Chamblee54

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 American troops were being withdrawn, and anti war protests lost most of their passion.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 @CBSNews interview 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.

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.”

Fair Street Bottom

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


Twenty nine years ago, after the Rodney King verdict was announced, America was in turmoil. This story was originally told, in much greater detail, in 2018. It details a disturbance in Atlanta, in a neighborhood near Atlanta University Center. One of the players during this event was a Spelman College freshman named Stacey Abrams. It is not known how much of a role she had in firing up the neighborhood residents who looted a Korean grocery store.

Recently, Miss Abrams has been rabble-rousing about sb202. When people react to her leadership, and start to boycott GA, Miss Abrams claims to have been opposed to an actual boycott. Miss Abrams has based her political career on making trouble about voting access. She should not be surprised when people pay attention to her demagoguery, and take action. When you start a fire, you don’t know where it is going to go. High octane rhetoric works in unexpected ways.

Stacey Abrams appeared on Democracy Now. “So, I was a student at Spelman. I was a freshman. It was 1992, April. … And so, after the Rodney King verdict was announced, there were riots in Los Angeles, but there were also small riots in Georgia, including in that area. The reaction from the mayor was to actually cordon off that entire community, both the universities and the housing developments and then surrounding neighborhoods. And then they tear-gassed us. …

After the Rodney King verdict, in California, students at AUC led a march from the school to downtown. At some point, the march degenerated into a riot. A grocery store on Fair Street was looted. Police were called in, and tear gas was used.

“The Korean-owned grocery store located in Atlanta’s Fair Street Bottom closed early… looters from breaking the lock and prying the door up just enough to crawl under and loot the establishment. … The police finally dispersed the looters with tear gas after they tried to set fire to the building.”

“Fair Street Bottom … was in the heart of one of the city’s oldest public housing communities – John Hope Homes. With walking distance to the west near Spelman College was another housing project – University Homes. … Most of Atlanta missed the “Battle of Fair Street Bottom” unless they read or watch the news. The distance never spread beyond those few blocks …”

“I don’t remember where the phone call came from, but we were informed that some of the marchers were causing damage as they were marching back to the campus. Unfortunate for the marchers some of the young men and high school students joined the march as they passed through John Hope Homes. … By the time, I got to the Atlanta University Center, the student organizers had lost control of the march. Those marches who had a taste of destruction downtown were hell-bent on continuing. The Korean-owned 5 Star Supermarket became the focus of the headless mob, as did a few park police cars that were either turned over or set on fire. After a few hours, and quite a bit of tear gas, the Atlanta Police quelled the disturbance before nightfall. Students retreated back to their dorms and the young looters retreated back to their neighborhoods.”

“In the afternoon of April 30, 1992, a group of students swarmed off the campuses of the Atlanta University Center. A segment of the crowd headed to the downtown business district, where they looted and attacked white pedestrians. A gang of students stopped to shout racial epithets and break the windows of both the Five Star Supermarket and the Five Star Liquor Store. Glenn Park, who is the son of Plaintiffs, was working at the store; he relayed these events to a police officer.”

“On the following day around 1:30 or 2:00 p.m., students at the Atlanta University Center began to throw projectiles from windows of a dormitory at the corner of Brawley Avenue and Fair Street, which is located about three blocks from Plaintiffs’ stores. A police S.W.A.T. team used tear gas to disperse these students. … The Plaintiffs decided to close their stores and congregate in an upstairs apartment within the Five Star Supermarket as nearby police officers observed. … By 6:45 p.m., … members of the crowd began throwing rocks and breaking into Five Star Liquor Store. From his position in the police helicopter, Officer S.F. Patterson advised other officers over TAC I radio that approximately fifty to seventy-five students were vandalizing a small business at Elm and Fair.”

“On May 4, 1992, Mayor (Maynard) Jackson and Chief (Eldrin) Bell participated in another press conference in which they addressed the previous days’ events and apologized to the Korean community … Mayor Jackson also recognized the black community’s long-standing resentment of the Korean business community …” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

The First One Hundred Days

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Jefferson Said What?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes by chamblee54 on April 17, 2021

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Desmond Tutu. Some lines sound good, but don’t hold up to a bit of thinking. Desmond Tutu may very well have said it. (or maybe one of his rivals said it, and Mr. Tutu copied it.) The quote has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Burke, Patrick Henry, and probably others. Almost no one has a source, for the quote, from the dead white guys.
A post called MISQUOTING THE FOUNDERS did not mince words.
“The only problem … is that Thomas Jefferson never said that, never wrote that, and quite possibly never thought it. … Right now if I Google “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent” the entire first page of results wrongly attribute it to Thomas Jefferson. The quote and its many variants have been attributed in the past to Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke, but no record exists of the quote in any of their writings or contemporary accounts.”
On November 13, 1787, Mr. Jefferson wrote a letter to William Smith. The letter is full of zesty quotes.
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”
A few lines above that, Mr. Jefferson said
“God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.” Twenty years after he wrote this, Mr. Jefferson was President. He probably did not want to deal with a revolution when he was President.
Getting back to the quote about tyranny, Martin Porter wrote an entertaining essay, A study of a Web quotation. He gives credit, or blame, to Edmund Burke. First, a list of different versions is presented. This is a clue that something is awry. The conclusion:
“There is no original. The quote is bogus, and Burke never said it. It is a pseudo-quote, and corresponds to real quotes in the same way that urban legends about … alligators in the sewers correspond to true news stories.”
Mr. Porter wrote a follow up essay, Four Principles of Quotation. These principles are:
Principle 1 (for readers) Whenever you see a quotation given with an author but no source assume that it is probably bogus. Principle 2 (for readers) Whenever you see a quotation given with a full source assume that it is probably being misused, unless you find good evidence that the quoter has read it in the source. Principle 3 (for quoters) Whenever you make a quotation, give the exact source. Principle 4 (for quoters) Only quote from works that you have read.
If these principles were to be used, then there would be a lot less hotheaded talking on the intercom. Pictures for this feature are from The Library of Congress. These pictures are Union soldiers, from the War Between the States. When war is discussed, all inspiring quotes are in doubt.
This is a repost. It is written like James Joyce. In the past year, doing due diligence on alleged quotes has become a hobby. Many people don’t care who said it, if they agree with the thoughts expressed. The prevailing thought is that an idea becomes more true with a famous name at the end. If the famous person is deceased, and cannot defend his/her reputation, that is not a problem. People do not like being told that Santa Claus does not exist.

How Twitter Causes Brain Damage

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 13, 2021

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The story starts when Sleepy Joe announces yet another attempt to become POTUS. The announcement focused on the tiki torch rave in Virginia, rather than climate change, financial foolishness, police brutality, endless war, or Donald Trump’s latest hair color. The Foxnews fuddy duddies went on email jihad, focusing on what President tiny hands did, or did not say, after the tiki torches were put out. Meanwhile, the national debt went up by a $8,000,000,000.00.

At the bottom of one of the existential emails was a tag line: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.” – Winston Churchill. The last time PG heard that chestnut, truth was putting her shoes on. This sounds like a job for google.

Before you can say trending topic, quote investigator has the answer. “In conclusion, there exists a family of expressions contrasting the dissemination of lies and truths, and these adages have been evolving for more than 300 years. … At this time, there is no substantive support for assigning the saying to Mark Twain or Winston Churchill.”

Google is not through creating mischief. NFL’s Colin Kaepernick incorrectly credits Winston Churchill for quote about lies It seems as though knee pad model Colin Kaepernick felt the need to quote Mr. Churchill. This is deep. A tweet, about a false quote, about spreading a lie. Pictures for this deplorable dispatch today are from The Library of Congress. Nobody forced you to read this.

This is a repost from 2019. Eleven months later, covid turned the world on its ear. Sleepy Joe was elected POTUS, despite the worst efforts of President Trump. The economy went into a covid depression, with the national debt increasing by a few trillion dollars. Colin Kaepernick became obsolete. The custom of telling lies is as popular as ever. Winston Churchill is still dead.

