PG was wasting time with facebook when he saw a friend say “Damn I love this quote”. The passage being praised was “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Desmond Tutu. The rhetoric alert started to flash. These days, the wolf and the sheep buy their clothes at the same Walmart. To hear some oppressors talk, they are the ones under attack. It is tough to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Often you can make things worse by getting mixed up. Sometimes the best thing to do is mind your own business.
Ok, now that is out of the way. Some lines sound good, but don’t hold up to a bit of thinking. As for the veracity of the quote, Desmond Tutu may very well have said it. (or maybe one of his rivals said it, and Mr. Tutu copied it.) The quote has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Burke, Patrick Henry, and probably others. Almost no one has a source, for the quote, from the dead white guys.
A post called MISQUOTING THE FOUNDERS did not mince words. “The only problem with this scene that has been repeated many times across the country is that Thomas Jefferson never said that, never wrote that, and quite possibly never thought it. Our aspiring politician had fallen victim to the perils of popular misattribution. You could fill a book with misquotes and misattributed quotes we hear repeated regularly today. Right now if I Google “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent” the entire first page of results wrongly attribute it to Thomas Jefferson. The quote and its many variants have been attributed in the past to Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke, but no record exists of the quote in any of their writings or contemporary accounts.”
On November 13, 1787, Mr. Jefferson wrote a letter to William Smith. The letter is full of zesty quotes. “What country before ever existed a century & a half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”
A few lines above that, Mr. Jefferson said “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.” Twenty years after he wrote this, Mr. Jefferson was President. He probably did not want to deal with a revolution when he was President.
Getting back to the quote about tyranny, Martin Porter wrote an entertaining essay, A study of a Web quotation. He gives credit, or blame, to Edmund Burke. First, a list of different versions is presented. This is a clue that something is awry. The conclusion: “There is no original. The quote is bogus, and Burke never said it. It is a pseudo-quote, and corresponds to real quotes in the same way that urban legends about the ghost hitch-hiker vanishing in the back of the car and alligators in the sewers correspond to true news stories.”
Mr. Porter wrote a follow up essay, Four Principles of Quotation. These principles are: Principle 1 (for readers) Whenever you see a quotation given with an author but no source assume that it is probably bogus. Principle 2 (for readers) Whenever you see a quotation given with a full source assume that it is probably being misused, unless you find good evidence that the quoter has read it in the source. Principle 3 (for quoters) Whenever you make a quotation, give the exact source. Principle 4 (for quoters) Only quote from works that you have read.
If these principles were to be used, then there would be a lot less hotheaded talking on the intercom. Those who are trying to influence you to the justice of their cause will not want you to read this. Pictures for this feature are from The Library of Congress. These pictures are Union soldiers, from the War Between the States. When war is discussed, all inspiring quotes are in doubt.
This is a repost. It is written like James Joyce. In the past year, doing due diligence on alleged quotes has become a hobby. Many people don’t care who said it, if they agree with the thoughts expressed. The prevailing thought is that an idea becomes more true with a famous name at the end. If the famous person is deceased, and cannot defend his/her reputation, that is not a problem. People do not like being told that Santa Claus does not exist.
Lots of smart people have been writing about the 2016 election. One popular line of thought is that Donald Trump won the electoral vote because of racism. There are numerous studies that indicate this. This feature will not quote, or link to, these articles. The bottom line is that DJT was labeled racist, and enough voters either liked it to win the election.
There is a problem with this line of reasoning. In 2008 and 2012, the same population elected a dark skinned man. If America is so racist, why did Barack Obama win the Presidency twice? There is something not adding up here.
One possibility is show business. BHO was clearly a better performer than John McCain, or Mitt Romney. DJT is much more entertaining that Hillary Clinton. Some purists talk about issues, when the voting public is superficial.
Another option may be the way Democrats dealt with racial attitudes. HRC called DJT’s actions racist. If BHO did the same against his opponents, it did not get much attention. The supporters of HRC said repeatedly that anyone who votes for DJT is a racist. Again, it is unlikely that anyone said that anyone voting for Mr. Romney, or Mr. McCain, was a racist.
There is an urban-rural divide in America. Many people face tough economic times, and resent what they perceive to be a liberal elite. The reaction of the liberal elite is to label this resentment as racism. While racial attitudes may be part of the problems in rural America, it is far from the entire story.
