Category Archives: Neglected History

PUCK: ROBBER BARONS THEN AND SILICON VALLEY ROBBER BARONS NOW

puck cartoon robber barons tying up uncle samPuck magazine (1871-1918), the well-known political humor magazine, was at its height under original founder and creative director cartoonist Joseph Keppler. Here is a February 23rd, 1881 Keppler political cartoon depicting Jay Gould, the telegraph monopolist, and Cornelius Vanderbilt the railroad baron.

The point of the cartoon is the way those two Robber Barons – allied with like-minded newspaper tycoons – abused their wealth and political influence to bind the United States (represented here by Uncle Sam) to their will.

Joseph Keppler was outraged at the power so unethically wielded by such figures to cloak themselves in righteous, philanthropic public images while in reality they – in Keppler’s words – clutched “the United States and all its institutions by the throat.”

Creepy LineThis is similar to the way the Silicon Valley and Social Media Robber Barons of today cloak themselves in “socially conscious” public images while in reality clutching the United States and all its institutions by the throat.

The Robber Barons criticized by Puck magazine exerted their ugly influence on behalf of right-wing politicians. The Robber Barons of the 21st Century tend to exert their ugly influence on behalf of left-wing politicians. The end results are equally totalitarian. Continue reading

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion, Puck Magazine

FOOL KILLER: PART SIXTEEN – JAMES LARKIN PEARSON

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer 1910-1929PART SIXTEEN: James Larkin Pearson, poet and newspaper man, carried on the Fool Killer tradition from 1910 to 1917, then again from 1919 to 1929. Pearson’s fellow North Carolinian Charles Napoleon Bonaparte Evans had written the Fool Killer Letters of the 19th Century so it’s appropriate that another Tar Heel continue the lore for so many years of the 20th Century.

James Larkin PearsonIn August of 1917 Pearson’s nationwide publication called The Fool-Killer changed its title and format because of America’s entry into World War One four months earlier. That change from the hard-hitting satire of Fool Killing was made to show solidarity while the war raged.

In August of 1919 Pearson changed the name back to The Fool-Killer and resumed the hard-hitting political satire. For us fans of Fool Killer lore we can put tongue in cheek and assume that the figure had gone into hibernation for a few years, like he had during the Civil War.   Continue reading

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DEMOCRAT ATROCITY ROUNDUP: STACEY ABRAMS EDITION

Stacey AbramsDemocrat Stacey Abrams is still denying that she lost her failed campaign to become governor of Georgia in 2018. She insists she won it. 

Yes, just like career criminal Hillary “Fake Charity” Clinton, ANOTHER Democrat – the party which pretends President Trump will be as destructively fascistic as they are if he loses his reelection bid in 2020 – has blatantly defied election results.

In fact, Abrams blatantly said that Democrats “don’t have to concede anymore” (see below). She claimed that since “the system” is “unfair” then election results under an unfair system don’t need to be honored. Except, apparently, when Democrats win. Seriously, it’s ridiculous how Democrat fascists can support Abrams’ remarks (silence IS consent, Democrats are forever sniveling) yet claim it will be horrible if President Trump behaves the same way.

Stacey Abrams and Hillary Clinton

TWO DEMOCRAT FASCISTS WHO REJECT THE ELECTORAL PROCESS.

So, Stacey and your fellow Democrat fascists, how about when Republicans of Color lose elections? Is that, too, just a sign of an unfair system? Should THOSE election results be disregarded, too? If prominent Democrat Party members like Abrams – who is often touted as a potential Vice Presidential candidate in 2020 – publicly endorse the notion that election results don’t need to be accepted then that’s an open invitation to violence.

And by the way, DON’T BLAME THIS ON ABRAMS’ RACE. Plenty of Candidates of Color who are Republicans are mature and accept election results. IT IS STACEY ABRAMS’ STATUS AS A DEMOCRAT THAT MAKES HER ENDORSE THE FASCIST NOTION OF IGNORING ELECTION RESULTS.

