Chamblee54

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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.”

Greeted As Liberators

Posted in War by chamblee54 on September 2, 2021

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One thing that PG likes to do is investigate “things he has always heard”. With google, you can often find the source, and a few things more. Some urban legends are tough to trace, often because they don’t exist. Others pop up 575k results is .49 seconds. This is a repost.

The myth PG was chasing was the notion that government officials said our army “will be greeted as liberators” in Iraq. On March 16, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney was on Meet the Press.

MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I’ve talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. The president and I have met with them, various groups and individuals, people who have devoted their lives from the outside to trying to change things inside Iraq. And like Kanan Makiya who’s a professor at Brandeis, but an Iraqi, he’s written great books about the subject, knows the country intimately,… The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that.

There are a few things to say 18 years later. Why did the Vice President have this much power? The VP is supposed to dedicate buildings and go to funerals. Dick Cheney was clearly a very powerful man, and he was not elected to that job.

Mr. Russert, rest his soul, seems to have gotten one detail wrong. The conquest of Baghdad went smoothly, with relatively few American casualties. It was the occupation that would be “long, costly, and bloody… with significant American casualties.”

There probably were many Iraqis who welcomed the change, Clearly, Mr. Hussein had some enemies, and there were some who did see the invasion as liberation. There were others who did not. Players in other countries saw an opportunity to come to Iraq and make trouble. The regime that was changed had many employees, who were bumped out of jobs. “The people of Iraq” were no more a monolithic force, all acting the same way, as the people of America would be if they were invaded.

Even if the Americans were “greeted as liberators”, there would be many challenges. The country had no experience in dealing with democracy. The different ethnic groups did not like each other. Sunnis were seen as having been privileged, and many were looking to settle the score. It seems obvious that these problems were not anticipated.

There is a debate in The United States about the use of torture. It seems apparent that “enhanced interrogation” was used extensively in Iraq and elsewhere. The use of torture would seem to be an admission that we were not greeted as liberators.

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Julian Carr And Silent Sam

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on August 7, 2021





A Confederate monument was torn down last night in Chapel Hill NC. The statue, known as “Silent Sam,” was intended as a monument to students who left school to fight in the War Between the States. “In 1913, the Daughters of Confederacy, after four years of fundraising, paid sculptor John Wilson, a Canadian, $7500 for the statue. Wilson used a Boston-man, Harold Langlois, as the model. It’s unclear, however, if those attending Silent Sam’s dedication knew they were celebrating a Yankee’s profile. Silent Sam was among many “Silent Sentinels,” – statues of soldiers without cartridge box, soldiers who could no longer fire a shot – that were manufactured and bronzed in the North and then sent down south for public display. Many of these statues look remarkably similar. Like Silent Sam, they also face north, toward the Union.” This is a repost.

Many of the comments today quote a speech made at the 1913 unveiling. The speech was by Julian Carr, a prominent businessman and philanthropist. Mr. Carr is considered, with some justification, to have been a white supremacist. A Confederate veteran, Mr. Carr appears to have been a complex man, who did both good and harm.

This tweet is typical of today’s discourse. @jjones9 “From white supremacist Julian Carr’s speech at the dedication of Silent Sam in 1913.” The tweet features a screen shot, of a quote from the 1913 speech. “I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.”

What was the rest of the speech? A bit of research turned up a transcript, Julian S. Carr, “Unveiling of Confederate Monument at University. June 2, 1913.” The rest of the speech has little in common with the “one allusion.” The speech sounded like the memorials to fallen soldiers in many other wars. “They served, they suffered, they endured, they fought, [and died – crossed out] for their childhood homes, their firesides, the honor of their ancestors, their loved ones, their own native land.”

Mr. Carr’s theme is defense of a the homeland. When the War broke out, the concept of a United States, ruled by a strong federal government, was less accepted than it is today. Many people in the South saw it as a failed experiment. Slavery was an important issue in the decision to secede, along with economic matters that do not get twenty first century people worked up. Slavery is not mentioned in the 1913 speech.

“Of the students and alumni of the University of North Carolina, about 1800 entered the Confederate army … . The University had in the service 1 lieutenant-general, 4 major-generals, 13 brigadier-[page break 8] generals, 71 colonels, 30 lieutenant-colonels, 65 majors, 46 adjutants, 71 surgeons, 254 captains, 161 lieutenants, 38 non-commissioned officers and about 1000 privates. I regard it as eminently appropriate to refer briefly at his point to the magnificent showing made by our state in the military service of the Confederacy. … The entire Confederate loss on the battlefield was 74,524, of which North Carolina’s share was 19,673, or more than one-fourth; 59, 297 died of disease, and of these, 20,602 were North Carolinians.”

“And I dare to affirm this day, that if every State of the South had done what North Carolina did without a murmer [sic], always faithful to its duty whatever the groans of the victims, there never would have been an Appomatox[sic]; Grant would have followed Meade and Pope; Burnside, Hooker, McDowell and McClellan, and the political geography of America would have been re-written.”

There are three other noteworthy quotes in the speech. “Even the great Northern universities – Harvard, Yale and Princeton – furnished quotas of soldiers for the Confederate ranks. From Harvard came 257, of whom 58 were killed in battle and 12 died in the service, and in this large list appear 8 brigadier-generals and 5 major-generals. Of the graduates and students of Yale, 48 entered the Confederate service, and of these 8 were killed in battle or succumbed to disease. At Princeton 55 men left the University, early in 1861, to enter the Confederate service, and from the somewhat incomplete records of that University it appears that a considerable percentage of these young men were killed in battle, or died from disease.”

“Permit me to refer at this point to a pleasing incident in which that distinguished son of the South, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, had the leading part. A year or two ago diplomas were given by our University to all the students who had interrupted their studies to enter the military service of the Confederacy. Mr. Wilson, then President of Princeton University delivered these diplomas. One man only of the Class [handwritten – that Matriculated in 1862] wearing the Confederate uniform, came forward to receive that highly prized token. It was the humble individual who now addresses you. At the dinner, later in the day, Professor Wilson greeted me with the remark that in many years nothing had so much touched and warmed his heart as the sight of that Confederate uniform.”

The speech went on and on, and sounded much like any other memorial. Once again, it should be noted that defense of the homeland received much more notice than a defense of slavery. The speech ended with these words: “In the knowledge of subsequent developments, the progress, peace and prosperity of our united, common country, victor and vanquished now alike believe that in the Providence of God it was right and well that the issue was determined as it was. And the people of all sections of our great Republic, moved by the impulse of sincere and zealous loyalty, of fervent and exalted patriotism may say: “All is well that ends well.”

“Again, dear Daughters of the Confederacy, I thank you in the name of the eighteen hundred brave, loyal, patriotic, home-loving young student soldiers who went out from this grand old University to battle for our Southern rights and Southern liberties, five hundred of whom never came back. God bless every one of you, and every Daughter of the Confederacy in our dear Southland.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.




Hiroshima 76 Years Later

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on August 6, 2021

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At 8:15 am, August 6, 1945, Hiroshima got nuked. It was the start of a new era. Since Japan is 13 hours ahead of Georgia, and standard time was used, the literal anniversary is 8:15 pm, August 5.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was working in Hiroshima when the bomb hit. He survived, and found a train to take hime to his home town, Nagasaki.

The device dropped on Hiroshima, the Little Boy, had an estimated force of 13 kilotons of Trinitrotoluene, or TNT. A kiloton of TNT is roughly a cube whose sides are ten meters. This device is fairly tiny compared to many of the warheads developed since. Many of the modern appliances are measured in megatons, or millions of tons of TNT. The Soviet Union had a bomb with a capacity of 50 megatons, or 4,000 times the size of the Little Boy.

The largest weapon tested by The United States is the Castle Bravo. This device destroyed Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. The two piece swimsuit was named for this island. The Castle Bravo device had a yield of 15 megatons of TNT. This is roughly 1,000 times the power of the Little Boy.

