Tuesday, June 17, 2014

James A. Chamblee, 12/02/1938 - 8/18/2005

Computer Scientist,
Ferro-Cement Boat Builder.

Dad's Obituary

James Anderson Chamblee, 66, a retired computer scientist who founded a company that built concrete sailboats, died Thursday, August 18, 2005 of heart disease at Howard County General Hospital in Columbia. He was a resident of Columbia and Jekyll Island, Ga.

Mr. Chamblee was born in Wilmington, N.C. In 1959, he went to work for IBM in New York, where he was part of a team that helped pioneer the American Airlines reservation system and the automation of the New York Stock Exchange. Going to school at night, he received his undergraduate degree in math from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1963.
He moved to Savage in 1963 and joined the University of Maryland Computer Science Center, where he worked for a year.

From 1964 to 1972, he was a computer scientist for the Federal Trade Commission and from 1972 to 1983 for the Environmental Protection Agency. He worked for the Army Department from 1983 until his retirement in 1994.

He started building ferro-cement boats in 1972. Concrete hulls in the family's front yard, alongside Route 1 in Savage, became familiar sights to passersby.

A 1972 Mother Earth News article that featured Mr. Chamblee's boatyard, Sampson Marine, noted that a concrete boat offered some advantages over conventionally constructed boats: "It won't rust or rot, sharp rocks don't punch holes in it and the vessel just keeps on getting stronger for the next 30 years or so!"  The article and photos of the boats in the yard, including a photo of Larry Chamblee as a law student working on his boat, is at http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/1972_July_August/How_To_Build_A_Ferrocement_Boat

Mr. Chamblee designed the first concrete skipjack and wrote a book on the subject. He also captained two Atlantic Ocean voyages in his 45-foot concrete ketch in the late 1970s, sailing from Baltimore to Portugal via the Azores on the voyage over and from northern Africa via Puerto Rico on the way back. His children were among the crew.

When the state bought his home and business property in Savage, MD for Route 32, he built the home in Clarksville, MD that his family moved into in 1975 until it was sold about 25 years later.

In recent years, he had worked as a golf course marshal on Jekyll Island, where he spent winters.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Eileen Wandell Chamblee of Columbia; four children, James Chamblee of Frederick, Jeffrey Chamblee of Columbia, Andrea Chamblee of Silver Spring and Cynthia Chamblee of Eldersburg, Md.; two brothers; and three grandchildren.
James and Eileen Chamblee
Dad with his Cement ketch, Chosen One

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who is behind those political ads? Find out with a NEW APP!

Who is behind these ads by "Citizens for" our citizens and their growth, progress, freedom, and liberties?  and why are they saying such mean things?

The sponsors of the attack ads are as few as five - and up to less than 200 - billionaires.  These PACs are their financial playgrounds. Their "free speech" is not only costing billions of dollars, but tens of thousands of votes, and the voices of millions of citizens.
UPDATE: Sunlight Foundation has a new App  -- ADHAWK where you can hold your phone up to the ad and it will tell you whose paying - if it's not secret.  http://adhawk.sunlightfoundation.com/

Read about the project here:  http://reporting.sunlightfoundation.com/outside-spending/super-pacs/

Who are the SuperPacs:

Top Groups, Excluding Party Committees, 2012






Next on the list is the US Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is not a US agency. It is private, and increasingly controlled by foreign money, especially from China.  The Chamber refuses to disclose how much of its support comes from foreign sources.  It is spending millions on ads targeting Democrats.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Chamber_of_Commerce#Electoral_activities  http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/07/27/10352/daily-disclosure-us-chamber-drops-59-million-ad-blitz

The Center for Consumer Freedom is starting to rise again, running ads against the Humane Society. CFF was begun in 1995 by a tobacco company to discredit public health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control, and their supporters.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Consumer_Freedom.

A huge percentage of PAC money -- 25% -- comes from just five rich white male donors. 

Harold Simmons is the Dallas industrialist who financed the ads “Swiftboating” John Kerry.  He is the top donor to conservative SuperPacs.