PEOPLE CANNOT HELP WHAT THEIR SKIN COLOR IS, BUT THEY CAN HELP WHAT POLITICAL PARTY THEY BELONG TO. MAKING THE CONSCIOUS DECISION TO BELONG TO THE PARTY OF THE KU KLUX KLAN, SLAVERY, JIM CROW, THE TRAIL OF TEARS, THE JAPANESE INTERNMENT, THE REJECTION OF ELECTION RESULTS, ETC SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT A PERSON’S NATURE.

#WALKAWAY FROM THE DEMOCRATS AND BECOME AN INDEPENDENT VOTER LIKE SO MANY OF US FORMER DEMOCRATS HAVE. The Democrat Party is too disgusting to be associated with. It’s a home now for fascists like Stacey Abrams and anti-Semitic hatemongers like Ilhan Omar.

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion

FLASHMAN OF ARABIA: LOST FLASHMAN PAPERS

Lee Horsley tubFor Flashman Down Under, Flashman in the Opium War & Flashman and the Kings click HERE   For Flashman on the Gold Coast click HERE  Balladeer’s Blog now moves on to another Harry Flashman adventure referred to but never completed before George MacDonald Fraser’s death.

Lee Horsley

IF LEE HORSLEY WAS BRITISH HE’D HAVE MADE A GREAT HARRY FLASHMAN.

Projected Title: FLASHMAN OF ARABIA

Time Period: 1852-1854

The Setup: Sometime in the second half of 1852 Harry Flashman at last arrives back in England from his travels which began in 1848. The scandals he fled have fallen into relative obscurity and he’s getting some positive acclaim over his recent experiences during the Australian Gold Rush and earlier participation in a wagon train across America.

In addition he’s finally gotten to see his son “Havvy” (not Harry), the child his wife Elspeth was pregnant with when his travels began.

The Story: The one and only Richard Burton, viewing Harry as a kindred spirit, reaches out via correspondence and personally to encourage Flashman to write some papers and deliver public talks about his journey through America and Australia. Always ready to play to his public, and now discovering the raconteur side of his personality, Harry writes a (very) bowdlerized account of his adventures of the past four years and even delivers a few talks at which he meets Burton in person.  

Burton's bookThe duo enjoy diving into the darker and more forbidden side of life where sex, booze and other diversions are concerned. Flashman happens to be with Burton in Egypt in early 1853 when the famous explorer begins his journey to Medina and Mecca disguised as a Muslim.

We will learn he originally invited Harry to accompany him, since our protagonist was fluent in the necessary languages and was well-versed in Muslim customs from his military service in Afghanistan in the early 1840s. Flashman would have initially turned down the offer and stayed behind in Egypt until, getting into his usual trouble from boozing, whoring and gambling he would wind up fleeing for his life. Continue reading

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Filed under Neglected History, Pulp Heroes

FOOL KILLER: PART FIFTEEN – O HENRY

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Matthew as the Fool Killer would be perfectPART FIFTEEN: Last time around I examined Joel Chandler Harris’ 1902 story Flingin’ Jim And His Fool-Killer, set in Georgia in October of 1872, plus Ridgway Hill’s Facts For The Fool-Killer, set in and around Buffalo, NY in 1909.

Now we back up a year for the great O Henry’s story The Fool-Killer, published as part of The Voice of the City in 1908. In his younger years O Henry (William Sidney Porter) had personally known Charles Napoleon Bonaparte Evans, the editor of the Milton Chronicle.

Evans was the man behind the earliest written examples of Fool Killer stories and published them as if they were letters from the “real” Fool Killer himself, who claimed Jesse Holmes was his actual name. O Henry started his short story The Fool-Killer by recapping the fame of the folk-figure, claiming he was known “from Roanoke to the Rio Grande.” 

In apparent deference to his old friend Charles Evans, Porter kept Jesse Holmes as the Fool Killer’s “real” name, but introduced some of his own innovations to Fool Killer lore.      Continue reading

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EVEN TWO CNN REPORTERS ADMIT JOE BIDEN IS LYING ABOUT TRUMP’S “FINE PEOPLE” REMARK

biden two gun poseWhen even some reporters at the Democrat media outlet CNN realize that the lies Democrats tell about President Trump’s Charlottesville remarks have been exposed you’d think Joe Biden would know better than to try peddling them.

