Monday, July 28, 2014

The Genealogy of the SLO Bureaucrat Who Tried to Deny Me Social Security in 1998

On 20 August 1998 I went into San Luis Obispo to apply for my Social Security retirement. The woman in charge let me know that she knew everything, but everything about me, including how little I had made as an apprentice telegrapher on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe in 1952. She grilled me on what I would be working on. A book, I explained, a biography of the writer Herman Melville. Would I make money from that book? Well, yes, Ma'am, I hope so, although you never know what agenda-driven reviewers will do to sales. Sorry, she said, if you are going to be making money from working you can't apply for Social Security. Manning up, I stood tall and said, "Woman, I will walk on the beach for a year if I have to, but you WILL sign me up for my Social Security." "Sick," I wrote in my diary, "sick from shock that they could try to deny me benefits--'self-employed' indeed. I would never write another word rather than lose my benefits after quitting my job. . . . Very stressful."

I  got that woman's name and now have traced her genealogy. I have traced 16 of her [male] GGG Grandparents and 32 of the [male] GGGG Grandparents and have found that all of them, without exception, were bureaucrats in charge of looking over Revolutionary War pension applications under the Law of 1832 and finding frivolous reasons for denying benefits to the aged vets, for of course only the aged vets were still surviving. In the 97 cases I have examined so far, the most outrageous one was the denial of benefits to Patrick McElyea S2789 on the grounds that he had claimed to be "in the battle of Alamance near the line of Guilford County North Carolina in which he lost his horse, saddle & bridle,"--this when the Battle of Alamance was fought in 1771 and there was no such battle in the Revolution. There was of course such a battle in which Patrick lost his horse, saddle, and bridle. But look at the money the bureaucrat saved and look at the actuarial tables for the chances that Patrick McElyea would live long enough to get word of his rejection and to get strength to reapply.

It is singular that so many of the SLO Bureaucrat's ancestors all but monopolized the pension-rebuffing system in several Southern states.

I wonder if she is on Social Security now or if she has moral scruples about collecting, as some Revolutionary veterans had turned Friends and refused to apply for their pensions.

Zarko on Top Villains in the Duke Lacrosse Hoax--Brodhead at #15--


Top Villains in the Duke Lacrosse Hoax by Zarko

It was not necessarily easy to pick a list of the top 15 greatest villains in that disaster of a Hoax. Some are sharing a spot in this list, as they are often difficult to tell apart in their nonsensical screed. The hatred the people on this list displayed for justice, freedom, and other traditional democratic values is astounding. Their methods of perpetrating injustice at any cost, including self-deprecation, is a testament to how far we still have to go before we can truly make a great society.

I have excluded the two principal villains, District Attorney Mike Nifong and the False Rape Accuser herself, the Hoax Enabler, Crystal Gail Mangum from this list, as they were clearly the #1 and #2 criminals otherwise. . . .

#15: Richard Brodhead, Wahneema Lubiano, Karla Holloway, Peter Wood, Maurice Wallace, Thavolia Glymph, and the rest of the Group of 88

There are more 88ers coming lower in the count, but these are the people I couldn't fit in this list.

The Group of 88 are 88 Duke professors with a chip on their shoulders, an irrelevancy complex, and an almost obsessive hatred of a large variety of things, often male and white. The lacrosse team provided a very easy platform from which to launch their views.

The original "Listening" ad and Wanted Poster provided enough fuel for the fire of hatred to last a long time. Under the guise of 'anonymous' students, the 88ers provided their own quotes damning the team. Lubiano even characterized it as a stake through the heart of the Lacrosse team.

Of course, when the case collapsed and the 88ers were (slightly) taken aback, they would no longer claim the ad was about the Lacrosse incident, but about other, more 'lofty' goals, such as speaking out against the sexism and racism on campus.

Facts, of course, were stubborn things, ignored exclusively by most people on this list.

One note however, is the signatory Arlie Peters. He distanced himself from the G88 and did not sign the clarifying statement later on. For that, he needs to be applauded. The rest continued their hatred long after the case they once so cherished... collapsed so utterly.

For a list of their behavior,, KC Johnson and others provide ample information.

