Chamblee54

The Burning Of Atlanta

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 14, 2017

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Around this time 152 years ago, Atlanta was on fire. General Sherman was preparing for his March to the sea, and wanted to destroy anything of value in the city. The fire is reported as being on 11-15 of November, depending on what source you use.

The November fire was the second great fire in Atlanta that year. On September 2, the city was conquered by the Union Army. The fleeing Confederates blew up a munitions depot, and set a large part of the city on fire. This is the fire Scarlet O’Hara flees in “Gone With The Wind”.

After a series of bloody battles, the city was shelled by Yankee forces for forty days. There were many civilian casualties. General Sherman was tired of the war, angry at Atlanta, and ready for action. This is despite the fact that many in Atlanta were opposed to secession.

Click here to hear a lecture by Marc Wortman at the Atlanta History Center. Mr Wortman is the author of “The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta”. The hour of talk is fascinating. This is a repost. The pictures are from The Library of Congress

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About this time every year, there is a post about the burning of Atlanta. One of the sources is a lecture by Marc Wortman. If you have an hour to spare, this talk is worth your time. One of the stories told is the tale of Mr. Luckie.

“According to folklore, two stories abound as to how Luckie Street was named. The first is that its moniker came from one of Atlanta’s oldest families, and the other, probably closer to the truth, regales the life of Solomon “Sam” Luckie. Luckie, as it turns out, wasn’t so lucky after all. When General William Tecumseh Sherman first came marching through Atlanta in 1864, Luckie, a free Black man who made his living as a barber, was leaning against a gas lamp post in downtown talking to a group of businessmen. A burst from a cannon shell wounded him; he survived, but later died from his injuries. Folklore suggests that he may have been one of the first casualties of the assault on Atlanta during Sherman’s March to the Sea, and Luckie Street, an extension of the city’s famed Sweet Auburn Avenue, was later named in his memory.”

Marc Wortman wrote a book, The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta. The one star review, and comments to that review, are unusually detailed. Here is a selection.

“…People forget – or were never taught in school – that most Confederate soldiers descended from Revolutionary War patriots or were up-country poor sons of farmers. Many Confederate soldiers were relatively recent new arrivals to the U.S., semi-literate dirt poor immigrants from Ireland and Scotland who’d never had the chance to own even an acre of their own land in Europe. In the mix were well-educated, elite merchant business owning French Huguenot refugees of the Catholic Bourbon genocide of Protestants. These immigrants had nowhere else to go, 9 times out of 10 never owned a slave, and fought for the CSA to keep what little they’d hardscrabble carved out over a decade of arrival into the U.S.”

The War Between The States continues to be a source of controversy. After the Charleston church killings, many comments were made about the Confederate battle flag. (If you can’t talk about gun control or mental health, you talk about a symbol.) This led to discussions about the war itself. There were ritual denunciations of slavery, which was assumed to be the sole cause of the conflict. The fact that the vast majority of white southerners did not own slaves was dismissed.

The notion of autonomous states in a federal union was novel when the United States Constitution was written. The debate over federalism versus states rights continues to this day. States that want to legalize marijuana may be the next battleground. (Few are expecting secession over bong rights.) Many in the CSA saw the Union as being a conquering army, and fought to defend their homes. While slavery was certainly a factor in the creation of the CSA, it was not the only Casus belli. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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November 11

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 11, 2017






Veteran’s Day is a bad day for a cynic. On the one hand, I do appreciate living in The United States. With all its flaws, I have had a good life here. The role that Veterans have played is to be honored. On the other hand, those who profit from wars often exploit Veterans for political mojo. Many of these people did not serve.

Veterans are often not treated well after they are through with their service. It is estimated that a quarter of the homeless are veterans. The services offered to wounded veterans returning from War are often lacking. These wounds are both physical and mental.

When I typed the second sentence, I thought of my great grandfather. He served with the Georgia State Troops in the War Between the States. I do prefer the USA to the CSA (or whatever would have happened). Yet, the Union army had to prevail over the various Confederate Armies for this to happen. Do I dishonor my great grandfather by saying I am happy the other side won?

Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day. This was the day, 90 years ago, when the War to End All Wars ended. World War I was a ghastly bloodbath, in which millions died. It created many of the problems that plague us today. And I would be willing to bet that not one person in ten thousand today knows what it was about. And yet, the men who fought in that conflict (I don’t think they had women soldiers then) deserve the same gratitude as those who fought in any other conflict.