Or maybe not. The reason so many of us former Democrats decided to #WALKAWAY is because being a Democrat now means lying on a daily basis.

At any rate CNN’s Jake Tapper and Steve Cortes called out the lies Biden was throwing around about President Trump’s remarks about Charlottesville last year. Trump NEVER called hatemongers like Nazis and Klansmen “fine people.” The “very fine people on both sides” remark clearly referred to there being fine people on both sides of the public debate regarding old war monuments and on what happened at Charlottesville.

#WalkAwayDemocrats and their media outlets have been trying to sell their lies about Trump’s remarks ever since then, with Crazy Joe Biden even perpetuating that lie when he joined 9,783 other Democrats in the presidential race.

Anyway, as even veteran Trump-hater Jake Tapper had to admit:

“Now, elsewhere in those remarks, Trump did condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists. So he’s not saying that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists are very fine people.”

That rare moment of honesty from Tapper was good to see, but the way so many Democrats continue pushing that lie wins stronger support for Trump among his supporters and people on the fence. As the now-cliché goes about Democrats’ dishonest attacks on the President, “Do you want more Trump? Because THIS is how you get more Trump.” 

Among the many sources where you can verify that President Trump clearly condemned the Neo-Nazis, Antifa Fascists and Neo-Klansmen and did NOT call them “fine people”: Continue reading

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TRANSGRESS WITH ME: MAY 3rd

Time for another edition of Balladeer’s Blog’s feature Transgress With Me:

mascot new look donkey and elephant headsEven the least attentive people are beginning to realize why America’s thuggish “Intelligence Agencies” like the CIA, NSA and FBI are so deservedly despised. They’re also beginning to notice the way that people who get elected to even the most junior positions in Congress wind up as multi-millionaires in just a few years. (Some of the more subtle crooks use their male or female spouses as their fronts, letting them acquire wealth via government contracts.)

De facto Third Party President Donald Trump has turned over the rock on the career criminals called the Democrat and Republican Parties. As an Independent Voter it is the experience of a lifetime to watch the way that Trump’s rocking of the crooked boat in the open-air cesspool of Washington DC has panicked both left-wing and right-wing crooks.

The behavior of our bought and paid-for elected officials has laid bare all of the corruption and malfeasance that we adults always suspected were there. The masks have been removed. Getting the outsider – Trump – and his supporters has become all that matters to the Swamp Creatures.

Trump in the wayWe’re living history but some people are so narrow-minded and so short-sighted that they’re letting their irrational hatred of one man prevent them from acknowledging the fact. It’s like the old saying “Some people feel the rain while others just get wet.”

Even if you’re someone who hates Donald Trump with a passion, you are just plain delusional if you can watch the dramas and gang warfare of the past few years and pretend that he is the worst of the bunch. Hell, I myself started out as a Hillary backer years ago (2008-2015) but her repulsive conduct and increasingly undeniable criminal behavior brought an end to that. It’s okay to admit you were mistaken.

A few years back I posted some political poses that even the most irrational anti-Trumpers can use if they absolutely cannot bear to say anything positive about President Trump. Here are some more:

Try saying “I hope they ALL go down in flames from both parties, not just Trump.”

Try saying “The others are every bit as disgusting as Trump. We need Third Parties.”

Try saying “Who would have thought Donald Trump would turn out to be the most honest crook in Washington?”

Blind DemsTry saying “At least Trump is not a career politician. The other crooks have been plundering the treasury their whole careers.”

If you’re from overseas we know you relish making snobbish comments about the U.S. so try saying “The Americans should never again sanctimoniously lecture any other country about Free Elections after the way the Obama Administration used the FBI, CIA and NSA to interfere in the 2016 campaign and afterward.” 

… Or you folks from overseas could try saying “What does it say about the corruption of the American government when even Donald Trump looks honest compared to their career politicians?”

As always I offer those poses to you because I know many of you sheepishly rely on reflexively anti-Trump comments just because you think it’s the path of least conversational resistance. And who can blame you given the fascistic nature of the hardcore Trump-haters? Pro-Trump people tend to be polite and reasonable so it seems like the easier route to pretend you disagree with them whether you really do or not.  Continue reading

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion