Chamblee54

[ __ ] Head Rock

Posted in Politics, Race by chamblee54 on September 11, 2021


@GlennLoury and @JohnHMcWhorter are the “Black guys at Bloggingheads dot tv.” PG has been an enthusiastic fan for years, with several posts resulting. (051815 032016 091416 112018 101119) Lately, the show is not as much fun as it used to be. Wokeism is officially boring. There are endless examples of logical ineptitude in America’s racial rectuming. The face that PG largely agrees with BGAB does not make it any more interesting.

Episode 62569 was more engaging. Glenn and John said the magic word 9 times, between 5:08 and 20:17. Youtube’s transcribing bot rendered the phrase-that-pays as [ __ ]. John uttered the hard r eight times, while Glenn was content with one. (one – five six seven eight – nine)

[ __ ] has a special place in America’s problem of color. Glenn and John have the “right” to say the magic word, by virtue of their melanin content. PG’s caucasity forbids him to say, think about, or have opinions about [ __ ]. Many discussions of racism begin with soul stirring denunciations of systemic oppression, only to quickly devolve into “soandso said [ __ ].” Glenn and John have n-word privilege, so it is ok. [ __ ] puts the privy back in privilege.

PG has written two posts about the magic word, which sum up a lot of what he thinks. The Ta-Nehisi Coates Video deconstructs the “perfect answer” to why white people shouldn’t say you-know-what. In James Baldwin And The Word, there is a video. The author has a few common sense observations about the magic word. Later, PG substitutes “racist” for [ __ ], with amusing results.

The Racist Rock of Wisconsin is a key player in today’s drama. “The University of Wisconsin was removing a 70-ton boulder from its Madison campus on Friday at the request of minority students, who view the rock as a symbol of racism. Chamberlin Rock … was referred to as a derogatory name for Black people ([ __ ] head) in a Wisconsin State Journal story in 1925 … University Chancellor Rebecca Blank approved removing Chamberlin Rock in January but the Wisconsin Historical Society needed to sign off because the boulder was located within 15 feet of a Native American burial site”.

@JohnHMcWhorter wrote an opinion piece about the rock, for the paywall happy New York Times. He thought the students were a bunch of pathetic snowflakes. Why be triggered by a rock, which someone called [ __ ] head 96 years ago? Dr. McWhorter had a few choice words for the UW-Madison administration, which he saw giving into the demands of entitled children. To him, the decision to remove [ __ ] head rock was “racist.”

“… you use the r word in reference to her and i wanted to be clear I am not saying Rebecca Blank is a racist because one I don’t know and two she almost certainly is not under any sense of the word that makes sense …” John was careful to make the distinction between “doing something racist” and “racist.” This was generous of BGAB. In social justice jihad, you get called racist for any transgression, no matter how minor. You are guilty until proven innocent. If you don’t like being called racist, then quit being a racist. How hard is that?

Rebecca Blank is a professional acquaintance of Glenn’s. Throughout the discourse, BGAB took greats pains to says that they were not calling her a racist. As it turns out, her twitter handle is @BeckyBlank. Before Karen, Becky was America’s favorite racial slur for white women. Rebecca Blank may not be a racist, but she is a Becky.

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Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics, War by chamblee54 on September 11, 2021


This is my 911 story. I repeat it every year at this time. Every year I say this will be the last time. This year is a mess. We are destroying the village to save it. The action part of 091101 was over by 11 am. This quagmire drags on and on. Nobody knows how things will turn out.

I was at work, and someone called out that someone had run a plane into the World Trade Center. I didn’t think much of it, until I heard that the second tower had been hit, then the Pentagon, then the towers collapsed, then a plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

I focused on my job most of the day. There was always drama at that facility, and concentrating on my production duties helped to keep me saner. This was roughly the halfway point of my seven year tenure at this place.