Sheldon Adelson is the Las Vegas casino mogul  who gave $10 million to Winning Our Future, a super PAC aiding former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and co-founder of PayPal, donated $2.6 million to Endorse Liberty, a super PAC helping Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Thiel, a hard-partying libertarian, gave $70,000 to a 2010 ballot initiative in California legalizing marijuana.

Bob Perry is a Houston home builder who donated $3.6 million to super PACs since Jan. 1, 2011, including $2.5 million to American Crossroads.  He has supported Texas Gov. Rick Perry and state PACs backing former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty in the past, but he shifted last year to a pro-Romney super PAC with a $1 million donation.

No Democratic donors rank as high as the top donors to Republican super PACs.

What about the other 75 of PAC donors%?  196 People Control 80 Percent of Super PAC Money

Monday, February 20, 2012

The false link between FDA and Monsanto: consumers and progressives should support Michael Taylor

If you belong to any progressive mailing lists, chances are you’ve recently been urged to sign a petition calling for the removal of Michael Taylor as head of food safety at the Food and Drug Administration.

Food activists and consumer groups take issue with the fact that the former chief lobbyist for Monsanto, the dominant maker of genetically modified seeds and pesticides, oversees the nation’s food safety. Here’s a bit on the recent GMO kerfuffle.

“Michael Taylor is a devoted public official and I thought it was outrageous that he was being attacked in this mindless petition, “ said Michael Jacobson, the executive director of the CSPI, an organization normally known for holding government and industry feet to the fire.

Here is the Chicago Tribune article:

The open letter signed by the pro-consumer activists is here (pdf).

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rev Martin Luther King Jr: I've Been to the Mountain Top for collective bargaining rights

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this speech in support of the striking government employees (sanitation workers) at Mason Temple in Memphis, TN on April 3, 1968 — the day before he was assassinated.

He was there to lend his support to sanitation workers who were on strike, protesting terrible working conditions and low wages. Taylor Rogers and Elmore Nickelberry were among the 1,300 who walked off the job in 1968.

Rogers remembers picking up tubs of garbage that were full of holes. "That garbage would leak all over you," he says. By the time he got home, his clothes were dirty and full of maggots that had fallen on him.

"I had maggots run down in my shirts, and then maggots would go down in my shoes," Nickelberry says. "And we worked in the rain — snow, ice and rain. We had to. If we didn't, we'd lose our job. They said, 'A garbage man wasn't nothing.'"

Rogers says, "It was awful." One day, two workers, who had gone into a trash compactor to escape the rain, were crushed to death. "Sometimes you cry," Nickelberry says.

"Sometimes you get mad and get up in the morning and ... say, 'I ain't going to work.' ... I had to work because that's the only way I could feed my family."

'All We Wanted Was Some Dignity'


See also: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/memphis-v-mlk/


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fires

The meeting room walls in the Dept of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health are lined with poster-sized photographs of people who died at work.

These public servants, who have no budget yet for this year and are operating under a continuing resolution from a dysfunctional Congress, are used as punching bags by a workforce which it has made to be one of the safest in the world; that is, when OSHA is allowed to police profiteers who use immigrants as disposable labor.

OSHA wall posters now can include the workers who were kidnapped, locked in, and sexually assaulted at the DeCoster egg farms over the past 25 years.

WaPo's Howard Meyerson discusses the horrific tragedy of the Triangle fires:

The seamstresses were just getting off work that Saturday, some of them singing a new popular song, “Every Little Movement (Has a Meaning of Its Own),” when they heard shouts from the eighth floor just below. They saw smoke outside the windows, and then fire. As David Von Drehle recounts the ensuing catastrophe, in his award-winning book “Triangle,” just a couple minutes later the ninth floor was fully ablaze.

* * * *

[M]any, facing the choice of death by fire or death by impact on the city streets, chose the latter and leapt. Down they came, some already engulfed in flame — first a few, then a torrent, before the horrified crowd that had gathered by the building, which was just off Washington Square in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village.

When it was over, 146 people had either died by fire or jumped to their deaths. Most were young women, almost entirely Jewish or Italian immigrants, many still in their teens, one just 14.

Every little movement has a meaning of its own,
Every thought and feeling by some posture can be shown,
And every lovelight that comes a stealing
All your dreams must be revealing
All its sweetness in some appealing little gesture
All of its own.