Chamblee54

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”.





War Letters

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, War by chamblee54 on January 15, 2017

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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. This is partly the legacy of the Voting Rights Act, which requires the voting districts in Georgia to be approved by Federal authorities. Today, PG is in the 6th district, represented by Republican Tom Price.

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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Why Hillary Lost Part XVI

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on December 15, 2016

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“The late Colonel Harry Summers liked to tell a tale familiar to many who served in Vietnam. In April 1975, after the war was over, the colonel was in a delegation dispatched to Hanoi. In the airport, he got into a conversation with a North Vietnamese colonel named Tu who spoke some English and, as soldiers do, they began to talk shop. After a while, Colonel Summers said: “You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield.” Colonel Tu thought about that for a minute, then replied: “That may be so. But it is also irrelevant.”

Forty one years later, the losing generals are debating the 2016 Presidential election. Hillary won the popular vote by a wide margin. What people fail to mention was that the election was for the electoral vote. If the election had been for the popular vote, there would have been a different group of voters. The candidates would have employed different strategies to reach these voters. There is a chance that Donald Trump would have won the popular vote.

How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election. This article goes into detail about the clueless campaign that HRC fronted. There were many details they did not mention. Somebody actually thought it was a good idea for BHO to say ““We have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community. I will consider it a personal insult and an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote.”

In other words, white voters don’t count. The President of the United States is telling a specific group of voters to vote, for a certain candidate, based on the color of their skin. If a white person objects to this, they are told it is none of their business. You are just worried because you think you are losing your privilege. I’m not talking to you.

The Politico article had an interesting quote. “Guided by polls that showed the Midwestern states safer, the campaign spent, according to one internal estimate, about 3 percent as much in Michigan and Wisconsin as it spent in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. Most voters in Michigan didn’t see a television ad until the final week.”

The margin of defeat was greater in Florida (1.3%), Ohio (7.6%), and North Carolina (3.8%), than it was in Michigan (0.3%) and Wisconsin (1.0%).Perhaps the Democratic campaign had the effect of persuading citizens to vote for DJT. If the entire country had been subjected to the “I’m With Her” campaign, then DJT might have won the popular vote.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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Ansel Adams And Dorothea Lange

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on December 10, 2016








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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.

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 Burning Of Atlanta

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 18, 2016

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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, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 11, 2016






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.





Thirty Trayvons

Posted in Race, War by chamblee54 on October 5, 2016

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The names in these pictures are children. They lived in Pakistan. They were killed by the United States. Unmanned aircraft routinely fly over Pakistan and kill people. There is no risk to any United States military personnel.

The background pictures are from a neighborhood fall festival. This is life in the United States. Some say that the children in Pakistan are killed to preserve this way of life. Kill them over there before they come kill us here.

A young man was killed in a Florida town. An enormous outcry was heard. His image was on every television set in America. Every name in this feature is a young person, killed by an the American military. Pictures of these children will not be seen on American television. If the POTUS had a son, he would not look like one of these children. This is a repost.

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Nine Eleven Story

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on September 11, 2016

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This is my 911 story. I repeat it every year at this time. If you saw it last year, it has not changed. Feel free to skip the text and look at the pictures, from The Library of Congress.

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.

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Hiroshima 71 Years Later

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on August 7, 2016

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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.




The Worst Vice Presidents Of The United States

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on July 13, 2016






PG wrote a post yesterday. One of the topics was the “Siamese Twins”, James Buchanan and William Rufus King. While researching the feature, PG googled his way to a Time magazine article about the Worst Vice Presidents in American History. PG is well known for his negative attitude, and writing about the worst things in life always appeals to him. (To see the feature, you have to click through a popup ad for Amway. Good times.) This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress

The first name on the list is Aaron Burr. He had a problem with Alexander Hamilton, and shot him dead in a duel. Elbridge Gerry (the namesake of Gerrymandering) served under James Madison for twenty months, and died. John C. Calhoun served under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, and managed to get Mr. Jackson so upset that Mr. Calhoun was fired.