The decision to drop the bomb has long been controversial. There are a lot of factors and gray areas, and the issue does not lend itself to sound bite solutions. The conventional wisdom is that Japan surrendered because of the nuclear attack. This meant the war was shortened by at least a year, there was no invasion of Japan, and many lives were saved. PG is scared by the moral calculus involved in a decision like this….do 100,000 civilian deaths prevent the deaths of 500,000 soldiers? PG suspects that even G-d herself would lose sleep over that one.

There is also evidence that the bomb was not needed. Japan was whipped in August 1945. The air raids were conducted in daylight with little resistance. A debate was going on in the Japanese government on whether to continue the fight.

An event happened the day between Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, which influenced the Japanese decision to surrender. The Soviet Union had agreed to help the United States with the war against Japan. On August 8, The Soviet Union invaded Japanese occupied Manchuria. There are indications that Japan knew the fight was hopeless at this point, and would rather surrender to The United States than The Soviet Union. This is one of the gray areas that never seems to be mentioned.

The United States wanted the war to end quickly for obvious reasons, and a few subtle ones. America did not want to share the spoils of Japanese war with The Soviet Union. There were already tensions between the two allies, and the cold war was not far off. Many felt The United States used the Little Boy as a warning to The Soviet Union.

When you get your moral software out, you might want to figure in the effect of opening the nuclear Pandora’s box. Would the nuclear bomb have been developed by other countries if America had not led the way? The science is not that complicated…after all, America hit paydirt with the Manhattan Project fairly quickly. Nonetheless, there is karma involved in using a terrible new device on a civilian population. The United States started the wind of the arms race, and has yet to feel the whirlwind.

This is a repost. The pictures are from The Library of Congress. Ansel Adams took pictures of Japanese Americans, in a World War Two internment camp. The ladies in the bridge game are Aiko Hamaguchi, Chiye Yamanaki, Catherine Yamaguchi, and Kazoko Nagahama.




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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Winston Churchill Said What

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Confederate Memorial Day

Posted in Georgia History, History, Holidays, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on April 26, 2021

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Today is Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia. It is an ancient question…how to honor the soldiers from the side that lost. They were just as valiant as the Union Soldiers. Considering the shortages of the Confederate Armies, the Rebels may have been just a bit braver.

The issue of Federalism is a defining conflict of the American experience. What powers do we give the Federal Government, and what powers do we cede to the States? The Confederacy was the product of this conflict. The Confederate States were a collection of individual states, with separate armies. This is one reason why the war turned out the way it did.

This is not a defense for slavery. The “Peculiar institution” was a moral horror. The after effects of slavery affect us today. Any remembrance of the Confederacy should know that. This does not make the men who fought any less brave.

It is tough to see the War Between the States through the modern eye. It was a different time, before many of the modern conveniences that are now considered necessities. Many say that the United States were divided from the start, and the fact the union lasted as long as it did was remarkable. When a conflict becomes us against them, the “causes” become unimportant.

The War was a horror, with no pain medicine. Little could be done for the wounded. It took the south many, many years to recover. This healing continues today. Remembering the sacrifices made by our ancestors helps. This is a repost. Pictures are from the The Library of Congress.

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Shock And Awe Day

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Politics, War by chamblee54 on March 18, 2021

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Eighteen years ago, Iraq teetered on the edge of regime change. It was obvious what was going to happen, at least at first. America was going to storm in, kill a bunch of people, and take over.

In post 911 America, the military industrial complex saw an opportunity for plunder, unrivaled since the fall of the Soviet Union. The stories of WMD would infect the body politic with fear of a mesopotamian madman. Saddam Hussein wanted Iran to think he has wonder weapons, and did not think America was serious about regime change. We all make mistakes.