The soldier…many of whom were drafted…doesn’t get to choose which war to fight in. The sacrifice of the World War II soldier was just as great as the Vietnam fighter, but the appreciation given was much greater. I grew up during Vietnam, and saw the national mood go from patriotic fight to dismayed resistance. By the time I was old enough to get drafted, the Paris accords had been signed. For better or worse, there went my chance.






Veterans day was originally Armistice Day. On November 11, 1918, at 11 am (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) a cease fire went into effect for “The great war”. Officials of the major armies agreed to the ceasefire at 5 am (European time). There were an estimated 11,000 casualties in the last six hours of the war.

At 11:59 am, U.S. army private Henry Gunther became the last soldier to die in World War I.
“According to the Globe and Mail this is the story of the last soldier killed in WW1: On Nov.11, 1918, U.S. army private Henry Gunther stood up during a lull in the machine gun fire and charged the enemy. “The Germans stared in disbelief,” says the Daily Express. “They had been told that morning that the fighting was about to stop; in a few minutes they would stop firing and go home. So why was this American charging at them with his bayonet drawn? They shouted at him to stop and frantically tried to wave him back but… he hadn’t heard anything of the ceasefire.” A German gunner released a five-round burst and the soldier lay dead, at 10:59 a.m. In his recently published Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour, U.S. Military Historian Joseph Persico notes that Private Gunther had previously been a sergeant but was demoted after an Army censor read his letter to a friend back home, urging him to steer clear of the war at all costs. Gunther, who was in no-man’s land when the ceasefire news arrived, had been trying to prove himself worthy of his original rank.”
This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.





Smedley Butler

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 2, 2017









There was a feature the other day on the innertube called War is a racket . It was about a man with the unlikely name of Smedley Butler . Pictures for today’s adventure are from The Library of Congress. The video features an actor named Graham Frye in the role of General Butler. The video is courtesy of Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter 9 Veterans For Peace. This is a repost.

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler was a star of the U.S. Marine Corps. He lied about his age to enlist during the Spanish American War. Mr. Butler served in Philippines, China, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and World War I. With the exception of World War I, most of these conflicts are forgotten today.

Smedley Butler received the Medal of Honor twice.
“His first Medal of Honor was presented following action at Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21-22 April 1914, where he commanded the Marines who landed and occupied the city. Maj Butler “was eminent and conspicuous in command of his Battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22nd and in the final occupation of the city…The following year, he was awarded the second Medal of Honor for bravery and forceful leadership as Commanding Officer of detachments of Marines and seamen of the USS Connecticut in repulsing Caco resistance on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915.”
After his retirement in 1931, Mr. Butler had a change of heart, and decided that killing for Uncle Sam was not such a great idea. He wrote a book, “War is a Racket”, and became a popular speaker. Here is a “money quote”…
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.”
Smedley Butler died June 21, 1940. Eighteen months later, America was at War again. How he would have reacted to that conflict is a mystery.

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.

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.

Why Was The War Fought?

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, War by chamblee54 on August 20, 2017


Last week, this slack blogger found a tweet. The tweet said that Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy fought the Federal Reserve, and both were killed. I did a little research, and found something that questions the conventional wisdom about the War Between the States.

Before getting to the quote, a disclaimer is in order. 100777.com is a sketchy website. What is says cannot be taken as literal truth. However, the statement about WBTS does raise some questions.

“One point should be made here: The Rothschild bank financed the North and the Paris branch of the same bank financed the South, which is the real reason the Civil War was ignited and allowed to follow its long, and bloody course.”

Maybe it was not the Rothschild Bank that financed WBTS. Somebody did. War is a profitable enterprise. People are going to egg on the combatants, knowing that there is money to be made. Someone encouraged the southern states to secede. Others encouraged the north to take a hard line on slavery, knowing that it would lead to a profitable war. Was slavery the reason for this war, or the excuse? Follow the money.

Rhett Butler was a central character in Gone With The Wind. He was a blockade runner, bringing in supplies to the south. He said this: “I told you once before that there were two times for making big money, one in the up-building of a country and the other in its destruction. Slow money on the up-building, fast money in the crack-up. Remember my words.”