Finally, the president of Duke, Richard Brodhead. He was not an 88er, but he certainly shares their views. Many people attest to his intelligence, and I have no reason to doubt any of them. He is a very smart, suave man, with a great eloquence, which is clearly lacking in most of the company he keeps (on this list and the 88ers in general).

When Finnerty and Seligmann were arrested, he gave his speech of: "If they did it, it's appalling. If they didn't do it, whatever they did is bad enough".

He knew, at that point, that all Seligmann and Finnerty did was drink beer. According to Brodhead, that was enough to warrant a 30 year prison sentence.

He failed his university, he failed his institution, he failed academia in general, and he failed to reign in a mob of morally destitute gangsters.

Cousin Lois Gore: In the South if you are Not Kin you are Connected

Well, Larry Burford, who recently established the power of Stewart DNA uniting us, mentioned that his wife is a Balentine. I notified my Balentine first cousin (daughter of a Costner and a great granddaughter of Nancy Ann Stewart Costner) and after a couple of exchanges it turns out that she is more kin to Larry's wife than she is to Larry. I am temporarily left out of double kinship with Larry and his wife, but we have not compared names yet. No one argues with Triple Cousin Lois.

Maureen Dowd and Killer Lightning on Venice Beach

Do words have consequences?
Did Maureen Dowd's relentless mockery of Al Gore affect even a few hundred voters in Florida?
Did those old folks worried about saffron-robed figures in temples give the election to George Bush?
Did Maureen Dowd give us an inattentive President in August 2001 and then give us the Iraq War?
Did Maureen Dowd give us accelerated Global Warming?
Do words have consequences?

Sometimes I wish things had been different.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Maurice and Heddy

Too many of our friends are dead.

Pyles, and the Psychotic David Fanning, after Yorktown

Because some of my ancestors pursued the infamous Colonel Fanning through several North Carolina counties I have been trying to find who served with them. As always when you work with documents (pension applications transcribed mainly by the ineffable Will Graves and Leon Harris) you resist by-paths if you can. Yet I cannot ignore Dr. John Pyle Sr or Dr. John Pyle Jr after learning that the young doctor's wife was my Aunt Sarah Brashear. Philip Higdon calls young Dr. Pyle the "major." And apparently it was not a hand or part of a hand but an eye the major lost at the Hacking Party held by the father of Robert E. Lee, for another applicant says that in the 1820s he saw the young doctor, no longer young but still one-eyed, in Illinois. Poor Uncle John, fleeing his shame! First he went with a troop of Tory Brashears in a mass migration to Greenville, SC, accompanied by my highly patriotic Grandfather Ezekiel Henderson and his bride, Elizabeth, Sarah's sister, then went on to Kentucky and Illinois. One son tried to erase the shame of being the son and grandson of Tory Pyles by rushing to enlist when the War of 1812 broke out. What did Ezekiel think and what did he say? And to name a son Brasher! That's all a by-path.

I am looking at the slaughter David Fanning carried out after Yorktown, when North Carolina might have settled down to reconciliation and reconstruction, you would have thought. William Ryan (transcriber Leon Harris--who after years of polite emailing turns out to be a Cockerham cousin of mine!) says it clearly: 
"The Tories under Col Fanning and other tory leaders seemed to be driven to despair by the surrender of Cornwallis  They divided themselves into small parties and prowled about the country & sought every opportunity to commit the most cruel and unprovoked murders & so frequent were murders robberies & Arsons committed by them that the Counties of Guilford Randolph & Chatham were in a state of continual alarm throughout the fall and winter of 1781 & the spring & summer of 1782--and the tories did not give up the control until the British wholly evacuated South Carolina."

Characteristically, after his retreat to Nova Scotia Fanning raped a female child, was convicted, and got away without punishment. The Single Most Evil Tory in the Revolution? Are there other candidates?

Back to looking at what the aged vets say about Fanning.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Larry Burford and Hershel Parker--and the Power of Stewart DNA

Oddities of DNA. Larry Burford (my sixth cousin two times removed) got a 95% match with me and a 20% match with a much closer cousin. We are wondering if there is something especially powerful about Stewart DNA.