In the eighteen years since the time of shock and awe, trillions of dollars have gone down the drain, dragging the mighty American economy along into the sewers of bankruptcy. One of the oldest civilizations of mankind was reduced to hiding, from neighbors, behind concrete barricades. They fought the conquerors with bombs triggered by garage door openers. Thousands of women and children have been murdered. The WMD were never found. This is a repost.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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The Narco State Rag

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, War by chamblee54 on January 29, 2021

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This feature was written July 13, 2010. The situation in Afghanistan is little better. If we leave, the country falls into chaos. If we stay, we spend money we don’t have. It is a bitch.

Some people euphemize bitch by saying that something is a bear. Across the frontier from Afghanistan, the Russian bear is dealing with a heroin epidemic. Some say the United States suckered the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan in 1979. The disastrous war that followed led to the fall of the Soviet Union. We are still dealing with the karma.

Tom Dispatch has an audio feature about Afghanistan, and the many unanswered questions about our war there. We invaded Afghanistan to get revenge for 911, and looked for a reason later.

At the 3:06 mark on the tape, when Tom makes a comment Afghanistan being a narco state. PG had a flash of understanding about the reason behind this war. This may even have been powerful enough to ignore the reports about a terror strike in September 2001, and let 911 happen.

The rumors of CIA involvement in drug trafficking are wide spread and long term. When planes went to Central America in the eighties to bring arms to the contras, they came back to the United States loaded with cocaine. There are stories of collusion with the government in Cuba. There are many, many more stories about connections between the US government and the drug trade.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, they cracked down on the poppy farmers. Much of the raw opium for heroin/morphine/opium is grown in Afghanistan. This was not a pleasing for the CIA.

Could it be that the real reason for our involvement in Afghanistan is to ensure the flow of narcotics into the hungry world? This would be a big cash cow for the CIA, although not enough to justify the amounts of money being spent on the conflict.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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War Letters

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, War by chamblee54 on January 13, 2021

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In the winter of 2003, it was obvious that America was going to war. Congress had voted approval, the modern version of a declaration of war. The troops. and supplies, were on the borders of Iraq, waiting for the order to go in.

PG felt the need to make a statement. There was no illusion that it would affect the overall decision to invade Iraq. However, PG wanted to go on record as being opposed to the folly to come.

It was a low risk act. In America, we have freedom of expression. This does not mean that the powers that be listen to the people. The only expression that matters is by people who pay the authorities. The people can say anything, but nobody in charge listens.

There were three representatives in Congress to contact. The two Senators were Saxby Chambliss and Zell Miller. The 4th district was represented in the House of Representatives by Denise Majette. She was new to Congress, having defeated Cynthia McKinney in the 2002 election.

The area that PG lives in is gerrymandered into different districts every ten years by the Georgia legislature. Today, PG is in the 6th district, represented by Democrat Lucy McBath.

The letters are lost in hard drive crash fog. It started out with the phrase “you were elected to represent me.” Apparently, this left Zell Miller out. He has been appointed to finish the term of Paul Coverdell. Democrat Zell Miller was appointed by Democrat Governor Roy Barnes to complete the term of Republican Paul Coverdell. After this, Zell Miller gave the keynote address at the 2004 Republican Convention. This is what Georgia has come to expect from Zig Zag Zell.

The anti war letter was not great writing. It basically said that the invasion of Iraq was not a good idea. The letter did not address the tax cut. In a bizarre move, Congress approved a tax cut, with an economically ruinous war on the horizon.

The responses to the letter are attached here. Denise Majette gave a thoughtful reply. She did not say “I agree with you” in so many words, but it is clear she is not gung ho about killing Iraqis. Miss Majette said, and PG agrees, that once the war begins, the debate should cease.

Saxby Chambliss sent two replies. Both talked about how well the war was going, and how wonderful it was to be killing people in Iraq. It is a good question whether his staff read the original letter from PG, which opposed the war.

In the 2004 election, Denise Majette ran for the Senate. Zell Miller chose to retire, and his seat was up for grabs. Republican Johnny Isakson won the Senate seat. Cynthia McKinney made a comeback, and won the fourth district House seat.