One of the other workers was a bully for Jesus. He was a hateful loudmouth. After the extent of the damage became known, he shouted “They are doing this for Allah,” and prayed at his desk. The spectacle of the BFJ praying made me want to puke.

I became alienated from Jesus during these years. Once, I had once been tolerant of Christians and Jesus, as one would be with an eccentric relative. I began to loath the entire affair. I hear of others who found comfort in religion during this difficult time. That option simply was not available for me.

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. “This item is part of a collection of images of downtown Atlanta streets that were taken before the viaduct construction of 1927 – 1929. Some of the covered streets became part of Underground Atlanta.”

I’m Not A Witch

Posted in Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 10, 2021





In 2010, republicans in Delaware nominated Christine O’Donnell for the US Senate. The race was to replace Vice-President Joe Biden. It turns out that Mrs. O’Donnell has already made a name for herself. In 1996, she was the President of SALT … The Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth. She made an appearance on MTV to urge teenagers not to masturbate.

Public spirited citizens at MSNBC have found the video. It was introduced by Rachel Maddow, who had both hands on the desk. “you are going to be pleasing each other. If he already knows what pleases him, and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture.”

This feature is a repost from 2010. Mrs. O’Donnell lost her senate race by 16 points. One of her campaign ads proclaimed “I’m not a witch.” There was a misunderstanding with the FEC, over allegations that Mrs. O’Donnell used campaign funds for living expenses. Currently, @thechristineod is a podcast coach. The beat goes on. Pictures from The Library of Congress.

Rachel Maddow

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 7, 2021


Rachel Maddow is a great concept. The hard hitting lesbian overcame a blonde childhood to become the MSNBC news lady. Unfortunately, the reality does not always live up to the image.

@maddow “Patients overdosing on ivermectin backing up rural Oklahoma hospitals, ambulances” “‘The scariest one I’ve heard of and seen is people coming in with vision loss,’ he said.” The tweet links to a story: “A rural Oklahoma doctor said patients who are taking the horse de-wormer medication, ivermectin, to fight COVID-19 are causing emergency room and ambulance back ups.“There’s a reason you have to have a doctor to get a prescription for this stuff,” said Dr. Jason McElyea.”

… Dr. Jason McElyea is not an employee of NHS Sequoyah … Dr. McElyea has not worked at our Sallisaw location in over 2 months. NHS Sequoyah has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose….” The story is a lie. Rolling Stone, who first broke the story, has issued corrections. @maddow has not.

A month before the 2016 election, a story began to spread: The KKK endorsed Donald Trump. When I began to research a blog post about this tall tale, an article at the Washington Post appeared to be the origin. An enthusiastic co-promoter was Rachel Maddow.

By this time, it was obvious that Ms. Maddow saw her job as helping Hillary Clinton get elected. Unfortunately, by November 2016, this meant piling on as much negativity as possible. It is possible that public revulsion at this overkill helped Mr. Trump win the Electoral College. This tendency towards overkill is on full display in her campaign against IVM.

August 27 saw Ms. Madcow Ms. Maddow goes full blue anon against IVM. It should be noted that, despite the fire breathing polemic by Ms. Maddow, the side effects of IVM are not serious. There is evidence of IVM being an effective treatment for covid. (one two)

“… several outlets are reporting what the America’s Frontline Doctors fiasco appears to have morphed into now is a scam to market horse paste, to market livestock deworming and anti-lice medicine to people who believe, that for some reason, they shouldn’t take the COVID vaccine. To people who believe there is a cure for COVID. There must be a cure for COVID but the man is trying to keep it secret but you can find it at a veterinary clinic. And, OK, maybe we said it was hydroxychloroquine before, that was the cure. But we’re not talking about that anyone now we say it’s ivermectin.”

“So, they moved on, from warning you about the reptile people and the threat of the demon spawn, careful who you have sex within your sleep, because you never know. They moved on from that, to promoting hydroxychloroquine as the secret cure to COVID. And when that petered out, they kept up the scam, telling people definitely do not take the vaccine, because the vaccine will kill you, and don’t wear a mask. And now they are telling people to pay them a considerable amount of money to take this potentially dangerous and also worthless drug.”

