

Making It Worse

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on October 18, 2017


Your husband has been killed in action, while serving in the United States Army. You are going to the airport, to be there when the remains arrive. It is going to get worse.

Your congressional representative is in the vehicle with you. The President of the United States calls. Mr. Trump reportedly said something inappropriate. Your representative heard this private conversation on a speaker phone, and went out and told everyone about it.

We probably will never know what the President really said. What is reported … “Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt”… would not be out of character for Donald Trump. On the other hand, what business did Rep. Frederica Wilson have in outing this conversation? This is a horrible, horrible moment for Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson. It could only be made worse by Rep. Wilson’s big mouth.

@realDonaldTrump Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad! @RepWilson @realDonaldTrump does not possess the character, empathy or grace to be president of the United States.

Rep. Frederica Wilson should not be tweeting about “character, empathy or grace.” At roughly the four minute mark of this interview, Rep. Wilson said “that’s not politicizing anything.” Maybe it isn’t politicizing, but outing a private conversation is incredibly rude. Even the White House, not known for sensitivity, said “The President’s conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private.” This conversation should have remained private. Rep. Frederica Wilson should have kept her mouth shut.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

The Scarlet R

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on October 11, 2017

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Bloggingheads.tv released another chat featuring Glenn Loury and John McWhorter. With election days 35 days away, there was lots of talk about Donald and Hillary. It only took 1:44, in episode 44020, to learn what is expected. The assignment is to call DJT a racist, and lament what a terrible thing that is. This is what passes for political discourse in 2016.

At 3:28, there was an aha moment. The line was that DJT, instead of an orange haired ogre, was really just a seventh grade bully. When PG was in seventh grade, there was a mean person who gave him problems. This individual is now a facebook friend, and regularly posts memes supporting DJT. PG likes to know what the “other side” thinks. Ignoring the memes is always an option.

At 9:22, the importance of identifying racism in others is stressed. This is said to totally justify the appeal of DJT. Once you call someone a racist, you no longer have to work to understand their motives. When the scarlet R is super glued to somebody, that is all you need to know.

The Scarlet Letter is the rip roaring tale of Hester Prynne. She got caught fooling around, and had the scarlet A, for adultery, pinned to her chest. It was pinned to her chest, and she could see who did the pinning. In today’s “woke” world, the scarlet R, for racist, is super glued to the back of the terrible person. The person never knows who gave them this dreaded, irrevocable, label.

At 21:28, John tells an amusing story. He was talking to a well meaning white woman, said to be helpful in selling more books. At some point, the woman felt obligated to say that “we don’t like to talk about race.” John was too polite to laugh in her face.

The truth is, of course, that talking about race is the new national pastime. Does anyone listen? In all that talk, is anything worthwhile said? These questions are considered rude, and probably racist.

At 31:09, John said the n word. It is not known whether it ended with -er, or with -a. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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A Trillion Dollars

Posted in Holidays, Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes by chamblee54 on October 9, 2017









This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress. The full text of one section is available, and has amusing stories about Richard Nixon and Antonin Scalia. This feature is about the national debt. When BHO took office, the annual federal budget deficit was over a trillion dollars. According to this source, the annual deficit is now $439 billion. This is more than the total national debt that the late Everett Dirkson was losing sleep over in the sixties. Nonetheless, it is considerably less than the deficit when BHO took office. BHO, bless his drone firing heart, is given credit for reducing the deficit more than any POTUS in history.

… The last quote is from another POTUS who is no longer with us, Ronald Reagan.
“I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” Mr. Reagan was a professional actor, and he knew the value of a good script.
This slogan is another one that Mr. Obama may find handy. It should be noted that it was a big deal when the national debt (the grand total of the deficits) went over a trillion dollars. This was during the first term of Mr. Reagan. Today, under Mr. Obama, the annual deficit is over a trillion dollars. Sooner or later, you are talking about real money.

PG suffered brain damage trying to find out more about the quote from Mr. Reagan. He went through six pages of google. There must be 25 sites which have lists of quotes from Mr. Reagan, and all of them feature this quote. None have an actual source.