It should be noted that slavery was a big money operation. “But I think we think of it differently when we realize that the value of slave property, some $4 billion, enormous amount of money in 1861, represented actually more money than the value of all of the industry and all of the railroads in the entire United States combined. So for Southern planters to simply one day liberate all of that property would have been like asking people today to simply overnight give up their stock portfolios.”

When the thirteen colonies declared independence, they were not creating a union. The idea was to kick out the British. The concept of a federal union, made up of more-or-less independent states, was fairly new. States had conquered other states, and formed empires, for a long time. A federal union of states was a new, and controversial, idea. Many European states wanted to see this federal union fail. These states encouraged the south to secede. Some people say the War Between the States began the day the British left.

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

Afghanistan Heroin

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on June 16, 2017








As three young men learned recently, heroin is a deadly substance. The drug is produced from opium, which is made from the juices of the poppy flower. Most of the world’s poppy is grown in Afghanistan. Since 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom has brought the US Army (assisted by NATO forces) into battle in Afghanistan. How does military action affect the opium trade?

According to Truthistreason, the result is a profit center for “friends” of the United States. Their story is US & Afghan Forces Are the World’s Largest Drug Cartel. According to Phantom Report, relatives of Afghan President Hamid Karzai are the drug lords running the operation.

Some say the country with the worst heroin problem is Russia. In the story “Russia slams NATO for losing Afghan opium war”, the “Federal Drug Control Services” estimates heroin usage at 711 tons in Europe, 549 tons in Russia, and 212 tons in North America. An estimated 30k Russians die of overdoses every year.

The Russian government is upset with the reaction of the NATO forces to opium production. Supplies for the NATO forces are going into Afghanistan through Russian Airspace, with the consent of the government. Russia would like for the NATO forces to eradicate the poppy production, in a manner similar to the eradication of coca fields in South America.

RT.com has an interview with the “head” of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov .

RT: It is also ironic that when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, the drug trade, drug trafficking and even poppy cultivation were limited, but when the United States and NATO forces invaded Afghanistan, both production and trafficking skyrocketed. How do you explain this? And how can we even believe NATO when it says it is fighting the drug trade?

VI: You’re right. I had a meeting with my Pakistani colleagues here in Islamabad, and they, too, were amazed at this phenomenon. There is only one way to explain this. When the Taliban sought official recognition for its Kabul regime, they took unprecedented measures to eradicate opium poppy crops. They consistently took serious steps in 1998, 1999 and 2000, when they introduced capital punishment for poppy cultivation. As a result, they succeeded in eradicating drug crops on 90 per cent of Afghanistan’s territory, i.e., in all the provinces they controlled. The only place they couldn’t do it was northern Afghanistan, which was controlled by the so-called Northern Alliance.
But then Operation Enduring Freedom started, and the situation changed drastically. Only a competent government that has the support of the people can really control the country and take serious steps to destroy drug production.

This is no surprise to observers in the USA. For years, the Government has played both ends of the drug game. They maintain a legal prohibition, which keeps prices high, and gives the Government a tool to control the population. On the other hand, the Government *allegedly* is involved in importing and selling drugs. In the eighties, a “terrorist” operation in Central America was *allegedly* financed by by selling cocaine in the USA. (This was the same operation which saw Israel as the middleman of arms sales to Iran.)

The profits of the drug trade were a powerful incentive to get into, and stay in, Afghanistan. This may be the motivation for allowing the 911 attacks to happen. It might also explain why *former* cocaine user Barack Obama Donald J. Trump is so eager to see the war in Afghanistan continue.

This is a repost from 2011. Pictures for this commentary are from The Library of Congress






Anglo Persian Oil Company

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on May 30, 2017

People are saying more and more about the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. TomDispatch has a fascinating paragraph about one of the key players, British Petroleum (BP): “Originally known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, still later British Petroleum), BP got its start in southwestern Iran, where it once enjoyed a monopoly on the production of crude petroleum. In 1951, its Iranian holdings were nationalized by the democratic government of Mohammed Mossadeq. The company returned to Iran in 1953, following a U.S.-backed coup that put the Shah in power, and was finally expelled again in 1979 following the Islamic Revolution.”
If you look at the problems of the world in the last forty years, so many are affected by Iran. The 1953 revolution left great resentment, which became manifest in the 1979 revolution. Soon Iraq…whose border with Iran was clumsily drawn by the British…decides to attack Iran. A gruesome eight year war is the result, with the USA supporting both sides (as well as possibly encouraging Iraq to attack Iran). The idea was, if they are fighting each other, they will leave Israel alone.

After this war is over, Iraq has a problem with Kuwait over it’s war debt. Another war is the result, with the USA involved. Iraq is vanquished, but some in the USA are not satisfied, and after a few years the USA invades Iraq again. That war is still raging.

The biggest winner of the US-Iraq war (aka World War W) is Iran. This new influence in Persia is very troubling to Israel, which is loudly rattling it’s nuclear saber. While Israel is making noise about Iran, it takes attention away from the Palestinian tragedy.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost from 2010. TomDispatch is still open. The feature today, Beating the War Drums… Again, is about Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Memorial Day

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on May 28, 2017

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Memorial Day started as Decoration Day. During the War Between the States, people started to go out to graveyards, and put flowers on the soldiers. It is tough to say whether the custom started in the south. or the north. Waterloo NY is considered the official birthplace of Memorial Day. This is not what Abba was singing about.

WBTS was by far the most costly war in American history. There were more casualties in WBTS than in World Wars I, II, Korea, and Vietnam combined. Americans were not used to this carnage on this scale. Decoration Day was one of the results.

It was also, literally, a divisive war. The causes of the conflict are debated to this day. More men died of disease than in combat. Shitting yourself to death is not glory.

An important cause of the war was the desire, of some, to maintain their investment in slaves. In other words, the hundreds of thousands of Southern deaths were to insure that African Americans cannot be free. The lofty rhetoric of Memorial Day does not always reflect the squalid reality.

The legend is that May 30 was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any major battles. For many years after WBTS, the southern states had a separate day of remembrance. Confederate Memorial Day is still observed, though not on as large a scale as before.

The next major killing session for the United States was World War I. After this conflict, May 30 evolved into a day to remember all soldiers who died. The south began to embrace the unified holiday.

The United States lost at least 116,516 men in World War I. Almost all of these casualties were in 1918, the last year of the war. The other countries lost far more men. Not one person in a thousand can tell you today why World War I was fought. All it did was provide the causes of World War II, which was even more costly.

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There is a bit of polemic on the internet now, The revolutionary origins of Memorial Day and its political hijacking. It tells the story of an incident in Charleston SC, where newly freed slaves buried some Union soldiers who died in a prison camp. The incident is described as the first Decoration Day, which later evolved into Memorial Day. As the article tells it, this Holiday was intended as a revolutionary statement about Black freedom, and was whitewashed into an all caucasian affair. This is not a good summary of the article, but should do for now. You can read it for yourself.

PG read the article, and started to get a headache. While researching a Memorial Day. post, he came across the Charleston incident. Apparently, it did happen. There were also numerous other remembrances of the fallen soldiers. The War Between the States was an incredibly bloody affair, with many families losing someone. The urge to remember these fallen soldiers was overwhelming. The custom of Decoration Day would probably have happened with, or without, the Charleston incident. It is incorrect to say that those former slaves invented Decoration Day.

There was an exchange of messages. PG left a comment, “That article is not completely true.”

Lendon Sadler Thank you for your comment concerning the historical roots of Memorial day, but could you be so kind as to explain a bit more the inaccuracy contained in the posting.For my sake, and that of my friends, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. And please feel comfortable saying whatever is on your mind in my pages. Sincere regards, Lendon

Luther Mckinnon I will have to think about it some. Also, I am not sure that I have an interest in exploring this issue. I did some research about the celebration in Charleston. It apparently did take place. However, there were other people decorating graves before that. After the carnage of the War Between the States, there seemed to be a lot of activity towards remembering the dead. The slaves in Charleston definitely did not “invent” decoration day. That they had one of the earliest celebrations is notable, but they should not take sole credit. As to the rest of the article… i would have to think about it some, and to tell you the truth I don’t know if I am particularly interested. One of the pieces I read about the evolution of Memorial Day mentioned World War One, which was the next major war the US was involved in after WBTS. Here again, there was a lot of dead soldiers to remember. This was when the holiday evolved into a remembrance of soldiers from all wars. Anyway, I hope this is helpful, and maybe we can explore some of the other issues of that article.

The article in question is at a site called Liberation, “Newspaper of the Party for Socialism and Liberation at LiberationNews.org.” There is a some historic revisionism, with statements like this. “In 1877, the Northern capitalist establishment decisively turned their backs on Reconstruction, striking a deal with the old slavocracy to return the South to white supremacist rule in exchange for the South’s acceptance of capitalist expansion.” Whatever, dude. The article is no longer online.

The custom of Decoration/Memorial Day is pretty much what it says it is… to remember the fallen soldiers of our wars, especially the ones with lots of casualties. According to this source, it was World War I that facilitated the transition from Decoration Day, focused on WBTS, to a Memorial Day that honored the dead of all wars. It almost certainly was not done as a gesture of white supremacy.

The so-called lessons of history are very versatile. You can find whatever facts are convenient for your agenda, and if you don’t get what you need you can make some up. After all, there is nobody alive today that can remember 1877. We have to take the word of whoever tells the tale of a “deal with the old slavocracy.” Sometimes, these stories are more plausible than others.

Sometimes, things just don’t ring true. “The concept that the population must “remember the sacrifice” of U.S. service members, without a critical reflection on the wars themselves, did not emerge by accident. It came about in the Jim Crow period as the Northern and Southern ruling classes sought to reunite the country around apolitical mourning, which required erasing the “divisive” issues of slavery and Black citizenship.”

This is a repost. Notes about the Charleston parade are showing up on facebook. This incident almost certainly took place, and is worth noting. However, it was not the “invention” of Memorial Day. Gentlemen, start your engines. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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Ira Hayes

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, War by chamblee54 on May 18, 2017

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The post before this is about Arizona SB1070, a controversial measure dealing with illegal immigration. One of the men quoted is the Sheriff of Pima County, which lies on the border.

Pima County is named for the Pima Tribe, whose land was in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Their name for the “river people” is Akimel O’odham. According to Wikipedia,
“The short name, “Pima” is believed to have come from the phrase pi ‘añi mac or pi mac, meaning “I don’t know,” used repeatedly in their initial meeting with Europeans.”
Many of the Mexicans crossing the border are Native Americans. They did not agree to the Gadsden Purchase, or the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In other words, they were here first, and the white man (and black associates) are the uninvited guests.

The second part of this feature is a repost. One of the best known Pimas was Ira Hayes. He was one of the Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima.

One of the enduring images of World War II was raising the flag on Iwo Jima. Three of the six men raising the flag died on the island. A fourth, Ira Hayes, became a casualty after the war.

The story of Ira Hayes is well known, but needs to be told again. A member of the Akimel O’odham (Pima) nation, his people had not been treated well by the conquerors. Nonetheless, when the War against Japan started, men were needed for the struggle, and Ira Hayes joined the Marines.

Iwo Jima was a steppingstone to the main island of Japan. After Iwo Jima and Okinawa were in Yankee hands, preparations could be made for the invasion of the main island. However, the stepping stone islands proved to be incredibly tough to secure. There were more American casualties on Iwo Jima than on D Day.

On the fourth day of the battle, a picture was made of six marines raising the flag on top of Mount Suribachi. A month of sticky, treacherous fighting was ahead for the fighting men. Of 21,000 Japanese soldiers, 20,000 died.

The flag was raised on February 23, 1945. Germany was all but defeated. The “explosive lens” for the atom bomb had been successfully tested. It seemed inevitable that the costly island hopping needed to continue, to be followed by an invasion of the Japanese mainland.

Two of the twelve hands holding the flagpole belonged to Ira Hayes. Ira Hayes did not adjust to peacetime well. He became a drunkard. On January 24, 1955, he passed away.

Ira Hayes was a native American. Thousands of African Americans have returned from foreign wars, to be treated poorly. Until a few months ago, if a man, or woman, is accused of being gay, the service is forgotten. On Memorial Day, we should struggle to ensure that all future veterans are treated with respect, all year long. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress and “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Some of the pictures shown today were taken at a War Bond Drive show, Loew’s Grand Theater, July 10, 1944.

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Why The War Between The States Was Fought

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on May 7, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

04-30-2017

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Politics, Race, The English Language, War by chamblee54 on April 30, 2017






PG was stumbling through the sunday morning fog, and remembered what day it was. On this day 25 years ago, PG was downtown during a riot. There is a post about this day, 04-30-92, which is repeated below. The idea was to repeat an old story on a slack sunday.

Chamblee54 referenced a post by Atlanta newsmonger Doug Richards. Is his blog still published? Yes, it is. The post today is a doozy, and totally connected to the events of 1992.

One Lousy Word is the title of the post. Yes, it is the word you are thinking. The fishwrapper is more explicit: Valerie Hoff of 11Alive resigns after jokingly using the N-word in private Twitter exchange with black viewer. One day, corporate media will be forbidden to say “N-word.”

The reporter was trying to get a video of a policeman hitting a motorist. @CurtFromDaBlock had the goods. He said (the tweet does not turn up in a search) that “a lot of “news n***as” were trying to track him down for the video.” The reporter sent CFDB a private message, and unwisely repeated the magic word. The reporter resigned from her job later.

The fishwrapper article notes that CFDB is fond of using the magic word. While trying to find the seminal tweet in this thread, a few examples came up. In deference to nasty word mania, *apple* will be substituted for the magic word. @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* you ARE a *apple* RT“@OfficialAmiyah: When yo *apple* got good dick you be paranoid like shit.. “Why you gotta go outside bae?! @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* deserves prom king for all 3 school @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* drinking grape Fanta RT“@_Wrek: That purppppppppppp ”

So this is where we are with race. People talk the talk about systemic/systematic, institutional oppression, and presidential elections. It is not known how much impact this talk has on economic inequality, police misbehavior, and educational opportunity. But let a reporter quote someone using the magic word, in a private message, and the sky falls in. Chicken Little may have a point.





Doug Richards is an Atlanta tv news reporter. He writes a blog, live apartment fire. He was on the scene twenty four years ago. There was a riot downtown. Mr. Richards had a bad night.

PG was working in the Healey building that day. He ran an RMS, or reprographic management service, in an architects office. He had a blueline machine, ran jobs for the customer, and had free time. PG did a lot of exploring, and enjoyed the various events downtown. On April 30, 1992, there was an event he did not enjoy.

The day before, a jury in California issued a verdict. Four policemen were acquitted of wrongdoing in an incident involving Rodney King. The incident had been videotaped, and received widespread attention. The verdict of the jury was not popular. The dissatisfaction spread to Atlanta.

Sometimes, PG thinks he has a guardian angel looking over him. If so, then this thursday afternoon was one of those times. PG went walking out into the gathering storm. He was a block south of the train station at five points, when he saw someone throw a rock into a store front. The sheet metal drapes were rolled down on the outside of the store. PG realized that he was not in a good place, and quickly made his way back to the Healey building.

A group of policeman were lined up in the lobby of the building, wearing flack jackets. One of the police was a white man, who was familiar to workers in the neighborhood. A few weeks before the incident, he had been walking around the neighborhood showing off his newborn baby.

There was very little work done that afternoon in the architect’s office. Someone said not to stand close to the windows, which seemed like a good idea. Fourteen floors below, on Broad Street, the window at Rosa’s Pizza had a brick thrown threw it. There were helicopters hovering over downtown, making an ominous noise.

There was a lot of soul searching about race relations that day. The Olympics were coming to town in four years, and the potential for international disaster was apparent. As it turned out, the disturbance was limited to a few hundred people. It could have been much, much worse. If one percent of the anger in Atlanta had been unleashed that day, instead of .001 percent, the Olympics would have been looking for a new host.

After a while, the people in the office were called into the lobby. The Principal of the firm, the partner in charge of production, walked out to his vehicle with PG and a lady in operations. The principal drove an inconspicuous vehicle, which made PG feel a bit better. PG took his pocketknife, opened the blade, and put it in his back pocket. It probably would not have done him much good.

PG usually took the train downtown. As fate would have it, there was a big project at the main office of redo blue on West Peachtree Street. That is where PG’s vehicle was, in anticipation of working overtime that night. The principal drove PG to this building. PG called his mother, to let her know that he was ok. The Atlanta manager of Redo Blue talked to him, to make sure that he was not hurt.

If PG had not gone back downtown the next day, he might not have ever gone back. He was back at the West Peachtree Street office, and was assured that it was safe to ride the train into town. The Macy’s at 180 Peachtree had plywood nailed over the display windows. A gift shop in the Healey building had a sign in the window, “Black owned business”. Friday May 1, 1992, was a quiet day.

This is a repost. The events of twenty five years ago are mostly forgotten in Atlanta. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.