“It has been promoted inexplicably by the popular podcaster Joe Rogan, for some reason. Okay? It has also been promoted by the snake oil online sales folks who brought you the threat of demon sperm and alien DNA, with the endorsement of then President Donald Trump.”

“NBC reporter Ben Collins has plunged into that slimy underworld of how this stuff is being promoted and sold and weaponized against the ill. He joins us next. Stay with us.”

“One of the big groups pushing disinformation about this drug is a pro-Trump anti-vax group called America’s Frontline Doctors . Their founder was arrested after allegedly participating in an attack on the capital on January 6th. And while promoting ivermectin as a cure for COVID is something of a standard Fox News primetime segment these days, the misinformation and promotion of it turns out to be a lot bigger online, particularly in gigantic Facebook groups I had no idea existed. But they have created a whole ecosystem to push this stuff and to support people’s decision to use it, instead of, say, getting vaccinated.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Founding Babydaddies

Posted in Georgia History, History, Politics by chamblee54 on July 25, 2021





People often try to justify their opinions by saying that the “founding fathers” agree with them. They often are guilty of selective use of history. A good place to start would be to define what we mean by the phrase founding fathers. This is a repost

The FF word was not used before 1916. A senator from Ohio named Warren Harding used the phrase in the keynote address of the 1916 Republican convention. Mr. Harding was elected President in 1920, and is regarded as perhaps the most corrupt man to ever hold the office.

There are two groups of men who could be considered the founding fathers. (The fathers part is correct. Both groups are 100% white male.) The Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence, which cut the ties to England. Eleven years later, the Constitutional Convention wrote the Constitution that governs America today. While the Continental Congress was braver, the Constitution is the document that tells our government how to function. For the purposes of this feature, the men of the Constitutional Convention are the founding fathers.

Before moving on, we should remember eight men who signed the Declaration of Independence, and later attended the Constitutional Convention. Both documents were signed by George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, George Read, Roger Sherman, and James Wilson. George Wythe left the Convention without signing the new document. Elbridge Gerry (the namesake of gerrymandering) refused to sign the Constitution because it did not have a Bill of Rights.

The original topic of this discussion was about whether the founding fathers owned slaves. Many people wonder about this. If you go to google, and type in “did the founding fathers”, the first four answers are owned slaves, believed in G-d, have a death wish, and smoke weed.

The answer, to the obvious question, is an obvious answer. Yes, many of the founding fathers owned slaves. A name by name rundown of the 39 signatories of the Constitution was not done for this blogpost. There is this revealing comment at wiki answers about slave ownership.

“John Adams, his second cousin Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Paine were the only men who are traditionally known as founding fathers who did not own slaves.
Benjamin Franklin was indeed a founder of the Abolitionist Society, but he owned two slaves. Franklin’s newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, routinely ran ads for sale or purchase of slaves.
Patrick Henry is another founding father who owned slaves, although his speeches would make one think otherwise. Despite his “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, he had up to 70 slaves at a time. He did apologize from time to time. He knew it was wrong, he was accountable to his God, and bemoaned the “general inconvenience of living without them.”

Patrick Henry was a star of the Revolution, but not present at the Constitutional Convention. The author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, was in Europe during the convention. Mr. Jefferson not only owned slaves, he took one to be his mistress, and kidsmama.

One of the more controversial features of the Constitution is the 3/5 rule. Here are the original words. “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.” In other words, a slave was only considered to be 60% of a person.

This was a compromise. It The agricultural southern states did not want to give up their slaves. The northern states did not want to give up Congressional representation. This was the first of many compromises made about slavery, ending with the War between the States. This webpage goes into more detail about the nature of slavery.