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A Man Without a Country

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 10, 2021


A meme turned up on facebook the other day. Here is what it said: “For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). But, often with tears in their eyes, the demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere. “Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break!”

This bit of commodity wisdom is blamed on Kurt Vonnegut. It does sound like something he would say. The copy-friendly version of the quote gives a source, A Man Without a Country. This is a memoir, which is like a meme with an oir glued on.

PG ordered AMWAC from the library, and read it. It would be fun to say that AMWAC is great, but it isn’t. It is the same stuff you heard KV saying for years. AMWAC was published in 2005, two years before KV took his dirt nap. ANWAC might have been a good idea, but just doesn’t work. Not that the humanist talk isn’t true, or inspiring. The novels had humanism, but they were window dressing for a story, with plots and characters. The novels were fun to read.

One item stands out, which is not to say that it is outstanding. “Jazz historian Albert Murray claimed that the suicide rate among American slave owners was higher than that of their slaves.” This is on page 68 of AMWAC. The source thinks that this is because the slaves could sing the blues, and slave owners could do nothing but count money.

Reddit had 22 comments devoted to this factoid. The truth is, nobody knows. It may be true. It may have been true in the Mississippi Delta, but not true in Virginia. Maybe seeing snow in the winter was the factor. There is a problem with asking why, before you are sure that the statement is true.

Classics Illustrated: The Man Without A Country #63 is a comic book version of another book titled AMWAC. (all pages are there, this is meant for reading, not collecting) In this epic, a man says that he wishes to never hear of the United States again. A judge sentences him to go on a ship, where people are forbidden to speak of America in his presence. Talk about specialty punishment! In the end, the man is so patriotic nobody can stand him. It is highly unlikely that there will be a comic book version of the Kurt Vonnegut AMWAC.

This is a repost. On January 17, 2020, Bill Maher appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience. He lamented the political divisions in America, and how obnoxious both sides were. At 58:06, Mr. Maher said: “I feel like, as I’m sure as you do sometimes, a man without a country.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Dorothea Lange took the pictures in June 1937, in Texas The spell check suggestion for AMWAC is AMWAY.

Georgia Democrats

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 6, 2021


Georgia Democrats did not do well in the recent controversy over voting access. Their over-the-top rhetoric makes it difficult to believe anything they have to say. “Jim Crow on steroids” takes crying wolf to a new low. Democrat media enablers lost control while cheering them on.

Maybe it started August 12, 2017. Candidates for Governor were speaking. When Stacey Evans spoke, audience members started to chant “trust black women.” One of the other candidates, Stacey Abrams, defended the disruption. “I do not believe that you silence those who feel they are voiceless, because the minute we do that we are no better than those who tell people they can’t kneel in protest.”

What happened next is well known. Miss Abrams won the Democratic primary, and almost won the November election. Her number one campaign issue was voter suppression. When Miss Abrams lost the November election, she claimed that the election was stolen. This claim was uncritically accepted, and repeated ad nauseam.

After the election, a rally was held inside the State Capitol. State law clearly forbids disruptive rallies inside the Capitol. (O.C.G.A. 16-11-34.1 (g)) State Representative Nikema Williams decided that the law did not apply to her, and got arrested. Rep. Williams was praised for this arrest, and elected to the US Congress in 2020.

Republicans legislators proposed a law governing voting access. Democrats went into hysterical disruption mode. A rally inside the Capitol was dispersed, but not before Rep. Park Elizabeth Cannon was physically removed by authorities.

A few weeks later, Rep. Cannon succeeded in getting herself arrested. SB 202 passed, and Governor Brian Kemp decided to sign it immediately. Rep. Cannon got into a confrontation with State Troopers outside the Governor’s office, and got herself arrested. This arrest was over a ceremonial bill signing. Rep. Cannon may be the first legislator in history to get arrested at a bill signing.

What does all this say about the Democrats? They do not seem to be interested in the orderly process of running the state. The Democrats think it is proper to engage in juvenile confrontations. The Democrats do not appear to be capable of governing the state, if they should be elected to power. Pictures for this feature are from The Library of Congress.