It would have been better for HRC to win ugly, than to allow DJT to win. She handed millions of votes to DJT by labeling people as deplorables. Barack Obama won the support of many deplorables. Maybe he was just a better politician than her.
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Nick Parrino took the pictures in 1943. The men were Army truck drivers, many stationed “somewhere in Iran.”
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PG stumbled onto a blog called Vast Public Indifference. It is still published today, which is unusual for blogs from 2008. The feature being utilized today is Urban Legend Names. The blogwriter is a historian in training, and became fascinated by name stories. She did some research, and learned a few things. The names are in bold below, with the “status” underlined.
Asshole: Unconfirmed. However, I can confirm that there are several people named Anal, including Anal Exceus of Houston, TX (b. 8/26/1988 — happy birthday!), Anal Singh, and Anal Shah. I noticed that several people named “Anal” are South Asian, so I suspect that it might be a variant spelling of “Anil,” the Hindu god of wind.
Clitoris: Unconfirmed. Variant forms can be confirmed, viz. Clitty Jones of Somers, OH (b. 1895, married to Walter, confirmed in 1920 and 1930 census). The name “Clit” appears in several census records, but cannot be independently confirmed (ex: Clit Mangum, Commerce, GA, 1930 census).
Eczema: Possible. Three women show up in the census records as “Eczema”: Eczema Wright of Indiana, Eczema Hugey of Missouri, and Eczema James of Texas.
Male: Confirmed David Male Tiumalu (b. 8/1/1953, Alameda Co., CA), Linda Male Osmer (b. 5/8/1952, Texas), Male Joseph Cotton (b. 3/29/1974).
Latrine: Confirmed. Latrine seems to be a legitimate name. Examples: Latrine Sharmine Olive (b. 11/24/1979, Sacramento, CA), Quiana Latrine Phillips (b. 4/1/1988, Los Angeles, CA), Latrine Nicole Cook (b. 1/21/1976, Dallas, TX), Charlotte Latrine Martin (b. 2/8/1971, Wichita, TX). A variant form, Latrina, is actually quite popular, even cracking the top 1000 baby names in America for six years running during the 1970s. There are nearly 500 girls named Latrina in the Texas and California birth records alone. One unfortunate example of this name is Latrina Pickens-Brown of Nevada.
Lemon Jello/Orange Jello: Unconfirmed. Perhaps this rumor got started by someone who heard the Neapolitan surname “Lemongello.” Another possibility is Shirly Q. Liquor.
No Smoking: Confirmed. Nosmo King Cheatam (b. 11/26/1918 d. 11/10/1997). Mr. Cheatam was a veteran of the United States Navy and is buried in Texarkana, TX.
Pajama: Possible. I found several people named “Pajama” in the public phone/address records, including Pajama Ngongba of Alexandria, VA and Pajama Howanitz of Alabaster, AL, but was not able to confirm their names independently.
Placenta: Confirmed. Placenta Ann Woodard (b. 8/7/1953, Freestone Co., TX, married Rahman Hassan 11/10/1986 in Tarrant, TX), Placenta Ayala (b. 10/5/1951, Howard Co., TX), Placenta Theresa Bennett (b. 7/21/1958, Caldwell Co., TX). Others show up in the census — the picture at right is of the entry for Placenta M. Duncan of Green Bay, Iowa in the 1860 census.
Shithead: Unconfirmed. Shirley Q. Liquor has a baby named Shithead, pronounced Sha THEED.
Testicles: Unconfirmed. Only one person named “Testicles” appears in the census records — a Sioux boy born in 1892 in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. The U.S. Indian Census Schedules (1885-1940) record Native Americans’ names as well as the English translations of those names. The records indicate that the boy’s name, Susu, means “testicles.” I really enjoyed looking through these records and recommend them to anyone interested in names or in Native American history. Some of my favorite names from Susu’s community include Itekanpeskawin (“Face Like an Ornament”), Hotaninmaniwin (“They Heard Her Voice”), and Tawakanhdiwayakapi (“They See Her Electricity”).
Urea: Confirmed. Urea Pyle of Delaware Co., PA (married to Reece Pyle, confirmed in 1900, 1910, and 1920 census records), Elton Urea Juniel of California (married in Las Vegas 3 times: married Tish Denise Harris 6/27/1981, married Beverly Jean Mills, 8/17/1991, married Julie Marie Bossin 9/23/2003), Sophia Urea Nelson of Los Angeles, CA (b. 1/11/1991). The Texas birth records contain information for six babies named Urea:
Urine: Confirmed. Nora Urine Workman (b. 10/13/1940, Lamar Co., TX), Jonathan Urine Smith (b. 12/3/1996, Denton Co., TX), Urine Adkins of Coeburn, VA (b. 6/15/1896, d. March 1972). Urine Thibideoux, Louisiana.
Vagina: Confirmed. Vagina Ann Williams (b. 3/18/1934, Hall Co., TX), Ellen Vagina Goode (b. 9/13/1918 Lee Co., TX), Lorene Vagina Cranfield (b. 7/26/1938 Rowan Co., NC), Vagina Harper Bland (b. 1/19/1842 in Virginia, d. 5/4/1927 in Kentucky). One that caught my eye was “Vagina Glasscock” who lived in Somerville, Alabama in 1910.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is written like James Joyce.
PG used to have a job making local deliveries in Marietta. He often found himself behind a red light next to the Big Chicken. The Big Chicken is his friend. One day PG discovered that he could talk to G-d while waiting for the light to change by the Big Chicken. This is a repost
So G dude, whatever happened to that boy of yours.
Man, I wish I had never met Mary. That boy was more trouble than you can imagine.
He did seem to have a mouth on him. Hey, just one thing before the light changes. The Jesus Worshipers seem to think it was the Jews who offed Jboi
NO NO NO. It was the Romans. They ran the show. They wrote the history to blame the Jews
That sounds like something they would do.
But the Jews screwed up too. When Jboi finally died, I knew he was going to try to pull something. I told the Jews to put two boulders in front of the cave. Two. That way he was going to stay in that stinking cave, and I wouldn’t have to hear his whining any more. But the Jews thought they could save money, and only used one boulder
The car behind PG was honking. The light had turned green. Pictures from The Library of Congress.
PG is planning to attend a heart circle. This is an event where people listen to each other. A talisman is used. The person holding the talisman is allowed to speak, and the other people listen. That is it. No assembly required, batteries not included. The event is on the same side of downtown as PG, so he was looking forward to it. Driving to I20 land, treacherous in the best of times, has gotten outlandish with the collapse of I85.
The event is connected to a community, the atlanta radical faeries. The concept of the heart circle is not exclusive to such communities, but it does seem to be prevalent there. One of the best quotes about heart circles is from Philadelphia’s Lady Bartlett. In slightly reconstructed fashion: ” a heart circle is a faerie technology. It is a cross between a Quaker meeting, a room temperature sweat lodge, and the collective experience of cruising Christopher Street in 1972.”
The host sent PG a message: “A while back I believe you posted information about heart circles. As part of the opening ritual would you share some of that history and information with those of us who are gathered.” PG went to work. Hearing the digital battle cry, google it, PG tried to see what he could. One source was a vintage website, Faerie Email List. Their contribution was the use of a day glo bubble wand as a talisman.
There does not seem to be a clear history of heart circles. There are references to Native American traditions. It is not known which Native Nation the heart circle was appropriated from. Maybe the heart circle just happened organically, like faeries dancing on the lawn.
PG started to go to faerie events (the word “radical” was seldom heard) in 1981. There were circles. The talisman was called a talking stick. Often, the men in the circle would do a check in, where everyone would say what they wanted to say.
In 1984, PG started to go to out of town gatherings. Here, there would be a morning circle. It was a community meeting, with announcements. A rune would be drawn, and the check in would go around the circle. Often, these circles went on for a long, long time. When PG returned to these gatherings in 2008, after a long absence, the morning circle did not happen. There were, however, smaller heart circles. The hc phrase was used by this point.
When google fails, you talk to people that you know. PG knew some of the *younguns,* who were at early gatherings. A couple of them graciously added to the conversation. These men had attended a gathering in North Carolina in 1978. This was before the 1979 event organized by Harry Hay.
“interesting. yes we had something like a heart circle. whether we called it that I’m not sure. ____ ____ might remember. There were 30 of us and we had not met before so the circle was an opportunity for folks to open up and reveal things about themselves. There was a crocheted talisman (the pan shawl) that was used like a talking stick. The borrowing of native american ways of working was prevalent thanks to Raven Wolfdancer.”
“hi there, circles were part of the original gatherings to create a non-hierarchical structure for us to talk in. all points are equal in the circle. we had chore circles and process circles. we probably borrowed the circle from lesbians many of whom were interested in goddess religion and from hippies who had their rainbow family gatherings. the heart circle emerged as a place to took about feelings. the talking stick was borrowed from Native American ritual. Raven was a big proponent of that and practically it both encouraged everyone to speak and to be succinct. So the heart circle was probably called that to keep the focus on feelings both to keep the housekeeping circles functional and to make a space where feelings could be primary. Hope the circle spins sweetly.”
One way to treat the history question is to deny it. Every heart circle is a unique creation. Begins when it begins, ends when it ends. Part of a tradition, a new vessel all by itself. Blessed be.
What follows is a repost from a few years ago. The thoughts are current. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Esther Bubley took the pictures in April, 1943. “Washington, D.C. Jitterbugs at an Elk’s Club dance, the “cleanest dance in town””
This is written as the Sunday morning worship hour winds down. In church facilities across America, preachers scream about sin. Very few will consider the sin of dangerous driving. And yet, this is the sin that can change, or end, your life in an instant.
There is a lot of label mongering in public spaces. Liberal, conservative, and racist are three of the most popular. None of these labels deals with driving courtesy. The SJW and the KKK are united in their lack of concern about safe driving. With that in mind, here is the top nine.
1- Find another way to show how bad you are. This is mostly a masculinity thing, but it just might apply to a few ladies. Driving hard and fast is the easy way to prove your toughness. All you do is push the gas pedal. You don’t have to go to the gym, have lots of sex, or go into battle. Just drive fast, and with no concern for your neighbor.
2- Slow down. There is no need to go so fast. When you go somewhere, allow yourself enough time to get there. The faster you drive, the less reaction time you have in an emergency.
3- Stay far enough behind the car ahead of you to stop in an emergency. This will be less stressful for the person in front of you.
4- Pay attention to the road. This is where cell phones, and texting, becomes a problem. You should be focused on the road ahead of you, and not what your phone mate is telling you. Your minutes will be just as good when you get to your destination. Are people really brainless enough to text and drive?
5- The three rules of the workplace apply here…. show up, stay awake, and don’t kill anyone.
6- Keep your car in good condition. The tires and brakes are key items, but also keep the engine running smoothly. Sometimes you need to accelerate.
7- Keep your temper. Driving while angry is a cause of many accidents, especially when combined with alcohol or religion.
8- Use your turn signals.
9- Show concern for the well being of your neighbor. Use common sense.
Born To Run, the Bruce Springsteen autobiography, is due back at the library. When PG requested it, there were 96 people ahead of him in line. Renewing a book this popular is not permitted. PG is on page 420, after the funeral of Frank Sinatra. It is time to write the book report.
Amazon has lots of Bruce product for sale. One suggested item is Bruce Springsteen: The Coloring Book: A Tribute to the Rock & Roll Boss Born to Run. One star reviewer Kevin P. said: “Sorry, but this is the creepiest thing ever.”
The story begins in New Jersey. Bruce lives in a lively neighborhood, with a troubled father. At some point Bruce starts to play guitar. His bands find success on the Jersey shore. They play a lot of shows, and many stories could be told.
Some how, they get a new years eve gig in California. Driving in shifts through the night, the two vehicles get separated. Bruce is forced to drive. This is a problem, since he never learned how. Somehow, the truck makes it to Big Sur in one piece.
The story goes on. Bruce signs a management contract with Mike Appel. This works well for a few years. Then Born to run, the album, comes out. Bruce is a superstar, but has little money to show for it. After spending a few years suing Mike Appel, Bruce is free to make more albums, and become a super duper star. Somwhow, Bruce made it work.
We should note at this point PG’s ambivalence about Bruce Springsteen, inc. The man has written some good songs, and is reported to give good concert performances. PG has long since gotten over seeing Bruce on the covers of Time, and Newsweek, at the same time. Bruce Springsteen puts his New Jersey britches on one leg at a time.
One of the problems of autobiography is the tendency of authors to put them self in the best possible light. Bruce does that, but still mentions that he sees a shrink, got divorced, and can be a ego happy control freak. It is lonely at the top.
If you are a fan, you will probably enjoy the book. It is better than most self help stories, and will probably motivate you just as well. It is not the greatest thing PG ever read, nor is it the worst. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.