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Posts Tagged ‘TVA’

Baloney

Posted by Admin on April 9, 2022

Bologna is a large city in Northern Italy. Bologna (pronounced baloney) is also a processed meat that is a combination of ground pork, beef, chicken, and turkey. So where does baloney — as in nonsense, rubbish, or foolishness — come from and is it somehow related to the city or the processed meat?

The Herald newspaper of Everett (WA) published a story on 28 May 2009 about the Twitter account held by cwalken that was suspended due to strange activity. Some believed the account was that of American actor Christopher Walken but it wasn’t. The photo that accompanied the account name was that of Christopher Walken, but the Twitter account wasn’t that of the actor. The article was titled, “That Famous Twitter Feed Could Be Baloney.”

As a reminder, Twitter verification was introduced in June 2009 and became Twitter’s way to distinguish real celebrity accounts from unverified celebrity accounts. Twitter closed down Twitter verification requests in 2017 but after a four-year absence, as of May of 2021, Twitter has reinstated it.

University of California Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson (18 June 1940 – 2 November 2019) wrote “Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds” which was published in 1997. The title to Chapter Three was “Tuning Up Your Baloney Detector.” This chapter spoke about the need, even in science, to suspect baloney in claims that appear to be easily debunked. He stated that Carl Sagan’s own baloney detecting kit was instrumental in directing the scientist to quickly identify con artists and conspiracy theorists who purported to be all about the science.

What we need to protect ourselves from such false beliefs, Sagan writes in his book, “The Demon-Haunted World” is a well-equipped “baloney detector kit” A baloney detector is simply a good grasp of logical reasoning and investigative procedure.

In 1979, the United States Department of Agriculture published “What’s to Eat? and Other Questions Kids Ask About Food.” According to the Foreword, it was written mostly because 1979 was designated as the International Year of the Child by the United Nations, and it was felt that publishing a kid friendly book would be the thing to do that year.

Among the contents was an article titled, “Truth or Baloney About Oranges.” There were two sets of questions — one about growing oranges and the other about processing oranges — comprising of 5 statements each to which readers were to check one of two boxes: Truth or Baloney. The quiz was followed by a diagram showing the correct answers.

In “The Supplemental Appropriation Bill, 1958” published by the United States Congress, House Committee on Appropriations, the matter of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee River component of the Ohio River was a hot matter of discussion. The Tennessee River system at the time contributed to the floods on the Ohio River. Money had been borrowed by the TVA, and was being repaid to the Treasury Department. Senator Joseph Landon Evins (24 October 1920 – 31 March 1984) of Tennessee claimed the total repayments up until 1958 had far exceeded the 40-year statutory annual requirements, but some senators didn’t believe that was an accurate representation of the situation.

MR. JENSEN: You can cut it any way you want to, but it is still baloney, Mr. Evins. It is still baloney to me.

MR. EVINS: It happens to be a fact — a true fact. I am sure the gentleman would consider anything TVA as baloney, but what I have given him are the true facts of the situation. TVA has paid back into the Treasury more than would be required by interest payments.

INTERESTING SIDE NOTE 1: Joseph Landon Evins was named a staff attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in 1935 and rose to the position of the Federal Trade Commission Assistant Secretary in 1938. He held that position until the U.S. entered WWII where he was commissioned in the United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps where he served until 1946, at which time he returned to private practice. He was a Senator from 1953 through to 1977.

INTERESTING SIDE SIDE NOTE 1: Senator Evins was preceded by Senator Albert Gore Sr, the father of Senator Al Gore Jr who went on to become Vice-President of the United States of America under President Bill Clinton.

INTERESTING SIDE NOTE 2: Benton Franklin Jensen (16 December 1892 – 5 February 1970) was the Senator from Iowa served thirteen consecutive terms as the U.S. Representative from Iowa. Before being elected to the House of Representatives, he managed a lumber company for twenty years. Prior to that he was a second lieutenant in WWI, and before that he was a yardman and an assistant auditor at a lumber company.

INTERESTING SIDE SIDE NOTE 2: He was shot in the back near his right shoulder on 1 March 1954 in Washington DC when four Puerto Rican nationalists — Lolita Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irvin Flores Rodriguez — promoting the cause of Puerto Rico’s independence from the US fired 30 rounds from semi-automatic pistols onto the legislative floor from the visitors’ balcony above.

It seems that baloney was a favored word if one goes by government documents. It was repeated several times in the “National Labor Relations Act: Hearings Before the Special Committee” in 1940 where a clear definition is provided by attorney Edmund M. Toland. On Saturday, 27 April 1940 Edmund M. Toland, general counsel to the Congressional Committee investigating the National Labor Relations Board and Herbert Fuchs (20 September 1905 – 1988), attorney for the National Labor Relations Board sprinkled their comments liberally with the word.

MR. TOLAND: Notwithstanding the fact that the charge against this company was a violation of section 8 (2), that it had sponsored, dominated, or instigated, or all of the violations of section 8 (2) with respect to this union, and this witness, being called by the respondent, after being cross-examined by the Board, then the attorney for the independent union questions him, and asks him whether or not the company had ever interfered with, dominated, or sponsored the organization so are as he knew, and his answer was “none whatever” and you took that testimony as to be immaterial to the issues in this case, and therefore concluded that the testimony of this witness, under oath, was baloney!

MR. FUCHS: Oh, I don’t think I intended to characterize it as untrue. You might get a lot of people to testify that they hadn’t seen one person kill another.

The use of the word baloney was used a number of times by both Edmund M. Toland and Herbert Fuchs.

INTERESTING SIDE NOTE 3: Herbert Oscar Fuchs was a former American Communist who joined the National Labor Relations Board in 1937. In November 1948 he left the National Labor Relations Board over the increased attention being paid to the Alger Hiss (11 November 1904 – 14 November 1996) and Whittaker Chambers (1 April 1901 – 9 July 1961) case.

INTERESTING SIDE SIDE NOTE 3: Whittaker Chambers was a senior editor at Time magazine and in August 1948, he testified under subpoena before the House of UnAmerican Activities Committee that Alger Hiss, who had worked as an attorney for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration as well as the Nye Committee before moving to the Department of State in 1936, was a spy for the Soviet Union in the 1930s.

Back in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a plan to go off the gold standard. The Depression wasn’t letting up and inflation was only making matters worse. The passage of the Gold Reserve Act allowed the Federal Reserve to increase the amount of money in circulation to the level the economy needed, but not before New York Governor Alfred Emmanuel Smith (30 December 1873 – 04 October 1944), took to the newspapers with an open letter to the New York State Chamber of Commerce. In his letter he wrote:

I am for gold dollars as against baloney dollars. I am for experience as against experiment.

The government was concerned citizens would use the term baloney dollars instead of the high-sounding term compensated dollars. Senator George Norris of Nebraska tried to offset the damage by stating to the media, “Even baloney is pretty good food for a starving individual.”

During the 1936 presidential, Governor Smith backed Roosevelt’s opponent with the memorable refrain, “No matter how thin you slice it, it’s still baloney.”

But was the governor the first to talk about baloney that way? Not at all.

Idiomation found a joke of sorts in Volume 99, Issue 2275 of The Judge published on 6 June 1926.

HE: I love your eyes with their lustrous rays focused lovingly into mine.

SHE: Baloney; those are just words, nothing more.

HE (very much put out): What did you expect them to be? Sandwiches?

It was attributed to a publication recognized as the Texas Ranger.

Throughout the 1920s, newspaper comic strips American engineer, inventor, author, sculptor and cartoonist, Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg (4 July 1883 – 7 December 1970) featured wonderfully complicated mechanical contraptions. They also often included the word baloney to mean nonsense as in “that’s the baloney” or “it’s a lot of baloney” or just plain old “baloney” all on its own.

The word was found used with ease in this published letter in the Vaudeville newspaper dated 30 June 1922.

Idiomation was unable to find any earlier published versions of baloney meaning nonsense, rubbish, or foolishness. It is therefore pegged at the beginning of the flapper era even though baloney as a prepared meat sausage was available long before then.

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