What was the context? When did he first say it? One site says it was “(during the latter years of his administration)”. Another site says it was “Said often during his presidency, 1981-1989”. Maybe this is an urban legend. As Mr. Reagan said, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.









Those of a certain age remember Everett Dirksen. A Republican Senator from Illinois, he was blessed with an operatic voice, and cursed with a face that could stop a clock. He is credited (or blamed) for the quote ” A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” The Dirksen Congressional Center can neither confirm nor deny if he really said that. The discussion of this reputed quote does turn up a passage, that is germane to today’s conversation.
“One time in the House of Representatives [a colleague] told me a story about a proposition that a teacher put to a boy. He said, ‘Johnny, a cat fell in a well 100 feet deep. Suppose that cat climbed up 1 foot and then fell back 2 feet. How long would it take the cat to get out of the well?’
“Johnny worked assiduously with his slate and slate pencil for quite a while, and then when the teacher came down and said, ‘How are you getting along?’ Johnny said, ‘Teacher, if you give me another slate and a couple of slate pencils, I am pretty sure that in the next 30 minutes I can land that cat in hell. If some people get any cheer out of a $328 billion debt ceiling, I do not find much to cheer about concerning it.” [Congressional Record, June 16, 1965, p. 13884].

Senator Dirksen went to the fundraising dinner in the sky September 7, 1969. Twelve years later, the Reagan revolution was getting started. Taxes were cut, and spending increased. In a couple of years, the national debt went over a trillion dollars. (The annual budget deficit is now over a trillion dollars.) For those new to the game, a trillion is a billion, multiplied by a thousand. For all the numbers above, multiply by a thousand, to get a trillion.

In 1965, Senator Dirksen was losing sleep, over raising the national debt to $328 billion. The current national debt is estimated at $16,964,687,666,420. This is 5171% of 328 billion.


In 1965, the national debt was $328 billion, and we were losing 100 men every week in Vietnam. One of the more expensive things the government does is fight wars. Currently we are officially killing people in Afghanistan, and several more countries that no one knows about (nudge wink).
On September 11, 2001, The United States was attacked. Revenge was the order of the day. There are now indications that this was one of the goals of Al Queda. The Soviet Union imploded, in large part, because of the strain of fighting a war in Afghanistan. Now, the United States is waist deep in the same big muddy. Whoever is elected in 2016 will have to deal with this matter.

Afghanistan has a gross national product of $27 billion. The Congressional Research Service estimates the cost of American operations in Afghanistan for 2011 to be $119 billion. This is over four times the gross national product of Afghanistan. Pretty soon, you are talking about real money.








Did BHO Say He Is A Liberal?

Posted in Politics by chamblee54 on October 6, 2017







PG listened to The Allen Hunt Show on his way home from Piccadilly Sunday night. The radio talker was discussing charitable giving. It was said that WMR, who calls himself a conservative, gave X% to charity. Meanwhile, BHO calls himself a liberal, and gave Y% to charity. The question PG had was, when did BHO say, in so many words, I am a liberal? At 7:25 PM – 23 Sep 12, this tweet went out: ‏@chamblee54 “@AllenHunt When did Barack Obama say “I am a liberal?” If there is a reply, it will be shared here. This is a repost.

One viewpoint is that conservatives enjoy labels more than liberals do. You seldom hear anyone boasting about how liberal they are, while conservatives seem to get off on selfapplying the c word. It could be that conservatives enjoy putting labels on people more than liberals.

Part of the problem is the changing definitions of the L and C words. It used to be that an activist foreign policy was considered liberal. Then conservatives discovered the fun of sending armies out to kill people. Since BHO has been the POTUS, the war in Afghanistan has been escalated. The use of futuristic drone airplanes to kill women and children in neutral countries has dramatically increased. Is this the behavior of a liberal?

One easy test is to use wikiquotes. The BHO page has 40k words. The search term is liberal. The first thing to come up is the classic routine from his 2008 campaign. “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.” Another BHO quote is “We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism..” There are three quotes from others who describe BHO as a liberal. The quote we are looking for is not there.

If you ask Mr. Google “has barack obama ever called himself a liberal”, you get 17 million results. For “I am a liberal” Barack Obama”, there are 188k results. These two first pages may, or may not, give a time and place for this alleged quote.

On September 11, 2012, the Daily Kos posted Are you more (or less) liberal than President Obama? Take the Quiz!. “This quiz was in no way intended to represent the political spectrum in America in a traditional way.” Nor does it tell us the context for this “urban legend” quote.

The rest of the first page for I am a liberal” Barack Obama is useless. It is a bunch of blog posts containing the phrase “I am a liberal”. One exception is a book review, Review: ‘I Am a Liberal’ is the Mocking Liberals Deserve.

The other search page does not show this magic unicorn of a quote. It does have some seriously weird stuff. Fact Check Project: Allegations that Barack Obama Does Not Exist. 7 Reasons Obama is NOT a Christian. Wikiality, the Truthiness Encyclopedia, gives you a choice: “THIS IS ABOUT THE REAL MOOSLIM OBAMA, FOR THE THEORETICAL OBAMA THAT SOME REPUBLICANS HAVE FOR THERE FANTASY, SEE: THIS PAGE.”

Before we leave this page, there should be a visit to Liberty Counsel – Adopt a Liberal. “Pick one or more of the liberals from the list we have posted online at http://www.LC.org, or choose your own liberal(s) to adopt. If you are led to choose one or more of the liberals we have selected for consideration, please read their brief biographical statement, including the reasons they stand in need of prayer.” One of the choices is “The unknown Liberal.” “There will likely be additional liberals the Lord may bring to mind who desperately need your prayers. Feel free to select your own unique liberal and adopt them for prayer, perhaps even nominating one or more liberals for listing on our website by emailing us at liberty@LC.org.”

The question remains, did BHO ever say “I am a liberal”? In a way, it doesn’t matter. People are going to believe whatever they want to believe. It would be fun to know the context of any such statement.

Out of a misguided sense of fairness, PG decided to investigate whether WMR ever said ” I am a conservative”. When you ask Mr. Google “did Mitt Romney”, the suggested searches are dodge the draft, outsource jobs, start staples, and really save the olympics.

You don’t have to go far to get results here. There is a story, Romney Has Conciliatory Remarks on Obama and Health Overhaul. “Reminded that he had once called himself a “severe” conservative, Mr. Romney seemed to play down that description. “I am as conservative as the Constitution,” he said.” This comment could be taken in different ways. The Constitution was a fairly liberal document for the 18th century. Maybe amendments made it conservative.

Mr. Romney’s reputed conservatism combined with Oxycontin to put Rush Limbaugh on cloud nine. “I was a severely conservative Republican governor,” Mitt Romney told the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2012. Severely conservative? Conservatives snickered. “I may be a little giddy here,” Rush Limbaugh said. “I have never heard anybody say, ‘I’m severely conservative.'”Here is the source: Mitt Romney’s ‘Severe Conservatism’.

On the trip to Piccadilly, the theme of the Allen Hunt show was a sign on NYC busses. The poster was produced by Pamela Geller. The text reads “IN ANY WAR BETWEEN THE CIVILIZED MAN AND THE SAVAGE SUPPORT THE CIVILIZED MAN SUPPORT ISRAEL DEFEAT JIHAD PAID FOR BY THE AMERICAN FREEDOM DEFENSE INITIATIVE ATLASSHRUGS.COM SIOAONLINE.COM JIHADWATCH.COM.”

Two of the web addresses on the sign are not valid. Spell check suggestions for the websites: ATLASSHRUGS/ GLASSHOUSES, SIOAONLINE/ NONLINEAR, JIHADWATCH/ BIRDWATCHER.

Mr. Hunt said the sign was accurate. He consulted a dictionary, and said that any definition of savage fits Muslims. Mr. Hunt said he did not approve of the sign, and would tell his audience why after a commercial break. By this time, PG was in the serving line at Piccadilly. Chicken tenders taste better than the opinions of a radio whiner.

During the invasion of Gaza, Israel killed children using depleted uranium shells. During an incident with a Turkish ship, Israel shot an American citizen four times at point blank range. On the West Bank, Israel bulldozes homes to build illegal settlements. Maybe Israel is the savage.






Greeted As Liberators Part Two

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on September 17, 2017


Paul Wolfowitz has been a government player for years. After finishing his education, he got a job in the Nixon Administration, and worked with Ford and Reagan. He became a star under GHWB and GWB. Mr. Wolfowitz never served in the military.

Under George W. Bush, Mr. Wolfowitz was Deputy Secretary of Defense. After 911, he became a forceful advocate of War in Iraq. He is regarded by some as the “Architect of the War in Iraq”.

On February 27, 2003, Mr. Wolfowitz testified before congress.
“There has been a good deal of comment—some of it quite outlandish—about what our postwar requirements might be in Iraq. Some of the higher end predictions we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq, are wildly off the mark. It is hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take … to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army…”
The conquest was the easy part. The occupation, the act of putting humpty dumpty back together, has been the tough part. More than a few people saw this in 2003.

Mr. Wolfowitz gave an interview to Vanity Fair magazine May 9, 2009. The interview had a quote about WMD.
“The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason.” The possession of WMD by “next Hitler” Saddam Hussein was one of the leading reasons for the invasion. Iraq was known to have used poison gas against the Kurds (while he was an ally of the United States). The warehouses of WMD have never been found.
In 1941, The United States was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor. A declaration of war was issued within a week. There was no settling on an issue for bureaucratic reasons.

PG found a transcript of the complete interview. The link no longer works. HT to Tom Dispatch. Apparently, Mr. Wolfowitz likes to talk. The part that interested PG concerns the Cruise missile, and other “smart” weapons. It seems as though the research on these weapons was almost suspended. The United States was negotiating arms control with The Soviet Union. The Cruise missile was almost abandoned as a concession to the Soviets. The Navy supported this, as they felt that the torpedoes on submarines were taking up too much room already.

This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress. The pictures were taken in Omaha NE, in November 1938. The photographer was John Vachon, working for the Farm Security Administrative.

Trump Is Racist Meme

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on September 13, 2017


There was a comment thread on facebook. Here is the comment that started it. “I have a Facebook friend, who is a black Trump supporter, who says he doesn’t care “if he’s racist or not.” I don’t know what to think about that. Maybe there are a few of my black friends who can help me with that?” There were a lot of comments, which is not surprising. Race, and not liking Donald Trump, are two popular topics of conversation.

The conversation started with a link to When Someone Says They Still Support Trump, I Instantly Know 6 Things About Them. The six items, with a parenthetical summary, are: 1. You want to be ruled, not governed (authoritarianism,) 2. You are not someone I would trust to do business with (business ethics,) 3. You’re either a racist or an enabler of racists (racism,) 4. You have issues with women (misogyny,) 5. You aren’t quite as “Christian” as you claim to be (religious exploitation,) 6. You are anti-constitution (respect for rule of law,)

While those six items are more or less true about Mr. Trump, it is a stretch to say they apply to anyone who supports the man. (Many of these character traits are present in people who don’t like Mr. Trump, especially authoritarianism.) What is disturbing to PG is the way that racial attitudes dominates the conversation. This is a problem in a lot of ways. The obsession with screaming racist helped Mr. Trump get elected. Insulting potential voters is not a good campaign strategy.

There seems to be a national verdict that Donald J. Trump is a racist. A non compliant racial attitude is worse than authoritarianism, crookedness, and mental instability. If you are white, and you question this orthodoxy, then you are a racist. If you are black, and don’t believe without question, then you are asking to be insulted.

The Trump-is-racist meme follows a cynical decision to make Mr. Trump’s racial attitudes a campaign issue. The best evidence cited is a 1973 complaint, involving discrimination in renting apartments. Other evidence… attacks on nationalities, attacks on religious groups, support of unseemly white people … utilize an elastic definition of racism. Others disagree.