The research for this feature turned up a rather cynical document called The myth of the “Founding Fathers” . It is written by Adolph Nixon. He asks : “most rational persons realize that such political mythology is sheer nonsense, but it begs the question, who were the Founding Fathers and what makes them so great that they’re wiser than you are?” (The link for this information keeps changing. Here is the latest. This is not a reliable source.)

Mr. Nixon reviews the 39 white men who signed the Constitution. He does not follow the rule, if you can’t say anything nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all. Of the 39, 12 were specified as slave owners, with many tagged as “slave breeders”.

The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, have served America well. However it was intended, it was written so that it could be amended, and to grow with the young republic. It has on occasion been ignored (when was the last time Congress declared war?). However fine a document it is, it was created by men. These were men of their time, who could not have foreseen the changes that America has gone through. Those who talk the most about the founding fathers know the least about them.




Do You Feel Safer?

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 22, 2021





No, there is no evidence that the F.B.I. organized the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Of course, the NYT is going to say that. Others disagree, and point to a plot to kidnap the Governor of Michigan. If the FBI was involved in planning the January 6 incident, it will not be the first time. Here is a story from 2012 about the role federal agents played in the arrest of four elderly men in North Georgia.
A recent episode of Radiolab, Grumpy Old Terrorists, spotlights Georgia. It is about four elderly men, arrested in North Georgia for terrorist activity. The episode features Tom Junod, who wrote an article for Esquire Magazine, Counter-Terrorism Is Getting Complicated. The article has much more information than a twenty minute radio show.

The story focuses on Fred Thomas. A retired Navy man, he worked for Lockheed in Virginia, and moved to Georgia when he retired. He began to hang out on the internet, focusing on a militia forum. After BHO was inaugurated, Mr. Thomas felt that America was going downhill. He met some men online who agreed. The men started to meet. One of the players was a government agent.

The informer was named Joe Sims. (PG does not know if this is his birth name.) According to Esquire, Mr. Sims is a slimy character. He got in trouble, and then got out of jail to work as a snitch.

It is interesting to note that two of wives, of the accused, did not like Mr. Sims. Charlotte Thomas, the wife of Fred, only met him once. Mrs. Thomas was a Frank Sinatra fanatic. When Mr. Sims was in their home, he saw the Sinatra shrine. Joe said,
“The trouble with Frank Sinatra is that he can’t sing”.
As the story went down, the old men, and Joe the snitch, had many meetings where they said that something violent needed to be done. Joe the snitch encouraged them, and set up a meeting with an “arms dealer”. Joe handed over his money, and the old man handed over some money. The federal swat team moved in, threw flash grenades, and arrested the old men. The conspirators were so scared they wet their pants. At the same time, the Frank Sinatra shrine was raided. The carpets have burn marks from the flash grenades.

A question was raised on radiolab, do you feel safer now? The feds encouraged the scheme, and helped drive it forward. One person speculated that the sheriff should have had a talk with the old men. Let them know that the law was wise to their game, and the activity would have stopped. Is it a good role for the government to encourage people to commit crimes? In at least one case, government agents recruited and paid people to take part in the “terrorism”. Is this a good use of taxpayer money, and, indeed, does it make us safer?

UPDATE There was a similar incident recently in Forsyth Counth. This is a repost. There are some crucial details left out of this post. Readers are encouraged to read the Esquire magazine article, Counter-Terrorism Is Getting Complicated. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.




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.”






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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#1619Gate Part Two

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 23, 2021


UNC backs down from offering acclaimed journalist tenured position This appears to be the piece that ignited this week’s media dumpster fire. Tenure disputes are seldom hot button topics. Relatively few people are concerned about the employment status of @nhannahjones.

The way the story has unfolded raises a few questions. On April 26, 2021, this announcement was made: “Nikole Hannah-Jones … will join University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media in July as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.” The word tenure did not appear in the initial announcement.

On May 19, this story appeared: UNC backs down from offering acclaimed journalist tenured position The story has a lot of quotes, and finger pointing. Why did UNC announce the hiring before all the tenure details were in place? Why did NC Policy Watch release a story about the tenure decision? How did it get into the national outrage discussion?