Richard M. Johnson served under Martin Van Buren, and was bad at PR.
“Johnson scandalized his colleagues by taking one of his slaves as his common-law wife; as a result, he barely garnered enough support to serve in Martin van Buren’s administration. While in office, he proposed an expedition to the North Pole so Americans could drill to the center of the Earth, believing the planet was hollow (his resolution was defeated). Evidently van Buren’s experience with Johnson soured him on vice presidents altogether — when he ran for re-election he dropped Johnson from his ticket and didn’t bother replacing him. Instead, he ran alone.”
William Rufus King was VP under Franklin Pierce a mere six weeks before he died. There is no word on the status of his relationship with James Buchanan at the time. The Time magazine article has a picture of Fernando Wood , which was mistakenly thought to be of Mr. King. (Wikipedia uses the same picture to illustrate an article about Mr. King.)

The VP under James Buchanan (there is no word on who was top or bottom in the Buchanan-King household) was John Breckinridge. During the War Between the States, he left the Union to fight for the Confederacy. Mr. Breckinridge was charged with treason after the war.
“The town of Breckenridge, Colorado is named in his honor — although it altered the spelling of its name after the Civil War, so as not to be associated with a traitor.”
Andrew Johnson did not make the list, but maybe should have. He was drunk at his inauguration, and made a fool of himself. Mr. Lincoln had nothing to do with him, until a meeting on April 14. This was Good Friday. Mr. Lincoln went to the theater that night.

Johnson had been marked for death by the conspiracy, but Wilkes Booth had little confidence in the man assigned to kill Mr. Johnson. The afternoon of the assassination, Mr. Booth was at the Kirkwood House, where Mr. Johnson stayed. Mr. Booth left a note for Mr. Johnson at the desk of the hotel…
“Don’t wish to disturb you. Are you at home. J. Wilkes Booth”. The idea was for the police to find the note, and implicate Mr. Johnson in the killing of Mr. Lincoln. This mini plot was spoiled by the secretary for the Vice President, who collected the mail that afternoon. He took the card with him. The secretary had met Mr. Booth a few years earlier, and thought the note was for him.
The other three Vice Presidents who took office after the boss was murdered… Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson… were not mentioned in the Time article. All three are mentioned in conspiracy theories about the killings that promoted them into office.

When Theodore Roosevelt was elected to a full term as President, his VP was Charles Fairbanks.
Teddy once ordered a noisy and distracting crystal chandelier removed from his office because it disturbed him. He ordered it to be installed in the office of the Vice President to keep him awake.”
Getting back to Time’s honor roll, Hannibal Hamlin was Lincoln’s first VP. Thomas A. Hendricks survived nine months under Grover Cleveland, before passing away. Thomas Marshall served two terms with Woodrow Wilson, and refused to take over the office when Mr. Wilson had a stroke. Calvin Coolidge did little while waiting for Warren Harding to die. Henry Wallace was, and will be, the only third term VP in our history. He acquired a few enemies, and was replaced by Harry Truman.

Richard Nixon was ok once he got elected, but almost managed to blow that. There were charges of financial shenanigans, and some thought he should be kicked off the ticket. After the Checkers Speech he was on his way to stardom. (After Mr. Nixon died, PG saw a large flag flying at half staff. The flag belonged to a hamburger chain called Checkers.) When Mr. Nixon became President, his VP was Spiro Agnew. Once again, there were charges of financial shenanigans, and much, much more. While the nation wallowed in Watergate, Mr. Nixon needed a diversion. It was suddenly discovered that Mr. Agnew had taken bribes. He was pressured into resigning.

Dan Quayle was VP for George H.W. Bush. He was widely regarded as an idiot, although his damage as VP was minimal. The last VPOTUS on the list is Dick Chaney. For some reason, he was regarded as having more power than the President, George W. Bush. Mr. Chaney was said to be one of the major promoters of the wars which have damaged America so much during the last ten years.