GDG- In Defense of Peter

CWMHTours at CWMHTours at
Wed Jan 4 16:14:25 CST 2012

Now how many bowls of chili do I owe people?  Think I've  lost count.
Or I'll do the French Onion Soup at Dobbins.  Always a  7.3 to 8.8 on the 
International French Onion Soup scale.
;-)   !!!!
Your  Most Obedient Servant,

In a message dated 1/4/2012 5:08:07 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
bunco973 at writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
I also have strongly resisted in  getting involved in this discussion, but 
George's post brought me out.  This is the first time I've observed a 
discussion go rapidly down hill,  from a bit of nit-picking (which I can 
with) to an inference that  should never have been made. C'mon GDGers - 
is a class act site for  discussion (even with a bit of heat thrown in) - 
as George said -  LIGHTEN UP!!! Enlighten me - that's what I'm here for  

Tom  B.

-----Original Message----- 
From:  George Connell
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 4:02 PM
Cc:  gettysburg at
Subject: GDG- In Defense of Peter

Esteemed GDG  Member Contributes:
I enter this particular discussion with considerable  reluctance.

Peter's style is, at times, not easy to defend, but I  certainly welcome 
enthusiasm, good cheer, knowledge, and generally  provocative viewpoints.

Moreover, in this particular discussion I think  he raises the interesting 
substantive question of what should be "taught"  at our national landmarks. 
don't think any of us would be happy with an  over emphasis on one 
aspect, but who decides that?  I  accept what Peter says about Arlington 
based on his considerable personal  experience and conclude that things may 
be out of whack there.

I  personally don't care for the presentation at the new Gettysburg 
Center, but accept that other people do. At Gettysburg, I don't want to be  
taught about causes; I want to see as many as possible of the park's vast  
holding and at some level I resent anything that gets in the way.  
Unrealistic? Sure. Some context is vital, but we'll never have a VC big  
enough to  provide all the context some want and show all the stuff.  So 
what's the balance?

I am also a little uncomfortable with the  thought that the NPS needs to 
"educate" the American public as opposed to  just tell the story (though 
hard pressed to explain the difference).  There's an elitist, Menkinist 
undertone here I don't like.

Lastly,  Peter has an almost-shorthand writing style that is unique, 
sometimes  perplexing, and occasionally irritating, but it's his and I say 
lighten  up.



On Jan 4, 2012, at 1:58 PM,  joadx1 at wrote:

> Esteemed GDG Member  Contributes:
> While intended as a light-hearted reply to a  light-hearted attempt to 
> lower the temperature on this conversation,  this message is indicative 
> a certain subtext in your posts to this  group.  Since you may actually 
> be aware of that subtext,  I'll give you some hints.
> First, in this message you write  "Damn that Bill Cosby," while insisting 
> that "You can't beat Patsy  Cline and Willie  Nelson when chili grease is 
> dribbling down  your chin."
> Now, the former phrase is intended jocularly and  literally, but taken in 
> larger context it sends a message that you  may not intend.  Here is that 
> context:
> 1.   You insist upon misspelling Abraham Lincoln's name, even though Ms. 
>  Margaret Blough (who is not only a senior member and director of this 
>  discussion group but is also about as good an expert as there is on the  
> Constitutional history relevant to the Civil War) has asked you,  
> twice, to stop doing that because it is  disrespectful.  It is 
> disrespectful.  Why do you continue  doing that?
> 2. You attribute language and motivations to  Abraham Lincoln that other 
> senior members and experts on this site  (like Mr. Al Mackey) have 
> definitively refuted.
>  3.  You insist that you personally know what is most "important" about  
> Arlington Cemetery.  That insistence is consistently voiced as a  protest 
> of what you call the disproportionate attention to black  Americans by 
> NPS.  As a number of thoughtful and  well-informed messages to this list 
> have explained, given over a  century of not only ignoring the 
> slave-related part of the American  story but also of persecuting the 
> slaves and their descendants,  the NPS, at the behest of the elected 
> leaders of this country, has  been trying to redress the balance.  Your 
> protest of this is  part of a pattern.
> Within such a context your Bill Cosby/Patsy  Cline-Willie Nelson quips 
> assume a certain resonance, a resonance  that is clearly apparent to a 
> number of the contributors to this  discussion.
>  To: gettysburg <gettysburg at>
> Sent: Wed, Jan 4, 2012  10:33 am
> Subject: Re: GDG- Chilli in DC
>  Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Ben's?
> Ha  ha!
> You like Ben's?
> I think it is lousy and  excessively over-rated.  It is  more of a 
> condiment
>  than real chili.
> I'd go to Ben's for a chili half-smoke  tho.
> I don't understand the attention Ben's gets.  Damn  that  Bill Cosby!
> What about the Hard Times  Cafe?   That's pretty damn  good.  The 
>  any time.  I'll eat the veggie too.  Last  time I was there  some guy 
> in
> and bot up a whole mess of corn  bread.   All their juke boxes are good.
> You can't beat Patsy  Cline and Willie  Nelson when chili grease is 
> dribbling
>  down your chin.
> Any time-  we'll go find John Grim  too.
> ;-)  !!!
> Your  Most Obedient  Servant,
> Peter
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