This is a puzzling story for non-academics. There are countless stories of people who struggle for years to get a doctorate degree, and are lucky to get any kind of teaching position. And here we have a journalist, whose top degree is a masters, granted a five year contract as a professor. The chattering class is upset because she did not get tenure.

Nikole Hannah-Jones is at the center of this storm. She is best known as being the creator of The 1619 Project. “It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” The 1619 Project has many admirers, and many critics.

Here is what @nhannahjones says about herself on twitter. “Reporter @nytmag // Knight Chair @unchussman //Slanderous & nasty-minded mulattress//Co-founder The Ida B. Wells Society //smart&thuggish//Creator #1619Project” 0 The former twitter profile is festive. @nhannahjones “Reporter @nytmag covering race from 1619-present//AKA The Beyoncé of Journalism//Co-founder ida b wells society //smart and thuggish//Aries//1619Project.” (This item was tucked away in the April 26 announcement. “In 2016, she (along with the AP’s Ron Nixon and ProPublica’s Topher Sanders) established the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting to increase and retain reporters and editors of color. The Society relocated to UNC Hussman from Harvard in 2019 …”)

The 1619 Project inspired intense controversy. There was this story from a fact checker: I Helped Fact-Check the 1619 Project. The Times Ignored Me. Many of projects claims were challenged. There was apparently some “stealth editing.” “Rather than address this controversy directly, the Times—it now appears—decided to send it down the memory hole … Without announcement or correction, the newspaper quietly edited out the offending passage such that it now reads …” Some unkind people speculate that Mrs. Hannah-Jones will be teaching a class in Journalistic ethics.

#1619Gate appeared on this blog after the stealth edits. Here are a few quotes from that piece. One of the @nhannahjones quotes is oh-so-ironic today. It will appear in boldface.

What is fascinating about #1619Gate is the spectacle of the mighty New York Times humbling itself. There is also the bizarre behavior of @nhannahjones. … After a while, “The Beyoncé of Journalism” looks more like the Kellyanne Conway of historic scholarship.

This tweet landed on my timeline earlier this week. @nhannahjones “There is a difference between being politically black and being racially black. I am not defending anyone, but we all know this and should stop pretending that we don’t”
@kelsey_midd “What does this mean?” @nhannahjones “If you don’t know it ain’t for you.” @kelsey_midd “I’m not the only person that asked. I’m also a black person.” @nhannahjones “Yes, I am capable of seeing your avatar. And I will repeat: if you don’t understand the difference between being born/designated a certain race and taking up a particular set of racial politics, I am not going to educate you here. .
… The boundless folly of woke twitter awaited me. I soon came across the following exchange. I have a screen shot of the punch line, in case it is deleted.

@sullydish “Basic rule in online journalism: if you change something after publication, acknowledge and explain it. On 1619 Project, NYT just broke this basic *ethical* rule. And to further the cover up @nhannahjones deleted all tweet history. Let that sink in.”
@nhannahjones “This is the last thing I will say about this. The wording in question never appeared in the 1619 Project text. It appears nowhere in the printed copy, something easily verifiable as pointed out to you. It didn’t appear in my essay nor any of the actual journalism we produced.”
@ira_mckey “It may be the last thing you say about it, but the Twitter screenshots and the history of what you said about it Still exist.” (Includes photo of NHJ tweet: @@nhannahjones “I argue that 1619 is our true founding. Also, look at the banner pic in my profile.”)
@nhannahjones “This is my tweet. My tweets are not official 1619 copy.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones has become something of a celebrity. This is probably why she was given the Knight Chair. It is also why gems like this get out: “Violence is when an agent of the state kneels on a man’s neck until all of the life is leached out of his body. Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence. To use the same language to describe those two things is not moral.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. #1619Gate and #1619Gate Part Three are available.

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.”