There was a comment: Martin C Ezeonu “Lol… I don’t like Trump cuz he is an asshole. On the other hand we know exactly where there country stands now because of him. This country is still racist as hell. these past years nobody addressed is just politicians smartly covering it up. But now to move forward something has to give. And I like that. Let people stop being deceived. Don’t care if he is racist or not I like the fact that he is not a politician and couldn’t play the game. That’s why both parties want him out.”

Mr. Ezeonu is from Nigeria. He might have little in common with most African Americans, other that his skin tone. That is all many people see. People fail to appreciate the amazing diversity in today’s African America. In the comments, Mr. Exeonu was called an idiot, mentally ill, and many other things. Not agreeing with a national consensus is dangerous.

Mr. Trump has numerous problems. In the list of six things, we see authoritarian tendencies, and ethical shortcomings. Many feel the Democrats made a mistake by screaming racist, instead of focusing on his shady business practices. Many white people were alienated by this campaign tactic. After the Trump victory, many black people feel alienated by his election. The race situation gets worse and worse. Saying that Donald Trump is a racist does not help.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Tiki Torch

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 15, 2017


There was a wild weekend in Charlottesville VA. You probably heard about it. The media… corporate, social, anti social … is not known for restraint. The click bait happy datamongers go crazy when a racial conflict emerges. Social media swarms with virtue signalling, as the insecure/insincere masses leap at the opportunity to be seen “on the right side of history.”

The tiki torch boys enjoy bad press, and see it as as proof that they are cool. People see negative reaction as an affirmation of their virtue. One example is this purple prose headline: Procter & Gamble Release an Ad About ‘the Talk,’ and White People Respond With the Wettest, Saltiest, Stupidest White Tears Ever. A soap company decides that the hardships faced by black people are a good marketing gimmick. It is assumed that some white people will not like it, and will make stupid comments on facebook. It is all part of the game.

The white people parade friday night was breathlessly reported. The alt-right children were routinely labelled nazis. The original nazis almost conquered Europe, killed twenty million Soviets, and were one of the fiercest war machines ever created. The star performer saturday flunked out of the US Army because he could not meet their standards. Why do people routinely label these obnoxious children nazis? The Germans had standards.

Let’s do a bit of speculation. What if the tiki torch parade had been ignored? Let the idiots have their parade. Surround them with law enforcement, and keep antifa away. Repeat this on Saturday. Keep the alt right far away from antifa. Have a media blackout… don’t give these clowns, both alt right and antifa, the attention that they crave. Let the counter protesters have their sign waving party. When the rally is over, James Fields will get in his Dodge Challenger and drive back to Ohio. Everyone can go back home, eat hamburgers, and be happy. White idiots will get less attention.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. The democrats made racism a campaign issue. The slimy crookedness of DJT was ignored, and replaced by screaming racist, racist. When he won, anything perceived as racist is suddenly his fault. The black people feel more alienated than before. The lingering liberals blame anything they don’t like on the bottle blonde butthead. People are blaming the tiki torch antics, of the slobbering mob, on Donald Trump. Critical thinking is called for.

America loves to talk about police brutality. The police had a slow day Saturday. Deputies shoot, kill man who lunged at them with knife, official says. A non African American, Hispanic, man, Eduardo Navarrete, was beamed out on meth. He lunged at police with a knife, with fatal results. This was the only officer involved shooting reported on Saturday.

The role played by antifa, or anti fascism, is uncertain. Apparently, they wanted to give the alt right a fight. Since this makes the alt right seem virtuous, the offer the fight was accepted. When you wrestle with a pig, you get dirty, and the hog has a good time. The alt right is taking the blame for this mess, along with DJT, the police, and, of course, racism. Antifa is getting a free ride. If antifa had not been there on saturday, the alt right would have had to fight with themselves. Maybe antifa, whoever they are, and whoever is funding them, needs to be held accountable.

This too shall pass away. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.” The spell check suggestion for antifa is Tiffany.