Saxby Chambliss was re-elected in 2008, and retired in 2014. The conflict in Iraq continues to this day. It is a disaster. The withdrawal of American combat troops did not end the civil war. Currently, Iraq is the scene for combat operations from the Islamic State military force.

The financial burden of the war has been immense. The military depends on contractors for many basic services, at increased cost to the Asian war financiers. The National debt has been increasing by a trillion dollars a year. Revenge for nine eleven, directed at a marginally responsible country, has been horribly expensive. Pictures for today’s entertainment message are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

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Ansel Adams And Dorothea Lange

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on December 30, 2020








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The facebook feed has recently had links to a story, Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps. Miss Lange was the photographer of the iconic Migrant Mother. After Pearl Harbor, Miss Lange took a job with the War Relocation Authority, documenting the “relocation” of Japanese-Americans to interment camps. The photographs did not please the authorities. They were censored, and only appeared recently. This is a repost.

Ansel Adams also took photographs at the Manzanar, California, camp. In the current stories, he is literally a footnote: quotes were used from a book about his photography. Why is Dorothea Lange receiving attention, while Ansel Adams is ignored?

One answer is that Miss Lange was hired early on, and shows the harsh reality of relocation. “On July 30, 1942, the WRA laid her off “without prejudice,” adding that the cause was “completion of work…. the WRA impounded the majority of her photographs of Manzanar and the forced detentions, and later deposited 800 image from the series in the National Archives without announcement.”

“After Lange’s departure, Manzanar’s director Ralph Merritt visited renowned environmentalist and landscape photographer Ansel Adams and suggested he document the camp — Merritt and Adams were friends from the Sierra Club. Lange, also friends with Adams, encouraged him to take the job. (Coincidentally Adams printed “Migrant Mother” for her ) …Ansel Adams made several trips to Manzanar between October 1943 and July 1944 for this new personal project, and, as Alinder writes, he was primed to try the kind of documentary photography regularly practiced by Dorothea Lange and the Farm Security Administration that he had earlier shunned. Unlike Lange, a white woman who had been viewed with suspicion by her subjects, Adams was welcomed by the incarcerees, even greeted as a celebrity in a cultural community that had a deep appreciation of nature — many incarcerees at Manzanar literally opened their doors to him dressed in their finest clothes. … By 1943, Manzanar’s incarcarees had had time to settle in and enjoy the fruits of their collective work. In less than ideal surroundings, they had collectively built their own post office, town hall, library, auditorium, co-op store system, police station, jail, cemetery with memorial, published their own newspaper (the ironically named the Manzanar Free Press, which was regularly censored by the military), and even their own YMCA.”

“As for Lange, looking at the historical record, it appears that she was treated differently from the other WRA photographers. She was discouraged from talking to the incarcerees, was constantly followed by a censor, and faced harassment. She was refused access to areas after being given clearance, and she was often hounded over phone charges and receipts. … After being discharged, Lange expressed in letters her dismay that her work was ineffective in helping the people she documented. Her assistant Christina Clausen later noted the ferocity of this body of work also marked the beginning of the photographer’s bleeding gastric ulcers. Lange was unable to work for a number of years after her harrowing experience at Manzanar. She died from esophageal cancer in 1965.”

“In 1944, Adams’s photographs were published as a book, “Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans,” and shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Nativists took offense. They saw Adams’s work as a slur on the war effort. He was a “Jap lover.” This quote is from a 2016 article, Let’s be honest, Ansel Adams’s images of a WWII internment camp are propaganda

“Adams visited Manzanar to take photos in 1943 at the request of camp director Ralph Merritt, who was a personal friend. “They don’t look quite as dusty and quite as forbidding as Dorothea Lange’s photos … Indeed, the place that looks barren and depressing in Lange’s pictures manages to look beautiful in Adams’. You get little sense that it was even a detention center, in part because Adams, like other photographers, was not allowed to shoot the guard towers or barbed wire…

There are scenes from a baseball game, kids walking to school, a gathering outside a chapel. Lots of smiles, too, and portraits of camp residents cropped so close, you can see every blemish and stray hair. In Adams’ vision, Manzanar comes off as a place where Japanese-Americans, dignified, resilient and optimistic in spite of their circumstances, built a temporary community in the desert.

