Sunday, December 28, 2014

family connections

My disdain for bad behavior, no matter who the perpetrator, extends even 2 my own ancestors-- not a pleasant thought.

I wouldn't do well if I was Chinese, because they're supposed to revere their ancestors. I do revere most of mine, the salt-of-the-earth, impoverished farmers that predominate in my family tree (as I believe they do in the trees of most Americans) appear as God-fearing people who would sooner die than take something that didn't belong to them.

The branch of the family I've pretty much disowned came to the brand-new USA from England in the 1780's, soon after the Revolution, and either my great-great-great paternal grandfather arrived with a little money, or his wife did.  She came 2 America with the idea of getting rich in the slave trade, or picked up on its possibiltles soon after arrivng. First settling in Pennsylvania, dominated by Quakers, so that slavery never got a toehold, they quickly decamped for Duplin county NC, and just as quickly bought their first two slaves. Mrs had half a dozen or so by the time the old man died, and she continued collecting them after he was gone. By the time she passed on she had as many as 10 slaves on the place, and  2 more in dispute.

The dispute arose when her son Francis and his new wife took two household members with them when they departed for Georgia by wagon in about 1830. We know quite a bit about Francis & the family he raised in South Georgia on land acquired cheaply, formerly the domain of the Creek Nation. That old Indian killer, Col. Andy Jackson demolished the Creeks for good at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, in 1814, with the few survivors of that virtual massacre escaping to Florida & joining the Seminole tribe.

Tho we are famiiar with the lives of Francis and his family in some detail, we know virtually nothing about Dave and Ireland, the two men at the center of this family feud, other than their names. I would like very much 2 know more about them & who they really were, but at this distance doubt that's possible.

What follows is interesting enough to write, and maybe a few would want to read it. Francis prospered in south Georgia, built a plantation called Tallokas, had a gang of kids, bought more slaves, & lived the life of a country gentleman. His mother ignored him in her will; she was still pissed at him for taking Dave & Ireland, who were the only two human chattels on the place not deeded specifically 2 her by her husband. By that time Francis needed no help; he was living large on stolen land and labor. There was a steep price to pay for such prosperity, however, as those who read on will soon see.

...down to the 4th generation...

My grandfather, Sam Brice -- that's him sitting in the foreground with his feet tucked under -- was born in 1889, and looks to have been slightly less than 10 years old when this family picture was taken, dating it to shortly before 1900.

His father, Timothy Brice, is seated at center beside his dour-looking wife Mary, surrounded by their ten children and, on the other side of the white picket fence holding the clan's first and at this date only grandchild, the inevitable "Aunt" Ellen. This was, after all, Brooks County in Southern Georgia.

Until  coupIe years ago I never knew any but the barest facts about my great-grandfather, that he was born in 1838 and looked a lot like me. I had done the math and knew that he was 23 and his brother David  was 24 when the Civil War commenced in 1861. Born and brought up in South Georgia, they were grade-A cannon fodder.

Undoubtedly, social necessity as well as patriotic motives and a looming universal conscription order from the CSA led to their walking down to Savannah to volunteer for duty in the 50th Georgia Infantry 
on March 4,1862. But when the regiment marched out of Savannah four and a half months later, traveling north where it was attached to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, only David marched with them. He fought at Gettysburg and Chancellorsville, and met his death on the second day of the Battle of The Wllderness, May 6, 1864.

Meanwhile, Tim was heading home from an army hospital in Macon, above the fall line and outside the malarial zone surrounding Savannah, where he had become sick during training with Camp Fever, a form of malarial dysentary which killed as many during this conflict as died in battle.

Tim Brice was discharged from service on the same day the regiment marched from Savannah, and presumably returned home to Brooks County, where he married in 1866, fathered 13  children, 10 of whom lived, and spent the rest of his days.

It would take a very serious flaw in one's constitution or character to be unconditionally discharged from an army as desperate for manpower as the Confederacy's was. Perhaps my great-grandfather was gravely ill, or maybr he was painfully unfit for soldiering and warfare. In any case, Timothy Brice had a very  shoirt interlude in service, and did no fighting for the CSA. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

merry xmas cat blogging

Sometimes I think the only reason cats consent 2 being domesticated is that they know humans will provide them with more luxurious accommodations than they can get for themselves in the wild.

Learning to crap in a box is a small price 2 pay for regular meals and sleeping on cushions all day. It's a trade-off I'd make. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Is there anything this Pope can't do?

He probably can't strike a match on a wet bar of soap, but other than that he looks like Superpope.

In recent centuries we've grown used 2 seeing some hypocrite or another on the Papal throne, whining about abortion & birth control, & ignoring real abuse inflicted by some church institutions on their own. Then comes Francis, who deals with the world not just with the authority inherent in the office, but from a  position of  moral authority.

If he keeps his string of hits going in the wake of Cuba-USA detente, he may succeed in returning the Papacy 2 what it once was, a politcal power in a world of competing nations, singular in its possession of neutral, disinterested, moral high ground.

 The  Pope? How many divisions  does he have?¨ Stalin is said 2 have asked when told the Pope (Pius XII) didn´t like his treatment of Soviet catholics. Hs remarks were typical of the last 100 years or so, reflecting disdain for an outmoded relic´s opinion on any world affairs. Who cares what that old flatus emission thinks?

Then one day the real deal shows up out of Latin America, still with not a single division, tank army, or air force. Yet, when he speaks, world leaders listen, someimes in awe & sometimes in fear, but nobody´s´ mocking this pope.

Let´s see what he can do in the 10 years or so he´s got left. World peace, anyone?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

friday cats & fruits

Cat: lower left. oranges, upper right.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

politially correct xmas

I´m baking my pnut butter Xmas cookies this morning, which R genderless by default. (R pnuts gender

I make only half a dozen at a time, so the hard part is producing the recipe in the correct scale. Politics got nothin 2 do with it, except 4 z butter.

1. simmer 1 gram of 13-17% thc hybrid in 2 Tbsps of butter 4 90 minutes.

2. carry on as U usually would with all ingredients reduced by 7/8.

Makes 6 cookies.

The butter preparation is suspect in this county. I'm warned  each tme I open a gram that while what I am doing is legal under state law, I might be violating federal and local laws. These are not specified, however.

Such solemn admonitions may not be politically incorrect, but R obnoxious as hell & probably the work of our obnoxious Mormonublican DA.

Friday, December 12, 2014

friday cat bloggin

Add caption

Mesa is that kind of town, & it.'s that kind of a day.  

Sunday, December 07, 2014


Dorothy 4/26/20 -- 12/7/08

She's not in Kansas any more.

lynching in the 21st century

Police today have gone in many places (not all!) from protecting & serving to acting as an organized lynch mob.

The evidence for this is the growing number of victims. Most are black; some are Latinos, some are white. Most are male, & all are young (I know of only one exception to this).

In the past, the composition of lynch mobs varied from place to place, but usually were led by police or some other local authority (mayor, judge, etc). Prior to the "golden age" of lynching (1865-1955) killing negroes was usually an assertion of property rights, and slavery actually protected the lives of of blacks. Your property has to do something heinous for you to terminate it, especially considering that slaves in the ante-bellum south were more valuable than land. Free blacks in the north were in much more danger of being killed by racist whites than slaves in the south. 

Emmet Till, lynched in 1955, was tortured & killed by 2 men in Money, Mississippi, one of whom ws a local cop. The crime was typical at the time, but the response was not. Mamie Till wanted the world to see what had befallen her son, born & raised in Chicago, when he visited relaives back home. The photos of Emmet's face, scarcely recognizable as human, (I will never forget seeing them in LIfe magazine at age 9) spelled the end of lynching in the US. Until now.

Lynching in the US today is a privilege reserved to police departments in some parts of the country. It is unwritten & never spoken of, but even rookies soon learn how it works. If you're on the street & some whippersnapper starts jawing at you, you may shoot him IF U feel like it.

Nothing wil haopen 2 U.

Photo of Emmett Till: (not fo the faint-hearted or weak-stomached)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


I finally found the top I've been seeking 4 the longest time -- $6 on Ebay. Guess I shoulda gone there 1st.

The Phrygian cap, an ancient design the Greeks used 2 designate barbarians, which 2 them meant any non-Greeks, has in modern times come 2 B associated with liberty, freedom, & revolution, specifically la Revolution Francais.

During the uprising of 1798-1805 it was always red, the colour of revolution, & incomplete without the blue, white, & red cockade.

Traveling across the Atlantic, it appeared on the coinage of the new American republics, both northern and southern, as the favored head covering of Lady Liberty, as it does on this US half dollar from the War of 1812. 

And once again revolutionary era Mexican coinage prominently featured the gorro de la Libertad. These were 90% silver, & some of the most beautiful coins ever struck.

Today we find ourselves living in momentous & revolutionary times once more. It's time to put on the Phrygyian cap once again, a headpiece ugly enough that unbelievers will surely eschew it.