(Skirball Cultural Center director Robert) Kirschner said that if Adams’ photos appear to sugarcoat the indignities of life in an internment camp, it is because he did not see himself as a social activist the way Lange did. Still, Kirscher says, Adams was challenging internment in his own way, by depicting its victims as patriotic, law-abiding Americans. Unlike Lange, Adams was given permission to publish his photos. Before the war ended, he did so in a book called “Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans,” in which he warned about the dangers of letting wartime hysteria justify depriving U.S. citizens of their freedom.”

The NPR article mentions a third Manzanar photographer. “Before World War II, Toyo Miyatake had a photo studio in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. When he learned he would be interned at Manzanar, he asked a carpenter to build him a wooden box with a hole carved out at one end to accommodate a lens. He turned this box into a makeshift camera that he snuck around the camp, as his grandson Alan Miyatake explains in the video below, which is featured in the exhibit.

Fearful of being discovered, Miyatake at first only took pictures at dusk or dawn, usually without people in them. Camp director Merritt eventually caught Miyatake, but instead of punishing him, allowed him to take pictures openly. Miyatake later became the camp’s official photographer.”

Pictures for today’s feature are from The Library of Congress. These are pictures that Ansel Adams took at Manzanar. They have been posted at chamblee54 before. The ladies in the bridge game are Aiko Hamaguchi, Chiye Yamanaki, Catherine Yamaguchi, and Kazoko Nagahama.

The Civil War On PBS

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on December 16, 2020


I have binge listened to a public television series, The Civil War. This youtube edition has subtitles in Portuguese, adding a Brazilian touch. I feel obligated to make a blog post. When writing about a topic of this size, I typically start by finding as many sources as possible. I have written about “the recent unpleasantness” several times, and will link to these when it is appropriate. The only way to start this project is to open a word document. This is a repost.

What did I learn? There was widespread opposition to emancipation in the north. I had never thought about this. The popular narrative is that the war was fought to free the slaves. While I knew that there were other reasons for the conflict, I assumed that the north wanted to free the slaves. As it turns out, the decision to free the slaves was controversial in the north. I will leave speculation about the reason for this to other armchair historians.

The show made me cry twice. The first time was after the Gettysburg Address. The address was made at the dedication of a cemetery, on the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. After two and a half years of horrendous carnage, the war was going good for the Union. However, 1864 was to have an election. Mr. Lincoln’s chances did not look good. If he lost, the Democrats would probably negotiate a peace, and the Confederacy would endure.

The Gettysburg Address is one of the most moving two minutes in our history. It was printed in newspapers across the land, which is the reason it is known today. “We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.”

The second tearjerker moment was also set at Gettysburg. It was the fiftieth anniversary of the battle. War veterans, from both sides, came to celebrate the occasion. There was a reenactment of Pickett’s charge. When the Rebels got to the fortifications, the Union soldiers came out and hugged them. They were greeted as brothers in arms, who had somehow survived a horrible conflict.

The fighting ended, and life in the, unquestionably, United States continued. There came to be what Shelby Foote calls “a great compromise … It consists of Southerners admitting freely that it’s probably best that the Union wasn’t divided, and the North admits rather freely that the South fought bravely for a cause in which it believed. That is a great compromise and we live with that …”

In recent years, this arrangement seems to be breaking down. It is now the fashion to view anything short of total vilification of the Confederacy as treasonous. There is sneering talk of the “Cult of the Lost Cause.” This is a lamentable way to look at this transformative part of our history. Maybe this too shall pass, and we will see the Confederacy in a different light in a few years.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The men before the text are Confederate soldiers, and after the text we have Union soldiers. These pictures are from Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs.